Cuba Lost $4Bln Over Last 12 Months Due to US Embargo - Ambassador to Russia

CC0 / U.S. Department of State / U.S. Embassy in HavanaThe U.S. flag flaps in the stiff breeze off the Florida Straits at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba. (File)
The U.S. flag flaps in the stiff breeze off the Florida Straits at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba. (File) - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Cuba has lost over $4 billion over the past 12 month due to the United States' sanctions policy against Havana, Cuban Ambassador to Russia Gerardo Penalver Portal stated.

"Over the past year of the [US] blockade policy, Cuba has suffered losses of over $4 billion," Penalver told a press conference.

The diplomat emphasized that Havana would continue demanding that the economic, trade and financial blockade by Washington be completely lifted.

"On October 31, 2018, the Cuban government will condemn the continuation of this policy and will again present a draft resolution [calling for the US sanctions to be scrapped] to the UN General Assembly," the ambassador stated.

The United States first imposed an arms embargo on Cuba in 1958. The embargo was followed by the introduction of restrictions in various other sectors. They include sanctions on financial transactions, trade, travel, among others.

READ MORE: US State Dept. Warns Americans About Possible Sonic Attacks in Cuba

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Cuba has repeatedly submitted its resolutions to the United Nations calling for the embargo to be lifted.

The year 2015 marked rapprochement between Washington and Havana when the two nations restored diplomatic ties under the administration of then US President Barack Obama. A year later, the United States, which had repeatedly voted against removing the embargo, abstained from the United Nations' vote on the issue for the first time.

In 2017, the administration of US President Donald Trump announced a U-turn in the US policy toward Cuba, opting to retain the embargo on the Caribbean nation.

No Evidence of Cuba’s Alleged Involvement in Sonic Attacks

Cuban Ambassador to Russia Gerardo Penalver Portal also touched upon the topic of so-called sonic attacks on US diplomats, stating that the United States has no evidence of Cuba's involvement in the alleged incidents.

"Cuba has spoken from the outset of its willingness to cooperate in clarifying the circumstances of these so-called attacks. But the US government continued to produce accusations without any evidence. Clearly, they want to manipulate politics," he told a press conference.

More recently, US diplomats in China also complained of symptoms similar to those suffered by their colleagues in Cuba.

READ MORE: Alleged Sonic Attack on US Diplomat in China Similar to One in Cuba — Pompeo

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In June, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the State Department established a task force to respond to the mysterious sonic incidents overseas.

Last August, the US State Department said diplomats working at its embassy in Cuba were affected by an incident involving a mysterious audio device. Media reports at the time said some of the diplomats suffered permanent hearing loss and possible brain injuries due to a sonic weapon. Over 20 diplomats were affected, according to the State Department. The Cuban government has denied any involvement in the incidents.

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