In response to President Trump‘s reversal of policies normalizing relations with Cuba put in place by the Obama administration, a statement released from Havana countered that the U.S. is in “no condition to lecture us.”
According to the statement, Trump’s announcement in Miami was “full of hostile rhetoric” and it lamented the damage the policy will inflict on the progress between the two countries.
CNN reports that Trump’s executive order reenforces restrictions on travel between the US and Cuba and “prohibits commerce with Cuban businesses owned by the military and intelligence services.”
Trump also directed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to convene a task force on expanding Internet access on the island and reiterated the United States’ opposition to efforts in the United Nations to lift the Cuban embargo until more is done to honor human rights.
“The Castro regime has shipped arms to North Korea and fueled chaos in Venezuela. While imprisoning innocents, it has harbored cop killers, hijackers and terrorists,” Trump said during his speech. “It has supported human trafficking, forced labor and exploitation all around the globe.”
But the Cuban government didn’t take kindly to Trump’s assertions, saying that they expose a key hypocrisy coming out of the U.S.
“We have deep concerns by the respect and the guaranties of the human rights in that country, where there is a large number of cases of murder, brutality and police abuse, particularly against the African Americans; the right to live is violated as a result of deaths by firearms,” the statement read. “The US President, ill-advised once again, takes decisions that favor the political interests of an extremist minority of Cuban origin in the state of Florida, who driven by petty motivation, do not desist from their objective to punish Cuba and its people for exercising the legitimate and sovereign right to be free and for having taken the reins of their own destiny.”
It went on to list a litany of concerns: racial discrimination, salary inequality between genders, the marginalization of immigrants and refugees from Islamic and other countries, Trump’s proposed wall on the southern border, his decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord, the imprisonment of enemy combatants at Guantanamo Bay, the killing of US and foreign citizens in drone attacks, the preface for and conduct of the wars in Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries, and estimates that the Republican health care bill would cause 23 million people to lose medical insurance.