TEHRAN -- Iran has hit out at the United States over “interference” in Cuba’s internal affairs after unprecedented riots hit the island which has been under U.S. sanctions for decades.
“While the United States is primarily responsible for the numerous problems of Cuba’s people, it has now come out in support of Cuba’s protests,” Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh said in a statement late Tuesday.
He said Washington is “seeking to interfere in the country’s internal affairs” and that Tehran, also under punishing U.S. sanctions, “expresses solidarity with the people and government of Cuba.”
Havana, under U.S. sanctions since 1962, has blamed the unrest on Washington pursuing a “policy of economic suffocation to provoke social unrest.”
Since the Islamic Revolution toppled the U.S.-backed shah in 1979, Iran and Cuba have routinely given each other diplomatic support, with the Islamic Republic condemning the U.S. embargo against Cuba and Havana supporting Tehran’s right to civil nuclear power.
Latin American leaders, political figures, and social organizations have joined a chorus of support for the Cuban government and people in response to the latest interference and destabilizing attempts by the United States.
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Monday blamed the chaotic situation on the United States for pursuing a “policy of economic suffocation to provoke social unrest in the country.”
The U.S. has maintained a harsh economic, financial, and commercial embargo against Cuba for more than 60 years. Numerous resolutions by the United Nations General Assembly have indicated that the blockade is against international law.
President Joe Biden called protests in Cuba “remarkable”, claiming “the Cuban people are demanding their freedom from an authoritarian regime”.