H.E. Mr. José Ramón Machado Ventura, First Vice-President of the Council of State and Ministers

24 September 2008

Statement Summary

JOSÉ RAMÓN MACHADO VENTURA, Vice-President of Cuba, speaking on behalf of the Non-Aligned Movement, called for international peace, solidarity, social justice and sustainable development, so the future of humankind could be ensured.  The economic and environmental crises facing the world severely impacted the Non-Aligned countries, and the poorest of the poor continued to suffer the devastating consequences.  For any response to be successful to these worldwide crises, the developed and industrialized countries must take full responsibility for their actions.

He also emphatically urged the developed and industrialized countries to end wars and occupations, cease the depletion of resources in developing countries, cancel the foreign debt of developing countries, redirect financial resources from commercial venues into food production and delivery, and promote technological access to Third World Countries, among others.  This would engender solidarity between peoples and Governments, with the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) and PetroCaribe coalitions in Latin America and the Caribbean as strong examples.

Reiterating the founding principles of the Non-Aligned countries, among them the cause of the Palestinian people, and the protection of the work of the Human Rights Council, Cuba reminded the Assembly that Cuba continued to endure the longest economic blockade in history, and that despite the Assembly’s call to end the blockade, the United States continued to enforce it.  Such disregard for the world’s wishes only intensified 50 years of economic war against Cuba, and had prevented mutual beneficial participation in trade and economic development between both countries.  He believed the aim was to destroy the success of the 1959 Cuban revolution, and he challenged the United States to re-evaluate its own actions at Guantánamo before condemning Cuba.

Finally, he said that Cuba had weathered two hurricanes that destroyed agriculture, seriously impacted parts of its infrastructure, and damaged thousands of homes, with the aid and assistances of the many countries, organizations and individuals who responded to the crisis.

[Source: GA/10751]