Statement by Ambassador Vassily A. Nebenzia, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nations, at the Security Council meeting on the situation in Nicaragua
At the outset, I would like to congratulate you, Madam President, on the United States delegation’s assumption of the presidency of the Council, and to wish you every success.
However, I will begin my statement not with words of gratitude for organizing today’s meeting but rather by affirming our firm position. The Russian Federation is categorically opposed to a discussion of the situation in Nicaragua in the Security Council. We have major concerns about the invited briefers.
I am not sure that the members of the Council who supported the format of today’s meeting grasp the potential consequences if this type of practice should continue. What message can the Security Council send if it is clearly split on a particular issue? What value does it add to our discussion overall? Does the Council’s mandate really include putting pressure on the authorities of a sovereign State to force it to make changes, whatever they may be, and thereby conniving with anti-Government forces? After today’s discussion, the polarization in Nicaragua can only worsen. It is difficult not to believe that that is what the ringleaders of today’s meeting had in mind.
We see support for this notion in that some people cannot deal with the fact that there are States in the world capable of carrying out self-sufficient, independent policies in the interests of their citizens while not playing up to the regional ambitions of major Powers. Instead of building relations with such States on a basis of mutual respect, they all rush to inflict maximum damage on their economies in order to provoke social unrest and foment intolerance with the sole purpose of achieving regime change. It is extremely regrettable that international and regional organizations are getting involved in these processes.
The initiators of today’s discussion are trying to ignore the fact that thanks to the Government’s efforts, the situation in the country has recently stabilized. The outstanding disagreements should be resolved through a direct, peaceful dialogue, without destructive outside pressure. I want to say it once again. It is obvious to us that the issue of Nicaragua has no place on the Security Council’s agenda. The Council is responsible for the maintenance of international peace and security, and the domestic political situation in Nicaragua does not pose those kinds of threats. Rather, it is a vivid, sad example of destructive outside interference. And what we heard at the beginning of this morning’s meeting compels us to conclude that the Security Council appears to be becoming something like a court of trial for Nicaragua.
Taking the words of its initiators on faith, an unsophisticated listener could get the impression that the United States really cares about Nicaraguans. It is no secret to anyone, however, that Washington’s subversive relationship to Managua has a long history. The fact of the open interference of the United States in Nicaragua’s internal affairs was confirmed by the 27 July 1986 decision of the International Court of Justice in The Hague with regard to the so-called IranContra affair, when the United States tried to circumvent its own laws in order to finance Nicaraguan insurgents.
And since the American presidency of the Council has used a regional rationale in order to shovel the Nicaraguan issue onto the Security Council’s agenda, we should not fail to mention some examples of Washington’s interference in the internal affairs of other Latin American States as well. Cubans have never forgotten the Bay of Pigs invasion; Chileans are unlikely to forget the role that the United States played in overthrowing the Government of Salvador Allende; and to this very day Venezuelans are still receiving direct threats of the use of military force, which is a gross violation of the Charter of the United Nations.
And all of that is far from being Washington’s complete record of service in one region alone. I have not even touched on earlier episodes, or the Monroe Doctrine, which, it is true, has not been in operation with regard to Europe for a long time. The peoples of Africa, Asia, the Middle East and the Pacific also have some things to say about this issue. Against the backdrop of this dictatorial policy, which you do not even bother to disguise, Madam President, your accusations about third countries’ mythical interference in American domestic political life with the supposed goal of undermining America’s great democracy look particularly clumsy.
We in the United Nations talk a lot about the importance of conflict prevention. And we often hear claims that human rights situations are indicators of looming crises. In fact, as we have once again been convinced today, blatant interference in the affairs of a sovereign State has replaced so-called preventive diplomacy and is discrediting the very notion of preventive diplomacy itself. Reality is presenting us with more and more examples of the fact that the concept of human rights violations as indicators of conflict is one of trickery and hypocrisy.
More often than not the reality is just the opposite — it is conflicts, including those stirred up from outside, that result in major violations of human rights. So let us not interfere in the internal processes of sovereign States. After all, you yourself are always exhorting everyone about that, Madam President. Or is it only others who are not allowed to do it?
We call on Washington to refrain from its efforts in the colonial tradition to influence the situation in Nicaragua, and in particular those specifically aimed at it, such as its Nicaraguan Investment Conditionality Act initiative, its visa and other restrictions on Nicaraguan officials and the abolition of temporary protected status for migrants from Nicaragua.
And if the United States is really concerned about the situation of Nicaraguan citizens, it would be logical to lift the economic restrictions that have been imposed on them for political reasons. We genuinely hope that all of Nicaragua’s political forces will demonstrate common sense and will work consistently to establish constructive and respecful cooperation within the framework of its existing laws and Constitution.