Cuba has described US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s ongoing five-nation tour as seeking a return to the Monroe Doctrine of US supremacy over Latin America.
In a strongly worded statement on Monday, published in state daily Granma, Cuba’s Foreign Ministry warned of “the seriousness of the message of arrogance and contempt with which the Secretary of State of the US began a tour of several countries in Latin America and the Caribbean,” Xinhua reported.
Tillerson’s February 1-7 trip covers Mexico, Argentina, Peru, Colombia and Jamaica.
On Thursday, on the eve of the trip, Tillerson gave a speech at the University of Texas, during which he “made alarming interventionist statements that openly instigate the overthrow, by any means, of the legitimate government of Venezuela,” the Cuban ministry said.
“His statements are clearly in line with the regime change schemes that have claimed the lives of millions of innocent victims in various parts of the world and promoted violence, war, humanitarian crises and instability,” the statement said.
It also condemned Tillerson’s remarks in support of the US trade embargo against Cuba.
The ministry criticised Tillerson for touting the Monroe Doctrine as a valid foreign policy tool for today’s world. It cited Tillerson as saying, “I think it’s as relevant today as it was the day it was written.”
Formulated in the early 1800s by then US President James Monroe, the principle says that any intervention by external powers in the politics of the Americas is a potentially hostile act against the US.
Since then, it has been regarded as a move by Washington to exercise control over Latin America.
However, the US will not find the region as easy to manipulate as in the past, the statement said.
“Ours has been a continent subjected to the humiliating dominance of the US, interested only in extracting its resources in an unequal relationship. But our America has awakened and it will not be so easy to crush it,” the ministry said.