Fidel Castro Warns
Venezuela is Ready to Confront US on
March 17, 2015 "ICH"
- Havana (AFP) - Cuba's Fidel Castro warned
Tuesday that Venezuela was prepared to
confront US "threats and impositions," and
said Washington could no longer count on the
Venezuelan military to do its bidding.
Venezuela "will never allow a
return to the shameful pre-revolutionary
past," Castro said in a letter to
Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro
published in Cuba's state-run media.
Castro's letter comes just
two days after Maduro gained decree-making
powers in matters of security that the
opposition fears will be used to crack down
The confrontation with
Washington follows the imposition of US
sanctions March 9 on seven Venezuelan
officials that the United States alleges
have been involved in human rights abuses
against opponents of the leftist regime in
The measure signed by US
President Barack Obama cites Venezuela as
"an extraordinary threat to the national
security" of the United States, which
Caracas in turn has interpreted as a US
Venezuela's foreign ministry
took out a full page ad in Tuesday editions
of the New York Times demanding that Obama
abolish his executive order and "immediately
cease hostile actions against Venezuelan
people and democracy."
The dispute has shadowed, but
not derailed, US-Cuban negotiations on
restoring diplomatic ties severed in 1961,
agreed in December by Obama and Cuba's
President Raul Castro, Fidel's brother.
The 88-year-old Fidel
resigned as president in 2006 for health
reasons but retains enormous influence as
the leader of Cuba's 1959 revolution.
He was particularly close to
the late Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez,
who provided Havana with a steady supply of
cut-rate oil and brought in thousands of
Fidel maintained in the
letter to Maduro, Chavez's successor, that
Venezuela has always been prepared "to argue
in a peaceful and civilized manner with the
United States, but will never accept threats
and impositions by that country."
He praised the "attitude" of
the Venezuelan people and the "exemplary
discipline and spirit" of the country's
armed forces in the face of the US
"No matter what the
imperialism of the United States may do, it
will never be able to count on them (the
armed forces) to do what it had done for so
many years," he said.
"Today, Venezuela counts on
the best equipped soldiers and officers in
Latin America," he said.