Industrial Cracks

This blog is a glimpse into the mind of a history nerd sitting behind a laptop screen. Enjoy a series of ideas he hopes to be thought provoking.
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The Wonderful World of Capitalism

The search for the political truth will always be a difficult task even in our times, when science has placed in our hands a huge amount of knowledge. One of the most important was the possibility to know and study the fabulous power of the energy contained in matter.

The person who discovered that energy and its possible use was a peaceful and amiable man who, despite being against violence and war, asked the United States to develop it. The US president back then was Franklin D. Roosevelt, a man who had adopted a well-known anti-fascist stand; he was the leader of a country that was going through a deep crisis and helped to save the nation by adopting strong measures that earned him the hatred of the extreme right of his own class. Today, that State imposes on the world the most brutal and dangerous tyranny ever known to our fragile species.

The news received from the US and its NATO allies refer to their misdeeds and those of their accomplices. The most important cities in the United States and Europe are the theatre of continued pitched battles between demonstrators and a well-trained and well-fed police, equipped with armored cars and helmets, beating and kicking and throwing gases against women and men, twisting the hands and the necks of people, young and old, showing to the world the coward actions that are committed against the rights and the lives of the citizens of their own countries.

How much longer these barbaric acts would last?

I will not expand on this, since these tragedies will continue to be seen, more and more, on television and in the entire press; they will be like the daily bread that is denied to those who have less. I will just quote the news received today from an important western news agency:

“Much of the coast of Japan in the Pacific Ocean could be flooded by a tidal wave of more than 34 meters (112 feet) that would be generated if a powerful earthquake hits its coastline, according to revised estimates of a government panel.

“Any tsunami triggered by a magnitude 9 earthquake in the Nankai Trough, which extends from the main Japanese island of Honshu to the southern island of Kyushu, could reach 34 meters high, the committee said.

“A previous estimate in 2003 estimated that the maximum height of the wave would be less than 20 meters (66 feet).

“The Fukushima plant was designed to withstand a tsunami of 6 meters (20 feet), less than half the height of the wave that hit the plant on March 11, 2011.”

But, there are no reasons to worry. Another piece of news dated two days ago, on March 30, could give us some peace of mind. It was published by a really well informed media. I’ll summarize it in just a few words: “If you were a soccer player, and Arab sheik or an executive of a big multinational, what kind of technology would make you sigh?

“Recently, some famous luxury shops in London inaugurated an entire section dedicated to technology-lovers with bulging wallets.

“One million dollar TV sets, Ferrari camcorders and individual submarines are some of the fetish to delight millionaires.”

“The one million dollar TV set is the crown jewel.”

“In the case of ‘Apple’, the company has committed to deliver its new products on the same day they are launched in the market.”

“Let us suppose that we have left our mansion and we are already tired of hanging around with our yacht, limousine, helicopter or jet. We still have the choice to buy an individual submarine or a submarine for two persons.”

The offer goes on to advertise cells with stainless steel casings; 1.2 GHz and 8G memory processors; NFC technology to make payments through cell phones and Ferrari camcorders.

Capitalism, compatriots, is a truly wonderful thing! Maybe it is our fault that not every citizen has its own private submarine at the beach.

It was them, not me, who mixed up the Arab sheiks and the executives of the big transnationals with the soccer players. The latter, at least, entertain millions of persons and are not enemies of Cuba; I should state that very clearly.

Fidel Castro Ruz

April 1st, 2012

8:35 p.m.

To Sleep with Open Eyes

I took a good look at Obama in the famous “Summit Meeting”. Sometimes he was overcome by tiredness, he unwillingly shut his eyes but, at times, he slept with open eyes.

The Cartagena Summit was not a meeting of a trade union of misinformed presidents, but a meeting among official representatives of 33 countries of this hemisphere. The overwhelming majority of them are asking for solutions to the most pressing economic and social problems that affect the region with the most unequal distribution of wealth in the world.

I do not wish to get ahead of the opinions of millions of persons, capable of making and in-depth and objective analysis of the problems affecting Latin America, the Caribbean and the rest of a globalized world, where a few has it all and the rest has nothing. The system imposed by imperialism in this hemisphere, whatever its name, is worn out and unsustainable.

In the near future, humanity will have to cope, among others, with the problems associated to climate change, security and the production of food for the ever-growing world population.

Excessive rainfall is affecting both Colombia and Venezuela. A recent analysis revealed that on March this year, high temperatures in the US were 4.8 Centigrade degrees hotter than the all-time average. The consequences of those changes, which are well known in the capitals of the main European countries, give rise to catastrophic problems for humanity.

Peoples expect political leaders to provide clear answers to these problems.

Colombians, whose country hosted the disreputable Summit, are a hardworking and self-sacrificing people who need, as much as all others, the cooperation of their Latin American brothers and sisters who are, in this case, the Venezuelans, Brazilians, Ecuadorians, Peruvians and others capable of doing what the Yankees, with their sophisticated weapons, their expansionism and their insatiable craving for material goods will never do. The visionary formula stated by José Martí is now more necessary than ever in history: “The trees must form ranks to keep the giant with seven-league boots from passing! It is the time of mobilization, of marching together, and we must go forward in close ranks, like silver in the veins of the Andes.”

Far off from the brilliant and lucid ideas of Bolivar and Marti are the mulled over, sweetened and relentlessly reiterated words of the illustrious Nobel laureate, expressed during a ridiculous tour around the Colombian countryside, which I heard yesterday in the afternoon. They only served to remind us of the Alliance for Progress’ speeches delivered 51 years ago, when the monstrous crimes that lashed this hemisphere had not been committed as yet, where our country struggled not only for its right to independence but also for its right to exist as a nation.

Obama spoke about the distribution of land. He did not specify how much land would be distributed, when and how.

The Yankee transnationals will never give up their control over the land, the water, the mines and the natural resources of our countries. Their soldiers should vacate the military bases; their troops should be withdrawn from each and every one of our territories. They should renounce to the unequal exchange and plundering of our nations.

Perhaps the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States turns into what should be and hemispheric political organization without the presence of the United States and Canada. Their decadent and unsustainable empire has already earned the right to rest in peace.

I think that the images about the Summit should be well preserved as an example of a disaster.

I leave aside the scandal caused by the misconduct attributed to the members of the Secret Service responsible for guaranteeing Obama’s personal security. I am under the impression that the staff entrusted with that task is characterized by its professionalism. This is what I saw during my visit to the United Nations, while they were protecting the Heads of States. They have, no doubt, protected him from those who would not have hesitated to perpetrate an action against him out of racial prejudice.

May Obama be able to sleep with eyes shut, if only for a few hours, without having anyone saddling him with the job of delivering a speech about the immortality of the crab at an unreal Summit.

Fidel Castro Ruz
April 16, 2012
7:40 p.m.

The Genius of Chavez

By: Fidel Castro Ruz

President Chavez presented his annual report on activities carried out in 2011 and his program for 2012 to the Venezuelan Parliament. After thoroughly carrying out the formalities required by this important activity, he addressed the official state authorities, members of parliament from all parties, and supporters and opposition members who had come to the Assembly to participate in the country’s most solemn act.

As usual, the Bolivarian leader was gracious and respectful to all those present. When anyone asked for the floor to make a clarification, he granted it as soon as possible. When one of the members of parliament, who had warmly greeted Chavez as did other opposition members, asked to speak, in a great political gesture Chavez interrupted his report presentation and gave her the floor. What surprised me was the extreme severity of the rebuke, launched against the president with words that really put to test Chavez’ chivalry and cold blood. The MPs statement was undoubtedly an insult, although this was not her intention. He alone was capable of calmly responding to the offensive word ‘thief’ that she had used to judge the president’s conduct in terms of the adopted laws and measures.

After verifying the exact term that was used, Chavez responded to the individual challenge for debate with an elegant and sedated phrase, “An eagle does not hunt flies,” and without adding another word he calmly proceeded with his report.

It represented an insurmountable test of mental agility and self control. Another woman, of unquestionable humble origins, expressed her astonishment in moving and heartfelt words over what she had just witnessed and the overwhelming majority present broke out in applause. Judging by the sheer volume, the applause seemed to be coming from all of Chavez’ friends and many of his adversaries as well.

Chavez’ report lasted more than nine hours without the people ever losing interest. Maybe because of that incident, his words were heard by an immeasurable number of people. Many times I have given extensive speeches on difficult topics, always striving to make the ideas I was transmitting understandable. And I was really at a loss to explain how that soldier of humble origins was able to keep his mind so agile and his incomparable talent to deliver such an address without losing his voice or strength.

To me politics is an extensive and decisive battle of ideas. Publicity is the work of publicists, who perhaps know the techniques to get listeners, spectators and readers to do what they are told to do. If that science, or art, or whatever they call it is employed for the good of human beings, they deserve some respect; the same respect merited by those who teach people how to think.

Venezuela today is the site of a great battle. Internal and external enemies of the revolution prefer chaos —as Chavez has said— to the just, organized and peaceful development of the country. Being accustomed to analyzing the events that have occurred over more than half a century, and to observing, with greater foundations for judgment, the eventful history of our time and human behavior, one learns to almost predict the future development of events.

To promote a far-reaching Revolution in Venezuela was no easy task. Venezuela is a country full of glorious history, but extraordinarily rich in resources that are of vital importance to the imperialist powers that have, and continue to map out guidelines in the world.

Political leaders the likes of Romulo Betancourt and Carlos Andres Perez lack the most minimal personal qualities to carry out such a task. Furthermore, Betancourt was excessively vain and hypocritical. He had many opportunities to learn about the situation in Venezuela. As a young man he was a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Costa Rica. He had a strong grasp of Latin American history and the role of imperialism, of poverty rates, and the ruthless plundering of natural resources in South America. He could not ignore that in a vastly rich country such as Venezuela, the majority of the people lived in extreme poverty. The archival footage is irrefutable proof of that reality of life.

As Chavez has explained many times, for more than half a century Venezuela was the world’s major oil exporter. At the beginning of the 20th century, European and Yankee warships intervened to support an illegal and tyrannical government that handed the country over to foreign monopolies. It is well known that incalculable funds flowed out of Venezuela to swell the wealth of monopolies and the Venezuelan oligarchy.

I remember when I visited Venezuela for the first time —after the triumph of the Revolution, to give thanks for the support and friendliness afforded to our struggle—, oil was worth barely two dollars a barrel.

Afterwards when I went to Venezuela to take part in the swearing-in ceremony for Chavez, the day he took an oath on the “dying constitution” held by Calderas, oil was worth seven dollars a barrel, despite 40 years having passed since my first visit and almost 30 years since the “distinguished” Richard Nixon had cancelled the direct convertibility of the United States dollar to gold and the US began to buy the world with pieces of paper. For a century, Venezuela was a supplier of cheap fuel to the empire’s economy and a net exporter of capital to developed and rich countries.

Why did these repugnant situations dominate for more than a century?

Latin American Armed Forces’ officials went to their privileged schools in the United States, where the Olympic champions of democracies gave them special courses on maintaining imperialist and bourgeois order. Coups d’état were always welcomed if their objective was to “defend democracies,” safeguarding and guaranteeing this repugnant system, in league with the oligarchies. Whether voters knew how to read and write, whether they had homes, employment, medical services and education were unimportant as long as the sacred right to property was maintained. Chavez brilliantly explains this situation. No one knows as well as him what happened in our countries.

Even worse was that the sophisticated nature of weapons, the complex workings and use of modern armaments that require years of learning, the training of highly qualified specialists, and the almost prohibitive cost of such weapons for the weak economies of the continent created a very strong mechanism of subordination and dependence. The US Government, employing mechanisms that did not require prior consultation with the other governments, set guidelines and policies for the military. The most sophisticated techniques of torture were passed on to the so-called security agencies to interrogate those who rebelled against the dirty and repugnant system of hunger and exploitation.

Despite all this, many honest officials, tired of so many indignations, bravely attempted to eradicate that embarrassing treason against the history of our independence struggles.

In Argentina, military official Juan Domingo Peron was able to design an independent and worker-based policy in his country. A bloody military coup overthrew him, expelled him from his country, and kept him in exile from 1955 to 1973. Years later, under the aegis of the Yankees, they once again attacked the government, murdering, torturing and disappearing tens of thousands of Argentines. They were not even able to defend the country during the colonial war that England carried out against Argentina with the conspiratorial support of the United States and henchman Augusto Pinochet with his cohort of fascists officers trained at the School of the Americas.

In Santo Domingo, Colonel Francisco Caamaño Deño; in Peru, General Velazco Alvarado; in Panama, General Omar Torrijos; and in other countries captains and officers who gave their lives anonymously were the antithesis of the traitorous behavior embodied by Somoza, Trujillo, Stroessner and the cruel tyrannies in Uruguay, El Salvador and other countries in Central and South America. The revolutionary military personnel did not expound elaborate theories, nor was this to be expected. They were not academicians educated in political science, but rather men with a sense of honor who loved their country.

But how far can honest men —who deplore injustice and crime— go along the path of revolution?

Venezuela is an outstanding example of the theoretical and practical role that the military can play in the revolutionary struggle for the independence of our peoples, as they did two centuries ago under the brilliant leadership of Simon Bolivar.

Chavez, a Venezuelan military officer of humble origins, stepped into the political life of Venezuela inspired by the ideas of the Liberator of America. On Bolivar, an inexhaustible source of inspiration, Marti wrote: “he won sublime battles with soldiers barefoot and half naked […] who never fought so much, nor fought better, in the world for freedom …”

“… Of Bolivar, he said, you can talk only after climbing up a mountain to use it as a platform […] or after freeing a bunch of peoples united in one fist …”

“… what he did not do, still remains undone today, because Bolivar still has things to do in the Americas.”

More than half a century later the famous, award-winning poet Pablo Neruda wrote a poem on Bolivar which Chavez frequently quotes. The final stanza reads:

“I met Bolivar one long morning, in Madrid, at the head of the Fifth Regiment, Father, I said, you are or not or who you are? And looking at the Mountain Headquarters, he said:

‘I wake up every hundred years when the people awaken.’ ”

But the Bolivarian leader is not limited to theoretical elaborations. His concrete measures are implemented without hesitation. The English-speaking Caribbean countries, which have to contend with modern and luxurious Yankee cruise ships for the right to receive tourists in their hotels, restaurants and recreation centers, quite often foreign-owned, but at least they generate employment, will always welcome fuel from Venezuela, supplied by that country with special payment facilities, when the barrel reached prices that sometimes exceeded US $100.

In the tiny state of Nicaragua, the land of Sandino, the “General of Free Men”, the Central Intelligence Agency organized the exchange of guns for drugs through Luis Posada Carriles after he was rescued from a Venezuelan prison. This operation resulted in thousands of deaths and mutilations among that heroic people. Nicaragua has also received the solidarity support of Venezuela. These are unprecedented examples in the history of this hemisphere.

The ruinous Free Trade Agreement that the Yankees intend to impose on Latin America, as they did with Mexico, would turn Latin America and the Caribbean not only into the region with the world’s worst distribution of wealth, which already is. It will turn it into a huge market where corn and other staple foods that are traditional sources of plant and animal protein would be displaced by subsidized U.S. crops, as is already happening in Mexico.

Used cars and other goods are displacing Mexican industry manufactures; job opportunities are decreasing in both cities and the countryside; the drug and arms trades are escalating, growing numbers of youngsters aged 14 or 15 years are turned into fearsome criminals. Never before, buses or other vehicles full of people who even paid to be transported across the border in search of employment, have been kidnapped and mass murdered. Known figures grow from year to year. More than ten thousand people are now losing their lives each year.

It is impossible to analyze the Bolivarian Revolution without taking these realities into account.

The armed forces, in such social circumstances, are forced into endless and wearisome wars.

Honduras is not an industrialized, financial or commercial country, or even a major producer of drugs. However, some of its cities break the record of drug-related violent deaths. There instead stands the banner of a major base of the strategic forces of the United States Southern Command. What is happening there, and is already happening in more than one Latin American country, is the Dantesque picture painted above, from which some countries have begun to escape. Among them and first, Venezuela, not just because it has considerable natural resources, but because it has been rescued from the insatiable greed of foreign corporations and has sparked considerable political and social forces capable of great achievements. Venezuela today is quite another from that I went to only 12 years ago, which had already deeply impressed me, seeing it as a Phoenix rising again from the ashes of its history.

Mentioning the mysterious computer of Raul Reyes, in the hands of the U.S. and the CIA after the attack organized and supplied by them in full Ecuadorian territory, which killed Marulanda’s replacement as well as several unarmed American youths, a version has been released that Chávez supported the “narco-terrorist organization FARC.” The true terrorists and drug traffickers in Colombia are the paramilitaries that supplied drugs to American dealers to sell them in the largest drug market in the world: the United States.

I never spoke with Marulanda, but I did speak with honored writers and intellectuals who came to know him well. I discussed his thoughts and history. He was undoubtedly a brave and revolutionary man, which I do not hesitate to affirm. I explained that I did not agree with him on his tactics. In my view, two or three thousand men would have been more than enough to defeat a conventional army in the territory of Colombia. His mistake was to devise a revolutionary army with almost as many soldiers as the enemy. That was extremely expensive.

Today, technology has changed many aspects of war; the forms of struggle also change. In fact, the clash of conventional forces between powers possessing nuclear weapons has become impossible. We do not have to have the knowledge of Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking and thousands of other scientists to understand that. It is a latent danger and the result is known or should be known. Thinking beings could take millions of years to repopulate the planet.

Nevertheless, I hold the duty to fight, which in itself is something innate in man, to find solutions that will enable a more reasoned and dignified existence.

Since I met Chavez, now as president of Venezuela, from the final stages of the Pastrana administration, I always saw him interested in promoting peace in Colombia. He facilitated meetings between the Colombian government and the revolutionaries that took place in Cuba, note well, on the basis of reaching a true peace agreement and not a surrender.

I do not recall ever having heard Chavez promote anything but peace in Colombia, nor mention Raul Reyes. We always addressed other issues. He particularly appreciates the Colombians, millions of them live in Venezuela and everyone benefits from the social measures taken by the Revolution, and the people of Colombia appreciate that almost as much as those of Venezuela.

I wish to express my solidarity and appreciation to General Henry Rangel Silva, Head of Strategic Operational Command of the Armed Forces, and newly appointed Minister of Defense of the Bolivarian Republic. I had the honor of meeting him when he visited Chavez in Cuba a few months ago. I could see in him an intelligent, well-meant, capable, and yet modest man. I heard his calm, brave and clear speech, which inspired confidence.

He led the organization of the most perfect parade of a Latin American military force that I have ever seen. We hope it will serve as encouragement and example to other brother armies.

The Yankees had nothing to do with that parade, and would not be able to do better.

It is extremely unfair to criticize Chavez for the resources invested in the excellent weapons which were displayed there. I’m sure they will never be used to attack a neighboring country. The weapons, resources and knowledge must go along the paths of  unity to see America, as  The Liberator dreamed, ”… the greatest nation in the world, greatest not so much by virtue of her area and wealth as by her freedom and glory..”

Everything unites us more than  Europe or the United States itself, except the lack of independence imposed on us for 200 years.

Fidel Castro Ruz

January 25, 2012

8:32 p.m.

The Fruit that Did Not Fall

By: Fidel Castro Ruz

Cuba found itself forced to fight for its existence against an expansionist power located a few miles off its coast that had declared the annexation of our island and that believed our destiny was to fall into their lap like a piece of ripe fruit. We were condemned to cease to exist as a nation.

Jose Marti was among the glorious legion of patriots who throughout the second half of the 19th century fought against the loathsome colonialism brandished by Spain for 300 years. Marti most clearly foresaw such a dramatic destiny and expressed this view in the last lines he would write prior to engaging in tough combat against a well-equipped and battle-hardened Spanish column. He declared that the primary objective of his struggles were “… preventing in time, by Cuba’s independence, that the United States should expand through the Antilles and pounce with that added strength on our lands of America. Everything that I have done up to now and will do in the future shall be done for this purpose.”

Today one cannot be a patriot or a revolutionary without thoroughly understanding this profound truth.

Without a doubt, the mass media, the monopoly of technical resources, and the substantial funds earmarked for misleading and making the masses mindless today represent considerable but not insurmountable obstacles.

Cuba showed that —despite being a factory of Yankee colonialism with widespread illiteracy and generalized poverty— it was possible to stand up to the country that threatened to definitively takeover the Cuban nation. No one can argue that at the time there was a national bourgeoisie that was opposed to the empire. In fact, the Cuban bourgeoisie at the time had developed such close ties to the empire that, shortly following the triumph of the Revolution, it sent 14,000 unprotected children to the United States based on the horrendous lie that Cuba was to abolish parental authority. History would come to remember this event as Operation Peter Pan and as one of the worst manipulations of children for political ends ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere.

Barely two days after the triumph of the Revolution the national territory was invaded by mercenary forces —made up of former Batista soldiers and sons of landowners and the bourgeoisie— armed and escorted by the United States with ships from the US Navy fleet including aircraft carriers with equipment ready for action. The defeat and capture of almost the entire force of mercenaries in less than 72 hours, and the destruction of their planes that were operating out of Nicaraguan bases and naval transportation means, represented a humiliating defeat for the empire and their Latin American allies who had underestimated the Cuban people’s capacity to fight.

Responding to the stoppage of oil supplies from the US, the previous total suspension of traditional Cuban sugar quotas in the US market, and the ban on trade in place for more than 100 years, the USSR began to supply fuel, to buy our sugar, to trade with our country and, finally, to supply the arms that Cuba could not acquire in other markets.

The idea of a systematic campaign of pirate attacks organized by the CIA, sabotages and military actions by groups created and armed by the US, before and after the mercenary attack and that would culminate with the United States’ military invasion of Cuba, gave rise to the events that pushed the world to the brink of total nuclear war that no sides or even humanity itself would have survived.

Those events no doubt cost Nikita Jruschov his job. He had underestimated his adversary, ignored opinions and information, and did not consult his final decision with those of us who were in the frontline. What could have been a significant moral victory became a costly political setback for the USSR. For many years the US continued to commit the worst crimes against Cuba and many, such as its criminal blockade, are still carried out today.

Jruschov made extraordinary gestures to our country. At the time I did not hesitate in strongly criticizing the agreement reached with the United States without consultation. But it would be ungrateful and unjust to not acknowledge his extraordinary solidarity at difficult and decisive junctures for our people in their historic battle for independence and their revolution in face of the powerful US empire. I understand that the situation was extremely tense and that he did not want to lose a minute when he made his decision to remove the missiles and the Yankees, very secretly, agreed to not carry out their invasion.

Despite all the decades that have passed and make up more than half a century, the Cuban fruit has not fallen into Yankee hands.

Current news from Spain, France, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Syria, England, the Malvinas and several other parts of the planet are serious and all foretell political and economic disaster due to the foolhardiness of the United States and its allies.

I will limit myself to just a few topics. I must point out that the campaign to select a Republican candidate as the possible future president of this globalized and far-reaching empire has become —I say this in all seriousness— the greatest competition of idiocy and ignorance that has ever been heard. But as I have things to do, I cannot dedicate any time to this topic. I knew it would be like this.

I prefer to analyze some other press dispatches that show the incredible cynicism generated by the decadence of the West. One of these reports, with amazing tranquility, tells the story of a Cuban “political prisoner” who, according to the article, died after a 50-day hunger strike. A journalist from Granma, Juventud Rebelde, radio or any other [Cuban] news agency might make a mistake writing on any given topic, but they would never make up a news story and fabricate a lie.

The article published in Granma confirms that the 50-day hunger strike did not take place. The prisoner was in jail for committing a common crime and sentenced to four years for an assault that left his wife’s face battered. The man’s own mother-in-law went to the police to request their help. All family members were aware of all the procedures taken regarding the medical care he received and were thankful of the efforts carried out by the specialist doctors who attended him. The article goes on to say that he received care at the best hospital in eastern Cuba, as any other citizen would have received. He died as a result of secondary multiple organ failure associated with an acute respiratory infection.

The patient had received all the available medical care from a country that possesses one of the best medical systems in the world and that provides these services free-of-charge, despite the empire’s blockade against our country. It simply represents a duty in a country where the Revolution proudly respects, as it always has for more than 50 years, the principles that gave it its invincible force.

Given their excellent relations with Washington, it would be best if the Spanish government went to the United States to take a look at what happens in Yankee prisons, their ruthless treatment of millions of prisoners, their electric chair policy, and the horrors committed against prisoners and public protesters.

On Monday, January 23, Granma published a full-page, hard-hitting editorial entitledCuba’s Truths. The article details the exceptional degree of shamelessness in the latest campaign of lies launched against our Revolution by some governments “traditionally committed to anti-Cuban subversion.”

Our people are well aware of the standards that have governed over the irreproachable conduct of our Revolution since the first combat and that has never been sullied throughout more than half a century. They also know that they can never be pressured or blackmailed by their enemies. Our laws and regulations will invariably be abided by.

This is worthwhile to point out with total clarity and openness. The Spanish government and the beat-up European Union, in the midst of an acute economic crisis, should know what to abide by. It is a disgrace to read declarations from both regions in news reports that are full of shameless lies attacking Cuba. Try to save the Euro first if you can, try to resolve chronic unemployment that increasingly affects young people, and respond to the indignados who have only received attacks and constant beatings from the police.

We cannot ignore that those who currently govern in Spain are admirers of Franco, who sent members of the Blue Division along with SS and SA Nazis to kill Soviets. Close to 50,000 of them participated in the bloody attacks. In the most cruel and painful operation of that war, the Leningrad Blockade where one million Russian citizens died, the Blue Division were part of the forces that attempted to strangle the heroic city. The Russian people will never forgive that horrendous crime.

The rightwing fascists led by Aznar, Rajoy and other servants of the empire must know about the 16,000 fatalities suffered by their predecessors of the Blue Division and the Iron Crosses that Hitler awarded the officials and soldiers of that division.

It is not a surprise then to see how the Gestapo police are treating the Spanish men and women who demand the right to work and bread in the country with the highest unemployment in Europe.

Why do the mass media outlets of the empire lie so shamelessly?

Those who control those media outlets are determined to deceive and make the world mindless with their gross lies, maybe believing that they represent the main recourse necessary to maintain the global system of domination and plunder, especially against those victims close to the mother country —the close to 70 million Latin Americans and Caribbean people who live in this hemisphere.

The fraternal republic of Venezuela has become one of the main targets of this policy. The reason is obvious. Without Venezuela, the empire would have imposed its Free Trade Agreement on all of the people of the continent living south of the United States; an area that holds the planet’s largest reserves of land, fresh water and minerals as well as great energy resources, which, when managed in solidarity with the other people in the world, constitutes resources which cannot and must not fall into the hands of transnationals that impose a suicidal and despicable system.

It is enough, for example, to look at the map to understand the criminal dispossession carried out against Argentina of a piece of its territory in the far south. In the Malvinas, the British employed their decadent military apparatus to assassinate inexperienced Argentine recruits dressed in summer clothing in the middle of winter. The United States and their ally Augusto Pinochet shamelessly supported England in this endeavor. Currently, with the London Olympics on the horizon, British Prime Minister David Cameron is once again proclaiming, as did Margaret Thatcher, his right to use nuclear submarines to kill Argentines. The British government is unaware that the world is changing and that the disdain felt in our hemisphere by the majority of the people against the oppressors is growing with each day.

The case of the Malvinas is not alone. Does anyone know how the conflict in Afghanistan will end? A few days ago US soldiers committed outrages against the bodies of Afghani combatants, killed by NATO drone aircraft.

Three days ago a European news agency published an article stating that Afghani President Hamid Karzai gave his support of a negotiated peace settlement with the Taliban, stressing that it must be resolved by citizens in his country. Hamid Karzai added that the peace and reconciliation process belongs to the Afghani nation and that no foreign country or organization can take away this right from Afghanis.

An article in the Cuban press written in Paris reported, “Today France suspended all its military training and support operations in Afghanistan and threatened to move up the date for the withdrawal of its troops after an Afghani soldier killed four French military officers in the Taghab valley in the province of Kapisa…Sarkozy gave instructions to Defense Minister Gerard Longuet to immediately travel to Kabul, and warned of the possibility of an early withdrawal of troops.”

When the USSR and the Socialist Camp disappeared, the United States government thought that Cuba would not be able to support itself. George W. Bush had already prepared a counterrevolutionary government to preside over our country. The same day that Bush began his criminal war against Iraq, I requested that our authorities stop with the policy of tolerance towards the counterrevolutionary leaders in Cuba that had been hysterically calling for an invasion of Cuba. In reality, their actions constituted an act of treason against the Homeland.

Bush and his stupidities reigned for eight years at a time when the Cuban Revolution had already lasted for more than half a century. The ripe fruit has never fallen into the lap of the empire. Cuba will never become another force used by the empire to expand over the people of the Americas. Marti’s blood will not have been shed in vain.

Tomorrow I will publish another Reflection article to complement this one.

World Peace Hanging by a Thread

By: Fidel Castro Ruz

Yesterday I had the satisfaction of having a pleasant conversation with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. I had not seen him since 2006, more than five years ago, when he visited our country to participate in the 14th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement of Countries in Havana. During the summit, Cuba was elected for the second time as president of the organization for a three-year term.

I had become gravely ill on July 26, 2006, a month and a half prior to the summit, and could barely sit up in bed. Many of the most distinguished leaders who participated in the event were kind enough to visit me. Chavez and Evo visited me several times. One afternoon four visitors came by whom I will always remember: UN Secretary General Kofi Annan; an old friend, Abdelaziz Buteflika, the president of Algeria; Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the president of Iran; and the vice minister of Foreign Affairs and current Foreign Minister of China, Yang Jiechi, on behalf of the leader of the Communist Party and the president of China, Hu Jintao. It was really an important time for me; I was in the midst of intense physiotherapy on my right hand that I had seriously injured when I fell in Santa Clara.

With all four I spoke about some of the difficulties facing the world at the time; problems that have become progressively more complex.

During our meeting yesterday, I noted that the Iranian president was absolutely calm and tranquil, completely unconcerned about the Yankee threats and, fully confident in the capacity of his people to confront any aggression and in the effectiveness of their arms —which, in large part, they produce themselves— to inflict an unpayable price on its aggressors.

In reality, we hardly spoke about the topic of war. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was focused on the ideas he had presented at the Main Hall of the University of Havana during his conference on the struggle of humankind: “Moving towards reaching and achieving peace, security, respect and human dignity as a fundamental desire of all human beings throughout history.”

I am convinced that Iran will not commit any rash actions that might contribute to setting off a war. If a war were to be unleashed, it would inevitably be completely as a result of the recklessness and congenital irresponsibility of the Yankee Empire.

I believe that the political situation surrounding Iran and the associated risks of a nuclear war that involves us all —regardless of whether one possess nuclear weapons— are extremely delicate because they threaten the very existence of our species. The Middle East has become the most troubled region on the planet, the same region that produces the energy resources vital for the world’s economy.

The destructive power and the mass sufferings caused by some of the weapons used in World War Two led to a strong movement to ban weapons such as asphyxiating gas and others. Nevertheless, conflicting interests and the huge profits made by arms manufacturers led to the production of crueler and more destructive weapons; modern technology has now added the means and material to build weapons that if used in a world war would lead to extinction.

I support the opinion, undoubtedly shared by all those with a basic sense of responsibility, that no country big or small has the right to possess nuclear weapons.

They never should have been used to attack two defenseless cities such as Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing and irradiating with horrible and long-lasting effects hundreds of thousands of men, women and children, in a country that had already been militarily defeated.

If fascism indeed forced the allied nations against Nazism to compete with this enemy of humanity in the production of such weapons, once the war ended and the United Nations was created, the first duty of this organization should have been to prohibit nuclear weapons without exception.

However, the United States, the strongest and richest power, forced the rest of the world to follow its lead. Today, they have hundreds of satellites that spy and monitor the entire world from outer space. Their naval, air and land forces are equipped with thousands of nuclear weapons; and they control the world’s finances and investments at their whim via the International Monetary Fund.

Analyzing the history of each Latin American nation, from Mexico to Patagonia, by way of Santo Domingo and Haiti, one can observe that each and every country, without exception, have suffered for 200 years, from the beginning of the 19th century up until today. And, in one way or another, they are increasingly suffering the worst crimes that power and force can commit against the rights of a people. Brilliant Latin American writers are emerging in an increasing number. One of them, Eduardo Galeano, author of the book Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent that describes the aforementioned, has just been invited to open the prestigious Casa de Las Americas Awards as a recognition to his outstanding body of work.

Events happen incredibly fast; but technologies report them to the public even faster. On any given day, like today, important news comes out a dizzying pace. A cable report dated from January 11 states: “The Danish presidency of the European Union confirmed on Wednesday that a new series of more severe European sanctions against Iran, because of its nuclear program, will be discussed on January 23. The new sanctions will not only target the oil industry but also the Central Bank.”

During a meeting with international journalists, Danish Foreign Minister Villy Soevndal said that “We will increase sanctions against the oil industry in addition to sanctions against financial structures.” This clearly demonstrates that, in order to impede nuclear proliferation, Israel can go on accumulating hundreds of nuclear warheads while Iran is not allowed to produce 20% enriched uranium.

Another article, from a respected British news agency, states that “China gave no hint on Wednesday of giving ground to U.S. demands to curb Iran’s oil revenues, rejecting Washington’s sanctions on Tehran as overstepping …”

The sheer tranquility with which the United States and civilized Europe carry out this campaign with incredible and systematic acts of terrorism is enough to shock anybody. Just look at these lines reported by another important European news agency: “The murder on Wednesday of Iranian nuclear specialist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan [a scientist at the Natanz nuclear plant] was the fourth attack to kill a leading scientist in the country in almost exactly two years.”

On January 12, 2010: “Massoud Ali Mohammadi, a particle physics professor at Tehran University is killed when a booby-trapped motorcycle explodes outside his home in the capital. “

On November 29, 2010: “Two attacks target leading Iranian nuclear scientists on the same day. Majid Shahriari, a key member of Iran’s Atomic Energy Agency, is killed in Tehran by a limpet bomb attached to his car. His colleague Fereydoon Abbasi Davani is also targeted by a bomb attached to his car, but escapes.” The car was parked in front of the Shahid Beheshti University in Tehran where both men worked as professors.

On July 23, 2011: “Gunmen shoot dead Dariush Rezaei-Nejad, a senior scientist who is reportedly associated with the defense ministry, and wound his wife as they waited for their child outside a Tehran kindergarten.”

On January 11, 2012 —the same day that Ahmadinejad travelled from Nicaragua to Cuba to give a conference at the University of Havana—, scientist Mostafa Ahmadi Roshan, “a deputy director at the Natanz nuclear enrichment facility, is killed in a car bomb blast outside the [Allameh Tabatabai] University in east Tehran.” As in previous years “Iran once again accused the United States and Israel.”

The killings represent a systematic and selective slaughter of brilliant Iranian scientists. I have read articles by known Israeli sympathizers who write about crimes carried out by Israeli intelligence services in cooperation with the United States and NATO as if they were the most normal occurrence.

At the same time, Moscow news agencies report that “Russia warned that in Syria a similar scenario is developing as to that in Libya, and added that this time the attack will be launched from neighboring Turkey.

“The secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, said the West wants to ‘punish Damascus not as much for repressing the opposition, but because it is unwilling to sever ties with Tehran.’”

“…NATO members and some Persian Gulf states, operating according to the Libya scenario, intend to move from indirect intervention in Syrian affairs to direct military intervention…This time the main strikes forces will not be provided by France, the U.K. or Italy, but possibly by neighboring Turkey.”

“Washington and Ankara are now assumed to be negotiating a “no-fly” zone over Syria, where Syrian armed insurgents can be trained and concentrated, added Patrushev.”

News is not only coming out of Iran and the Middle East, but also from other parts of Central Asia near the Middle East. These reports show the great complexity of the problems that can arise from this dangerous region.

The United States has been led by its contradictory and absurd imperial policy to get involved in serious problems in countries such as Pakistan, whose borders with Afghanistan were drawn up by the colonialists without taking into account culture or ethnicities.

In Afghanistan, which defended its independence against English colonialism for centuries, drug production has multiplied in the wake of the Yankee invasion. Meanwhile, European soldiers, supported by drone airplanes and armed with sophisticated US weapons, carry out deplorable massacres that increase the people’s hatred and ward off any possibilities of peace. All this and other dirty actions are also reported by Western news agencies.

“WASHINGTON, January 12, 2012 – US Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta called the actions of four U.S. marines who urinated on corpses in Afghanistan “utterly deplorable” The video of the act was circulated in the Internet.

“’I have seen the footage, and I find the behavior depicted in it utterly deplorable…’

“’This conduct is entirely inappropriate for members of the United States military and does not reflect the standards of values our armed forces are sworn to uphold…’”

In reality, Panetta neither confirms nor denies the action, and anyone, including the Secretary of Defense himself, may harbor doubt.

But it is also extremely inhumane that men, women and children, or an Afghani combatant fighting against the foreign occupation, be murdered by bombs dropped by drone planes. Another very serious incident: dozens of Pakistani soldiers and officials who safeguarded the country’s borders have been killed by these bombs.

Afghani President Karzai stated that the outrage committed against the bodies was “simply inhumane.” He asked for the US government “to urgently investigate the video and apply the most severe punishment to anyone found guilty in this crime.”

Meanwhile Taliban spokespersons declared that “over the last ten years, hundreds of similar acts have been carried out that were not reported…”

One even feels sorry for those soldiers, thousands of kilometers away from their family, friends and country, sent to fight in countries that they might not have even heard of during their school days, where they are assigned the task of killing or dying to enrich transnational companies, arms manufacturers and unscrupulous politicians who each year squander funds needed to feed and educate the uncountable millions of hungry and illiterate people around the world.

Many of these soldiers, victims of the trauma suffered, end up taking their own lives.

Is it an exaggeration to say that world peace is hanging by a thread?

Fidel Castro Ruz
January 12, 2012
9:14 p.m.

THE MARCH TOWARDS THE ABYSS

By: Fidel Castro Ruz

It is not a matter of being optimistic or pessimistic, knowing or not knowing elementary things, of being responsible or not for events. Those who would like to be thought of as politicians should be thrown onto the trash heap of history when, as the norm goes, they have no idea about everything or almost everything related to it in that activity.

Of course I am not speaking about those who throughout the various millennia turned public affairs into instruments of power and wealth for the privileged classes, an activity where the real records of cruelty have been imposed during the last eight or ten thousand years about those we have certain traces of the social behaviour of our species, whose existence as thinking beings, according to scientists, barely covers 180,000 years.

It is not my purpose to get involved in such topics that would surely bore almost one hundred percent of the people continuously being bombarded with news across the media, going from the written word to three-dimensional images that are starting to be shown in  expensive cinemas. The day is not far away when they shall also predominate in the already fabulous television images per se. It is no accident that the so-called leisure industry has its headquarters in the heart of the empire that tyrannizes everybody.

What I would like to do is to rest on the current starting point of our species to speak of the march towards the abyss. I might even speak of an “inexorable” march and I would certainly be closer to reality. The idea of a Last Judgement is implicit in the most practiced religious doctrines among the inhabitants of this planet, without anyone classifying them for that as being pessimistic. On the contrary, I think it is a basic duty of all serious and sane persons, who number in the millions, to fight to postpone and perhaps to prevent that dramatic and imminent event in today’s world.

Numerous dangers threaten us, but two of them, nuclear war and climate change, are decisive and both are ever farther away from coming close to a solution.

Verbose demagoguery, the statements and speeches of the tyranny imposed upon the world by the United States and its powerful and unconditional allies, on both topics, do not admit the slightest doubt in that respect.

January 1st of 2012, the western and Christian New Year, coincides with the anniversary of the triumph of the Revolution in Cuba and the year celebrating the 50th anniversary of the October Crisis of 1962 that put the world on the brink of a nuclear world war and this forces me to write these lines.

My words would be lacking in meaning if they had the objective of blaming on the American people, or on any other country which is an ally of the United States in the unusual adventure; they, like all the other peoples of the world, would be the inevitable victims of the tragedy.  Recent events happening in Europe and elsewhere show massive indignation by those who are led to protest by the unemployment, shortages, reductions in their incomes, debts, discrimination, lies and politicking and lead to brutal repressions by the guardians of established law and order.

With growing frequency one speaks of military technologies that affect the entire planet, the only satellite known to be inhabitable hundreds of light years away from any other that may perhaps be suitable if we were to move at the speed of light, three hundred thousand kilometres per second.

We should not ignore that if our marvellous thinking species should disappear, many millions of years would go by before another one capable of thinking would arise, by virtue of the natural principles that rule as a consequence of the evolution of the species, discovered by Darwin in 1859 and which today is acknowledged by all serious scientists, whether they are religious or not.

No other era in the history of mankind has known the dangers that today humanity faces. Persons like me, at 85 years old, had reached our 18th birthdays with high school graduation degrees before the first atomic bomb had been put together.

Today artefacts of this type, ready to be used – incomparably more powerful than those that produced the heat of the sun over the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki─ add up to thousands.

Weapons of this kind that are kept in storage, added to those already deployed by virtue of agreements, reach figures that surpass twenty thousand nuclear missiles.

The use of just one hundred or so of those weapons would be enough to create nuclear winter that would cause a horrible death in a short time for all the human beings living on the planet, as the American scientist and Rutgers University professor Alan Robock has brilliantly explained along with computerized data.

Those used to reading news and serious international analyses know how the risks of the outbreak of war with the use of nuclear weapons increase as the tension grows in the Middle East, where in the hands of the Israeli government hundreds of combat-ready nuclear weapons are accumulated, and whose nature as a strong nuclear power is neither admitted or denied.  Likewise, tension grows around Russia, a country with unquestionable capacity for response, threatened by a presumed European nuclear shield.

The Yankee statement that the European nuclear shield is there to also protect Russia from Iran and North Korea is laughable. The Yankee position is so feeble in this delicate matter that its ally Israel does not even bother to guarantee prior consultations on measures that might unleash war.

Humanity, in contrast, does not enjoy any guarantee.  Cosmic space, in the vicinity of our planet, is overcrowed by US satellites destined to spy on what is going on even on the roofs of houses in any nation of the world. The lives and customs of any person or family became objects of espionage; listenning to hundreds of millions of cell phones and subjects of conversations by any user anywhere in the world stops being a private matter and becomes information material for the US secret services.

That is the right that is being left to the citizens of our world by virtue of the acts of a government whose constitution, approved by the Philadelphia Congress in 1776, established that men were born free and equal and the Creator has given them all those rights, which they now no longer have, not the Americans themselves or any citizen of the world, not even to communicate by phone with relatives and friends about their most private feelings.

Of course war is a tragedy that can happen and it is very probable that it will happen; however, if humanity were capable of delaying it for an indefinite length of time, another equally dramatic event is happening at an increasing pace: climate change. I shall restrict myself to point out what eminent scientists and world-class exhibiters have explained through documents and films that are questioned by nobody.

It is well-known that the US government was opposed to the Kyoto agreements on the environment, a line of conduct that didn’t even agree with its closest allies whose territories would suffer tremendously and some of which, such as Holland, would practically disappear.

The planet goes on today without a policy to solve this serious problem, while the levels of oceans rise, the enormous ice caps covering Antarctica and Greenland, where more than 90% of the world’s fresh water is accumulated, are melting at a growing pace, and now humanity, on November 30, 2011, officially reached the figure of 7 billion inhabitants which, in the poorest areas of the world grows in a sustained and inevitable manner.  Could it be that those who have dedicated themselves to bombing countries and killing millions of persons in the last 50 years could be concerned about the fate of all the other peoples?

The United States today is not just the promoter of those wars, but it is also the greatest manufacturer and exporter of weapons in the world.

As it is well-known, that powerful country has signed a covenant to supply 60 billion dollars in the next few years to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where the transnationals of the US and its allies extract on a daily basis 10 million barrels of light oil, in other words, a billion dollars in fuel.  What will happen to that country and the region when those energy reserves should run dry? It is not possible that our globalized world will accept without a murmur the colossal wasting of energy resources that nature took hundreds of millions of years to create, and whose dilapidation increases essential costs. It would in no way be worthy of the intelligent nature attributed to our species.

In the last 12 months, that situation has worsened considerably because of new technological advances which, far from alleviating the tragedy coming from the squandering of fossil fuels, considerably make things worse.

World class scientists and researchers have been pointing out the dramatic consequences of climate change.

In an excellent documentary film by French director Yann Arthus-Bertrand,entitled Home, and filmed in collaboration with prestigious and well-informed international celebrities, published in mid-2009, he warns the world with irrefutable data about what is happening.  Using solid arguments, he shows the deadly consequences of consuming, in less than two centuries, the energy resources created by nature in hundreds of millions of years; but the worst of it is not the colossal squandering, but the suicidal consequences for the human species. Referring to the very existence of life, he admonishes the human species: “…You benefit from a fabulous legacy of 4,000 million years supplied by the Earth. You are only 200,000 years old but you have changed the face of the world.”

He didn’t blame nor could he blame anyone up to that time, he was simply pointing out an objective reality.  However, today we have to blame ourselves for what we know and we are doing nothing to try to fix it.

In their images and concepts, the authors of that work include memories, data and ideas that we have the duty to know and take into account.

In recent months, another fabulous film was Oceans, made by two French film-makers, considered to be the best film of the year in Cuba; perhaps, in my opinion, the best film of this era.

This is amazing material because of the precision and beauty of the images never before filmed by any camera: 8 years and 50 million Euros were invested in the making of it.  Humanity must thank that proof for the way in which the principles of nature adulterated by man express themselves. The actors are not human beings: they are the inhabitants of the world’s oceans.  An Oscar for them!

What inspired me with the duty to write these lines did not arise from the events referred to up till now, which in one way or another I have commented on previously, but others that, managed by the interests of the transnationals, have been coming to light sparingly in the last few months and in my opinion serve as definitive proof of the confusion and political chaos rife in the world.

Just a few months ago I read for the first time some news about the existence of shale gas. It was stated that the US had reserves to supply their needs for this fuel for 100 years. Since I now have time to do research on political, economic and scientific topics that could be really useful for our peoples, I discretely got in touch with several people living in Cuba or abroad. Oddly, none of them had heard a word about the matter.  Of course, this wasn’t the first time that happened. One is amazed about important facts that are hidden in a veritable sea of information, mixed in with hundreds or thousands of news items that circulate the planet.

Nevertheless, I persisted in my interest on the subject.  Only a few months have gone by and shale gas is no longer news. Just before the new year enough information was known to clearly see the world’s inexorable march towards the abyss, threatened by risks of such great seriousness as nuclear war and climate change. I have already spoken of the first of these; about the second one, in the interest of brevity, I shall restrict myself to reveal known data and some to be known, that no political cadre or sensible person should ignore.

I don’t hesitate saying that I am observing both facts with the serenity imparted by the years I have lived, in this spectacular phase of human history, that have contributed to the education of our brave and heroic people.

The gas is measured in TCF, which can be referred to in cubic feet or cubic metres – it is not always explained whether they are dealing with one or the other – it depends on the system of measurement that is used in certain countries. On the other hand, when they speak of billions they tend to refer to the Spanish billion that means a million millions; that figure in English is called a trillion, and we must keep that in mind when analyzing the references to the gas which tend to be copious. I shall try to point that out when necessary.

The American analyst Daniel Yergin, author of a voluminous classic on the history of oil stated, according to the IPS news agency, that now a third of all the gas produced in the US is shale gas.

“…exploitation of a platform with six wells can consume 170,000 cubic metres of water and even create harmful effects such as influencing seismic movements, polluting surface and groundwaters and affecting the landscape.”

The British BP group informs us that “proven reserves of conventional or traditional gas on the planet add up to 6,608 billion ―million millions― of cubic feet, some 187 billion cubic metres, […] and the largest deposits are in Russia (1,580 TCF), Iran (1,045), Qatar (894), and Saudi Arabia and Turkmenistan with 283 TCF each”. We are dealing with gas that is being produced and marketed.

“An EIA study ―a US  government energy agency ― published in April of 2011 found practically the same volume (6,620 TCF or 187.4 billion cubic metres) of recoverable shale gas in just 32 countries, and the giants are: China (1,275 TCF), United States (862), Argentina (774), Mexico (681), South Africa (485) and Australia (396 TCF)”. Shale gas isgas de esquisto. Take note that according to what is known, Argentina and Mexico have almost as much as the United States. China, with larger deposits, has reserves that equal almost the double of those and 40% more than the United States.

“…countries secularly dependent on foreign suppliers shall count on an enormous base of resources in relation to their consumption, such as France and Poland which import 98 and 64 percent respectively of the gas they consume, and in shale or lutite rocks they would have reserves greater than 180 TCF each”.

“To extract it from the lutite ― IPS points out― they resort to a method called ‘fracking’(hydraulic fracturing), with the injection of great amounts of water plus sand and  chemical additives. Carbon traces (proportion of carbon dioxide that is released into the atmosphere) are much greater than those generated in the production of conventional gas.

“Since we are dealing with bombarding layers of earth crust with water and other substances, the risk of damaging the subsoil, soil, surface and groundwater tables, the landscape and communication channels  is greater if the facilities for extracting and transporting the new wealth presents handling defects or errors.”

Suffice it to point out that among the numerous chemical substances that are injected with the water to extract this gas we have benzene and toluene, substances that are terribly carcinogenic.

Lourdes Melgar, expert from the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores of Monterrey, has the opinion that:

“‘It is a technology generating much debate and they are resources located in zones where there is no water…”.

“Gas-bearing lutites ― IPS states― are unconventional hydrocarbon quarries, encrusted in rock that protects them, therefore fracking is used to release them on a grand scale.”

“Generation of shale gas involves high volumes of water and the excavation and fracking generates great amounts of liquid waste that may contain dissolved chemicals and other pollutants that require treatment before they are disposed.”

“Production of shale leaped from 11,037 million cubic metres in 2000 to 135,840 million in 2010. In the event of expansion following this pace, in 2035 it will cover 45 percent of the demand of general gas, according to EIA.

“Recent scientific research has warned on the negative environmental profile of lutite gas.

“Professors Robert Howarth, Renee Santoro and Anthony Ingraffea from Cornell University in the US have concluded that this hydrocarbon is a greater pollutant than oil and gas, according to the study ‘Methane and the traces of greenhouse effect gases from natural gas coming from shale formations’ published in April last year in the  Climatic Change review.

“‘Carbon trace is greater than that from conventional gas or oil, seen on any time horizon, but particularly within the lapse of 20 years. Compared to carbon, it is at least 20 percent greater and perhaps more than double in 20 years’, the report underlined.”

“Methane is one of the most polluting greenhouse effect gases, responsible for the rise in the planet’s temperature.”

“‘In active extraction areas (one or more Wells in one kilometre) average and maximum concentrations of methane in wells of drinking water increased with proximity to the closest gas well and were a danger for potential explosion’, states the text written by Stephen Osborn, Avner Vengosh, Nathaniel Warner and Robert Jackson, from Duke State University.

“These indicators put into question the industry argument that shale could replace carbon in generating electricity and, therefore be a resource for mitigating climate change.

“‘It is an adventure that is far too premature and risky’.”

“In April of 2010, the US State Department started up the Shale Gas Global Initiative to help countries seeking to use that resource in order to identify and develop it, with the eventual economic benefit for US transnationals.”

I have been inevitably extensive, I had no other option. I write these lines for the Cubadebate website and for Telesur, one of the most serious and honest channels in our long-suffering world.

In order to deal with the subject, I let the holidays of the old and the New Year slip by.

Fidel Castro Ruz

January 4, 2012.

9:15 p.m.

Comandante - Fidel Castro (2002) by Oliver Stone. (Watch Free Documentary)

intotheordinary:

weweregods:

American Documentary Film Maker Oliver Stone, spends three days with Fidel Castro in 2002. At this time, Fidel was still the President of Cuba. Stone questions Fidel on a whole range of diverse topics. 

It is well worth a watch, and gives a much different picture of Cuba and the Castro, instead of the same hate filled western propaganda that is forced down our throats

Added to my to-watch list.

Warfare is a means and not an end. Warfare is a tool of revolutionaries. The important thing is the revolution! The important thing is the revolutionary cause, revolutionary ideas, revolutionary objectives, revolutionary sentiments, revolutionary virtues!

—    Fidel Castro, speech at memorial service of Che Guevara (8 October 1967)