Category Archives: Honduras

WORLD REPORT IN 2011 by Professor Anton Caragea

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It is in human nature to search for answers regarding the shaping of the future. It is a natural impulse that today science is offering a response by such disciplines as futurology and political science. 2011 it is in many respects just a continuation of 2010 evolution in economy and foreign affairs and is creating the path for 2012 when new and decisive election will be held in United States, Russia and across the world.


Homeless in United States: a common faith for 10 million people.

The economic crisis will worsen.

A regular companion of world economy in the last 3 years was the economic crisis. The crisis that unlashed over United States in 2007 and soon consumed the all world. 2011 will be still a year of the crisis. United States fails to be the engine for recovery in economy is fighting a record public deficit of   over 14 trillion dollars, more than 47 million americans living below poverty line and consumer confidence hitting record low. In politics a time and resource consuming battle between democrats and republicans in Congress and a paralyzed presidency of a crippled Barrack Obama , all this show that United States are far away not only from any recovery chance,  but also for a stagnation that will be more favorable that the present day gloomy economic outlook.

European Union is also confronting severely battled economy .Public record deficits in Ireland, Greece, Spain and Portugal (famous PIGS of European economy) are hindering EU image as an economic powerhouse. France and Great Britain are far from being out of recession and Germany fantastic growth figures are regularly downgraded, making a shame of the famous German punctuality and honesty. Germany has long receded from being the leader and acumen of Europe to be the problem child of Europe economy. With record deficits, rampant inflation, record dropping life standards, Germany is looking set in becoming the next bailout candidate of Europe not the pillar of Europe recovery.

India and China also experienced a halt in their record growth figures and 2011 will see this figures rapidly diminished. China economy ,  is growing now only on internal market demand at the expense of here competitivity  . Growing salaries and improving life conditions in China are surely positive news for Chinese people, but this is reflecting in a 35% increase in Chinese products prices in 2010. These tendencies will continue in 2011 and will reduce Chinese goods appeal in the world market.   China and India are not in the position to drag alone the world economy out of the precipice.   The economic crisis is here to stay in the next five years.

Pressure on China .

The most interesting political game of 2011 will be the cat and mouse game that Washington is playing with Beijing. In 2010 Washington wanted China`s alignment on anti-Iran resolution in the Security Council. It was enough for United States to play the economic card, agitating measures such as nominating China as a currency manipulator and imposing unilateral economic sanctions for China to back down and to support the US sponsored resolution in United Nations Security Council. In late 2010 when United States decided on a show of force on China Sea, at the door step of China, it was enough to describe China as a menace for the Far East region and to support Japan military resurgence for China to back down. It was reportedly that the December military exercises held by South Korea and US in East China Sea have being proven so efficient that China was put on a defensive posture.

In 2011 China will face new decisions: a new anti-Iran resolution that is drafted by US and will be put before Security Council in the spring of 2011, clearing the way for a military action against Iran. If China joins this resolution, his stance in the third world as an alternative power to United States and an agent of multilateralism will fade away definitively. Also United States are decided to support South Korea pressure against  North Korea, pressure that will be efficiently only if China goes on board. In a word China is confronted  in 2011  with the same decision as in 2010: should it be content with the stature of a middle power, as Great Britain or France ,and take care of his regional agenda or maintaining a great power profile embarks himself in a confrontation policy with United States ? Regional politics or big player, this is the alternative that Beijing is had to make.

Iran: new sanctions.

In December 2010 after failed talks, Iran and P+5 decided on a last ditch attempt in January 2011 to lift up the dialogue in Istanbul on Iranian nuclear issue. The rift between the parties is clearer than ever: Iran hold us up to his right on peaceful nuclear development while United States is determined to see Iranian nuclear program dismantled. Under this conditions is not difficult to predict the failure of the talks. United States have  already drafted a resolution, clearly laying out the path for military action against Teheran. Last year Russia and China with Brazil and Turkey intercession, succeeded to amend the draft, excluding the key phrase of -by every dint necessary. This year Russia will not oppose this green light for military action , while China stance is yet unclear. The battle around this new United Nations resolution will be undoubtedly the main diplomatic event of 2011.

Putin and Medvedev: a love-hate relation ?

Russia: fight for power.

In Russia the power struggle between the make shift President, Dimitry Medvedev and his benefactor, omnipotent prime-minister Vladimir Putin, is taking epic  and opera type proportions. Until now the battle between President  and Prime Minister was held on the streets of Moscow ,where Kremlin backed supporters tacking  to the streets against the Prime Minister administration. This battle in the street was won by Medvedev, that obtain on grounds of police brutality against manifestant`s, the removal of Putin rock-stone allied, Yuri Rajkov, mayor of Moscow. With the battle for Moscow won, Medvedev started two more fronts: a public offensive against the corruption and inefficiency of Putin government and on the world stage a battle for a new Russia image. Inflaming the rage of Putin, Dimitry Medvedev launches his new vision on Lisbon Treaty backstage. A Russia led by Medvedev ,without the omnipresent Putin , will support US efforts in controlling Iran and China , will assure a steady supply of raw materials to US and Europe economy and will request only a regional influence. Medvedev went as far as asserting that Russia relations with Georgia could be massively improved.    As naturally US and Europe force pledge support for the democratic vision of President Medvedev in contrast with authoritarian past of Russia, a diplomatic phrase describing Vladimir Putin policies. Vladimir Putin opera style response: in Sankt Petersburg a giant show on Christmas with him as a super star, congratulated as the greatest man that ever lived by Alain Delon, Sharon Stone, Kurt Russell and Gerard Depardieu. The star of the show-Putin even made a public performance and sings on the piano. 40 millions Russian have watch the show live on television. Score 1-1 for Putin.  The battle for Russia will be another interesting event of 2011.

Israel: a new aggression?

For Tel Aviv 2011 is starting under negative auspices: a frozen relation with White House after the illegal settlements build on Palestinian soil continued controversy and Barrack Obama support for an independent Palestinian state. The Israel international isolation after Mavi Marmara attack in international waters and Turkeys movement to isolate the hebrew state and illegal Gaza blockade made even European Union to start swaying away from Israel position.  After all this failures Benyamin Netanyahu extreme right government has only one solution to galvanize public opinion on his side: a new conflict either by unleashing a new attack on Gaza or on Lebanon. In 2010 Israel violated daily Lebanon air space, sponsored spy infiltration rings in the Cedar country and created a strong pressure to further weaken the country. But anew attack on Lebanon risk to alienate even further the western supporters of Israel and the lessons of 2006 defeat of Israeli military at the hands of Hezbollah is not easy forgotten. In Gaza ,also Hamas has survived blockade and daily attack by Israel in 2010 and even grow in popularity and capitalized on the international humanitarian effort for the people of Gaza in 2010. Gaza is a more labile target; with light weaponry could not stand efficiently against Israel war machine. But a small military victory will compensate the political storm that such an attack will unleash? Benyamin Netanyahu seems to think that this wage worth tacking it.

Savage german police brutality images.

Europe: fight for democratic system.

Europe is having a lot of problems to sort off in 2011. The economic crisis that is engulfing the continent is already described. Another ugly head that is appearing on the continent is sectarian divisions. Nobody forgets the Switzerland vote in banning minarets, the France ban on Muslim scarf, the closing of hundreds of mosques in Europe in the last year and the vicious attack on Tony Blair sister in law that converted to Islam and was nearly to be killed by British extremists. These anti-minority events will repeat and inflammatory statements like Angela Merkel opinion that multiculturalism have failed will support this kind of attacks. Europe is having in this moment more than 40% of population living below poverty line of 500 euro’s per month , increase unemployment’s ,  social and cultural amenities incapable in supporting European population needs, a medical system in grip and a deficit of democracy. As states are finding difficult to cope with this problems an easy escape is the time old remedy of anti-immigration rhetoric.

After being championship of democracy in the last 50 years, European democratic system is starting to show his wrinkles.  Great Britain police resulted to argentine style suppression of mass student demonstration in December 2010 against tuition fees rise. In France against anti-pension reform demonstrators were halted by armed forces and in Germany government resorted to pointing out in a 30`s style the immigration and failed multiculturalism as the culprits behind economy collapsed. The fight for maintaining a viable and democratic system in Europe is a difficult one that 2011 will just be a step.

 

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MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD FOR 2010 SURPASS NOBEL PEACE PRIZE IN IMPORTANCE

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Foreign dignitaries , academic corp. member , professors warmly greeted professor Anton Caragea , president of European Council on International relations and director of Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation of Romania on the decision of awarding MAN OF THE YEAR title to President of Turkmenistan , H.E Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov . Professor Shirin Akiner from Cambridge University went as far as observing that MAN OF THE YEAR award has become this year more influential and less controversial than the Nobel Prize congratulating Romania for this decision.

Professor Shirin Akiner congratules prof.dr.Anton Caragea and Ambassador Shohrat Jumayev of Turkmenistan to Romania for MAN OF THE YEAR AWARD

 

OSCE Secretary General Marc Perrin de Brichambaut,

Secretary General of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), had arrived in Ashgabat to attend the OSCE Secretary General Marc Perrin de Brichambaut. The head of the authoritative international organisations congratulated the Turkmen leader on receiving the diploma of the title of honour of “The Man of the Year” of Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation of Romania and Professor Anton Caragea presence on the 15th anniversary of neutrality and the great success of the international forum dedicated to the national holiday.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey

Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu, had arrived in Ashgabat to participate in the celebration of the 15th anniversary of neutrality of Turkmenistan. Minister Ahmet Davutoglu congratulated the Turkmen leader on receiving the diploma of the title of honour of “The Man of the Year” of Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation of Romania and Professor Anton Caragea presence and the great success of the international forum dedicated to the national holiday. In this regard, the distinguished guest said that Turkey was proud to be one of the first states in 1995 to support the adoption of the United Nations Resolution on the Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan, the constructive foreign policy strategy of which due to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov’s prudence stood today as a critical factor for peace and stability in the region.

Chairman of the CIS Executive Committee

Chairman of the Executive Committee, Executive Secretary of the Commonwealth of Independent States Sergei Lebedev, had arrived in Ashgabat to attend the International Conference on Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan: Cooperation for Peace, Security and Progress and the celebrations in honour of the 15th anniversary of neutrality of Turkmenistan, at the Ruhiyet Palace. Expressing gratitude for the heartfelt welcome extended in the Turkmen land, the guest congratulated the President on receiving the diploma of the title of honour of “The Man of the Year” of Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation of Romania and Professor Anton Caragea presence and emphasized that he was glad to visit again Turkmenistan, which due to the Turkmen leader’s innovative, prudent policy had gained the reputation of being a dynamically developing country with the great future in the world arena. Another evidence for this was the high-level forum organized in Ashgabat, which had provided an open platform for an exchange of views on new approaches and forms of interstate cooperation, including issues of stability and security in Central Asia and all over the world.

ECO Secretary General

Mohammad Yahya Maroofi, Secretary General of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), who had arrived in Ashgabat to attend the International Conference on Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan: Cooperation for Peace, Security and Progress, at the Ruhiyet Palace. Expressing gratitude for the opportunity of a personal meeting, the distinguished guest heartily congratulated the leader of the Turkmen state and the Turkmen people the 15th anniversary of neutrality of Turkmenistan. Mr Mohammed Yahya Maroufi emphasized that Turkmenistan’s open door policy and the Turkmen leader’s constructive initiatives on wide international cooperation had earned Turkmenistan the high international prestige. Another evidence for that was the presence of Professor Anton Caragea awarding the title of honour of “the Man of the Year” of Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation of Romania to President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and the presence of the Executive Committee of the Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation of Romania, said the ECO Secretary General.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan Vladimir Norov,

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan, had arrived in the Turkmen capital to participate in the International Conference on Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan: Cooperation for Peace, Security and Progress, at the Ruhiyet Palace. Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Uzbekistan congratulated President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on receiving the title of honour of “The Man of the Year” awarded by the Executive Committee of the Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation of Romania and Professor Dr. Anton Caragea presence at the meeting noting that this award vividly testified to worldwide recognition of the outstanding achievements of the Turkmen leader, the author of the foreign policy neutral Turkmenistan and the strategy for fundamental progressive reforms, which had won the country had the high international prestige by the community.

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Republic ,

Minister of Foreign Affairs of Azerbaijan Elmar Mamedyarov, who had arrived in Ashgabat to participate in the International Conference on Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan: Cooperation for Peace, Security and Progress. The meeting took place in the Ruhiyet Palace, which had become the venue for the conference. The Azerbaijani Foreign Minister congratulated the Turkmen leader on receiving the prestigious title of “The Man of the Year” , of Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation of Romania and Professor Anton Caragea presence. He said that Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation of Romania, one of the major research centres in Europe.

UAE Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development Abdul Rahman Mohammed Al Owais,

Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development of the United Arab Emirates, who arrived in Ashgabat to attend the International Conference on Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan: Cooperation for Peace, Security and Progress, in his residence at the Oguzkent Hotel. Emphasizing that the United Arab Emirates took great interest in large-scale progressive reforms launched in Turkmenistan on the initiative of the national leader and were sincerely proud in the achievements gained by Turkmen brothers, the guest congratulated President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on receiving the title of honour of “The Man of the Year” by the Executive Committee of the Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation of Romania and on the presence of professor Anton Caragea on the event .

Shanghai Cooperation Organization Secretary General ,

Muratbek Imanaliev, Secretary General of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), who had arrived in Ashgabat to participate in the International Conference on Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan: Cooperation for Peace, Security and Progress and the celebrations to mark the 15th anniversary of neutrality of Turkmenistan, at the Ruhiyet Palace. Greeting the leader of the Turkmen state, the distinguished guest congratulated Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on the organisation of the high-level international forum in Ashgabat dedicated to the landmark date in the history of independent Turkmenistan as well as awarding the diploma of the title of honour of “The Man of the Year” to the Turkmen leader. The SCO Secretary-General noted that by pursuing the active, consistent peacekeeping policy, Turkmenistan demonstrated a responsible approach to international cooperation as illustrated by the Turkmen leader’s statement at the conference opening ceremony.

Organization of Islamic Conference

Secretary General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu at the Ruhiyet Palace, where the ceremony of opening the International Conference on Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan: Cooperation for Peace, Security and Progress had taken place. The head of the largest international organisation congratulated President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov on the success of the statement at the International Conference, the high level of which was another bright evidence for the growing prestige and role of Turkmenistan in the world arena and the 15th anniversary of neutrality of Turkmenistan celebrated widely in the country. taking an opportunity, Mr. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu congratulated the leader of the Turkmen state on receiving the title of honour of “The Man of the Year” warded by the Executive Committee of the Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation of Romania and emphasized that this event was a sign of wide recognition of an invaluable contribution made by President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov to strengthening peace, security and sustainable development.

 

THE US HEALTHCARE REFORM by FIDEL CASTRO

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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

EIGHT PREDICTIONS FOR 2010 by Dr. Anton Caragea

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EIGHT PREDICTIONS FOR  2010

It is in human nature deeply rooted the desire to see what is the future reserving for us. In the ancient times Sybille’s priestess in a cave near Rome interpreted the sacred Sibylline Book to see what the New Year will bring for Rome. Today the desire to know the future remain as strong as ever but the technique has certainly improved. Today geopolitics is here to help us guide our way in the next year. So what will bring to us 2010?  

The end of economic crisis?

Certainly something that everybody will like to see in 2010 is an end to the powerful economic crisis that is ripping havoc in international economy. Unfortunately 2010 is a decisive year in economy but with a double potential: to show the end of recession or to provoke another catastrophic fall. The economic dates are far away from a promising future. The US economy still has to face with the consequence of a real estate market that is suffocated by offers but also in lingering demand because of the strict policy applied by banks. Also financial sector proved his vulnerability to external pressure when the so called Dubai World bobble burst in November 2009 the New York Stock Exchange suffered a fall of 8 %. This vulnerability to foreign market will still be a major factor in influencing US economy recovery. Crushing stock markets in Asia or Middle East will sure happen in 2010 as the international banking system is slaw in offering collaterals and credit to pharaoh type projects that where starting before crisis and needs financing to be completed. These big projects are a sward with two directions, if they are not completed investor confidence will fall and as a result we will see depreciating values of stacks and bankruptcy if they are completed they will find a market already saturated and they will collapse.

A ghost is troubling the continent: Unemployment.

We all remember K. Marx beginning of Capital: a ghost is wondering the continent: the communism. Well now another ghost is showing here ugly face from New York to London: unemployment. The latest data from United States are crippling any hope of recovery, with 85.000 jobs lost only in December the economy of US is in severe shape and with more than 600.000 people relinquishing any hope for finding a new job the prospects seamed deem. In Europe the situation is even grey, German Federal Government admitted in November that the figures showing the German economy out of recession are exaggerated, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia face national bankruptcy and Spain, Italy, Ireland are fallowing closely and with national bankruptcy looming over Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria economy is still clear that Europe economy is continuing his downfall rapidly.

China and India: how long the miracle can last?

This year the only good news from world economy come from India and China that relied on a huge internal market (more than 1 billon each) to continue to grow in a down fall year. But this maneuver could not be sustained for 2010 economist predicts. Two are the main reasons: the grow of internal market demand could only be sustained by increase in wages that will affect both China and India competitiveness on external market. The second reason is that the internal market is not producing hard currency (dollars or Euros) that both India and China need for their developing economy but they only acquired more of their one currency with no value on international market. China and India continuous grow could only be sustained by cutting their economy from international market and this will be another catastrophe for international economy. In conclusion 2010 will be decisive in shaping the way for a recovery or for another crisis.

Democrats lose control.

In United States 2010 is an electoral year in which the democrats and republican will fight for control of Legislative. In this fight democrats enter on the lame duck position, in economy the financial support offered generously by B. Obama did not produced neither the necessary recovery neither the economic climate improvement, on international policy US troops are still embattled in Iraq, in Afghanistan a long war of guerrilla will claim his life toll in 2010 and Obama just make the monumental mistake in involving US military in a new conflict in Yemen. With none of his campaign pledges honored and a dire economic situation B. Obama is having little to show for, a situation that republican will get the best of it.

Israel – a new military adventure.

In Middle East the clouds of a new war are rapidly getting strength. In Israel an embattled Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu is seeing his cabinet position weaker and weaker by days go done. Israel Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman has found himself excluded for Mediterranean Union projects talks as a result of Turkey veto and Arab country refusal to talk with him for his extremist views (the most inflammatory remark being the possibility of an attack on Aswan Dam in Egypt to disrupt Egypt economy). Inside Israel the dispute surrounding construction in occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem is further weakening his cabinet. In this case as Ehud Olmert has done in 2008 attacking Gaza or Menahem Begin invading Lebanon in 1982 is clear that the cabinet will try to avoid collapse by launching a new attach in the region. The best target is Gaza already weakened by the 2008 war and by 3 years of total blockade. An operation in Gaza could dismantle Hamas and provide a strategic victory with little human life cost so probably this will be the next target. But also there are voice that suggest that an attack on Lebanon infrastructure will be more beneficial for Israel that economically bothered by Lebanon tourism and investment opportunity competition in the region. But is probably that Israel will restrain his goal at more achievable level and a strike on Gaza seems the most likely scenario for 2010.                 

Pakistan: between civilian rule and military intervention.

Pakistan situation is dire: economy fall by 20% percent, unemployment is huge (more then 18%) and banking system is showing sign of collapse. With the army engaged in frontier battles at border with Afghanistan and with a continuous line of interior attacks the last things Pakistan needs is a political crisis. But exactly this is what 2010 will bring.  The embattled president Ali Zardari was forced to relinquish nuclear arms control to his prime minister and also to face a corruption charges that could lead to his downfall. The only civilian personality that could take his place is former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. But we must not forget that Mr. Sharif was deposed in a bloodless coup d’état in 1996 by the military and replaced with General Perwez Musharaf. Bringing him back to power will just mean that the history will be re-write. In any case if there will not be a political solution to Pakistan economic and political crisis the military will step in and this time with the accord of Washington that is eager to see stability at the front door of Pakistan at any cost in order to defeat the insurgency in Afghanistan. A general that will promise Washington tranquility at the southern border of Afghanistan will be acclaimed just as Perwez Musharaf was in 2001 after September attacks.

Latin America.

2010 also witness another tension fleering up: in Honduras a coup d’état mounted by military in convergence with right wing politicians toppled the legitimate president: Manuel Zelaya, crush any civilian resistance and despite international condemnation consolidated there regime in illegal elections. This became now a study case in United States and the region where many want to see left wing politicians as Evo Morales, Hugo Chavez and Rafael Correa overthrown. The Honduras success receipt will be surely repeated in another Latin America country this year. The question is where?

In Bolivia where a so called independent state in the center of the country has elected a parliament and a government and tries to overthrown Evo Morales in a civilian and military coup ? Or in Venezuela where Hugo Chavez is now under Columbian army pressure, irregular militia that crossed the border from Columbia to attack Venezuelan objectives on daily bases and where United States just opened up military bases?

Finally Rafael Correa of Ecuador is also on the black list; Ecuadorian military trained and grown by United States is also shooing sign that could change lines. Where will be CIA next revolution in Latin America?   Newsweek citing informed sources from CIA announced that Venezuela is the prime candidate for a „freedom” operation in Caribbean.  

China`s decision.

2010 will also be a decisive year for China that will be presented in the Security Council with sanctions proposal for Iran and Sudan. Both countries are strong allies of China, suppliers with gas and oil for increasing Chinese demands and both countries have a tension relationship with United States. China will have to decide; to give a go ahead to future sanctions could spell clearing the road for war. Everybody remembers in Security Council the 2002 resolution against Iraq that threatened the Baghdad regime with serious consequences if they don’t comply. United States decided that serious consequences could mean war and launch the attack on Iraq. A similar resolution today imposed on Teheran will be just a final step to war. China seemed to be aware of this and will have to choose between open opposition to United States agenda or temporary acceptance of US demands. The present strategy of China of temporization could no longer work in 2010.

This are just of the few decision that international policy and market decision makers will be confronted in this decisive year between peace and war, crisis or recovery , coup d’état or liberty. The answer will be decided in the next 12 month. We will live with the consequence.

Professor Anton Caragea PhD, MA, FINS

FIDEL CASTRO – LIVING HISTORY. THE WORLD HALF A CENTURY LATER

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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 TRUTH OF WHAT HAPPENED AT THE SUMMIT

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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

8:17p.m.

SEVEN DAGGERS AT THE HEART OF THE AMERICAS by Fidel Castro

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SEVEN DAGGERS AT THE HEART OF THE AMERICAS 

            I read and reread data and articles written by smart personalities, some better known than others, who publish in various media outlets drawing the information from sources nobody questions.

         Fidel%20Castro%201   Everywhere in the world, the people living on this planet are taking economic, environmental and war risks due to the United States policies but no other region of the world as threatened by such grave problems as that country’s neighbors, that is, the peoples of this continent south of that hegemonic power.

            The presence of such a powerful empire –with military bases, nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers; modern warships and sophisticated fighter planes that can carry any type of weapons, deployed in every continent and ocean; with hundreds of thousands of troops and a government that claims absolute impunity for them– is the most important headache for any government, be it a leftist, rightist or center government, an allied of the United States or not.

            The problem for those of us who are its neighbors is not that it is a different country with a different language. There are Americans of every color and background. They are people just like us with all kinds of feelings, in one sense or another. What is dramatic is the system that has been developed there and imposed on everyone else. That system is not new to the use of force and to the domination methods that have prevailed throughout history; what is new is the time we are living. Approaching the issue from a traditional perspective would be a mistake and no one would benefit. Reading and getting acquainted with the ideas of the advocates of the system can be very educational for it helps to become aware of the nature of a system which builds on a continuous appeal to selfishness and to the peoples’ most basic instincts.

            Without convictions about the value of conscience and its capacity to prevail over instincts, it would not be possible to even speak of a hope for change in any period of the very short history of man. Neither would it be possible to understand the formidable obstacles lying in the way of the different political leaders of the Latin American or Ibero-American nations in the hemisphere. In any case, the peoples living in this part of the world in the last tens of thousands of years until the famous discovery of the Americas had no traits of the Latin, Iberian or European peoples and their features resembled more those of the Asian peoples where their ancestors had come from. Today, we can find them on the faces of the indigenous people in Mexico, Central America, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay and Chile, a country where the Araucanians wrote enduring pages. In certain areas of Canada and Alaska they still preserve their indigenous roots as purely as they can, but in the continental United States a large part of the ancient peoples was exterminated by the white conquerors.

            As everybody knows, millions of Africans were uprooted from their land and brought to work as slaves in this hemisphere. In some countries like Haiti and a large part of the Caribbean Islands their descendants make up the majority of the population, and in some other countries they add up to large segments. In the United States, there are tens of millions of people of African descent who, as a rule, are the poorest and most discriminated against.

            For centuries that country claimed privileged rights over our continent. At the time of Jose Marti, it tried to impose a single currency based on gold, a metal whose value has been the steadiest through history. In general, international trade was based on gold; but that is not the case today. From the days of Nixon’s administration, world trade developed on the basis of the paper money printed by the United States, the dollar, a currency worth today about 27 times less than in the early ‘70s; one of the many ways to dominate and defraud the rest of the world. At the present moment, however, other currencies are taking the place of the dollar in international trade and in the hard currency reserves.

            Then, while the value of the empire’s currency is decreasing, its military forces’ reserves are increasing and the state-of-the-art technology and science monopolized by the superpower are largely directed to weapons development. Presently, it is not only the thousands of nuclear missiles or the modern destructive power of conventional weapons, but the guided planes piloted by robots. This is not just a fantasy. Some of these aircraft are being used in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Recent reports indicate that in a relatively near future, by the year 2020, –long before the Antarctic icecap melts– the empire plans to have among its 2500 war planes, 1100 fifth-generation F-35 and F-22 fighter-bombers. Just to give an idea of that potential, suffice it to say that the aircraft used at the Soto Cano base in Honduras to train that country’s pilots are F-5, and the ones supplied to the Venezuelan air force –prior to Chavez– and to Chile and other countries, were small F-16 squadrons.

            Even more significant is the empire’s plan for the next 30 years anticipating that every U.S. combat aircraft, from fighter planes to heavy bombers and tanker planes are piloted by robots.

            Such a military might is not a necessity of the world; it is a necessity of the economic system that the empire imposes to the world.

            Anyone understands that if the robots can replace the combat pilots, they can also replace the workers in many factories. The free-trade agreements that the empire is trying to impose on the countries of this hemisphere mean that these workers will have to compete with the advanced technology and the robots of the Yankee industry.

            Robots do not go on strike; they are obedient and disciplined. We have seen on TV machinery that can pick up apples and other fruits. The question could also be asked to the American workers. Where will the jobs be? What is the future that capitalism without borders, in its advanced development stage, assigns to the people?

            In light of this and other realities, the leaders of UNASUR, MERCOSUR, the Rio Group and others cannot but analyze the very good question raised by Venezuela: What’s the meaning of the military and naval bases that the United States wants to set up around Venezuela and in the heart of South America? I remember that a few years back, when relations between Colombia and Venezuela, two sister nations bound by geography and history, grew dangerously tense Cuba quietly promoted significant steps leading to peace between them. Cuba will never encourage war between sister nations. Historic experience, the manifest destiny claimed and applied by the United States and the weak accusations against Venezuela about weapon supplies to the FARC, combined with the negotiations aimed at granting to the U.S. Armed Forces seven places in that territory to be used by their air and naval troops, are leaving Venezuela no other choice but to invest in weaponry the resources it could use for the economy, social programs and cooperation with other countries of the region having less resources and development. Venezuela’s military build-up is not aimed against the fraternal people of Colombia but against the empire which already tried to overthrow its Revolution and today intends to set up its sophisticated weapons near the Venezuelan border.

            It would be a serious mistake to believe that only Venezuela is being threatened. Actually, every country in the south of the continent is under threat. Not one of them will be able to avoid the issue as some of them have already stated.

            The present and future generations will pass judgment on their leaders for the way they conduct themselves at this moment. It is not only the United States, but the United States and the system. What does it offer? What does it want?

            It offers the FTAA, that is, the early ruin of our countries: free transit of goods and capital, but not free transit of people. They are now afraid that the opulent consumerist society is inundated by poor Hispanics, indigenous people, black, mulatto or whites who cannot find jobs in their own countries. They return everyone who commits an offense or that they do not need; quite often these people are killed before they enter that country or returned like animals when they are not necessary. Twelve million Latin American or Caribbean immigrants remain in the United States illegally. A new economy has emerged in our countries, especially in the smallest and poorest: that of remittances. In times of crisis, this strikes mostly the immigrants and their families. Parents and children are separated, sometimes forever. If the immigrant is of military age, he is given the chance to enlist for fighting thousands of miles away from home “on behalf of freedom and democracy,” and if they do not get killed, on their return they are given the right to become US citizens. Then, as they are well trained they are offered the possibility of a contract, not as official soldiers but as civilian soldiers for the private companies that provide services to the imperial wars of conquest.

            There are other extremely serious dangers. There are always news of immigrants from Mexico and other countries of our region dying as they try to cross the U.S.-Mexican border. The number of victims each year widely exceeds the totality of those who lost their lives in the almost 28 years of existence of the famous Berlin Wall.

            But what is most incredible is that there is hardly any news in the world about a war that is taking thousands of lives every year. In 2009, more Mexicans have been killed than the number of American soldiers who died during Bush’s war on Iraq in the course of his administration.

            The cause of the war in Mexico is the largest drug market in the world: the United States market. But there is no war going on in the American territory between the U.S. police and the military fighting the drug-traffickers. The war has instead been exported to Mexico and Central America, but especially to the Aztec country which is closer to the United States. Dreadful images of dead bodies are shown on TV while news keep coming in of people murdered in the surgery rooms where their lives were being saved. None of these images originates in the U.S. territory.

            Such a wave of violence and bloodshed is expanding through the countries of South America, affecting them to a lesser or greater extent. Where does the money come from if not the endless source of the U.S. market? Likewise, consumption tends to expand to the rest of the countries in the region causing more victims and direct or indirect damages than AIDS, malaria and other illnesses put together.

            The imperial plans of domination are preceded by huge sums of money assigned to the task of deceiving and misinforming the public. For this purpose, they have the full complicity of the oligarchy, the bourgeoisie, the rightist intelligentsia and the media.

            They are experts in spreading news of the politicians’ mistakes and contradictions.

            The fate of mankind must not be left in the hands of robots turned into people or people turned into robots.

            In the year 2010, the U.S. government will promote its policy through the State Department and USAID spending 2.2 billion dollars –12 percent more than the Bush administration received in the last year of its second term– and almost 450 million of them will be used to prove that the tyranny imposed on the world means democracy and respect for human rights.

            They constantly appeal to the human beings’ instinct and selfishness; they despise the value of education and conscience. The resistance put up by the Cuban people throughout 50 years is evident. Resistance is the weapon that peoples can never give up. The Puerto Ricans were able to stop the military exercises in Vieques by standing on the site of the firing range.

            Bolivar’s homeland is today the country they are most worried about for its historical role in the struggle for the independence of the peoples of the Americas. Cubans working there as healthcare and informatics specialists, educators, physical education and sports professors, agricultural technicians and specialists in other areas should do their best to fulfill their internationalist duty to prove that the peoples can put up a resistance and carry forward the most sacred principles of human society. Otherwise, the empire will destroy civilization and even the human race.

 

 

Fidel Castro Ruz

August , 2009.

FIDEL CASTRO: WHAT SHOULD BE DEMANDED FROM THE UNITED STATES ?

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WHAT SHOULD BE DEMANDED FROM THE UNITED STATES by FIDEL CASTRO

Fidel Castro

                                               

The meeting in Costa Rica didn’t, nor could it, lead to peace.  The people of Honduras are not at war, it’s just the perpetrators of the coup who are using weapons against the people.  One should demand that they cease their war against the people.  That meeting between Zelaya and the coup was only good for discrediting the constitutional president and wearing away at the energies of the Honduran people.

World public opinion learned about what was happening in that country through the images broadcast by international television, basically Telesur, which without losing a single second, faithfully broadcast each one of the events happening in Honduras, the speeches made and the unanimous agreements of the international bodies against the coup.

The world could watch the blows that rained down on men and women, the thousands of tear gas bombs thrown into the crowd, the rude gestures with weapons of war and the shots intended to intimidate, wound or murder citizens.

The idea that the US ambassador in Tegucigalpa, Hugo Llorens, didn’t know about or discouraged the coup is absolutely false.  He knew about it, just like the American military advisors who didn’t stop for a minute in their training of Honduran troops.

Today we know that the idea to promote a peace process from Costa Rica arose from the offices of the State Department, in order to contribute to the strengthening of the military coup.

The coup was conceived and organized by unscrupulous characters on the far-right, who were officials in the confidence of George W. Bush and had been promoted by him.

All of them, without exception, have a thick file of activities against Cuba.  Hugo Lorens, the ambassador in Honduras since the middle of 2008, is a Cuban-American.  He is part of the group of aggressive US ambassadors in Central America, made up of Robert Blau, the ambassador in El Salvador, Stephen McFarland in Guatemala and Robert Callahan in Nicaragua, all appointed by Bush in the months of July and August of 2008.

The four of them follow the line of Otto Reich and John Negroponte who, together with Oliver North, were responsible for the dirty war against Nicaragua and the death squads in Central America that cost the peoples of the region tens of thousands of lives.

Negroponte was Bush’s representative at the United Nations, the US intelligence tsar, and finally under-secretary of State.  Both he and Otto Reich, using different routes, were behind the coup in Honduras.  

The base at Soto Cano in that country, home to the Joint Task Force-Bravo of the US Armed Forces, is the main point of support for the coup d’état in Honduras.  

The United States has the dismal plan to create five more military bases around Venezuela, with the excuse of replacing the one in Manta, Ecuador.

The absurd adventure of the coup d’état in Honduras has created a really complicated situation in Central America that cannot be resolved with trickery, deceit and lies.

Every day we learn about new details in the US implication in that action that will also have serious repercussions in all of Latin America. 

The idea of a peace initiative from Costa Rica was transmitted to the president of that country from the State Department when Obama was in Moscow and he was declaring at a Russian university that the only president of Honduras was Manuel Zelaya.

The perpetrators of the coup were in a predicament.  The initiative transmitted to Costa Rica was seeking the goal of saving them.  It is clear that every day of delay has a cost for the constitutional president and tends to dilute the extraordinary international support he has received.  The Yankee manoeuvre does not increase the possibilities for peace, just the opposite, it decreases them, and the danger of violence grows, since the peoples of our America will never resign themselves to the fate that has been programmed for them.

With the Costa Rica meeting, the authority of the UN, the OAS and the other institutions that committed their support to the people of Honduras is being questioned. 

When Micheletti, the de facto president, yesterday announced that he is willing to step down from his position if Zelaya resigns, I already knew that the State Department and the military in the coup had agreed to replace him and send him again to Congress as part of the manoeuvre.

The only correct thing to do at this moment is to demand that the government of the United States ceases its intervention, stops giving military aid to the coup and pulls out its Task Force from Honduras. 

What they want to demand from the Honduran people in the name of peace is to deny all the principles for which all the nations of this hemisphere have fought. 

 “Respect for the rights of others means peace”, said Juárez.

FIDEL CASTRO: THE HONDURAS COUP D`ETAT- A SUICIDAL MISTAKE

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Reflections by Comrade Fidel

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A SUICIDAL MISTAKE

 

 

Three days ago, in the evening of Thursday 25th, I wrote in my Reflections: “We do not know what will happen tonight or tomorrow in Honduras, but the courageous behavior adopted by Zelaya will go down in history.”

 

Two paragraphs before I had indicated that: “The situation that might result from whatever occurs in that country will be a test for the OAS and the current US administration.”

 

The prehistoric Inter-American institution met in Washington the following day and in a halfhearted and spiritless resolution promised to immediately make the necessary efforts to bring about harmony between the contending parties; that is, a negotiation between the putschists and the Constitutional President of Honduras.

 

The high ranking military chief who was still in command of the Honduran Armed Forces was making public statements different from the President’s position while recognizing his authority in a merely formal way.

 

The putschists needed barely anything else from the OAS. They couldn’t care less for the presence of a large number of international observers who had traveled to that country to bear witness to a referendum and who had been talking with Zelaya until late into the night. Today, before dawn, they launched on the President’s home about 200 well-trained and equipped professional troops who roughly set aside the members of the Guard of Honor and kidnapped Zelaya –who was sleeping at the moment– taking him to an air base and forcibly putting him on a plane to Costa Rica.

 

At 8:30 a.m. we learned from Telesur of the assault on the Presidential House and the kidnapping. The President was unable to attend the initial activity related to the referendum that was to take place this Sunday and his whereabouts were unknown.

 

The official television channel was silenced. They wanted to prevent the early spread of the news of the treacherous action through Telesur and Cubavision Internacional, which were reporting the events. Therefore, they first suspended the broadcasting centers and then cut off electricity to the entire country. At the moment, the Supreme Court and the Congress involved in the conspiracy had yet to make public the decisions that justified the plot. They first carried out the indescribable military coup and then legalized it.

 

The people woke up to a fait accompli and started to react with growing indignation. Zelaya’s destination was unknown. Three hours later the people’s reaction was such that we could see women punching soldiers with their fists and the latter’s weapons falling off their hands as they were nervous and confused. At the beginning, their movements resembled a strange combat with ghosts; later, they tried to cover Telesur’s cameras with their hands and nervously aimed their guns at the reporters. Sometimes, when the people advanced the troops stepped back. At this point, armored vehicles carrying cannons and machineguns were sent in as the people fearlessly discussed with the crews of the armored vehicles. The people’s reaction was amazing.

 

Approximately at 2:00 in the afternoon, a tamed majority in Congress –in coordination with the putschists—toppled Zelaya, the Constitutional President of Honduras, and appointed a new head of State announcing to the world that the former had resigned and showing a forged signature. A few minutes later, from an airport in Costa Rica, Zelaya related everything that had happened and categorically refuted the news about his resignation. The plotters had placed themselves in a ridiculous situation in the eyes of the world.

 

Many other things happened today. Cubavision took all of its time to expose the coup and keep our people informed.

 

Some events were purely fascist in nature and even if expected they are still astonishing.

 

Honduran Foreign Minister Patricia Rodas was the putschists’ main target, second only to Zelaya. Another detachment was sent to her residence. She was brave and determined, and she acted quickly; she did not waste time and started denouncing the coup in every way possible. Our ambassador contacted Patricia to learn about the situation; other ambassadors did likewise. At a given moment, she asked the diplomatic representatives of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba to meet with her since she was being fiercely hounded and required diplomatic protection. Our ambassador, who from the first moments was authorized to offer the minister all the constitutional and legal support, proceeded to visit her in her own residence.

 

When the diplomats were already in her house, the putschist command sent Major Oceguera to put her under arrest. The diplomats stood between the woman and the officer and claimed she was under diplomatic protection and could only be moved accompanied by them. Oceguera discussed with them in a respectful fashion. A few minutes later, 12 or 15 men in uniform and covering their faces with ski masks rushed into the house. The three ambassadors embraced Patricia but the masked men using force managed to separate the Venezuelan and Nicaraguan ambassadors; Hernandez held her so strongly by one arm that the masked men dragged them both to a van and drove to an air base where they finally separated him and took her away. As he was there in custody, Bruno, who had news of the kidnapping called him to the cell phone; one of the masked men tried to violently snatch the phone out of his hands and the Cuban ambassador, who had already been punched in Patricia’s home, shouted: “Don’t push me, cojones!” I don’t remember if the term was ever used by Cervantes, but there is no doubt that ambassador Juan Carlos Hernandez has enriched our language.

 

Later, he was abandoned in a road far from the Cuban mission not before being warned that something worse could happen to him if he talked. “Nothing can be worse than death,” he answered with dignity, “and still I’m not afraid of you.” Then people from the area helped him to return to the embassy and from there he immediately called Bruno again.

 

There is no way to negotiate with that putschist high command. They must be asked to abdicate while other younger officers, uninvolved with the oligarchy, take charge of the military command; otherwise, there will never be in Honduras a government “of the people, by the people and for the people.”

 

There is no hope for the cornered and isolated putschists if the problem is faced with determination.

 

Even Mrs. Clinton stated this afternoon that Zelaya is the only President of Honduras and the Honduran putschists can’t even breathe without the support of the United States of America.

 

Zelaya, a man who was in his pyjamas just a few hours ago, will be recognized by the world as the only Constitutional President of Honduras.

 

 

 

Fidel Castro Ruz

June 28, 2009