Published on 12 June by Granma

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The final declaration of the Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and the European Union (EU), which concluded June 11 in Brussels, rejected the U.S. blockade against Cuba and its extraterritorial impact. The 2nd CELAC-EU Summit was held over two days in the Justus Lipsius building, headquarters of the European Council, and saw the participation of more than 40 heads of state and government and high level delegations from 61 countries throughout the two regions.

The document highlighted that laws contained within the Helms-Burton Act cause human damages to the Cuban people and negatively impact the development of economic relations between the island, the EU and other countries. The unilateral coercive measures are a violation of international law, the text added.

The document also acknowledged CELAC’s Special Declaration opposing unilateral measures against Venezuela, adopted January 29, and its statement expressing solidarity with the country, approved on March 26. Likewise, the final declaration of the Summit praised the declaration of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace and the decision to resolve differences through peaceful means.

Furthermore, it welcomed the announcement made on December 17, 2014, by the Presidents of Cuba and the United States, Raúl Castro and Barack Obama, to advance toward re-establishing bilateral relations. The document noted, “In this context we expect all necessary steps to be taken towards an early end to the embargo [blockade].”

Meanwhile, both the Political Declaration and the Brussels Declaration approved by the delegations representing 61 countries: 33 from CELAC and 28 from the EU, proposed to strengthen relations based on historic bi-regional ties.

According to Prensa Latina, Ecuadoran President and CELAC President pro tempore, Rafael Correa, described the meeting as fruitful and one which served to bring the two blocs closer together, during which issues of bi-regional and global interest were addressed. The problem of climate change was discussed in depth and we agreed that in the Paris meeting in December we must arrive at agreements related to taking care of our planet, he said. Correa added that the issue of immigration to Europe, given the lack of opportunities for migrants in their countries of origin, was also broached, a question which requires global solutions.

Another issue on the table was the need for a new kind of cooperation between Latin America, the Caribbean and the EU. In this sense, Correa stated that the region no longer requires support to construct schools, healthcare centers or rural roads, but to develop human talent, science and technology.

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