Cuba ‘Unconditionally’ Behind Venezuela

Cuba ‘Unconditionally’ Behind Venezuela
Cuba ‘Unconditionally’ Behind Venezuela

Cuba on Tuesday offered its “unconditional support” to Venezuela after US President Barack Obama authorized new sanctions against senior officials of the South American oil producer, Havana’s closest ally.

An official statement published in the island’s state-run media called Obama’s executive order implementing the sanctions “arbitrary and aggressive.”

“Cuba reiterates its unconditional support and that of our people for the Bolivarian Revolution, the legitimate government of President Nicolas Maduro, and the heroic brotherly people of Venezuela,” the statement said, AFP reported.

“No one has the right to intervene in the internal affairs of a sovereign state or to declare, without foundation, someone a threat to national security,” Cuba said.

It said the US measures were “in reprisal for the measures adopted (by Venezuela) in defense of its sovereignty in the face of meddling acts by the governmental authorities and Congress of the US.”

The Cuban reaction marked its first public confrontation with the US since the two countries began discussions in December on fully restoring diplomatic relations.

Ecuador’s foreign minister warned Monday that the Southern American bloc UNASUR would not allow foreign intervention or a coup in Venezuela. In Caracas, Maduro pushed back strongly to the new sanctions.

Shortly after they were announced, he recalled his envoy to Washington and late Monday he denounced the US action as “the most aggressive, unjust and harmful blow against Venezuela.”

  Castro Hails Maduro

Cuban leader Fidel Castro congratulated Maduro on his “brilliant and brave” stance against the US in a letter also published Tuesday by the Cuban press.

“Your words will go down in history as proof that humanity can and must know the truth,” Castro wrote.

Maduro called the sanctions a “rude outburst” from Obama while surrounded by dozens of ministers and military leaders at the presidential palace.

“You have no right to attack us and declare that Venezuela is a threat to the people of the US, the threat to the American people is yourselves,” he said in a two-hour long speech.

The sanctions targeted Venezuelan officials who the US said were linked to human rights abuses. The European Union said Tuesday it has no plans to follow the US and impose sanctions against Venezuela.