Havana, Apr 25 (Prensa Latina) Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez on Monday denounced Cuba’s exclusion from the 9th Summit of the Americas and the negotiation of documents foreign to the Latin America’s reality.
In statements to the national and foreign press, Rodriguez stressed that Washington deceives international public opinion about the invitations to that meeting, scheduled for next June in the city of Los Angeles, and that it exerts extreme pressure on countries in the region opposed to that exclusion.
The head of Cuban diplomacy pointed out that a main axis of the event will be health care, but on this subject “it is negotiated in an opaque way with many neoliberal elements and with many shortcomings with respect to the real needs of people, a so-called plan of action in health care and resilience of the Americas until 2030,” he pointed out.
The foreign minister warned that this text excludes Cuba and other member States of the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO) that participate in these processes.
Rodriguez recalled that Cuba, in a modest but altruistic way, has provided international cooperation in healthcare matters that is recognized on a global scale.”
He pointed out that the migration issue will also be the center of the summit, on which another document is being negotiated behind the back of public opinion, which intends to force Latin American States to repress migration and absorb the migrants that the United States rejects, with a racist and xenophobic approach.
Rodriguez added that in Cuba’s case, the conduct of the United States has been to cut off regular and safe channels and prevent emigration through a policy that he described as selective and discriminatory.
He recalled that the United States has failed to comply with the agreement to grant 20,000 annual visas, has forced applicants for this document to travel to Guyana and has imposed third countries to establish transit visas for Cubans, while encouraging illegal emigration.
The foreign minister pointed out that Washington deceives Cubans because “it is not the transit countries but the United States that puts up obstacles for those who want to travel.”
He described as positive the resumption of bilateral talks last week, the recognition by the US delegation of the breaches and the expressed desire to resume consular services in Havana, although in a very limited way.
In this regard, Rodriguez considered it necessary to ask US authorities when they will comply with the 20,000 annual visas, how many will be granted in 2022, until when Cubans will have to travel to Guyana to do the procedures and what will happen with the family reunification program.
In his statements, the minister updated that the damage caused by the United States to Cuba for more than 60 years of economic, commercial and financial blockade totals 150,41 billion dollars.
He explained that these losses amount to one trillion 326 thousand 432 million dollars when taking into account the depreciation of the US dollar against gold in the international market, which represents more than 365 million dollars per month to the detriment of a small and underdeveloped economy such as Cuba’s.
Rodriguez pointed out that this has a hard impact on families and is one of the causes of emigration from the island, fundamentally economic.
The foreign minister assured that ignoring Cuba’s presence at the next Summit of the Americas would be a serious historic setback that would be detrimental to the objectives of agreement.
Rodriguez stressed that the intention to exclude Cuba from the meeting would be due to a politically motivated maneuver, as part of the double standard linked to the internal and electoral situation in the United States. He thanked the governments in the region for their the supportive position in favor of inviting Cuba.
He also considered that the United States lacks the moral authority to set itself up as a model of Human Rights and democracy, an issue that will also be discussed at the Los Angeles summit.
He invited the US Government to talk bilaterally or multilaterally about those sensitive issues in which Washington has many problems, he said.
Rodriguez noted that Cuba supports the efforts to promote dialogue and cooperation between Latin America and the United States, and its exclusion would constitute a serious historical setback in relation to the two previous summits, which had its participation.
It would be surprising if US President Joe Biden departs from the policy of which he was vice president (under the administration of Barack Obama 2009-2017), and even that of Republican President Donald Trump (2017-2021), who invited Cuba to the Lima Summit, in Peru, he noted.
Finally, he stressed that the United States should understand that Latin America has changed forever and there is no room to impose the vision of the Monroe Doctrine, against which the heroes of the peoples’ independence fought.