Cuba has said it supports Cambodia’s crackdown to prevent any possible colour revolution or plot by foreign powers to overthrow the legitimate government.
The announcement was made after a closed-door meeting between Foreign Affairs Minister Prak Sokhonn and Juan Carlos Marsan Aguilera, deputy head of the Cuban Communist Party central committee’s department for external relations, at the Foreign Ministry yesterday.
Ministry spokesman Chum Sounry reported that Mr Aguilera backed the government’s efforts to stop an uprising.
“Cuba’s stance is to respect Cambodia’s auto-determination to prevent a regime change through intervention from foreign powers,” he said.
The main opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party was dissolved by the Supreme Court on November 16, with 118 of its senior members banned from politics for five years.
His arrest came after undated video footage from Australia-based CBN news was posted on Facebook, appearing to show Mr Sokha saying the US government had been helping him push for regime change in Cambodia since 1993.
In August, Cambodia shut down the US-funded National Democratic Institute and ordered its foreign staff to leave the country after leaked documents claimed to show the organisation had planned to help the CNRP win next year’s national election.
Mr Sounry said the pair also discussed bilateral relations between the two countries at the meeting, as well as regional and world issues.
In November, Cambodia was one of 191 countries that voted in favour of lifting the longstanding US-led economic and financial embargo against Cuba at the UN General Assembly.
“The Cuban delegate thanked Cambodia for its vote supporting a UNGA resolution calling for an end to the economic embargo on Cuba,” Mr Sounry said.
Cambodian officials also used the meeting to thank the Cuban government and its people for supporting and providing assistance to Cambodia when the country suffered economic sanctions imposed by Western countries after the fall of the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime in 1979.
“During the meeting, the minister acknowledged the suffering from the economic sanctions, which is why Cambodia decided to vote in support of the UN resolution ending the economic and financial sanctions from America on Cuba,” Mr Sounry said.
He added that Mr Sokhonn reaffirmed that Cambodia would continue to support Cuba on the regional and international stage.
Cambodia and Cuba first established diplomatic relations in April 1960.