11:39 GMT +320 October 2019
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    Cuban and US flags are seen on the balcony of a restaurant in downtown Havana, Cuba March 19, 2016.

    Cuba Preparing Defence, Strengthening Economy in Face of US Hostility - Castro

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    US Vice President Mike Pence said on Wednesday during a UN Security Council meeting that the US would soon announce new action against Cuba in response to what it calls Havana's "malign influence" over Venezuela.

    Cuban Communist Party leader Raul Castro slammed on Wednesday the United States' renewed attempts to destroy the Cuban revolution and pressure Venezuela.

    "We will not renounce any of our principles and we reject all forms of blackmail, the increase of the economic war and the strengthening of the blockade," Castro told the national assembly, which was meeting to enact a new constitution.

    Last month, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said during a pressing briefing that Cuba and Russia were undermining democracy in Venezuela. The senior official claimed in the briefing that "Cuba is the true imperialist power" in the South American country, and that the island nation had been training Venezuelan secret police in torture tactics, among other disciplines.

    Responding to Pompeo, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez dismissed the allegations, calling them "gross lies" and a propaganda campaign.


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