Cuba denounces US blockade at WTO

STATEMENT BY THE CUBAN DELEGATE, ALINA REVILLA ALCAZAR, AT THE TRADE POLICY REVIEW BODY OF THE WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION (WTO).

Geneva, September 20, 2016.
         
Madam President,

As on several occasions we have stated since the inception of the WTO in 1995, this is a highly sensitive issue for my country and none of the reasons that Cuba legitimately wields for not performing the trade policy review has changed to date.

While a new chapter was opened on December 17, 2014 in the relations between Cuba and the United States, the unjust and illegal economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba remains in force.

Even despite the measures taken by President Barack Obama that modify some aspects in the implementation of the blockade, its impact remains highly burdensome for the Cuban people and State in every conceivable area, from the social to the economic ones.

A clear example is the abusive and growing persecution of financial companies conducting transactions with Cuba, confirming that the US blockade continues also affecting third States.

Madam President, the fulfillment of the obligations of the WTO Members is subject to the fact that they do not affect their essential security interests. Once these interests are engaged, the Member is legitimately entitled not to comply with the provision that threatens its safety.

In these reviews the disclosure of the information which is required to be provided is, in Cuba's opinion, contrary to the national security interests of the State and its people in the particular conditions imposed by the US Blockade. Therefore, while this situation persists, dating already more than 50 years despite the international condemnation for more than two decades, our country will not be able to undergo this review.

Cuba, despite being a developing country with the limitations it implies, has always been diligent and dutiful as to its obligations to the WTO and has worked constructively in this regard. Therefore, we call on all members to continue to support the cause of the Cuban people with their vote in favor of Cuba's resolution that next month will be discussed at the 71st session of the UNGA.

Thank you.

(Cubavsbloqueo)

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