Thursday, October 13, 2005

Cuban Embassy Calls US Embargo 'Genocide

The Cambodia Daily
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Charles McDermid

The Cuban Embassy in Phnom Penh played its part in a worldwide Cuban media offensive on Wednesday by blasting US President George W Bush's foreign policy and calling a long-standing US trade embargo against the communist nation "an act of genocide."

The news conference at the embassy was held in preparation for a Nov 8 UN General Assembly vote on a resolution calling for the US to lift its decades-old economic embargo of Cuba.

"Everybody in the world should be aware of this attack on the Cuban people," said Cuban Embassy Counselor Waldo Reyes Sardinas. "We need to have more voices calling for the lifting of this policy."

Cuban Ambassador Nirsia Castro Guevara called the US trade embargo "the longest and most cruel blockade known to the history of mankind."

"The most aggressive US administration ever against Cuba is the present Bush administration," Castro Guevara said.

A pamphlet given to reporters by the Cuban Embassy alleged that the US embargo has resulted in direct economic suffering to Cuba and put the total cost to the nation at $82 billion, with an annual average of $1.7 billion.

US Embassy spokesman Jeff Daigle said that he was unaware of the exact content of the Cuban embassy news conference, but he added that he was not surprised by its vehemence.

"The US remains committed to promoting democracy in Cuba," Daigle said. "We hope that one day the Cuban people will have the freedom to express themselves."

Castro Guevara supported the charge of genocide by citing its definition in the Geneva Convention.

"If you looked up the definition of genocide in the Geneva Convention, it is a measure used to eliminate a group of people," she said.

"Depriving food from the Cuban people will lead to starvation, desperation and the overthrow of the government."

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