Mexico offers help to Cuba, blames U.S. embargo for political unrest


Mexico City (Reuters) – Mexico’s top diplomat on Tuesday said he was asking Cuba about what sort of humanitarian aid would help the Caribbean nation, just as Mexico’s leader doubled down on his stance that a decades-old U.S. embargo was to blame for political unrest.

Mexican Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard said he was speaking with Cuban officials through Mexico’s leadership role in the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), a leftist regional body, after mass street protests on the island over shortages of basic goods.

Ebrard added that he spoke with his Cuban counterpart on Monday in a bid to establish communication and see “what can be done on behalf of the entire community,” including what would be needed “to support Cuba from the humanitarian point of view.”

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, speaking alongside Ebrard in a regular news conference, said the tough situation in Cuba was “basically” due to the U.S. economic embargo against the country.

“They are going through a difficult situation that I basically attribute to the blockade,” said Lopez Obrador.

Thousands of Cubans participated in mass protests at the weekend calling for President Miguel Diaz-Canel to step down.

The Communist-run island detained some activists and has restricted access to social media and messaging platforms since Monday, according to global internet monitoring firm NetBlocks.

Lopez Obrador, one of the most prominent leftists in Latin America, has urged a peaceful resolution and offered to send medicines, vaccines and food if requested by Cuba.

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