Cuba marks six decades under US sanctions

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HAVANA

Cuba yesterday marked 60 years under a U.S. economic blockade that has deeply affected the communist nation’s fortunes and shows no signs of being lifted.

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Decreed by U.S. president John F. Kennedy on February 3, 1962, the embargo on all bilateral trade came into effect four days later.

Its purpose, said Kennedy’s executive order, was to reduce the threat posed by the island nation’s “alignment with the communist powers.”

Despite failing to force a change in tack from Havana since then, the sanctions remain in place six decades later, and are blamed by Cuban authorities for damage to the country’s economy amounting to some $150 billion.

Cuba is experiencing its worst economic crisis in 30 years, with inflation at 70 percent and a severe shortage of food and medicines as the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a hefty blow to a key source of income: tourism.

Long lines for essential goods are common, as food…

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