Statement by the Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cuba, Ambassador Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, at the Security Council, under Agenda item: "Threats to International Peace and Security Caused by Terrorist Acts". New York, 20 February 2003.
The series of terrorist attacks occurred in the most diverse parts of the world following the criminal acts of September 11, the State terrorism against the Palestinian people and the terror escalation it originates, as well as, the terrorism against Cuba, among others, prove that only one integral and collective settlement, through partnership and consensus, and not through war, shall be found to this ancient and terrible scourge.
Sixteen months later, facts prove that the war launched in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11 has not pursued the objectives proclaimed.
Hegemonic unilateralism and double standards have prevented the United Nations from regaining its prerogatives and exercise its functions of peace. The arbitrary right of veto jointly with its indiscriminate and irresponsible use, have hindered the Security Council and subjected the Member States to tyranny, including the Non-Permanent Members of the Council.
The unilateral acts or the pre-emptive war by a State, or a group of States, no matter how powerful they may be, under the pretext of the struggle against terrorism, are totally unacceptable and deserve categorical condemnation for they would ruin the already precarious collective security system, destroy International Law, establish the empire of force worldwide and would drift us apart from the objective of eliminating such scourge.
There will only be progress through international cooperation and not through acts of war, aggression or vengeance, which will only bring about more violence. There will neither be any progress through the promulgation of laws allowing extrajudicial executions or the arbitrary detention of national or foreign citizens, nor through covert actions violating laws and frontiers, nor through the manipulation of the public opinion, nor through the discrimination or persecution of immigrants, nor through the abandonment of International Humanitarian Law, nor through the violation of human rights or the restriction of civil liberties inherent to the proclaimed Rule of Law, nor through unilateral sanctions, nor through the "lists" or certifications of countries with blurry political goals.
The immanent right to the legitimate defense should not be invoked either by a powerful State, in response to terrorist acts carried out by extremist groups or individuals, no matter how serious their nature, to unleash unilateral wars, that could acquire global and unpredictable character, and in which an incalculable number of innocent civilians would die. The right to the legitimate defense could only be exercised as the right of all States to their joint defense. Otherwise, the countries from the South would be the potential victims of the actions of force of a few.
The Security Council should not be run over and forced to endorse hegemonic and arbitrary decisions, which violate the UN Charter and the sovereignty of all States, nor make compulsory Treaty standards for Non-party States, nor reinterpret or impose modifications to the Instruments agreed on by the Parts, in flagrant violation of the Law of the Treaties, to grant impunity to powerful States and their armed forces.
It is only the role of the United Nations to face, thoroughly and with energy, with serenity and resolution, the serious problems of the globalized world, including terrorism. As declared by the UN Secretary General: "… It alone can give global legitimacy to the long-term struggle against terrorism."
To this end, the United Nations Organization relies on the universal participation of the States, on principles and norms agreed upon by all, and on the historical, moral and legal authority; and as a last resort, it even counts on the exceptional prerogative of the use of force and the collective wisdom, prudence and responsibility it implies.
It is necessary to put up an international struggle against all forms and manifestations of terrorism, with the participation of Third World countries on an equal basis, over political and religious differences or of any other nature, to construct a just world, of free peoples and sovereign and independent States, a world with no international terrorism.
Cuba considers that any act of force against terrorism will require an express decision of the Security Council or the General Assembly, as enshrined in the UN Charter.
Cuba was among the first countries to condemn the crime of September 11, to express its condolences and solidarity to the people of the United States and offer its airports to dozens of airplanes flying en-route, as well as, medical assistance for the victims. Cuba has also exchanged with the USA information of mutual interest on terrorism.
On October 2001, Cuba had ratified the 12 International Instruments on Terrorism as a contribution to international confrontation to acts of that nature. Later in December, our country enacted Law No. 93 Against Terrorist Acts, which is an integral, modern and severe code. From that date it has adopted additional and effective non-legislative measures, at the same time it has cooperated for its own initiative and in good faith with the Security Council and its Counter-Terrorism Committee. It has presented them exhaustive and timely reports, it has proposed Cuban experts as candidates and has offered Personnel and Technical Cooperation to this Committee. Thereby, it has actively supported the negotiation of a General Convention on Counter-Terrorism.
Cuba has exemplarily struggled and adopted effective measures, along several decades, against international terrorism.
Cuba has never carried out, financed, tolerated or allowed a terrorist act, not even in exercise of legitimate defense, against the direct or intellectual perpetrators of heinous crimes against our people, which The Cuban American National Foundation and other groups of the terrorist mafia of Miami have financed, organized and implemented from US territory, with absolute impunity, in the most recent stage, and which include bombing attacks, assassination attempts on Cuban leaders and attacks to vital facilities of our economy.
Our country has never allowed the use of its territory for terrorist actions against any other State, without any exception, and has declared that it will do everything within its reach to prevent this in the future.
I reject categorically the slanders of the FBI Director Robert Mueller, before the Senate Intelligence Committee on February 11, 2003, that intend to present Cuba as a threat for the United States and I challenge him to present the slightest evidence in this regard.
Since 1959 our finances have been transparent, our banks do not hoard money, nor are they involved in money laundering. Our institutions do not sell information or technologies illegally. They do not tolerate arms or hazardous substances trafficking, nor do our frontiers give shelter to transnational crime.
Cuba will enforce the laws which it sovereignly has embraced and expresses its disposition to cooperate with all the countries in full respect of the Charter and International Law.
Under this spirit, Cuba proposed the United States government, without any condition and pursuant to Resolution 1373 of the Security Council- on 29 November 2001, and reiterated the same year, in December and in March, 2002- the draft of 3 Bilateral Agreements, namely:
a) Draft Programme of Bilateral Cooperation to Combat Terrorism with measures to prevent and suppress the planning, organization, implementation, support or collaboration and financing of any terrorist act against the other Part; proposals on the exchange of information, as well as, judicial and research cooperation.
b) Draft Cooperation Agreement to Combat Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
c) Draft Agreement on Illegal Trafficking in Persons, posed originally on September 2001.
Although the United States has rejected, with mere pretexts, even to consider them, Cuba still expects a change in that policy.
During the anthrax crisis, on October 2001, the United States government was offered 100 million ciprofloxacin pills; a preventive donation of these pills was made to US diplomats posted in Havana; and in November, Cuba offered the supply of equipment for the rapid standardization of germs and strains at a low cost. On August 2002, Cuba proposed to perform joint researches on the West Nile Virus.
It is impossible to eliminate terrorism if some terrorist acts are condemned while others are silenced, tolerated or justified.
Due to ethical reasons, the use of the veto to prevent the international action directed to protect the Palestinian people from the State terrorism triggered by Israel, should cease. The supply of planes, helicopters and other means from the United States, that support the exercise of such terrorism, should also cease.
Terrorism against Cuba should cease.
In these four decades 691 terrorist acts against Cuba have occurred, 68 of them took place in the 90's and 33 in the last 5 years. Consequently, 3 478 Cubans have died and 2 099 suffer disabilities.
In these forty years, those same groups carried out 190 terrorist acts against citizens or assets, from third countries, settled in US territory.
Terrorism against Cuba continues to be carried out from the US territory, with absolute impunity.
On May 3, 1997 and on May 7, 1998, evidence and information on terrorist acts carried out between 1992 and those dates, including plans to attack aircrafts, were sent to the President of the United States.
On June 16, 1998, Cuba confidentially submitted to two high-ranking FBI officials in Havana, unquestionable, substantial and detailed evidence of those activities, which included 331 pages, record sheets of 64 notorious terrorists, 4 hours and 38 minutes of secret filming and 21 telephone interceptions.
On August 1998, The New York Times requested information to Cuba so as to give continuity to its relevant disclosures on the crimes and plans of Posada Carriles, his trips to the United States, his connections with the Cuban American National Foundation and his links with the CIA and the FBI, which this newspaper had published, on July 12 and 13, 1998, regarding a 10 bomb campaign in Havana City hotels, organized and financed by the CANF through Posada Carriles, and which cost an Italian tourist's life and 12 injured Cubans.
In response to this request, on August 12, 1998, The New York Times was submitted- in Havana- essentially the same information provided to the FBI two months before. In a real loop, they were allowed to interview detained terrorists and to have access to a Cuban agent who had penetrated the Cuban-American National Foundation, undisclosed at that time.
The FBI responded with the detention of Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labañino, Fernando González, René González and Antonio Guerrero, on September 12, 1998, who, as broadly proven, were only trying, with high altruism and courage, to obtain information about the terrorist groups based in Miami to prevent their violent acts and save the lives of Cuban and US citizens.
They were subjected to 17 months of solitary confinement and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatments and two of them have not been allowed, so far, to receive the visit of their wives and a daughter who today is 4 years old, by not granting their visas.
A venal Court in Miami sentenced them to the maximum penalties, without the guarantee of the appropriate process, for false charges, including the ones the District Attorney asked to withdraw due to lack of proof, with a Jury subjected to the threat of the terrorist groups, the intolerance of the radical organizations and the anti-Cuban media. Several notorious terrorists, called by the Defense to declare, were protected under the Fifth Amendment.
The sentences of two of them, who are US citizens, dated December 14 and 27, 2001 respectively, contain a request from the US Attorney, this unusual paragraph, which offends the memory of the victims of September 11, only 3 months after the crime: "As a further special condition of supervised release the defendant is prohibited from associating with or visiting specific places where individuals or groups such as terrorists, members of organizations advocating violence, and organized crime figures are known to be or frequent".
The President of the United States has emphatically stated: "Justice demands that those who helped or harbored the terrorists be punished -- and punished severely (…) one of the things we will do is enforce the doctrine, part of the doctrine that says, if you harbor a terrorist, you're just as guilty as a terrorist", and he waged a war under that concept.
On May 20, 2002, President Bush made an offensive and anti-Cuban speech in Miami.
In this picture, taken from the US television, at the Presidency of that ceremony, a meter away from the President, Sixto R. Aquit Manrique appears, who was sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment in 1995, 2 years of house arrest and 3 years on parole, for being the perpetrator of a terrorist act in Miami. In 1992, he took part in a plan to assassinate the President of Cuba. In 1993, he attacked the Maltese vessel "Mykonos" and supplied weapons for terrorist purposes. The testimonies of two Miami residents, imprisoned in Cuba after an attempted arm infiltration on October 17, 1996, relate him with this attempt. In 1998, the FBI received abundant evidence on this individual.
In this other picture of that ceremony, Orlando Bosch Avila is shown in the first row. It is asserted that he was invited to the Presidency and later his seat was changed. On January 23, 1989, the Acting Associate US Attorney General, Joe W. Whitley wrote, in a Confidential Decision to deny asylum and deport Orlando Bosch after his illegal entrance to the US and his imprisonment in 1988, stressing that the US Government had confidential information confirming that: "(...) the October 6, 1976 Cuban airline bombing was a CORU operation under the direction of Bosch".
The document- declassified and circulated to the Security Council in 1992 (S/23890) - confirms that "(...) Bosch's involvement, between 1961 and 1968, in more than 30 acts of sabotage and violence in the United States, Puerto Rico, Panama and Cuba. These acts included the May 4, 1968 bombing of the British vessel "Granwood"(…) of the Japanese vessel "Mikagesan Maru" and of the Japanese vessel "Asaka Maru (…) in the attempted assassination of the Cuban Ambassador in Buenos Aires (…) in 1975, bombing (…) in 1976 of the Mexican Embassy in Guatemala City, plans (…) in 1977 to assassinate a high-ranking Cuban diplomat (…) between June 1976 and March 1977(…) 16 episodes involving bombings, attempted kidnappings, assassination (…) in the United States, Spain, the Caribbean, and Central and South America".
However, Bosch's deportation was cancelled despite the fact that a court had supported the decision of the Department of Justice. Bosch was later forgiven by President George Bush in 1990 and granted US residence.
On June 6, 2002, on the radio, and later, on June 16 in Diario de las Americas, Orlando Bosch reiterated the call for the use of terrorism against Cuba. On August 22, 2001, Orlando Bosch had already published a "Declaration of Principles", in which he considers terrorist actions against Cuba legitimate and necessary.
The following day, in The Herald newspaper, Mas Santos, Head of the terrorist Cuban-American National Foundation, who was also at the Presidency of the ceremony on May 20, 2002, stated his agreement with such "Declaration of Principles".
On December 5, 2002, the Miami New Times quoted Bosch stating that: "They were all henchmen", referring to the Cuban airplane he made explode with 73 people on board, including the Cuban junior fencing team.
In the pictures of the ceremony of May 20, Roberto Martín Pérez also appears. He is the head of the paramilitary group of the Cuban-American National Foundation, and one of the organizers of the plan to assassinate the President of Cuba during the Iberoamerican Summit in Margarita Island, on November 1997. Four well-known terrorists were arrested then, in a boat owned by José A. Llama, one of the CANF leaders. One of the sniper rifles belonged to Francisco Hernández, President of the CANF. The detainees were acquitted in a spurious process condemned by the US media. Martín Pérez was also the organizer of another assassination attempt, aborted during the Cariforum Summit, in the Dominican Republic, on August 1998.
The terrorist Rodolfo Frómeta Caballero, head of F-4 Commands, published -on January 9, 2003- in a Miami newspaper called La Verdad: "We are still at war ". Before that, on December 31, 2002, the New Herald had already confirmed the participation of his group in an attack allegedly undertaken in Cuba. On top of that, on January 29, 2003, the Wall Street Journal referred to the alliance of this organization with Venezuelan groups resident in Miami, which organize and carry out military training to confront the Constitutional Government of Venezuela. Information on this terrorist was likewise provided to the FBI.
Posada Carriles, a CIA agent for many years, who was also the perpetrator of the Cuban airplane explosion, escaped from a Venezuelan penitentiary in an operation organized and financed by the Cuban American National Foundation. According to US Senate records, Posada Carriles reappeared as part of a group of the Contra-gate, collecting wages from both the CIA and the Department of State. He freely traveled to Miami in 1997 and in 1998. Carriles was responsible for the aforementioned bomb campaign in Havana City hotels in 1997; he organized an assassination attempt against the Cuban President on the ocassion of the Iberoamerican Summit in Margarita Island. Posada Carriles is now in Panama, awaiting a trial for the attempt to blow up, with 20 Kg of C-4 and 50 packs of Semtex, the auditorium of a University during a speech of President Fidel Castro, where thousands of Panamanian professors and students were gathered-on 16 November, 2000- while another Iberoamerican Summit was underway.
Pedro Remón Rodríguez, perpetrator of the murder of a Cuban diplomat accredited to the United Nations, on a September 11, but in 1980; Guillermo Novo Sampoll, who was responsible for the shooting of a missile against this very same building of the United Nations in 1964 and murderer of the Chilean diplomat Orlando Letelier and the US citizen Ronnie Moffit, in 1976; Gaspar Jiménez Escobedo, murderer of a Cuban official in Mexico, in 1976 and organizer of a plan to assassinate the Cuban Ambassador to the United Nations, in 1980; were arrested jointly with Carriles.
In a recent ceremony held in Miami, on November 15, 2002, to pay homage to the terrorists imprisoned in Panama, Orlando Bosch once again vindicated the terrorism against Cuba. Nevertheless, the most eloquent speaker of that ceremony was precisely Dionisio Suárez, who served a 12-year imprisonment sentence for the murders of Letelier and Moffit. When referring to the attacks the terrorists were to carry out in Panama, Dionisio Suárez said: "(…) They deserve respect, they deserve applause". Suárez was also invited to the Presidential ceremony of May 20, 2002.
In the meantime, the trial is being delayed in Panama, the most serious charges were removed, they enjoy luxurious imprisonment, security measures weaken, notorious terrorists of the Cuban-American National Foundation- Miami residents- who finance their defense, are allowed to freely travel and meet with the prisoners; the request for the extradition to Cuba was denied, despite our proposal that an international tribunal judges them in Havana and the guarantees they will not be imposed the maximum penalty, and there has been no answer to the extradition request of Venezuela. There are well-founded reasons to fear that this terrorist act would remain unpunished.
On November 11, 2002, a Cuban airplane AN-2 was hijacked and taken to US territory. Instead of taking the 8 hijackers to trial, they were given asylum. The aircraft instead of being returned was auctioned.
Two weeks ago, on February 7, in the middle of the "orange" antiterrorist alert in the US, a military boat arrived and docked in Key West, without being stopped, with 4 armed men, dressed in camouflage fatigues from the Cuban coastguard service. Although the boat was returned, the hijackers have not been returned to Cuba, nor have they been charged.
With complete impunity and with the complicity of US authorities, in Miami, funds to carry out terrorist acts are provided and collected, bank accounts that finance terrorism operate openly and normally, terrorists are recruited, weapon supplies take place, safe shelters are offered and the use of the territory is allowed to those who fund, plan and carry on terrorist acts.
The Security Council has been informed through these years. In 1992, Cuba requested the Security Council to act, but the Cuban draft resolution S/23990 was not even considered. The US representative described that session as a waste of time (S/PV.3080).
In 2001, as well as in 2002, Cuba presented comprehensive information to the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the Security Council.
Cuba expects that the Security Council and its Counter-Terrorism Committee act.
Cuba expects an energetic and responsible action from the International Community.
Does Resolution 1373 not apply to the terrorism that on a permanent basis and with evident impunity is undertaken from US territory against Cuba?
Thank you very much.