By Staff Reporter
CUBA says it rejects and denounces “before the world” the Unites States’ blockade against it and is appealing to Zambian journalists to spread its position.
Cuba’s Ambassador to Zambia Francisco Javier Viamontes Correa told journalists at his office in Kalundu area in Lusaka that the 58 year old economic blockade against the Caribbean island was causing a lot of damage.
Ambassador Correa feels the economic blockade is “a genocide policy to eliminate, to reduce, to condemn, to censure, to banish our country because we differ in our political aspirations or political ideologies.”
“The economic, financial and trade blockade of the United States against Cuba has been there since 1961. Up to today, it is in force. It is causing a lot of damage to the Cuban people, to our economy, to our development, to our institutions,” Ambassador Correa said.
“There is no institution in Cuba, there is no enterprise, ministry, community, province, district which has not been affected by this blockade.”
He condemned the activation, on May 2 this year, of title of the Helms-Burton Act by the US government.
“A few days ago, on the 2nd of May, the Trump administration decided to increase this blockade against Cuba. They put in place what they call title iii of the Helms-Burton Act. What does it mean? More regulations, more sanctions including that American citizens cannot travel to Cuba, Cuban citizens cannot travel to the United States,” he explained.
“If they want to go to Cuba, they have to go to a third country – they cannot travel directly. That’s why we condemn, reject, denounce before the world this blockade and we are asking you from the press to make the Zambian people know what is happening between Cuba and the Unites States”.
The diplomat indicated that what US administrations wanted, this one and the ones before, was a change of government in Cuba.
Ambassador Correa noted that the US government did not accept a progressive socialist government in Cuba.
“But this is our system, this is our position. As a sovereign State, we decide what to do. So, we are condemning, denouncing and rejecting the Act and this has to be known by the international community,” Ambassador Correa charged.
“It’s a genocide policy to eliminate, to reduce, to condemn, to censure, to banish our country because we differ in our political aspirations or political ideologies. We are not going to change that policy but what we want is to change the relation between them and us. So, we demand solidarity between the Zambian people and the Cuban people to face this challenge which is affecting the Cuban people”.
He demanded the lifting of the blockade, stressing that Cuba was interested to have normal relations with the United States.
“But normal relations means no conditions. [We must] trade normally – we must sale and buy goods. The distance between Miami and Havana is very short; it’s even one hour of a flight. But there is no trade, cooperation or investment,” Ambassador Correa noted.
Ambassador Correa further pointed out that approximately 70 per cent of the Cuban present population was born under the economic blockade.
“The Cuban Revolution took power on the 1st of January, 1959. The blockade was introduced in 1961 and we are now in 2019. So, what they (about 70 per cent of Cubans) know is the blockade,” he explained.
“They have suffered the effects of the blockade! This is the longest blockade in history; no other country has experienced this type of economic sanctions for such a long time. We protest against that! We reject that. We demand solidarity.”
Ambassador Correa, however, indicated that despite the economic blockade, Cuba has experienced a lot of development in different sectors.
“But we are paying a huge price for doing that. From all the administrations which have been in power in the United States since 1959 up to today, for us this (Trump’s) is the worst!”
“For us, the one who did more was [Barack] Obama; he did a lot to try to normalise the relations between the Unites States and Cuba but he couldn’t achieve much….”