The world cannot afford to let the tragedy
of NATO’s war against Yugoslavia be forgotten due to the silence of those
who were actors and accomplices of that brutal genocide.
Clinton, National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright and other close collaborators of the President, including the person
who was ordered by Berger not to take notes when Cuba was discussed, were at
the meeting Clinton held with Aznar in the White House on April 13, 1999, where
the decision to intensify the bombings was made, and Aznar suggested that
Serbian television, radio and other facilities be bombed, in actions that would
take the lives of innumerable defenseless
of them, through press statements or in a book or memoir, may have individually
written about the adventure, but none focused on the real danger and suicidal
wars that the United States is leading the world to. The publication
of the existing secret documents could be the legacy of a President in 200
years from now, when, judging by the pace we’re going at, there will no longer
be any publicity or readers.
than ten years have since gone by.
In Europe and elsewhere they have many accomplices keeping
my third message was sent to Milosevic, Italy’s Minister of Transportation visited Cuba. I met with him on March
30, 1999 and
directly discussed the issue of the war against Yugoslavia.
follows is a summary of what I said to him, according to the notes taken during
our conversation, in the presence of my Office staff and officials from the
Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
began by asking why they had invaded Serbia and how they were going to reach a
settlement. I told him that, in my opinion, it had been a great mistake and
that, were the Serbs to offer resistance, they would run into a cul-de-sac. Why
did Europe need to dismantle Yugoslavia, which had implemented many reforms and
which, strictly speaking –the Cold War having ended– could not be labeled a
communist state and, much less, an enemy of Europe? I explained that, in order
to satisfy the German government’s demand, Europe had encouraged and supported the separation of Croatia, where, during World War II, Nazi Germany
organized the fearful chetniks, groups which perpetrated countless
crimes and massacres against the Serbs and the liberation movement headed by
to this complacency and lack of political foresight, in the prevailing euphoria
of the days when the socialist block and the Soviet Union were in a crisis, Europe dismantled Yugoslavia. This resulted in bloody episodes and, specially,
in the long and violent war in Bosnia and, ultimately, in NATO’s current war
against Serbia. By then, Macedonia’s separation had also taken place, which
meant the mutilation of the greater part of the Yugoslav Federation. Only Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo remained.
everyone knows, for decades Kosovo’s population of Albanian descent grew
uninterruptedly until it became the broad majority. In Tito’s lifetime, long
before his death, many Serbian families left Kosovo seeking safety faced with
the numerous acts of violence that extremist groups from Kosovo committed
against them. At that time, in Kosovo, the Serbs were subjected to what today
is called ethnic cleansing.
unnecessary and bloody disintegration encouraged and unleashed the underlying
conflicts between the majority, of Albanian descent, and Kosovo’s Serbian
minority, conflicts which are at the root of the current problem.
Serbian people are the essential core of what remains of the former Yugoslavia. They are a combative and courageous
people who have been profoundly humiliated. I was convinced that, offered ample
autonomy, Serbia would have accepted an honorable and
peaceful settlement of the conflicts in Kosovo.
moderate groups, acting in an intelligent and constructive fashion, supported
this settlement, as the presence of a broad majority of Albanian descent would,
sooner or later, make the peaceful emergence of an independent state possible. Europe knows perfectly well that Kosovo’s
extremist groups did not want this settlement; they demanded immediate
independence and, because of this, wanted the intervention of NATO forces.
is unfair to lay all of the responsibility on Serbia. Serbia has not invaded any sovereign country.
What it has done, in essence, is oppose the military presence of foreign troops
in its territory. For months, in recent weeks particularly, it has known
nothing but constant threats. Its unconditional surrender was urged. No country
can be treated like that, let alone the people who, in the days of Europe’s occupation, fought most heroically
against the Nazis and have ample experience in irregular warfare.
the Serbs resist –and I am convinced that they will resist– NATO will have no
other option but to commit genocide, but such an action would fail, for two
they would be unable to defeat the Serbian people if the latter applied all of
its experience and irregular warfare doctrine.
Public opinion in NATO member countries themselves would not allow such an
divisions, stealth bombers, tomahawk, cruise missiles or any other so-called
intelligent weapon would not suffice. A missile or bomb would have to be
launched for every person capable of carrying a rifle, a bazooka or a portable
anti-aircraft weapon. All of NATO’s power would, in this case, be useless.
There are star wars and there are ground wars. All high-tech equipment
notwithstanding, individual combatants would be the most important element in
this type of war.
Kosovo, a much more serious problem is emerging, to the detriment of Europe’s and the world’s interests. Russia has been humiliated terribly. NATO has
already advanced to the borders of what was once the Soviet Union and it is promising to include other
states of the former socialist block, and even Baltic countries that were part
of the Soviet
have every reason to think they will not stop until they reach the walls of the
the Serbs, the Russians are a Slavic people and this sense of identity is very
strong among these peoples. The attacks on Serbia are profoundly humiliating for them and,
more than any other action, they have produced deep and justified feelings of
insecurity, not only among the Russians but in India and China as well, and these countries will undoubtedly
attempt to ally themselves to Russia to guarantee their security. I doubt the
Russians would cease to do whatever is necessary to retain a response
capability which would be their sole guarantee in this situation.
Europe nor the world, with their current and
overwhelming economic problems, would gain anything through such a course of
few days ago, in the early morning of March 26, while returning from Colombia
to Russia before schedule, the President of the Russian Federation’s State
DUMA, Guennadi Selezniov, made a stopover at Havana’s airport. I took up these
issues with him of my own initiative. I told him no military solution was
possible, that, without a doubt, any effort to offer Serbia military aid would inevitably lead to a
general war, as the only means available to wage such a war today are not conventional.
I said also that the battle was of a political, not military, nature.
publicly expressed this point of view I shared with him.
Europe and the world are duty-bound to find such
a settlement, which, though difficult and complex, is perfectly possible. If,
rather than devote all their efforts to threatening Serbia with terrible bombings, they had brought
pressures to bear on extremists in Kosovo, such a settlement could have been
reached. Only NATO can contain extremists in Kosovo through frank and
uncompromising efforts. It is not a question of using weapons to achieve this,
but, rather, of warning the extremists in such a way that they will be certain,
beyond all doubt, that they do not have NATO’s support. There is no question
that the bombs that have been dropped on Serbia for a week now will never contribute to
these dissuasive efforts.
addition to this, I believe it is a serious political mistake that the United States and Europe should try to keep Russia on the edge of the precipice in economic
terms by imposing it the International Monetary Fund’s unviable formulas.
West makes no mention of the 300 billion dollars that have been stolen from Russia and relocated to Portugal, Spain, France, Italy, Austria and other countries. This is fifteen
times the miserable 20-billion-dollar loan that the International Monetary Fund
has been discussing for months now. The West, which recommended or imposed
these models and policies on Russia, shares in the responsibility for this
ruthless plundering of Russia’s wealth.
internal explosion in Russia would be catastrophic. This is coupled
with NATO’s encroachment, which I’ve already mentioned, the proposal to cancel
the Strategic Anti-Missile Defense Agreement and, now, the incredible
humiliation surrounding the attack launched by NATO’s powerful forces against a
small country like Serbia.
told him I was against all kinds of genocide or slaughters, regardless of the
perpetrator, and that all ethnic groups and religions, without exception, are
deserving of the right to life, culture and peace.
I have taken the liberty of explaining this, it is because I feel it is my duty
to warn you of these dangers and of the need to solve them. To lay these issues
on the table does no harm to anyone and can, on the contrary, benefit everyone.
I again expressed my conviction that the Serbs would resist, and that a
peaceful settlement was, in my opinion, feasible, even though negotiating with
a country on which thousands of bombs had been dropped and whose honor, dignity
and economy had been dealt a harsh blow was by no means easy.
has practically no more military targets to strike, perhaps only concentrated
or moving troops remain, and the easiest thing for these troops would be to
split up to wage another type of war in which they cannot be destroyed by air
“Europe knows that ground combat would be very
costly in terms of human lives and, what’s more, futile. I added that, were the
Serbs to deploy the strategy we would use in our country in the event of an
invasion by the United States, an area in which they have already shown
extraordinary experience, NATO’s war would be futile and repulsive, an act of
genocide in the heart of Europe
destined to be condemned everywhere”.
is a glorious day for our country, the day in which Carlos Manuel de Céspedes
began Cuba’s war of independence against the Spanish
was a source of inspiration for the generations of Cubans who came after him.
What he taught us was the duty to reflect on and confront the dangers that
menace the human species today.