The Cuban President was received in New York by José Ramón Cabañas Rodríguez, ambassador of Cuba to the United States. Photo: Estudio Revolución

NEW YORK.-At the stroke of two in the afternoon, the President of the Councils of State and of Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, arrived at the Cuban Mission to the United Nations, located on the bustling Lexington Avenue.

“Arriving here to New York, to participate in this session of the United Nations Assembly, the first thing to say is that a lot of things go through one’s mind,” he stated.

With an the image of Fidel speaking at the United Nations in 1979 as a backdrop, the Cuban President spoke of the memories of struggle that he learned of as a child in Cuba, and noted how later these were joined by those of “the presence of Fidel in the United Nations, and later of Raúl. Therefore, I believe that here too there is a mixture of emotions.”

He declared that “We bring the voice of Cuba, which above all comes to denounce the aberrant policy of the blockade, a policy that has already failed, that will continue to fail.” It is the “longest lasting blockade in the history of humanity, which has condemned generations born before and after the Revolution,” he denounced.

“We are going to reiterate this denunciation with all our strength, at a time when there is a setback in relations with the United States government; when there is an administration that has resumed the Cold War discourse, that has revitalized the Monroe Doctrine; and that, therefore, is an administration with which it is difficult to advance in a relationship between equals, also seeking civilized relations despite ideological differences. We also come to bring the message of Cuba: of peace, solidarity, desires and aspirations to build a better world.”

Díaz-Canel stressed the will of Cubans “to contribute, as a small country, with our modest effort, in the construction of a better world that we are sure is possible.”

The Cuban President’s agenda in New York:

Monday 24:
- Díaz-Canel will speak during the morning session of the Nelson Mandela Peace Summit.

Wednesday 26:

- The President will deliver a speech at the International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons commemoration.

- He will participate in the General Debate of the 73rd Session of the United Nations General Assembly.

- He will meet with Secretary-General of the UN, Antonio Guterres, and hold talks with Bill de Blasio, Mayor of New York City.

- Díaz-Canel is expected to be received at the legendary Riverside Church in Harlem, where Fidel and Mandela were also welcomed.

Other activities:
- The President will hold bilateral talks with presidents and prime ministers from different parts of the world.
- He will participate in solidarity meetings with friends of Cuba and Cuban residents in the U.S.