HAVANA (Reuters) – Cuba marks US security advisor John Bolton for a "pathological liar" on Thursday for his claim to have troops stationed in the Allied Venezuela and said that recent US sanctions would hurt further but not overestimate the Cuban people.
Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez speaks during a press conference in Havana, Cuba on 25 April 2019. REUTERS / Alexandre Meneghini
In a speech last week revealed a tightening of the decades of American travel and trade embargo on Cuba, Bolton repeated its assertion that its Communist government supplies the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro with thousands of security forces.
The long-standing Cuba hardline has not publicly offered any evidence of the claim.
The Cuban government says Bolton has a story of cheating lies about it. He accused it in 2002 of working to develop biological weapons without publicly convincing evidence, claiming that even top US officials are in doubt.
"This is vulgar calumny. Cuba does not have troops or military forces, nor does it participate in military or security operations of the sister republic of Venezuela," said Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez to a press conference.
U.S. President Donald Trump's administration has imposed sanctions over the past year on the socialist governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua with the aim of weakening what Bolton has called a "tyranny troika".
Some analysts say this is part of Trump's broader attack on socialism as part of his re-election strategy next year.
Last week, Bolton announced a new cap on cash transfers to the Cubans of $ 1,000 a week. Person per. Quarterly. Rodriguez said this would ironically damage the scattered private sector, which the United States has said it will support.
While many Cubans live off the family money on the other side of the Florida Straits, most will not be affected by the new border, which is higher than what they receive, analysts say. More affected would be those who planned to spend substantial sums of foreign capital to establish or operate private businesses.
Last week, the US Department of State announced that it would allow US citizens to file lawsuits against Cuban or foreign companies using property confiscated by the government after Fidel Castro's 1959 Revolution – a moving country around the world, including the top US Allies condemned.
Rodriguez said this would further restrict the island's access to finance, creating "major difficulties and shortcomings for our people", although Cuba would not give US demands.
Cuba is already suffering from a growing shortage of even basic goods such as chicken, as its inefficient centrally planned economy is struggling with declining aid from Venezuela, weaker exports across the board and tighter US sanctions.
"The defense of sovereignty will prevail and we will find a way to overcome these measures," Rodriguez said.
Reporting by Nelson Acosta; Writing by Sarah Marsh; Editing Jonathan Oatis