Azerbaijan, Baku, Oct. 18 / Trend S. Agayeva /
The international community will support Cuba in its drive for progress, Cuban Ambassador to Azerbaijan
Marcelo Caballero Torres said.
"The international community's growing support for Cuba is noticeable," the ambassador told Trend on Tuesday on the eve of the review of a new draft resolution at the UN General Assembly to lift the U.S. blockade imposed on Cuba. "The community stands against the blockade."
The U.S. sanctions against Cuba were introduced in 1960, when Cuba expropriated the property of U.S. citizens and corporations. The sanctions were tightened to a near-full embargo in 1962. The U.S. requires democratization and respect for human rights in Cuba, as well as the termination of military cooperation between Cuba and other countries as a condition for lifting the sanctions.
He said many people in the world call for a stop to this policy today.
"The unprecedented opposition to the blockade also significantly increases in the U.S, he said. "It is impossible to enumerate countless statements and articles of prominent civil and military figures, legislators, media outlets, non-governmental organizations and educational institutions of the U.S. at a few pages. They acknowledge the failure of the blockade policy. They call for its cessation and support bills to normalize the bilateral relations between our two countries."
He said the total damage caused to Cuba as a result of the U.S 51-year-blockade is huge.
"If we take into account that the dollar's value, measured in terms of the gold quotation in the international financial market, has fallen more than 30 times between 1961 and 2010, the total damage to the Cuban economy would hit about $975 billion dollars," he said.
The diplomat considers the blockade against Cuba an act of economic warfare.
"It preserves a distinct extraterritorial nature, because unilateral sanctions against Cuba extend to the enterprises and citizens of the third countries beyond the U.S. territory.
"Here are some examples: Cuba still cannot use the U.S. dollar in its international transactions. It cannot have accounts in this currency in the banks of the third countries. It is banned for Cuban individuals and companies, he said.
He added that the Cuban government confirms its readiness and interest to normalize relations with the U.S.
"We take our task of maintaining normal relations with the U.S, the country with which we can co-exist in a civilized manner with our differences, mutual respect and noninterference in internal affairs,"