[News] Cuba - on the escalation of US attacks

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Oct 26 11:43:57 EDT 2007


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Press Release


New escalation in the tightening of the blockade, 
despite its impact on the Cuban people and its extraterritoriality

Yesterday Wednesday, October 24, President George 
Bush made statements that evidence an 
unprecedented escalation in the US government’s 
policy towards Cuba, and which are a prelude to 
more blockade, subversion and attempts to isolate 
the Caribbean island, and to renewed efforts to 
surrender the Cuban people by hunger and disease. 
The current policy to bring about a regime change 
in Cuba, even by force, is thus confirmed.

The call to “accelerate the transition period”, 
which Cuba is allegedly plunged into, is 
tantamount to re-conquering the Cuban territory 
by force. Violence is fostered and the use of 
force to overthrow the Cuban Revolution is called 
for, when he says that “The operative word in our 
future dealings with Cuba is not "stability." The operative word is "freedom."

In referring to the blockade, the American 
President expressed that “Cuba's regime uses the 
U.S. embargo as a scapegoat for Cuba's miseries
”

President Bush purports to justify and strengthen 
the blockade, notwithstanding the international 
isolation of his policy proven by the adoption by 
overwhelming majority, year after year, of the 
General Assembly resolution demanding the lifting of the blockade on Cuba.
They seek to tighten the blockade, despite the 
known, direct repercussions of this policy on 
Cuba's economy and society, which are compounded 
by the extraterritorial effects of the sanctions, 
taken to unprecedented extremes with the passing 
of the Torricelli and Helms-Burton Act and the 
Bush Plan for annexing Cuba that they are now 
trying to strengthen. These laws and regulations 
continue to cause a great deal of damage, in Cuba 
and also in third countries whose right to 
benefit fully from the opportunities created by 
the Cuban economy is being restricted. The 
extraterritorial elements of the policy prohibit

·          US subsidiaries in third countries 
from dealing in any way with firms in Cuba
·          foreign firms from exporting to the 
United States products of Cuban origin or 
products whose processing involves the use of any component of that origin.
·          third countries' firms from selling to 
Cuba goods or services whose technology contains 
more than 10% US components, regardless of 
whether their owners are nationals of the country concerned..
·          vessels carrying goods to or from Cuba 
from entering US ports, regardless of their country of registration.
·          banks of third countries from opening 
accounts in US dollars for Cuban individuals or 
firms, or effecting transactions in US dollars with such parties.
·          third countries' businessmen from 
investing or doing business in Cuba involving 
properties subject to claims by American citizens 
or others who, having been born in Cuba, acquired such citizenship

Between May 2006 and May 2007, at least 30 
countries were affected by the extraterritorial 
nature of the sanctions policy, including 
Germany, Australia, Brazil, Canada, the UK, the 
Netherlands, Sweden, Spain, Finland, Japan, Mexico, Norway and Switzerland.

Extraterritoriality has been taken to such an 
extreme that Cuban citizens living abroad have 
been obliged to close their bank accounts, or 
risk having them cancelled, at local banks that 
have been taken over by American banks or have 
some kind of affiliation with the latter.

The intense and rapid process of international 
takeovers, mergers, megamergers and strategic 
alliances, something in which the United States 
plays a significant role, has intensified the 
impact of the blockade in Cuba’s now reduced 
foreign economic space. A large number of our 
traditional customers and suppliers have been 
obliged to break off trading or financial 
relations with Cuba following their takeover by 
or merger with a US concern. In this regard it 
would be important to highlight several examples:

    * The Cuban oil industry was unable to obtain 
spares for a Nuovo Pignone gas compressor, 
following the takeover of its Spanish supplier 
RODABILSA by America's General Electric, which 
refused under the terms of the blockade to allow 
supply any material destined for Cuba.
    * On 15th June 2006, the Canadian company 
Sherritt ordered a transfer of funds amounting to 
$7,140,000 from the National Bank of Canada 
(NBC), in payment of insurance premiums to the 
Cuban firm ESICUBA. A day later, the bank 
reported that the funds had been intercepted, 
placed in a frozen account and could not be 
unblocked without the approval of the US 
authorities. NBC applied to the latter 
accordingly, but its request was denied.
    * The incident that occurred at the beginning 
of last year in Mexico with a hotel belonging to 
the Sheraton chain was followed on 18th December 
2006 by a scandal that erupted when the 
management of the Scandic Edderkoppen Hotel in 
Norway informed the Cuban tourism office in 
Stockholm that it was obliged to cancel the 
reservations of the delegation from the Cuban 
Ministry of Tourism and Cuban companies who were 
to attend the International Tourism Fair held in 
Lillestrom on 11th -14th January 2007.
    * Applying the extraterritorial rules of 
American law, the Scandic hotel, acquired in 
March 2006 by the Hilton chain, denied 
accommodation to the Cuban delegation. Backing 
this decision, a spokesman for the Hilton Group 
in London publicly announced that the chain would 
ban Cubans from all its hotels around the world.
    * More than 20 banks in third countries have 
bowed to US extraterritorial pressures. Their 
executives have been obliged to accept these 
impositions and withdraw services provided to 
Cuban nationals and firms, for fear of severe 
reprisals by the Bush administration.
    * For instance on 30thJune 2006, a European 
bank closed the SWIFT codes and accounts of Banco 
Internacional de Cuba S.A. (BICSA) at its Hong 
Kong and London branches; on 3rd November 2006, a 
Latin American bank refused to notify a BICSA 
letter of credit payable in euros, on the grounds 
of instructions from OFAC; the same happened in 
subsequent months with letters of credit at 
European banks and the European branches of Asian banks.
New York, 26 Octuber  2007




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