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      "What is at stake today for the sister Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
      is the future of our peoples' right to sovereignty"

      Statement by H.E. Mr. Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla,
      Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, at the
      Ministerial Meeting of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned Movement.
      Caracas, Venezuela. July 20, 2019.

      Esteemed comrade Jorge Arreaza, Minister of the People’s Power for Foreign Affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela;

      Esteemed ministers and heads of delegations;

      Delegates and guests;

      I thank the people and government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela for their warm welcome.

      It is an honor to share this opportunity with the more than 120 countries represented in the Non-Aligned Movement, a mechanism of political coordination that turns out to be indispensable under the present international juncture.

      At the political level, claims of hegemony and domination in international relations attempt against the observance and implementation of the principles of International Law and the UN Charter.

      At the economic level, underdevelopment, poverty, hunger and marginalization resulting from the unjust international economic order in force have been aggravated as a consequence of the impact of neo-liberal patterns imposed on the global economy. Meanwhile, nuclear weapons are being modernized and military expenditures, which in 2018 reached the figure of 1.822 trillion dollars, almost 2 trillion dollars -US military expenditures accounting for 649 billion of that big total- have increased even further.

      Mr. President:

      Old and new challenges have forced the Non-Aligned members to stay together in the defense of the founding principles of this Movement and in favor of peace and our peoples’ development.

      The cruel war against the Syrian people has taken a toll on countless human lives.

      The US unilateral decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the occupied Syrian Golan as part of the territory of that country; withdraw from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action on the nuclear program and increase unilateral sanctions and military threats against the Islamic Republic of Iran has created greater instability in the Middle East.

      The Israeli-Palestinian conflict requires a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement based on the creation of two States, whereby the Palestinian people would be able to exercise its right to free determination and have an independent and sovereign State based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.

      The people of Puerto Rico have not been able to achieve their well-deserved independence. Other peoples of the world are still unable to exercise their right to free determination.

      We welcome the process of rapprochement and dialogue between the two Koreas as a means to achieve a lasting peace, reconciliation and stability in the Korean peninsula. We likewise strongly condemn the imposition of unjust unilateral sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and the foreign interference in the Korean affairs.

      Politicization and double standards prevail in the approach to human rights issues. The respectful dialogue, based on the principles of objectivity, impartiality, non-selectivity and respect for all peoples’ free determination to choose their own political, economic, social and cultural systems as well as their development model are the indispensable support required by international cooperation in this area.

      Today, more than ever, it is indispensable that our call for States to abstain from exercising pressures or coercion against other States -including the application or promotion of any sort of unilateral coercive measure, which is contrary to International Law- be heard.

      During the last few months, the government of the United States has strengthened its outright hostility against Cuba. The tightening of the US blockade against Cuba and its extraterritorial implementation is an attack on International Law and the sovereignty of all States. The blockade is the main obstacle to our development and a flagrant violation of the human rights of all Cubans.

      The Helms-Burton Act is the main political and legal instrument of the US aggressive policy, which violates and infringes upon peoples’ free determination, freedom of trade, sovereign equality, non-interference in the internal affairs of States and the peaceful coexistence among nations. Besides, this law has a remarkable extraterritorial intention, for it submits citizens and institutions of third States to the jurisdiction of US courts for legitimate actions that occurred outside the territory of that country.

      Thus, the US government intends to destroy the Cuban Revolution by economically suffocating our people, causing hardships and sufferings to families and hindering development; but once again it will fail in its attempt, just as it has for 60 years now.

      In the Latin American and Caribbean region, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela continues to face an escalation of pressures and actions by the government of the United States, which are proper of a non-conventional war, namely attempted coup d’ etats; economic sanctions and other hostile and illegal actions that affect the wellbeing of the Venezuelan people.

      The government of the Republic of Cuba reiterates its firm support to and solidarity with the constitutional President Nicolás Maduro Moros, the Bolivarian and Chavista Revolution and the civic and military union of its people. What is at stake today at the sister Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela is the future of our peoples’ right to sovereignty. It is therefore indispensable to defend the principles of Bandung, the purposes and principles agreed at the Fourteenth Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Havana and the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace that was approved by CELAC. These are the fundamental pillars to safeguard the sovereignty, independence and equality of all States.

      We likewise reject the attempts to destabilize the government of the sister Republic of Nicaragua, a country of peace, where there have been remarkable social, economic and public safety advances that have favored its people, under the guidance of Commander President Daniel Ortega.

      We express our all-out support and solidarity with the cultural and democratic Revolution led by our brother, President Evo Morales Ayma, who has placed the Pluri-nationalState of Bolivia at the avant-garde of the struggle for sustainable development and social justice.

      Amidst an ever more dangerous and complex international situation, in which the security and wellbeing of our nations are facing unprecedented challenges, unity and solidarity among non-aligned countries become indispensable. For that it is necessary to preserve the concept of consensus applied historically within the Movement, which includes the celebration of broad consultations prior to the meetings and lengthy debates promoted within them in order to provide more possibilities for an understanding, always bearing in mind that what is being sought for is a sound agreement that does not require or entail unanimity. The document on the Methodology of Cartagena does not presuppose the imposition of numerical requirements in decision-making.

      Equally vital is the preservation, revitalization and strengthening of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries, whose founding principles continue to be fully valid.

      Mr. President:

      We recognize the contribution made by Venezuela to strengthen our Movement and preserve unity during its presidency.

      We assure the Republic of Azerbaijan, the next president of the Non-Aligned Movement, of our full support.

      We reaffirm Cuba’s unswerving commitment with multilateralism and the efforts to advance towards a democratic, just and equitable international order that responds to the call for peace and sustainable development of all peoples. That world will be possible if we all get together and struggle to achieve it.

      Thank you, very much.

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