Cuban culture has suffered more than 24m USD losses as result of US blockade this year

In the area of culture, Cuba has suffered more than 24 million dollars loss in the last year due to the blockade, as a result of having to buy equipment and materials from more expensive sources and with higher transport costs, limitations on academic exchanges and delayed/refused of visas for cultural personalities to visit the US and limitations to distribution of music recordings and much more.

This is an extract from Cuban government's June 2015 report to the United Nations in relation to Resolution 69/5 of the United Nations General Assembly entitled "Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba."

Despite the great achievements the country has had in the Sector of Culture, wecannot ignore the impact and limitations created by the blockade in this sector. Just inthe period being analyzed said policy has caused losses for 24,727,300 dollars in thatsector.The basic materials for artistic education are some of the most costly educationalmaterials in the world. The blockade has been characterized by imposing constantdifficulties on obtaining teaching means, instruments and the essential materials toensure artistic education in Cuba. Musical instruments, oil paints, acrylic paints andbrushes for visual artists, slippers and costumes for ballet and dance students, andothers, are on the list of means and materials that the blockade attempts to keep fromthe students of the arts in Cuba.The American market could also be the principal source of supplies of a considerablegroup of raw materials, materials, tools and equipment with which artists, artisans,restorers and designers work in their efforts to salvage our national heritage. Theimpossibility of acquiring these products in the US forces Cuban institutions to spendmore money in order to purchase them in other markets, including higher prices andmore costly freight charges.The blockade also causes limitations to the academic exchanges and theparticipation of Cuban artists at competitions and events in the US, it prohibitsdrawing up Cultural Agreements between homologous teaching institutions of bothcountries that would make possible the cultural development and artistic creation ofthe Cuban people. In addition, when Cuban cultural personalities are invited tocultural events, they are often not able to attend because of delayed or refused USvisas. The blockade also prevents US institutions and readers from subscribing toand being free to obtain Cuban publications of interest for universities and culturaland scientific institutions.Next we shall describe some examples of the blockade's repercussions on thedevelopment of Cuban culture: Because they cannot directly contact US wholesale firms distributing digital music andbecause they must use intermediary firms, has brought about decreased commercialmargins for the Servicio de Distribución Mayorista de Música Digital "Soy Cubano",belonging to the firm ARTEX S.A. The repercussions on this account have reached50,000 dollars. If products could be bought on the US market, the resulting savings would benefit thecountry's cultural development as seen by the following examples:- On the US market, Vandoren 10 Sax ZZ Reed #2.5 saxophones cost 249dollars while the Selmer SAS280R La Voix II Saxophone – Clear Lacquer,costs 250.06 dollars. Today Cuba acquires each piece in third countries at thecost of 356 dollars. Being able to ensure saxophones bought in the US for 20each of the 334 students using this instrument in Cuba would be a saving of35,000 dollars.- In the US, a Yamaha MG16 Mixing Board 16 CH piano costs approximately1,100 dollars. Today Cuba buys lower quality EBT GP-160 W pianos for 4,442dollars each. If we consider that we need 40 pianos to satisfy the currentenrollment of piano students, the repercussions caused by the blockade totalaround 133,700 dollars.

Link to full report

Link to news report by Granma about the UN vote