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The disaster in Japan and a friend’s visit

Today I had the pleasure of greeting Jimmy Carter, who was President of the United States between 1977 and 1981 and the only one, in my opinion, with enough equanimity and courage to address the issue of his country’s relations with Cuba.

Carter did what he could to reduce international tensions and promote the creation of interest sections in Cuba and the United States. His administration was the only one to take a few steps to moderate the criminal blockade imposed on our people.

The circumstances were certainly not propitious in our complex world. The existence of a truly free and sovereign country in our hemisphere could not be reconciled with the ideas of the fascist extreme right wing in the United States, doing everything it could to ensure the failure of his proposals, which made him worthy of the Nobel Peace Prize. Not an honor awarded to him for nothing.

The Revolution always appreciated his valiant gesture. In 2002, I received him warmly. Again I reiterate respect and appreciation for him.

Might the oligarchy which governs that superpower really renounce its insatiable desire to impose its will on the rest of the world? Might a system which generates presidents like Nixon, Reagan and W. Bush, with increasingly more destructive power and less respect for the sovereignty of others, honor such a purpose?

The complexity of the current world situation does not allow much attention to even relatively recent memories. Carter’s departure, today Wednesday, coincided with disturbing news about the nuclear accident caused by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, which continues to arrive and cannot be ignored, not only given its importance, but also for the practical and almost immediate repercussions felt in the world economy.

Today the news agency AP reported from Japan, “The crisis in Japan’s earthquake and tsunami damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex, worsened Wednesday when experts logged the highest radiation yet in nearby seawater.

“In Fukushima, radiation leaking from the plant has seeped into the soil nearby and made its way into produce, raw milk and even tap water as far as Tokyo, 240 kilometers to the south.

“In the meantime, Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko visited a group of evacuees in Tokyo for about an hour.”

Reuters reported from Tokyo, “Japan ordered an immediate safety upgrade at its 55 nuclear power plants on Wednesday in its first acknowledgement that standards were inadequate when an earthquake and tsunami wrecked a facility nearly three weeks ago, sparking the worst nuclear crisis since Chernobyl in 1986.

“The announcement was made after the government conceded that there was no end in sight for the crisis and a jump in the levels of radioactive iodine in seawater added to the evidence of leaks from the reactors in the area around the complex and beyond.

“The discovery of highly toxic plutonium in soil at Daiichi had raised alarm over the disaster, which has overshadowed the humanitarian calamity triggered by the earthquake and tsunami, which left 27,500 people dead or missing.

“Before the disaster, Japan’s nuclear reactors had provided about 30% of the nation’s electric power. The percentage had been expected to rise to 50% by 2030, among the highest in the world.

“New readings show an increase in radioactive iodine to 3.355 times the legal limit, the country’s nuclear safety agency indicated, although the organization minimized its impact, saying that residents had left the area and fishing had stopped.

“Hundreds of engineers have been toiling for nearly three weeks to cool the plant’s reactors and avert a catastrophic meltdown of fuel rods, although the situation appears to have moved back from that nightmare scenario.

“Jesper Koll, director of equity research at JPMorgan Securities in Tokyo, said a drawn-out battle to bring the plant under control and manage the radioactivity being released would perpetuate the uncertainty and act as a drag on the economy.

“The worst-case scenario is that this drags on not one month or two months or six months, but for two years, or indefinitely,” he said.

“A byproduct of atomic reactions which can be used in nuclear bombs, plutonium is highly carcinogenic and one of the most dangerous substances on earth, experts indicated.”

A third agency, DPA, from Tokyo, “Japanese technicians are still unable to control the nuclear crisis three weeks after the accidents at the Fukushima power plant. The Japanese government has begun to consider extraordinary measures to contain the release of radiation.

“The idea is to cover the reactors with a kind of fabric. The recent high readings of iodine 131 in the ocean are an indication of the increasing radiation. The environmental organization Greenpeace has also warned of serious danger to the health of residents after making its own studies.

“Experts believe that the process required to definitively eliminate the possibility of a meltdown could take months. TEPCO has promised to improve the working conditions of technicians who are growing more concerned and exhausted all the time.”

While these events are taking place in Japan, the Bolivarian President of Venezuela has visited Argentina, Uruguay and is headed for Bolivia, promoting economic accords and strengthening ties with countries in our hemisphere determined to be independent.

At the University of La Plata, where the dictatorship supported by the United States eliminated, among thousands of Argentines, more than 700 students – 40 in the school of journalism – Chávez was awarded the Rodolfo Walsh Prize, in honor of one of the heroic revolutionary journalists assassinated.

Now, it is not Cuba alone, there are many peoples prepared to struggle, to sacrifice their lives for their homeland.

castro signature

Fidel Castro Ruz

March 30, 2011

6:51 p.m.

NATO’S Fascist War

You didn´t have to be clairvoyant to foresee what I wrote with great detail in three Reflection Articles I published on the CubaDebate website between February 21 and March 3: “The NATO Plan Is to Occupy Libya,” “The Cynical Danse Macabre,” and “NATO´s Inevitable War.”

Not even the fascist leaders of Germany and Italy were so blatantly shameless regarding the Spanish Civil War unleashed in 1936, an event that maybe a lot of people have been recalling over these past days. (more…)

Between Emigration and Crime

Latin Americans are not born-criminals nor did they invent drugs.

The Aztecs, Maya and other pre-Columbian human groups in Mexico and Central America, for example, were excellent farmers and didn’t even know about growing coca.

The Quechua and Aymara were capable of producing nutritious foods on perfect terraces that followed the mountain level curves. On the high plateaux that often exceeded three or four thousand metres in altitude, they grew quinua, a cereal rich in protein, and potatoes. (more…)

The Real Intentions of the “Alliance of Equals”

Yesterday was a long day. From midday I paid attention to Obama’s vicissitudes in Chile, as I had done the day before with his adventures in the city of Rio de Janeiro. In a brilliant challenge, that city defeated Chicago in its aspiration to host the 2016 Olympics, when the new President of the United States and Nobel Peace laureate seemed to be an emulator of Martin Luther King.

Nobody knew when he was arriving in Santiago de Chile and what a President of the United States would do there, where one of his predecessors had committed the painful crime of promoting the defeat and physical death of its heroic President, horrific acts of torture and the murder of thousands of Chileans. (more…)

My Shoes Pinch

While the damaged reactors are emitting radioactive smoke in Japan and monstrous looking aircraft and nuclear submarines are launching lethal guided missiles over Libya, a North African Third World country with barely six million inhabitants, Barack Obama was telling Chileans a story similar to the ones I heard when I was four years old: “My little shoes are pinching me, my stockings are hot; but the little kiss you gave me, I carry in my heart.” (more…)

Partnership of Equals

Saturday evening, the 19th, after a sumptuous banquet, NATO leaders ordered the attack on Libya. Of course, nothing could occur without the United States claiming its irrefutable role as supreme leader. From its command post of that institution in Europe, a senior official declared that “Odyssey Dawn” was about to begin. (more…)

Good Conduct Certificate

In these bitter days we have seen pictures of an earthquake that reached 9 on the Richter Scale with hundreds of strong after-shocks, and a tsunami 10 metres high whose waves of dark waters dragged tens of thousands of people between cars and trucks over homes and 3 and 4 storey buildings.

Sophisticated mass media has been saturating our minds with the news of civil wars, arms trade associated with drugs that in just five years have killed more than 35,000 people in Mexico, climatic changes in various countries, asphyxiating heat waves, mountains of ice melting at the poles, torrential rains, shortages and growing prices for foods. We really need some consolation and this has just reached us via that life-saving angel of our species, the United Nations Security Council and its colossal invention: good conduct certificates. (more…)

The disasters threatening the world

IF the speed of light didn’t exist, if the closest star to our sun weren’t four light years away from Earth, the only inhabited planet in our solar system, if UFOs truly existed, imaginary visitors to the planet would continue their journey without understanding much of anything about our long-suffering human race.

Just a few centuries ago in the long history of humanity, no one knew what happened on the other side of the globe. Today we can find out instantaneously and, sometimes, they are events of great importance which affect all of the world’s peoples. (more…)

Two Earthquakes

A strong 8.9 on the scale earthquake shook Japan today. The most worrying is that early news reports were talking about thousands dead and missing, figures really unheard of in a developed country where all constructions are quake-proof. They were even talking about a nuclear reactor that was out of control. Hours later, it was informed that four nuclear plants close to the most affected area were under control. There was also information about a tsunami 10 metres high that had the entire Pacific area on tidal wave alert. (more…)

NATO, War, Lies and Business

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. (more…)

NATO’s inevitable war (Part II)

When Gaddafi, aged just 28 and a colonel in the Libyan army, inspired by his Egyptian colleague Abdel Nasser, overthrew King Idris I in 1969, he implemented important revolutionary measures such as agrarian reform and the nationalization of oil. The growing income was dedicated to economic and social development, particularly educational and health services for the small Libyan population located in a vast desert territory with very little arable land. (more…)

NATO’s Inevitable War (Part I)

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 population wasn’t lacking food and essential social services. The country needed an abundant foreign labour force to carry out ambitious plans for production and social development. (more…)

The Cynical Dance Macabre

The policy of plunder imposed by the United States and their NATO allies in the Middle East has gone into a crisis. It has inevitably unraveled with the high cost of grain, the effects of which can be felt more forcefully in the Arab countries where, in spite of their huge resources of oil, the shortage of water, areas covered by desert and the generalized poverty of the people contrast with the enormous resources coming from the oil possessed by the privileged sectors. (more…)

The Plan is to Occupy Libya

The nature of a capitalist system depends upon the institutional framework that supports and shapes it.

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. It was their main weapon when they decided to easily liquidate the Cuban Revolution as soon as the first just and sovereign laws were passed in our Homeland: depriving it of oil. (more…)

The Revolutionary Rebellion in Egypt

I said several days ago that the die was cast for Mubarak and that not even Obama could save him.

The world knows what is taking place in the Middle East. The news is circulating at incredible speed. Politicians barely have time to read the cables coming in by the hour. Everyone is aware of the importance of what is occurring there. (more…)