21:59 GMT22 October 2020
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    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) - Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez accused the United States of exerting pressure on Latin American countries to oppose the United Nations draft resolution against the US-imposed economic blockade on Cuba.

    "The US authorities have been carrying out different actions of pressures and blackmail to erode the voting pattern in support to the draft resolution that Cuba has been presenting to the United Nations General Assembly which calls for an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade against my country", Rodriguez said on Monday. "These pressures have been particularly targeted against the Latin American countries".

    Rodriguez also said that US embassies in six countries in the region applied intense pressure on governments to vote against the draft resolution.

    "The crude way in which President [Donald] Trump’s administration resorts to a whole range of preconditions and blackmail to meet its foreign policy goals is only well too known", Rodriguez said.

    Cuba counts on the support of Latin American countries and expects that the governments will not find themselves swayed by US pressure, Rodriguez added.

    Rodriguez noted last month the US Department of State summoned representatives from four Latin American countries to persuade them to vote against the draft resolution.

    The United States first imposed an arms embargo on Cuba in 1958. The embargo was complemented by the introduction of restrictions in various other sectors, including sanctions on financial transactions, trade and travel.

    Former US President Barack Obama relaxed US policy toward Cuba, introducing regulations to ease people-to-people contacts.

    However, Trump toughened the policy once he came to power in 2016, restricting travel, boosting the economic embargo and imposing sanctions on Raul Castro, Cuba's Communist Party leader, over alleged human rights violations and for supporting the Venezuelan leadership.

    Cuba’s envoy to Russia Gerardo Penalver Portal said the draft resolution would be presented at the United Nations on 6-7 November.


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