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June 19, 2017
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Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez made clear Monday that President Trump will not be able to bend Cuba to his will. At a press conference during a visit to Austria, Rodriguez decried Trump's speech Friday announcing the cancelation of Obama-era Cuba policies as a "'grotesque spectacle' straight out of the Cold War," Reuters reported.

Trump on Friday harangued Cuba for its human rights abuses as he outlined new policies tightening restrictions on American travel to Cuba and on business transactions between the nations. While Trump's policies may be aimed at weakening Cuban military power, Rodriguez warned the policies would more likely "create unity behind the communist leadership" and boost Cuban patriotism, The Associated Press reported. Rodriguez insisted Cuba would "never negotiate under pressure or under threat" and he rejected Trump's demands for Cuba to turn over the U.S. fugitives whom it has granted political asylum.

The Cuban government has also criticized Trump's policies, which it described as a "backward step" and a regression to "coercive methods from the past." In a statement Friday, the Cuban government suggested the U.S. is in no "condition to lecture us," pointing to the "large number of cases of murder" and "brutality and police abuse" in America. Becca Stanek