Concerning the United States announced decision to shelter Kosovar refugees in the territory of Guantanamo Naval Base several views wrongly attributed to the Cuban government have been disseminated. It is therefore necessary to make clear that such views are strictly personal.

The government of Cuba has made absolutely no public announcement on the issue.

The position sustained by the Cuban government from the very beginning has definitely nothing to do with what has been published. Actually, bearing in mind that such a sensitive issue should be handled with the necessary discretion, it has refrained from making it public.

In order to avoid useless confusions regarding our country’s position, for the time being we shall limit ourselves to make known the following:

From the very moment when the present crisis broke out in Yugoslavia and NATO embarked on its brutal air strikes on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Cuba has strictly pursued a principled policy and forcefully condemned the aggression.

To the extent of its very modest possibilities and far from any interest in publicity or in taking a main role in the issue, Cuba has sustained its conviction that the Serbs would stand up to NATO’s devastating attack. Also that no weapon system would crush the resistance of those who assaulted by air or land but supported by their people were willing to fight to the end using adequate tactics against the modern military technology. That that people had proven their bravery and capacity to fight against the nazis hordes during World War II and that NATO was heading along that path towards an endless struggle as well as an unjustifiable and useless genocide in the very heart of Europe which the public opinion of that same continent and the world would not tolerate.

In every case we have made our views known to whom we deemed convenient that the battle initiated could only be resolved politically and not militarily. Also that taking note of geography and other realities, any military support to Serbia from abroad was only possible with non conventional weapons, that is, nuclear weapons which is inconceivable.

Cuba’s viewpoints have been proven right by every passing day.

The first great tragedy following the air strikes unleashed against Yugoslavia in the night of 24 March and the immediate aggravation of the Kosovo conflict has been an impressive exodus of the civilian population which the mass media have shown to the world.

Hundreds of thousands of people –children, elders, women and men included—are already suffering in a visibly dramatic way the consequences of the fighting. This in addition to the millions of other civilians who in Kosovo, Serbia and Montenegrin have been living for fifteen days now under the terror produced by the deafening noise of explosions, destruction, fires and the inevitable loss of human lives, both civilian and military, caused by the bombs and missiles falling from all sides over what is left of the --until a few years ago-- prosperous and united Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia.

The destruction in mid winter of a thermoelectric plant that supplied electricity and heating to a million people as well as the assaults on other similar facilities providing vital services to all the population are very far from being a military objective and begin to turn into a genocide.

It is definitely not the purpose of the present Statement to discuss who are responsible for what is happening and the events leading to it.

The innocent victims from whatever nationality, ethnic group or religious creed should receive all the assistance both inside and outside Yugoslavia. Cuba resolutely supports such humanitarian aid wherever it comes from; it will not set any obstacles and it is even willing to cooperate with it to the extent of its capabilities wherever it may be necessary.

Cuba supports with equal determination the urgent quest for a reasonable and just solution to the conflict.

The war should cease before even greater human, economic, political and military disasters occur that would benefit nobody in the world.


April 7, 1999