A Cuban view on the US blockade

The article below is recommended by Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of Cuba. He says that in a few lines the article sets out almost everything that the US government could do for Cuba but does not do. The article is by Carlos Fernández de Cossío and was originally posted here on Cubadebate in Spanish and has been translated by Google Translate.


Cuba does not expect any gift from the United States, nor does it demand preferential commercial treatment or soft loans. It does not ask that government for donations, or advisers, or technical assistance.

Nor does it demand changes in the internal political order of that country, nor does it impose its genuine demand for justice for the most disadvantaged sectors of the population, prisoners for political reasons, those who suffer from racism, the excessive number of those sentenced to death, immigrants mistreated and the millions of victims of a political, economic and social system that increasingly excludes them, with no hope of change.

What Cuba has the right to demand is that the United States respect our sovereign prerogatives and desist from acting with the alleged privilege of dominating the destiny of the Cuban nation, in other words, that the aggression be ended and that they leave us alone.

At a minimum, and under the protection of International Law, what Cuba has the legitimacy to claim from the United States government are actions as simple and not at all ambitious as the following:

  • a) to put an end to the economic blockade, interference in the internal affairs of Cuba, millionaire financing of political subversion and the tolerance enjoyed by terrorist groups that act against Cuba from that country;
  • b) to abandon the pursuit of fuel supplies to Cuba from third markets, of financial transactions in third countries and of our country’s commercial efforts in any corner of the planet;
  • c) that it complies with its commitments with the bilateral migratory agreements, in particular the migration each year of at least 20 thousand Cubans to the United States;
  • d) to reestablish the immigration and consular services of its Embassy in Havana, on which citizens who live in both countries depend;
  • e) to eliminate limitations on travel and air transportation between the two countries;
  • f) to eliminate the prohibition on remittances sent by ordinary citizens from the United States to their relatives and friends in Cuba;
  • g) to return to Cuba the territory occupied since 1902 by the US naval base established in the province of Guantánamo.

None of the foregoing lacerates the sovereignty of the United States one iota, or compromises its national security. Everything can be achieved even if the outrage of legislation commonly called Helms-Burton is repealed, which constitutes insurmountable testimony to the US imperialist ambition over Cuba and whose existence makes the sustainability of an eventual lasting relationship between the two countries impossible.

The analysis of the events that occurred on July 11 cannot be carried out without considering the current economic limitations of our country, essentially aggravated by the economic blockade of the United States and the health, social and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, scenario that generates a tense social situation, which hurts and certainly worries the majority of Cubans.

I could not ignore the inadequacies of management in various territories, and the obstacles that for various reasons have delayed the process of updating the Cuban socialist model and our ability to respond to pressing needs.

That reality, which is the responsibility of Cubans to face, imperialism wants to take advantage of to fulfill the old hostile and domination purposes against Cuba. It has tried without much success to mobilize its allies in the campaign, sometimes with pressures that border on blackmail, and has unleashed a mendacious media offensive to that end, making use of its monopoly dominance of the large mass media and digital networks.

It has tried to exploit this difficult situation, as it has wanted to take advantage of the COVID19 pandemic, to apply a policy of maximum pressure against Cuba and stimulate, through digital networks, feelings of frustration, anguish and hopelessness in a population that faces severe deficiencies and difficult social conditions for which there is no simple answer.

It has also stimulated feelings of hatred and resentment, many of them imported from the bitter climate of political aggressiveness that characterized the United States election campaign in 2020, particularly in the south of the state of Florida. Ideological intolerance, extremism, the use of slander and the media hitman prevailed there with astonishing starkness.

They are ways of doing politics and promoting campaigns alien to Cuban reality, which are now trying to penetrate our environment thanks to the development of modern communication techniques and the deliberate abuse of them by the US government and its special services.

In line with Washington’s purposes, large organizations and media channels describe what happened in Cuba on July 11 with an undeniable effort to magnify what happened and attempts to make people believe that our country has been under a popular revolt for days. It is a preconceived script that responds to political objectives. It is accompanied by other great falsehoods that there is no point in commenting here.

In this environment, there have been calls for war attacks to be projected against Cuba, sometimes under the discredited disguise of “humanitarian interventions.”

Meanwhile, no one remembered Matanzas, a national territory that served the restless assumptions to launch or accompany the digital farce with the SOS label. The one who takes care and continues to ensure the response to the complex epidemiological situation in the province is the Cuban State, its health personnel and other services, accompanied by the supportive people and Cuban families.

If the United States government were honestly concerned about the well-being of the Cuban people and had any real motivation to alleviate the indisputable pressure of socioeconomic factors that affect them, there are concrete actions that can be immediately implemented, the impact of which would have a favorable impact on the entire people. It would require on the part of Washington the will, already enunciated once a few years ago, to abandon the practice of punishing the entire Cuban nation, as a way of facing the political discrepancies that it has had for a long time with the national will of this land and this indomitable people.