Havana is denouncing U.S. penalties levied against France's largest bank over allegations it processed financial transactions for Cuba and other blacklisted states in violation of U.S. trade sanctions.

A Foreign Ministry statement released Thursday says the penalties "violate the rules of international law."

It calls the U.S embargo against Cuba a "criminal and failed policy against our nation." The Ministry accuses Washington of ignoring opposition to the 52-year-old embargo by a majority of the world's governments.

The U.S. Justice Department announced Monday that BNP Paribas had agreed to pay $9 billion to settle the allegations.

Justice officials said the French bank handled billions of dollars in transactions for clients in Cuba, Sudan and Iran.