Cuba’s Foreign Minister said on Thursday that the US government has taken advantage of the coronavirus pandemic and “tightened the embargo against Cuba in an extreme and unprecedented manner”.
In a press conference in Havana, Bruno Rodríguez said the losses caused by the embargo amounted to over $5.5 billion dollars (U.S.) in the period between April 2019 and March 2020. The new 2019-2020 dollar amount supersedes the 4.3 billion dollars calculated to have been lost in 2018.
Cuba has argued that the US trade embargo, imposed on Cuba by President John F. Kennedy in 1962, should be lifted immediately because of the crisis caused by the pandemic, which is straining the island’s health care system, as well as its economy.
Cuba announced 63 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, adding up to a total of 6,368 in the country and 127 deaths nationwide since March. The presentation of Cuba’s embargo report comes very close to the date of US elections.
The winner of those elections will define America’s Cuba policy and decide between a continuation of hostilities or a return to policies which work towards normalization of relations between the two countries.
The member nations at the United Nations General Assembly have overwhelmingly voted against the US trade embargo in every session of that body for the last 28 years.