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Che Guevara - On Development

Che Guevara - On Development

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Published by: Matty on Apr 18, 2009
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On Development
On DevelopmentBy Che Guevara
Speech delivered March 25, 1964 at the plenary session ofthe United Nations Conference on Trade and Development(UNCTAD)
The delegation of Cuba, an island nation situated at the mouth of the Gulf of Mexico in the Caribbean Sea, is addressing you. Itaddresses you under the protection of its rights, on many grounds,to come to this forum and proclaim the truth about itself. Itaddresses you first of all, as a country that is building socialism; asa country belonging to the group of Latin American nations, eventhough decisions contrary to law have temporarily severed it fromthe regional organization, owing to the pressure exerted and theaction taken by the United States of America. Its geographicalposition indicates it is an underdeveloped country that addressesyou, one which has borne the scars of colonialist and imperialexploitation and which knows from bitter experience thesubjection of its markets and its entire economy, or what amountsto the same thing, the subjection of its entire governmental
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On Development
machinery to a foreign power. Cuba also addresses you as acountry under attack.All these features have given our country a prominent place in thenews throughout the world, in spite of its small size, its limitedeconomic importance, and its meager population.At this conference, Cuba will express its views from the variousstand-points which reflect its special situation in the world, but itwill base its analysis on its most important and positive attribute:that of a country which is building socialism. As anunderdeveloped Latin American country, it will support the maindemands of its fraternal countries, and as a country under attack itwill denounce from the very outset all the machinations set in trainby the coercive apparatus of that imperial power, the United Statesof America.We preface our statement with these words of explanation becauseour country considers it imperative to define accurately the scopeof the conference, its meaning, and its possible importance.We come to this meeting seventeen years after the HavanaConference, where the intention was to create a world order thatsuited the competitive interests of the imperialist powers.Although Cuba was the site of that Conference, our revolutionarygovernment does not consider itself bound in the slightest by therole then played by a government subordinated to imperialistinterests, nor by the content or scope of the so-called Havana
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On Development
Charter.At that conference, and at the previous meeting at Bretton Woods,a group of international bodies were set up whose activities havebeen harmful to the interests of the dependent countries of thecontemporary world. And even though the United States of America did not ratify the Havana Charter because it considered ittoo "daring", the various international credit and financial bodiesand the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade which were thetangible outcome of those two meetings, have proved to beeffective weapons for defending its interests, and what is more,weapons for attacking our countries.These are subjects which we must deal with at length later on.Today the conference agenda is broader and more realisticbecause it includes, among others, three of the crucial problemsfacing the modern world: the relations between the camp of thesocialist countries and that of the developed capitalist countries;the relations between the underdeveloped countries and thedeveloped capitalist powers; and the great problem of development for the dependent world.The participants at this new meeting far outnumber those who metat Havana in 1947. Nevertheless, we cannot say with completeaccuracy that this is the forum of the peoples of the world. Theresult of the strange legal interpretations which certain powers stilluse with impunity is that countries of great importance in the
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