Message to the Mexican People

I ask you to forgive me for my absence from the so-called 3rd Summit of Latin American, Caribbean and European Union heads of state and government.

For several days I have thought long and hard on whether or not it would be convenient to attend the meeting.

I finally decided not to do so for several reasons.

The most important of these are:

First: the European Unionís complicity with U.S. crimes against and aggressions on Cuba as shown by its disgraceful, hypocritical behaviour in Geneva and its shameful understanding and connivance with the Helms-Burton Act, whose unacceptable, ignominious extraterritorial nature render it unworthy of being taken seriously by our people.

In Geneva, they did not dare to say a word about the concentration camp in the Illegal Guantánamo Naval Base.

And do not even dream that at this conference the European Union will accept any denunciation of the murder, mistreatment and humiliation of countless Mexicans, Latin Americans in general and of Caribbean people who try to escape from the underdevelopment and extreme poverty thrust upon them by the plunderous, genocidal international economic order reigning in the world today of which the European Union benefits too.

According to all the reports received, this will be a conference totally lacking in content, a conference of a purely ceremonial nature, in which the European Union will commit itself to absolutely nothing, not even to the most elemental respect for the principle of non-intervention.

Second: The shameful collusion of several Latin American governments and their betrayal of Cuba as they indecently submit to U.S. orders really hurt our people and it is impossible to have even a shred of respect for their opinions and decisions or to take these seriously.

Third: Everything has been organized in such a way that it will be impossible to have a truly free, open debate on matters of vital concern to the fate of our hemisphere and of the world.

Fourth: Our ambassador was unjustly expelled from Mexico a few days ago and there are serious, unresolved issues still pending that have to do with the false and mendacious accusation that our country intervened in Mexicoís internal affairs.

Fifth: Putting aside the bitter experience of what happened in Monterrey, in our opinion, the minimal conditions do not exist that would allow my visit to that beloved, sister nation for the abovementioned meeting to have any kind of constructive outcome.

I want to put on record how much it pains me to forego the opportunity to shake the hand of men like Chávez, Kirchner, Lula, Patterson and other brilliant fighters for a better fate for our peoples. in the Americas They will do what they can and the great things they are capable of doing in the five minutes allowed them in this conclave where, according to what has been said, there will be no press.

Perhaps, at the opening ceremonial banquet with its carefully-chosen-beforehand speakers, between the culinary delicacies, the champagne and the wine that have nothing whatever to do with the billions of people in the world suffering from hunger and extreme poverty, the echo of the voice of some genuine dissident will be heard

Cuba feels extremely honoured with and superbly represented by its brilliant young foreign minister who, in the few seconds given to him in any small space of that meeting, will be perfectly capable of stating some essential truths.

I still firmly believe that a better world is possible.

Fraternally,

 

(signed)

Fidel Castro Ruz

President of the Cuban Council of State

26 May, 2004