News that Matters
October 7, 2007
make a halt in my daily struggle to bow my head in respect and gratitude to the exceptional combatant who fell in combat on October 8th, forty years ago; for the example he passed on to us as leader of his Rebel Army Column, crossing the swampy grounds of the former provinces of Oriente and Camaguey, while being chased by enemy troops.
He was the liberator of the city of Santa Clara and the mastermind of voluntary work; he accomplished honorable political missions abroad and served as messenger of militant internationalism in East Congo and Bolivia. He built a new awareness in our America and the world.
I thank him for what he tried and failed to do in his home country, because he was like a flower prematurely severed from its stem.
He left to us his unmistakable literary style. He was elegant, swift and true to every detail of whatever happened to cross his mind. He was a predestinate, but he didn"t know it. He still fights with us and for us.
Yesterday, we commemorated the 31st anniversary of the killing of all passengers and the crew of a Cubana airliner blown in mid-air, and we are on the threshold of the tenth anniversary of the cruel and unjust imprisonment of the five Cuban anti-terrorist heroes. We likewise bow our heads in respect to them all.
It was with great emotion that I watched and heard the commemoration ceremony on TV.
n unusual news item appeared a few minutes ago, coming from EFE and REUTERS. I am going by the Spanish version: "One day, the Good Lord will take Fidel Castro away."
This wasn’t said in a pious church. Our man spoke at the Naval Academy in Newport, just as he had done at West Point, where he uttered the famous phrase about what dozens of dark corners of the world could expect. He was answering a question, clearly well thought out, about the situation in Latin America, made by a Colombian graduate of the Academy. What a coincidence!
Immediately, as if he were anxious to say something about Cuba and at the same time complaining with the Good Lord, he added: “There is only one non democratic country in our neighborhood and that's Cuba. I strongly believe that the people of Cuba ought to live in a free society. It’s in our interest that Cuba become free and it’s in the interest of the Cuban people that they don’t live under an antiquated form of government that has just been repressive.
Earlier he had promised: "We shall continue pressing hard for freedom in Cuba".
Then, as bold as you like, the spokesman of the White House National Security Council, Gordon Johndroe, when asked whether Bush was hoping for Castro’s death, replied: "The President was speaking about an inevitable event". It would appear that the brilliant official and his boss are going to live for thousands of years.
Now I understand why I’ve survived the plans laid by Bush and the presidents who ordered my assassination: the Good Lord has protected me.
Fidel Castro Ruz
November 19, 2007
hávez said it very clearly in Riad: developing countries spend upwards of a trillion dollars in oil and gas.
He proposed that the OPEC, which was nearly dissolved before the establishment of the Bolivarian government –which chaired and preserved this organization over 8 years– assume the tasks the International Monetary Fund was created for but has never fulfilled.
The dollar is in a state of free fall, he said. We are paid with paper notes. We can and ought to guarantee a supply of fuel, both to developed countries and to those struggling to develop that need to import it. The OPEC can grant development credits with long grace periods and a yearly interest of only 1 percent that poor countries can pay with the goods and services they can produce. He mentioned the sum of 5 billion dollars in development aid which Venezuela loans Caribbean countries which desperately need to import this essential commodity.
Chávez could invoke an illustrative example which Cuba is well aware of: with what it costs to import a single barrel of oil at the end of 2007, 13.52 tons of light oil could have been purchased in 1960, including their transportation, that is to say, nearly 50 times the amount today. In these circumstances, a country like the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela would continue to supply the United States with oil for practically nothing. The earth would continue to sink as its oilfields are drained of the oil that supports them.
I can imagine what headaches these calculations bring him and see how just and noble are his hopes for equality and justice for the peoples of what Martí called our America and Bolívar, in his struggle against the Spanish empire, described as a single nation.
At the time, a balance could still be maintained. Neither the empire’s diabolical idea of transforming food into fuel, nor the climate changes science has discovered and proven, still existed.
Fidel Casto Ruz
May 25, 2007
word popped up in my mind. I looked it up in the dictionary and there it was; it's an onomatopoeic word and its connotation is tragic: bang.
I've probably never used it in my life.
Bush is an apocalyptic person. I observe his eyes, his face and his obsessive preoccupation with pretending that everything he sees on the "invisible screens" are spontaneous thoughts. I heard his voice quaver when he answered criticism from his own father about his Iraq policy. He only expresses emotions and constantly feigns rationality. Of course he is aware of the impact of every phrase and every word on the public he addresses.
What's dramatic is that what he expects to happen may cost the American people many lives.
One can never agree, in any kind of war, with events that take the lives of innocent civilians. Nobody could justify the attacks of the German Air Force on British cities during World War II, nor the thousands of bombers that systematically destroyed German cities in the decisive moments of the war, nor the two atomic bombs which the United States dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in an act of pure terrorism against old people, women and children.
Bush expressed his hatred of the poor world when he spoke on June 1, 2002 at West Point, of the pre-emptive attacks on "60 or more dark corners of the world".
Whom are they going to convince now that the thousands of nuclear weapons in their possession, the missiles and the precise and exact delivery systems they have developed are just to combat terrorism?
Could it be perhaps that the sophisticated submarines being constructed by their British allies, capable of circumnavigating the globe without surfacing and reprogramming their nuclear missiles in mid-flight, will be used for that as well?
I would never have imagined that one day such justifications would be used.
Imperialism intends to institutionalize world tyranny with these weapons. It aims them at other great nations which arise not as military adversaries capable of surpassing their technology with weapons of mass destruction, but as economic powers that would rival the United States whose chaotic and wasteful consumerist economic and social system is absolutely vulnerable.
What's worse about the bang upon which Bush is hanging his hopes is the antecedent of his actions during the September 11th events, when, knowing full well that bloody attack on the American people was imminent, and having the capacity to foresee it and even to prevent it, he took off on a vacation with his entire administrative apparatus.
From the day of his appointment as President – thanks to the fraud orchestrated by his friends from the Miami mafia, in the manner of a "banana republic" – and prior to his inauguration, W. Bush was informed in detail of the same facts and in the same way as the president of the United States, who directed that he be informed. At that moment, the tragic events symbolized by the fall of the TwinTowers were still more than 9 months away.
If something similar were to happen with any kind of explosives or nuclear material, given that enriched uranium flows like water throughout the world since the days of the Cold War, what would be the probable fate of humanity?
I try to remember and analyze many moments of humanity's march through the millennia, and I wonder: could my views be subjective?
Just yesterday Bush was bragging about having won the battle over his adversaries in Congress. He has a hundred billion dollars, all the money he needs to double, as he wishes, the number of American troops sent to Iraq, and to carry on with the slaughter. The problems in the region are increasingly aggravated.
Any opinion about the president of the UnitedState's latest feats grows old in a matter of hours.
Is it perhaps that the American people can't take this little moral fighting bull by the horns?
Fidel Castro Ruz
September 11, 2007
n September 11, 2001, true chaos reigned in this neighboring country.
For long, planes were forbidden to land at airports. A countless number of passenger planes were mid-flight somewhere.
These were the news spread by the media in the United States. There were reports of thousands of victims in New York, including Twin Tower staff, firefighters and visitors. There were also reports of people on a passenger plane which was flown into the Pentagon. We offered to supply the United States with clean blood from regular donors if it was needed for any eventuality. Blood donations have long constituted a tradition of the Revolution.
These events happened to coincide with the day in which we had convened nearly 15,000 higher education students and university graduates for a 6:00 pm gathering, on the occasion of the re-opening of the Salvador Allende School, where 3,599 young people would begin higher studies and avail themselves of new and tried methods to become primary school teachers.
That painful incident occurred six years ago today. Today, we know that the public was deliberately misinformed. I don’t recall any talk, that day, of the fact that, in the basements of those towers, whose higher floors housed the banks of multinational corporations and other offices, lay nearly 200 tons in gold bars. An order to shoot to death anyone who attempted to get to the gold had been issued. The calculations with respect to the steel structures, plane impacts, the black boxes recovered and what they revealed do not coincide with the opinions of mathematicians, seismologists, information, demolition experts and others. What is most shocking is the claim that we may never know what actually happened. It is known, however, that a number of people en route to San Francisco from New Jersey, had conversations with their relatives when the air vessels were already under the control of individuals who were not members of the crew.
An analysis of the impact of planes similar to those against the towers, following accidental plane crashes in densely-populated cities, concludes that no plane crashed against the Pentagon and that only a projectile could have created the geometrically round hole that the alleged plane created. No passenger that perished there has turned up, either. No one in the world questioned the news about the attack on the Pentagon building. We were deceived, as were the rest of the planet’s inhabitants.
When I spoke at the Ciudad Deportiva sports complex that September 11th, I spoke of the tragedy that had hit the United States. In the interests of conciseness, I am reproducing the following excerpts from that speech:
« (…) We did not even consider postponing the ceremony. It could not be postponed, despite the international tension created by such events. I would imagine that almost everyone knows about them, but to briefly summarize, at approximately 9:00 this morning, a Boeing airplane, a really big one, crashed straight into one of the two New York famous towers which make up one of the highest buildings in the world. Naturally, the tower caught on fire because of all the fuel from such a big airplane, and some horrific scenes began. And then, 18 minutes later, another plane, also from an U.S. airline, crashed straight into the second tower.A few minutes later, another plane crashed into the Pentagon. News arrived, in the midst of a certain amount of confusion, of a bomb outside the State Department, and other alarming events, although I have mentioned the most important.
Obviously, the country had fallen victim to a violent surprise attack, unexpected, unimaginable, something truly unheard of. And the scenes that ensued were appalling, especially when the two towers were burning, and foremost when they both collapsed, all 100 floors, spilling over onto neighboring buildings, when it was known that there were tens of thousands of people working there, in offices representing many companies from various countries.
It was only logical that this would be a shock for the United States and the rest of the world. The stock markets started to collapse, and because of the political, economic and technological importance and the power of the United States, the whole world was shaken up today by those events. So, we had to follow the events throughout the day, but at the same time, we also had to continue thinking about the conditions and circumstances in which this ceremony would take place.
Therefore, there were two issues: the school and the extremely important course it will offer, and the political and human catastrophe that had taken place over there, especially in New York.
(…) Today is a day of tragedy for the United States. You know very well that hatred against the American people has never been sown here. Perhaps, precisely because of its culture, its lack of prejudice, its sense of full freedom –with a homeland and without a master— Cuba is the country where Americans are treated with the greatest respect. We have never preached any kind of national hatred, or anything similar to fanaticism, and that is the reason for our strength, because our conduct is based on principles and ideas. We treat all Americans who visit us with great respect, and they have noticed this and said so themselves.
Furthermore, we cannot forget the American people who put an end to the Vietnam War with their overwhelming opposition to that genocidal war. We cannot forget the American people who –in numbers that exceeded 80% of the population— supported the return of Elián González to his homeland. We cannot forget their idealism, although it is often undermined by deception, because –as we have said often times– in order to mislead Americans to support an unjust cause, or an unjust war, they must first be deceived. The classic method used by that huge country in international politics is that of deceiving the people first, to count on their support later. When it is the other way around, and the people realize that something is unjust, then based on their traditional idealism they oppose what they have been supporting. Often these are extremely unjust causes, which they had supported convinced that they were doing the right thing.
Therefore, although unaware of the exact number of victims but seeing those moving scenes of suffering, we have felt profound grief and sadness for the American people.
We do not go around flattering any government, or asking for forgiveness or favors. We neither harbor in our hearts a single atom of fear. The history of our Revolution has proven its capacity to stand up to challenges, its capacity to fight and its capacity to resist whatever it has to; that is what has turned us into an invincible people. These are our principles. Our Revolution is based on ideas and persuasion, and not on the use of force.
(…) That has been our reaction, and we wanted our people to see the scenes and watch the tragedy. We have not hesitated to express our sentiments publicly, and right here I have a statement, which was drafted as soon as the facts were known and handed out to the international media around 3:00 p.m. In the meantime, our television networks were broadcasting news of the events. This statement was scheduled to be read to the Cuban public tonight during the evening TV newscast.
I am going to move the time up a few minutes by reading to you here and now the Official Statement from the Government of Cuba on the events that took place in the United States:
"The Government of the Republic of Cuba has learned with grief and sadness of the violent surprise attacks carried out this morning against civilian and official facilities in the cities of New York and Washington, which have caused numerous deaths.
(…) It is not possible to forget that for over four decades our country has been the target of such actions fostered from within the United States territory.
Both for historical reasons and ethical principles, the Government of our country strongly repudiates and condemns the attacks against the aforementioned facilities and hereby expresses its most heartfelt sympathies to the American people for the painful, unjustifiable loss of human lives resulting from these attacks.
In this bitter hour for all Americans, our people express their solidarity with the American people and their full willingness to cooperate, to the extent of their modest possibilities, with the health care institutions and any other medical or humanitarian organization in that country in the treatment, care and rehabilitation of the victims of this morning’s events."
Although it is not known whether the casualties are 5000, 10,000, 15,000 or 20,000, it is known that the planes that crashed into the Twin Towers and into the Pentagon were carrying hundreds of passengers, and we have offered to provide whatever we can, if necessary.
That is a country with great scientific and medical development and resources, but at some point in time it could need blood of a specific type or plasma –any other product that we could donate, we would be most willing to give— or medical support or paramedics. We know many hospitals are short of specific technicians and professionals. In other words, we want to express our disposition and readiness to be helpful in relation to these tragic events.
(…) The hijacking of planes –a method used against Cuba— became a universal plague, and it was Cuba that solved this problem when, after repeated warnings, we sent two hijackers back to the United States. It is painful because they were Cubans but we had issued public warnings, so they came and we returned them. We complied with our public pledge, yet they never again provided us with any information about them to give to their relatives. They have their own ways of doing things. No one knows. I know they were sentenced to 40 years imprisonment, and that put an end to those hijackings".
(…) None of the problems affecting today’s world can be solved with the use of force; there is no global, technological or military power that can guarantee immunity against such acts, because they can be organized by small groups [which are] difficult to detect.
(...) It is very important to know what the reaction of the U.S. Government might be. Possibly the world will be living dangerous days, and I am not talking about Cuba. Cuba is the most peaceful country in the world, for several reasons: our policies, our forms of struggle, our doctrine, our ethics, and also, comrades, and due to an absolute absence of fear.
Nothing troubles us. Nothing intimidates us. It would be very difficult to concoct a slanderous accusation against Cuba; not even its inventor and the patent holder would believe it. It would be very difficult. And Cuba means something in the world today. It has a very high moral position, and a very sound political position in the world.
The days to come will be tense inside the United States. A number of people will start putting forward opinions.
(…) We would advise the leaders of that powerful empire to remain calm, to act with a cool head, to avoid getting carried away by a fit of rage or hatred, and not to start trying to hunt people down by throwing bombs just anywhere.
I reiterate that none of the world’s problems, not even terrorism, can be solved with the use of force, and every act of force, every imprudent action that entails the use of force anywhere, is going to seriously aggravate the world problems.
The way is neither the use of force nor the war. I say this with the full authority of someone who has always talked honestly, of someone with sound convictions and the experience of surviving the years of struggle that Cuba has lived through. Only reason, and the intelligent policy of seeking strength through consensus and international public opinion, can definitely eradicate this problem. I think this unexpected episode should be used to undertake an international effort against terrorism. However, this international struggle against terrorism cannot be won by eliminating a terrorist here and another one there, by killing people here and there, using similar methods to theirs and sacrificing innocent lives. It can only be won, among other ways, by putting an end to State terrorism and other repulsive forms of killing, by putting an end to genocide, and by seriously pursuing a policy of peace and respect for moral and legal standards. The world cannot be saved unless a path of international peace and cooperation is pursued.
(…) We have proven that we can survive, live and make progress, and everything seen here today is an expression of unprecedented progress in all of human history. Progress is not achieved only through the manufacturing of automobiles; developing people’s minds, providing knowledge, promoting culture, and looking after human beings the way they should be looked after makes progress. That is the secret of the tremendous strength of our Revolution.
The world cannot be saved in any other way, and by that I mean the situations of violence. Let us seek peace everywhere and protect all the people from that plague of terrorism. There is another horrible plague today, which is called AIDS, for instance. There is another plague, which kills tens of millions of children, teenagers and adults in the world, that is, hunger, disease and a lack of health care and medicines.
In the political arena, there are absolutist ideas, and attempts to impose a single way of thinking on the world; this fosters rebellious attitudes and irritation everywhere.
This world cannot be saved –and this does not have anything to do with terrorism— if this unfair economic and social order continues to be developed and applied; an order that is leading the world to disaster, along a path from which there is no escape for the 6.2 billion people living today and the future inhabitants of this planet, suffering ever greater destruction and plunged further into poverty, unemployment, hunger and despair. This has been proven by the masses in places that have already gone down in history, like Seattle, Quebec, Washington and Genoa.
The world’s most powerful economic and political leaders now find it almost impossible to meet; everywhere we can see that people are less and less afraid, and are rising up. I was recently in Durban, a province in South Africa, and there I saw thousands and thousands of people members of non-governmental organizations; discontent is spreading like wildfire around the globe (…)».
How enormously different is the conduct of the Cuban government from that of the government of the United States! The Revolution, based on truth, and the empire, based on lies!
Fidel Castro Ruz
Wednesday Aug 29, 2007
Ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro is tipping Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to team up and win the U.S. presidential election.
Clinton leads Obama in the race to be the Democratic nominee for the November 2008 election, and Castro said they would make a winning combination.
"The word today is that an apparently unbeatable ticket could be Hillary for president and Obama as her running mate," he wrote in an editorial column on U.S. presidents published on Tuesday by Cuba's Communist Party newspaper, Granma.
At 81, Castro has outlasted nine U.S. presidents since his 1959 revolution turned Cuba into a thorn in Washington's side by building a communist society about 90 miles offshore from the United States.
He said all U.S. presidential candidates seeking the "coveted" electoral college votes of Florida have had to demand a democratic government in Cuba to win the backing of the powerful Cuban exile community.
Clinton and Obama, both senators, called for democratic change in Cuba last week.
Castro has not appeared in public since intestinal illness forced him to hand over power to his brother Raul Castro in July last year.
He has turned to writing dozens of columns and essays, but rumors that his health is worsening or that he may even be dead have swirled through the Cuban exile community in Miami in the last two weeks.
Castro's only reference to U.S. President George W. Bush in his latest essay was to say that he "needed fraud" to win Florida's electoral college votes and the presidency in the fiercely contested election in 2000.
Castro said former President Bill Clinton was "really kind" when he bumped into him and the two men shook hands at a U.N. summit meeting in 2000. He also praised Clinton for sending elite police to "rescue" shipwrecked Cuban boy Elian Gonzalez from the home of his Miami relatives in 2000 to end an international custody battle.
But even Clinton was forced to bow to Miami politics and tighten the U.S. embargo against Cuba in 1996, using as a "pretext" the shooting down of two small planes used by exile groups to overfly Havana, Castro wrote.
He said his favorite U.S. president since 1959 was Jimmy Carter, another Democrat, because he was not an "accomplice" to efforts to violently overthrow the Cuban government.
Sixteen years after Dwight Eisenhower broke off diplomatic ties with Cuba, Carter restored low-level relations in 1977 when interest sections were opened in each country's capital.
Castro made no mention of Republican Cold War victor Ronald Reagan, or of John F. Kennedy, whose Democratic administration launched the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion by CIA-trained Cuban exiles in 1961.One of the most dangerous moments of the Cold War came a year later when Kennedy and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev faced off for 13 days over Soviet missiles that Castro allowed Moscow to place in Cuba.