Cuba and Its Unwavering Support for the Palestinian Cause

Havana, May 10 (Prensa Latina) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is arriving today in Cuba, a country that has maintained an unwavering support for that Arab people’s right to self-determination and for an end to Israeli occupation.

At the United Nations and other international forums, Cuba has demanded for decades the creation of the Palestinian State, with East Jerusalem as its capital and the borders that existed before 1967, when Israel started the occupation. Since November 29, 2012, Palestine is an observing non-member State of the United Nations, by virtue of Resolution 67/19 of the General Assembly, which was approved by 138 votes in favor, nine against and 41 abstentions.

At the time, the United States led the pressures and efforts to prevent the approval of that resolution, a stance that Washington has taken for decades at the Security Council, where under the umbrella of its right to veto, it blocks, save on one occasion, or threatens to do so with any initiative that is contrary to the interests of Israel, its strategic ally in the Middle East.

Cuba has also demanded an end to the blockade impose on the Gaza Strip for more than ten years, respect for the refugees’ right to return to their homeland and an end to the colonization of the West Bank, where Israel has built settlements that have been condemned worldwide.

Two weeks ago, Cuba ratified its solidarity with Palestine at an open debate at the UN Security Council, at which the Caribbean island’s permanent representative before that multilateral organization, Anayansi Rodriguez, took the floor.

At the Council, the Cuban diplomat condemned the escalation of Israeli violations in Gaza, which have taken a toll of dozens of lives.

According to Rodriguez, Israel’s behavior and its crimes against the civilian population are a flagrant violation of the UN Charter and international law.

She warned that the occupiers’ aggressiveness further pushes away the possibilities to resume the peace negotiations on the world demanded solution of two States.

In April, the Cuban Foreign Ministry strongly condemned ‘the new and criminal aggression by the Israeli Army against the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip’.

In a declaration, Cuba particularly condemned the repression against the participants in the so-called Great Return March, the largest peaceful demonstration on the border of Gaza in many years.

The Foreign Ministry repeated Cuba’s stance in support of ‘a fair and lasting solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of two States, which will grant the Palestinians the right to free determination and to have an independent and sovereign State, with East Jerusalem as its capital and the borders prior to 1967.’

That is hindered by the administration of Republican President Donald Trump, who took office in January 2017 and dealt a harsh blow to the search for peace among the parties, despite a promoted peace plan by the United States that President Abbas assured that he would not support a few days ago.

Trump attacked the United Nations and his predecessor in the Oval Office, Barack Obama, for their alleged anti-Israeli stances, above all the historic resolution approved on December 2016 by the Security Council against the Israeli settlements and on which Washington abstained (the first time that it does not block that kind of initiative).

In a recurrent way, the U.S. permanent representative before the UN, Nikki Haley, has threatened the governments that criticize or hinder Washington’s actions in favor of Tel Aviv.

Among Trump’s most polemic decisions is moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, in an open challenge to the global consent of not recognizing the sovereignty of that city until peace is achieved.

In December 2017, Cuba also expressed its deepest concern about and condemnation of the unilateral declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, ‘which constituted a serious and flagrant violation of the UN Charter, international law and the pertinent resolutions of the United Nations.’

Recently, Washington claimed Israel’s right to self-defense to justify violence against protests in Gaza.

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