US efforts 'to destroy Cuba' have failed: President Diaz-Canel

"The United States has failed in its efforts to destroy Cuba, despite spending billions of dollars to do so," the Communist leader tweeted, five days after historic anti-government protests saw one death, dozens of injuries and more than 100 arrests.

FILE: Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel. Picture: AFP

HAVANA - Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said on Friday the United States "has failed in its efforts to destroy Cuba," after Joe Biden called the island nation "a failed state."

"The United States has failed in its efforts to destroy Cuba, despite spending billions of dollars to do so," the Communist leader tweeted, five days after historic anti-government protests saw one death, dozens of injuries and more than 100 arrests.

"A failed state is a state which, in order to please and blackmail a reactionary minority, is capable of multiplying the damage to 11 million human beings, ignoring the will of the majority of Cubans, Americans and the international community," Diaz-Canel continued, referring to the US trade embargo in place since 1962 and reinforced under former president Donald Trump.

On Thursday, Biden - who accused Cuba of "repressing their citizens" - said the United States was preparing to potentially send to Cuba "significant amounts of vaccine if, in fact, I was assured an international organization would administer those vaccines and do it in a way that average citizens would have access to those vaccines."

He also said the US was considering ways to force open internet restrictions in Cuba.

Diaz-Canel shot back, saying: "If President Joseph Biden had sincere humanitarian concern for the Cuban people, he could eliminate the 243 measures implemented by President Donald Trump, including the more than 50 cruelly imposed during the pandemic, as a first step towards ending the blockade."

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