Reply by Bruno Rodriguez, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Cuba, to Ronald Goddard, a US representative to the UN,Â in the United Nations General Assembly on November 13, 2012.
Mr. GoddardÂ has come to repeat, Goebbels-style, the same fable he tells this Assembly every year to defend either Bush’s policy or President Obama’s.
It will not become true no matter how many times he repeats it. Only four paragraphs in the speech he read today were not taken almost word for word from his speech last year. Mr. Goddard repeats himself.
What does not change is the blockade, a piece of the Cold War.
He is lying when he declares that he respects the right of Cubans to freely decide their future.
We are here because the U.S. government has tried to impose its designs on Cuba for more than a century, since it imposed the Platt Amendment in 1901 through a military occupation which gave it the right to intervene in our country and to occupy the Naval Base in GuantÃ¡namo which it still occupies.
We are here because the Cuban people have defended their right to self-determination and independence with their own blood at Playa GirÃ³n and under the threat of a nuclear holocaust during the October Crisis or Missile Crisis.
Nobody believes the government of the U.S. cares for the freedom of the Cuban people after it crushed it for half a century and supported bloody dictatorships in Cuba and the region.
What it wants in Cuba is a government docile to its interests, and that it is not going to have.
The Cuban people won their freedom for themselves and resolutely exercise their self-determination. They have demonstrated this in popular discussions about the social and economic policy and in the current electoral process; they nominate their candidates, vote for them massively and recall them if they so decide.
In Cuba there are no "special interests" or corruption, or political debauchery. Neither are three billion dollars spent on a presidential or senatorial campaign. Cuba is not a plutocracy in which the 1% imposes its interests.
You would do well to listen to the people of the United States and respect their right to decide; to listen to the people who are the 90% of citizens and not to the fistful of the rich who benefit from the system.
Listen to those who want to occupy Wall Street, instead of saving the bankers who receive outrageous bonuses.
Stop brutally repressing the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, and stop the massive arrests of peaceful demonstrators. Stop the harassment of immigrants and minorities.
I repeat that the blockade is an act of genocide.
I note, Mr.Goddard, that this time you did not reject this.
One has to be cynical to talk about the human rights, freedom, prosperity and well-being of the Cuban people after hearing the examples I mentioned of the damage the blockade has inflicted on the children of my country.
Stop spending the money of honest tax-paying workers on bankrolling mercenaries and agents. Eliminate the four-year public budget of $196 million-plus to fabricate alleged dissidents.
Mr. Goddard, who was director of the Coordinator’s Office for Cuban Affairs in Miami for many years, knows very well what we are talking about.
The U.S, government has no moral authority whatsoever to talk about human rights. In addition to a deplorable historical record of military aggression and coups d’Ã©tat, it is responsible for tens of thousands of disappeared, murdered and tortured people.
It is responsible for hundreds of extra-judicial executions, acts of torture, kidnappings, secret flights, secret prisons, and the concentration camp in GuantÃ¡namo.
If they believe that we need the blockade as a pretext, remove the pretext, prove it.
If the U.S. government wants to promote Cuban agricultural purchases, then remove the restrictions on discriminatory sales, allow private credit, accept the norms of international trade, authorize the use of ships from other countries and do not penalize them for a period of six months; allow Cuban exports in reciprocity for food purchases which have dramatically decreased due to the conditions the U.S. government imposes on producers, and which have prompted our importers to seek better markets.
You want to promote the free flow of information? Lift the blockade in the telecommunications sector; allow Cuba’s connection to submarine cables in order to access Internet; eliminate illegal and subversive radio and TV broadcasts; authorize the acquisition of U.S. software and the training of specialists; eliminate informatics restrictions and allow the use of services offering your technological support, which are denied to Cuba.
You want more interchanges and "people to people" contacts? Respect the constitutional rights of your citizens and their freedom to travel to Cuba in the same way as they travel anywhere else, even in wartime.
Stop restricting the granting of licenses; accept the fact that sightseeing, listening to music and dancing to Cuban music is not a crime and can be part of travel agency packages.
You want a better education for the young? Authorize cooperation and exchange programs between universities including scholarships in all areas of science and technology. End the subversive and illegal courses offered by the U.S. Interests Section in Havana. Stop obstructing international medical cooperation.
The U.S. delegate is lying when he says that his country is one of the main donors of humanitarian aid to Cuba. He is using false information which includes the millions of dollars used by USAID to subvert constitutional order in my country; monies for commercial licenses which are not materialized, and the small but heartfelt and generous donations which NGO’s send to Cuba in defiance of their government’s policies, and overcoming enormous obstacles.
Cuban Ã©migrÃ©s, like others, save for their remittances with hard work; this is not humanitarian "aid" from the U.S. government.
Mr. Alan Gross was convicted in due process for having engaged in covert operations funded by the United States, with the use of non-commercial technology, against the Cuban constitutional order. These acts are also anticipated and sanctioned in U.S. law.
Mr. Goddard is lying when he says Gross was helping the Jewish community to connect to the Internet.
The U.S. government is responsible for Mr. Gross’s situation and could make a start by sitting down to talk seriously about his case with the Cuban government.
President Obama has the opportunity to make a difference and go down in history by modifying a sick policy which has not functioned in 50 years and is provoking humanitarian damage and violations of human rights.
In that case perhaps Mr. Goddard could come here to this Assembly to say that something has changed!
Thank you very much
November 14, 2012