Geneva, 23 February 2021. "The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the grave problems and colossal challenges human kind was already faced with and exposed new threats, including the frailty of health care systems. The promotion, protection and respect of the right to health are particularly relevant in the current context", expressed the Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, during his speech today at the High-Level Segment of the 46th regular session of the UN Human Rights Council, which is being held virtually.
When referring to Cuba, the Cuban Foreign Minister highlighted the existence of a free-of-charge, high-quality and universal-coverage health care system that guarantees the right to health of all Cubans and has allowed the country to tackle the pandemic with positive results, although the loss of human lives is regretted. He stressed that, thanks to the development of Cuban science and hard work of Cuban scientists, four vaccine candidates against COVID-19 are being developed in Cuba. For this reason, the immunization of the entire Cuban population is expected this year.
The highest representative of Cuban diplomacy mentioned that Cuba has shared, from the outset, its experience in the management of epidemics and has sent 56 medical teams of the Henry Reeve International Brigade to 40 nations and territories to fight COVID-19. The politically-driven fallacious campaigns against Cuban medical cooperation will never be echoed by the nations of the world, the Minister added.
The Cuban representative affirmed that the country continues making progress in the construction of an independent, sovereign, socialist, democratic, prosperous and sustainable nation in spite of the brutal economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the US, which has been hardened to extreme levels by the outgoing administration of Donald Trump, whose most recent measure was the inclusion of Cuba in the unilateral and spurious list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.
The diplomat pointed out that while some try to distort the Cuban reality and subvert the constitutional order, the country will continue to strengthen the legal and institutional framework for the protection and promotion of all human rights.
Cuba has given irrefutable proof of its firm commitment to the promotion and protection of the human rights of its people and other peoples in the world. The manipulation of this noble cause at the service of twisted political interests is unacceptable. In the face of the attempts to defame our nation and obscure its undisputed achievements concerning human rights, we will defend our truth and will never relinquish our sovereignty and independence, the Foreign Minister highlighted.
As a member state of the Council, Rodríguez Parrilla emphasized, we will raise our own voice, we will defend a respectful and constructive dialogue, as opposed to punitive approaches, political manipulation and selectivity.
Permanent Mission of Cuba in Geneva