How I regret having to criticize Obama, knowing that in that country there are other potential presidents worse than him. I understand that in the United States that office is currently a tremendous headache. Perhaps nothing could explain it better than the information in yesterday’s Granma that 237 members of the U.S. Congress; in other words, 44% of them, are millionaires. That does not mean that every one of them is obliged to be an incorrigible reactionary, but it is very difficult to believe that they might think like any of the many millions of U.S. citizens who lack medical care, are unemployed or have to work hard to earn a living.
Obama, of course, is not a beggar, he possesses millions of dollars. As a professional he was outstanding; his domination of language, his eloquence and his intelligence are undisputed. Despite being an African American he was elected president for the first time in the history of his country in a racist society that is suffering from a profound international economic crisis, the responsibility for which falls upon itself.
It is not about being or not being anti-American, as the system and its colossal media try to describe its adversaries.
The U.S. people are not responsible for, but the victims of an unsustainable system and, what is worse, one that is now incompatible with the life of humanity.
The intelligent rebel Obama who had to endure humiliation and racism during his childhood and youth understands that, but the Obama who is educated and committed to the system and the methods that led him to the presidency of the United States cannot resist the temptation to pressure, threaten and even deceive others.
He is obsessive in his work; possibly no other president of the United States would be capable of committing himself to a program as intensive as the one that he proposes to undertake in the next eight days.
According to his program, a wide-ranging tour will take him to Alaska, where he is to talk with troops deployed there; to Japan, Singapore, the People’s Republic of China and South Korea; he is to take part in the meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN); he will have talks with the prime minister of Japan and His Majesty Emperor Akihito in the Land of the Rising Sun; the president of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang; of Russia, Dmitri Medvedev, and of the People’s Republic of China, Hu Jintao; he will give speeches and press conferences; he will carry his nuclear briefcase that we trust he will not need to use during his accelerated tour.
His security adviser has announced that he is to discuss with the president of Russia extending the START-1 Treaty, which expires on December 5, 2009. Certain reductions in the enormous nuclear arsenal will doubtless be agreed, without significance for the economy and world peace.
What is our illustrious friend thinking of taking on during his intensive voyage? The White House has solemnly announced it: climate change, economic recovery, nuclear disarmament, the war in Afghanistan, the risks of war in Iran and in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. There is enough material here to write a book of fiction.
But how is Obama going to resolve climate problems if the position of his representation in the preparatory meetings for the Copenhagen Summit on greenhouse gas emissions was the worst of all the industrialized and rich countries, both in Bangkok and in Barcelona, because the United States has not signed the Kyoto Protocol, nor is that country’s oligarchy disposed to genuinely cooperate.
How is he going to contribute to the solution of the grave economic problems affecting a large part of humanity, when the total debt of the United States – which includes federal government, state and local governments, companies and families – amounted at the end of 2008 to $57 trillion, equivalent to more than 400% of its GDP, and when that country’s budget deficit rose to close to 13% of its GDP in the fiscal year 2009, a figure that Obama is doubtless aware of.
What can he offer Hu Jintao when his policy has been openly protectionist in order to hit Chinese exports; when he is demanding at all costs that the Chinese government should revalue the yuan, which would affect growing Third World imports proceeding from China.
The Brazilian theologian Leonardo Boff – who is not a disciple of Karl Marx, but an honest Catholic, one of those who is not prepared to cooperate with imperialism in Latin America – recently affirmed: “…we are risking our destruction and the devastation of the diversity of life.”
“…almost half of humanity is now living below the poverty level. The richest 20% consume 82.49% of all the Earth’s wealth and the 20% poorest have to sustain themselves with a miniscule 1.6%.” He quotes the FAO warning that “…in the coming years there will be between 150 and 200 million climate refugees.” And he adds that in his estimate: “humanity is now consuming 30% more than its reposition capacity… The Earth is showing unequivocal signs that it cannot take any more.”
What he affirms is a fact, but Obama and the U.S. Congress have not as yet heard that.
What is he leaving us in the hemisphere? The shameful problem of Honduras and the annexation of Colombia, in which country the United States is to install seven military bases. They also established a military base in Cuba more than 100 years ago and still occupy it by force. On it they installed the horrific torture center known worldwide, which Obama has been unable to close as yet.
I sustain the belief that before Obama concludes his mandate there will be six to eight rightist governments in Latin America allied to the empire. Likewise in the near future, the most right-wing sector in the United States will try to limit his mandate to a period of four years. A Nixon, a Bush or somebody like Cheney will once again be new presidents. Then one would see with all clarity the significance of those absolutely unjustifiable military bases that are now threatening all the peoples of South America on the pretext of combating drug trafficking, a problem created by the tens of billions of dollars from the United States being injected into organized crime and drug production in Latin America.
Cuba has demonstrated that in order to combat drugs what is needed is justice and social development. In our country, the crime figure per every 100,000 inhabitants is one of the lowest in the world. No other [country] in the hemisphere can show such low indices of violence. It is known that in spite of the blockade, none other possesses such high educational levels.
The peoples of Latin America will know how to resist the onslaughts of the empire!
Obama’s tour would seem to be a science fiction story.
Fidel Castro Ruz
November 11, 2009