World » Americas
Author`s name Ольга Савка

Why the US blockade on Cuba must end

Havana has issued a report on “how the Bush's administration has intensified US hostile policy against the Island”

The Cuban government has recently handed over the UN a report on how the Bush's administration has intensified the US hostile policies against the Island entitled: "The Need to Put an End to the Economic, Trade, and Financial Blockade the US has imposed on Cuba," which will be discussed by the UN General Assembly on November 8. The document emphasizes the recent obstacles that Washington has presented against academic, scientific, cultural, and sports exchange between both nations.Fidel Castro

“The economic, commercial and financial blockade impose by the United States against Cuba is the longest-lasting and cruelest of its kind know to human history and is an essential element in the United States' hostile and aggressive policies regarding the Cuban people”, reads the report. In a long introduction, the Castro's government resumes the history of the blockade and the consequences it had for the development of the Cuban people.

Cuban Public Health Minister Jose Ramon Balaguer denounced that the US blockade also hinders access to specialized bibliography and contact with US top-level institutions. The minister said in a recent on-line discussion forum that 32 of the 65 visas requested for Cuban officials and scientists to participate in different events in the United States were denied.

According to the State run Prensa Latina news agency, despite the US scientific counterpart's interest, the Washington's denial to grant licenses or visas to facilitate programs with Cuban experts is a practice that has reached irrational levels in the last years. Six semester programs for US students at Havana University, coordinated by entities like the Center for Cross Cultural Studies and the teaching Semester at Sea Cruiser, were cancelled during 2004.

US experts' attendance to either bilateral or international meetings in Havana are regularly hindered, the document Cuba will present before the UN says. According to Cuban official sources, some 50 US experts dared to challenge that pressure when intending to attend the International Maxillo-facial Surgery Conference in June, 2004, and their licenses to travel were denied. A similar occurrence took place happened just before the Pan American Youth Mental Health Congress in Havana, from March 30 to April 1, 2004.

The document concludes that all losses in 45 years of Washington's harassment of Havana total over $82 billion. Quoted by Prensa Latina in Havana, Cuban Vice Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said that, “to be able to use those funds would mean an obvious improvement of the Cubans' living conditions.”

AP photo: An order issued by President John F. Kennedy on 3 February 1962 initiated decades of blockade to harass the Cuban Revolution

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