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 Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza is received by Raul Castro and Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel in Havana, Cuba.

Cuba reiterated its support for Venezuela during ALBA-TCP’s 18th Political Council in Havana.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and the Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba Raul Castro received Venezuelan Foreign Minister Jorge Arreaza Monday in the lead up to the 18th Political Council of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-Peoples Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) that begins May 21.

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Venezuela’s ambassador to Cuba, Adan Chavez, along with Arreaza met with the Cuban leaders Monday where they discussed regional and international issues, Arreaza said via Twitter.

Castro and Diaz-Canel reiterated their support for Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and stressed the members of ALBA-TCP will defend the South American nation against “imperialist” tactics to overthrow his government.

“The Political Council of ALBA-TCP will meet today in Cuba. Faced with the great challenges imposed by the imperialist offensive bent on destroying the integration of the region, we will defend Venezuela and preserve the gains achieved by the ALBA-TCP. Together we will win,” Diaz-Canel posted on Twitter Tuesday.

The Venezuelan diplomats are in Havana for the 18th Political Council of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America-Peoples Trade Treaty (ALBA-TCP) that starts Tuesday, May 21 in Cuba’s capital of Habana.

The council is set to explore new opportunities for trade and cooperation among member countries that include Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, Antigua and Barbuda, along with several other Caribbean nations.

In recent months, the founding members of Venezuela and Cuba have come under intensified attacks by the United States administration under President Donald Trump in an overt push to overthrow the democratically elected government of President Maduro.

The North American country showed clear support for April 30 attempted coup by the self-declared interim president of Venezuela, Juan Guaido. In the case against Cuba, Trump recently enacted the Helms-Burton Act, making it possible for U.S. courts to sue foreign companies linked to properties in Cuba nationalized following the 1959 Cuban Revolution. ExxonMobil, among other major corporations, have so far taken advantage of the Trump administration’s move.

In a blatant act against the Vienna Convention, Washington last week invaded the Venezuelan embassy in D.C. to try to make way for Guaido advisors who, even if they were installed in the building would have no diplomatic authority, says Arreaza.

In recent months, the U.S. has upped its economic sanctions on Venezuela in an effort to create unrest. A report co-authored by Jeffrey Sach published last month found that at least 40,000 people have died as a direct result of sanctions that are preventing the government from importing basic medical supplies and foods.