Ecuadorean Minister of Foreign Affairs Ricardo Patiño called on Wednesday for an end to the remains of colonialism and specifically mentioned the Falklands/Malvinas, Puerto Rico and the US Guantanamo base in Cuba.
Addressing the UN Regional seminar of the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization (also known as the C-24) in Quito, Patiño described as “shameful” the fact that al least ten territories remain listed as colonies.
He recalled that in the case of Malvinas, Argentina is “only demanding a negotiations process to end with this colonialism situation”.
“We have always supported Argentina in its claim over the Malvinas Islands. We have never been accomplices of the great powers vision towards the UK and its audacity of pretending to continue dominating colonially those Islands in the South Atlantic”, emphasized Patiño.
The Ecuadorean official also underlined the significance for Puerto Rico, “clearly a Latin American people, of having the option to become a nation with sovereignty that can run its own affairs” and recalled that next November a referendum will be held to determine the political relation the Puerto Rican people want to have with the United States.
As to Guantanamo in Cuba “which is not in the list of colonial dependencies, it is not only a foreign power redoubt but also a space to retain prisoners of war, which we know that besides that condition they are systematically tortured almost, almost…with the OK from some authorities”.
Patiño said he expects the regional seminar to advance in the decolonization process at a faster pace.
“Let’s not be so slow with this issue…we need to advance with determination”, insisted Patiño recalling that on “dozens of occasion” the UN has called on the UK to sit at the negotiations table with Argentina to address the Falklands/Malvinas sovereignty dispute.
“We expect the UK not to remain deaf to these UN requests”.
“When we like what the UN has to say, we immediately enforce it and if possible with heavy bombings and we go well beyond words. But when we don’t like what the UN says we dump it in the dust bin”, said Patiño on criticizing what the described as “double standards and double morals” from the leading powers.
The Pacific regional seminar has convened experts from sixty countries and international organizations.
“It is shameful that even today we are talking about colonized and excluded peoples. Let’s hope this is the last decade of subjugation and disdain towards those condemned in our XXI century” and the protocol referred to the ‘administering powers’ of non self governing territories is finally reviewed.
“It is in the highest interest of the international community to decolonize the 16 non self governing territories which still exist in the world”, said Patiño who asked from the delegates and representatives “a self critical” attitude of the seminar which ends on Friday.