Ambassador Ana Silvia Rodríguez Abascal, Deputy Permanent Representative, Chargé d’Affaires a.i., of Cuba to the United Nations, participated today in the debate on agenda Item 126 entitled: “Global Health and Foreign Policy”.
The Cuban representative, who listed Cuba’s recognized achievements in the health field, denounced how the strengthened economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States for almost 60 years have a negative impact on Cuban national health programs. She added that, on the island, public health is a right for all people, ratified in Article 72 of the Constitution, and it is the responsibility of the State to guarantee access to free and quality healthcare services, as well as to protection and recovery.
Rodríguez Abascal took the opportunity to denounce the intensive and defamatory campaign deployed by the U.S. Government to denigrate Cuban medical cooperation, attacking the bilateral and intergovernmental programs of health cooperation; all of them legitimately established among the Cuban government and the governments of dozens of countries, which have been consistent with the United Nations guidelines referring to South-South cooperation and have responded to the health requirements that those governments have sovereignly defined.
She explained how Trump’s administration intends to reinstate the so-called ” Cuban Medical Professional Parole Program,” which was in force until 12 January 2017, in support to an active operation to incite defection, including the funding of air tickets and legal services, as well as the issuance of U.S. visas and travel documents for Cuban cooperation workers in third countries with the purpose of sabotaging bilateral agreements signed with third nations.
The Cuban diplomat also recalled that, in a world driven by selfish interests, in which capitalism considers health a commodity and not a right, it will be impossible to achieve Goal 3 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being of all at all ages”; and in particular, that of achieving universal health coverage for all people.
Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations