Díaz-Canel: ” US lacks the moral legitimacy to lecture on democracy”

“The United States can prevent Cuba’s presence in Los Angeles, but it is powerless to silence either our voice or hide the truth,” Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez said in a message to the Cuban civil society excluded from the 9th Summit of the Americas, which he described as being held with discriminatory participation and insufficient regional representation, revealing of the U.S. government’s inability to understand its neighbors.

“Cuba changed and our America changed, but the empire has not,” Diaz-Canel stressed, remarking that many regional governments reject such opportunistic selectivity and praising the clear and firm position that some of them took. “The exclusions were aimed at Latin America, which calls a spade a spade and asks no one for permission to exercise its sovereign rights.”

Díaz-Canel said that heading the list of exclusions along with Venezuela and Nicaragua is a source of pride and, in the case of Cuba, pointed out that the U.S. government encourages illegal emigration and wages an economic war to harm the Cuban people’s standard of living, but neither issue will be on the Summit’s agenda, nor any fruitful debate on the transfer of technology that the regional countries need so much to develop, or topics related to climate change, the use of terrorism for political purposes, Argentina’s right over the Falkland Islands, or Puerto Rico’s right to its independence, he assured.

As to the alleged defense of democracy, which the Summit deceptively equates with the promotion of capitalism, the President commented that nothing in the past or recent history of the United States shows that democracy or respect for human rights are priorities of its foreign policy.

Díaz-Canel pointed out that the Summit will make no statement against unilateral coercive economic measures and their use as a weapon of political pressure, nor will the unanimous demand to put an end to the U.S. blockade that the Cuban people has suffered for 63 years be ratified. However, he added, it will not be possible to silence Cuba’s voice or the solidarity with the island.

The Cuban leader recalled that a People’s Summit is also under way in Los Angeles as a space for debate and exchange of views about the region’s most urgent concerns among social organizations, labor unions, youth groups, community associations and socially committed people.

“All indications are that this will be the truly consequential event this week, the one that we regret being unable to attend,” he concluded.

Earlier, the Cuban government had condemned the US decision to exclude Cuba, along with Venezuela and Nicaragua, from the Summit of the Americas, which is being held from the sixth to the tenth of this month in Los Angeles, stressing that this attitude is unjustified, arbitrary and undemocratic.

Nisreen Othman / Amer Dawa

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