CaribWorldNews, HAVANA, Cuba, Thurs. Sept. 17, 2009: The U.S. embargo against Cuba has cost the island`s economy some 96 billion dollars in the half-century it has been imposed, a new report claims.
Cuba`s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez on Wednesday made the disclosure as he unveiled a new report on the consequences of the embargo, which is due to be presented to the United Nations General Assembly on September 28.
`It`s true that the global economic crisis had an impact on our economy, it`s true that there are other factors, but I would say that the principal obstacle to Cuba`s development is the economic, trade and financial blockade that has been imposed upon us for more than 50 years,` Rodriguez said.
The U.S. embargo was implemented on Cuba in 1962, with sanctions strengthened in 1992 and 1996, and then relaxed in 2000 to allow the sale of agricultural products and medicine, under certain conditions, to the Cuban government.
Rodriguez also criticized President Barack Obama, who he said may have campaigned on a platform of `change,` but Cuba is still waiting for a shift in the embargo.
His criticism comes in the same week when Obama added his signature to the order that renewed the much criticized embargo.