Top Menu

The Genius of Chávez

President Chávez presented his annual report on activities carried out in 2011 and his program for 2012 to the Venezuelan Parliament. After thoroughly carrying out the formalities required by this important activity, he addressed the official state authorities, members of parliament from all parties, and supporters and opposition members who had come to the Assembly to participate in the country’s most solemn act.

As usual, the Bolivarian leader was gracious and respectful to all those present. When anyone asked for the floor to make a clarification, he granted it as soon as possible. When one of the members of parliament, who had warmly greeted Chávez as did other opposition members, asked to speak, in a great political gesture Chávez interrupted his report presentation and gave her the floor. What surprised me was the extreme severity of the rebuke, launched against the president with words that really put to test Chávez’ chivalry and cold blood. The MPs statement was undoubtedly an insult, although this was not her intention. He alone was capable of calmly responding to the offensive word ‘thief’ that she had used to judge the president’s conduct in terms of the adopted laws and measures.

After verifying the exact term that was used, Chávez responded to the individual challenge for debate with an elegant and sedated phrase, “An eagle does not hunt flies,” and without adding another word he calmly proceeded with his report.

It represented an insurmountable test of mental agility and self control. Another woman, of unquestionable humble origins, expressed her astonishment in moving and heartfelt words over what she had just witnessed and the overwhelming majority present broke out in applause. Judging by the sheer volume, the applause seemed to be coming from all of Chávez’ friends and many of his adversaries as well.

Chávez’ report lasted more than nine hours without the people ever losing interest. Maybe because of that incident, his words were heard by an immeasurable number of people. Many times I have given extensive speeches on difficult topics, always striving to make the ideas I was transmitting understandable. And I was really at a loss to explain how that soldier of humble origins was able to keep his mind so agile and his incomparable talent to deliver such an address without losing his voice or strength.

To me politics is an extensive and decisive battle of ideas. Publicity is the work of publicists, who perhaps know the techniques to get listeners, spectators and readers to do what they are told to do. If that science, or art, or whatever they call it is employed for the good of human beings, they deserve some respect; the same respect merited by those who teach people how to think.

Venezuela today is the site of a great battle. Internal and external enemies of the revolution prefer chaos—as Chávez has said—to the just, organized and peaceful development of the country. Being accustomed to analyzing the events that have occurred over more than half a century, and to observing, with greater foundations for judgment, the eventful history of our time and human behavior, one learns to almost predict the future development of events.

To promote a far-reaching Revolution in Venezuela was no easy task. Venezuela is a country full of glorious history, but extraordinarily rich in resources that are of vital importance to the imperialist powers that have, and continue to map out guidelines in the world.

Political leaders the likes of Romulo Betancourt and Carlos Andres Perez lack the most minimal personal qualities to carry out such a task. Furthermore, Betancourt was excessively vain and hypocritical. He had many opportunities to learn about the situation in Venezuela. As a young man he was a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Costa Rica. He had a strong grasp of Latin American history and the role of imperialism, of poverty rates, and the ruthless plundering of natural resources in South America. He could not ignore that in a vastly rich country such as Venezuela, the majority of the people lived in extreme poverty. The archival footage is irrefutable proof of that reality of life.

As Chávez has explained many times, for more than half a century Venezuela was the world’s major oil exporter. At the beginning of the 20th century, European and Yankee warships intervened to support an illegal and tyrannical government that handed the country over to foreign monopolies. It is well known that incalculable funds flowed out of Venezuela to swell the wealth of monopolies and the Venezuelan oligarchy.

I remember when I visited Venezuela for the first time—after the triumph of the Revolution, to give thanks for the support and friendliness afforded to our struggle—, oil was worth barely two dollars a barrel.

Afterwards when I went to Venezuela to take part in the swearing-in ceremony for Chávez, the day he took an oath on the “dying constitution” held by Calderas, oil was worth seven dollars a barrel, despite 40 years having passed since my first visit and almost 30 years since the “distinguished” Richard Nixon had cancelled the direct convertibility of the United States dollar to gold and the US began to buy the world with pieces of paper. For a century, Venezuela was a supplier of cheap fuel to the empire’s economy and a net exporter of capital to developed and rich countries.

Why did these repugnant situations dominate for more than a century?

Latin American Armed Forces’ officials went to their privileged schools in the United States, where the Olympic champions of democracies gave them special courses on maintaining imperialist and bourgeois order. Coups d’état were always welcomed if their objective was to “defend democracies,” safeguarding and guaranteeing this repugnant system, in league with the oligarchies. Whether voters knew how to read and write, whether they had homes, employment, medical services and education were unimportant as long as the sacred right to property was maintained. Chávez brilliantly explains this situation. No one knows as well as him what happened in our countries.

Even worse was that the sophisticated nature of weapons, the complex workings and use of modern armaments that require years of learning, the training of highly qualified specialists, and the almost prohibitive cost of such weapons for the weak economies of the continent created a very strong mechanism of subordination and dependence. The US Government, employing mechanisms that did not require prior consultation with the other governments, set guidelines and policies for the military. The most sophisticated techniques of torture were passed on to the so-called security agencies to interrogate those who rebelled against the dirty and repugnant system of hunger and exploitation.

Despite all this, many honest officials, tired of so many indignations, bravely attempted to eradicate that embarrassing treason against the history of our independence struggles.

In Argentina, military official Juan Domingo Peron was able to design an independent and worker-based policy in his country. A bloody military coup overthrew him, expelled him from his country, and kept him in exile from 1955 to 1973. Years later, under the aegis of the Yankees, they once again attacked the government, murdering, torturing and disappearing tens of thousands of Argentines. They were not even able to defend the country during the colonial war that England carried out against Argentina with the conspiratorial support of the United States and henchman Augusto Pinochet with his cohort of fascists officers trained at the School of the Americas.

In Santo Domingo, Colonel Francisco Caamaño Deño; in Peru, General Velazco Alvarado; in Panama, General Omar Torrijos; and in other countries captains and officers who gave their lives anonymously were the antithesis of the traitorous behavior embodied by Somoza, Trujillo, Stroessner and the cruel tyrannies in Uruguay, El Salvador and other countries in Central and South America. The revolutionary military personnel did not expound elaborate theories, nor was this to be expected. They were not academicians educated in political science, but rather men with a sense of honor who loved their country.

But how far can honest men—who deplore injustice and crime—go along the path of revolution?

Venezuela is an outstanding example of the theoretical and practical role that the military can play in the revolutionary struggle for the independence of our peoples, as they did two centuries ago under the brilliant leadership of Simon Bolivar.

Chávez, a Venezuelan military officer of humble origins, stepped into the political life of Venezuela inspired by the ideas of the Liberator of America. On Bolivar, an inexhaustible source of inspiration, Marti wrote: “he won sublime battles with soldiers barefoot and half naked […] who never fought so much, nor fought better, in the world for freedom …”

“… Of Bolivar, he said, you can talk only after climbing up a mountain to use it as a platform […] or after freeing a bunch of peoples united in one fist …”

“… what he did not do, still remains undone today, because Bolivar still has things to do in the Americas.”

More than half a century later the famous, award-winning poet Pablo Neruda wrote a poem on Bolivar which Chávez frequently quotes. The final stanza reads:

“I met Bolivar one long morning, in Madrid, at the head of the Fifth Regiment, Father, I said, you are or not or who you are? And looking at the Mountain Headquarters, he said:

‘I wake up every hundred years when the people awaken.’ ”

But the Bolivarian leader is not limited to theoretical elaborations. His concrete measures are implemented without hesitation. The English-speaking Caribbean countries, which have to contend with modern and luxurious Yankee cruise ships for the right to receive tourists in their hotels, restaurants and recreation centers, quite often foreign-owned, but at least they generate employment, will always welcome fuel from Venezuela, supplied by that country with special payment facilities, when the barrel reached prices that sometimes exceeded US $100.

In the tiny state of Nicaragua, the land of Sandino, the “General of Free Men”, the Central Intelligence Agency organized the exchange of guns for drugs through Luis Posada Carriles after he was rescued from a Venezuelan prison. This operation resulted in thousands of deaths and mutilations among that heroic people. Nicaragua has also received the solidarity support of Venezuela. These are unprecedented examples in the history of this hemisphere.

The ruinous Free Trade Agreement that the Yankees intend to impose on Latin America, as they did with Mexico, would turn Latin America and the Caribbean not only into the region with the world’s worst distribution of wealth, which already is. It will turn it into a huge market where corn and other staple foods that are traditional sources of plant and animal protein would be displaced by subsidized U.S. crops, as is already happening in Mexico.

Used cars and other goods are displacing Mexican industry manufactures; job opportunities are decreasing in both cities and the countryside; the drug and arms trades are escalating, growing numbers of youngsters aged 14 or 15 years are turned into fearsome criminals. Never before, buses or other vehicles full of people who even paid to be transported across the border in search of employment, have been kidnapped and mass murdered. Known figures grow from year to year. More than ten thousand people are now losing their lives each year.

It is impossible to analyze the Bolivarian Revolution without taking these realities into account.

The armed forces, in such social circumstances, are forced into endless and wearisome wars.

Honduras is not an industrialized, financial or commercial country, or even a major producer of drugs. However, some of its cities break the record of drug-related violent deaths. There instead stands the banner of a major base of the strategic forces of the United States Southern Command. What is happening there, and is already happening in more than one Latin American country, is the Dantesque picture painted above, from which some countries have begun to escape. Among them and first, Venezuela, not just because it has considerable natural resources, but because it has been rescued from the insatiable greed of foreign corporations and has sparked considerable political and social forces capable of great achievements. Venezuela today is quite another from that I went to only 12 years ago, which had already deeply impressed me, seeing it as a Phoenix rising again from the ashes of its history.

Mentioning the mysterious computer of Raul Reyes, in the hands of the U.S. and the CIA after the attack organized and supplied by them in full Ecuadorian territory, which killed Marulanda’s replacement as well as several unarmed American youths, a version has been released that Chávez supported the “narco-terrorist organization FARC.” The true terrorists and drug traffickers in Colombia are the paramilitaries that supplied drugs to American dealers to sell them in the largest drug market in the world: the United States.

I never spoke with Marulanda, but I did speak with honored writers and intellectuals who came to know him well. I discussed his thoughts and history. He was undoubtedly a brave and revolutionary man, which I do not hesitate to affirm. I explained that I did not agree with him on his tactics. In my view, two or three thousand men would have been more than enough to defeat a conventional army in the territory of Colombia. His mistake was to devise a revolutionary army with almost as many soldiers as the enemy. That was extremely expensive.

Today, technology has changed many aspects of war; the forms of struggle also change. In fact, the clash of conventional forces between powers possessing nuclear weapons has become impossible. We do not have to have the knowledge of Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking and thousands of other scientists to understand that. It is a latent danger and the result is known or should be known. Thinking beings could take millions of years to repopulate the planet.

Nevertheless, I hold the duty to fight, which in itself is something innate in man, to find solutions that will enable a more reasoned and dignified existence.

Since I met Chávez, now as president of Venezuela, from the final stages of the Pastrana administration, I always saw him interested in promoting peace in Colombia. He facilitated meetings between the Colombian government and the revolutionaries that took place in Cuba, note well, on the basis of reaching a true peace agreement and not a surrender.

I do not recall ever having heard Chávez promote anything but peace in Colombia, nor mention Raul Reyes. We always addressed other issues. He particularly appreciates the Colombians, millions of them live in Venezuela and everyone benefits from the social measures taken by the Revolution, and the people of Colombia appreciate that almost as much as those of Venezuela.

I wish to express my solidarity and appreciation to General Henry Rangel Silva, Head of Strategic Operational Command of the Armed Forces, and newly appointed Minister of Defense of the Bolivarian Republic. I had the honor of meeting him when he visited Chávez in Cuba a few months ago. I could see in him an intelligent, well-meant, capable, and yet modest man. I heard his calm, brave and clear speech, which inspired confidence.

He led the organization of the most perfect parade of a Latin American military force that I have ever seen. We hope it will serve as encouragement and example to other brother armies.

The Yankees had nothing to do with that parade, and would not be able to do better.

It is extremely unfair to criticize Chávez for the resources invested in the excellent weapons which were displayed there. I’m sure they will never be used to attack a neighboring country. The weapons, resources and knowledge must go along the paths of unity to see America, as The Liberator dreamed, ”… the greatest nation in the world, greatest not so much by virtue of her area and wealth as by her freedom and glory..”

Everything unites us more than Europe or the United States itself, except the lack of independence imposed on us for 200 years.

castro signature

Fidel Castro Ruz

January 25, 2012

8:32 p.m.

The Fruit Which Did Not Fall

CUBA was forced to fight for its existence facing an expansionist power, located a few miles from its coast, and which was proclaiming the annexation of our island, which was destined to fall into its lap like a ripe fruit. We were condemned not to exist as a nation.

Within the glorious legions of patriots who, during the second half of the 19th century, fought against the abhorrent colonial status imposed by Spain over 300 years, José Martí was the man who most clearly perceived such a dramatic destiny. He confirmed it in the last lines that he wrote, the night before the anticipated difficult combat against a battle-hardened and well equipped Spanish column, when he declared that the fundamental objective of his struggle was, “…to prevent the United States from spreading through the Antilles as Cuba gains its independence, and from overpowering with that additional strength our lands of America. Everything that I have done up until now, and everything that I will do, is to this end.”

Without understanding this profound truth one cannot today be either a patriot or a revolutionary.

Without any doubt, the mass media, the monopoly of many technical resources and the substantial funds directed at dehumanizing the masses constitute considerable but not invincible obstacles.

Cuba demonstrated – starting from its position as a colonial yankee trading post, together with the illiteracy and generalized poverty of its people – that it was possible to confront the country which was threatening the definitive absorption of the Cuban nation. Nobody can even affirm that there was a national bourgeoisie opposed to the empire; the bourgeoisie developed in such close proximity to it that, shortly after the triumph, it sent 14,000 totally unprotected children to the United States, although that act was associated with the perfidious lie that parental custody was to be suppressed. This is what history recorded as Operation Peter Pan, described as the largest maneuver of child manipulation for political ends recalled in the Western Hemisphere.

National territory was invaded, barely two years after the revolutionary triumph, by mercenary forces – comprising former Batista soldiers and the sons of landowners and the bourgeoisie – armed and escorted by the United States with warships from its naval fleet, including aircraft carriers with equipment ready to enter into action, and which accompanied the invaders to our island. The defeat and capture of virtually all the mercenaries in less than 72 hours and the destruction of their aircraft operating from bases in Nicaragua and their naval transportation, constituted a humiliating defeat for the empire and its Latin America allies, which had underestimated the Cuban people’s fighting capacity.

In the face of the termination of oil supplies on the part of the United States, the subsequent total suspension of the historic sugar quota in that country’s market, and the prohibition of trade established over more than 100 years, the USSR responded to each one of these measures by supplying fuel, buying our sugar, trading with our country and finally, supplying the weapons that Cuba could not acquire in other markets.

The idea of a systematic campaign of CIA-organized pirate attacks, sabotage and military actions by armed bands created and supplied by the United States before and after the mercenary attack, and which would culminate in a military invasion of Cuba by this country, gave rise to events which placed the world on the brink of a total nuclear war, which neither of the parties involved nor humanity itself could have survived.

Without any doubt, those events resulted in the removal from the presidency of Nikita Khrushchev, who underestimated his adversary, disregarded opinions presented to him and did not consult with those of us in the front line concerning his final decision. What could have been an important moral victory thus turned into a costly political setback for the USSR. For many years the worst of crimes against Cuba continued and more than a few of them, like the U.S. criminal blockade, are still being committed.

Khrushchev made exceptional gestures to our country. On that occasion, I unhesitatingly criticized the non-consulted agreement with the United States, but it would be ungrateful and unjust not to acknowledge his exceptional solidarity at difficult and decisive moments for our people in their historic battle for independence and revolution in the face of the powerful empire of the United States. I understand that the situation was extremely tense and he did not wish to lose any time when he made the decision to withdraw the missiles and the yankees, very secretly, agreed to give up the invasion.

Despite the decades gone by, already half a century, the Cuban fruit has not fallen into yankee hands.

News reports currently coming in from Spain, France, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Syria, the United Kingdom, the Malvinas and countless other points on the planet are serious, and all of them augur a political and economic disaster as a result of the stupidity of the United States and its allies.

I will confine myself to a few subjects. I must note that, going by what everyone is saying, that the selection of a Republican candidate to aspire to the presidency of this globalized and far-reaching empire is, in its turn – I am serious – the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that I have ever heard. As I have things to do, I cannot devote any time to the subject. I already knew it would be like that.

Some news agency cables better illustrate what I wish to analyze, because they demonstrate the incredible cynicism generated by the decadence of the West. One of them, with amazing tranquility, talks of a Cuban political prisoner who, it states, died after a hunger strike lasting 50 days. A journalist with Granma, Juventud Rebelde, radio news or any other revolutionary organ might be mistaken in any interpretation of any subject, but would never fabricate an item of news or invent a lie.

A Granma informative note affirms that there was no hunger strike; the man was an ordinary prisoner sentenced to four years for attacking and injuring his wife in the face; that his own mother in law asked authorities to intervene; family members were kept fully abreast of all procedures used in his medical treatment and were grateful for the effort made by medical specialists who treated him. He received medical attention, as the note states, in the best hospital in the eastern region, as is the case with all citizens. He died from secondary multi-organic failure related to a severe respiratory infection.

The patient had received all the medical attention administered in a country which has one of the finest medical services in the world, provided free of charge in spite of the blockade imposed on our homeland by imperialism. It is simply a duty that is fulfilled in a country where the Revolution is proud of always having respected, for more than 50 years, the principles which give it its invincible strength.

It would be more worthwhile for the Spanish government, given its excellent relations with Washington, to travel to the United States and inform itself as to what is taking place in yankee jails, the ruthless conduct meted out to millions of prisoners, the policy of the electric chair and the horrors perpetrated on detainees in the country’s jails and those who are protesting in its streets.

Yesterday, January 23, a strong Granma editorial titled “Cuba’s truths,” which occupied an entire page of the newspaper, explained in detail the unprecedented shame of the campaign of lies unleashed against our Revolution by certain governments “traditionally committed to anti-Cuba subversion.”

Our people are well aware of the norms which have governed the impeccable conduct of our Revolution since the first battle and which has never been stained over more than half a century. They also know that it can never be pressured or coerced by enemies. Our laws and norms will be respected unfailingly.

It is worth noting this with clarity and frankness. The Spanish government and the shaky European Union, plunged into a profound economic crisis, must know what should guide them. It is pitiful to read news agency reports of the statements of both utilizing their barefaced lies to attack Cuba. First concern yourselves with saving the euro if you can, resolve the chronic unemployment from which young people are increasingly suffering, and respond to the indignados, constantly attacked and beaten by the police.

We are not ignorant of the fact that Spain is now being governed by admirers of Franco, who dispatched members of the Blue Division, together with the Nazi SS and SA, to kill Soviets. Close to 50,000 of them participated in the cruel aggression. In the most cruel and painful operation of that war: the siege of Leningrad, where one million Russian citizens died, the Blue Division was among the forces attempting to strangle the heroic city. The Russian people will never pardon that horrific crime.

The fascist right of Aznar, Rajoy and other servants of the empire, must know something about the 16,000 casualties of their predecessors in the Blue Division and the Iron Crosses which Hitler awarded to officers and soldiers from that division. There is nothing unusual about what the Gestapo police are doing now to the men and women demanding the right to work and bread in the country with the highest unemployment in Europe.

Why are the mass media of the empire lying so barefacedly?

Those who manipulate the media are striving to deceive and dehumanize the world with their crude lies, possibly thinking that it constitutes the principal resource for maintaining the global system of domination and plunder imposed, particularly upon victims in close proximity to the headquarters of the metropolis, the close to 600 million Latin American and Caribbean people living in this hemisphere.

The sister republic of Venezuela has become the fundamental objective of this policy. The reason is obvious. Without Venezuela, the empire would have imposed its Free Trade Treaty on all the peoples of the continent who inhabit it from the south of the United States, a region where the greatest reserves of land, fresh water and minerals of the planet are to be found, as well as large energy resources which, administered in a spirit of solidarity toward other peoples of the world, constitute resources which cannot and must not fall into the hands of transnationals imposing a suicidal and infamous system on them.

For example, it is enough to look at the map to comprehend the criminal dispossession signified by stripping Argentina of a little piece of its territory in the extreme south of the continent. There, the British deployed their decadent military apparatus to murder rookie Argentine recruits wearing summer clothing in the middle of winter. The United States, and its ally Augusto Pinochet, shamelessly supported them. Now, just before the London Olympics, its Prime Minister David Cameron is also proclaiming, as did Margaret Thatcher, his right to use nuclear submarines to kill Argentines. The government of this country is unaware of the fact that the world is changing, and the scorn of our hemisphere and that of the majority of the peoples for the oppressors is increasing every day.

The case of the Malvinas is not the only one. Does anyone know how the conflict in Afghanistan is going to end? Just a few days ago U.S. soldiers desecrated the corpses of Afghani combatants, killed by NATO drone bombings.

Three days ago a European agency reported, “Afghani President Hamid Karzai has given his backing to a negotiated peace with the Taliban, emphasizing that this issue must be resolved by the citizens of his country.” It went on to add, “…the process of peace and reconciliation belongs to the Afghani nation and no country or foreign organization can take away this right from the Afghanis.

For its part, a cable published by our press communicated from Paris, “France today suspended all its training and aid operations in Afghanistan and threatened to expedite the withdrawal of its troops, after an Afghani soldier shot four French soldiers in the Taghab valley, in Kapisa province… Sarkozy instructed Defense Minister Gérard Longuet to travel immediately to Kabul, and indicated the possibility of an early withdrawal of the contingent.”

After the disappearance of the USSR and the socialist bloc, the U.S. government imagined that Cuba would be unable to sustain itself. George W. Bush had already prepared a counterrevolutionary government to govern our country. On the very same day that Bush initiated his criminal war on Iraq, I asked our country’s authorities to end the tolerance afforded the counterrevolutionary capos who, in those days, were hysterically demanding the invasion of Cuba. In real terms, their attitude constituted an act of treason against the homeland.

Bush and his stupidities prevailed for eight years and the Cuban Revolution has already lasted for more than half a century. The ripe fruit has not fallen into the empire’s lap. Cuba will not be one more possession with which the empire spreads through the lands of America. Martí’s blood will not have been spilled in vain.

Tomorrow I will publish another Reflection to complement this one.

castro signature

Fidel Castro Ruz

January 24, 2012

7:12 p.m.

World Peace Hanging by a Thread

Yesterday I had the satisfaction of having a pleasant conversation with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I had not seen him since 2006, more than five years ago, when he visited our country to participate in the 14th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement of Countries in Havana. During the summit, Cuba was elected for the second time as president of the organization for a three-year term.

I had become gravely ill on July 26, 2006, a month and a half prior to the summit, and could barely sit up in bed. Many of the most distinguished leaders who participated in the event were kind enough to visit me. Chavez and Evo visited me several times. One afternoon four visitors came by whom I will always remember: UN Secretary General Kofi Annan; an old friend, Abdelaziz Buteflika, the president of Algeria; Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran; and the vice minister of Foreign Affairs and current Foreign Minister of China, Yang Jiechi, on behalf of the leader of the Communist Party and the president of China, Hu Jintao. It was really an important time for me; I was in the midst of intense physiotherapy on my right hand that I had seriously injured when I fell in Santa Clara.

With all four I spoke about some of the difficulties facing the world at the time; problems that have become progressively more complex.

During our meeting yesterday, I noted that the Iranian president was absolutely calm and tranquil, completely unconcerned about the Yankee threats and, fully confident in the capacity of his people to confront any aggression and in the effectiveness of their arms —which, in large part, they produce themselves— to inflict an unpayable price on its aggressors.

In reality, we hardly spoke about the topic of war. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was focused on the ideas he had presented at the Main Hall of the University of Havana during his conference on the struggle of humankind: “Moving towards reaching and achieving peace, security, respect and human dignity as a fundamental desire of all human beings throughout history.”

I am convinced that Iran will not commit any rash actions that might contribute to setting off a war. If a war were to be unleashed, it would inevitably be completely as a result of the recklessness and congenital irresponsibility of the Yankee Empire.

I believe that the political situation surrounding Iran and the associated risks of a nuclear war that involves us all —regardless of whether one possess nuclear weapons— are extremely delicate because they threaten the very existence of our species. The Middle East has become the most troubled region on the planet, the same region that produces the energy resources vital for the world’s economy.

The destructive power and the mass sufferings caused by some of the weapons used in World War Two led to a strong movement to ban weapons such as asphyxiating gas and others. Nevertheless, conflicting interests and the huge profits made by arms manufacturers led to the production of crueler and more destructive weapons; modern technology has now added the means and material to build weapons that if used in a world war would lead to extinction.

I support the opinion, undoubtedly shared by all those with a basic sense of responsibility, that no country big or small has the right to possess nuclear weapons.

They never should have been used to attack two defenseless cities such as Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing and irradiating with horrible and long-lasting effects hundreds of thousands of men, women and children, in a country that had already been militarily defeated.

If fascism indeed forced the allied nations against Nazism to compete with this enemy of humanity in the production of such weapons, once the war ended and the United Nations was created, the first duty of this organization should have been to prohibit nuclear weapons without exception.

However, the United States, the strongest and richest power, forced the rest of the world to follow its lead. Today, they have hundreds of satellites that spy and monitor the entire world from outer space. Their naval, air and land forces are equipped with thousands of nuclear weapons; and they control the world’s finances and investments at their whim via the International Monetary Fund.

Analyzing the history of each Latin American nation, from Mexico to Patagonia, by way of Santo Domingo and Haiti, one can observe that each and every country, without exception, have suffered for 200 years, from the beginning of the 19th century up until today. And, in one way or another, they are increasingly suffering the worst crimes that power and force can commit against the rights of a people. Brilliant Latin American writers are emerging in an increasing number. One of them, Eduardo Galeano, author of the book Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent that describes the aforementioned, has just been invited to open the prestigious Casa de Las Americas Awards as a recognition to his outstanding body of work.

Events happen incredibly fast; but technologies report them to the public even faster. On any given day, like today, important news comes out a dizzying pace. A cable report dated from January 11 states: “The Danish presidency of the European Union confirmed on Wednesday that a new series of more severe European sanctions against Iran, because of its nuclear program, will be discussed on January 23. The new sanctions will not only target the oil industry but also the Central Bank.”

During a meeting with international journalists, Danish Foreign Minister Villy Soevndal said that “We will increase sanctions against the oil industry in addition to sanctions against financial structures.” This clearly demonstrates that, in order to impede nuclear proliferation, Israel can go on accumulating hundreds of nuclear warheads while Iran is not allowed to produce 20% enriched uranium.

Another article, from a respected British news agency, states that “China gave no hint on Wednesday of giving ground to U.S. demands to curb Iran’s oil revenues, rejecting Washington’s sanctions on Tehran as overstepping …”

The sheer tranquility with which the United States and civilized Europe carry out this campaign with incredible and systematic acts of terrorism is enough to shock anybody. Just look at these lines reported by another important European news agency: “The murder on Wednesday of Iranian nuclear specialist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan [a scientist at the Natanz nuclear plant] was the fourth attack to kill a leading scientist in the country in almost exactly two years.”

On January 12, 2010: “Massoud Ali Mohammadi, a particle physics professor at Tehran University is killed when a booby-trapped motorcycle explodes outside his home in the capital.”

On November 29, 2010: “Two attacks target leading Iranian nuclear scientists on the same day. Majid Shahriari, a key member of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency, is killed in Tehran by a limpet bomb attached to his car. His colleague Fereydoon Abbasi Davani is also targeted by a bomb attached to his car, but escapes.” The car was parked in front of the Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran where both men worked as professors.

On July 23, 2011: “Gunmen shoot dead Dariush Rezaei-Nejad, a senior scientist who is reportedly associated with the defense ministry, and wound his wife as they waited for their child outside a Tehran kindergarten.”

On January 11, 2012 —the same day that Ahmadinejad travelled from Nicaragua to Cuba to give a conference at the University of Havana—, scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, “a deputy director at the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility, is killed in a car bomb blast outside the [Allameh Tabatabai] University in east Tehran.” As in previous years “Iran once again accused the United States and Israel.”

The killings represent a systematic and selective slaughter of brilliant Iranian scientists. I have read articles by known Israeli sympathizers who write about crimes carried out by Israeli intelligence services in cooperation with the United States and NATO as if they were the most normal occurrence.

At the same time, Moscow news agencies report that “Russia warned that in Syria a similar scenario is developing as to that in Libya, and added that this time the attack will be launched from neighboring Turkey.

“The secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, said the West wants to ‘punish Damascus not as much for repressing the opposition, but because it is unwilling to sever ties with Tehran.’”

“…NATO members and some Persian Gulf states, operating according to the Libya scenario, intend to move from indirect intervention in Syrian affairs to direct military intervention…This time the main strikes forces will not be provided by France, the U.K. or Italy, but possibly by neighboring Turkey.”

“Washington and Ankara are now assumed to be negotiating a “no-fly” zone over Syria, where Syrian armed insurgents can be trained and concentrated, added Patrushev.”

News is not only coming out of Iran and the Middle East, but also from other parts of Central Asia near the Middle East. These reports show the great complexity of the problems that can arise from this dangerous region.

The United States has been led by its contradictory and absurd imperial policy to get involved in serious problems in countries such as Pakistan, whose borders with Afghanistan were drawn up by the colonialists without taking into account culture or ethnicities.

In Afghanistan, which defended its independence against English colonialism for centuries, drug production has multiplied in the wake of the Yankee invasion. Meanwhile, European soldiers, supported by drone airplanes and armed with sophisticated US weapons, carry out deplorable massacres that increase the people’s hatred and ward off any possibilities of peace. All this and other dirty actions are also reported by Western news agencies.

“WASHINGTON, January 12, 2012 – US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta called the actions of four U.S. marines who urinated on corpses in Afghanistan “utterly deplorable” The video of the act was circulated in the Internet.

“’I have seen the footage, and I find the behavior depicted in it utterly deplorable…’

“’This conduct is entirely inappropriate for members of the United States military and does not reflect the standards of values our armed forces are sworn to uphold…’”

In reality, Panetta neither confirms nor denies the action, and anyone, including the Secretary of Defense himself, may harbor doubt.

But it is also extremely inhumane that men, women and children, or an Afghani combatant fighting against the foreign occupation, be murdered by bombs dropped by drone planes. Another very serious incident: dozens of Pakistani soldiers and officials who safeguarded the country’s borders have been killed by these bombs.

Afghani President Karzai stated that the outrage committed against the bodies was “simply inhumane.” He asked for the US government “to urgently investigate the video and apply the most severe punishment to anyone found guilty in this crime.”

Meanwhile Taliban spokespersons declared that “over the last ten years, hundreds of similar acts have been carried out that were not reported…”

One even feels sorry for those soldiers, thousands of kilometers away from their family, friends and country, sent to fight in countries that they might not have even heard of during their school days, where they are assigned the task of killing or dying to enrich transnational companies, arms manufacturers and unscrupulous politicians who each year squander funds needed to feed and educate the uncountable millions of hungry and illiterate people around the world.

Many of these soldiers, victims of the trauma suffered, end up taking their own lives.

Is it an exaggeration to say that world peace is hanging by a thread?

castro signature

Fidel Castro Ruz

January 12, 2012

9:14 p.m.

The Best President for the United States

A well-known European news agency yesterday published from Sydney, Australia that a group of Australian researchers at the University of New South Wales announced the creation of an electrical cable ten thousand times thinner than a strand of hair, capable of carrying as much electricity as a traditional copper cable.

Bent Weber, lead author of a study published in Science magazine at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia explained that “Interconnecting wiring of this scale will be vital for the development of future atomic-scale electronic circuits”.

“The wires were made by precisely placing chains of phosphorus atoms within a silicon crystal, according to the study, which includes researchers from the University of Melbourne and Purdue University in the US.”

The discovery is essential in the international race to develop the first ‘quantum computer’, super-fast machines capable of processing enormous amounts of information in just a few seconds: a series of calculations that would take years, or even decades, for today’s computers.

“In a traditional copper cable, the electricity is generated when the copper electrons flow along a conductor: but as the cable or conductor becomes smaller, resistance to the electrical flow becomes greater.”

In order to solve this problem, Weber and his team used specially designed microscopes with atomic precision that allowed them to place the phosphorus atoms into the silicone crystals.

“This allowed the nanocable to act as the copper, with the electrons flowing easily and with no resistance problems. They are trying to prove that with this technique it is possible to minimize components down to the scale of a few atoms.

If we are going to use atoms as bits, we need cables on the same scale as the atoms ― observed the supervisor of the group physicist, Micelle Simmons.”

With these unstoppable technological advances that ought to be for the well-being of humankind, I was recalling that just four days ago I wrote about the warming of the Earth and the accelerated exploitation of shale gas in a world that in two hundred years is consuming the fossil energy accumulated for 4 billion years.

Imagine Obama, that wordsmith, for whom, in his desperate search for re-election, the dreams of Martin Luther King Jr. are light years further away than the Earth is from the nearest inhabitable planet.

Worse yet: any of the Republican Congressmen who are presidential hopefuls, or any leader of the Tea Party carries more nuclear weapons on their backs than ideas of peace in their heads.

Let the readers imagine for one moment that powerful quantum calculator capable of multiplying an infinite number of times the data that today is collected by modern computers.

Is it not perhaps obvious that the worst thing of all this is the absence in the White House of a robot capable of governing the United States and preventing a war that would put an end to the life of our species?

I am certain that 90 percent of registered Americans, especially Hispanics, Afro-Americans and the growing numbers of the impoverished middle class would vote for the robot.

Signature of Fidel Raul Castro

Fidel Castro Ruz

January 8, 2012

6:18 p.m.

The March Towards the Abyss

It is not a matter of being optimistic or pessimistic, knowing or not knowing elementary things, of being responsible or not for events. Those who would like to be thought of as politicians should be thrown onto the trash heap of history when, as the norm goes, they have no idea about everything or almost everything related to it in that activity.

Of course I am not speaking about those who throughout the various millennia turned public affairs into instruments of power and wealth for the privileged classes, an activity where the real records of cruelty have been imposed during the last eight or ten thousand years about those we have certain traces of the social behaviour of our species, whose existence as thinking beings, according to scientists, barely covers 180,000 years.

It is not my purpose to get involved in such topics that would surely bore almost one hundred percent of the people continuously being bombarded with news across the media, going from the written word to three-dimensional images that are starting to be shown in  expensive cinemas. The day is not far away when they shall also predominate in the already fabulous television images per se. It is no accident that the so-called leisure industry has its headquarters in the heart of the empire that tyrannizes everybody.

What I would like to do is to rest on the current starting point of our species to speak of the march towards the abyss. I might even speak of an “inexorable” march and I would certainly be closer to reality. The idea of a Last Judgement is implicit in the most practiced religious doctrines among the inhabitants of this planet, without anyone classifying them for that as being pessimistic. On the contrary, I think it is a basic duty of all serious and sane persons, who number in the millions, to fight to postpone and perhaps to prevent that dramatic and imminent event in today’s world.

Numerous dangers threaten us, but two of them, nuclear war and climate change, are decisive and both are ever farther away from coming close to a solution.

Verbose demagoguery, the statements and speeches of the tyranny imposed upon the world by the United States and its powerful and unconditional allies, on both topics, do not admit the slightest doubt in that respect.

January 1st of 2012, the western and Christian New Year, coincides with the anniversary of the triumph of the Revolution in Cuba and the year celebrating the 50th anniversary of the October Crisis of 1962 that put the world on the brink of a nuclear world war and this forces me to write these lines.

My words would be lacking in meaning if they had the objective of blaming the American people, or on any other country which is an ally of the United States in the unusual adventure; they, like all the other peoples of the world, would be the inevitable victims of the tragedy.  Recent events happening in Europe and elsewhere show massive indignation by those who are led to protest by the unemployment, shortages, reductions in their incomes, debts, discrimination, lies and politicking and lead to brutal repressions by the guardians of established law and order.

With growing frequency one speaks of military technologies that affect the entire planet, the only satellite known to be inhabitable hundreds of light years away from any other that may perhaps be suitable if we were to move at the speed of light, three hundred thousand kilometres per second.

We should not ignore that if our marvellous thinking species should disappear, many millions of years would go by before another one capable of thinking would arise, by virtue of the natural principles that rule as a consequence of the evolution of the species, discovered by Darwin in 1859 and which today is acknowledged by all serious scientists, whether they are religious or not.

No other era in the history of mankind has known the dangers that today humanity faces. Persons like me, at 85 years old, had reached our 18th birthdays with high school graduation degrees before the first atomic bomb had been put together.

Today artefacts of this type, ready to be used – incomparably more powerful than those that produced the heat of the sun over the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki─ add up to thousands.

Weapons of this kind that are kept in storage, added to those already deployed by virtue of agreements, reach figures that surpass twenty thousand nuclear missiles.

The use of just one hundred or so of those weapons would be enough to create nuclear winter that would cause a horrible death in a short time for all the human beings living on the planet, as the American scientist and Rutgers University professor Alan Robock has brilliantly explained along with computerized data.

Those used to reading news and serious international analyses know how the risks of the outbreak of war with the use of nuclear weapons increase as the tension grows in the Middle East, where in the hands of the Israeli government hundreds of combat-ready nuclear weapons are accumulated, and whose nature as a strong nuclear power is neither admitted or denied.  Likewise, tension grows around Russia, a country with unquestionable capacity for response, threatened by a presumed European nuclear shield.

The Yankee statement that the European nuclear shield is there to also protect Russia from Iran and North Korea is laughable. The Yankee position is so feeble in this delicate matter that its ally Israel does not even bother to guarantee prior consultations on measures that might unleash war.

Humanity, in contrast, does not enjoy any guarantee.  Cosmic space, in the vicinity of our planet, is overcrowed by US satellites destined to spy on what is going on even on the roofs of houses in any nation of the world. The lives and customs of any person or family became objects of espionage; listenning to hundreds of millions of cell phones and subjects of conversations by any user anywhere in the world stops being a private matter and becomes information material for the US secret services.

That is the right that is being left to the citizens of our world by virtue of the acts of a government whose constitution, approved by the Philadelphia Congress in 1776, established that men were born free and equal and the Creator has given them all those rights, which they now no longer have, not the Americans themselves or any citizen of the world, not even to communicate by phone with relatives and friends about their most private feelings.

Of course war is a tragedy that can happen and it is very probable that it will happen; however, if humanity were capable of delaying it for an indefinite length of time, another equally dramatic event is happening at an increasing pace: climate change. I shall restrict myself to point out what eminent scientists and world-class exhibiters have explained through documents and films that are questioned by nobody.

It is well-known that the US government was opposed to the Kyoto agreements on the environment, a line of conduct that didn’t even agree with its closest allies whose territories would suffer tremendously and some of which, such as Holland, would practically disappear.

The planet goes on today without a policy to solve this serious problem, while the levels of oceans rise, the enormous ice caps covering Antarctica and Greenland, where more than 90% of the world’s fresh water is accumulated, are melting at a growing pace, and now humanity, on November 30, 2011, officially reached the figure of 7 billion inhabitants which, in the poorest areas of the world grows in a sustained and inevitable manner. Could it be that those who have dedicated themselves to bombing countries and killing millions of persons in the last 50 years could be concerned about the fate of all the other peoples?

The United States today is not just the promoter of those wars, but it is also the greatest manufacturer and exporter of weapons in the world.

As it is well-known, that powerful country has signed a covenant to supply 60 billion dollars in the next few years to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where the transnationals of the US and its allies extract on a daily basis 10 million barrels of light oil, in other words, a billion dollars in fuel.  What will happen to that country and the region when those energy reserves should run dry? It is not possible that our globalized world will accept without a murmur the colossal wasting of energy resources that nature took hundreds of millions of years to create, and whose dilapidation increases essential costs. It would in no way be worthy of the intelligent nature attributed to our species.

In the last 12 months, that situation has worsened considerably because of new technological advances which, far from alleviating the tragedy coming from the squandering of fossil fuels, considerably make things worse.

World class scientists and researchers have been pointing out the dramatic consequences of climate change.

In an excellent documentary film by French director Yann Arthus-Bertrand, entitled Home, and filmed in collaboration with prestigious and well-informed international celebrities, published in mid-2009, he warns the world with irrefutable data about what is happening.  Using solid arguments, he shows the deadly consequences of consuming, in less than two centuries, the energy resources created by nature in hundreds of millions of years; but the worst of it is not the colossal squandering, but the suicidal consequences for the human species. Referring to the very existence of life, he admonishes the human species: “…You benefit from a fabulous legacy of 4,000 million years supplied by the Earth. You are only 200,000 years old but you have changed the face of the world.”

He didn’t blame nor could he blame anyone up to that time, he was simply pointing out an objective reality. However, today we have to blame ourselves for what we know and we are doing nothing to try to fix it.

In their images and concepts, the authors of that work include memories, data and ideas that we have the duty to know and take into account.

In recent months, another fabulous film was Oceans, made by two French film-makers, considered to be the best film of the year in Cuba; perhaps, in my opinion, the best film of this era.

This is amazing material because of the precision and beauty of the images never before filmed by any camera: 8 years and 50 million Euros were invested in the making of it.  Humanity must thank that proof for the way in which the principles of nature adulterated by man express themselves. The actors are not human beings: they are the inhabitants of the world’s oceans.  An Oscar for them!

What inspired me with the duty to write these lines did not arise from the events referred to up till now, which in one way or another I have commented on previously, but others that, managed by the interests of the transnationals, have been coming to light sparingly in the last few months and in my opinion serve as definitive proof of the confusion and political chaos rife in the world.

Just a few months ago I read for the first time some news about the existence of shale gas. It was stated that the US had reserves to supply their needs for this fuel for 100 years. Since I now have time to do research on political, economic and scientific topics that could be really useful for our peoples, I discretely got in touch with several people living in Cuba or abroad. Oddly, none of them had heard a word about the matter.  Of course, this wasn’t the first time that happened. One is amazed about important facts that are hidden in a veritable sea of information, mixed in with hundreds or thousands of news items that circulate the planet.

Nevertheless, I persisted in my interest on the subject.  Only a few months have gone by and shale gas is no longer news. Just before the new year enough information was known to clearly see the world’s inexorable march towards the abyss, threatened by risks of such great seriousness as nuclear war and climate change. I have already spoken of the first of these; about the second one, in the interest of brevity, I shall restrict myself to reveal known data and some to be known, that no political cadre or sensible person should ignore.

I don’t hesitate saying that I am observing both facts with the serenity imparted by the years I have lived, in this spectacular phase of human history, that have contributed to the education of our brave and heroic people.

The gas is measured in TCF, which can be referred to in cubic feet or cubic metres – it is not always explained whether they are dealing with one or the other – it depends on the system of measurement that is used in certain countries. On the other hand, when they speak of billions they tend to refer to the Spanish billion that means a million millions; that figure in English is called a trillion, and we must keep that in mind when analyzing the references to the gas which tend to be copious. I shall try to point that out when necessary.

The American analyst Daniel Yergin, author of a voluminous classic on the history of oil stated, according to the IPS news agency, that now a third of all the gas produced in the US is shale gas.

“…exploitation of a platform with six wells can consume 170,000 cubic metres of water and even create harmful effects such as influencing seismic movements, polluting surface and groundwaters and affecting the landscape.”

The British BP group informs us that “proven reserves of conventional or traditional gas on the planet add up to 6,608 billion ―million millions― of cubic feet, some 187 billion cubic metres, […] and the largest deposits are in Russia (1,580 TCF), Iran (1,045), Qatar (894), and Saudi Arabia and Turkmenistan with 283 TCF each”. We are dealing with gas that is being produced and marketed.

“An EIA study ―a US  government energy agency ― published in April of 2011 found practically the same volume (6,620 TCF or 187.4 billion cubic metres) of recoverable shale gas in just 32 countries, and the giants are: China (1,275 TCF), United States (862), Argentina (774), Mexico (681), South Africa (485) and Australia (396 TCF)”. Shale gas is gas de esquisto. Take note that according to what is known, Argentina and Mexico have almost as much as the United States. China, with larger deposits, has reserves that equal almost the double of those and 40% more than the United States.

“…countries secularly dependent on foreign suppliers shall count on an enormous base of resources in relation to their consumption, such as France and Poland which import 98 and 64 percent respectively of the gas they consume, and in shale or lutite rocks they would have reserves greater than 180 TCF each”.

“To extract it from the lutite ― IPS points out― they resort to a method called ‘fracking’ (hydraulic fracturing), with the injection of great amounts of water plus sand and  chemical additives. Carbon traces (proportion of carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere) are much greater than those generated in the production of conventional gas.

“Since we are dealing with bombarding layers of earth crust with water and other substances, the risk of damaging the subsoil, soil, surface and groundwater tables, the landscape and communication channels  is greater if the facilities for extracting and transporting the new wealth presents handling defects or errors.”

Suffice it to point out that among the numerous chemical substances that are injected with the water to extract this gas we have benzene and toluene, substances that are terribly carcinogenic.

Lourdes Melgar, expert from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores of Monterrey, has the opinion that:

“‘It is a technology generating much debate and they are resources located in zones where there is no water…”.

“Gas-bearing lutites ― IPS states― are unconventional hydrocarbon quarries, encrusted in rock that protects them, therefore fracking is used to release them on a grand scale.”

“Generation of shale gas involves high volumes of water and the excavation and fracking generates great amounts of liquid waste that may contain dissolved chemicals and other pollutants that require treatment before they are disposed.”

“Production of shale leaped from 11,037 million cubic metres in 2000 to 135,840 million in 2010. In the event of expansion following this pace, in 2035 it will cover 45 percent of the demand of general gas, according to EIA.

“Recent scientific research has warned on the negative environmental profile of lutite gas.

“Professors Robert Howarth, Renee Santoro and Anthony Ingraffea from Cornell University in the US have concluded that this hydrocarbon is a greater pollutant than oil and gas, according to the study ‘Methane and the traces of greenhouse effect gases from natural gas coming from shale formations’ published in April last year in the Climatic Change review.

“‘Carbon trace is greater than that from conventional gas or oil, seen on any time horizon, but particularly within the lapse of 20 years. Compared to carbon, it is at least 20 percent greater and perhaps more than double in 20 years’, the report underlined.”

“Methane is one of the most polluting greenhouse effect gases, responsible for the rise in the planet’s temperature.”

“‘In active extraction areas (one or more Wells in one kilometre) average and maximum concentrations of methane in wells of drinking water increased with proximity to the closest gas well and were a danger for potential explosion’, states the text written by Stephen Osborn, Avner Vengosh, Nathaniel Warner and Robert Jackson, from Duke State University.

“These indicators put into question the industry argument that shale could replace carbon in generating electricity and, therefore be a resource for mitigating climate change.

“‘It is an adventure that is far too premature and risky’.”

“In April of 2010, the US State Department started up the Shale Gas Global Initiative to help countries seeking to use that resource in order to identify and develop it, with the eventual economic benefit for US transnationals.”

I have been inevitably extensive, I had no other option. I write these lines for the Cubadebate website and for Telesur, one of the most serious and honest channels in our long-suffering world.

In order to deal with the subject, I let the holidays of the old and the New Year slip by.

Fidel Castro Ruz

January 4, 2012.

9:15 p.m.

Genocidal Cynicism (Part 2)

TO give some idea of the potential of the USSR in its efforts to maintain parity with the United States in this sphere, suffice it to note that when its disintegration came about in 1991, there were 81 nuclear warheads in Byelorussia, 1,400 in Kazakhstan, and approximately 5,000 in Ukraine, which were passed on to the Russian Federation, the only state capable of sustaining their immense cost in order to maintain its independence.

By virtue of the START and SORT treaties related to the reduction of offensive weapons between the two major nuclear powers, the number of those warheads was reduced to several thousand.

In 2010 a new treaty of this type was signed between the two powers.

Since then the greatest efforts have been dedicated to improving the direction, reach, precision of nuclear missiles and their deception of the enemy defense. Vast sums are invested in the military sphere.

Very few people in the world, except for a handful of thinkers and scientists, have realized and are warning that the explosion of 100 strategic nuclear weapons would be enough to end human existence on the planet. The vast majority would have an end as inexorable as it would be horrific, as a consequence of the nuclear winter which would be generated.

The number of countries which possess nuclear weapons at this moment has risen to eight. Five of them are members of the Security Council: the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China. India and Pakistan acquired the nature of countries possessing nuclear weapons in 1974 and 1998, respectively. The seven countries mentioned acknowledge that nature.

On the other hand, Israel has never acknowledged its nature as a nuclear country. Nevertheless, it is calculated that it possesses 200 to 500 weapons of this type, without that being acknowledged at a time when the world is concerned about the extremely grave problems that would be provoked by the outbreak of a war in the region where a large part of the energy which moves the planet’s industry and agriculture is produced.

It is thanks to the possession of weapons of mass destruction that Israel has been able to fulfill its role as the instrument of imperialism and colonialism in that region of the Middle East.

It is not about the legitimate right of the Israeli people to live and work in peace and freedom; it is precisely about the right of the other peoples in the region to freedom and peace.

While Israel was rapidly creating a nuclear arsenal, it attacked and destroyed, in 1981, the Iraqi nuclear reactor in Osirak. It did exactly the same to the Syrian reactor in Dayr az-Zawr in 2007, an action of which world opinion was strangely not informed. The United Nations and the IAEA were fully aware of what had occurred. Such actions had the support of the United States and the Atlantic Alliance.

There is nothing at all strange about Israel’s highest authorities now announcing their intention to do the same to Iran. This country, immensely rich in oil and gas, had been the victim of the conspiracies of Britain and the United States, whose oil companies were plundering its resources. Its armed forces were equipped with the most modern armaments from the United States’ military industry.

Shah Reza Pahlevi also aspired to acquiring nuclear weapons. Nobody attacked his research centers. The Israeli war was against the Muslim Arabs. It was not against those of Iran, because they had become a NATO bulwark pointing at the heart of the USSR.

Under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini, the masses of that nation, profoundly religious and defying the power of those weapons, removed the Shah from the throne and disarmed one of the best equipped armies in the world without firing a shot.

Given its fighting capacity, number of inhabitants and the country’s extension, an aggression against Iran would bear no resemblance to Israel’s military adventures in Iraq and Syria. A bloody war would invariably be unleashed. There should be absolutely no doubt about that.

Israel has a large number of nuclear weapons with the capacity to reach any point in Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania. I ask myself: Does the IAEA have the moral right to sanction and asphyxiate a country if it attempts to do in its own defense what Israel did in the heart of the Middle East?

What I really think is that no country in the world should possess nuclear weapons, and that this energy should be placed at the service of the human species. Without that spirit of cooperation, humanity is inexorably advancing toward its own destruction. Among Israeli citizens themselves, doubtless a hardworking and intelligent people, many will not be in agreement with this crazy and absurd politics which is also taking them to total disaster.

What is being said today in the world about the economic situation?

The international news agencies report that U.S. President Barack Obama and his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao, presented divergent commercial agendas […] highlighting the growing tensions between the two largest economies in the world.

Obama used an address – Reuters affirms – to threaten punitive economic steps against China unless it started ‘playing by the rules…’

These rules are evidently the interests of the United States.

Obama faces a tough 2012 re-election battle, in which Republican opponents accuse him of not being tough enough on China,” the agency states.

News published on Thursday and Friday reflected the realities which we are experiencing much better.

AP, the best informed U.S. news agency communicated, “Iran’s supreme leader warned Israel and the U.S. that Tehran’s response will be tough should its arch-enemies choose a military strike against Iran…”

The German news agency reported that China had stated that, as always, it believed that dialogue and cooperation were the only form of active rapprochement to solve the problem.

Russia was equally opposed to the punitive measures against Iran.

Germany rejected the military option but was in favor of strong sanctions against Iran.

The United Kingdom and France advocated strong and energetic sanctions.

The Russian Federation assured that it would do everything possible to avert a military operation against Iran and criticized the IAEA report.

‘A military operation against Iran could lead to very grave consequences and Russia will have to invest all its efforts in appeasing spirits,'” stated Konstantin Kosachov, head of the Duma’s Foreign Committee,” and, according to EFE, “He criticized ‘affirmations by the United States, France and Israel as to the possible use of force and the fact that the launch of a military operation against Iran is constantly closer.’

Edward Spannaus, editor of the U.S. EIR magazine, stated that an attack on Iran would end in World War III.

After traveling to Israel a few days ago, the United States Defense Secretary himself acknowledged that he could not obtain a commitment from the Israeli government to consult with the United States prior to an attack on Iran. Things have reached this extreme.

The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs crudely revealed the empire’s dark intentions:

Israel and the U.S. will embark on ‘the largest and most significant joint exercise in the allies’ history,’ said Andrew Shapiro, U.S. assistant secretary for political-military affairs, on Saturday.

…in the […] Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Shapiro spoke about the 5,000 US and Israeli forces who will participate in the exercise to simulate Israel’s ballistic missile defense system.

‘Israeli technology is proving critical to improving our Homeland Security and protecting our troops,’ he added…

Shapiro emphasized the Obama administration’s support for Israel, despite comments by a senior U.S. official on Friday, who expressed concern that Israel would not warn the U.S. before taking military action against Iran’s nuclear facilities.

‘Our security relationship with Israel is broader, deeper and more intense than ever before.’

‘We support Israel because it is in our national interests to do so […] It is the very strength of Israel’s military which deters potential aggressors and helps foster peace and stability.’

Today, November 13, Susan Rice, U.S. ambassador to the UN, told the BBC network that the possibility of a military intervention in Iran was not only not off the table, but is a real option which is growing on account of Iran’s behavior.

She insisted that the U.S. administration is reaching the conclusion that it will become necessary to end the current Iranian regime in order to avoid it creating a nuclear arsenal. “I am convinced that regime change is going to be our only option here,” Rice acknowledged.

Not one more word is necessary.

castro signature

Fidel Castro Ruz

November 13, 2011

8:17 p.m.

Genocidal Cynicism (Part 1)

No sane person, especially someone who has had access to the elementary knowledge acquired in primary school, would agree that our species, especially those who are children, teenagers or youth, should be deprived of the right to live, today, tomorrow and forever. Never have human beings, throughout their eventful history, as persons endowed with intelligence, ever heard of an experience like that.

I feel the duty to convey to those taking the trouble to read these Reflections the opinion that all of us, with no exception, are obliged to create awareness about the risks that humankind are running in an inexorable manner, towards a final and total catastrophe as the consequence of irresponsible decisions made by politicians who fate, rather than talent or merit, has placed the destiny of humankind in their hands.

Whether they are citizens of their country or not, whether they are followers of some religious belief or unbelievers, no human being in their right mind would agree that their children or closest kin should perish precipitously or as victims of atrocious and torturous misery.

On the heels of the repugnant crimes that are being increasingly committed by NATO under the aegis of the United States and the wealthiest countries in Europe, the gaze of the world focused on the G-20 meeting where the profound economic crisis affecting every nation today should have been analyzed. International opinion, especially in Europe, was awaiting an answer for the profound economic crisis that, with its serious social and even climatic implications, is threatening every inhabitant on the planet. At that meeting, it was being decided whether the Euro would be able to be kept as the common currency for most of Europe and even whether some of the countries would be able to remain in the community.

There was no answer or solution of any kind for the most serious problems of the world economy despite the efforts of China, Russia, Indonesia, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina and other emerging economies, anxious to cooperate with the rest of the world in the search for solutions for the serious economic problems affecting them.

What was unusual was that just when NATO concluded the Libyan operation – after the air attack that injured the constitutional head of that country, destroyed the vehicle carrying him and leaving him at the mercy of the empire´s mercenaries who murdered him and exhibited his body as a war trophy, violating Muslim customs and traditions – the IAEA, a UN body and an institution that ought to stand for world peace, released the political, money-driven and sectarian report putting the world on the brink of war with the use of nuclear weapons that the Yankee empire, in alliance with Great Britain and Israel, has been meticulously preparing against Iran.

After the veni, vidi, vici of the famous Roman emperor more than two thousand years ago, translated to “I came, I saw and he died” broadcast for public opinion by an important television network as soon as the death of Gaddafi had been learned of, there are more than enough words to describe US policy.

Now what is important is the need to create clear awareness in the peoples about the abyss towards which humankind is being led. Twice our Revolution lived through dramatic dangers: in October of 1962, the most critical of all where humankind was on the brink of nuclear holocaust; and in mid-1987 when our forces were facing racist South African troops armed with nuclear weapons that the Israelis had helped them create.

The Shah of Iran also collaborated, along with Israel, with the racist and fascist South African regime.

What is the UN? An organization driven by the United States before the end of World War II. That nation, whose territory was considerably far away from the theatre of war, had incredibly increased its wealth; it accumulated 80% of the world´s gold and under the leadership of Roosevelt, a sincere anti-fascist, it promoted the development of the nuclear weapon that Truman, his successor, a mediocre oligarch, did not hesitate in using against the defenseless cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

The world´s gold monopoly in United States´ power and the prestige of Roosevelt handed the US the Bretton Woods agreement, assigning it the role of issuing the dollar as the only currency to be used for decades in world trade, with no limiting factor other that it´s being backed by the gold metal.

At the end of that war, the US was also the only country possessing the nuclear weapon, a privilege it did not hesitate in transmitting to its allies and members in the Security Council: Great Britain and France, the two most important colonial powers in the world at that time.

Truman had not even informed the USSR one single word about the atomic weapon before using it. China, at that time governed by Nationalist General Chiang Kai-shek, a pro-Yankee oligarch, could not be excluded from that Security Council.

The USSR, seriously stricken by the war, destruction and the loss of more than 20 million of its sons and daughters in the Nazi invasion, dedicated considerable economic, scientific and human resources to bring its nuclear capacity up to par with that of the United States. Four years later, in 1949, it tested its first nuclear weapon: the H-bomb in 1953; and in 1955 its first megaton bomb. France had its first nuclear weapon in 1960.

There were only three countries that had the nuclear bomb in 1957 when the UN, under the aegis of the Yankees, created the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA). Does anybody think that US instrument did anything to warn the world about the terrible dangers to which it would expose human society when Israel, unconditional US and NATO ally, located in the very heartland of the world´s most important oil and gas reserves, would become a dangerous and aggressive nuclear power?

Its forces, cooperating with colonial British and French troops, attacked Port Said when Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal, French property; this forced the Soviet premier to send an ultimatum demanding the ceasing of that aggression that the European allies of the US had no alternative other than to attack.

To be continued tomorrow.

castro signature

Fidel Castro Ruz

November 12, 2011

8:15 p.m.

The overwhelming victory of Daniel and the FSLN

ON Sunday, November 6, 72 hours ago, there was a general election in which Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega and the FSLN won an overwhelming victory.

Perhaps by chance, the following day was the 94th anniversary of the glorious Soviet Socialist Revolution. Indelible pages of history were written by Russian workers, peasants and soldiers, and the name of Lenin will forever shine among men and women who dream of a just destiny for humanity.

These issues are constantly more complex and efforts invested in educating new generations will never be sufficient. For that reason, today I am dedicating a space to comment on this event, in the midst of so many taking place every day on the planet and of which news arrives in a growing number of ways barely imaginable a few decades ago.

I must say that the elections in Nicaragua were in the traditional and bourgeois style, which has nothing just or equitable about it, given that the oligarchical sectors, anti-nationalist and pro-imperialist in nature, as a rule have a monopoly on the economic and publicity resources which – in general and particularly so in our hemisphere – are in the service of the empire’s political and military interests. This precisely highlights the magnitude of the Sandinista victory.

This is a truth which is well known in our homeland since Martí died in combat in Dos Ríos on May 19, 1895, “so that the independence of Cuba will prevent in time the expansion of the United States throughout the Antilles, and that nation falling, with even more force, upon our American lands.” We will never tire of repeating it, especially after our people have demonstrated their capacity to withstand half a century of that empire’s sustained economic blockade and brutal aggression.

However, it is not hatred which moves our people, but ideas. They gave birth to our solidarity with the people of Sandino, the General of free men and women, whose deeds we read about with admiration as students more than 60 years ago now, and lacking the marvelous cultural perspectives of those who, in a few days, together with high school students, will participate in what has become a beautiful tradition: the University Books and Reading Festival.

The heroic death of the Nicaraguan hero who fought against the yankee occupiers of his territory was always a source of inspiration for Cuban revolutionaries. There is nothing strange about our solidarity with the Nicaraguan people, expressed since the very first day of the revolutionary triumph in Cuba on January 1, 1959.

Yesterday, November 8, Granma recalled the heroic death in 1976, barely two and a half years before the FSLN triumph, of its founder Carlos Fonseca Amador, “the tayacán [daring leader] conqueror of death,” as a beautiful song written in his memory says, “bridegroom of the Red and Black Homeland, all of Nicaragua cries out for you ‘Present.’”

I know Daniel well; he never adopted extremist positions and was always invariably faithful to basic principles. Charged with the presidency, based on a collegiate political leadership, he was characterized by his respectful conduct in the context of the varying points of view of compañeros from tendencies which emerged within Sandinism at a certain stage of the struggle before the triumph. He thus became a promoter of unity among revolutionaries and he maintained in constant contact with the people. The great influence that he acquired among Nicaragua’s poorest sectors is due to that.

The profundity of the Sandinista Revolution earned him the hatred of the Nicaraguan oligarchy and yankee imperialism.

The most atrocious crimes were perpetrated against his country and his people during the dirty war that Reagan and Bush promoted by the administration and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Countless counterrevolutionary bands were organized, trained and supplied by them; drug trafficking became the instrument for financing the counterrevolution and the tens of thousands of weapons brought into the country resulted in the death or injury of thousands of Nicaraguans.

The Sandinistas maintained elections in the midst of that unequal and unjust battle.

This situation was compounded by the collapse of the Socialist camp, the imminent disintegration of the USSR and the beginning of the Special Period in our homeland. In these highly difficult circumstances and in spite of the majority support of the Nicaraguan people, expressed in all the opinion polls, a victorious election was made impossible.

The Nicaraguan people were once again forced to endure almost 17 years of corrupt and pro-imperialist governments. The indicators for the health, literacy and social justice implemented in Nicaragua began to fall painfully. However, under Daniel’s leadership, the Sandinista revolutionaries continued their struggle throughout those bitter years, and once again the people restored the government, albeit in extremely difficult circumstances which demanded maximum experience and political wisdom.

Cuba continued under the brutal yankee blockade, additionally suffering the harsh consequences of the Special Period and the hostility of one of the worst murderers who has governed the United States, George W. Bush, son of the father who had promoted the dirty war in Nicaragua, terrorist Posada Carriles’ liberty to distribute arms among Nicaraguan counterrevolutionaries, and who pardoned Orlando Bosch, the other mastermind of the Cubana passenger plane sabotage.

However, a new stage was beginning in our America with the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela and the coming to power in Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay of governments committed to the independence and integration of the Latin American peoples.

With satisfaction, I can moreover affirm that Cuba’s solidarity with the homeland of Sandino never ceased in the field of political and social solidarity. In all justice, I should point out that Nicaragua was one of the countries which best utilized Cuba’s collaboration in health and education.

The thousands of doctors who have volunteered their services in that heroic sister country feel highly motivated by the Sandinistas’ excellent use of their efforts. The same could be affirmed in relation to the thousands of teachers who, once in the early phase of the process, went to the remotest mountain regions to teach campesinos to read and write. Today, educational experiences in general and particularly the practices of medical teaching derived from the Latin America School of Medicine, in which thousands of excellent doctors have been trained, have been transferred to Nicaragua. These realities constitute an excellent stimulus for our people.

These details that I am mentioning are no more than an example of the prolific efforts of Sandinista revolutionaries for their homeland’s development.

The fundamental aspect of Daniel’s role and in my opinion, the reason behind his overwhelming victory, is that he never moved away from his contact with the people and the incessant struggle for their well-being.

Today he is a veritably experienced leader who was capable of managing complex and difficult situations, starting with the years during which his country was once again under the aegis of rapacious capitalism. He knows how to manage complicated problems in an intelligent manner, what he can or cannot do, what he must or must not do to guarantee peace and the sustained advance of the country’s economic and social development. He knows very well that the resounding victory is due to his heroic and valiant people, through their broad participation and close to two thirds of votes in his favor. He was capable of achieving close links with workers, campesinos, students, youth, women, technicians, professionals, artists and all the progressive sectors and forces sustaining the country and contributing to its advance. I believe that the call to all democratic political forces prepared to work for the country’s independence and economic and social development is very correct.

In the current world the problems are extremely complex and difficult. But while the world exists, we small countries can and must exercise our rights to independence, cooperation, development and peace.

castro signature

Fidel Castro Ruz

November 9, 2011

8:12 p.m.

The G-20 Meeting

Tomorrow the G-20 Meeting begins, that is the meeting of the most developed and wealthy countries on the planet: the United States, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy and the European Union as a separate entity but with the right to participate; they are the fundamental bastions of NATO plus its allies Japan, South Korea, Australia and Turkey in its double aspect of developing country and NATO member, just as Saudi Arabia – a gigantic reservoir of light oil in the hands of western transnationals, extracting from it 9.4 million barrels a day, whose value at current prices totals one billion dollars per day – on one side of the table, and on the other, a group of countries having growing economic and political clout who, as a matter of fact, because of the number of inhabitants and natural resources, are becoming an expression of the interests of the majority of our long-suffering and pillaged world: the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.

Spain, also a NATO ally, is just a “Guest Country”.

We are talking about a meeting among the great producers of industrial machinery and articles and of the great suppliers of raw materials that, over half a millennium following the Conquest, were European colonies and in the past century supplied them with agricultural products, minerals and energy resources, victims of a pitiless unequal exchange.

This dark period in history has been going on since the descendants of the Barbarian tribes populating Europe “discovered” and conquered this hemisphere, armed with swords, cross-bows and harquebuses.

“The discoverers”, so covered with excuses by the so-called western world, as if a part of humanity hadn’t been living on the continent for 40 million years, harboured the aim of seeking a shorter trade route to China.

In that country, with which they had antecedents via the silk merchants and merchants of other products prized by the aristocracy and burgeoning European bourgeoisie, they had found a fabulous civilization having a written language, refined arts, agriculture, metals, gunpowder and advanced principles of political and military organization, including armies with tens or perhaps thousands of cavalry.

They were on the point of capsizing when they sighted land, in the vicinity of Cuba. A short while later Columbus took possession of our island in the name of the King of Spain. Would he have been able to do that had he actually landed in China, as he had proposed? His error cost this hemisphere tens of millions of lives that were lost as consequence of the partitioning of the Americas by the Papal Bull between the two kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula, and in the constant conflicts among the medieval nobility.

The Conquest and the search for gold and silver, as the genial native painter Oswaldo Guayasamín pointed out, cost 70 million lives of those living in the hemisphere, birthplace of important civilizations.

Black Africa can also speak about what that Conquest meant for millions of its children, ripped away and sold as slaves in this hemisphere.

The multi-million-dollar oligarchy, whose Heads of State or Government will be meeting in Cannes with the representatives of almost 6 billion inhabitants that aspire to a decent existence for their peoples, should meditate on these realities.

Those countries would like to monopolize technologies and markets through patents, banks, the most modern and costly transportation means, cybernetic supremacy over complex production processes, control of communications and the mass media in order to dupe the world.

Now that the inhabitants of the world number 7 billion, the states representing only one out of seven persons, who, judging by the massive protests in Europe and the United States, are not very happy, put the survival of our species at risk.

Could anyone forget that the US was the country that impeded the Kyoto Agreement when we had a little more time to prevent a catastrophe with the climate change that is being produced as we watch?

On the 28th and 29th of October past, another meeting of Heads of State and Governments took place: the community of Ibero-American countries. Among the calamities that the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking peoples have had to put up with is the fact that they are the region in the world with the most inequalities in terms of the distribution of their wealth.

Cuba’s Chancellor Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla traveled from the UN meeting in New York on the blockade of Cuba to the capital of Paraguay where that second meeting was being held. There, highly interesting things were being said about the crisis that is sweeping over the European Community.

The new prime minister of Portugal poured out his bitterness with the European Union when he declared that it has become exhausted and without funds with the record rescue of Greece.  It could face up to a crisis in Portugal but it would be bankrupt, unable to aid Italy, the seventh world economy, and this would drag down France whose banks hold the greatest part of the Italian debt.

The Iberian leaders doubt that the commitment assumed with Greece would be fulfilled and if it is not fulfilled they predict a longer crisis than that of 1929.

This morning, the news dispatches inform about the drastic consequences of the never-before-seen rainfall in Thailand, the major rice exporter whose sales will be reduced from 25 million tons to 19.

In contrast, news about China increasing its production of metal copper to almost 5 million tons caused considerable effect.

However, while the US keeps intact its veto power at the International Monetary Fund, China is being denied the simple right of approving the Yuan as convertible currency in that body.  How long will that tyranny prevail?

It is through this looking-glass that we must analyse every single word that is spoken at the G-20 Summit.

castro signature

Fidel Castro Ruz

November 2, 2011

8:54 p.m.

NATO’s Genocidal Role (Part 5)

On March 9th this year, under the title of “NATO, War, Lies and Business”, I published a new Reflection about the role of that warlike organization.

I am selecting some fundamental paragraphs from that Reflection:

“As some may be aware, in September of 1969, Muammar al-Gaddafi, an Arab Bedouin soldier of a peculiar character and inspired by the ideas of the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser, promoted in the heart of the armed forces a movement overthrowing King Idris I of Libya, a country almost completely covered by desert and having very little population, located in northern Africa between Tunisia and Egypt.”

“Born to a tribal Bedouin family of nomadic desert shepherds in the region of Tripoli, Gaddafi was profoundly anti-colonialist. ”

“…Even Gaddafi’s adversaries assure us that he stood out for his intelligence as a student; he was expelled from high-school for his anti-monarchic activities. He managed to enrol in another high-school and later graduated in law at the University of Benghazi at the age of 21.  Then he enrolled in the Benghazi Military College where he created what was called the Secret Unionist Movement of Free Officers, concluding his education later on in a British military academy.”

“He had begun his political life with events that were without question, revolutionary.

“In March of 1970, after massive nationalist demonstrations, he managed to have British soldiers evacuated from the country and in June, the United States vacated the great air base near Tripoli, handing it over to military instructors from Egypt, a Libyan ally.

“In 1970, several western oil companies and banking companies having the participation of foreign capital were affected by the Revolution. At the end of 1971, the famous British Petroleum had the same fate. In the agricultural sector, all Italian properties were confiscated, and the colonists and their descendents were expelled from Libya.”

“The Libyan leader got involved in extremist theories that were opposed both to communism and capitalism. It was a stage when Gaddafi dedicated himself to theorizing, something that doesn’t have any place in this analysis, other than to point out that the first article of the Constitutional Proclamation of 1969 established the “Socialist” nature of the Great Socialist People’s Libya Arab Jamahiriya.

“What I wish to emphasize is that the United States and its allies were never interested in human rights.

“The hornet’s nest taking place in the Security Council, at the meeting of the Human Rights Council at the Geneva headquarters and in the UN General Assembly in New York was pure theatre.”

“The empire now wants […] to intervene militarily in Libya and strike a blow at the revolutionary wave unleashed in the Arab world. Up to now, not one word was said; they kept their mouths shut and carried on with business.”

“With the latent Libyan rebellion being promoted by Yankee intelligence, or by Gaddafi’s own errors, it is important that the people don’t let themselves be deceived, since very soon world opinion shall have enough elements to know what to expect.”

“Like many Third World countries, Libya is a member of NAM, the Group of 77 and other international organizations, through which relations are established separately from its economic and social system.

“As an outline: the Revolution in Cuba, inspired by Marxist-Leninist principles and those of Marti, had triumphed in 1959, 90 miles away from the United States which imposed on us the Platt Amendment and owned the economy of our country.

“Almost immediately, the empire promoted the dirty war against our people, counter-revolutionary gangs, the criminal economic blockade, the mercenary invasion of the Bay of Pigs, watched over by an aircraft carrier and their Marines ready to land if the mercenaries were to gain determinate objectives.”

“All the Latin American countries, with the exception of Mexico, took part in the criminal blockade which is still in place today, with our country never surrendering.”

“In January of 1986, using the idea that Libya was behind the so-called revolutionary terrorism, Reagan ordered economic and commercial relations with that country to be broken.

“In March, a force of aircraft carriers in the Gulf of Sidra, inside what is considered to be Libyan national waters, launched attacks that caused the destruction of several naval units armed with missile launchers and coastal radar systems that that country had acquired in the USSR.

“On April 5th, a Berlin disco that US soldiers went to was the victim of plastic explosives; three persons died, two of them American soldiers, and many were wounded.

“Reagan accused Gaddafi and ordered the Air Force to retaliate. Three squadrons took off from the Sixth Fleet aircraft carriers and bases in the United Kingdom, attacking seven military targets in Tripoli and Benghazi with missiles and bombs. Around 40 people died, 15 of them civilians.  Warned of the bombers’ advance, Gaddafi assembled his family and was abandoning his residence located at the Bab Al Aziziya military complex to the south of the capital. The evacuation was in progress when a missile made a direct hit on his residence; his daughter Hanna died and two other children were wounded. The occurrence was broadly condemned: the UN General Assembly passed a resolution condemning violation of the UN Charter and International law.  So did NAM, the Arab League and the OAU, in energetic terms.

“On December 21, 1988, a Pan Am Boeing 747 flying from London to New York disintegrated in mid-air after a bomb exploded …”

“According to the Yankees, investigations implicated two Libyan intelligence agents.”

“A sinister legend was fabricated against him with the participation of Reagan and Bush Sr.”

“The Security Council had imposed sanctions on Libya that were starting to be overcome when Gaddafi accepted to put the two people accused for the plane downed over Scotland on trial, with certain conditions.

“Libyan delegations began to be invited to inter-European meetings.  In July of 1999, London initiated the re-establishing of full diplomatic relations with Libya, after some additional concessions.”

“On December 2nd, Prime Minister Massimo D’Alema of Italy made the first visit of a European head of government to Libya.

“With the USSR and the European Socialist bloc gone, Gaddafi decided to accept the demands of the United States and NATO.”

“At the beginning of 2002, the State Department informed that diplomatic talks were going on between the US and Libya.”

“As 2003 began, because of the economic agreement on the compensations reached between Libya and the suing countries, the United Kingdom and France, the UN Security Council lifted the 1992 sanctions against Libya.

“Before 2003 drew to a close, Bush and Tony Blair informed about an agreement with Libya, a country that had handed over to United Kingdom and Washington intelligence experts documentation on the non-conventional weapons programs such as ballistic missiles with a range of more than 300 kilometres. Officials from both countries had already visited various installations.  It was the result of many months of talks between Tripoli and Washington as Bush himself revealed.

“Gaddafi fulfilled his promises of disarmament.  In a few months Libya handed over five units of Scud-C missiles with a range of 800 kilometres and the hundreds of Scud-Bs whose range surpassed the 300 kilometres for short-range defensive missiles.

“From October of 2002, the marathon of visits to Tripoli began: Berlusconi in October of 2002; José María Aznar in September of 2003; Berlusconi again in February, August and October of 2004; Blair in March of 2004; Germany’s Schröeder in October of that year; Jacques Chirac in November of 2004.”

“Gaddafi triumphantly toured Europe. He was received in Brussels in April of 2004 by Romano Prodi, president of the European Commission; in August of that year the Libyan leader invited Bush to visit his country; Exxon Mobil, Chevron Texaco and Conoco Philips finalized the re-establishing of extracting crude by means of joint ventures.

“In May of 2006, the United States announced the withdrawal of Libya from the list of terrorist countries and the establishment of full diplomatic relations.

“In 2006 and 2007, France and the US signed agreements for nuclear cooperation for peaceful purposes; in May of 2007, Blair once again visited Gaddafi at Sidra.  BP signed an “enormously important” agreement according to statements, in order to explore for gas fields.

“In December of 2007, Gaddafi made two visits to France and signed contracts for military and civilian equipment for the total of 10 billion Euros; and a visit to Spain where he met with President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. Million-dollar contracts were signed with important NATO countries.

“What is it that has now caused the precipitated withdrawal from the embassies of the United States and the other NATO members?

“It’s all extremely odd.

“George W. Bush, father of the stupid anti-terrorism war, stated on September 20 of 2001 to the West point cadets that:

“Our security will require […]  transforming the military you will lead, a military that must be ready to strike at a moment of notice in any dark corner of the world.  And our security will require all Americans to be forward-looking and resolute, to be ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty […].”

“We must uncover terror cells in 60 or more countries[…] Along with our friends and allies, we must oppose proliferation and confront regimes that sponsor terror, as each case requires.”

Today I add that Afghanistan, a traditionally rebellious country, was invaded; the nationalist tribes, former allies of the United States in its struggle against the USSR, were bombed and massacred.  The Dirty War spread throughout the world.  Iraq was invaded under excuses that turned out to be false, its abundant oil resources were handed over to the hands of Yankee companies, millions of persons lost their jobs and were forced to move both inside the country and abroad, their museums were sacked and innumerable citizens lost their lives or were massacred by the invaders.

Returning to the Reflection, I pointed out:

“An AFP dispatch from Kabul, dated today on March 9th, reveals that: “Last year was the most deadly for civilians in nine years of war between the Taliban and international forces in Afghanistan, with almost 2,800 dead, 15% more than in 2009, a UN report indicated on Wednesday, underlining the human cost of the conflict for the population.”

“With exactly 2,777 the number of civilian deaths in 2010 increased 15% as compared to 2009, indicates the annual joint report by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan…”

“President Barack Obama stated on the 3rd of March his “profound condolences” to the Afghan people for the nine dead children; US General David Petraeus, commander in chief of the ISAF and Secretary of the Defence Robert Gates made similar statements.”

“…the UNAMA report emphasizes that the number of civilian dead in 2010 is four times greater than the number of international forces soldiers killed in combat in that same year.

Referring to Libya, I indicated:

“For 10 days, in Geneva and in the UN more than 150 speeches were made about violations on human rights that were repeated millions of times by TV, radio, Internet and the printed press.

“Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs Bruno Rodríguez, in his speech on March 1st before the Foreign Ministers meeting in Geneva, stated:

“Human conscience rejects the deaths of innocent people in any circumstance and in any place.  Cuba fully shares world concern for the losses in civilian lives in Libya and wishes that their people attain a peaceful and sovereign solution to the civil war happening over there, without any foreign interference, and ensuring the integrity of that nation.”

“If essential human rights are a right of life, is the Council ready to suspend the membership of states that unleash war?”

“Will it suspend states that finance and supply military aid used by the receiving state in massive, flagrant and systematic violations on human rights and in attacks on civilian populations, such as what is happening in Palestine?”

“Will it apply that measure against powerful countries that carry out extra-judicial executions on the territory of other states, using high technology such as smart bombs and unmanned planes?

“What would happen with states that accept on their territory illegal secret prisons, facilitate secret flights carrying kidnapped persons or participate in acts of torture?”

“We are against the internal war in Libya, in favour of immediate peace and full respect for life and the rights of all citizens, with no foreign intervention that would only serve to prolong the conflict and NATO interests.”

Yesterday, on October 31st, an event was produced that, among others, bears witness to the total lack of ethics in Yankee policy.

UNESCO had just adopted a courageous decision: to grant the heroic people of Palestine the right to participate as an active member of UNESCO; 107 states voted in favour, 14 were opposed and 52 abstained from voting.  We all know the reason perfectly well.

The United States representative to that institution, following instructions from the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, immediately stated that as of that moment, their country would be suspending all economic aid to the organization that was destined by the UN for education, science and culture.

The dramatic tone with which the lady announced the decision was totally unnecessary. Nobody was surprised by the expected and cynical decision.

Moreover, as if it were not enough, all we need to do is read the AFP cable dated in Washington this afternoon at 16:05:

“‘After the G20 Summit (…) the president (Obama) and President Sarkozy will take part in a ceremony in Cannes to celebrate the US-France alliance’, the office of the US president indicated, adding that the leaders would also be meeting with ‘US and French soldiers who had participated together in the operation’ in Libya.”

I shall continue shortly.

castro signature

Fidel Castro Ruz

November 1, 2011

4:32 p.m.

NATO’s Genocidal Role (Part 4)

On March 2nd, under the title of “NATO’s Inevitable War” I wrote:

“In contrast with what is happening in Egypt and Tunisia, Libya occupies the first spot on the Human Development Index for Africa and it has the highest life expectancy on the continent. Education and health receive special attention from the State. The cultural level of its population is without a doubt the highest. Its problems are of a different sort. […] The country needed an abundant foreign labour force to carry out ambitious plans for production and social development.”

“It had enormous incomes and reserves in convertible currencies deposited in the banks of the wealthy countries from which they acquired consumer goods and even sophisticated weapons that were supplied exactly by the same countries that today want to invade it in the name of human rights.

“The colossal campaign of lies, unleashed by the mass media, resulted in great confusion in world public opinion. Some time will go by before we can reconstruct what has really happened in Libya, and we can separate the true facts from the false ones that have been spread.”

“The empire and its main allies used the most sophisticated media to divulge information about the events, among which one had to deduce the shreds of the truth.”

“Imperialism and NATO – seriously concerned by the revolutionary wave unleashed in the Arab world, where a large part of the oil is generated that sustains the consumer economy of the developed and rich countries – could not help but take advantage of the internal conflict arising in Libya so that they could promote military intervention.”

“In spite of the flood of lies and the confusion that was created, the US could not drag China and the Russian Federation to the approval by the Security Council for a military intervention in Libya, even though it managed to obtain however, in the Human Rights Council, approval of the objectives it was seeking at that moment.”

“The real fact is that Libya is now wrapped up in a civil war, as we had foreseen, and the United Nations could do nothing to avoid it, other than its own Secretary General sprinkling the fire with a goodly dose of fuel.

“The problem that perhaps the actors were not imagining is that the very leaders of the rebellion were bursting into the complicated matter declaring that they were rejecting all foreign military intervention.”

One of the rebellion’s ringleaders, Abdelhafiz Ghoga, declared on February 28th, in an encounter with journalists: “What we want is intelligence information, but in no case that our sovereignty is affected in the air, on land or on the seas.”

“The intransigence of the people responsible for the opposition on national sovereignty was reflecting the opinion being spontaneously manifested by many Libyan citizens to the international press in Benghazi”, informed a dispatch of the AFP agency this past Monday.

“That same day, a political sciences professor at the University of Benghazi, Abeir Imneina, adversary of   Gaddafi stated:

“There is very strong national feeling in Libya.”

“‘Furthermore, the example of Iraq strikes fear in the Arab world as a whole’, she underlined, in reference to the American invasion of 2003 that was supposed to bring democracy to that country and then, by contagion, to the region as a whole, a hypothesis totally belied by the facts.”

“‘We know what happened in Iraq, it’s that it is fully unstable and we really don’t want to follow the same path. We don’t want the Americans to come to have to go crying to Gaddafi’, this expert continued.”

“A few hours after this dispatch was printed, two of the main press bodies of the United States, The New York Times and The Washington Post, hastened to offer new versions on the subject; the DPA agency informs on this on the following day, March the first: “The Libyan opposition could request that the West bomb from the air strategic positions of the forces loyal to President Muamar al Gaddafi, the US press informed today’.”

“The subject is being discussed inside the Libyan Revolutionary Council, ‘The New York Times’ and ‘The Washington Post’ specified in their online versions.”

“’In the event that air actions are carried out within the United Nations framework, these would not imply international intervention, explained the council’s spokesperson, quoted by The New York Times‘”.

“‘The Washington Post’ quoted rebels acknowledging that, without Western backing, combat with the forces loyal to Gaddafi could last a long time and cost many human lives.”

In that Reflection, I immediately wondered:

“Why the effort to present the rebels as prominent members of society demanding bombing by the US and NATO in order to kill Libyans?”

“Some day we shall know the truth, through persons such as the political sciences professor from the University of Benghazi who, with such eloquence, tells of the terrible experience that killed, destroyed homes, left millions of persons in Iraq without jobs or forced them to emigrate.”

“Today on Wednesday, the second of March, the EFE Agency presents the well-known rebel spokesperson making statements that, in my opinion, affirm and at the same time contradict those made on Monday: “Benghazi (Libya), March 2. The rebel Libyan leadership today asked the UN Security Council to launch an air attack ‘against the mercenaries’ of  the Muamar el Gaddafi regime.’”

“Which one of the many imperialist wars would this look like?

“The one in Spain in 1936? Mussolini’s against Ethiopia in 1935? George W. Bush’s against Iraq in the year 2003 or any other of the dozens of wars promoted by the United States against the peoples of the Americas, from the invasion of Mexico in 1846 to the invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982?

“Without excluding, of course, the mercenary invasion of the Bay of Pigs, the dirty war and the blockade of our Homeland throughout 50 years, that will have another anniversary next April 16th.

“In all those wars, like that of Vietnam which cost millions of lives, the most cynical justifications and measures prevailed.

“For anyone harbouring any doubts, about the inevitable military intervention that shall occur in Libya, the AP news agency, which I consider to be well-informed, headlined a cable printed today which stated: “The NATO countries are drawing up a contingency plan taking as its model the flight exclusion zones established over the Balkans in the 1990s, in the event that the international community decides to impose an air embargo over Libya, diplomats said’.”

Any honest person capable of objectively observing the events can appreciate the danger lying in the ensemble of cynical and brutal events that characterize United States policy and explain the embarrassing solitude of that country in the UN debate on “The need to put an end to the economic, commercial and financial embargo on Cuba”.

I am closely following the Pan-American Games of Guadalajara 2011, despite my work.

Our country swells with pride for those young people who exemplify for the world their selflessness and spirit of solidarity. I warmly congratulate them; nobody can take away from them the place of honour they have earned.

To be continued on Sunday the 30th.

Fidel Castro Ruz

October 28, 2011

7:14 p.m.

NATO’s Genocidal Role (Part 3)

ON February 23, under the title “Cynicism’s danse macabre,” I stated:

“The politics of plunder imposed by the United States and its NATO allies in the Middle East is in crisis.”

“Thanks to Sadat’s betrayal at Camp David, the Palestinian Arab State has not come into existence, despite the United Nations agreements of November 1947, and Israel has become a powerful nuclear force allied with the United States and NATO.

“The U.S. military-industrial complex supplies tens of billions of dollars every year to Israel and to the very Arab states that it subjugates and humiliates.

“The genie is out of the bottle and NATO doesn’t know how to control it.

“They are going to try and take maximum advantage of the lamentable events in Libya. No one is capable of knowing at this time what is happening there. All of the figures and versions, even the most improbable, have been disseminated by the empire through the mass media, sowing chaos and misinformation.

“It is evident that a civil war is developing in Libya. Why and how was this unleashed? Who will suffer the consequences? The Reuters news agency, repeating the opinion of the well-known Nomura Japanese bank, said that the price of oil could surpass all limits.”

“…What will be the consequences for the food crisis?

“The principal NATO leaders are exalted. British Prime Minister

David Cameron, informed ANSA, ‘…admitted in a speech in Kuwait that the Western countries made a mistake in supporting non-democratic governments in the Arab world.’”

“His French colleague Nicolas Sarkozy declared, ‘The prolonged brutal and bloody repression of the Libyan civilian population is repugnant.’”

“Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini declared ‘believable’ the figure of one thousand dead in Tripoli […] ‘the tragic figure will be a bloodbath.’”

“Hillary Clinton declared, ‘…the bloodbath is completely unacceptable and has to stop…’”

“Ban Ki-moon added, ‘The use of violence in the country is absolutely unacceptable.’”

“…’the Security Council will act in accordance with what the international community decides.’”

“’We are considering a number of options.’”

“What Ban Ki-moon is really waiting for is that Obama give the final word.

“The President of the United States spoke Wednesday afternoon and stated that the Secretary of State would leave for Europe in order to reach an agreement with the NATO European allies as to what measures to take. Noticeable on his face was his readiness to take on the right-wing Republican John McCain; Joseph Lieberman, the pro-Israel Senator from Connecticut; and Tea Party leaders, in order to guarantee his nomination by the Democratic Party.

“The empire’s mass media have prepared the ground for action. There would be nothing strange about a military intervention in Libya, which would, additionally, guarantee Europe almost two million barrels of light oil a day, if events do not occur beforehand to put an end to the presidency or life of Gaddafi.

“In any event, Obama’s role is complicated enough. What would the Arab and Islamic world’s reaction be if much blood is spilt in this country in such an adventure? Would the revolutionary wave unleashed in Egypt stop a NATO intervention?

“In Iraq the innocent blood of more than a million Arab citizens was shed when this country was invaded on false pretenses. Mission accomplished, George W. Bush proclaimed.

“No one in the world will ever be in favor of the deaths of defenseless civilians in Libya or anywhere else. I ask myself, would the United States and NATO apply that principle to the defenseless civilians killed every day by yankee drones and this organization’s soldiers in Afghanistan and Pakistan?

“It is a danse macabre of cynicism.”

While I was meditating on these events, the United Nations debate scheduled for yesterday, Tuesday, October 25 on the “Necessity of ending the commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba began. This is something which has been demanded by the vast majority of this institution’s member countries for 20 years.

This time the numerous elemental and just arguments – which for United States governments were no more than rhetorical exercises – revealed, like never before, the political and moral weakness of the most powerful empire ever to have existed, and to whose oligarchical interests and insatiable thirst for power and riches all the planet’s inhabitants have been subjected, including the very people of that country.

The United States is tyrannizing and plundering the globalized world with its political, economic, technological and military might.

That truth is becoming more and more obvious in the wake of the honest and courageous debates which have taken place in the United Nations during the last 20 years, with the support of states which one would imagine are expressing the will of the vast majority of the planet’s inhabitants.

Before [Cuban Foreign Minister] Bruno’s speech, many country organizations expressed their points of view through one of their members. The first was Argentina, in the name of the Group of 77 plus China; followed by Egypt, in the name of the Non-Aligned Movement; Kenya, in the name of the African Union; Belize, in the name of CARICOM; Kazakhstan, in the name of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation; and Uruguay, in the name of MERCOSUR.

Independently of these expressions of a collective nature, China, a country of growing political and economic weight in the world, India and Indonesia strongly supported the resolution via their ambassadors; between the three of them they represent 2.7 billion inhabitants. The ambassadors of the Russian Federation, Belarus, South Africa, Algeria, Venezuela and Mexico did likewise. The impassioned words of solidarity expressed by the ambassador of Belize, speaking on behalf of the Caribbean community, and those of St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Bolivia, resonated among the poorest countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. Their arguments in the context of the solidarity of our people – despite a blockade which has already lasted 50 years – will be a constant stimulus for our doctors, educators and scientists.

Nicaragua spoke before the vote, to bravely explain why it would vote against this perfidious measure.

The United States representative also spoke before the vote, in order to explain the inexplicable. I felt sorry for him. It is the role that they assigned to him.

At the hour of voting, two countries were absent: Libya and Sweden; three abstained: Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau; two voted against: the United States and Israel. Adding together those who voted against, abstained or were absent: the United States, with 313 million inhabitants; Israel, with 7.4 million; Sweden, with 9.1 million; Libya, with 6.5 million; Marshall Islands, with 67,100; Micronesia, 106,800; Palau, with 20,900, the total amounts to 336.948 million, equivalent to 4.8% of the world population, which has already risen to seven billion this month.

After the vote, speaking in the name of the European Union, Poland explained the votes of members of this bloc which, in spite of its close alliance with the United States and its obligatory participation in the blockade, is against this criminal measure.

Subsequently, 17 countries addressed the Assembly to explain, resolutely and decisively, why they voted for the resolution against the blockade.

I will continue Friday the 28th.

castro signature

Fidel Castro Ruz

October 26, 2011

9:45 p.m.

NATO’s Genocidal Role (Part 2)

A little over eight months ago, on February 21st of this year, I stated with complete conviction: “The NATO plan is to occupy Libya”. With that title I dealt with the subject for the first time in a Reflection whose content seemed to be the product of a fantasy.

I include in these lines the elements for the opinion that led me to that conclusion.

“Oil has become the principal wealth in the hands of the great Yankee transnationals; through this energy source they had an instrument that considerably expanded their political power in the world.”

“Upon this energy source today’s civilization was developed. Venezuela was the nation in this hemisphere that paid the highest price. The United States became the lord and master of the huge oil fields that Mother Nature had bestowed upon that sister country.”

“At the end of the last World War, it started to extract greater amounts of oil from the oil fields of Iran, as well as those in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the Arab countries located around them. These became the main suppliers. World consumption progressively increased to the fabulous figure of approximately 80 million barrels a day, including those being extracted on United States territory, to which later gas, hydro and nuclear energies were added.”

“The squandering of oil and gas is associated with one of the greatest tragedies, not in the least resolved, which is suffered by humankind: climate change.”

“In December of 1951, Libya becomes the first African country to attain its independence after WW II, during which its territory was the stage for important battles between the troops of Germany and the United Kingdom…”

“Ninety-five percent of its territory is completely made up of desert. Technology permitted the discovery of vital oilfields of excellent quality light oil that today reach one million 800 thousand barrels a day along with abundant deposits of natural gas. […] Its harsh desert is located over an enormous lake of fossil waters, equivalent to more than three times the land area of Cuba; this has made it possible to construct a broad network of pipelines of fresh water that stretch from one end of the country to the other.”

“The Libyan Revolution took place in the month of September of the year 1969. Its main leader was Muammar al-Gaddafi, a soldier of Bedouin origin who, in his early years, was inspired by the ideas of the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser. Without any doubt, many of his decisions are associated with the changes that were produced when, as in Egypt, a weak and corrupt monarchy was overthrown in Libya.”

“One can agree with Gaddafi or not. The world has been invaded with all kinds of news, especially using the mass media. One has to wait the necessary length of time in order to learn precisely what is the truth and what are lies, or a mixture of events of every kind that, in the midst of chaos, were produced in Libya. For me, what is absolutely clear is that the government of the United States is not in the least worried about peace in Libya and it will not hesitate in giving NATO the order to invade that rich country, perhaps in a matter of hours or a few short days.”

“Those who with perfidious intentions invented the lie that Gaddafi was headed for Venezuela, just as they did yesterday afternoon on Sunday the 20th of February, today received an fitting response from Foreign Affairs Minister Nicolás Maduro…”

“As for me, I cannot imagine that the Libyan leader would abandon his country; escaping the responsibilities he is charged with, whether or not they are partially or totally false.”

“An honest person shall always be against any injustice being committed against any people in the world, and the worst of all, at this moment, would be to remain silent in the face of the crime that NATO is getting ready to commit against the Libyan people.”

“The leadership of that war-mongering organization has to do it. We must condemn it!”

At that early date I had realized something that was absolutely obvious.

Tomorrow, on Tuesday October 25th, our chancellor Bruno Rodríguez will speak at UN Headquarters to denounce the criminal blockade of the United States against Cuba. We shall be closely following that battle which will once again make clear the necessity of putting an end to, not just the blockade, but the system that spawns injustice on our planet, squanders its natural resources and puts human survival at risk. We shall be paying particular attention to Cuba’s declaration.

I shall continue on Wednesday the 26th.

castro signature

Fidel Castro Ruz

October 24, 2011.

5:19 p.m.

NATO’s Genocidal Role (Part 1)

That brutal military alliance has become the most perfidious instrument of repression known in the history of humankind.

NATO took on that global repressive role as soon as the USSR, which had served the United States as an excuse for its creation, ceased to exist. Its criminal purpose became obvious in Serbia, a Slavic country, whose people had so heroically fought against Nazi troops in WW II.

When in March of 1999 the countries of this ill-fated organization, in its efforts to disintegrate Yugoslavia after the death of Josip Broz Tito, sent their troops in support of the Kosovar secessionists, they ran into strong resistance from that nation whose experienced forces were still intact.

The Yankee administration, advised by the Spanish right-wing government of José María Aznar, attacked the Serbian TV stations, the bridges over the Danube River and Belgrade, that country’s capital. The embassy of the People’s Republic of China was destroyed by Yankee bombs, several of the officials died and there could not have been any error as the authors alleged. Many Serbian patriots lost their lives. President Slobodan Miloševiс, overwhelmed by the power of the aggressors and the disappearance of the USSR, ceded to NATO demands and admitted to the presence of that alliance’s troops in Kosovo under the UN mandate; this finally led to his political downfall and subsequent trial by The Hague courts which were less than impartial. He died a strange death in prison. Had the Serbian leader resisted a few more days, NATO would have entered into a serious crisis which was on the point of exploding. The empire thus had much more time to impose its hegemony among the every more subordinated members of that organization.

Between February 21st and April 27th of this year, I published nine Reflections on the subject on the CubaDebate website; in them I amply dealt with NATO’s role in Libya and what, in my opinion, was going to happen.

Therefore I find myself obliged to synthesize the essential ideas that I put forth, and the events that have been happening as foreseen, just that now the central figure in that story, Muammar Al-Gaddafi, was seriously wounded by the most modern NATO fighter-bombers which intercepted and incapacitated his vehicle, he was captured while still alive and murdered by men that organization had armed.

His body has been kidnapped and exhibited as a trophy of war, conduct that violates the most basic principles of the norms of Muslim and other religious beliefs in the world. It is being announced that very soon Libya shall be declared a “democratic state and defender of human rights.”

I find myself obliged to dedicate several Reflections to these important and significant events.

I shall continue tomorrow, on Monday.

castro signature

Fidel Castro Ruz

October 23, 2011

6:10 p.m.

The Two Venezuelas

Yesterday I spoke about the time when Venezuela was an ally of the US empire and the country where Posada Carriles and Orlando Bosch carried out their plans for the brutal in-flight bombing of a Cuban plane that caused the death and disappearance of all people aboard, including the youth fencing team that had just won all the gold medals at the Central-American and Caribbean Championships held in Venezuela. With the Pan-American Games underway in Guadalajara, we remember them with great sadness.

It was not the Venezuela of Rómulo Gallegos and Andrés Eloy Blanco but that of the scoundrel, traitor and venomous Rómulo Betancourt. A man who was jealous of the Cuban Revolution and who, as an ally of the imperialists, cooperated so much with their attacks against our homeland. At the time Venezuela was an oil property of the United States and, after Miami, represented the epicenter for counterrevolutionary actions against Cuba. History recalls how Venezuela played a significant role in the imperialist attack on Playa Giron (Bay of Pigs), the economic blockade and countless other crimes against our people. It was the beginning of the dark ages in Venezuela that came to an end when Hugo Chávez was sworn in on the “dying constitution” held in the trembling hands of former President Rafael Caldera.

Forty years had passed since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution and more than a century since the Yankee plundering of Venezuela’s oil, natural resources and sweat.

Many Venezuelans died amidst the ignorance and misery imposed by US and European gunboats!

Fortunately the other Venezuela exists, the Venezuela of Bolívar and Miranda, of Sucre and of a legion of brilliant leaders and thinkers who were able to conceive that great Latin American homeland of which we feel a part of and for which we have resisted aggressions and blockades for more than half a century.

“…so that Cuba’s independence will prevent the expansion of the United States throughout the Antilles, allowing that nation to fall, ever more powerfully, upon our American lands. Everything I have done, everything I will do, is toward this end,” wrote the apostle of our independence Jose Marti the day before he died in combat.

Included among us today is Hugo Chávez who is visiting a part of that great Latin American and Caribbean homeland envisioned by Simón Bolívar. Hugo Chávez understands better than anybody the José Martí principal that “…what Bolívar left undone, is still undone today. Bolívar has things yet to do in America.”

I spoke with him at length yesterday and today. I told him about the great passion with which I dedicate the energy I have left to the dreams of a better and more just world.

It is not difficult to share dreams with the Bolivarian leader when the empire is already showing unequivocal signs of a terminal illness.

Saving humanity from an irreversible disaster is something that today may be compromised by the stupidity of any of those mediocre presidents who in the most recent decades have led that empire or by one of those increasingly powerful leaders of the industrial military complex that rules the destiny of that country.

Friendly nations that have become increasingly important in the world economy —given their economic and technological advances and their condition as permanent members of the Security Council, such as the Popular Republic of China and the Russian Federation, along with the peoples of the so-called Third World in Asia, Africa and Latin America— could achieve this goal. The peoples of the developed and rich nations, increasingly sucked dry by their own financial oligarchies, are also starting to play a role in this battle for human survival.

Meanwhile, the Bolivarian people of Venezuela are organizing themselves and uniting to challenge and defeat the sickening oligarchy at the service of the empire that once again is attempting to take over the government of this country.

Venezuela, given its extraordinary educational, cultural and social developments, and its vast energy and natural resources, is called on to become a revolutionary model for the world.

Chávez, who came out of the ranks of the Venezuelan Army, is methodical and tireless. I have observed him over the course of 17 years, since his first visit to Cuba. He is an extremely humanitarian and law-abiding person; he has never taken revenge on anybody. The most humble and forgotten sectors of his country are profoundly grateful to him that for the first time in history there is a response to their dreams of social justice.

Hugo —I told him—, I clearly see that in a very short time the Bolivarian Revolution will create jobs, not only for the Venezuelan people, but also for their Colombian brothers, a hardworking people, who fought along with you for the independence of America, and of whom 40 percent live in poverty; a significant portion of them in extreme poverty.

I had the honor to speak with our distinguished visitor, the symbol of this other Venezuela, about these and many other topics.

castro signature

Fidel Castro Ruz

October 18, 2011

10:15 p.m.