CUBAN Foreign Minister Speech at 13th Session of the UN Human Rights Council

Posted on March 3, 2010

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(If interested in seeing video of this speech, it’s available in English and Spanish.  Also, if you want to see video of the snotty speech by the Swedish government referred to in Cuba’s speech, it’s available in English.  Go to the UNHRC archives    and scroll down — Sweden spoke in the morning and Cuba in the afternoon, today, March 3, 2010) 

Speech delivered by Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of
Cuba, at the High Level Segment of the Thirteenth Session of the Human Rights Council. Geneva,
March 3, 2010.

Mr. President;

It took 60 million deadly casualties during World War II to develop the concept of human
rights, particularly the right to life and human dignity.

Much progress has been made in developing the human rights concept; very little has been done
to guarantee its implementation.  This issue has become one of the fundamental pillars of the
United Nations, as well as international development, peace and security.  However, this is
the area where the ideological manipulation, political hypocrisy and double standards of
industrialized countries have caused most ravages.

Those who take upon themselves the role of watchdogs of human rights and attempt to question
others, are precisely the ones who are directly responsible for  the most serious, systematic
and flagrant violations of human rights, particularly the right to life.

They were the ones who masterminded the colonial system that was imposed to plunder the
countries of the South and doom them to live in underdevelopment.  They are the ones who bear
responsibility for the present international economic order that silently murders tens of
millions of human beings who fall victims of starvation, poverty and preventable and curable
diseases.  They are the ones who impose the modern wars of conquest that kill millions, mostly
civilians, whom they amazingly call “collateral damages.”

They are also the beneficiaries of single thought, exclusive models and values, media warfare,
the creation of immanent truths, the subculture of commercial advertisement, the imposition of
conditioned reflexes, the deceitful, docile, stultifying embedded press that justifies or
conceals massacres.

The US and its European allies resorted to the manipulation of terrorism to launch the wars
whose aim was to control and conquer the energy resources in Iraq and Afghanistan, which have
taken a toll on two million human lives and also served to justify involuntary disappearance,
torture, secret renditions and detention centers where there is no recognition for
International Humanitarian Law or the human being condition.  It was the pretext to pass laws
such as the “Patriot Act” whose implementation has just been extended by the US government,
which encroaches on the liberties and guarantees conquered by the civil rights movement after
several centuries of struggle.

Who will take responsibility for the brutal acts committed in Abu Ghraib, Bagram, Guantanamo
and other centers of torture and death? When will the responsible face trial, thus putting an
end to impunity?
Who will take responsibility in European countries for the secret renditions, the clandestine
prisons in these territories and their involvement in acts of torture?

This morning, the Deputy Foreign Minister from Sweden made a curious and arrogant speech that
included critical judgments about nine countries.  However, he did not say a word about the
complicity of the Swedish government with secret renditions that made a stopover in his
country while transferring kidnapped persons.  We hope that his prolonged investigation of the
matter would conclude some day and that he would deign to share the results with this Council.

What has been happening in Palestine for years is a true genocide.  Thousands of Palestinians
have lost their lives as a result of the indiscriminate military attacks and the tight sieges
and blockades that deprive them from the most elemental means of subsistence.

The military dictatorships in Latin America, which have been imposed and propped up by the US
for decades, have murdered hundreds of thousands of persons.  Only in Cuba they caused the
death of 20 000 people.

The right to life is continuously violated around the world.  The very existence of the human
species is being seriously jeopardized by climate change.  The ones who have historically been
and still are responsible for it are the same who unleash and conduct the wars of conquest.
The shameful Copenhagen meeting, with all its deceitful and exclusive practices, was an act
against the right of humanity to life and survival.

Mr. President;

For half a century Cuba has been a victim of US aggressions and terrorist actions.  Five
thousand five hundred and seventy seven Cubans have either lost their lives or have been left
maimed.

The perpetrators of the blowing up in mid-air of a Cubana de Aviacion airliner in 1976 enjoy
impunity and are being protected by the US government.  A dengue epidemic that resulted from a
bacteriological attack caused the death of 101 Cuban children.  One of the several bombs that
were planted in Havana in 1997 killed an Italian youth.

The so-called Cuban Adjustment Act and the “wet foot/dry foot” policy encourage illegal
migration and take a toll on human lives.
The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed against Cuba is an act of genocide,
defined as such in subparagraphs b) and c) under Article II of the Convention on the
Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, and is a mass, flagrant and systematic
violation of human rights.

The US policy against Cuba, that the Government of President Obama has kept unchanged, is
taking a toll on the lives of Cubans.
A new escalation of subversion, with broad media coverage, has been launched against Cuba.  In
no way has there been any respect for any ethical principle. An attempt is being made to make
the mercenaries appear like patriots and make the US paid agents in Cuba appear as dissidents.

The powerful machinery of the empire did not hesitate to use a reoffender inmate, who was
tried in court in accordance with due process of law for having committed common crimes -and
later on recruited while in prison- to make him appear as a human rights fighter. In order to
obtain spurious political dividends he was thrust into death, despite the thorough medical
assistance offered to him.  It was an unfortunate event, as was expressed by President Raul
Castro. He was yet 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 in Cuba a single case
of assassination, torture or extrajudicial execution; there has never been a “death squad” or
an “Operation Condor”. When it comes to the protection of the right to life, Cuba’s slate has
been meritorious and impeccable, which includes its altruistic cooperation beyond its borders.

Mr. President;

I would have wished to refer to concrete aspects related to the serious work carried out by
this Council; I would have liked to address this agency’s review, which is due to take place
next year, in order to condemn the attempts to subdue it, modify its composition and
procedures with the aim of forcing on the Council certain political interests.  I would have
wished to refer to the Universal Periodic Review, which proved to be a useful exercise,
despite its imperfections and the lack of self-criticism on the part of the powerful who were
showed up.  I would have liked to defend the Council and outline the importance of preserving
it free from politicization, discrimination, selectivity and double standards.

I can assure you that Cuba will continue to contribute its efforts and determination so that
the Human Rights Council can preserve its independent course and cooperation is further
consolidated as a true way to promote and protect human rights in the world.

On behalf of the heroic and noble people of Cuba I should proclaim that there would be no
campaign that could make us drift away from our ideas of independence and freedom.

Thank you, very much.

Cuban News Agency
www.cubanews.ain.cu
ainnews@ain.cu