Cuba has begun its biggest military maneuvers in five years, saying they are designed to guard against a U.S. invasion.
The exercises, dubbed "Bastion 2009," began Thursday and are expected to last through Saturday. The exact number of troops involved is not known.
U.S. President Barack Obama has said the United States has no intention of using military force in Cuba. He issued the comment in response to questions submitted by dissident Cuban blogger Yoani Sanchez.
President Obama said he is prepared to have his administration engage with Cuba on issues of mutual interest. But, he said it is up to Cuba to act if it wants normal relations with the U.S.
The United States and Cuba do not have bilateral relations and an embargo against the communist-led island has been in place since the early 1960s.
In April, President Obama eased restrictions on travel and financial transfers by Cuban Americans to relatives still living on the island. The president, however, said the long-standing U.S. embargo against Cuba would remain in place until Havana takes steps toward democratic reforms.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.