Final Declaration of the Ninth Forum of Cuban Civil Society against the Blockade and Annexation

We, the representatives of 136 Cuban Civil Societies and of regional and international organizations headquartered in Cuba, which met in Havana, on October 19th, 2012 on the occasion of the Ninth Forum of the Cuban Civil Society against the blockade, following up on the positions adopted in the previous fora, agree to state as follows:

1. On the upcoming November 13th the United Nations General Assembly will present, for the twenty-first occasion, the draft resolution entitled "Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba " to be discussed and voted.

2. This policy imposed by the government of the United States of America started 52 years ago today and is the main obstacle for Cuba’s economic and social development. The direct economic damage caused to the Cuban people by the implementation of this genocidal act, taking into consideration the depreciation of the US dollar against the price of gold in the international market, amounts to one trillion 66 billion dollars. This figure neither exemplifies the high intangible costs nor the emotional damage caused by this policy.

3. We highlight that the overwhelming majority of the United Nations Member States have supported the Cuban resolution, which calls upon the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States of America. Last year, 186 states voted in favor of the resolution, which shows the isolation of the U.S. government in its policy towards Cuba.

Despite the strong and repeated rejection by the international community, the United States of America continues to ignore the 20 resolutions adopted by the United Nations General Assembly.

4. We also state that numerous regional and international organizations have repeatedly expressed their condemning stance on this aggressive policy imposed by the U.S. government.

The statements and declarations approved by the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, the African Union, the Ibero-American Summits and the Non-Aligned Movement, among others, are further proof that the world stands by Cuba in its half-a-century struggle against the blockade.

5. We emphasize that the blockade policy has a marked extraterritorial nature in violation of the international law and international trade regulations.

Nevertheless, it has been intensified over the past year, as evidenced by the strengthening of sanctions and the persecution of citizens, institutions and companies in third countries that establish or intend to establish economic, commercial, financial or scientific-technical relations with Cuba.

6. We condemn the falseness of the U.S. government statements on the relaxation of economic and financial relations, which is evidenced by the escalating persecution of Cuba’s international financial transactions, including those from multilateral agencies destined to the cooperation with the island.

Accordingly, in December 2010 funds amounting over 4 million 200,000 dollars, which had been destined to three cooperation projects being implemented by Cuba in cooperation with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, were blocked.

These measures have been intensified by the Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Treasury Department of the United States of America, by means of the application of huge fines and other sanctions on U.S. and foreign companies and banks for making commercial and financial transactions related, in one way or another, to our country.

7. We ratify that the blockade against our country is the longest, cruelest and most unjust ever known in the history of mankind and constitutes an illegal act, which violates important principles of international law and falls into the category of the international crime of genocide, pursuant to subsection c, Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide adopted on December 9th, 1948.

Said policy ignores the principles of the United Nations Charter and the international legal instruments that condemn these acts as contrary to the peace and the peaceful coexistence among nations.

8. We demand the cessation of the visa denials to Cuban representatives as well as of the restrictions to travel to Cuba imposed on representatives of women, union, scientific, student, religious, sport, environmental and US organizations, which hinders the cultural, scientific and academic exchanges between our peoples.

The prohibitions and limitations imposed by the U.S. government to the development of these relations prevent their citizens from the possibility of these exchanges and reflect their fear that U.S. citizens know the Cuban reality. They are also a violation of their constitutional rights.

9. We demand the end of the media war unleashed against our country and waged from big power centers. These misinformation campaigns, which bring about significant economic damages to our country, have intended to keep the truth about Cuba hidden from the world, by promoting a distorted image of our reality, thus interfering in the internal affairs of our nation and ignoring the big successes achieved by our people in a vane attempt to mar the example of the Cuban Revolution and to demobilize the progressive sectors that defend our ideas of justice and dignity.

10. We demand the immediate end of the blockade, which constitutes a gross, massive and systematic violation of the Cuban people’s human rights. Said policy continues to be criminal, inhumane, absurd, illegal and morally unsustainable, which has neither achieved nor will it meet the purpose of crushing the Cuban people’s patriotic decision to preserve its sovereignty, independence and right to the self-determination.

The blockade causes shortages and suffering, especially to children and the human damage caused is immeasurable. Said policy limits and delays the development of the country, and undermines the welfare and the enjoyment of all human rights by our people.

11. The organizations of the Cuban civil society, the regional and international organizations headquartered in Cuba, participating in the IX Forum against the Blockade, recognize and appreciate the wide and effective solidarity towards our country of thousands of organizations of the world civil society, especially of those representing the noblest sentiments of the North American people.

We highly value their support in solidarity with the struggle to put an end to the unjust and immoral policy being implemented by the U.S. government against our people and urge them to continue to express themselves against the genocidal blockade and to increase actions urging the U.S. government to respect the universal rejection caused by the application of this policy and to end their unilateral coercive measures.

12. We urge the organizations of the civil society from different countries to make public, in the way they deem more effective in their respective countries, their support in solidarity with the draft resolution that will be presented for consideration to the UN General Assembly on the forthcoming November 13th, entitled “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba”.

We, the representatives of the Cuban civil society, reaffirm our resolve to further the work of the Cuban Revolution and to continue the construction of one independent, solidary and just Homeland, which preserves the conquests achieved so far.

Havana, October 19th, 2012.