The following is the text of the final declaration of the third forum of Cuban Civil Society and Social Actors, ‘Thinking Americas’, issued in Havana on 23 May 2022 (Year 64 of the Revolution).
Cuban civil society’s social actors and organisations, authentic representatives of the Cuban people, gathered to express our positions on the central theme of the ninth Summit of the Americas, ‘Building a sustainable, resilient and equitable future’, and the issues to be addressed in that forum:
I. Emphatically condemn the exclusion of the organisations of Cuban civil society from participation in the virtual and in-person formats of the Civil Society forum at the ninth Summit of the Americas, by refusing their registration, despite the comprehensive application for registration submitted by their representatives and by social actors. Combined with the admission of a mere handful of social actors, this demonstrates the double standards and discriminatory, antidemocratic policies prevailing among the summit organisers.
II. Deplore the fact that the decision of the United States as host country to exclude Cuban civil society organisations and social actors breaches the principles of respect for sovereignty and for the self-determination of the peoples and that of non-interference in their domestic affairs, tenets fully supported by Cuban civil society.
III. Denounce the US government’s refusal to process at its Havana embassy the visas of the few social actors which the organisers of the parallel forums approved for participation in person at the ninth summit. This decision rides roughshod over America’s obligations as host country, shows its contempt for regional public opinion – which argues for the inclusive nature of the event – and highlights the essence of the hostile, interventionist policy deployed by Washington against Cuba, with the failed aim of toppling the political, economic and social system which we Cubans have decided on, in full exercise of our self-determination.
IV. We reject the drawing up of an apocryphal ‘Plan of Health and Resistance’ that excluded the contribution Cuba can make to this document, based on the authority it has acquired in such matters. Its cooperation in the public health sphere provided to numerous countries in the region, the most recent example being that offered in combating the Covid-19 pandemic, is a clear demonstration of the Cuban state’s political will, with the active participation of the civil organisations and social actors, to enhance the resilience of the public health systems of Cuba and the countries in which it has staged this type of south-south cooperation.
V. Reaffirm that digital transformation is urgent and strategic for the countries of the region, not only for its effect on the economy and improvement in the quality of people’s lives, but also because of what digital technologies and their critical, ethical, humanist use signify for the prospects of a sustainable, resilient and equitable future and in the struggle to safeguard independence, sovereignty and the full exercise of human rights.
VI. Call for access to infrastructures and platforms that enable knowledge sharing and facilitate cooperation in the formulation and implementation of public policies in the field of digital transformation.
VII. Condemn the use of information technologies to wage a media war on Cuba and subvert the political, economic and social system constitutionally chosen by our people, who are represented by the Cuban civil society organisations and the social actors, participant in the forum.
VIII. Demand an inclusive, genuinely democratic format for the summits, in which the views of the civil society representatives of all the countries on the issues debated are heard; we are utterly opposed to the attempts by the organisers to impose concepts and exemplars that are alien to the societies, peculiarities and essence of Our America.
IX. Undertake to continue our active participation in the building of a sustainable, resilient and equitable future at national, regional and global levels, including by the participation of members of Cuban civil society in cooperation initiatives with other countries in our region.
X. Reaffirm our commitment to implementing the National Programme of Economic and Social Development (PNDES 2030), its coordination with Agenda 2030 and meeting its sustainable development goals, despite the devastating effects of the genocidal, multidimensional blockade imposed by successive US administrations on the Cuban nation, intensified to extreme degrees during the Covid-19 pandemic.
XI. Demand an end to the criminal blockade, which undermines the essence of the principle of equity and fairness in social policies; it constitutes a massive, flagrant and systematic violation of the human rights of the country’s entire population; affects the operations of the Cuban civil society organisations and the policies applied by the Cuban state, with the participation of the civil society organisations, aimed at building a sustainable, resilient and equitable future.
XII. Express our gratitude for the solidarity and support received from the region’s civil society organisations, which have defended an inclusive character for the summit.
XIII. Deplore the fact that Cuba’s exclusion from the summit is part of the aggressive policies and defamatory media campaigns targeting our country, designed to subvert the political, economic and social system that the Cuban population, also represented in the civil society organisations and social actors attending the forum, has decided on for itself.
XIV. Reassert our right to continue socialist development in this, our beloved homeland, and reaffirm our decision to continue building a sustainable, resilient and equitable future with everyone and for the benefit of everyone. We similarly reiterate the unshakeable confidence on the part of the civil society organisations and the social actors participant in the forum, that a better world, that we know to be possible, can be achieved.