Everything is not lost, yet
Under the effect of the shock caused to the world by the appalling and brutal terrorist action that targeted the American people on September 11, underlined by painful reports and images of grief and sorrow, certain minds driven by feelings of hatred and arrogance have taken to the sinister task of reviving old methods and doctrines which lie at the very source of terrorism and the extremely grave tensions affecting the world today.
At a time when the only advisable thing to do is to calmly and courageously seek for a definitive solution to terrorism and other tragedies, by universal consensus, a rude language full of rage and a spirit of vengeance, that had not been heard since the days prior to World War II, is being used by influential political leaders in the United States.
Any honest person would have the right to ask if it is really justice what they want or rather to use the hurting and outrageous tragedy to impose methods, prerogatives and privileges leading to the establishment of an unrestricted tyranny over every people on Earth by the most powerful state in the world.
Some senior officials have openly claimed that all restrictions should be lifted on the right of American institutions and officials to murder any person, even if that requires the use of the most despicable criminals. Such a prerogative had been used in the past by U.S. leaders to eliminate patriots like Patricio Lumumba in 1961, and to arrange coup d’état and carnage which have taken the lives of hundreds of thousands and millions who have been tortured, vanished or removed by diverse means.
Cuba has denounced hundreds of plans of assassinate its leaders and has tirelessly demanded punishment for those responsible and for the authors of countless acts of terrorism which have claimed a high number of human lives from our people. The very U.S. Senate investigated and exposed several actions carried out against Cuba using various means that did not leave out any form of murder no matter how uncouth and revolting. A peculiar kind of science was developed to that end.
The world has not given its unanimous support or expressed its most sincere condolences to the noble American people to let such sentiments be used to elaborate doctrines that would spread chaos and bloody events throughout the planet. The fact that a State proclaims an alleged right to kill wantonly anywhere in the world in contempt of legal procedures, courts of law or even the presentation of evidence is as serious as terrorism itself, and one its most despicable manifestations. Such policy would constitute a barbarian and uncivilized action that would tear to pieces every rule and legal bases on which peace and coexistence between nations might be built.
Amidst the panic and confusion created by this whole situation and despite the extreme gravity of introducing such procedures in international affairs, the political leaders of various states have failed to speak out –with few exceptions-- against the emergence of a fascist and terrorist trend implicit in such statements.
One of the first consequences of this has been the acts of xenophobia and terror perpetrated against people of a different nationality or religion. Although terrorism is absolutely repugnant and immoral, the American people would never favor the brutal method of murdering other people in cool blood, breaking the law, punishing without evidence or denying fundamental principles of equity and justice with the pretext of fighting it. Such methods would take the planet back to law of the jungle, tarnish the United States’ reputation and destroy its prestige while further inciting the hatred that is today at the root of so much grief and sadness. The American people want justice, not revenge!
Cuba said from the very first moment that in today’s world no problem can be solved with the use of force and that, in order to fight terrorism, it was necessary to build an awareness and a universal union capable of definitely eradicating this and other scourges and tragedies that put in jeopardy the very survival of the specie.
Although the war drums beat unexpectedly loud and they seem to irrevocably lead towards a bloody end, everything is not lost, yet.
In Afghanistan the ulemas --religious leaders of a traditionally combative and brave people-- are meeting to adopt fundamental decisions. They have already said that they will not oppose the application of justice and the relevant procedures if those accused, living in their country, are really guilty. They have simply asked for evidence, and for guarantees of impartiality and equity in the process, something that the United Nations could perfectly ensure, with full support from the international community.
If such evidence exists, as the leaders of the U.S. government have categorically affirmed, and the religious leaders are not asked to override the deepest convictions of their faith, which they are known to defend with their own lives, then an alternative to war could be worked out. They would not sacrify their people uselessly if their ethically unquestionable request was taken into account. In fact, a bloodshed could be avoided and this could become the first great step towards a world without terrorism or unpunished crimes: a true world association for peace and justice could emerge and the American people would earn enormous prestige and respect.
Cuba would resolutely support such a solution. But, there is not a minute to spare; there is little time left. To fail to make such a basic, simple and viable effort would make it an unjust war.
By the Government of the Republic of Cuba
Havana, September 19, 2001