HAVANA – Fidel Castro would have turned 91 on Sunday. Despite the political crisis in Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro and his wife, Cilia Flores, found the time to visit Cuba to show their respects.
Cuban President Raul Castro, Maduro and Flores, a delegate of Venezuela's new all-powerful legislative body, appeared on Cuban public television Wednesday. They visited Castro's crypt next to the 85-foot mausoleum protecting the remains of 19th Century Cuban independence hero Jose Marti.
Venezuela and Cuba showed they are a united front, as both the U.S. and Russia disagree on their foreign policies as they relate to both countries.
The political crisis intensifies amid a "U.S.-OPEC oil war." Russia and OPE, including Venezuela, wanted to clear the global oversupply of oil that is keeping prices low, while the U.S. continues to increase supply.
Maduro's visit to Cuba followed President Donald Trump's statement about his consideration of using military action.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the U.S. considers the new legislative body as the illegitimate product of a flawed process designed by a dictator. Leaders in Colombia, Argentina and Chile agreed.
"The process was rigged from the start, from the irregular manner in which the election was decreed to the government's refusal to permit voters to object to plans to rewrite the constitution," Nauert said.
Russia supports Maduro's all-powerful legislative body as the "new institutional framework" that will create "opportunities for Venezuela to move towards stabilization, " according to a statement by the Russian Foreign Ministry.
U.S. Vice President Mike Pence visited Colombia, Argentina and Chile to discuss the situation in Venezuela. He will visit Panama Thursday and return to the U.S. Friday to deal with North Korea.
Luis Videgaray, Mexico's foreign minister, is scheduled to visit Cuba Thursday. Videgaray has been critical of Maduro and the 545-delegate assembly that has been moving to crush his opposition.