Mr. Secretary General:
A global epidemic has drastically changed everyday life. From one day to the next, millions are infected and thousands of people die whose life expectancy was higher thanks to development. High-benefit hospital systems have collapsed and the health structures of poor countries suffer from their chronic disability. Drastic quarantines turn the most populous cities into virtual wastelands. Social life does not exist outside of digital networks. Theaters, discos, galleries, even schools, are closed or resized. Our borders have closed, our economies are contracting, our reserves are depleted. Life undergoes a radical redesign of ancestral customs and uncertainty displaces certainty. Even the best friends are unknown under the masks that save us from contagion. Everything changes. As well as the solution to the pandemic, the democratization of this indispensable Organization is urgent, so that it responds effectively to the needs and aspirations of all peoples. The desired right of humanity to live in peace and security, with justice and freedom, the basis of the union of nations, is constantly threatened.
More than 1.9 trillion dollars are wasted today in a senseless arms race based on the aggressive and warmongering policy of imperialism, whose main exponent is the current United States government, responsible for 38 percent of global military spending. We are talking about a markedly aggressive and morally corrupt regime that despises and attacks multilateralism, uses financial blackmail in its relationship with the agencies of the United Nations system and with a never-before-seen arrogance withdraws from the World Health Organization, from UNESCO and the Human Rights Council. Paradoxically, the country that hosts the UN headquarters also departs from fundamental international treaties, such as the Paris Agreement on climate change; repudiates the agreed nuclear agreement with Iran; promotes trade wars; ends its commitment to international instruments of control in the field of disarmament; militarize cyberspace; multiplies coercion and unilateral sanctions against those who do not comply with its designs and it sponsors the forcible overthrow of sovereign governments through unconventional warfare. In this line of behavior, divorced from the old principles of peaceful coexistence and respect for the right of others to self-determination as guarantor of peace, the government chaired by Donald Trump, in addition, manipulates cooperation in the field of law for subversive purposes. democracy and human rights, while in its own territory, expressions of hatred, racism, police brutality and irregularities in the electoral system and the right to vote of citizens proliferate practically without control.
It is urgent to reform the United Nations. This powerful organization, which emerged from the millionaire cost in lives of two world wars and as a result of the universal understanding of the importance of dialogue, negotiation, cooperation and international legality, cannot delay its updating and democratization any longer. Today's world needs as much the UN as the one in which it was born. Something very special and profound has failed, when there is a daily and permanent violation of the principles of the UN Charter, and when the use or threat of the use of force in international relations is increasingly frequent. There is no way to sustain any longer, as something natural and immovable, an unequal, unjust and undemocratic international order, which puts selfishness before solidarity and the petty interests of a powerful minority over the legitimate aspirations of millions of people.
Despite the dissatisfactions and the demands for transformation that, together with other states and millions of world citizens, we ask the United Nations, the Cuban Revolution will always defend the existence of the organization to which we owe the little, but essential multilateralism that survives imperial arrogance.
More than once, before this same forum, Cuba has reiterated its willingness to cooperate with the democratization of the UN and with the defense of international cooperation that only it can save. As the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, said, and I quote: “The international community can always count on the sincere voice of Cuba in the face of injustice, inequality, underdevelopment, discrimination and manipulation. ; and for the establishment of a more just and equitable international order, at the center of which the human being, her dignity and well-being are truly located. " End of quote.
Returning to the seriousness of the current moment, which many attribute only to the COVID-19 pandemic, I consider it essential to warn that its impact far exceeds the health field. Due to its dire consequences, the impressive number of deaths, the damage to the world economy and the deterioration of the levels of social development, the expansion of the epidemic in recent months anguish and despair leaders and citizens of practically all nations. But the multidimensional crisis that it has unleashed clearly demonstrates the profound error of the dehumanized policies imposed at all costs by the dictatorship of the market. Today we are painful witnesses to the disaster to which the irrational and unsustainable system of production and consumption of capitalism has led the world, decades of an unjust international order and the application of a crude and unbridled neoliberalism, which has aggravated inequalities and sacrificed the right to freedom. development of peoples. Unlike the exclusive neoliberalism, which separates and discards millions of human beings, condemning them to survive on the leftovers of the richest one percent banquet, the COVID 19 virus does not discriminate between one and the other, but its devastating economic impacts and Social policies will be lethal among the most vulnerable, those with the lowest income, the same in the underdeveloped world as in the pockets of poverty of the large industrialized cities.
According to projections by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), to the 690 million people who were hungry in 2019, there could be 130 million as a result of the economic recession caused by the pandemic. Studies by the International Labor Organization (ILO) affirm that more than 305 million jobs have been lost and that more than 1.6 billion workers see their livelihoods threatened. We cannot address COVID-19, hunger, unemployment, and growing economic and social inequality between individuals and between countries as independent phenomena. It is urgent to implement comprehensive policies in which the human being is the priority, and not economic gains or political advantages. It would be criminal to leave yesterday's and today's decisions for tomorrow. It is imperative to promote solidarity and international cooperation to cushion the blow. Only the United Nations, with its universal membership, has the authority and scope to resume the just fight to eliminate the unpayable foreign debt that, aggravated by the socioeconomic effects of the pandemic, threatens the survival of the peoples of the South.
The appearance of SARS-CoV-2 and the first signs that it threatened to cause a pandemic, did not catch Cuba off guard. With the experience of decades of confronting terrible epidemics, some of them deliberately introduced as part of the permanent war against our political project, a group of measures based on our fundamental capacities and strengths were immediately put into practice: an organized socialist state. , responsible for ensuring the health of its citizens, with highly qualified human capital and a society with a high degree of popular participation in decision-making and in solving their problems. The application of these measures, together with the knowledge accumulated in more than 60 years of enormous efforts to create and strengthen a health system of quality and universal scope, as well as scientific research and development, have allowed not only to preserve the right to health of all citizens, without exception, but to face the pandemic in better conditions. We have achieved this despite the harsh restrictions of the prolonged economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States government, which has intensified brutally in the last two years, even in times of pandemic, as proof that this is the essential component of its policy. hostility towards Cuba.
The aggressiveness of the blockade has escalated to a qualitatively new level, which reinforces its condition as a real and decisive impediment to the management of the economy and the development of our country. The US government has especially intensified the persecution of Cuba's financial transactions and, since 2019, has adopted measures in violation of International Law, to deprive the Cuban people of the possibility of acquiring the fuel they require in their daily work and for their development. In order to harm and demonize the Cuban Revolution and others it qualifies as adversaries, the United States publishes spurious lists lacking in legitimacy, claiming the right to impose unilateral coercive measures and unfounded qualifications on the world. Not a week goes by without that government issuing statements against Cuba or imposing new restrictions. However, it is paradoxical that he refused to classify as a terrorist the attack perpetrated against the Cuban Embassy in Washington, on April 30, 2020, when an individual armed with an assault rifle fired more than 30 cartridges at the diplomatic headquarters and confessed then his intention to kill. We denounce the double standards of the US government in the fight against terrorism and demand that this brutal attack be publicly condemned.
We demand that the hostility and smear campaign against the altruistic work of Cuba's international medical cooperation cease, which, with high prestige and verifiable results, has contributed to saving hundreds of lives and reducing the impact of the disease in various latitudes. International personalities and social organizations of notable prestige have recognized the humanistic work deployed by the International Medical Brigade Specialized in Disaster Situations and Serious Epidemics "Henry Reeve", advocating that he be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. While the United States government ignores the call to join forces in the fight against the pandemic and withdraws from the WHO; Cuba, in response to requests received and guided by the deep solidarity and humanist vocation of its people, reinforces its cooperation with the dispatch of more than 3 thousand 700 collaborators, organized in 46 medical brigades, to 39 countries and territories affected by COVID- 19. In this sense, we condemn the gangster blackmail with which the United States has pressured the Pan American Health Organization in order to use that regional body as an instrument of its unhealthy aggression against our country. Always, the force of truth will destroy the lies, and history will put the facts and the protagonists in their place. The example of Cuba will prevail.
Our consecrated health workers, pride of a nation formed in Marti's ideology that Homeland is Humanity, will or will not receive the Prize that their nobility deserves, but years ago they won the recognition of the peoples blessed by their health work. The United States government does not hide its intention to apply new and harsher aggressive measures against Cuba in the coming months. We declare once again, before the international community, that our people, proud of their history and committed to the ideals and work of the Revolution, will know how to resist and win.
The claims to impose neocolonial domination to Our America, publicly declaring the validity of the Monroe Doctrine, contravene the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace. We want to publicly ratify in this virtual scenario, that the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela will always count on the solidarity of Cuba in the face of attempts to destabilize and subvert the constitutional order, the civic-military union and destroy the work initiated by Commander Hugo Chávez Frías and continued by President Nicolás Maduro Moros in favor of the Venezuelan people.
We also reject the actions of the United States aimed at destabilizing the Republic of Nicaragua, and we corroborate the invariable solidarity with its people and government, led by Commander Daniel Ortega.
We stand in solidarity with the nations of the Caribbean that demand just reparations for the horrors of slavery and the slave trade, in a world in which racial discrimination and repression of Afro-descendant communities have been on the rise.
We reaffirm our historic commitment to self-determination and the independence of the brotherly people of Puerto Rico.
We support Argentina's legitimate claim to sovereignty over the Malvinas, South Sandwich and South Georgia islands.
We reiterate our commitment to peace in Colombia and the conviction that dialogue between the parties is the way to achieve a stable and lasting peace in that country.
We support the search for a peaceful and negotiated solution to the situation imposed on Syria, without external interference and with full respect for its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
We demand a just solution to the conflict in the Middle East, which goes through the real exercise of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to build their own State within the pre-1967 borders and with its capital in East Jerusalem. We reject Israel's attempts to annex new territories in the West Bank.
We express our solidarity with the Islamic Republic of Iran in the face of the aggressive escalation by the United States.
We reaffirm our unwavering solidarity with the Saharawi people.
We strongly condemn the unilateral and unjust sanctions against the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
We ratify our rejection of the intention to extend the presence of NATO to the borders of Russia and to the imposition of unilateral and unjust sanctions against that nation.
We reject foreign interference in the internal affairs of the Republic of Belarus and reiterate our solidarity with the legitimate President of that country, Aleksandr Lukashenko and our brother Belarusian people. We condemn the interference in the internal affairs of the People's Republic of China, and we oppose any attempt to harm its territorial integrity and sovereignty.
The current worrying circumstances have meant that, for the first time in the 75-year history of the United Nations, we have been forced to meet in a remote manner. The scientific community of Cuba, another pride of the nation that since the triumph of the Revolution of the just, announced to the world its intention to become a country of men and women of Science, works tirelessly on one of the first vaccines that are in clinical trial phase in the world. Its creators and other researchers and scholars, articulated with the Health system, develop protocols for the care of infected people, those recovered and the population at risk, which have allowed us to maintain the statistics of the epidemic at around 80 percent of infected people saved and a fatality rate below the continental and world average.
"Doctors and not bombs," announced one day the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution and main promoter of the development of Sciences in Cuba, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz. That is our motto. Saving lives and sharing what we are and have, at the price of any sacrifice, is what we offer the world from the United Nations, from which we only ask for a change in tune with the gravity of the moment.
We are Cuba.
Let us fight together for the promotion of peace, solidarity and development.
Thank you very much