Category Archives: blockade continues

“The blockade of Cuba must end.” Paul Laverty

“The blockade of Cuba must end.”
Paul Laverty, author of the screenplay for the prizewinning film on the life of dancer Carlos Acosta, describes the U.S. blockade as a disgrace

Author: Michel Hernández | michel@granma.cu
october 2, 2018 12:10:09

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Photo: From the film Yuli
The British scriptwriter Paul Laverty, who won the screenplay award at the San Sebastian Film Festival, in Spain, for the film Yuli, inspired in the life of Cuban dancer and choreographer Carlos Acosta, described the blockade as “a disgrace that must end.”
Upon accepting the prize, Laverty, who has written scripts for outstanding directors like Ken Loach, stated, “Some 58 years ago, the U.S. imposed a blockade on Cuba, a blockade that is illegal, that is condemned every year in the United Nations, and is only supported by two votes, those of the U.S. and Israel. Two experts in applying collective punishment on civil populations. Two bullies, shameless hypocrites. We must do away with this disgrace; the blockade of Cuba must end.”
Laverty joins the long list of artists and intellectuals who have spoken out against the blockade, such as filmmakers and actors Oliver Stone, Benicio del Toro, and Robert de Niro, as well as musicians like Manu Chao, Tom Morello, Chris Martin, and Chris Cornell, among many others.
According to official figures, since its inception the blockade has caused losses valued at more than $933,678,000,000, and in the cultural sphere the hostile policy has hampered interaction between artists in the two countries, and created obstacles to the acquisition of musical instruments, instructional software, and studio equipment, among other damages.
Laverty’s comments were featured in the press covering the festival, where Yuli was acclaimed, with members of the cast on hand, led by Carlos Acosta himself and actress Laura de la Uz. Also playing important roles in the film were professor and choreographer Santiago Alfonso, Andrea Doimeadiós, and producer Claudia Calviño.
Acosta (La Habana, 1973), one of the greatest dancers in the history of Cuban ballet, commented that the film, described as “dazzling” at the festival, based on his autobiography No Way Home, can serve as an example of perseverance for Cubans.
“It is the triumph of a humble Cuban family and can serve as a mirror for all Cubans who on a daily basis confront adversities,” he said.

The U.S. blockade of Cuba remains in full force

The U.S. blockade of Cuba remains in full force
Although positive steps have been taken to modify aspects of the blockade, existing restrictions impede progress in the normalization of relations, and on September 14, the President reauthorized the 1917 Trading with the Enemy Act, the original basis of the blockade when it was established in 1962

Author: Pedro Etcheverry Vázquez | internet@granma.cu
Author: Andrés Zaldívar Diéguez | internet@granma.cu
september 16, 2016 16:09:48

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Photo: Juvenal Balán
On December 17, 2014, Presidents Raúl Castro Ruz and Barack Obama announced to the world the decision to reestablish diplomatic relations between the governments of Cuba and the United States, opening the doors to future talks to benefit both nations. It might have appeared, at this historic moment, that the economic war waged by the U.S. against Cuba was coming to an end, but this was not the case.
The hostile policy remains in full force, with blockade regulations enforced by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).
February 11, 2015, a Mexican branch of Santander Bank refused to handle a small transaction of 68,290 euros for the Central Bank of Cuba, not to acquire any product, raw material, or do business, but to pay the country’s membership dues to the Center for Latin American Monetary Research.
On March 12, the German financial institution Commerzbank was fined some 1.7 million dollars by OFAC, for maintaining economic relations with Cuba, among other alleged violations.
March 25, OFAC levied a fine of 7,658,300dollars on the U.S. company PayPal for processing transactions which allegedly involved products of Cuban origin or were of Cuban interest.
According to a Ministry of Culture report, between April, 2014, and March of 2015, the blockade caused Cuban cultural entities losses valued at 24 million dollars, principally in art education and the music industry. In the first case, the blockade has an impact on the quality of training and students’ creativity by restricting availability of basic resources like musical instruments, visual arts supplies, ballet slippers and wardrobe. In the case of music, the impact is felt in relation to live performances by Cuban artists in the United States, obstacles to selling recordings, and income from royalties.
The Ministry of Education has reported that during the same period, the blockade has caused damages of almost two million dollars. Sanctions imposed on international entities that do business with Cuba have led many to avoid exporting articles needed to enhance the teaching-learning process, obliging the country to seek such items in China, and pay higher shipping costs given the distance of this market. Remuneration paid to Cuban educational professionals working in other countries has been affected, as well, by the prohibition on using the USD in international transactions.
June 1, the U.S. company SIGMA Aldrich, a leader in the chemical and biochemical industries, refused to supply the Cuban state enterprise QUIMIMPEX products key to its development, alleging that it could not supply products, services, or technical information because of blockade regulations.

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HANDS OFF CUBA MONTH!

Join Us on 
Saturday October 1 @ 1 pm 
at the Statue of Jose Martí in Central Park,
as we celebrate the start of 
HANDS OFF CUBA MONTH!

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During this month, there will be several activities and actions in solidarity with the struggle to Lift the U.S. blockade against Cuba!
Join us at the Statue of Jose Marti in Central Park as we kick off HANDS OFF CUBA Month with a flower offering to Jose Marti and a community Speak out! We will be speaking out against the Blockade, giving out literature, reciting poetry, and building a movement to end this blockade!
Saturday, October 1st, 2016 @ 1pm-3pm 
Central Park W. 59th St. and Avenue of the Americas

For more information on New York Cuba Solidarity Project: Email: nycsproject@gmail.com Website: www.nycsproject.org
Cuba Hotline: 718-601-4751

The blockade continues Bruno Rodríguez Parilla, Minister of Foreign Relations

Cuban Foreign Minister: The blockade continues
Bruno Rodríguez Parilla, Minister of Foreign Relations, this afternoon September 9, presented the report calling for an end to the U.S. blockade of Cuba which will be debated in the UN next month
Author: International news staff | informacion@granma.cu
september 9, 2016 15:09:48

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Photo: Cubaminrex

Minister of Foreign Relations Bruno Rodríguez Parilla, this afternoon September 9, presented the country’s report on United Nations General Assembly Resolution 70/5, entitled, “The Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial, and Financial Blockade Imposed by the United States on Cuba,” in a Havana press conference.

During the reading of the report, which will be discussed for the 25th time by the General Assembly in October, the minister reaffirmed that the blockade continues despite statements made by the U.S. President almost two years ago calling for its end. This policy has been maintained and continues having a profound impact on the Cuban economy, and limiting the right to development of the Cuban people, the minister insisted.

“The blockade hurts the Cuban people. Need and hardship are daily occurrences for the Cuban family. The impact of the blockade on Cuba cannot be underestimated. It is the principal obstacle to national development,” Rodríguez said.

“We recognize the progress in relations between the governments of Cuba and the United States, but effects include those on food, the pharmaceutical industry, foreign trade, and international cooperation, among others,” he reported, adding that no sector is exempt from the blockade’s impact, not health, social security, services, or education.

Between April of 2015 and March of 2016, the blockade’s damage to Cuba has been estimated to be approximately 4.68 million dollars, Rodríguez reported.

“For these reasons, the Cuban government will present to the UN General Assembly, the report entitled The Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial, and Financial Blockade Imposed by the United States on Cuba,” he said.