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Friday, September 10, 1999 Published at 19:28 GMT 20:28 UK

World: Americas

Cuba says Americans don't want embargo

The Cuban government says the United States' economic embargo against the island is facing increasing opposition from within the US business community.

The foreign minister, Felipe Perez Roque, said Havana was receiving many requests for meetings from the US private sector.

This, he said, showed a growing consensus in the United States that the embargo was an irrational and stupid policy that affected US interests.

And he said Washington's attempts to penalise European companies doing business in the island under the controversial Helms Burton law was also harming Washington's relations with the European Union.

The US is reported to be considering action against three companies from France, Germany and Spain. The Spanish prime minister, Jose Maria Aznar, has repeated his country's rejection of the legislation and said his government would do everything possible to defend the interests of Spanish companies in Cuba.

From the newsroom of the BBC World Service

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