April 9, 2002

Cuba denounces U.S. Interest Section’s subversion and espionage

• ‘It should be made clear that our patience has its limits,’ warns Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque at a 140,000-strong rally attended by President Fidel Castro, in Habana del Este

BY JEAN-GUY ALLARD (Special for Granma International)

FOREIGN Minister Felipe Pérez Roque has strongly denounced the efforts of the U.S. Interest Section in Havana to subvert the population, and the desperation of the U.S. government to achieve a resolution condemning Cuba at the Human Rights Commission in Geneva.

Speaking to 140,000 residents of the capital gathered in the Alamar district for a rally attended by President Fidel Castro, Pérez Roque referred to the televised roundtable discussion, broadcast the previous night, that provided information on the U.S. Interest Section’s subversive, conspiratorial activity that violates Cuban law and international conventions.

"It must be said this morning, and said very clearly so that it can be heard wherever the U.S. diplomats are at this moment, that this activity violates the spirit and the letter of the agreement that led to the creation of both Interest Sections in 1977, during the Carter administration," the foreign minister warned.

Why not respect the country that has proven to the world how to solve health problems with mass mobilizations, and that has halted the dengue epidemic and controlled that danger, so that millions of Cuban families can live without fear and not see their children die from dengue, as is happening in other Latin American countries now?"

Pérez Roque denounced the "witch hunt" unleashed in the United States against those who attempt to travel to Cuba. "Nonetheless, they were not able to keep 80,000 Americans from coming to Cuba last year, most of them violating the laws of their own country, and 120,000 Cubans who live there came for visits, despite the violation of the rights of that silent majority – in whose name the mafia calls for a maintenance of the blockade and destruction of the Revolution."


The minister mentioned that Canadian citizen James Sabzali has been declared guilty in the United States for selling Cuba resins for water treatment. "I don’t know what kind of dangerous and strategic material it is, I don’t know if you can build a nuclear missile with it. The analysts say that he could be sentenced to up to 205 years in prison, accused of the serious crime of selling Cuba resins to treat water.

"This morning we should say here that the people of Cuba and the government of Cuba express their solidarity and support for Mr. Sabzali, his family and his friends, and support his right to trade with Cuba. He should not be judged by the laws of another country, even if that country is the most powerful on earth."

Pérez Roque also stated that the United States had not replied to the Cuban proposal to sign a bilateral cooperation agreement in the fight against terrorism. "And they know that we are victims of terrorist activity and that 3,500 Cubans have died as victims of terrorist actions, sabotage and aggression, and they know that more than 2,000 Cubans have lived lives of physical pain and diminished physical capacities because they were victims of terrorist actions."


He also noted that Cuba is expected to be included on the State Department’s annual list of countries that, in their opinion, sponsor terrorism in the world.

"We must make it clear that Cuba rejects that list, rejects its inclusion on the list, rejects the notion that the U.S. government has the moral authority to be judge and jury for the rest of the world. Cuba knows that Orlando Bosch is at liberty in Miami, after having received a pardon from President Bush Sr.; Cuba knows that there are active plans to help Luis Posada Carriles escape from prison; Cuba knows that the United States was the source of the weapons for the bands that killed teachers and campesinos, that killed children who were teaching campesinos how to read and write; Cuba knows that the United States was the source of the commandos that have placed bombs in hotels, that have tried to attack our people, that have provoked victims, deaths among our civilian population.

"Cuba does not recognize any moral authority on the part of the U.S. government to be judge and jury, and it awaits calmly, knowing that international public opinion understands that we are right."


The day before, at Cuba’s Foreign Ministry, Felipe Pérez Roque charged that the U.S. State Department had created a fraudulent document attributed to the Peruvian government, supposedly to be presented at the Human Rights Commission in order to achieve a vote condemning Cuba.

The document, Pérez Roque declared, "reveals the U.S. government’s desperation at seeing time run out, when a country willing to exercise the sad role of sponsoring that monstrosity has not yet been found.

"I can categorically deny that this document has Peruvian authorship, because the government of that country has assured us of that, and has expressed its profound disgust for what it considers an evident manipulation and an attempt to utilize Peru in this affair.

"The curious thing about this," he commented, "is that this ‘Latin American’ document is written in English, as well as being more or less the same as the one presented in previous years by the government of the Czech Republic, which this year has refused to do so, ‘because it is a document that has no salvation, that is destined for the trash heap of history.’"


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