Havana. May 16, 2008
LIMA.— Cuban First Vice President José Ramón Machado Ventura has called on Europe to support concrete initiatives to address the misery currently suffered by Third World countries.
The leader, who arrived in the Peruvian capital Thursday to attend the 5th Latin American and Caribbean–European Union Summit (ALC-UE), stated that the developed countries must assume a more concrete position in the struggle against poverty and climate change.
In his opinion, the EU must adopt a more committed and active policy that will contribute to the development of solutions to problems facing humanity, in particularly in Third World countries.
He said that the responsibility for these commitments cannot fall to poorer countries, in this case those in Latin America and the Caribbean, which, he added, are not responsible for hunger or the deterioration of the environment.
He anticipated that the document to be signed by heads of state this Friday will include statements concretized at the previous meeting in Austria in 2006, such as respect for national sovereignty and international law.
In this case, he said, the delegation is hoping to preserve what is just, the positions that Cuba has always maintained, and to add new issues such as the world food crisis caused by shortages and high prices.
Machado Ventura, who is leading the Cuban delegation to the summit, said that the Lima Declaration will mention the dramatic situation in Haiti and support from the 60 dignitaries in attendance for this impoverished Caribbean country.
He expressed his satisfaction that the final document will include a unanimous rejection of the Helms-Burton Act, approved by the United States in 1996 to intensify the 50-year-old economic, financial and commercial blockade of Cuba.
Machado Ventura will participate in two roundtables scheduled as part of the Summit and will complete a full agenda of bilateral meetings with dignitaries in attendance at the event.
The Cuban delegation also includes Fernando Remírez de Estenoz, from the Secretariat of the Central Committee of Communist Party of Cuba and head of its foreign relations department, as well as Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque, and other officials from this ministry.
Translated by Granma International