Donald Trump has been erasing the path towards the normalisation of relations between Cuba and the United States, says the writer. Picture: Evan Vucci/AP/African News Agency (ANA)

Since he took office in January 2017, Donald Trump has been erasing the path towards the normalisation of relations between Cuba and the United States outlined by his predecessor Barak Obama. Instead of dialogue and cooperation, his government has promoted hostility and confrontation against our nation. 

Last April 17, the current administration announced its decision to escalate even more the aggressive behavior against Cuba. The new unilateral sanctions include allowing hereinafter that action is taken in US courts against Cuban and foreign entities outside the jurisdiction of the United States; and to harden the impediments for entry into the US of the executives of companies that legally invest in Cuba and their relatives in properties that were nationalised.

Likewise, remittances which Cuban residents in the US send to their families and next of kin will be limited; trips by US citizens to Cuba will be further restricted; and additional financial sanctions will be applied against our country. 

Those sanctions reinforce the blockade, flagrantly violate international law and directly attack the sovereignty and interests of third countries. The declared goal is to suffocate the Cuban economy, in order to achieve a "regime change". 

Washington intends to justify these measures by accusing Cuba of being responsible for the current situation in Venezuela, and a threat to the national security of the United States. False! 

The current US government is known, in its own country and internationally, for its unscrupulous tendency of using lies as a resort in domestic and foreign policy matters.

The accuser has a GDP 200 times greater than that of our country, its territory multiplied by 89 that of the Island and its population is 30 times larger. It is also the only country in the world that keeps over 250 000 soldiers on 800 military bases abroad.

The US Department of State recently sent a secret memo to its embassies, instructing them to take steps in the capitals with the aim of obtaining public condemnation of the alleged presence of thousands of Cuban troops and security forces in Venezuela, influencing and determining what is happening in that sister country. It is another vulgar slander. 

Cuba does not have troops or military forces, nor does it participate in operations in Venezuela. The nearly 20 thousand Cuban collaborators in that Latin American sister nation, more than 60% of them women, fulfill the same tasks that are currently performed by 11,000 other professionals of our country in 83 nations: contributing to provide basic social services, mainly health care. 

It's just ridiculous that the US accuse Cuba of being responsible for the soundness and steadfastness shown by the Bolivarian government and the people of Venezuela, in defense of the sovereignty of their nation. 

The US also has the cynicism of blaming Cuba for the economic and social situation besetting Venezuela after years of brutal economic sanctions, conceived and applied by the superpower and a number of allies, precisely to economically suffocate the population and to cause its suffering. 

Washington has gone to the extremes of pressuring the governments of third countries to attempt to persuade Cuba to stop providing backing and solidarity to Venezuela.

The steadfast solidarity with Venezuela is Cuba´s right as a sovereign State and a duty that forms part of the essential principles of the foreign policy of the Cuban Revolution. 

No threats of reprisals, no blackmail of the current US government is going to divert the internationalist conduct of the Cuban nation, despite the devastating human and economic damages caused by the genocidal blockade to our people.

It is worth remembering that Mafioso threats and ultimatums were already being used in the past when Cuba's internationalist efforts were supporting the liberation movements in Africa, while the US was backing the despicable Apartheid regime in South Africa. 

It was also intended, then, that Cuba renounce its solidarity commitments with the peoples of African in exchange for promises of pardon.At that time Cuba rejected blackmail, as it rejects it today, with utmost disdain. Our sovereignty, independence and commitment to the causes of the peoples are not negotiable. 

The new unilateral sanctions imposed by the US to our country will have negative financial effects and will generate greater difficulties and shortcomings for the Cuban people.  But despite the economic impact of the measures, they will not be able to move our firm determination of resistance a bit. 

Imperialism has great power, but it does not have the capacity to crush the dignity of a united people, who are proud of their history, and of the freedom they have attained by the strength of so much sacrifice.

Cuba has the firm determination to face up and prevail over the escalated aggression of the US. The aim of suffocating the Cuban Revolution and wiping our socialism has been common to all US governments.  As happened with 11 previous Administrations, the policy of hostility and aggression against Cuba, which now hardens even more, is doomed to failure. 

We call on all members of the international community, the solidarity movements and the friends of our country, to reject the irrational escalation of the government of Donald Trump against Cuba. 

We must act before it is too late, for the good of the peoples of Cuba, the United States, our region and the planet.

* Rodolfo Benítez Verson is the Ambassador of Cuba to South Africa, Eswatini and Lesotho

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.