The United Nations (UN) General Assembly on Monday witnessed Kenya’s unwavering support for Cuba as it backed Cuba’s demand to end the US blockade.
The Kenyan delegation conveyed their solidarity to Bruno Parilla, Cuba’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, who was present as the 193-member organ kicked off its annual debate on the “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by Washington against Cuba”.
The General Assembly is scheduled to vote on a resolution on the matter on 2 November.
Kenya’s stance was reinforced in a statement aligning with the African States, the Group of 77 and China, and the Non-Aligned Movement.
Kenya, represented by the Deputy Representative at the UN, Njambi Kinyungu, stressed that the US embargo on Cuba has been a longstanding contradiction to the foundational principles of the United Nations.
The statement underlined that this issue presents an affront to the principles that define statehood as set out in the UN Charter.
The UN Charter emphasizes the fundamental rights of sovereignty and non-interference while upholding the collective will for development and prosperity.
Despite these foundational principles, Kenya pointed out that Cuba continues to bear the brunt of double standards that erode the trust between UN member states.
Reflecting on the situation, Kenya used a poignant example: a decade ago, a swimmer bridged the 166-kilometer gap from Cuba to the United States, marking the shortest distance between the two nations. Rather than emphasizing embargoes, exclusion, and punitive measures, Kenya argued that the people of these close neighbors could greatly benefit from open exchanges of ideas, goods, and services, laying the foundation for lasting, mutually beneficial relationships.
Kenya further highlighted that the embargo is part of a broader sanctions phenomenon, punishing civilians indiscriminately and increasing the vulnerability of targeted countries to both man-made and natural shocks.
Such practices are also reshaping the global economy in ways that contradict the promises of prosperity that the wealthiest countries promoted during the era of globalization.
Kenya called on UN member states to abide by international law and a commitment to multilateralism that respects each member state as equal, thereby preventing a dangerous descent into a world where might makes right.
Kenya argued that generalized sanctions and embargoes are outdated tools generating ill will and injuries that harm even the interests of those imposing them.
In closing, Kenya affirmed its steadfast support for Cuba, expressing the hope that each vote in favor of this resolution would be the last, reflecting the eventual lifting of the embargo.
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