UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Cuba's foreign minister told the U.N. General Assembly on Monday that the United States is keeping Cuba on its list of states that sponsor terrorism in order to justify its embargo on the Caribbean nation.
Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla said the list's purpose "is to fabricate pretexts to increase the persecution of Cuba's financial transactions and justify the blockade policy which has caused invaluable human and economic damage."
He said Cuba remains ready to normalize relations with the U.S. and criticized Washington's 50-year embargo on the island.
Rodriguez also accused the U.S. and "some" European governments of seeking to overthrow the Syrian government, saying the U.S. and its allies have "armed, financed and trained opposition groups, and resorted to using mercenaries."
Other Latin American officials speaking at the United Nations emphasized the region's rise against what they called imperial and U.S. domination. Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil all have leftist or left-of-center governments.
"Progressively the domination that the imperial powers and their multinationals have imposed on our development is being overcome," said Venezuela's U.N. ambassador Jorge Valero.
Rodriguez also mentioned the new attitude in Latin America and lashed out at Washington's treatment of the island nation.
"The United States' policy toward our region, whether the government is Republican or Democrat, is in essence the same," he said.
U.S. State Department spokesman William Ostick said he wouldn't respond to Rodriguez's comments.