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Cuba’s civil society denounces manipulation of CELAC-UE social forum

Havana, Jul 7 (Prensa Latina) Cuba's civil society organizations on Friday denounced a lack of transparency and exclusions from a social forum prior to the CELAC-EU Summit that will take place in Brussels on July 17-18.

The Cuban Association of the United Nations (ACNU), which represents these organizations, rejected the lack of timely information and the exclusion of participants in the forum of civil society, youths and local authorities, convened by the European Union (EU) for July 13-14.

At a press conference in this capital, ACNU President Norma Goicochea questioned that the proposed format does not suit the decision made by the foreign ministers of both integration blocs at a meeting held in Buenos Aires on October 27, 2022.

Goicochea explained that the forum is not organized by the EU, but by a platform of organizations, which is far from the practice, they also included a debate on local governments without the consent of all Latin American social stockholders.

The new proposal ignores the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and its social articulation based on an integrationist, supportive and social justice approach for the Latin American and Caribbean region, the ACNU president pointed out.

She charged that the proposed program lacks topics that address the serious problems that the countries are facing after the Covid-19 pandemic and the current deep economic crisis. At the same time, it avoids discussing the need to reform the current financial architecture and economic order.

On the other hand, the number of face-to-face participants was limited, which unacceptably reduces the participation of a varied and broad spectrum of civil society organizations from our continent, she explained.

She rejected the denial of accreditations in the forum of some traditional and alternative media outlets such as the Cuban News Channel, represented by the journalist Lázaro Manuel Alonso, whom they vetoed with laughable evasions, Goicochea stressed.

Just six days before the beginning of the forum, the identity of the panelists and the online platform that will be used for the virtual option are still unknown, and Cuba expects that they will not use ZOOM, which tacitly prohibits interaction with Cuba.

This restriction is a direct result of the economic, financial and commercial blockade to which Cuba has been subjected by the United States Government, an issue that was denounced again by Cuba’s civil society.

The ACNU rejects the intention of presenting the conclusions of this forum to the official CELAC-EU Summit of Heads of State, due to a lack of transparency and the prevailing inequality.

Finally, Goicochea pointed out that the individual and collective associates of the ACNU will have representatives at the People’s Summit, which will take place in parallel to that of CELAC-UE leaders, and that will constitute a plural, participatory democratic exercise from a bi-regional approach.


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