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Cuba condemns Pence's "tyranny" remark

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Cuba on Monday condemned US Vice President Mike Pence's remark describing the governments of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua as a "dark cloud of tyranny" that weighed heavily on their citizens, calling it a continuation of a colonial doctrine.

In a statement to local television, Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, director for US affairs at the Cuban Foreign Ministry, criticized Pence's remark during his speech at the Organization of American States (OAS) on the island.

"The United States is trying to find excuses to apply old methods which for decades limited our continent's development and placed obstacles to our nations' independence," De Cossio said.

He called Pence's remark corresponding to the Monroe Doctrine, the 19-th century US strategy to control the region for Washington's political and economic purposes, which has been revived by US President Donald Trump as the cornerstone of America's ties with Latin America.

"He doesn't realize that Latin America has changed, that it is another continent; and as in the past, US policies will fail," the official said.

De Cossio said despite Washington's aggression, Cuba will persist in its determination to build an independent, sovereign, socialist, democratic, prosperous and sustainable country.

The diplomat also said the OAS, an intercontinental organization for regional cooperation, was known for its "complicity with the most horrendous crimes in this hemisphere".

Cuba hasn't been part of the OAS since 1962, when it was excluded due to US demand.

Pence's remarks come after a setback in Cuba-US ties following Trump coming to power.

Trump's predecessor Barack Obama had reestablished diplomatic relations with Cuba in 2015 and the two countries signed several cooperation agreements and discussed various issues.

On Monday, Pence urged OAS member countries to exercise "regional pressure" against Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.

Pence also asked the OAS to suspend Venezuela, although Caracas has already asked to leave the multilateral organization.
The US vice president also demanded that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro suspend the presidential election scheduled for May 20 and condemned the alleged "repression" in Nicaragua after anti-government protests there in the last few weeks.

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