Tuesday, March 09, 2010

A New Subversive

Escalation, With Extensive Media Coverage, Has Been Launched Against Cuba

Speech by Bruno Rodríguez Parilla, minister of foreign affairs of the Republic of Cuba, in the high-level segment of the 13th session of the Human Rights Council, Geneva, March 3, 2010

Mr. President,
Sixty million deaths in World War II were necessary in order to develop the concept of human rights, in particular the right to life and human dignity.

There have been many advances in the conceptual development of human rights and very few in terms of guaranteeing its exercise. We have made the issue into one of the fundamental pillars of the United Nations, together with development, peace and international security. However, it is the area in which ideological manipulation, political hypocrisy and the double standards of the industrialized countries have made their greatest ravages.

Those who profess themselves the guardians of human rights and try to question others are precisely those who are directly responsible for the gravest, most systematic and most flagrant violations of human rights, most of all the right to life.

They are the authors of the colonial system which served to plunder the countries of the South and condemn them to underdevelopment. They are responsible for the present international economic order that is silently murdering millions of human beings, victims of hunger, poverty and preventable and curable diseases. It is they who are imposing modern wars of conquest that are occasioning millions of deaths, generally civilian, and shockingly known as "collateral damage."

They are also the benefactors of pensée unique, of exclusive models, of excluding values, of media warfare, of the construction of immanent truths, of the subculture of commercial publicity, of the imposition of conditioned reflexes, of the embedded, mendacious, docile and brutalizing press that justifies or conceals the slaughter.

The manipulation of terrorism was used by the United States and its European allies to launch the wars of domination and the conquest of energy resources in Iraq and Afghanistan which have cost two million human lives. It also served to justify the forced disappearances, torture, secret prisons and detention centers where humanitarian international law is not recognized and neither is the condition of human beings. It was the pretext for "patriotic laws" like those that the United States government has just extended, which encroach on liberties and guarantees won by the civil rights movement in struggles that took centuries.

Who will answer for the brutalities committed in Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Guantánamo and other centers of torture and death? When will those responsible be brought to trial, and impunity be brought to an end?

The deputy foreign minister of Sweden made a strange and arrogant speech this morning, passing critical judgments on nine countries; however, he did not utter one word about the Swedish government’s complicity with the secret flights carrying kidnapped persons that made stopovers in its territory. We trust that some day its prolonged investigation in that respect will be concluded and that it will deign to inform this Council of the results.

Who, in the European countries, will answer for the secret flights, the secret prisons in their territories and the participation in acts of torture?

What has been happening in Palestine over the years constitutes a veritable genocide. Thousands of Palestinians have lost their lives as the result of indiscriminate military attacks and ironclad sieges and blockades that are depriving them of the most elemental means of subsistence.

The military dictatorships in Latin America, imposed and sustained by the United States for decades, murdered 400,000 people. In Cuba alone they provoked 20,000 deaths.

The right to life is constantly being violated in the world. The very existence of the human species is seriously threatened by climate change, for which the same persons who are unleashing and leading wars of conquest are historically and currently responsible. The disgraceful Copenhagen meeting, with its fraudulent and exclusive practices, constituted an act against humanity’s right to life and survival.

Mr. President:

For half a century, Cuba was the victim of acts of aggression and terrorism on the part of the United States. A total of 1,577 Cubans lost their lives or were left disabled.

The masterminds of mid-flight bombing of a Cubana Aviation airliner in 1976 are enjoying their impunity, protected by the government of the United States. A dengue epidemic, the result of a bacteriological attack, caused the death of 101 Cuban children. One of a series of explosive devices placed in Havana in 1997 caused the death of a young Italian.

The so-called Cuban Adjustment Act and the "wet-foot, dry-foot" policy incite illegal emigration and cost lives.

The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed in Cuba is an act of genocide, typified in paragraphs (b) and (c) of Article II of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and a massive, flagrant and systematic violation of human rights.

The anti-Cuba policy of the United States, which the government of President Obama has not changed, is costing Cuban people’s lives.

A new subversive escalation, with wide media coverage, has been launched against Cuba. It does not respect any ethical principle whatsoever. It attempts to present mercenaries as patriots, and agents on the payroll of the United States in Cuban territory as dissidents.

The powerful machinery of the empire has not hesitated to utilize a reoffending prisoner, sentenced in due process for common crimes and subsequently recruited in prison, in order to present him as a fighter for human rights. In order to obtain spurious political dividends, he was launched to his death, in spite of sterling medical care. As President Raúl Castro Ruz stated, it was a lamentable event. He is another victim of the subversive policy of the United States against Cuba.

Since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution in 1959, there has never been one single case of murder, torture or extrajudicial execution in Cuba: there has never been one "death squad" or one "Operation Condor". Cuba has a meritorious and impeccable pedigree in the protection of the right to life, including via altruistic cooperation beyond its borders.

Mr. President:

I would have liked to refer to concrete aspects of the serious work that this Council is undertaking, to approach the issue of the review of this body that must take place next year in order to expose the attempt to subjugate it, change its composition and its procedures, in order to impose political interests on it. I would have liked to refer to the Universal Periodic Review mechanism, which has demonstrated its usefulness, in spite of its imperfections and the confirmed lack of self-criticism of the powerful. I would have liked to defend the Council and emphasize the importance of preserving it free of politicization, discrimination, selectivity and double standards.

I can assure you that Cuba will continue contributing with effort and tenacity to ensure that the Human Rights Council maintains its independent direction and consolidates cooperation as the true way for the promotion and protection of human rights in the world.

I must proclaim, in the name of the heroic and noble people of Cuba, that no campaign will separate us from our ideals of independence and freedom.

Thank you very much.

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