China’s assistance to Cuba a part of global opposition to hegemony
Published: Apr 06, 2024 09:55 PM
Photo: China International Development Cooperation Agency

Photo: China International Development Cooperation Agency

On April 3, local time, the first batch of emergency food aid from the Chinese government arrived at José Martí International Airport in Havana. Luo Zhaohui, the director of the China International Development Cooperation Agency, stated at the airport, "The Chinese government is proud of and empathetic toward every progress and every challenge our Cuban friends face. Today's assistance is a symbol of the friendliness of the Chinese people."

China's timely assistance once again clearly demonstrates its unwavering support for Cuba in overcoming food shortages and maintaining social stability.

Due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict and climate change, global food prices have sharply risen over the past two years, leading to severe food shortages in some countries and regions. In last year's report, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres wrote, "Over 2.5 billion people are now facing severe hunger, with some on the brink of starvation. This is unacceptable."

Cuba, reliant on food imports, has been doubly hit. Another blow comes from the long-standing sanctions imposed by the US, severely restricting Cuba's foreign trade and regular access to external food supplies and corresponding agricultural equipment.

The embargo on Cuba is a remnant of the Cold War period and has garnered significant opposition. It has been widely criticized by the global community, as shown by yearly resolutions at the United Nations General Assembly urging its termination since 1992.

The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) cites staggering losses for Cuba, amounting to billions of dollars annually due to the embargo, which significantly hampers its agricultural productivity and poses a severe threat to food security. The US blockade severely harms the Cuban ordinary people's right to survival and development.

China's assistance to Cuba, including the delivery of significant amounts of medical equipment and food such as rice, highlights Beijing's practical steps to support the Cuban people. 

This aid is not merely a diplomatic gesture but a substantial contribution to Cuba's healthcare and food security amid its economic struggles exacerbated by the embargo and support for the Cuban people's fight against hegemony. In this context, China's long-standing support for Cuba represents global public opinion against hegemonism. 

The Cuban Government and people have never succumbed to the unilateralism and hegemony of the US, and despite the enormous pressure and losses caused by the embargo, Cuba has remained actively committed to promoting global solidarity and international cooperation. The latest news shows that the Cuban government has secured supply of key subsidized food rations by urgently coordinating resources from all sides, including foreign aid, etc. The Cuban government is also seeking to repair food shortages through efforts to revive the tourism industry, earn more foreign exchange and upgrade agricultural development.

The bilateral relations between China and Cuba strengthened under the "Belt and Road" initiative, have facilitated deepened economic and trade exchanges. This cooperation spans various sectors, bringing tangible benefits to the people of both nations and earning the appreciation of many Latin American countries, highlighting the potential of international solidarity in the face of unilateral sanctions.

As the political landscape in Latin America and the Caribbean undergoes a new round of profound adjustments, the narrative that views Latin America as the US "backyard" is outdated and undermines the sovereignty and autonomy of the countries within the region.

In recent years, Latin American countries like Brazil have been more actively supporting Cuba's economic development and openly opposing the unilateral sanctions imposed by the US. This reflects the countries' growing awareness of autonomous development within the region and promotes the growing consensus on achieving more equitable global governance and joint development.

The strengthening of Latin American countries' awareness of autonomous development also makes Washington's attempts to create rifts between China and Latin American countries and force these countries to choose sides increasingly difficult to advance. 

China firmly supports the Cuban people's just struggle to defend national sovereignty and oppose foreign interference and blockade. The wrongful practices of a few countries that arbitrarily impose unilateral sanctions cut off development aid, and freeze the legitimate assets of other countries must be corrected. China supports the termination of the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba.

China's support and assistance to Cuba are an essential part of the global opposition to hegemony and the effort to establish a fairer, more rational and more inclusive international order.