After the devastation caused by hurricane Michelle, the Cuban government had contacted US firms, expressing interest in prices of wheat, soya, corn, rice, baby foods, powdered milk, chicken, cooking oil, beans and medicines. A contract was established with Crowley Maritime, the US firm which will export 20 million USD worth of products to Cuba.
In normal circumstances, a simple exportation contract is not worthy of becoming a news item but in this case, there are important implications. The United States imposed a total trade embargo on Cuba in 1960, including medicines, an embargo which has been followed to the letter during the past four decades, even when there were serious epidemics in Cuba, the USA refusing to export the medicines the people needed. Thousands of deaths were the result of this policy.
However, last year the US Congress approved sales of foodstuffs and medicines to Cuba when this takes place without credit from government institutions, which is the case in exports to other countries. The Crowley Maritime contract is made under the auspices of this law.
Nevertheless, the White House declared that is was “vehemently” opposed to the changes in the law “due to the continuous refusal by Cuba to provide basic rights to its citizens and the rejection of the efforts of the global coalition against terrorism”.
This latest is an addition to the previous argument invoked consistently by the USA after its forces were defeated by Fidel Castro at the Bay of Pigs.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru