[News] Cuba - on the escalation of US attacks
news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Oct 26 11:43:57 EDT 2007
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 governments
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 Cubas 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
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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