Although the world is currently facing many challenges - climate change, earthquakes, hurricanes, pandemics, and the threat of nuclear war - rejection of the United States economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba was heard loud and clear in the high level segment of the UN General Assembly, which concluded September 25.
Several countries expressed their support for Cuba during the plenary session. For example, Jorge Arreaza, Foreign Minister of Venezuela - one of the nations that has been most affected by the United States' interventionist foreign policy - described as unilateral and illegal the economic measures imposed by Washington on his country and nations like Cuba, which has suffered under the blockade for over 50 years.
Mozambique's permanent representative to the UN; Gaspar Ismael Martins, Angolan Ambassador to the UN; Deputy Foreign Minister of Nicaragua and the country's permanent representative to the UN, María Rubiales; as well as Timor-Leste's permanent representative, María Helena Pires, all called for an end to the blockade.
Vietnam's Foreign Minister, Pham Binh Minh, stated that the unilateral policy against Cuba is inappropriate and called for its immediate lifting.
Likewise, Wilfred Elrington, minister of Foreign Relations of Belize, noted that for over half a century the Cuban people have been the victims of an unjust, flagrant, and illegal unilateral embargo.
Foreign Minister of the Lao People's Democratic Republic, Saleumxay Kommasith, described the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States as positive, going on to express the country's hope that such efforts will intensify and soon lead to the lifting of the blockade, which will not only provide real benefits for both peoples but also the world in general.
President of the Democratic Republic of Sao Tomé and Príncipe, Evaristo do Espirito Santo Carvalho, expressed his nations desire to renew the call for the normalization of relations between Cuba and the United States, as well as the lifting of the blockade, which has inhibited the island's development for decades.
Prime Minister of Dominica, Roosevelt Skerrit, one of the Caribbean islands devastated by recent hurricanes, expressed his solidarity with Cuba and other countries of the region affected by this natural phenomenon.
Other leaders, including Prak Sokhonn, Cambodian Minister of Foreign Relations and Maxine Pamela Ometa McClean, Foreign Minister of Barbados, also expressed their support for Cuba at the UN.
Ibrahim Yacoubou, Niger's Foreign Minister; Augustine Phillip Mahiga, Minister of Foreign Relations of the United Republic of Tanzania; and Mark Anthony Brantley, Saint Kitts and Nevis' Foreign Minister, called for an end to the blockade during the plenary session.
Some 20 heads of state or government and foreign ministers also called for the lifting of the U.S. blockade of Cuba, prior to the high level segment.
For example, Foreign ministers of the Bahamas, Darren Henfield; Laos, Saleumxay Kommasith; the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Ri Yong Ho; Surinam, Yidiz Pollack-Beigle; Grenada, Elvin Nimrod; and Jamaica, Kamina Johnson-Smith, all called on the U.S. to put an end to its inhumane policy; as did ministers of Foreign Affairs of Saint Kitts and Nevis, Mark Anthony Brantley; Chad, Hissein Brahim Taha; Tanzania, Augustine Philip Mahiga; Niger, Ibrahim Yacoubou; Trinidad and Tobago, Dennis Moses; and Burundi, Alain Aimé Nyamitwe.
Meanwhile, Pollack-Beigle, speaking before the forum, recalled that the entire world rejects the sanctions imposed on Cuba by 11 successive U.S. administrations.
During his speech Brantley defended the Cuban people's right to live in dignity and peace, while Moses warned that the U.S. blockade constitutes a threat to the island's sustainable development.
For his part, Taha described the over 50 year-long blockade as unjust and counterproductive, especially given the reestablishment of bilateral relations between Havana and Washington.
Johnson-Smith also highlighted the unjust nature of U.S. sanctions "which have limited the capacity of a hard-working people to participate in legitimate trade, travel, and realize international financial transactions."
Last year, not a single nation voted against the resolution to put an end to the blockade which has proven unproductive from all angles, stated Suriname's representative, who went on to describe the hostile policy as a violation of international law, sovereignty and self-determination.