Reply by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Bruno Rodríguez

 Reply by the Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, to the Representatives of the United States and the European Union respectively during the General Assembly session under the item “Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba”.  New York, October 26, 2010.

Mr. President;

I highly appreciate the words expressed by the thirteen speakers and the presence of all the delegations attending this unexpected afternoon session.

Regarding what was said by the representatives of the United States and the European Union I have to say the following:

This is the nineteenth time that the US delegation repeats the same argument.  The blockade is an act of economic warfare and an act of genocide.

Hasn’t the State Department done its homework? Hasn’t it examined this issue?

Last year I read here the Articles of the relevant Conventions that apply in this case, and I will read them again:

“Article II: (…) In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts:

“(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;

“(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.”

I already read here the Memorandum that was drafted by Mr. Mallory.

These are not “ideological arguments” of the past.  The blockade is an old
ice floe reminiscent of the Cold War. The point is not the rhetoric but the act of aggression against Cuba.

The purpose of the United States is not to support or assist the Cuban people.  It is known that the blockade causes hardships and sufferings.  It does not cause deaths because the Cuban Revolution prevents that from happening .  How could anybody explain the fact that Cuban children are punished in the way that has been described here? If there is really a will to support or assist the Cuban people, the only thing that needs to be done is to lift  the blockade immediately.

Why are American citizens forbidden to visit Cuba and receive first-hand  information? Why are there restrictions on the so called “people to people” contacts?

The pretexts used  to apply the blockade have been changing.  First it was our alleged participation in the Sino-Soviet axis; then the so-called export of the Revolution to Latin America; then the presence of Cuban troops in Africa that were to contribute to defeat the Apartheid regime, preserve the independence of Angola and attain the independence of Namibia.

Afterwards there was a manipulation of the human rights issue.  But the blockade is a brutal violation of the human rights of Cubans. We are ready to discuss about human rights violations.  We could begin speaking about the concentration camp in Guantanamo, where inmates are submitted to tortures  and there is no habeas corpus. That is the realm of “Military Commissions” outside the rule of law.  Could the US delegation explain what happened at the Abu Ghraib, Bagram and Nama camps?

Were the responsible indicted? Were the members of the European governments who authorized the creation of secret prisons in Europe and the secret renditions by the CIA indicted? Could the European Union representative shed more light on that issue?

We could speak about Wikileaks.  Why don’t they tell us something about the atrocities described in the more than 75 000 documents about the crimes in Afghanistan and in the 400 000 documents about Iraq?

What could they tell us about the extra-judicial executions announced by Bush in his famous State of the Union address of 2003 applauded by the US Congress? What has the present administration done with the responsible? Isn’t it so that the Special Operations Joint Command was dissolved? Were the executive orders and authorizations revoked or are they still in force? Is it true that the Chief of that Command, General McChrystal, reported directly to Vice-president Cheney?  We could also discuss about  brutal  violence using high technology that is called “counterinsurgency”.

The changes in Cuba are only incumbent to Cubans.  We will change everything that needs to be changed, for the benefit of Cubans, but we will not ask the US government’s opinion.  We freely chose our destiny.  That is why we made the Revolution.  Those  changes will be made in a sovereign way; they will not be “gestures”.  We know that the only thing the US would consider sufficient would be the establishment of a pro-Yankee government in Cuba; but that is not going to happen.

Does the United States want to see some progress in telecommunications? Let them lift the blockade measures which prevent us from doing business in that field; let them cease the outright theft of Cuban funds.  Let them eliminate the blockade measures that severely restrict the access of Cubans to the Internet.

Do they want to see cooperation between their universities and ours? Let them eliminate the  restrictions  on the exchange between academics, students, scientists as well as cultural exchanges; let them allow the signing of agreements  between those institutions.

Do they want to see cooperation against drug-trafficking, terrorism, traffic in persons, natural disasters and postal services? Let them respond at least the proposals that we presented to them over a year ago without any condition whatsoever.

The US government has changed, but the funding to the internal subversion in Cuba remains the same.

A USAID high official confirmed yesterday to the journalist Tracey Eaton that, during the last period, they have conveyed 15.6 million dollars to –and I quote- “individuals on the ground in Cuba”.  This is how they call their mercenaries.

Illegal radio and TV broadcasts remain the same.

The Five Cuban Antiterrorists continue serving an unjust imprisonment sentence. Recently and for no reason  Gerardo Hernández Nordelo was placed in solitary confinement and he was denied medical assistance.

Confessed international terrorists like Orlando Bosh and Posada Carriles are walking freely down the streets of Miami and even carrying out their political activities there.

We hold migration talks, but the political manipulation of migration continues through the implementation of the Cuban Adjustment Act and the “wet foot/dry foot” policy.

Once again : It is absolutely not true that Cuba and the United States are “trading partners”.  The sale of agricultural products violate all standards and practices of international trade as well as the freedom of navigation.  There have been untruthful statements in this room about alleged NGO donations to Cuba worth 237 million dollars.

The blockade is abusively extraterritorial and affects all countries represented here.  It is not a bilateral issue.

Mr. President;

I have  very little to add to what was said by the representative of the European Union here.

The European Union has no moral or political authority whatsoever to make any criticism regarding human rights.

The EU would rather take care of its brutal anti-immigrant policy, the deportation of ethnic minority citizens, the violent repression against demonstrators and the increasing social exclusion of its unemployed and low-income sectors.

The European Parliament, in a shameless and infamous way, devotes itself to reward the US government paid stooges in Cuba.

Now it is said that the so called Common Position has been overcome.  We will see.  Facts will have the last say.  But the European Union is delusional when it thinks it could normalize relations with Cuba while the Common Position is still in place.

Thank you, very much.

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