• Michael Laxer

Cuba releases new report on the devastating impact of the US economic blockade

The Biden administration has maintained almost all of Trump's attack on the socialist country causing an estimated $6.3 billion in damages to the Cuban economy between January, 2021 and February 2022 alone.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Havana, October 19 -- Image via Twitter


Highlights:


- Between August 2021 and February 2022, the US blockade caused losses to the Cuban economy in the order of 3.8 billion dollars, a figure 49% higher than that reported in the previous period (January-July 2021)


- It is estimated that Cuban GDP could have grown by 4.5% in these seven months in the absence of the blockade, which projected to a year represents about 8% growth


- Taking into account the damages reported between January-July 2021, in the first 14 months of the Biden administration the damages caused by the blockade reached the figure of 6.364 billion dollars, which represents more than 454 million dollars per month and more than 15 million dollars per day.


- "As a result, the performance of the Cuban economy has experienced extraordinary pressures that manifest themselves in industry, service services, retail, shortages of food and medicine and the deterioration of the level of consumption and general welfare of the population"


At a press conference in Havana Wednesday, October 19, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla released a report detailing the catastrophic impact of the ongoing US economic blockade on the socialist country.


Entitled "Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba (August 2021 - February 2022)" the report is an update to a previous one for the period January - July 2021. It will be presented to the United Nations General Assembly in November.



The details outlined are shocking and show the cruelty of the blockade and its consequences for the people of Cuba. The report also notes that the Biden Administration has continued with the severe escalations of the economic attacks under Trump.



According to the report (translated from the Spanish):


Only between August 2021 and February 2022, this policy caused losses to Cuba in the order of 3,806.5 million dollars, a figure 49% higher than that reported in the previous period (January-July 2021). This record amount, in just seven months, is a reflection of the intensified impact of the blockade on Cuban exports, mainly in the tourism sector, the ruthless persecution of the country's banking-financial operations, the costs of geographical relocation of trade, the effects on production and services provided to the population and the obstacles to access advanced technologies.
It is estimated that GDP could have grown by 4.5% in these seven months in the absence of the blockade, which projected to a year represents about 8%.
Taking into account the damages reported between January-July 2021, only in the first 14 months of the government of Joseph Biden the damages caused by the blockade reached the figure of 6 billion 364 million dollars, which represents...more than 454 million dollars per month and more than 15 million dollars per day.
At current prices, the accumulated damages during six decades of application of this policy amount to 154 billion 217.3 million dollars. Taking into account the behavior of the dollar against the value of gold in the international market, the blockade has caused quantifiable damages of more than 1 trillion 391 billion 111 million dollars.
As a result, the performance of the Cuban economy has experienced extraordinary pressures that manifest themselves in industry, service services, retail, shortages of food and medicine and the deterioration of the level of consumption and general welfare of the population.
In recent months, systematic work has been done in the search for energy stability under very complex conditions, as the availability of generating plants has been limited by the lack of fuel, spare parts and other essential resources for repair and maintenance. The few suppliers that have decided to maintain the supply to Cuba of these products have increased prices considerably depending on the country risk.
Between August 2021 and February 2022 alone, damages to the energy and mining sector amounted to 185 million 533 thousand 55 dollars. This figure exceeds by almost 50 million that reported between January and July 2021.

It outlined how the Biden administration's continuation of almost all of Trump's policies, even despite the pandemic have led here:


Inserted in this reality, Cuba has had to face, in addition, the unprecedented intensification of the US blockade, which includes additional very aggressive measures imposed during the government of Donald Trump and which, for the most part, still remain in force as a continuation of the policy of maximum pressure against the country.
Since 2019, the blockade has escalated to a qualitatively more harmful and inhumane dimension, with a reinforced extraterritorial component.
The lawsuits filed under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, the persecution of companies, ships and shipping companies that send fuel supplies to the country, the arbitrary and unjustified inclusion of Cuba on the State Department's List of State Sponsors of Terrorism, the attack on all sources of income and entry of foreign currency into the country, The intimidation of third parties and the reinforcement of pressure on governments, banking institutions and businessmen around the world have been consolidated as an essential part of the US strategy to isolate Cuba and cause economic collapse.
The continued full application of the Helms-Burton Act, including the authorization for lawsuits to be filed in U.S. courts under its Title III, further expanded the scheme of hindering Cuba's economic, commercial and financial relations with third countries. At the end of July 2022, 37 prosecutions were ongoing in US courts under this extraterritorial law.
Cuba's continued membership of the List of State Sponsors of Terrorism has reinforced the deterrent and intimidating impact of the embargo, as well as the country's difficulties in inserting itself into international trade and carrying out financial operations. This has resulted in the closure of contracts, loss of relations with banks that usually worked with Cuba, indebtedness, delays in sending and receiving funds and goods, among other difficulties, with incalculable costs and consequences for the Cuban people and economy.
In conditions of a real economic war, the US government has unleashed a pernicious media-communication campaign to try to destabilize the country. They resort to lies, slander, manipulation of data, images and the most diverse methods of unconventional warfare, to generate political destabilization and the so-called "regime change", in clear violation of the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of States.
They have appealed to the feelings of intentionally selected audiences. They placed our children, youth and artists at the center of the media bombardment. They promoted artificial leaders, fabricated pretexts for the failed rehearsal of a humanitarian intervention, encouraged irregular migration and displayed a misleading narrative in order to position the false image of a government in crisis, repressive and unstable, incapable of responding to the demands of its population.
For these activities, the U.S. government has allocated about $20 million annually. The programs are operated under Section 109 of the Helms-Burton Act, which authorizes the U.S. President to provide assistance and other support to individuals and nongovernmental organizations in favor of Cuba's "democratization" efforts.
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