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Cuban Foreign Minister Rejects New Policy Announced by Trump, Says Cuba Will Not Yield to Pressure

Vienna, June 19 (RHC)-- Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez has condemned U.S. President Donald Trump's new policy toward Cuba and said the island will never negotiate under pressure or threat.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s speech on Cuba was a “grotesque spectacle” straight out of the Cold War, said Minister Rodriguez, arguing that the move will affect U.S. citizens and result in the opposite of what Washington seeks by ultimately strengthening Cuba's resolve to defend its sovereignty.

Speaking at a press conference in Vienna, where he is on an official visit, Foreign Minister Rodriguez said the new U.S. policy tightening sanctions against Cuba was a setback for bilateral relations, which had increasingly improved since the two countries decided to start normalizing ties in 2014.

He said the Trump administration had been poorly advised in its decision to roll back former President Barack Obama's Cuba policies, a move he described as contrary to the widespread support that a lifting of the blockade and normalization of relations was enjoying, even among many Republicans legislators in Congress.

He added that the decision will restrict U.S. citizens' liberties and opportunities for companies, leading to loss of income and jobs and a rise in taxes, while only serving the interests of a minority.

The foreign minister said that it was "outrageous" that during Trump's announcement of the new policies he was accompanied by known terrorists and former CIA agents with long anti-Cuba criminal records.

Among those present during President Trump's 'grotesque Miami show', said Minister Bruno, were some mercenaries who participated in the invasion at Bay of Pigs, others who perpetrated attacks against Cuban fishermen at sea and even one of the main financiers of the 1997 sabotage bombings against tourist facilities that claimed the life of an Italian visitor.

“It's an attack against Cuba, the world and the victims of international terrorism around the world,” said Rodriguez.

The Cuban Foreign minister also said that Havana will not accede to Washington's call for a return to the U.S. of people who have sought and obtained political asylum in Cuba, such as Assata Shakur. He said the Cuban government had returned 12 U.S. fugitives in recent years, but that Cuba had granted political asylum to several U.S. civil rights crusaders and they would not be returned.

Rodriguez also reiterated Cuba's will to continue the dialogue with the U.S. based on respect for sovereignty. “Cuba will make no concessions on its sovereignty and its independence, will not negotiate over its principles and will never accept conditions,” he added.

And the Cuban foreign minister emphasized: “Cuba will not be brought to its knees by a presidential directive of the United States.”

Edited by Ed Newman
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