The Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Cuba condemns in the strongest terms the measures announced by the United States Government on 4 June 2019, further tightening the economic blockade imposed on Cuba for over 60 years, at a cost for the Cuban economy which amounted to over 134 billion dollars in 2018 at current prices, and to the figure of 933 billion dollars, taking into account the devaluation of the US dollar vis-à-vis the price of gold in the world market.
According to what has been learned, this new escalation, effective as of 5 June, further strengthens the hard restrictions already imposed on US citizens to travel to Cuba, includes an absolute ban on any vessels from the United States and immediately prohibits cruise ships from visiting our country.
The intent continues to be to extract political concessions from the Cuban nation through suffocation of the economy and hurting the population. In this particular case, these measures are also aimed at preventing the American people from knowing the Cuban reality thus bringing down the effects of the slanderous propaganda that is fabricated on a daily basis against our country.
Such actions disregard the majority view of Americans, whose interest to know Cuba and exercise their right to travel was proved by the 650 thousand US travelers who came in 2018, together with half a million Cubans residing in the United States.
Last 17 April, National Security Advisor John Bolton, at an anti-Cuban show attended by the mercenaries defeated in Bay of Pigs and family members of the henchmen of the Fulgencio Batista tyranny, announced that his government would restrict non-family travel to Cuba. This individual is known for having taken over the US foreign policy towards the Western Hemisphere, which constitutes the main threat to peace and stability of the whole region.
The United States supports the Monroe Doctrine openly, with which it tries to deny the sovereign equality and the right to self-determination of every nation of the hemisphere.
The recent attacks against Cuba are grounded on new pretexts. The best-known excuse is the defamatory accusation of Cuba’s military interference in Venezuela. This lie has been publicly and repeatedly rejected by the Cuban government.
They have even gone to the unscrupulous point of proposing Cuba to betray its convictions and the principles that have sustained the foreign policy of the Cuban Revolution, in return for promises of negotiation or relief from the draconian and criminal measures making up the economic blockade.
The solidarity of Cuba with constitutional President Nicolás Maduro Moros, the Bolivarian and Chavista Revolution and the civic and military union of its people, is non-negotiable. The more than 20 thousand Cuban cooperation workers who, on a voluntary basis and selflessly, are providing social services in that country, most of them in the field of health, will remain there cooperating with that sister nation as long as they are welcome by the Venezuelan people.
For Cubans, betrayal is not an option. We are not naïve. It’s already been 150 years of hard struggle for our independence, having to face from the outset the hegemonistic ambitions of the US imperialism.
Cuba will not let itself be frightened or distracted from the essential and urgent tasks for the development of our economy and the construction of socialism. Closely united, we shall be able to face the most challenging adversities. They cannot suffocate us, nor can they stop us.
- Roberto Fernández Retamar, the Poet
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