(Saint Lucia-Cuba)
© C. Cox
US Blockade Hurts Cuban Diplomats in Japan
Thursday, 15 November 2018
Tokyo. - Japanese media on Wednesday reported the refusal of a Hilton-chain hotel to house Cuban diplomats under the pretext of being official representatives of a nation subject to sanctions by the United States.

According to NHK, the Cuban embassy in Japan and the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed that ambassador, Carlos Miguel Pereira, and an embassy official booked a room for October 2 at Hilton Fukuoka Sea Hawk.

The same day, they planned to spend the night in the hotel, the travel agency told them the facility could not accommodate them for being representatives of the Cuban government, a decision taken from the headquarters of the hotel group, NHK says.

The Cuban embassy in Tokyo highlighted the fact as further evidence that the U.S. hostility against Cuba does not respect borders and offends the sovereignty of other countries.

The Cuban ambassador denounced in front of the Japanese media the Hilton management's decision to extraterritorially apply the regulations of the economic, commercial and financial blockade in violation of the Japanese sovereignty and laws.

The diplomat told Prensa Latina that this irregularity occurs due to the ignorance of Japanese laws and sovereignty, in addition to violating the Vienna convention to protect diplomatic agents.

Main Japanese media, among them Asahi Shimbun newspaper and Noticias 24 news channel, among others, reported almost simultaneously the incident occurred on October 2.

Cuban Churches Also Blockaded by the U.S.

Havana. - The Cuban United Lutheran, Baptist and Evangelical churches have denounced in Havana the innumerable impacts caused in relations with other religious institutions by the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on the island.

In statements to Prensa Latina, Antonio Santana, President of the Cuban Council of Churches, pointed out that the blockade carried out by the White House administration affects the delivery of biblical material to Cuba from solidarity entities of other nations.

The reverend also indicated that within the U.S. territory a large number of devotees are pressing for the elimination of the blockade against Cuba, which has been in force for almost 60 years.

Santana stressed the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with the United States, however, he regretted the decline in ties.

Havana and Washington re-established their diplomatic ties in July 2015, leading to high level visits and the signing of some 20 agreements, but Donald Trump's inauguration at the White House in January 2017 represented an escalation in hostility towards the island.

'We present our declaration against the blockade and its essentially pastoral mission emphasizes the comparison of life with death and the damages this U.S. policy causes to society in Cuba', Ismael Laborde, bishop of the United Evangelical Cuban Church, told Prensa Latina.

He added that relations with North American religious institutions are always carried out through third countries, making procedures and twinning with these difficult.

In this regard, Laborde emphasized the heavy visa processes faced by U.S. Lutheran pastors and the obstacles to sending books and materials essential to church activities.

The United Nations General Assembly approved on November 1, for the twenty-seventh consecutive time since 1992, a resolution demanded the end of the blockade against Cuba.

The text was supported by 189 of the 193 member states of the multilateral organization.

(PL Service)

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