Saturday, July 01, 2006

Cuba Highlights Importance of Non-Aligned Movement

Last night, Cuban television ran a feature film about South Africa
in the post-Apartheid period, staring Samuel L. Jackson and Juliete Binoche, COUNTRY OF MY SKULL. Over the past year there's been quite a campaign to commemorate the anniversary of Cuba's participation beginning thirty years ago in the libration struggle in Angola, which had a critical impact on defeating the U.S.-backed apartheid regime in South Africa, which helped lead to its overthrow.)

July 1, 2006

Cuba Highlights Importance of Non-Aligned Movement

Cuban Foreign Affairs Minister Felipe Perez Roque, addressing the
special ministerial session of a summit of the African Union,
highlighted the importance and relevance of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). He stressed the significance of the movement in today's world marked by unilateral and aggressive policies and disrespect by powerful countries for the most basic standards of international law and the principles and purposes of the United Nations Charter.

During his speech delivered to the representatives of the 53 nations
which make up the African Union, Minister Perez Roque said these were the reasons which show "the urgency for maintaining a united front in the defense of the rights of peoples to self-determination, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The Cuban official also added that it was necessary to work together
to demand the right of people to peace and development, something
which is as important as ever because it is essential that "the South
-united in solidarity- struggle for the democratization of
international relations and the restructuring of the international
economic and financial system."

Referring to the upcoming Non-Aligned Movement Summit to take place this September in Havana, Perez Roque stated that Cuba will make all possible efforts to ensure this meeting results in the strengthening and further development of movement.

The Cuban foreign minister reiterated Cuba's long standing solidarity
with the peoples and governments of Africa in their struggle against
poverty and underdevelopment inherited from centuries of slavery,
wars fought for natural resources, colonialism and an international
economic order which is deeply unjust and elitist.

Perez Roque told the audience that thousands of African students have been trained in Cuba over the course of Cuba's ongoing revolution, and that today more than 2,000 young Africans are studying in that island-nation's universities, while tens of thousands of Cuban medical doctors, engineers, and construction specialists are working in Africa.

"More that 2,000 Cuban soldiers gave their lives during the African struggles against apartheid and for independence. We Cubans only took from Africa the remains of our fallen comrades. Cuba doesn't own any mines or oil wells in Africa; Cuba possesses only affection and admiration for the peoples of Africa," Minister Perez Roque emphasized.

Prior to taking part in the African Union summit, Minister Perez Roque visited Burkina Faso, Mali, Cape Verde, Senegal and the Gambia, where he held meetings with senior government officials in those nations.

In those meetings, the Cuban minister reported on the preparations in progress for the upcoming Non-Aligned Nations Summit and dealt with aspects of bilateral interest - particularly the assistance Cuba offers to those nations in the area of health care.

In each of the nations which he visited, the Cuban Foreign Affairs Minister met with groups of Cuban professionals who are providing assistance in those countries. He was able to verify the excellent spirits and good moods of those work collectives, which have as their main goal to help save lives and to fulfill their commitment to the revolution and their president.

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