Several countries around the world, including the European Union, have condemned the resurgence of hostility of the United States government against Cuba with the aim to curb development and stifle the country’s economy.
Cosset Lazo Pérez
Before Washington announced that Title III of the Helms-Burton Act would be implemented, several nations condemned the decision, which is aimed at hindering foreign investments in the largest island in the Antilles.
Messages from Russia, China, Belgium and Mexico, among other nations, arrived in Havana to confirm their rejection of the measure.
Russia has reiterated its opposition to unilateral sanctions and has said that restrictions can only be legitimate if they are endorsed by the UN.
In turn, China expressed its opposition to the US measures that reinforce the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, by emphasising that they constitute an obstacle to the socioeconomic development and welfare of the Caribbean country.
The activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton law was refuted by numerous solidarity organisations in Belgium, which considered it to be a new violation of international law.
Meanwhile, a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico notes that “the Mexican Government regrets the United States’ decision to apply Title III of the Helms-Burton Act for the first time in history, which will allow US citizens to file lawsuits against companies that use confiscated properties after the Cuban Revolution in 1959.”
These reactions followed those of the European Union (EU) and Canada, which predicted having to resort to legal measures if they suffer damages as a result of the application of Title III, which seeks to deprive Cuba of the foreign investment necessary for its socioeconomic development, attacking its current and potential partners at the same time.
The EU and Canada reacted by means of a joint communiqué issued by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, the Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom, and the Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. The latter also commented that Ottawa is deeply disappointed and will review all options to defend the interests of its nationals who do business with Cuba.
In the United States, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Representatives, Eliot Engel, considered that the decision to activate the application of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act will isolate Washington from its allies.
From his Twitter account, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel has rejected Washington’s meddling positions and made it clear that measures aimed at halting the development of the Caribbean nation will not intimidate his people.
According to President Diaz-Canel, the Helms-Burton Act aims to destroy the Revolution that triumphed on 1 January 1959 and also attacks the independence and dignity of Cuba.
“It represents an annexationist and colonial desire and aims to bring changes to the political and economic system in Cuba. It is an affront to our sovereignty and dignity,” he stated.
Previously, the foreign minister of Cuba, Bruno Rodríguez, described the activation of Title III of said law as an attack on International Law and sovereignty.
Shortly after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an announcement on Twitter of Washington’s decision to allow claims in US courts on ‘confiscated’ US property (as they call nationalisations), Rodriguez expressed his rejection on the same social network.
In the opinion of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, it is an attack on the sovereignty of Cuba and other countries, considering the extraterritorial nature of this legislation.
In force since 1996, the Helms-Burton law codifies the blockade imposed by the United States to the largest of the Antilles islands and, with its four titles, seeks to stifle the country through direct interference in its internal affairs. (PL)