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"Strategies to confront climatic changes will be nothing but a pipe dream if the current irrational patterns of production and consumption are not modified," said First Deputy Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez on Friday, during the closing ceremony of the European Development Days conference held in Lisbon, Portugal.

The top Cuban official also made a call for a change in the unfair and exclusive international economic order, as a matter that cant be put off any longer if the human race is to be saved from extinction.

Rodríguez noted that little has been done since the memorable speech delivered by Cuban president Fidel Castro at the Rio de Janeiro Conference in 1992, and that the world is running out of time to act. He held the wealthy countries accountable for the environmental disaster, calling upon them to assume responsibility for their behavior. He also defended the right of South countries to development.

After presenting the results of Cubas international cooperation, particularly in the fields of health and energy, the deputy foreign minister commented on relations between Cuba and the European Union.

He noted that these will not return to normal until the so-called sanctions imposed against Cuba in 2003 -presently suspended- are not unconditionally and definitively eliminated. He also denounced the European Unions Common Stance, as an imposition of Washington through former Spanish President Aznar, and called for its abolishment.

Rodriguez also reiterated that Cuba is an independent country, proud of the Revolutions unquestionable accomplishments in terms of human rights, and that it enjoys a true democracy.

On Thursday, Cuba organized an event as part of the European Development Days, devoted to the islands intense international cooperation and its successful environmental strategy.

These themes were presented, by way of conferences, by Dr. Hector Herrera, who has offered his services in Haiti and Pakistan, and by Dr. Abel Centella, a well known specialist on climatic change. Also participating in the event was the European Commissions Charge dAffaires, Javier Niño.

Belgium Euro MP Alain Hutchinson spoke against the European Unions policy toward Cuba and declared himself to be against the sanctions and the Common Stance. Representatives of the prestigious non-governmental organizations Oxfam Belgium and OIKOS, from Portugal, presented their experiences in their cooperation with Cuba. They praised the islands effectiveness in this regard and its highly qualified personnel, while demanding the lifting of the sanctions against Cuba and opposing the Common Stance.

The Cuban delegation also met with the European Commissions Community Commissioner for Developmental Cooperation, Luis Michel, Portuguese Foreign Minister Luis Amado, and deputy Foreign Ministers Joao Gomes Cravinho and Ster, from Portugal and Slovenia, respectively. During an encounter with solidarity with Cuba groups in Lisbon, Rodriguez expressed his countrys gratitude for the support received and also reiterated the commitment of the Cuban Revolution.

Source: Granma

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