Cuban FM delivers stinging takedown of Trump in UN speech

Cuban FM delivers stinging takedown of Trump in UN speech
In the wake of President Donald Trump’s controversial speech at the UN General Assembly, Cuba delivered a zinging takedown of US hypocrisy in a wide-ranging speech that targeted climate change, military invention, poverty and nuclear threats.

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez Parrilla used his UN speech on Friday to remind the General Assembly of the US’s own indiscretions around the world, and to slam Trump, whom he said, “ignores and distorts history.”

“We remind the United States of its violation of human rights,” Rodriguez said. “They do not have the slightest moral authority to judge my country.”

Sovereignty hypocrisy

Rodriguez pointed to the US’s use of weapons and pressure to interfere in other nations’ affairs, and highlighted the hypocrisy in Trump’s speech that lauded the nation’s sovereignty while at the same time threatening the sovereignty of countries such as Cuba, Venezuela and North Korea.

“The US government has come here to tell us that, in addition to prosperity, the other two ‘beautiful pillars’ of international order are sovereignty and security,” he said.

Trump “manipulates the concepts of sovereignty and security to his exclusive benefit and to the detriment of all others,” Rodriguez said. 

The Cuban FM described the “America First” patriotism in Trump’s speech as “a perversion of humanism” which embodies an “exceptionalist and supremacist vision of ignorant intolerance.”

NATO member states that promote “military interventions and non-conventional wars
against sovereign states” also found themselves in Rodriguez’ crosshairs.

“Unilateral coercive measures and the use of financial, legal, cultural and communicational instruments to destabilize governments” has “become customary,” Rodriguez said.

"Non-interference in the affairs of governments must be respected,” he added.

Poverty

Rodriguez reminded the Assembly of Trump’s comments about promoting “the prosperity of nations and persons,” before damning the president with statistics.

“In the real world, the wealth owned by eight men altogether is the equivalent to the wealth shared by 3.6 billion human beings,” Rodriguez said, adding, “The turnover of the world's 10 biggest corporations is higher than the public revenues earned by 180 countries combined.”

After highlighting the “cruel and ineffective” construction of walls and laws to stop refugees and migrants, Rodriguez pointed to the fact that “military expenditures have increased to $1.7 trillion.”

“That reality belies those who claim that there are not enough resources to eradicate poverty,” he said.

“Could the several decades of bloody military dictatorships in Latin America be referred to as an example of a successful capitalism?” he asked.

Nuclear threats

Highlighting a common responsibility to prevent nuclear threats, Rodriguez pointed to US opposition to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, its upcoming military expenditure of $700 billion, and its “extremely aggressive nuclear and military doctrine based on the threat to use and the use of force.”

Call for UN democratization

Rodriguez hammered home the need for the “democratization of the Security Council,” which currently has 15 members, five of which (US, UK, Russia, China and France) are permanent and have veto powers.

The Cuban foreign minister urged the UN to “establish a new participatory, democratic, equitable and inclusive international economic order,” that takes into account developing countries and “the asymmetries that exist in world trade and finances as a result of centuries of exploitation and plundering.”

Pence also under fire

Vice President Mike Pence was also slammed for “ridiculously ignoring the functions of the Security Council” in his efforts to modify the Human Rights Council, which Pence said “doesn’t deserve its name” as some of its members fail to meet any minimum standards.

Rodriguez assumed the US wasn’t including itself in the list, despite its “pattern of systematic violations of human rights, namely the use of torture, arbitrary detentions and imprisonment...the assassination of African Americans by law enforcement agents, the killing of innocent civilians perpetrated by its troops and the xenophobia and repression against immigrants.”