Chile's Road to Socialism


CHAPTER 3

Relations with Cuba

Speech broadcast on radio and television
Santiago, 11 November 1970

I have the pleasure to announce to the people of Chile that, in accordance with the facilities granted to the President of the Republic by the political Constitution, I have decided to restore diplomatic, consular, commercial and cultural relations with Cuba.

As we all know, the Chilean government broke off relations on 11 August 1964 as a result of a resolution adopted at the ninth session of the Council of Ministers of Foreign Affairs of America. This resolution was adopted in spite of the vote to the contrary by the Chilean representatives on the proposal that American countries should cease diplomatic consular and commercial relations with Cuba.

I never doubted that the suspension of relations with Cuba, and the other measures taken against her by the OAS [1] , did not serve the interests of peace and friendship amongst countries in the manner set out in the Charter of the United Nations. I believe that such measures obstruct the natural development of the relations that should exist between the people and the governments of Latin America. Our aim must be to consolidate political and economic independence and assure our right to a place in the community of nations.

Such measures also ignore the right to free self-determination which is the soundest guarantee for stability in the smaller nation. This principle, accepted by everyone, both unconditionally and unanimously, is written into the Charter of the United Nations. The General Assembly, which is celebrating its twenty-fifth anniversary, has just repeated and reaffirmed the principles which govern this world organization, together with those that safeguard non-intervention. It is my firm conviction that to maintain these resolutions with respect to Cuba would encourage an illegal situation; this fact was pointed out by the representatives of several countries when the resolution was adopted. It means that measures that are essentially preventive and temporary (the only kind permitted by the Inter-American Treaty for Mutual Aid) are used as sanctions, which was not the intention of this Treaty, or as coercive measures which may be applied only by regional organizations under the authority of the Security Council.

In announcing my government's decision to the people of Chile, together with the reasons on which it is based, I want to emphasize that this is our way of contributing to the end of a situation which we judge to be unjust towards a sister country that is struggling to forge its own destiny in accordance with the sovereign will of its people.


Notes:

1. Organization of American States.


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