The international community showed for the thirtieth time its unrestricted support for Cuba and the need to put an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States.
However, it did not deter Washington from arriving in the United Nations with an inadmissible discourse that attempts to justify its genocidal policy. Washington should know there is no cosmetic language to justify a policy that aggravates the situation of an entire country.
The U.S. representative insists on saying that the blockade is maintained to “support the Cuban people” and that Washington does so in the “name of democracy.” However, how can this be explained to the families of the children who cannot receive a prosthesis, a medicine, an operation on time? What support and democracy is he talking about?
How can the U.S. representative say that he feels concerned about the Cuban people when his government, at the worst moment of the COVID-19 pandemic, prevented our country from having access to treatments, medical oxygen and the purchase of raw materials to produce vaccines and pulmonary ventilators? That is neither support nor democracy, it is an act of genocide.
“If the U.S. government were really interested in the welfare, human rights and self-determination of Cubans, it would lift the blockade,” replied the Chargé d’Affaires of the Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations, Yuri Gala López.
The representative of the North American nation – in a speech with so few arguments that it barely lasted four minutes – said that his country advocates individual freedom in Cuba; however, it has not reversed the restrictions that directly harm Cuban entrepreneurs.
Among his arguments to sustain the blockade, he mentioned the existence of detentions during the riots on July 11, 2021 on the island. In response, Gala López explained that it is false to say that people who peacefully demonstrated on July 11 were detained, tried or repressed.
“Those who committed crimes, as part of these disturbances, were prosecuted with all legal guarantees. It is inadmissible that they pretend to point fingers at us for enforcing our constitutional order, when, precisely, more than 800 people have been arrested in the U.S. for the events of January 6, 2021 at the White House,” he pointed out.
The diplomat also asked if the United States is the only country in the world with the right to defend its institutions.
He stressed that in the Greater Antilles “we are not going to allow that legality be broken or that an attempt to subvert the order – in the service of an external agenda of regime change – the constitutional order and the political system that Cubans have freely chosen”.
“We will continue to strengthen our legal and institutional framework for the promotion and protection of human rights, including the right of association, while continuing to ensure strict enforcement of and respect for our laws,” he added.
The U.S. representative focused on the alleged detentions of minors, when Cuban authorities have provided sufficient information to corroborate respect for due process, making it clear that under no circumstances does Cuba apply criminal liability to minors under 16 years of age.
“The only arbitrary detentions and prison confinement for long periods of time that take place in Cuban territory are those carried out by the U.S. government at the illegal naval base in Guantanamo,” the Cuban diplomat added.
In front of the UN General Assembly, as part of his right to reply to the resounding defeat suffered – and evidenced by the 185 votes in favor of the Cuban resolution – the United States used its supposed defense of democracy as a banner to justify the blockade.
However, “the representative of a country where electoral campaigns there are no ethical limits, where hatred, division, selfishness, slander, racism, xenophobia and lies are promoted; where money and corporate interests are the ones that define who is elected or not, cannot speak of elections and democracy,” said Gala López.
He stressed that “Cuba does not need lessons on democracy or human rights, much less from the U.S. We will not accept questions of this nature, even more so when they are used to justify the longest and most comprehensive system of coercive and unilateral measures ever applied against any State.”
In this sense, he called on the U.S. Government to be concerned about its population below the poverty level, the repressive policy against immigrants and minorities, the lack of gender equality, racism and discrimination against Afro-descendants, police brutality, the deaths caused by police shootings per year – a number that now sits at more than one thousand, secret prisons, extrajudicial executions and the use of torture.
He detailed that the United States is the only country in the world that is not a member of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and is also the only one where children under 18 years of age are sentenced to life imprisonment without parole. In 2021 alone, there were between 600,000 and 700,000 juvenile detentions in the United States, according to the Children’s Defense Fund.
Hypocritically, the U.S. delegation stated that since 1992 they have authorized millions of dollars in exports to Cuba, including medicines, medical supplies and food.
And here too, he is lying, because according to the Cuban representative to the United Nations, the U.S. cynically used the multi-million dollar funds that the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) allocates to the subversion in Cuba, as well as the packages that, with great effort, Cuban emigrants send or the modest donations that, overcoming various difficulties, are sent by organizations in solidarity with the largest of the Antilles.
He also detailed that the government of President Joe Biden requested Congress, in 2022, the amount of 20 million dollars for the so-called programs aimed at the alleged democracy in Cuba, and almost 13 million for the illegal broadcasts of the ill-named Radio and TV Martí.
“This is a conduct contrary to the high sensitivity shown by that country before any attempt or suspicion of interference in its domestic affairs, and through which it is intended to plant a political opposition in Cuba and fracture the constitutional order,” denounced Gala López, in his right to reply.
It takes a lot of cynicism to go to the United Nations, where 185 nations said No to the blockade and, without any solid argument, try to justify a policy that costs not only billions of dollars, but the sleeplessness and anguish of all Cubans who suffer, in their own flesh, the effects of this policy, and yet we get up every day to continue to raise the name of Cuba.
It is the behavior of a hypocrites to come to the UN and urge the Government of Cuba to listen to the people and free the political prisoners when, on 30 occasions, the whole world has urged, requested, asked and demanded the Government of the United States to eliminate its blockade policy against Cuba, and all it has done is intensify its restrictive measures.
The representative of Cuba said it, and the international community also joined the demand, which is as urgent as the need to put an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade: the United States must have morals.
Likewise, as Gala López also stated, “the debate should not be diverted with fallacious accusations on the part of the US delegation when this Assembly has overwhelmingly sent an unequivocal message on the urgency of putting an end to the blockade.”
He concluded his speech with a phrase of the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez at the closing of the XXII International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties, which summed up the fighting spirit of the Cuban people:
“We have firmly and creatively confronted the application of the criminal economic, commercial and financial blockade by the United States, which was opportunistically tightened at a time when we were facing the pandemic.”
The Cuban people did not yield either to the media and subversive campaigns aimed at distorting reality and dividing the nation, or to the economic effects of the unjust inclusion of Cuba on the fraudulent list of State Sponsors of Terrorism, which further hinders the development and needs of our people.