Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla speaks during a news conference in Havana, Cuba September 9, 2016. REUTERS/Enrique de la Osa
Reuters: Cuba launches new international campaign against U.S. embargo
U.S. sanctions cost Cuba $4.6 billion last financial year, the government said on Friday, and called on U.S. President Barack Obama to do more to ease the pressure in the spirit of improved relations between the two countries.
Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez made the comments at the launch of an annual campaign for a United Nations resolution condemning the U.S. trade embargo put in place after Cuba's 1959 revolution, but which has softened a little under Obama.
"The blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba persists," Rodriguez told reporters at a news conference. "The blockade is the main cause of the economy's problems and obstacle to development."
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Update #1: Cuba says Obama’s easing of embargo hasn’t helped economy (AP).
Update #2: Outside Havana, Cubans are still waiting for American visitors (Fiscal Times/Reuters).
WNU Editor: I have some friends who are in the wine business in the Niagara region of Canada who were interested in starting a company in Cuba that would make Cuban rum. They walked away last year, and the reason they told me was simple .... the problem is that even if you want to invest in Cuba .... the bureaucracy and a myriad of Cuban government regulations and tax policies makes any desire to invest in Cuba unappealing. Too bad .... I love Cuban rum. And while the tourism boom has helped Cuba immeasurably and assisted the bottom line of foreign tour operators and airlines .... to invest in other areas of the Cuban economy is another story. My prediction .... as long as the Cuban government continues their economic policies .... there will be no investment, and the blame will continue to be put on the Americans.