Tuesday, 14 May 2019 12:30

UN Rapporteur Denounces Impact of US Measures Against Cuba

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The activation of titles III and IV of the Helms-Burton Act undermines Cuba's economic prospects and causes a serious impact on the island''s people, a UN expert has asserted.

 

United Nations.- The special rapporteur of the United Nations Human Rights Council on the adverse impact of unilateral coercive measures, Idriss Jazairy, offered exclusive statements to Prensa Latina on Washington's decision to apply titles III and IV of that law.

Such a decision opens the possibility of litigation from US territory against individuals and companies doing business in Cuba, for example, those from the European Union, he said via e-mail.

According to Jazairy, this measure can be expected to have a greater negative impact on trade and investment flows to and from Cuba and thus lead to a lasting undermining of the country's entire economic outlook.

This is, at the same time, a very significant deviation on the part of the United States from the "modus vivendi" applied until now between the European Union (EU) and the US, which is based on a bilateral agreement reached in London in 1998, he explained.

Through that agreement, the independent expert recalled, it was agreed to grant an exemption to EU companies, and the United States undertook to restrict future extraterritorial laws of that kind.

The EU has already stated that it cannot "accept that unilaterally imposed measures hinder our economic and trade relations with Cuba," and it remains to be seen whether they will effectively seek to protect their companies active on the island from US sanctions, he added.

The UN independent rapporteur also elaborated on the damage caused by the US blockade on the Cuban population and the general development of the island.

 

The impacts on human rights, including the right to development, of this policy of integral economic coercion continue to be documented, which generates special concern regarding its effects on the right to health, as highlighted in the reports of the World Health Organization, he said.

In addition, he added, this political and economic siege generates a serious denial of human rights of innocent people, as was made clear in the Cuban government's announcement on May 11, in which it stated that - due to the blockade - it was forced to begin rationing some food items and basic hygiene products.

For this reason, the rapporteur asked: "How long will this continue?" And if the international community will allow such damages to be caused to the Cuban people due to US sanctions.

Since its entry into force in 1996, the Helms-Burton Act has sought to universalize the blockade of the island through pressure against third countries, their governments and companies, complained Cuban Ambassador Ana Silvia Rodríguez at a UN meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement.

The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, is also aware of the activation of Title III and IV of the Helms-Burton Act, which generates great rejection among the international community.

As confirmed to Prensa Latina by Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for the UN, Guterres met with the Cuban ambassador to the UN early last week and discussed the Helms-Burton, recently activated by the United States. (PL)

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