At current prices, the cumulative cost to Cuba of the blockade totals US$125,873,000,000, the Cuban Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Indonesia, Nirsia Castro Guevara, said in a statement received by Antara here on Monday.
"Between March 2015 and March 2016, the cost of the sanctions amounted to US$4,680,300,000 at current prices," Ambassador Nirsia noted.
According to her, the blockade, which has been imposed by the U.S. to Cuba over 54 years, constitutes the greatest obstacle to developing the full potential of the economy and wellbeing of the Cuban people, and to Cubas economic, trade and financial relations with the United States (the U.S.) and the rest of the world.
The U.S. continues to ban exports to Cuban products and equipment and the blockade prevents Cuba from freely exporting products and services to the U.S.
"Cuba cannot have direct banking relations with the U.S. or receive U.S. investment in other sectors of the economy except in the case of telecommunications," the ambassador said, adding that despite the March 2016 measure authorizing use of the US dollar in Cuba's international transactions, no business deal can be made until now.
Cuba is banned from opening correspondent accounts in U.S. banks and has been unable to make either deposits or payments in cash in US dollars in third countries.
Among international and U.S. banks, a climate of fear and hostility remains, as to involving themselves in legitimate operations with Cuba.
"Examples include the decision by the German Commerzbank to cease operations with Cuba following a fine of US $1,710 million imposed on it by the U.S. in March 2015," the Cuban envoy said.
Earlier, in a recent special interview with Antara, the ambassador stated while authorization is being granted for visits by U.S. citizens to Cuba under a general license in the 12 categories permitted by U.S. legislation, and scheduled flights between the two countries have been restored, U.S. citizens are still banned from vacationing freely as tourists in Cuba.
The blockade imposed by the U.S. against Cuba is still going on except for telecommunications, she added.