CUBA’S Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz says the peoples of the world require effective and immediate solutions.
Contributing to the debate of the United Nations General Assembly on financing for development in the COVID-19 era, Prime Minister Marrero said it was high time to act.
“It’s time for deeds, not words!” he said.
Prime Minister Marrero said the COVID-19 pandemic had adversely impacted all countries’ health, finances, economy, employment and society, but that developing nations have been hit the worst.
“Due to increased health expenses to address the pandemic and the loss of income as a result of the paralysed economy and foreign trade, tax, trade and balance of payments deficits of developing countries have increased, as well as their food insecurity,” he said.
Prime Minister Marrero said the current global crisis had been worsened by US protectionism, trade wars and coercive unilateral economic measures against sovereign states that contravene the UN Charter, International Law and multilateral trade rules.
“For 60 years, Cuba has endured a cruel economic, commercial and financial blockade of extraterritorial nature, imposed by the Government of the United States of America,” he said.
Prime Minister Marrero stressed that the US blockade was the main obstacle to Cuba’s economic and social development.
“It has been stepped up amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, hindering the acquisition of vital drugs, medical equipment and inputs under these circumstances, depriving our people of its most basic right – the right to life,” he said. “Unprecedented challenges like these require urgent concrete, solidary, inclusive, fair, innovative and coordinated responses. Global problems demand global solutions, in a nondiscriminatory manner, with no political, economic exclusions or of any other sort.”
Prime Minister Marrero said Cuba supports initiatives to the debt relief, “albeit they are still insufficient”.
He said the unpayable foreign debt that burdens countries of the South should be eliminated, as it had now been worsened by the pandemic’s social and economic impacts and threatened the sustainable development of nations.
“The commitments on Official Development Assistance, increased foreign financing on a fair basis, market access and technology transfer, must be fulfilled,” said Prime Minister Marrero.