Cuban Envoy Raps US Sanctions, Urges Continued Resistance
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Cuba’s ambassador to Tehran condemned the US sanctions against independent nations, including Iran, calling for efforts to maintain the anti-US resistance.
In an interview with Tasnim in Tehran, Alexis Bandrich Vega expounded on his country’s policies to counter the US, and highlighted the common values of the revolutions in Cuba and Iran.
Asked about the common revolutionary sentiments in Iran and Cuba and both nations’ refusal to give in to the Western imperialism, the ambassador said, “The political relations between the two governments and nations are good, and we have a lot in common. Both countries are working against imperialism. We have common stances in various areas, from human rights to the United Nations (issues).
“We have issued many statements against the United States’ unilateral sanctions… In the areas that the Western countries are conducting a propaganda campaign against us, we tried to counteract them and observe multilateralism, and we are opposing the abuse of politics and unilateralism.”
Bandrich Vega also noted that a series of problems have obstructed the efforts to enhance the trade, economic and business cooperation between Tehran and Havana, saying, “The economic war that the United States has waged and has entangled all countries has also affected Cuba.”
According to the ambassador, Cuba’s main trade partners are Russia, Venezuela, China and Vietnam, and they are working with Havana on the basis of a mid- and long-term plan.
He also highlighted Cuba’s efforts to settle its debts as soon as possible, maintain its unity in all conditions, and find new solutions in a constantly changing world.
“One of the revolutionary tips that (late Cuban leader) Fidel (Castro) taught us was that we should think positively despite all problems, and we should struggle and hope to overcome all problems. I also hold such a hope and positive attitude that the relations between Iran and Cuba would reach the highest level, and we would achieve such perfect relations in spite of the distance and the sanctions,” he added.
On the Trump administration’s decision to roll back the Obama administration's deal with Cuba or the move to scrap the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Bandrich Vega said all American administrations pursue the same path, which is using every method to reach their goal.
“When Trump took power, his main purpose was to intensify the economic and trade sanctions (on Cuba) and to mount violence against the country… This (US) administration is by no means trustworthy, because lies and irresponsibility are among its mechanisms, and in general, I can say they (Americans) are not reliable.”
Cuba does not insist on negotiations with the US, but it is always ready for dialogue, the ambassador added, stressing that Havana has a series of preconditions for talks.
“In the negotiations, both countries must be respected, both countries must be considered equal, the values of both nations must be respected, and the independence and sovereignty of both countries must be recognized,” he underlined.
“An important issue on which I insist is that neither the US nor any other foreign country could interfere in the basic tenets of our revolution or talk about them.”
Asked about the US’ hostile policies against Cuba and Iran and its attempts to counter their common revolutionary values, the envoy said Fidel Castro attached great significance to Iran. “One of the approaches we are trying to continue under any administration is that we follow Fidel Castro’s path.”
Hailing the Iranian nation and leadership for warding off the aggressors and sticking to the policy of resistance, Bandrich Vega said Cuba has been slapped with unfair sanctions for 60 years, but has always maintained its unity and safeguarded the Constitution.
“I must mention that unity was a key and a basic principle for reaching our goal… I can say it confidently that there is no doubt that we will never return to capitalism and the former situation, in which the country was under the hegemony of other countries,” the Cuban ambassador underlined.
Asked about Washington’s push for regime change in other countries by fomenting unrest and imposing economic sanctions, the envoy said history has proved that the US’ ploys have been futile in Cuba and Iran.
“These (American) sanctions have failed, and will fail in future as well. Not only are the sanctions illegal, but they also violate international law and human rights.”
Highlighting Cuba’s commitment to even distribution of resources and social justice, the ambassador said Havana is also engaged in a battle against the US in the international arena. “In the United Nations polls, you can see how all countries vote in our favor and how we win by a majority.”
The envoy further reaffirmed Cuba’s commitment to supporting a peaceful solution to the crisis in Syria, stressing that the Syrian people must decide their own fate without any direct or indirect interference of outsiders.
“Cuba also condemns the Israeli regime’s attacks on Syria and the measures taken against that country (Syria). Cuba also condemns any support for paramilitary groups in Syria. We always pursue the negotiations held in Astana and Geneva. We wish Syria and its people peace and independence, and hope that the country could safeguard its sovereignty and independence.
“Cuba is proud to be the only Latin American country that deployed a military group to Syria and fought against the Zionist regime.”
The ambassador further denounced the illegal US occupation of an area in Cuba’s Guantanamo Bay, stressing that the US must lift the sanctions on Cuba and also pull out of the Guantanamo military zone.
“Fortunately, no military action has been taken against Cuba from that region in recent years, unlike the early years of the revolution. However, they (Americans) must withdraw from that area.”
Bandrich Vega further decried the US plan for a maritime coalition in the Persian Gulf, stressing that regional security must be ensured by regional countries alone.
“The United States must shut down all of the military zones it has in other countries, and must return its military groups and corps to home,” he said, adding, “Interference in the internal affairs of other countries has never yielded results and has always backfired.”
“Nobody has allowed the United States to interfere, and nobody would interfere in the internal affairs of that country either. The world doesn’t want to be like the US. The US must leave the world alone,” the envoy underscored.
As regards the US’ meddlesome policies on Bolivia, the Cuban ambassador said, “Latin America, referred to by some as the US’ backyard, is facing a complicated situation. The US has always tried to put pressure on the independent countries (in the region) not only by imposing sanctions, but also through acts of interference, coups, and violent protests.”
He went on to say that the US government resorts to force whenever it encounters pressure. “I believe that tough times are ahead, and I think the countries in the region (Latin America) must unite together and make efforts.”