Fidel Castro's speech before the UN General Assembly
22 October 1995
This speech, or at least exerpts from it, was published in a Covert Action Quarterly issue of about January 1996
Half a century ago, the United Nations Organization was born after the conclusion of a monsterous war when 10 million lives were lost at its peak moments. Presently, 20 million men, women and children are dying every year of hunger and curable diseases. Some wealthy nations have an 80-year life expectancy while others have hardly 40, so there are billions whose lives are cut off. How long shall we wait for this carnage to end?
The cold war is over but the arms race goes on and nuclear and military hegemonism perpetuate themselves. How long shall we wait for the total removal of all weapons of mass extermination, for universal disarmament, and for the elimination of the use of force, arrogance, and pressure in international relations?
The obsolete veto privilege and the ill-use of the Security Council by the powerful are exalting a new colonialism within the very United Nations. Latin America and Africa do not have one single permanent member in the Security Council. In Asia, India has an almost one billion population but it does not enjoy that responsibility.
How long shall we wait for the democratization of the United Nations and for the independence and sovereign equality of states to become a reality? How long before the non-intervention in the internal affairs of states and true international cooperation take their rightful places?
Breakthroughs in science and technology are daily increasing in number but their benefits do not reach the majority of humanity and they essentially continue to be at the service of a reckless consumerism which is wasting limited resources and threatening life in earth. How long shall we have to wait before rationality, equity, and justice prevail in the world?
The forests are decreasing, the air is being poisoned, the rivers are being contaminated. Countless species of plants and animals are perishing. The soils are impoverished. Old and new epidemics are expanding while population grows and the legions of the dispossesed are continuing to multiply.
Will the next generations reach the promised land pledged half a century ago? How many hundreds of millions have died without ever seeing it? How many have fallen victims of oppression, plundering, poverty, hunger, and disease?
We lay claim to a world without hegemonism, without nuclear weapons, without interventionism, without racism, without national or religious hatred, without outrageous acts against the sovereignity of peoples, without universal models that totaly disregard the traditions and culture of all elements of humanity.
We lay claim to a world without ruthless blockades that cause the death of men, women, and children, youths and elders, like noiseless atom bombs.
We lay claim to a world of peace, justice, and dignity where everyone, without exeption, has the right to well-being and life.
-Pres. Fidel Castro