“They resort to the usual infamous rhetoric to slander a heroic island that is suffering a criminal blockade imposed by the US government, causing enormous damage to the Cuban people,” said Díaz-Canel, in a message posted on Twitter in Spanish and English.
In its annual report on human rights, published on Tuesday, the US State Department deplored the continuing “restrictions” on freedom of expression in Cuba, and stated that in this “authoritarian” state there are reports of extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances and torture cases.
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez called the report “deceptive and politicized”, recalling the “indicators of social justice, respect and protection of human rights” of his population, of which Cuba, under the United States embargo since 1962, is proud.
“If the US government had an interest in defending human rights in Cuba, it would end the blockade and the more than 240 (Donald) Trump measures that threaten the well-being and livelihood of 11 million Cubans,” added Rodríguez, who wrote his text in both languages.
With Trump’s arrival at the White House in 2017, Washington reinforced the embargo, alleging human rights violations in Cuba and Havana’s support for Nicolás Maduro’s socialist government in Venezuela.
The hope that tensions would ease with the election of Joe Biden vanished as the island does not appear to be a priority issue for the new American government.
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