Cuba's proposals for the United Nations today

Walter Lippmann walterlx at
Fri Mar 21 10:34:27 MST 2003

Cuba's proposals for the United Nations
by Walter Lippmann, March 21, 2003

The United Nations as it has evolved
from World War II when it was a club
of the victors to the present when the
body has grown with the expansion of
scores of states which have gained
formal political independence is not
the same thing. Washington cannot
get its wishes now automatically in
the UN as it had previously done.

The UN isn't dominated by the great
majority, who are only represented in
the General Assembly, but by the few
in the Security Council, and there, the
few Security Council members who
have the veto power. That's why the
US and its allies have decided to go
around the UN: it cannot get the UN
to endorse what it's doing to Iraq.

The US also thinks and assumes it will
both win in this "contest", where it has
overwhelming technological and also
military power. At least that's what the
US propaganda apparatus is putting
out as the message they want Iraqis,
the people of the United States, and
the people of the entire planet also to

Obviously it's not really possible at
this point to predict the outcome with
any certainty, as the propaganda
machinery is projecting a quick win
for Washington in this fight.

Remember, the US tried to terrorize
Vietnam with saturation bombing and
it didn't work, right? My sense is that
it's picked on Iraq for a raft of reasons,
one of which is that it hopes that under
the Iraqi political conditions, there will
be little or no resistance to the US or
even that the US will be welcomed by
the people of Iraq, who have plenty of
reasons to oppose Saddam Hussein's
reactionary regime.

Believing your own propaganda is an
old and familiar phenomenon, both on
the political right, among the rulers and
their propagandists, and on the left, too.

They really believed what they said when
they thought the Cuban people would
rise up against the revolution when they
orchestraded the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Cuba is projecting a program of hope
and struggle as the way out of the world's
current terrifying malaise, citing the many
massive anti-war demonstrations as the
proof that a better world is still possible.
Cuba also lays out proposals for reform
of the UNHRC and the United Nations
as a whole.

The right wing are now attacking the
UN without restraint. And the UN has
not been able to restrain Washington's
unilateral efforts so far. It's now entirely
possible that the John Birch Society is
going to win its old demand to "Get the
US out of the UN and the UN out of the
US" as they began calling for in the 60s.

Granma International On line
Havana, Cuba. Year 8
Thursday, March 20, 2003.

Cuba urges the Human Rights Commission
to support peoples' right to peace

Special correspondent

GENEVA (PL).- Today (Thursday March 20) Cuba invited
the international community to back a peace initiative
proclaiming the right of all peoples to peace and
democratic, equitable international order.

Speaking at the 59th session of the UN Human Rights
Commission (HRC), Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez
Roque asked the forum to collectively reflect and not be
defeated by uncertainty and pessimism.

After referring to the war that the United States launched
on Iraq today - which he described as illegal, unjust and
unnecessary - he predicted that it would be followed by a
regimen ruled by the law of the empire.

The Cuban foreign minister noted that in spite of the
current complex situation there is a powerful reason for
optimism; as the history of humanity reveals, great crises
always open the way for great solutions.

No dictatorship, no empire with hegemonic pretensions, has
been able to totally impose itself on peoples' aspirations
for justice and freedom, he continued.

Pérez Roque highlighted the encouraging huge international
demonstrations against the war on Iraq and rejecting the
imposition on the world of a neoliberal model that
impoverishes countries and prevents their dreams of
development from coming true.

"The valiant opposition of France and other countries could
be viewed optimistically as offering the possibility of a
world governed by law and not war," affirmed the Cuban

On behalf of Cuba, the foreign minister invited all those
participating in the HRC to support the forum's proclamation
citing the right to solidarity and the need to find an
enduring and sustainable global solution to the problem
of the foreign debt.

He likewise called for support for the bill proposing
popular participation, equality, social justice and an
absence of discrimination as essential bases for

"Finally, Cuba calls for reconstructing the workings of this
Commission by rectifying the practice of a small number of
countries - employing selective criteria and ideological
positions bearing no relevance to the human rights cause -
to promote resolutions condemning the developing nations,"
he stressed.

Felipe Pérez Roque affirmed that the world is in urgent need
of peace so that it can concentrate its intelligence and
resources on challenging the humanity's real enemies:
hunger, poverty, underdevelopment, environmental
destruction, illiteracy and other malaises.

"We must unite in struggle to save the United Nations, to
save the principles of multilateralism, to create conditions
that would give meaning to this Commission's work," he

Pérez Roque called for a coalition based on justice and
peace and concerted collective efforts to overcome
differences that are now being superceded by a greater
danger that threatens us all, so that a better world can be

He observed that this better world will not be handed to us
on a plate but is something that we will have to fight for.

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