$82 Billion: Cost to Cuba of Illegal and Immoral Blockade
For more than 40 years, U.S. policy on Cuba has been characterized by an aggressiveness that has increased in recent times. Now, the island is once again presenting a detailed report to the UN on how the Cuban people are affected by the intensification of economic restrictions against the island.
"We are talking about an economic war against our country," Bruno Rodriguez, Cuba's Deputy Foreign Minister said Tuesday. "It is unfounded, unfair, and, moreover, deeply illegal."
U.S. officials defend the embargo, saying unfettered trade and travel to the island would prop up Fidel Castro's government.
"Because the blockade’s measures include so many elements and affect every nook and cranny of our country’s economy, it is impossible to do a meticulous estimate, but conservatively speaking, it can be affirmed that financial losses for Cuba amount to more than $82 billion," Rodríguez added.
The report also detailed the effects of Bush's further tightening of the laws on families travelling home to Cuba. Just 57,145 Cuban-Americans visited their native country last year, compared with 115,050 in 2003 a 50 percent drop.
In 2004, a total of 77 companies and banking institutions from around the world were fined by the U.S. government for what it considered actions in violation of the blockade laws."
In 2004, 179 countries voted to end the blockade at the UN, which is the longest and cruelest in the history of humanity.