US blockade to Cuba going on except for telecommunications

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The Cuban Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to Indonesia, Nirsia Castro Guevara stated the blockade imposed by the United States (US) against Cuba is still going on except for telecommunications.

In a statement received by Antara here on Monday, the ambassador said the US continues to ban exports to Cuba of products and equipment, and prevents Cuba from freely exporting products and services to the US.

"Cuba cannot have direct banking relations with the US or receive US investment in other sectors of the economy except in the case of telecommunications," Ambassador Nirsia said.

According to her, there has been an increase of official visits in both directions, including the one paid by President Barack Obama to Havana in March 2016, and technical meetings have also been held to discuss topics of common interests and the bilateral instruments signed in order to expand mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries.

Technical exchanges, she added, include environmental protection, hydrographic and law enforcement including the combat of trafficking in drugs and persons, and migration fraud.

"Despite the steps that have been taken, economic, commercial and financial sanctions against Cuba remain in place, as do the laws which support them," Ambassador Nirsia said.

Meanwhile in a recent special interview with Antara, the ambassador pointed out that despite the March 2016 measure authorizing use of the US dollar in Cubas international transactions, no business deal can be made until now in the country.

Cuba is banned from opening correspondent accounts in US banks and has been unable to make either deposits or payments in cash in US dollars in third countries, the Cuban envoy said.

"Cuba maintains its demand for an end to economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the US against it and so the country will present a resolution at the UN General Assembly on October 26, 2016," she explained.

The blockade 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 US and the rest of the world, the ambassador said.

(T.KR-LWA/B/B005/B005)

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