Cuban President Meets Putin In Moscow To Expand ‘Strategic Partnership’

The Presidents of Russia and Cuba vowed on Friday to expand their “strategic” ties  and to urge the United States to lift its blockade of Cuba.

Miguel Diaz-Canel met with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Moscow to discuss consolidation of their countries strategic partnership.

The talks between the two leaders come in the wake of new US sanctions against three Caribbean nations.

Press TV reports: The Kremlin said the two leaders were discussing “the state and prospects of the further consolidation of Russian-Cuban strategic partnership in various spheres and discuss opinions on current international and regional problems.”

Days ago, Russian officials signed a $260 million contract to modernize Cuban energy facilities and a metal factory. The two countries also discussed bolstering their military ties.

Putin visited Cuba in 2000 and 2014, seeking to revive faltering ties between the two nations following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the ensuing economic hardship.

From Russia, Diaz-Canel is due to travel to China, North Korea, Vietnam and Laos.

US vows new sanctions against Cuba, Venezuela

The Cuban president’s visit to Russia came as the Trump administration’s hawkish National Security Adviser John Bolton announced new sanctions against Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua on Thursday.

Addressing a campaign rally in US city of Miami on Thursday just ahead of the country’s midterm elections next Tuesday, Bolton said the three nations “will feel the full weight of America’s robust sanctions regime.”

According to Fox News, Washington will prohibit Americans from involvement in Venezuela’s gold export trade, while the State Department will be adding more than two-dozen entities to a list which Americans are banned from dealing with.

On Thursday, the United Nations General Assembly condemned persisting US sanctions against Cuba, renewing decades-long calls on Washington to remove the unilateral bans.