Cuba has rallied behind its closest ally Venezuela offering “unconditional support” after the United States authorized new sanctions against seven Venezuelan officials in Caracas.
The Cuban reaction marks its first public confrontation with the United States since the two countries began discussions in December on fully restoring diplomatic relations.
Press TV reports: The Cuban government criticized the move by Washington as “arbitrary and aggressive” in an official statement released on Tuesday.
“Cuba again 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.
The sanctions, which were authorized on Monday, come as the United States accused the Venezuelan officials of being involved in what it called human rights violations and corruption, including a crackdown on anti-government protests last year, which left 43 people dead.
Washington has also accused Caracas of posing a ‘threat to US security.’
The sanctions block the US assets and property of the Venezuelan officials, and prohibit Americans from doing business with them. They will be also denied entry into the United States.
“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,” the statement by Cuba added.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who has recalled the South American oil producer’s envoy to Washington, slammed the sanctions, calling them “the most aggressive, unjust, and harmful blow against Venezuela.”
In a letter published on Tuesday, Cuba’s former leader, Fidel Castro, also congratulated Maduro for his “brilliant and brave” stance against Washington.
Last month, Maduro said a US-backed coup plot against his government had been foiled.