HAVANA, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- The U.S. embargo on Cuba, which began in the 1960s, continues to make life difficult for the Cuban people, Cuba's Prensa Latina news agency reported on Friday.
In an opinion piece released on the news agency's website, Por Xin Ping, a commentator on international affairs, noted that the decades-old blockade is "more devastating than bullets and shells."
The embargo is "a massive, flagrant and unacceptable violation of the human rights of the Cuban people," Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez was quoted in the article as saying.
The blockade has given rise to food shortages and trapped Cuba into an urgent need of energy by blocking the country's crude oil imports, forcing Cubans to queue for hours for public transport at peak times, it said.
Conditions in the country are worsening amid COVID-19, as U.S. companies are forbidden to sell ventilators to Cuba and cargo carriers decline to carry shipments of aid to the island, it added.
Although Cuba's response to COVID-19 was swift, without sufficient medicines and medical equipment, even the best doctors cannot deal with the pandemic effectively, said the article, noting that Cuba is reporting more than 7,000 new COVID-19 cases each day.