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Cuba Signs Human Rights Treaties

Cuba Signs Human Rights Treaties

United Nations, Feb 28 (Prensa Latina) - Cuba Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque said Thursday the signing of two human rights treaties responds to a sovereign decision by the Cuban government, which has never acted under pressure.

In remarks to journalists after signing the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Perez Roque explained why island had made such a move at this moment.

He said the decision "has been made now that the selective, unfair mandate against Cuba, imposed by the US brutal pressure and blackmail in the former Human Rights Commission, has been clearly defeated, in what he called "a historic victory for the Cuban people." The minister said that Cuba presented the following statement, which is valid for both covenants: "The Republic of Cuba states that the 1959 Revolution made possible the enjoyment by its people of the rights protected by the two treaties.

"The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the US and its hostile, aggressive policy against Cuba constitute the most serious obstacle to the enjoyment by the Cuban people of the rights protected in the covenants," he said.

Perez Roque stressed that Cuba"s Constitution and legislation enshrine the rights protected in these covenants, and added that the government"s policies and programs guarantee the effective realization and protection of these rights for all Cubans.

The Cuban official announced that, regarding the scope and application of several aspects of these international rules, Cuba will present the reservations or declarations that we consider relevant.

Replying to a question about the likelihood of improved US-Cuba relations in the near future, Perez Roque said that his country is ready for it.

He made it clear, however, the Cuban sovereignty is beyond negotiation and that the US blockade must be lifted.

He insisted that Cuba relies on widespread international support, reiterated by the UN General Assembly in November, when a resolution against the nearly 50-year old US blockade was supported by 184 votes.

Source: Prensa Latina News Agency

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