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Cuban president calls on United Nations to help end U.S. sanctions

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Cuban president calls on United Nations to help end U.S. sanctions
Cuban President Miguel Mario Díaz-Canal Bermúdez speaks via video link at the 76th session of the United Nations General Assembly at United Nations headquarters on Thursday. Photo by Spencer Platt/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 23 (UPI) -- Cuban President Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel called on the United Nations to help it end long-running sanctions applied against it by the United States, saying the actions have a "marked racist influence."

Canal, who delivered a prerecorded message to the 76th United Nations General Assembly Thursday morning, said the United States has bullied other countries in joining them in sanctions and other economic penalties against his country and others like Venezuela.

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"Under the leadership and ongoing [policies] of the United States, we see a serious international riff being promoted with the harmful use and abuse of economic measures, which has become a central instrument of U.S. foreign policy," Canal said in his speech.

"The government of that country is threatening, extorting and pressuring sovereign states to take a stand and act against those who they identify as their adversaries. They demand that their allies build coalitions to overthrow legitimate governments. They default on trade commitments. They ban certain technologies and they apply unjustified judicial measures against citizens of countries who don't bend to their will."

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The communist country leader said Cuba "does not fit" into the United States' definition of "international community."

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"It is a behavior that is associated with cultural and ideological intolerance with a marked racist influence and with hegemonic aims," Canal said.

The United States' comprehensive, long history of sanctions against Cuba dating back to the 1960s after Fidel Castro was swept into power.

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Iraqi President Barham Salih, speaking at the close of the morning session, looked ahead to his country's upcoming elections, saying they'll impact the entire region. He said peace in the region won't be achieved without a secure and stable Iraq.

Salih said Iraq was facing a "national battle" against corruption.

He also called attention to the effects of climate change on Iraq.

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"Iraq is going through difficult climatic conditions of desertification and a scarcity of water resources that made the country the fifth most vulnerable to climate changes," he said.

Panamanian President Laurentino Cortizo, meanwhile, called on the international community's help dealing with an increase in migrants. He said 30,000 people entered the country in August, up from 800 in January. Some 80,000 have passed through the country this year.

Panama does its part. Now, we appeal to the international community to, as soon as possible, make a joint effort, with coordinated strategies and resources," Cortizo said.

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The first two days featured addresses from U.S. President Joe Biden, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Iran President Ebrahim Raisi, Chinese President Xi Jinping and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Some speakers at the General Assembly, which is scheduled to run through Monday, have given their addresses in prerecorded statements. They have opted not to travel to New York City to appear in person due to COVID-19.

Early session (begins at 9 a.m.)

  • South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa (prerecorded)
  • Guyana President Mohamed Irfaan Ali
  • Botswana President Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi
  • Cuba President Miguel Díaz Canel Bermúdez Cuba (prerecorded)
  • Angola President Joao Manuel Goncalves Lourenco
  • Burkina Faso President Roch Marc Christian Kabore (prerecorded)
  • Panama President Laurentino Cortizo Cohen
  • Montenegro President Milo Dukanovic
  • Nambia President Hage Geingob
  • North Macedonia President Stevo Pendarovski
  • Nauru President Lionel Rouwen Aingimea (prerecorded)
  • Zimbabwe President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa (prerecorded)
  • Chad President Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno (prerecorded)
  • Comoros President Azali Assoumani
  • Gabonese Republic President Ali Bongo Ondimba (prerecorded)
  • Tanzania President Samia Suluhu Hassan
  • Liberia President George Manneh Weah (prerecorded)
  • Iraq President Barham Salih

Afternoon session (begins at 3 p.m.)

  • Micronesia President David Panuelo (prerecorded)
  • Burundi President Evariste Ndayishimiye
  • Bolivia President Luis Alberto Arce Catacora
  • El Salvador President Nayib Armando Bukele (prerecorded)
  • Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon (prerecorded)
  • Uganda President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni (prerecorded)
  • Azerbaijan President Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev (prerecorded)
  • Libya President Mohamed Younis Menfi
  • Monaco Prince Albert II (prerecorded)
  • Guinea President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo (prerecorded)
  • Kiribati President Taneti Maamau (prerecorded)
  • Seychelles President Wavel Ramkalawan (prerecorded)
  • Lesotho Prime Minister Moeketsi Majoro
  • Italy President Mario Draghi (prerecorded)
  • Czech Republic (speaker unknown)
  • Austria (speaker unknown)
  • Mexico (speaker unknown)
  • Hungary (speaker unknown)
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World leaders assemble at United Nations

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addresses the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City on Saturday. Pool photo by Eduardo Munoz/UPI | License Photo

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