Mexican president: ‘Inhumane’ US embargo to blame for Cuba’s economic woes

Mexico City, Jul 27 (EFE).- Mexico’s president on Tuesday slammed the United States’ “inhumane” embargo on Cuba, saying that policy is the root cause of the Caribbean island’s severe economic hardships.

“There’s a delicate situation in Cuba because they’re suffering from a blockade, which I consider inhumane because it’s an extreme measure. It’s like a medieval action. It’s the product of a really backward foreign policy,” Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, popularly known as AMLO, said at his regular morning press conference.

The president also spoke out against the embargo a day after extremely rare anti-government protests in Cuba on July 11, when thousands took to the streets across the country and shouted slogans against President Miguel Diaz-Canel’s administration

Although AMLO said Mexico and the US enjoy very good bilateral relations, he once again called on President Joe Biden to reconsider Washington’s six-decade-old economic embargo on the Communist-ruled island.

“I’m sure the United States government will respond positively because a policy of this type is not proportionate. We can have differences, but you can’t impose hunger, illness on a people,” he said.

Asked about supposed reprisals from Washington for his sharp criticism, AMLO ruled out the possibility of sanctions.

“No, because we’re an independent, free, sovereign country, and we’re acting as such,” he said.

The recent social unrest in Cuba was the biggest thus far this century on the island, which is suffering its worst period of the pandemic while facing an economic crisis characterized by food and medicine shortages and power cuts.

Since the protests erupted, Lopez Obrador’s stance has been to call for an end to the embargo and express support for Diaz-Canel.

“There’s been communication (with Cuba), and I received a letter from him in which he explained the difficult situation caused by the blockade,” AMLO said Tuesday.

Mexico’s government has tried to alleviate the situation in the Caribbean nation by sending shipments of food, medical supplies and oxygen.

Although he did not indicate the total number of shipments, Lopez Obrador said one vessel would depart on Tuesday and another on Wednesday.

The longstanding US policy runs counter to the spirit of “brotherhood that should exist among the peoples of the world,” the Mexican president said, recalling that in the most recent United Nations General Assembly vote on the issue 184 countries were in favor of ending the embargo.

That same resolution has been approved year after year since 1992, when the General Assembly began to vote annually on that subject.

Lopez Obrador, however, went a step further during a July 24 meeting of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, calling on the entire island of Cuba to be declared a World Heritage site for its resistance to US hostility. EFE


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