MIGUEL DÍAZ CANEL BERMÚDEZ, President of Cuba, citing United Nations and International Labour Organization (ILO) forecasts, noted that 205 million people will be unemployed in the world by 2022. Pointing out that around 600 million people are in poverty and 80 per cent of vaccines were distributed to middle- or high-income countries, he said that, in comparison, the world’s military budget in 2020 amounted to almost $2 trillion. “How many lives would have been saved should those resources [have] been invested in health or the manufacturing and distribution of vaccines?”, he questioned, calling for a change in the unequal and antidemocratic international order.
Criticizing the economic coercive measures by the United States, which have been further tightened during the pandemic, he said that Washington, D.C., has been launching an “unconventional war” against his country, aiming to portray an absolutely false image to vindicate its “change of regime” doctrine, and to erase the Cuban Revolution from the political map of the world. In this regard, he reiterated his country’s position by citing Raúl Castro’s words: “Cuba is not afraid of lies, nor does it give in to pressures, conditions or impositions, wherever these may come from.”
He went on to state that Cuba has sent more than 4,900 workers to 40 countries and territories affected by the pandemic, and exhibited solidarity with Haiti following the recent earthquake. Cuba also created three COVID-19 vaccines and two candidate vaccines. During the first 10 days of September, more than 15.8 million doses of the vaccines have been administered and 37.8 per cent of the Cuban population is fully vaccinated, he said, adding that his country expects to achieve full immunization by the end of 2021.
He further expressed his country’s solidarity with Venezuela, Nicaragua, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Colombia and Syria, and called for a lasting solution to the conflict in the Middle East. Condemning sanctions against Iran and the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, he reiterated his country’s support for the “One China” principle, and its opposition to the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s (NATO) presence up to the borders of the Russian Federation. Calling for an end to foreign interference in Belarus, he also reminded the United Nations not to ignore the lessons learned in Afghanistan.
Read the full statement, in PDF format.
Access the statements from previous sessions.