Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva inspected the guard of honor at the Palace of the Revolution during the G77+China Summit in Havana, Cuba, on September 16, 2023. Brazilian President Lula da Silva, during his first visit to Cuba in his third term, criticized the US embargo on the island, calling it illegal, and expressed his opposition to Cuba being included on the list of countries sponsoring terrorism. Former US President Donald Trump added Cuba to the list, and although the Biden administration has reversed some of Trump’s measures, Cuba remains on the list. President Lula stated that Brazil rejects any unilateral coercive measures and the inclusion of Cuba on the list of states sponsoring terrorism.
Before departing for New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly and hold talks with President Biden, Lula emphasized the need for fair global governance during his opening speech at the summit in Havana. He raised concerns about the label of terrorism sponsorship and the long-standing economic embargo on Cuba, which has been criticized by the European Union and others. Critics argue that the embargo hinders access to essential supplies such as food and medicine.
During the General Assembly session, Brazil is expected to return to its historical position of condemning the embargo on Cuba, a motion that is typically voted on by the assembly each year and has received overwhelming support in the past. In 2019, under the Bolsonaro government, Brazil joined the United States and Israel in voting against the motion.
In addition to his stance on the embargo, President Lula also reiterated his call for developed countries to fulfill their commitments to combat climate change as outlined in the Paris Agreement. He highlighted the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, stating that developing countries should receive climate finance according to their specific needs.
The US State Department did not immediately respond to Lula’s comments, and the Biden administration has previously acknowledged that US law includes provisions related to the embargo.