Her Excellency Mrs. Rebeca Grynspan, Ibero-American Secretary General;
Excellencies, Foreign Ministers and Heads of Delegations of Ibero-America;
May you receive cordial greetings from Havana.
I thank the Pro-Tempore Secretariat of Andorra for the successful celebration of this meeting and the wise way in which the Conference activities have been conducted, even amidst the exceptional circumstances imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic. We reiterate our support and recognize the work of the Ibero-American General Secretariat in these efforts.
The pandemic has taken a toll on the lives of more than one million persons.
Conservative estimates indicate that 88 to 115 million persons will be plunged into poverty this year. Changing the development paradigms that prioritize market interests becomes an imperative. The central role the State is called to play in the implementation of national strategies aimed at strengthening health and social protection systems is now being confirmed.
As a result of the unjust international order and the unpayable foreign debt, developing countries are suffering the worst consequences of the disease, which jeopardizes the implementation of the 2030 Agenda.
In order to advance towards sustainable development, it is necessary to promote innovation and the interconnection among academy, science and decision-makers; and facilitate access to sources of finance and technology transfer from developed countries. An inclusive Ibero-American cooperation should contribute to achieve these goals.
I reiterate our solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and its legitimate President, Nicolás Maduro Moros.
Cuba’s determination to build a sovereign, independent, socialist, democratic, prosperous and sustainable nation requires innovation and scientific research, which are identified as a major priority in the National Economic and Social Program by the year 2030.
President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez has encoraged us to take on innovation as a social process that would strengthen the links between the Government’s activities and areas such as knowledge, production and services.
In January, 1960, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro stated, and I quote: “The future of our homeland must necessarily be a future of men and women of science; it must be a future of men and women of thoughts.” This principle has guided us to the achievement of significant scientific results of invaluable social benefits.
Government management, scientific research, Cuban biopharmaceutical products plus an inclusive, free and universal health system have been essential in the recovery of 87 percent of the persons infected with COVID-19. We have two candidate vaccines that are going through the clinical trials phase and our scientists are currently working to produce another two.
We have contributed to tackle the disease in 39 countries and territories by sending 53 medical brigades that have joined the ones that were already offering their services in 59 countries.
All that has been possible despite the campaigns launched by the government of the United States against Cuba’s medical cooperation and the severe tightening of the economic, commercial and financial blockade, even under the complex circumstances imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, which confirm it as a flagrant violation of the human rights of an entire people and the main obstacle to our development.
The US government, which attempts to re-enact the Monroe Doctrine, violates the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace and hinders sustainable development in the region, since it maintains a hostile policy against Cuba and threatens, attacks and implements unilateral and coercive measures against other countries.
The US aggressiveness against Cuba, which has further intensified during the last few years by means of a ruthless economic warfare imposed by the blockade, has now turned to gross and dangerous attempts to promote social and political instability.
I denounce that President Donald Trump’s administration is directly involved in the funding and directing civil disobedience and illegal actions against law and order in Cuba. Groups and individuals based in the US territory, some of them linked to terrorist activities, are openly promoting the commission of acts of sabotage, violence and willful disobedience of the law in Cuba.
The US chargé d’affaires in Cuba has been personally involved in the promotion of an alleged hunger strike that never existed, in violation of the quarantine regulations established as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as in the transportation and support to the participants in this provocation.
This is a flagrant and unacceptable interference in the internal affairs of our country which the Cuban government will not tolerate, whether it is perpetrated by the United States or by anyone else.
I take this opportunity to reiterate, on behalf of the people and the government of Cuba, our gratitude to the Ibero-American community for its support to the just claim to put an end to the blockade against Cuba.
I reaffirm our commitment to cooperation and solidarity.
Thank you, very much.