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 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.

Genocidal Cynicism

No sane person, especially someone who has had access to the elementary knowledge acquired in primary school, would agree that our species, especially those who are children, teenagers or youth, should be deprived of the right to live, today, tomorrow and forever. Never have human beings, throughout their eventful history, as persons endowed with intelligence, ever heard of an experience like that.

I feel the duty to convey to those taking the trouble to read these Reflections the opinion that all of us, with no exception, are obliged to create awareness about the risks that humankind are running in an inexorable manner, towards a final and total catastrophe as the consequence of irresponsible decisions made by politicians who fate, rather than talent or merit, has placed the destiny of humankind in their hands.

Whether they are citizens of their country or not, whether they are followers of some religious belief or unbelievers, no human being in their right mind would agree that their children or closest kin should perish precipitously or as victims of atrocious and torturous misery.

On the heels of the repugnant crimes that are being increasingly committed by NATO under the aegis of the United States and the wealthiest countries in Europe, the gaze of the world focused on the G-20 meeting where the profound economic crisis affecting every nation today should have been analyzed. International opinion, especially in Europe, was awaiting an answer for the profound economic crisis that, with its serious social and even climatic implications, is threatening every inhabitant on the planet. At that meeting, it was being decided whether the Euro would be able to be kept as the common currency for most of Europe and even whether some of the countries would be able to remain in the community.

There was no answer or solution of any kind for the most serious problems of the world economy despite the efforts of China, Russia, Indonesia, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina and other emerging economies, anxious to cooperate with the rest of the world in the search for solutions for the serious economic problems affecting them.

What was unusual was that just when NATO concluded the Libyan operation – after the air attack that injured the constitutional head of that country, destroyed the vehicle carrying him and leaving him at the mercy of the empire’s mercenaries who murdered him and exhibited his body as a war trophy, violating Muslim customs and traditions – the IAEA, a UN body and an institution that ought to stand for world peace, released the political, money-driven and sectarian report putting the world on the brink of war with the use of nuclear weapons that the Yankee empire, in alliance with Great Britain and Israel, has been meticulously preparing against Iran.

After the veni, vidi, vici of the famous Roman emperor more than two thousand years ago, translated to “I came, I saw and he died” broadcast for public opinion by an important television network as soon as the death of Gaddafi had been learned of, there are more than enough words to describe US policy.

Now what is important is the need to create clear awareness in the peoples about the abyss towards which humankind is being led. Twice our Revolution lived through dramatic dangers: in October of 1962, the most critical of all where humankind was on the brink of nuclear holocaust; and in mid-1987 when our forces were facing racist South African troops armed with nuclear weapons that the Israelis had helped them create.

The Shah of Iran also collaborated, along with Israel, with the racist and fascist South African regime.

What is the UN? An organization driven by the United States before the end of World War II. That nation, whose territory was considerably far away from the theatre of war, had incredibly increased its wealth; it accumulated 80% of the world’s gold and under the leadership of Roosevelt, a sincere anti-fascist, it promoted the development of the nuclear weapon that Truman, his successor, a mediocre oligarch, did not hesitate in using against the defenceless cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

The world’s gold monopoly in United States’ power and the prestige of Roosevelt handed the US the Bretton Woods agreement, assigning it the role of issuing the dollar as the only currency to be used for decades in world trade, with no limiting factor other that it’s being backed by the gold metal.

At the end of that war, the US was also the only country possessing the nuclear weapon, a privilege it did not hesitate in transmitting to its allies and members in the Security Council: Great Britain and France, the two most important colonial powers in the world at that time.

Truman had not even informed the USSR one single word about the atomic weapon before using it. China, at that time governed by Nationalist General Chiang Kai-shek, a pro-Yankee oligarch, could not be excluded from that Security Council.

The USSR, seriously stricken by the war, destruction and the loss of more than 20 million of its sons and daughters in the Nazi invasion, dedicated considerable economic, scientific and human resources to bring its nuclear capacity up to par with that of the United States. Four years later, in 1949, it tested its first nuclear weapon: the H-bomb in 1953; and in 1955 its first megaton bomb. France had its first nuclear weapon in 1960.

There were only three countries that had the nuclear bomb in 1957 when the UN, under the aegis of the Yankees, created the International Atomic Energy Association (IAEA). Does anybody think that US instrument did anything to warn the world about the terrible dangers to which it would expose human society when Israel, unconditional US and NATO ally, located in the very heartland of the world’s most important oil and gas reserves, would become a dangerous and aggressive nuclear power?

Its forces, cooperating with colonial British and French troops, attacked Port Said when Abdel Nasser nationalized the Suez Canal, French property; this forced the Soviet premier to send an ultimatum demanding the ceasing of that aggression that the European allies of the US had no alternative other than to attack.

In order to give an idea of the potential of the USSR in its efforts to maintain parity with the United States in this sphere, we only need to point out that when its disintegration occurred in 1991, in Byelorussia there were 81 nuclear warheads, in Kazakhstan 1400 and in the Ukraine approximately 5000; all these went over to the Russian Federation, the only state capable of sustaining its immense cost, in order to maintain independence.

By virtue of the START and SORT treaties on the reduction of offensive weapons signed by the two great nuclear powers, the number of these was reduced to several thousand.

In 2010, a new treaty of this kind was signed by the two powers.

Since then the greatest efforts have been dedicated to improving direction, scope and precision and to the deception of adversary defence.  Huge amounts of money have been invested in the military sphere.

Very few persons in the world, other than a handful of thinkers and scientists, notice and warn about the fact that the explosion of 100 nuclear strategic weapons would suffice to put an end to human life on the planet.  The great majority would have an end that would be as inexorable as it would be horrible, resulting from the Nuclear Winter that would be generated.

The number of countries possessing nuclear weapons at this time has gone up to eight; five of them are members of the Security Council: the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and China. India and Pakistan acquired the nature of countries possessing nuclear weapons in 1974 and 1998 respectively. The seven aforementioned countries acknowledge this nature.

By contrast, Israel has never acknowledged its nature as a nuclear country. Nevertheless, it is calculated that it possesses between 200 and 500 weapons of this type, without taking the hint when the world becomes concerned by the extremely serious problems that the outbreak of a war in the region producing a large part of the energy moving industry and agriculture on the planet would bring.

Thanks to possessing weapons of mass destruction, Israel has been able to play its role as the instrument of imperialism and colonialism in that Middle Eastern region.

We are not dealing with the legitimate right of the Israeli people to live and work in peace and freedom; we are dealing precisely with the rights for freedom and peace of the other peoples in the region.

While Israel was speedily creating a nuclear arsenal, in 1981 it attacked and destroyed the Iraqi nuclear reactor at Osirak. It did exactly the same thing to the Syrian reactor at Dayr az-Zawr in 2007, an occurrence of which world opinion was oddly not informed. The UN and the IAEA were perfectly well aware of that event. Such actions had the support of the United States and the Atlantic Alliance.

There is nothing odd about the fact that the most senior Israeli authorities are now proclaiming their intention of doing the same thing with Iran. That country, immensely wealthy in oil and gas, had been the victim of the conspiracies of Great Britain and the United States, whose oil companies were pillaging their resources. Their armed forces were equipped with the most modern weaponry of the US war industry.

Shah Reza Pahlevi also hoped to be supplied with nuclear weapons. Nobody was attacking his research centers. The Israeli war was waged against the Arab Muslims. Not against those in Iran, because they had become a NATO bastion that was aiming at the heart of the USSR.

The masses in that nation, deeply religious, under the leadership of the Ayatollah Khomeini, challenging the power of those weapons, ousted the Shah from his throne and disarmed one of the best equipped armies in the world without a shot being fired.

Due to their capacity for struggle, the number of inhabitants and the size of the country, an aggression against Iran bears no similarity with the war adventures of Israel in Iraq and Syria. A bloody war would inevitably break out.  We can have no doubts about that.

Israel has a large number of nuclear weapons and the capacity of having them reach any point in Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania. I am wondering: does the IAEA have the moral right to sanction and smother a country if it intends to do what Israel has done in the heart of the Middle East, for its own defence?

I really think that no country in the world should possess nuclear weapons and that energy should be put at the service of the human species. Without that spirit of cooperation, humankind marches inexorably towards its own destruction. Among the citizens of Israel themselves, a hard-working and intelligent people without a doubt, many do not agree with that absurd, irrational policy that is also taking them down the road to total destruction.

What is being said these days in the world on the economic situation?

International news agencies inform that President Barack Obama of the United States and his Chinese peer Hu Jintao presented differing trade agendas, underlining the growing tensions between the two major world economies.

Reuters states that Obama used his speech to threaten China with economic sanctions unless it starts to play according to the rules. Undoubtedly, such rules are US interests.

The news agency states that Obama is embarked on the re-election battle for next year and his Republican opposition is accusing him of not being severe enough with China.

News printed on Thursday and Friday shows the realities we are living much better.

The best informed US agency AP reports that the supreme Iranian leader warned the United States and Israel that Iran’s answer would be energetic if its arch-enemies were to launch a military attack on Iran.

The German news agency informed that China had stated that, as always, it believed dialogue and cooperation were the only way of active rapprochement to solve the problem.

Russia was also opposed to punitive measures against Iran.

Germany rejected the military option but revealed itself to be for strong sanctions against Iran.

The United Kingdom and France advocate strong and energetic sanctions.

The Russian Federation assured that it would do everything possible to avoid a military operation against Iran and it criticized the IAEA report.

Konstantin Kosachov, head of the Duma Foreign Affairs Committee, stated that a military operation against Iran could bring very serious consequences and Russia would have to put all its weight into smoothing feelings over.  According to EFE, he criticized statements by the US, France and Israel about the possible use of force and that the launching of a military operation against Iran is getting closer day by day.

Edward Spannaus, editor of the US magazine EIR, stated that the attack against Iran would end up as World War III.

The US Defence Secretary himself, after a trip to Israel a few days ago, acknowledged that he was not able to get any commitment from the Israeli government on prior consultation with the US on an attack against Iran. Those are the extremes we have reached.

The US under-secretary for political and military affairs harshly revealed the empire’s sinister aims.

On Saturday, Andrew Shapiro, Under-Secretary for Political and Military Affairs of the United States stated that Israel and the United States shall embark on more important joint manoeuvres that are of greater transcendence in the history of the allies.

At the Washington Institute for Middle Eastern Policy, Shapiro announced that more than 5,000 US and Israeli armed forces troops will take part in the manoeuvres simulating the defence of Israel’s ballistic missiles.

He added that Israeli technology was becoming essential to improve US national security and to protect US troops.

Shapiro emphasized the support of the Obama government for Israel, in spite of comments on Friday by a senior US official who expressed his concern about Israel not warning the US before starting military action against Iranian nuclear installations.

He said that US relations with Israeli security are broader, more profound and more intense than ever before.

According to him, the US supports Israel because it is in US national interest to do so. It is the solid Israeli military force that is deterring possible aggressors and helps to promote peace and stability.

Today, on November 13, Susan Rice, US ambassador to the UN, told the BBC that the possibility of military intervention in Iran was not only still on the table but that it was a real option that is growing because of Iranian conduct.

She insisted that the US administration is reaching the conclusion that it will be necessary to end the current regime in Iran in order to prevent it from creating a nuclear arsenal. Rice acknowledged that she was convinced that the change in regime is going to be the US’ only option there.

We do not need to add a single word.

Fidel Castro Ruz

November 13, 2011

8:17 p.m.

Reflections of Fidel Castro

no description necessary, the title alone should make you go here and read these. Seriously, just go here and start reading. Scroll down and see what he says about Chavez, Evo, and Obama with special focus on U.N. It is in two parts but it covers alot of subjects including Palestine, Iran, N.Korea, Zionism etc etc. Seriously! if you are even remotely interested in the truth, you will go here. 

Fidel Castro on Libya and Gadhafi: Nato, war, lies and business


gadhafi_un2009_300x225.jpgLibyan leader Muammar Gadhafi addresses the 64th session of the General Assembly at UN headquarters in New York, Sept. 23, 2009. Photo: AP World Wide Photos
'The empire is now attempting to turn events around to what Gaddafi has done or not done, because it needs to militarily intervene in Libya and deliver a blow to the revolutionary wave unleashed in the Arab world.'

BY FIDEL CASTRO RUZ 

As some people know, in September of 1969, Muammar al-Gaddafi, a Bedouin Arab soldier of unusual character and inspired by the ideas of the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser, promoted within the heart of the Armed Forces a movement which overthrew King Idris I of Libya, almost a desert country in its totality, with a sparse population, located to the north of Africa between Tunisia and Egypt.

Libya’s significant and valuable energy resources were progressively being discovered.

Born into the heart of a Bedouin community, nomadic desert shepherds in the region of Tripoli, Gaddafi was profoundly anti-colonialist. It is known that a paternal grandfather died fighting against the Italian invaders when Libya was invaded by the latter in 1911. The colonial regime and fascism changed everyone’s lives. It is likewise said that his father was imprisoned before earning his daily bread as an industrial worker.

Even Gaddafi’s adversaries confirm that he stood out for his intelligence as a student; he was expelled from high school for his anti-monarchical activities. He managed to enroll in another school and later to graduate in law at the University of Benghazi, aged 21. He then entered the Benghazi Military College, where he created the Union of Free Officers Movement, subsequently completing his studies in a British military academy.

These antecedents explain the notable influence that he later exercised in Libya and over other political leaders, whether or not they are now for or against Gaddafi.

He initiated his political life with unquestionably revolutionary acts.

In March 1970, in the wake of mass nationalist protests, he achieved the evacuation of British soldiers from the country and, in June, the United States vacated the large airbase close to Tripoli, which was handed over to military instructors from Egypt, a country allied with Libya.

In 1970, a number of Western oil companies and banking societies with the participation of foreign capital were affected by the Revolution. At the end of 1971, the same fate befell the famous British Petroleum. In the agricultural sector all Italian assets were confiscated, and the colonialists and their descendants were expelled from Libya.

State intervention was directed toward the control of the large companies. Production in that country grew to become one of the highest in the Arab world. Gambling was prohibited, as was alcohol consumption. The legal status of women, traditionally limited, was elevated.

The Libyan leader became immersed in extremist theories as much opposed to communism as to capitalism. It was a stage in which Gaddafi devoted himself to theorizing, which would be meaningless to include in this analysis, except to note that the first article of the Constitutional Proclamation of 1969, established the “Socialist” nature of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.

What I wish to emphasize is that the United States and its NATO allies were never interested in human rights.

The pandemonium that occurred in the Security Council, in the meeting of the Human Rights Council based in Geneva, and in the UN General Assembly in New York, was pure theater.

I can perfectly comprehend the reactions of political leaders embroiled in so many contradictions and sterile debates, given the intrigue of interests and problems which they have to address.

Africa_Libya_map_1.jpg
'Almost immediately [after the Cuban Revolution], the empire promoted against our people dirty warfare, counterrevolutionary gangs, the criminal economic blockade and the mercenary invasion of the Bay of Pigs, guarded by an aircraft carrier and its marines ready to disembark if the mercenary force secured certain objectives.'

All of us are well aware that status as a permanent member, veto power, the possession of nuclear weapons and more than a few institutions, are sources of privilege and self-interest imposed on humanity by force. One can be in agreement with many of them or not, but never accept them as just or ethical measures.

The empire is now attempting to turn events around to what Gaddafi has done or not done, because it needs to militarily intervene in Libya and deliver a blow to the revolutionary wave unleashed in the Arab world. Through now not a word was said, silence was maintained and business was conducted.

Whether a latent Libyan rebellion was promoted by yankee intelligence agencies or by the errors of Gaddafi himself, it is important that the peoples do not let themselves be deceived, given that, very soon, world opinion will have enough elements to know what to believe.

In my opinion, and as I have expressed since the outset, the plans of the bellicose NATO had to be condemned.

Libya, like many Third World countries, is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Group of 77 and other international organizations, via which relations are established independently of economic and social system.

Briefly: the Revolution in Cuba, inspired by Marxist-Leninist and Martí principles, had triumphed in 1959 at 90 miles from the United States, which imposed the Platt Amendment on us and was the proprietor of our country’s economy.

Almost immediately, the empire promoted against our people dirty warfare, counterrevolutionary gangs, the criminal economic blockade and the mercenary invasion of the Bay of Pigs, guarded by an aircraft carrier and its marines ready to disembark if the mercenary force secured certain objectives.

Barely a year and a half later, it threatened us with the power of its nuclear arsenal. A war of that nature was about to break out.

All the Latin American countries, with the exception of Mexico, took part in the criminal blockade which is still in place, without our country ever surrendering. It is important to recall that for those lacking historical memory.

In January 1986, putting forward the idea that Libya was behind so-called revolutionary terrorism, Reagan ordered the severing of economic and commercial relations with that country.

In March, an aircraft carrier force in the Gulf of Sirte, within what Libya considered its national waters, unleashed attacks which destroyed a number of naval units equipped with rocket launchers and coastal radar systems which that country had acquired in the USSR.

On April 5, a discotheque in West Berlin frequented by U.S. soldiers was the target of a plastic explosives attack, in which three people died, two of them U.S. soldiers, and many people were injured.

Reagan accused Gaddafi and ordered the Air Force to respond. Three squadrons took off from 6thFleet aircraft carriers and bases in the United Kingdom, and attacked with missiles and bombs seven military targets in Tripoli and Benghazi. Some 40 people died, 15 of them civilians. Warned in advance of the bombardments, Gaddafi gathered together his family and was leaving his residence located in the Bab Al Aziziya military complex south of the capital. The evacuation had not been completed when a missile directly hit the residence, his daughter Hanna died and another two of his children were wounded. That act was widely rejected; the UN General Assembly passed a resolution of condemnation given what was a violation of the UN Charter and international law. The Non-Aligned Movement, the Arab League and the OAU did likewise in energetic terms.

On December 21, 1988, a Pan Am Boeing 747 flying from London to New York disintegrated in full flight when a bomb exploded aboard, the wreckage fell on the locality of Lockerbie and the tragedy cost the lives of 270 people of 21 nationalities.

Initially, the United States suspected Iran, in reprisal for the death of 290 people when an Airbus belonging to its state line was brought down. According to the yankees, investigations implicated two Libyan intelligence agents. Similar accusations against Libya were made in the case of the French airline on the Brazzaville-N’Djamena-Paris route, implicating Libyan officials whom Gaddafi refused to extradite for acts that he categorically denied.

A sinister legend was fabricated against him, with the participation of Reagan and Bush Senior.

From 1975 to the final stage of the Regan administration, Cuba dedicated itself to its internationalist duties in Angola and other African nations. We were aware of the conflicts developing in Libya or around her via readings and testimonies from people closely linked to that country and the Arab world, as well as impressions we retained from many figures in different countries with whom we had contact during those years.

Many known African leaders with whom Gaddafi maintained close relations made efforts to find a solution to the tense relations between Libya and the United Kingdom.

The Security Council had imposed sanctions on Libya which began to be overcome when Gaddafi agreed to the trial, under specific conditions, of the two men accused of the plane sabotage over Scotland.

Libyan delegations began to be invited to inter-European meetings. In July 1999 London initiated the reestablishment of full diplomatic relations with Libya after some additional concessions.

In September of that year, European Union ministers agreed to revoke the restrictive trade measures imposed in 1992.

On December 2, Massimo D’Alema, the Italian prime minister, made the first visit to Libya by a European head of government.

With the disappearance of the USSR and the European socialist bloc, Gaddafi decided to accept the demands of the United States and NATO.

When I visited Libya in May 2001, he showed me the ruins left by the treacherous attack during which Reagan murdered his daughter and almost exterminated his entire family.

In early 2002, the State Department announced that diplomatic talks between the United States and Libya were underway.

In May, Libya was once again included on the list of states sponsoring terrorism although, in January, President George W. Bush had not mentioned the African country in his famous speech on members of the “axis of evil.”

At the beginning of 2003, in accordance with the economic agreement on compensation reached between Libya and the plaintiffs, the United Kingdom and France, the UN Security Council lifted its 1992 sanctions against Libya.

Before the end of 2003, Bush and Tony Blair reported an agreement with Libya, which had submitted documentation to British and U.S. intelligence experts about conventional weapons programs and ballistic missiles with a range of more than 300 kilometers. Officials from both countries had already visited a number of installations. It was the result of many months of conversation between Tripoli and Washington, as Bush himself revealed.

Gaddafi kept his disarmament promises. Within five months Libya handed over the five units of Scud-C missiles with a range of 800 km and hundreds of Scud-B which have a range exceeding the 300 kilometers of defensive short-range missiles.

As of October, 2002, a marathon of visits to Tripoli began: Berlusconi, in October 2002; José María Aznar, in September 2003; Berlusconi again in February, August and October of 2004; Blair, in March of 2004; the German Schröeder, in October of that year; Jacques Chirac, November 2004. Everybody happy. Money talks.

Gaddafi toured Europe triumphantly. He was received in Brussels in April of 2004 by Romano Prodi, president of the European Commission; in August of that year the Libyan leader invited Bush to visit his country; Exxon Mobil, Chevron, Texaco and Conoco Philips established renewed oil extraction operations through joint ventures.

In May of 2006, the United States announced the removal of Libya from its list of nations harboring terrorists and established full diplomatic relations.

In 2006 and 2007, France and the U.S. signed accords for cooperation in nuclear development for peaceful ends; in May, 2007, Blair returned to visit Gaddafi in Sirte. British Petroleum signed a contract it described as “enormously important,” for the exploration of gas fields.

In December of 2007, Gaddafi made two trips to France to sign military and civilian equipment contracts for 10 billion euros, and to Spain where he met with President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. Contracts worth millions were signed with important NATO countries.

What has now brought on the precipitous withdrawal of U.S. and other NATO members’ embassies?

It all seems extremely strange.

George W. Bush, father of the stupid anti-terrorist war, said in a speech to west Point cadets, “Our security will require … the military you will lead, a military that must be ready to strike at a moment’s notice in any dark corner of the world. … to be ready for preemptive action when necessary to defend our liberty and to defend our lives.

"We must root out terrorist cells in 60 countries or more … with our friends and allies, we have to stop their proliferation and confront regimes which harbor or support terrorism, as is required in each case."

What might Obama think of that speech?

What sanctions will the Security Council impose on those who have killed more than a million civilians in Iraq and those who everyday are murdering men, women and children in Afghanistan, where just recently the angry population took to the streets to protest the massacre of innocent children?

An AFP dispatch from Kabul, dated today, March 9, reveals, “Last year was the most lethal for civilians in the nine-year war between the Taliban and international forces in Afghanistan, with almost 2,800 deaths, 15% more than in 2009, a United Nations report indicated on Wednesday, underlining the human cost of the conflict for the population.

"… The Taliban insurrection has intensified and gained ground in these last few years, with guerrilla actions beyond its traditional bastions in the South and East.

"At exactly 2,777, the number of civilian deaths in 2010 increased by 15% as compared to 2009," the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan annual report indicated.

"On March 3, President Barack Obama expressed his profound condolences to the Afghan people for the nine children killed, as did U.S. General David Petraeus, commander in chief of the ISAF and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

"… The UNAMA report emphasizes that the number of civilian deaths is four times greater than the number of international forces soldiers killed in combat during the same year.

"So far, 2010 has been the most deadly for foreign soldiers in the nine years of war, with 711 dead, confirming that the Taliban’s guerilla war has intensified despite the deployment of 30,000 U.S. reinforcements last year."

Over the course of 10 days, in Geneva and in the United Nations, more than 150 speeches were delivered about violations of human rights, which were repeated million of times on television, radio, Internet and in the written press.

Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, in his remarks March 1, 2011 before Foreign Relations ministers in Geneva, said:

"Humanity’s conscience is repulsed by the deaths of innocent people under any circumstances, anyplace. Cuba fully shares the worldwide concern for the loss of civilian lives in Libya and hopes that its people are able to reach a peaceful and sovereign solution to the civil war occurring there, with no foreign interference, and guarantee the integrity of that nation."

Some of the final paragraphs of his speech were scathing.

"If the essential human right is the right to life, will the Council be ready to suspend the membership of states that unleash war?

"Will it suspend states which finance and supply military aid utilized by recipient states for mass, flagrant and systematic violations of human rights and attacks on the civilian population, like those taking place in Palestine?

"Will it apply measures to powerful countries which are perpetuating extra-judicial executions in the territory of other states with the use of high technology, such as smart bombs and drone aircraft?

"What will happen with states which accept secret illegal prisons in their territories, facilitate the transit of secret flights with kidnapped persons aboard, or participate in acts of torture?

We fully share the valiant position of the Bolivarian leader Hugo Chávez and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA).

We are against the internal war in Libya, in favor of immediate peace and respect for the lives and rights of all citizens, without foreign intervention, which would only serve to prolong the conflict and NATO interests.

Fidel Castro Ruz
March 9, 2011
9:35 p.m.

"Reflections Of Fidel" - Translated by Granma International (http://www.Granma.cu)