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Alberto Juantorena

His prestige is gaining strength as an example of Cuba´s great sporting figures. His age and health portray him as the ideal prototype to preside over the Cuban Olympic Committee.

Such predictions seem to be right!

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Fidel Castro Ruz

June 13, 2012

1:55 p.m.

Teofilo Stevenson

Stevenson has left us. The news arrived yesterday after 4:00 p.m. No other amateur boxer shone so much in the history of that sport. He could have achieved another two Olympic titles had it not  been for certain duties that the principles of internationalism imposed on the Revolution. No money in the world would have been enough to bribe Stevenson.

Glory be to his memory forever!

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Fidel Castro Ruz

June 12, 2012

3:15 p.m.

Conduct Hard to Forget

Erich Honecker was the most revolutionary German I had ever known. Every man lives his own time. These are infinitely changing times if they are compared to any former time. I had the privilege of observing his conduct when he was bitterly paying the debt contracted by the one who had sold his soul to the devil for a few swigs of Vodka.

An Honest Clarification

Some days ago, on May 28, the violent battle waged at El Uvero was commemorated with well deserved references. An elemental duty forces me to clarify the facts.

During those weeks, Manuel Piñeiro, “Red Beard”, as the leopard, who never changes its spots, as the saying goes, managed to send to Santiago de Cuba a truckload of weapons that had a connection to the attack against the Presidential Palace by the Revolutionary Directorate. Somehow he had managed to take hold of them. Frank País, who was the national actions chief of our “26 of July Movement”, sent a significant part of that cargo to the troublesome zone of the Sierra Maestra, where our incipient Rebel Army was rising alive from its ashes.

That learning period had been extremely tough. Step by step we started to gain our first victories, through which we were able to increase our strength in weapons and men without suffering any casualty. We were also forced to cope with the dangerous treason perpetrated by Eutimio Guerra, who had been a rebel peasant until the moment when he yielded to the bountiful offers made by the enemy. Despite all obstacles and with the support of the men and means sent by Frank we began to create the first guerrilla detachment with a vanguard that was headed by Camilo; a rearguard that was commanded by Efigenio Ameijeiras; the centre forces made up by small platoons and the General Command. We already had a group of seasoned fighters who had conveniently adapted to the conditions of the theatre of operations when we received a significant cache of weapons that were rescued by “Red Beard” and had been conveyed to us hidden inside some barrels filled with thick grease.

Was it correct, from the military and revolutionary points of view, to attack the entrenched and well armed garrison close to the seashore, in the same place used to ship the timber extracted from that area? Why did we do so?

It so happened that at that time, on the month of May, the “Corynthia” expedition had already landed, headed by Calixto Sánchez White. A strong feeling of solidarity made us launch the attack against the military garrison at El Uvero.

In full honesty I should say that the decision adopted, leaving out the merit of the solidarity it entailed wasn’t in the least correct. Our role, which prevailed over any other goal, just as had been the case throughout our entire revolutionary life, was not in accordance with that decision.

I remember the first gunshot I made with the telescopic sight rifle that I had, aiming to the radio communication equipment of the garrison. After that shot, tens of bullets were fired against the enemy command post. That was why the adversary did not know that its garrison was under attack. Thus, at least for three hours neither bombs nor shells were shot against us, something that usually happened, without exception, hardly 20 minutes after the beginning of every battle. Without the presence of these factors, it was quite likely that this decision, which was only inspired by solidarity, would have reduced our troops of almost one hundred veterans, in which case we would have had to go through the same hazardous journey all over again, something that would have been for us the best case scenario.

It was under such circumstances that Almeida was shot in the chest; he was spared from a far more serious wound thanks to something made of metal that he was carrying in his pocket, as he remembered. Guillermo García, wearing a helmet he found for himself in the first combat, waged a hard-fought battle with the defender of a fort made of thick logs. Che, who was shooting with a machine gun that usually got jammed, left his position in order to engage those who were fighting Almeida. And Raúl moved on with his small platoon to fight the soldiers who entrenched themselves among the piles of logs that were ready for shipment. All this happened before the fighter bombers came into the scene. Julio Díaz, a courageous fighter who was shooting with a tripod, could not advance any further. He was lying by my side with a deadly gunshot in his forehead.

Is there a better understanding now about what happened on May 28, 1957, 55 years ago?

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Fidel Castro Ruz

June 1st, 2012

4:36 p.m.

The Horrible Things that the Empire Offers Us

A piece of news released by AP, the most important US news agency, dated today in Monterrey, Mexico, explains it with irrefutable clarity. This is not the first, and certainly it won´t be the last, about a reality that puts paid to the mountain of lies with which the United States intends to justify the inhuman destiny it reserves for the peoples of our America.

What does the news say?

“MONTERREY, Mexico (AP).- Forty-nine decapitated and mutilated corpses were found abandoned in a pool of blood in a highway connecting the Mexican metropolis of Monterrey to the US border in what seems to be the latest in an escalation war between drug cartels.

“The corpses of 43 men and 6 women were found at about 4 a.m. Sunday in the town of San Juan on a non-toll highway that leads to the border city of Reynosa. A white stone arch welcoming visitors was spray-painted with black letters: “100% Zeta.”

“At a news conference in Nuevo Leon state security spokesman Jorge Domene stated that along with the decomposing bodies, a ‘narcomanta’ had been found at the scene, in which authorship is attributed to the group “Los Zetas.”

“The victims could have been killed as long as two days ago, so authorities believe they were not murdered on the spot. ‘Identifying them will be a difficult task because all of them were beheaded and hacked off their hands and feet’, the official said.

“The state Attorney-General, Adrián de la Garza, said that no reports of local missing people had been received in recent days, so the victims could be persons from other Mexican states or even US-bound Central American immigrants.”

“Mexican drug cartels have been waging and ever bloodier war seeking to take control over trafficking routes as well as the local drugs market and extortion, whose victims include US-bound immigrants.”

“So far in May, 18 bodies were found in a tourist area near Guadalajara; 23 people were found decapitated or hung from a bridge in the border city of Nuevo Laredo, where violence among cartels has escalated. This year alone, cadavers have been found in the states of Veracruz, Guerrero, Morelos, Jalisco, Tamaulipas and Nuevo Leon.

“He stated that there were no clues indicating that the new wave of violence is linked to the presidential elections to take place this July. ‘It has the dynamic of a war between cartels’, he said.”

For its part, the Internet portal ‘BBC World’ reported as follows:

“The scene of decapitated and mutilated bodies in Nuevo León, where 49 bodies were dumped on the road this Sunday, shocked many for the extreme barbarity displayed by the killers. Even in Mexico, where after five years of intense war among drug cartels it seemed like they had seen it all.”

Not a few countries of Our America have been affected by these problems.

In our homeland, the problems described here do not exist: would this be the reason why the empire is trying to make it surrender by starvation and hostility? Half a century has not been enough, and I very much doubt that the empire can wait for another half a century before it sinks deep in its own mire, sooner than later.

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Fidel Castro Ruz

May 14, 2012

4:36 p.m.

The 67th anniversary of the victory over Nazi fascism

NO political event can be judged outside of the period and circumstances in which it took place. No one knows even one percent of the fabulous history of human beings, but thanks to this history, we know about events which surpass the limits of the imaginable.

The privilege of having known persons, and even places where certain events related to the historic battle took place, increased the interest with which I awaited this year’s commemoration.

The colossal feat was accomplished by a group of nations which the revolution and socialism had united and linked in order to end the brutal exploitation endured by the world for thousands of year. The Russians were always proud of having led that revolution, and of the sacrifices they made carrying it out.

This extremely important anniversary of the victory cannot be comprehended under a flag or name different from the one which presided over the heroism of the combatants of the Great Patriotic War.

Something doubtlessly untouchable and indelible remained: the anthem’s unforgettable notes to which millions of men and women defied death, and crushed the invaders in their attempt to impose a thousand years of Nazism and holocaust on all of humanity.

With these ideas in mind, I enjoyed the hours I dedicated to the most organized and martial parade imaginable, staged by men trained in Russian military academies.

The yankees and the bloody armies of NATO surely could not have imagined that the crimes committed in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya; the attacks on Pakistan and Syria; the threats to Iran and other countries in the Middle East; the military bases in Latin America, Africa and Asia could all be carried out with absolute impunity, without the world becoming aware of the unprecedented and insane threat.

How quickly empires forget the lessons of history!

The military technology exhibited in Moscow on May 9 displayed the impressive capacity of the Russian Federation to make an effective and variable response to imperialism’s most sophisticated conventional and nuclear armaments.

It was the event we were awaiting on the glorious anniversary of the Soviet victory over fascism.

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Fidel Castro Ruz

May 10, 2012

8:14 p.m.

What Obama Knows

The most demolishing article I have seen nowadays about Latin America was written by Renán Vega Cantor, full professor at the National Pedagogical University of Bogotá, which was published three days ago by the website ‘Rebelión’ under the title “Ecos de la Cumbre de las Américas” (Echoes of the Summit of the Americas).

It is a brief article and I need make no copy here.  Those who specialize on the subject can look it up at the aforementioned website.

I have referred more than once to the infamous agreement that the United States imposed on Latin American and Caribbean countries when the OAS was founded at the foreign ministers meeting held in the city of Bogotá on April, 1948.  Just by sheer coincidence, I happened to be there on that date, helping to organize the celebration of a Latin American students’ congress whose main goal was to struggle against the European colonies and the bloody tyrannies imposed by the United States in this hemisphere.

One of the most brilliant political leaders in Colombia, Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, who had managed to unite, with ever growing strength, the most progressive sectors in Colombia that opposed the Yankees’ miscreation, had offered his support to the celebration of the students’ congress.  No one doubted he would win during the upcoming elections, but he was treacherously murdered. His death led to a rebellion that has kept alive for more than half a century.

Social struggles have been taking place throughout millennia, since human beings, by resorting to wars, were able to take hold of a surplus production to satisfy the essential needs of life.

As is known, the years of physical slavery, the most brutal form of exploitation, went on in some countries until a little more than a century ago, as it happened in our own homeland during the final stages of the Spanish colonial domination.

Even in the United States, the enslavement of African descendants continued until the presidency of Abraham Lincoln.  That brutal form of slavery was abolished there hardly thirty years before it was abolished in Cuba.

Martin Luther King dreamed about the equality of black Americans until almost 44 years ago, when he was vilely murdered on April, 1968.

The accelerated development of science and technology has been a sign of our times. Whether we are aware of it or not, this is what will mark the future of humanity.  This is an entirely new era.  What prevails in every corner of this globalized world is the real struggle of our species for its own survival.

As for now, all Latin American nations, particularly our own, will be affected by the process that is taking place in Venezuela, the home country of the Liberator of the Americas.

I barely need to reiterate what you already know: the close links that exist between our people and the people of Venezuela and Hugo Chávez, the promoter of the Bolivarian Revolution and the United Socialist Party he founded.

One of the first actions promoted by the Bolivarian Revolution was the medical cooperation with Cuba.  This is an area where our country has achieved a special prestige, which has been recognized nowadays by the international public opinion.  Thousands of health centers equipped with state-of-the-art technology manufactured by the world’s specialized industry have been founded by the Bolivarian government to provide medical assistance to its people.  Chávez, on his part, did not choose to go to expensive private clinics to care for his own health.  He trusted it to the same medical services he was offering to his people.

Besides, our doctors have devoted part of their time to the training of Venezuelan doctors in classrooms that have been properly equipped by the Venezuelan government.  The people of Venezuela, regardless of their personal incomes, began to receive the specialized services offered by our doctors.  It is now among the ones with the best medical care in the world and their health standards have obviously begun to improve.

President Obama knows this only too well and has talked about it with some of his visitors.  He candidly told one of them: “The problem is that the United States sends soldiers while Cuba, however, sends doctors”.

Chávez, a leader who has not had a minute of rest in the last twelve years and enjoyed an iron constitution, was, however, affected by an unexpected illness that was discovered and treated by the same specialized staff that usually assisted him.  It was not easy to persuade him of the need to pay maximum attention to his own health.  Since that moment, with an exemplary behavior, he has rigorously followed the treatment prescribed without neglecting his duties as Head of State and leader of his country.

I would dare to describe his attitude as heroic and disciplined. Not even for a single minute does he forget about his obligations; at times he does that to the point of exhaustion. I can attest to that because I have not ceased to be in touch and exchange with him.  He has not stopped to devote his fertile intelligence to the study and analysis of the problems of his country. He finds the vile remarks and slanders of the spokespersons of the oligarchy and the empire to be amusing.  I never heard him utter any insult or vile remarks when referring to his enemies.  That is not his kind of language.

The enemy knows the features of his character and is multiplying its efforts with the purpose of slandering and attacking President Chávez.  I, for one, do not hesitate in stating my modest opinion –which emanates from more than half a century of struggles- that the oligarchy will never again be able to govern that country.  That is the reason why the US government’s decision to promote the overthrow of the Bolivarian government under such circumstances becomes a source of concern.

Besides, to insist on a slanderous campaign stating that among the top leadership of the Bolivarian government there is a desperate quarrel to assume command of the revolutionary government if the President is not able to overcome his illness, is tantamount to building a gross lie.

Quite on the contrary, I have been able to see the closest unity among the leaders of the Bolivarian Revolution.

Under such circumstances, any mistake made by Obama could provoke rivers of blood in Venezuela.  The Venezuelan blood is also Ecuadorian, Brazilian, Argentinean, Bolivian, Chilean, Uruguayan, Central American, Dominican and Cuban blood.

It is necessary to bear in mind this reality when analyzing the political situation in Venezuela.

Is it now understood why the workers’ anthem is a call to change the world by doing away with the bourgeois empire?

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Fidel Castro Ruz

April 27, 2012

7:59 p.m.

To Sleep With Open Eyes

I took a good look at Obama in the famous “Summit Meeting”. Sometimes he was overcome by tiredness, he unwillingly shut his eyes but, at times, he slept with open eyes.

The Cartagena Summit was not a meeting of a trade union of misinformed presidents, but a meeting among official representatives of 33 countries of this hemisphere. The overwhelming majority of them are asking for solutions to the most pressing economic and social problems that affect the region with the most unequal distribution of wealth in the world.

I do not wish to get ahead of the opinions of millions of persons, capable of making and in-depth and objective analysis of the problems affecting Latin America, the Caribbean and the rest of a globalized world, where a few have it all and the rest have nothing. The system imposed by imperialism in this hemisphere, whatever its name, is worn out and unsustainable.

In the near future, humanity will have to cope, among others, with the problems associated with climate change, security and the production of food for the ever-growing world population.

Excessive rainfall is affecting both Colombia and Venezuela. A recent analysis revealed that on March this year, high temperatures in the US were 4.8 Centigrade degrees hotter than the all-time average. The consequences of those changes, which are well known in the capitals of the main European countries, give rise to catastrophic problems for humanity.

Peoples expect political leaders to provide clear answers to these problems.

Colombians, whose country hosted the disreputable Summit, are a hardworking and self-sacrificing people who need, as much as all others, the cooperation of their Latin American brothers and sisters who are, in this case, the Venezuelans, Brazilians, Ecuadorians, Peruvians and others capable of doing what the Yankees, with their sophisticated weapons, their expansionism and their insatiable craving for material goods will never do. The visionary formula stated by José Martí is now more necessary than ever in history: “The trees must form ranks to keep the giant with seven-league boots from passing! It is the time of mobilization, of marching together, and we must go forward in close ranks, like silver in the veins of the Andes.”

Far off from the brilliant and lucid ideas of Bolivar and Marti are the mulled over, sweetened and relentlessly reiterated words of the illustrious Nobel laureate, expressed during a ridiculous tour around the Colombian countryside, which I heard yesterday in the afternoon. They only served to remind us of the Alliance for Progress’ speeches delivered 51 years ago, when the monstrous crimes that lashed this hemisphere had not been committed as yet, where our country struggled not only for its right to independence but also for its right to exist as a nation.

Obama spoke about the distribution of land. He did not specify how much land would be distributed, when and how.

The Yankee transnationals will never give up their control over the land, the water, the mines and the natural resources of our countries. Their soldiers should vacate the military bases; their troops should be withdrawn from each and every one of our territories. They should renounce to the unequal exchange and plundering of our nations.

Perhaps the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States shall turn into what should be a hemispheric political organization without the presence of the United States and Canada. Their decadent and unsustainable empire has already earned the right to rest in peace.

I think that the images about the Summit should be well preserved as an example of a disaster.

I leave aside the scandal caused by the misconduct attributed to the members of the Secret Service responsible for guaranteeing Obama’s personal security. I am under the impression that the staff entrusted with that task is characterized by its professionalism. This is what I saw during my visit to the United Nations, while they were protecting the Heads of States. They have, no doubt, protected him from those who would not have hesitated to perpetrate an action against him out of racial prejudice.

May Obama be able to sleep with eyes shut, if only for a few hours, without having anyone saddling him with the job of delivering a speech about the immortality of the crab at an unreal Summit.

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Fidel Castro Ruz

April 16, 2012

7:40 p.m.

Sweetened Realities that Fade Away

I was surprised today when I listened to the speech delivered by Jose Miguel Insulza in Cartagena. I thought that the person who was speaking on behalf of the OAS would at least claim some respect for the sovereignty of the peoples of this hemisphere which were for years colonized and cruelly exploited by colonial powers.

Why didn´t he say a single word about the Malvinas Islands, or demand respect for the sovereign rights of the sister nation of Argentina?

The Cartagena Summit went through episodes that will not be easily forgotten. It is true that its celebration required a huge effort. Despite of the several hours that have elapsed since its inaugural session, we have no idea of what ever happened during the lunch sponsored by Santos, with which he attempted to make it up for the colossal amount of energy used up by the participants in that Summit.

Those who may find this entertaining, will very seldom in their lives have the opportunity to watch the faces of more than thirty political leaders in front of the TV cameras since they got off the car until the moment when, after the heroic and final effort of walking down a long and carpeted corridor, they climbed up the ten or twelve little steps to the stage where the host, smiling and happy, awaited to greet them. It didn´t matter whether they were young or of age, or whether they had flat feet, kneecap surgeries or difficulties in one or both legs. They were forced to keep on to the top. Whether rich or poor, they were compelled to observe the protocol.

Curiously enough, Obama was the only one who took advantage of that trajectory to do some workout. As he was walking all by himself, it was easier for him to do so: he adopted a sport-like pose and jogged up through the steps.

The women attending the Summit either as companions or as Heads of State were the ones who did it best. Once again they proved that the world would be a far better place if they took care of political affairs. Perhaps there will be fewer wars, although no one could be sure of that.

Anyone would say that, out of obvious political reasons, Obama was the figure that caused the worst impression in me. However, this was not the case. I saw he was pensive and at times quite absent. It was like if he were sleeping with open eyes. No one knows how much rest he had before arriving in Cartagena, which Generals he spoke with, what problems were on his mind; whether he was thinking about Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, North Korea or Iran. Quite certainly, of course, he was thinking about the elections, the Tea Party moves and Mitt Romney´s sinister plans. At the very last minute, shortly before the Summit, he decided that the contributions of the richest should account for at least 30 per cent of their incomes, like it used to be before the Bush junior administration. This, of course, would allow him to portray a clearer image of his sense of justice before the Republican right.

But the real problem is this: the enormous debt accumulated by the federal government, which exceeds 15 trillion dollars and demands no less than 5 trillion dollars in resources. The tax to be imposed on the richest will contribute around 50 billion dollars in a period of ten years, while the need for money will increase to 5 trillions. Therefore, he will be receiving one dollar per every 100 that are needed. These estimates can be made even by an eighth grader.

We should remember very well what Dilma Rousseff demanded: “relations ‘on equal terms’ with Brazil and the rest of Latin America.”

“The Euro-zone has responded to the economic crisis with a monetary expansion, thus provoking a ‘tsunami’ that has led to an appreciation of the Brazilian currency and has damaged the competitiveness of the national industry”, she stated.

Those realities do not escape Dilma Rousseff, a capable and intelligent woman who knows how to address them with authority and dignity.

Obama, who is used to say the last word, knows that the Brazilian economy is emerging with an impressive strength and that, in association with others like those of Venezuela, Argentina, China, Russia, South Africa and others from Latin America and the world, will trace the future of the world´s development.

The biggest problem of all is to preserve peace from the increasing risks of a war that, given the destructive power of modern weapons, would push humanity to the edge of an abyss.

I realize that the meetings in Cartagena are taking a long time and the sweetened realities are fading away. Nothing was said about the guayabera shirts presented to Obama as a gift. Somebody will have to compensate the Cartagena designer Edgar Gómez.

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Fidel Castro Ruz

April 14, 2012

9:58 p.m.

The Summit of the Guayaberas

Obama, the first black president of the United States –who is, without any doubt, an intelligent, well educated and eloquent person-, made quite a few people believe that he was an emulator of Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King.

Five centuries ago, a Papal Bull, applying concepts that prevailed at those times, allocated approximately 40 million square kilometers of land, inland waters and coastline to two small and belligerent kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula.

The English, the French, the Dutch and other important feudal States were excluded from the share out. Endless wars were soon to erupt; millions of Africans were turned into slaves throughout four centuries and the autochthones cultures, some of them more advanced than those of Europe, were destroyed.

Sixty four years ago, the execrable OAS was founded. It is impossible to overlook the hideous role played by that institution. A great number of people, who could perhaps be counted by the thousands, were kidnapped, tortured and disappeared as a result of the decisions it adopted to justify the coup against the reforms introduced by Jacobo Arbenz in Guatemala, which was organized by the Yankee Central Intelligence Agency. Central America and the Caribbean, including the small island of Grenada, were victims of the interventionist fury of the United States through the OAS.

Much worse still was the role it played in South America.

Neoliberalism, the official doctrine of imperialism, gained unusual strength in the 1970’s when the Richard Nixon administration decided to frustrate the electoral victory attained by Salvador Allende in Chile. A truly sinister period in the history of Latin America had just begun. Two high-ranking officers of the Chilean Armed Forces who remained loyal to the Constitution were murdered, and Augusto Pinochet was imposed as head of State after an unprecedented repression whereby numerous selected persons were tortured, killed and disappeared.

The Constitution of Uruguay, a country that for many years stood by its national institutional system, was wiped out.

Military coups and repression expanded to nearly all neighboring countries. The Cuban airline became the target of brutal sabotages. One Cuban airliner filled with passengers was blown up in mid-air. Reagan released the main perpetrator of that monstrous crime from a prison in Venezuela and sent him to El Salvador to organize the drugs-for-money swap to fund the dirty war against Nicaragua, which left tens of thousands dead or maimed.

Bush senior and Bush junior sheltered and pardoned those involved in these crimes. The list of misdeeds and terrorist actions perpetrated against Cuba’s economy throughout half a century will be endless.

Today, Friday 13, I listened to the courageous words expressed by several speakers at the foreign ministers meeting of the so-called Cartagena Summit. The issue of the sovereign rights of Argentina over the Malvinas Islands –whose economy is being brutally affected for being deprived of the valuable energy and maritime resources that exist in those Islands- was firmly addressed. The Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Nicolás Maduro, after concluding today’s meeting, declared with profound irony that the “Consensus of Washington” had become the “Consensus without Washington”.

Now we will have the Summit of the Guayaberas. The Yayabo River and its aboriginal name, totally vindicated, will go down in history.

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Fidel Castro Ruz

April 13, 2012

9:40 p.m.

Stephen Harper’s Illusions

I think -and I do not intend to offend anyone- that this is how the Prime Minister of Canada is called. I deduced it from a statement published on “Holy Wednesday” by a spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry of that country. The United Nations Organization membership is made up by almost 200 States -allegedly independent States. They continuously change or are forced into change. Many of their representatives are honorable persons, friends of Cuba; but it is impossible to remember the specifics about each and every one of them.

During the second half of the twentieth century, I had the privilege of living through years of intensive erudition and I realized that Canadians, located in the northernmost region of this hemisphere, were always respectful towards our country. They invested in areas of their interest and traded with Cuba, but they did not interfere in the internal affairs of our State.

The revolutionary process that began on January 1st, 1959, did not introduce any measure that affected their interests, which were taken into account by the Revolution in maintaining normal and constructive relations with the authorities of that country where a significant effort was being made in the interest of its own development. Thus, they were not accomplices of the economic blockade, the war and the mercenary invasion that the United States launched against Cuba.

In May of 1948, the year that witnessed the foundation of the OAS, an institution with a shameful history which did away with what little was left from the dreams of the Liberators of the Americas, Canada did not belong to it. It kept that same status for more than 40 years, until 1990. Some of its leaders visited us. One of them was Pierre Elliott Trudeau, a brilliant and courageous politician  who died prematurely. We attended his burial on behalf of Cuba.

The OAS is supposed to be a regional organization made up by the sovereign States of this hemisphere. Such an assertion, like many others which are made everyday, involves a great number of lies. The least we can do is to be aware of them, if we are to preserve the spirit of struggle and our confidence on a more decent world.

The OAS is supposed to be a pan-American organization. Any country in Europe, Africa, Asia or Oceania could not belong to the OAS just because it has a colony, as it is the case of France in Guadeloupe; or the Netherlands in Curaçao. But the British colonialism could not define the status of Canada and explain whether it was a colony, a republic or a kingdom.

The Head of State of Canada is Queen Elizabeth II, although she vests her powers upon a Governor-General appointed by her. Therefore, we could ask whether the United Kingdom is also part of the OAS.

Likewise, the Honorable Foreign Minister of Canada does not dare to say whether or not he supports Argentina in the thorny issue of the Malvinas Islands. He has only expressed beatific wishes for peace to prevail between the two countries. But Great Britain has there its biggest military base outside its territory in violation of Argentina´s sovereignty. It did not apologize for having sunk the ‘General Belgrano’ cruiser which was sailing outside the jurisdictional waters that they themselves established which led to the futile sacrifice of hundreds of youths who were doing their military service. We should ask Obama and Harper what stand they will take in the face of the fairest claim by Argentina to be given back the sovereignty over the islands so that it is no longer deprived of the energy and fishing resources it so much needs to develop the country.

I was really amazed after I made a much deeper analysis of the activities carried out by Canadian transnationals in Latin America. I knew about the damage caused by the Yankees to the people of Canada. They forced the country to look for oil by extracting it from huge extensions of sand that are impregnated with that fluid, thus causing an irreparable damage to the environment of that beautiful and extensive country.

The incredible damage was the one caused to millions of persons by the Canadian companies specialized in the mining of gold, precious metals and radioactive materials.

An article published by the website Alainet a week ago, signed by an Engineer on Environmental Quality, which provides further details about an issue that has been identified innumerable times as one of the main scourges that affect millions of persons, stated that mining companies, 60 per cent of which are financed with Canadian capital, worked following the logic of maximum yield at a low cost and in a short time; and that these conditions turn out to be all the more advantageous if in the places where they are stationed, tax revenues are minimal and there are very few environmental and social commitments…

According to the article, the mining laws in our countries […] do not include any obligation or methodology to control environmental or social impacts; the tax revenues that mining companies pay to the countries of the region are, as an average, no more than 1.5 per cent of the revenues received.

The article adds that the social struggle against mining, particularly metal mining, has been growing as long as entire generations are becoming aware of the environmental and social impacts it causes.

It states that Guatemala has put up an admirable resistance against mining projects, thanks to the indigenous populations’ awareness of the value of their territories and their natural resources, which they consider a priceless ancestral heritage. However, in the last 10 years, the consequences of that struggle have been felt in the assassination of 120 human rights’ activists and advocators.

This article also describes the current situation in El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, with figures that make us meditate very deeply about the seriousness and harshness of the ruthless pillaging that is being carried out against the natural resources of our countries, thus mortgaging the future of Latin Americans.

The presence of Dilma Rousseff, who made a stopover in Washington while traveling back to her country, will serve to persuade Obama that although there are some who take great delight in making slushy speeches, Latin America is far from being a choir of countries begging for alms.

The guayabera shirts to be worn by Obama in Cartagena has become one of the main issues covered by the news agencies: “Edgar Gomez […] has designed one for the U.S. President, Barack Obama, who will be wearing it during the Summit of the Americas,” said the daughter of the designer, who added: “It is a white, sober guayabera, with a handiwork that is more striking that usual…”

Immediately after that, the news agency added that the Caribbean shirt was first made by the banks of the Yayabo River in Cuba; that is why they were originally called yayaberas.

The curious thing about this, dear readers, is that Cuba has been forbidden to attend that meeting, but not the guayaberas. Who could hold back from laughing? We must hurry up and tell Harper.

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Fidel Castro Ruz

April 8, 2012

8:24 p.m.

The Wonderful World of Capitalism

The search for the political truth will always be a difficult task even in our times, when science has placed in our hands a huge amount of knowledge. One of the most important was the possibility to know and study the fabulous power of the energy contained in matter.

The person who discovered that energy and its possible use was a peaceful and amiable man who, despite being against violence and war, asked the United States to develop it. The US president back then was Franklin D. Roosevelt, a man who had adopted a well-known anti-fascist stand; he was the leader of a country that was going through a deep crisis and helped to save the nation by adopting strong measures that earned him the hatred of the extreme right of his own class. Today, that State imposes on the world the most brutal and dangerous tyranny ever known to our fragile species.

The news received from the US and its NATO allies refer to their misdeeds and those of their accomplices. The most important cities in the United States and Europe are the theatre of continued pitched battles between demonstrators and a well-trained and well-fed police, equipped with armored cars and helmets, beating and kicking and throwing gases against women and men, twisting the hands and the necks of people, young and old, showing to the world the coward actions that are committed against the rights and the lives of the citizens of their own countries.

How much longer these barbaric acts would last?

I will not expand on this, since these tragedies will continue to be seen, more and more, on television and in the entire press; they will be like the daily bread that is denied to those who have less. I will just quote the news received today from an important western news agency:

Much of the coast of Japan in the Pacific Ocean could be flooded by a tidal wave of more than 34 meters (112 feet) that would be generated if a powerful earthquake hits its coastline, according to revised estimates of a government panel. Any tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9 earthquake in the Nankai Trough, which extends from the main Japanese island of Honshu to the southern island of Kyushu, could reach 34 meters high, the committee said.

A previous estimate in 2003 estimated that the maximum height of the wave would be less than 20 meters (66 feet). The Fukushima plant was designed to withstand a tsunami of 6 meters (20 feet), less than half the height of the wave that hit the plant on March 11, 2011.

But, there are no reasons to worry. Another piece of news dated two days ago, on March 30, could give us some peace of mind. It was published by a really well informed media. I’ll summarize it in just a few words: “If you were a soccer player, an Arab sheik or an executive of a big multinational, what kind of technology would make you sigh?

Recently, some famous luxury shops in London inaugurated an entire section dedicated to technology-lovers with bulging wallets. One million dollar TV sets, Ferrari camcorders and individual submarines are some of the fetish to delight millionaires. The one million dollar TV set is the crown jewel. In the case of ‘Apple’, the company has committed to deliver its new products on the same day they are launched in the market.

Let us suppose that we have left our mansion and we are already tired of hanging around with our yacht, limousine, helicopter or jet. We still have the choice to buy an individual submarine or a submarine for two persons.

The offer goes on to advertise cells with stainless steel casings; 1.2 GHz and 8G memory processors; NFC technology to make payments through cell phones and Ferrari camcorders.

Capitalism, compatriots, is a truly wonderful thing! Maybe it is our fault that not every citizen has its own private submarine at the beach.

It was them, not me, who mixed up the Arab sheiks and the executives of the big transnationals with the soccer players. The latter, at least, entertain millions of persons and are not enemies of Cuba; I should state that very clearly.

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Fidel Castro Ruz

April 1st, 2012

8:35 p.m.

The Need to Enrich Our Knowledge

The filmed scenes of the massacre in Libya, starting to be seen, offend for their total absence of humanism and the crass lies that served as an excuse for invading and taking over the natural resources of that country.

With more than 25,000 combat missions, NATO air forces backed up the monstrous crime.

They stated that the Libyan government had funds abroad exceeding 200 billion dollars. At this time, nobody knows where the money is nor what has been done with it.

A fraudulent electoral process ensured the overthrowing of the presidency of the most powerful country on the side of George W. Bush, an alcoholic without medical treatment nor the most basic ethical principles, who ordered West Point graduates to be ready to attack without warning 60 or more dark corners of the world.

Such a deranged person, with the use of a small black briefcase, could decide on the use of thousands of nuclear weapons; with a minimal percentage of these, he could put an end to human life on the planet.

It is sad to remember that on the opposite side of the Yankee super-power, another deranged person, with three bottles of vodka in his stomach, declared the disintegration of the USSR and the dismantling of more than 400 nuclear bases in whose range were all the military bases threatening that country.

Those events did not constitute any surprise. Throughout many years of struggle, experience garnered, contact with events, ideas and historical processes did not come as a surprise.

Today the Russian leaders are trying to rebuild this powerful State which had been created with so much effort and sacrifice.

When Pope John Paul II visited our country in 1998, more than once before his arrival I talked about several subjects with one or another of his envoys. I especially remember the occasion when we sat down to dinner in a small room in the Palace of the Revolution with Joaquín Navarro Valls, Papal spokesman, sitting in front of me. To the right was a pleasant and intelligent priest who had come with the spokesman and assisted Pope John Paul II at the Masses.

Curious about the details, I asked Navarro Valls whether he thought that the immense sky with its millions of stars had been made to please the inhabitants of the earth whenever we deigned to look upwards on any given night. “Absolutely” ―he replied. “It is the only inhabited planet in the universe”.

I then turned to the priest and said: what do you think of that, Father? He replied: “In my opinion, there is a 99.9 percent possibility of intelligent life existing on some other planet”. The answer did not violate any religious principle. Mentally I multiplied the figure, who knows how many times. It was the kind of answer that I deemed to be correct and serious.

Afterwards, that noble priest was always friendly with our country. Sharing a friendship does not mean you have to share beliefs.

Today, on Thursday, as it happens with increasing frequency, a European entity with well-known proficiency in the subject, textually states:

There could be billions of planets not much larger than the Earth orbiting around weak stars in our galaxy, according to an international team of astronomers. This estimated number of ‘super-Earths’ -planets with up to ten times Earth’s mass – is based on detections already made and then extrapolated to include the population of the so-called ‘dwarf stars’ in the Milky Way.

“Our new observations with HARPS show that around 40% of the red dwarf stars have a ‘super-Earth’ orbiting around it in its habitable zone, where there may be water in a liquid state on the surface of the planet,” stated Xavier Bonfils, team leader at the Sciences of the Universe Observatory in Grenoble, France.“Due to the fact that the red dwarfs are so common – there are around 160 billion of them in the Milky Way – this brings us to the surprising results that there are tens of millions of those planets in our galaxy alone.” Their studies suggest that there are ‘super-Earths’ in habitable zones in 41% of the cases, with a range of 28 to 95%. “40% of the red dwarf stars have a ‘super-Earth’ orbiting them in their habitable zone, where water in its liquid state may exist.”

That leads to the obvious question about whether any of those planets may not only be habitable but may also have life. But these stars are prone to stellar eruptions, that can wash over the neighbouring planets with X-rays or ultra-violet radiation, making it less likely that life may exist there.“We have an idea about how to find traces of life on those planets,” stated Stephane Udry, researcher at the Observatory of Geneva.“If we are able to see traces of elements related to life such as oxygen in that light, then we can obtain indications about whether there is life on that planet.”

Simply reading these news items shows the possibility and the necessity we have of enriching our knowledge which today is fragmented and scattered.

Perhaps it takes us to more critical positions on the superficiality with which we deal with cultural and material problems. I have not the slightest doubt that our world is changing much more quickly than we are capable of imagining.

Signature of Fidel Raul Castro

Fidel Castro Ruz

March 29, 2012

8:15 p.m.

Difficult times for humanity

The world is increasingly misinformed amidst the chaos of events unfolding at pace never before imagined.

Those of us who have lived a few more years and are avidly interested in information can testify to the extent of ignorance with which we confront events.

While a growing number of people on the planet lack shelter, bread, water, health, education and employment, the Earth’s wealth is being misspent and wasted on weapons and interminable fratricidal wars, an abominable, ever-expanding global practice – increasingly highly developed.

Our glorious, heroic people, despite the inhumane blockade which has lasted more than half a century, have never lowered their banners; they have struggled and will struggle against the sinister empire. This is to our credit and our modest contribution.

On the other side of our planet, where Seoul, the capital of South Korea, in located, President Barack Obama is attending a Summit addressing nuclear security, to impose policies related to the regulation and use of nuclear weapons.

What is being done there is clearly unfathomable.

Personally, I did not become aware of these realities simply by accident. The experiences I lived through during the 15 years after the triumph of the Revolution – the battle of Girón, the criminal yankee blockade to defeat us through hunger, pirate attacks, the dirty attacks and the nuclear missile crisis of October, 1962 – putting the world on the edge of catastrophic disaster – which led me to the conclusion that Marxists and genuine Christians, many of whom I had known, regardless of their political and religious beliefs, should, and could, struggle for justice and peace among human beings.

This is what I have said, and what I maintain, with no vacillation whatsoever. The reasons I can cite today are absolutely valid and even more important, since all of the events which have taken place over the last 40 years confirm them, today with more justification than ever, since – among Marxists and Christians, Catholic or not; Muslims, Shiite or Sunni; free thinkers, dialectical materialists and thinking people – no one would be in favor of witnessing the premature disappearance of our irreplaceable species, waiting for the complex laws of evolution to produce another one which would resemble ours and be capable of thinking.

With great pleasure I will tomorrow, Wednesday, greet His Excellency Pope Benedict XVI, as I greeted John Paul II, a man who invariably engendered feelings of affection when he came in contact with children and humble citizens among the people.

I therefore decided to request a few minutes within his busy schedule when I heard from our Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez that he would appreciate this simple, modest contact.

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Fidel Castro Ruz

March 27, 2012

8:35 p.m.

The Roads Leading To Disaster

This Reflection could be written today, tomorrow or any other day without the risk of being mistaken. Our species faces new problems. When 20 years ago I stated at the United Nations Conference on the Environment and Development in Rio de Janeiro that a species was in danger of extinction, I had fewer reasons than today for warning about a danger that I was seeing perhaps 100 years away. At that time, a handful of leaders of the most powerful countries were in charge of the world. They applauded my words as a matter of mere courtesy and placidly continued to dig for the burial of our species. It seemed that on our planet, common sense and order reigned. For a while economic development, backed by technology and science appeared to be the Alpha and Omega of human society.

Today, everything is much clearer. Profound truths have been surfacing. Almost 200 States, supposedly independent, constitute the political organization which in theory has the job of governing the destiny of the world.

Approximately 25,000 nuclear weapons in the hands of allied or enemy forces ready to defend the changing order, by interest or necessity, virtually reduce to zero the rights of billions of people.

I shall not commit the naiveté of assigning the blame to Russia or China for the development of that kind of weaponry, after the monstrous massacre at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ordered by Truman after Roosevelt’s death.

Nor shall I fall prey to the error of denying the Holocaust that signified the deaths of millions of children and adults, men or women, mainly Jews,  gypsies, Russians or other nationalities, who were victims of Nazism. For that reason the odious policy of those who deny the Palestinian people their right to exist is repugnant.

Does anyone by chance think that the United States will be capable of acting with the independence that will keep it from the inevitable disaster awaiting it?

In a few weeks, the 40 million dollars President Obama promised to collect for his electoral campaign will only serve to show that the currency of his country is greatly devalued, and that the US, with its unusual growing public debt drawing close to 20 quadrillion, is living on the money it prints up and not on the money it produces. The rest of the world pays for what they waste.

Nor does anyone believe that the Democratic candidate would be any better or worse than his Republican foes: whether they are called Mitt Romney or Rick Santorum. Light years separate the three characters as important as Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King. It is really unheard-of to observe such a technologically powerful nation and a government so bereft of both ideas and moral values.

Iran has no nuclear weapons. It is being accused of producing enriched uranium that serves as fuel energy or components for medical uses. Whatever one can say, its possession or production is not equivalent to the production of nuclear weapons. Dozens of countries use enriched uranium as an energy source, but this cannot be used in the manufacture of a nuclear weapon without a prior complicated purification process.

However, Israel, with the aid and cooperation of the United States, manufactured nuclear weaponry without informing or accounting to anybody, today not admitting their possession of these weapons, they have hundreds of them. To prevent the development of research in neighboring Arab countries, they attacked and destroyed reactors in Iraq and Syria. They have also declared their aim of attacking and destroying the production centers for nuclear fuel in Iran.

International politics have been revolving around that crucial topic in that complex and dangerous part of the world, where most of the fuel that moves the world economy is produced and supplied.

The selective elimination of Iran’s most eminent scientists by Israel and their NATO allies has become a practice that motivates hatred and feelings of revenge.

The Israeli government has openly stated its objective to attack the plant manufacturing Iran’s enriched uranium, and the government of the United States has invested billions of dollars to manufacture a bomb for that purpose.

On March 16, 2012, Michel Chossudovsky and Finian Cunningham published an article revealing that “A top US Air Force General has described the largest conventional bomb – the re-invented bunkers of 13.6 tones – as “fantastic” for a military attack on Iran.

“Such an eloquent comment on the massive killer-artifact took place in the same week that President Barack Obama appeared to warn against “easy words” on the Persian Gulf War.” Herbert Carlisle, deputy chief of staff for US Air Force operations added that probably the bomb would be used in any attack on Iran ordered by Washington.

“The MOP, also referred to as ‘The Mother of All Bombs’, is designed to drill through 60 meters of concrete before it detonates its massive bomb. It is believed to be the largest conventional weapon, non-nuclear, in the US arsenal.”

“The Pentagon is planning a process of wide destruction of Iran’s infrastructure and massive civilian victims through the combined use of tactical nuclear bombs and monstrous conventional bombs with mushroom-shaped clouds, including the MOABs and the larger GBU-57A/B or Massive Ordnance Penetrator (MOP) that exceeds the MOAB in destructive capacity.

“The MOP is described as “a powerful new bomb that aims straight at subterranean Iranian and North Korean nuclear facilities. The giant bomb -longer than 11 persons shoulder to shoulder, or more than 6 meters from end to end’.”

I ask the reader to excuse me for this complicated military jargon.

As one can see, such calculations arise from the supposition that the Iranian combatants, numbering millions of men and women well-known for their religious zeal and their fighting traditions, surrender without firing a shot.

In recent days, the Iranians have seen how US soldiers occupying Afghanistan, in just three weeks, urinated on the corpses of killed Afghans, burned copies of the Koran and murdered more than 15 defenseless citizens.

Let us imagine US forces launching monstrous bombs on industrial institutions, capable of penetrating through 60 meters of concrete. Never has such an undertaking ever been conceived.

Not one word more is needed to understand the gravity of such a policy. In that way, our species will be inexorably led towards disaster. If we do not learn how to understand, we shall never learn how to survive.

As for me, I harbor not the slightest doubt that the United States is about to commit and lead the world towards the greatest mistake in its history.

Signature of Fidel Raul Castro

Fidel Castro Ruz

March 21, 2012
7: 35 PM