Saturday 15 June, 2019

Phillips concerned over tightening sanctions on Cuba by Washington

Dr Peter Phillips

Dr Peter Phillips

The People’s National Party (PNP) is expressing “grave concern” about the increased economic sanctions on Cuba imposed by the United States government and is calling for an end to the 60-year-old embargo against the Caribbean nation.

The PNP’s renewed call comes after the decision of the US government to impose Title 111 of the Helms-Burton Act which has the effect of tightening sanctions, causing the reintroduction of rationing of food and other supplies “and unleashing untold suffering on the Cuban people,” said the PNP in a statement.

Last week, the Cuban government announced that it had been forced to ration food supplies in the face of the tightening sanctions. Washington has, among other things, accused the Cuban government of sowing discontent in the region. It has accused it of backing the Nicolas Maduro regime in Venezuela.

PNP president, Dr Peter Phillips, said the party is opposed to the implementation of Title 111 of the Helms-Burton Act which he said represents a retrograde step and reverses the policies pursed by previous United States administrations.

“The Jamaican parliament, spanning several administrations over the past decades, has voted unanimously against the economic blockade on Cuba as being discriminatory and counter-productive,” Phillips emphasised.

“We hope that this matter will be debated in the parliament soon so that the whole country will again strengthen its call, as one voice, for an end to this blockade,” Phillips added.

He argued that the continued discrimination against the legitimate right of the Cuban people to self-determination further adds an element of instability to the political and economic conditions of the Caribbean. This, he said, will set back the development potential of the people of the region.

“Cuba has always been a friend of Jamaica, responding to our needs for assistance in education, health and other areas and are deserving of our support,” Phillips stated.

He stressed that the PNP remains committed to the rule of international law and the right of self-determination by all peoples.

“The party supports the people and government of the neighbouring nation state, as they continue to resist the attempts to infringe on their sovereignty,” he said.

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