HAVANA – Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel visited on Saturday the September 11 Memorial & Museum in New York, where he blamed capitalism and imperialism for the terrorist attacks 17 years ago on the financial heart of the city.
Diaz-Canel, 58, on a visit to the US metropolis since last Sunday to take part in the UN General Assembly held this week, defined the memorial located in the so-called Ground Zero as “overwhelming, full of symbolism,” Havana state media reported.
The leader, who came to power last April replacing Raul Castro, told the Cuban press that his visit to the site of the September 11, 2001 attack was a “tribute” to the almost 3,000 victims of the massacre “and also an expression of the island’s rejection of terrorism and also of its causes.”
Those causes, according to Diaz-Canel, are “the domination and expansionist ambitions of capitalism that foment so much resentment and hate,” as well as “imperialist domination and the way some people behave,” Cuban state media reported.
Before touring the memorial, where he received details of the tragedy and observed examples of the destruction, the Cuban president visited the historic community of The Battery on New York’s south side.
He also went to Central Park, where he visited the equestrian statue of Cuba’s national hero, Jose Marti, created by US artist Anna Hyatt and placed there in 1959.
Last October a replica of that statue was shipped to Havana and was set up in the historic downtown area as a symbol of the connections between Cuba and the United States, despite the chilling of bilateral relations since Donald Trump took office 20 months ago.
At the UN General Assembly the Cuban leader gave a speech asking for an end to the US embargo, criticized the foreign policy of the Donald Trump government and expressed solidarity with leftist movements around the international community, defending in particular the presidency of Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro.
He also held more than 20 bilateral meetings with political and social leaders, as well as with his counterparts from a number of countries including Spain and Argentina.