Tuesday September 2nd, 2014, 5:35 pm (EDT)

Second and Third Messages to Milosevic and his Response

On April 2, 1999, I sent Milosevic my second message through our UN mission:

“It would be advisable not to indict the three US prisoners. International public opinion is now especially susceptible and a strong anti-Serb movement might result.”

On April 5, 1999, I sent him a third message through our mission in the UN and Yugoslavia:

“We congratulate you on the decision with regards to the three prisoners as reported by press agencies. Your promise to treat them well and to release them when the bombings cease is very intelligent and apt. It has foiled the United States’ maneuver to turn its domestic public opinion against Serbia; a public opinion which is deeply divided on the issue of the aggression. The ruthless bombing of civilian targets and the Serbian people’s heroic resistance are having an impact within and outside of Europe and within NATO itself.”

That same day, on the 5th, we received Milosevic’s official reply through his Ambassador to the UN:

“I want to express my appreciation to the President and people of the Republic of Cuba for their sympathy and solidarity with our people and country, victims of a US – NATO aggression.

“I hope you will continue these highly useful efforts to make heads of state —particularly the heads of non-aligned states— understand the extreme danger to international relations as a whole stemming from the precedent being set by the US – NATO aggression against the sovereignty and independence of a small country. I invite and ask you to send a personal message to presidents Mandela, Nujoma, Mugabe, Obasanjo, Rawlings and Vajpayee, requesting that they condemn the invasion and, if they have already done so, to do so again, for the aggression continues to be repudiated, so as to rally the broadest possible support for Yugoslavia from non-aligned nations at this highly important moment. My best wishes and warmest regards go out to you. With respect to the three US soldiers who have been imprisoned, I am very grateful for your amicable suggestion and wish to inform you that these soldiers were heavily armed and penetrated deeply into Yugoslav territory in a number of armored vehicles. The investigations into this matter are underway. They are being treated in a humane and respectful manner. We understand your suggestion and have practically accepted it. We are in no rush to take these soldiers to justice. We won’t do it now. Perhaps we will do it later, or not at all. We won’t do it hastily.”

Fidel Castro Ruz
October 4, 2007