Havana, Cuba.-In an exclusive interview with Prensa Latina, the director of the subregional office of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Hugo Beteta, explained that the economic, financial and commercial siege that Washington has imposed on Cuba has structural consequences and its reversion will need a huge investment effort.
That negative structural influence is seen in Cuban sectors that have not been developed as a consequence of the imposed barriers, including the financial sector. The Cuban banking system cannot operate normally due to huge restrictions.
In the framework of the international meeting "Latin America and the Caribbean in a new international environment: major challenges," Beteta recalled that Cuba cannot access the developing banking system either, due to the blockade's prohibitions.
In that situation, the investment levels of Cuba's economy are affected, so it is necessary to end the blockade and, of course, access funding normally in a long term and at low cost for development, something that the blockade prevents, he added.
Beteta noted that Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic develop medical equipment to export to the United States, while Cuba does not, although it is a leader in Latin America in terms of research on biotechnology and has made major achievements in that field.
Those results might be exploited in an industrial structure for the entire medical and healthcare sector in the world, the official added.
The same happens with health tourism, as Cuba has an impressive expertise and medical capacities in that field, but its implementation demands the certification of hospitals by US insurance companies.
Therefore, the blockade prevents Cuba's talent and structure from developing normally; however, achievements are extraordinary, the ECLAC official noted.
It is time to eradicate the blockade and Latin America and the Caribbean have to be united in this battle, Beteta stated. We would also benefit if Cuba could develop its potential.
Fortunately, despite restrictions, Cuba invests in its people, but it is also necessary to increase the levels of investment and development for Cuba.
The blockade is absolutely unfair, it violates all international bylaws, which is seen in all the votes at the United Nations, he stressed.