Cuba rejects new US sanctions and confirms solidarity with Maduro

Maduro
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro salutes during a news conference at Miraflores Palace in Caracas, Venezuela January 9, 2019. REUTERS/Manaure Quintero

CUBA, HAVANA (VOP TODAY NEWS) — The Cuban government on Thursday rejected new US sanctions, reiterating its solidarity with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

“Cuba’s solidarity with Constitutional President Nicolas Maduro and with the Bolivarian Revolution and the unity of its people is not negotiable,” the government said in a statement published in the official press.

Washington announced new sanctions on Wednesday, including the ban on visits to Cuba by US tourists.

The measures are aimed at punishing Havana for its support of Maduro and is a severe blow to the Cuban economy, which is betting on tourism in particular.

“Recent attacks on Cuba are based on baseless pretexts, notably Cuba’s accusation of military intervention in Venezuela, a lie rejected by the Cuban government,” the government said.

“The goal is always to extract political concessions from the Cuban nation by stifling the economy,” she said.

Venezuela has been Cuba’s main political ally for nearly 20 years and the first to supply oil.

The United States insists that Cuba has forces in Venezuela and demands their withdrawal, but Havana denies this, stressing that the Cubans in Venezuela are civilians, especially doctors.

“These Cubans will stay here as long as the Venezuelan people welcome them through cooperation with this sister nation,” Havana said.

Washington’s new sanctions add to several measures the administration has taken since Donald Trump took office at the expense of a historic rapprochement initiated by his predecessor, Barack Obama, in late 2014.

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