US embargo has cost us $2 bn in investment: Cuba

Havana, Oct 15 (IANS/EFE) The Cuban government estimates that US firms would have invested more than $2 billion here over the past decade but for Washington’s economic embargo against the communist-ruled island, Communist Party daily Granma said.

Granma analysed how the embargo has hampered the participation of foreign companies on the island, where that activity is considered ‘a complement to the national development efforts’ and is accepted ‘on the basis of projects of national interest with a significant economic and social impact’.

Because of the embargo that Washington has maintained against Cuba since 1962, the island cannot obtain technology from US companies or get financing from US banks, the newspaper said Wednesday.

Thus, the paper emphasises that Cuba’s mixed companies with foreign capital are barred from access to the US market for import and export operations.

In addition, it says that US firms cannot invest in sectors of interest for Cuba like oil exploration and tourism.

Granma adds that, except for Cuba, the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean experienced a 13 percent increase in foreign direct investment in 2008, even with the effects of the global recession.

Just in the area of foreign trade, the Cuban government calculates that between April 2009 and March 2010 the country suffered effects on business amounting to $155.5 million stemming from the US embargo.

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