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Illegal US blockade against Cuba continues harming millions on 60th anniversary

February 3, 2022 is the 60th anniversary of the illegal blockade against Cuba, which the US admitted aims “to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.” Cuba estimates the embargo has cost its economy $144.41 billion.

Cuba Habana revolution flag Che

(Se puede leer este artículo en español aquí.)


February 3, 2022 marks 60 years since the United States officially declared an economic embargo against Cuba.

Washington imposed this blockade in order “to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government,” as a former US State Department official admitted.

Cuba’s government has condemned the illegal US embargo as “the most complex, prolonged and inhuman act of economic warfare ever committed against any nation,” stating that it “constitutes a massive, flagrant and systematic violation of the human rights of all Cubans.”

Cuba estimates that the blockade has cost its economy at least $144.41 billion.

When the people of Cuba overthrew the right-wing dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in a popular revolution on January 1, 1959, the United States responded with coercive measures aimed at punishing the country for toppling Washington’s loyal client regime.

On February 3, 1962, the already existing US sanctions escalated into a full on blockade, when President John F. Kennedy issued Proclamation 3447, declaring an “Embargo on All Trade with Cuba.”

Washington’s Proclamation 3447 claimed that Cuba’s revolutionary government “is incompatible with the principles and objectives of the Inter-American system,” due to “the subversive offensive of Sino-Soviet Communism with which the Government of Cuba is publicly aligned.”

US embargo Cuba February 3 1962

This US embargo, which continues to this day, is flagrantly illegal under international law.

Cuba’s Foreign Ministry published a statement condemning the blockade on its 60th anniversary, stating, “Washington’s policy of siege and economic suppression has become the core of a strategy designed to curtail the legitimate right of the Cuban people to defend their sovereignty and realize a program of development free of imperialist domination.”

“Although the blockade against Cuba was officially declared in 1962, its application goes back to the very moment of the victory of the revolution,” the Foreign Ministry added.

In April 1960, just over a year after the revolution, US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs Lester Mallory published a memo titled “The Decline and Fall of Castro.” This document is a smoking gun, clearly revealing the goals behind the US blockade: “hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.”

Mallory admitted that the “majority of Cubans support Castro” and that there “is no effective political opposition.”

The senior US diplomat wrote that the “only foreseeable means of alienating internal support is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship.”

The US State Department memo declared that “every possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba,” in order to make “the greatest inroads in denying money and supplies to Cuba, to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government.”

US State Department blockade Cuba hunger desperation overthrow

Cuba’s Foreign Ministry said the US embargo has “constrained the scope for economic growth, being designed to impede trading relations with third countries, cause maximum possible obstruction of banking and other financial operations, deter foreign investment and cut off all sources of revenue.”

Blatantly violating international law, the US blockade “uses pressure, blackmail and penalties in seeking to isolate Cuba and penalize those who establish any trading, commercial or financial links with the country,” the Foreign Ministry wrote.

“It is a practical expression in the 21st century of the Monroe Doctrine, which takes a proprietorial view of Latin America and the Caribbean as either America’s ‘back yard’ or ‘front yard,'” the Cuban government added.

Washington’s illegal blockade against Cuba is opposed by almost the entire international community.

In June 2021, 184 of the United Nations’ 193 member states (95%) voted against the US embargo on Cuba. Only the United States and Israel voted in support of the blockade, while just Colombia, Ukraine, and Brazil abstained.

This was the 29th consecutive year in which the US blockade was condemned with the vast majority of votes at the United Nations.

At the 2021 UN vote, Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla called the blockade a “massive, flagrant and unacceptable violation of the human rights of the Cuban people,” which constitutes “an economic war of extraterritorial scope against a small country already affected in the recent period by the economic crisis derived from the pandemic.”

“Like the [Covid-19] virus, the blockade asphyxiates and kills,” Rodríguez said. “It must stop.”

New York Times Biden Cuba Trump

While 95% of the countries on Earth oppose Washington’s illegal blockade, it has bipartisan support inside the United States.

The Donald Trump administration imposed hundreds of new economic sanctions against Cuba. The Joe Biden administration has refused to lift these unilateral coercive measures, and has instead imposed even more.

The New York Times noted that “Biden is taking an even harder line on Cuba than his predecessor, President Donald J. Trump.”

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. izzy

    2022-08-12 at 17:48

    I’m learning and I am wondering what would happen to a country that doesn’t abide by the rules of the economic embargo against Cuba?

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