When the United States and its NATO allies started the war on Kosovo, Cuba immediately defined her position on the front page of the newspaper Granma, on March 26, 1999. This was done in a Declaration of her Ministry of Foreign Affairs under the title of “Cuba’s appeal to end NATO’s unjustified aggression against Yugoslavia.”

I take essential paragraphs from that Declaration:

“After a number of painful and highly manipulated political occurrences, extended armed confrontations and complex, hardly transparent negotiations around the issue of Kosovo, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization finally launched its announced and brutal air attack against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, whose peoples fought most heroically in Europe against the Nazi hordes during World War II.

“This action, conceived of as a ’punishment of the Yugoslavian government’, is conducted on the margin of the UN Security Council.


“The war launched by NATO rekindles humanity’s justified fears about the establishment of an offensive unipolar system, governed by a warmongering empire acting as a world gendarme and capable of dragging its political and military allies along to the most insane actions. Something similar happened at the beginning and in the first half of this century with the creation of militaristic blocs that brought destruction, death and misery to Europe, dividing and weakening it, while the United States strengthened their economic, political and military power.

“It is worthwhile wondering whether the use and abuse of force could solve the world problems and defend the human rights of the innocent persons who today are dying under the missiles and bombs falling on a small country which is part of that cultured and civilized Europe.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cuba strongly condemns this aggression on Yugoslavia by NATO forces led by the United States.


“At this moment of suffering and pain for the Yugoslavian peoples, Cuba calls on the international community to mobilize its efforts to bring an immediate end to this unjustified aggression, to avoid new and even more deplorable losses of innocent lives and to allow this nation to again take up the peaceful path of negotiations to solve its internal problems, a matter which depends solely and exclusively on the sovereign will and free determination of the Yugoslavian peoples.


“The ridiculous attempt at imposing solutions by force is incompatible with any civilized rationale and with the essential principles of international law. [...] To continue along this path, the consequences may be unpredictable for Europe and for all of humanity.”

Because of these occurrences, I had sent a message to President Milosevic the day before, through the Yugoslavian ambassador in Havana and our ambassador in Belgrade.

“I beg you to communicate the following to President Milosevic:

“After carefully analyzing everything that is happening and the origins of the present dangerous conflict, we are of the view that an enormous crime is being committed against the Serbian people. At the same time, the aggressors are committing a huge error, which they won’t be able to sustain if the Serbian people are capable of resisting, as they did in their heroic struggle against the Nazi hordes.

“Unless the terribly brutal and unjustifiable attacks in the very heart of Europe cease, world reaction will be even greater and swifter than that triggered by the war in Vietnam.

“This time as never before in recent history, powerful forces and world interests are aware that such behavior in international relations is not acceptable.

“Even though I have no personal relationship with him, I have meditated extensively on the problems of today’s world. I think that I have a sense of history, a concept of tactics and strategy in the struggle of a small country against a great superpower and I feel a deep hatred towards injustice, and so I take it upon myself to transmit to him an idea in just three words:

“Resist, resist, resist.

“March 25, 1999.


In my reflections of Monday, October 1st, I referred to the message I had sent to Milosevic on March 25, 1999.

On March 30, I received from Milosevic the following note:

“H.E. Mr. President:

“It was with great attention and sincere gratitude that I received your message of March 25, 1999. I appreciate your strong words of support and encouragement for Yugoslavia, as well as the condemnation of NATO’s aggression expressed by Cuba and its representatives, especially at the U.N. The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY) is exposed to an aggression by the United States and NATO, the biggest ever since the times of Hitler’s. Not only has a crime been committed against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, a peaceful, sovereign, and independent State but there has been also an aggression against all that is worth in this world on the threshold of the 21st century: the U.N. system, the Non-Aligned Countries Movement, the foundations of legal order, human rights and civilization in general. I take pride in letting you know that the aggression has only served to homogenize and strengthen the Yugoslavian peoples’ determination to resist and defend our freedom, sovereignty, and territorial integrity. Our armed forces and the people are determined and ready to fulfill their duty. Therefore, the broadest and strongest possible solidarity and assistance from our friends all over the world would be as much welcome as necessary.

“The behavior of the U.N. Security Council regarding NATO’s aggression against the FRY is a defeat for the United Nations. It is a very bad signal and a great warning to the whole world, especially to small and medium-size countries, though not only to them. I am sure that you know that the FRY and the Republic of Serbia have continuously and sincerely sought for a political solution for Kosovo and Metohja in the interest of all the ethnic communities that live there and respect our constitutional order. I beg from you, Mr. President, that Cuba’s friendship remains active within the Movement in calling for a meeting of the Coordinating Bureau of the Non-Aligned countries so that that group of friends resolutely condemns NATO’s aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. I am also convinced that your personal prestige would be of great help to encourage Central American and South American countries, as well as all the Non-Aligned countries, to raise their voices in strong condemnation of this vandalistic aggression. Once again, in appreciation for the solidarity with and support for the FRY, I hereby express my hope that we shall remain in close contact. May you receive, Mr. President, the assurances of my highest consideration.

“Signed, Slobodan Milosevic.”

There were in fact two wars -one of which is not over yet-, and two fatidic encounters with Aznar –one of them between him and Clinton and the other one between him and Bush. There were two identical tours made by Aznar –one via Mexico City to Washington and the other via Mexico City to Texas- both in the pursuit of the same goal and equally void of ethical principles-, in which he was self-proclaimed war coordinator for the changeable US presidents.


On April 2, 1999, I sent Milosevic my second message through our UN mission:

“It would be advisable not to indict the three US prisoners. International public opinion is now especially susceptible and a strong anti-Serb movement might result”.

On April 5, 1999, I sent him a third message through our mission in the UN and Yugoslavia:

“We congratulate you on the decision with regards to the three prisoners as reported by press agencies. Your promise to treat them well and to release them when the bombings cease is very intelligent and apt. It has foiled the United States’ maneuver to turn its domestic public opinion against Serbia; a public opinion which is deeply divided on the issue of the aggression. The ruthless bombing of civilian targets and the Serbian people’s heroic resistance are having an impact within and outside of Europe and within NATO itself".

That same day, on the 5th, we received Milosevic’s official reply through his Ambassador to the UN:

“I want to express my appreciation to the President and people of the Republic of Cuba for their sympathy and solidarity with our people and country, victims of a US – NATO aggression.

“I hope you will continue these highly useful efforts to make heads of state —particularly the heads of non-aligned states— understand the extreme danger to international relations as a whole stemming from the precedent being set by the US – NATO aggression against the sovereignty and independence of a small country. I invite and ask you to send a personal message to presidents Mandela, Nujoma, Mugabe, Obasanjo, Rawlings and Vajpayee, requesting that they condemn the invasion and, if they have already done so, to do so again, for the aggression continues to be repudiated, so as to rally the broadest possible support for Yugoslavia from non-aligned nations at this highly important moment. My best wishes and warmest regards go out to you. With respect to the three US soldiers who have been imprisoned, I am very grateful for your amicable suggestion and wish to inform you that these soldiers were heavily armed and penetrated deeply into Yugoslav territory in a number of armored vehicles. The investigations into this matter are underway. They are being treated in a humane and respectful manner. We understand your suggestion and have practically accepted it. We are in no rush to take these soldiers to justice. We won’t do it now. Perhaps we will do it later, or not at all. We won’t do it hastily".

Cuban Agency News
La Agencia Cubana de Noticias (ACN) es una división de la Agencia de Información Nacional (AIN) de Cuba fundada el 21 de mayo de 1974.

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