Statement by the Cuban Delegation at the Thematic Discussion on “Disarmament and Regional Security”. First Committee, New York, 22 October 2009.
In this item, my delegation wishes to make reference to a specific aspect seriously threatening the regional peace and security of our countries of the South.
As it is known, all Latin American countries have fallen victim to interventions and political and economic aggressions. For Cuba, it is of great concern the renewed and aggressive interest of the US in establishing new military bases in Latin America, and its decision to re-establish the Forth Fleet in our region. This poses a direct and unjustifiable threat to the sovereignty and integrity of the peoples of Our America.
Foreign military bases have not represented nor can they represent a contribution to the peace and security of nations. Many of them have been established against the will of the peoples and the governments of our countries. Historical experiences prove they have served as a fundamental instrument to undertake acts of aggression, harassment, and subversion against our countries and neighboring countries, promoting wars and confrontation between sister nations.
That military power is not a necessity for the world, but for the economic system that is tried to be imposed on the world. As stated before, military expenditures have doubled during the last ten years, and it is currently the most prosperous industry in the planet. The state-of-the-art science and technology advances have been made available to the development of weapons, and at present there is talk not only of nuclear missiles, or of the current destructive power of modern conventional weapons: unmanned aircrafts operated by remote control are being used.
It is alleged now that military bases in Latin America are necessary to cooperate in the fight against drug-trafficking, terrorism, arms trafficking, illegal emigration, possession of weapons of mass destruction, nationalist outburst, and natural disasters.
The presence in all continents and oceans of so much foreign military power constitutes a cause for concern for our peoples, regardless the type of government or the alliances it has. The existence of that wide network of military bases, aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines, modern warships and sophisticated fighter planes, carriers of all sorts of weapons and hundreds of thousands of troops, make us wonder how much security we can have in today’s world.
History cannot be erased; or the threat and the disastrous consequences of the military expansion programs to the detriment of the independence and sovereignty of our nations be concealed.
Now that times of change are announced, there is a need for practical actions and political will to stop that frenzied military power and the advance of its tentacles towards our countries. If a real contribution to international peace and security is wished to be made, all foreign military bases must be removed from Latina America and the Caribbean, including the Guantanamo Naval Base, Cuban territory illegally occupied against the will of our people.