International Atomic Energy Agency
(Unofficial electronic edition)
5 May 1995
Dear Mr. Blix,
I have the honour of informing you that on 25 March 1995, in Havana, the Government of the Republic of Cuba signed the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (Tlatelolco Treaty).
I take pleasure in attaching the declaration issued by the Government of the Republic of Cuba during the signing ceremony and the statement made by our Minister of External Relations, Mr. Roberto Robaina, on that occasion.
I would request that these be made known to all Member States.
Vienna, 27 March 1995
In proceeding to sign the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, I wish, on behalf of the Government of the Republic of Cuba, to make the following declaration:
"The Government of the Republic of Cuba declares that the obstacles which have until now prevented the Republic of Cuba from becoming a full party to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean remain and continue seriously to affect Cuban security. The only nuclear Power in this part of the world, the United States of America, is maintaining a policy of hostility towards Cuba; it is intensifying its economic, commercial and financial blockade, reinforcing its campaign against the country and maintaining by force and against the will of our people the illegal occupation of part of the national territory, through which even ships carrying nuclear weapons pass, a problem whose solution will in the future have to be considered a condition for our country to stay within this Treaty".
DONE at the Ministry of External Relations, Havana, on the 25th day of March one thousand nine hundred and ninety-five.
Your Excellency the Minister of External Relations of Mexico,
Members of the Mexican delegation attending,
Guests and compatriots,
Cuba, once again, is showing the world that it is true to its commitments. On this occasion, in signing the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean, also known as the Tlatelolco Treaty, the Government of Cuba is honouring an undertaking made by President Fidel Castro Ruz on the occasion of the First American Summit in Guadalajara.
This step should be viewed as further proof of our country s desire to integrate fully into the Latin American and Caribbean community, and as confirmation of our confidence in the future of that united Latin America which our long-suffering peoples demand today more than ever.
Despite great dangers and the need for major sacrifices, this act is also a reaffirmation by the Cuban Government of the genuinely peaceful nature of its nuclear programme. But we reiterate in all responsibility that the obstacles which have so far prevented our becoming full parties in this Treaty remain and continue seriously to affect the security of our country.
The only nuclear Power in this part of the world, the United States of America, is maintaining a policy of hostility towards Cuba which involves strengthening of the economic, commercial and financial blockade, reinforcement of the campaign against my country and the maintenance by force and against the will of our people of the illegal occupation of part of the national territory, through which even ships carrying nuclear weapons pass, a problem whose solution will in the future have to be considered a condition for our country to stay within the Treaty.
We are not talking here about dangers for Cuba alone, for in fact the tensions provoked by the aggressive escalation and the siege laid by the United States are potentially explosive risks for the rest of the continent, which cannot feel secure when faced with the impunity of a neighbouring power which ignores international law and the resolutions of the United Nations in the pursuit of clearly hegemonistic and geopolitical goals which are more unfounded than ever now that the bipolar confrontation and the Cold War have come to an end in the rest of the world.
It is not right that only the countries of Latin America should be asked formally to renounce the possession of nuclear weapons and to accept independent checks on their compliance with this commitment, unless at the same time, under the provisions of the Tlatelolco Treaty, verification is demanded of the obligations assumed by the nuclear Powers in accordance with Protocols I and II of this instrument.
This would allow it to be established that this type of armament does not exist in any
part of the territory of Latin America and the Caribbean, and thus we would be able to
affirm with confidence that the region is genuinely free of nuclear weapons.
For Cuba it has always been a principle to speak out against all weapons of mass extermination. Similarly, we consider that no country should have a monopoly on such weapons, in this case nuclear weapons, because such a monopoly establishes a privileged status which runs counter to the principle of sovereign equality of States.
We are in favour of the total banning of nuclear weapons as the only way of guaranteeing a lasting peace and the security of everyone without distinction. Those who must in the first instance honour this principle are the so-called nuclear Powers. Therefore Cuba continues to reject the privilege held by the States possessing nuclear weapons, which in maintaining their status demand of the international community the renunciation of this option, negative as it may be. Moreover, it is inconsistent for the Powers to undertake modest reductions in their arsenals when what remains would be more than sufficient to destroy our planet several times over.
It was for strictly moral reasons that Cuba, having no potential, resources or technology to manufacture such weapons, did not sign the Tlatelolco Treaty earlier. To do so we considered would constitute a unilateral renunciation in return for which we would receive only hostility, pressure and threats of aggression from the United States. On the other hand, we also bore in mind that not all countries in the region had signed the Treaty.
Nonetheless, in recent times the regional scenario has changed substantially for Cuba. We are rejoining what we never ceased to belong, to the community of Latin America and the Caribbean, with which we have developed and strengthened relations which, albeit insufficient, are confirmation of the desire for integration which our country has always had since the very birth of Cuban nationality and the ideas of our wars of independence.
From a country isolated by imperialist design, with the honourable exception of Mexico, Cuba is maintaining and intensifying its relations with practically the entire continent, on which rejection of the United States blockade against Cuba is spreading wider every day.
The integration of our peoples is not only possible today, it is also necessary as being the only way to reaffirm and defend the economic and political independence of Latin America
These latter considerations explain our decision today to sign the Tlatelolco Treaty despite the continued existence, and in some cases even accentuation, of the reasons for which Cuba until now abstained from taking such an important step.
Once again, this decision is an addition to our modest contribution to the unity, solidarity and integration of peoples from the Rio Bravo to Patagonia, of this greater Fatherland which, in his vision of the future, Jose Martl defined as Our America.