Sun | Sep 22, 2019

‘Totally unfounded’ - Cuba hits back against US slavery allegations, condemns latest action by northern neighbour

Published:Friday | August 30, 2019 | 12:37 AM

The Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs has condemned the United States over the latest round of aggressive actions against Havana, through a USAID programme to finance projects.

Havana said that the US has used the programme to seek information with which to discredit and sabotage Cuba’s international healthcare cooperation in dozens of countries.

“This plan joins the disgraceful pressure exerted on several governments to hamper Cuban cooperation and previous attempts with the same purpose such as the special parole programme meant to rob human resources trained in Cuba,” a ministry official said.

He said that the core of the matter is the “totally unfounded” allegation that Cuba is involved in the trafficking of persons and practises slavery.

According to the official, the US action is an attack on bilateral programmes and inter-governmental cooperation projects, all legitimately established by the Cuban government and those of dozens of countries, adhering to United Nations guidelines regarding South-South cooperation.

“This is an attack against acts of solidarity that have been recognised by the international community and praised specifically by the highest authorities in the United Nations, the World Health Organization, and the Pan American Health Organization,” the official added said.

He said that access to healthcare was a human right and that the United States is committing a crime when it attempts to deny or obstruct its provision for political reasons or as an act of aggression.

“For decades, nations with unfavourable economic conditions have all been part of this cooperation with Cuba, who provided this assistance as a gesture of solidarity, with costs covered practically in their totality by Cuba. Likewise, in line with United Nations conventions on cooperation between developing nations, services are offered in several countries on the basis of complementary and partial compensation.

“This exchange is completely fair and legitimate among developing countries, many of which have natural riches, economies, and industrial development greater than Cuba’s but lack the human resources our state has been able to create,” the Cuban ministry official said.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com