Miguel Diaz-Canal Bermudez addressed over 2,000 people at Riverside Church
Making his first visit to the United States as head-of-state, Republic of Cuba President Miguel Diaz-Canal Bermudez delivered an impassioned speech before the 73rd Ordinary Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on September 26.
Defending the sovereignty of Cuba and other states throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, Diaz-Canal emphasized that the nations within the region had a right to adopt the political and economic system of their choice.
The address appeared to be a refutation on the character of the speech given by U.S. President Donald Trump one day earlier. Trump launched a tirade against Venezuela and Cuba stating that socialism was a failed system.
Nonetheless, the newly-elected Cuban leader recounted the advances of socialism and the specific exploitative character of capitalism. He noted the increasing gap between the rich and poor along with the human deprivation so widespread in the contemporary world where resources are horded by a small group of billionaires squandering precious material wealth on weapons of war and conquest.
Although relations between Cuba and the U.S. were restored on July 20, 2015 after the severing of ties at the aegis of Washington in 1961, the economic blockade against Havana remains intact. Although former U.S. President Barack Obama led the initiative to re-establish diplomatic ties, his predecessor Donald J. Trump has escalated hostile rhetoric towards Cuba.
This diplomatic break in 1961 took place amid numerous attempts by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to overthrow the revolutionary government then led by Prime Minister and later President Fidel Castro Ruz (1926-2016). Fidel handed over power to his younger brother Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces Raul Castro in 2006. He had maintained control of the council of state and ministers until April 19 of this year. Raul remains First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC)).