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China calls on US to immediately lift embargo on Cuba

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Workers of a Cuban organization unload a donation of 1.6 million syringes sent by Cuban solidarity groups based in the US for the vaccination campaign against COVID-19, in Havana, the US, on July 23, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

China has called on the United States to immediately and completely lift its all-out embargo against Cuba, as the Latin American country goes through difficult days in its fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

“At present, Cuba is at a critical moment in its fight against COVID-19 and in its efforts to alleviate people’s suffering,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said on Friday.

Zhao said Beijing “firmly supports the efforts of the Cuban government and people to maintain social stability.”

The Chinese diplomat also said that Beijing resolutely rejected “any external interference in other countries’ internal affairs.”

Several days of unrest in Cuba earlier led to at least one death, dozens of injuries, and more than 100 arrests. The protests erupted against the government of President Miguel Diaz-Canel as Cuba was experiencing its worst economic crisis in 30 years, with shortages of electricity and food exacerbated by the US embargo.

The president has held the US embargo responsible for the economic difficulties.

US President Joe Biden last week accused Havana of “repressing their citizens.” He said that his administration “was considering ways to force open internet restrictions in Cuba.”

The Cuban president said in response, “If President Joseph Biden had sincere humanitarian concern for the Cuban people, he could eliminate the 243 measures implemented by President Donald Trump, including the more than 50 cruelly imposed during the pandemic, as a first step toward ending the blockade.”

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