- Title: Cuba rejects rumors it will mediate in Venezuela crisis
- Date: 26th July 2017
- Summary: HAVANA, CUBA (JULY 26, 2017) (REUTERS) ****WARNING CONTAINS FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY*** CUBAN PRESIDENT RAUL CASTRO ARRIVING AT ANNUAL CEREMONY FOR THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE ATTACK ON THE MONCADA BARRACKS AND FIST-BUMPING OFFICIALS AS HE ARRIVES RED AND BLACK FLAG WITH "JULY 26" ON IT CASTRO APPLAUDING AND LEANING OVER TO TALK TO SECOND SECRETARY OF THE COMMUNIST PARTY, JOSE RAMON MACHADO VENTURA GENERAL VIEW OF MACHADO VENTURA AT PODIUM (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) SECOND SECRETARY OF THE CUBAN COMMUNIST PARTY, JOSE RAMON MACHADO VENTURA, SAYING: "A few days ago, an influential United States newspaper was speculating on the alleged involvement of our country in an eventual international mediation related to the situation in Venezuela. Cuba strongly rejects such insinuations and demands the absolute respect for the sovereignty and self-determination of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. Those who try from abroad to give lessons in democracy and human rights, while encouraging coup violence and terrorism, must take their hands from that nation. Only the Bolivarian people and government can overcome their difficulties - without foreign interference in their internal affairs. We reaffirm once again our unshakeable solidarity with the Venezuelan people." AUDIENCE CLAPPING
- Embargoed: 9th August 2017 15:41
- Keywords: Raul Castro Jose Ramon Machado Ventura Venezuela crisis Nicolas Maduro
- Location: HAVANA, CUBA
- City: HAVANA, CUBA
- Country: Cuba
- Topics: Government/Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA0016RCUJWJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:A senior Cuban official rejected rumors the island might intervene as a mediator in Venezuela's crisis and called on Wednesday (July 26) for "absolute respect for the sovereignty" of its socialist ally. Visits to Cuba this month by the presidents of Colombia and Bolivia have fueled speculation that Havana is being courted to help mediate in Venezuela. More than 100 people have died in four months of protests against President Nicolas Maduro's government.
"Cuba roundly rejects such insinuation and claims absolute respect for the sovereignty and the self-determination of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela," Jose Ramon Machado Ventura, second secretary of the Communist Party, said in a speech to mark a Cuban national holiday commemorating Fidel Castro's failed attack on the Moncada Barracks, which launched the Cuban revolution.
The Financial Times reported earlier this month that Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos had flown to Cuba on a mission to convince Havana to support a regional diplomatic push to staunch Venezuela's growing crisis.
Cuba and Venezuela became close allies in the late 1990s under the respective leaderships of Fidel Castro and his younger disciple Hugo Chavez, both now deceased. Chavez helped rescue Cuba from desperate economic times that followed the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, its former top ally, by providing two-thirds of its oil in a barter deal for the services of thousands of Cuban doctors, teachers, sports trainers and security advisers. But that lifeline to Cuba has ebbed in recent years as Venezuela, in the throes of a deep economic crisis, has cut back on the subsidized crude.
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