Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez announced today in a press conference that Cuban President Raúl Castro will participate in the United Nations General Assembly sessions and high level discussion, on September 25 and 28, respectively. During his stay in New York, the Army General and President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers will additionally attend a conference on the empowerment of women, and hold meetings with sectors of U.S. society and representatives of the solidarity with Cuba movement, Rodríguez said.
He also reported that the General Assembly sessions this year will be focused on the post-2015 development agenda, and are taking place within the context of the United Nations’ 70th anniversary.
On another issue, Rodríguez described Pope Francis’ visit to Cuba as an “extraordinary event,” emphasizing, “Cuba will welcome Francis with respect and solidarity.”
He highlighted the role played by the Pontiff in the process of reestablishing diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States.
During the press conference, which took place at the Foreign Ministry, Rodríguez referred to the report Cuba has prepared on the need to end the blockade, to be submitted to the international community, at the UN General Assembly, October 27.
Rodríguez, said that the report this year includes two new paragraphs hailing the reestablishment of bilateral relations with the United States, and acknowledging President Barack Obama’s willingness to work for the elimination of the blockade.
Nevertheless, he noted, the hostile policy remains in place, a violation of the civil rights of both Cubans and U.S. citizens.
Rodríguez denounced the current campaign against Venezuela, a part of a crusade against progressive and left governments which have made progress in asserting their sovereignty, emphasizing that Cuba categorically rejects interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela.