New York — Cuban foreign minister Isidoro Malmierca told the United Nations on October 1 that the US government has prepared plans for a full-scale invasion of the Caribbean island nation.
"While spokespeople for the Washington administration assure us that they have no aggressive plans or intentions against Cuba, in the Pentagon they are thinking of doing the contrary", Malmierca told the 46th session of the UN General Assembly.
He asked the United Nations to inquire about the purpose of the military exercises which the US 101st Airborne Assault Division began on September 16 and will continue for a month. For 35 days, Malmierca reported, the division has prepared at its Arkansas base for a scenario involving a low-intensity conflict escalating to middle intensity. It would take place in a dense tropical environment against an enemy using Soviet-style tactics and equipment. "Where does the Pentagon expect to find such conditions, if not in Cuba?", Malmierca asked.
Cuba agreed with the withdrawal of Soviet troops from the island nation, he told the UN, but repeated Cuba's call for the withdrawal of the US naval base illegally situated on Cuban soil at Guantánamo Bay.
Malmierca defended Cuba's right to choose to have a socialist system. For most people in the world, he reminded the General Assembly, capitalism meant "infinite misery, unemployment, lack of health services, hunger, illiteracy and the most appalling social ills".
He severely criticised US President George Bush's September 23 speech to the UN General Assembly. Bush had "stigmatised the Cuban social system, insulted its leader and offended our people" when he described Cuban President Fidel Castro as a dictator.
Malmierca paid tribute to Venezuelan President Carlos Andres Perez, who, on September 25, called on the US and Cuba to end their Cold War period confrontation. Malmierca said Cuba was always ready to discuss its differences with the United States, but on the basis of mutual respect and equality.
[From Inter Press International/Pegasus.]