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Cuba's foreign minister demands U.S. end economic blockade in U.N. address

Cuba's Foreign Affairs Minister Bruno Eduardo Rodriguez Parrilla demands the United States end its economic blockade on Cuba, calling it an "economic war in times of peace" during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly Wednesday in New York. Photo courtesy of United Nations General Debate
Cuba's Foreign Affairs Minister Bruno Eduardo Rodriguez Parrilla demands the United States end its economic blockade on Cuba, calling it an "economic war in times of peace" during his speech to the United Nations General Assembly Wednesday in New York. Photo courtesy of United Nations General Debate

Sept. 21 (UPI) -- Cuba's Foreign Affairs Minister Bruno Eduardo Rodriguez Parrilla blasted the United States in his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday as he demanded the United States end its economic blockade on Cuba, calling it an "economic war in times of peace."

In his speech, Parrilla reminded the General Assembly that the U.N. has overwhelmingly approved a resolution year-after-year urging the United States to drop the six-decade-old blockade.

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"Thirty years have now elapsed since the first General Assembly resolution against this blockade, and at this time the U.S. continues to ignore the almost unanimous demand from you to cease its illegal and brutal policy against Cuba," Parrilla said.

Parrilla also slammed the U.S. State Department for re-designating Cuba as a state sponsor of terrorism in 2021. The designation penalizes U.S. companies for making business deals in Cuba and also restricts U.S. foreign assistance while banning defense exports and sales, according to the State Department.

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"The current government of the United States keeps in force the most aggressive measures of pressure on our country. These were adopted by the government of Donald Trump and remain in force," Parrilla said.

"This slanderous classification of our country as a sponsor of terrorism stigmatizes our financial bodies and institutions and makes it extremely difficult for us to conduct transactions," Parilla said as he blamed the United States for Cuba's economic struggles.

"Cuba as a small island, developing state has paid a high price for defending its legitimate right to exist as a sovereign and independent nation," Cuba's foreign minister said. "The human damage caused by this policy and felt by all Cuban families is impossible to quantify, but is nevertheless vast, cruel and immoral."

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Parrilla offered Cuba's assistance to move forward with better relations toward the United States, but also called on leaders in Washington, D.C., to do better.

"I urge the government of the United States to solve the issues which fuel irregular migration and which promote the loss of life," Parrilla said.

"The government of the United States manipulates highly opportunistic issues, such as terrorism, religion, democracy, justice, corruption and human rights. The double standards, the inconsistency, the selectivity, the manipulation, the political manipulation indeed of which the United States are guilty damages the cause of human rights," he said.

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