Three Cuba solidarity groups explained to the Commission on Human Rights, Equality and Justice the unilateral coercive measures approved by the previous United States Government (of Donald Trump) and applied by incumbent President Joe Biden.
Before a representation of all political groups (Basque Socialists/PSE-PSOE-EE, Basque Nationalists/EAJ-PNV, EH Bildu, Elkarrekin Podemos-IU and Populares Vascos/PP), they made a presentation of the current situation in Cuba.
Milagros Acea, Antonio Merlán and José Manzaneda, representing the Euskadi-Cuba Friendship and Solidarity Association and the Cuban emigration groups in Euskal Herria, Sierra Maestra-Euskadi and Desembarco del Granma, took the floor.
A video message from Alfred-Maurice de Zayas, who worked for years as an independent expert for the United Nations Human Rights Council, was screened. He described the economic blockade of Cuba as a “genocide” to stage “a coup d’état.”
On the Zoom platform, Claudia Bernal Estrada, a young researcher at the Havana-based Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), the laboratory where Cuba’s Covid-19 vaccine “Abdala” was created, spoke about the impact of the US blockade on the scientific field and medicine production in Cuba.
José Manzaneda, in turn, established an imaginary paragon in which the European Union imposes a total economic, financial and commercial blockade on Spain, banning trade, money transfers, tourism, and the sales and purchases of technology or medicines.
He added that the effects would be catastrophic, which translated into the population of an island that is poor in resources, in the Global South, in the so-called Third World, such as Cuba, they are devastating.
“The Cuban people are living in a situation of war without missiles, and suffer from a serious lack of income and foreign exchange in their economy, with dramatic results,” Manzaneda remarked.
He pointed out that the causes are obvious: the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic (not a single dollar came in from tourism in more than two years); the consequences of the war in Ukraine (in the form of multiplication of import prices); and, above all, the 243 unilateral coercive measures taken by the US Government since 2019, 50 of which were approved during the pandemic, together with the traditional blockade against Cuba.
Milagros Acea, in turn, said that in May 2021, the NGO Oxfam presented its report “Right to Live without a Blockade: The impact of US sanctions on the Cuban population and women’s lives,” with one conclusion: it impacts especially women and reinforces the patriarchal system.
She recalled that in 2022, 60 years of the official implementation of the blockade will be commemorated, and on November 3, the United Nations General Assembly held the 30th vote demanding its end, with 185 votes in favor and two against (the United States and Israel).
“On several occasions the Basque Parliament has joined the clamor (…), the last time in 2021, with a non-law proposition that also called for strengthening Basque-Cuban relations in the business, scientific and cooperation fields,” Acea noted.