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Nov 1, 2018

Belize Among Countries That Reject U.S. Embargo on Cuba

Countries voted overwhelmingly today to reject the U.S. embargo on Cuba. A resolution presented by Cuba is titled “Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial and Financial Embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba.” While the resolution is non-binding, the message was unambiguous and consistent. Voting in favor were one hundred and eighty-nine member states; there were no abstains, and only two, the U.S. and Israel, were in favour.  The world community, including Belize, has been unwavering over the years in support of the island.  Before the resolution went to a vote, amendments on issues of human rights presented by the U.S. were rejected by an overwhelming number of countries. Cuba described the amendments as a way of causing confusion, a waste of the U.N.’s time and an attempt to diminish the economic damages caused by the embargo. The Belize’s vote was explained on Wednesday.  Today, before the vote, the Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Eduardo Rodríguez Parrilla told the assembly that the effects of the embargo were devastating.

 

Janine Coye-Felson

Janine Coye-Felson, Belize Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN

“Belize continues to engage with Cuba in a constructive and mutually beneficial partnership that has its most immediate effect at the individual level. Ninety Cuban doctors today are working across Belize helping to save lives; these are in attention to those who are treating Belizeans with complex medical cases free of cost at medical facilities in Cuba. Since 199, over two hundred Belizeans have matriculated from Cuban universities and are now applying their skills at home and many others have received training in areas such as agriculture and disaster management. We highlight these cases as evidence of the integral role that Cuba plays in Belize and in the wider Caribbean as started earlier by Bahamas on behalf of the CARICOM and has been echoed by many others in this debate. These cases are also evidence of what the Foreign Minister of Belize observed during the general debate as a failure of the blockade to pressure the Cuban government into submission. Cuban, he pointed out, has been able to survive and thrive to a degree that has garnered international recognition especially for its gains in public health, education and arts.”

 

Bruno Eduardo Rodríguez Parrilla

Bruno Eduardo Rodríguez Parrilla, Foreign Minister, Cuba

“The quantifiable damage accumulated by the embargo after six decades of its implementation has reached the figure of nine thirty-three point six-seven-eight billion dollars, taking into account the depreciation of the dollar, vis-à-vis, the value of gold. If we calculate it at current prices, the embargo has created damage of more than a hundred and thirty-four billion dollars. In the year, this meant losses in Cuba of roughly four point three million dollars. With the income which is not received with the exports of goods and services and the costs associated with the geographic displacement of trade which prevents us from having very high inventories, the GDP of Cuba would have grown at current prices in the last decade by an average of ten percent a year. In the light of these difficulties, Cuba continues to make progress with its economy and provides extensive international cooperation which is sometimes difficult for its government, despite the embargo and despite the ban on multilateral credit. And we have reached levels of human development and social justice which are universally acknowledged.”

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