Cuba Accuses Obama of Tightening the Embargo

Capitolio and a slice of  Havana. Foto: Juan Suarez
Capitolio and a slice of Havana. Foto: Juan Suarez

HAVANA TIMES (dpa) — Cuba reiterated its accusations that the United States has intensified the economic embargo against the island under President Barack Obama, despite the relaxations in some restrictions he approved since coming to power.

“Despite Obama’s promise of a new beginning with Cuba, nothing has changed and intensified in the persecution of all who make financial transactions” with the island, said Deputy Foreign Minister Abelardo Moreno when introducing in Havana the Cuban government’s annual report on the embargo.

The UN General Assembly will vote on October 29 the new resolution presented by Cuba against the embargo, notes dpa news.

Moreno presented the report at the William Soler Children’s heart care facility in Havana, to exemplify the difficulties derived from the US embargo imposed on Cuba for over half a century.

The US government imposes Havana a tough economic and trade embargo since February 1962, when President John F. Kennedy expanded the first sanctions imposed after the triumph of Fidel Castro’s revolution.

The sanctions were strengthened in subsequent years, for example strict travel restrictions adopted by the George W. Bush in 2004.

Havana reiterated its accusations that the Obama administration has tightened the embargo, although he did ease travel restrictions for Cuban-Americans shortly after taking office.

The embargo is widely rejected by the international community. The UN has condemned it 21 times. In the last General Assembly vote a year ago, only the United States, Israel and Palau supported the embargo, with 188 countries voting against it.

9 thoughts on “Cuba Accuses Obama of Tightening the Embargo

  • Good point. I should have been more specific. The imposition of the US embargo against the Castro dictatorship began AFTER Castro illegally expropriated legally-owned US property. Is that better?

  • Mr. Jones, please read what I wrote more carefully. “…legally purchased and owned.” does not imply that the purchase transactions were fair or executed between equal parties. Case in point: Guantanamo. It is a moral stretch to justify the continued unwelcome presence of this American base on enemy soil. Especially when the truth is that it is because we are stronger, so what can Cuba do? But wrongs perpetrated by imperious Americans on a near-colonial Cuba still do not justify the ‘illegal’ taking of property by the Castros. There was other legal recourse he could have taken. That a tin-pot dictator like Fidel would dare challenge the ‘almighty’ US in the height of the Cold War was a mistake that Cuba has been paying for for 54 years. Being anti-Castro by no means implies that I believe my own country is without flaw. Hardly! But this site is called “Havana Times”. As the world’s economic, scientific, technological and military leader, criticisms against our system and way of life must be balanced against the tremendous amount of good we generate in the world. It is simply not just to say that because there are also problems in the US, I am being untruthful when I highlight the problems in Cuba. To be fair, we would also have to compare the good that Cuba has done for the world with what the US has done. On this issue, Castro sympathizers cry foul. In that case, leave US criticisms out of the discussion as well. Fair is fair.

  • The only reason for writing articles and postings comments on this site, should be a collective effort to share information, search for the truth and not otherwise.

    Mr Bob Michaels tendentious facts suggests that the US embargo on Cuba went back to 1958, when Fidel Castro was fighting the Batista regime. Facts: Please review newspapers of September-December 1958 where you can find images of Batista’s government Air Force planes refueling and replenishing ammo and bombs at the Mc Calla airport on Guantanamo Bay, after which, they strafed, bombed and killed hundreds of peasants in the Sierra Maestra.

    Mr. Moses Patterson statement is knowingly wrong, since he is acutely aware of how the United States farm corporations such as the United Fruit Co.., Manati Sugar Co. Guantanamo Sugar Co. and others purchased millions of acres of Cuba’s most fertile lands for pennies on the dollar. All important industries, mining, transportation, banking, communications, import/export, retail business and much, much more, were swallowed up by the United States nascent transnationals, while the country was under occupation by the United States government (1898-1902) with the Platt Amendment hanging over the nation, which disgracefully declared, “if these measures and the “leasing” of cooling stations which turned into Naval Bases were not approved, the occupation of Cuba would not end”.

    Confiscation of these semi stolen properties by the United States corporations did not began with Fidel Castro. Cubans always demanded justice, but could not be applied because of the puppet governments that were imposed on the country, as it was demonstrated when Antonio Guiteras Holmes intervened the so called Cuban Telephone Co., 40 years before Fidel Castro came took over the Cuban government and Jesus Menendez demanded an honest pay for sugar workers, both were murdered under direct orders from Washington.

    I encourage our posters to continue to share their views with our readers, but please, be truthful, even when it hurts are we are embarrassed.

  • Un saludo de hermandad a todos los hermanos y hermanas de Cuba, en Italia estamos todos contigo. A T. ‘. A.’. F. ‘. Joseph.

    Giuseppe Del Gobbo

  • Actually trade sanctions began in 1958 when the US outlawed sales of guns and military armament to the Batista government who wanted them to fight an insurrection led by Celia Sanchez and Fidel Castro.

    While I feel sorry for Alan Gross on a personal level, he is an embarrassment to the American people. He apparently thought he was a modern era James Bond but actually was Inspector Clouseau. What kind of operative carries unencrypted copies of his reports to the CIA on his laptop while in a foreign country on assignment?

  • The article reads, “…when President John F. Kennedy expanded the first sanctions imposed after the triumph of Fidel Castro’s revolution”. This tacitly implies that President Kennedy imposed sanctions as a response to Castro’s triumph. The truth is that the US imposed sanctions AFTER Castro stole American property legally purchased and owned. Cuba has long sought to propagandize the embargo by falsely claiming that medicine and medical equipment needed in Cuba for the most vulnerable in society like AIDS patients and children is made more difficult to acquire because of the embargo. Food, medicine and medical equipment are EXEMPTED from the prohibited items under the embargo. Cuba simply lacks the hard currency to purchase this equipment from the US. Nonetheless, trading partners like China, Brazil, and Venezuela could easily sell these supplies to Cuba. Tourists hospitals and pharmacies in Cuba, as well as the CIMEQ medical facility for the Castro elite are well-stocked and maintained debunking the claim that these supplies are out of reach for Cuba. Finally, that Obama has directed his administration to more fully enforce existing law is not a bad thing. The Castro regime’s hostage taking of Alan Gross has backfired. Likely what they once believed would be a bargaining chit for the then five convicted Cuban spies has instead become a stumbling block to improving relations with the US. Since the US has no urgency to begin negotiations with Cuba, keeping Mr.Gross incarcerated only hurts Cuba.

  • The UN has also condemned Cuba’s abuse of human rights. What has the Cuban government done to improve the situation?

    Recently, Cuba was caught red-handed shipping a large quantity of weapons to North Korea, in violation of UN sanctions. It’s rather hypocritical to complain about the US embargo, while violating the UN embargo.

  • Fact: under Obama sanctions have been eased.

  • A very strange assertion that the embargo is being tightened since the US now appears to be providing more financial support to Cuba these days than Venezuela. But the US financial support is going direct to the Cuban people in the form of the lion’s share of $6.1 Billion in remittances while the value of the Venezuelan oil for doctors is going to the government.

    Of course we all know that Cuba’s economic problems are caused only the embargo and the efficiency of the government controlled economy has absolutely nothing to do with it.

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