The exclusion of Cuban civil society organizations, from both virtual and face-to-face activities of the Summit of the Americas’ Civil Society Forum, was condemned by participants in the III Forum of Cuban Civil Society and Social Actors, under the banner of “Thinking Americas,” which took place yesterday at the José Martí National Library, convened by the Cuban United Nations Association.
In their final declaration, participants condemned the rejection of registrations submitted by Cuban representatives and the admission of only a small number of social activists, reflecting the selectivity, double standards, discriminatory policies and anti-democratic attitudes prevailing among organizers of the Summit.
The statement denounces the decision of the United States government, in its capacity as the host country, to unilaterally exclude Latin American and Caribbean nations, violating the principles of respect for sovereignty, the self-determination of peoples and non-interference in the internal affairs of other states.
The fact that the U.S. government has ruled out the processing of visas in Havana for representatives of Cuban civil society, which organizers of the Summit’s parallel forums approved, is also repudiated in the document.
“This decision blatantly undermines the obligations of a host country, demonstrating its contempt for regional public opinion in support of an inclusive event, and reflects the essence of the hostile, interventionist policy of the United States government toward Cuba, with the futile objective of overthrowing the political, economic and social system which Cubans have chosen, in full exercise of our self-determination,” the statement noted.
Participants likewise condemned the brutal U.S. blockade of Cuba and reaffirmed their right “to continue building socialism in this, our beloved homeland,” and “a sustainable, resilient, equitable future, with all and for the good of all.”