STATEMENT by the MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS of Cuba, BRUNO RODRÍGUEZ, at the High-Level Segment of the 52nd Regular Session of the Human Rights Council. Geneva, 28 February 2023

(Unofficial translation from Spanish)

Mr. President,

Far from encouraging the construction of a more solidary and cooperative world, inequalities, poverty, hunger and exclusion are multiplying. A tiny minority enjoys the exponential increase in its wealth, while the vast majorities struggle for survival.

Current patterns of production and consumption are irrational and unsustainable and threaten the existence of the human species.

It is essential to fight for a just, democratic and equitable international order centred on the human person, on the peoples of the world. 

The promotion and protection of human rights is a common ideal. No country is exempt from challenges, and none has the authority to consider itself a paradigm in the matter, to judge the others, much less to politicize and use them to stigmatize sovereign States and socio-economic projects that do not conform to the designs of the masters of finance, markets and weapons.

Imperialist attempts to turn this Human Rights Council into a tribunal against countries that do not subordinate themselves to the geopolitical interests of powerful governments erode the credibility of this body and seem to try to take it back to the course of the defunct Commission on Human Rights, which imploded precisely because of these practices.

Cuba, as a founding member of the Human Rights Council, defends respectful and constructive dialogue and international cooperation.

We advocate the full exercise and respect for the principles of universality, indivisibility, objectivity and non-selectivity in the treatment of the subject.

In that spirit, we present our candidacy for re-election as a member of the Human Rights Council, in the period 2024-2026, in the elections that will take place next October. We thank in advance the trust of all those countries that have already given us their valuable support.

Cuba’s voice will continue to be raised with a universal vision but from the South, in favor of the legitimate interests of developing countries, the poor, the neglected and excluded, from constructive commitment, responsible dialogue and unwavering responsibility for the full realization of human rights for all.

Mr. President,

The US government applies a genocidal policy of blockade, intensified in the extreme and of “maximum pressure,” which has subjected the Cuban economy to extraordinary tensions that impact on the deterioration of consumption and the standard of living of families, inflation, prices, wages, the availability of food and medicine, and on the electricity service; and hits the country’s income, financial transactions, industry, construction, services, trade, investment, health and education.

The infamous and unfounded inclusion of Cuba on the State Department’s arbitrary list of countries that allegedly sponsor terrorism further exacerbates the difficult situation caused by the blockade and has devastating effects on our financial system.

U.S. imperialism finances destabilization and “regime change” operations, slanders against Cuban international medical cooperation, and smear campaigns; uses powerful toxic technological platforms and encourages censorship and manipulation of large digital networks against Cuba.

This illegal policy deliberately encourages emigration, especially of skilled and working-age people.

Cuba rises every day facing these attacks, joining forces, innovating, with an unlimited capacity for resistance and creativity; and advances in inclusive debate, democratic participation, particularly of young people; and the fruitful and renewing change of “everything that must be changed.”

We continue with a firm and irreversible step perfecting the socialist State of law and social justice, and our socialist model of cultural, social and economic development, with the broad majority and active support of the people of Cuba.

We deeply appreciate the solidarity and international cooperation that Cuba receives from all corners.

Mr. President,

In a free and universal referendum in 2019, we adopted a new Constitution with the secret ballot of 87% of citizens, which strengthens the guarantees and the legal-institutional framework for the protection and promotion of human rights for all Cubans.

The National Program for the Advancement of Women, the Comprehensive Strategy for Prevention and Attention to Gender Violence and in the Family Scenario; and the National Program against Racism and Racial Discrimination, and the new Family Code, approved in a referendum with 62% support, are implemented.

Mr. President,

We will act from the high responsibility assumed with the Presidency of the Group of 77 plus China in 2023, convinced that a better world is possible, if we listen to the voice of our peoples, work for their benefit and defend with courage and close unity the collective and just interests of the South.

Thank you very much.

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