Transcript of Speech by Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, at the 74th General Debate of the United Nations General Assembly, New York, September 28, 2019, “Year 61 of the Revolution”
Gentlemen Heads of State and Government;
Distinguished delegates and delegates:
I express sincere condolences to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas for the loss of life and the terrible destruction due to Hurricane Dorian. I call on the international community to mobilize resources to give help.
I denounce before the General Assembly of the United Nations that the Government of the United States has initiated in recent months the application of criminal measures, unconventional, to prevent the supply of fuel to our country from various markets, through the threat and persecution of companies that transport it, to the registry and flag governments, shipping companies and insurance companies.
As a result, we have faced severe difficulties in guaranteeing the supply of fuel required for the daily activity of the country, which forced us to adopt temporary emergency measures, only possible in an organized country, with a united and supportive people, willing to defend themselves against foreign aggression and preserve the social justice achieved.
In the last year, the US Government has qualitatively increased its measures of hostility and blockade against Cuba. It has imposed additional obstacles to foreign trade and increased the persecution of our banking-financial relations with the rest of the world. It has extremely limited travel and any interaction between the two peoples. It hinders the links and contacts with their homeland of Cubans living in the United States.
To date, the imperialist strategy against Cuba guides the infamous memorandum signed in 1960 by the Undersecretary of State Lter Mallory that I quote: “… There is no effective political opposition (…) The only possible means to make it lose internal support [to the government] is to provoke disappointment and discouragement through economic dissatisfaction and hardship (…) We must quickly put into practice all possible means to weaken economic life (…) by denying Cuba money and supplies in order to reduce nominal wages and real, with the aim of causing hunger, despair and the overthrow of the government. ”
The illegal Helms-Burton Act of 1996 guides the aggressive conduct of the United States against Cuba. Its essence is the stark claim to question the right to self-determination and independence of the Cuban nation.
It also conceives the imposition of the American legal authority and the jurisdiction of its courts on the commercial and financial relations of any country with Cuba to run over International Law, national jurisdiction and third States, and establish the supposed primacy of the law and United States political will over them.
The economic, commercial and financial blockade continues to be the main obstacle to the development of our country and to the progress of the process of updating the Socialist Model of Economic and Social Development that our country has drawn up. The new measures particularly affect the non-state sector of our economy.
Every year, the United States allocates tens of millions of dollars from the federal budget to political subversion, with the aim of confusing and weakening the unity of our people, which is articulated with a concerted propaganda campaign aimed at discrediting the Revolution, its leaders, his glorious historical legacy, to denigrate economic and social policies in favor of development and justice and to destroy the ideas of socialism.
Last Thursday, based on gross slander, the State Department announced that the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, will not be able to receive an entry visa to this country. It is an action, without practical effect, aimed at outraging the dignity of Cuba and the feelings of our people. It is an electoral crumb that is launched to the Cuban-American extreme right. However, the open and offensive falsehoods that are used to pretend to justify it, and which I reject in the strongest terms, reflect the baseness and rot that this American Government has to go to, drowned in corruption, lies and immorality.
All are actions that transgress International Law and violate the Charter of the United Nations.
The most recent pretext, reiterated here last Tuesday by President Donald Trump, is to blame Cuba for the failure to forcefully overthrow the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. To hide the feat from the Venezuelan people, Yankee spokesmen repeatedly use the vulgar slander that our country has “between 20,000 and 25,000 military personnel in Venezuela,” and that “Cuban imperialism exercises dominion” over that country.
A few minutes earlier, that Tuesday, the President of Brazil had used on this podium the book of falsehoods written in Washington, augmented with the shameless figure of “about 60,000 Cuban military personnel” in Venezuela.
As part of its anti-Cuban obsession, the current Government of the United States, with a Brazilian echo, attacks the international medical cooperation programs that Cuba shares with dozens of developing countries, aimed at the neediest communities, based on the sense of solidarity and the freely voluntary provision of hundreds of thousands of Cuban professionals, which are executed on the basis of cooperation agreements signed with the governments of those countries and enjoy, for many years, the recognition of the international community, of this Organization itself and of the World Health Organization as an exemplary sample of South-South Cooperation.
As a result, many Brazilian communities were deprived of the free and quality health service that, under the “More Doctors” program, provided thousands of Cuban professionals.
There have been no threats in this period or the most outdated blackmails, nor immoral invitations for our country to betray its principles and its international commitments in exchange for oil in preferential conditions and doubtful friendships.
In commemorating the 60th anniversary of the revolutionary triumph with which Cubans achieve true and definitive independence, First Secretary Raúl Castro said: “… we Cubans are prepared to resist a confrontation scenario, which we do not want, and we hope that the most balanced minds in the US government can avoid it. ”
We have reiterated that, even in the current circumstances, we do not renounce the will to develop a civilized relationship with the United States, based on mutual respect and recognition of our profound differences.
We know that this is the desire of our people and the feeling that most of the people of the United States and the Cubans who live in this country share.
I confirm in the same way that the economic aggression, however hard it may be, threats and blackmails will not start a single concession. Who knows the history of the Cubans in the long struggle to achieve emancipation and in the firm defense of the conquered freedom and justice, will understand without mistake the weight, sincerity and authority of these convictions and approaches of our people.
The bilateral relationship between Cuba and Venezuela is based on mutual respect and true solidarity. We endorse without hesitation the legitimate Government presided over by fellow Nicolás Maduro Moros and the civic-military union of the Bolivarian and Chavista people.
We condemn the conduct of the United States Government against Venezuela focused on the promotion of coups, assassinations, economic warfare and sabotage of electricity supply. We reject the application of severe unilateral coercive measures and the dispossession of their assets, companies and income from exports. These actions constitute a serious threat to regional peace and security, and a direct aggression against the Venezuelan population, which is intended to be broken by the cruelest ways.
We call on everyone to become aware of these facts, to demand the cessation of unilateral coercive measures, to reject the use of force and to encourage respectful dialogue based on the principles of International Law and the constitutional order of that country.
A few days ago, the United States and a handful of countries decided to activate the obsolete Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance that contemplates the use of military force. It is an absurd decision that represents a historical setback and a danger to regional peace and security that seeks to justify, through a legal artifice, intervention in the internal affairs of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
It is also a gross violation of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, which its Heads of State and Government signed in Havana in January 2014. The American decision to resurrect the fatal Monroe Doctrine has a similar meaning. , an instrument of domination of imperialism under which military interventions and invasions, coups, military dictatorships and the most horrific crimes occurred in Our America.
As we saw a few days ago in this Assembly, the President of the United States usually attacks socialism in repeated public pronouncements, with clearly electoral purposes, while promoting a macartistic intolerance against those who believe in the possibility of a better world and have the Hope to live in peace, in sustainable harmony with nature and in solidarity with others.
President Trump ignores or pretends to hide that neoliberal capitalism is responsible for the growing economic and social inequality that even the most developed societies suffer today, and that, by its nature, promotes corruption, social marginalization, the growth of crime , racial intolerance and xenophobia; and forget or ignore that fascism, apartheid and imperialism emerged from capitalism.
The United States Government leads a rude persecution against political leaders and popular and social movements, through scandalously manipulated and politically motivated slander and judicial processes, to reverse the policies that, through sovereign control over natural resources and the gradual elimination of social differences, they built more just and solidarity societies, which represented a way out of the economic and social crisis, and a hope for the peoples of America.
So they did with former Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, for whom we claim freedom.
We reject the attempts directed from Washington to destabilize the Government of Nicaragua, and ratify the invariable solidarity with President Daniel Ortega.
We stand in solidarity with the nations of the Caribbean that request legitimate reparation for the horrific consequences of slavery, as well as the fair, special and differential treatment they deserve.
We ratify our historical commitment to the self-determination and independence of the brother people of Puerto Rico.
We support the legitimate claim of sovereignty of Argentina over the Falkland Islands, South Sandwich and South Georgia.
The conduct of the current Government of the United States and its strategy of military and nuclear domination constitute a threat to international peace and security. It maintains about 800 military bases worldwide. Advancing projects of militarization of outer space and cyberspace, as well as the covert and illegal use of information and communications technologies to attack other States. The withdrawal of the United States from the Treaty on Nuclear Intermediate Reach Forces and the immediate start of medium-range missile tests are intended to open a new arms race.
The President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, said last year before this Assembly: “… The exercise of multilateralism and full respect for the principles and norms of International Law to move towards a multipolar world, democratic and equitable are requirements to guarantee peaceful coexistence, preserve international peace and security and find lasting solutions to systemic problems. ”
We reiterate unrestricted support for a comprehensive, fair and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, on the basis of the creation of two States, which allows the Palestinian people to exercise the right to self-determination and to have an independent and sovereign State in the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. We reject the unilateral action of the United States to establish its diplomatic representation in the city of Jerusalem. We condemn the violence of the Israeli forces against the civilian population in Palestine and the threats of annexation of occupied West Bank territories.
We reaffirm our invariable solidarity with the Saharawi people and support for the search for an answer to the question of Western Sahara that allows them to exercise the right to self-determination and to live in peace in their territory.
We support the search for a peaceful and negotiated solution to the situation imposed on Syria, without external interference and with full respect for its sovereignty and territorial integrity. We reject any direct or indirect intervention without the agreement of the legitimate authorities of that country.
We express our solidarity with the Islamic Republic of Iran in the face of the aggressive escalation of the United States. We reject the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the Nuclear Agreement with Iran. We call for dialogue and cooperation, based on the principles of International Law.
We welcome the inter-Korean dialogue process. Only through negotiations can a lasting political solution be achieved on the Korean peninsula. We strongly condemn the imposition of unilateral and unfair sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The continued expansion of NATO to the borders with Russia causes serious dangers, aggravated by the imposition of arbitrary sanctions, which we reject.
We support, with admiration, the call of the recent marches of students and youth. Climate change, some of whose effects are already irreversible, threatens the survival of all, particularly Small Island Developing States.
Capitalism is unsustainable. Its irrational and unsustainable patterns of production and consumption and the growing and unfair concentration of wealth are the main threat to the ecological balance of the planet. There will be no sustainable development without social justice.
The special and differential treatment of the countries of the South in international economic relations cannot continue to be ignored.
The emergency in the Amazon drives us to find solutions through the cooperation of all, without exclusions or politicization, with full respect for the sovereignty of States.
The corruption of political systems and electoral models and their growing distance from the will of the peoples proliferate. Powerful and exclusive minorities, particularly corporate groups, decide the nature and composition of governments, parliaments and institutions of law enforcement and law enforcement.
Following the failure of its claim to submit the Human Rights Council, the US Government chose to abandon it to further hinder international dialogue and cooperation in the matter.
It is not news that should surprise us. The United States is a country where human rights are systematically violated and often deliberately and flagrantly. Thirty-six thousand 383 people – one hundred per day – died in this country in 2018 by firearms, while the Government protects their producers and merchants at the expense of citizen security. Ninety-one thousand 757 Americans die each year from heart disease, due to lack of proper treatment. Infant and maternal mortality among African Americans is twice the white population. Twenty-eight million US citizens do not have health insurance or real access to health services; 32 million cannot read or write functionally; 2.2 million US citizens are imprisoned; 4, 7 million on probation and 10 million arrests a year. It is understood then why the President is busy attacking socialism.
We reject politicization, selectivity, punitive approaches and double standards in dealing with the issue of human rights. Cuba will remain committed to the exercise, by all people and all peoples, of all human rights, in particular, peace, life, development and self-determination.
We must prevent the imposition of a unique, totalitarian and overwhelming cultural model that destroys national cultures, identities, history, memory, symbols, individuality, and silences the structural problems of capitalism that causes a lacerating inequality that increases without cease.
Capitalism called “cognitive” offers the same. Digital capital crowns the global value chains, concentrates the ownership of digital data, exploits identity, information and knowledge and threatens freedom and democracy already diminished analogically. We need other forms of our own, humanistic and counter-hegemonic thinking and a determined political action to articulate popular mobilization in networks, in the streets and at the polls.
Independent states need to exercise sovereignty over cyberspace, abandon the illusion of the so-called “network society” or the “age of access” and, instead, democratize Internet governance.
The powerful and universal thought of the Apostle of Independence José Martí continues to inspire and encourage Cubans of the new generations. His words written a few hours before facing death in combat today have particular relevance and I quote: “… I am already in danger every day of giving my life for my country, and for my duty (…) to prevent time with the independence of Cuba that the United States extend through the West Indies and fall, with that force more, on our lands of America. All I have done so far, and will do, is for that”.
Similar force have the words of Antonio Maceo, who in 1888 wrote: “Whoever tries to seize Cuba will only collect the dust from his blood-flooded soil, if he does not perish in the fight.”
This is the same and only Cuban Revolution commanded by Fidel Castro Ruz and now headed by First Secretary Raúl Castro and President Miguel Díaz-Canel.
And if, at this point, someone still intends to render the Cuban Revolution, or expects the new generations of Cubans and Cubans to betray their past and renounce their future, we will repeat with Fidel’s impetus:
Country or Death!