ACT OF GENOCIDE: Cuban ambassador blasts US sanctions

Cuban Ambassador to Jamaica Ines Fors Fernandez speaking Friday (Sept 20) on the effects of the US economic embargo on the Spanish-speaking island. (Photos: Don Weysome)

The Cuban ambassador to Jamaica is describing the economic embargo imposed against her country by the United States as a violation of the human rights of her people and qualifies as an act of genocide.

“The blockade is a massive, flagrant and systematic violation of the human rights of all Cuban men and women. Because of its declared aim and the political, legal and administrative framework upon which it is sustained, these sanctions qualify as an act of genocide according to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948 and as an act of economic warfare according to the Naval Conference of London of 1909. Moreover, it is in violation of the United Nations Charter and International Law,” Ines Fors Fernandez said.

Fors Fernandez came out strong against the 60-year-old economic blockade as she presented a UN report on the effects of the blockade on Friday (Sept 20). The report was presented ahead of November’s meeting of the United Nations General Assembly that will examine the embargo, for the 27th consecutive time. The meeting is scheduled for November 6 and 7.

Ines Fors Fernandez says the United States must, without any conditions, put an end to the unfair blockade.

“The United States must, without any conditions, put an end to the unfair blockade which for nearly 60 years has been causing suffering to the Cuban people. In our battle to lift the blockade, Cuba has received the support of Jamaica, which has joined the denunciation of this illegal policy within the United Nations as well as in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and in other international fora,” she said.

On April 17th 2019, the US Department of State announced its decision to permit the possibility under Title III of the Helms-Burton Act to take judicial actions in US courts against Cuban enterprises or companies or against Cuban individuals or third countries that do business with properties nationalized in the 1960s. She said this decision ended the practice assumed since 1996 by earlier US governments and by President Trump himself in the first two years of his mandate, which suspended this possibility every six months.

It was estimated in 2016 that the embargo cost the Cuban economy just over a trillion US dollars over its lifespan.

‘The policy of blockade against Cuba continues to represent an impediment to the development of all the potential of the Cuban economy.’

— Ines Fors Fernandez

Fors Fernandez added: “The behavior of the current United States government is an insult to the international community which has for 27 consecutive years condemned the blockade against Cuba within the framework of the United Nations. It ignores successive resolutions by the United Nations General Assembly and the declarations of the heads of State or Government of the European Union-Latin America and the Caribbean, the African Union, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Group of 77 and China and the Non-Aligned Movement, among other organizations that have demanded an end to the blockade against Cuba.

“The policy of blockade against Cuba continues to represent an impediment to the development of all the potential of the Cuban economy, for the implementation of the National Economic and Social Development Plan, and for attaining Agenda 2030 and its objectives for Sustainable Development.”