Thursday, June 28, 2007

Cuba Defeats US Isolation Policy

Periodico 26

By DEISY FRANCIS MEXIDOR

Cuban Ministers Report to Parliament

“In this year’s battle in the diplomatic arena the US government’s policy to isolate Cuba has failed,” said Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque before the International Relations Committee of the Cuban Parliament on Tuesday.

Today, Cuba has diplomatic relations with 181 of the 192 nations that comprise the UN General Assembly. During the past 16 years, “the most difficult period”, Perez Roque underscored that the number of diplomatic missions in Havana actually increased. In 1991 there were 76 foreign missions in Havana, with the figure increasing to 102 in 2007.

The foreign minister commented that today Cuba has a diplomatic presence in 116 nations and four international organizations. He further announced the opening of Cuban diplomatic missions in Saudi Arabia and New Zealand.

Perez Roque also recalled that rejection to the US blockade is practically unanimous, "a success of the resistance of our people." If in 1992, 59 UN members voted together with Cuba against the blockade, in 2006 there were a total of 183 countries rejecting that hostile policy of Washington, he noted. The overwhelming support is something the top diplomat described as "of a high political, moral and ethical value."

Perez Roque also commented on Cuba's victory at the Human Rights Council in Geneva, and appraised as very positive the role of Cuba as the chair over the 118-member Non Aligned Movement.

In his dialog with the members of parliament, Perez Roque detailed aspects about Cuban cooperation abroad, especially in the Third World.

"We don't hand out what is surplus to us, what we do is share what we have," he assured when explaining that more than 42,000 civilian Cuban collaborators are providing their services in 101 nations. He also announced that 47,000 young people from 130 nations have graduated in Cuba during the years of the Revolution.

Perez Roque noted that despite the evident failure of the US policy against Cuba, the US Interests Section in Havana continues to try and create internal subversion. To do so, it supplies equipment and money for that purpose. He also insisted in that the list of aggressions against Cuba is growing.

Finally, the foreign minister recognized the strengthening of relations with Latin America and the Caribbean, and made reference to the need to continue the battle for the freedom of the Cuban Five, unjustly held in US Federal prisons.

The legislators rejected the meddling in Cuban internal affairs by the Senate of Chile, and appealed to them to spend their time on the severe violations of human rights in their own country, like the reduction of the legal age to be tried as an adult from 18 to 14 as well as discrimination and violence against the Mapuche indigenous communities.

Cuban Ministers Report to Parliament

Cuban legislators will discuss a report Wednesday on the payments by the State purchasers to farmers and cooperatives for their production, a topic of major interest as the island seeks to increase local production and decrease imports.

Also on the agenda at the Havana Convention Center is the advance of the different programs of the Energy Revolution. That report will cover the status of the efforts to gradually substitute the population’s old high energy consuming electrical devices for more efficient ones and their payment plan.
On Thursday the parliament plenary will hear reports from the Ministers of Transportation and Sugar, covering the current situation of their sectors and future projections.

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