PARÍS.–The U.S. blockade of Cuba was denounced as a violation of international law and the principal obstacle to the island's development, according to participants in a colloquium on current affairs in Cuba, held in the French capital.
Héctor Igarza, Cuban ambassador in Paris, commented that despite the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with Cuba, the United States government continues to enforce the economic, commercial and financial blockade and, increasingly, its extra-territorial reach.
He recalled that since 2009, fines for a total of 14 billion dollar have been levied on international banks and companies, for doing business with Cuba, in a clear violation of international law.
Stéphane Witkowsky, president of the Advanced Research Institute's Council of Strategic Orientation on Latin America, likewise noted that, given its history of more than 50 years, the U.S. blockade is the most longstanding aggression of this kind, reiterating that Washington has sanctioned several French banks despite the fact that financial transactions with Cuba are conducted in strict accordance with international law.
French intellectual Salim Lamrani, organizer of the event held in the city's Casa de América Latina, emphasized that the political battle must continue, urging international condemnation of the blockade which constitutes the principle obstacle to Cuba's development. (PL)