Reflections by Comrade Fidel
AN UPRISING AT THE UNITED NATIONS
PART II (FINAL)
After Bruno concluded his intervention around noon on October 26, the session, as usual, allowed some time for delegations to make an explanation of vote, before the draft Resolution was finally voted.
The first speaker was the
“We should not lose sight of that in a debate mired in rhetorical arguments of the past and focused on tactical differences—a debate that does nothing to help the Cuban people.”
“My delegation regrets that the delegation from Cuba continues, year after year, to inappropriately and incorrectly label U.S. trade restrictions on Cuba as an act of genocide […] the United States holds no restriction on humanitarian aid to Cuba …”
“The United States in 2009 […] authorized $237 million in private humanitarian assistance in the form of gift parcels filled with food and other basic necessities, non-agricultural humanitarian donations, and medical donations.”
“In April 2009, President Obama stated “the
“President Obama has
stated publicly that the release of political prisoners and economic reforms
are positive for the Cuban people. The
delegation will vote against this resolution. Indeed, the
”Thank you, Mr. President.”
Soon after that, the head of the Nicaraguan delegation, whose people deeply suffered the dirty war imposed by Ronald Reagan which took a toll on so many human lives, made her explanation of vote. She made a forceful speech.
The draft resolution was put
to the vote and 187 countries voted in favor; two countries –the
Not even one of the 192 UN member States was absent from the vote.
After the voting was over,
the representative of
countries with an outstanding role in international politics took the floor to
explain why they had voted in favor of the Resolution. They spoke in the following order:
Allow me to remind you that many countries abstained from taking the floor at the request of our own delegation, in order to avoid the voting process from taking too long -to the detriment of the best timing to report on the debate- and the exhausting effort meant by the participation of a higher number of speakers. In spite of that, 37 delegations spoke in crystal-clear and accurate terms in favor of the just draft resolution that had been adopted for the nineteenth time by the UN General Assembly. This was the longest and most vigorous debate on this delicate and important item.
The essence of what he said –although almost his entire speech was essential- was the following:
“I highly appreciate the words expressed by the thirteen speakers and the presence of all the delegations attending this unexpected afternoon session.
“Regarding what was said by the representatives of the United States and the European Union I have to say the following:
is the nineteenth time that the
“Hasn’t the State Department done its homework? Hasn’t it examined this issue?
“Last year I read here the Articles of the relevant Conventions…”
“I already read here the famous Memorandum that was drafted by Mr. Mallory.
“These are not “ideological
arguments” of the past. The blockade is
an old ice floe reminiscent of the Cold War. The point is not the rhetoric but
the act of aggression against
“The purpose of the
“Why are American citizens
forbidden to visit
“The pretexts used to apply the blockade have been changing. First it was our alleged participation in the Sino-Soviet axis; then the so-called export of the Revolution to Latin America; then the presence of Cuban troops in Africa that were there to contribute to defeat the Apartheid regime, preserve the independence of Angola and attain the independence of Namibia.
“Afterwards there was a manipulation of the human rights issue. But the blockade is a brutal violation of the human rights of Cubans.
“We are ready to discuss
about human rights violations. We could
begin speaking about the concentration camp in Guantánamo,
where inmates are submitted to tortures and there is no habeas corpus. That is
the realm of “Military Commissions” outside the rule of law. Could the
“Were the responsible
indicted? Were the members of the European governments who authorized the
creation of secret prisons in
“We could speak about Wikileaks. Why don’t
you tell us something about the atrocities described in the more than 75 000
documents about the crimes in
“The changes in
“Do they want to see cooperation against drug-trafficking, terrorism, traffic in persons, natural disasters and postal services? Let them respond at least to the proposals that we presented to them over a year ago without any condition whatsoever.”
high official confirmed yesterday to the journalist Tracey Eaton that, during
the last period, they have conveyed 15.6 million dollars to –and I quote-
“individuals on the ground in
“Illegal radio and TV broadcasts remain the same.
“The Five Cuban Antiterrorists continue serving an unjust imprisonment sentence. Recently and for no reason Gerardo Hernández Nordelo was placed in solitary confinement and he was denied medical assistance.
“The blockade is abusively extraterritorial and affects all countries represented here. It is not a bilateral issue.
“I have very little to add to what was said by the representative of the European Union here.
“The European Union has no moral or political authority whatsoever to make any criticism regarding human rights.
“The EU would rather take care of its brutal anti-immigrant policy, the deportation of ethnic minority citizens, the violent repression against demonstrators and the increasing social exclusion of its unemployed and low-income sectors.
“The European Parliament, in
a shameless and infamous way, devotes itself to reward the
“But the European Union is delusional when it
thinks it could normalize relations with
“Thank you, very much.”
We all expected to hear the rejoinder by the
During the 50 years of blockade the superpower has not been able to defeat the Cuban Revolution- nor will it be. I did not focus on the exercise of counting the number of votes in favor of or against the “Resolution”. Instead I observed the warmth and the convictions of those who spoke against that unjust and arbitrary measure. It would be wrong to believe that this measure could stay in place forever. That was an uprising. Peoples are sick and tired of aggressions, plundering, abuses and deceptions.
Never had the attending delegations expressed more vigorously their protest against the mockery meant by the contempt against the just denunciation by the international community against an act of genocide that is reiterated year after year. They are aware of the fact that the most serious thing is the systematic plundering of their natural resources imposed on most of the peoples in this planet, the ever increasing lack of foodstuffs, the destruction of the environment, the increasing number of genocidal wars against other peoples, with the support of military bases placed in more than 75 countries and the increasing risk of a suicidal war for all peoples of the world.
The United Nations can not exist without the presence of the peoples that have been calling for an end to the blockade. What would be the use of that body, which was founded at a time when an overwhelming majority of countries were not even independent, without our presence?
What rights do we have if we can not even call for an end to the blockade imposed against a small country? One way or another they have subordinated us to the interests of the United States and NATO, a belligerent military organization that wastes more than one trillion dollars every year in wars and weapons, an amount of money that would be more than enough to satisfy the basic needs of all peoples of the world.
We need a truly democratic United Nations, not an imperial domain where the overwhelming majority of peoples does not count. The United Nations, founded before the end of the Second World War, is already exhausted. Let us not allow them to impose on us the ridiculous role of gathering once again within 12 months so that they could laugh at us. Let us make our demand be felt. Let us save the life of our species before it is too late.
Fidel Castro Ruz
November 1st, 2010