Cuba Reminds the World at UN That US Blockade is Still in Place

(Telesur) – Bruno Rodriguez, minister of foreign affairs of Cuba, said Thursday the country continues to endure the economic and financial hardships of the blockade imposed by the U.S. during a speech the 71st U.N. General Assembly in New York.

Rodriguez said that there is still a long way to go for the two countries to reestablish diplomatic relations, citing the U.S. base in Guantanamo as an example.

“The territory illegally occupied by the U.S. navy base in Guantanamo must be returned to our country,” said Rodriguez.

The foreign minister said the blockade is still enforced and continues to hinder the Cuban economy and its relations with other countries.

Rodriguez also addressed the U.N. member states and said the organization should work toward the end of unilateralism and the political and economic control of capitalist countries.

“Any attempt to prolong the existence of a unipolar world will be suicidal,” said Rodriguez. “Capitalism will never be historically or environmentally sustainable.”

The Cuban diplomat also denounced the coup in Brazil against President Dilma Rousseff and the attempts by U.S. imperialism and oligarchies in Latin America to destabilize Venezuela and other regional countries.

In December 2014, U.S. President Barack Obama announced the normalization of relations between the two countries, after more than 50 years of hostilities against the island nation. The countries reopened their respective embassies in July 2015.

The U.S. approved a series of measures to ease travel and commerce earlier this year but still hasn’t ended the blockade, that was imposed three years after the victory of the Cuban Revolution, led by Fidel Castro, which overthrew the regime of Fulgencio Batista, a U.S.-backed dictator.

Cuba presented a report this year that says the U.S. blockade on the socialist country has cost it US$4.7 billion over the last year and US$753.7 billion over the last six decades.

Last year the U.N. General Assembly voted 191-2 to condemn the U.S. blockade of Cuba, with only the U.S. and Israel in opposition.

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