The Guardian 22 June, 2005

Criminal blockade of Cuba rejected

Nidia Diaz

DOHA, Qatar: An overwhelming and resounding rejection of the US blockade of Cuba was approved by the Group of 77 and China during the closing session of the South Summit, which began in this capital on June 12, and where, moreover, an explicit appeal was made to Washington to end it.

Paragraph 51 of the Doha Declaration reads:

"We urge the government of the United States of America to end the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed against Cuba, which besides being unilateral and contrary to the Charter of the United Nations and international law, as well as the good neighbour principle, is causing enormous material losses and economic harm to the Cuban people.

"We urge that United Nations General Assembly Resolutions 47-19, 48-16, 49-9, 50-10, 51-17, 52-10, 53-4, 54-21, 55-20, 56-9, 57-11, 58-7, and 59-11 be strictly complied with, and we express our profound concern regarding the growing extraterritorial nature of the blockade of Cuba and new and continuous legislative measures directed at intensifying it.

"Therefore, we express our concern and reject the new measures recently applied by the US government aimed at stepping up the blockade. Those measures constitute a violation of Cuba’s sovereignty and a massive violation of the rights of its people."

Thus, without beating about the bush and without fear, the Third World raised its voice in defence of a Cuba full of solidarity, which even under the most difficult conditions of the last 45 years — the same period of time that it has been attacked by imperialism — has shared its achievements and successes with other countries of the South.

In the Declaration and Plan of Action, the heads of state and government also approved paragraphs 5 and 102, a strong rejection of the imposition of laws and regulations with extraterritorial reach, and of any other coercive economic measure against developing countries, including unilateral sanctions, and reiterated the urgent need to eliminate such sanctions.

During the ministerial segment of the Summit, the approved Policy Guide on development issues for the United Nations reform process presented by the president of the Group expressed how international cooperation for development should be based on the principles of mutual respect, shared but differentiated responsibilities and the elimination of political conditions and unilateral coercive economic measures.

Meanwhile, in the ministerial meeting of the Non-Aligned Countries here, a Declaration was approved which in paragraph 7 clearly expresses their rejection of unilateralism, including the erosion and violation of international law, political pressure and coercion, and also against coercive unilateral measures that certain countries impose as a way of attaining political objectives.

Without a doubt, the Doha Summit was a watershed event in terms of the increased awareness of the Group of 77 and China, and demonstrates that the longed-for unity of the South is no longer a utopia.

If the Havana Summit opened the way in search of a place that the underdeveloped world urgently needs so that its voice and opinions are heard, the Doha Summit in Qatar rises up as a symbol of a new era, in which the peoples are beginning to lose their fear, because they have internalised the idea that only struggle and unity will lead them to victory, which is no more than building a world that is just, full of solidarity and egalitarian.


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