Wednesday, March 11, 2009

South American defense ministers demand an end to the blockade of Cuba

Granma International

Havana. March 11, 2009

SANTIAGO DE CHILE, March 10.— Defense ministers from the region, meeting today here at the first (CDS), agreed on the need for the United States to bring an end to the unjust economic blockade of Cuba, imposed for almost 50 years, reports PL.

Ramón Carrizález, vice president and defense minister of Venezuela, confirmed that the entire international community is against this blockade and the arbitrary measures adopted by the U.S. toward the island.

For his part, when asked by journalists if the United States could be an observer at the defense meeting of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), Nelson Jobim, the Brazilian defense minister, said that Washington “will not be able to change its letter of presentation to the region while it maintains its blockade of Cuba.”

For Uruguayan Minister José Bayardi, Cuba does not present a security problem for the United States and Washington’s policy toward Cuba is determined more by the pressure of the internal Cuban-American lobby than by hard analysis.

Meanwhile, Walker San Miguel, the Bolivian defense minister, commented that these measures negatively affect the Cuban people and emphasized: “We do not share hegemonic measures.”

According to AFP, on Tuesday the defense ministers of the 12 UNASUR countries established an organism to promote cooperation among the different Armed Forces, generate joint peace operations and secure transparency with respect to military spending.

Translated by Granma International

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