China Promises to Support Cuba

( – China is enhancing its relationship with Cuba and promised to protect its national sovereignty and oppose a US economic blockade. President Xi Jinping met with Cuban leader Miguel Diaz-Canel on August 24 in Johannesburg and later issued a press release saying China greatly appreciates Cuba’s support and would continue to offer its friendship and cooperation in furtherance of the economic and social development of the communist island nation.

In response, Mr. Diaz-Canel said relations between the two countries are at an “all-time high,” and thanked Xi for his “understanding and valuable support for Cuba’s just cause.” The strengthening of ties comes as China likewise cements its commitment to friendship with Russia, which is publicly cozying up to the dictatorship of communist North Korea.

The US has a long and complicated history with Cuba and opposes its long-running dictatorial communist regime. When former dictator Fidel Castro took power in a coup in the late 1950s, he nationalized US-owned properties, prompting America to end all diplomatic ties and impose a commercial embargo. Castro declared Cuba a communist nation and began cultivating an alliance with the USSR, ultimately leading to the Cuban missile crisis when Soviet nuclear weapons were relocated to the island.

Castro died in 2018, and the oppressive nation’s leadership transferred to Diaz-Canel. US economic sanctions remain, but President Biden and President Trump have taken different approaches. In 2021, Biden condemned the violent suppression of protestors in the Cuban capital and accused the regime of conducting mass detentions, sham trials, and disappearances. The President announced sanctions against Cuban police and plans to aid dissidents.

During his administration, President Trump condemned his predecessor President Obama for propping up a “brutal” government. He designated the country a “state sponsor of terrorism,” largely for protecting guerrilla commanders from Colombia and supporting Venezuelan leader Nicolás Maduro, whom Trump accused of flooding America with cocaine. Cuba’s foreign minister reacted furiously, but Mr. Trump won the support of many dissidents from Cuba and Venezuela.

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