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US directly interfering in Cuba’s domestic affairs by fanning protest rallies, says Iran’s FM spox

Cubans drive past the US embassy during a rally calling for the end of the US trade embargo against Cuba, in Havana, on March 28, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

Iran has slammed the United States over its blatant intervention in the internal affairs of independent and freedom-seeking countries, stating that Washington is inciting Cuban opposition groups to hold protests despite a government ban on the demonstrations.

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh stated on Tuesday that the US has failed in its bid to foment nationwide protests on the Communist-run island due to the empathy between the Cuban nation and government.

He called for an end to the US’s economic and unilateral sanctions against Cuba, stressing that the bans have been slapped on Havana in order to provoke discontent among ordinary people in the country.

Khatibzadeh then referred to the United States as the main cause of Cubans’ livelihood problems and difficulties, stating that Washington is supporting unrest and destabilization in the country and is seeking interference in the domestic affairs of Cuba in violation of international law.

“The Islamic Republic of Iran, within the framework of its principled stances, expresses solidarity with Cuba, and reiterates that the illegal US sanctions are the main and important cause of the current livelihood and economic difficulties in the country,” the Iranian diplomat said.

He added, “The United States should first and foremost end its illegitimate economic sanctions against Cuba if it is sincere in what is claiming about supporting the Cuban nation.”

The spokesman further underscored that the Cuban people and government will overcome the existing problems and upset those who try to interfere in the country’s internal affairs, saying that Washington’s destabilizing measures have failed.

On November 10, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said the government would not allow “the persistent aggression by the United States government, its intense and constant attempts … to create conditions for internal destabilization, to alter the citizens’ calm and security.”

“There have been 29 statements from the United States government and influential figures in that nation’s congress since September 22 alone … all aimed at encouraging, guiding, instigating destabilization actions in our country,” Rodriguez said.

Dissidents planned protests for November 15, the same day the island country will reopen its borders to tourists after months of disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The march is reportedly sponsored by a US-based Facebook group named Archipelago.

The Cuban foreign minister also threatened to take legal action against Facebook over supporting the upcoming rallies by changing algorithms and the geo-locations of posts. Havana has already denied permission for protests, saying Archipelago had links with “subversive organizations” with an “open intention of changing the political system in Cuba.”

Iran ready to work with West African states to fight terrorism

Also on Tuesday, the spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry denounced the early Sunday attack in northern Burkina Faso, which killed at least 19 gendarmes and a civilian.

Khatibzadeh offered his condolences to the Burkinabe government and nation over the deadly incident.

He stated that Iran is ready to cooperate with Burkina Faso and other friendly West African countries in the fight against terrorism.

Burkina Faso has been hit by militant attacks since 2015, mostly in the northern and eastern regions close to Mali and Niger, which are gripped by their own struggles against Takfiri terrorists.

Attacks by armed groups linked to al-Qaeda and Daesh terrorist groups have reportedly killed more than 2,000 people and forced more than 1.4 million to flee their homes in the Sahel region.

The attacks have continued to intensify in the area despite the presence of thousands of United Nations, regional and Western troops.

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