Press TV has conducted an interview with Gloria Estela La Riva, a Latin America expert from San Francisco, to discuss the Iranian-Cuban bilateral ties, particularly with regard to the US sanctions imposed on both countries.
Press TV: If there is any country that understands the punitive sanctions that Iran went through, it would be Cuba. How imperative is it for these two countries to broaden and deepen their ties?
La Riva: Cuba has had a blockade imposed on it by the United States since 1962 officially and it has caused more than a trillion dollars in damage. So, it definitely understands what Iran has been going through for these years of sanctions. The only objective of these sanctions and blockade is to cause suffering among the population and their diabolic newer thinking would be organized against the government. And that hasn’t succeeded and it won’t.
Press TV: When we look at both countries, Iran and Cuba, we are seeing the US at least on the diplomatic front, backing down a bit from its aggressive stance, recalculating whether these sanctions have worked or not . What does this mean for the US foreign policy?
La Riva: I think that the characteristics are changing, but the objective remains the same. To try to overthrow or crush a government that acts independently of US designs. That has been the objective for more than 55 years. In fact, that’s what Obama admitted in 2014 when he said that the US blockade hadn’t achieved the aims of the US and therefore they’re trying other means. They are recalculating. The agreement that Iran signed on the issue of nuclear energy was due to great pressure, undue pressure. However, we can’t assume that the US will not try other means to try to attack the Iranian government.
Press TV: Do you think that the people of Cuba or Iran as well as their governments are ready for a stand-up against these new tactics that might be applied against them?
La Riva: For the Cuban people, they are really resisting the US imperialist pressure. The US would like to have its property of Cuba returned to it. They do not like the example that Cuba has set for Latin America and the world. And for Iran, the US wants complete domination of the region and they see the threat of Iran as an independent country with high development which provides a model for other countries in the Middle East. But the US sees its greatest ally is Israel. And that’s where the real danger is [with Israel] receiving billions [from the US] every year. So I think that the visit by Foreign Minister Zarif to Cuba was a very important step forward.