A message expressing deep sorrow in the wake of devastating fires in Australia was sent Wednesday by Esteban Lazo Hernández, President of Cuba’s National Assembly and Council of State, to Tony Smith, Speaker of the country’s House of Representatives
"On behalf of the National Assembly of People's Power, our people and myself, I wish to express our most sincere condolences to the families of the deceased, to the Australian Parliament and people given the damage caused by the incident," reads the letter published on the National Assembly's website.
Lazo lamented the loss of human life, harm to the nation's ecosystem, the deaths of millions of animals and the severe economic damage caused by this major disaster.
"Once again we witness with concern the harmful effects of climate change on our planet, causing great droughts, enormous fires with the destruction of millions of hectares of forests, melting ice and other phenomena that seriously threaten life," Lazo wrote.
His message joins that of Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, who in a January 7 tweet reiterated Cuba's solidarity with Australia, where fires have destroyed some six million hectares of forest and caused the deaths of at least twenty persons, noting the disaster as a consequence of climate change.
"Cuba mourns and expresses our solidarity with Australia’s population who, on the smallest continent in the world, are suffering the consequences of climate change: 6 million hectares of forests burned and the death of 25 people and some 500 million animals," he wrote.
In another message Díaz-Canel stated: "While all living species are fleeing in horror from the hell of Australia's forests, the empire is fanning a terrible fire, putting the world on the brink of war. Fidel Castro asked, more than 40 years ago: What is the United Nations for? Today an answer is urgently needed."