[News] Fidel on Obama
news at freedomarchives.org
Tue May 27 10:41:23 EDT 2008
REFLECTIONS BY COMRADE FIDEL
THE EMPIRES HYPOCRITICAL POLITICS
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 McCains and
Bushs. 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 Obamas 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. (
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 Hernandez, 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
Canosas clan, who secured Bushs 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 Obamas 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 worlds 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 technologys 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, Bolivar 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
countrys 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 childrenfor nearly a
century, despite the fact that all men are born
free and equal, as the Declaration of
Independence affirms. The worlds 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 dont 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 Obamas 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.
* 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?
* Is it ethical for the president of the
United States to order the torture of other human beings?
* Should state terrorism be used by a country
as powerful as the United States as an instrument
to bring about peace on the planet?
* 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 isnt
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?
* 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?
* Are crackdowns on illegal residents fair,
even as they affect children born in the United States?
* Are the brain-drain and the continuous
theft of the best scientific and intellectual
minds in poor countries moral and justifiable?
* 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?
* Is it fair to stage pre-emptive attacks on
sixty or more dark corners of the world, as Bush
calls them, whatever the pretext may be?
* 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
Cubas 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
peoples 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 banks vault. They
cannot spring from the hypocritical politics of an empire.
Fidel Castro Ruz
May 25, 2008
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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