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North Korea shows support for Cuban government amid protests

North Korea drew attention to rallies in Cuba in support of the government in a statement issued Thursday. File Photo by Ernesto Mastrascusa/EPA-EFE
North Korea drew attention to rallies in Cuba in support of the government in a statement issued Thursday. File Photo by Ernesto Mastrascusa/EPA-EFE

July 22 (UPI) -- North Korea expressed support for the Cuban government's response to protests in a statement endorsing the view that economic turmoil was the result of U.S. sanctions.

Pyongyang's foreign ministry said Thursday that counter-protests against anti-government rally participants have been taking place in Cuba and that 100,000 Cuban citizens turned out to show support for the government.

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"Mass rallies in support of the revolution, calling for upholding of the country's constitution and condemning the U.S. blockade of Cuba have been held one after another, inflicting a severe blow to the hostile forces," North Korea's foreign ministry said.

On Saturday a government-organized rally attended by people carrying the Cuban flag and photos of the late Fidel Castro condemned U.S. sanctions.

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The march came after Cuban leader Miguel Díaz-Canel said that the anti-government protests were the outcome of U.S. policies.

North Korea did not refer to other comments from the Cuban leadership acknowledging the government was partly to blame for supply shortages amid COVID-19.

Pyongyang said Thursday that it stands by Díaz-Canel and that "progressive peoples in many countries around the world are resolutely condemning the U.S. intervention in the internal affairs of a sovereign state.

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"They are sending their full support and solidarity to the Cuban people's struggle for justice to achieve sociopolitical stability."

North Korea's foreign ministry also said that the "struggle of the Cuban people to resolutely defeat U.S. interference in internal affairs, to successfully overcome the present difficulties, and to firmly adhere to the socialist banner must be victorious."

The statement from Pyongyang comes a day after North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Pak Myong Kuk said that the United States' "tactics to crush Cuba to death are becoming more obvious."

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"Even a cunning psychological tactic will not break the revolutionary will of the Cuban people to defend socialism and revolution to the end," Pak said.

Kim Jong Un said earlier this year the people of Cuba are "brotherly" to Pyongyang, after Díaz-Canel's appointment to the leadership of Cuba's Communist Party.

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