On the eve of the 50th anniversary of the Cuban people's final victory, after a long and bitter struggle for true independence, over a bloody dictatorship that had oppressed it with the support of the US government; and nearly 50 years into the most radical process of political, economic and social transformation in the history of the country, Washington's economic, commercial and financial blockade remains in force, as the most blatant expression of a cruel and inhuman policy, lacking any kind of legitimacy or legality, whose aim has been the reversal of the Cuban Revolution by all possible means, including bringing about starvation and despair among the Cuban population.
On the basis of its officially-declared and covert aims, of its scope and of the means and actions in pursuit of these, the US blockade on Cuba amounts to genocide, within the meaning of the Geneva Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (9th December 1948), and to an act of economic war, according to the definition established at the 1909 London Naval Conference.
As confirmed by 16 consecutive resolutions of the UN General Assembly, this policy conflicts with the aims and principles of the UN Charter, with the principles of international law governing relations between sovereign states, and with the principles of freedom of international trade and navigation enshrined in various international instruments.
The aggressively extraterritorial nature of this policy, especially under the administration of President George W Bush, is also - to a significantly increasing degree - damaging to the sovereignty of third nations and the legitimate interests of organizations and individuals under their jurisdiction
In the interval since the passing of General Assembly Resolution 62/3, on 30 October 2007, the main elements of the blockade on Cuba have been maintained or intensified, as reflected in heavier economic sanctions and sterner persecution of business activity and international financial operations (including those involved in settling Cuba's dues to the UN's international agencies), as well as misappropriation of Cuban trade marks, and increased pressures on and reprisals against those who trade with Cuba or form links with Cuba for the purposes of cultural or artistic exchange. Washington has also moved on to a more open and dangerous stage in the organization and execution of subversive operations, through official channels and otherwise, as envisaged in President Bush's plan for re colonizing Cuba and it subsequent updating on 10 July 2006.
On 24 October 2007, just days after the General Assembly passed the latest resolution calling on America to lift its economic, commercial and financial blockade on Cuba, the US president made a speech clearly indicating the approach Washington's policy on Cuba would reflect during the last phase of the Bush administration, in open contempt of the wishes of the international community.
He painted an absurdly inaccurate picture of conditions in Cuba, in an attempt to vilify our country and create a pretext for retaining his increasingly denigrated policy, and said "The operative word in our future dealings with Cuba is not stability. The operative word is freedom." . He revealed the decision to resort even to force if necessary, to undermine the resistance of the Cuban people and re-colonize the country or (which amounts to the same thing) bring about a "change of regime", in line with the aggressive, hegemonic doctrine of the White House's present tenants.
In a state of interventionist fever and as a clear indication of frustration at what he considers scant international support for his illegal policy, Mr Bush launched a further call for accomplices in applying his strategy of hostility and aggression towards the Cuban people.
Intensification of the current US administration's anti-Cuba political and media campaign, which goes beyond any of its predecessors, was also confirmed by President Bush's anti-Cuba speech from the White House on 21 May 2008.
Events in the context of this strategy included a further tour of various European capitals, from 7-16 April this year, by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Kirsten Madison, and the proconsul for the virtual re colonization of Cuba, Caleb McCarry.
These spokespersons of Washington's anti-Cuba strategy focussed their efforts on preventing the lifting of the EU sanctions, unjustly imposed in 2003, as well as on discouraging high-level visits from Europe to Cuba, and seeking to impose endorsement of America's anti-Cuba policy in the EU-US dialogue.
In attempting to destroy the constitutional order established and supported by the Cuban people - a core aim of the economic, commercial and financial blockade - Washington has pulled out all the stops in its efforts to recruit, organize and bankroll persons born in Cuba to act as paid servants of America's policy of hostility and aggression towards the Cuban nation. Cuba has submitted evidence, including conclusive proof, of these allegations, which the US authorities have been unable to refute.
The US Agency for International Development (USAID) has been one of the mechanisms used for channelling money to meet the payroll of US mercenaries in Cuba - operations in which the US Interests Office in Cuba (Havana) has been directly involved.
On 14 May 2008, USAID called a meeting at its Washington offices for the purpose of distributing an extra $45m that had been allocated by the Bush administration to the undeclared war on the Cuban people.
The meeting was chaired by USAID Latin America chief José Cardenas, a former executive of the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF) - an organization set up under the auspices of the Reagan administration and involved in organizing and financing various terrorist operations against Cuba. The meeting approved additional federal funds for identifying other NGOs in third countries, with a view to engaging their services in the campaign against Cuba.
Highlighting the substantial expansion of USAID's anti-Cuba programme, the chairman reported that the budget had been increased from $13m in 2007 to $45m in the financial year 2008 - a reflection of the priority attached by the Bush administration to reversing the Cuban people's revolution.
Washington is now cynically using its diplomats in Havana to pass on money received from known terrorist organizations based on US soil to subversive groups in Cuba, as has been recently denounced by the government of the Republic of Cuba.
In the later sections of this report, we provide updated information on the effects of the US economic, commercial and financial blockade on Cuba in the period since the passing of Resolution 62/3 up to 31 May 2008, whose key feature has been intensification of the policy aimed at reversing the Cuban Revolution. A significant number of examples of the pernicious effects of the US blockade on Cuba have had to be excluded from this document for fear of further reprisals against, or collateral damage to, foreign suppliers and other institutions which maintain economic, trade or financial links with Cuba in accordance with international law and in defiance of the extraterritorial pressures generated by the economic war waged by Washington against the Cuban people and its right to freedom, independence and sovereignty.