The report by the Cuban Ministry of Agriculture (Minag) on damages caused by the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United Sates on the island, was presented during a press conference by the Ministry for national and international journalists.
Luis Montero Mustelier and Juan José León Vega, Minag’s head of Institutional Communication, and International Affairs representative, respectively, reported on the main areas within the sector that have been affected by the blockade from April 2015 through March 2016, offering examples of lost revenue from goods and services exports; expenses incurred through trade with distant markets; damages to production, services, and financing; as well as restricted access to technology; and rising immigration rates.
To give a clearer illustration of the impact of the blockade on these indicators, the Minag officials cited examples in several enterprises, such as the fruit production group which has seen an 11% drop in exports (104.9 tons of product) due to weather conditions in Cuba and potential shipping delays to the European market.
Another group that has been affected is LABIOFAM, with losses of 89,100,000,000 USD given its inability to sell the medication Vidatox 30CH in the U.S. market, depriving cancer patients from that country of the opportunity to benefit from the treatment.
Meanwhile, if the Tabacuba Group were able to export Premium cigars to the U.S. market, it could see sales starting at approximately 50 million units and progressively increasing over the subsequent 10 years to 180 million, close to its current share of global cigar sales (65-70%). On the other hand, the Seed Production and Marketing enterprise imported over 15,100 tons of seed potatoes from European and Canadian markets last year, resulting in sizable shipping fees, in excess of one million USD.
Cacao and coffee production has also been affected by the blockade, as despite the fact that Cuba was once an important global exporter of these products, production has declined given the country’s inability to acquire supplies to support plantation operations.
In regards to livestock, pig farming, has been significantly impacted with production falling by two million tons, representing a loss of 2,652,600,000 USD given restrictions on access to modern U.S. technologies designed to aid pig rearing, such as feed production and distribution systems, medicines and other supplies.
All these examples reflect in some way or another the negative impact of the genocidal blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States, which causes millions of dollars in losses to the island’s economy. Thus far this year damages have amounted to over 490 million USD, 30 million more as compared to last year.