The Latest: Cuba rejects Trump’s threat over Venezuela
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the United States and Venezuela (all times local):
The president of Cuba is rejecting President Donald Trump’s threat to impose more sanctions on the island nation for its supposed military and intelligence support of Venezuela’s Maduro government.
Trump has threatened via Twitter a “full and complete embargo” and sanctions on Cuba if its troops do not “immediately” cease operations in Venezuela. The U.S. government says about 20,000 Cuban troops and agents are propping up the Maduro government
In response, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel issued a tweet of his own. Diaz-Canel says Cuba vigorously rejects Trump’s threat and denies there are Cuban military operations or troops in Venezuela. He adds, “Enough lies, already.”
Cuba is a leading backer of embattled President Nicolas Maduro. The U.S. leads efforts to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as the nation’s legitimate president.
President Donald Trump is threatening a “full and complete embargo” and sanctions on Cuba if its troops do not “immediately” cease operations in Venezuela.
Trump’s Twitter missive to the longtime U.S. foe comes amid his swift embrace of a Venezuelan opposition effort to spark a military uprising against embattled President Nicolas Maduro.
Cuba is among Maduro’s staunchest backers amid a U.S.-led effort to recognize opposition leader Juan Guaido as the nation’s legitimate president.
The U.S. government says about 20,000 Cuban troops and agents are working in Venezuela to prop up Maduro’s government, a figure disputed by Cuba.
The Trump administration has repeatedly worked to roll back Obama-era easing of Cold War sanctions on Cuba.
The Trump administration has declared enthusiastic support for the Venezuelan opposition effort to spark a military uprising against embattled President Nicolas Maduro, hoping for decisive action in the political crisis that has engulfed the South American nation.
President Donald Trump and senior foreign policy figures in his administration have all weighed in, casting the effort headed by opposition leaders Juan Guaido and Leopoldo Lopez as a move to restore democracy, not an attempted coup.
National security adviser John Bolton says it is a “very delicate moment” for Venezuela.
The U.S. and about 50 other nations take the position that Maduro’s re-election last year was irrevocably marred by fraud and he is not the legitimate president of Venezuela.