US blockade has robbed Cuba’s economy of $130 billion, UN estimates

An “unjust” economic blockade of Cuba by US imperialism has cost the country’s economy an estimated $130 billion in six decades, according to the United Nations.

UN spokeswoman Alicia Barcena told a meeting of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in Havana that the country is “testing its own ways to face the brutal human costs that it has sustained during an unjust blockade.”

“We evaluate it every year as an economic commission and we know that this blockade costs the Cuban people more than $130 billion at current prices and has left an indelible mark on its economic structure,” she said.

Cuba has been subjected to a US trade embargo since the overthrow of the Batista regime in the revolution of 1959, with the current blockade in place since 1962.

Support for the blockade has virtually no international support with a non-binding UN resolution calling for it to be lifted supported overwhelmingly every year since 1992.

Former US president Barack Obama relaxed travel and trade restrictions slightly in 2014, however these have since been tightened by the Trump administration.

Addressing the meeting, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said: “Despite the difficulties the Cuban economy is faced with, particularly due to the intensification of the blockade imposed on Cuba … we will continue to focus on the development goals set.”

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres was also at the ECLAC meeting, which brings together representatives from its 46 member states and 13 associate members to discuss regional economic development and co-operation.

Earlier in the week Mr Guterres met with Communist Party general secretary and former president Raul Castro where they discussed global peace and security.

Source: Morning Star

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