President Miguel Díaz Canel denounced Washington’s “cruel and criminal policy” against the island, following Donald Trump’s announcements.
The President of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, assured that the Cuban people “will never renounce their sovereignty” and will defeat the “cruel and criminal policy” of the United States, which this Wednesday announced new sanctions against the island.
“As we denounced before the United Nations General Assembly, the empire announces new measures that violate the rights of Cubans and also of North Americans. Its cruel and criminal policy will be defeated by our people who will never renounce their sovereignty.” the president wrote on Twitter.
Hours earlier, US President Donald Trump announced that his Administration will prohibit its citizens from staying in hotels on the island, all state, and buy Cuban tobacco or alcohol to take them to their country.
Despite the fact that the embargo in force for six decades does not allow the export of Cuban products to the neighboring country, a directive from former President Barack Obama authorized travelers to return from the island to the United States with a limited amount of alcohol and tobacco (usually rum and the famous cigars) for personal consumption.
The Trump administration also expanded travel restrictions to Cuba, where American tourism is already prohibited, by eliminating the authorization that allowed its citizens to “attend or organize professional meetings or conferences in Cuba,” something that will now only be allowed. in exceptional cases, on request.
Díaz-Canel had already predicted on Tuesday, in his speech to the UN General Assembly, that new sanctions would arrive: “The United States government does not hide its intention to apply new and harsher aggressive measures against Cuba in the coming months.” , he claimed.
As the November 3 presidential election approaches, in which Trump seeks a second term and wants to retain the favor of Cuban-Americans in the key state of Florida, the Republican president has hardened his speech towards Havana, Although the return to hostile politics towards the island began with his arrival at the White House in 2017.
Throughout these four years, and especially in the last two, the US Administration has given reversing the “thaw” promoted by Obama and increased sanctions with the aim of damaging the already deteriorating economy of the island and the sights set on strategic sectors for state coffers such as tourism, remittances or medical missions.
The ban on cruises and the veto on flights from the US to all Cuban airports except Havana have been some of the tougher measures taken by Washington. To the argument of promoting democratic changes on the island, the State Department added two years ago that of punishing the Cuban government for its alleged support for the president of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, to remain in power.
Cuba goes through serious financial trouble at this time, reflected in a growing shortage of food and basic products, since the pandemic forced the country to close its borders to tourism since last April due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This tourist break aggravated the crisis that was already dragging the island due to the embargo and previous sanctions, the reduction of Venezuelan aid and the delay in the application of reforms to alleviate the inefficiencies of its centralized system.