The Cuban government has
called on the United States to do more to
ease economic pressure on the nation in
light of improved relations between
Washington and Havana, saying U.S.
economic sanctions cost Cuba $4.6 billion
in the last financial year.
Cuban Foreign Minister
Bruno Rodriguez made the remark at a news
conference Friday marking the launch of an
annual campaign for a United Nations
resolution that condemns the U.S.
sanctions on the financially strapped
Rodriguez called the U.S.
sanctions "the main cause of the economy's
problems and obstacle to development."
He said over the 55 years
the embargo had been in place, it had cost
Cuba a total of $125.9 billion. The figure
includes actual costs, such as fines on
Cuba's business partners, and hypothetical
figures, such as sales Cuban businesses
could have been making in U.S. markets.
Since Cuba and the United
States re-established diplomatic ties in a
surprise move in December 2014, the two
nations have opened embassies, restored
commercial flights, eased travel
restrictions, and negotiated trade,
environmental, and communications
But the U.S. has yet to
fully lift its trade embargo on Cuba, an
issue that has been the subject of a
nonbinding U.N. resolution in the General
Assembly that has passed every year since
1992. Cuba has been the driving force
behind the resolution, but it has
overwhelming support from other nations.
Cuba and the United
States have been at odds since Fidel
Castro took control of the country
ousting a U.S.-backed government and
established a communist government in
1959. The trade embargo was established in
The United States
traditionally votes against the U.N.
resolution and claims Cuba owes it $10
billion for American property and
companies seized by the Castro regime.
This year's vote in the
U.N. is set for October 26.
U.S. President Barack
Obama says he opposes the trade embargo,
but says only Congress has the authority
to completely lift the sanctions.
Sep. 10, 2016