The National Union of Cuban Jurists released a statement condemning the U.S. economic blockade on Cuba Wednesday, saying it continues to have a negative impact on the island’s economy and banking system and is a violation of international law.
“The blockade not only violates the human rights of the Cuban people, but also the sovereign right of all countries of the world to have relations with Cuba without fear of reprisals – moreover the policy violates international law, the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, and the norms of free trade,” the group said in a statement.
The National Union of Cuban Jurists stressed how the blockade has had a worsening effect on the nation's economy and, in particular, its banking system. The group said that while Cuba and the U.S. were not at war – and that Cuba had never been aggressive toward the U.S. – nonetheless, Washington has levied hostile economic sanctions that have created roadblocks to future development in the island nation.
It also referred to the blockade as “genocidal” according to U.N. conventions, and labelled it an act of “economic war,” while thanking those around the world that have supported Cuba in demanding an end to the hostile blockade.
Despite a normalizing of relations between the two countries since President Obama’s December 2014 visit to Cuba, the economic blockade still remains. Cuba reported earlier this year that the blockade has cost US$753.7 billion over the last six decades and US$4.7 billion in the last year.
Other issues, such as the U.S. Navy base at Guantanamo, remain as barriers against normalized relations, said Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodriguez at the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday. Rodriguez also stressed that unipolar imperialism and global capitalism “will never be historically or environmentally sustainable.”
The United Nations General Assembly is set to vote Monday on the blockade for the 25th consecutive year. Last year, 191 states voted to condemn the U.S. blockade, with only the U.S. and the Israel voting in opposition, a trend that is expected to continue.