Cuba denounces impact of blockade on fight against Covid-19 at UNESCO

Paris, Jul 3 (Prensa Latina) Cuba’s permanent representative at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Yahima Esquivel, on Friday denounced the damage caused by the United States’ blockade in the Caribbean island’s efforts to fight Covid-19.

On speaking at the UNESCO Executive Council, she pointed out that at times when the countries should prioritize solidarity, cooperation and dialogue over differences and political conflicts, as demanded by UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay, Washington does otherwise.

At these difficult times the coercive unilateral measures are tightened, and the Covid-19 crisis shows the huge limitations generated by the economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States against Cuba to acquire medications, medical equipment, materials and supplies.

According to Esquivel, despite that hostility, Cuba ratifies its strong commitment to the collective effort, aimed at promoting solidarity, bringing down walls and providing assistance to those who need it.

Contingents of Cuban doctors work at present in 70 countries to fight the pandemic, under the leadership and authority of the national governments, while over the last few weeks or months, 38 medical brigades have been sent to 35 nations, she pointed out.

She added that humankind is going through a particular and unprecedented time due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Covid-19 poses huge challenges for the international community, in a situation where a deep systemic crisis threatens to worsen and perpetuate the accumulated structural problems of underdevelopment, Esquivel said in Paris.

She warned that the complex panorama ahead will pose an even worse challenge for the developing countries.

UNESCO will have to play a vanguard role in awareness raising during the crisis, in the mitigation and combat of its effects on the fields of education, sciences, culture and information, she added.

In that context, the ambassador noted at the Executive Council that Cuba will continue to be deeply committed to the values of the organization and is confident in its reinforcement with a new mid-term strategy.

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