Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC
FBIS-LAT-95-204 Daily Report 22 Oct 1995 CARIBBEAN Cuba

Reportage on Fidel Castro's Visit to New York

Addresses UN General Assembly

PA2210191895 Havana PRENSA LATINA in Spanish, 1800 GMT 22 Oct 95 PA2210191895 Havana PRENSA LATINA Spanish BFN ["Full text" of speech by President Fidel Castro before the UN General Assembly at UN Headquarters in New York on 22 October: "Fidel Castro Demands End of U.S. Blockade Before the United Nations" -- first five paragraphs are PRENSA LATINA introduction]

[FBIS Translated Text] United Nations, 22 Oct (PL) -- Cuban President Fidel Castro demanded here today an end to the U.S. blockade against the island that, he said, is killing men, women, and children, youths and elders "like silent atomic bombs."

Fidel Castro spoke only minutes before more than 140 heads of state and government of the entire world, including U.S. President William Clinton, who are attending a special meeting to mark the 50th anniversary of the United Nations here.

In a tight summary of the enormous difficulties facing humanity today, especially the poorest countries, the Cuban leader also demanded the democratization of the United Nations and elimination of the Security Councils veto right.

"We want a world of peace, justice, and dignity in which everyone without exception can enjoy the right to well-being and life," Fidel Castro said, in one of the most applauded speeches of the initial part of the grand meeting.

PRENSA LATINA will now provide the full text of his speech:

Mr. President, Mr. Secretary General, Excellencies: The United Nations was founded half a century ago after a monstrous war that claimed the lives of an average 10 million each year during the most intense times. Today, 20 million men, women, and children die each year of hunger and of curable diseases. Some rich peoples have life expectancies of up to 80 years; others hardly reach 40. Part of the life of thousands of millions is cut short.

How long must we wait for this slaughter to end? The Cold War ended but the arms race continues, and military and nuclear hegemony is perpetuated. How long must we wait for a complete ban on all weapons of mass extermination, for univeral disarmament, for the elimination of the use of force, arrogance, and pressure in international relations?

The anachronistic privilege of veto and the abusive use of the Security Council by the powerful are enthroning a new colonialism within the United Nations itself. Latin America and Africa do not have even one permanent member in the Security Council.

India, in Asia, with nearly 1 billion inhabitants does not have this responsibility. How long will we have to wait to see the democratization of the United Nations, the independence, and sovereign equality of states, nonintervention in their internal affairs, and true international cooperation become realities?

Science and technology are making huge strides every day, but their benefits do not reach the large majorities. Science and technology remain at the service of an irrational consumerism that squanders limited resources and seriously threatens life on the planet. How long must we wait for there to be rationality, equality, and justice on the planet?

The amount of forests in the world decreases, the air is polluted, and rivers are contaminated. Numerous amounts of plant and animal life are extinguished. Soil is impoverished. New and old epidemics spread while the population grows, multiplying the legions of have-nots.

Will the upcoming generations reach the land that was promised to them a half a century ago? How many hundreds of millions of people have already died without being able to see it? How many victims of repression, looting, and of the blockade, hunger, and unhealthy conditions can we count? How many more will have to fall?

We want a world without hegemonistic practices, without nuclear weapons, without interventionism, without racism, without national or religious hatred, without violations of the sovereignty of any country, with respect for independence and the free self-determination of peoples, without universal models that do not take into account the traditions and cultures of all components of humanity at all, without cruel blockades that kill men, women, children, the young, and the elderly like silent atomic bombs.

We want a world of peace, justice, and dignity in which everyone without exception can enjoy the right to well-being and life. Thank you very much.