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Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Do Not Exclude Cuba from the Summit of the Americas

Cuba denounces U.S. government exclusion of Cuba from preparations for Ninth Summit of the Americas

Excerpts from statement to the press by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla

Summit of the Americas

I am obliged to denounce the fact that the U.S. government has decided to exclude the Republic of Cuba from preparations for the Ninth Summit of the Americas set to take place in Los Angeles, June 8-10; and is currently exerting extreme pressure on numerous governments in the region that have privately and respectfully opposed this exclusion.

The U.S. government is misleading the public and governments of the hemisphere by saying that it has not yet made decisions regarding invitations.

I respectfully urge Secretary of State (Anthony) Blinken to say honestly whether or not Cuba will be invited to the Ninth Summit of the Americas.

A central axis, according to preparations for the event, will be health.  And I must inform our people and international public opinion that there are currently negotiations underway, conducted in an unclear manner, with quite a few neoliberal elements, and many shortcomings, in relation to the real needs of the peoples regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the structural causes of precarious health systems that have led to tragic consequences and caused an extremely high number of deaths in our hemisphere, including the United States of America, and have avoided substantial cooperation and basic financing to address these consequences, and are now negotiating in an opaque manner a so-called Health and Resilience Action Plan for the Americas through the year 2030.

I must note that these negotiations are being held, in an obscure manner, with the exclusion of Cuba and other member states of the Pan American Health Organization, which are participating in these processes, in violation of their own mandates.

Cuba has always, in a modest but altruistic and persistent fashion, provided the possibility for international cooperation in health, which has been recognized worldwide.

There are Latin American vaccines against COVID-19 which are Cuban. The medical brigades that responded to the COVID emergency in the region, in the hemisphere in more than 50 countries on the planet, have been Cuban.

It would be convenient to take into account during this process, and benefit our peoples, Cuban medical presence in confronting natural disasters and epidemics in the past, the provision of tens of thousands of medical scholarships for low-income Latin American, Caribbean and United States youth, the existence of the Latin American School of Medicine in Havana, Operation Miracle that returned the sight of millions of low-income persons, Cuba's ability to establish cooperation, transfer state-of-the-art technology, provide pharmaceutical products, vaccines and novel treatments, the ability to share advanced protocols and medicines in the field of health…

Another central axis of the Summit, from which Cuba is intended to be excluded, is emigration.  A document with a long title: Letter of Understanding on Migration Management and Protection of Migrants is also being negotiated behind the back of international, US, Latin American and Canadian public opinion.  It is a code that seeks to force Latin American and Caribbean States to repress migration, to absorb the migrants that the United States decides to process outside its territory, which incorporates elements of the racist, xenophobic and plundering U.S. vision of our migrants.  It does not address in any way the real causes of migration, but it does, however, offer palliatives, stimuli, financing and economic incentives to countries that send migrants to the U.S. and are closer to its borders, to attenuate this process.

With Cuba, however, his recipe is the extreme tightening of the blockade, causing deprivation to Cuban families, the application of Undersecretary Mallory's stark memorandum: "depressing wages, causing hunger, despair and the overthrow of the Government," is the American prescription in relation to Cuba…
The exclusion of Cuba from the Ninth Summit of the Americas would constitute a serious historical setback in relation to the two previous editions.  In Panama, in 2015, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz led the delegation from our island which participated on equal footing, and raised his firm, dissenting voice, but always serene, respectful and constructive…

A third axis of the Summit of the Americas is that of democracy and human rights.  In the obscure negotiations taking place today, the intention is to establish the Organization of American States to certify all elections in the region.  This is the same OAS of the coup in Bolivia, and the intention of the United States, historically responsible for coups in our region, and also responsible for the coups in recent decades against progressive governments.

How can a Summit take place, centered on democracy, having excluded, at the arbitrary whim of the host, certain countries of Latin America and the Caribbean?  Can anyone think of something more undemocratic?
The U.S. has no moral authority to set itself up as a model in this matter or to criticize others…

The Ninth Summit of the Americas could still be an opportunity if, in an inclusive manner and on equal terms for all countries, it debated, without exclusions and with sincere commitment, the most pressing problems that affect the continent.

Cuba supports the genuine efforts to promote dialogue, links and cooperation between Our America, the America of Bolivar and Martí, and the United States, between the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the United States government…

Cuba, which firmly defends the unity within the diversity of Our America, today expresses our profound gratitude to the peoples and governments that maintain a courageous, dignified, solidary position, demanding of the U.S. government that Cuba not be excluded from the Ninth Summit of the Americas.