On April 22, the State Department announced the decision to include coffee on the list of Cuban products produced by the non-state sector which could be imported into that country. This as a continuation of a measure adopted by the government of the United States in February 2015, authorizing very limited Cuban exports, which excluded all goods and services produced by state enterprises.
It is striking that in announcing the measure, the State Department clarifies that importers “must obtain documentary evidence that demonstrates the entrepreneur’s independent status,” and notes that “This is another measure intended to support the ability of the Cuban people to gain greater control over their own lives and determine their country’s future.”
What the State Department fails to say is that having unilaterally stripped Cuba of its previous treatment as the most-favored nation – after decreeing the blockade – a position rightfully ours as a founding state of the World Trade Organization, in order to export any Cuban product to the United States, higher customs duties must be paid, which make their import to this country practically impossible.
The State Department also ignores the fact that the Agrarian Reform Law, enacted after the triumph of the Revolution in 1959, made more than 200,000 peasant families land owners, and that the Cuban state has since implemented a program for the productive, economic and social development of the rural population of our country and ensured production assistance, access to credit, a secure market for their produce and other social benefits.
No one should believe that a Cuban small farmer can directly export to the United States. For this to be possible, Cuban foreign trade enterprises must participate and financial transactions need to be in U.S. dollars, issues which so far have not been settled.
We are conscious that the objective of these measures is to influence Cuban farmers and separate them from our state.
Cuban small farmers do not fear changes, provided they are of our own making. This is the powerful reason why the continued aim of the government of the United States to destroy the unity of the people of Cuba can not be permitted, as this would destroy a revolutionary process that has provided us with a participatory democracy, freedom, sovereignty and independence.
Cuban farmers are members of this socialist civil society and exist as part of the state, which represents the power of the people, and not in opposition to it. Together with the workers and all our people, we face the imperialist policy objective of promoting the division and disintegration of Cuban society, which is what is intended with a measure such as that recently announced.
If the government of the United States really wants to contribute to the welfare of Cubans, what it must do is definitively lift the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed for more than 50 years, which is the main obstacle to the development of Cuba.
Cuban farmers reaffirm our loyalty to our revolutionary state against all risks and challenges, and will continue to build a prosperous and sustainable socialism, with all and for the good of all, with the patriotic commitment to continue producing for the people.