HAVANA, Sept. 20 (Xinhua) -- Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez denounced on Friday the sanctions imposed on the Caribbean nation in recent weeks by the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump, which are causing a fuel shortage.
"The government of the United States is resorting to specific and unconventional measures that amount to a qualitative change, greater aggressiveness, and greater extraterritoriality to obstruct our country's fuel supply," said Rodriguez.
The minister said so during his annual press conference enumerating the effects of the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba, which has been in place for over half a century.
"These actions include direct threats, persecution of transport companies, pressure on governments where tankers are flagged or registered, and actions against insurance companies," Rodriguez said.
"This is an escalation seeking to dissuade and intimidate and to create additional difficulties for the Cuban people," he added.
Rodriguez said that the latest measures from the United States are part of a trend of increasing sanctions to hinder Cuba's foreign trade and compromise the island's banking and financial relations with other countries.
He said that the new sanctions coincide with the activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act, which paves the way for U.S. lawsuits concerning properties nationalized or expropriated by Cuba after the 1959 revolution.
Cuba regards the act as a violation of international law given its aspect of extraterritoriality.
"These lawsuits have immediate and direct effects on Cuban entities and third-party countries; they also damage trade and financial and economic negotiation processes," said Rodriguez.
Last week, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said that the island is suffering from "a temporary situation" caused by diesel shortages.
Accompanied by his entire cabinet, Diaz-Canel told the Cuban people that Washington was acting more aggressively towards the island in order to cause "a social explosion."