June 2, 2008

...fidel castro on barack obama...


The Empire's hypocritical politics
Friday, May 30, 2008
By: Fidel Castro

A reflection by Fidel Castro

The article below was originally published in Granma.


It would be dishonest of me to remain silent after
hearing the speech Obama delivered on the afternoon of
May 23 at the Cuban American National Foundation
created by Ronald Reagan. I listened to his speech, as
I did McCain’s and Bush’s. I feel no resentment
towards him, for he is not responsible for the crimes
perpetrated against Cuba and humanity. Were I to
defend him, I would do his adversaries an enormous
favor. I have therefore no reservations about
criticizing him and about expressing my points of view
on his words frankly.
What were Obama’s statements?

"Throughout my entire life, there has been injustice
and repression in Cuba. Never, in my lifetime, have
the people of Cuba known freedom. Never, in the lives
of two generations of Cubans, have the people of Cuba
known democracy. … This is the terrible and tragic
status quo that we have known for half a century—of
elections that are anything but free or fair … I won't
stand for this injustice, you won't stand for this
injustice, and together we will stand up for freedom
in Cuba," he told annexationists, adding: "It's time
to let Cuban American money make their families less
dependent upon the Castro regime. … I will maintain
the embargo."

The content of these declarations by this strong
candidate to the U.S. presidency spares me the work of
having to explain the reason for this reflection.

José Hernández, one of the Cuban American National
Foundation directives who Obama praises in his speech,
was none other than the owner of the 50-calibre
automatic rifle, equipped with telescopic and infrared
sights, which was confiscated, by chance, along with
other deadly weapons while being transported by sea to
Venezuela, where the Foundation had planned to
assassinate the writer of these lines at an
international meeting held in Margarita, in the
Venezuelan state of Nueva Esparta.

Pepe Hernández’ group wanted to renegotiate a former
pact with Clinton, betrayed by Mas Canosa’s clan, who
secured Bush’s electoral victory in 2000 through
fraud, because the latter had promised to assassinate
Castro, something they all happily embraced. These are
the kinds of political tricks inherent to the United
States’ decadent and contradictory system.

Presidential candidate Obama’s speech may be
formulated as follows: hunger for the nation,
remittances as charitable hand-outs and visits to Cuba
as propaganda for consumerism and the unsustainable
way of life behind it.

How does he plan to address the extremely serious
problem of the food crisis? The world’s grains must be
distributed among human beings, pets and fish, which
become smaller every year and more scarce in the seas
that have been over-exploited by the large trawlers
which no international organization could get in the
way of. Producing meat from gas and oil is no easy
feat. Even Obama overestimates technology’s potential
in the fight against climate change, though he is more
conscious of the risks and the limited margin of time
than Bush. He could seek the advice of Gore, who is
also a democrat and is no longer a candidate, as he is
aware of the accelerated pace at which global warming
is advancing. His close political rival Bill Clinton,
who is not running for the presidency, an expert on
extra-territorial laws like the Helms-Burton and
Torricelli Acts, can advice him on an issue like the
blockade, which he promised to lift and never did.

What did he say in his speech in Miami, this man who
is doubtless, from the social and human points of
view, the most progressive candidate to the U.S.
presidency?

"For two hundred years," he said, "the United States
has made it clear that we won't stand for foreign
intervention in our hemisphere. But every day, all
across the Americas, there is a different kind of
struggle—not against foreign armies, but against the
deadly threat of hunger and thirst, disease and
despair. That is not a future that we have to
accept—not for the child in Port au Prince or the
family in the highlands of Peru. We can do better. We
must do better. … We cannot ignore suffering to our
south, nor stand for the globalization of the empty
stomach." A magnificent description of imperialist
globalization: the globalization of empty stomachs! We
ought to thank him for it. But, 200 years ago, Bolívar
fought for Latin American unity and, more than 100
years ago, Martí gave his life in the struggle against
the annexation of Cuba by the United States. What is
the difference between what Monroe proclaimed and what
Obama proclaims and resuscitates in his speech two
centuries later?

"I will reinstate a Special Envoy for the Americas in
my White House who will work with my full support. But
we'll also expand the Foreign Service, and open more
consulates in the neglected regions of the Americas.
We'll expand the Peace Corps, and ask more young
Americans to go abroad to deepen the trust and the
ties among our people," he said near the end, adding:
"Together, we can choose the future over the past." A
beautiful phrase, for it attests to the idea, or at
least the fear, that history makes figures what they
are and not all the way around.

Today, the United States have nothing of the spirit
behind the Philadelphia declaration of principles
formulated by the 13 colonies that rebelled against
English colonialism. Today, they are a gigantic empire
undreamed of by the country’s founders at the time.
Nothing, however, was to change for the natives and
the slaves. The former were exterminated as the nation
expanded; the latter continued to be auctioned at the
marketplace—men, women and children—for nearly a
century, despite the fact that "all men are born free
and equal", as the Declaration of Independence
affirms. The world’s objective conditions favored the
development of that system.

In his speech, Obama portrays the Cuban revolution as
anti-democratic and lacking in respect for freedom and
human rights. It is the exact same argument which,
almost without exception, U.S. administrations have
used again and again to justify their crimes against
our country. The blockade, in and of itself, is an act
of genocide. I don’t want to see U.S. children
inculcated with those shameful values.

An armed revolution in our country might not have been
needed without the military interventions, Platt
Amendment and economic colonialism visited upon Cuba.

The revolution was the result of imperial domination.
We cannot be accused of having imposed it upon the
country. The true changes could have and ought to have
been brought about in the United States. Its own
workers, more than a century ago, voiced the demand
for an eight-hour work shift, which stemmed from the
development of productive forces.

The first thing the leaders of the Cuban revolution
learned from Martí was to believe in and act on behalf
of an organization founded for the purposes of
bringing about a revolution. We were always bound by
previous forms of power and, following the
institutionalization of this organization, we were
elected by more than 90 percent of voters, as has
become customary in Cuba, a process which does not in
the least resemble the ridiculous levels of electoral
participation which, many a time, as in the case of
the United States, stay short of 50 percent of the
voters. No small and blockaded country like ours would
have been able to hold its ground for so long on the
basis of ambition, vanity, deceit or the abuse of
power, the kind of power its neighbor has. To state
otherwise is an insult to the intelligence of our
heroic people.

I am not questioning Obama’s great intelligence, his
debate skills or his work ethic. He is a talented
orator and is ahead of his rivals in the electoral
race. I feel sympathy for his wife and little girls,
who accompany him and give him encouragement every
Tuesday. It is indeed a touching human spectacle.
Nevertheless, I am obliged to raise a number of
delicate questions. I do not expect answers; I wish
only to raise them for the record.

1) Is it right for the president of the United States
to order the assassination of any one person in the
world, whatever the pretext may be?

2) Is it ethical for the president of the United
States to order the torture of other human beings?

3) Should state terrorism be used by a country as
powerful as the United States as an instrument to
bring about peace on the planet?

4) Is an Adjustment Act, applied as punishment on only
one country, Cuba, in order to destabilize it, good
and honorable, even when it costs innocent children
and mothers their lives?

If it is good, why is this right not automatically
granted to Haitians, Dominicans, and other peoples of
the Caribbean, and why isn’t the same Act applied to
Mexicans and people from Central and South America,
who die like flies against the Mexican border wall or
in the waters of the Atlantic and the Pacific?

5) Can the United States do without immigrants, who
grow vegetables, fruits, almonds and other delicacies
for U.S. citizens? Who would sweep their streets, work
as servants in their homes or do the worst and
lowest-paid jobs?

6) Are crackdowns on illegal residents fair, even as
they affect children born in the United States?

7) Are the brain-drain and the continuous theft of the
best scientific and intellectual minds in poor
countries moral and justifiable?

8) You state, as I pointed out at the beginning of
this reflection, that your country had long ago warned
European powers that it would not tolerate any
intervention in the hemisphere, reiterating that this
right be respected while demanding the right to
intervene anywhere in the world with the aid of
hundreds of military bases and naval, aerial and
spatial forces distributed across the planet. I ask:
is that the way in which the United States expresses
its respect for freedom, democracy and human rights?

9) Is it fair to stage pre-emptive attacks on 60 or
more dark corners of the world, as Bush calls them,
whatever the pretext may be?

10) Is it honorable and sound to invest millions and
millions of dollars in the military industrial
complex, to produce weapons that can destroy life on
earth several times over?

Before judging our country, you should know that Cuba,
with its education, health, sports, culture and
sciences programs, implemented not only in its own
territory but also in other poor countries around the
world, and the blood that has been shed in acts of
solidarity towards other peoples, in spite of the
economic and financial blockade and the aggression of
your powerful country, is proof that much can be done
with very little. Not even our closest ally, the
Soviet Union, was able to achieve what we have.

The only form of cooperation the United States can
offer other nations consist in the sending of military
professionals to those countries. It cannot offer
anything else, for it lacks a sufficient number of
people willing to sacrifice themselves for others and
offer substantial aid to a country in need (though
Cuba has known and relied on the cooperation of
excellent U.S. doctors). They are not to blame for
this, for society does not inculcate such values in
them on a massive scale.

We have never subordinated cooperation with other
countries to ideological requirements. We offered the
United States our help when hurricane Katrina lashed
the city of New Orleans. Our internationalist medical
brigade bears the glorious name of Henry Reeve, a
young man, born in the United States, who fought and
died for Cuba’s sovereignty in our first war of
independence.

Our revolution can mobilize tens of thousands of
doctors and health technicians. It can mobilize an
equally vast number of teachers and citizens, who are
willing to travel to any corner of the world to
fulfill any noble purpose, not to usurp people’s
rights or take possession of raw materials.

The good will and determination of people constitute
limitless resources that cannot be kept and would not
fit in a bank’s vault. They cannot spring from the
hypocritical politics of an empire.

2 comments:

Yaotzu said...

I have never believed in American brain wash that Castro is a Ruthless blood thirsty Dictator. I believe the state of Cuban poverty is the result of the U.S. blockade. The U.S. only hates Castro because it no longer has control of the island with puppet dictators and the Cuban missile crisis was only a precaution against continual harassment by U.S. troops and the CIA. In my view, all ill manerd moves made by castro was made for the effort of Cuban sovereignty and to rid the crooks out of cuba like the mafia and pro US rich men not willing to aid the poor and starving.

although i do support Obama. I cant believe he would support the assassination of Castro. I guess the only rason i have left to support him is that he is the lesser evil of the three. Man, even being a fellow former local of Hawaii and learning Hawaiian history cant educate a man enough about oppressing people.

ILLERCLIP said...

great post BAM. What a wonderful counter view point by a living legend and leader on our saviour soon to be President Barack Obama.