Thursday, June 30, 2011

Statement From Josefina Vidal, Director of the North American Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba

Havana. June 29, 2011

Statement from Josefina Vidal, director of the North American Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba

THE inclusion of Cuba in the worst of the categories of the State Department report on countries which "do not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking and are not making significant efforts to do so," is a shameful defamation which profoundly offends the Cuban people and once again fails to acknowledge the exemplary performance of our country in relation to the protection of children, young people and women.

Once again, we strongly reject the inclusion of Cuba in this spurious report from the Department of State.

Cuba is not a source, transit or destination country of this scourge. Sex trafficking of minors does not exist, neither does the forced labor of children. On the contrary, legislation and policies adopted by the Cuban government and the work undertaken by our institutions in this sphere place Cuba as one of the countries in the region with the most advanced regulations and mechanisms for preventing and combating person trafficking, and in the care and protection of children and vulnerable sectors of the population.

The report’s allegations that there is no information on Cuba’s actions in this context are not true. The government of the United States knows that. Although Cuba does not recognize this unilateral and discriminatory exercise, as with other governments, the United States has up-to-date information on the systematic work of many Cuban institutions in preventing and confronting the trafficking of persons. Once more, it has simply decided to ignore the facts.

The utilization of this exercise as a pretext to discredit Cuba constitutes a mockery of legitimate efforts underway in the world to eliminate a criminal activity which profoundly damages its millions of victims. The obsession to attempt to justify a failed and cruel policy like the blockade is the only way that Cuba’s arbitrary inclusion on this list can be explained.

The Department of State report deliberately distorts the reality of Cuba and conceals the magnitude and impunity of operation of the principal criminal organizations linked to person trafficking in the United States itself, where a significant number of the victims of this scourge are concentrated.

Translated by Granma International

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