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STATEMENT BY H.E. AMBASSADOR ORLANDO REQUEIJO GUAL,
PERMANENT REPRESENTATIVE OF CUBA TO THE UNITED NATIONS,
AT THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE UN COMMITEE ON INFORMATION
DURING ITS TWENTY-EIGHTH SESSION
25 APRIL 2006
Allow me to express our appreciation of the efficient manner in which you have chaired our Committee.
We would also like to express our pleasure to welcome Austria as a new member.
I also want to take this opportunity to convey our appreciation to Mr. Shashi Tharoor, Under-Secretary General for Communications and Public Information, for the detailed and comprehensive report that he submitted on the work carried out.
My delegation joins the statement by the distinguished representative of South Africa on behalf of the G-77 and China.
The gap between the developed and developing countries in communication and information matters is unfortunately increasing, in spite of the efforts to take the scientific and technical advances in communication and information matters to different parts of the planet.
New technologies in information and communications, far from becoming an instrument to advance towards a just world and a more harmonic and equitable development, have contributed to worsen inequalities and injustices, and are an additional obstacle for the progress of the poor countries.
While in the developed world we witness the boom of internet and the implementation of new technologies, this development in the developing countries is slow and difficult, for poverty, illnesses, hunger, conflicts and wars persist in the South.
The existing unjust international economic order and the neoliberal character of the current globalization process have made extraordinary achievements of human intelligence a privilege of a few countries. My delegation would like to mention just a few telling cases in point:
Only 15% of the 6.5 billion inhabitants of the planet have access to internet. Out of them, 51.9% are from the United States, Canada and Europe, and 2.5% are from Africa;
More than half of the planet's population does not have access to telephone, which was invented over a century ago;
40% of the telephone lines are in only 23 developed countries where less than 15% of the world's population lives.
More than 50% of the cellular service and internet server costumers are in developed countries.
The imbalance that we are making reference to between the developed and developing worlds is also present in the area of information dissemination. It would be a long list of examples about how information being broadcast from the developed world, distorts, falsifies, twists or ignores news and events occurred in our world, or even create news to distract the attention of the international community. This is why it is increasingly necessary to create a New World Information Order.
We need practical, lasting and sustainable solutions, as well as stable and predictable provision of financial resources that facilitate the insertion of developing countries in the information society.
On the other hand, we should reinforce the possibilities that our organization gives us. In this regard it is clear that the United Nations Information Centers shall play an increasingly more critical in disseminating the fair and balanced information that the world needs.
My delegation considers that in the orientation of the Department of Public Information's work, multilingualism in information is vital, as well as the attention to issues of especial interest for the developing countries.
Once more, my delegation feels compelled to denounce in this Committee, the radio and television aggression which Cuba receives everyday from US territory. These illegal radio and television broadcasts seek, by means of false statements, distorted news and misleading propaganda, to promote the Cuban people's questioning of the Revolution, contempt for the constitutional order of the country, illegal emigration of the Cubans putting their lives at stake, in a nutshell, to foment an artificial crisis to be used as a pretext for an eventual military aggression against Cuba.
From the United States, 2 107 hours of radio and television are broadcast towards Cuba on a weekly basis through 24 different frequencies of medium wave, short wave, FM and TV. These programs, far from being based on balanced and objective information, are founded on misinformation and distortion. Out of the 18 stations broadcasting subversive programs against the Cuban Revolution, 12 aim their signals straight to Cuba. Three of them are owned by the US Government: the program Ventana a Cuba by La Voz de las Americas and the miscalled Radio and Television Marti.
On top of all this, several of these stations belong or provide services to organizations linked to well-known terrorists who live and act against Cuba from US territory, with the full consent of the Federal Administration authorities of the United States.
The US government devoted more than US$ 37 million to the broadcast of Radio and TV Marti, only for the fiscal year 2006. It is worth stressing that this figure means an increase of about US$ 10 million, compared to the same entry approved for 2004.
As we have previously expressed, such broadcasts are flagrant violations of the regulations established by the International Frequency Registration Board of the International Telecommunication Union. Moreover, they violate Public International Law and attempt against our sovereignty.
Despite our reiterated denunciations, the United States continues its radio-electronic warfare against our country, being it part and parcel of its obsessive policy of destroying the Cuban Revolution. In this undertaking, they have reinforced the broadcast power, have improved antennas, have invaded transmission bands, have purchased aerostats, and for several years now, they have been using a C-130 military aircraft as aerial platform to convey the signals of their miscalled Tele Marti.
As it is known, these actions have failed thanks to the skill and ability of the Cuban specialists and technicians who have jammed the TV broadcasts a great many of the radio broadcasts. But above all, these actions clashed with the determination and conviction of the entire Cuban people, which rejects this kind of aggression.
Cuba reaffirms its condemnation of this aggression and fully rejects the intention of the US government to keep and increase the radio and television transmissions towards our territory. The choice of the kind information that the Cuban people wants to receive belongs in a sovereign manner to our country and not to a US Administration that wastes the taxpayers' money and conspire with notorious terrorists in their plots against the Cuban Revolution.
Cuba will continue exercising its sovereignty and independence and will continue adopting each and every necessary measure in our hands to reject these aggressive actions.
Thank you very much.***