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Miguel Díaz-Canel, President of the Republic of Cuba, criticized Wednesday the poor scope of universal agreements for the fight against all forms of racism while speaking virtually at the High-Level Meeting to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action.
At the meeting, which is part of the general debate of the 76th session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly, the President said that the objectives set out in the Durban Declaration and Program of Action to combat all forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance have not been achieved.
He noted that structural racism persists and proliferates at worrying levels, including in social networks and other communication platforms, hate speech, intolerance, xenophobia and discrimination.
Díaz-Canel, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, added that developed capitalist countries try with demagogic speeches to divert attention from their historical responsibility in the enthronement and persistence of these scourges and their debt with the peoples who are victims of the slavery to which they were subjected.
He referred to the multidimensional crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic, "which has exacerbated structural inequalities and exclusion, typical of the prevailing unjust economic order, which subjects the poor, the Afro-descendant or the migrant, to all kinds of discrimination."
Diaz-Canel continued by saying that, "it meant that with a colonial slave past, the black and mulatto Cuban population suffered for centuries the consequences of a system in which racism and racial discrimination were part of everyday life and only with the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, in 1959, a process of radical transformations took place that demolished the structural bases of racism, and eliminated institutionalized racial discrimination forever."
"The new Constitution of the Republic of Cuba ratified and strengthened the recognition and protection of the right to equality, as well as the prohibition of discrimination," stressed the head of state.
"President @DiazCanelB ratified in #UNGA that: 'We will not relent in the purpose of achieving all social justice. The peoples of the world will always be able to count on the contribution of #Cuba so that the commitments we made 20 years ago in Durban become a reality.'"
He added that in order to make further progress in the emancipating work of the Revolution, the National Plan against Racism and Racial Discrimination was approved in November 2019, as a government program that favors the most effective confrontation of racial prejudices and social problems that still persist in Cuban society.
The Cuban President stressed that the peoples of the world will always be able to count on Cuba's contribution "so that the commitments we assumed 20 years ago in Durban become a reality."
Bruno Rodríguez, Cuba's Minister of Foreign Affairs, will attend the High-Level Meeting, which will adopt a declaration aimed at mobilizing the necessary political will to fully and effectively implement the Durban Declaration and Program of Action and its follow-up processes.
The Durban Declaration and Program of Action were adopted by consensus at the 2001 World Conference against Racism in South Africa and propose concrete measures to combat racism, discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.