El bloqueo de EE. UU. de vuelos humanitarios a Cuba afecta los derechos fundamentales de las cubanas y cubanos

COMUNICADO DE PRENSA

Washington DC, 25 de noviembre de 2020.– La organización ACERE, alianza que busca la creación de políticas constructivas desde Estados Unidos hacia Cuba, denunció como una grave afrenta contra los derechos humanos internacionales el bloqueo de dos vuelos comerciales que buscaban transportar material médico desde Miami a La Habana.

Las empresas Skyway Enterprises y IBC Airways habían solicitado un permiso formal para realizar vuelos privados a la isla, aludiendo a las regulaciones que mencionan el tema médico como una de las excepciones que autorizan viajes de transporte aéreo a la isla. 

El Departamento de Estado bloqueó directamente el transporte de ese material médico esta última semana, en momentos en que el planeta enfrenta una pandemia mundial. El gobierno de Donald Trump prohibió este pasado octubre los vuelos chárter como parte de políticas crueles que han sido consideradas fallidas por todos los sectores políticos de EE. UU. y la comunidad internacional, y un retroceso al avance que se había realizado bajo el gobierno de Obama.

ACERE conmina a la nueva presidencia de Biden a que reinstaure las políticas de integración diplomática, política y económica que llevó adelante desde la vicepresidencia de EE. UU. bajo el gobierno de Obama. Estos recientes ataques a los derechos de los ciudadanos de Estados Unidos a viajar a la isla y los derechos humanos básicos de los cubanos y cubanos es particularmente cruel en el medio de una pandemia que ha derivado en más colaboración multilateral, y no menos.

Prohibir dos vuelos con material de ayuda humanitaria afecta gravemente el bienestar de las familias cubanas, fuertemente golpeadas por desastres naturales, los efectos de la pandemia del COVID-19 y el impacto económico en la actividad turística de la isla, al cerrar sus fronteras para priorizar la salud pública y la vida. Las sanciones impuestas por el gobierno de Donald Trump no hacen sino aumentar el sufrimiento de las cubanas y cubanos y aisla a Estados Unidos en el contexto internacional.

The US blockade prohibiting humanitarian flights to Cuba affects the human rights of Cubans

PRESS RELEASE

Washington DC, Nov. 25, 2020.– ACERE, an alliance of organizations that seeks to create constructive policies by the United States towards Cuba, denounced the blocking of two charter flights that sought to transport medical supplies from Miami to Havana as a serious affront to international human rights.

The companies – Skyway Enterprises and IBC Airways – requested a formal permit for these flights to bring critical medical aid to the island, alluding to regulations that allow for medical cargo trips as an exception to the general prohibition. 

The U.S. State Department directly blocked the transport of several tons of medical aid this past week, as the planet faces a surge of cases related to COVID-19. The Trump administration banned private charter flights this past October as part of a series of cruel policies that have long been considered failed by all U.S. sectors and the international community, and constitute a further setback to the progress in bilateral relations made under the Obama administration.

ACERE urges President-Elect Joe Biden and his incoming administration to reinstate the policies of diplomatic, political and economic integration that were carried out under his own supervision as Vice President. This latest attack on the rights of U.S. citizens to travel and on the basic human rights of Cubans is particularly cruel in the middle of a global pandemic that has led to further multilateral collaboration, not less. 

Banning two flights with humanitarian and medical aid seriously affects the well-being of Cuban families, already hard hit by natural disasters, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the economic impact of closing their borders to prioritize public health and life. This latest round of sanctions only increases unnecessary suffering and further isolates the United States as a continuous outlier.

ACERE letter to Biden

President-Elect Joe Biden, 

As organizations and individuals that advocate for normal diplomatic relations with Cuba, we are  enthusiastic about your incoming administration and the possibilities of improving relations with  Cuba, just as the Obama/Biden administration did. We have seen in the past four years how the  Trump administration overturned those gains, imposing harsh restrictions that have harmed the  Cuban people, made it difficult for Cuban-Americans and others to send remittances to those in  Cuba, prohibited Americans from traveling to the island, stymied medical collaboration that  could be helpful in combating COVID-19, and harmed U.S. companies that could benefit from  trade.  

We hope that your administration will mark a comprehensive reversal of those harmful policies  and return to the legacy of the Obama administration. Given that most of these policies can be  changed by executive order, we encourage you to do the following immediately as a show of  good faith and willingness to re-engage with Cuba to promote peace, security and friendly  relations: 

  • Work with the Cuban government to allow the return of diplomats to the respective  embassies and to fully staff the U.S. Embassy in Cuba;  
  • Lift all restrictions on remittances; 
  • Remove Cuba from the list of countries that do not collaborate in the fight against  terrorism; 
  • Cancel the imposition of Title III of the Helms Burton Act. 

Below are additional recommendations for specific policy areas currently severely hampering  bilateral relations.  

Travel:  

  • Readjust the current travel categories in order to allow for the greatest flexibility for  Americans who want to travel to Cuba; 
  • Eliminate unnecessary restrictions about where U.S. visitors can stay and eat while in  Cuba;  
  • Allow for the opening of Cuban travel offices in the U.S.; 
  • Re-authorize regularly-scheduled commercial flights to cities other than Havana. 

Healthcare:  

  • Collaborate with Cuban health professionals in the fight against COVID-19 and in the  development of a vaccine; 
  • Allow the export to Cuba of medical supplies and equipment that can be used in the  production of Cuban biotechnological products and equipment;  
  • Allow broader forms of collaboration in the development, commercialization and supply  of medicines and biomedical products of Cuban origin;  
  • Allow sales of raw materials to Cuba that are needed to produce medicines for the Cuban  population and that of other developing countries;  
  • Authorize U.S. companies to market Cuban medical treatments in the U.S.; 
  • Authorize U.S. citizens to receive paid medical treatment in Cuba;  
  • End the policy of intervening in Cuban medical missions abroad to encourage Cuban  doctors to desert their overseas humanitarian missions; 
  • Stop pressuring third countries to refuse the assistance of Cuban medical missions or to  abort existing medical missions. 

Trade:  

  • Allow Cuban entities (including financial and commercial) to open accounts with U.S.  banking and financial institutions;  
  • Instruct U.S. representatives in international financial institutions not to block the  granting of credits or other financial advantages to Cuba;  
  • Authorize the export to Cuba of U.S. products for key branches of the Cuban economy  (i.e. tourism, biotechnology); 
  • Authorize the import of Cuban products to the U.S. in both the state and non-state  sectors;  
  • Authorize the imports into the U.S. of any merchandise manufactured or derived from  products grown, produced, or manufactured in Cuba by both the state and non-state  sector;  
  • Authorize U.S. individuals and companies to invest in Cuba in mutually approved sectors  of the economy;  
  • Authorize U.S. subsidiaries to conduct business with Cuba in areas such as the provision  of services;  
  • Authorize U.S. companies to carry out transactions and exports related to the exploration  and extraction of hydrocarbon resources located in the Exclusive Economic Zone of  Cuba;  
  • Authorize U.S. companies to carry out transactions and exports for the prevention of oil  spills in the Cuban Exclusive Economic Zone or in Cuban territorial waters; 
  • As Cuba does not engage in terror or narco-trafficking, take Cuba off the “Specially  Designated Nationals” list, a classification that prohibits Cuban or foreign companies  with interests in Cuba from carrying out commercial transactions with the US or with  foreign entities in third countries that are linked to the US.