Address by Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba
at the General Debate of the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly
by H.E. Mr. Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, at the General Debate of the Sixty Ninth Session of the United Nations General Assembly. New York, September 27, 2014
Excellencies, Heads of State and Government;
We live in a globalized world which moves on towards multi-polarity in an era characterized by a threat to the survival of the human species. Neither the US government nor NATO would be able to reverse that trend by a new distribution of the world through the use of arms. But there is a serious risk that, in attempting to do that, the world becomes an ungovernable place.
The huge nuclear and conventional arsenals accumulated, the imposed annual military expenditures amounting to 1 trillion 750 billion dollars and the 2 per cent increase of the military budget’s share of the GDP required from all NATO member States will be of no use to cope with or eradicate poverty, hunger, epidemics, migration waves or avert the water, energy, food, environmental and global economy crisis.
As has already been demonstrated, wherever the so called “Unconventional Warfare” is applied, as described in the Training Circular 18-01 of the Special Operations Forces, and the novelties of the United States Defense Strategy Quadrennial Review, both of them issued in 2010, chaos will be imposed through the destabilization or destruction of States; the proliferation of violent and extremist groups; the tearing-up of nations, cultures and religions, which will engender serious threats to regional and international peace and security.
It is necessary to reject the militarization of cyberspace, the illegal and covert intervention of the information systems of some countries with the purpose of using them to perpetrate aggressive actions against third countries and stir up conflicts; as well as the global espionage on governments and entire societies.
The extraterritorial implementation of the US laws to the detriment of other sovereign nations is ever more aggressive; there is a proliferation of unilateral sanctions, particularly in the area of finances, as a foreign policy instrument. The use of the US courts of justice to apply multi-million fines, even on its allies, based on court rulings that violate International Law, has become an instrument of punishment, threats and to spuriously securing financial resources.
If governments decline the defense of their sovereignty and the implementation of their own laws aimed at protecting the international financial system standards, the legitimate interests of their nations, companies and citizens, they would be creating the necessary conditions for the dissemination of these practices that jeopardize the independence of all States and the rule of International Law.
Media emporiums are ever more linked to the hegemonic goals pursued by western powers. They continue to launch their misinformation campaigns. They manipulate facts in a shameless and cynical way and create a public opinion matrix that favors aggressions.
A new international order is required, where there is no room for the philosophy of war and the plundering of natural resources.
The foreign intervention in Syria should come to an end. It is inconceivable that western powers encourage, finance and arm terrorist groups to pit them against one State while attempting to combat their crimes in another State, as it is currently the case in Iraq.
The US government is infringing upon International Law when it launches, in contempt for the United Nations Organization, unilateral bombings with complete disregard for national borders or sovereign States, even if it dissembles them under doubtful coalitions.
The attempt to deploy NATO up to the Russian borders will have serious consequences for international peace and security and for the stability of Europe. The sanctions imposed against Russia are both immoral and unjust. The US strategic deployment in Asia and the Pacific will jeopardize the sovereignty of all nations in that region.
Israel’s crimes against the Palestinian people, most recently in the Gaza Strip, should not go unpunished under the Security Council veto. Palestine should already be a member State of the United Nations, which is to be established within the borders agreed in 1967 and with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The General Assembly is to exercise the prerogatives entrusted to it by the Charter given the currently dangerous and unstable international situation, which is full of threats and challenges. The Security Council should be rebuilt upon democracy, transparency, a fair representation of the countries of the South that are discriminated-against among Permanent and Non-Permanent Members, credibility, strict observance of the United Nations Charter, without double standards, obscure procedures or the anachronic veto. The United Nations Organization requires a profound reform and the defense of its principles. The Secretary-General should be an advocator and guarantor of international peace.
The 1.2 billion persons who live under extreme poverty, the 842 millions who suffer from chronic hunger; the 774 million illiterate adults and the 57 million out-of-school boys and girls are a confirmation that the Millennium Development Goals, which are questionable from a methodological point of view, were a mirage.
There has been and there still is a lack of political will among the governments of industrialized States, where a blind and ineffective selfishness prevails. Voracious transnational emporiums increasingly concentrate the ownership over huge resources. The unequal distribution of wealth is ever more brutal. A new international economic order is inevitably an imperative.
Under these circumstances, the coordination of the Post 2015 Development Agenda could hardly be a hope. Nevertheless, the attempt to achieve it should become our most urgent task. This should be the outcome of an intergovernmental and inclusive negotiation. The resulting document should not be the interpretation of the consensus by some, but rather the consensus itself.
It is urgent to consider Sub-Saharan Africa a priority. It is necessary to jointly and resolutely confront, through a sufficient and genuine cooperation, the Ebola epidemic that is affecting some countries of the continent.
Cuba decided to maintain its medical cooperation in all the 32 African countries where more than 4 000 Cuban specialists are working, and expand it, under the leadership of the World Health Organization, to the other most affected countries, as has already been announced. Our medical and paramedical staff will do it on a voluntary basis.
We call upon the international community, particularly the industrialized countries with abundant resources, to vigorously respond to the appeal launched by the United Nations and WHO, so that it could be possible to immediately count on the financial, health and scientific resources required to eradicate that scourge and prevent it from taking a higher toll on human lives.
Likewise, all the necessary resources should be contributed in support of the Agenda 2063 of the African Union, which has established the roadmap for the development of that region.
In these five decades, 325 000 Cuban health workers have assisted 158 nations of the South, including 39 African countries, where 76 000 cooperation workers have served. A total of 38 000 medical doctors have been trained, free of charge, from 121 countries -3 392 of them from 45 African nations. If Cuba, a small and blockaded country, has been able to do it, how much else could be done in favor of Africa with the cooperation from all of us, particularly from the wealthiest States?
At the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States held in Havana, it was agreed that, in order to achieve the goal of having more just and inclusive societies, it was indispensable to have a better distribution of wealth and revenues, eradicate illiteracy, provide quality education for all, establish a true food security and universal coverage health systems, among other human rights.
The solemn Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, which was signed by the Heads of State and Government of the region, consecrates the respect for the principles and rules of International Law; the promotion of a culture of peace, nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament; as well as the inalienable right of every State to choose its political, economic and social system.
We likewise took on the commitment of turning Latin America and the Caribbean into a region free from colonialism and supported the Puerto Rican people undeniable right to free-determination and independence.
The Havana’s Summit recognized that the current economic, financial and environmental crisis has harshly hit the Small Island Developing States, among them the Caribbean nations. Their efforts to enhance the living standards of their peoples should not be punished by classifying these States as middle income countries, based on the schematic estimation of per capita incomes, thus overlooking their peculiarities and vulnerabilities.
The Latin America and Caribbean region has found in CELAC an autochthonous and legitimate space where they are able to forge, from their rich diversity, the unity indispensable to materialize the dreams of the National Heroes of achieving the definitive independence of “Our America” and making a substantial contribution to the “equilibrium of the world.”
In that endeavor, the celebration of the BRICS-UNASUR conference, the meeting between Chinese leaders and representatives of Latin American and Caribbean countries and the foundation of the CELAC-China Forum in Brasilia on July last, as was agreed in Havana, have been major landmarks.
We welcome the Fortaleza Declaration adopted also at that moment in Brazil at the Sixth Summit of BRICS, whose economies account for 25 per cent of the world’s GDP and almost 40 per cent of the population of the planet, as well as the foundation of the Development Bank and a Common Fund of Foreign Currency Reserves, which are crucial for the countries of the South and the construction of a new international financial architecture.
We would like to express our all-out solidarity with the Bolivarian and ‘Chavista’ Revolution which keeps on struggling and defending itself from destabilizing actions and foreign interference under the leadership of President Nicolás Maduro.
We support the dignifying battle that is being waged by Argentina against speculation funds and oppose the interfering US courts rulings that violate International Law.
We likewise reiterate our firm support to Argentina’s legitimate rights over the Malvinas Islands.
We reiterate our unswerving support to the struggle that is being waged by Ecuador against the despoliation and ecological damages caused by transnational companies.
On the eve of observing the International Decade of Afro descendants (2015-2024), we would like to remind you that this year marks the 210th anniversary of the independence of Haiti, whose Revolution for independence and against slavery was the forerunner of all liberation movements in Latin America and the Caribbean. Haiti deserves a special contribution for its reconstruction and development, under the sovereign leadership of its government, for which we call upon the entire international community. We support the Caribbean’s claim for reparations from the colonial powers for the horrors of slavery.
The State Department has again included Cuba in its unilateral and arbitrary list of States that sponsor international terrorism. Its true purpose is to increase the persecution of our international financial transactions in the whole world and justify the blockade policy.
Under the present administration, there has been an unprecedented tightening of the extraterritorial character of the blockade, with a remarkable and unheard-of emphasis on financial transactions through the imposition of multi-million fines on banking institutions of third countries. So is the case for the scandalous and unjust mega-fine imposed on the French bank BNP Paribas.
Neither does it give up promoting destabilization in Cuba. Every year it allocates millions to this purpose and increasingly resorts to covert methods, including the use of the information and communication technologies.
The USAID-sponsored Zunzuneo project, which not only violates Cuban laws but also the US laws, is the latest evidence of that.
The most recent disclosures about the use of young people from our continent in subversive actions in Cuba -a project that is funded and executed by the USAID-, confirm the countless denunciations made by the Cuban government against the continuity of illegal plans to subvert Cuba’s internal order, in violation of the sovereignty of Cuba, of third countries and of International Law.
We can not but recall that this month marks the sixteenth year of the unjust imprisonment of three Cubans from the group of Five –Gerardo, Ramón, Antonio-, who confronted with utmost altruism the terrorist plans that are organized within the US territory against our country. I reiterate, on behalf of the people and the government of Cuba, that we will not cease in our efforts to call for their return to their homeland.
Cuba, for its part, keeps calm and ready to establish a mutually respectful and responsible dialogue with the US Government based on reciprocity.
Likewise, Cuba continues to make progress in the updating of its social and economic model in the midst of an adverse international situation, characterized by the global economic crisis and the tightening of the blockade.
The updating of Cuba’s economic model is aimed at ensuring the wellbeing, equity and social justice for all Cubans. The changes that we are introducing are aimed at preserving the achievements attained by the Revolution, the ones so many generations have fought for.
They are intended to build an ever more just, prosperous and sustainable Cuban socialism.
Thank you, very much