Senior State Dept official says US has advised Cuba against collaborating with China

Washington, Jan 19 (UNI) A senior State Department official told Congress that Washington has advised Cuba against cooperating with China and believes its diplomatic efforts have slowed down Beijing’s efforts to sustain its military power on the island.

“We’ve advised Cuba on several levels that it’s not in its interest to collaborate with the PRC on problematic activity,” Deputy Assistant Secretary Eric Jacobstein said in congressional testimony on Thursday. “We assess that our diplomatic outreach on this topic has slowed down the PRC’s efforts to project and sustain its military power in Cuba and around the world.”

The US broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba in the 1960s and imposed a trade embargo on the island nation.

Former President Barack Obama took steps to normalize bilateral relations with Cuba, but the policy was reversed by his successor, Donald Trump, who leveled 243 additional economic sanctions on Havana, tightened travel regulations and placed the island nation back on the list of countries sponsoring terrorism.

Current President Joe Biden promised that he would restore Obama’s policy on Cuba but has instead extended the restrictions against the country.

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