Expert believes Cuba’s policy towards Russia will not change

An expert says Cuba’s policy towards Russia will not change following the election of Miguel Diaz-Canel as head of the Council of State

Cuba’s policy towards Russia will not change following the election of Miguel Diaz-Canel as head of the Council of State, Russian Institute for Strategic Studies expert Igor Pshenichnikov told TASS.

"Cuba’s foreign policy will not change, particularly as far as Russia is concerned, there will be no surprises," he said. "The new leader… has been a member of the ruling team for a long time so I am sure that friendly relations between Cuba and Russia will not change a bit," the expert added.

"Cuba will seek reliable partners on the international stage and deepen relations with Russia," Pshenichnikov said, adding that "at the moment, it is very important for the Cubans to boost international cooperation."

While speaking about Havana’s relations with Washington, the Russian expert noted that they tended to deteriorate. "US President Donald Trump has put an end to the thaw in relations that started during Barack Obama’s presidency, so the embargo will remain in place," he said. According to Pshenichnikov, US State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert said ahead of the Cuban National Assembly’s meeting that Washington was concerned about the undemocratic transition of power in Cuba. "Under the current circumstances, it is no use to expect the United States to take accommodating steps," the Russian expert stressed.

Pshenichnikov also said that dramatic changes in Cuba’s economic policy were out of the question. "There will be no radical steps," he said, adding that a number of economic reforms, particularly involving elements of market economy, had been carried out under Fidel Castro. "These changes have already taken place so Cuba will continue to move in that direction," the expert said.

New Cuban leader

On April 18, Cuba’s National Assembly elected Miguel Diaz-Canel to head the Council of State.

"Cuba’s foreign policy will remain unchanged," he said, addressing National Assembly members. "Cuba will neither compromise its sovereignty and independence, nor discuss its principles nor make concessions despite facing pressure and threats," Diaz-Canel added.

According to Diaz-Canel, the number of threats to global peace and stability has been growing. "We will remain ready for dialogue and cooperation with those who understand what respect is. We will continue to advocate the revolution’s ideas and develop socialism," the new Cuban leader stated.