HAVANA : Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Tuesday expressed support for the Venezuelan government and rejected the U.S. threat to impose more sanctions on Cuba for its alleged military support of Caracas. Calling Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s government the “legitimate government of Venezuela,” Diaz-Canel tweeted that his country “stands by” Caracas. In another post, Diaz-Canel refuted Washington’s allegation that Cuba is supporting Maduro’s government militarily. “There are no Cuban military operations or troops in #Venezuela,” said Diaz-Canel, adding that the Cubans “strongly reject threat by #Trump of full and complete embargo against #Cuba.” “We call upon the international community to stop dangerous and aggressive escalation and to preserve Peace,” he added via Twitter.

Earlier in the day, US President Donald Trump claimed via Twitter that if Cuban troops and militia do not cease their operations in support of Venezuela immediately, Cuba would suffer “a full and complete embargo” as well as “highest-level sanctions.”

Washington has repeatedly alleged that Havana has thousands of intelligence and security forces in Venezuela to shore up Maduro’s government, which Washington is openly seeking to oust from power.

Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido reportedly showed up early Tuesday morning along with some military personnel outside an aviation military base in the east of Caracas. He called on civilians and the military to act against the government and urged Maduro to step down.

Later in the day, Venezuelan Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino Lopez said security forces had succeeded in frustrating an attempted coup, calling the scale of the rebellion “very small” and “insignificant.”