Cuba condemns use of food to subjugate countries

Rome,  (Prensa Latina) Cuba has condemned this Wednesday the use of food as a tool to subjugate nations, which it considered contrary to international law, immoral and unfair.

The condemnation formed part of a speech by Cuba’s Permanent Representative to the FAO, José Carlos Rodríguez, which he was unable to make due to time constraints at the 46th session of the Committee on World Food Security (CFS), but which was published by the Cuban Embassy in Italy.

The press release highlighted the eminently intergovernmental nature of the event, but noted that in some working sessions, excessive time was awarded to private sector specialists and representatives, considered a useful contribution, ‘as long as it does not intend to supplant the action of States and intergovernmental multilateral agreements.’

Rodriguez denounced the US economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba.

Despite these harsh sanctions, he said, Cuba is among the top 14 nations that have managed to cut hunger and malnutrition rates in a sustained manner for several years, and is also among nations that have advanced the most in its public food policies.

‘How much more could we do in terms of international cooperation and improvement of our quality of life without the blockade?’ the ambassador to Italy noted, who considers food safety a priority for development, and noted the multiple actions carried out nationwide, such as the municipal self-sufficiency plan.

According to the FAO, this is the only plan of an institutional character that takes into account local supply and demand, the nutritional and health needs of the population and environment preservation.

Rodríguez highlighted prolonged crises, economic slowdowns and climate change as critical causes of food insecurity, though not the only ones.

In this regard, he recalled that economic inequality recently reached unprecedented levels and in 2017, while global wealth increased by 3.1%, on average 82% of that growth only benefitted the richest one percent.

‘How can we talk about sustainable development and food safety when there are no significant changes to the structural problems that an unbalanced and unfair international order maintains?’ he stressed.

‘How can we talk about lengthy conflicts and crises, but not about unilateral coercive blockades and measures, financial persecution and instigation of conflicts that some nations are promoting even against small countries, which cause severe food difficulties?’ he added.

After recalling that the US blockade has caused direct damages in terms of food and agriculture to Cuba of over 400 million dollars in the last year, he added that the ‘indirect damages are incalculable.’

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