MIAMI – During his State of the Union address Monday night, President Donald Trump referred to Venezuela, Cuba, Iran and North Korea as enemies and to China and Russia as economic rivals.
Cuban President Raul Castro, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have all been critical of Trump's policies.
"My administration has also imposed tough sanctions on the communist and socialist dictatorships in Cuba and Venezuela," Trump said. "But no regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea."
Iran, Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea have strategic relations with both Russia and China.
Maduro, a former bus driver and union leader, counts on the support of the Russians. He launched his presidential campaign this week with a song that says he is a "driver of victories" who will lead the oil-rich country to "peace and glory." The song ignored the country's inflation and shortages.
Castro, who delayed his power transfer to First Vice-President Miguel Diaz-Canel, plans to lead the Cuban Communist Party. He welcomed Song Tao, the head of the Communist Party of China's international ties department, Jan. 24, Granma reported.
Trump's administration sanctioned Maduro and a list of about 20 other Venezuelans, and Trump has continued to oppose former President Barack Obama's policy of normalizing diplomatic relations with Cuba. His administration's investigation into harmful sonic attacks in Havana continues.
Castro and Maduro have relationships with both North Korea and Iran. Trump said Iran was corrupt, and North Korea's "reckless pursuit of nuclear missiles" was a threat. That isn't changing Russia's trade agreements.
Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the North Korean as a "shrewd and mature politician," according to the RIA new agency, which also reported a Russian diplomat said Wednesday that ending or reducing the delivery of oil to North Korea could be seen as an act of war.