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
Honduras coup d’état: will Latin America return to era of military dictatorship? By Professor Anton Caragea
At the early hours of 28 of June 300 military enter the Honduras Presidential Palace, disarmed the Presidential Guard and arrest the President Manuel Zelaya. The President was quickly exiled to Costa Rica while the landlords Parliaments appointed a poppet president , one of the richest men in the country. The first word of the deposed President: this is a coup d’état not only against Honduras but the world? Is he right?
Why was ousted Manuel Zelaya?
In only 3 years after winning the presidential poll in 2006 Manuel Zelaya has being the champion of three major reforms in his country that made him powerful enemies. The first of his planned reforms is a land reform, necessary in a country where 7.000 people (around 0, 1 percent of country population) are owners of 80% percent of the land. The social problem in Honduras is dramatically, with 50% percent of the population below poverty line and unemployment of more than 1, 7 million people the situation is critical. The land reform program was destined to increase little farm, to support city poor from slams to engage in agriculture or alternative economic sectors. But the land owners fight with ferocity to blocked this initiative of President Zelaya as they opposed social program for building roads, sanitation and social houses in the poorest area of the country as they claimed this project where economic unrealistically.
Second project of Zelaya was the constitutional reform needed in a country with social problems, economical unfair system and under an oligarchy rule for more than 50 years. Let’s not forget that the current Constitution was forged under the watchful eye of the military dictatorship and was a condition of the military leaders to restore civilian rule after 20 years of military rule. Zelaya had tried to transform his country in a participative democracy with popular referendum, local’s consultation, extended presidential term and social and economic support for the poor. These changes in the constitution will empower president to make economical reform to improve the living standards of life in the poor stricken country. The Honduras elite quickly turn into a trans-party alliance of the rich and started to plot the unseat of the president. The decisive moment was the announcement of a non-binding referendum that will prove to the world the Honduras people will for change and constitutional reform. As poll suggested that the referendum will give a more than 70% percent backing to the presidential plan the opposition launch the coup d’état at the first day of the referendum and burn the ballot boxes.
The third project that created distrust in the President was the moral project, a campaign destined to disclose high pay for the official, to launch corruption enquiry in high state official fortune. This measure cost the president the support of his own Liberal Party made of influential characters many with strong economic ties, the board of the party decided that Zelaya is a loose cannon and a danger to his own party and redrew support for his projects.
The coup will decide Latin America future.
If the coup d’état will work this will be a signal for Latin America that the old days of military dictatorship are back. Already there are frictions between the army and the head of state in Ecuador, Bolivia and Argentina. Bolivian president Evo Morales just survive an attempt to his life mounted by extreme right in Bolivia and a military plot was uncover in 2008. Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez was already a victim of a coup d’état attempt in April 2002 and Rafael Correa of Ecuador was also under threat of military intervention. If Honduras attempt will be a successful one will launch a string of military intervention across Latin America destabilizing the region. Already the European Union expressed a strong support for President Zelaya and Organization of American States expressed recognition for Zelaya as the sole president of Honduras. Strangely enough the US reaction was equivocal voicing only concern for Constitutional rule, an expression that the coup leaders will take as a support of the Constitution and Zelaya`s supporters also as a support of their call for democracy. In the light of this feeble response questions are poring: was possible that the Honduras military, a long time allied of US to mount a coup d’état without Washington knowledge or consent? Was possible that leaders of the opposition with CIA connection did not ask for support and council for the CIA head quarter before moving to oust the president? Only the future statements from the White House and a clear and sever condemnation of the coup leaders will fade away this worries.
Will Latin America intervene?
The Honduras coup d’état is a threat to the stability in Latin America announced Hugo Chavez in Managua together with his Nicaragua, Ecuador and Bolivia counterparts , also this was expressed by European Union representatives voicing support for the people of Honduras who rise against the military took over the country. Now the major issue is, will be Latin America strong enough and united enough to topple the military regime in Honduras? On this question the future of the region hang in balance.