Herman Van Hoof, director of the Culture Office for the region of the United Nations Education, Science and Culture Organization (UNESCO), said that 2011 was declared International Year of Afro-Descendants.
Van Hoof, also the UNESCO representative to Cuba, explained that the initiative is aimed at promoting the full enjoyment of the rights of this population sector and its inclusion in all spheres of society, and to the promotion of respect towards its diversity, heritage and culture and people's knowledge of them.
The UN official asserted that the celebration, which began in January on the island, will include workshops on social anthropology and other activities, carried out together with Havana's Africa Center.
Juan Jose Ortiz, representative of the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in Cuba, specified that there's still a lot to do with regard to the eradication of cultural racism, which still persists in spite of the elimination of structural discrimination in some governments of the area.
He added that it's necessary for children and adolescents to understand that slavery was a dark stage in the history of mankind, which generated serious violations of the rights of several subsequent generations. (acn).