Cuban Foreign Minister at UNHRC in Geneva
End the Blockade, Lies and Aggression against
Statement delivered by H. E. Mr. Felipe
Pérez Roque, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic
of Cuba, at the High-Level Segment of the 60th Session of the Commission
on Human Rights, Geneva, 17 March 2004
For 17 years now, Cuba has been waging a battle
at the Commission on Human Rights against the cynical attempts by
the US Government to condemn it.
In the early 80s, the far right - that was getting
ready to assume power with Ronald Reagan at the forefront - criticized
President Carter in the famous Santa Fé Document through
the following words: "Curiously," they said, "the
current Administration has not seriously attempted to enforce its
human rights doctrine against Castro's Cuba." Thence was born
the idea -strictly enforced until today - of seeking Cuba's condemnation
in Geneva to justify the 45 years of blockade and aggressions that
the United States has imposed on the Cuban people.
Thus, in 1987, the United States submitted to
this Commission a draft resolution that was defeated.
In 1988 and 1989, it could not impose on the
Commission the condemnation of Cuba. We were not yet living in a
unipolar world, governed by the interests and whims of a superpower,
whose President - not elected, by the way, but appointed by the
Republican majority of the Supreme Court - has taken the liberty
to put the following dilemma to the rest of the world: you are either
with the United States or on the side of terrorism.
It was only in 1990, amid the upheaval of what
had been the socialist bloc -when the end of history was proclaimed
and the enemies of the Cuban Revolution celebrated in advance what
they thought was the inevitable fall of Socialist Cuba - that the
United States could, with the assistance of lackey governments,
impose for the first time ever a resolution against Cuba at this
Those were rough years, but the Cuban people,
with the leadership of Fidel, did not surrender, did not relinquish
its fight for Cuba and for all those who in the world defend both
justice and freedom, for all those who believe that a better world
is possible. Cuba's dignified endurance against the disgrace and
the lies started to earn recognition and support among the members
of the Commission, until the attempt to hold our country in condemnation
was unmistakably defeated in 1998.
The United States, chagrined and debased, sought
to disguise its anti-Cuban scheme in 1999. Then, it instructed the
Government of the Czech Republic -who else but such a despicable
lackey? - to officially submit the US text, while the superpower,
amid enormous pressures, threats and blackmails, managed to get
the minimum margin of votes for a ridiculous condemnation of Cuba.
Amid the scorn and the disrepute, the farce lasted until 2001.
But in 2002, the Czech Government already refused
to continue playing the disgusting role of Washington's toady. The
peoples in Latin America, in turn, demanded that their governments
did not join the condemnation of Cuba and refrain from becoming
accessories to the aggression and the blockade against the small
country by the powerful and rapacious attacker. To top it off, the
Bush Administration, so shamelessly hypocritical and cynical, had
been excluded from the Commission on Human Rights. After hectic
and desperate actions, that Cuba is fully aware of, it was the turn
of the Governments of Uruguay and Peru to then play that infamous
role against the will of their peoples.
We all remember how last year the US Ambassador
stated: "I agree with anything that means the condemnation
of Cuba." Seldom did this Commission have so much fun with
the ridicule and the imposture of the superpower -which, if there
were an ounce of justice and credibility in this forum, would stand
accused for its crimes and the haughty violation of every one else's
That has been the story. And what will happen this year? Will the
US Government refrain from fabricating Cuba's condemnation? Impossible.
It needs it to justify its ruthless blockade and its plans of military
Will the European Union finally face the US attempt
to condemn Cuba? No, I do not think so. And we all know why. Some
will say it is because of ancient wisdom. Others know it is because
of hypocrisy and double standards. Will it then present a resolution
condemning the human rights violations, even of European citizens,
at the concentration camp that the United States built in the territory
illegally occupied by its naval base in Guantánamo? No, I
do not think so either. Will it by any chance denounce the serious
human rights violations being committed against the five Cuban political
prisoners sentenced to several life imprisonments in US jails and
the impossibility of contacts with their relatives? No, it will
not do it. Whoever does not have the courage to stand up to the
unilateral hegemony of the superpower should at least remain silent
and not act as an accessory to the aggression against Cuba. It should
defend the right of the small besieged country instead of befriending
the irrational hatred of the aggressor.
Who will be the new pawn at the service of the
imperial master? Rumor has it that it will be Costa Rica. Out of
a commitment to the cause of human rights? No. Let us recall that
it does not vote against the appalling human rights violations and
the crimes committed by Israel against the Palestinian people. Let
us recall that Costa Rica transferred its Embassy to Jerusalem.
Would Costa Rica present a resolution condemning the death penalty
against minors, women and mental patients in the United States?
No, it will not do it.
Therefore, by mid-April once again, this Commission
will be faced with the dilemma of condemning Cuba or defending the
right to independence, self-determination and development of a noble
and generous people that has never been absent when it has been
necessary to fight for a just cause in the world; a people that
fought apartheid; a people that always supported those who fought
the bloody military dictatorships sponsored by the United States
in Latin America; a people that has graduated from its intermediate-
and higher-level schools over 41,000 youths from 123 countries;
a people that today has more than 15,000 doctors working in 65 nations
of the Third World.
Cuba rejects the idea that this is only a "procedural
resolution." That is a lie! Everybody knows that the United
States will proclaim it as the condemnation of Cuba. We all know
that it allows keeping the so-called "Cuba Issue" on the
I also reject the allegation that Cuba has not
cooperated with the Commission. In 1988, Cuba received a delegation
from the Commission on Human Rights; in 1994, it received the High
Commissioner for Human Rights, who has not yet been able to go to
the United States; in 1995, it received a delegation of human rights
NGOs organized by Danielle Mitterrand; and in 1999, it received
two rapporteurs from this Commission.
Why should there be a resolution asking Cuba
to accept a Personal Representative of the High Commissioner if
no representative is appointed to investigate the crimes and the
human rights violations committed by the US occupying forces in
Cuba does not accept being accused at this Commission
in a high-handed, politicized and discriminatory manner. It does
not accept the fact that only Third World countries are always the
accused at this Commission.
Cuba does not accept, therefore, the request
to receive a representative of the High Commissioner. It is nothing
personal against the appointed official. It is against the spurious
mandate that brought such request into being.
We also reject the politicized and partial report
distributed by the Personal Representative of the High Commissioner.
She has ended up acting as an instrument at the service of the US
Cuba vindicates the right to enforce its laws
to defend itself from the aggression. Cuba vindicates its right
to prosecute the mercenaries that cooperate with the blockade and
the aggressive policy of the superpower that wishes to reconquer
and subdue its people.
Cuba will not surrender, Excellencies, or accept pressures or fall
Let the attacker be condemned and not the attacked!
Let the blockade, the lies and the aggression against Cuba come
to an end!
Thank you very much.