Antigua and Barbuda Calls for End of U.S. Blockade on Cuba

The President of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, called for the U.S. to end the blockade against Cuba and return Guantanamo Bay to the Caribbean island, in his speech Thursday at the United Nations General Assembly.

“We call upon the United States, the United States Congress, to lift the embargo on Cuba, which serves no one’s interest, or any useful purpose,” said Browne.

At the same time, Browne hailed the recent thawing in relations between the United States and Cuba that led to the reestablishment of diplomatic relations.

Browne also thanked China, Venezuela and Cuba for their ongoing support for the world’s smaller nations and South-South cooperation.

“Despite the economic challenges that these three countries face, they have given help to other countries unstintingly,” he said. “If these three countries, challenged as they are, can recognize an obligation to all mankind, regardless of race, color, size, or geographic location, surely rich and developed countries should be able to do the same.”

In particular, Browne applauded China for establishing a fund worth US$2 billion “to support developing countries in the implementation of the post-2015 development agenda.”

Browne also declared climate change “the greatest threat that confronts all mankind,” underscoring the impact it will have on the small island nations of the Caribbean and Indian Ocean. “All of our countries are potential victims.”