Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez reiterated on Saturday that Cuba has the will to build a respectful and civilized relationship with the Government of the United States, but it lacks the political will to advance in that direction.
In 2015 and 2016, even in 2017, we demonstrated that willingness and it was also confirmed that it would be something possible and mutually beneficial, Rodríguez said at the inauguration of the 4th Conference on the Nation and Emigration, which will take place at Havana’s International Conference Center on Saturday and Sunday, with the participation of some 400 Cuban residents abroad.
Our intention is to continue expanding and deepening ties with various sectors of US society, said the Cuban foreign minister, who explained that this meeting will allow us to reflect and exchange on important issues of the nation and about ties with fellow citizens who live overseas.
Unrestricted respect for the homeland’s sovereignty and independence and the common will to continue strengthening and diversifying our ties are premises that we share, he noted.
The head of Cuban diplomacy indicated that participants in the Conference know that Cuba is going through a complicated economic situation, with visible social impacts that affect the standards of living, the satisfaction of needs, social services and the well-being of our people.
We are going through the combined effects of the extreme intensification of the economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States, the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic impact of the global crisis and the ongoing international conflicts, he said.
Rodríguez pointed out that this occurs amid a transformative and revolutionary process in the national economy, aimed at updating the socialist system, making it more efficient and adapting it to the current realities of the country and the world.
“It is a process that generates its own friction and that we have undertaken, aware of its necessity and its risks, but aware that it was unavoidable and urgent,” he assured, adding that we have also found our own deficiencies, distortions and difficulties, about which we work tirelessly, always thinking about the people’s well-being,” Rodríguez stressed.
After pointing out that the Cuban Government maintains a firm commitment to safeguarding social justice and protecting the equity that characterizes us as much as possible, the Cuban diplomat indicated that “we are convinced that we will find, with our own efforts, a way out of such a complex scenario.”
He noted that in the international arena, Cuba enjoys extensive relations with practically all countries, with many of which it has ties of friendship and cooperation, even with those governments that may have political or ideological differences.
Cuba has high prestige and is acknowledged for its contributions in favor of peace, dialogue and understanding, he added, highlighting that on November 2, the overwhelming majority of the members of the United Nations General Assembly demanded that the US Government end the blockade.
The Cuban foreign minister went on to say that the big challenge in Cuba’s foreign policy continues being the hostility of US Governments, their determination to deny our right to self-determination and to dominate our nation.
The fundamental and dominant element is still the blockade, which he described as an evil purpose that was substantially expanded with the Helms-Burton Act, and it was further reinforced in an unprecedented manner, in 2019.
Rodríguez asserted that Cuba’s arbitrary inclusion in Washington’s State Sponsors of Terrorism list added an extremely harmful effect with high costs and limitations for finance and trade.
“The asphyxiation caused by the blockade and the extreme measures of recent years are a massive, flagrant and systematic violation of Cubans’ human rights, continue being the biggest obstacle to our development and have a direct and determining impact on high migration flows,” he denounced.
This policy is accompanied by programs of destabilization and destruction of the constitutional order that the United States Congress finances with tens of millions of dollars, including interfering in the transformative process of the Cuban economy, attempting to segment it artificially, and ignoring that it is just one, Rodríguez added.
The Cuban foreign minister expressed his deepest gratitude to the Cubans residents abroad for their statements and fraternal help, so many times accompanied by that broad and universal movement of solidarity with Cuba, as well as for the donations received during the most critical stage of the Covid-19 pandemic.