Source: Cuba Ministry of Foreign Affairs
March 30 2016
Cuba highlights the importance of strengthening the activities of international organizations on issues related to slavery and the transatlantic slave trade
Intervention by the Permanent Alternative Cuba Representative to the United Nations, HE Ambassador Ana Silvia Rodríguez Abascal, in item 118, “tracking the bicentenary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade” Commemorative Meeting on the occasion of the International Day remembrance of victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. 70 UN General Assembly – March 29, 2016
My delegation associates itself with the statement made by Antigua and Barbuda on behalf of the Group of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Slavery and the transatlantic slave trade are among the most serious crimes against humanity that have not been adequately studied, nor its consequences in today’s society duly recognized.
Tragedy and unspeakable horror was the fate of some 15 to 20 million men, women and children that the trans-Atlantic slave uprooted from their homes and were sent to the Americas as commercial cargo receiving an inhumane, unjust and despicable treatment.
Cuba attaches particular importance and sensitivity to the commemoration of the International Day of Remembrance of Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade. Cuba supported and co-sponsored the Resolution 61/19 of the General Assembly commemorating the 200th anniversary of the abolition of the transatlantic slave trade and appointed the day we commemorate today.
Major players in the different stages of the wars to exercise self-determination
Colonial plantations of Cuba emerged as part of this cruel trade, as about one million 300 thousand Africans were taken by force from their villages and families and sold as slave labor on the island. Freed slaves and their descendants, have been major players in the different stages of the wars that allowed the Cuban people to exercise self-determination.
Cuban identity, therefore, was the result of a process of acculturation occurred with the contribution of various ethnic groups in difficult first colonial, then neo-colonial environments. We are a mixture, in the main, of the Hispanic and African. We also influence Asian and Native American peoples.
The Cuban people are most proud of their African roots, which are present in our character and our cultural manifestations. Cuban culture and nationality emerged and nourished African heritage. Cuba has also provided the sweat and blood of hundreds of thousands of their children to contribute to the emancipation of Africa, a continent to which all humanity will always be indebted.
There is a lot of gold stained with the blood of slaves
There is a lot of gold stained with the blood of slaves, and much of the wealth generated produce shame and reproach. The fate of peoples of the third world was altered greatly by inhuman exploitation and it is these peoples who clearly deserve compensation for the horrendous crimes committed against their ancestors.
The developed countries and their consumer societies responsible for the accelerated and almost unstoppable destruction of the environment, have been the main beneficiaries of the conquest and colonization, slavery and trafficking trans-atlántica, the ruthless exploitation and extermination of hundreds of millions of children of the peoples of the South. They have also enriched the unjust economic order imposed on humanity and international financial institutions created exclusively by them and for them.
Cuba supports the just demand for compensation hoisted by the Member States of CARICOM. Cuba also claims the special and differential treatment required by developing countries, particularly Africa, in its international economic relations. Cuba rejects selfishness and shameful opulence of a few that serve as guidelines to ongoing globalization.
Cuba supports and co-sponsor the draft resolution
Cuba supports and co-sponsor the draft resolution presented each year under this theme by member countries of CARICOM and the African Group. Cuba recognizes the importance of strengthening the activities of the United Nations and other international organizations such as UNESCO in the field. It is the least the international community can do to repair the crime against humanity committed in the trans-Atlantic African to be enslaved.
Thank you very much.