South African foreign minister calls for an end to US blockade against Cuba

Havana, March 20, 2024.- South Africa's Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Naledi Pandor, said in Washington that the US blockade against Cuba must end. "We have never supported unilateral sanctions against the Cuban people," the South African foreign minister said in brief statements to the Prensa Latina news agency.

She affirmed that the Cuban people have never harmed anyone, and lamented the economic situation on the island as a result of these coercive measures. "It is unfair," she said.

Pandor was speaking at the South African embassy in Washington DC at a meeting organised by the Muslim Public Affairs Council, where she underlined her country's stance towards Israel's war in the besieged Gaza Strip.

She recalled that South Africa approached the International Court of Justice because it was very concerned that humanity was watching what was happening in Gaza and Cisjordania "as if it were a soap opera or a fiction of some kind".

She explained that it was impossible to continue to look on impassively at the deaths of Palestinians in Gaza and "so we got down to work" because of the urgency of addressing issues of injustice and human rights.

Pandor criticised the role of the UN Security Council, which she described as inefficient in the exercise of its mandate, because at times, she said, discrepancies prevailed instead of securing peace in the world.

The head of DIRCO is on a working tour of the United States and Jamaica from 18 to 26 March.

On her arrival in the US, she attended a reception in honour of anti-apartheid activists and the South African diaspora in the US capital.

In addition, the programme included a roundtable with the U.S.-Africa Business Center; meetings with representatives of religious organisations; meetings with members of Congress; and a public lecture at Howard University.


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