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Cuba accuses US of pressing members of OAS to condemn the socialist island

CUBAN Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez has accused the US of pressing members of the Organisation of American States (OAS) to sign a joint statement condemning the socialist island.

Mr Rodriguez claimed that all 35 of the Washington-based international organisation’s members had been urged to sign a letter, reportedly signed by hawkish US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, that accuses Cuba of arresting peaceful protesters during the disturbances which took place on July 11.

In the letter, Mr Blinken reportedly states that “thousands of Cubans participated in peaceful demonstrations to protest against deterioration of living conditions and demand a change” and condemns arrests made during the protests.

“We urge the Cuban government to free the detained for exercising the right to peaceful protest,” the draft document seen by Cuban authorities states.

The OAS has been accused of collusion with the November 2019 coup that ousted Bolivian president Evo Morales.

It has also been used as a vehicle to undermine Venezuela, adopting a US-backed motion to reject the outcome of Venezuelan elections in December 2020, which it branded fraudulent.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has accused the OAS of being reduced to a tool of US imperialism, with plans to overthrow his democratically elected government and seize control of the country’s vast oil reserves.

Mr Rodriguez denied the accusations made in the letter and challenged Mr Blinken to “recognise or deny the authenticity of this text.”

“I denounce that the US State Department is exercising brutal pressures on the governments of a group of OAS states, forcing them to support this statement or issue a similar one,” the Cuban official added.

Cuban Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Johana Tablada accused Washington of weaving “a Walt Disney narrative” of the recent anti-government protests to justify military intervention.

US hostilities towards Cuba have escalated since the recent protests as Washington seeks to exploit an economic crisis that is largely of its own making.

Mr Rodriguez has blamed the protests on a Twitter campaign which was orchestrated using US-based automated accounts.

Miami Mayor Francis Suarez called for military intervention – including air strikes – to overthrow the Cuban government headed by President Miguel Diaz-Canel.

US President Joe Biden has professed support for the Cuban people but refuses to lift an economic blockade that has cost the Cuban economy some $754 billion (£547bn) since it was imposed in 1959.

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