Jamaica retreats from courage, Caricom ‘spineless’ …Lisa Hanna

Source:  Jamaican Observer

January 8 2018

Lisa Hanna in St Kitts

Shadow Foreign Affairs Minister Lisa Hanna has described Jamaica’s abstention vote on the UN Jerusalem resolution as a “retreat from principle, a retreat from courage”.

lisa hanna in st kittsIn a well-received address at the St Kitts and Nevis Labour Party Gala on Friday evening, Hanna also suggested that the Caribbean Community (Caricom) appeared “spineless in the face of an offensive threat”, because some countries supported the resolution, while some abstained or left the room when the vote was called.

Following is a lightly edited version of her address to the party which enjoys fraternal relations with the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP) here:

Life has taught me that courage has no limits; it might be perceived as stubborn or unreasonable and could even mean you stand alone on principle. Courage can create the perception you’re choosing battles unwisely that could adversely alter the immediate and long- term future. But courage has a responsibility to the future to take a stand, be fearless in the face of any adversity, and act in our children’s best long term interest. Our children ARE our future generation of power.

Courage is individual but also can drive people’s collective consciousness to imbue a country with national courage, and nations with regional courage.

As a region, we have a proud history of promoting respect, self-determination and tolerance of different economic and political systems. Size has never hampered our ability to stand tall, think big, and unleash our feisty/unabashed certainty that we know the answer even in the face of great opposition.

Our regional courage has never been in question and has, and should be allowed to force each of us to recognise that courage’s responsibility to the future will always translate into Caricom’s best interests.

Given the extraordinary disruptions currently taking place geopolitically, cowering in the face of bullies is NOT courage, and will not take us forward. We must never allow our pride, self-respect, and integrity as peoples of this great region to be bludgeoned into acquiescence by veiled or unveiled threats.

Retreating from taking decisions on principle has never been our preferred option.

In the absence of any public explanation for the sudden volte face, Jamaica’s recent vote at the United Nations on Jerusalem can only be taken as a retreat from principle; a retreat from courage.

Abstention (physically or verbally) cannot be the basis of a sound, strategic, and principled regional foreign policy direction.

Jamaica has always shown assertive, courageous and enlightened leadership in our foreign policy and diplomacy. The Rt Excellent Norman Manley led the world when, even before our independence, he took the position that Jamaica would not trade with apartheid South Africa.

Since then, the policies of PNP administrations have been founded on: (1) respect for the sovereignty of ALL nations (2) respect for human rights and the citizens of ALL countries and (3) a non-aligned stance.

When it was deemed detrimental to support Cuba after 1962, Michael Manley showed unrelenting support and led a united front with Barbados, Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago to establish diplomatic relations with Cuba in 1972, being the first to do so in the western hemisphere.

We did the same with China. Now China’s aggressive global growth strategy has resulted in China being Jamaica’s main source of bilateral loans and foreign direct investment, and almost certainly prompted the celebrated visit to Jamaica by President Barack Obama in 2015 — the first such since Ronald Reagan’s visit 35 years ago.

That Obama visit was undoubtedly a by-product of Jamaica’s courageous stand on foreign policy issues such as relations with Cuba, China and Venezuela which sent the unmistakable signal to Washington that little Jamaica was strategically crucial to US interests and needed to be courted, NOT threatened.

It was a sign of the times — a confirmation that the basis upon which China and the USA deploys their capital and political might is inexorably changing, especially since the USA holds more Chinese debt.

It’s clear that the China Silk and Belt Road initiative has the potential to increase China’s dominance in the Asian Pacific and quietly turn the global axis of trade dominance towards China. In the meantime, USA’s response to changing world realities appears isolationist, protectionist, and inward-looking.

In the USA of 2017/18, bullyism trumps diplomacy and friendship, and exclusion trumps inclusion. These policies can only assist China’s increased geopolitical influence in global politics and reduce that of USA. Is this the bandwagon that Caricom nations wish to jump on?

The current American president’s pronouncement that climate change is a man-made phenomenon has serious implications for small island developing states (SIDS) in Caricom. Climate change is a real and potentially destructive issue for all of us who call the Caribbean our home, and we must tackle it with courage and realism or we could well be facing the total annihilation of economies.

I know the extensive work of Dr Denzil Douglas in this area to protect the coastlines of St Kitts and Nevis.

They say “he who feels it knows it” and “rain don’t fall on one man roof”. Back to back category five hurricanes are now our reality in the region and we ALL felt the devastation by Irma and Maria.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit’s emotional pronouncements at the UN last year should serve as a chilling reminder to urgently brace for this year. In this fight We must not only survive but we MUST prevail.

To do this we MUST speak as one voice and have the courage to press for the complete removal of the failed US-imposed embargo on Cuba which has deprived the us from valuable trade with one of our closest neighbours.

We MUST have the courage and speak as one voice to bend the reluctance of international lending agencies to grant concessionary loans at lower interest rates to our member states in the aftermath of natural disasters, in spite of our GDP per capita.

We MUST have the courage and speak as one voice to take the risk and bet on Caricom —one for all and all for one. If you threaten one, you threaten all!

The world has changed significantly since our respective independence. If we are realistic, acting individually as nations will easily marginalise us and lead to us ultimately being globally irrelevant. As Caricom we are a strong voice at the table.

The recent UN vote, where we had some countries voting for, some abstaining and some just absent from the room, does not project a unified front. We appeared spineless in the face of an offensive threat.

As a region we’re bonded by so much more than West Indies cricket. When Usain Bolt or Kimani James compete internationally, they run not only for their respective countries but on behalf of all of us bonded by history, climate and economic circumstances.

Let the world not only see our beaches and our music but our spirit, our courage, and our fervent value system that doing what is right is far superior to might.

Many of you in this room were a part of a generation that gave the world true examples of regional activism, and you did it in step with your Caribbean brothers and sisters in leadership.

What will my child and your child take from our generation of leadership on their behalf? Abstention should never be our legacy. Our only option is to show them our courage.

What did Che Guevara Fight For?

Source:  Moorbey’s Blog / The Dawn News

September 26, 2017

Che Guevara’s daughter reminds us of the reasons behind his revolutionary struggle

By: Aleida Guevara March

che 5.jpgPhoto credit: Politico Scope

In order to speak about the Che Guevara we need time and space, but in order to explain his existence in our times we just need to look around us. If we ask what he was fighting for, the immediate answer is: for a better world. But what does this mean? Decent houses for everyone, free and high-quality education in equal conditions, accessible healthcare for all of the population, peace that would enable us to destine the available resources to research how to have better life. But, what do we really have?

Che’s view of youth

To Che Guevara, youth is the clay with which we can model the New Man. But, what are we actually doing to youth? What kind of life are we offering them? What example are we setting for them? Who can inspire them to perfect their conduct? These are many questions and there are practically no answers—at least not the answers that youth need.

He said: “How long will we continue to have this order that is based on an absurd sense of caste—that is a question I can’t answer, but it is time for our rulers to dedicate less time to propagandizing their virtues as a regime and destine more money—much, much more money—to fund works for the benefit of society”.

What do you think about that? We could say the same thing to many rulers who do a bad job at governing many of our peoples, to begin with.

“… but those people who tackle things head on, who lead by example—to follow or to get others to follow you is a difficult task at times, but it is enormously easier than to push other to get them walking…”

Where do we want to go? What do we need? If we don’t fight for what we need, who will do it for us? It is undeniable that we have strength and courage, but we need unity, we need to organize that strength in order to conquer what we need to modify what doesn’t work, at least for the majority of the people.

“… to be quintessentially human, to be so human that we approach the best qualities of humanity, to purify what’s best in mankind through work, study, the exercise of continuous solidarity with the people and with all the peoples in the world…”

“… to develop sensibility to the maximum, to the point that we feel distressed when a man is killed in any corner of the world, and to feel enthusiasm when in any corner of the world a new flag of freedom is risen”.

That’s what we want for our youth, and it is very important to keep it in mind it now that we’re raising our voices to claim for the life of a young man like Santiago Maldonado, who recently disappeared in Argentina for being on the side of the Mapuche people and defending their rights. What message are they trying to send with the forced disapparition of this young man? Fear, that’s what they want us to feel in order to paralyze us, to silence us.

We can and must fight for that better world

I remember the first time I was in Brazil. Imagine this young woman arriving in Sao Paulo and being told to not roll down the window of the car she’s travelling in, who feels fear for her driver whenever the car has to make a stop at a corner, which is when they assault you, who sees the eyes of a child high on drugs asking for something to eat—my reaction was immediate and I repeat what I said back then: it is better to die trying to change that reality than to avoid dying of hunger. But then I remembered that I come from a different culture, a different people, where the life of a human being, and especially of a child, is sacred, it is the most important thing. I thought I was reacting like this because I am Cuban, and I was raised by the socialist Revolution that we have, but I was wrong.

Later on in my journey I met Mrs. Rosa, in Rio Grande do Sul. She’s a member of the Landless People’s Movement of Brazil. This humble peasant not only said what I was thinking, but she died defending a piece of land with which to feed her children. Mrs. Rosa proved to me that we indeed can and must fight for that better world, no matter where we come from, or which culture we carry with us—what matters and what prevails is the need to live.

“Let me tell you, at the risk of sounding ridiculous, that the true revolutionary is guided by great feelings of love. It is impossible to think of a true revolutionary without this virtue” .

A virtue that is indispensable to be able to give our best for a just cause, even risking our lives. I truly believe in this and I have seen it in the dedication of many men and women, luckily, in many parts of the world.

“And we, the exploited of the world, what role do we play? The peoples of three continents are watching and learning their lesson from Vietnam. Because, with the threat of war, imperialists blackmail the entire humanity: not fearing war is the right answer”.

“Under the slogan ‘We Won’t Allow Another Cuba’ there’s a hidden possibility of widespread aggressions, such as the one perpetrated against Dominican Republic or, previously, the Panama massacre, and the clear sign that yankee troops are willing to intervene anywhere in Latin America where the established order is altered and their interests are threatened”.

The OAS and the UN

“This policy has almost absolute impunity: the OAS is a comfortable mask, however discredited; the UN has a degree of incompetence that borders ridicule or tragedy; the armies of every country in Latin America are ready to intervene to crush their peoples. The internationale of crime and betrayal has been formed de facto”.

Luckily for us, it is not like that anymore for all the peoples, but unfortunately in many the army is still a tool to crush the just claims of our people and one wonders where these men come from, who attack their own people. We’ve seen pictures of these uniformed men repressing demonstrations, attacking youth, women and even children without vacillation, and what do the Magna Cartas say about this? Because I know for a fact that many of them state that the army exists to defend the people and what happens in fact is exactly the opposite—so, whose side is violating the law?

When reading Che’s words today, 50 years after his death, many things still resonate with what we see day to day, the relevance of his thoughts is strong and we should turn to him for answers more often.

There’s plenty to do, and the road is long and difficult, but we can and we must change many things to achieve the full dignity that human beings require in order to live. I always remember something that an Argentine mother had written on the tombstone of her daughter when she found her remains: “if I die, don’t cry for me; do what I did and in you I’ll live”. That is exactly what we owe to the men and women who have given their strength to us through their example, and encourage us to take action. Go on comrades, let’s live in such a way that, when our days come to an end, we don’t feel pain for the years that passed in vain, let’s feel the joy of leaving something beautiful for those to come.

Until Victory Always!

aleida guevara 2.jpg

Cuba’s achievements in spite of the economic blockade outlined in the UN

Source:  Granma
October 3 2017

by: Prensa Latina | internet@granma.cu

On October 2, Cuba presented some of its achievements in education, health and social inclusion, and recalled that these have been attained despite the U.S. blockade against the island, in force for more than half a century

 

cuba's achievements despite the blockadeCuban Ambassador to the UN, Anayansi Rodríguez, denounced the current U.S. administration’s plans to tighten the economic, commercial and financial blockade, repeatedly condemned by the international community. Photo: Cubaminrex

UNITED NATIONS.–On October 2, Cuba presented some of its achievements in education, health and social inclusion, and recalled that these have been attained despite the U.S. blockade against the island, in force for more than half a century.

“This criminal policy causes damages and scarcities for the Cuban people, is the main obstacle to the development of our country, affects other nations because of its extraterritorial reach, and continues to harm the interests of U.S. citizens and companies,” stated Ambassador Anayansi Rodríguez.

Speaking to the Third Committee of the General Assembly, Cuba’s Permanent Representative to the UN denounced the current U.S. administration’s plans to tighten the economic, commercial and financial blockade, which has been repeatedly condemned by the international community.

According to Rodríguez, despite Washington’s sanctions, Cuba is advancing in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with the moral strength of having fulfilled the Millennium Development Goals.

Cuba has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world

In this regard, she highlighted that Cuba reached an infant mortality rate of 4.1 per 1,000 live births at the end of the first half of 2017, one of the lowest rates in the world, while life expectancy at birth stands at 78 years.

Cuba was also the first country to eliminate mother-child transmission of HIV-AIDS and congenital syphilis, she added.

The Cuban ambassador also recalled that a free universal vaccination program is in place on the island against 13 diseases, the country is illiteracy free, and the state allocates more than two thirds of its budget to education, health, social security, culture, sport and scientific research.

Rodríguez also noted Cuba’s satisfaction on having cooperated with other nations in various sectors.

57 Countries Express Support to Venezuela at UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

Source: TeleSUR
September 28 2017

57 countries.jpgThe Venezuelan ambassador in the United Nations Human Rights Council
speaks for sovereignty and against interference. | Photo: teleSUR

Over 50 countries around the world expressed support for the constitutional government of Venezuela against foreign threats.

During the 36th session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on Thursday, 57 countries signed an expression of support of respect for the sovereignty and independence of Venezuela.

RELATED: Venezuelan Delegation Travels to Dominican Republic for Peace Dialogue

Pedro Luis Pedroso.jpg“We condemn any action that disturbs peace, tranquility, and democratic stability… and that threatens sovereignty, including the recent threats of a possible foreign military intervention,” the jointly signed document read, that was read by Cuba’s ambassador to the Council, Pedro Luis Pedroso.

The nations, among whom are Cuba, China, Bolivia, Russia, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Libya, Ecuador, Vietnam, South Africa, and Iran, expressed their “support for the constitutional government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, in its commitment to preserve peace and maintain democratic institutions in the country.”

They expressed support for the calls and efforts of President Nicolas Maduro to political dialogue in Venezuela in order to “preserve peace and guarantee the stability of the democratic institutions.”

RELATED: ‘Latin America Must Be a Region of Peace’: Bolivia’s Morales on Venezuela Dialogue

Hernán-Estrada-Román.jpgAlso read during the session was a declaration by the Bolivarian Alliance for the People of Our America (ALBA) that echoed the calls for respect of sovereignty and territorial integrity in Venezuela. Presented by the Nicaraguan ambassador, Hernan Estrada, ALBA repudiated the “international media campaign” against Venezuela and condemned the recent threats of the United States President Donald Trump in his address to the United Nations General Assembly.

Jorge Valero.jpgThe Venezuelan representative to the council, Jorge Valero, also spoke, expressing solidarity to those countries who support Venezuela’s sovereignty and saying that “peace reigns” in his country due to the democratic National Constituent Assembly.

“Thanks to the National Constituent Assembly, elected through the universal, direct, and secret vote of millions of Venezuelans, peace reigns in Venezuela,” he said.

The 36th session of the Human Rights Council is currently taking place in Geneva, Switzerland, from September 11th to the 29th.

The support of ALBA and 57 countries around the world is an affirmation of the international support Venezuela has behind it, in a crucial moment as it has been subject to renewed attacks from the United States and its allied countries in recent weeks.

A Call to Hold President Trump Accountable before the UN General Assembly

International Network in Defense of Humanity

Caribbean Chapter

NDH CC 2.jpg

There is no such thing as “American Exceptionalism”! And therefore, the President and Government of the United States of America (USA) are just as subject to the rules of International Law as are the President and Government of any other country.

Thus, when– on Friday the 11th of August 2017 — President Donald Trump of the USA threatened a unilateral military strike against the sovereign and independent Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela he was breaching a rule of International Law that is so fundamental that it is enshrined in Article 2 of the United Nations (UN) Charter.

un logo.jpgArticle 2 (4) of the UN Charter stipulates that “all Members (of the UN) shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any State, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.”

But this was not the first or only time that President Trump and his Administration had committed a flagrant breach of the said Article 2 (4) of the UN Charter !

Indeed, since taking up the office of President of the USA in January of 2017, Mr. Trump has attacked the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on no less than four occasions by issuing Executive Orders and inflicting punitive and damaging sanctions against the Government and people of that sovereign, politically independent nation.

President Trump also went on the public record on Tuesday the 8th of August 2017 threatening the Government and people of the Democratic Peoples Republic of Korea (North Korea) with “fire and fury like the world has never seen” if — according to him — the Government of North Korea makes “any more threats to the United States”. This –it is clear — is a threat of a nuclear conflagration that will be much more horrific than the “atomic” decimation that the USA inflicted on the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945!

And, as if to further emphasize his utter contempt for the precepts of International Law, Mr. Trump used the podium of the General Assembly of the UN on Tuesday the 19th of September 2017 to issue a further threat to “totally destroy North Korea”, and to publicly parade his arrogant determination to defy the many U N resolutions that have denounced the USA’s illegal and genocidal blockade of the Republic of Cuba and demanded its termination.

In light of the fact that the USA has proven itself to be, perhaps, the most aggressive and warlike nation in the history of the World — with a record of having initiated or participated in well in excess of two hundred major military assaults or wars against other sovereign, independent countries during the 241 years of its existence as an independent state–the international community of nations would be well advised to take President Trump’s illegal threats and attacks very seriously.

It is against this background therefore that we, the Members of the Caribbean Chapter of the International Network In Defense of Humanity, would like to remind all member states of the United Nations of their Constitutional power to bring the issue of President Trump and his flagrant and dangerous breaches of International Law before the UN General Assembly for collective discussion and for the prescribing of an appropriate response by the World community.

Article 11 (2) of the UN Charter establishes that “the General Assembly (of the UN) may discuss any questions relating to the maintenance of international peace and security brought before it by any Member of the United Nations…..and……may make recommendations with regard to any such questions to the State or States concerned or to the Security Council or to both….”

Furthermore, Article 20 of the Charter provides that “special sessions (of the General Assembly) shall be convoked by the Secretary-General at the request of……. a majority of the Members of the United Nations.”

In light of the foregoing, we — the Members of the Caribbean Chapter of the International Network In Defense of Humanity now hereby:-

(1) CALL upon the responsible and peace-loving Member States of the United Nations to join together in a collective effort to bring the issue of President Trump and his flagrant breaches of Article 2 of the UN Charter before the General Assembly of the United Nations ; and

(2) REQUEST that all responsible and peace-loving members of the human family support this CALL by:-

(a) attaching their signature, name and address to this CALL ; and

(b) forwarding this CALL to the Head of Government and Minister of Foreign Affairs of their country either via e-mail or by printing and sending a hard copy.

SIGNATURE : 

NAME  IN  BLOCK  LETTERS : 

ADDRESS:

Cuba will never accept any preconditions or impositions

Source:  Granma,  | internet@granma.cu
September 22, 2017 16:09:30

Speech by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, during the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla

 

Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla sept 2017.jpg

STATEMENT BY H.E. Mr. BRUNO RODRÍGUEZ PARRILLA, MINISTER OF

FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA, AT THE SEVENTY SECOND SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY. NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 22, 2017.

Mr. President:

Mr. Secretary General;

Allow me to reiterate to you Cuba’s, support to your work at the helm of the United Nations and as a guarantor and advocate of international peace.

Heads of State and Government;

Distinguished delegates;

I would like to express my deep condolences to the relatives of the deceased and the victims of hurricanes Irma and Maria, as well as our disposition to increase our cooperation, to the extent of our modest possibilities, with the brother peoples and governments of Dominica and Antigua and Barbuda, small Caribbean islands which suffered a terrible devastation; with the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Saint Martin, Sint Maarten, Virgin Islands and Anguilla.

I call upon the international community to give the highest priority to this situation and mobilize resources to assist the small Caribbean Island States and territories which have suffered such devastation.

We would like to convey Cuba’s warmest feelings of solidarity to the government and people of Mexico, particularly to the victims and their relatives, who were affected by both earthquakes, and reiterate to them our disposition to assist the population and support the recovery works with our modest efforts.

We also want to express our sorrow to the U.S. people, as well as our heartfelt condolences to the relatives of the deceased and to all of the victims of hurricane Irma.

Mr. President:

I want to convey the testimony of the people of Cuba, who are currently carrying out a colossal effort to recover from the severe damages caused by hurricane Irma to housing, agriculture, the power system and other services. Despite the all encompassing preventive measures – which included the evacuation of more than 1.7 million persons- and the full cooperation of all citizens, we suffered the loss of ten persons.

Strengthening the unity and solidarity of our noble and heroic people

The painful damages to services as well as the loss of social and personal goods as well as the hardships endured by families that spent many hours without electricity or water, contributed to strengthen the unity and solidarity of our noble and heroic people.

The moving scenes of rescuers saving a girl and giving her back to her mother; of a little boy picking up a bust of Jose Marti from the rubble; of students helping families they had not met before; of soldiers from the Armed Forces and the Ministry of the Interior doing the toughest jobs; of local leaders heading the most difficult tasks have become all too familiar.

During a visit paid to the area that suffered the most severe devastation. President Raúl Castro issued an appeal which literally read, and I quote: “These have been tough days for our people who, in only a few hours, have seen how what was built with great effort has been destroyed by a devastating hurricane. The images received during the last few hours are too eloquent, just as much as the spirit of resilience and victory of our people that are reborn in the face of every adversity.”

On behalf of the government and the people of Cuba, I sincerely appreciate the genuine expressions of solidarity and affection expressed by numerous governments, parliaments, international organizations and representatives of the civil society.

I would like to convey my profound gratitude for the numerous offers of assistance that we have received.

Mr. President:

I still keep vivid and emotional memories of the imposing presence of Fidel Castro Ruz, the Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution, and the great validity of the ideas he expressed before this Assembly.

On behalf of our people and government, I would like to express our gratitude for the feelings of respect, affection and admiration we have received from all latitudes.

Mr. President:

Inequality, poverty and hunger

On Tuesday last, President Donald Trump came here to convince us that one of his purposes is to promote the prosperity of nations and persons. But, in the real world, the wealth owned by eight men altogether is equivalent to the wealth shared by 3.6 billion human beings, who make up the poorest half of humanity.

In terms of turnover, 69 of the 100 biggest entities of the world are transnationals, not States. The turnover of the world’s ten biggest corporations is higher than the public revenues earned by 180 countries combined.

Seven hundred million persons live in extreme poverty; 21 million are victims of forced labor. In 2015, 5.9 million children died of preventable or curable diseases before reaching the age of 5. A total of 758 million adults are illiterate.

Eight hundred and fifteen million persons suffer from chronic hunger -tens of millions more than in 2015. Two billion are undernourished. Even if the precarious decreasing growth rate of recent years rebounds, 653 million persons will continue to face hunger by the year 2030, and this will not be enough to eradicate hunger by the year 2050.

There are 22.5 million refugees. Humanitarian tragedies associated to migrants flows worsen and increase amidst a clearly unjust international economic and political order.

Cruel and ineffective 

The construction of walls and barriers as well as the laws and measures adopted to prevent the waves of refugees and migrants have proved to be cruel and ineffective. There is a proliferation of exclusive and xenophobic policies that violate the human rights of millions of persons and fail to solve the problems of underdevelopment, poverty and armed conflicts, which are the main causes of migration and refugee claims.

Military expenditures have increased to 1.7 trillion dollars. That reality belies those who claim that there are not enough resources to eradicate poverty.

However, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development lacks the means for its implementation, due to the egoism and lack of political will of the United States and other industrialized countries.

What is the miraculous recipe that President Donald Trump recommends to us in the absence of the financial flows of the Marshall Plan? Who will contribute the resources for that? How can this be reconciled with the “America First” idea advanced by Presidents Reagan and Trump?

President Trump ignores and distorts history and portraits a chimera as a goal to be pursued. The production and consumption patterns proper of neoliberal capitalism are unsustainable and irrational and will inexorably lead to the destruction of the environment and the end of the human species.

Can anyone forget about the consequences of colonialism, slavery, neocolonialism and imperialism?

A new inclusive international economic order

Could the several decades of bloody military dictatorships in Latin America be referred to as an example of a successful capitalism? Does anyone know of any recipe of neoliberal capitalism that has been better applied than those which destroyed the Latin American economies in the 1980s?

It is both indispensable and urgent for the United Nations to work in order to establish a new participatory, democratic, equitable and inclusive international economic order, as well as a new financial architecture that take into account the needs and peculiarities of developing countries and the asymmetries that exist in world trade and finances as a result of centuries of exploitation and plundering.

Industrialized countries have the moral duty, the historical responsibility as well as sufficient financial and technological means for that.

Climate change

Not even the rich will enjoy the announced prosperity if climate change is not stopped.

Cuba regrets the decision taken by the government of the United States, which has been historically the principal greenhouse gas emitting government in the planet, to withdraw its country from the Paris Agreement.

In 2016, and for the third consecutive year, the average global temperature increase records have been broken, which confirms that climate change is a threat to the survival of humanity and the sustainable development of our peoples.

We reiterate our solidarity with the Small Island Developing States, particularly from the Caribbean and the Pacific, which are the most affected by climate change and for which we claim a just, special and differentiated treatment.

Nuclear weapons

Mr. President:

The U.S. government has come here to tell us that, in addition to prosperity, the other two “beautiful pillars” of international order are sovereignty and security.

We all share the common responsibility to preserve the existence of human beings in the face of a nuclear threat. An important contribution to the achievement of that goal was the historical adoption of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons under the auspices of the United Nations, which proscribe the use and the threat of use of those weapons that have the capacity to annihilate the human species.

Obviously, the United States strongly opposed this treaty. It announced that it will invest 700 billion dollars in military expenditures and is developing an extremely aggressive nuclear and military doctrine based on the threat to use and the use of force.

NATO member States attempt against international peace and security and International Law by promoting military interventions and non-conventional wars against sovereign States.

As was pointed out by the Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz: “Let the philosophy of plunder disappear and the philosophy of war will also disappear!”

Manipulating the concepts of sovereignty and security

The illegal imposition of unilateral coercive measures and the use of financial, legal, cultural and communication instruments to destabilize governments as well as the denial of peoples’ right to self-determination have become customary.

The covert use of ICTs to attack other States increases, while several developed countries strongly oppose the adoption of international treaties that would regulate cooperation in order to achieve a safe cyberspace.

The U.S. President manipulates the concepts of sovereignty and security to his exclusive benefit and to the detriment of all others, including his allies.

The attempt to resort to military threats and force to stop the irreversible world trend to multi-polarization and polycentrism will seriously jeopardize international peace and security, which should be defended and preserved through international mobilization.

The principles of sovereign equality, respect for the territorial integrity and non interference in the internal affairs of States should be observed. The UN Charter and International Law admit no re-interpretation.

The United Nations reform should pursue the principal goal of responding to the pressing needs of peoples and the great disadvantaged majorities. Multilateralism should be protected and reinforced in the face of the imperialist interests of domination and hegemony.

The democratization of the Security Council, both in terms of its composition and its working methods, is a most urgent task.

The strengthening of the General Assembly and the recovery of the functions that have been usurped from it are indispensable.

An exceptionalist and supremacist vision

Mr. President:

The “patriotism” invoked in the U.S. statement is a perversion of humanism, the love and loyalty to the homeland and of the enrichment and defense of national and universal culture. It embodies an exceptionalist and supremacist vision of ignorant intolerance in the face of diverse political, economic, social and cultural models.

In developed countries, the loss of legitimacy of political systems and parties worsens and electoral abstentionism is on the rise. Corruption, whether legal or illegal, has turned into metastasis. So is the extreme case of the so called “special interests” or corporate payments in exchange for benefits in the country that spends the highest amount of money in electoral campaigns and where, paradoxically, a candidate with the lowest number of popular votes can be elected or entitled to govern with a negligible support by voters.

There has been and increasing and unheard-of use of science and technology to exercise hegemony, mutilate national cultures and manipulate human behavior, as is the case of the so called “big data” or psychometry, used for political and advertising purposes. Seven consortia keep a strict control of whatever is read, watched or heard in the planet. Technologies are being monopolized. The governance of digital networks is dictatorial and discriminatory and, despite appearances, the digital divide between rich and poor countries is increasing.

The opportunities and rights of youths, migrants and workers are curtailed and their human rights are openly and systematically violated.

Pattern of systematic violations of human rights

The day before yesterday, the U.S. Vice-president, Michael Pence, ridiculously ignoring the functions of the Security Council and attempting to establish new prerogatives, said that this organ should modify the composition and methods of the UN Human Rights Council, which “doesn’t deserve its name” because “a clear majority of the Human Rights Council members fail to meet even the most basic human rights standards”. I suppose he is not including, in this case, his own country, which will in fact deserve to be included because of its pattern of systematic violations of human rights, namely the use of torture, arbitrary detentions and imprisonment -as occurs at the Guantanamo Naval Base-, the assassination of African Americans by law enforcement agents, the killing of innocent civilians perpetrated by its troops and the xenophobia and repression against immigrants -including minors- as well as its scarce adherence to international instruments.

Mr. President:

We reaffirm our strongest condemnation against all forms and manifestations of terrorism and reject the double standards in combating them.

The urgent search for a just and lasting solution to the conflict in the Middle East is based on the exercise of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the existence of a free and independent State within the pre-1967 borders, with Eastern Jerusalem as its capital.

The situation in Western Sahara requires an effort in conformity with the UN resolutions to guarantee the Saharan people’s exercise to self-determination and respect for their legitimate right to live in peace in their own territory.

Cuba reaffirms its support to the search for a peaceful and negotiated solution to the war in Syria without any foreign interference and with full respect for its sovereignty and territorial integrity.

The threats to international peace and security resulting from the expansion of NATO’s presence along the Russian borders are on the increase. We continue to reject the unilateral and unjust sanctions imposed against that country.

We demand respect for the so called Nuclear Agreement signed with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

War is not an option

We reject the threat to totally destroy the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the home to 25 million human beings. War is not an option in the Korean peninsula; it would threaten the existence of hundreds of millions of persons in this area as well as in neighboring countries; it would lead to a nuclear war of unpredictable consequences. Only through dialogue and negotiation would it be possible to achieve a lasting political solution that should take into account the legitimate concerns of all the parties involved. We support the total denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, without any foreign interference, with absolute respect for sovereign equality and territorial integrity of States and strictly abiding by the principle of not using or threatening to use force.

Threats to Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace

Mr. President:

New threats are hovering over peace and stability in Latin America and the Caribbean, in open disrespect for the “Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace” signed in Havana by the Heads of State and Government of our region in January, 2014, on the occasion of the Second Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC).

We reiterate what was expressed by President Raul Castro Ruz about the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela on July 14 last:

“The aggression and putschist violence against Venezuela harms all of Our America and only serve the interests of those set on dividing us to exercise their control over our peoples, unconcerned about causing conflicts of incalculable consequences in this region, like those we are seeing in different parts of the world.

The Bolivarian and Chavista Revolution

“Today we warn that those attempting to overthrow the Bolivarian and Chavista Revolution through unconstitutional, violent and putschist methods will shoulder a serious responsibility before history.

We strongly reject the military threats against Venezuela, the Executive Order that designates it as a threat to the national security of the United States and the unilateral, unjust and arbitrary sanctions applied against it.

We reiterate our unwavering solidarity with the Bolivarian and Chavista government and people and its civic-military union led by the constitutional President Nicolas Maduro Moros.

We denounce and condemn the NICA Act Initiative, promoted in the U.S. Congress as part of an interventionist behavior which is intended to impose an economic blockade against the people and the government of Nicaragua, to whom we reiterate our support.

We express our solidarity with former President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, victim of a political persecution intended to prevent him from running for direct elections by means of a judicial disqualification. Lula, President Dilma Rousseff, the Workers*

Party and the Brazilian people will always find Cuba on their side.

We reiterate our historical commitment with the free determination and independence of the Puerto Rican people.

We support the legitimate claim of Argentina for the sovereignty over the Malvinas, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands.

Cuba will continue to contribute, to the extent possible, and at the request of the parties involved, its efforts to achieve a stable and lasting peace in Colombia.

We will uphold our commitment to share our modest achievements with the peoples of the South, including the efforts of the 41 652 cooperation workers deployed in 63 countries to struggle for the life and health of human beings.

A setback in U.S.-Cuba bilateral relations

Mr. President:

On June 16 last, the president of the United States, Donald Trump, announced the new Cuba policy of his administration, which is a setback in U.S.-Cuba bilateral relations and undermines the bases established two years ago to advance towards a new type of relation between our countries, characterized by respect and equality.

The U.S. Government has decided to tighten the economic, commercial and financial blockade by imposing new obstacles to the already limited possibilities its business community had to trade with and invest in Cuba as well as additional restrictions on U.S. citizens willing to travel to our country.

Those decisions ignore the support from broad sectors in the U.S., including the majority of Cuban émigrés, to the lifting of the blockade and the normalization of relations. They only serve the interests of a group of Cuban origin, based in South Florida, which is an ever more isolated and minoritarian group that insists in harming Cuba and its people for having decided to defend, at all costs, the right to be free, independent and sovereign. Today we reiterate our condemnation of the measures aimed at tightening the blockade and reaffirm that any strategy intended to destroy the Revolution will fail.

Likewise, we reject the manipulation of the human rights issue against Cuba, which has a lot to be proud of and has no need to receive lessons from the United States or anyone.

This time we would like to express our strongest condemnation of the disrespectful, offensive and interventionist statement against Cuba and the Cuban government, made three days ago at this rostrum by President Donald Trump. We remind him that the United States, where flagrant human rights violations are committed, which raise deep concern among the international community, has no moral authority to judge my country. We reaffirm that Cuba will never accept any preconditions or impositions, nor will it ever renounce any of its principles.

Regarding the alleged incidents that would have affected U.S. diplomatic officials in Havana we categorically affirm that the Cuban government rigorously and seriously abides by its obligations under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations in relation to the protection and the integrity of all diplomats without any exception, including those from the United States. Cuba has never perpetrated nor will it ever perpetrate actions of this sort. Cuba has never allowed nor will it ever allow its territory to be used by third parties with that purpose.

The Cuban authorities, based on the preliminary results of the priority investigation that is being carried out with a high technical component, following instructions from the top level of our government, has taken into account the data contributed by the U.S. authorities and so far has found no evidence whatsoever that could confirm the causes or the origin of the health disorders referred to by U.S. diplomats and their relatives. The investigation to clarify this issue continues, and in order to be able to arrive to a conclusion, it will be crucial to count on the cooperation of the U.S. authorities. It would be unfortunate if a matter of this nature is politicized.

As was expressed by the Cuban President Raul Castro Ruz, Cuba is willing to continue negotiating all pending bilateral issues with the United States, on the basis of equality and absolute respect for the sovereignty and independence of our country; and maintaining a respectful dialogue and cooperation in areas of common interest with the U.S. government.

Cuba and the United States can cooperate and coexist, respecting their differences and promoting everything that benefits both countries and peoples, but no one should expect Cuba to make concessions that affect its sovereignty and independence.

The lifting and total elimination of the blockade

Mr. President:

The Cuban people will not cease in their legitimate claim for the lifting and total elimination of the economic, commercial and financial blockade and will continue to denounce the strengthening of that policy. On November Cuba will once again present to the United Nations General Assembly the draft Resolution entitled

“Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States of America against Cuba.” While inequality, the opulence of a few and the marginalization of many are growing in today’s world, the Cuban people will keep up its struggle to achieve the most just society possible. We will continue to steadily advance down the path of revolutionary transformations that has been sovereignly chosen by all Cubans to further improve our socialism.

Thank you, very much.

 

U.S. blockade of Cuba denounced at UN

Source:  Granma
September 14 2017

Prensa Latina(PL) | internet@granma.cu

The Europe-Third World Centre (Cetim), a non-governmental organization with consultative status at the UN, denounced the U.S. blockade of Cuba, before the Human Rights Council, describing the policy as unilateral, illegal and illegitimate

bloque.jpgPhoto: TELESUR

Geneva.– The Europe-Third World Centre (Cetim), a non-governmental organization with consultative status at the UN, denounced the U.S. blockade of Cuba, before the Human Rights Council, describing the policy as unilateral, illegal and illegitimate.

In a report presented to the Council during a session held in this Swiss city on September 13, Cetim noted that the blockade is “Illegal, illegitimate, it is tantamount to an act of undeclared war of the United States against Cuba.” 

The document also states that the policy “is contrary to the right to self-determination, depriving the Cuban people of their own means of subsistence,” noting that “Its aim is to harm the physical and moral integrity of a people, to make it suffer as much as possible; for this, it could constitute a crime against humanity. It must cease immediately, unconditionally.”

The report, put together with the help of Rémy Herrera, a specialist at France’s National Scientific Research Center, also references U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to reverse some of the steps taken toward rapprochement by his predecessor, Barack Obama.
“The bilateral negotiations held over three years, having allowed real advances (such as the opening of embassies, migration accords, security cooperation…) and moved toward normalization, now enter a de facto regressive phase,” reads the document.

Bellicose, anachronistic, and interventionist

It also notes that “The motives invoked by President Trump are bellicose, anachronistic, and interventionist.”

The text goes on to highlight that the U.S. government’s new policy toward Cuba is aimed at damaging the socialist country’s economy: “The purpose is aggression against Cuba by depriving its economy of the most foreign exchange income,” in a clear demonstration of the tightening of the U.S. blockade of the island, which “has been condemned by the quasi-unanimity of the member states of the United Nations General Assembly,” for more than 25 years, notes the report.

Finally, Cetim called for a return to the road of normalization of relations between the two countries, “in conformity with the objectives and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations.”