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Permanent Mission of Cuba in Geneva
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STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR ANAYANSI RODRÍGUEZ CAMEJO

STATEMENT BY AMBASSADOR ANAYANSI RODRÍGUEZ CAMEJO, PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF CUBA TO THE OFFICE OF THE UNITED NATIONS IN GENEVA, IN THE ROUND TABLE ON INCOMPATIBILITY BETWEEN DEMOCRACY AND RACISM AT THE 31st REGULAR SESSION OF THE HUMAN RIGHTS COUNCIL. GENEVA, 18 MARCH 2016.

Mr. President:

In 1891, more than a century ago, José Martí, Cuba's national hero, said: "There is no racial hatred because there are no races. The soul emanates, equal and eternal, of the various bodies in shape and color. It is a sin against humanity to promote and proliferate opposition and hatred of the races”. In the Durban Conference in 2001, Fidel Castro Ruz, the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution said: "Racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia constitute a social, cultural and political phenomenon, not a natural human instinct: they are the direct offspring of wars, military conquest, enslavement and the individual or collective exploitation of the weakest by the most powerful throughout the length of the history of human societies" (end of the quote).

In Durban the incompatibility between democracy and racism was recognized. When there is a rising of political parties with xenophobic programs, anti-immigrant policies are promoted or intolerance-related forms, justified by the freedom of expression are allowed, one cannot speak of democracy. It corresponds to all States and to the Office of the High Commissioner to make every effort to reverse this situation, including the actual support to the Durban mechanisms provided for this purpose.

Mr. President:

About one million three thousand Africans, including Lucumíes, Carabalis, Congos, Yorubas, Gangas, Minas, Bibies and other groups arrived in Cuba as part of the genocidal transatlantic slave trade, but not resigned themselves to be exploited. Their spirit of rebellion and emancipation led the Cuban people in its struggle for independence and sovereignty. The Cuban Revolution fought racism and racial discrimination. Today we reaffirm the political will to continue working to reach higher levels in this effort as part of the project of human solidarity and social justice built by the Cuban people and government, for themselves and other peoples of the world as part of our international and selfless solidarity and cooperation. 

Thank you very much.

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