Statement of the Government of Cuba

Below we print excerpts from a statement released by the government of Cuba on September 19.

After speaking of "the shock caused to the world by the appalling and brutal terrorist action that targeted the American people on September 11," the statement points out that U.S. political leaders are resorting to a "language full of rage and a spirit of vengeance that had not been heard since the days prior to World War II."

The statement continues:

"Any honest person would have the right to ask if it is really justice that they [U.S. politicians - ed.] want or rather to use the hurting and outrageous tragedy to impose methods, prerogatives and privileges leading to the establishment of an unrestricted tyranny over every people on Earth by the most powerful state in the world.

Some senior officials have openly claimed that all restrictions should be lifted on the right of American institutions and officials to murder any person, even if that requires the use of the most despicable criminals. Such a prerogative had been used in the past by U.S. leaders to eliminate patriots like Patrice Lumumba in 1961, and to arrange coups d'etat and carnage which have taken the lives of hundreds of thousands and millions who have been tortured, vanished or removed by diverse means.

Cuba has denounced hundreds of plans to assassinate its leaders and has tirelessly demanded punishment for those responsible and for the authors of countless acts of terrorism which have claimed a high number of human lives from our people. The very U.S. Senate investigated and exposed several actions carried out against Cuba using various means that did not leave out any form of murder no matter how uncouth and revolting....

The world has not given its unanimous support or expressed its most sincere condolences to the noble American people to let such sentiments be used to elaborate doctrines that would spread chaos and bloody events throughout the planet. The fact that a State proclaims an alleged right to kill wantonly anywhere in the world in contempt of legal procedures, courts of law or even the presentation of evidence is as serious as terrorism itself, and one of its most despicable manifestations. Such a policy would constitute a barbarian and uncivilized action that would tear to pieces every rule and legal basis on which peace and coexistence between nations might be built....

One of the first consequences has been acts of xenophobia and terror perpetrated against people of a different nationality or religion. Although terrorism is absolutely repugnant and immoral, the American people would never favor the brutal method of murdering other people in cold blood, breaking the law, punishing without evidence or denying fundamental principles of equity and justice with the pretext of fighting it. Such methods would take the planet back to a law of the jungle, tarnish the reputation of the United States and destroy its prestige while further inciting the hatred that is today at the root of so much grief and sadness.

The American people want justice, not revenge! Cuba said from the very first moment that in today's world no problem can be solved with the use of force and that, in order to fight terrorism, it was necessary to build an awareness and a universal union capable of definitely eradicating this and other scourges and tragedies that put in jeopardy the very survival of the specie.

Although the war drums beat unexpectedly loud and they seem to irrevocably lead towards a bloody end, everything is not lost, yet. In Afghanistan the ulemas -- religious leaders of a traditionally combative and brave people -- ...have already said that they will not oppose the application of justice and the relevant procedures if those accused, living in their country, are really guilty. They have simply asked for evidence, and for guarantees of impartiality and equity in the process, something that the United Nations could perfectly insure, with full support from the international community. If such evidence exists, as the leaders of the U.S. government have categorically affirmed, and the religious leaders are not asked to override the deepest convictions of their faith, which they are known to defend with their own lives, then an alternative to war could be worked out. They would not sacrifice their people uselessly if their ethically unquestionable request was taken into account."