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    A car with a Cuban flag is parked near Cuban Capitol in Havana December 18, 2014. Cuban President Raul Castro hailed a landmark exchange of prisoners with the United States on Wednesday and praised U.S. President Barack Obama as the two countries agreed to normalize relations after more than five decades of hostility

    Havana Slams US Threat to Take Action Against Cuba Over Venezuela as 'Blackmail'

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    BUENOS AIRES (Sputnik) - The Cuban Foreign Ministry sees US promise to take certain actions against Cuba in order to free Venezuela from the influence of Havana as blackmail, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said on Wednesday.

    US Vice President Mike Pence told the UN Security Council last Friday that Washington would soon announce new action against Cuba in response to what it calls Havana's "malign influence" in Venezuela.

    "I will answer #US Vice President Pence using same words expressed by Army General Raul Castro Ruz: 'We will never fail in our duty to act in solidarity with #Venezuela. We will never renounce any of our principles and we'll strongly reject any form of blackmail'", Rodriguez wrote on Twitter.

    READ MORE: Caracas Rejects Trump's Plan for Economic Destruction of Venezuela — Envoy to UN

    Following the victory of the Cuban revolutionaries over US-backed regime in 1959, Washington severed diplomatic ties with Cuba and imposed a trade embargo on the country. In 2014, Washington and Havana expressed their intention to start working on normalizing bilateral relations. As a result, many restrictions on exchanges between the United States and Cuba were eased under then President Barack Obama.

    In June 2017, US President Donald Trump reversed the policy of his predecessor and abandoned attempts to normalize relations with Havana.

    Venezuela’s acute economic crisis worsened as the United States imposed several rounds of sanctions against the country after opposition leader Juan Guaido illegally declared himself interim president in late January. In addition, Washington, after recognizing Guaido, immediately seized billions of dollars’ worth of Venezuela’s oil assets.

    READ MORE: US Treasury Mulls Using IMF, World Bank Resources to Rebuild Venezuela — Mnuchin

    Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro has accused the United States of trying to orchestrate a coup in order to install Guaido as a US puppet so that Washington can take control of Venezuela’s oil resources. Russia, China, Cuba, Bolivia, Turkey and a number of other countries have voiced their support for constitutionally elected Maduro as the only legitimate president of Venezuela.

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    Political Crisis in Venezuela (572)

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    blackmailing, UN Security Council, Bruno Rodriguez, Mike Pence, Cuba, United States, Venezuela
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