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HAVANA (AP) — Cuba has had no role in promoting popular unrest in Latin America, but supports the protesters' goals, the country's foreign minister said Friday.
"We don't have any involvement in the protests in Latin America except providing the example of the Cuban revolution," Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez told participants at a forum in Havana.
Last month, the Organization of American States accused Cuba and Venezuela of "financing, supporting and promoting" unrest and exporting socialist ideology and organizing tactics across the continent.
Violent protests over economic hardship and other grievances erupted in countries including Ecuador and Chile in recent weeks.
Rodriguez spoke at a forum of left-wing groups from Honduras, Nicaragua, Chile, Argentina, Germany, the Palestinian territories and Puerto Rico, among others. Participants waved flags and banners decrying U.S. foreign policy.
Cuba regularly holds solidarity meetings with activists from around the world. It provides lodging and transportation, but participants generally assume other costs, like airfare, according to those at this year's meeting.
Activists said Cuba was an inspiration for weeks of protests set off by hikes in the cost of living in some Latin American countries. They said the island nation had no direct involvement, however.
"Cuba is a beacon," said Yasmina Molina, 54, a graphic designer from Chile. But, she said: "Don't think that Cuba is going to manipulate the peoples of so many countries."
Andrea Rodríguez on Twitter www.twitter.com/ARodriguezAP