Sunday, June 21, 2020

Caribbean Cooperation to Confront COVID-19 and Economic Challenges
Statement by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez during the 25th Ordinary Meeting of the Association of Caribbean States Council of Ministers

June 19, 2020 15:06:16
Photo: Cubaminrex

Statement by Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, at the 25th Ordinary Meeting of the Association of Caribbean States Council of Ministers

Honorable Senator Dr. Jerome Walcott, Justice of the Peace, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of Barbados;

Dr. June Soomer, Secretary-General of the Association of Caribbean States;

Distinguished delegates and guests;


First of all I would like to welcome the initiative of the government of Barbados, as chair of the Association of Caribbean States Council of Ministers, of convening this online meeting. 

COVID-19, the epicenter of which has now moved to our region, generating a health crisis of huge proportions, is threatening all our lives, thus confirming the need for cooperation and solidarity to confront the pandemic, as well as the increasing challenges resulting from the situation that has been created

The Association has taken action to coordinate our work to protect the health of our peoples. Particularly worth mentioning are those resulting from the First Extraordinary Meeting of Foreign and Health Ministers on COVID-19 and the First Regional technical Meeting of ACS member states and associate members on the pandemic.

These are times to express solidarity and understand health as a right, a principle that motivates our country’s cooperation, given the emergency. In keeping with this strong belief, Cuba has responded to requests from several countries to combat COVID-19, in virtue of which Cuban health professionals and technicians have travelled specifically to provide health care and advice to 16 Association member states, and joined medical brigades already serving there, thus increasing to 20 the number of ACS member states which are benefitting from medical cooperation offered by Cuba. 

Added to the challenge of preserving human life under the conditions imposed by the pandemic is the need to reactivate the economies of our nations, after a drastic reduction of productive, economic and commercial activities, which were already hit hard by the international economic crisis, the negative effects of climate change, the occurrence of natural disasters and the terrible and unsustainable burden of foreign debt that is inherent to the unjust international financial system.


Even under the present circumstances, unilateral coercive measures continue to be imposed, which are causing humanitarian damage and making impossible government acquisition of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals necessary to treat the sick.

In the case of Cuba, the blockade has been further tightened; and the politically motivated campaign against our medical cooperation - meant to damage these services currently benefitting thousands of persons - has been further escalated.

I would like to thank the Association and all member states for opposing the irrational, illegal and cruel blockade policy against our people.

We salute the election of the Dominican Republic as President of the Association’s Council of Ministers Executive Board and appreciate the able work of this body by Barbados, as well as the effective performance of Dr. June Soomer.

We likewise welcome the new Secretary-General, confident that he will use his vast experience to successfully fulfill the mandates received from our heads of state and/or government.

To those who initiate their terms in such important positions, we express our willingness to continue contributing within the ACS. To those who conclude their mandates we express our gratitude.

We are sure that this important meeting will decisively contribute to advancing the Association. Cuba will continue working in favor of unity and for the consolidation of our Association.

Thank you, very much!

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