Caracas, October 5, 2017 (venezuelanalysis.com) – Venezuela voiced solidarity with Cuba and Nicaragua Wednesday in response to a series of US actions targeting the Latin American countries’ leftist governments.
On Tuesday, the US House of Representatives unanimously approved the Nicaragua Investment Conditionality Act of 2017, known as the NICA Act, which would impose US economic sanctions on the Central American nation.
If signed into law, the legislation would “instruct the United States Executive Director at each international financial institution to use the voice, vote, and influence of the United States to oppose any loan for the benefit of the Government of Nicaragua”.
Reacting to the bill, Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry expressed its “categorical condemnation” of the proposed sanctions, declaring its solidarity with Managua.
“The Venezuelan government expresses its absolute solidarity and loyalty to the noble people and government of Nicaragua in the face of this new onslaught of US imperialism,” reads the text of the statement.
Spearheaded by right-wing Cuban-American representatives Albio Sires and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the bill comes on the heels of a US executive order slapping Venezuela with financial sanctions in late August.
Venezuela has likewise spoke out in defense of Cuba in response to the expulsion of 15 diplomats from the country’s embassy in Washington.
This past Tuesday, the Trump administration ordered Cuba to slash its embassy staff, accusing the government in Havana of failing to protect US diplomats in the face of a series of unexplained health incidents. The move comes after Washington announced the withdrawal of all non-emergency personnel from its Havana embassy last week.
Echoing statements by Havana, Venezuela’s Foreign Ministry criticized Washington’s handling of the incident as a “pretext” to torpedo the normalization process between Cuba and the US.
“The Venezuelan people and government ratify their solidarity… with Cuba in this scenario in which the US government seeks to provoke an undesirable escalation, as well as to strain and rollback bilateral relations,” Caracas said in a communique.
The US actions targeting Cuba and Nicaragua come amid a series of increasingly aggressive steps taken by the Trump administration against Venezuela, including expanded sanctions, a blanket travel ban on Venezuelan officials in key ministries, and threats of military intervention.
Venezuela, Cuba, and Nicaragua have long been close allies, together forming part of the Bolivarian Alliance of the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), a political and economic bloc uniting regional leftist and progressive governments.