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López Obrador applauds Cuba President Díaz-Canel during Independence celebrations on Thursday. López Obrador applauds Cuba President Díaz-Canel during Independence celebrations on Thursday.

López Obrador repeats Cuba embargo message to US: ‘End the blockade’

'No state has the right to subjugate another people, another country'

President López Obrador has repeated his call for the United States to lift its trade embargo on Cuba in yet another show of support for the communist island nation.

“The government I represent respectfully calls on the United States government to lift the blockade against Cuba,” he said at an Independence Day event on Thursday attended by Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel and new United States Ambassador Ken Salazar, among other dignitaries.

“Because no state has the right to subjugate another people, another country,” the president said.

“… Hopefully President Biden, who possesses sufficient political sensitivity, acts with nobility and puts an end to the policy of grievances against Cuba forever. … Grudges have to be left behind, [the United States] has to understand the new circumstances and seek reconciliation. It’s time for brotherhood, not confrontation,” López Obrador said.

AMLO, as the leftist president is commonly known, called for an end to the United States embargo earlier this year as large protests were taking place in the Caribbean island nation. In July he said that the entire country should be declared a World Heritage site for its “example of resistance” to the world.

The president rides in the military parade in Mexico City Thursday with the the heads of the armed forces.
The president rides in the military parade in Mexico City Thursday with the the heads of the armed forces.

Speaking in Mexico City’s central square after a military parade to mark the 200th anniversary of the end of the war of independence against the Spanish, Lopez Obrador praised Cuba’s defense of its revolution for 62 years.

“We can agree with the Cuban Revolution and its government or not but to have resisted 62 years without subjugation is an undeniable historic feat,” he said.

“Consequently, I believe that the people of Cuba, for their fight in defense of the country’s sovereignty, deserve the prize of dignity,” AMLO said.

Speaking at the same event, Díaz-Canel – the first foreign leader to address a Mexican Independence Day ceremony – said that Cuba will always remember Mexico’s support during trying times.

(Three Mexican ships transported diesel, medical supplies and food to Cuba in late July to offset shortages that have afflicted the country during the pandemic and which triggered protests against the Cuban government.)

“Cuba will always remember your expressions of support, your permanent call for the lifting of the embargo,” the Cuban president said.

The military parade Thursday in the zócalo in Mexico City.
The military parade Thursday in the zócalo in Mexico City.

In a 13-minute address, he spoke of a “significant cultural exchange” between Cuba and Mexico, noting that Fidel Castro, Ernesto “Che” Guevara and Cuban independence hero José Martí all spent time here.

The president also acknowledged that the two countries have a sporting relationship built on a shared love for baseball and boxing.

He said his invitation to attend the Independence Day celebrations “has an immeasurably greater value in times in which we are suffering the ravages of a multidimensional war, with a criminal blockade opportunistically intensified in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic with 240 [new] measures.”

“… In parallel, we are facing an aggressive campaign of hate, disinformation, manipulation and lies assembled on the most diverse and influential digital platforms that ignore all ethical limits,” Díaz-Canel said, referring to online opposition to his government.

“Under the fire of this total war, the solidarity of Mexico with Cuba has awakened in our people greater admiration and the deepest gratitude,” he said. “… Viva México! Long live the friendship between Cuba and Mexico.”

With reports from Milenio and Reforma 

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