For more than twenty years, US law has guided the interventionist efforts of anti-Cuban sectors in the US to attack the Cuban nation and undermine its sovereignty
By Antonio Luis Pubillones
Last month, the United States (US) was it again to its bid to cripple Revolutionary Government of the Republic of Cuba using the cynically named Cuban Liberty and Democratic Solidarity Act of 1996.
Under this law, US citizens whose assets were nationalised in accordance with Cuban law present claims before US courts against persons who ‘traffic’ their former properties, with no regard for reasons or basic foundation of the nationalization processes.
The law was devised to codify and tighten the economic, commercial and financial blockade policy, officially imposed in 1962, with the aim of subverting and overthrowing the Cuban government, and imposing a regime to the liking of the United States government.
On January 16, 2019, the US State Department announced the decision to suspend for only 45 days the application of the Act, “to conduct a careful review… in light of the national interests of the United States and efforts to expedite a transition to democracy in Cuba and include factors such as the Cuban regime’s brutal oppression of human rights and fundamental freedoms and its indefensible support for increasingly authoritarian and corrupt regimes in Venezuela and Nicaragua.”
The US threatens to take a new step that would dangerously reinforce the blockade against Cuba, flagrantly violate international law, and directly attack the sovereignty and interests of third countries.
Cuba rejects this threat in the most energetic, firm and categorical way. It regards it as a hostile act of extreme arrogance and irresponsibility.
Under the provisions of the same law, all US Presidents since 1996, including Trump in 2017 and 2018, have made consecutive use of executive power to suspend the application of the law every six months, recognising that it consists of the grossest and most unacceptable aspect of this law, contrary to international law and the sovereignty of other States.
But considering implementing the Act implies that, contrary to what is established in International Law and the practice of international relations, foreign individuals and entities with legitimate businesses in Cuba may face the threat of unfounded and illegitimate claims before courts of the United States. The politically motivated and venal behaviour of certain courts in Florida, frequently used as a weapon against Cuba, is well known.
For our people, it means once again resolutely, consciously and forcefully confronting the insistence of U. imperialism to subjugate the destiny of the Cuban nation to its dominion and tutelage.
If the law is applied as the announcement of the Department of State threatens, any Cuban and every community in the country will see claims brought before US courts for ownership of the housing they occupy, their workplace, the schools their children attend, the polyclinics where they receive medical attention, the land on which their neighbourhoods are built; and they will be able to observe the aim of usurping the country’s wealth, infrastructure, arable land, industries, mining resources, energy potential, and the foundations on which science and technology are developed and services provided to the population.
We should all recall the aberrant contents of the Plan Bush that describes and sets out in detail how Cuban families and the country would be deprived of practically everything.
For more than twenty years, US law has guided the interventionist efforts of anti-Cuban sectors in the US to attack the Cuban nation and undermine its sovereignty. By virtue of its application, millions of dollars have been approved to subvert the domestic order in Cuba, and innumerable measures have been put in place to try to provoke regime change.
Cuba also strongly condemns and rejects the US attempt to impose a leader on the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. It is clear the move is an attempt to topple the duly elected and Constitutional President Nicholas Maduro and prop up its puppet Juan Guaido, the opposition leader.
The US action tells the world how a champion of democracy has rejected President Maduro who won last year’s election with 67.7% of the vote. The fact is the people of Venezuela spoke, it follows that their will be respected.
The US should know better, a president is elected and only removed through an election, which is its central belief. But we are seeing a contradiction, the US is not living by the truth of its own belief.
There is no basis or reason whatsoever for the US to impose Guaido on the people of Venezuela. It leaves us to conclude that the real motivation is to control the vast resources.
There are past examples of US attempts to disorganize Venezuela in 2002 and 2003, an attempted military coup and oil lockout respectively. The attempted military coup saw then-President Hugo Chavez out of power for 47 hours. Initiated by the US-backed opposition the oil lockout or oil strike paralyzed the country with the aim of overthrowing the government.
Cuba, which itself continues to suffer US aggressive behaviour, expresses its unwavering solidarity to Venezuela and its elected President Maduro. And categorically states that Guaido is not president because he is not elected but being used by the US to destabilize Venezuela.
Writer is the Cuban Ambassador to Uganda