A panel of Cuban specialists on Monday blasted the damage caused by the economic embargo imposed on the island by the U.S. since 1962, and urged Washington to be "rational."

"What we really see now is a very extreme application of measures" to enforce the embargo, panel member Andres Zaldivar said during a videoconference at the Cuban Foreign Ministry.

Zaldivar, a senior intelligence official, said that "never before during any previous administration have so many fines and other reprisals been inflicted" on international financial organizations that have, in some measure, maintained ties with Cuba.

He considered the only way to end that state of affairs is for the United States to adopt "a rational policy."

For his part, Dr. Lorenzo Anasagasti, deputy director of research at the Oncology Institute, said "the U.S. embargo harms the sick, the researchers, science and the Americans.

He cited its negative effects on acquiring medications, radiotherapy equipment, scientific information and access to Cuban biotechnology products that could benefit American patients.

The principal of a school for disabled children, Maria Esther Lao, blamed the U.S. embargo for the shortage of motorized wheelchairs to help children crippled by progressive muscular dystrophy and of medication for those suffering cerebral palsy.

The Cuban government says in a report it will present to the United Nations next week that the economic embargo of the United States has caused damages worth more than $1 trillion since 1962. EFE