Photo: Eduardo Palomares

UNITED NATIONS.–Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, speaking in the UN this Monday, September 18, noted that the island is advancing in its recovery following the devastating impact of Hurricane Irma, and will not abandon any of those people affected to their own fate.

“The fruits of years of intense work by our people were erased by Irma in just a few hours. But the hurricane did not break Cubans’ spirit of resistance,” Rodríguez stressed in a UN General Assembly High-LevelEventon HurricaneIrma, to address the consequences in the Caribbean region and recovery efforts.

Rodríguez recalled the recent words of President Raúl Castro, who referring to the damages caused by Irma emphasized that the Cuban people are “regenerated with every adversity.”

“As it has always been throughout the Cuban Revolution, all necessary resources will be used to ensure that no one is left defenseless,” he added.

The diplomat took the opportunity “to thank the numerous demonstrations of solidarity and offers of assistance received from numerous governments, parliaments, international organizations and civil society.”

“The hurricane battered Cuba for more than 72 hours, in particular it struck almost all of the north of the country.

“Virtually no territory of the archipelago was spared its effects. Despite the huge prevention measures taken, we suffered the loss of ten lives,” he stated.

Rodríguez also expressed condolences to all the countries and territories affected by the hurricane and ratified Cuba’s willingness to “cooperate within our modest possibilities with the sisterly peoples affected by the hurricane.”

The Cuban Foreign Minister urged the international community to mobilize aid to the Caribbean region, prioritizing those states and territories that, due to their small size, population and limited recovery capabilities, will face the greatest challenges.

He noted that phenomena such as Irma demonstrate the importance of confronting climate change, under the principles of common but differentiated responsibilities, and in particular the need for special and differential treatment of Small Island States, such as the sister nations of Cuba that were seriously affected.

The forum, convened by the President of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly, Miroslav Lajcak, and UN Secretary-General António Guterres, aimed to turn the attention of the international community to the damages caused by Irma.