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The United States is the instigator of the anti-China campaign



HAVANA (15 April 2008) - JOSÉ Ramón Fernández, president of the Cuban Olympic Committee, has confirmed that the United States is leading the campaign against China and attempting to hinder the organization of the forthcoming Olympic Games.

In his opening speech at the start of the Fourth Cuban Olympiad, Fernández stated that "for the last few months, a fierce campaign has been underway to stage a boycott of the Olympic Games in Beijing and affect them in diverse ways. The instigator of this, the United States, is the very same country that is attempting to hurt the most sacred desires of the athletes, the main protagonists of this summer event."

Fernández confirmed Cuba's support for the host nation and recalled that at the National Olympic Committees Assembly that took place in early April in Beijing under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee, "the 205 Olympic Committees from around the world unanimously agreed to support the summer games, rejecting any interference in terms of China's right to stage brilliant and meticulously prepared Games."

"During the discussion and analysis of this issue, dozens of presidents of National Olympic Committees firmly defended the tournament against the attacks that are damaging these wholesome sporting ideals, as well as the right of the Chinese people to enjoy, without any pressure whatsoever, the Games," he added.

Fernández, who is also vice president of the Council of Ministers, affirmed the support of the Cuban government, whose principle position is to support China's right to celebrate, without interference of any kind, the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008". Some countries "from Europe" that "have been speculating over a boycott of events during the Games they are the ones who are maintaining a conspiratorial silence in the face of attacks that make victims of people throughout the world. Or they invent alleged terrorist threats in order to conceal the true threats that humanity faces," added Fernández.

He also recalled that for Cuba, "the rules established in the Olympic charter are alien to political activity" and they should govern the event.

CUBAN ATHLETES SUPPORT THE GAMES

In Cuba, Fernández was joined by several Olympic champions such as Alberto Juantorena, a gold medal winner in Montreal '76 (400 and 800m) who condemned "any action" that attempts to tarnish and hinder next August's Games.

The vice president of INDER added that "the commitment of the Cubans is that Beijing will be an honourable host city."

Javier Sotomayor, Olympic champion in 1992 and world record holder in the men's high jump, commented that "there is nothing right about tarnishing an event that represents confraternity, peace and harmony between peoples."

Sotomayor, current member of the Cuban commission for the discipline, stated that "every day, I enjoy my world record and I have wonderful memories of my two world victories. But standing at the top of an Olympic podium is the greatest thing that can happen to an athlete during their sporting career."

Iván Pedroso, Olympic gold medal winner in the men's long jump at the 2000 Games replied that "it's always the same; they are trying to mix sports with politics and invent something in order to damage the event that is a dream for every athlete."

Translated by Granma International

Cuba condemns campaign to undermine Beijing Olympics




EVER since the International Olympic Committee agreed in 2001 to make Beijing the host of the 2008 Olympic Games, the government and people of the People's Republic of China have assumed the event's organization with an unsurpassed sporting spirit and great responsibility, sparing no resources or efforts.

They have accepted many suggestions and adopted decisions aimed at guaranteeing optimal conditions for the visit by participants in the Games. The decision to award the venue to the People's Republic of China constituted recognition of its unquestionable prestige, the level it has attained in sports, and its work to benefit the international sports movement.

The Cuban government condemns with all vigor the attempts to organize a crusade to cause this noble effort to fail, with hidden political motives. This campaign is also aggression against the international Olympic movement. At the same time, Cuba expresses its recognition of and total support for the efforts of the People's Republic of China to guarantee the success of the Olympic Games.

A malicious media campaign has been fostered, seconded by actions aimed at undermining international confidence in the Chinese government's ability to keep its promises. In addition to that, there are the recent events related to separatism in Tibet that led to deaths and incalculable material losses. It is evident that these disturbances have been induced and promoted from outside the country. For Cuba, the role played by the so-called Radio Free Asia has been revealing; it is the main mouthpiece of the current anti-China media campaign, and its sponsors are the same who defend those inciting separatism within China.

The acts of aggression against 19 Chinese embassies and consulates in 16 countries are an extremely serious violation of the spirit and letter of the Vienna Conventions on diplomatic and consular relations.

The Cuban government expresses its firm opposition to any attempt to meddle in China's internal affairs, or to attack its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Likewise, it urges international public opinion and the sports community to defend the noble ideas that inspire the Olympic spirit.

Havana, March 22, 2008

Translated by Granma International





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