Havana, Cuba, Jun 16 (ACN) On June 16th, 2017, the President of the United States, Donald Trump, in a speech full of hostile rhetoric, that recalled the times of open confrontation against our country, announced in a theater in Miami its government’s policy towards Cuba which reverts advances in the last two years after December 17th of 2014 by Presidents Raul Castro and Barack Obama announcing the decision of reestablishing diplomatic relations and began a process towards the normalization of bilateral ties.
In what constitutes a fall back in relations between the two countries, Trump gave a speech and signed a policy directive entitled “Presidential Memorandum of National Security on the Tightening of the Policy of the United States Towards Cuba”, disposing the elimination of the educational ¨people to people¨ exchanges to individuals and major control of US travelers to Cuba in addition to prohibiting economic, commercial and financial transactions of US companies with their Cuban counterparts tied with the Revolutionary Armed Forces and intelligence and security services, with the objective of depriving them of earnings. The US President justified the policy with alleged concerns on the human rights situation in Cuba and the need to strictly apply the laws of the blockade, conditioning its lifting if our country carries out inherent changes to its constitutional order.
Trump repealed the Presidential Directive of the policy of “Normalization of relations between the United States and Cuba”, issued by President Obama on October 14th 2016, of which, although, it did not hide the interference character of the US policy, nor the objective of advancing its interests in acquiring changes in the economic, political and social order of our country, had recognized the independence, sovereignty and self-determination of Cuba and the Cuban government like a legitimate and equal speaker, as well as the benefits reported by both countries and peoples in a civilized relationship within the great differences between both governments. He also admitted that the blockade was an obsolete policy that had to be eliminated.
The Government of the United States once again has resorted to coercive methods of the past, adopting measures to reinforce the blockade valid since February of 1962, which not only inflicted damages and deprivation to the Cuban people and constitutes undeniable obstacles to the development of our economy, but also affects the sovereignty and interests of other countries, promoting international condemnation.
The announced measures imposes additional obstacles to the very restricted opportunities that the US business sector had to trade and invest in Cuba.
While restricting even further the right of US citizens in visiting our country already limited in forcing them to use discriminatory licenses, in moments in which the US Congress, as a reflection of the feeling of ample sectors of society that demand not only to end the travel ban, but also the elimination of restrictions to trade with Cuba.
The announcements of President Trump contradicts the majority support of the US public opinion, including the Cuban emigration of that country to the total lifting of the blockade and normal relations between Cuba and the United States.
In its place, the US President, once again badly advised, made decisions that favor the political interests of an extremist minority of those of Cuban origin from the state of Florida, that due to their hostile motivations do not stop from punishing Cuba and its people for exercising its legitimate right and sovereignty of being free and having taking control of its own destiny.
Later on we will have a more profound analysis of the reach and implications of this announcement.
The Government of Cuba denounces the new measures of reinforcing the blockade, destined to fail as demonstrated repeatedly in the past and will not achieve its objective of weakening the Revolution or subdue the Cuban people whose resistance to any type or origin of aggressions has been proven through the almost six decades.
The Government of Cuba rejects the manipulations with political objectives and the double standard in the treatment of the issue of human rights. The Cuban people enjoys rights and freedom and shows important achievements of which it is proud of and which is the dream of many countries in the world, including that of the US, like the right to health, education, social security, equal pay for equal work, rights of children and the right to food, peace and development. With its modest resources, Cuba has also contributed to the improvement of human rights in many parts of the world, despite the limitations in its condition of a country with a blockade.
The United States is not in the condition to give us lessons. We have serious concerns for the respect and guarantees of human rights in that country where there is a number of assassination cases, police brutality and abuses, in particular against the African American population; the right to life is violated as a result of the deaths by weapons; child labor is exploited and there are serious manifestations of racial discrimination; there are threats with imposing more restrictions to health services, which will leave 23 million people without health insurance; there are wage inequality between men and women; emigrants and refugees are marginalized in particular those from Islamic nations; walls pretend to be lifted that denigrate its neighbors; and international commitments are abandoned aimed at preserving the environment and confronting climate change.
These are reasons of concern on human rights violations committed by the United States in other countries, like the arbitrary detentions of dozens of prisoners in the illegally occupied territory by the US Naval Base in Guantanamo, Cuba, where there are even tortures carried out; extrajudicial executions and civilian deaths caused by bombs and the use of drones; and wars against different countries like Iraq, sustained by lies like the possession of weapons of mass destruction, with serious consequences for peace, security and stability in the region of the Middle East.
We must remember that Cuba is State Party to 44 international instruments on human rights while the United States with only 18 something, and issue that we can demonstrate, be of the opinion and defend.
With the decision of reestablishing diplomatic relations, Cuba and the United States ratified the intention of developing respectful and cooperation ties between both peoples and government based on the principles and consecrated objectives of the UN Charter. In its declaration, issued on July 1st, 2015, the Revolutionary Government of Cuba reaffirmed that “these relations must lay the foundations in the absolute respect to our independence and sovereignty; the inalienable right of all States to choose its political, economic, social and cultural system without the interference of any form and the sovereign equality and reciprocity, that constitutes the undeniable principles of international law, as endorsed by the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed by the Heads of States and Government of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), in its 2nd Summit in Havana. Cuba has not renounced or will ever renounce to these principles.
The Government of Cuba reiterates its commitment to continue the respectful dialog and cooperation in issues of mutual interest in addition to negotiating pending bilateral issues with the US Government. It has been demonstrated in the last two years that the two countries, as repeatedly expressed by the President of the Council of States and Ministers, Army General Raul Castro Ruz, that we can cooperate and live in a civilized manner, respecting our differences and promoting all that is beneficial to both nations and peoples, but this should not wait for Cuba to make inherent concessions to its sovereignty and independence, nor accept conditions of any type.
Any strategy aimed at changing the political, economic and social system in Cuba, which pretends to be achieved, through pressures and impositions or use more subtle methods are condemned to fail.
The changes that are needed in Cuba has been carried out since 1959 and those that we are undertaking now as part of the updating process of our economic and social model, will continue with the sovereignty of the Cuban people.
Since we have been doing since the triumph of January 1st 1959, we will take on any risk and we will continue firm and secure in the construction of a sovereign, independent, socialist, democratic, prosperous and sustainable nation.
Havana, June 16th, 2017