The South African representative demanded that Washington listen to the nearly unanimous call from the UN Member States to end its blockade against Cuba, which has prevented their right to development.
The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba is a violation of international law and the principles enshrined in the UN Charter, she stressed, adding that these kinds of unilateral actions cannot be justified.
Consequently, South Africa makes an “unwavering call to the United States to lift the sanctions and to opt for constructive dialogue with Cuba,” she pointed out.
The blockade has caused many difficulties for Cuba, including shortages of basic goods such as food, fuel, and medicine, she added.
During her speech, the South African representative noted how Cuba’s inclusion in Washington’s State Sponsors of Terrorism list, together with the full enforcement of the extraterritorial Helms-Burton Act (which codified the blockade) further undermines Cuba’s possibilities for commercial relations with third countries.
Cuba’s inclusion on that list, which seeks to impose more punitive measures against Cubans, is groundless, she emphasized, and we demand that Cuba be removed from that list.
When addressing the plenary session, the diplomat recalled that the South African Government and its people recognize the sacrifices made by Cubans, who have offered their lives in the fight for the liberation of South Africa, she noted.
“We pay tribute to Cuba’s altruistic generosity by helping the needy of this world in the fields of health care, education, emergency assistance and development, particularly in Africa,” she added.
These actions are taken by Cuba despite the Blockade, she stressed.
In this way, we can describe Cuba as a champion in the defense of the rights of developing peoples, she pointed out.
When addressing South Africa’s bilateral relations with Cuba, she noted that the US sanctions are also an impediment for South African companies to do business with Cuba, she went on to say. However, South Africa’s relations with Cuba serve as a successful model of South-South cooperation, she said.
In that regard, South Africa has committed itself again to expanding bilateral cooperation programs with Cuba and seeking new areas of collaboration, such as, for example, infrastructure, agriculture, science and technology.