Condemnation of the impact of the U.S. blockade on Cuban women

Havana.  October  14, 2014

UNITED NATIONS.— Cuba condemned the impact of the U.S. economic, commercial and financial blockade on the development and wellbeing of Cuban women, at the UN this Monday.

The unilateral measure imposed by Washington for over half a century represents an act of genocide and violence endured by Cuban women and girls, the diplomat, Jairo Rodríguez, stated in the Third Committee of the UN General Assembly, regarding social, cultural and humanitarian issues.

According to the Cuban official, the blockade results in the greatest obstacle to the progress of women in the Caribbean country, where the American sanctions have caused losses of 1 trillion 112,532 million dollars and incalculable human damage.

The elimination of violence against women and girls requires the eradication of all unilateral coercive measures, Rodríguez warned in a session devoted to reviewing progress for this sector of the planet’s population.

Rodriguez recalled that on October 28, the international community will once again have the opportunity to reject the blockade, when the plenary of the 193 UN members vote on a new draft resolution on the need to end the White House’s siege on Cuba.

At this Third Committee, the diplomat also denounced the suffering of the mothers, wives and children of the three Cuban antiterrorist fighters who remain incarcerated in U.S prisons.

Gerardo Hernández, Antonio Guerrero and Ramón Labañino were arrested in 1998 together with Fernando González and René González, who returned to the island after serving their sentences, for monitoring groups from southern Florida who organized, financed and carried out violent actions against Cuba.

In his speech, Rodríguez explained that Cuba, a small developing country, has already met the millennium goals and even exceeded some of them, among which are those regarding the promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women.

“Cuba was the first country to sign and the second in ratifying the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women. Cuban women access the public sphere on an equal basis with men and we have a National Action Plan as a follow-up to the Fourth UN World Conference on Women, which has had three internal assessment processes,” he added.

Rodriguez also highlighted the full access to health and education, the reduction in infant mortality to 4.2 per thousand live births – on a par with the richest countries – and the increase in life expectancy, which reached 80 years.

He stressed that internationally, despite some progress, there remains a lot to be done to overcome exclusion, discrimination and violence afflicting women. (PL)

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