Statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

THE Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba has learned of, with profound concern, the statement made on August 31 by Barack Obama, President of the United States, in which he announced his decision to launch a military action against the Syrian Arab Republic.

Without leaving any margin whatsoever for attempts underway to reach a political solution to the conflict, or presenting any kind of evidence, and with total disrespect for the opinions of many countries – including some of his principal allies – and the United Nations, the President of the United States has announced his intention to engage in actions in violation of international law and the UN Charter. These will inevitably provoke more death and destruction and will unavoidably lead to an intensification of the existing conflict in this Arab nation.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba calls on members of the UN Security Council to fulfill their mandate to prevent any rupture of the peace and to stop a military intervention which threatens international security in this volatile region of the world.

In the view of Cuba, the General Assembly, the sole United Nations body in which all countries are represented, likewise has a responsibility to halt the aggression, and particularly so when it is foreseeable that the Security Council, given the preeminence of the United States on this Council, will be unable to make a decision. In the exercise of its authority, the General Assembly must urgently meet and take essentially needed measures.

The UN Secretary General must directly involve himself in preventing actions which the President of the United States has presented as virtually inevitable. It is his responsibility to make diplomatic, urgent and vigorous gestures to the U.S. government in order to try and save the immense responsibility of his position in relation to peace and world stability.

The Group of 20 is to meet in Saint Petersburg, Russia, September 5-6. This meeting, in which many of the principal world leaders will be participating, cannot evade its obligation to discuss the situation created with the President of the United States and adopt concrete action in this context.

If the truth were not hidden from them and they were not constantly inundated with tendentious, manipulated and incomplete information, the American people who, in successive wars from Vietnam to date, have had to suffer the death of tens and thousands of their young people, would not remain indifferent to a new conflagration which would produce more loss of life and, when the moment comes, would demand that corrupt politicians and the lying press act with responsibility.

The question arises as to what the United States Congress will do when it opens its sessions next September 9 and must choose between the initiation of another war or the preservation of world peace, between life or death. If, as the British Parliament has done, members reject the attempts at aggression announced by the President, it will have made a surprising and valuable contribution to world peace and questioned the political system of the country. If it approves such actions, it must assume the consequences before the implacable records of history.

Cuba also calls on leaders of world opinion in the United States and the world to prevent the law of the jungle prevailing over good sense, in relation to illegal and illegitimate attacks being launched against other countries and diplomacy being supplanted by war.

At the same time, Cuba urges peace and religious leaders, youth and students, workers, artists and academics, social movements, progressive forces and all those who reject war, to mobilize in opposition to the decision made by the President of the United States to attack the Arab nation.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs also calls for the preservation of Syria’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and the right to self-determination of its people, and the promotion of a solution to the conflict via diplomatic routes, without further bloodshed.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba.

Havana, September 1, 2013.


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