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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

Díaz-Canel on Palestine: History will not forgive the indifferent, and we will not be among them

Official Statement translated from the Spanish:

First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz Canel Bermúdez speaks on Palestine, October 28, 2023:

Sixty-three years ago, in a historic speech to the United Nations General Assembly, the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, said, and I quote:

"Wars, since the beginning of humanity, have arisen, fundamentally, for one reason: the desire of some to deprive others of their wealth. Let the philosophy of plunder disappear, and the philosophy of war will have disappeared! Let the colonies disappear, let the exploitation of the countries by the monopolies disappear, and then mankind will have reached a real stage of progress!" End quote.

This broad and profound idea sums up the reason for the horror that the Palestinian people are experiencing today, confined by a new Apartheid to a minimal strip of land.

The philosophy of dispossession is what today provokes a humanitarian catastrophe of Dantesque proportions.

But it is not a simple strip of land that suffers the impact of Israeli missiles. It is the Palestinian people who are on the receiving end of the bombs. More than 3,000 children and 1,700 women have all died in recent weeks, while thousands of people remain trapped under the rubble, waiting for possible rescuers who can come to save them or bury them.

More than 40 per cent of Gaza's homes have been destroyed and hospitals have been turned into morgues.

Cuba condemns in the strongest terms the bombing of the population in Gaza and the destruction of their homes, hospitals and civilian infrastructure.

We repudiate the killings of innocent people, as a result of the current escalation, which attacks with viciousness, without distinction of ethnicity, origin, nationality or religious faith.

We also share the pain for the suffering of the Israeli civilian victims of the conflict, but we do not accept a certain selective indignation that seeks to ignore the seriousness of the genocide that is being perpetrated against the Palestinians today, presenting the Israeli side as the victim and ignoring 75 years of attacks, occupation, abuse and exclusion.

Nothing can justify what this army is doing against Gaza. Nothing can justify the serious violations of international humanitarian law that they are committing.

Israel violates each and every UN resolution and any and all of its obligations as an Occupying Power under the Fourth Geneva Convention, fully confident that the Security Council's paralysis on this issue will ensure its continued evasion of responsibility.

Even at the current grave juncture, the Security Council has not been able to call on Israel to stop the ongoing slaughter.

The United States vetoed a proposal in that body that simply called for humanitarian pauses in the standoff to allow aid access to Gaza and ensure the protection of civilians.

Those who today oppose the cessation of violence in Gaza as a matter of the highest priority will have to take responsibility for the serious consequences that this entails.

But the position of the United States government, which has historically acted as an accomplice of Zionist barbarism, by repeatedly obstructing the action of the Security Council with regard to Palestine, undermining peace and stability in the Middle East with its offensive exercise of the veto, is not surprising.

A comprehensive, just and lasting solution to the conflict requires, inexorably, the real exercise of the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and to build their own independent and sovereign State, within the pre-1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

There is no other effective way to stop this spiral of violence once and for all, save human lives and chart a viable course for peace.

Will the international community allow this untenable situation to continue? Or will it continue to be held hostage to an arbitrary exercise such as the right of veto that prevents it from acting as it should to stop this crime?

A group of countries, including Cuba, proposed to the United Nations General Assembly a draft resolution that was finally adopted, which demands an immediate ceasefire, the urgent establishment of a mechanism to protect the Palestinian civilian population, rejects the forced displacement of civilians and advocates the sending of emergency humanitarian aid.

Every moment of inaction and passivity will cost more innocent lives. We must act immediately. We will continue to contribute in every way possible to legitimize international efforts aimed at putting an end to this barbarism.

History will not forgive the indifferent. And we won't be among them. It is time to put an end to the philosophy of dispossession so that the philosophy of war dies for lack of incentives.


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