September 28, 2019, New York — [Stenographic Version – Council of State]
Heads of State and Government;
I would like to convey my sincere condolences to the Commonwealth of the Bahamas for the loss of lives and the terrible destruction caused by hurricane Dorian. I call upon the international community to mobilize resources in order to provide assistance to that country.
I want to denounce, before this General Assembly of the United Nations, that just a few months ago the US government has started to implement, criminal, non-conventional measures to prevent fuel shipments from arriving to our country from different markets, by resorting to threats and persecution against the companies that transport fuel, flag States, States of registration as well as shipping and insurance companies.
As a result of that, we have been facing severe difficulties to ensure the supply of the fuel that the everyday-life of the country demands; and we’ve been forced to adopt temporary emergency measures that could only be applied in a well-organized country, with a united and fraternal people that is ready to defend itself from foreign aggressions and preserve the social justice that has been achieved.
In the course of last year, the US government has been steadily and qualitatively increasing its hostile actions and blockade against Cuba. It has been putting up additional obstacles to foreign trade and increasing the persecution of the banking and financial relations that we have with the rest of the world. It has imposed extreme restrictions on traveling as well as on any sort of interaction between both peoples. It has also hindered the relations and contacts of Cubans living in the United States with their home country.
Up until today, the strategy of the imperialism against Cuba has been guided by the infamous Memorandum issued in 1960 by ex-Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Lester Mallory, which I hereby quote: “… There is no effective political opposition (…) The only foreseeable means of alienating internal support (from the government) is through disenchantment and disaffection based on economic dissatisfaction and hardship (…) every possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life (…) denying money and supplies to Cuba to decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and overthrow of government”.
The illegal Helms Burton Act of 1996 guides the aggressive behavior of the United States against Cuba. Its essence is the stark attempt to question Cuba’s right to free determination and national independence.
It likewise envisages the imposition of the US legal authority and the jurisdiction of its courts on Cuba’s commercial and financial relations with any country, thus riding roughshod over International Law and the national jurisdiction of Cuba and third States, while establishing the alleged supremacy of the law and the political will of the US over them.
The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the US continues to be the main obstacle to the development of our country and the advancement of the process to update the socialist economic and social development model that our country has designed for itself.
Every year the US government allocates tens of millions of dollars from the federal budget to political subversion, with the purpose of creating confusion and weakening the unity of our people, which articulates with a well-coordinated propaganda campaign aimed at discrediting the Revolution, its leaders and its glorious historical legacy; denigrating the economic and social policies that support development and justice and destroying the ideas of socialism.
On Thursday last, on the basis of gross slanders, the State Department announced that the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, will not be granted a visa to enter this country. This is an action that is void of any practical effect, aimed at offending Cuba’s dignity and the feelings of our people. This is nothing but vote-catching leftovers that are being tossed away to the Cuban American extreme right. However, the open and offensive falsehoods that are being used in an attempt to justify them, which we strongly reject, are a reflection of the baseness and rottenness resorted to by this administration, which is drowning in a sea of corruption, lies and immorality.
All of these are actions and behaviors that infringe upon International Law and violate the UN Charter.
The most recent pretext, reiterated right here, last Tuesday, by the President of the United States Donald Trump was that Cuba is to blame for the failed plan to overthrow the Bolivarian government of Venezuela. With the purpose of ignoring the feat worked by the Venezuelan people, the Yankee spokespersons repeat, over and over again, the vulgar slander that our country has “from 20 to 25 thousand troops in Venezuela”, and that “the Cuban imperialism exercises control” over that country.
A few minutes earlier, the President of Brazil, at this same podium, read the script of false allegations drafted in Washington, which increased that shameless figure to “around 60 thousand Cuban troops” in Venezuela.
As part of its anti-Cuban obsession, the current US administration, echoed by Brazil, is attacking the international medical cooperation programs that Cuba shares with tens of developing countries, which are designed the assist the neediest communities, based on a feeling of solidarity and the free and voluntary will of hundreds of thousands of Cuban professionals, which are being implemented according to the cooperative agreements that have been signed with the governments of those countries. They have enjoyed, for many years now, the recognition of the international community, the UN and the World Health Organization for being the best example of South-South Cooperation.
As a result of that, many Brazilian communities were deprived from free and quality health care which, under the program “More Doctors”, was offered by thousands of Cuban professionals.
This period has not been exempted from the most shameless threats or blackmails, or immoral invitations so that our country betrays its principles and international commitments in exchange for oil under preferential conditions and questionable good friends.
In commemorating the sixtieth anniversary of the triumph of the Revolution, when Cubans achieved the true and final independence, the First Secretary Raúl Castro said, and I quote: “…we Cubans are ready to resist a situation of confrontation, which we don’t wish; and we hope that the most lucid minds in the US government could avoid it”, end of quote.
We have reiterated that, even under the present circumstances, we will not renounce our determination to develop a civilized relation with the United States, based on mutual respect and the recognition of our profound differences. We know this is the desire of our people and the feelings shared by the majority of the US people and the Cubans who live in this country.
I likewise confirm that economic aggression, no matter how hard threats and blackmails might be, will not extract a single concession from us. Those who know the history of Cubans during their long struggle to achieve emancipation and their steadfast defense of the freedom and justice they have conquered, will understand, beyond any doubt, the significance, honesty and authority of these strong believes and ideas treasured by our people.
Bilateral relations between Cuba and Venezuela are based on mutual respect and true solidarity. We support, without any hesitation, the legitimate government headed by comrade Nicolás Maduro Moros and the civic and military unity of the Bolivarian and Chavista people.
We condemn the behavior of the US government against Venezuela, focused on the encouragement of coup d’états, assassination of the country’s leaders, economic warfare and sabotage to power generation plants. We reject the implementation of unilateral and coercive measures and the plundering of the country’s assets, companies and export revenues. These actions are a serious threat to regional peace and security as well as a direct aggression to the Venezuelan people, despite the attempts to break it through the cruelest ways.
We call upon everyone to raise awareness on these facts and demand the ceasing of unilateral coercive measures, reject the use of force and encourage a respectful dialogue with the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela 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 (TIAR), which envisages the use of the military force. This is an absurd decision that jeopardizes regional peace and security while intending to justify, through a legal trick, an interference 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 that the Heads of State and Government of Latin America and the Caribbean signed in Havana in January of 2014. Of similar significance is the US decision to bring back to life the nefarious Monroe Doctrine, an instrument of domination of the imperialism, under which several military interventions and invasions, coups d’états, military dictatorships and the most atrocious crimes were perpetrated in Our America.
As we witnessed a few days ago in this Assembly, the US President usually attacks socialism in his public statements, with clearly electoral purposes, while promoting a McCarthyist intolerance against those who believe in the possibility of a better world and entertain the hope of living in peace in sustainable harmony with Nature and in solidarity with all others.
President Trump ignores or intends to overlook the fact that neoliberal capitalism is the one responsible for the increasing social and economic inequality affecting even the most developed societies and that, given its nature, it fosters corruption, social marginalization, the rise in crime, racial intolerance and xenophobia. He forgets, or does not know, that capitalism begot fascism, apartheid and imperialism.
The US government leads a gross persecution against political leaders and popular and social movements through disparagement campaigns and outrageously manipulated and politically motivated judicial processes to take back policies that, through a sovereign control over natural resources and the gradual elimination of social differences, made it possible to build more just and fraternal societies, thus becoming a way out to the economic and social crisis and a hope for the peoples of the Americas.
So, they did with former Brazilian president Luis Inácio Lula da Silva, whose freedom we demand.
We reject Washington attempts to destabilize the government of Nicaragua and ratify our unswerving solidarity with President Daniel Ortega.
We express our solidarity with all Caribbean nations calling for the legitimate reparation of the horrendous sequels of slavery as well as the just, special and differentiated treatment they deserve.
We ratify our historical commitment with the free determination and independence of the brother people of Puerto Rico.
We support Argentina’s legitimate claim for its sovereignty rights over the Malvinas, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands.
The behavior of the current US administration and its strategy of military and nuclear domination are a threat to international peace and security. It has almost 800 military bases around the world. It promotes projects to militarize outer space and cyberspace as well as the covert and illegal use of ICTs to attack other States. The US withdrawal from the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Nuclear Missiles (INF) and the immediate commencement of intermediate range missiles tests are intended to launch a new arms race.
The President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, said last year, before this Assembly, and I quote: “…The exercise of multilateralism and the full respect for the principles and rules of International Law to advance towards a multipolar, democratic and equitable world are required to ensure peaceful coexistence, preserve international peace and security and find lasting solutions to systemic problems.”
We reiterate our unrestricted support to a comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the conflict between Israel and Palestine, based on the creation of two States, so that the Palestinian people could exercise its right to free determination and have an independent and sovereign State based on the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. We reject the unilateral action of the United States to establish its diplomatic mission in the city of Jerusalem. We condemn the violence of the Israeli forces against civilians in Palestine and the threat of annexation of the occupied territories of the West Bank.
We reaffirm our unswerving solidarity with the Saharan people and our support to a solution to the question of Western Sahara so that it can exercise the right to self-determination and live in peace in its own territory.
We support the search for a peaceful and negotiated solution to the situation imposed on Syria, without any foreign interference, with full respect for its sovereignty and territorial integrity. We reject any direct or indirect intervention without the consent of the legitimate authorities of that country.
We express our solidarity with the Islamic Republic of Iran in the phase of the aggressive escalation of the US. We reject the unilateral withdrawal of the United States from the Iran Nuclear Agreement. We call for dialogue and cooperation based on the principles of International Law.
We welcome the process of dialogue between the two Koreas. Only through dialogue, without pre-conditions, and negotiations, will it be possible to achieve a lasting political solution in the Korean peninsula. We strongly condemn the imposition of unilateral and unjust sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
The continued expansion of NATO to the Russian borders creates grave dangers, which are further aggravated by the arbitrary sanctions that we reject.
We support and admire the recent students and youth’s call for a march in New York. Climate change, some of whose effects are already irreversible, is a matter of survival, particularly for Small Developing Island States.
Capitalism is unsustainable. Its irrational and unsustainable production and consumption patterns and the growing and unjust concentration of wealth are the main threat against the ecological balance of the planet. There would be no sustainable development without social justice.
The special and differentiated treatment to the countries of the South in international economic relations can no longer be overlooked.
The emergency in the Amazon compels us to look for solutions through the cooperation of all, without any exclusion or politicization, with full respect for the sovereignty of States.
There is a proliferation of corruption among political systems and electoral models, which are ever more distant from the willingness of peoples. Powerful and exclusive minorities, particularly corporate groups, decide the character and composition of governments, parliaments, justice systems and law enforcement entities.
The US government, after its failed attempt to submit the Human Rights Council, decided to withdraw from that body to hinder even more the dialogue and cooperation on this matter.
This is not a news that should surprise us. The US is a country where human rights are systematically -and many a time deliberately and flagrantly- violated:
- 36 383 persons -100 per day- died in this country in 2018 being shot by firearms, while the government protects those who manufacture and market them at the expense of citizens’ security.
- 91 757 persons die every year of heart diseases because they lack appropriate treatment.
- Infant and maternal mortality rates among African Americans are twice as much those of the white population.
- 28 million persons do not have medical insurance or real access to health services.
- 32 million citizens cannot read or write functionally.
- 2 million US citizens are in prison.
- -4.7 million are on probation and 10 million are arrested every year.
It is understandable why the President is concerned about attacking socialism.
We reject the politicization, selectivity, punitive approaches and double standards in addressing the human rights question. Cuba will remain committed to the realization of the rights of all persons and peoples to peace, life, free determination and development.
We should prevent the imposition of a totalitarian, unique and overpowering cultural model that turns into pieces the national cultures, identities, history, memory, symbols and individualities and silences the structural problems of capitalism that lead to an ever-growing and lacerating inequality.
The so-called “cognitive” capitalism offers the same. Digital capitalism crowns the world value chains; concentrates the property over digital data; exploits identity, information and knowledge and jeopardizes the already analogically diminished freedom and democracy. We need to develop new types of humanistic and counter-hegemonic thinking of our own, as well as a decisive political action to articulate popular mobilization in the networks, in the streets and in the ballots.
Independent States need to exercise their sovereignty in cyberspace, abandon the illusion of the so-called “network society” or “access era” and democratize internet governance.
The universal and profound thoughts of the Apostle of Cuba’s independence, José Martí, continue to inspire and advise the new generations of Cubans. His words, written a few hours before he was killed in combat, are particularly relevant, and I quote: “Every day now I am in danger of giving my life for my country and duty, for I understand it and have the spirit to carry it out -in order to prevent, by the timely independence of Cuba, the United States from extending its hold across the Antilles and falling with greater force on the lands of our America. All that I have done up to now, and all I will do, is for that purpose.”
A similar strength had the words written by Antonio Maceo in 1888, and I quote: “Whoever tries to conquer Cuba will gather the dust of her blood-soaked soil, if he doesn’t perish in the fight.”
It’s been the same and only Cuban Revolution, commanded by Fidel Castro Ruz, which is now headed by First Secretary Raúl Castro and President Miguel Díaz-Canel.
And if at this point there is someone still attempting to force the Cuban Revolution to surrender, or hoping that the new generations of Cubans would betray their past and renounce their future, we will repeat, with Fidel’s same impetus:
Homeland or Death! We Shall Overcome!
H.E. Mr. Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, at the General Debate of the Seventy-Fourth Session of the United Nations General Assembly.