The Guardian June 23, 1999


NATO's "New Strategic Concept":
Address by Cuban Ambassor to UN Security Council

Cuban UN Ambassador Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla addressed the 4011 session 
of the United Nations Security Council in New York on June 10, following 
the adoption of a resolution dealing with the cessation of NATO's bombing 
of Yugoslavia. The following is his contribution:

The Security Council is late. The resolution it has just adopted will not 
change reality. This has been and will continue to be a US and NATO 
invasion. The disregard for the United Nations and disobedience to the 
Security Council are irreparable. The aggressors will never be impartial 
and will never restore the principles they have trampled upon.

The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia's sovereignty and territorial integrity 
 solemnly and hypocritically proclaimed  is absolutely unfeasible after 
the imposed conditions, and the forcible disintegration of a sovereign 
State is not being disguised.

Seven days have gone since the acceptance by the Federal Republic of 
Yugoslavia's Government and the Serbian Parliament of the peace proposal 
conveyed by the High Special Envoys.

In this time period, however, there have been 3,684 NATO sorties and 996 
strikes against a wide range of targets, including civilian targets, 
according to the latest available information.

After the Serbian acceptance, innocent people continued to be killed or 
wounded, and the deliberate destruction of the country went on.

This week, after the demands presented by NATO  added to the Envoys' 
already Draconian proposal  it has become more apparent that the United 
States and NATO were not seeking a political solution but rather the 
consolidation of a new world power mechanism, the destruction of Serbia, 
the liquidation of its Government and the humiliation of its people.

It is now confirmed that negotiation is not possible under the bombs.

There is no doubt now  if ever there was one  about the real goal of 
this disproportionate aggression.

For 79 days, a colossal military, economic and technological force attacked 
with impunity a small developing country, carrying out 35,778 combat and 
support missions. The aggressors' combined GDP is 1,163 times that of their 
victim; their population is 77-fold; their territory 226-fold, and their 
regular troops are 43-fold.

Heroic resistance

The Serbian people's resistance has been heroic, at the cost of thousands 
of civilians dead or wounded, enormous deprivation, the destruction of 
their country, the indelible trauma of the bombardments in their children's 
minds. The aggressors deserve no laurels.

The Security Council's silence will not erase the images of the bombed 
Grdelica Jorge passenger train; of the Djakovica-Pec convoy of Albanian 
refugees; of the civilian facilities in Belgrade and Novi Sad; of the 
Paracin, Kralijevo, Sremska Mitrovica villages; the Serbian television 
station, the Luzane bus, the Surdulica neighbourhood, the Lucani factory, 
the power generators, the potable water grids, the Valjevo hospital, the 
Greek convoy near Vlac, the People's Republic of China's Embassy, the Nis 
market-place and hospital complex, the Kosovar-Albanian Korisa village, 18 
diplomatic premises, the Istok prison, tens of bridges, railways and roads.

Genocide

It has been a genocide. The systematic actions to deprive millions of 
people of food, heat, drinking water and medical services; the deliberate 
and daily strikes on non-military targets where civilians were known to be, 
and the use of internationally banned weapons like the uranium-coated and 
cluster bombs; or the indiscriminate use of seismic bombs in urban areas 
and graphite bombs against power grids  so as to paralyse every vital 
service  cannot be described otherwise.

These acts are in violation of the Geneva Conventions, International 
Humanitarian Law and War Practices and Customs. Those responsible must be 
exemplarily punished.

This war's environmental impact on the region is really inestimable.

The pretexts NATO politicians have stuffed their speeches with  lying to 
their own nationals while ridiculously smiling  cannot withstand any 
analysis.

They argued that they wanted to prevent a massive exodus of refugees and 
created a true and readily predictable humanitarian catastrophe: 860,000 
refugees left their country after the bombings began.

The main attacking countries have received only 30,703 refugees, 3.6 per 
cent of the number they created by their bombings. The United States and 
the United Kingdom, as a whole, have received 0.9 per cent.

Two-thirds of the Bosnia refugees whose return had been planned for this 
year have not returned and nobody is in charge.

They wanted to defend the Albanian-Kosovar people's human rights and 
prevent the so-called "ethnic cleansing": those who are bombing have too 
many old and current sins for anyone to believe in their sincerity. They 
also have a double-standard tradition that morally disqualifies them.

The United States and some of its allies  breaching international 
sanctions  maintained the apartheid regime, tolerated atrocities in 
Cambodia and Central America and coexisted with the fascist military 
regimes in Latin America.

They remain impassive and silent to the crimes against the Arab peoples and 
to those now being flagrantly committed against the Palestinian people.

Three hundred Muslims  half of them children under five  die every day 
in Iraq as a result of sanctions and aggressions. They do not get upset 
about or make any efforts to settle the conflicts in Africa, where 11 
million refugees are currently living in a true humanitarian emergency 
situation.

The United States currently maintains the segregation of its own indigenous 
people in keeping with the best of traditions in ethnic cleansing formerly 
used to exterminate them.

Today, emigrants are brutally persecuted; there are atrocious cases like 
those of Louima and Diallo; and there is a differential ethnic pattern in 
society, justice, the penal system and the application of the capital 
punishment.

Nor do the authors of dirty wars, extraterritorial laws and genocidal 
blockades have the morality to teach humanitarian lessons.

It is quite conspicuous that NATO has not done or said anything about the 
horrible exodus of numberless Serbs, among them 500,000 only from Krajina -
- according to United Nations official figures  that unleashed the 
premeditated disintegration of the former Yugoslavia, promoted by a part of 
Europe and unanimously supported by the West.

Pavelic in 1941

Formerly, in 1941, the fascist government of Ante Pavelic, imposed on 
Zagreb by Adolf Hitler and controlling Croatia, Bosnia, Herzegovina and 
part of Voivodina up to the threshhold of Belgrade, established the famous 
"doctrine of the three thirds": one-third of the Serbs was to be expelled; 
another third assimilated and forcibly converted to the official religion, 
and the other third, physically eliminated.

Many of the converts were eventually eliminated, and as deportation became 
difficult, extermination became the general formula applied. 675,00 Serbian 
civilians, of every age and sex, were murdered by Pavelic's Ustacha, 
according to the British Admiralty's well-documented archives.

That holocaust took place scarcely seven years before NATO was founded. Is 
Europe not ashamed over the thousands of terribly destructive bombs that 
NATO has just launched upon the Serbian people?

Moral duty

The current genocidal war, rather than helping harmony, has stirred hatred 
and exacerbated ethnic and religious wars in Kosovo and the Balkans.

It is also noteworthy that NATO's new "humanism" does not go as far as 
NATO's pockets. Battle-hardened leaders of the most solvent attacking 
powers have said without a flush that they will allocate no funds until 
Serbia "becomes democratic".

The interpretation is self-evident. Apparently, "Phase IV" of the 
operation, with less puritan goals, is being decreed.

Nor are there any concrete commitments to the damages, estimated at $100 
billion. Reconstruction is the international community's moral duty and 
should be a legal obligation for the aggressors.

Cuba wishes to ratify its willingness to participate  to the extent of 
its modest ability  in any project for the reconstruction of the Federal 
Republic of Yugoslavia, on humanitarian aid for the Kosovar-Albanians, and 
renews the offer made as early as 5 April  12 days after the strikes 
began  to cooperate by sending, free of charge, 1,000 doctors to take 
care of refugees in their camps and after their return home, as well as of 
those who might be in need in Kosovo, in the rest of Serbia and Montenegro.

The survival of Europe's stability has also been seen as an objective of 
the unleashed war. However, it is obvious that the region's instability has 
grown.

The occupation of Kosovo cannot be forever, nor does the invaders' command 
offer any guarantees whatsoever. The neighbouring countries will have to 
face the consequences of what has happened, at the cost of high risk for 
new conflicts or the aggravation of those already under way.

In strongly condemning the crime committed against the Serbian people, the 
Cuban Government supports, also, the Albanian-Kosovar people's right to be 
fully guaranteed their national, cultural and religious identity, and to 
enjoy the widest autonomy and, even, independence, if  once a just and 
lasting peace not imposed on Serbia by an atrocious war of aggression has 
been reached  Kosovars of all ethnic groups and the Republic of Serbia 
should peacefully and democratically come to that decision.

Path to peace

The path to peace goes through guaranteeing absolutely equal rights and 
security for all national groups and through healing the hatred exacerbated 
by aggression.

A concrete program for reconstruction, peace, security and stability in the 
region will be required.

It is our sincere hope that the neighbouring countries will develop  with 
intelligence, tolerance and altruism  the ability to avoid new conflicts 
on grounds of respect for the rights of all national groups.

US hegemony over Europe

Europe, paradoxically, has also been a victim.

Although the objective was to consolidate and establish NATO's offensive 
capabilities against the rest of the world, what has actually been 
consolidated and established, in a humiliating and lessening way for the 
European sovereignty, is the United States hegemony over the old and 
cultured Europe.

Europe has been treated ostensibly as a minor partner. It is the United 
States that makes all the decisions, lays out the strategy, exerts command, 
makes use of the necessary military means and tests its new and criminal 
technology in the European range.

The United States contributed 74 per cent of the fighter planes, and 97 per 
cent of the airborne refuelling planes. Ninety per cent of the bombs were 
laser-guided, all of them US-made.

It used thousands of cruise missiles, deployed for the first time its B-2s, 
and spent billions of dollars financing almost the entirety of the 
operation. It was an American war, although some allies contend for 
credits, or attempts on an impossible leadership.

However, it will be Europe that will have to pay the consequences of the 
conflict, that will have to take on the humanitarian problems created by 
the air strikes, that will probably have to provide the eventual resources 
for reconstruction, and that will especially suffer the more unstable 
conditions generated in the Balkans.

The currency of an integrated, politically independent, economically 
powerful and cultured Europe has suffered a huge damage. The euro is 
already paying for these mistakes in the stock exchange market.

Europe will have to rethink its objectives now that its subordination has 
consolidated. It has been proved that it hurts them as the Bremen 
Conference, and now the EU Summit, have agreed to create a "European 
identity and defence capability".

On the other hand, NATO's "New Strategic Concept" and "Defence Capability 
Initiative" consecrate its right to military intervention at a world level. 
In Kosovo, the doctrine was put into practice before it was even born.

NATO's New Strategic Concept

It turns out that NATO, whose only value was its defensive nature and whose 
only virtue had been its inactivity, is now declaring itself and acting 
like the world gendarme.

Without a Cold War or a real enemy, it becomes an offensive alliance, 
announces that it will act beyond its Member States' borders, that it will 
attack without being attacked, when it deems its interests at stake, and 
that it will act outside the UN when the latter becomes indocile.

We are promised that, by cannon shots, it will cope with "global threats" 
like terrorism, drug trafficking, the existence of weapons of mass 
destruction and human rights violations (curiously enough, there is no 
mention of hunger and AIDS) and it will reserve the right to decide what is 
a threat, and where and when it would call for becoming a target of its 
missiles. The concept of the "diplomacy of force" is proliferating.

The new "NATO humanitarianism" is just the right to "humanitarian 
intervention", which nobody has defined nor the United Nations has agreed 
upon.

The developing countries must look at Kosovo as the place where we have 
been made collectively weaker against the powers' hegemonism and military 
threat.

The frivolous rhetoric on the globalisation "opportunities", the myth of 
the "new financial architecture" or the "United Nations reform" mirage has 
been exposed in the Balkans.

Today, the risks and challenges are clearer. No one will give us anything 
away. It is not a consolation that our creditors, passengers on the same 
boat, will go down with us. Developing countries, together, will have to 
forge by ourselves our common future in a globalised world.

The Alliance owns the aircrafts and the newspapers. The war show is another 
consumer good. The war and the information market have found in Kosovo 
common interests and huge revenues. NATO's war has filled the coffers of 
smart weapons manufacturers and producers of silly TV shows.

The epidemic violence of the societies that have bombed the Federal 
Republic of Yugoslavia cannot be detached from this war. Children are 
shooting in United States schools, following, in essence, the same logic 
their parents have followed in Serbia.

Manipulation of UN

We are now witnessing the manipulation of the United Nations and the 
Security Council. After 79 days of disobedience and contempt, they are 
being used today to try to give the aggression an appearance of legality.

The UN Charter was ignored, and it is invoked now, even though it has been 
replaced, in fact, by NATO's New Strategic Concept.

The collective security mechanism has been replaced  for the sake of the 
powerful  by the law of the jungle.

The International Court of Justice did not declare the bombings illegal, 
thus rendering International Law helpless.

It is not new or exceptional for the Commission on Human Rights to be 
manipulated, but it is serious that it did not say that the air campaign is 
a massive, flagrant, feverish and systematic violation of human rights.

The developing world suffers unipolarism the most and takes the greatest 
chances with the weakening of the United Nations. The only beneficiary is 
the United States.

The only choice is to struggle against these imperial practices, defend the 
United Nations, restore respect for and implementation of the Charter, 
preserve the principles of non-intervention, non-aggression, no threat or 
use of force and respect for sovereignty.

The fact that NATO has had to come now to the Security Council signals that 
this battle is still possible, and that if developing countries use their 
strength, which is considerable when united, we will be able to save the 
United Nations.

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Acknowledgements: Radio Habana Cuba

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