Cuba president accuses Biden of suffocating the country

Cuba’s President has accused Joe Biden of “suffocating” the country as Washington continues to impose economic sanctions.

Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, Cuba’s leader, said that his country is going through a “very complex situation” when it comes to the economy.

Attacking the US for “suffocating Cuba, Mr Diaz-Canel added: “They have put us in a situation of maximum pressure, of economic asphyxiation, to cause the collapse of the Revolution, to fracture the unity between the leadership and the people.”

Mr Diaz-Canel said this “is expressed in the financial persecution, in the intensification of the (US) blockade, in the enormous campaign of subversion” to “discredit the revolution and discredit everything we do.”

Cuba’s President cited the Donald Trump presidency between 2017 and 2021 as a period where the situation worsened.

Trump intensified the tough embargo on Cuba that Washington has imposed since 1962.

He continued: “This cut off all other forms of financing that we could have.

“Our main sources of income, remittances, tourism, imports, were affected…the country’s essential problem is the low availability of foreign currency.”

Cuba cannot currently access loans from the International Monetary Fund.

The Caribbean island nation is enduring its worst economic crisis in decades with food shortages and supplies of medicine low.

Last month, Bloomberg reported that President Biden has plans to ease restrictions on Cuba to “allow more US financial support of small businesses”.

A Washington source told the outlet that regulatory changes aimed at bolstering the entrepreneurial sector were being planned.

Johana Tablada, the Cuban Foreign Ministry’s top official in the General Division for the United States, said this week that Cuba is open to negotiations with the US.

She said: “We are open and willing for more cooperation. We want to turn this relation into a relation not of aggression, but to a relation of respect, respect, cooperation.

“And also I don’t think it’s too much to ask the U.S. what they ask of every country: The United States will not even dream and Americans will not ever dream of another country intervening in their domestic affairs.”

Speaking to The Hill, she added: “We always say, ‘OK, let’s talk about it seriously. Let’s put everything on the table with no exception.’ But it is very clear that the limit — in our opinion — is political will and electoral politics.”

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