Russia, Mexico warn against ‘outside interference’ in Cuba

Mexican President offers to send medicines, vaccines

July 12, 2021 09:48 pm | Updated 09:49 pm IST - Moscow/Mexico City

Keeping watch:  Policemen are seen near the Capitol building in Havana, a day after protests in Cuba, on Monday.

Keeping watch: Policemen are seen near the Capitol building in Havana, a day after protests in Cuba, on Monday.

Russia and Mexico on Monday warned against any “outside interference” in Cuba after thousands took part in rare protests against the Communist government on the island nation.

“We consider it unacceptable for there to be outside interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state or any destructive actions that would encourage the destabilisation of the situation on the island,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement.

She did not explain who might be trying to interfere in Cuba, but the warning appeared directed at the U.S., which has urged Cuba not to target protesters and where thousands of Cuban-Americans have taken to the streets to support the demonstrations.

“We are closely following the development of the situation in and around Cuba,” Ms. Zakharova said.

“We are convinced that Cuban authorities are taking all necessary measures to restore public order in the interests of the country's citizens and within the framework of the Constitution.”

Cuba was an important Cold War ally of the Soviet Union and Moscow has continued to have good diplomatic relations with Havana since the 1991 collapse of the USSR.

Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador warned against an “interventionist” approach to the protests, and offered to send aid to the communist island. Mexico could “help with medicines, with (coronavirus) vaccines, with what is needed and with food because health and food are fundamental rights” that do not require “interventionist political management," he said

He also said the U.S. economic embargo of Cuba should be ended to help its people.

‘Suspend blockade’

“The truth is that if one wanted to help Cuba, the first thing that should be done is to suspend the blockade of Cuba as the majority of countries in the world are asking,” Mr. Lopez Obrador told a news conference.

“That would be a truly humanitarian gesture,” he added. “No country in the world should be fenced in, blockaded.” Thousands of Cubans on Sunday joined demonstrations from Havana to Santiago calling for President Miguel Diaz-Canel to step down.

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