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Cuba denounces unilateral sanctions on the global South

CUBAN President Miguel Diaz-Canel denounced unilateral sanctions on the global South during a speech at the United Nations on Monday.

Speaking on behalf of the Group of 77 plus China bloc at the sustainable development summit ahead of the UN general assembly in New York, President Diaz-Canel said that the sanctions were incompatible with World Trade Organisation agreements and must be removed.

He said that the measures were a clear violation of the UN Charter and were a major obstacle for the global South in achieving the 2030 sustainable development goals (SDGs).

He said: “The international community, including the United Nations system, must continue to firmly reject these measures and work for their unconditional elimination.”

President Diaz-Canel described the current global context as “an unjust economic order that perpetuates inequalities and poverty.”

He warned that by 2030 “we will not eliminate hunger as we had agreed. On the contrary, currently 735 million suffer from chronic hunger” and none of the SDGs will have been achieved. 

The G77 issued a declaration at the end of its summit in Havana last weekend to increase the implementation of innovative, transformative and ambitious concrete actions and measures to help achieve the SDGs.

The Cuban president said that without action, by 2030 the planet will reach “575 million people living in extreme poverty.” 

On Monday evening President Diaz-Canel joined a ceremony to pay tribute to slain civil and human rights activist Malcolm X.

During the ceremony, at New York’s Malcolm X and Dr Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Centre, the Cuban president highlighted Malcolm X’s fight for social justice and the rights of African-Americans, as well as his strong commitment and solidarity with the liberation movements of the African continent.

The venue stands on the site that once housed the Audubon Ballroom, where Malcolm X was assassinated on February 21 1965.

President Diaz-Canel said: “Let us honour the memory and legacy of Malcolm X as a commitment to those who have suffered and still suffer from colonialism, neo-colonialism, imperialism, exploitation, racism and selfishness.”

IIyasah Shabaka, daughter of Malcolm X, said: “My father was a great admirer of Fidel Castro.”

President Diaz-Canel recalled the visit of the legendary Cuban leader to Harlem in September 1960.

During his residence at Harlem’s Theresa Hotel, Mr Castro met a succession of world leaders including Nikita Khrushchev of the Soviet Union, Egypt’s Gamel Abdel Nasser and Malcolm X.

President Diaz-Canel unveiled a commemorative plaque which showed images of the faces of Fidel Castro and Malcolm X.


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