Cuban president visits town near US military base

CAIMANERA, Cuba (AP) — Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel traveled to the town at the gates of the American naval base at Guantanamo Bay on Thursday and said President Donald Trump’s hardening of the U.S. embargo would fail to force concessions from his government.

“The Yankees keep squeezing but we keep resisting,” he said.

Díaz-Canel was making his first trip to Caimanera, the closest point in Cuba to the U.S. naval base at Guantanamo Bay.

He began his visit to the town of about 10,000 people with a visit to a newly renovated 3D movie hall.

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Since assuming power in April 2018, Díaz-Canel has made several dozen similar trips around Cuba to check on public services and infrastructure, accompanied by Cuba’s state-run media. Some international media were invited to cover Thursday’s trip in an unusual widening of access to Díaz-Canel who has had virtually no interactions with the foreign press since becoming president.

A short walk from the gates of the base, which officials said he did not plan to see, Díaz-Canel told the crowd that the U.S. appeared frustrated that a series of measures aimed at cutting tourism and petroleum to Cuba had not forced concessions from his government.

The Trump administration says it wants to push Cuba into a reduction of its ties with Venezuela.

“They keep insisting on their policy of blockade and have worsened the financial persecution,” he said. “New measures appear every week.”

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