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Friday, January 09, 2015, Poush 26, 1421, Robiul Awal 17, 1436 Hijr

Is Cuba ready for life without US trade embargo?
Published : Friday, 9 January, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 8

HAVANA, Jan 8: As US President Barack Obama prepares to ask Congress to lift the Cuban trade embargo -- in line with his decision to normalize diplomatic ties -- some Cubans wonder if they're ready for such an economic tidal wave.
The embargo outlawing most economic and financial transactions with the communist-run island was decreed in 1962 by then president John F. Kennedy and severely toughened under the so-called Helms-Burton law of 1996.
The Havana government regularly cites the embargo as an impediment to Cuban development. Damages -- the opportunity cost of all the trade that never happened -- are often estimated by Cuban officials at $100 billion over 50 years.
For opponents of the Cuban regime and some observers, the sanctions have certainly hurt the Western hemisphere's only communist nation.    ?AFP

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