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memri
June 27, 2017 No.
6979

Russia In The World – Rebuffing Trump's Policy Towards Cuba

Russia In The World is a MEMRI Russian Media Studies Project review of Russia's geopolitical interests and areas of penetration. This edition of Russia In The World deals with Russia's reactions to U.S. President Donald Trump's June 16, 2017 speech on United States policy towards Cuba, which he delivered in Miami, the home of many Cuban expatriates.[1] In this speech, Trump promised to reverse some of his predecessor's policies in the fields of travel and business dealings and called for a free Cuba.

 

Russia in the World
The original image was taken from Studiya 13's Facebook page.

Russian Foreign Ministry: Anti-Cuba Rhetoric Has Not Lost Its Appeal In The United States

The Russian Foreign Ministry stated: "The decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to change the policy of the United States toward Cuba is reminiscent of Cold War era rhetoric. When the previous U.S. administration softened U.S. stance towards Cuba after decades of this rhetoric, we saw this, with good reason, as a change that was not so much evidence of the goodwill of individual politicians as proof of the failure of a policy of dictate and sanctions against a small freedom-loving island. We believed that it was not the result of some negotiation, but a substantiated political decision and that fringe anti-Castro forces were the only losers.

"It has turned out that anti-Cuba rhetoric has not lost its appeal in the United States. This is regrettable. We believe that it is obvious to everyone that an arrogant stance toward Cuba has no chance of success, as evidenced by the past 50 years of history. Have the Washington politicians and Miami politicos not learned this yet?

"We confirm our consistent solidarity with Cuba, which is a friendly and peaceful country and a respected member of the international community that is playing a constructive role in Latin American and global affairs. We are against any kind of embargo, sanctions or dividing lines. We are for dialogue and cooperation. We are for building bridges and for interaction without dictate or attempts to interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign states.

"The voting on the UN General Assembly resolution on the necessity of ending the blockade of Cuba is proof that the overwhelming majority of countries share this view. We urge the Trump administration to take account of this almost unanimous opinion of the international community."

(Mid.ru, June 18, 2017)

Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova Accused Trump Of Unpredictability

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova wrote in her Facebook account:

"Media: 'Trump said that he abolishes the one-sided deal with Cuba promoted by the previous administration.'

"Let me remind you that one of Washington's major complaints about Moscow was Russia's 'unpredictability. This was the very pretext to try and scare Europe and dissuade Brussels from energy cooperation with Moscow.

"For the last decades, any new U.S. administration has abolished the major foreign policy decisions adopted by the previous administration. The only predictable feature of U.S. foreign policy is its unpredictability. No, there is something else actually – the constant [U.S.] interference in the internal affairs of other sovereign countries.

"Regarding Cuba, its leadership, I think, was able to foresee the maneuvering depth of Barack Obama, starting with special planes landing to the island and the attempts to slap Raul Castro's shoulder [a reference to Obama trying to pat Raul Castro on the shoulder, during his visit to Cuba on March 22, 2016]. Cuba understood the moment was staged. But Cuba is accustomed to this – it has known the face of its neighbor for a long time."

(Facebook.com/maria.zakharova.167, June 16, 2017)

Obama bromance with Castro
See "No hugs for Obama: Awkward moment with Castro at Havana presser"

Senator Klintsevich: We Will Continue To Strenghten Our Relations With Cuba

Senator Franz Klintsevich, First Deputy Chairman of Russia’s Federation Council Defense and Security Committee, said: "Regarding Russian-Cuban relations, these U-turns in American policy won't affect them. We will continue to consistently strengthen our traditional cooperation [with Cuba] in all spheres, including in the sphere of military cooperation."

(Ria.ru, June 17, 2017)