UN Rapporteur: US Blockade Violates the Cuban People’s Right to Food

Campaign News | Friday, 2 November 2007

Havana, Nov 2 (acn) The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Jean Ziegler, who is visiting Cuba, said that the US economic, financial and commercial blockade of Cuba has a negative impact on the island and affects the right of the Cuban people to access food.

Ziegler, who met with Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque on Thursday, said that the US coercive measure forces Cuba to develop-unlike any other nation-- under very difficult conditions in order to reaffirm its independence and sovereignty and protect its people.

The UN high-ranking official congratulated Cuban authorities for the recent victory at the UN General Assembly, where 184 countries voted in favor of the Cuban resolution condemning the US blockade, four voted against and one abstained.

Ziegler criticized the Bush administration for failing to recognize the prevalence of human, social, economic and cultural rights in Cuba and recalled that over 854 million people are going hungry in today’s world.

Meanwhile, the Cuban foreign minister stressed that the presence in Cuba of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food reveals the Cuban government’s firm commitment to that mandate. It is also an expression of the island’s support of non-discriminatory and non-selective universal mechanisms of human rights, said Perez Roque and also added that it is also a proof of Cuba’s willingness to cooperate with the new Human Rights Council, for which the island was elected a member by more than two thirds of the votes.

“Your visit to Cuba was possible particularly after the conclusion in Geneva of the mandate against Cuba, forcibly imposed in a selective and discriminatory way, and which we never accepted, and we will never accept,” Perez Roque pointed out.

After praising the work done by the UN Special Rapporteur, the Cuban foreign minister announced that Cuba will invite other Human Rights Council rapporteurs next year.

During his stay in Cuba, the high-ranking UN official had a first hand look at different programs undertaken by the Cuban government to guarantee food for the population and to keep advancing on the path to a fairer society, with increased solidarity and equality, despite the US blockade, which has caused the island direct losses amounting to 89 billion dollars over the past 48 years.



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