Cuban declaration on Guadalajara summit
- (This is an important document from the Cuban
government in which it explains the maneuverings
which took place in the background at Guadalajara.
(Washington used its influence with the European
Union to blunt any effort at condemning the use of
torture as a tool, as well as opposition to the
unilateral military actions, such as has taken
place in Iraq, Afganistan and recently, in Haiti.
(Notice the careful distinctions which the Cuban
statement makes, not lumping all of the EU states
into a single undifferentiated mass. This is an
extremely important aspect of Cuban diplomacy:
to seek close links to and cooperation with the
largest possible numbers of states in opposition
to Washington's attempts to dominate the planet.
Here we can see the leadership role which Cuba
plays as a tribune of the peoples of the world.)
DECLARATION BY THE CUBAN REVOLUTIONARY GOVERNMENT
28 May 2004
As everyone knows, since it has been given wide coverage
in the press, a very hard battle was fought yesterday,
Thursday 27 May, in the discussion of the final document
in Guadalajara. It was a battle against the stubborn
intransigence of the European Union, which obstinately
opposed a paragraph that strongly denounced and condemned
the monstrous murder and torture practiced against Iraqi
Humanity had not seen such disturbing images since the
dismal days of Hitler at the end of the Second World War.
Billions of people were able to see these images on movies
and television screens, on the Internet and in newspaper
photos, and were particularly horrified by the ghoulish
delight and brutal sadism with which these acts were
carried out. The methods used showed contempt and disdain
for the culture and feelings of the Islamic peoples of whom
there are 1.2 billion that through the Old Testament share
some ethical and historical roots with Christianity and
The paragraph on this subject, initially proposed by Latin
America and the Caribbean, read:
We strongly condemn all forms of abuse, torture and other
cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment used against
prisoners of war or any prisoner or against any one, no
matter where or by whom it is committed. We declare
ourselves to be dismayed by the recently documented
examples of this behaviour which are completely
unacceptable and deserve our strongest condemnation. Such
practices are and must remain forbidden at all times and in
all places. In this context, we call on the governments
concerned to impose all legal sanctions to all those
responsible and call on them to ensure compliance with the
ban on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading
treatment in accordance with the UN Convention against
Torture and with the Geneva conventions. Such practices
constitute a serious violation of these international
The European Union completely refused to mention the
subject or to include it in the Final Declaration. Then, as
it found itself obliged to give up some ground, it refused
to mention the word torture, labelling what had happened
mistreatment. Later, it refused to talk about the recent
cases of torture of Iraqi prisoners using a non-specific
formula to condemn them, and most carefully avoiding any
mention of the governments responsible for this torture.
The discussion between the president of the European Union
and deputy foreign minister Bruno Rodríguez, the second
head of the Cuban mission who was leading our delegation at
that point, was very heated and controversial.
Resigned to defeat, they finally accepted the word
condemnation, but in a general not concrete sense,
in reference to recent events, which they called only
mistreatment of prisoners.
The fact that the subject was addressed at all and that
much of the initial paragraph was included is considered a
huge moral defeat for the European Union.
Those who on this occasion were opposed to this
condemnation represented countries which witnessed the Nazi
concentration camps where millions of people died either
because of their race or their religious beliefs. Now
leaders of these countries yield to neo-Nazi methods, ideas
and dangers which are a thousand times worse because of the
almost infinite power of those who propound them, that is,
the extreme right which is in control of the U.S.
The second big battle took place in the afternoon of
Thursday 27; this time between the Cuban delegation, headed
by our foreign minister, Felipe Pérez Roque, and
representatives of the European Union on the thorny issue
for the Europeans of the Helms-Burton Act and the new,
recently announced measures against Cuba.
The paragraph approved in the morning session yesterday
Thursday 27 by the Latin American and Caribbean countries
We reiterate our strong rejection of the use of
unilateral, extraterritorial laws and measures that run
contrary to international law, the freedom of the market,
shipping and world trade. We agree that these measures
represent a grave threat to multilateralism. We voice our
profound concern about additional measures which reinforce
and expand the scope of such policies and laws, for
example, the Helms-Burton Act, and we therefore urge the
government of the United States of America to cease using
such laws and measures. We reject the use of coercive
unilateral measures by any state whatsoever, since they
jeopardize the sovereignty of other states and violate the
principles and aims of the United Nations.
The European Union, acting once again as the U.S.
governments ally and underling, responded to this clear
and strong rejection of the United States government
genocidal Cuba policy by presenting this timid, ridiculous
We reiterate our firm rejection of all unilateral measures
that run contrary to international law, including those
which are extraterritorial in scope and run contrary to the
commonly accepted rules of international trade. We agree
that unilateral measures that run contrary to international
law represent a serious threat to multilateralism.
In another fierce debate in which our foreign minister
hurled accusations at, argued against and rebutted the
European Union representatives position they, demoralized
and devoid of authority, prestige and arguments proposed a
This is how it then read:
We reiterate our firm rejection of all unilateral measures
that run contrary to international law, including those
(new measures) which are extraterritorial in scope and run
contrary to the commonly accepted rules of international
trade. We agree that unilateral measures that run contrary
to international law represent a serious threat to
multilateralism. We remind people of the stance taken in
Resolution UNGA-58/7 of 18 November, 2003.
The Cuban delegation opposed this maimed, ridiculous and
cowardly proposition with all its might, since our country
is today under threat from the murderous plans and the set
of interventionist and genocidal measures announced by Mr.
Bush last May 6.
The European Union then agreed to mention the title of the
resolution which Cuba introduces in the United Nations
General Assembly and which reads: The Necessity to Put an
End to the Economic, Commercial and Financial Blockade
Imposed on Cuba by the United States of America.
The European Union representatives, seething with arrogance
and irritation at the strong Cuban response, threw down an
ultimatum: either this formulation was accepted or they
would not allow the paragraph to be included. The Cuban
foreign minister rejected this ultimatum with the utmost
dignity and replied that Cuba held to its position that
these measures must be specifically condemned and that if
the paragraph were to appear as drafted by the European
Union, Cuba would prefer that there be no reference at all
to the subject in the Final Declaration, but that the
European Union would have to take full responsibility for
it not being included. Here we are omitting various details
in order to be brief.
What Comrade Fidel said in point one of his Message to the
Mexican People was fully confirmed:
The European Unions complicity with U.S. crimes and
aggressions against Cuba as shown by its disgraceful,
hypocritical behaviour in Geneva and its shameful
understanding and connivance with the Helms-Burton Act
whose unacceptable, ignominious extraterritorial nature
make it unworthy of being taken seriously by our people.
Another victory was to come later that evening and night.
The European Union, giving all sorts of reasons, had
already refused a week earlier to allow the principles of
international law enshrined in the United Nations Charter
to be included in the Final Declaration of this 3rd summit,
although they had been cited and agreed to at the two
previous summits. At small, secret meetings Europes
representatives had explained that they could not put their
signature to these principles because they were unable to
acknowledge that the principle of non-intervention was
still valid. There had been an earlier clash between Cuba
and the European Union over this issue.
In fact, the most important discussions had been taking
place around these essential principles for several days.
The European Union consistently tried to offer to exchange
our agreement to not mention these principles in the Final
Declaration for other of our interests, including a
reference to the Helms-Burton Act. They even went so far as
to state this publicly. They had requested that this
paragraph be the last one to be discussed. And that was
agreed to. Yesterday, as the night was drawing to a close
they were so demoralized after the debate over the
Helms-Burton Act which lasted for hours that they lacked
the strength to enter into a second debate with our
countrys delegation which might have jeopardised the very
existence of the whole document.
It was under these circumstances that the European Union,
unexpectedly and just when it was the Cuban delegations
turn to address this subject, requested permission to make
an announcement: it was withdrawing its opposition to any
reference to the abovementioned principles, which had
already been accepted in the previous two summits.
It is the view of many delegations that this was the most
important battle at this summit.
Our small country, which has been blockaded and attacked
for 45 years, a victim of all the crimes of which the
empire is capable the same that rules the destinies of the
world and consists of the most powerful state in history
did not hesitate to resolutely oppose it and its allies in
the European Union. The latter have played a truly
disgraceful and shameful role year after year, seconding
the lies, invectives and perfidious resolutions the Empire
uses in Geneva to justify the blockade and to destroy that
which can never be destroyed: our Revolution.
It may be fair to indicate that not all the States that are
members of this Union are the same. There are countries
with a long history and influence, such as France and
Germany, and other smaller states, such as Belgium and
Luxembourg and several others who were the driving force
behind a reasonable idea which was met with sympathy by the
world: the idea of encouraging a union of European peoples
after the terrible experiences they went through after the
Fascist assault on humanity in 1939 that used methods and
concepts which, by the way, differ very little from those
proclaimed in the doctrine of being ready to launch
surprise, pre-emptive attacks on 60 or more countries.
There is nothing strange in the maniacal opposition to an
international court empowered to judge war crimes or in the
terrifying, sadistic images of torture which recently shook
The United Kingdom was always reluctant to join this union
and still is not part of the common currency; it tries to
get all possible advantages and avoid any drawbacks. Today,
it is the enthusiastic ally of the current U.S.
administration and joins in its adventures and wars of
Others, like the government of Italy and until very
recently that of Spain servilely put the empires plans
before the true interests of the rest of Europe. Today, the
United States allies, who are opposed to the group
favouring greater independence, are getting reinforcements
from new members like Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia,
Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Slovenia that are
now the staunchest allies of the very empire which has
hegemony over the world and intends to subdue Europe
completely to its political and economic interests.\
The European Union is in fact much divided and the United
States has a large majority there. The Union is still
not a union. If this is not understood, it would be very
difficult to explain how a group of 25 nations, many of
them with long-standing historical and cultural traditions,
could act in Guadalajara like a flock of lambs under
We sincerely wish all their peoples a better fate.
In fact, countries like Cuba and other revolutionary
third world countries that are prepared to die defending
our sovereignty, our dignity and our liberty are also
fighting for Europes union and its independence.
The future will have the last word.
28 May 2004