THE US HEALTHCARE REFORM by FIDEL CASTRO
Barack Obama is a zealous believer in the imperialist capitalist system imposed by the United States to the world. “God bless the United States,” is the final phrase of his speeches.
Some events hurt the sensitivity of the world public which sympathized with the victory of the African-American over the far-right candidate in that country. On the basis of one of the deepest economic crises the world has known, and on the pain brought on by the young Americans who lost their lives or were injured or maimed in the genocidal wars of conquest unleashed by his predecessor, he won with the vote of the majority of the 50% of Americans who cast a vote in that democratic nation.
Out of an elementary sense of ethic, Obama should have refrained from accepting the Nobel Peace Prize when he had already decided on sending forty thousand troops to an absurd war in the heart of Asia.
The warmongering policy and the plundering of natural resources, as well as the unequal terms of trade of the current administration toward the poor countries of the Third World are no different from those of his predecessors, most of them from the far-right, –with few exceptions—throughout the past century.
The antidemocratic document imposed at the Copenhagen Summit on the international community, which had given credit to his promise to cooperate in the struggle against climate change, was another one of those events that disappointed many people around the world. The United States, the largest producer of greenhouse-gas emissions, was not willing to make the necessary sacrifices despite the flattering previous words of its president.
The list of contradictions would be endless between the ideas defended by the Cuban nation for five decades with great sacrifices and the selfish policies of that colossal empire.
Still, we don’t feel any animosity toward Obama, much less toward the American people. We feel that the Healthcare Reform has been a significant battle and a success of his administration. However, it is really amazing that 234 years after the Declaration of Independence proclaimed in Philadelphia in the year 1776, which drew inspiration from the ideas of the great French encyclopedists, the government of that country has approved medical care for the overwhelming majority of its citizens, something that Cuba accomplished for its entire population half a century ago despite the cruel and inhuman blockade imposed –and still in force– by the mightiest country that has ever existed. In the past, it was only after almost a century of independence and following a bloody war, that Abraham Lincoln could obtain the legal emancipation of the slaves.
On the other hand, I can’t help but think of a world where over one-third of the population have no access to medical care or the basic medicines required to ensure health.
And this situation will be aggravated as climate change, and water and food shortage worsen in a globalized world where the population grows, the forests disappear, the arable land decreases, the air is more polluted, and the human species inhabiting it –which emerged less than 200 thousand years back, that is, 3.5 billion years after the first forms of life on the planet—is running the real risk of annihilation.
Even conceding that the Health Reform comes as a success to the Obama administration, the current President of the United States cannot ignore that climate change poses a threat to health, and worse still, to the very existence of every nation in the world, as the rise in temperature –beyond critical limits which are already in sight—melts down the water of the glaciers, and the tens of millions of cubic meters contained in the enormous ice caps of the Antarctic, Greenland and Siberia melt down within a few decades leaving under water every port facility in the world and lands where a large part of the world population lives, works and eats today.
Obama, the leaders of the wealthy nations and their allies, as well as their scientists and sophisticated research centers are aware of this; they cannot ignore it.
I understand the satisfaction expressed in the presidential speech and his recognition of the contribution made by the members of Congress and the administration to make possible the miracle of the Health Reform, which strengthens the government’s position vis-à-vis political lobbyists and mercenaries that curtail the authority of the administration. It would be worse if those responsible for tortures, murders on contract and genocide were in charge of the US government again. As a man unquestionably smart and sufficiently well informed, Obama knows there is no exaggeration in my words. I hope the foolish remarks he sometimes makes about Cuba do not cloud his mind.
In the aftermath of his success in this battle for the right of every American to healthcare, 12 million immigrants, most of them Latin American, Haitian and from other Caribbean countries are demanding the legalization of their presence in the United States where they do the hardest work and the American society cannot do without them, but where they are arrested, separated from their families and sent back to their countries.
The overwhelming majority migrated to America escaping the tyrannies imposed by the United States on the countries of the region and the dire poverty these have endured as a result of the plundering of their resources and the unequal terms of trade. Their family remittances make up a high percentage of the GDP of these countries’ economies. Now, they expect an act of basic justice. If the Cubans have been singled out with an Adjustment Act which promotes brain drain and the enticement of their educated youths, why are such brutal methods applied to the illegal immigrants from Latin America and the Caribbean?
The devastating earthquake that battered Haiti –the poorest nation in Latin America, hammered by an unprecedented natural catastrophe that took the lives of more than 200 thousand people—and the terrible economic damage that a similar phenomenon brought on Chile are eloquent proof of the dangers looming over the so-called civilization and of the need for dramatic measures that can give the human species the hope to survive.
The Cold War failed to benefit the people of the world. The huge economic, technological and scientific power of the United States would be unable to survive the tragedy hovering on the planet. President Obama should look up in a computer the relevant data and talk to his most outstanding scientists; then, he will see how far his country is of being the model it promotes for humanity.
As an African-American, he suffered the offense of discrimination, according to his own narrative in the book “Dreams From My Father.” He was acquainted with the poverty of tens of millions of Americans; educated in that country and as a successful professional he has enjoyed the privileges of the rich middle class and ended up idealizing the social system where the economic crisis, the lives of Americans uselessly sacrificed and his undisputable political talent gave him political victory.
Yet, to the most intractable right-wing Obama is an extremist; and they threaten to continue fighting in the Senate to neutralize the effects of the Health Reform and to openly boycott it in several States of the Union by declaring it an unconstitutional law.
The problems of our times are much more serious.
The International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other international financial institutions strictly controlled by the United States –the creators of tax havens and the culprits of the financial chaos in the planet– allow the bailout of the big American banks by their government every time one of the frequent and increasingly intense crises of the system hits that country.
The United States Federal Reserve capriciously mints the hard currency that pays for the wars of conquest, the profits of the Military Industrial Complex, the military bases distributed around the world, and the large investments used by the transnational companies to control the economy of many countries worldwide.
Nixon unilaterally suspended the gold standard while the vaults of the New York banks keep seven thousand tons of gold, little over 25% of the world reserves in that metal, a figure that at the end of World War II was in excess of 80%. It is said that the US public debt exceeds 10 trillion dollars, which is more than 70% of its GDP and stands like a burden for the new generations. This is said when the truth is that the world economy is the one paying that debt with the huge amounts of US dollars spent in purchasing goods and services, the same dollars that the large transnationals of that country use to buy a considerable portion of the world riches and to sustain that nation’s consumer society.
Anyone understands that such a system is unsustainable and also why the wealthiest sectors in the United States and their allies in the world advocate a system that can only be sustained with ignorance, deception and the conditioned reflexes created in the world public through the monopoly over the mass media, including the main networks of the Internet. Today, the structure is crumbling with the accelerated advance of climate change and its disastrous consequences which are placing humanity face to face with an exceptional dilemma.
The wars between powers seem no longer a possible solution to the great contradictions as they were until the second half of the 20th century. Still, they have had such an impact on the elements that make human survival possible, that they could prematurely put an end to the existence of the current intelligent species that populates our planet.
A few days ago I expressed my firm belief that, in light of the scientific knowledge prevailing today, the human beings will have to solve their problems on planet Earth since they will never be able to cover the distance separating the Sun from its closest star located four light-years away, –one light-year equals 187,500 miles per second, as our high school students know—provided a planet similar to our beautiful Earth existed around that sun.
The United States invests huge amounts of money to confirm the presence of water on planet Mars, or if there was or is any elementary form of life there. No one knows what for, if not out of mere scientific curiosity. Millions of species are disappearing from our planet at a faster pace and its enormous water sources are constantly being poisoned.
The new laws of science –following Einstein’s formulas on energy and matter, and the big-bang theory as the origin of the millions of constellations and infinite stars and/or other theories—have given rise to deep changes in such basic concepts as space and time, which draw the attention of and are subjected to analysis by theologians. One of them, our Brazilian friend Friar Betto, deals with the subject in his book “The Work of the Artist: A Holistic Vision of Universe,” presented in the recent International Book Fair held in Havana.
The advancement of science in the past one hundred years has had an impact on the traditional approaches that prevailed through thousands of years in social sciences and even in Philosophy and Theology.
The most honest thinkers are paying significant attention to the new knowledge but we know absolutely nothing of how President Obama feels about the compatibility of consumer societies with science.
In the meantime, it is worthwhile meditating about these subjects now and then; this will certainly not prevent human beings from dreaming and from taking things with due serenity and steely nerves, but it is the duty of at least those who chose to become politicians and who sustain the noble and unwavering objective of a human society where justice and solidarity prevail.
Fidel Castro Ruz
March 24, 2010
In an article printed by Blackseanews Agency ( the leading Black Sea News agency ) is unvelied the romanian agressive foreign policy towards Russia, because of the importance of the article we present this completly and we publicly thank to Blackseanews Agency for the agreement to public this article:
ROMANIAN AGGRESSIVE POLICY AGAINST RUSSIA
In the last months the use of Romanian foreign politics by Republicans in United States to hinder Barrack Obama policy , gets an unusual scrutiny as the Bucharest movements in the Black Sea region are reminding more and more of a Cold war time activity than a peaceful time diplomacy. The Bucharest support for Georgian army re-equipment and for Georgian government strong positions toward Russia or the support offered from Bucharest to the Moldavian anti-Russian and reformist government and finally the decision unilaterally announced by Romania to host the controversial antimissile shield left the region in limbo. But what is behind this biting the nose of Russia policy practice by Romania?
Tension at Black Sea.
From august 2008 when the Georgian – Russian war has broken out the peace at Black sea seemed long forgotten. Almost on a monthly bases Tbilisi is trying, to put a brave face the latest part in this never ending saga: a broadcast in the night of 13 March at a Georgian television announcing that Russian troops have invaded Georgia and President Saackashvili, a staunch opponent to Russia was assassinated. This latest part in a show of tension between Georgia and Russia was destined to unify Georgian people against Russia and to boost the Georgian president authority. But this was just a media show; in January 2010 Tbilisi hosted an energy summit destined to promote an alternative energy route and source of supplies bypassing Russia. Only Romania was present at this show of force sending the Minister of Economy Adriean Videanu while the rest of the countries choose to ignore the invitation or to send no names to this anti-Russia show.
A Black Sea with NATO forces.
A new initiative from Romania is sending sock waives on Black Sea. A debate on Montreaux Convention (signed in 1936 and neutralizing the Dardanelle Straits and banning foreign military naval forces entering in the Black Sea) Now important voices are explaining that United States bases from Bulgaria and Romania could not be defended properly and neither the anti-missile shield could not operate at 100% capacity without a NATO permanent presence in the Black Sea. In NATO will established a stable naval based on the model of Mediterranean Sea the faith of Russian navy will be sealed and in 2018 when Sevastopol base will be evacuated practically the Black Sea will become a NATO lake and operation like 2008 war with Georgia will be unthinkable .
Romania- Poland: a wall on the East.
In the next weeks the Romanian President is waited in Poland in a visit destined to forge a new Romania – Poland alliance. Nominally the alliance is directed towards nobody but as foreign commentator said is enough to look on the map to see where the alliance is directed. Also history is marking that in 1921 Poland and Romania also marked a partnership against Soviet Russia, a partnership that resisted until the broken of the Second World War in 1939. This successful partnership on controlling Eastern Europe is a memory that remained registered in the diplomatic memory of Bucharest and Warsaw.
Chisinau: a new line of confrontation.
A success of the last year of this powerful policy toward East headed by Bucharest was the orange revolution held in Chisinau that chased out of power the communist party and offered a slim majority to the pro-Europe opposition. This success was quickly fortified by Romania with economic help and with a strong advocacy voice in Europe pressing for a support to the young democracy flourishing in Moldova. But clouds are gathering quickly. The communist opposition is strong enough to block the elections of any pro-Europe candidate and this could lead to anticipate elections. In a climate of economic disorder and high inflation and with a monthly medium wage ranged around 40 USD a communist victory is almost inevitable. Bucharest is supporting a reform movement that is trying to modify the way that the President is elected giving a chance to avoid new elections. Russia is not regarding this Romanian involvement in what is consider here back door with positive eyes. Contrary Russia ,after here victory in Ukraine where a candidate of centrist parties Viktor Yanukovich, favorable to a friendship policy towards Moscow has reported a resounding victory, is concentrating his efforts on new battle ground: Moldavia.
Romania and Ukraine: or how the love has faded away.
Five years ago when an orange revolution sweep to power in Bucharest President Traian Basescu and in Ukraine , President Victor Yushcenko a honeymoon was established between Romania and Ukraine . Both presidents initiated a reform movement in the Russia influence area, supported Georgia`s Mikhail Saakashvili independence politics and foster a plan for democracy building even in Russia. But this time quickly became history, now in Ukraine an independent personality, with a strong backing from Russian speaking eastern part of the country come to power. Usually the Romanian President was an all time presence in Kiev, this time he didn’t find time to participate in the inaugural ceremony of Viktor Yanukovich . Also recent declaration reminding that Romania is having issues with Ukraine regarding Romanian minority rights in Ukraine, a controversial channel build by Ukraine on Danube Delta and many other issues all are depicting a more tension image. If we put in the balance that Ukraine is having herself interests in Republic of Moldavia that are not exactly the same as Romania`s presidential vision we could say that the honey moon is over.
The shield of our discontent.
Finally the already world known decision take but Romanian President to host the long debated anti-missile shield on Romanians soil. The decision taken without Parliament consent or political approval send Moscow in a rage speaking even by Cold War resurrection .The decision made tones of ink to be spread on newspapers and comments and will surely make many other tones in the next months . The most important is the United States attitude; already the Republican personalities announced that they will not forget the Romanian strong pro-US stance and promised a strong support if they will take the control of the Parliament in November elections. A long line of republicans key figure already find their way to Romania expressing their views that Bucharest will be even strongly backed in this baiting the nose of Russia policy if they will take the reins after Barrack Obama. In this Black Sea policy the next move will come in the next months from Russia. What this move will be?
INSTITUTE OF INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND ECONOMIC COOPERATION BECOMES A UNITED NATIONS NETWORK MEMBER
On 15 of January 2010 the Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation from Romania becomes the newest member of United Nations Global compact Initiatives .The Global Compact action of United Nations is focused on ad advanced principles as: human rights, labor standards, environment and anti-corruption.
In the welcoming note for professor Anton Caragea , director of Institute of international Relations and Economic Cooperation, Mr. Georg Kell the Executive Director of United Nations Global Compact Office wrote: “we applaud your leadership in making this decision and welcome your organization`s engagement in the Global compact- the world`s largest corporate initiatives ..from the beginning, the Global Compact has considered that your participation helps to foster this collaborative spirit which is so critical for tackling today`s challenges.. again, we thank you for joining the Global Compact. We are eager to hear your ideas and experiences, and encourage you to share your views with us. We stand ready to support your efforts”.
The acceptance of Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation in the United Nations framework is a proof of the advancement of foreign policy research and activities in Romania and there global impact, furthermore the Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation is the only Romanian institution ever accepted in the Global Compact of United Nations.
Fidel Castro: The lessons of Haiti
By Fidel Castro Ruz
January 14, 2010
Two days ago [January 12], at almost six o’clock in the evening Cuban time and when, given its geographical location, night had already fallen in Haiti, television stations began to broadcast the news that a violent earthquake -– measuring 7.3 on the Richter scale -– had severely struck Port-au-Prince. The seismic phenomenon originated from a tectonic fault located in the sea just 15 kilometres from the Haitian capital, a city where 80% of the population inhabit fragile homes built of adobe and mud. The news continued almost without interruption for hours. There was no footage, but it was confirmed that many public buildings, hospitals, schools and more solidly constructed facilities were reported collapsed. I have read that an earthquake of the magnitude of 7.3 is equivalent to the energy released by an explosion of 400,000 tons of TNT. Tragic descriptions were transmitted. Wounded people in the streets were crying out for medical help, surrounded by ruins under which their relatives were buried. No one, however, was able to broadcast a single image for several hours. The news took all of us by surprise. Many of us have frequently heard about hurricanes and severe flooding in Haiti, but were not aware of the fact that this neighbouring country ran the risk of a massive earthquake. It has come to light on this occasion that 200 years ago, a massive earthquake similarly affected this city, which would have been the home of just a few thousand inhabitants at that time. At midnight, there was still no mention of an approximate figure in terms of victims. High-ranking United Nations officials and several heads of government discussed the moving events and announced that they would send emergency brigades to help. Given that MINUSTAH (United Stabilization Mission in Haiti) troops are deployed there -– UN forces from various countries –- some defence ministers were talking about possible casualties among their personnel. It was only yesterday morning when the sad news began to arrive of enormous human losses among the population, and even institutions such as the United Nations mentioned that some of their buildings in that country had collapsed, a word that does not say anything in itself but could mean a lot. For hours, increasingly more traumatic news continued to arrive about the situation in this sister nation. Figures related to the number of fatal victims were discussed, which fluctuated, according to various versions, between 30,000 and 100,000. The images are devastating; it is evident that the catastrophic event has been given widespread coverage around the world, and many governments, sincerely moved by the disaster, are making efforts to cooperate according to their resources.
Why is Haiti so poor?
The tragedy has genuinely moved a significant number of people, particularly those in which that quality is innate. But perhaps very few of them have stopped to consider why Haiti is such a poor country. Why does almost 50% of its population depend on family remittances sent from abroad? Why not analyse the realities that led Haiti to its current situation and this enormous suffering as well? The most curious aspect of this story is that no one has said a single word to recall the fact that Haiti was the first country in which 400,000 Africans, enslaved and trafficked by Europeans, rose up against 30,000 white slave masters on the sugar and coffee plantations, thus undertaking the first great social revolution in our hemisphere. Pages of insurmountable glory were written there. Napoleon’s most eminent general was defeated there. Haiti is the net product of colonialism and imperialism, of more than one century of the employment of its human resources in the toughest forms of work, of military interventions and the extraction of its natural resources. This historic oversight would not be so serious if it were not for the real fact that Haiti constitutes the disgrace of our era, in a world where the exploitation and pillage of the vast majority of the planet’s inhabitants prevails. Billions of people in Latin American, Africa and Asia are suffering similar shortages although perhaps not to such a degree as in the case of Haiti. Situations like that of that country should not exist in any part of the planet, where tens of thousands of cities and towns abound in similar or worse conditions, by virtue of an unjust international economic and political order imposed on the world. The world population is not only threatened by natural disasters such as that of Haiti, which is a just a pallid shadow of what could take place in the planet as a result of climate change, which really was the object of ridicule, derision and deception in Copenhagen.
Real and lasting solutions needed
It is only just to say to all the countries and institutions that have lost citizens or personnel because of the natural disaster in Haiti: we do not doubt that in this case, the greatest effort will be made to save human lives and alleviate the pain of this long-suffering people. We cannot blame them for the natural phenomenon that has taken place there, even if we do not agree with the policy adopted with Haiti. But I have to express the opinion that it is now time to look for real and lasting solutions for that sister nation. In the field of healthcare and other areas, Cuba –- despite being a poor and blockaded country -– has been cooperating with the Haitian people for many years. Around 400 doctors and healthcare experts are offering their services free of charge to the Haitian people. Our doctors are working every day in 227 of the country’s 337 communes. On the other hand, at least 400 young Haitians have trained as doctors in our homeland. They will now work with the reinforcement brigade which traveled there yesterday to save lives in this critical situation. Thus, without any special effort being made, up to 1000 doctors and healthcare experts can be mobilised, almost all of whom are already there willing to cooperate with any other state that wishes to save the lives of the Haitian people and rehabilitate the injured. Another significant number of young Haitians are currently studying medicine in Cuba. We are also cooperating with the Haitian people in other areas within our reach. However, there can be no other form of cooperation worthy of being described as such than fighting in the field of ideas and political action in order to put an end to the limitless tragedy suffered by a large number of nations such as Haiti. The head of our medical brigade reported: “The situation is difficult, but we have already started saving lives.” He made that statement in a succinct message hours after his arrival yesterday in Port-au-Prince with additional medical reinforcements. Later that night, he reported that Cuban doctors and ELAM’s Haitian graduates were being deployed throughout the country. They had already seen more than 1000 patients in Port-au-Prince, immediately establishing and putting into operation a hospital that had not collapsed and using field hospitals where necessary. They were preparing to swiftly set up other centers for emergency care. We feel a wholesome pride for the cooperation that, in these tragic instances, Cuba doctors and young Haitian doctors who trained in Cuba are offering our brothers and sisters in Haiti!
THE WORLD HALF A CENTURY LATER
On the 51st anniversary of the victory of the Revolution two days ago, the memories of that January 1st, 1959 came flooding back to me. None of us ever thought that half a century later, a time that has flown past very fast, we would be remembering it as if it were only yesterday.
On December 28, 1958, during the meeting at the Oriente sugar mill with the Commander in Chief of the enemy forces, whose elite units were besieged with no possibility of escaping, he admitted his defeat and appealed to our generosity to try finding an honorable way out for the rest of his forces. He was aware of our humane treatment of prisoners and injured enemies without exception. He accepted the agreement I proposed, even though I warned him that the ongoing operations would proceed uninterrupted. However, he traveled to the capital and, incited by US embassy, he promoted a coup d’état.
We were preparing for the combats of that day January 1st when in the early morning hours we learned that the tyrant had escaped. Right away orders were issued to the Rebel Army not to accept a ceasefire and carry on the fight at all fronts. At the same time, through Radio Rebelde the workers were called on to declare a Revolutionary general strike, which was immediately backed by the entire nation. The attempted coup was defeated and that same day, in the afternoon, our victorious troops entered Santiago de Cuba.
Meanwhile, Che and Camilo were instructed to quickly advance by road with their brave and experienced forces on vehicles toward La Cabaña and the Military Camp at Columbia. The adversary army, beat in every front, would not have the capacity to resist. By then, the people had revolted and seized the repression centers and police stations. In the evening of January 2, accompanied by a reduced escort, I met in a Bayamo stadium with over two thousand soldiers from the tank, artillery and mechanized infantry forces that we had been fighting against until the previous day. They still carried their weapons with them. We had won the respect of the adversary with our audacious but humanitarian methods of fighting the irregular war. This is how, after 25 months fighting a war we had resumed with a few rifles, in only four days approximately one hundred thousand air, sea and ground weapons and the entire power of the government fell in the hands of the Revolution. I’m relating in a few lines what happened in those days 51 years ago. It was then that the main battle started to preserve the independence of Cuba opposite the most powerful empire that ever was; a battle our people have waged with great dignity. Today, I am pleased to see those who defended our homeland –despite incredible obstacles, sacrifices and risks—that in these days are happily enjoying the glories of every New Year in the company of their children, their parents and their beloved.
However, these days are in no way similar to those of the past. We are living a new era that resembles no other in history. In the past, the peoples fought and still fight with honor for a better world with more justice but today they must also fight –with no other choice—for the survival of the human species. We don’t know anything if we ignore that. Cuba is undoubtedly one of the countries in the world with a highest political education. It started from the most shameful illiteracy, and what is even worse: our Yankee masters and the bourgeoisie associated to the foreign owners were in possession of the land, the sugar mills, the factories that produced consumer goods, the storage facilities, the shops, the utility companies, the telephones, the banks, the mines, the insurance services, the docks, the bars, the hotels, the offices, the housing, the movie theaters, the printing shops, the magazines, the newspapers, the radio, the emerging television and everything of value.Once the burning flames of our battles for liberation had faded, the Yankees took upon themselves the task of thinking for the people that had fought so hard to be the owner of their independence, their wealth and their destiny; nothing belonged to us then, not even the task of thinking politically. How many of us could read or write? How many could complete the sixth grade of grammar school? I remember this especially in a day like this because that was the country that supposedly belonged to the Cubans. I don’t mention other things because I’d have to include many more such as the best schools, the best hospitals, the best houses, the best doctors, the best lawyers. How many of us had access to them? Who, if not a few exceptions, had the natural and divine right to be managers or leaders? No millionaire or rich man, without exception, failed to be the leader of a Party, a Senator, a Representative or a senior official. That was the representative and pure democracy that prevailed in our homeland, except that the Yankees whimsically imposed ruthless and heartless petty tyrants when it was most convenient to their interests for better defending their properties from landless farmers and employed or unemployed workers. As practically no one even speaks of that, I venture to remember it. Our country is one of the 150 Third World countries, which will be the first albeit not the only ones destined to endure the incredible consequences if humanity does not develop quite rapidly a clear and certain conscience of the reality and the result of climate change provoked by man, that is, if such change is not timely prevented.
Our media have described the effects of climate change while the increasingly intensive hurricanes, the droughts and other natural calamities have equally contributed to the education of our people on the issue. Likewise, a peculiar event, the battle on climate change that took place in the Copenhagen Summit, has helped to build awareness about the imminent danger. This is not one distant risk awaiting the 22nd century, but one for the 21st; neither is it only for the second half of the latter but for the next decades when we would start suffering its terrible consequences. This is not a simple action against the empire and its henchmen that in this area, as in everything else, try to impose their stupid and selfish interests but rather a world public opinion battle that can’t be left to spontaneity or to the whim of most media. It’s a situation that is fortunately known to millions of honest and brave people in the world, a battle to be waged with the masses and within social organizations and scientific, cultural and humanitarian institutions and other international outfits, but very especially in the United Nations where the US administration, its NATO allies and the richest countries tried to deal a fraudulent and antidemocratic blow in Denmark against the rest of the emerging and poor nations of the Third World.
In Copenhagen, the Cuban delegation, which attended alongside others from ALBA and the Third World, was forced to fight strongly in the face of the amazing events originated by the speeches made by Yankee President Barack Obama and the group of richest states in the planet determined to do away with the binding agreements of Kyoto –where the thorny issue was discussed more than 12 years ago– and to place the burden of the sacrifices on the emerging and the underdeveloped countries which happen to be the poorest and, at the same time, the main providers of raw materials and non-renewable resources of the planet to the most developed and affluent. Obama showed up in Copenhagen the last day of the Conference which had begun on December 7. The worst of his behavior was that when he had already made the decision to send 30 thousand soldiers to the carnage in Afghanistan –a country with a strong tradition of independence that not even the British in their best and cruelest times could submit—he traveled to Oslo to receive no less than the Nobel Peace Prize. On December 10, he arrived in the Norwegian capital where he made an empty and demagogic speech full of justifications. On the 18th, the last day of the Summit, he appeared in Copenhagen where he had initially planned to spend only 8 hours. The Secretary of State and a selective group of her best strategists had come in the previous day.
The first thing that Obama did was to choose a group of guests who had the honor of accompanying him to address the Summit. With a permissive and flattering attitude, the Danish Prime Minister, who was chairing the Summit, granted the floor to the group of hardly more than 15 persons. The imperial leader deserved special honors. His speech was a combination of sweet words seasoned with theatrical gestures which have become boring for those who, like me, have decided to listen to him to try being objective in the assessment of his characteristics and political intentions. Obama imposed on his docile Danish host that only his guests could take the floor, although as soon as he made his speech he “disappeared” through a back door, as a leprechaun running away from an audience that had made him the honor of listening attentively.
After the authorized list of speakers had finished, a man who is every inch an Aymara native, Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, who had just been reelected with 65% of the votes, claimed his right to take the floor which was granted to him in light of the overwhelming applause of those present. In only nine minutes he exposed deep and honorable concepts in response to the words of the already absent president of the United States. Immediately afterwards Hugo Chavez stood up to ask for the floor on behalf of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The chairman of the session had no choice but to give the floor to him too; he then improvised one of the most brilliant speeches I’ve heard him make. After that, the sound of the gavel put an end to the unusual session. However, the extremely busy Obama and his entourage did not have a minute to lose. His group had worked out a Draft Declaration full of vague remarks that was a denial of the Kyoto Protocol. After he had precipitously left the plenary hall, he met with other groups of guests, not even 30 people, to negotiate privately and in small groups. He insisted and brought up millionaire figures of green bills without a gold backing and constantly devaluated, and he even threatened to leave the meeting if his demands were not accepted. The worst of all is that it was a meeting of the superrich countries to which some of the most important emerging nations were invited alongside two or three poor countries. The document was submitted to these as a ‘take it or leave it’ proposal.
Later, the Danish Prime Minister tried to present such a confusing, ambiguous and contradictory declaration –in whose discussion the United Nations took no part whatsoever—as the Summit Accord. The sessions had concluded and almost every head of State or Government and Foreign Minister had left for their respective countries when, at three in the morning, the distinguished Danish Prime Minister introduced it to the plenary where hundreds of long-suffering officials, who had not slept for three days, received the complicated document and only an hour to examine it and decide on its approval.
That’s when the meeting grew highly volatile. The delegates had not had time to read it. Several of them asked for the floor. The first one was the delegate of Tuvalu whose islands will be under water if the proposal contained in the document is approved; the delegates of Bolivia, Venezuela, Cuba and Nicaragua followed suit. The dialectic confrontation that took place at 3:00 AM of December 19 is worth of being recorded by history, if history is to last long after the climate change.
As a good part of what happened is known in Cuba or can be found in the Internet, I will only offer part of the two responses given by Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez since they are worthy of reading to known the final episodes of the Copenhagen soap opera, as well as the elements of the last chapter which have yet to be publish in our country.
“Mr. Chairman, [Prime Minister of Denmark]…the document that you repeatedly claimed that did not exist is showing up now. We have all seen drafts surreptitiously circulated and discussed in secret meetings, outside the rooms where the international community has been transparently negotiating through its representatives.”“I add my voice to that of the representatives of Tuvalu, Venezuela and Bolivia. Cuba considers the text of this apocryphal draft extremely insufficient and inadmissible.”“The document that you are unfortunately introducing contains no commitment whatsoever on the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions.”“I am aware of the previous drafts, which again through questionable and clandestine procedures, were negotiated in small groups and which at least made reference to a 50% reduction by 2050.”“The document that you are introducing now leaves out precisely those already meager and insufficient key phrases contained in those drafts. This document does not guarantee, in any way, the adoption of minimal measures conducive to the prevention of an extremely grave catastrophe for the planet and for human beings.”“This shameful document that you bring to us is also insufficient and ambiguous with regards to the specific commitment of the developed countries to reduce emissions even when they are responsible for the global warming resulting from the historic and current level of their emissions, and it is only fit that they undertake meaningful reductions right away. This document fails to mention any commitment by the developed nations.”
“Your document, Mr. Chairman, is the death certificate of the Kyoto Protocol that my delegation refuses to accept.
“The Cuban delegation wishes to emphasize the preeminence of the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities,” as the main concept in the future process of negotiations. Your document does not have a word on that.”“The Cuban delegation reiterates its protest against the grave breach of procedure that has surfaced in the antidemocratic way this conference has been conducted, particularly by resorting to arbitrary, exclusive and discriminatory formats of debate and negotiation.”“Mr. Chairman, I formally request that this statement be included in the final report on the works of this shameful and regrettable 15th Conference of the Parties.”
What was unthinkable is that after another long recess and when everybody thought that only the official procedures remained to conclude the Summit, the Primer Minister of the host country, incited by the Yankees, would make another attempt at having the document passed by consensus of the Summit when there were not even foreign ministers present in the plenary hall. The delegates of Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Cuba who had remained alert and insomniac until the last minute thwarted the last maneuver in Copenhagen.Still, the problem was far from over. The powerful are not used to meet with resistance and do not admit it. On December 30, the Permanent Mission of Denmark to the United Nations, in New York, politely informed our Mission in that city that it had taken note of the Copenhagen Accord of December 18, 2009, and was forwarding an advanced copy of that decision. It literally read: “…the Government of Denmark in its capacity as COP15 Presidency invites Parties to the Convention to inform the UNFCCC Secretariat in a written form at their earliest convenience of their willingness to be associated with the Copenhagen Accord.”
This unexpected communication motivated the response of the Permanent Mission of Cuba to the United Nations, that “…categorically rejects the attempt to indirectly approve a text that was repudiated by several delegations not only for its insufficiency in light of the serious effects of climate change but also because it just responded to the interests of a limited group of nations.”
Likewise, the First Vice minister of the Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment of the Republic of Cuba, Dr. Fernando Gonzalez Bermudez, forwarded a letter to Yvo de Boer, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, some of whose paragraphs I reproduce here: We have received with surprise and concern the Note circulated by the Danish Government to the Permanent Missions of the UN member states in New York –of which you are certainly aware– inviting the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to inform the Executive Secretariat in a written form and at their earliest convenience of their willingness to be associated with the so-called Copenhagen Accord.”
“We have seen with additional concern that the Danish Government is informing that the Executive Secretariat of the Convention will include in the report of the COP 15 held in Copenhagen a list of the Parties to the Convention that have expressed their willingness to be associated with this Accord.”“The Republic of Cuba considers this behavior a crude and reprehensible violation of the decision made in Copenhagen where, in view of the obvious lack of consensus, the Parties to the Convention simply took note of the existence of such document.”“Nothing agreed at the COP15 entitles the Government of Denmark to adopt this course of action, and the Executive Secretariat does not have a mandate to include in the final report a list of Parties to the Convention.”
“I must say that the Government of the Republic of Cuba strongly rejects this new attempt at indirectly legitimizing a spurious document and reaffirms that this behavior sets a dangerous precedent for the Convention’s works and impairs the good-faith spirit with which the delegations should carry on the negotiating process next year,” concluded the Cuban First Vice minister of Science, Technology and the Environment.
Many in the world, especially the social movements and the best informed people of the humanitarian, cultural and scientific institutions are aware that the document promoted by the United States is a step backward from the positions reached by those who are making efforts to prevent a colossal catastrophe to our species. There is no point in repeating here facts and figures that prove it mathematically. The data can be found in the Internet; they are within reach of a growing number of people interested in the subject. The theory used to defend adherence to the document is weak and implies a step backward. The deceitful idea is invoked that the wealthy nations would contribute the measly figure of 30 billion dollars in three years to poor countries to pay for the costs of facing climate change. This figure could then be raised to 100 billion annually by the year 2020, something that in this extremely serious issue is tantamount to waiting until Hell freezes over. The experts know that these figures are ridiculous and unacceptable given the magnitude of the investments required. The source of such figures is vague and confusing; therefore, no one is committed to this.
What’s the value of one dollar? What’s the meaning of 30 billion dollars? We all know that since Bretton Woods, in 1944, until Nixon’s executive order in 1971, –aimed at throwing on the world economy the cost of the genocidal Vietnam war– the value of one dollar, measured in gold, has decreased and is today about 32 times lower than it was then. That is, 30 billions mean less than 1 billion, and 100 billion divided by 32 equals 3.1 billions, which at the moment would not be enough to build a middle size oil refinery.
If the industrialized nations ever honored their promise to give the developing countries 0.7% of their GDP –something they never did but for few exceptions—the figure would exceed 250 billion dollars each year.
The US administration has spent 800 billions to bail out the banks, how much would it be willing to spend to save the 9 billion people who will live on the planet by 2050, if there are no severe droughts or floods associated to a rising sea resulting from the meltdown of glaciers and of large masses of frozen water in Greenland and the Antarctic? Let’s not be deceived. What the United States intended with its maneuvers in Copenhagen was to divide the Third World, that is, to separate over 150 countries from China, India, Brazil, South Africa and others with whom we should close ranks to defend in Bonn’s, in Mexico’s or at any other international conference, alongside the social, scientific and humanitarian organizations, real Accords that can benefit every country and protect humanity from a catastrophe conducive to the extinction of our species.
The world is in possession of an ever greater amount of information but the politicians’ time to think is ever smaller.The wealthy nations and their leaders, including the US Congress, seem to be debating who will be the last to disappear.When the 28 parties proposed by Obama to celebrate this Christmas are over, if that of the Epiphany was included perhaps Melchior, Gaspar and Balthasar could advise him what to do.
I apologize for the lengthy article but I did not want to split this Reflection in two. I beg for the indulgence of the patient readers.
Fidel Castro Ruz
January 3, 2010
FIDEL CASTRO : THE MOMENT OF TRUTH
The news from the Danish capital gives a picture of chaos. After planning a conference with about 40 thousand people in attendance, the hosts find it impossible to honor their promise. Evo, the first of the two presidents of ALBA-member countries to arrive, stated some truths derived from the millennium-old culture of his people. According to press agencies he said that he had received a mandate from the Bolivian people to oppose any agreement that does not meet the expectations. He explained that climate change is not the cause but the effect, and that we all have an obligation to defend the rights of Mother Earth vis-à-vis a capitalist development model; to defend the culture of life vis-à-vis the culture of death. He also addressed the climate debt that the rich countries should pay to the poor countries and the return of the atmospheric space taken from the latter.
He considered ridiculous the annual figure of 10 billion USD offered until the year 2012 while the yearly needs amount to hundreds of billions. At the same time, he accused the United States of spending trillions to export terrorism to Iraq and Afghanistan and to set up military bases in Latin America. The President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela addressed the Summit on the 16th, at 8:40 a.m. Cuban time. He made a brilliant speech that was much applauded. His phrases were remarkable. He challenged a document proposed to the Summit by the Danish minister chairing the conference. He said:
“…this text has come out of the blue; we shall not accept any text that has not been produced by the working groups, I mean, the legitimate texts that have been the subject of negotiations for the past two years.”
“There is a group of nations that feel above us in the South, in the Third World…”
“…it’s not a surprise, there is no democracy, we are facing a dictatorship.”
“…I was reading some slogans painted in the streets by the youths… one read: ‘don’t change the climate, change the system,’ and another: “if the climate had been a bank it would have been bailed out.’”
“Obama […] received the Nobel Peace Prize the same day he sent 30 thousand troops to kill innocent people in Afghanistan.”
“I support the view of the representatives of Brazil, Bolivia and China, I only wanted to express my support […] but I was not given the floor…”
“The rich are destroying the planet, could it be they are planning to move to another when this one is destroyed?”
“…there is no doubt that climate change is the most devastating environmental issue of this century.”
“…the United States’ population is barely 300 million; China’s is almost five times that. The United States’ oil consumption exceeds 20 million barrels a day; China’s is hardly 5 or 6 million barrels a day. Thus, the same cannot be asked from the United States and from China.”
“…the reduction of unfriendly gas emissions and the acceptance of a long-term agreement on cooperation […] seem to have failed, for now. Why? […] the irresponsible attitude and the lack of political will of the most powerful nations on Earth.”
“…the gap between the rich and the poor countries has continued to widen despite all of the summits and the unfulfilled promises, and the world continues its destructive march.”
“…the total income of the wealthiest 500 persons in the world is higher than the income of the 416 million poorest persons.”
“Infant mortality amounts to 47 per 1000 live births, but in the rich countries it is only 5/1000.”
“…how much longer can we let millions of children die from curable diseases?”
“Actually, 2.6 billion have no access to health services.”
“The Brazilian author Leornardo Boff has written: ‘The strongest survive on the ashes of the weakest.’”
“Jean Jacob Rousseau said that ‘Between the strong and the weak freedom oppresses.’ That’s why the empire talks of freedom; freedom to oppress, to invade, to kill, to annihilate and to exploit: that’s their freedom. And then Rousseau added the saving phrase: ‘Only the Law can make us free.’”
“How much longer are we going to tolerate armed conflicts that massacre millions of innocent people so that the powerful can grab the resources of others?
“Nearly two centuries back a universal liberator, Simon Bolivar, said: ‘If nature opposes, we shall fight it and force it to obey.’”
“This planet lived for billions of years without us, without human beings; it doesn’t need us to exist, but we can’t live without Earth…”
Evo addressed the conference in the morning of today, Thursday. His speech will also be treasured. He very candidly opened his remarks by saying: “I wish to say how upset we are over the lack of organization and the delays in this international gathering…” His basic ideas were the following:
“When we ask what is it with the hosts, […] we are told it’s the United Nations; when we ask what is it with the United Nations, they say it’s Denmark, so we don’t know who is the disorganizer of this international meeting…”
“…I’m amazed because only the effects and not the causes of climate change are being discussed.”
“If we fail to identify where the destruction of the environment comes from […] we will never be able to solve this problem…”
“…two cultures are antagonizing: the culture of life and the culture of death; the culture of death is capitalism, which the indigenous peoples identify with those who want to live better at the expense of others.”
“…exploiting others, plundering their natural resources, assaulting Mother Earth, privatizing basic services…”
“…living well is living in solidarity, in equality, in complementation, in reciprocity…”
“When it comes to climate change, these two ways of life, these two cultures of life are antagonizing, and if we don’t decide which is the best way of life, we will not be able to solve it, because we have problems with life: luxury and consumerism hurt society, and sometimes in this kind of international meeting we avoid telling the truth.”
“…in our way of life being truthful is sacred, and that is not being observed here.”
“…in our Constitution it reads ama sua, ama llulla, ama quella, which means don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t be weak.”
“…Mother Earth or Nature exist and will exist without the human being, but human beings can’t live without planet Earth, therefore, we have the obligation to defend the right of Mother Earth.”
“…I applaud the United Nations because finally this year it has established the International Day of Mother Earth.”
“…our mother is sacred, our mother is our life; a mother cannot be rented, cannot be sold or assaulted, a mother must be respected.”
“We have profound differences with the Western model, and that is under discussion at this moment.”
“We are in Europe now, and you know that many Bolivian families, many Latin American families come to Europe, why do they come here? They come to improve their living conditions. In Bolivia, they could be earning 100 or 200 dollars a month, but that family or that person comes here to care for a European grandmother or grandfather, and he earns 1,000 Euros a month.”
“Such are the asymmetries we have from one continent to another, and it is our obligation to discuss the ways to achieve a certain balance, […] cutting down the deep asymmetries between families, between countries and, especially, between continents.”
“When […] our brothers and sisters come here to survive or improve their living conditions they are expelled, with those papers known as expatriation documents […] but when a long time ago the European grandfathers arrived in Latin America, they were not expelled. My families, my brothers and sisters are not coming here to own mines, nor are they landowners with thousands of hectares of land. In the past, no passports or visas were needed to get to Abya Yala, that is, to the Americas.”
“…if the rights of Mother Earth are not recognized, it will be useless to speak of 10 billions or 100 billions, which is an offense to humanity.”
“…the wealthy nations should welcome all the immigrants affected by climate change instead of forcing them to return to their countries as they are doing now…”
“…our obligation is to save all of humanity and not half of humanity.”
“…the FTAA, Free Trade Area of the Americas, […] is not a Free Trade Area of the Americas, but a free colonization area of the Americas…”
Evo suggested the following questions, among others, for a worldwide referendum on climate change:
“..Do you agree to restore a harmonious relationship with Nature recognizing the rights of Mother Earth…?”
“…Do you agree to change this excessively consumerist and wasting model, that is, the capitalist system…?”
“…Do you agree that the developed countries should reduce and reabsorb their greenhouse effect gas emissions…?”
“…Do you agree on transferring everything that is currently being spent in wars to create a budget higher than the defense budget to tackle the problem of climate change..?.”
As it is widely known, the UN Agreement on Climate Change was signed in Kyoto in 1997. This instrument bound 38 industrial nations to cut down their greenhouse effect gas emissions to a certain percentage in comparison with those of 1990. The European Union countries committed to an 8% as of 2005, the year when most of the signatories had already ratified it. George W. Bush, then President of the United States, –the largest greenhouse effect gas producer country which is responsible for one-fourth of such emissions—had rejected the agreement since the midst of 2001. The other UN members continued their efforts. The research centers proceeded with their work. It is evident by now that a major catastrophe is threatening our species. Perhaps the worst could be that the blind selfishness of a privileged wealthy minority tries to bring the burden of the necessary sacrifices to weigh heavily on the overwhelming majority of the inhabitants of the planet. That contradiction can be perceived in Copenhagen where thousands of people are standing firm by their views. The Danish police are resorting to brutal methods to crush resistance; many protesters are being preventively arrested. I spoke over the phone with our Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, who was at a solidarity rally in Copenhagen with Chavez, Evo, Lazo and other representatives of ALBA. I asked him who those people were that the Danish police suppressed with such hate, twisting their arms and beating their backs repeatedly. He said they were Danish citizens and people from other European nations as well as members of the social movements who were demanding from the Summit a real solution now to deal with climate change. He also told me that debates in the Summit would continue at midnight. It was already night in Copenhagen as I spoke with him. The time difference is six hours.
Our comrades have reported from the Danish capital that a worse situation is expected tomorrow, Thursday. At 10 in the morning, the UN Summit will be adjourned for two hours as the Danish Head of Government meets with 20 Heads of Government he has invited to talk “global problems” with Obama. That’s what they have called the meeting whose objective it is to impose an agreement on climate change. Even though all of the official delegations will take part, only “the invitees” will be allowed to offer their views. Of course, neither Chavez nor Evo are counted among those entitled to express their opinions. The idea is to give an opportunity to the Nobel Laureate to read a previously elaborated speech, after the decision has been made in that meeting to postpone the agreement until the end of next year in Mexico City. The social movements will not be allowed to attend. After that show, the “Summit” will resume its works in the plenary hall until its inglorious closing. Since television has carried the images, the world has seen the fascist methods used against the people in Copenhagen. The protesters, most of them young people, have won the solidarity of the peoples. Despite the maneuvers and deception of the leaders of the empire, their moment of truth is drawing closer. Their own allies are losing confidence in them. In Mexico, the same as in Copenhagen or elsewhere in the world, they will be met by the growing resistance of the peoples that have not renounced the hope to survive.
Fidel Castro Ruz
December 17, 2009
THE TRUTH OF WHAT HAPPENED AT THE SUMMIT
The youth is more interested than anyone else in the future. Until very recently, the discussion revolved around the kind of society we would have. Today, the discussion centers on whether human society will survive. These are not dramatic phrases. We must get used to the true facts. Hope is the last thing human beings can relinquish. With truthful arguments, men and women of all ages, especially young people, have waged an exemplary battle at the Summit and taught the world a great lesson. It is important now that Cuba and the world come to know as much as possible of what happened in Copenhagen. The truth can be stronger than the influenced and often misinformed minds of those holding in their hands the destiny of the world.
If anything significant was achieved in the Danish capital, it was that the media coverage allowed the world public to watch the political chaos created there and the humiliating treatment accorded to Heads of States or Governments, ministers and thousands of representatives of social movements and institutions that in hope and expectation traveled to the Summit’s venue in Copenhagen. The brutal repression of peaceful protesters by the police was a reminder of the behavior of the Nazi assault troops that occupied neighboring Denmark on April 1940. But no one could have thought that on December 18, 2009, the last day of the Summit, this would be suspended by the Danish government –a NATO ally associated with the carnage in Afghanistan– to offer the conference’s plenary hall to President Obama for a meeting where only he and a selected group of guests, 16 in all, would have the exclusive right to speak. Obama’s deceitful, demagogic and ambiguous remarks failed to involve a binding commitment and ignored the Kyoto Framework Convention. He then left the room shortly after listening to a few other speakers. Among those invited to take the floor were the highest industrialized nations, several emerging economies and some of the poorest countries in the world. The leaders and representatives of over 170 countries were only allowed to listen. At the end of the speeches of the 16 chosen, Evo Morales, with the authority of his indigenous Aymara origin and his recent reelection with 65% of the vote as well as the support of two-thirds of the Bolivian House and Senate, requested the floor. The Danish president had no choice but to yield to the insistence of the other delegations. When Evo had concluded his wise and deep observations, the Danish had to give the floor to Hugo Chavez. Both speeches will be registered by history as examples of short and timely remarks. Then, with their mission duly accomplished they both left for their respective countries. But when Obama disappeared, he had yet to fulfill his task in the host country.
From the evening of the 17th and the early morning hours of the 18th, the Prime Minister of Denmark and senior representatives of the United States had been meeting with the Chairman of the European Commission and the leaders of 27 nations to introduce to them –on behalf of Obama– a draft agreement in whose elaboration none of the other leaders of the rest of the world had taken part. It was an antidemocratic and practically clandestine initiative that disregarded the thousands of representatives of social movements, scientific and religious institutions and other participants in the Summit.
Through the night of the 18th and until 3:00 a.m. of the 19th, when many Heads of States had already departed, the representatives of the countries waited for the resumption of the sessions and the conclusion of the event. Throughout the 18th, Obama held meetings and press conferences, and the same did the European leaders. Then, they left.
Something unexpected happened then: at three in the morning of the 19th, the Prime Minister of Denmark convened a meeting to conclude the Summit. By then, the countries were represented by ministers, officials, ambassadors and technical staff. However, an amazing battle was waged that morning by a group of representatives of Third World countries challenging the attempt by Obama and the wealthiest on the planet to introduce a document imposed by the United States as one agreed by consensus in the Summit.
The representative of Venezuela, Claudia Salerno, showed with impressive energy her right hand bleeding from strongly slamming on the table to claim her right to take the floor. Her tone of voice and the dignity of her arguments will never be forgotten. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Cuba made a vigorous speech of approximately one thousand words from which I have chosen a few paragraphs to include in this Reflection:
“The document that you, Mister Chairman, repeatedly claimed that did not exist shows up now. […] we have seen drafts circulating surreptitiously and being discussed in secret meetings…”
“…I deeply resent the way you have led this conference.”
“…Cuba considers the text of this apocryphal draft extremely inadequate and inadmissible. The goal of 2 degrees centigrade is unacceptable and it would have incalculable catastrophic consequences…”
“The document that you are unfortunately introducing is not binding in any way with respect to the reduction of the greenhouse-gas emissions.”
“I am aware of the previous drafts, which also through questionable and clandestine procedures, were negotiated by small groups of people…”
“The document you are introducing now fails to include the already meager and lacking key phrases contained in that draft…”
“…as far as Cuba is concerned, it is incompatible with the universally recognized scientific view sustaining that it is urgent and inescapable to ensure the reduction of at least 45% of the emissions by the year 2020, and of no less than 80% or 90% by 2050.”
“Any argument on the continuation of the negotiations to reach agreement in the future to cut down emissions must inevitably include the concept of the validity of the Kyoto Protocol […] Your paper, Mister Chairman, is a death certificate of the Kyoto Protocol and my delegation cannot accept it.”
“The Cuban delegation would like to emphasize the preeminence of the principle of ‘common by differentiated responsibilities,’ as the core of the future process of negotiations. Your paper does not include a word on that.”
“This draft declaration fails to mention concrete financial commitments and the transfers of technologies to developing countries, which are part of the obligations contracted by the developed countries under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change […] Mister Chairman, by imposing their interests through your document, the developed nations are avoiding any concrete commitment.”
“…What you, Mister Chairman, define as ‘a group of representative leaders’ is to me a gross violation of the principle of sovereign equality consecrated in the United Nations Charter…”
“Mr. Chairman, I formally request that this statement be included in the final report of the works of this regrettable and shameful 15th session of the Conference of the Parties.”
The representatives of the countries had been given only one hour to present their views. This led to complicated, shameful and embarrassing situations. Then, a lengthy debate ensued where the delegations from the developed countries put a heavy pressure on the rest to make the conference adopt the abovementioned document as the final result of their deliberations.
A small number of countries firmly insisted on the grave omissions and ambiguities of the document promoted by the United States, particularly the absence of a commitment by the developed countries on the reduction of carbon emissions and on the financing that would allow the South countries to adopt alleviating and adjustment measures.
After a long and extremely tense discussion, the position of the ALBA countries and Sudan, as President of the G-77, prevailed that the document was unacceptable to the conference thus it could not be adopted. In view of the absence of consensus, the Conference could only “take note” of the existence of that document representing the position of a group of about 25 countries. After that decision was made, –at 10:30 in the morning Denmark’s time– Bruno, together with other ALBA representatives, had a friendly discussion with the UN Secretary to whom they expressed their willingness to continue struggling alongside the United Nations to prevent the terrible consequences of climate change. Their mission completed, our Foreign Minister and Cuban Vicepresident Esteban Lazo departed to come back home and attend the National Assembly session. A few members of the delegation and the ambassador stayed in Copenhagen to take part in the final procedures.
This afternoon they reported the following:
“…both, those who were involved in the elaboration of the document, and those like the President of the United States who anticipated its adoption by the conference…as they could not disregard the decision to simply ‘take note’ of the alleged ‘Copenhagen Agreement,’ they tried to introduce a procedure allowing the other COP countries that had not been a part of the shady deal to adhere to it, and make it public, the intention being to pretend such an agreement was legal, something that could precondition the results of the negotiations that should carry on.”
“Such belated attempt was again firmly opposed by Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia. These countries warned that a document which had not been adopted by the Convention could not be considered legal and that there was not a COP document; therefore, no regulations could be established for its alleged adoption…”
“This is how the meeting in Copenhagen is coming to an end, without the adoption of the document surreptitiously worked out in the past few days under the clear ideological guidance of the US Administration…”
Tomorrow our attention will be focused on the National Assembly. Lazo, Bruno and the other members of the delegation will be arriving at midnight today. On Monday, the Minister of Foreign Affairs will be able to explain in details and with the necessary accuracy the truth of what happened at the Summit.
Fidel Castro Ruz
December 19, 2009