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Mexico to send 2 boatloads of food, medical aid to Cuba

July 23, 2021 GMT

MEXICO CITY (AP) — The Mexican government said Thursday it will send two navy ships to Cuba with food and medical aid.

The Foreign Relations Department said the ships will set sail to Cuba on Sunday from the Gulf coast port of Veracruz. It said the ships will carry oxygen tanks, needles and syringes, and basic food items like rice and beans.

The department said the aid “is in line with the Mexican government’s policy of international solidarity.”

President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has stated his opposition to U.S. sanctions that limit commerce with the island, and said they should be ended.

The announcement came on the same day that the U.S. government tightened the sanctions on some Cuban officials after they violently put down rare street protests earlier this month.

Thousands of Cubans took to the streets of Havana and other cities across the island earlier this month to protest food shortages and high prices during the coronavirus crisis.

The new U.S. sanctions target a Cuban official and a government special brigade the United States says was involved in human rights abuses during the government crackdown.