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In Geneva, Lifting of Blockade Against Cuba Demanded of Obama

Geneva, Apr 26 (Prensa Latina) The Belgian economist and writer Marc Vandepitte described the persistent blockade by the United States against Cuba as “scandalous” and called on President Barack Obama to lift it, as the United Nations has also demanded.

The blockade has a high cost to the small Caribbean country, as it affects trade, investment and financial transactions, Vandepitte told Prensa Latina after speaking at a conference on the Cuban economy at the Palais de Nations.

At the conference, the Belgian expert gave an overview of the situation since before the triumph of the Revolution, its relations with the socialist bloc, the Special Period, and the current stage, where Cuba is updating its economic and social model.

Vandepitte explained how despite being a blockaded country for more than 50 years, Cuba has achieved indicators superior to those of many other countries, including industrialized nations, according to data provided by the United Nations Program for Development and other international entities.

The report that Cuba will present at the Universal Periodic Review at the Human Rights Council points out that the country has already achieved many of the UN Millennium Development Goals.

In 2012, Cuba’s infant mortality rate was 4.6 per 1,000 births, the lowest in Latin America, and maternal mortality stood at 21.5 per 100,000 deliveries, among the lowest in the world.

Regarding education, Cuba ranks 14th worldwide in the Education for All Development Index.

These results have been possible in Cuba, despite its being blockaded, because the government prioritizes the welfare of the population, said Vandepitte.

Cuba’s Geneva-based ambassador to international organizations, Anayansi Rodriguez, members of the diplomatic corps and delegations from a number of countries represented here, attended the conference at U.N. headquarters here.


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