Cuba demands US end covert operations, US bans Venezuelan officials
Cuba calls for US to end covert operations
The Cuban government has called on Washington to halt hostile covert operations against it, the Morning Star said on August 7.
An Associated Press investigation revealed that a US government program had sent young Latin Americans to Cuba on political missions posing as AIDS-awareness workshop organisers.
Cuban Foreign Affairs Department official Josefina Vidal said the investigation showed the US government had “not desisted in its hostile and interventionist plans against Cuba, which seek to ... provoke changes in our political order.”
She demanded that the US “cease, once and for all, all its subversive, illegal and covert actions against Cuba”.
AIDS groups alliance InterAction called the use of an HIV workshop “unacceptable”. It said the US government “should never sacrifice health services or civic programs to advance an intelligence goal”.
The project was funded and overseen by the US Agency for International Development and deployed nearly a dozen young people to Cuba to recruit political activists.
US places sanctions on more Venezuelan officials
The US State Department issued a press release on July 29 barring 24 Venezuelan officials from travel to the US, Venezuela Analysis said on July 31.
Justifying the move, State Department spokesperson Marie Harf said: “We have seen repeated efforts to repress legitimate expression of dissent through judicial intimidation, to limit freedom of the press, and to silence members of the political opposition.”
Venezuelan Foreign Minister Elias Jaua rejected the claims, saying: “We understand these attacks as a desperate cry from those who know the world is changing, and who have no way of relating to it without imperial arrogance and outrage,.
“If the purpose of this anger is to accuse Venezuela of fighting for a united Latin America, a developing Latin America, then we welcome it.”