71 UNGA: Cuba to the Special Committee on Decolonization, adoption of draft resolution on the question of Puerto Rico, contained in document A/AC.109/2017/L.12.

Topic: Acknowledgments following the adoption of draft resolution on the question of Puerto Rico

Mr. Chairman,

I would like to express my appreciation on behalf of the Cuban delegation to all members of the Special Committee on Decolonization and to the other delegations that have spoken on this issue, for their strong and valuable support to the resolution on the question of Puerto Rico submitted by the Republic of Cuba, the Plurinational State of Bolivia, the Republic of Ecuador, the Republic of Nicaragua, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the Syrian Arab Republic and the Russian Federation.

We are particularly pleased that this resolution has once again been adopted by consensus with the support of all members of the Committee.

The numerous and appreciated statements made by members and non-members of the Committee, including the statement made on behalf of the 120 States of  the Non-Aligned Movement and of the 33 States that make up the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, are irrefutable proof of the support to the cause of the Puerto Rican people.

We very much welcome the important contributions made by the petitioners, a number that is increasing day by day, and perhaps this will determine that in the near future the time available for listening to them should be extended.

Mr. Chairman,

On this occasion, when considering this issue, we have had the exceptional opportunity to count on the presence of Oscar López Rivera among us, now as a witness to our debates and to our commitment to work towards the decolonization of all peoples that have not yet been able to exercise their right to self-determination.

Cuba and Puerto Rico are united by many different reasons and due to such reasons we have a very special relationship. As early as 1892, the Cuban National Hero José Martí, as he founded the Cuban Revolutionary Party, stated that "The Cuban Revolutionary Party has been formed to achieve the absolute independence for the island of Cuba and to aid and encourage that of Puerto Rico, through the combined efforts of all men of good will.”

Both countries were under the Spanish colonial yoke. We both suffered the military intervention of the United States in 1898.

Puerto Rico and Cuba are inextricably intertwined in the West Indies due to the independence process that, according to José Martí, would favor the balance of the world and would save the dignity of the American nation itself.

Puerto Rican and Cuban patriots conspired together a hundred and fifty years ago, precisely in this city of New York, to forge what would be the Cry of Lara in Puerto Rico and the Cry of Yara in Cuba, an almost simultaneous beginning of our respective struggles for independence.

Mr. Chairman,

The adoption of this resolution today is a tribute to the patriotic spirit of the Puerto Rican people and to the tradition of struggle led by their national heroes, who are also those of Cuba and those of all the Americas, such as Eugenio María de Hostos, Ramón Emeterio Betances and Don Pedro Albizu Campos, just to name a few. For Cuba, this resolution is also a well-deserved tribute in memory of Filiberto Ojeda Ríos.

In conclusion, Mr. Chairman, I would like to reiterate that the Puerto Rican people will always count on our solidarity. Cuba will continue to defend the legitimate right of the people of Puerto Rico to self-determination and independence with the irrevocable commitment to accompany them towards their final victory.

Thank you very much