Russia has sent one of its most advanced navy warships to Havana's harbor in an attempt to prop up Venezuela's failing socialist regime under Nicolas Maduro, a U.S. official told The Washington Free Beacon.
The Admiral Gorshkov, a state-of-the-art Russian navy ship armed with cruise missiles and air defense systems, arrived in Cuba flanked by several other warships and received a 21-gun salute from Cuban forces.
The Trump administration in March accused Cuba of being the main cog holding Maduro's government intact, and in early June published new regulations ending group travel to the island nation by banning cruise ships and a heavily used category of educational travels in an attempt to cut off cash to its communist government.
"This administration has made a strategic decision to reverse the loosening of sanctions and other restrictions on the Cuban regime," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at the time. "These actions will help to keep U.S. dollars out of the hands of the Cuban military, intelligence and security services."
Russia has also sent an air force plane to Venezuela in it's effort to back Maduro financially, diplomatically and with military support despite Venezuela's worsening economic and humanitarian crisis.
The official who spoke with the Beacon noted "a very troubling dichotomy where the United States is bringing humanitarian aid, bringing doctors and medicine and the Russian government, guided missile frigates, and military personnel to Venezuela."
"That speaks to some of the hypocrisy that we've seen with both Russia and Venezuela where they've said they don't want foreign troops in Venezuela. There aren't any U.S. foreign troops there, but there are certainly Russian foreign troops there."
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