Posted on September 28, 2014
by Jerry Alatalo
People can speculate about why, but it is difficult to find speeches from leaders in Latin America with English translation. The original intent for this post was to include the words spoken by Argentine President Cristina Kirchner at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) chaired by Barack Obama. Unfortunately, such a translation has yet to become found. If anyone reading could provide a link to video or transcript/Ms. Kirchner’s English version at the Obama-chaired UNSC meeting, it would be appreciated. The same request would apply for Bolivian President Evo Morales’ address to the UN General Assembly. Thanks.
Although an English video/transcript of Ms. Kirchner/Mr. Morales weren’t available, the address by Venezuela President Nicolas Maduro to the General Assembly was found with English subtitles. In passing, Mr. Maduro’s English-version interviews and speeches are particularly hard to find, causing one to wonder if there is an effort to keep his views out of the American public’s minds. As the Venezuelan President notes in his UNGA address, his country is where the world’s largest oil reserves are found. Historically, leaders of nations where substantial energy resources are found seem to come up against troubles and difficulties with running their governments, or getting their messages out to the world. Can anyone say “Middle East”?
All of the meetings and addresses at the UN are accessed at http://www.un.org
What follows is a partial transcript of Nicolas Maduro’s address at the 69th Meeting of the United Nations General Assembly then a video with English subtitles of the entire speech.
“The UN is a historic experience for humanity. Never before has humanity had a meeting place to talk about peace; to work on solutions to conflict, never before, in 7,000 years of known civilization. If we look at the history of humanity there are stories of the imperialists and the fights between them for resources and territories. It is only with the creation of this system in 1945, when, looking towards the future a light shined in the distance at the end of a long tunnel. A tunnel of wars, of battles, of conflicts”.
“We believe the UN is important, regardless of any criticism there is. We believe this organization has great human importance; we insist that it requires a profound transformation. As Commander Hugo Chavez says, here in this very spot, in his famous speeches to defend human causes, there is a need for a democratic and profound re-foundation. And as Jacob Zuma from South Africa said, there is a need to democratize. Our sister Africa, there is a need to re-found the UN Security Council, to expand the roles of the regions, we are in a different world from 1945”.
“If the UN was born to process the issues of post-war reconstruction and the issues of new conflicts, today the UN must adjust to a multi-polar world. A pluri-polar, multi-centered world, with new actors, with countries and regions that are emerging, that have their own voice and thought that aspire to be respected in this world. The UN must adapt its organizations and submit itself to general sovereignty, to the people of the world who demand that their voice count, that their voice be respected and heard. We have heard this among the voices of those who have spoken on the 69th session of the General Assembly”.
“We believe in strengthening the figure of the Secretary General as has been spoken many times. It strengthens the institutional figure of the General Secretary who represents us all; a Secretary General who knows how to listen to all, and who looks for ways to make peace and avoid conflict in the world. We believe in the necessity of re-configuring the General Assembly system, in order to democratize it and give it a stronger role that would allow this great debate here in the GA to play a role in decision-making”.
“That is why we believe in the necessity of building a new UN for peace, for a new world. Where there are no empires who wish to go back to a unipolar world. This is urgent for the world, beyond what the officials and governments here think. There is another world where we can all talk, think, and decide. Decide on our countries’ destiny, on peace; there’s a new regionalism that has come up. At the end of the 40s, 50s, the European Union was formed. That was an experience of new regionalism in Europe. Today it is admired around the world. In the 70s and 80s, the African Union was formed, an extraordinary system of organization by our sister Africa to promote developments and life, in one of the most marginalized parts of the world, Mother Africa”.
“At the outset of the 21st century Latin America is also playing its part; new organizations have been formed in Latin America”.
“… same with PetroCaribe, our brothers in PetroCaribe, 18 nations; it is one of the – and pardon my lack of modesty – it is one of the best examples of a new world of peace, justice, and solidarity; of cooperation and complementarity. To the powerful of the world, to those who manage capital, to those who manage economic power: to them I say another world is possible and we are demonstrating that in our America. The organization of South American states – UNASUR. The new regionalism in the South founded April 17, 2007 with the new leadership of Latin America, our Commander Hugo Chavez was there, today UNASUR is a bloc”.
“… very interesting, very important, which is beginning to articulate with the rest of the world. Recently, there was a very interesting meeting that will impact over the coming years between the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa), with new mechanisms for development, and UNASUR in Brasilia. We decided to share experience between the BRICS bank which had just been announced, and the new Bank of the South, the new financial infrastructure from this emerging world, from new regionalisms. Latin America is incorporating itself in new regionalisms with enthusiasm. Based on the experience, there are new ways to establish a roadmap for re-foundation of the UN”.
“It shouldn’t remain an abstraction”.
“Here in New York there is a general push towards the re-foundation of the UN. We must find the path, build a roadmap together. That’s what humanity needs to take on the big issues we are obliged to face”.
“Ms. President, The UN during 22 years has voted with record assistance for a cause that is the cause not only of our America, but also the cause for the governments and peoples of this world. This is the rejection of the economic blockade against our brother Republic of Cuba. It is an anachronism of the Cold War. … President Barack Obama, when will you lift the blockade and end the persecution against our brother Cuba?”
“… The Vulture Funds are very dangerous”. Here Nicolas Maduro expresses Venezuela’s solidarity with Argentina, who has faced legal attack from a so-called “Vulture Fund” controlled by American billionaire Paul Singer.
“… Oscar Lopez Rivera, the oldest political prisoner in the world, is in a United States prison, and we demand his immediate liberation. Oscar Lopez Rivero, his only crime was to fight for the independence of his homeland (Puerto Rico)”.
“Venezuela is in the process of a popular, democratic revolution”. In 1999, the Venezuelan people publicly debated a new constitution, then voted for the version that offered the people their best democratic opportunity. In the fifteen years since then, the percentage of Venezuelans with access to education has risen to 90%, with free public study at the primary, secondary, and university levels, and the country’s unemployment rate has been reduced from over 20% in 1999 to 5.5% today.
After noting that Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world, Nicolas Maduro said, “Venezuela has had to live through permanent threats and conspiracies by imperial forces and their allies who have tried again and again to suffocate democracy. They are responsible for a coup d’état against Commander Chavez. Then, after he left us on March 5, 2013, the same forces started trying to damage our country again. I thank the governments of the world for their solidarity. Solidarity with Venezuela in resistance and struggle. They couldn’t move in against Commander Chavez and they won’t with us. Venezuela will continue on its path of democracy, revolution, and independence; of dignity, and in our own voice we will face the world”.
“… If this world and the UN had a little more of a human side, we would all be concentrated. Instead of sending drones and bombs to destroy Gaza, or to bomb the people of Iraq and Syria, we should be concentrated on using our force against this (Ebola) virus”.
“As I mentioned yesterday from a poem from indigenous people in South America, ‘…once they have poisoned all the rivers and lakes, after there is no longer a single fish in the sea, then the powerful of the world will have to eat money’. … Climate change is an emergency, it’s not about speeches and documents and general proposals”.
“We must recuperate the quality of the rational humanity in our organization (UN) and put our common problems on the top of the agenda – the problems that affect us all”.
“I ask: how much does it hurt when western journalists are killed? A lot. The methods of these groups are repugnant. But it also hurts when boys and girls from a school in Syria are captured, and dismembered – as were women in mosques. It hurts us, or does human life have greater value if it is from a particular country and of a particular color? … Loss of human life hurts, that is why we have condemned terrorist attacks carried out by NATO and its allies against Syria in the name of regime change – and I say this openly before you”.
“We say it with the force of Bolivar and Chavez in our hearts, if the Syrian government had been taken down by those terrible attacks, today the entire region of Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan, today those terrorist groups would have taken state power. It hurts but we have to say it, President Bashar Al Assad and the democratic government of Syria are the ones who have held back the terrorists, and they have suffered for it, thousands of dead. We think instead of bombing in a demented logic, we must make an alliance of peace against terrorism, respecting the sovereignty of nations, respecting the sovereign governments of that entire region. I would like the US to take note of that and relay the message to President Obama”.
“Only an alliance that respects the sovereignty of those nations and their governments and armed forces can overcome this terrorist scourge that has risen up like a monster, supported by the West itself. There will be no way of destroying them with bombs. Those bombs primarily kill the innocent, not armed groups. We must bring together the sovereign governments of Iran, Iraq, Syria, of Lebanon, of Jordan, of Egypt and of the region and establish a strategy. A political, military, cultural, and communications strategy, together with the UN Security Council”.
“The rest is crazy, it’s demented, think back to what the President of Chad said about Libya. They have promoted hate, promoted anti-Gaddafi sentiment, and what is happening there today? Today it is a territory for trafficking in explosives, in weapons, in armed groups of terrorists who control sections and who have destroyed the beautiful history of Libya. It is a demented path to violence. More violence, more terror, a less secure world. It has gotten out of the hands of those who direct this organization and who make decisions”.
“We are on time, us, we bring our voice, our proposal, with modesty, with love. Just as we have expressed , and will continue to express, our solidarity with Palestine… To the people of Palestine who recently suffered a brutal attack. Our organization (UN) should be re-founded to work together for total peace. It’s not the threat of or war, or conspiracies to overthrow the government like mine which will bring lasting peace. No. Rather it is respect for international law. That is what will bring peace and security”.
“We humbly hope to play a role in animating, in starting a process of re-foundation of the UN. The process of creating an agenda of world priorities where we all have a voice, we all have a vote, where no one imposes their will. In one year the delegations of the world will be welcomed to Caracas. To a historic summit of non-aligned countries. We will wait for you there. Thanks, Ms. President and to all present. May God bless us and allow us to continue to bring peace to our people”.
(Thank you to sucreranda Hugo Chavez Venezuela at YouTube)