US President Donald Trump and members of the administration have charged that Cuba’s security forces and military control Venezuela’s and that troops are also on the ground there.
“Our government categorically and energetically rejects this slander,” Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said at a Havana press conference, adding all of the some 20,000 Cubans in Venezuela were civilians, most health professionals, Reuters reported.
Rodriguez called on the US administration to produce proof.
“There is a big political and communications campaign underway which are usually the prelude to larger actions by this government,” Rodriguez said.
Communist-run Cuba has been a key backer of the Venezuelan government since the Bolivarian Revolution that began under former leader Hugo Chavez in 1998.
The Trump administration has been trying to pressure Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro to step down and hand over power to Juan Guaido, the head of Venezuela’s National Assembly.
Guaido invoked a constitutional provision to assume the presidency a month ago, arguing that Maduro’s re-election last year was a sham.
The United States immediately recognized Guaido as interim president. Maduro retains the backing of Russia and China and control of Venezuelan state institutions, including the security services.