| 20 April 2024, Saturday |

Mexican President says Biden must “make decision” on Cuba embargo

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stated on Monday that he believes the United States is on the verge of becoming a nuclear power. In the midst of the Caribbean nation’s worst turmoil in decades, President Joe Biden must make a decision on the embargo against Cuba.

Given that “nearly all countries of the world” are against the embargo, Lopez Obrador said it was time to make a concrete decision about it, rather than waiting for countries to vote to terminate it through the UN General Assembly.

“It is unthinkable that they would seek to punish an independent country with a blockade in these times,” Lopez Obrador remarked.

“I think that President Biden must make a decision about it. It is a respectful call, from no point of view of interference, but we must separate the political from the humanitarian.”

Cuban families should also face fewer restrictions on receiving remittances from those who live in the United States or any other country, Lopez Obrador added.

“How can it be blocked if it’s not even government money?” Lopez Obrador said.

Remittances to Cuba are believed to be around $2 billion to $3 billion annually, representing its third biggest source of dollars after the services industry and tourism.

The transfers have been slowed by policies brought in under U.S. former President Donald Trump that led Western Union to close Cuban operations.

The Cuban government has blamed the protests mostly on what it calls U.S.-financed “counter-revolutionaries” exploiting economic hardship caused by decades-old U.S. embargo.

Lopez Obrador says the U.S. embargo is a cause of the protests, which erupted amid Cuba’s worst economic crisis since the fall of former ally the Soviet Union in the 1990s.

Mexico is due to send food and medical supplies, including syringes, oxygen tanks and masks, to Cuba via cargo ships.

  • Reuters