Latin American Leaders Warn Obama against Destabilization in Venezuela During Havana Visit

Latin American presidents voiced concerns Monday over ongoing destabilization efforts against the Venezuelan government amid US President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Cuba.

By Lucas Koerner
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Obama and Castro at a joint press conference in Havana on Monday. (TN.com)
Obama and Castro at a joint press conference in Havana on Monday. (TN.com)

Caracas, March 22, 2016 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Latin American presidents voiced concerns Monday over ongoing destabilization efforts against the Venezuelan government during US President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Cuba. 

In a press conference with his US counterpart yesterday, Cuban President Raul Castro expressed his “concern for the situation of destabilization that is being promoted in Venezuela, which is counter-productive to the climate on the continent.”

In December 2014, the Obama administration began a process of normalization of diplomatic relations with Havana that has seen the reopening of a US embassy on the island as well as the easing of certain travel and economic restrictions, although the 54 year-old embargo remains in force.

Meanwhile, President Obama signed an executive decree last March branding Venezuela an “unusual and extraordinary threat” and imposing sanctions, a measure which was renewed earlier this month. 

For his part, Bolivian President Evo Morales said he hoped Obama's visit was not part of a “political show” aimed at dividing the countries of Latin America. He also called for the end of the US embargo against Cuba. 

“[Obama] shouldn’t only visit Cuba as part of an effort to sow divisions in Latin America or among the ALBA countries, because [Obama] should also visit [countries such as] Venezuela where there are internal actors driven by external actors, who are provoking [the destabilization] of democracies,” he stated on Monday.

Prior to Obama’s arrival, the Cuban government welcomed a visit by Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who met with Fidel Castro on Saturday and was presented with the “José Martí” National Award, the highest honor in the Caribbean nation.

Maduro was also accompanied by leading ministers who held top-level meetings with their Cuban counterparts, renewing a series of key bilateral agreements between the two countries.

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