Cuba thanks the US for its support, but criticizes damages caused by sanctions

HAVANA (HPD) — The Cuban government on Wednesday thanked the humanitarian aid announced by the United States that will go to the population affected by the passage of Hurricane Ian, but criticized Washington’s sanctions that, according to the island’s authorities, have caused considerable losses. .

When presenting Cuba’s report on the embargo in 2022 to the press, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez said that the US sanctions caused his country losses that he estimated at more than 3,000 million dollars in seven months. The report takes place weeks before the United Nations General Assembly again puts the embargo issue up for debate, which has been systematically rejected by many countries around the world in that forum since 1992.

After an improvement in bilateral relations during the last term of Barack Obama, in which embassies were even reopened, his successor Donald Trump took a radical turn and applied an increase in sanctions with the aim of pressuring political changes in the nation. Caribbean towards an opening to opponents and greater freedom of expression.

Although some adjustments have been made during the government of President Joe Biden, such as allowing the resumption of remittances and some flights, the United States has maintained its criticism of the authorities’ treatment of dissidents on the island and one of the questions important events occurred after protests in July 2021 after the government arrested hundreds of people.

Meanwhile, in recent months the emigration of Cubans to the United States has increased to historic levels, in part due to the economic situation, although there are those who also allege political issues.

The pandemic and the island’s own financial deficiencies ended up composing the current crisis scenario.

“The policy of President Joseph Biden towards Cuba is unfortunately and inertially the same Republican policy (of Trump). No changes have been introduced,” said the Cuban foreign minister. “Surgical design that pursues each income, each source of financing and supply of the country.”

The day before, the Biden administration announced support for Cuba of two million dollars in supplies that will be channeled through the United States Agency for International Development to the International Red Cross to help alleviate the damage caused by Cyclone Ian.

Ian, a category three hurricane that hit the island on September 27, left three dead and an unquantified number of material damages, including damage to 100,000 homes, of which 14,000 collapsed, and to the energy system, to the point that more than 15 days later, only 57% of the province of Pinar del Río has electricity.

Rodríguez thanked the US cooperation for its humanitarian value and confirmed the delivery of 43 firefighting suits after an explosion at a fuel storage plant in early August.

The official did not specify, however, if these gestures, as well as telephone communications due to the incidents, a binational migration meeting in April and other sectoral meetings, constitute a relaunch of dialogue between the two countries.

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