State and city authorities;
Friends of Cuba,
You have bestowed so many honors upon me, so far beyond those that
I could truly deserve that I could only interpret it as an expression of
solidarity and generosity.
You were impatient, they say, for me to speak but I was not. (LAUGHTER
I have often been on many rostrums but on very few occasions, perhaps
never before, have I been faced with such a difficult task. I even promised
myself not to speak more than two hours (LAUGHTER) and, honestly, I will
try to. (LAUGHTER AND EXCLAMATIONS)
You see, you have reminded me of so many things, you have made me
remember so many moments and episodes from these past years, that if I
were to let myself get carried away by memories I would end up speaking
for who knows how many hours. However, I think it would be best for me
to concentrate on just a few topics. I also plan to accept the invitation
I received to meet tomorrow with the delegates representing all of Brazil’s
I will not be able to say to you all that I should say to the two
groups because it would take too long; I shall then divide the issues.
I also have to decide on the topics and considering that we are here in
Rio, and that the conference has just concluded, I think I should give
you some of my impressions on it. But, only on a part of the conference,
if that is all right with you.
Of course, it was not an easy meeting for me. We are demons; (LAUGHTER)
Cuba is hell. (LAUGHTER) This has been said so many times, so many millions
of times, by our neighbors in the North... Although it would be incorrect
to call them our neighbors in the North, it would be better to call them
the adversaries among our neighbors in the North, neighbors who have been
fooled for a long time. The American people are not guilty of the many
historical crimes committed by that empire, even before it became an empire.
As a matter of principle, we have never blamed the American people.
The most that we can say, recalling Lincoln’s famous quote is that you
can fool all the people some of the time, or some people all of the time,
but you cannot fool all the people all the time. (APPLAUSE) It is that
today the world has globalized and the globalization of the world has brought
about the globalization of lies. (APPLAUSE) We could say the same thing:
you can fool some of the world all the time, or all the world some of the
time, but you who are here today are demonstrating that it is not possible
to fool all the world all the time. (APPLAUSE) This means the beginning
of global truth and the beginning of global victory.
I read the wire services every day, a great many press dispatches,
200, 300; it is an old habit which allows me to know what is being said
in the world, and even some of what is happening in the world. You can
become practically an expert in identifying the many lies said in the world
and the many truths that are hidden as well as the mechanisms to do it.
Quite often, while reading the press dispatches we see a headline
then we read the content and it has nothing to do with the headline. These
are techniques used to manipulate certain news so that all of the world’s
newspapers, for example, print the headline, and then add a text.
On the other hand, it is true that many people read only the headlines
in the newspaper, nothing else. It is sad but true. The habit of reading
has largely been lost in this world while there are other major media for
spreading ideas such as radio and television. But radio and television
have also globalized. There are major networks that broadcast their message
to every corner of the world, audiovisual media that have tremendous influence
and, in most cases, these audiovisual media are in the hands of our neighbors
in the North. They own the majority of the mass media and the means of
communication, almost all the satellites that will one day block out the
sun. (LAUGHTER) They are the owners of the most powerful film industry
and of the most powerful television and videocassette series production
Some have studied this phenomenon and we must be aware of what is
happening. Which of our countries could spend 300 million dollars on a
movie, a single movie, recoup its cost on the domestic market, and then,
after having earned so much money, circulate the movie around the world
at any price?
The statistics are available on the percentage of American movies
seen by Latin Americans, the percentage of television series coming from
the United States, the percentage of the videocassettes originated in the
United States circulating around the world. To a greater or lesser extent,
there are countries in this hemisphere where 90% of what is shown in movie
theaters and on television is produced in the United States, all of it
developed and designed with a commercial intent and aimed at spreading
what we could call the worst that society has accumulated, such as violence.
I think I read once that 65% percent of these materials contain violence.
No other country in the world produces movies, television programs, etc,
with such a high percentage of violence, sex and extravagance. (APPLAUSE)
Then, what they produce with a fundamentally commercial intent they use
to poison, confuse and fool a large part of the world. This is perhaps
one of the most serious problems we face today.
A 300-million-dollar movie not only makes profits through screenings
but is also tied in with commercials, product sales, to such an extent
that some of them exceed a billion dollars in earnings. They have mixed
everything together, and these large communications syndicates, film studios
and other major companies tend to merge.
We are not trying to say that there are not some good productions,
and some are really very good but it is very difficult for us to choose
the movies we show in the theaters and on television. Every week we have
to show two or three movies.
Europe, which produced a lot of good movies 30 or 35 years ago, does
not really produce them any more, with few exceptions, and has been practically
overwhelmed by U.S. cultural aggression.
There are some countries, like Great Britain, where almost 80% of
what is shown is produced in the United States, and in many other cultured
European countries there is an average of 70, 65, perhaps 60-odd percent
of U.S.-produced material. Perhaps France, as an exception, receives less
than 50%, but it is the only one. It is trying to defend its culture against
this invasion and it seems to be making a special effort.
Several months ago at a congress of Cuban writers and artists, which
we could call a cultural Congress, the point on which all of the hundreds
of delegates unanimously agreed was the cultural aggression afflicting
Latin America and the world. All of this material serves a particular ideology
and a model of consumption that if applied worldwide would accelerate what
would truly be the end of history. Not the end of history that some euphorically
talked about after the collapse of the socialist bloc; the end of history,
in this case, means the point that we would be led to following the road
traveled by the world today, that of the consumer society.
Somebody spoke about the number of undernourished people --I think
it was the president of the Assembly-- the number of poor people. There
is a great deal of figures like these. They do not number in the hundreds
of millions but in the billions. Eighty percent of the world’s population
today is poor, not including the Chinese, who are poor but who eat everyday,
and have clothing and shoes, and homes, and medical care and education,
although learning Chinese is not at all easy. (APPLAUSE) I have a theory
that the Chinese are highly intelligent, and win almost all of the math
and physics Olympics everywhere, because they develop their intelligence
learning their language. (LAUGHTER)
One of our sister nations, Venezuela, once had the good idea of creating
a ministry called the Ministry of Intelligence. Many people laughed at
the ministry and the minister. I think I was one of the few people in the
world who did not laugh at either. I even had the opportunity to talk with
the minister about his theories. He maintained that intelligence is developed
in the first years of life, during a certain period. There are researchers
working to develop techniques to raise the IQ, because these human beings,
meaning us, have considerable mental capacity. At least, the equipment
is installed in our heads but they say that humans only use about 10 or
12 percent of their intellectual capacity. And, of course, the tests that
have been carried out demonstrate that certain teaching methods help us
to use 15%, 16%, or even more. Let’s hope the day comes --and woe betide
the pretenders, the liars, the exploiters-- when humans come to use 50%
of their intellectual capacity! (LAUGHTER)
We know --and it is not sacrilegious to say so-- that we are the
product of natural evolution. This was discovered in the middle of last
century, approximately 150 years ago, and the theory was very controversial
and highly criticized. But I say that it is not sacrilegious because I
recently read that Pope John Paul II had declared that the theory of evolution
was not incompatible with the doctrine of creation; I believe that everyone
accepts this reality, believers and non-believers alike. But humans can
no longer continue evolving in the same way they did for hundreds of thousands
of years. In the future, the great asset of the human mind will be the
enormous intelligence potential that is genetically received but that we
are unable to use. That is what we have at our disposal, that is where
the future lies, and if the use of only a small part of our potential intelligence
has led to the development of such wonderful things as those telephones
that show up everywhere... (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)
Before leaving for Rio, I was trying to write a speech because they
told me that I only had five minutes to speak. I almost wrote: "Mr. President,
Your Excellencies, good morning, thank you very much." (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)
Actually, I was gathering a great deal of figures and materials; you cannot
imagine how many materials you need to put together every time a conference
of this kind takes place. It is not a matter of finding a talented comrade
to write a speech. If the person giving the speech does not know what it
is about, then he would not even be in a position to defend the ideas it
In addition, I do not go around with one of those little telephones,
I have never used one simply because you need to have some common sense
to care for your nerves and those phones start ringing at any time, at
any moment. They say there are some that vibrate. I do not use them, only
here, once in a while.... Yesterday, while we were driving along an avenue
towards the hotel where our friend, the outstanding Venezuelan leader Hugo
Chávez was staying, our Minister called the comrades back in Cuba.
I took the phone, and I could hear them much better than when I call them
at their offices from Havana. (LAUGHTER) It was incredible!
I was there and suddenly, at top speed, I had to set up a command
post because I discovered that quite a few materials were not available,
such as, for example, the exact texts of the agreements approved by NATO
on April 24, something which greatly interested us. Luckily, we had requested
them earlier from our ambassador to the United Nations where he waged a
great battle on formulas discussed for reaching a political solution to
the conflict in Yugoslavia. He had sent the documents but there were those
and another mountain of papers and figures related to this Summit and other
work so, we did not have them at hand.
We had to call the Council of State’s office and the ministry of
Foreign Affairs. We had to call our foreign minister and our ambassador
here in Rio de Janeiro and quite a few other places as well. We had to
collect the various data, papers and other things, because that was not,
of course, the only material we needed and we had barely 48 hours to do
it. Thanks to one of those telephones, at the last minute, the director
of the Center for World Economic Research, who is here with us, received
part of the papers right off. As I did not have time to read them all,
I asked him to read them in detail and underline the subjects associated
with this and that. There were 60 pages.
There were other materials related to various themes, another 60
pages approximately. At the same time, we had to translate who knows how
many materials into English and other languages, previous speeches or draft
speeches. We had to check the number of copies we had in each language
and how many were still needed. Since we were coming to a ceremony like
this at the university, we felt it would help to hand over some of these
materials so as not to repeat certain topics and provide the participants
with a written copy of complementary viewpoints.
We usually translate some of these materials into as many as eight
languages: the largest number into English because it is the language used
most everywhere; and also into German, Italian, Russian and especially
on this occasion into Portuguese. I said, "if we are going to Brazil for
the Conference, how many copies should we take? It is the host country."
We were concerned not only that they are translated, but also that
they be translated well in order to be understood in the language of the
country where they are to be read.
Accidentally, I discovered that Brazilian Portuguese is different
from the Portuguese spoken in Portugal and that there is a war between
the Portuguese and the Brazilians with regard to language. I said, "give
me an example." They answered, "well, for example, ‘facto’: in Portugal
they say ‘facto’, like that, with a ‘c’ before the ‘t’, and in Brazil they
say ‘fato’, and the same is true with many other words." I did not want
to offend the Brazilians with a Portuguese translation; (LAUGHTER) although
it would seem to me that you understand, don’t you? If you read a Portuguese
novel, you understand it perfectly, isn’t that right? But you do not like
it when they change the words, is that so? Well, we even had to take care
of that detail. I called the Portuguese translator who travels with me
and I asked him, "Do you understand this well? Which of the two Portuguese
has it been translated into?" (LAUGHTER)
We have a translation department, with very good translators, who
have their own style and perhaps the revisers there had translated the
materials into Portuguese Portuguese, while the translator I bring with
me is always careful to translate Portuguese Portuguese into Brazilian
Portuguese. I asked him, "are you sure that they will understand this well
there and that we are not going to offend the Brazilians?" (LAUGHTER) And
he said, "Never mind, they will understand it perfectly well." (APPLAUSE)
I mention this as an example of all the work that must be done. But
I can assure you that between 4:00 in the afternoon and midnight on Saturday
the 27th, hundreds of pages were revised in order to confirm a great many
figures and materials.
On the plane, during the trip from Havana to Rio de Janeiro, which
they said would take eight hours, I discovered that it really takes an
hour because when we took off I sat with the director of the World Economic
Research Center and we spent eight hours working, discussing. As for me,
I was like a student at the end of the school year studying many things
that had been underlined over the course of several days and I had to review.
Meanwhile, he concentrated on understanding the Summit declaration under
discussion here in Rio, a document with sixty-odd paragraphs on political,
economic and social issues.
We received updates from here, in Cuba or on the plane, that such-and-such
a point was stuck on one thing or another. We asked them, "Well, what has
been worked out up until now?" And they answered, "As of now, only this
and that have been accepted; they have only discussed half of the first
document." That was on the Saturday leading up to Sunday. The foreign ministers
meeting was coming up and Europe and Latin America had opposing views on
quite a few matters. We had to be aware of all the points on which opinions
did not coincide.
I asked, "What is the latest news?" Only a quarter of the materials
had arrived, and we had to continue working to see what had been agreed
upon and what had not. There were square brackets and more square brackets
marking the points that had not been agreed upon. And one of the things
that exceptionally concerned me was the fact that the European side did
not even want to hear about the Charter of the United Nations, nor did
it want to talk about the principle of non-intervention, or self-determination
and sovereignty. Such an attitude was a natural source of profound concern,
since we know everything that lies behind it.
The discussions went on until the early morning hours. They even
discussed a paragraph that explicitly mentioned the Helms-Burton Act, the
result of a battle waged by the Cuban delegation and other countries to
have it explicitly included.
Many things were left pending; but, of course, we were able to gain
all the time we needed, thanks to this means of communication that allowed
us to simultaneously coordinate with six or seven different places and
multiply our efforts.
I was talking about the cultural invasion, which is a reality. They
are trying to impose a pseudoculture on us, or rather, a false and intolerable
monoculture. To give you an example of what is happening, I read recently
that out of the approximately 6000 languages left in the world, or dialects,
which are also languages, 100 are lost every year. One hundred every year!
Several thousands have already been lost, but it is especially painful
to think that in the next 20 years another 2000 will be lost. At that rate,
it is possible that only one language will remain and that is, unfortunately,
English; it is my neighbors’ fault.
I learned some English in high school and the university but even
when I tried to read in English I gradually forgot it; I had to speak a
great deal in Spanish. Then, despite efforts to brush up my English with
dictionaries, workbooks and notes or reading an instructive and enjoyable
biography of Lincoln, since familiar themes are easier to translate, I
gave up after a while and tried to improve my Spanish instead. (APPLAUSE)
What is this associated with? A formidable battle of ideas. If the
most powerful imperialist force that has ever existed monopolizes the mass
media, it is our duty to defend the world’s cultures and to spread ideas.
Ideas must be spread and sown throughout the world. (APPLAUSE)
This is why I was telling you that I felt encouraged by what I witnessed
this afternoon and this morning in Niteroi where we inaugurated a family
doctor’s office. They have already opened 16 and have plans for a total
of 30. It was also our visit to the museum designed by Niemeyer, and the
immense honor of having him there with us, younger and more lucid than
when I saw him seven or eight years ago. For me, it was an immense honor
to put my arm round his shoulder.
I see many interesting things in many places. I was recently in Venezuela.
I think they have passed out some booklets with the speech I gave in Venezuela,
which was long but dealt with a number of issues there that I do not need
to repeat here. Those interested in this kind of material can find a number
of things in that speech, ideas promoted by Bolívar, by Martí
and a new stage in the life of a country that played an extremely important
role in the history of this hemisphere. It was the birthplace of the noble
dream of Latin American integration, at a time when today’s communications
did not exist, and it took three months to get from Caracas to Lima on
horseback. Another great man who dreamed of integration was Martí,
and there the ideas of Martí and the ideas of Bolívar joined
together symbolically. Martí, who greatly admired Bolívar,
was always one of his followers.
That was one of the issues addressed, and there was a great deal
to say, in addition to international themes, and the privileges taken on
by the great superpower of the North, the forms of plunder it applies.
Today, it buys everything everywhere with the money it mints, while in
the past it had to buy with gold or with gold-pegged currency until it
broke with the standards established in Bretton Woods and unilaterally
suspended the conversion of paper into gold, thus converting gold into
paper. Of the reserves it possessed at the end of World War II, 80% of
the gold in the world, only a third was left after the misadventure in
They had maintained gold at a fixed price of 35 dollars per troy
ounce, buying when there was a surplus on the market and selling when there
was a shortage. When the United States suspended the gold standard and
with it the mechanisms for stabilizing currencies, it led to an enormous
explosion in the price of gold. The gold remaining in its reserves went
through a tenfold increase in value. The world economy had been swindled
with full impunity.
The world currencies had been largely stable until then because the
huge business of currency speculation had not yet emerged. As a result
of this, speculative operations total a trillion dollars every day, a new
and unusual phenomenon that demonstrates the abyss, or the very edge of
the abyss, towards which the existing world economic order is heading.
It is an unsustainable economic order, yes, unsustainable. We must understand
that we are living in a world where events are happening more rapidly than
our awareness of just how unsustainable this world order is, and of the
imperative and inevitable need to replace it with another, if humanity
is to survive. (APPLAUSE)
We must sow ideas, many ideas. What can those of us who do not control
huge mass media networks do about it? We use some of their electronic media.
There is, for example --and I have not mentioned it-- the Internet, but
it is difficult to transmit ideas to the countries of the Third World through
the Internet. Why is that? Because only 2% of Latin Americans, for example,
have access to the Internet while between 70% and 75% of Americans have
access to it.
Well, we cannot depend on the Internet to transmit ideas and messages
to you but it serves, at least, to provide those with access to the Internet
with messages, ideas, reasoning and arguments on just how insane, fragile
and unsustainable their world is. These messages need to reach not only
the victims but also the victimizers, (APPLAUSE) that is, the many people
who think but who have never come across a viewpoint other than those they
see in movies or television or read in their newspapers, all of which are
instruments that serve an economic and social system of exploitation and
domination. It is with these media that they invade the world carrying
the rotten ideology and lies of imperialism.
We have a good deal of proof because many people visit us in Cuba
where they learn about our modest country, its sacrifices and limitations,
especially in these times of the so-called special period, after the socialist
bloc collapsed and we were left subjected to a double blockade. We lost
our markets and the guaranteed supplies, which we were not able to acquire
in other places because they would not sell them to us. All that was gone
and the blockade was opportunistically tightened as it befits the actions
of that great empire. It seemed to be saying: Now is the time to squash
those insolent people on that little island like bugs; that little island
that should be ours, the one we have dreamed about for 200 years, where
they have had the nerve to disrespect us and rebel against the dogmas of
imperialism and the neocolonial established order.
Forty years have passed and they keep trying but the more time that
passes, the more puzzled they are. They undoubtedly think that we are a
special kind of bug. But no, we are exactly the same as all the other bugs;
it is just that we have become bugs with a consciousness. That is the only
evolution that has taken place in our country. (APPLAUSE) It is with this
consciousness that we have defended ourselves throughout all this time,
and even more so when we were left completely alone in terms of our economic
relations with our basic markets and sources of credits and supplies, and
without access to any of the international financial institutions.
Every once in a while we have heard in Cuba about an institution
called the International Monetary Fund, but it was a long time ago, so
long that we have almost forgotten the abbreviation. We have also heard
that there is an Inter-American Development Bank but I do not exactly know
what it is called because we have also forgotten. There is another called
the World Bank. We ask, what is that? They tell us that there is a World
Bank. Yes, there is a World Bank. And we ask where is this bank? Although
some of us know very well where it is and what it is, the immense majority
of Cubans have not heard very much about the International Monetary Fund
and the World Bank, fortunately. (APPLAUSE)
It may sound strange to you but we have learned to live without a
Monetary Fund, without a World Bank, without an Inter-American Development
Bank, without the many credits they talk about, the export credits, etc.
We must pay about twice the interest paid by other countries for all our
loans, which are always short-term loans, because due to so much blockade
and so many Torricelli Acts and Helms-Burton Acts, plus a mountain of amendments
that are not even known, many take advantage of the situation to charge
Every now and then, after the US Appropriation Act is hurriedly passed
--it is a 5000 pages long Act-- by many lawmakers, quite a few who are
friendly with Cuba suddenly send us messages expressing their regret for
not having realized that there was a paragraph that said such and such
and constituted a new measure to tighten the blockade. Many members of
Congress do not even read the bills! They do not even read many of the
bills approved by the US Congress. It is lobbying that determines in a
game of give and take: "Go along this wording for me, I need it for my
state, and I will go along with this one that you need."
That is the way it is; an endless exchange and in the end nobody
knows what is in these laws. (APPLAUSE) That explains why in such a democratic
country the legal profession is so prosperous and there is work for so
many lawyers because there is no way to understand that. I imagine that
a wise man from ancient Rome would go insane by simply reading a tenth
of the laws approved in that country, and just as its laws function, so
do its judges and its courts.
In that absolutely perfect and ideal democracy, everyone knows how
money is raised on the eve of every campaign. They have gone so far as
to rent out Abraham Lincoln’s room during election periods because some
people dream of acting certain whims. They admire Lincoln, or they have
heard about that bearded figure, the lumberjack who first became a lawyer
and then a President and whose lot it was to live in that moment of history
after a great internal war influenced by agricultural and industrial interests
and sectors leading to a change in the form of slavery consisting of its
formal abolition. After that, the slave’s life remained the same or even
worse than before, for when those ruthlessly exploited noble beings discovered
one day that they were free, they also discovered that from then on nobody
would mind whether they were fed or provided with medical treatment, given
that, by ceasing to be the property of slave owners, they were worth less
than a horse or a cow. Before, it had meant a loss of capital for the owners
when slaves died who had been sold at those infamous auctions or, evens
worse, their sons or daughters born into slavery.
That is the cruel and true history. In Cuba, the same thing happened.
Slavery was abolished in 1886 and we have historical proof that when the
slaves were transformed into supposedly free workers, they ended up living
in even worse conditions, because capitalism is the continuation of the
slave system under equally inhuman and merciless forms of exploitation.
There are many things to say and many messages to send, by all means
of communication and in all directions. I can assure you that if you have
solid arguments and you are morally right, you can wage any battle anywhere.
By word of mouth, in every message, in every booklet, in every speech,
on every platform, at every forum, we must go on telling the truth but
to do so we must be enlightened ourselves. Fortunately, we have been witnessing
the world growing awareness as it discovers certain realities. After the
stunning blows dealt to the progressive and revolutionary movement, many
people are meditating and thinking things over.
The changes are visible, and we are doing everything we can to spread
ideas, and if we need to distribute millions and millions of booklets,
we will do so. Solidarity groups often take charge of reproducing them;
they sell some and use the money raised to print more, and so on. A lot
of information is being spread that way and it is like the guided missiles
used in Yugoslavia. They are aimed directly at certain individuals, intellectuals,
outstanding personalities, media directors, and members of parliament,
political and social leaders. We spread these ideas to all those who can
have an impact on the destiny of their nations. If these ideas are clear,
righteous and objective, then conditions are ideal in the world today for
them to spread. We cannot allow ourselves to be crushed by the immense
power of the mass media owned by those currently in control of the world.
The importance of this meeting lies in the fact that those in the
North want to swallow us up whole, and if we allow ourselves to be swallowed
up, they will digest us faster than that whale in the Bible digested the
prophet I believe they called Jonah. It appears that the whale delayed
a while and the prophet managed to escape from its belly; but if this whale
swallows all of us up, it will try to digest us really soon.
They can buy everything, as I was saying, thanks to a mechanism created
over the course of this century, which can be traced back to World War
I. The dollar began to replace the pound sterling as the world’s reserve
currency and they invented fixed-interest bonds to finance the war effort
but when they least expected it they were hit by an huge crisis that lasted
from 1929 until 1940, and there is nothing to guarantee that this will
not happen again.
They are constantly inventing things to avoid being hit by another
huge crisis, while the value of their stocks keeps climbing sometimes doubling,
tripling and quadrupling in barely 10 years, thus creating fabulous artificial
fortunes and inflating a balloon that can and must inevitably burst at
any given moment. In 1929, only 5% of the people in the United States had
their savings invested in the stock market while today 50% of the Americans’
savings are invested in stocks, in addition to their pension and retirement
funds. Therefore, such an explosion would be truly catastrophic.
In recent months, they were very frightened that this very thing
would happen, so they switched from anti-inflation policies to anti-recession
policies amidst great confusion. One cannot believe all they say but one
needs to know what they are thinking and what they are saying quietly among
themselves. The fact is that they have created such privileges for themselves
that the country whose people save less of their net income than any other
in the world is precisely the one that spends, invests and buys the most.
It is said that the Japanese are the champions of personal savings,
that they save more than 30% of their personal income. In Europe the average
is around 20%, thus there exist various different parameters. The Americans
have been the ones to save the least for some time now. They sustain the
growth that they boast so loudly about on the basis of a domestic market
of 270 million people who spend unrestrictedly. If they own a car, they
change it for a new one every two years, some of them every year; they
buy everything that is produced and preserve employment on this basis.
Of course, the raw materials cost them nothing: whether it be iron,
nickel, petroleum, whatever, they pay for it with papers. Those who receive
the papers store them away, for the most part, thus creating monetary reserves
in the central banks or even the private banks while taking the risk of
suffering the same as many so-called emerging countries: losing in a matter
of weeks the reserves accumulated over dozens of years.
I am explaining all of this in a simplified manner because they really
use different mechanisms. In essence, they print the banknote, buy things,
and those who receive the banknote store them away. They give nothing in
exchange for this. Or perhaps it would be more correct to say that this
is what happens with a significant part of these banknote; another part,
as is only natural, are spent by their owners on goods and services.
Actually, at Bretton Woods the United States assigned itself the
task of issuing and protecting the international reserve currency but it
failed to fulfill its duties and turned the country into a privileged monopoly
that has access to all the money it wants through its bonds and banknote.
They allow themselves to have a trade deficit of 200 billion, 300 billion
dollars, but no one else. Naturally, they import everything they want.
They will never lack a gallon or a liter of fuel, and there, where there
are more cars than anywhere else, a liter of gasoline is cheaper than in
any other country.
Look at all the privileges they have come to accumulate to the extent
that personal savings reached a less than zero level last year; that is,
on average they spent more than they earned. There may be some that saved
part of what they earned and others who spent much more, but the average
savings of U.S. citizens were under zero. This is something unprecedented
in the history of capitalism; still everything remains so very calm. They
talk about a buoyant economy but who is paying for it and how long can
they keep paying for it? (APPLAUSE) Also, what will happen when this system
and these enormous balloons burst and everything collapses?
This is absolutely true, and we understand that it is our duty to
help the masses --the billions of poor people in the world and even the
middle class-- understand and know about these realities since the world
must be prepared for the moment such disaster hits. I assure you that in
recent months they had a close call. All it took was a crisis in Russia,
whose Gross Domestic Product accounts for 2% of the world economy, and
the suspension of payment of a few short-term obligations. Suddenly, there
was panic and the Dow Jones dropped a huge number of points in a matter
of days, practically overnight. It seemed that disaster was already on
its way, if the crisis extended throughout Latin America.
It was pandemonium when the government, the U.S. Treasury and the
Federal Reserve realized that if the Latin American economy burned, the
fire would reach the U.S. stock markets. They tried to head off the crisis
lowering the interest rates, or rather injecting money into circulation
to prevent a serious depression. However, they have merely postponed it
and the longer it is put off, the greater the disaster will be. (APPLAUSE)
Later then, renewed euphoria, more spending, another increase in stocks
value on the market and more speculation of all kinds.
The problems are not all that complex. I would even say they are
relatively easy to explain. These are the pillars that sustain the empire.
It will collapse and not by work of our good wishes. It will collapse because
they are building on unsustainable foundations, and the day could come
when disaster strikes and the peoples, and the world, are unprepared to
deal with it and draw from it the necessary lessons. This would lead to
all kinds of crises, everywhere in the world.
I believe that, rather than weapons the peoples need ideas. (APPLAUSE)
They need a change from an inhumane, unsustainable global world that threatens
life on the planet, to a just and humanitarian social order that offers
humanity an opportunity to survive. The peoples need a world with a bit
of drinking water and air to breathe where the necessary food is available
and advanced technology can be used to produce housing, schools to educate
the children, medicines to preserve human health and medical care indispensable
to all, children, adolescents and the elderly. (APPLAUSE)
Why do they talk to us about the 21st century and fill our heads
with illusions that last less than the bubbles in the champagne with which
the world’s privileged minority will celebrate the arrival of the new century?
(APPLAUSE) We already know that billions of people in our world, where
there are already six billion of us, will be celebrating with a sparkling
drink --let’s hope it is not Coca-Cola. (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)
I say it because in this globalized world we also see the strange
phenomenon of countries with cultures dating back thousands of years, such
as India --with all due respect, it is a country we greatly admire-- where
the people drink US Coca-Cola and eat hamburgers. Of course, the owners
of the fast-food chains of restaurants say that those hamburgers are made
with buffalo meat, or lamb but not beef, given that the centuries-old traditions
there allow for the consumption of the cow’s milk but not its meat. Anyway,
who knows what those gentlemen from the transnational mix in there? They
are quite capable of mixing the meat of cows found dead along the roads.
(LAUGHTER) We know how scrupulous those gentlemen are when it comes to
human health. But even in countries as extraordinary and with as much merit
as China, the foreign multinationals are attempting to introduce all of
these consumption habits. This is a good example of Yankee cultural globalization.
And if only it were just Coca-Cola and hamburgers! What is really
awful is that they are introducing into the human mind, which has so much
potential, the idea of living the way people live in Paris, London, New
York, California, and other places. It is an idyllic world about which
I once heard the U.S. president speaking, very close by, at a WTO meeting
in Geneva. Of course, they need to tell the world something, so they say
that all they want and everything they are doing is aimed at a future when
the whole world is middle class.
I jokingly told some journalists that, after Karl Marx, Clinton was
the only one to have conceived of a classless society. For Marx, it would
be a society of workers, for Clinton a bourgeois society. The former thinking
about the exploited workers; the latter dreaming of the middle class in
the elite suburbs of California and other wealthy American cities with
contented owners of inflated stocks who have two cars, electric power,
one or two telephones, cable and satellite television, the Internet to
order anything they want, any movie, even to shop in a supermarket without
having to leave the house because the products are exhibited in detail
and they buy what they want, paying with a credit card or whatever since
they do not even need to bother carrying money around. Good heavens! They
have achieved what Karl Marx once dreamed about: the removal of money (EXCLAMATIONS
AND APPLAUSE) mostly based on a formula that never occurred to Marx, that
of first gaining control over all of the money in the world, (LAUGHTER)
then working the alchemist’s miracle of changing paper into gold and becoming
the real or potential owners of all of the world’s natural resources.
Do you think that is enough for the empire? No! The Persian Gulf,
with a few exceptions, is theirs, all theirs. The Caspian Sea, with its
immense reserves of oil and gas, that entire region belongs almost entirely
to them or to their transnational. Wherever they go, in Africa or any other
part of the world, either on land or in the water, they try to control
all of the raw materials in existence. They hope to buy all of the gas
in Russia, which has the largest reserves, and all of the oil so that these
reserves become the property of their companies; it is never too much for
them. They do not want to leave anything for the Europeans.
The Europeans wanted to make some investments in Iran, Libya and
a few other countries, then the Yankees passed another law according to
which they cannot invest in those countries. That was how we became a sort
of exchange currency. They were seeking an "understanding", as I said yesterday,
so that if the Senate agreed to moderate one of the titles in the Helms-Burton
Act regarding the European investors interests in Cuba, the United States
would be tolerant of some of the investments made by the Europeans in Iran,
Libya and elsewhere. That definitively internationalized the infamous law
and made them all happy in the end.
I had no alternative but to introduce a relatively tough paragraph
in a short speech where I said: "Speaking now on behalf of Cuba -–a
country subjected to a criminal blockade and sacrificed as a bargain chip
to unethical ‘understandings’ on cynical extraterritorial legislation"
-–I believe these were the two only qualifiers I used during the six
or seven minutes I spoke–- "as well as to unfair and unjustifiable ‘common
positions" -–there is a especial European common position on
Cuba, a country blockaded by the United States, no other country is!--
"in an additional attempt at economic suffocation" --I added three
more lines— "I would like to express my hope that the world will not
be redistributed again among the big powers and that the unthinkable madness
of turning us back into colonies will not be tried." (APPLAUSE)
Europe will be a powerful and wealthy supranational state; it is
moving in that direction. This powerful and wealthy supranational state
has contradictory interests with those who want to keep everything and
be in control of everything. In this token, it is unquestionable that this
immense territory made up by the Latin America and Caribbean countries,
with a population of almost 500 millions and vast natural resources, must
adopt the most intelligent tactics. Likewise, it should recognize the contradictions
between two very wealthy and highly developed areas, which have conflicting
interests in the economic field and others.
Europe does not want to see its cultures swept away. That same Europe
would not be able to survive economically today if it were isolated and
divided. Thus, after centuries of warring they have worked the miracle
of coming to an agreement, uniting, integrating, agreeing upon a single
currency, to defend themselves and their markets from speculation, or to
put it simply, to survive.
We, Latin Americans speak the same language, share the same culture
and are descendants of more or less the same ethnic groups; here there
is no basis for so-called ethnic cleansing. We are a group of peaceful
nations who have managed to live in peace for a long time, with few exceptions.
We have many more factors that unite us and you can even see how those
in the North are attempting to destroy the integrating elements of our
culture, such as the language, a major element. We are a combination of
Europeans, indigenous peoples and Africans, and according to the laws of
biology hybrids tend to be more vigorous, stronger and even more intelligent,
more creative. There must be some reason why they seek us out to win championships.
You can see that many of our European friends’ teams are made up
of Third World people. They have gathered them together, and they win games
and even championships, and then they boast, "This is real racial unity;
this one came from Algeria, this one came from Nigeria, this one came from
here, this one came from there." I do not understand why there are not
more pure Aryans in their teams.
Perhaps some believe that to be a good athlete you only need reflexes
and muscles. But to be a good soccer player, and you know a lot more about
this than I do, or a good baseball player, which we know a bit more about
than you do, or a good volleyball player, in which you and we are about
evenly matched, although each of us has a certain amount of chauvinism...
who wins? (LAUGHTER) ...much more than an ability to jump are needed. You
need reflexes and intelligence.
Even in baseball --to use the English word, or "pelota", as Cubans
usually call it-- which seems simple, the players not only need to react
at the speed of light to catch a ball that could go as fast as a 100 miles
an hour, but also to instantly know if they should throw it to first, second,
third base, home or wherever, depending on the concrete situation --and
there can be many-- and if you are not using your head, you might throw
the ball to third base instead of first base. When it comes to soccer and
volleyball, it is amazing to see the speed at which they move, fake, shoot;
they need to be very intelligent. Even running takes intelligence, knowing
what rhythm to start out with, where to place yourself along the track,
how to wear out your rivals and how to use your reserve energy at the end.
It is the most intelligent runners who win the medals, supposing that all
have more or less similar physical capacities.
We believe that our nations have all of the potential talent needed
and something more: all the potential for kindness and generosity. You
can see it if you have the privilege of taking a short trip --it has happened
to me here in Rio de Janeiro and in Niteroi. I have seen it in the streets,
speaking with the workers who take care of us, or those in charge of security,
services in the conference centers, the hotels and everywhere-- you see
nothing but kindness, friendliness, decency, modesty. I have not found
a single arrogant Brazilian, (APPLAUSE) no one! Nor have I found a Brazilian
who is not friendly and helpful. In other places, in very developed countries,
it is hard to find the modesty, the courtesy you see in Brazilians, in
We recently visited the Latin American Medical School, which was
established truly in a matter of weeks, after the hurricanes hit, using
an old naval school with great capacity. There are currently around 1800
students there, and its total capacity will be around 3400. It is a truly
excellent school which we, a blockaded and poor country, have managed to
open in a very short time, not because we have money, since our monetary
resources are scarce but because we have a great human capital, a great
human capital! (APPLAUSE)
While they were turning paper into gold, we were turning ignorance
into science, ignorance into knowledge, selfishness into solidarity. (APPLAUSE)
We have lots of evidence on this. I think I should give you a few examples.
Over the last 30-odd years, 26,000 Cuban doctors have provided free services
to the Third World, (APPLAUSE) far from home and family, in the most remote
places, saving lives, many lives, tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands,
perhaps millions of lives. Not a word about this will ever appear in those
media monopolized by our neighbors in the North.
Ah! If we arrest a spy, the world comes tumbling down! If a few individuals
--who shamelessly operate at the service of the U.S. Interests Section
in Cuba paid by that country’s Treasury attempt to divide, disjoin and
separate the people and support the criminal blockade-- receive a relatively
light sentence in a case where those would apply five times stronger sentences,
then they raise a formidable uproar.
I want you to know that simply for visiting Cuba, a constitutional
right of every U.S. citizen, they can be punished with a fine of up to
300,000 dollars and a ten-year imprisonment sentence. And woe to anyone
working for another country as a foreign agent in the United States! Countless
years in prison await them. (SOMEONE IN THE AUDIENCE SAYS, THE FIRING SQUAD)
If we used that term, they would start firing all kinds of bombs and missiles;
(APPLAUSE) they would consider it a massive violation of human rights.
They define everything, from who respects human rights and who does
not to who are helping in the fight against drug-traffic and who are not.
They are the world’s moral judges, not only the material owners, but also
the supreme judges. If one day they felt like saying that Brazil is a global
threat because of a potential drug cultivation phenomenon, they would say
it. It has happened in other places, unfortunately. This they call a global
threat and can be subject to a NATO military intervention.
There is absolutely no need to give tougher sentences to the petty
traitors who sell out for their gold or their greenbacks. What we must
do is demonstrate that we do not fear their masters, that we are not willing
to allow impunity for its agents and for those who betray their nation,
and that our people will never accept pressure or blackmail from anyone.
But there is no need for severe penal sanctions. There will always be a
greater sanction, that of history: watching powerlessly as their every
plan is thwarted, seeing how this small and heroic country stands firm.
(APPLAUSE) That was said here today. Yes, perhaps our country has a small
merit: for 40 years, it has been capable of resisting the siege and the
aggression by the most powerful imperial forces that history has known.
You have all read about the Roman Empire but Rome is simply insignificant
and helpless when compared with the power of this empire. At least, as
it is written in the History of the Twelve Caesars, although such
historical works must be read carefully because many quotes are attributed
to someone or other which were actually invented by someone down the road
but have come to be accepted as irrefutable truths. For instance, that
Napoleon said that from the tops of the Egyptian pyramids, 40 centuries
were contemplating his soldiers. Also that when he was told that there
were two million Persians in the famous Thermopylae Pass, and the invaders
warned him that their arrows would block out the sun, he said, "better
still, that way we can fight in the shade." (APPLAUSE) So many things are
Regarding Nero playing the flute --perhaps he was a great artist,
one of the era’s intellectuals-- the history of the Caesars says he ordered
the burning of Rome. Rome was governed by a Senate much less powerful that
the Senate in the modern Rome; it also had terrible emperors. But,
the fact is that a single gentleman, the President of the United States
could unleash on his own account a nuclear world war.
Look at the world’s guarantees. What if, by chance, the man who controls
the button goes insane? Anyone can go insane. Have you never heard about
a neighbor, a friend or a relative who went insane overnight? (LAUGHTER)
Well, the world depends on that man’s sanity. Look at the many threatening
dangers and the powerful empire we must face today.
As I was saying, ideas are the key and they must be stated courageously.
I was telling you that the meeting recently held in Rio was important,
due to the common interests shared by European, Latin American and Caribbean
nations. But, there may also be interests not held in common. In any case,
the mere fact that they met is historic. Fortunately, Cuba --the Cinderella--
was not excluded. Some time ago, at a meeting held in Guadalajara, Mexico,
we had the honor of being included. It was the first time that a meeting
was held in the absence of the United States.
In the past, Latin Americans would meet every time they were convened
by Washington that did not send formal invitations: "Please, join us for
this important conference." No, they have another method for convening
Latin Americans; it is a signal they use. They would move their index finger
[like this] to call them; that would be all. I recall that they only needed
to move a finger and everyone, with no exception, would rush to Washington.
Since the inception of the Ibero-American Summits, we are meeting
without a notice from Washington. This time Latin American and Caribbean
nations –the latter usually neglected-- met with the European Union countries
here in Rio de Janeiro. This has been a conference of historic significance.
It was not easy to produce documents, far from it, because there are many
conflicting interests, and while these countries may have disagreements
with the United States they are the US military allies. (APPLAUSE)
I assure you that I did not find a happy atmosphere in that meeting
about such an alliance. It was a unique moment. I was planning to deliver
this seven-minute speech; it was seven minutes because I read it slowly,
you know, to help the interpreters, because if I read it quickly, it was
only four minutes long. I used less than my share of time. Such was the
case that, when I was finished, even though I had used constructive but
critical language, very frank and very candid, one of the chairmen of this
conference, German Chancellor Schroeder, congratulated me for strictly
complying with the time allocated, something that not everyone did. You
cannot imagine how many things can be said in two or three minutes.
I must confess that I had to meditate thoroughly yesterday, the 29th,
for I had not planned to take the floor at the afternoon session. Those
designated by the different areas were supposed to speak for five minutes,
and then, if they so wished, they could take another four minutes to take
part in the debate. I was listening carefully to everyone but I heard certain
things, statements on some points associated with the genocidal war that
has just been waged in the heart of Europe.
No crime or ethnic cleansing can justify genocide against an entire
people, the genocide of millions of children, pregnant women, other women,
men and elders who will for ever live with the trauma of the terrifying
clamor of the bombs, the wailing of the sirens, and the deafening roar
of low-flying jet fighters. Those children now three, four, five, six,
seven or eight years old forced to rush to the shelters every night will
never forget. When exposed to someone afraid of thunderstorms, some children
will experience that same fear for a lifetime. Just imagine 80 days of
bombing, low-flying jets and wailing sirens. What will be imprinted in
the minds of millions? All the wealth of a country was destroyed in a matter
Claiming that a country’s power grid is a military target is like
saying that this theater can be bombed because it has a number of lights
on. Depriving millions of people of electricity in the midst of winter
--no lighting, heat or energy for cooking-- is definitely an act of genocide.
It is an attempt to force a people to surrender to weapons and methods
of mass extermination. If every bridge is blasted, if all communications
are destroyed, if vital services, including the hospitals' intensive care
units, maternity and children's wards are rendered useless, what is that
if not genocide?
There is no need to go any further. In our view, to blockade a country forcing it to yield through hunger and disease, particularly when its people are honorable, worthy and patriotic enough not to surrender, that blockade is an act of genocide. (PROLONGED APPLAUSE AND EXCLAMATIONS) Let's call a spade a spade once and for all!
As I was saying, there was a moment before yesterday afternoon when
I was tense. I had to make a decision. I understood the need to fulfill
a duty. The issue at hand was extremely serious for it was associated with
the sovereignty of all our countries, and the problems and conflicts, social
turmoil and upheavals of all kinds that hunger will bring to the world
as a result of the order that has been imposed on it. Apparently, they
are afraid of this; they understand it and intend to be ready to quell
any peoples' attempt to rebel. At least, they try to sow terror but they
will not be able to avert the inevitable.
The war in Yugoslavia has been the most cowardly war ever waged,
for it has been the only war in history where the aggressors did not lose
a single life. It was a technological war, practically conducted on Internet,
by using and abusing the technologies they have developed, often using
minds from the Third World where laboratories or resources are unavailable,
so they hire those minds and take them away.
Coincidentally, while this genocide was being committed, at a time
of much frustration, NATO celebrated its 50th anniversary. One month of
bombing had already passed and they had initially estimated three days,
or five at the very most. But, they had encountered the will of a truly
heroic people who had fought against fascism, held back 40 Nazi divisions
during World War II and endured a holocaust.
This is a subject I do not want to dwell on further. I addressed
it in this speech to a conference of intellectuals. (SHOWS BOOKLET CONTAINING
SPEECH) I believe 400 to 500 copies are available, and if more were required,
I could send enough copies for each of you to get one. Our ambassador will
take care of that. In 24 hours we printed 10,000 copies here in Brazil.
We had brought some 2000 copies from Cuba but we have been circulating
them at the conference. This speech includes quite a lot of material on
the holocaust. Much research on that matter is required, and much writing
needs to be done. Hypocrites must be exposed, (APPLAUSE) quite a few lies
must be disproved and quite a few facts that have been kept hidden by the
West must be brought to light.
On April 24, in the midst of the champagne-splashed celebrations
of its 50th anniversary, this military block originally designed as a defensive
alliance that, according to its statutes, could only take action within
the boundaries of its member countries --in Yugoslavia they went beyond
that limit-- proclaimed its new strategic concept for the next 50 years,
and there lied the threat. That is what prompted my three-minute intervention.
I used four paragraphs out of 16 on the subject that I had underlined and
brought with me from Cuba because there was not much time. Thus, I used
four paragraphs and three questions.
I do not know what may have been published about it. Today, I have
not had time to check. We went to bed at 5:00 a.m. and had to leave early
for Niteroi for other engagements. Then I had a 20 minutes sleep on the
drive here. I must have fallen fast asleep. I woke up suddenly and for
a moment I could not recall where I was or where I was heading. I only
know that I was alerted on the proximity of the university. Upon arrival,
I asked for a cup of tea and chatted with a nice group of people waiting
for us at the entrance.
I was telling you that, for reasons of time I cut the number of paragraphs
from 16 down to four and asked three questions. I also said that I do not
know if anything has been published on it. I am not aware. (SOMEONE SAYS
YES) You say yes. It was broadcast on the radio in Cuba, but here, I do
not know...(SOMEONE TELLS HIM SOMETHING) Correct. Where? (SOMEONE IN THE
AUDIENCE SAYS SOMETHING) Ah, it caused controversy! That is good, very
All right but to tell you the truth, it was not an easy decision
because I was attending a meeting with eleven NATO countries that are also
EU members. I must say, in all honesty, that not all the positions are
the same. I realized that possibly the majority of them are genuinely ashamed
of what happened in Europe, of that war calculated to last for a maximum
of five days but which stretched to 79, a war in which they had already
been defeated. The country had been destroyed and had nothing else to lose.
Then they exercised all their influence in all directions to impose
to the Serbs a political formula that contained virtually all the demands
and objectives of the NATO aggressors. The matter was strongly debated
at the UN Security Council in early June. Our ambassador took the floor
twice, and I think his statements were truly brilliant while the other
parties did not have a case.
By then we were extremely worried that for the first time certain
theories and doctrines were being launched as if paving the way. A European
member of NATO went on record there to declare that the United Nations
Charter was anachronistic and all the other rights enshrined in that Charter
were subordinate to the Alliance’s new and noble humanitarian sentiments.
Those who starve tens of millions of people to death around the world
have suddenly found that they hold the deepest and loftiest humanitarian
Those who killed four million people and maimed millions more in
Vietnam, who poisoned the land and forests, and used chemicals whose eventual
consequences are yet unknown, now proclaim the revocation of the countries'
right to sovereignty and security, the anachronistic nature of the UN Charter
and the right to global intervention.
Here are bizarre and coincidental events: a 50th anniversary and
a new doctrine for the military alliance; debates at the UN --if my memory
serves me right-- on June 10 and a country that openly proclaims --right
there in the United Nations and for the first time ever-- things that were
hitherto only rumored or quietly discussed. The announcement did not come
from one of the larger countries but from a relatively small European country
closely connected with the big boss in that military alliance. They had
come to an agreement. Our ambassador figured it all out and prepared some
quick notes when he realized that a debate was about to take place.
Curiously enough, another country of this Hemisphere, not precisely
the United States but also a NATO member --a country which was never a
metropolis and had always treated the Latin American and Caribbean countries
with respect and discretion and had never shown any imperialistic or interventionist
pretensions-- immediately and unashamedly supported that proclamation of
the right to intervene and the subordination of the UN Charter's most sacred
principles to NATO's impudent interpretation of the various causes for
a military intervention. Let me mention four causes. Firstly, drugs; secondly,
terrorism; thirdly, massive human rights abuses. Here is another cause
put forward by those who kill so many people and commit massive human rights
violations every year, or better said, every day; and fourthly, internal
conflicts. Humanitarian interventions, as determined and decided by them.
One may think of a country like Colombia, for example, that has been
a victim of the development of the drug industry. The source of its tragedy
is in the large U.S. drug market that has made millions of Colombians socially
dependent on drugs. There are also internal conflicts in Colombia. These
could be interpreted as two reasons for NATO to decide at any time to launch
thousands of bombs and missiles on Colombia.
Admittedly, all throughout this century now coming to an end, our
northern neighbors have never needed any Atlantic alliance or any new strategic
approach to intervene anywhere they pleased. They gained possession of
Puerto Rico, which has heroically defended its culture, quite similar to
ours; they occupied the Isthmus of Panama, and before that they had seized
more than half of Mexico. They intervened in Central America; they have
intervened in Haiti and the Dominican Republic several times and not on
account of global threats but rather to collect interests and debt repayments
amounting to tens of millions of dollars. They seized the customs, collected
their debt from Haiti and left Papa Doc, of the Duvalier clan, in control.
They did the same in the Dominican Republic. They occupied the country,
collected their debts and left the Trujillo clan in power. Caamaño
rebelled with a group of military officers in 1965, and immediately 40,000
troops were dispatched by President Johnson to occupy the country and crush
They intervened in Grenada with the pretext that some students from
a U.S. school were in danger there, but these students were never safer.
We can certify that because we were in Grenada building an airport and
know everything that happened there.
One fine day they invaded Panama, without there being any agreement,
treaty or doctrine whatsoever. They have done as it has pleased them and
the Security Council did not even issue a condemnation.
You are familiar with what they have done to Cuba for many years.
Declassified documents attest to that. Another booklet has been issued
containing a legal claim filed by the people of Cuba against the U.S. government
for human damages and compensation in the amount of US $181.1 billion,
for the death of 3478 Cubans killed at the Bay of Pigs, in the explosion
of the La Coubre motor vessel, the bombing of a Cubana airliner off Barbados
or the fight against bands organized and supplied by the United States.
The case is supported not only by our own evidence but also by secret U.S.
documents, which have been declassified.
A few months earlier, they had made a decision to freeze the funds
owed to Cuba as payment for telephone services between the two countries.
Each country receives a share of the payment for such services. Last December,
around 19 million USD in payments to be made by US telephone companies
under agreements and contracts executed with the involvement of the US
government were blocked to pay a 187-million-dollar compensation claimed
by the relatives of three U.S. nationals born in Cuba. For years, these
people had been committing violations and taking part in provocation in
our territorial waters and air space.
After our many warnings and expressed concern over a potential incident,
their acts and provocation went so far that finally, one day, an unfortunate
incident happened. The event then became a pretext to pass the Helms-Burton
Act, which Clinton himself had qualified as absurd since it would cost
Cuba the unbearable and unheard-of sum of 100 billion US dollars.
But this incident did not happen near Washington, Miami or New York.
It was an incident in the vicinity of Havana provoked by an organization
that was tolerated and encouraged to provoke such incidents. Three people
were killed while directly taking part in illegal and provocative actions
against our country, and for each of them 62,542,637 USD were claimed.
Right after this lawsuit was filed the funds were blocked awaiting a court
ruling by a judge, one of the many they have. Never in 40 years has one
of their judges ruled in favor of Cuba. People who have committed brutal
murders, hijacked a vessel and taken refuge there are released almost immediately.
There is something else exclusively applicable to Cuba. Ours is the
only country in the world whose nationals, if willing to emigrate, only
need to set foot on US territory to be entitled to resident status. This
was always part of their harassment plans. While consistently displaying
their wealth and after dividing families, the privileges granted to those
who decided to illegally migrate to the US not only served as propaganda
but also served the interests of certain politicians and certain lobbies.
Immediately after the triumph of the revolution, the large landowners
and the wealthiest people in the country who carried their money off with
them were the ones who left Cuba. Many war criminals also took millions
of dollars with them, as well as their managers and technical personnel,
which is why these immigrants were among those who prospered the fastest.
Since they have a lot of money, they finance political campaigns, even
for the presidency and not just for representatives, mayors and senators.
I insist that our claim was filed for the death of 3478 countrymen,
including those killed at the Bay of Pigs, as I previously said.
Around 5000 acts of terrorism were committed in just two years following
US government plans, and it is not simply our word. Well informed ex-CIA
officers have written about such acts either after they were committed
or while involved in each of these plans and after 30, 35 or almost 40
years these documents have been declassified. Not everything has been declassified
though, since they keep confidential some of the most compromising or embarrassing,
and some declassified documents are edited with deletions; but certain
institutions are dedicated to chasing down and collecting documents of
Our lawsuit demands 30 million USD in human losses for each Cuban
killed and 10 million USD in damages. In other words, 40 million USD, a
lot less than they claimed and for which Cuba were indicted by a US judge.
We have demanded much less. But, do you know how much we would have
demanded had we used the same basis for calculation as they did? Let me
explain briefly. As the claim was against the Cuban government and its
air force, they calculated that the air force had 100 MiG fighters, each
worth 45 million USD. We wish we could sell each of those alleged MiGs
for 45 million USD in the marketplace! Then, they multiplied the 45 million
USD by 100 and the product was 4.5 billion. The judge ruled a payment in
damages amounting to 1% of the total value of the air force, and 1% of
4.5 billion is 45 million. That was the basis of their calculation: 45
million USD for each death, and there were three. This figure represented
the bulk of the claim, to which further amounts were later added.
Do you know what would have happened had we used the same basis for
calculation? We might estimate that the US air force is worth 500 billion
USD, including of course its B-2s, worth two billion each, its B-52's,
its aircraft carriers and thousands of other sophisticated aircraft. We
might work out our calculations based on this figure and not on its actual
value, which must be a lot more than twice as much, leaving out the navy
and the army, although US battle ships escorted the Bay of Pigs invaders.
Also, it was the army that supplied the tanks brought by the invaders and
the aircraft that bombed our country disguised with false Cuban markings
were the property of the US armed forces. If we had added all of that up
and sentenced them to pay 1%, just calculate the resulting figure!
But I will restrict myself to the US Air Force, which I estimate
is worth 500 billion USD. Now, 1% of 500 billion is five billion. We could
be petitioning close to two trillion dollars, an amount that may sound
exaggerated but is rather conservative. And if we had based our calculation
on the actual value of all the equipment of the US armed forces, then the
resulting figure would be higher than the US Gross Domestic Product in
one year, all in full compliance with the law and on the basis of available
They set a precedent. But our legal claim summarizes in just 30 to
40 pages the outrageous history of US aggressions against Cuba and the
repugnant pretexts proposed to the US Chiefs of Staff, which were once
endorsed by the American President to justify a direct aggression. These
are contained in three shameful pages. All of this was discussed and agreed
to by the US administration and led to very serious threats to the world.
The measures we adopted in the face of imminent danger gave rise to the
famous Missile Crisis in October of 1962 that came close to developing
into a thermonuclear world war. That was one of the consequences of their
absurd and incredible recklessness.
If you kindly read this legal claim, those of you who may be willing
to read it, you will find additional information on our country. I can
assure you that those of us who worked on this material in conjunction
with counsels, prosecutors and other comrades who researched documents
and reviewed them time and again to identify pieces of evidence, found
something I was not exactly aware of, that is, the total number of assassination
plots against me that were investigated by the Ministry of Interior.
I knew there were many, and one day the US Senate had recognized
a certain number of them. Do you know how many, either major or minor,
direct or induced, plots there were? They use three methods: one is to
make up a direct plan to remove a person; another is to organize groups
that bear their own names and are apparently independent but perfectly
trained who acquire an international status and the right to go on a hunting
spree on their own account. What kind of right is that? The right to kill
any of us. And the third is the induced approach: "The demon must be killed,
the demon must be killed, the demon must be killed." (LAUGHTER) They repeat
it and many heavenly angels hear the call to kill the demon.
In summary, do you know how many assassination plots were investigated
and known about in various degrees? A total of 637. They made me a champion,
no doubt about it! (APPLAUSE) If they want to give me any award for it,
I would receive it more readily than the undeserved honors bestowed upon
me this evening.
What am I a champion of? I hold the Olympic record for plots prepared
by the United States and its henchmen to put an end to my revolutionary
life. I am also a champion of the happiness and pleasure produced by their
failure to eliminate me. They might eventually succeed making me laugh
myself to death. (LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE)
I greatly admire the men who have worked to prevent it from happening.
I have been the most carefree of all, I tell you frankly. Inevitably, when
I have to travel abroad, I am accompanied by a larger security detail than
other visitors. Coordination is always made and close cooperation established
with the authorities of the host country whose rules and functions are
strictly abided by.
Do you know how many aircraft I must use? Two. Admittedly, they are
Soviet-made and the Soviet Union is long gone, but we have some spare parts
left. I jokingly tell my colleagues, "I consider myself braver than you
because I am the only one who still flies in an old Soviet aircraft with
relatively few spare parts." The fact is that our pilots, mechanics and
technicians are real champions.
I have to use two aircraft because they always have a plan in the
making. They may, for example, use a Stinger that can be placed kilometers
away from the airport. The US has spread these weapons around the world
while supporting the forces involved in its dirty wars.
At the time of the Ibero-American Summit held in Venezuela, an assassination
plot was being hatched. While the perpetrators were traveling from Miami,
a US Coast Guard cutter involved in drug-interdiction operations stopped
them in the vicinity of Puerto Rico. The Coast Guard seized two 50-caliber
automatic rifles with a 1400-meter range that could pierce an armored car
400 meters away or shoot an aircraft during take-off or landing, equipped
with a telescopic sight, infrared night vision and the ammunition to shoot
semi-automatically as many bullets as required. They were arrested and
brought to court in Puerto Rico.
Now, who organized this plan? The chairman and ringleaders of the
Cuban-American National Foundation, many of who have proudly and honorably
appeared in photographs with the President of the United States. The amount
of money they contribute to candidates in both parties is not negligible.
On trial are those directly involved but not the chairman of the distinctive
Foundation and other chief culprits; we will have to wait for the outcome
of that proceeding.
On many occasions they have been close to meeting their goal. In
Chile, to give you an example, accredited journalists with Venezuelan passports
and documents issued by venal and corrupt officials and agents had a machine
gun built into a camera. They were standing a few meters from me but, fortunately,
they were not fanatics so they got scared and did not shoot. They have
been awfully close more than once. Then again, apparently I have been a
Anyway, I have tried to use my luck as best I can because every year,
month, week, day and hour in my life has meant struggle, and not out of
revenge, but in loyalty to my convictions. I have forgiven them in advance
for their attempts to kill me. After all, they have paid me a tribute by
regarding me as much more important than I really am --infinitely much
more important-- and they have given me a record. But, their methods are
While working on the material for the claim, we could look at all
their misdeeds together, all their crimes against the Cuban people in 45
years. Believe me, if I felt contempt for the empire before that, if I
had an extremely low opinion of its absolute lack of scruples and morality,
it is not an exaggeration to say that we felt 30% or 40% more revolutionaries.
This was not because we were unaware of such actions, for one day a story
was published, the next day a report was submitted and later on some news
made reference to such issues. But, it is really shocking, it has an impact
to see all these materials put together in a few pages. Personally, I have
been through the events of all these years; yet, I was shocked. Not a single
word is exaggeration. It is all irrefutable evidence and official US documentation.
We know them only too well.
Why the attempt to publicly declare, simultaneously with the Yugoslavian
war, the doctrine of the right to global intervention for any reason? That
attempt had to be forestalled. That was what made me say what I said. I
do not mean that I was not planning to speak and write about those things.
Rather, I was worried about the need to do so precisely at that meeting,
at the risk of sounding impertinent or impolite to the European personalities
taking part in that constructive exchange. But I had no choice. I read
my three minutes and I firmly believe their blood ran cold. There was absolute
silence. A private meeting was supposed to take up the matter, and as I
said, I had underlined 16 paragraphs but read only four. If you allow me,
I will read the four paragraphs and some of the others, not all 16 of them,
maybe 10 or 11, to further my point. After all, in law, you can never have
too much of anything and they deserve more than a fair share. (APPLAUSE)
I knew I had only four minutes if I asked for the floor. By the time
I was through I had at least half a minute left. I made a special effort,
I focused and I said what was indispensable. I am sure that if I had returned
to Cuba and had not done that, I would have felt ashamed. It was like crossing
the Rubicon because those four paragraphs and three questions addressed
sensitive issues and interests held by highly powerful forces. Above all,
it was a frank and necessary denunciation made public at that important
forum about the new NATO strategic approach that has been impossible to
conceal, since many wire services have already disclosed it.
A second sensitive issue: The draft document of the Summit adopted
by the 15 European Union countries expressly recognized that "this strategic
partnership is based on full compliance with international law and the
purposes and principles contained in the Charter of the United Nations,
the principles of non-intervention, respect for sovereignty, equality among
States and self-determination." Does that mean that the United States,
as the chief and main ally of the EU, will agree to such principles? If
that were not the case, what would the European reaction be if the United
States, at any time and under any pretext, began to launch bombs and missiles
against any of the Latin American and Caribbean countries gathered there?
As I said, the US invaded Haiti and the Dominican Republic to collect
unpaid debts amounting to tens of millions of dollars. If at some point
the United States concluded that a debt such as Latin America's, amounting
to more than 700 billion dollars could never be collected because the more
it is repaid, the more it grows, thus constituting a global threat, therefore,
a sufficient reason for a "humanitarian intervention," then the US might
begin to launch bombs left and right and by the tens of thousands over
our region or any country in our region.
The third delicate issue: For the first time, it was necessary to
make open reference in an international forum to the fact that the West,
particularly the United States, has helped the State of Israel to develop
hundreds of nuclear weapons, a fact that has always been kept under a strange
and hermetic silence. This is closely related to the serious and arbitrary
nature of NATO's new strategic approach. I did not raise this fact to even
remotely suggest that NATO should inflict bomb and missile strikes on Israel,
as it did on Serbia. That Middle-East State is home to Israelis, Palestinians
and citizens of various ethnic groups, religions and cultures.
I strongly defend everyone's right to life and peace. Such a case,
in which there has been a massive and clandestine proliferation of weapons
of mass destruction, one of the causes for military intervention under
NATO's new approach demonstrates the absurd, unrealistic and contradictory
nature of this doctrine.
That small territory is afflicted by internal conflicts, a proliferation
of weapons of mass destruction, ethnic cleansing and the constant danger
of war, all them cause for a NATO military intervention. However, no one
could ever think that such a complex issue may be solved by launching tens
of thousands of missiles against power grids, distribution networks, factories,
roads, bridges and vital services without which millions of innocent people
would not survive, innocent people who are not in the least to blame for
the problems that have built up there. Anyone can understand that these
issues cannot be solved using the NATO methods without the risk of causing
certain and colossal disaster.
This stupid and criminal doctrine, whom has it been designed for?
Solely to be applied to countries that do not have nuclear capability,
who are not members of powerful military blocs or cannot give rise to overly
serious complications. Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and most of
the Asian countries would be included in the risk area. No country of real
worth that is ready to fight can be intimidated. We know for a fact that
such an aggression can be defeated.
That US-led military alliance has just waged a merciless war and
committed genocide against a European people of great historical merits,
who are not to blame whatsoever for the mistakes made in the Balkans by
the European and Yugoslavian governments over the past ten years. Actually,
the government that ruled over the remains of Yugoslavia was not socialist;
it had not been so for more than ten years. It had repealed the name of
Socialist Federation of Yugoslavia for the simple Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
and it complied with all the Western requirements of a free market economy
and the kind of bourgeois-capitalist political structure that the United
States and Europe are trying to impose as a universal formula. However,
socialist Yugoslavia where peace had prevailed for almost half a century
was disintegrated and the West is responsible for that disintegration which
almost immediately led to all sorts of ethnic, cultural and national conflicts.
All the peoples in the former Federation would suffer the consequences.
The conflicts were not always ethnic, since the Croats, Serbs and
Bosnians are all ethnically Slavic, except that some are Roman Catholic,
others are Orthodox Catholic, and others are Muslim, and the fact was that
cultural, religious and national conflicts broke out. In Kosovo, the conflict
did have ethnic ingredients as well.
No reference is made to that responsibility. No reference is made
to the Serbian holocaust lasting from April 6, 1941 until the final years
of the war, when hundreds of thousands of Serbian men, women and children
were coldly and systematically executed in concentration camps with the
Nazi methods of Auschwitz, Dachau and others, under the doctrine applied
by a fascist installed in power by Hitler after his invasion of a Yugoslavian
region encompassing Croatia, Bosnia, Herzegovina and a portion of Voivodina.
While I was discussing this issue at a cultural Congress attended
by around 600 to 700 foreign delegates, I asked if anyone was familiar
with this holocaust. Only a German delegate raised his hand and said that
in Germany a book had been published that tells the story of this holocaust
and some books in Yugoslavia have dealt with this issue. A true holocaust!
The West has kept absolute silence about it and concealed this holocaust.
Why? Is it because they were Serbs? Is it because the Serbs were part of
a socialist republic after the war? Why, really? Some mysteries need unraveling
and it is possible to do it.
Much more data on this issue must be available now as compared with
the day I spoke at that cultural Congress on June 11, 1999, less than a
month ago. We must not only sow ideas but also expose truths and enlighten
the world about the immense hypocrisy of the West.
Some European politicians have spoken up against Cuba's tightened
laws and have specially criticized the fact that our Criminal Code provides
for capital punishment. Now, what laws have been tightened? The sentences
meted out to the rapists of minors have been made more severe and cases
of extremely serious and repugnant crimes may carry the capital punishment.
Our country is already being visited by nearly two million tourists.
In general, these are respectable people, mostly Canadians and Europeans
with exemplary behavior. But there are always visitors, from various places,
who travel for sex. Our people, particularly our children and teenagers
must be protected, all the more so since the outbreak of diseases such
as AIDS has led unscrupulous people seeking safe pleasure to believe that
11, 10, 8 or 7 year-old boys or girls pose a lower threat than an adult.
And there is always someone willing to push such services. We have also
hardened our sentences against procuring and quite particularly against
the corruption of minors. All the gold in the world is worth less than
the purity and dignity of a Cuban boy or girl. (APPLAUSE)
We have also toughened our sentences against drug trafficking to
include capital punishment. What does that mean? As our country has opened
up to millions of visitors, including Cuban nationals and tourists who
enter and exit the country quite easily, and in many cases without a visa
requirement, some international criminals have attempted to use these facilities
to carry in small drug shipments. At the same time, some foreign firms
in partnership with Cuban companies have been provided with the facilities
needed to import or export raw materials or finished goods. We discovered
that one of these companies had made an investment in the country with
the idea of shipping significant quantities of drugs between Colombia and
Fortunately, we detected their plan in time. We could have caught
the alleged European businessmen, if certain Colombian authorities acting
under effective agreements between our two countries had forwarded the
information they already had before going public for the sake of publicity
following the murky advice of American officials. Sheltered in their home
country, the false businessmen have not been arrested yet.
Cuba cannot tolerate such things. It is an outrage to our country
that compromises its prestige and even its national security. For this
indisputably valid reason, the National Assembly decided to establish capital
punishment for large-scale drug trafficking that uses the Cuban national
territory. For less significant cases the applicable prison term was extended.
Our Criminal Code does provide for capital punishment. However, in
its latest amendments, the National Assembly adopted the life sentence
as an alternative to capital punishment, so that the latter is applied
only in exceptional cases. On the other hand, Cuba has a Council of State
whose 31 members hold their individual and independent views. Any sentence
to capital punishment ratified by the Supreme Court is automatically referred
to the Council of State, which carefully reviews the case --and generally
the crimes that carry this sentence are horrible and repugnant-- and unless
an almost unanimous consensus is reached, the death sentence endorsed by
the highest body of justice in the country is not applied.
That is the procedure. It is not like in the North, where capital
punishment is administered only to Hispanics, Native Indians, mestizos
and Blacks. (APPLAUSE)
Europe, that for a long time has not known the terrible social problems
experienced in our countries has introduced a policy aimed at eradicating
capital punishment but for 129 countries in the world this is not a viable
choice. We dream of the day when we, too, can repeal such a severe sanction.
I said to a European leader who was concerned about this issue: you
Europeans are concerned about capital punishment. It is a view and a sentiment
that I respect. But there are two causes for capital punishment: one is
the penal sentences that may take the lives of several thousand people
a year, people whose actions could take the lives of many innocent and
destitute people, or cause considerable damage to society. I do not feel
it is ignoble for any country, or any man or woman, including many friends
of Cuba and many noble and good people around the world, to oppose the
death sentence for religious or philosophical reasons.
In our own National Assembly, three Christian deputies stated their
views and objected to the passage of these sentences for the crimes just
mentioned. They are honorable people who feel that way and they deserve
all respect. But hypocrisy and lies do not deserve it. There is another
truly terrible cause of capital punishment: the hunger and poverty that
kill tens of millions of people in the world every year.
As I have said to these European leaders, we must not wait until
the conditions are created in the world for the court-issued death sentence
to be removed. Instead, let us get to work immediately in order to save
the lives of thousands of millions of people in the Third World who die
every year. (APPLAUSE)
I tell them that we are ready to cooperate. Look, we know that in
Latin America alone, more than one million people die every year who could
be saved by simply sending doctors where none is available. We have promised
our cooperation, and we are ready to send thousands of doctors.
This is the human capital I was telling you about. There would be
no point in having the highest number of doctors per capita in the world
unless, as a general rule and under sacred principles and established traditions,
each of our doctors was not willing to act as a missionary, a crusader,
a pastor, a priest, a martyr for health and human life. This is why our
doctors set off with determination to places where they trudge through
mud for days, and they go to these places alone --and sometimes they are
women, for almost half the doctors in our country are women-- places where
there is no electrical power, where letters from their families take a
long time to arrive, where there are mosquitoes, snakes, and all of the
calamities that can be found in jungles and rain forests. That is where
our men and women doctors are stationed.
I have mentioned that we offered 2000 doctors to Central America.
I do not know, but I wonder if Europe and the United States combined would
be able to pool 2000 volunteers to work where our doctors are stationed.
(APPLAUSE) To northern sub-Saharan Africa alone, where the infant mortality
rate in some countries is as high as 200 per 1000 live births every year,
and where hundreds of thousands of lives, mostly children, can be saved
at a cost of pennies, we have offered the free services of 3000 doctors.
These are the poorest countries and the ones with the highest mortality
We have said to the rich countries, "If you contribute the drugs,
we will send in the doctors." And not only that. We have begun sending
the initial teams even though no industrialized country has pledged to
deliver drugs. The medicines that are coming in are the result of efforts
made by the governments involved or by some non-governmental organizations
that are truly humanitarian. The fact is that there are already a large
number of Cuban doctors saving lives, in the hope that the more affluent
countries will make some drug contributions, which represent the lowest
I have talked to quite a few European leaders, and I intend to keep
on working along these lines in order to send up to 6000 doctors where
they are most needed in various parts of the world. I do not quote a higher
figure because 6000 is the number that we can sustain ourselves by covering
their wages and other benefits to them and their relatives.
Sustaining a medical school with 3400 medicine students from Latin
America costs millions. It also costs several millions to establish such
a school in a matter of weeks after two hurricanes hit the Caribbean and
Central America, causing dreadful human and material losses. Despite the
blockade and everything else, we did it, and we took pleasure in so doing.
This institution will produce not only doctors but also a doctrine of what
a doctor should be and the responsibility held by the professionals who
look after health, physical well being and human life.
We are pleased by having widely achieved this spirit of solidarity
and sacrifice. When we raised this issue in our country, virtually all
the health professionals volunteered, including nurses, technicians and
other skilled workers. Each doctor can become a mini-school to train nurses
and ancillary personnel by working with local youth with a minimum sixth-grade
education. With the theoretical and hands-on teaching they receive here,
these doctors can train them perfectly well in a short time.
I said 6000, for I have to be cautious. In addition to salaries,
we have to cover certain other expenses for each of the doctors we send
abroad. In many cases, we have had to cover the airfare or send them in
our own airliners, bearing all the costs involved because their host countries
could not afford the airfares for these doctors. Often, we have had to
cover the cost of bringing the students enrolled in the Latin American
Medical School to Cuba, at no cost to them or their relatives.
Each year, we will receive 500 young Central Americans and 750 from
the rest of Latin America. A small group of Brazilians from various states
in Brazil have arrived. It is not that this large country is in need, but
rather because we wish this school to have students from all the Spanish
and Portuguese speaking Latin American countries which have many things
in common. In addition, around 120 young Haitians have enrolled in the
Medical School in Santiago de Cuba. They must first take Spanish lessons.
Thus, we will receive between 1350 and 1400 Latin American medical students
a year. I am not counting the Caribbean students, who have the right to
a scholarship in any field, also for free, in our universities. (APPLAUSE)
We had 21 medical schools and now with the Latin American School
we have 22. The latter will provide the first two years of premed and basic
science studies, which are the toughest. Later, the students will be distributed
throughout the country because starting in their third year all our medical
students work in teaching hospitals. Thus, their education is not just
Before the Revolution, doctors would graduate as surgeons without
ever practicing surgery. Today's Cuban medical students get acquainted
with hospital care from quite early. We hope that these young people from
distant regions of our America, who are generally of very humble background
and are anxious to study this noble profession, come to do better than
our own students. What is most important is the willingness to undertake
any mission or task anywhere. This is what has given our country its tremendous
I am pleased to add that, when it comes to choosing a place to go,
our compatriots, acting out of honor will choose the worst and most difficult
location. Thanks to the effort and human capital we have built, we can
now render such services and we are inviting the countries with large resources
and a Gross Domestic Product 20 or even 25 times that of Cuba to contribute
medicines that will save who knows how many lives. We know where people
are dying, in which slums, in which distant locations where no doctor has
The only things I must say before I am finished are the points associated
with the great concern raised by NATO's new strategic concepts, to which
I have referred insistently. I will mention the 11 most significant points,
including the four I read at the Summit meeting:
First: "In order to enhance peace and stability in Europe and
more widely, the European Allies are strengthening their capacity for action,
including by increasing their military capabilities."
They are not thinking of saving lives, they are thinking of killing
people, of taking lives. (APPLAUSE)
Second: "The security of the Alliance remains subject to a wide
variety of military and non-military risks which are multi-directional
and often difficult to predict. These risks include uncertainty and instability
in and around the Euro-Atlantic area --I think that right here we are
in a Euro-Atlantic port-- and the possibility of regional crises at
the periphery of the Alliance."
Third: "Alliance security must also take account of the global
context. Alliance security interest can be affected by other risks of a
Fourth: "NATO will seek, in cooperation with other organizations,
to prevent conflict, or, should a crisis arise, to contribute to its effective
management, consistent with international law, including through the possibility
of conducting non-Article 5 crisis response operations." Article 5
is the one that specifically bans actions beyond their borders.
Fifth: "The combined military forces of the Alliance must also
be prepared to contribute to conflict prevention and to conduct non-Article
5 crisis response operations. It is mentioned twice."
Sixth: "The Alliance's military forces may also be called upon
to contribute to the preservation of international peace and security by
conducting operations in support of other international organizations,
complementing and reinforcing political actions within a broad approach
Seventh: "The potential participation of Partners and other non-NATO
nations in NATO-led operations." In other words, gentlemen, we are
inviting anyone who wishes to join a killing spree. "The size, readiness,
availability and deployment of the Alliance’s military forces will reflect
its commitment to collective defense and to conduct crisis response operations,
sometimes at short notice, distant from their home stations, including
beyond the Allies' territory." Beyond the Allies’ territory! I do not
know whether here in Brazil we are close or far. I do know that Cuba is
Eighth: "Greater numbers of force elements will be available at
appropriate levels of readiness to sustain prolonged operations, whether
within or beyond Alliance territory."
Ninth: "NATO forces may be called upon to operate beyond NATO’s
borders." This is obsessively repeated.
Tenth: "Mounting and sustaining operations outside the Allies’
territory, where there may be little or no host-nation support, will pose
special logistical challenges."
And finally, the eleventh point, included in another document adopted
that day, referred to as an "Defense Capabilities Initiative."
"Potential threats to Alliance security are more likely to result
from regional conflicts, ethnic strife or other crises beyond Alliance
territory, as well as the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction
and their means of delivery." This paragraph relates to my comments
on those large arsenals built up with the complicity of the West, a significant
amount of weapons, which constitute a case of clandestine and massive proliferation
of weapons of mass destruction with their corresponding delivery systems.
Since I have had more time here than at the Summit Meeting, and I
have spoken to a much more patient audience, I have tried to review an
extremely important issue and recommend certain materials that we will
forward to you. We truly hope you will read them when you have a chance.
We must send the booklet on the legal claim and the speech to the Venezuelan
students as well.
Carlitos, how many copies of the speech in Venezuela did we bring?
How many have you got now? (HE REPLIES 1000). Are there any left? Have
they all been circulated? But, look, here is a gentleman who can copy 10
000 in one day, that is enough, I think.
How many professors are there in this university? (HE IS TOLD 2000).
Will I be allowed to send a copy of my speech in Venezuela to each professor?
(APPLAUSE) Carlos, do not pass any of them out now because that would create
disorder. Send them to the people in charge. Do those who invited you have
the lists? You can send the booklets to them. This speech at the cultural
Congress is available in Portuguese and so is the speech in Venezuela.
We have the Legal Claim available in Portuguese. Three complimentary books
will be distributed to the professors and we sincerely ask them to excuse
us for any inconvenience.
We wish we could send these materials to professors in other universities!
I have already met with leaders of the University Professors Union. It
was very rewarding! I was heading to my room to rest at about 1:00 a.m.
when I was caught on the way, taken to a room in the same hotel, and had
the privilege to talk to them for a few minutes. At least this experience
helped me confirm that by speaking Spanish I could make myself understood.
I was told that if I spoke slowly, it was easier, and this is why I have
been able to keep talking to Brazilians in Spanish.
We will send these three booklets to you.
The delegates to the student conference in Belo Horizonte already
have 5 000 copies of my speech at the culture congress and 5 000 copies
of the Caracas speech.
Well, can anyone tell me how long I have talked? (LAUGHTER) (HE IS
TOLD THAT MORE THAN THREE HOURS) Sorry! I overdid it a bit and I must really
say that I am sorry. Next time I will be briefer. (APPLAUSE)
I leave with you my statements and the three booklets that will be
forwarded soon. In the meantime, the batch that was meant for here will
be left for you to distribute somehow. No one should worry because we will
send enough copies for everyone. If additional copies become available,
then they can be distributed to other professors, friends or intellectuals.
Thank you very much.