Statement of Cuban Ambassador Rodolfo Reyes, at the Special Session of the Human Rights Council, on the human rights situation in Syria, Geneva, 29 April 2011
Cuba condemns the hypocrisy and double standards on which the convocation of this special session is based. Human rights are not its genuine motive. The motive is the insatiable hegemonic appetites of a group of powers, led by the United States, that manipulate even human beings’ right to life in order to justify their interventionist zeal.
Cuba shares the concern for the losses of innocent lives in any part of the world. Cuba does not share, however, the view that the supposed protection of human lives must be turned into a pretext for foreign intervention and military adventures, which only sow destruction and multiply deaths.
What is happening in Libya today irrefutably demonstrates it.
Security Council Resolution 1973 is being manipulated, a resolution which in fact, from the moment of its approval, already lacked legitimacy.
To mention only some of the grossest violations of the aforementioned Security Council resolution: the very civilians in whose defense the resolution was supposedly passed are being killed by the most modern weapons unleashed from the sky; weapons are being delivered to one side of the conflict; “regime change” is being openly declared to be in the interests of the NATO; military advisors are reportedly being sent to the so-called insurgent forces.
As if that were not enough, the proposals made by the African Union and other groups of countries, to seek an end to hostilities and initiate a process of dialogue that allows the Libyans themselves to resolve their differences without foreign intervention, are being pointedly ignored.
Now, moreover, even the use of drones, which have killed so many people in military attacks and extrajudicial executions in Afghanistan and other countries, has been authorized.
We cannot forget that the process that led to what is happening in Libya today originated in this very council, with the convocation of a special session just like this one and with the approval of a resolution of similar character. The facts have corroborated the timely warnings of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz on the danger of a NATO military intervention in Libya, reiterated in the session of this council on the first of March in this very room.
We wonder if an attempt is now being made to follow the same course and if we will be soon seeing bombs falling on Damascus and other Syrian cities.
Why try to condemn Syria now? Perhaps because Syria has not been forgiven for its history of confrontation with the United States and its Israeli ally which have been executing the policy of domination over the Arab peoples in general and the Palestinian people in particular? Is it a matter of seeking a pretext to justify foreign military intervention in Syria? Why is it that not a word is said about the secret State Department cables that confirm the infiltration of foreign agents and the financing of groups seeking to destabilize Syria?
The government of President Bashar al-Assad has recognized the legitimacy of popular demands and declared that it is preparing to advance the economic, political, and judicial reforms that are necessary to satisfy them and fulfill the mandate of the people. At the same time, it has denounced the participation of saboteurs financed and armed from the outside who have instigated violence and chaos. As the Syrian foreign minister said on the 18th of April: “The priorities of the government are reforms, peace, and order.”
If those who proposed this meeting are worried so much about human lives, why aren’t they agitating for a special session to consider the barbaric actions of the NATO, especially of the United States, in Iraq and Afghanistan, or of Israel in the occupied Palestinian territories, which have taken thousands of innocent civilian lives?
Why is no special session convoked to examine the extrajudicial executions and abductions of individuals, without any evidence of their participation in terrorist acts, who are tortured in the detention center established in Guantánamo — illegally occupied Cuban territory — as confirmed by secret US documents which irrefutably demonstrate, once gain, that lies and double standards constitute the basis of US policy? What will the European allies of the United States have to say now, the allies who have in turn ignored reports on their own participation in the CIA’s secret flights and secret prisons?
The interference of the Western powers in the current situation in Syria, as history shows, is only for the purpose of undermining the independence of the peoples of the South, their sovereignty over their own natural resources, and their free self-determination.
It is up to the Syrian people, side by side with their government, to determine the ways and means to fulfill and carry out the popular will. Cuba categorically rejects any attempt to exploit the regrettable situation created to destabilize Syria and to advance the plans for domination by the United States and Israel, its principal ally in the region.
As the Cuban foreign minister stated here last March: “The reality is that the origin of the situation in the Middle East and North Africa lies in the crisis of the policy of plunder imposed by the United States and its NATO allies in that region.”
Cuba reiterates its confidence in the capacity of the Syrian people and government to resolve their internal problems, without any foreign interference, and demands full respect for the sovereignty and free self-determination of this Arab country.
Thank you very much.
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