[:es]Cuba Says New US Restrictions Are Serious Setback in Bilateral Relations[:]

[:es]Havana, November 10.- The Cuban government rejected the new restrictions announced by the Trump administration on Wednesday and described them as a serious setback in the bilateral relations between the two countries.

Josefina Vidal, head of the US Desk at the island´s Foreign Ministry, said that the White House decision, which takes effect Thursday, confirms a reinforcement of the U.S. economic, financial and trade blockade imposed by Washington on Cuba since 1962.

In remarks to the press in Havana, Vidal described as arbitrary the new black list of some 180 Cuban companies and entities with which U.S. businesses are forbidden to make transactions. They include hotels, shops, tourist agencies, shipyards and even manufacturers of soft drinks and rum.

The Cuban official argued that there is a political decision behind the new restrictions which would hurt both Cuba’s economy and U.S. business interests.

“Has it worked in 55 years? It’s the old line: ‘We sanctioned Cuba, we put pressure on its government to bring about changes.’ I t does not work. It has never worked,” Vidal said.

“They will harm not only the state and non-state sectors of our economy, but also the citizens of the U.S.” who will see their right to travel to Cuba become “even more restricted,” Vidal said.

The new anti-Cuba move is reportedly in compliance with an executive order signed by President Trump, which aims to reverse important aspects of the rapprochement between the two countries begun back in 2014 by his predecessor Barack Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro. (RHC)[:]