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Cuba warns U.S. regarding Miami exiles’ flotilla, to avoid incidents that “do not suit anyone”

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez on Thursday (22) called on the U.S. to act “seriously” given the upcoming trip of a flotilla of exiles leaving from Miami to protest at the maritime boundary between the two countries; he also considered Washington’s recent sanctions against the island’s military “irrelevant”.

Rodriguez maintained in a press conference that Cuban authorities acted with “strict adherence to the law, with moderation and respect for the rights of citizens” during the demonstrations more than a week ago in which thousands of people protested against the shortage of food, medicines, and long power cuts.

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On the sanctions imposed by U.S. President Joe Biden against Armed Forces Minister General Alvaro Lopez Miera and a special brigade of the island’s Interior Ministry, alleging that acts of repression were committed against demonstrators, the foreign minister said they are “politically motivated and intentional and totally irrelevant from a practical point of view.”

“The United States does not have the least legal, political or moral authority to go around sanctioning people around the world when it is known that they have a quite reprehensible conduct in terms of repression, use of armed forces in third countries, so-called collateral victims and acts of torture recognized by the government itself,” he added.

Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez
Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez. (Photo internet reproduction)

He also called for the identification of alleged missing persons or cases of minors who are imprisoned after the incidents of July 11 and 12 in several localities of the island, while assuring that in Cuba “there has not been a social explosion” and that “all the guarantees” of Cuban laws comply within the judicial treatment of the cases of people who were detained.

He also indicated that most of the people arrested are “at liberty”, after being fined or are currently under home precautionary measures in those cases where people have been charged or are subject to investigation processes.

In his appearance, Rodriguez rejected what he described as “a barrage of statements and accusations” by the Biden administration, which he considered an act of “crude interference” in his country’s internal affairs, aimed at violating international law and its own laws.

He also pointed out that at this moment, conditions on the island are “absolutely calm” and that life continues in “complete normality”.

The head of Cuban diplomacy also referred to the announced presence -this Friday- of a naval flotilla organized by Cuban exiles from Florida that will make a voyage to the area near Cuba’s maritime territory within the contiguous zone recognized by international law.

In that sense, Rodriguez warned the U.S. government to act with “seriousness” to avoid incidents that “do not suit anyone.”

“I expect the U.S. Government to apply and guarantee that its laws are complied with. I only warn of its responsibility with what is already today a gross violation of international law because it should prevent it (…)”, he stressed and found it “surprising” that activities like that are tolerated in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Among other allegations, the minister accused the U.S. State Department of exerting political pressure against a group of countries – at least 6 Eastern European and 8 Latin American countries, particularly Central American – to join “under political blackmail” a declaration against the island.

Organizations and activists estimate the number of people arrested since the 11-July riots, the largest protests in Cuba in more than six decades, at several hundred.

The authorities of the Caribbean country insist on blaming the U.S. and its tightened economic embargo imposed on Cuba as the fundamental reason for the serious crisis that has caused shortages, to which is added a strong resurgence of Covid-19, the worst since the beginning of the pandemic.

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