Russia Sends Aid to Embargoed Cuba
Two Russian Antonov An-124 Ruslan aircraft from Aerodrom Chkalovskiy toward Cuba. The delivery was directly ordered by President Vladimir Putin.
Russia has sent two An-124 Ruslan aircraft loaded with humanitarian aid to Cuba, which is facing a US embargo.
The airplanes are to help Cuba combat the surge in COVID-19 cases and overcome the US-imposed economic embargo.
The two Russian Ministry of Defense-owned AN-124 Ruslan aircraft took off from Aerodrom Chkalovskiy toward Cuba, on the orders of President Vladimir Putin, the Ministry of Defense said.
"The planes will deliver food, personal protective equipment, and more than a million medical masks to Cuba. In total, more than 88 tonnes," added the ministry.
The island populated by more than 11 million people is facing a worrying surge of COVID-19 cases. It recorded 316,383 COVID-19 cases and 2,203 COVID-19 deaths since the start of the pandemic.
On Thursday, the United States imposed sanctions on the Cuban Minister of Defense and an interior ministry division, a step President Joe Biden said was "just the beginning" of punitive measures against Havana.
Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla responded by saying the US "has no legal, political, or moral authority to impose sanctions on people all around the world."
Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel said that the US efforts to destroy his country have failed, adding, "If US President Joe Biden has a sincere humanitarian concern over the Cuban people, then he can lift the many sanctions that his predecessor Donald Trump imposed."