The Spanish Congress Asks the Government To Increase Collaboration for the Shipment of Powdered Milk to Cuba

With 33 votes in favor and three abstentions, Proposition No. of Law went ahead this Wednesday in the commission of international cooperation for development

A few packages of powdered milk in an establishment in Havana / EFE

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 30 May 2024 — The international cooperation commission for development of the Spanish Congress of Deputies approved on Monday a Proposition No. of Law (PNL)* presented by the socialist Sumar coalition to “contribute to overcoming the shortage of milk destined for children in Cuba.” The proposal, which was approved with 33 votes in favor and three abstentions, urges the Government to allocate funds through the Spanish Agency for Development Cooperation (AECID) “to strengthen food aid programs to Cuba, especially those aimed at meeting the current needs of powdered milk for the child population, in coordination with the World Food Program (WFP).”

 It proposes to study the “possibilities of cooperation with the Government of Cuba to launch a program that contemplates the creation of powdered milk supply channels

In addition, it proposes to study the “possibilities of cooperation with the Government of Cuba to launch a program that contemplates the creation of powdered milk supply channels,” in which public administrations or companies in the dairy sector could participate.

In defense of the PNL presented by Sumar, the deputy of the Socialist Party, Alba Soldevilla Novials, recalled that last January the Government of Cuba requested “urgent help” from the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) to “facilitate the shipment of powdered milk” to the Island. The response was quick and “it has begun to send a kilogram of powdered milk per month for Cuban girls and boys under seven years old” in Pinar del Río and Havana.

The regime tried last March, through a text published in the official press, to minimize the dust raised by the news, stating that the request was part of a practice of the bilateral relationship, long-standing cooperation and the actions identified within the Country Strategic Plan for Cuba until 2024.

However, the shipment of 144 metric tons of milk powder, which temporarily covers the needs of 48,000 Cuban children, “is not enough to guarantee the longer-term supply,” Soldevilla stressed.

With the precedent that Spain is a “country with dairy surpluses,” Soldevilla said that the Government of Pedro Sánchez could “study collaboration formulas” for the long term.

The shipment of 144 tons of milk powder temporarily covers the needs of 48,000 Cuban children

For his part, José Francisco Alcaraz, representative of Vox, specified that the initiative showed that “communist dictatorships in the world are not able to feed their citizens nor their children and, obviously, they threaten freedom.”

Alcaraz said that the socialist support statement lacked “a condemnation of the regime and the lack of freedom,” in addition to “the request that political prisoners be released.”

The parliamentarian recalled, without giving his name, that a “counselor of the communist party took advantage of this good initiative,” but the money was not for the purposes intended. In view of this, he suggested ensuring that these funds “are destined entirely to the Cuban population”

The deputy pointed out that it is important to help the children of Cuba, although he specified to the socialist bloc that “there are more than half a million children in Spain with malnutrition and a 33% risk of poverty.”

The PLNs are not binding in the Spanish legal system, although they serve to establish positions of the chamber, in this case within a committee and not the Plenary.

*Note: A proposition of law is a statement suggesting an action that may have legal implications.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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