Maduro Calls for End of US Blockade of Venezuela and Cuba in UN Speech

The Venezuelan president called on the global community to reject neo-colonialism and imperialism and build a peaceful and multipolar global order.

President Nicolas Maduro addressed the 76th session of the UN General Assembly on Wednesday.

Mexico City, Mexico, September 22, 2021 ( – Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro called for the United States to lift its “criminal” blockade of Cuba and Venezuela in his address to the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.

Via a pre-recorded speech aired at the General Assembly Hall in New York on Wednesday, Maduro condemned the “fierce campaign” against Venezuela by the “elites that govern the United States.” He also expressed support for Cuba in its struggle against the US blockade.

The president was introduced by Venezuelan Foreign Minister Felix Plasencia, who has been active in New York conducting direct diplomacy and holding bilateral meetings at the General Assembly.

Maduro drew attention to the recently published report by UN Special Rapporteur Alena Douhan that detailed the negative consequences of US-led sanctions on the Venezuelan people and called for international law to be respected.

Earlier this month Michelle Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, likewise called on Monday for sectoral sanctions against Venezuela to be lifted. Since 2017, Washington has targeted a range of sectors of the Venezuelan economy, including banking, mining and oil.

Addressing UN delegates, the Venezuelan president described the foreign policy of the US and the European Union toward the South American country as a “cruel and criminal persecution” and listed the challenges that sanctions have created for the Venezuelan people. Maduro specifically highlighted the seizure of the country’s international gold reserves by the United Kingdom.

In a speech that mostly focused on the international order, the Venezuelan leader went on to criticize the “hegemonic” role played by powerful countries such as the United States, calling on the global community to reject neo-colonialism and imperialism and instead build a new more peaceful and “multipolar” global order.

Maduro praised the support extended to his country by the majority of UN member-states, who opted no to back opposition leader Juan Guaidó after he declared himself “interim president” in 2019. Backing for the opposition leader has waned dramatically as most nations continue to recognize Maduro as the legitimate leader of the South American nation and hold diplomatic relations with his government.

In his address, the Venezuelan head of state said that 2021 was the year that the country would move from “resistance” to “recovery,” highlighting the ongoing dialogue between his government and the opposition being held in Mexico with Norwegian mediation.

Maduro claimed it was an achievement to have the extremist elements of the Venezuelan opposition, which had boycotted the electoral process for years, participating once more in the country’s democratic and constitutional processes after having previously pursued regime change through coup attempts and schemes aimed at taking power by force.

“It is possible to confront imperial aggressions,” he concluded.

The Venezuelan president also thanked UN Secretary-General Antonio Gutierres for his support for the ongoing dialogue efforts.

Edited by Ricardo Vaz from Mérida.