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The General Assembly today adopted its annual resolution calling for an end to the United States-led embargo on Cuba, with speakers emphasizing how urgent it is to end the restrictive economic policies in light of crippling COVID‑19 challenges and the mounting global food, fuel, and inflation crises.

The action came on the second day of the Assembly’s debate on the matter, which began on 02 November.  (For more information, see Press Release GA/12464.)

By a recorded vote of 185 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 2 abstentions (Brazil, Ukraine), the Assembly adopted the resolution titled “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba” (document A/77/L.5).

Through the terms of the text, the Assembly reiterated its call on all States to refrain from promulgating and applying laws and measures of the kind referred to in the text’s preamble, in conformity with their obligations under the United Nations Charter and international law.  It also urged States that have and continue to apply such laws and measures to take the steps necessary to repeal or invalidate them as soon as possible in accordance with their legal regimes.

Cuba’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Bruno Eduardo Rodríguez Parrilla, who introduced the text, said that more than 80 per cent of the country’s current population was born under the blockade.  Since 2019, the United States Government has escalated the embargo.  Its cumulative economic damage has amounted to $154.22 billion at current prices.

During the pandemic, the blockade was further tightened, causing more delays in the delivery of necessary medical equipment.  But despite limited resources, Cuba cooperated with other countries, sending medical brigades to provide aid.  Equally unceasing, he said, is the fraudulent inclusion of Cuba in the United States Department of State’s unilateral list of countries that allegedly sponsor terrorism.  This forces Cuba to pay twice the usual price for commodities on the international market.  Cuba has rejected all forms of terrorism.

The current United States Administration does not have a Cuba policy, he said.  Rather, it continues to exert the “maximum pressure” policy developed under the Donald Trump Administration.  Over the last few months, it has taken positive steps to alleviate certain restrictions, but the blockade continues to be the central element defining Cuba-United States policy.

During the two-day discussion, Member States condemned the economic embargo against Cuba, calling it cruel, inhumane and punitive.  They urged the United States to begin a dialogue with Cuba based on the equality of States and respect for sovereignty and independence.

Representatives of several developing States also thanked Cuba for providing them with much-needed medical aid, nurses and vaccines at the height of the pandemic.  Nicaragua’s delegate said that Cuba, thanks to its revolutionary spirit and socialist conviction, has been able to stand alongside the developed countries that sanction it by producing vaccines and helping “our developing peoples”.

Speakers for several Caribbean countries pointed out also that the United States blockade has had widespread implications and consequences and was stifling not only Cuba’s growth but that of the entire region.  Several delegates questioned how the world could commit to implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development while locking out one country from fairly participating in its own socioeconomic development. 

No nation should be punished and exploited by another, Gabon’s representative said.  Cuba is peaceful and cooperative and deserves the continued support of the international community in calling for an end to the embargo.

Member States also questioned how they could overwhelmingly call for an end to the embargo year after year for decades without any results.  “Every year, we speak about the devastating impact of the embargo on the people of Cuba, but we see no effort to remove the restrictions,” Zimbabwe’s delegate said.

The speaker for the United States said that his country opposes the resolution but stands with the Cuban people.  The embargo includes exemptions relating to exports of food, medicine and other humanitarian goods to Cuba.  The people and organizations of the United States donate a significant amount of humanitarian goods to the Cuban people, and the United States is one of Cuba’s principal trading partners.  He urged the Cuban Government to release political prisoners immediately and protect the freedom of expression and right to peaceful assembly of all Cuban people.

Also speaking today were representatives of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, South Africa, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Peru, Ethiopia, Congo, Angola, Jamaica, Panama, Algeria, Belize, Fiji, Timor-Leste, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Nauru, Indonesia and the Czech Republic (on behalf of the European Union).  The representative of Cuba also spoke in exercise of the right of reply.

The General Assembly will reconvene at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, 4 November, to elect a member to the International Court of Justice.

Statements

NERYS NAKIA DOCKERY (Saint Kitts and Nevis) welcomed the previous steps made by Cuba and the United States to normalize their diplomatic relations, which included the decision to remove Cuba from the list of State sponsors of terrorism in 2015.  However, it is regrettable that several reversals were made since that brief period of détente, and the blockade is still a reality for the Cuban people.  Denouncing the imposition of unilateral coercive measures against a sovereign State, she said the unjust embargo drives a stake through the heart of international law and makes a mockery of the principles of sovereignty and non-intervention that govern inter-State relations, which are protected by the Charter of the United Nations.  The embargo severely impedes Cuba’s ability to fully engage the international community and to adequately provide basic public services for its people and thereby its aspirations for meeting the Sustainable Development Goals.  “The financial, commercial and economic embargo is an extreme burden on the development, well-being and stability of our brothers and sisters in Cuba, and indeed the entire Caribbean,” she said, calling upon the United States to end it.

NERISSA WILLIAMS (Grenada) said it is an appropriate time to renew the international community’s commitment to the principles of the United Nations Charter and of international law.  The imposition of the embargo on Cuba is perilous to these norms and contradicts the principles of the Charter.  Grenada recognizes the sovereign equality of States and joins the rest of the General Assembly to call for the immediate removal of the trade, economic and financial blockade against Cuba, which would facilitate economic transition there, she said.  An overwhelming majority of Member States share the view that the effects of the embargo are deleterious to how the United Nations carries out its activities in Cuba.  That country has always extended a helping hand to developing nations, she said, adding that lifting the embargo is essential to the world peace that all desire.  Constructive engagement and renewed negotiations are the only acceptable means for achieving peace and stability and creating the conditions for peaceful coexistence.  There is still hope for a return to normal relations between the two Governments, she stressed.

MATSOTSHA MONGEZI MNGUNI (South Africa), aligning himself with the African Group, the Non-Aligned Movement and the “Group of 77” developing countries and China, emphasized Cuba’s leading role in championing the rights of developing countries, assistance to those in need and commitment to South-South cooperation.  In reiterating his country’s long-standing call to lift the economic blockade, he pointed out that the embargo has only stifled the socioeconomic growth and potential of the Cuban people, caused immense hardship and denied them of their most basic rights.  The unjust designation of Cuba as a State sponsor of terrorism, he further noted, hinders Cuba’s economic, commercial and financial relations with third countries.  As the embargo continues to be an obstacle for the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the United States must end the blockade, heed the almost unanimous position of others and reject this cruel system of unilateral coercive measures.  Member States that believe in the universal, inalienable, indivisible, independent and interrelated nature of human rights must join this cause, he urged.

ANOUPARB VONGNORKEO (Lao People’s Democratic Republic), aligning himself with the Non-Aligned Movement, the Group of 77 and China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), echoed the call for ending the embargo imposed on Cuba as it contravenes the spirit and key principles of the United Nations Charter and international law.  Within the current international context of multifaceted challenges, the international community must provide all the necessary support and conducive conditions for Cuba – as a sovereign and independent Member State – and its people to determine their own development path, he urged.  There must be an end to the needless deprivation.  All Member States must redouble their collective efforts and commitment in advancing equitable and sustainable development and promoting the legitimate rights of people in accordance with the principles and purposes of the Charter, he stressed.

RAZALI ISMAIL (Malaysia), associating himself with ASEAN, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Group of 77 and China and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), reiterated his country’s opposition to the imposition of unilateral coercive measures against any country.  Such measures are contrary to international law, international humanitarian law, the Charter of the United Nations and the norms and principles of peaceful relations among States.  In severely restricting Cuba’s ability to improve its economy and provide for its people, these measures are against the very spirit of the 2030 Agenda to leave no one behind, he pointed out.  As unilateral coercive measures will only cause social problems and worsen the humanitarian situation, the United States and Cuba must resolve their differences through peaceful means, avoid any actions which are detrimental to regional peace and security, normalize ties and pursue renewed economic engagement.

JULISSA EMMY MACCHIAVELLO ESPINOZA (Peru) stated that, in 2021, 184 States expressed robust support for lifting the embargo on Cuba.  “We must bring an end to this type of unilateral measure in order to ensure that Cuba can advance in the path towards development and to achieving the sustainable development goals in the 2030 agenda,” she said.  The sanctions imposed on Cuba have generated some $600 billion in damages and have affected food security, production and distribution of medicines along with the levels of consumption, well-being, quality of life and enjoyment of rights of the Cuban people.  Peru does not agree with the imposition of unilateral sanctions of any kind.  The only legitimate sanctions are those adopted by the Security Council in the context of the exercise of its competencies to maintain international peace and security, he said.  The blockade on Cuba is contrary to the principles and purpose of the United Nations Charter and to international human rights law.

TSION MENGESHA (Ethiopia), associating herself with the African Group, emphasized the effect of the economic and financial embargo on the life of the Cuban people and the Government’s efforts to achieve development.  As flagrant violations of international law, unilateral coercive measures obstruct friendly relations between States; hamper international cooperation in development, security and human rights; and stifle States into submission against the wishes and needs of their people.  States subjected to such measures, she continued, are put at a disadvantage when facing global challenges such as climate change, epidemics and transnational security threats.  The United States must swiftly lift its embargo, bridge its differences with Cuba and reinstate diplomatic relations, she urged.

JAIME HERMIDA CASTILLO (Nicaragua), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Central American Integration System and the Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations, said that Cuba has been blockaded inhumanely.  Cuba, thanks to its consciousness, its revolutionary spirit and its socialist conviction and commitment to the world, has been able to stand alongside the developed countries who sanction it by producing vaccines and helping “our developing peoples”.  The blockade has had severe effects on the Cuban health system and is cruel and genocidal in nature.  It aims at suffocating the economy, violating human rights and undermining the efforts of the brave Cuban people as they seek to implement the 2030 Agenda.  He urged the United States to begin respectful dialogue to resolve pending bilateral matters with Cuba on the basis of the equality of States, respect for sovereignty and independence.

FLAMEL ALAIN MOUANDA (Congo), associating himself with the Group of 77 and China, the Non-Aligned Movement and the African Group, said that the embargo on Cuba has been ongoing since the middle of the last century and has resulted in “unspeakable suffering for the people” of the country.  The blockade seriously hampers the efforts of the Cuban Government to achieve economic and social development.  It also stymies the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.  Congo rejects all unilateral and unjust measures inflicted on the Cuban people and underscores that it stands in solidarity with the people and Government of Cuba, he stressed.

MIJITO VINITO (India) said that, every year, the General Assembly has rejected the imposition of laws and regulations with extraterritorial impact and has called upon all States not to promulgate and apply such laws and measures upon other States, in compliance with international law.  The existence of the embargo undermines multilateralism and the credibility of the United Nations itself.  India stands in solidarity with the Assembly and its unambiguous rejection of such laws, he said.  Such embargos impede the socioeconomic development of the country involved as well as the enjoyment of such human rights as the rights to food, health and education, among others.  They also overwhelmingly affect women and children.  Continuing the embargo on Cuba would seriously impact that country’s ability to comprehensively achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.  The international community must intensify efforts to promote an environment free from sanctions and embargos, he stressed. 

JOÃO IAMBENO GIMOLIECA (Angola), associating himself with the African Group, the Non-Aligned Movement, the Group of 77 and China, and the Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations, said that despite several resolutions being adopted by the General Assembly to end the embargo against Cuba for almost six decades, the situation remains unchanged.  “We continue to witness breaches of the principles established in the United Nations Charter,” he added.  The financial and economic blockade of Cuba has caused serious obstacles to the economic, cultural and social development of the island.  It has also had a significant negative impact on several sensitive sectors, such as agriculture and public health services, and has hindered the country’s sustainable development.  Angola reiterates its calls for the end of the economic blockade and the unilateral measures and sanctions against Cuba, he said.

BRIAN CHRISTOPHER MANLEY WALLACE (Jamaica), associating himself with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) and the Group of 77 and China, emphasized the protracted blockade’s impact on the growth, prosperity and aspirations of the Cuban people.  In stymieing economic, commercial and financial activities by hindering regular bilateral trade, the importation of goods and access to financial mechanisms, the embargo has hindered progress on Cuba’s development and the 2030 Agenda, he noted.  The inclusion of Cuba on the United States’ list of State sponsors of terrorism further restricts entities from conducting business with Cuba and continues to pose grave implications for how third States can engage on development aid, technical assistance and international cooperation on transnational organized crime.  While the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States has eased restrictions in a number of areas, such measures are not far-reaching enough, he emphasized while calling for the embargo’s removal and Cuba’s full inclusion in the international community.

ZORAYA DEL CARMEN CANO FRANCO (Panama) said his delegation will vote in favor of the draft resolution as it aspires to include all people on the path towards development.  The development of peoples is essential to ensuring that a population can effectively benefit from opportunities in its own country.  He reiterated his Government’s strong commitment to multilateralism, which is the right tool for settling disputes between States.  The elimination of the economic, commercial and financial embargo against Cuba is imperative to enabling the full development of the Cuban people, he stressed.

NACIM GAOUAOUI (Algeria) said all States must uphold international commitments in keeping with international law.  The imposition of unilateral coercive measures, which are not authorized by the relevant United Nations bodies, on sovereign Member States produce results that are at odds with the Charter.  Algeria has consistently voted in favor of Assembly resolutions calling for the lifting of the United States’ economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba and the Cuban people.  His Government has been steadfast in its opposition to the blockade, which violates the basic principles underpinning the multilateral trade system, he said, adding that the embargo is an obstacle to ongoing social progress as well as sustainable economic growth.

MICHEL XAVIER BIANG (Gabon) said that no nation should be punished and exploited by another.  The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba for 60‑odd years is a punitive act against that country.  It hampers the development of Cuba and the region as a whole.  The blockade has resulted in excessive difficulties for the Cuban people, puts extraordinary pressures on Cuba’s economy and restricts its ability to move goods.  Given the peaceful and cooperative nature of Cuba, Gabon will continue to reaffirm its support for the Cuban people.  He called for the urgent end of the embargo, which only feeds tensions and further strains relationships between Cuba and the United States.  “It’s an ongoing source of concern for the entire subregion,” he added.

KINGSTONE ZIYERA (Zimbabwe) said the embargo has placed an unnecessary burden on the Cuban people.  “Every year, we speak about the devastating impact of the embargo on the people of Cuba, but we see no effort to remove the restrictions,” he added, underscoring the need to end the embargo in accordance with the principle of non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries.  The embargo has only served to isolate Cuba, a valuable and respected member of a global family of nations.  Over the years, Cuba has deployed medical teams to assist many countries, including Zimbabwe, to develop their health systems and to combat the COVID‑19 pandemic despite its limited capacity due to the embargo.  Zimbabwe itself has endured over two decades of sanctions imposed by some Western countries, which have had devastating impacts on Zimbabwe’s people.  He called for the lifting of the embargo on Cuba, particularly in the wake of the COVID‑19 crisis and the global food, energy and financial crises.

BRUNO RODRÍGUEZ PARRILLA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Cuba, introducing the draft resolution “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba” (document A/77/L.5), said more than 80 per cent of Cuba’s current population was born under the blockade, which aims to destroy the Government’s ability to attend to the needs of the people, bring about the collapse of the economy and create a situation of non-governability.  Since 2019, the United States Government has escalated the embargo with the aim of deliberately causing the greatest possible damage on Cuban families.  Had the blockade not existed, the economy could have grown.  The embargo’s cumulative economic damage has amounted to $154.22 billion at current prices.  What would Cuba be like today had it had those resources? he asked.

Noting that during the pandemic the United States applied temporary humanitarian exemptions to countries that fall victim to its unilateral coercive measures, he asked why Cuba was excluded from this exemption.  The blockade was instead further tightened, causing more delays in the delivery of necessary medical inputs and equipment.  Despite limited resources, Cuba cooperated with other countries, sending medical brigades to provide aid.  The blockade also exacerbated access to financial institutions and credit needed to maintain the functioning of the country’s thermopower systems.  Equally unceasing is the persecution of investments and economic transactions associated with Cuba, as well as the fraudulent inclusion of Cuba in the United States Department of State’s unilateral list of countries that allegedly sponsor terrorism, forcing Cuba to pay twice the usual price for commodities on the international market.  Cuba has rejected all forms of terrorism.  The extraterritorial impact of the blockade is also harmful to the sovereignty of other countries as it impedes them from trading with Cuba.

The United States uses its technological platforms to wage a disparagement and disinformation campaign against Cuba, resorting to the most diverse methods of non-conventional warfare, he said.  The current United States Administration does not have a Cuba policy.  Rather, it is acting through inertia and continues to exert the “maximum pressure” policy developed under the Donald Trump Administration.  Over the last few months, it has taken positive steps, albeit limited in scope and implementation, to alleviate certain restrictions, but the blockade continues to be the central element defining Cuba-United States policy.  The Cuban Government is ready to move forward and develop civilized relations with the United States based on mutual respect and without detriment to its sovereignty, he said.

The United States Government must end the restrictions that prevent relations between the families and citizens of both countries and learn the art of coexistence, despite differences, he said.  Even amid inhumane limitations, Cuba will never renounce its socialist system of social justice, which was confirmed by a free and universal referendum in 2019, and it will always defend the human rights of all its citizens.  “Cuba demands respect for its system as it respects others,” he said, adding:  “In Cuba there will always be a Government of the people, for all the people, a revolution of the humble and for the humble.”  Thanking delegates who made statements in support of Cuba, he said that when casting votes on the draft, delegations would not only be taking a stand on a vital issue for Cuba and all Cubans, but will also be voting to support the United Nations Charter, international law, reason and justice.  “Let Cuba live in peace,” he said, stressing that “every Cuban family will be better off without the blockade.”

Action

The representative of Belize stated he would vote in favor of the resolution and unequivocally condemned the imposition of the embargo by the United States against Cuba.  Unilateral coercive measures, including with extraterritorial application, constitute a gross violation of the principles of sovereign equality and non-interference in internal affairs of States as expressed in international law and enshrined in the United Nations Charter.  Belize condemns the unjustified designation of Cuba as a state Sponsor of terrorism, notwithstanding the brutal policies directed at it by the United States, he said.  Cuba has contributed immensely and generously to Belize’s development through its pioneering cooporation programmes in disaster management, health, education, sports and culture.  The Cuban spirit of resilience, generosity and support for oppressed peoples everywhere continues to inspire Belize.

The representative of Fiji remained concerned at the lack of progress by the General Assembly in ending the embargo.  She condemned all forms of unilateral coercive measures, sanctions or embargo of any kind that impede the socioeconomic development of a friendly nation.  Development challenges have only multiplied for small island developing States that are increasingly at the mercy of climate change, climate-induced sea level rise or other climate-related disaster.  The embargo is an exclusionary policy that deprives Cubans the right to exist freely as well as the right to food, development and trade, among other rights.  She called on all States to continue to back the resolution in support of Cuba.

The Assembly then adopted “L.7” by a recorded vote of 185 in favour to 2 against (Israel, United States), with 2 abstentions (Brazil, Ukraine).

The representative of the Czech Republic, speaking in explanation of vote after the vote on behalf of the European Union, in its capacity as observer, said external trade and foreign investment can set Cuba on the path towards sustainable growth and help it overcome the COVID‑19 pandemic and the destruction of hurricane Ian.  Lifting the embargo would open the Cuban economy to the benefit of the Cuban people.  He also expressed concern over the human rights situation in Cuba and the severe judgments by Cuban courts.  The Government should grant its citizens economic, social, cultural, civil and political rights; release all political prisoners; ratify the relevant United Nations covenants; and issue a standing invitation to all special procedures to visit Cuba.  The Government should also open spaces for a constructive, inclusive dialogue with all of Cuban civil society without preconditions.  The designation of Cuba as a State sponsor of terrorism has introduced obstacles to international financial transactions with the island.  Cuba must ensure that its reform agenda includes economic, social and judicial concerns and meets the legitimate aspiration of the Cuban people for more opportunities to shape the country’s future, she said, adding that the United States embargo impedes these aims.

The representative of Timor-Leste said the vote cast today in support of the draft resolution represents great concern over the embargo’s adverse effects on the well-being of the peoples of Cuba, preventing them from fully enjoying their human rights, including the right to development, as it undermines Cuba’s efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.  The embargo has affected Cuba’s full potential to be a more active player in international trade and development and international cooperation, and it has directly and indirectly affected all critical sectors of the Cuban economy, including public health, nutrition, agriculture, tourism, banking and investment.  He called for the embargo to be lifted.

The representative of the United States said his Government remains committed to the Cuban people in their pursuit of freedom, prosperity and a future with greater dignity.  Cubans of all walks of life are speaking out for fundamental freedoms, protesting the Cuban Government’s repression and advocating for a better future.  Cuban security officials have forced into exile and limited the foreign travel of human rights activists and journalists who have been either detained or warned about their activities, he said.  He joined international partners in urging the Cuban Government to release political prisoners immediately and unconditionally and protect the freedom of expression and right to peaceful assembly of all individuals in Cuba, he said, stressing that the United States’ support for the Cuban people is unwavering.

The embargo includes exemptions and authorizations relating to exports of food, medicine and other humanitarian goods to Cuba, he pointed out.  He recognized the challenges the Cuban people face.  The people and organizations of the United States donate a significant amount of humanitarian goods to the Cuban people, and the United States is one of Cuba’s principal trading partners, he said.  The United States opposes this resolution but stands with the Cuban people and will continue to seek ways to provide meaningful support to them.

The representative of the Solomon Islands said he voted in favor of the resolution and commended Cuba for taking the most peaceful path in seeking the unconditional lifting of the blockade through the United Nations.  Each and every country has the right to define and determine its own political system and to participate in international economic activities, he said, adding that these are fundamental principles of international law.  The 60-year-long embargo has resulted in Cuba having to face severe difficulties as it has caused economic harm, deprived the country of financial resources and impeded socioeconomic development as well as progress in implementing the 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The representative of Sri Lanka said his country voted in favour of the resolution.  “It is time to put history behind us and really commit to building back better,” he added.  Ending the embargo will help the Cuban people face the many challenges of the “post-pandemic era”.  The embargo violates Cuba’s right to constructively interact with the international community.  “If one looks at the bigger picture, unilateral sanctions have never had their desired effect,” he added. 

The representative of Nauru, associating herself with the Group of 77 and China, said that despite a near-unanimous call to end the embargo on Cuba – a small developing State – the United States continues to shun the world’s position.  Nauru reiterates its commitment to the principles of the United Nations Charter as well as to the freedom to international trade and navigation as established by international law.

The representative of Indonesia said she voted in favour of the resolution.  The Assembly consistently rejects the imposition of laws and all forms of universal economic measures that cause harm to people around the world, yet for more than 60 years the Cuban people have suffered an embargo that sidelines them from the global economy and international financial relations.  Indonesia strongly rejects unilateral coercive measures carried out against other States.  The continuing embargo contradicts the main principles of international law, including sovereign equality of States and non-interference in other States’ affairs.  The embargo has not only impeded Cuba’s economy, but has also worsened socioeconomic conditions, undermining achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and the 2030 Agenda.  The embargo should be ended, he stressed.

Right of Reply

The representative of Cuba, speaking in exercise of the right to reply to the United States’ representative, said the agenda item should not be diverted by fallacious United States allegations when the Assembly has overwhelmingly sent a message to urgently end the blockade.  The United States representative said his Government is concerned about the Cuban people’s plight.  Yet, how could it justify that it used the pandemic to step up the blockade, preventing Cuba’s access to treatment, basic products to create its own vaccines, ventilators and medical oxygen? he asked.  The United States says it advocates freedoms in Cuba, yet it has not reversed its restrictions on Cuban entrepreneurs.  If the United States Government really cares for the Cuban people’s well-being, human rights and self-determination, it will lift the embargo and cooperate with Cuba.

Cuba continues to be the subject of a dirty campaign by the United States Government and politicians, he continued, rejecting the United States’ claim that it did not detain protestors on 11 July 2021 against whom crimes were committed.  It is inadmissible that the United States claims that Cuba has an unbalanced order when the United States detained over 800 people following the events of 6 January 2021.  Is the United States the only country in the world allowed to defend its institutions? he asked.  The forces of external regime change will not be allowed to subvert the political system that Cubans have freely chosen, and Cuba will continue to strengthen its legislative and institutional framework to protect human rights and to ensure full respect for its laws.

Cuban authorities have provided enough information to corroborate respect for due process within the country’s borders, he said.  The only arbitrary arrests and penitentiary confinement for long periods on Cuban territory are those of the United States Government at the Guantanamo Naval Base.  A country with racism, xenophobia, slander and lies, where money and corporate interests define who is elected, cannot teach Cuba lessons about democracy.  Cuba will not accept questioning of this type, particularly when it is used to justify the longest, most broad-based unilateral coercive measures that have been imposed on any country.  Instead, the United States should look at its own racism, repression, police brutality, secret jails, extrajudicial arrests and use of torture within its borders.

The United States representative is lying when speaking about aid to Cuba, he said.  Payments are cynically made to subvert the system.  There is irrefutable proof that the blockade hampers the sending of aid to Cuba, including from third-party countries.  Cuba has firmly and creatively faced the application of the economic, commercial and financial embargo that has been opportunistically worsened by the pandemic, he said, adding that the Cuban people did not cede to subversive media campaigns by the United States.  “Nothing will be enough to erode our determination to resist, to fight and to win,” he stressed.

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