By ESTRELLA TORRES | [url=http://www.ABS-CBNnews.com]http://www.ABS-CBNnews.com[/url]
Cuba warned on Monday that the continued economic embargo imposed against it by the US may lead to a US attack, similar to what happened to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Cuban Ambassador to Manila Ramon Medina made this warning on the eve of the United Nations General Assembly voting on the draft resolution seeking to end the 45-year economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba.
At least 179 UN member-states, including the Philippines, voted in favor of lifting the economic embargo against Cuba last year, but until now, the US has yet to heed the decision of the UN General Assembly. Only the US, Israel, and the Marshall Islands opposed the lifting of the embargo.
The UN General Assembly will debate and take action on October 28 on the draft resolution titled “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba.”
Medina said Cuba’s total economic losses have reached US$79 billion in terms of revenues, trade and exports during the 45 years of trade embargo imposed by the US.
He said it is important to gather international support that would end the US trade embargo against Cuba; he accused the US of continuing to use black propaganda by tagging Cuba a part of the “axis of evil nations” along with Iran and Iraq.
“Cuba is not an isolated country. If the international community does not oppose the continued US trade embargo against us, then the US would launch military aggression against Cuba that is similar to the attacks made against Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Medina in a news conference on Monday.
Medina said it is ironic that the US is playing a major role in the free-trade regulations set by the World Trade Organizations (WTO) but continues to impose a trade and economic blockade against Cuba.
University of the Philippines President Francisco Nemenzo, head of the Philippines-Cuba Cultural and Friendship Association, explained that US military attacks are not only based on economic interestsósuch as a vested interest to take control of the oil production in Iraq, but also based on the strategic location and symbolic value of that country.
“In the case of Cuba, it represents a small socialist country that is able to withstand US aggression,” said Nemenzo. “That is why the US has to destroy the image of Cuba as a small defiant nation.”
Medina said despite the economic embargo, Cuba has developed a biotechnology industry that produces vaccines against such ailments as cancer, hepatitis and dengue fever.Cuba has also performed creditably in the Olympics and developed a free and quality educational system.
Medina said the appeal to lift the US trade sanctions is not about its interest to promote economic relations with the US, but more intended to prevent military aggression by the US against Cuba.