MEDIA RELEASE: New Zealand Cuba Friendship Societies


U.N.G.A. Resolution on Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba

New Zealand Cuba Friendship Societies applaud the stand taken by 187 principled countries in condemning the United States blockade of Cuba in the United Nations General Assembly for the 18th consecutive year.

This year’s vote of 187 to 3 against and 2 abstentions follows hard on the heels of more than 15 United Nations agencies reporting that the illegal and immoral blockade increases their costs and undermines international co-operation, and Amnesty International reporting that in restricting the direct import of medicine, medical equipment and supplies and imposing similar restrictions on companies operating in third countries, the U.S. is acting contrary to the Charter of the United Nations.

In the light of almost universal condemnation both inside and out of the General Assembly, we therefore demand that President Obama take immediate steps to end the blockade by exercising his presidential prerogative and:

...1. Remove Cuba from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism such that full bilateral trade and other links between the U.S. and Cuba are possible;

...2. Issue a Presidential Proclamation stating the Termination of the Exercise of Authorities Under the Trading With the Enemy Act With Respect to Cuba; and

...3. Instruct the U.S. Treasury Department and other relevant agencies enforcing export and travel
restrictions to Cuba to:
........i) allow companies and entities trading with Cuba immediate and unrestricted access to the U.S. market and financial institutions, and
........ii) ensure that exports and transfers of materials, equipment and other resources, and travel can be achieved without impediment.

We also demand that the US Congress enact new legislation during the session convened on 16 January 2009, repealing the Cuban Democracy Act 1992 and the Cuba Liberty and Solidarity (Libertad) Act 1996 by adopting the following bills already introduced in the House of Representatives and the Senate:

1. Promoting American Agricultural and Medical Exports to Cuba Act , ( [S.1089] &
[H.R. 1531])

2. Cuba Reconciliation Act [H.R. 188]

3. United States-Cuba Trade Normalization Act [H.R. 2272]

4. Free Trade with Cuba Act [H.R. 1530] and

5. Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act [S. 428] & [H.R. 874])

We further consider that the first step to improving relations between the U.S. and Cuba such that the above measures can implemented is for President Obama to immediately release Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero, Ramón Labañino, René González, and Fernando González, the five Cubans jailed in the U.S. for fighting U.S.-based terrorist attacks against their country.

> Speech by Mr. Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Cuban Minister for Foreign Affairs at United Nations General Assembly October 28, 2009.