When the United States and its NATO allies started the war on Kosovo, Cuba immediately defined her position on the front page of the newspaper Granma, on March 26, 1999. This was done in a Declaration of her Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the title of “Cuba’s appeal to end NATO’s unjustified aggression against Yugoslavia.”
I take essential paragraphs from that Declaration:
“After a number of painful and highly manipulated political occurrences, extended armed confrontations and complex, hardly transparent negotiations around the issue of Kosovo, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization finally launched its announced and brutal air attack against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, whose peoples fought most heroically in Europe against the Nazi hordes during World War II.
“This action, conceived of as a ‘punishment of the Yugoslavian government’, is conducted on the margin of the UN Security Council.
“The war launched by NATO rekindles humanity’s justified fears about the establishment of an offensive unipolar system, governed by a warmongering empire acting as a world gendarme and capable of dragging its political and military allies along to the most insane actions. Something similar happened at the beginning and in the first half of this century with the creation of militaristic blocs that brought destruction, death and misery to Europe, dividing and weakening it, while the United States strengthened their economic, political and military power.
“It is worthwhile wondering whether the use and abuse of force could solve the world problems and defend the human rights of the innocent persons who today are dying under the missiles and bombs falling on a small country which is part of that cultured and civilized Europe.
“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba strongly condemns this aggression on Yugoslavia by NATO forces led by the United States.
“At this moment of suffering and pain for the Yugoslavian peoples, Cuba calls on the international community to mobilize its efforts to bring an immediate end to this unjustified aggression, to avoid new and even more deplorable losses of innocent lives and to allow this nation to again take up the peaceful path of negotiations to solve its internal problems, a matter which depends solely and exclusively on the sovereign will and free determination of the Yugoslavian peoples.
“The ridiculous attempt at imposing solutions by force is incompatible with any civilized rationale and with the essential principles of international law. [...] To continue along this path, the consequences may be unpredictable for Europe and for all of humanity.”
Because of these occurrences, I had sent a message to President Milosevic the day before, through the Yugoslavian ambassador in Havana and our ambassador in Belgrade.
“I beg you to communicate the following to President Milosevic:
“After carefully analyzing everything that is happening and the origins of the present dangerous conflict, we are of the view that an enormous crime is being committed against the Serbian people. At the same time, the aggressors are committing a huge error, which they won’t be able to sustain if the Serbian people are capable of resisting, as they did in their heroic struggle against the Nazi hordes.
“Unless the terribly brutal and unjustifiable attacks in the very heart of Europe cease, world reaction will be even greater and swifter than that triggered by the war in Vietnam.
“This time as never before in recent history, powerful forces and world interests are aware that such behavior in international relations is not acceptable.
“Even though I have no personal relationship with him, I have meditated extensively on the problems of today’s world. I think that I have a sense of history, a concept of tactics and strategy in the struggle of a small country against a great superpower and I feel a deep hatred towards injustice, and so I take it upon myself to transmit to him an idea in just three words:
“Resist, resist, resist.
“March 25, 1999.
Fidel Castro Ruz
October 1, 2007