Speech by Cuba’s Foreign Affairs Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla at the Press conference offered on June 19th, 2017, from Vienna, Austria.
I wish to express condolences to the people and government of Portugal for the disaster that has cost dozens of human lives; Also to the government and people of the United Kingdom, for the recent events in London.
I express our heartfelt condolences to the people and government of Colombia regarding the terrorist attack that has caused the loss of lives.
On June 16, US President Donald Trump announced in Miami the policy that his government has decided to apply in relation to Cuba. The Cuban government, for its part, issued an official statement. The Cuban civil society organizations have also made pronouncements.
The President of the United States approved, among others, the following measures: prohibition of economic, commercial and financial relations of US companies with Cuban companies related to the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and the Ministry of the Interior; The prohibition of individual travel by US citizens in the category of people-to-people exchanges and greater vigilance over other travelers.
Also the revision of all the subversive programs against the constitutional order in Cuba, supposedly to ensure its effectiveness.
Likewise, the repeal of the Presidential Directive issued by President Barack Obama in October 2016, which, being deeply interfering, intended to alter the constitutional order of the Republic of Cuba, nevertheless recognized the independence, sovereignty and self-determination of our country ; to the Cuban revolutionary government as a legitimate and equal interlocutor, and also proposed a civilized relationship destined to benefit both peoples.
That directive now repealed, also declared the blockade a failed policy, which did not work, failed to meet its objectives, and had to be eliminated.
All this was announced in the theater called Manuel Artime who was the civilian chief of the mercenary brigade that invaded our country in Playa Giron or Bay of Pigs. It was in a grotesque spectacle, out of the Cold War, before a small auditorium, composed of old henchmen and thieves of Batista’s dictatorship, mercenaries of the Playa Girón brigade, terrorists, politicians and "opportunists".
President Trump greeted some by name, surrounded by others at the time of signing or had them by his side. Among them, a terrorist arrested in 1995 in California, with an arsenal of weapons for violent acts, who was involved in an attack on President Fidel Castro Ruz in 1997; Another was part of an armed infiltration to Cuba in 1974; A third was the author of terrorist actions and pirate attacks at sea against Cuban fishermen between 1972 and 1975.
There was also the wife of a torturing sergeant of Batista’s dictatorship, designated like one of those that financed the chain of bombs against tourist objectives in Cuba, that exploded in 1997, precisely in The New York Times newspaper, by the well-known terrorist Posada Carriles, in an interview. Posada Carriles was the author, as it is known, of the midair explosion of a Cubana de Aviación civil aircraft in 1976, the first terrorist act against an aircraft in flight.
Some of this people worked for the CIA at some point.
I strongly protest to the United States government for this scorn and I urge it to confirm or deny whether these terrorists I mentioned were with or without President Trump. It is a scandal to the Cuban people, to the world and to the victims of international terrorism in all latitudes.
When the President of the United States at that show referred to the father of the defunct violinist who played the American anthem, he omitted to say that Captain Bonifacio Haza, repeatedly mentioned by the President of the United States, directly murdered the young Carlos Díaz and Orlando Carvajal During the late dictatorship of Batista and was personally involved in the assassination of the well-known revolutionary fighter Frank País, also of his partner Raúl Pujol, and, at another time, Frank País's younger brother of only 19 years. It is an offense that our people can not forget.
Completing and filling the public were some foreign agents that, inside Cuba, are paid by agencies of the United States government. They are the new mercenaries.
It was outrageous to see this annexationist and plattist audience respond to every phrase against Cuba, chanting "U.S.A., U.S.A.".
Undoubtedly, President Trump's policy marks a setback in bilateral relations. This is recognized by innumerable voices inside and outside the United States, which are mostly expressing a resounding rejection of the announced changes.
I anticipate that these measures will affect the relations of the United States government with Latin America and the Caribbean and will seriously damage the credibility of its foreign policy.
These unpopular measures, frankly unpopular, ignore the majority support for the lifting of the blockade and the normalization of relations with Cuba by members of the US Congress, many of them Republicans; of the business sector, of the diverse organizations of the American civil society, of the Cuban emigration, the press, the social networks, and, the public opinion at large.
President Trump, who was again poorly advised, who had lost the Cubans vote in the counties with the highest concentration of Cuban residents during the presidential election in Florida, lost the Cuban vote in Florida, makes decisions that only favor petty interests of an aging and extremist minority of Cuban origin and a handful of politicians.
Any measured analysis leads us to anticipate that, as in the past, the announced measures will not meet the objectives being proclaimed, but the opposite: they will restrict the freedom of US citizens, cost more money to taxpayers, reduce the opportunities of their companies and businessmen against their competition, will lose income and jobs.
It is necessary to wait until the government of the United States made public the regulations implemented by those measures before expressing opinions on its scope and depth.
These measures also ignore the overwhelming opinion held by most of the Cuban people who want to have a better relationship with the American people, they will cause human damage, and deprivation, will affect Cuban families. They will bring economic damages not only to state-owned enterprises in Cuba, but also to cooperatives and will especially damage self-employed or private workers. They will also harm and increase discrimination against Cuban emigrants based in the United States.
It seems childish to predict that with this policy they could separate the people from the government or the citizens from our glorious Revolutionary Armed Forces and the Ministry of Interior, which are the people in uniform. On the contrary, these measures reinforce our patriotism, our dignity, our determination to defend national independence in the spirit of José Martí, Antonio Maceo and Fidel Castro Ruz.
Cuba strongly rejects the new measures that harden the blockade, which we will denounce at the next United Nations General Assembly, because it is unjust, inhuman, genocide, extraterritorial and in violation of international law and the sovereignty of all States.
I firmly reject the political manipulation and the double standards in the treatment of human rights by President Trump. The United States government has no moral authority, it cannot teach human rights or democracy. Cuba has a lot to show and say in this regard.
The new measures are not at all democratic. According to recent US surveys, 73% of Americans support the lifting of the blockade, also 63% of Cuban residents and 62% of Republicans themselves – it’s curious: 62% of Republicans themselves. The normalization of bilateral ties is favored by 75%, three quarters, of the Americans; 69% of Cuban residents and 62% of Republicans.
Among Cubans in the United States, the younger they are, the greater support they show for the lifting of the blockade and the normalization.
However, the new measures reinforce the Americans’ prohibition of traveling as tourists to Cuba and restrict their civil liberties, curtail the Americans’ freedom of traveling.
In the field of human rights, murders, brutality and abuses by police, particularly against Afro-descendants, are numerous and systematic in the United States. Restrictions on the right to health, wage inequality against women, lack of education coverage, the almost absence of unionization, repression against immigrants and refugees, the marginalization of minorities and growing discrimination in the culture and Islamic religion.
War crimes and the killing of civilians in US military aggressions and interventions are frequent. The prison, without court sentences, and the massive and systematic acts of torture committed at the Guantánamo Naval Base are brutal.
I reiterate Cuba's willingness to continue the respectful dialogue and cooperation on issues of mutual interest and to negotiate pending bilateral issues with the United States on the basis of equality and absolute respect for our independence and sovereignty.
As shown by the progress achieved in the last two years, Cuba and the United States can cooperate and coexist civilly, respecting the deep-seated differences between governments and promoting everything that benefits both countries and peoples.
We will continue our efforts together with people of goodwill in the United States, who are the vast majority. But I warn: Cuba will not make concessions inherent in its sovereignty and independence, will not negotiate its principles or accept conditioning, as it has never done, never, throughout the history of the Revolution. As established by the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba, we will never negotiate under pressure or threat.
We will act by invoking the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed by the Heads of State and Government of the region in January 2014 in Havana, which recognizes the inalienable right of Heads of State to decide their Political, economic, social and cultural system; Rejects foreign intervention and interference in internal affairs and opposes and condemns the threat and use of force.
A United States’ Presidential Directive will not twist the sovereign course of Cuba, as more than 50 years of aggression, state terrorism, blockade, media war and subversion have not. We have gone through everything, our people have gone through everything and taken all risks, what could threaten us today that they have not done before and failed?
In Cuba, by the way, no one was in suspense waiting for the imperial announcement. Our people was normally working, foreign policy worked, showing respect for Europe in this visit. In fact, the Cuban people, closely united to their Communist Party, debated and amended these projects for the Cuban Social Economic Development and Social Model Conceptualization and the Development Plan until 2030 and called for the next general election of the People's Power.
The necessary changes in Cuba will be decided sovereignly by the Cuban people: only the Cuban people, as it has always done. We will not ask anyone's opinion or permission.
Thak you very much.