Launching a blistering attack on the United States, Cuba, host of the Non-Aligned Movement Summit, has charged it with resorting to war and using economic might to impose a "veritable dictatorship" on the world.
"The world we live in becomes more unjust and unequal with each day that passes... war and economic might are being used to impose a veritable dictatorship upon the world, while an intolerant and deceitful discourse aims to distort reality," Carlos Lage, Vice president of Cuba's Council of State said Wednesday.
He was addressing NAM delegates meeting in Havana to finalise the agenda for their leaders summit on Saturday. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf will be attending the meeting.
"What we have witnessed, instead, is the growing hegemony of a nation that resorts to economic and political pressures unscrupulously, that feels entitled to invade any
country in the world to reach its objectives and which is leading the world we all live in to its own destruction," he said on the third day of the summit.
"The hegemonic superpower demands that those responsible for crimes anywhere in the world be tried in and even extradited to the United States; on the other hand, members of the US military, for equal or worse crimes, are to enjoy impunity -- otherwise, no credits or economic aid are made available."
"We must fight for a new, fairer and more equal world economic order, in which the special and differentiated treatment of third World countries is guaranteed," Lage said.
"Another world" is possible and urgently needed today," Lage said, adding "Our movement is essential to the quest for a new system of international relations. We do not align ourselves to wars, to terrorism, to injustice, to inequality, to double standards. We align ourselves to peace and to justice."
Lage was of the view that the concepts of limited sovereignty, humanitarian intervention, preventive war and regime change are fascist; they are not modern theories designed to defend freedom and combat terrorism.
In a critique of rich countries, he said "in this globalised world, poverty is the result of centuries of colonialism and neo-colonialism and of an unjust and criminal international economic order, not of the supposed corruption and ineptitude of our governments, as they would have us believe.
He argued that "terrorism is born of injustice, a lack of education and culture, of poverty and inequality, of the humiliation suffered by whole nations, of the contempt towards
and the underestimation of belief systems, of arrogance, of abuse and crimes. It is not a consequence of radical ideologies that must be swept off the face of the earth with bombs and missiles."
He said that NAM countries must fight for a world in which aggression and occupation by any country in search of material or geopolitical gains is unthinkable, in which acts
of aggression of the kind the Lebanese people endure today or the atrocities committed by Israel in Palestine are not permitted.
The draft declaration to be adopted by leaders of NAM countries has demanded that Israel withdraw its troops from Gaza, release jailed Palestinian officials and repair the
damage caused by its military operations.
The document also condemned Israel for what they called "the continuing killing and injury of Palestinian civilians by excessive and indiscriminate force, targeted attacks and extrajudicial executions."
Referring to Iran, Lage also urged members of NAM to fight against a world in which a sovereign nation is denied the use of nuclear energy for peaceful ends while another is aided in the accumulation of nuclear arsenals.
After heated closed-door meetings, officials fine-tuning a draft final document, urged for unconditional negotiations to resolve the standoff over Tehran's controversial nuclear programme.
Lage also said that the United Nations must be reformed and transformed into a real instrument for cooperation and peace, an organisation that can realise the guiding principles enshrined in its Charter.
Other issues debated at the 14th NAM Summit on Wednesday included discrimination and violence against women, the need to intensify the international struggle against drug
trafficking, and environmental deterioration.
Regarding gender problems, the officials agreed that it was necessary to commit the movement even more to implementation of the 1995 Beijing Declaration and Action
Platform approved in the fourth World Conference on Women.
Women issues are of concern to NAM, especially in circumstances of armed conflict and foreign occupation, they said, adding there was also need to foster the economic,
political, and cultural rights of native populations.