On July 7th, 2021, editors of Hood Communist blog were invited to a historic press conference to speak with and ask questions to the newly appointed Permanent Representative of Cuba to the United Nations, H.E. Ambassador Pedro Luis Pedroso Cuesta.
The intention of this meeting, as stated by Obi Egunba Jr, who helped coordinate the press conference, was to begin to create a left media space with a particular focus on Cuba to combat the onslaught of slanderous misinformation directed at the island in an effort to thwart its revolution. Several left media outlets were given the opportunity to ask his excellency, Ambassador Cuesta, a few questions. Editors of Hood Communist wanted to share his responses to our important questions that help move us beyond solidarity to comradery with the people of Cuba defending their revolution.
HOOD COMMUNIST: Recently, Blinken accused the world’s respected and renowned Cuban medical team of engaging in human trafficking during the 2021 Trafficking in Persons Report Launch Ceremony. How do you think this outlandish charge is related to the US’ recent blockade resolution vote?
What do you think a statement like this signals about the intentions of the Biden administration toward Cuba?
PLPC: It is very unfortunate that the current administration has decided to engorge in some way the accusations from President Trump’s administration that everybody knows was with the purpose— the intended purpose— to cut resources by Cuba. Everybody knows that the international health cooperation that Cuba provides to a number of countries is sustained by bilateral arrangements and bilateral agreements signed with countries that are interested in Cuban cooperation. All of those professionals involved in those cooperations decide freely without any governmental pressure on their participation and they sign contracts for engaging in these cooperations. This is slander and a smear campaign that we have denounced and will continue to denounce. And it’s only during times of a pandemic, which is quite a coincidence, that the US engages in this politic of trying to deprive people of having assistance in other countries that otherwise they can not have because the work that Cuban professionals do engage in those countries can not be easily supplemented by national professionals in those countries or any other foreign professionals. This is an unsustainable campaign that Cuba has denounced and will continue to denounce. And we have a proven history of dealing in cooperative relationships with the UN mechanisms that work in the area of trafficking persons. The US can not sustain those accusations against Cuba.
HOOD COMMUNIST: As Africans in the US, we are over-propagandized through the mainstream media apparatus which oftentimes aligns with the state— this includes negative depictions of Cuba. How can Africans in the US combat the propaganda and show concrete solidarity with Cuba at this time?
PLPC: I will have to say, for example, that many of the countries— we had more than 50 statements at the general assembly session that examined the issue of the US blockade on Cuba— many of those statements at the general assembly referred, specifically, to the precision and the value that those countries attach to the Cuban medical cooperation. And many of those stressed the value that their people gave to the cooperation and work by the Cuban medical professionals in their countries. Also, there was a high level of sentiment during the general assembly. A very quiet relevant number of the leaders who participated in the sentiment, in a very high level of sentiment, also underlined the importance and the precision of the government for the solidarity that Cuba had put in place incorporating in the health sector through the medical brigades with those countries. Many of those countries are in Africa, in the Caribbean. Also, I would have to say many of these caravans because the caravan movement has become, although starting here, more of an international movement. Every month in many cities around the world, including in many of the African cities, we have seen caravans of people against the blockade and calling for the lifting of this unjust policy. We very much believe that our African sisters and brothers have also much to say and much to contribute to these international movements against the blockade.