At UN, Cuba slams US sanctions

NEW YORK - Cuba on Saturday slammed the United States for applying unilateral sanctions as a foreign policy instrument - like the five-decade US embargo on Havana.

"The extraterritorial implementation of the US laws to the detriment of other sovereign nations is ever more aggressive," Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez told the UN General Assembly.

"There is a proliferation of unilateral sanctions, particularly in the area of finances, as a foreign policy instrument," he said.

The United States has had comprehensive economic sanctions clamped on communist Cuba for over five decades.

The top Cuban diplomat argued that "the use of the US courts of justice to apply multi-million fines, even on its allies, based on court rulings that violate international law, has become an instrument of punishment, threats and to spuriously securing financial resources."

Rodriguez cited the example of the $8.9 billion (S$11.34 billion) "unfair mega-fine" imposed by the United States on BNP Paribas in July, for its having violated US financial sanctions against Sudan, Cuba and Iran.

"Under the present (US) administration, there has been an unprecedented tightening of the extraterritorial character of the blockade, with a remarkable and unheard-of emphasis on financial transactions through the imposition of multi-million dollar fines on banking institutions of third countries," Rodriguez said.