Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev received this Friday the title of Doctor Honoris Causa in Political Sciences from the University of Havana and described Cuba as an “island of freedom,” at the end of his visit to the Caribbean country.
Upon receiving the honorary doctorate, the Russian head of government criticized in a speech the methods of the United States to apply “political and economic pressure against nations that disagree.” In addition, he reiterated his country’s support for the region, especially Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, which he defended in the face of Washington’s “unilateral sanctions.”
“The Latin American and Caribbean region is one of the key areas of our country’s international cooperation. For us, it is not a U.S. backyard. The region’s stability and economic efficiency is in our interest,” said Medvedev, who said that the measures against its allies in the region “are not only to punish the governments that opt for independent policies, but also methods to intervene in the internal affairs of the states, and a limitation of rights and freedoms of these countries’ citizens.”
About Venezuela, he pointed out that “there is only one president and it is Nicolás Maduro” and warned that “only the Venezuelans themselves can resolve their internal differences,” in reference to the political crisis in the South American country.
For the Russian prime minister, “a new model of interference in the affairs of sovereign states is being tested” in Latin America.
“The United States not only uses the so-called ‘soft coup,’ it also directly demands a change of government (in Venezuela). It tries to intervene in the affairs of any country and invest in destabilization. It doesn’t want to hear any criticism,” he said.
Medvedev concluded this Friday an official visit to Cuba which began on Thursday, when he met with the country’s president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, and the leader of the Communist Party, Raúl Castro, in addition to presiding over the signing of several bilateral cooperation agreements.
During his last official activity on the Island, Medvedev visited a new oil production complex located in Boca de Jaruco, about 43 kilometers from Havana, a joint project between the state-owned oil company Zarubezhneft and the Cuban CUPET, at a time when Cuba is going through an energy crisis due to the fuel deficit caused by the U.S. measures.
This third visit of Medvedev to the Island―the first was in 2008 as president and the second in 2013 in his current position―reinforces the links between Russia and Cuba and is a sign of Moscow’s closing of ranks with Havana against U.S. hostility.
“Cuba is one of our most reliable partners in the region,” said the Russian head of government in his speech at the University of Havana, while mentioning the agreements signed the day before in areas of trade, economy, investment, transportation and culture, among others.
He said his government will offer facilities to Cuban students who wish to study in the Eurasian nation and announced, without further details, that they plan to open a branch in Cuba of the prestigious Russian State Museum in St. Petersburg, designed as a multidimensional center for the promotion of the Russian language on the island and the region.
EFE / AP / OnCuba