Cuba’s access to information technology
OBSTACLES preventing access to
information technology and communications derived
from the U.S. blockade of Cuba were denounced before
the World Trade Organization in Geneva on May 16.
Washington must be called upon to end its unilateral
coercive measures, asserted Carlos Fidel Martín,
from the Cuban embassy in Switzerland, during a
symposium organized for the 15th anniversary of the
Information Technology Agreement. The U.S. blockade
imposed on Cuba for more than 50 years is hindering
the buying and selling of these products and
services on the world market, as well as electronic
trade, a key instrument of support for international
economic links, the diplomat stated, as quoted by
youth in Cuba learn
computer skills at an early age. However,
difficulties in terms of access to
information technology and communications
are limiting the development and
extension of this project.
"These practices are contrary to
international law and WTO regulations and also have
extraterritorial ramifications," he noted.
Martín also confirmed his rejection
of so-called plurinational initiatives or ones that
are more restrictive in terms of the number of
participants currently being promoted by certain
industrialized countries, to the detriment of the
fundamental principles of the Multilateral Trading
The previous week in Geneva, Cuban
representative Juan Antonio Quintanilla, speaking at
the 13th session of the Working Group on the Right
to Development, a UN Human Rights Council subsidiary
body, stated that the U.S. economic, commercial and
financial blockade is a massive, flagrant and
systematic violation of Cuban citizens’ human rights.
Quintanilla emphasized that the U.S.
blockade is intensifying, despite reiterated and
virtually unanimous demands for its elimination on
the part of the international community.
He noted that direct economic damage
inflicted by the restrictive U.S. policy stood in
excess of $104 billion in December 2010, using
current prices and very conservative estimates.
He added that this figure would
increase to $975 billion if the depreciation of the
dollar in relation to the value of gold on the
financial market were to be taken into account. (AIN)