New Sanctions imposed on Cuba [Archives:2004/740/Local News]

May 24 2004

Mohammed bin Sallam
May 18, 2004, Sana'a- The Ambassador of Cuba to Sana'a, H.E. Roberto Rodriquer Jena, held a press conference at his residence. The Ambassador talked about the announcement of the US Administration's new sanctions imposed on Cuba on 6 May 2004. The Ambassador described these sanctions to be the most severe ones imposed on the Cuban people in the 45 years of the US embargo on Cuba.
“The US embargo on Cuba has cost Cuba more than 72 billion USD during the 45 years. The new sanctions do not only violate the human rights of 11 million Cubans, but also violate the humane rights of Cubans living and residing in America as well as the American people themselves and US interests inside Cuba”, said the Ambassador.
“The US embargo on Cuba has deprived Americans before Cubans of trade, investment of millions of USD, which the Americans could have earned. The US Government has restricted even US citizens from visiting Cuba. It imposes harsh punitive measures against those who violate the restriction”, added the Cuban Ambassador.
The Ambassador pointed out that Cuba used to import more than 76 brands of medicine, but the US government has banned the Cubans from importing drugs and medical equipment and other human necessities since 1991. “The US government has allocated huge budgets in order to prevent US investment in Cuba, and has put other sanctions against countries, which either deal with Cuba or are trying to penetrate the embargo against Cuba, even on commercial ships anchoring off Cuban coasts”, the Cuban Ambassador explained.
The Ambassador proceeded by saying, “The World Trade Organization, which is an international organization, has been subdued to the US volition and America has prohibited the WTO from dealing with Cuba, a member of the UN. Furthermore, the US Government has earmarked for the current year 59 million USD to fund the Cuban opposition, a continuation of similar funding during previous years. It has been funding radio and TV broadcasts transmitted directly into Cuba and has furnished an Awac airplane to facilitate transmission and to prevent interference with transmissions. There are 12 hours of daily transmissions of propaganda against Cuba and its people. 45 years of embargo against Cuba and the world continues not to act against this unjust embargo.”
“The rigorous, despicable and perfidious nature of the current US Administration is patently clear in the fact that the new measures against Cubans are adopted at a time transport costs and price of food supplies have almost doubled”, said the Ambassador. He explained that the embargo has placed the Cuban people in a genuine crisis, and that even the price of sugar, produced inside Cuba, is barely covering its production cost, and that prices of fuel, wheat and other essential food materials have increased terribly.
Ambassador Roberto concluded his press conference regarding the recent US measures against Cuba by saying, “The tough and savage measures the US Government has recently adopted, added to the already 45 year-old strict embargo, aim directly at hampering development progress, and diminishing, to the minimum level possible, the sources of hard currencies, which are necessary to provide for the Cubans' needs of food, medical services and other primary services. The Cuban revolution, based on its prolonged expertise, wisdom, solid unity, and the high political culture of Cubans reacts to the US sanctions by the following measures:
1- The cancellation, until further notice, of the sales of goods in hard currency, except food, cleaning and personal safety goods.
2- No price change on goods sold in wholesale or on official subsided goods of benefit to all citizens.
3- Public health programs, which are at the peak of development, are untouchable.
4- No suspension or change to take place on the current ongoing educational projects, including additional meals and schools' nutrition, which will continue to be distributed.
5- Considering it an important part of the quality of Cubans, the culture will continue its development of an integrated public culture for all Cubans will not stop for even a second.
6- The unemployment rate will remain below the 2.5% of the economically active citizens.
7- Current prices will remain unchanged.