Speech by Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel at 6th CELAC Summit

Speech by Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel at 6th CELAC Summit
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18 September 2021
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Here is the English-language translation of the speech delivered by Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel at the 6th CELAC Summit held in Mexico City on September 18, 2021.

Dear President Andrés López Obrador.

Dear Heads of States of Latin America and the Caribbean.
 
Distinguished heads of delegations and guests, friends all.

Thank you brothers and sisters.  The first words of this historic Summit can only be of profound gratitude to the Mexican people and especially to President Andrés Manuel López Obrador for his deep friendship and solidarity with Cuba.

Likewise to the governments and peoples represented here who have expressed their support and immediately understood the nature of the opportunistic smear campaign financed by U.S. federal funds that still seeks to threaten the stability, integrity and sovereignty of my country.

I reaffirm here that the Cuban people and government will defend the socialist state of law and social justice "With all and for the good of all," as José Martí expressed.

I also take this opportunity to recognize your support for the lifting of the brutal economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba, which has been deliberately and opportunistically tightened in pandemic conditions despite being condemned for decades by the overwhelming majority of the international community.

This criminal and immoral policy is an evident and systematic massive violation of the human rights of the Cuban people, imposed on us by the same U.S. government that threatens, attacks and applies unilateral coercive measures against other countries in our region.

Its interventionism and the unbridled imperial pretensions since the launching of the Monroe Doctrine to impede the sovereign development of our nations is another flagrant violation of the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations, International Law and the postulates of the proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a "Zone of Peace."

In the face of the growing attempts to divide us, it is urgent to promote solidarity and cooperation to consolidate our strength, unity and diversity, concept and purpose for which our Army General Raul Castro Ruz worked tirelessly in the historic days when CELAC was founded in this beloved land.

Withstanding the economic harassment and the enormous limitations imposed on us, Cuba has managed to advance, demonstrating the solidity of its public health system and the capacity to continue cooperating with other countries.

We are proud to have managed to produce three vaccines and two vaccine candidates in recent months as a result of the dedication of our scientists and the product of the system of science and technological innovation, created and promoted by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz.

Consider these successes as we consider them a Latin American and Caribbean conquest.

Today we would like to reiterate here our willingness to work within the framework of CELAC on an agreement for the supply and production of vaccines for interested countries as a modest contribution to the goal of achieving universal immunization in the region as soon as possible.

Distinguished colleagues: the CELAC Summit held in this beautiful land in 2010, materialized the genuine Latin American and Caribbean integration yearnings of our heroes.

The founding of CELAC, vindicated centuries of struggle and hope and constituted a crowning moment for the history of our America.  Fidel would describe it as the most transcendent institutional fact of the hemisphere in the past century.

A decade later, we continue to build and consolidate it with the objective of recovering from the devastating effects of a pandemic that has exacerbated the multidimensional crisis that has already affected the world, reducing the second largest gaps that make us the most unequal region on the planet, and advancing the well-being of our peoples.

We support the respectful dialogue without foreign interference carried out by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and denounce the punitive regime to which its people are subjected by imperial pretensions.

We condemn the sanctions imposed against the Republic of Nicaragua and the interference in the internal affairs of that sister nation.

We ratify the right of our sister countries to receive special and differential fair treatment and to accompany their claims for reparations for the damages caused by colonialism and slavery.

A special effort is demanded today by the people of Haiti who need our solidarity so much.

Cuba maintains its commitment to the search for peace in Colombia, we reiterate our unrestricted support to Argentina in its demand for sovereignty over the Malvinas, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands and we reaffirm our unequivocal commitment to the self-determination and independence of the brotherly people of Puerto Rico. 

Distinguished colleagues: It is urgent to revitalize CELAC in order to move towards an inclusive and fair recovery that strengthens us as a region and contributes to the well-being of our nations.

It is urgent to strengthen this unique mechanism, which allows us to dialogue among nations with similar needs and interests.  Let us not miss the opportunity to continue making history.

Thank you very much.

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