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25th Session (2003)

General Debate: Cuba

Statement by H.E. Mr. Orlando Requeijo, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Cuba to the United Nations (30 April 2003)

Mr. Chairman:

Allow us to commend you on your election as Chair of the Committee. You may rely on the full support and cooperation of my delegation for the fulfillment of your task. I would also like to commend the other members of the Bureau and acknowledge the work of the outgoing Chairman, the Venezuelan Ambassador Milos Alcalay, who guided our works with the professionalism and capacity characterizing him. I also take advantage to convey our gratitude to Mr. Shashi Tahroor, Under Secretary General for Communications and Public Information, for the comments made on the works of the Department of Public Information.

The Cuban delegation welcomes the interest expressed by Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Switzerland and Suriname to join this Committee, which continues to enhance the growth of the family of States that desire to share our efforts.

My delegation fully associates itself to the statement of the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Morocco on behalf of G-77 and China and shares those concerns.

Mr. Chairman:

Despite all the efforts made to take the advances of science and technology in communications and information to the most isolated corners of the planet, the existing imbalance intensifies before our eyes.

It seems we are before an insurmountable and intrinsic contradiction of the globalization process: the more technologies develop, the larger is the gap between developed and developing countries. On one hand, we witness the boom of the Internet and the appearance of unthinkable technologies just a few months ago, while on the other hand hunger, poverty, diseases, wars, conflicts persist. It seems like we lived in different planets.

This imbalance is also present in the information dissemination field. Each day, a New World Order in Information and Communications is more necessary.

This is an ancient aspiration we will continue to defend, although those who manipulate the greatest part of the information globally keep on trying to persuade us of the impossibility of struggling against what is established and of accepting -with submissive consent- what they intend we digest as passive spectators of the bombardment of messages and stereotypes tailor-made to respond to the interests of political, economic and ideological domination.

Thus, we should focus on the possibilities our Organization offers us to develop concerted and concrete actions in order to claim for the active role that should correspond us in the use of mediatic resources.

Mr. Chairman:

The delegation of Cuba wishes to express its appreciation for the efforts the Department of Public Information carries out to improve and reorient UN activities in the field of public information and communications.

One of the essential points has been the development of Web sites, which should not only remain but also multiply at the same pace in the different official languages of the Organization, something that has not achieved the result expected yet.

Increasing quality in radio programs is visible, aiming at immediacy and coordination with national radio stations to broadcast the work and peace messages of the United Nations, in extremely complex moments. Despite these advances, we are still far from balancing the difference between what happens in the United Nations and what is informed or misinformed in this regard by the main international or transnational media.

Interest for what occurs in our Organization is still latent, not only in academic but also in popular circles. A high number of students and professors are interested in consulting the broad list of titles existing at Dag Hammarskjöld Library to find the real historical roots of numerous current issues. Therefore, my delegation expects the fulfillment of what is affirmed in paragraph 34 of the Report of The Secretary General (A/AC.198/2003/2) and that the access of the public to the Library, discontinued since September 2001, is restored; a fact that unfortunately is not mentioned in the Report A/AC.198/2003/5.

The Steering Committee for the Modernization and Integrated Management of United Nations Libraries should find an adequate solution to the problem resulting from the implementation of extraordinary security measures, without carrying adverse effects for the external users of such library services.

Mr. Chairman:

One of the big problems that developing countries face is the limited availability of resources to back up the existence of broad, democratic and balanced information services.

In the everyday mediatic supermarket, disinformation has acquired the category of primary product. Disinformation is silenced and continuous terrorism which, does not cause death, but does not fail to be a mental genocide as it proposes as first task to devoid the audiences of ideas and arguments on crucial issues for their own existence as can be, for instance, war and its true and secret intentions.

Disinformation is aimed at provoking alienation under a supposed just cause and the identification of an alleged enemy and guilty one. Under that deceit, atrocious acts are justified, such as, extermination and scorched earth, coup d'état attempts, subversion, interference in the internal affairs of States and the colonialist wars.

We have witnessed highly intensive information wars, which have undertaken meticulous preparations during months, so that the crowd, turned into silent spectator, may easily assimilate the final product. It has been added to psychological warfare and covert operations designed by experts on military intelligence, the creation of strategic influence offices endorsed to the military apparatus in order to implement a mixture of the so-called "black propaganda" (meaning intended lies), misinformation and the so-called "white propaganda" (meaning truthful and believable information favoring their interests) in journalists and foreign media, to influence international public opinion and that of the friend and foe governments, under the shades of an alleged counter-terrorism war.

As intelligence tactics, deceiving techniques, psychological activities, radio broadcasts, cybernetic attacks against computer nets, information distortion and "black propaganda" clandestine operations have become classic military instruments. New elements have joined them, such as, the appointment of communicator teams trained and prepared during months to those areas where there is "high global interest" and that "capture the media's attention" to give coherence to the "liberating" message and transmit "truth" to all those having media access regardless the place. Everything is set to favor organized lie broadcast.

In our statement last year, we noted as an example the distorted coverage of the coup d'état attempt against the constitutional President of Venezuela, a deformity that remains up to nowadays. Today, we also denounce the mediatic manipulation of a unilateral, unbalanced, unjust and criminal war perpetrated against Iraq with blatant and changing pretexts, as well as, the vast press campaign unleashed to distort Cuban realities. At the same time, they silence with unusual synchronization the terrorist and provocative acts organized against Cuba, which have been denounced, appropriately and with the required documentation, by Cuba at the international bodies created precisely to avoid them, and of which there is broad information in the official documents of the General Assembly and the Security Council.

Mr. Chairman:

In your statement to inaugurate the works of this session, you mentioned, Mr. President, the need to convey the experiences of Member States as regards "good practices in information issues". Today, once again, my delegation has the commitment to denounce before this Committee a "bad practice": the radio and television broadcast aggression carried out daily against Cuba from U.S. territory.

Every week 2221 radio and television hours are illegally broadcast from the United States by 16 medium and short wave, frequency modulated and television stations through 24 different frequencies. A total of 309 hours, having nothing to do with culture or with objective and balanced information, are daily broadcast. 14 out of those 16 stations belong to organizations that promote or are directly linked to terrorist individuals who are based, operate and act with absolute impunity in US territory and whose activities have been denounced in different scenarios connected to the issue of terrorism at the United Nations.

10 out of the 16 stations only broadcast information against Cuba. One of them is a property of the US Government: the frequently mentioned Radio and TV Martí, sponsored, financed and controlled by the US Government, thanks to its allocation in the Omnibus Bill of the U.S. Fiscal Budget 2003 which forsees a sum of 24 996 000 dollars to the Board for Cuba Broadcasting which runs Radio and TV Martí, which represents an increase of more than 2 million dollars in relation to the previous budget year.

These broadcasts, besides attempting against Cuba's sovereignty, constitute a flagrant violation of International Law and of the regulations established by the International Frequency Registration Board of the International Telecommunication Union.

All of us present here know that the use of information specifically aimed at subverting other States' domestic order, violating their sovereignty and undertaking interference acts in their internal affairs is an illegal act which arouses the rejection of the international community.

Unfortunately, the US Government pays no attention to the widespread rejection towards the misuse of the information or its exploitation with criminal or terrorist purposes and persists on its efforts to direct, finance, stimulate and facilitate these illegal broadcasts to Cuba, which encourage illegal emigration in dangerous conditions, violence and terrorist actions in flagrant defiance of laws and rule of law. Violence is stimulated, disobedience and social indiscipline and the Cuban reality is distorted in a blatant way.

In the sick obsession to try to destroy the Cuban Revolution, the United States has used every possible technical means available, among which we can mention the reinforcement of transmission powers, the changes of TV broadcast bands, the invasion of TV broadcast bands, transmitters set in aerostats, etc.

The latest invention of this kind appeared last 24 February, 2003 when the terrorist group based in Miami "Brothers to the Rescue", with the authorization of the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), began to fly over the surrounding areas to the Cuban air space with the purpose of carrying out illegal television broadcasts of the so-called TV Martí towards Cuba.

Despite the previous warnings made by Cuba, the US authorities have not done anything at all to prevent this activity which is a violation of international standards governing television broadcasts, while their perpetrators, sheltered by the impunity offered to them, are already announcing new incursions of this kind for the coming days.

In response to all these actions, Cuban specialists have been successful in interfering in all the television broadcasts and in a great part of medium wave broadcasts. But over all, they have clashed with the condemnation of a whole People that does not allow to be deceived by sugary and provocative phrases coming from its Northern neighbor.

Mr. Chairman:

Before this Committee on Information, Cuba reiterates its condemnation and rejection to this radio electronic aggression and rejects with total strength the pretension of the US Government to maintain and intensify these kinds of transmissions. Cuba is a sovereign and independent country and the Cuban people know very well what this freedom achievement has cost.

Hence, we express our total condemnation to the bureaucrats who swindle the US contributors squandering their tributary contributions in disgraceful actions that in many cases are associated with terrorist and corrupted individuals of the worst kind, whose filthy managements occasionally come to light scandalizing the US public opinion.

Cuba will continue to repel, with all the means at its reach, these aggressive actions as part of its everyday struggle for truth and against disinformation worldwide.

Thank you very much.

UN Web Services Section, Department of Global Communications, © United Nations