HomeCubaRemarks by President of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, at the High-level Meeting to...

Remarks by President of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel, at the High-level Meeting to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action. New York, September 22, 2021

Mr. Secretary-General,

Mr. President,

The world should be ashamed to watch the poor scope of universal agreements that were once the hope of the excluded and the dispossessed.

Twenty years after the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action, the objectives set out in those documents for the fight against all forms of racism, racial discrimination; xenophobia and other related forms of intolerance, have not been achieved.

 Structural racism survives, and hate speech, intolerance, xenophobia and discrimination proliferate at alarming levels, including in social networks and other communication platforms.

Developed capitalist countries try with demagogic speeches to divert attention from their historical responsibility in the exaltation and persistence of these scourges and their debt to the peoples who are victims of the slavery to which they were subjected. There is a lack of political will on the part of those same countries to make the promises of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action a reality.

The multidimensional crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the structural inequalities and exclusion inherent to the prevailing unjust economic order that subdues the poor, those of African descent or migrants to all kinds of discrimination.

Mr. President,

In Cuba, beyond the color of the skin, African, European and Latin American genes are all mixed. We are a single Afro-Latin, Caribbean, mixed-race people, in which several roots merged to forge a unique, vigorous trunk, with its own identity, open to the world from a sense of belonging, in which cultural values are assumed from a solidarity ethics.

With a colonial proslavery past, the black and mulatto Cuban population suffered for centuries the consequences of a system in which racism and racial discrimination were part of the everyday life.

It was only with the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959 that a process of radical transformations took place which demolished the structural bases of racism and eliminated institutionalized racial discrimination forever. The apology for hatred, the promotion of intolerance and supremacist ideas based on national, religious or ethnic origin and xenophobia are alien to the political, social and economic life of the country.

The new Constitution of the Republic of Cuba ratified and strengthened the recognition and protection of the right to equality, as well as the prohibition of discrimination. The Magna Carta provides that all persons are equal before the law, receive the same protection and treatment from the authorities and enjoy the same rights, freedoms and opportunities. But laws and decrees are not sufficient to erase centuries of discriminatory practices in societies.

To make further progress in the emancipatory work of the Revolution, the National Plan against Racism and Racial Discrimination was approved in November 2019, as a government program that favors the most effective tools to tackle racial prejudices and social problems that still linger in our society.

Cuba’s commitment to the eradication of racism goes beyond its borders. Thousands of Cubans supported the national liberation movements in Africa and against the disgraceful Apartheid regime; thousands of others have given their supportive assistance, particularly in the area of health.

We shall not rest in our pursuit to achieve social justice for all.

  The peoples of the world can always count on Cuba’s contribution so that the commitments undertaken 20 years ago in Durban become a reality.

Thank you very much.


Stay Connected
Must Read
Related News