US Expands Sanctions to 5 Sub-Entities Owned by Cuban Military - Pompeo

The US has added five sub-entities owned by the Cuban military to its list of entities with which direct financial transactions are forbidden, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement on Friday, as Cuba commemorates Havana's 500th anniversary. It was specified later that the ''sub-entities'' refer to five hotels.

"Today, I am announcing an update to the Cuba Restricted List to add five sub-entities owned by the Cuban military to the list of entities with which direct financial transactions are generally prohibited", the statement said on Friday.

The State Department explained the United States generally prohibits direct financial transactions with entities and sub-entities because they would "disproportionately benefit the Cuban military, intelligence, and security services or personnel at the expense of the Cuban people or private enterprise in Cuba".

Earlier in October, the Trump administration suspended commercial flights from the US to Cuba, except for Havana.

Since 2016, the United States has adopted a rough policy on Havana, restricting travel, boosting the economic embargo and imposing sanctions on Raul Castro, Cuba's Communist Party leader, over ''the ongoing repression of the Cuban people and its support for the corrupt former Maduro regime in Venezuela''.

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Cuba: also a forbidden destination in the scientific field

The Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology is overcoming hardships caused by the US blockade. Its personnel finds alternative and new paths without cutting short projects and researches.

With the goal of producing avant-garde medicines for human, vegetable, and animal health, the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) is regarded as an effective scientific, investigative, and productive stronghold for Cuba’s health care system. Its significance is increasingly affected due to the blockade imposed by the US on Cuba.

While facing such hardship, which is being labeled as “criminal,” Dr. Marta Ayala Avila, deputy director of CIGB and member of the Political Bureau of Cuba’s Communist Party stated emphatically: “As Cubans, this aggressive policy will not stop us. It encourages us to be creative and organized. Besides, it drives us to be more active in the technological and entrepreneurial monitoring system. The more doors they close, the more alternative we find.”

This has been our stance for years! Otherwise, it would have been impossible for CIGB to merchandize nearly 14 products in more than 40 nations despite all the obstacles put into force by several U.S. administrations. The CIGB also develops unique medicines like Heberprot-P to treat diabetic foot.

In the public health field, for instance, the Center is developing 50 research projects, which comprehend cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, and cancer.

Likewise, some therapeutic approaches to cure chronic Hepatitis B are being researched. Such illness is a problem worldwide but not in Cuba as our health care system has already registered the Cuban vaccine HeberNasvac®.

This aggressive policy also shows up in the international collaboration, jeopardizing the possibility of scientific exchanges with health institutions in the U.S. “Even though the intention to exchange experiences among scientists is there, the funds allocated for researches are not accessible.

“Academic exchanges have dropped under Trump’s administration. For example, we hold every year four or five international symposia related to the main lines of our work. On certain occasions, we have enjoyed the attendance of a wide representation of US scientists, but it has actually dropped. The risk perception to visit Cuba has grown after all the defamatory campaigns and restrictions.

“It limits scientific collaboration. In fact, every time they come and see how canalized are our lines of research as well as the development of our products to cure Chronic Noncommunicable Diseases (cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, and cancer), they understand we have common points for both scientific sectors.”

In the field of farming research (a top priority taking into account its essential role in the food production), Dr. Ayala said that the CIGB has developed a new vaccine candidate against ticks, a common issue faced by the U.S. farming sector as well.

“The product was part of a study financed by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Six groups of different nations participated and the Cuban vaccine candidate had the best results (we were not part of the assessment) in terms of reducing ticks count in animals.

“We knew about it in a scientific event where the head of the project pointed out that, for political reasons, the research involving our vaccine candidate had to be terminated in a tangible indication of the negative impact of this aggressive and interfering policy.

“We are convinced this situation will not stop any of our researches. Nor will it stop the exchange with other actors worldwide. But it is not fair that a nation with such biotechnological development, with such pharmaceutical industry, experiences setbacks in a field meant for improving the health of its citizens for arbitrary and political reasons —the US blockade, for instance.”

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz/CubaSi Translation Staff

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UN General Assembly once again overwhelming passes a resolution calling for the end of US blockade on Cuba

No U.S. State Department blackmails or pressures exerted against various UN Members prevented the International Community from inflicting a resounding defeat to the Trump Administration on Thursday.

Of the 192 member states of the United Nations, 187 voted in favor. The United States, Israel, and Brazil opposed the resolution, and Ukraine and Colombia abstained.

The document calls upon all States to refrain from promulgating and applying laws and measures like the blockade in conformity with their obligations under the UN Charter and international law.

The text again urges States that have and continue to apply such laws and measures to take the steps necessary to repeal or invalidate them as soon as possible following their legal regime

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said on Twitter that the vote represents the undeniable isolation of the United States.

“Brutal pressures reflect the moral bankruptcy and rottenness of the U.S. current government. This is another categorical victory for Cuba, and for our heroic people. This is a triumph of truth and justice,” he said.

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Venezuela: “Sooner or later, the Cuban people will have to be compensated for the pain inflicted on them by the US brutal blockade"

United Nations, November 7 (RHC)-- No obstacle will impede Cuba and Venezuela from continuing their path towards development, said Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza when addressing the United Nations General Assembly as the body got ready on Thursday to vote on a  resolution demanding the lifting of the US blockade on Cuba.

Venezuela’s top diplomat said that his high-level delegation to the debate on the resolution was an illustration of the priority his government attributes to the defense of the Caribbean island.

Arreaza said that the current US escalation against Havana is imperial arrogance vis-a-vis the dignity and courage of the heroic Cuban peoplefor their decision to govern their future and to struggle for their own well being and happiness.

He added that the consecutive virtually universal appeal in support for the Resolution shows the commitment by UN Member to the provisions in the Charter, including the principles of sovereign equality and the political independence of states.

However, Arreaza noted how the appeal has been disregarded and treated with contempt by those whose actions systematically violate the Charter and international law with impunity.

The Venezuelan Foreign Minister called for a halt to economic and financial terrorism, and a halt to the non-conventional war with such lethal consequences for the people of Cuba and now the people of Venezuela.

“Political intolerance is not the way to handle international relations. Only governmental elites that are not civilized would use economic suffocation as a weapon of mass destruction to impose their political preferences on sovereign countries and to impose sufferings on the peoples. It is virtually a criminal practice and a crime against humanity,” said Arreaza.

The diplomat said that the US blockade on Cuba amounts to collective punishment because of the whims, caprices, and arrogance of those who believe they are superiors to others, and who think they're masters of the world, but he noted that Cuba has shown that they are wrong.

“Sooner or later, the Cuban people will have to be compensated for the pain inflicted on them by this brutal and arbitrary policy,” stressed the Venezuelan Foreign Ministers.

In concluding his remarks, Arreaza appealed to members of the international community to vote for the resolution.

Edited by Jorge Ruiz Miyares
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UNESCO strongly rejects the US blockade of Cuba

Paris, November 7 (RHC) -- UNESCO has warned that the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the US government for almost 60 years causes unjustified damage to the Cuban people and obstructs their economic development.

That’s how the Paris based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s report for the UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres begins, reproducing opinions of countries and institutions on the stranglehold applied to the island. The document comes on the heels of a new vote at the UN General Assembly on Thursday of a draft resolution calling for an end to the unilateral and extraterritorial measure, Prensa Latina news agency reports. According to UNESCO, the blockade affects education, science and culture in Cuba in areas of the specialized UN entity’s work.

In the case of education, the blockade against the island limits Cuba's access to technology and equipment, hitting the objective of modernizing the national teaching program and the university system, says the report, adding that it also prevents free academic exchange and cooperation between the two countries in the scientific sector. Culture also suffers from the tightening of the blockade in areas such as the promotion and spreading of the Caribbean country’s artistic talent, despite the existence of a proven market for Cuban music in the United States, it adds. It also represents an obstacle for purchasing bibliography and resources related to telecommunications and for the use of the Internet.

The UNESCO report also includes the Washington’s financial persecution and its particular consequences in the cultural field. It also exposes the difficulties that the US policy causes to that UN organization’s relations with the Caribbean nation. The restrictions derived from the blockade’s extraterritorial connotations affects transactions, even in currencies other than the US dollar, which are made from its Paris headquarters to the Cuba offices, the report highlights. According to the multilateral entity, such a scenario limits its personnel’s activities in Cuba, both in private matters and in aspects of the work it performs there, forcing it to look for alternatives with an additional cost.

The report also shows the impact of the aggressiveness of the Donald Trump administration which includes the activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, aimed at depriving Cuba of foreign investments, the establishment of a blacklist with more than 200 entities against which the persecution has increased, and the closure of its Citizenship and Immigration Service Office in Havana. UNESCO officials face obstacles in the issue of visas for missions in the United States or to use that country as transit to other destinations, increasing expenses to the organization, the report adds. The report to Secretary General Guterres also contains the position of dozens of governments and organizations that oppose the US blockade and advocate its end.

On Thursday the UN General Assembly will vote a draft resolution presented by the island on Wednesday, a draft resolution that shows the International community’s almost unanimous feeling that the siege of Cuba must end.A similar initiative has received a strong support at the Assembly year after year since 1992 in which the United States has been isolated in upholding the unilateral measure, only accompanied by its strong ally Israel.

Edited by Damian Donestevez
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Overwhelming number of nations expected to vote in favor of resolution demanding the end of U. S. blockade on Cuba

United Nations, November 7 (RHC)-- The United Nations General Assembly is set to vote this Thursday on a resolution, requesting the end of the most prolonged economic, financial, and commercial siege ever kept by a power against another country in modern human history.

This is the 28th time that a vote on the issue takes place at the UN Body, and it is expected to be approved by an overwhelming number of nations.

Although the document does not have a binding character, its approval is a clear demonstration of international rejection of Washington measures against Cuba, at a time when the Trump Administration has adopted measures to squeeze the Caribbean island further.

On Wednesday, dozens of nations paraded at the United General Assembly Hall to voice their rejection of the illegal and criminal U.S. policy and to appeal to the respect of the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, particularly on the sovereign equality of the states, non-intervention, and non-interference in their internal affairs.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla will present to state members the text of the draft resolution.  Earlier this week, the minister warned about desperate attempts by the U.S., using extreme pressure and blackmail to force several Latin American countries to vote against the Resolution.

Last year, the text entitled “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba,” was passed with the overwhelming support of 189 UN member states, with only two negative votes: The United States and Israel.

During its implementation for almost 6 decades, it is estimated that the application of U.S. blockade policy has caused the economic losses estimated at over 138 trillion dollars and uncountable human suffering and despair.

Edited by Jorge Ruiz Miyares
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UN General Assembly Debates Cuba Draft Resolution against U.S. Blockade

Since 1992, the resolution presented by Cuba in this forum has been supported by the majority of the participants and the international community

Today and tomorrow, for the twenty-eighth time, Cuba will submit to the United Nations General Assembly the draft resolution “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba”.

In the main organ of the United Nations, once again, there will be an overwhelming rejection of a genocidal, criminal, and unjust policy that hinders the sustainable development of Cuban society and arbitrarily harms the Cuban people, who decided 60 years ago to determine their destiny.

U.S. Blockade’s Most Inhuman Side

In a backdrop of extreme hostility on the part of the Donald Trump administration, Cuba will win with the support of the nations of the world that defend the right to the self-determination of the peoples and respect for multilateralism.

More than 35 speakers will use the floor during the explanation of vote this Wednesday. The Cuban Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, will address the Assembly on Thursday to express the reasons of his people and state.

Cuba will not cease in its demand for the elimination of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States, and it will once again present a draft resolution that since 1992 has had the overwhelming support of the international community.

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US Pressures UN Members to Vote Against Cuba Anti-Blockade Resolution

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez accused the United States of exerting pressure on Latin American countries to oppose the United Nations draft resolution against the US-imposed economic blockade on Cuba.

"The US authorities have been carrying out different actions of pressures and blackmail to erode the voting pattern in support to the draft resolution that Cuba has been presenting to the United Nations General Assembly which calls for an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade against my country", Rodriguez said on Monday. "These pressures have been particularly targeted against the Latin American countries".

Rodriguez also said that US embassies in six countries in the region applied intense pressure on governments to vote against the draft resolution.

"The crude way in which President [Donald] Trump’s administration resorts to a whole range of preconditions and blackmail to meet its foreign policy goals is only well too known", Rodriguez said.

Cuba counts on the support of Latin American countries and expects that the governments will not find themselves swayed by US pressure, Rodriguez added.

Rodriguez noted last month the US Department of State summoned representatives from four Latin American countries to persuade them to vote against the draft resolution.

The United States first imposed an arms embargo on Cuba in 1958. The embargo was complemented by the introduction of restrictions in various other sectors, including sanctions on financial transactions, trade and travel.

Former US President Barack Obama relaxed US policy toward Cuba, introducing regulations to ease people-to-people contacts.

However, Trump toughened the policy once he came to power in 2016, restricting travel, boosting the economic embargo and imposing sanctions on Raul Castro, Cuba's Communist Party leader, over alleged human rights violations and for supporting the Venezuelan leadership.

Cuba’s envoy to Russia Gerardo Penalver Portal said the draft resolution would be presented at the United Nations on 6-7 November.

  • Published in Cuba
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