Report on the International Conference against Foreign Military Bases
On the International Conference against Foreign Military Bases held in Havana City, Cuba , from November 7 to 10, 2005.
On November 7, 2005 in the Theater of José Martí Memorial, at the Revolution Square of Havana City, Cuba, the International Conference against Foreign Military Bases was inaugurated with the participation of 69 delegates from 22 countries and representatives from Cuban NGOs, bodies and institutions.
The Conference, summoned by the Movpaz and co-sponsored by a group of Cuban NGOs, was presided over by Movpaz President, who is also President of the World Peace Council with the participation of the Secretary General and other members from the Secretariat and from the Executive Committee of that World organization.
The Conference was inaugurated with the words from the Lic. Orlando Fundora López, President of the "World Peace Council " and of the "Cuban Movement for Peace and Peoples' Sovereignty", pointing out the objectives of the event and making reference to the results of the conference taken place in 1996 on the same topic and describing the predominant aspects in the international situation of imperialism and reflections on the threats that the current world faces.
Afterwards, Dr. Olga Miranda Bravo, President of the International Law Association from the National Union of Cuba Jurists delivered a special speech, on the topic "The Right to Self-determination, the Colonial Enclaves and the Foreign Military Bases ". She highlighted the efforts carried out by the UN and the fight against colonialism; a complex fight for the right of the peoples to their sovereignty. "The creation of military bases - she said, quoting Orlando Fundora's opening speech - is in the practice of the military doctrine of bringing the forces closer to the area of conflicts, following the route of oil, water and biological diversity". She then states that Guantánamo Base in Cuba has only served to introduce weapons, to carry out aggressions, to concentrate troops before any "risk" that takes place in the countries of the region, according to the strategic planning of the USA.
During the work sessions on the 7 th , 8 th and the 10 th , there were presented 23 papers from 9 countries: Belgium (3), Brazil (1), Ecuador (1), USA (1), Italy (6), Japan (1), Paraguay (1), Venezuela (1) and Cuba (8).
Herbert Dozena, from the Organizing Committee of the World Conference against Military Bases that will take place in Ecuador in 2007, made a special speech on that important topic.
In the papers, there were stated aspects of great importance such as:
ü When World War II ended and the Cold War began, the USA enforced a policy of setting military bases around the world that had its origin in Cuba in 1903. In this expansion, the bases in Okinawa stand out. Its small territory concentrates 75% of the bases in Japan ; since it has a geographical position near Taiwan , China and Korea ; and it has also served as an attacking bridge to different focal points in other parts of Asia .
ü The US-Japan Alliance forms part of Bush's global strategy; and it implies a reinforcement of the military strategy of both countries; which is in contradiction with what has been stated in the Japanese Constitution.
ü Reagan's policy on the militarization of the outer space, and currently followed up by Bush, in order to increase the hegemonic nature of the USA and to consolidate their power, forces us to intensify the fight for the peace and sovereignty of the peoples.
ü The military reordering of contemporary imperialism in the context of military bases overseas bears different connotations and among other problems that of sovereignty, because not all of them are endorsed by official and valid agreements, since in some cases, legal and military coercion has been used, representing a political problem for the recipient country that in fact adopts military or warlike positions. The social behavior of these bases is also manifested because they try to transmit new customs, to violate the traditional ones; thus attacking the ethics of the recipient population; besides the sexual violations, outrages and other phenomena.
ü It was clear that natural resources such as water, oil and biological diversity are geo-strategic objectives. Therefore, the fight for its possession can cause and causes "pre-emptive wars", a creation of military enclaves favored by vulnerable governments that put at risk the sovereignty of the nations.
ü The development of science and technology has allowed advances in the military might and in the creation of new conceptions and forms of action; such as the operational bases and the advanced operative sites that don't require traditional military bases since those alternatives allow to lodge forces in rotating periods, without moving the soldiers and their families.
ü The operational cost in Iraq , plus the political resistance of the peoples to prevent the increase of aggressions to other geographical areas represent a stop to the expansionist project of the US imperialism. An example of it is that, in spite of the existence of Manta Base as a complementary project of the Colombia Plan; and Aruba and Curazao bases, as part of the aggression project against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela , it has not been possible to implement the foreseen actions that have been denounced by the Presidency of that Nation.
ü The radical stance of the people in Mar del Plata and the summons to the world gathering against military bases, in Ecuador in 2007, represent an example of the peoples' decision of fighting.
ü With the collapse of the USSR and the Socialist Field, NATO has no justification for existing, but face to the pressure of the United States, it is becoming the defender of the interests of the new world order that the USA and the European Union want to impose; little by little it is replacing the blue helmets of the United Nations Organization.
Their facades change:
v Safeguard of democracy
v Human Rights
v Fight against terrorism
v Duty of humanitarian interventions
It is actually a war machinery that has the largest reserve of weapons for the destruction of the planet including nuclear ones, with the purpose of serving as the imperialism force, particularly of the USA; of contributing to the geo-strategic ambitions of the USA; and thus to serve to siege Russia and China, as well as to prevent any kind of uprising from the member countries of the alliance.
ü In general, the military bases contribute a high figure to the budget of the countries where they are located, except in Cuba . An example of the monetary contribution by taxpayers from each enclave is Japan , with 2800 million dollars, and such a small country as Kuwait , with 171 millions. And this amount could be devoted to the sustainable development of each country in peace times; thus contributing to the 0,7% they have committed to the UN for the development of poor countries.
On November 9, the delegates had the possibility to visit Malones Lookout, near the border area of Guantánamo Naval Base, from where they observed the territory occupied by the USA against the will of the Cuban people. They could also observe the camp where prisoners from different countries are concentrated since the war on Afghanistan .
The delegates who didn't participate in this visit attended the master Conference, delivered by Dr. Carlos Alzugaray, professor from the High Institute of International Relations in MOVPAZ headquarters.
Later on, a group of these delegates worked in the draft of the Final Declaration to be submitted the following day in the final session.
In the final session of the Conference, Dr. Ramón Puente Ferro, President of the Cuba-Africa Friendship Association made a special speech on Africa on November 10.
Iraklis Tsavdaridis, from Greece , also made a special speech in this session.
In the final session of the Conference, on November 10, Silvia Gianni from Italy , suggested that two declarations should be issued: one condemning the USA blockade against Cuba and the other claiming for the release of the five Cubans unjustly imprisoned in US jails. This proposal was unanimously approved.
Regarding the Final Declaration, Tadaaki Kawata from Japan, expressed that it is difficult to give an opinion on the content of the document without having a previous copy or made previous consultations; and suggested that if some delegate wanted to add something to the Final Declaration, he should hand it out in writing.
The Final Declaration was read and it was approved by the delegates there.
The Final Declaration includes the Plan of Action to be developed in order to fulfill the objective that, face to the foreign military bases, we must increase efforts in order to achieve the unity of all the forces that fight for peace worldwide.
v The USA considers that all those who do not support its policy are regarded as terrorists.
v The soldiers located in the US military bases are not subordinated to local jurisdictions.
v The military bases have a great negative impact on the use of land, water resources, communications, environment and health; as well as on the cultural identity of the peoples.
v There is violation of the humanitarian international law inside the military bases.
v The military bases are located in strategic places, not only from the political and economic point of view, but they are placed near natural resources such as oil, water and biodiversity.
v Guantánamo Base has been a conflict point between the people of Cuba and the USA since before the Triumph of the Cuban Revolution, but it has taken a more intense nature starting from the triumph on.
v The struggle against foreign military bases is a form of fighting for peace and for the sovereignty of the peoples.
v It is our duty to support a NETWORK of fight against military bases wherever they are located.
v To continue the battle for the end of the blockade to Cuba and to multiply the Committees for the Release of the five Cubans imprisoned in US jails.