Monday, 6 February 2012

TRANSLATION OF CARACAS SUMMIT BETWEEN CHAVEZ, CORREA & OTHERS





Miraflores Palace (Heads of States and Alba’s government XI summit)

Hugo Chavez: Thanks a lot Minister of Foreign Relations and friend Hector Timerman. Here we have also José de San Martin, they had the camera on him, the great liberator, one of the greatest of our history; José de San Martin…

The Falklands issue hurts us, it hurts us a lot, and as you say Hector, and we all know it, it is not only an Argentine issue, is an issue that pertains to all of us, and…the empire, the old empire, old and crumbling British empire must understand that this is a sentiment of all of our America, not only a sentiment of the governments, it is also a people of the America’s sentiment: South America, Caribbean; Latin America.

I will never forget, on those days of war, I was Captain, and I was here in the Military Academy as staff official when the war started and everyone truly wanted to go there, I think it was Cuba the only country that offered troops (Raul Castro shakes his head saying no)…

no? I read it somewhere or someone told me…

support, political support, I read it somewhere…

A voice in the background: they went to farther away places…

Hugo Chavez: yes, they went to farther away places…

but Argentina at that time, was alone, or almost alone, from a military point of view, well said by the Foreign Minister Timerman, Argentina rejects the military path, but as I told Cristina, I am gonna say it here, I told her on the phone, as the military path, that we don’t want, does not depends only on Argentina’s will…

how much we all know for a fact about Gaddaffi…how many times he called for a dialogue, but NATO did not want dialogue, they just wanted to kill him and overthrow him, there is Bashar al-Assad, even if those are different situations, but I reflect on this…well… calling for a dialogue, making efforts, Russians called for dialogue, even offering Moscow, as a venue for dialogue between government and opposition, the opposition doesn’t want to…

the Arab League, the same way they asked Libya to be bombarded, an Arab country, they are now requesting that Syria be attacked, another Arab country. This is not going to happen in Latin America, they can forget about it, it won’t happen in Latin America, among us may be differences in approach, here and there, not in ALBA, but beyond ALBA, there are ideology differences with some governments, but Latin America has advanced so much in the process of unity consciousness, and in this case I am only going to speak on behalf of Venezuela, but if the Britain Empire decides to attack Argentina, Argentina will not be alone in this occasion.

(Applause)

Chavez: won’t be alone, won’t be alone…Venezuela is not a military power but we do have some weapons, and the will to fight any imperialist aggression against any of our brother countries. Excuse me... President Correa

Correa: President…dear friends, I think that there are essential things without which the rest of all the things that we could talk become meaningless, that we talk of sovereignty, dignity, Latin American integration, and our America… that we still have these colonial legacies… that to this date they pretend that an Argentinean territory be a possession of a world power which metropolis is situated 14,000 kilometers and more from that territory, is simply unacceptable and it shows us the worldwide existence of double standard…on the other hand for me daring to prosecute a newspaper that said that I am a criminal of humanity and ordered to shoot a hospital full of civilians without sending any notice beforehand…and because of that prosecution, we have been taken to the Intern American human rights commission, the Office of freedom of Speech, the European union, all the newspapers of the United States that don’t even know where Ecuador is, to the UN, etc…

and then there are 40 countries that disobey UN resolutions and nothing happens, as we keep passively accepting those things, believe me that the rest is meaningless. Now we have to inaugurate an one standard approach in international relations and I think that one of the biggest challenges of ALBA, UNASUR, of Latin America, the hope of the XXI century, the hope of a new way of life, of a new concept of development, of a new concept of international relations, well I am very happy because of the strong and firm declarations that ALBA has made regarding the Falkland issues, but I think we have to be firmer, more decisive…why? for example, imagine… you have given examples on what happened to Libya, Syria, any insinuation is good to bomb, kill, etc… if we disobey half of an UN resolution, wouldn’t we have blockade, sanctions, bombing, invasions?

So why don’t we mention sanctions from Latin America to Britain? Because of this atrocity, abuse, because of this disoriented colonialism in the XXI century. We must take more powerful actions. I think it was very symbolic to block boats waving the Falkland flag, as Hector says, from docking at our ports, and sailing our seas, but we can do things a lot more powerful, why? I mean what do we have…why this asymmetry? If any country in Latin America disobeys an UN resolution, how many sanctions wouldn’t we have received? 40 resolutions have been disobeyed. This is the moment for Latin America to decide sanctions against that disoriented power that pretends to be imperialist and colonialist in the XXI century, I think that we have to take more powerful actions, dear President, otherwise all these is only going to stay in ink.

(applause)

Correa: I insist there are issues as are the Falkland, which are essentials, that if we don’t solve them, all the rest is meaningless, we are talking about sovereign, dignity, honest, decent presence in the international scenario and then we have an empire in front of the Argentine costs 14,000 kilometer from its metropolis. For me and for Ecuador (excuse me that I spoke in first person when I am representing a sovereign, decent country and its people who love freedom) we believe that this is simply intolerable, as Hector was saying, this is not an Argentinean problem, this is a problem of all Latin America, I think we have to step forward, start talking of sanctions from Latin America to Britain because of the problem of the Falkland, and I insist this shows very well, the international double standards, what would happen if Ecuador disobey half of an UN resolution? What would happen if it were Venezuela or Bolivia, which disobey? Any of our countries… enough of this double standards, of this asymmetry.

By the time of the Falkland war, I was 18 years old, as was Raul more or less, and I remember that The Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (commonly known as the Rio Treaty, the Rio Pact, or by the Spanish-language acronym TIAR from Tratado Interamericano de Asistencia Recíproca –from Wikipedia) mandated that in the face of any external (extra regional) aggression, we had to show solidarity to the country of the region, was pulverized, UUSS supported Britain, they did not support Argentina, Argentina was alone, that action should’ve sentenced to death the Inter American system, but it survived because it was functional to the interest of the hegemonic countries, but again this showed that when it is convenient, international treaties are not respected, regional solidarity: nothing at all.

For example one concrete measure, concrete steps to send the message to the world that we are not going to tolerate this type of actions anymore is to withdraw ourselves as a unit, from The Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance, and continue our work to have an Inter American system essentially of Latin American and The Caribbean without hegemonic countries that have made the current Inter American system, represented by the OAS, a simple instrument of foreign policy, I think we have to make more concrete decisions, take more powerful actions, sanctions from Latin America to Britain and for example withdraw as an unit from the TIAR.

(applause)

Correa: But that’s not the only critical point, how is it possible that in the XXI century, the arrogance of certain countries allows them to order blockade to a sovereign country like Cuba, I think that in all our meetings, that issue should be present, it should be the cornerstone, as it is the Falkland, otherwise, what are we talking about? We act for nothing, we must insist in the lifting of the criminal blockade to Cuba and insist and reject this arrogance of trying to exclude Cuba from the different international forum, specifically, The Summits of the Americas will take place, next April, I think, in Cartagena de India, Colombia, Cuba has not been invited, if Cuba is not invited, none of us should go, how is it possible that an American country can be excluded?

(applause)

Correa: on whose behalf? Who appoints certain countries to be arbiters of good and evil, the judges of our America? So I don’t understand how we could attend a Summit of the Americas where Cuba has not been invited, so now I propose that, President, if Cuba does not go, is not invited to this Summit of the Americas none of the ALBA’s country, at least ALBA’s countries, we have to take this initiative to UNASUR and hopefully we can take it to Latin America, none of the Latin American and Caribbean country, hopefully they will support us on this, attend this summit, enough of this atrocities.

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