Statement by Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, at the Ministerial Meeting on the Elimination of racism, xenophobia and discrimination
This year we commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the historic World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, but the goals established in the Durban Plan and Programme of Action are yet to be achieved. We are no way near the materialization of the 2030 Agenda either.
The world is witnessing an alarming spate of racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia. Social and other communication media are being used as platforms to promote them. Some political parties and their leaders disseminate a hate speech that places the blame for societal ills on those they label as “the others”. The COVID-19 pandemic and the crises it has exacerbated further expose the unjust international order that for decades has turned the poor, afro descendants or migrants into targets of all kinds of discrimination.
In Cuba, the triumph of the Revolution led to a radical transformation process that dealt an overwhelming blow to the structural underpinnings of racism and eradicated institutionalized racial discrimination. We exhibit major breakthroughs and results in the struggle against racism and discrimination, although more is yet to be done.
In this regard, the President of the Republic of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez said, and I quote: “Everyone recognizes that our Revolution is possibly the social and political process that has contributed the most to the elimination of racial discrimination, although there are still a few vestiges remaining in our society, not due to a government policy, but as part of the culture of some people. We have every right and the opportunity to carry out coherent and impactful actions that will help us solve these problems in our society to demonstrate, once again, the justice and humanism of the Revolution”, end of quote.
On the basis of this precept and as part of the commitment of our government, in November 2019, the National Program against Racism and Racial Discrimination was approved, under the coordination of a Government Commission led by the President of the Republic of Cuba.
But the Cuban Revolution has gone beyond its borders in the fight against this scourge. Thousands of Cubans supported, even at the cost of their own lives, the fight of African peoples for their independence and against the degrading apartheid regime. Many others have offered their solidarity to these peoples, particularly in the health care sector.
We will keep making progress through concrete actions in line with the sense of social justice and humanism that characterize our socialism. Cuba’s National Hero José Martí asserted, and I quote: “There is no racial hatred because there are no races”, end of quote. This will continue to be our premise.