I should now like to speak in my capacity as the representative of the Soviet Union.
Before proceeding with the statement of the position of the Soviet Government on the question which has been introduced by the Soviet Union for discussion in the Security Council, I should like to say a few words on the speech made by the representative of the United States who was defending the position of the United States on the question which that Government deemed it essential to place before the Security Council.
I must say that even a cursory examination of what was said by Mr. Stevenson betokens the total paucity of argument in the position of the United States Government in a question which it deems essential to place before the Security Council, the total helplessness of the Government of the United States to defend its position in the face of the Council and of world public opinion.
Mr. Stevenson has touched upon numerous subjects. He gave a falsified—let us be frank about this—account of the history of postwar relations and has represented the whole position of the United States as being beneficent. He has tried to denigrate in every means possible the position of the Soviet Union. He has spoken of the history of the Cuban Revolution, although one might well wonder what relationship there was between the United States and the internal affairs of the sovereign Cuban State. He drew an idyllic picture of the history of the Western Hemisphere during the past 150 years, but he seemed to have overlooked the policy of the “big stick” of a President of the United States, President McKinley, the Monroe Doctrine, the action of Theodore Roosevelt in connection with the Panama Canal and the actions taken there; the boastful statements of the American General Butler to the effect that with his soldiers and marines he could hold elections in any Latin American country. This is something he was silent about. The policy of the “big stick” is now being sought to be carried out by the United States on this occasion too. But Mr. Stevenson has apparently forgotten that times have changed since then.
Mr. Stevenson touched upon the question of bases in various parts of the world. However, he failed to mention that the United States has these bases in thirty-five countries of the world, appropriating to itself the role of world policeman. What is surprising is that Mr. Stevenson has said practically nothing about the political, legal and moral grounds, based on the United Nations Charter for those aggressive acts that were undertaken by the United States Government during the past twenty-four hours against the small Cuban State.
This is not by accident, since in fact the Government of the United States has nothing to say in defense of its aggressive position. The Government of the United States has no positive ideas. if I may be excused the expression, it seemed to me that during the statement of the representative of the United States, Mr. Stevenson, we were looking at a completely naked man, bereft of any of the adornments of a civilized man, for in the eyes of the entire world and in the eyes of this Council, Mr. Stevenson stood here as the representative of an aggressive American brand of imperialism which rattles the sabre and demands that its own order be set up in the Western Hemisphere and throughout the whole world.
I do not wish to go off into polemics with Mr. Stevenson and with the Government of the United States generally on those subjects that have been touched upon in the long statement of the representative of the United States; I understand full well that all of these matters raised by Mr. Stevenson are but a smoke screen, an attempt to distract the attention of the Council from the substance of the matter under discussion, a matter involving the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and the flagrant violations of those provisions that have been committed by the United States before the eyes of the whole world. Accordingly I shall not follow Mr. Stevenson in that course and I shall not answer all of his bold and false statements concerning the position of the Soviet Union. The position of the Soviet Union is clear and definite; it is known to the whole world. I shall not minimize or downgrade my statement by answering these minor and insignificant issues that Mr. Stevenson has attempted to raise before the Council.
The Security Council has convened today in circumstances which can but give rise to the gravest concern for the fate of peace in the Caribbean region and in the whole world. It is not a trivial matter that is involved; it is a matter of a unilateral and arbitrary action by a great Power which constitutes a direct infringement of the freedom and independence of a small country. This involves a new and extremely dangerous act of aggression in a chain of acts of aggression committed earlier by the United States against Cuba. It involves the violation of the most elementary rules and principles of international law. It involves the violation of the fundamental provisions of the Charter of the United Nations and of the spirit and letter of that Charter at the end of which stand the signature and seal of the United States.
Yesterday the United States in fact instituted a naval blockade of the Republic of Cuba, thus trampling underfoot the norms of international behaviour and the principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations. The United States has appropriated to itself the right—and has stated so—to attack ships of other countries on the open seas, and this constitutes nothing other than undisguised piracy. At the same time, at the Guantanamo Base, a base located on the territory of Cuba, landings of additional troops have been effected and the armed forces of the United States brought to combat readiness. Such venturesome enterprises, together with the statements of the President of the United States to explain them, statements made yesterday on the radio and on television, give evidence of the fact that American imperialist circles will balk at nothing in their attempts to throttle a sovereign state, a Member of the United Nations, as that little country is. They are prepared, for the sake of this, to push the world to the brink of a military catastrophe.
As is known, a request for an urgent convening of the Security Council in view of the act of war committed unilaterally by the actions of the United States, which has declared a naval blockade of Cuba, was submitted to the Security Council by the representative of Cuba, Mr. Garcia-Inchaustegui.
These are the clear-cut requests addressed to the Security Council by two States whose actions are permeated with a conviction of the extreme gravity of the highly dangerous situation created by the United States, and permeated with the desire to strengthen international peace and security, now so gravely threatened by the aggressive actions of the United States. These two letters differ as night differs from day, from the hypocritical letter addressed by the United States to the Security Council while, behind the backs of the Security Council, it tramples upon the principles of the Charter of the United Nations and of international law, having already begun military actions against a small nation, a Member of the United Nations, while at the same time cynically attempting to wrap itself in the raiments of the peacemaker.
The present actions of the United States against Cuba are the logical link in that aggressive policy — fraught with the direst consequences — carried out by the United States with respect to Cuba as early as the Eisenhower Administration, and which was continued and intensified by the present Government of the United States, a Government which proclaimed at the very outset of its entry into office, the era of the “New Frontier.” These actions constitute the most eloquent and tragic evidence for the world of the justification of the accusations that have been advanced on numerous occasions by the Revolutionary Government of Cuba in the organs of the United Nations, accusations that the Government of the United States has made preparations for the unleashing of aggression against Cuba and has made that the principal objective of all of its hostile actions against that small country.
The complaint of Cuba against the policy of constant threats and aggressive actions by the United States was first discussed by the Security Council, as is known, as early as July 1960. Cuba also applied to the Security Council, unmasking further aggressive actions of the United States and the preparation by them of direct military aggression in January 1961, and the Security Council once again was obliged to revert to the consideration of the important actions that were brought to it at that time. The representative of the United States in the Security Council then had baldly denied all of these accusations. The genuine value of the false statements of the United States at that time, that they never had any plan whatsoever for any kind of aggression or for intervention in Cuba—these are the actual statements of the representatives of the United States—became quite clear, as to how bald they were, when three months after these statements the United States, in April of 1961, organized, prepared and carried out an intervention by mercenaries in Cuba.
The United Nations again, this time at the fifteenth session of the General Assembly, was obliged to consider the question of the aggressive actions of the United States against Cuba, the responsibility for which was officially assumed by the President of the United States. The April fiasco nevertheless had taught no lesson to the United States. Not only did they make preparations for a new and greater intervention in Cuba, but they first tried to isolate Cuba and attract to their aggressive actions against Cuba the Organization of American States. Cuba at that time already was indicating the danger of the continuation and intensification of that course for the work of peace in the world.
The complaints of Cuba against the aggressive actions by the United States, through the illegitimate use of the Organization of American States, was discussed at the sixteenth session of the General Assembly and at meetings of the Security Council in February and March of the present year. If there was any need for further proof of the justification or the justness of those accusations, they are more than amply provided, as we have indicated, in those aggressive actions of the Government of the United States against Cuba which were proclaimed yesterday and the component part of which is the campaign for creating a smoke screen for the justification of those aggressive actions, which is here being unfolded, quite cynically, by the delegation of the United States.
As a matter of fact, the covering role that is being carried out in the halls of the United Nations by the representatives of the United States is not new to them, as is known. One can but refer to the fact that Mr. Stevenson personally has already spoken, in this rather ungainly role, in the halls of this building in April of 1961 when United States ships were landing trained, armed and prepared mercenaries on the shores of Cuba, all of them trained and equipped from America. And Mr. Stevenson at that very moment was hypocritically denying the existence of such an aggression.
Everybody will remember the statement of Mr. Stevenson of 15 April to the effect that the United States was planning no aggression against Cuba; and on the 17th the mercenaries of the United States were landing at Playa Girón. What worth is there then in the statements of a representative of a great Power who dared to deceive world public opinion and the official organs of the United Nations; trying to salvage the errors of the Intelligence Agency of the United States which had ordered Stevenson not to say anything about it?
The delegation of the United States today, of course, has somewhat changed its tune. Today it is not denying any more the fact that the United States has undertaken unilateral arbitrary action of a military character against Cuba, and the argument used by the United States against Cuba is found to be a new one. Having searched in the pile of junk, the so-called detectives of the State Department proposed to their Government a variant involving the setting up of so-called rocket bases in Cuba. In other words, there might have been an order to find some cause for the justification of aggression. That is all that would have mattered and the rest is a question of the resourcefulness of the officials concerned. Let them find a good enough excuse. There we have emerging as clear as the light of day, in the statement of President Kennedy and in the letter of the representative of the United States, Mr. Stevenson, the thesis of some incontrovertible evidence of the presence in Cuba of Soviet rockets, the falsity of which is all too obvious.
If the Government of the United States has after all decided in these circumstances to embark upon open falsehood, if it has not shirked before the advancing of the completely false and slanderous thesis of the presence of offensive Soviet rockets in Cuba, this simply illustrates and proves the extent to which it has absolutely no value with respect to what sort of excuse should serve as the justification for the new aggressive acts against Cuba which they are already committing. This simply illustrates the depth to which the United States has fallen and the depth of cynicism of the present new policy of the United States labeled the “New Frontier.”
The falsity of the accusations advanced now by the United States against the Soviet Union—which consist of the fact that the Soviet Union has allegedly set up offensive armaments in Cuba—is clear from the outset. The Soviet delegation first of all officially confirms the statement already made by the Soviet Union in this connection that the Soviet Government has not directed and is not directing to Cuba any offensive armaments. The Soviet delegation recalls in particular the statement of TASS of 11 September of this year in which, on the instructions of the Soviet Government the following was stated:
The armaments and military materiel sent to Cuba is designed exclusively for defensive purposes. The Soviet Union does not need to relocate in any other country, for instance, in Cuba, the means available to it for repelling aggression and for a retaliatory blow. The Soviet Union has so powerful a series of rockets and missile carriers that there is no need to seek a location for their launching anywhere outside the territory of the Soviet Union.
The observers of the United States in the Pacific recently were able to be convinced of the accuracy of the firing of Soviet rockets.
The Soviet delegation recalls also the statement of the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Gromyko, made by him on 21 September 1962 in the General Assembly, when he said:
sober-minded man knows that Cuba is not. . . building up
her forces to such a degree that she can pose a threat to the
United States or to the passage of the United States to the Panama
Canal, or else a threat to any State of the Western Hemisphere.
Mr. Gromyko went on to say:
They know full well that the aid rendered by the Soviet Union to Cuba to strengthen her independence does not pursue any of these goals either, since they are alien to our foreign policy.
We should also recall the statement made on 8 October 1962 at the plenary meeting of the General Assembly by the President of the Republic of Cuba, Mr. Osvaldo Dorticós — to which the representative of Cuba here has partly referred:
We were forced to arm—not to attack anyone, not to assault any nation, but only to defend ourselves… Cuba constitutes a danger to the security of no nation whatsoever of our continent, nor has Cuba harboured, in the past or at the present time, any aggressive intentions against any of them.
And finally, the Soviet Government only today in its official statement which was circulated to the members of the Council once again declared the following:
With regard to the Soviet Union’s assistance to Cuba, this assistance is exclusively designed to improve Cuba’s defensive capacity. As was stated on 3 September 1962 in the joint Soviet-Cuban communiqué on the visit to the Soviet Union of a Cuban delegation composed of Mr. E. Guevara and Mr. E. Aragones, the Soviet Government has responded to the Cuban Government’s request to help Cuba with arms. The communiqué states that such arms and military equipment are intended solely for defensive purposes. The Governments of the two countries still firmly adhere to that position.
Soviet assistance in strengthening Cuba’s defences is necessitated by the fact that, from the outset of its existence, the Republic of Cuba has been subjected to continuous threats and acts of provocation by the United States.
In the light of these clear-cut statements it is obvious that the assertion — let us call things by their proper names—these completely false statements, which are being disseminated by the United States of some alleged intentions on the part of Cuba or on the part of the Soviet Union, are but a fabrication and a tissue of imaginary dreams. They are utilized and have been raised in the United States to the level of Government statements for the sole purpose of shielding, justifying and finding at least some sort of excuse for the committing of further and much more far-reaching acts of aggression by the United States, which is violating the Charter of the United Nations and which is creating a direct threat to peace.
Mr. Stevenson quoted Article 2, paragraph 4 of the Charter of the United Nations. This Article states:
All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
But the declaring of a naval blockade of Cuba and all those military measures that have been put into effect on the instructions of the President of the United States since yesterday, all these measures, are they not threats or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of a State—of Cuba in this instance? Every sensible person will understand that this is the most flagrant violation of this principle of the Charter of the United Nations, a principle to which the representative of the United States dared refer.
The delegation of the United States is now trying to utilize fabrications in the Security Council for horrendous purposes and in order to try to compel the Security Council to approve retroactively those unlawful, aggressive actions of the United States which have already been adopted by the United States against Cuba, and which the United States is carrying out unilaterally, in clear violation of the Charter of the United Nations and of the elementary norms and principles of international law. The peoples of the world, however, must have a clear idea of the fact that in embarking upon an open adventure of this kind, the United States of America is taking a step toward the unleashing of a world thermonuclear war. This is the great terrible price which the world may have to pay for the present reckless and irresponsible actions of the United States.
Why did the United States begin its new aggressive action against Cuba in such haste, and why is it trying to pretend that it is appealing to the Security Council? The answer to that question is dictated by logic. The very priority of the actions of the United States Government demonstrates this. Such a course can be taken only by someone who is sure in advance that the Security Council will never support—indeed, it will never be able to support—the aggressive actions in question. The purpose of the United States is in fact to place before the Security Council the fait accompli of United States aggression. The appeal to the Council is only a gesture to satisfy the public. To speak bluntly, this gesture is intended to disorient public opinion.
Of course, when one indulges in such a cynical gesture one does not really need any proof whatsoever. A mere declaration about some alleged incontrovertible evidence will do.
Thus, in the present position of the United States delegation in the Security Council there is a sorry logic of sorts. There is no proof, no evidence. But the United States does not need any evidence, because the United States—and this is openly mentioned in the Press of the United States—is not counting on the Security Council’s being able to justify or approve its aggressive actions against Cuba. As is known, the United States is already carrying out these actions in practice—and the Security Council has been apprised of all this simply for the sake of appearances.
What is the fait accompli before which the United States is placing the Security Council? First, the United States unilaterally has declared the implementation of an actual blockade of Cuba by the United States. Secondly, the United States has directed large-scale military forces not only to the Cuban area but to the very territory of Cuba, to the United States base at Guantanamo, and has ordered them to be in a state of combat readiness. Thirdly, the United States has officially stated that it intends not to limit itself to this, but to take further action against Cuba—and this was stated in Mr. Stevenson’s letter—if and when it finds that necessary. In other words, the United States is trying to reserve its right to continue open military aggression against Cuba. However great the danger is today that is hovering over Cuba as a result of these aggressive actions on the part of the United States, it does not fully cover the seriousness of the critical situation that has been produced.
The principal aspect of the present reckless actions of the United States against Cuba lies in the fact that on the basis of official United States statements the Government of the United States is prepared to move to the direct unleashing of a world thermonuclear war for the purpose of achieving its aggressive designs against Cuba.
In the letter addressed by Mr. Stevenson to the President of the Security Council we find this direct statement: “What is at stake is the peace and security both of a single region and of the whole world.” Thus the whole world is confronted with the readiness of the United States to go to the brink, where the stake is the fate of the world, where the stake is millions and millions of human lives.
The peace-loving countries and peoples have for a long time now had fears that the reckless and aggressive policies of the United States with respect to Cuba might bring the world to the brink of catastrophe. The apprehensions of the peace-loving forces and their attempts to call upon the United States Government to heed the voice of reason and to settle the dispute with Cuba peacefully are clearly shown in the records of the general debate which the seventeenth session of the General Assembly has only recently completed. I shall mention only a few of the statements made in the course of that debate by the heads of delegations, statements made at the highest level on behalf of the Governments of the various countries.
The Foreign Minister of the United Arab Republic, Mr. Fawzi, said: “The situation around Cuba is a source of worry to many lovers of peace and of the rule of law in international relations.”
The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Algeria, Mr. Khemisti, said the following:
…each State, great or small, rich or poor, must recognize this right to its own political system and have that right recognized by others.
It is because of this necessity that we feel that the efforts made to attack and undermine a political regime chosen by the friendly people of Cuba are dangerous for international peace. The people of Cuba have no aggressive intentions, and they have the right to wish for their economic and social liberation.
But the United States is preventing the Cubans from thinking of that.
The Foreign Minister of Iraq, Mr. Jawad, said:
“We are all neighbours of countries with differing social and political systems and none has the right to impose its system upon others”—except the United States, which wishes to arrogate to itself such a right.
Mr. Jawad continued:
This is the essence of the accepted policy of peaceful coexistence, and any other policy would inevitably lead to aggression.
The people of Cuba are free to choose their own system of government and no State, however big and powerful, has the right to interfere in the internal affairs of other States.
In order to achieve the observance, by the United States, of the sovereign rights of the Cuban people to choose a regime that it likes, the need to settle peacefully the dispute between the United States and Cuba, the need to cause the United States to waive the use of force in solving this dispute, was something that found the adherence of these countries and many others. Now, after the effecting, by the United States, of the recent and far-reaching aggressive actions against Cuba, it is clearly obvious how cynical was the attitude of the United States towards these and many other invocations and appeals to adhere, in its policy in the international arena and in relations with Cuba, to the lofty principles of the Charter of the United Nations.
In declaring the introduction of a blockade against Cuba, the United States has committed an unprecedented step in relations between States—between which there is no formal state of war.
By this arbitrary, piratical act, the United States has placed under threat the shipping of many countries of the world, including shipping of its allies who do not agree with this reckless and dangerous policy with respect to Cuba.
By this aggressive action of theirs, which creates a threat to peace in the whole world, they have launched a direct challenge at the United Nations, and to the Security Council as the principal organ of the United Nations responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security.
In stating its intention to draw into the implementation of its aggressive actions against Cuba the Organization of American States—to which it is already dictating the effecting of collective sanctions against Cuba—the United States is openly violating the prerogatives of the Security Council which alone can offer powers for the carrying out of any enforcement measures. In throwing their armed forces around Cuba and upon the territory of Cuba itself, and in having declared their intention to use force when they deem that appropriate, the United States is committing an act of uncovered aggression. They have openly violated the Charter of the United Nations, which prohibits to States—Members of the United Nations—the threat or use of force in international relations.
In showing total indifference to the serious international consequences that may stem from their unilateral action against Cuba, the United States has directly placed international peace and security under threat, and automatically, by their actions, has raised the question of urgent convening of die Security Council for the consideration of the critical stipulation that has been produced.
The fact that the United States itself has applied to the Security Council is but trying to maintain composure while losing the game. The United States realizes full well that, after having committed such clearly aggressive actions against Cuba, it will in any event have to appear before the Security Council, to be accountable for these defiant, adventuresome actions. Indeed, could the Security Council ignore the fact that the United States is arbitrarily setting up a blockade around Cuba and is committing a definitely provocative step in its unprecedented and unheard-of violation of international law; are trampling underfoot the whole of the Charter of the United Nations; and are throwing a challenge to all of the peace-loving peoples? Could the Security Council overlook the fact that the United States of America is openly installing the law of the jungle in international relations by its actions—that it has reached such a state of cynicism that, not only does it commit aggressive actions against a small country such as Cuba, but it is even demanding that Cuba explain itself to the United States as to the fashion in which it has organized its defense and, at the same time, that it remove from its territory the technology that is needed by it for its defence against United States aggression?
Mr. Stevenson has, in his statement today, permitted himself to use a series of sentences to the effect that Castro, as you will see, has done with impunity this, that and the other thing, that he has established relations with the Soviet Union—and all this with impunity—as if the United States were called upon to punish someone, whoever he may be, who is establishing new relations with any country of the world, including the Soviet Union.
Mr. Stevenson, perhaps you yourself will punish yourself for having set up relations with the Soviet Union and holding negotiations with it.
The Security Council would fail in its direct duty as the principal organ responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security if it were to ignore or overlook the aggressive actions of the United States, which are nothing else than the fact that the United States has openly embarked upon the course of liquidation of the United Nations, a course of unleashing of world war.
Thus, what are the realistic facts facing the Security Council? These facts can be summarized in the following fashion:
First, the Government of the United States has declared that it will use such measures in regard to the shipping of other countries in the high seas — which action can be qualified in no fashion other than piracy. The decision of the United States to stop and inspect the ships of other countries which are headed for the shores of Cuba leads to a great intensification of the tension in the international situation, and constitutes a step towards the unleashing of world thermonuclear war, because no self-respecting State will permit its shipping to be tampered with.
Secondly, for the concealment of its actions, the United States is advancing a completely fabricated set of excuses. The United States is trying to represent as distorted the measures undertaken by the Cuban Government—measures designed to achieve or enhance the defense of its State. As any country and government concerned over its sovereignty and independence, Cuba in the face of aggression cannot but show serious apprehension and concern over its own safety.
Thirdly, from the very first days of its existence, the Revolutionary Government of Cuba is subjected to continual threats and provocations on the part of the United States, which is not balking at any actions—including the armed intervention in Cuba in April of 1961.
Fourth, the American imperialists have openly declared that they do not force their proposals upon other countries. Yet they are blatantly demanding that military facilities be removed from the territory of Cuba, when these facilities have been designed for the defense of that country.
Fifth, the Soviet Union Government has consistently spoken in favour, and now speaks in favour, of the withdrawal of all foreign forces and armaments from foreign territories back to their own country. This Soviet proposal is designed to normalize the international climate and to create an atmosphere of confidence in relations between States. Yet the Government of the United States, which has deployed its armaments and forces throughout the whole world, stubbornly refuses to adopt this Soviet proposal. The United States utilizes the presence of its armed forces on foreign territories for interference in the domestic affairs of other States and for carrying out its aggressive plans. The Soviet Union Government has stood and still stands by the position that it is necessary to liquidate all bases on foreign territories and to withdraw from them all foreign military forces and facilities. The Soviet Union Government will not object to this being done under the observance of observers appointed by the United Nations.
Sixth, the United States has no right whatsoever to make the demands that were contained in President Kennedy’s speech, either from the point of view of the normal practices of international law in regard to the freedom of shipping or from the point of view of the principles and provisions of the Charter. No State, however powerful it may be, has any right at all to define or determine what form of armaments may be required by another State for its defense. Each State, according to the Charter of the United Nations, has the right of self-defense and the right to the necessary weapons to secure that defense. The Soviet Union, at the request of the Cuban Government, is supplying military material to Cuba designed for defensive purposes and defensive purposes only. In this connection the Soviet Union Government does not seek to obtain any advantage for itself in Cuba. The Soviet Union Government is not threatening anyone. It is not pursuing any military objectives in this region, or in any other region of the world. The Soviet Union does not possess military bases in thirty-five of the world’s countries. The Soviet Union is merely striving very sincerely towards giving assistance to the young Cuban Republic for the maintenance and strengthening of its sovereignty and independence.
Seventh, the position of the United States, as set out in President Kennedy’s statement, is flagrantly at variance with the Charter of the United Nations and other universally recognized norms of international law. The Charter of the United Nations requires that all States, independently of their social structure, base their relations on a footing of equality and that they do not interfere in the domestic affairs of other States. The course which the United States has embarked upon with respect to Cuba and the Soviet Union is a course which would involve the liquidation of the United Nations. It is the course involving an unleashing of war.
Eighth, the Soviet Union Government appeals to all the peoples of the world to raise their voices in defense of the United Nations and not to permit the disintegration of this Organization. It appeals to them to vote against the United States policy of piracy, banditry, and the unleashing of a new war. Realizing the great responsibility resting upon the Security Council at this moment, the Soviet Union delegation considers that it is necessary first of all urgently to halt and repeal all the aggressive measures put into effect by the United States against Cuba and other countries. Understanding the urgent need for the adoption of such measures, the Soviet Union delegation, on the instructions of the Soviet Government, is introducing for the consideration of the Security Council the following draft resolution on the violation of the Charter of the United Nations and the threat to peace by the United States of America.
Source: U.N., Security Council Document S/PV .1022, October 23, 1962, paras 62-93