"Cuba Manages Venezuela Like a Colony," Denounces Mara Tekach

Mara Tekach left her post as US Chargé d’Affaires in Cuba on July 31. (Twitter / @ Mara_Exchanges)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 7 August 2020 — Mara Tekach, the former US Chargé d’Affaires in Cuba, reported this Friday that, before leaving her post, she sent the Cuban government a complaint about the situation of Human Rights on the Island.

“I explained that their system of pressure was not acceptable,” Tekach explained in a call with the press organized by the State Department and followed by various media.

“The regime sells a romantic image of Cuba,” Infobae quotes her saying. “But while its leaders enjoy expensive yachts and watches, the people line up for hours to try to get food and medicine. Any country in the world can send supplies to the island, but they never reach the people…Do not be fooled by the Cuban regime,” she asked.

The Chargé d’Affaires between 2018 and 2020 had previously denounced pressure from Havana regarding her work and her defense of political prisoners in Cuba, and the island’s authorities had accused her of promoting and directing dissidents.

In the same call, Tekach defined the relationship between Havana and Caracas as “parasitic.”

“Cuba runs Venezuela like a colony,” she declared. “It is sucking resources from Venezuela. Oil, food, medicine. And these benefit the regime, never the Cuban people.”

Tekach, Infobae reports, gave a first-hand description of the practices of the Castro regime on the island, detailed the scope of the relationship with the dictatorship of Nicolás Maduro and highlighted the need for Cuba not to obtain a seat on the United Nations Human Rights Council for which it has applied.

“Cuba is a regime that, instead of having membership in the Council, would deserve to be censured. Human rights violations on the island are absolute. They do not allow a single independent thought,” she emphasized.

Tekach also referred to the medical brigades that the government sends abroad, which she said “do not represent humanitarian assistance, but a business.”

“Up to 90 percent of the salaries of the doctors who participate in the brigades goes to the Armed Forces. They take their passports and threaten their families. It is a situation of trafficking,” which has not only been denounced by the United States, but also by organizations like Human Rights Watch.

In the last days in his post, Tekach explained, she also helped organize repatriation flights to evacuate Americans and permanent residents who had stayed in Cuba and could not return to their country due to the pandemic.

According to data from the State Department, between January 27 and June 10, 1,551 citizens were repatriated from Cuba on nine flights.

Back in the United States, Tekach will continue to work on Washington’s policy towards Havana as coordinator of Cuban Affairs for the State Department’s Office for Latin America.


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