[News] Copenhagen - the moment of truth by Fidel Castro

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Dec 18 19:28:50 EST 2009


The Moment Of Truth

By Fidel Castro

18 December, 2009
<http://www.cuba.cu/gobierno/reflexiones/2009/ing/f171209i.html>Cuba.cu

http://countercurrents.org/castro181209.htm

The news from the Danish capital gives a picture 
of chaos. After planning a conference with about 
40 thousand people in attendance, the hosts find 
it impossible to honor their promise. Evo, the 
first of the two presidents of ALBA-member 
countries to arrive, stated some truths derived 
from the millennium-old culture of his people.

According to press agencies he said that he had 
received a mandate from the Bolivian people to 
oppose any agreement that does not meet the 
expectations. He explained that climate change is 
not the cause but the effect, and that we all 
have an obligation to defend the rights of Mother 
Earth vis-à-vis a capitalist development model; 
to defend the culture of life vis-à-vis the 
culture of death. He also addressed the climate 
debt that the rich countries should pay to the 
poor countries and the return of the atmospheric space taken from the latter.

He considered ridiculous the annual figure of 10 
billion USD offered until the year 2012 while the 
yearly needs amount to hundreds of billions. At 
the same time, he accused the United States of 
spending trillions to export terrorism to Iraq 
and Afghanistan and to set up military bases in Latin America.

The President of the Bolivarian Republic of 
Venezuela addressed the Summit on the 16th, at 
8:40 a.m. Cuban time. He made a brilliant speech 
that was much applauded. His phrases were remarkable.

He challenged a document proposed to the Summit 
by the Danish minister chairing the conference. He said:

“
this text has come out of the blue; we shall 
not accept any text that has not been produced by 
the working groups, I mean, the legitimate texts 
that have been the subject of negotiations for the past two years.”

“There is a group of nations that feel above us 
in the South, in the Third World
”

“
it’s not a surprise, there is no democracy, we are facing a dictatorship.”

“
I was reading some slogans painted in the 
streets by the youths
 one read: ‘don’t change 
the climate, change the system,’ and another: “if 
the climate had been a bank it would have been bailed out.’”

“Obama [
] received the Nobel Peace Prize the 
same day he sent 30 thousand troops to kill innocent people in Afghanistan.”

“I support the view of the representatives of 
Brazil, Bolivia and China, I only wanted to 
express my support [
] but I was not given the floor
”

“The rich are destroying the planet, could it be 
they are planning to move to another when this one is destroyed?”

“
there is no doubt that climate change is the 
most devastating environmental issue of this century.”

“
the United States’ population is barely 300 
million; China’s is almost five times that. The 
United States’ oil consumption exceeds 20 million 
barrels a day; China’s is hardly 5 or 6 million 
barrels a day. Thus, the same cannot be asked 
from the United States and from China.”

“
the reduction of unfriendly gas emissions and 
the acceptance of a long-term agreement on 
cooperation [
] seem to have failed, for now. 
Why? [
] the irresponsible attitude and the lack 
of political will of the most powerful nations on Earth.”

“
the gap between the rich and the poor countries 
has continued to widen despite all of the summits 
and the unfulfilled promises, and the world continues its destructive march.”

“
the total income of the wealthiest 500 persons 
in the world is higher than the income of the 416 million poorest persons.”

“Infant mortality amounts to 47 per 1000 live 
births, but in the rich countries it is only 5/1000.”

“
how much longer can we let millions of children die from curable diseases?”

“Actually, 2.6 billion have no access to health services.”

“The Brazilian author Leornardo Boff has written: 
‘The strongest survive on the ashes of the weakest.’”

“Jean Jacob Rousseau said that ‘Between the 
strong and the weak freedom oppresses.’ That’s 
why the empire talks of freedom; freedom to 
oppress, to invade, to kill, to annihilate and to 
exploit: that’s their freedom. And then Rousseau 
added the saving phrase: ‘Only the Law can make us free.’”

“How much longer are we going to tolerate armed 
conflicts that massacre millions of innocent 
people so that the powerful can grab the resources of others?

“Nearly two centuries back a universal liberator, 
Simon Bolivar, said: ‘If nature opposes, we shall 
fight it and force it to obey.’”

“This planet lived for billions of years without 
us, without human beings; it doesn’t need us to 
exist, but we can’t live without Earth
”

Evo addressed the conference in the morning of 
today, Thursday. His speech will also be treasured.

He very candidly opened his remarks by saying: “I 
wish to say how upset we are over the lack of 
organization and the delays in this international gathering
”

His basic ideas were the following:

“When we ask what is it with the hosts, [
] we 
are told it’s the United Nations; when we ask 
what is it with the United Nations, they say it’s 
Denmark, so we don’t know who is the disorganizer 
of this international meeting
”

“
I’m amazed because only the effects and not the 
causes of climate change are being discussed.”

“If we fail to identify where the destruction of 
the environment comes from [
] we will never be able to solve this problem
”

“
two cultures are antagonizing: the culture of 
life and the culture of death; the culture of 
death is capitalism, which the indigenous peoples 
identify with those who want to live better at the expense of others.”

“
exploiting others, plundering their natural 
resources, assaulting Mother Earth, privatizing basic services
”

“
living well is living in solidarity, in 
equality, in complementation, in reciprocity
”

“When it comes to climate change, these two ways 
of life, these two cultures of life are 
antagonizing, and if we don’t decide which is the 
best way of life, we will not be able to solve 
it, because we have problems with life: luxury 
and consumerism hurt society, and sometimes in 
this kind of international meeting we avoid telling the truth.”

“
in our way of life being truthful is sacred, 
and that is not being observed here.”

“
in our Constitution it reads ama sua, ama 
llulla, ama quella, which means don’t steal, don’t lie, don’t be weak.”

“
Mother Earth or Nature exist and will exist 
without the human being, but human beings can’t 
live without planet Earth, therefore, we have the 
obligation to defend the right of Mother Earth.”

“
I applaud the United Nations because finally 
this year it has established the International Day of Mother Earth.”

“
our mother is sacred, our mother is our life; a 
mother cannot be rented, cannot be sold or 
assaulted, a mother must be respected.”

“We have profound differences with the Western 
model, and that is under discussion at this moment.”

“We are in Europe now, and you know that many 
Bolivian families, many Latin American families 
come to Europe, why do they come here? They come 
to improve their living conditions. In Bolivia, 
they could be earning 100 or 200 dollars a month, 
but that family or that person comes here to care 
for a European grandmother or grandfather, and he earns 1,000 Euros a month.”

“Such are the asymmetries we have from one 
continent to another, and it is our obligation to 
discuss the ways to achieve a certain balance, 
[
] cutting down the deep asymmetries between 
families, between countries and, especially, between continents.”

“When [
] our brothers and sisters come here to 
survive or improve their living conditions they 
are expelled, with those papers known as 
expatriation documents [
] but when a long time 
ago the European grandfathers arrived in Latin 
America, they were not expelled. My families, my 
brothers and sisters are not coming here to own 
mines, nor are they landowners with thousands of 
hectares of land. In the past, no passports or 
visas were needed to get to Abya Yala, that is, to the Americas.”

“
if the rights of Mother Earth are not 
recognized, it will be useless to speak of 10 
billions or 100 billions, which is an offense to humanity.”

“
the wealthy nations should welcome all the 
immigrants affected by climate change instead of 
forcing them to return to their countries as they are doing now
”

“
our obligation is to save all of humanity and not half of humanity.”

“
the FTAA, Free Trade Area of the Americas, [
] 
is not a Free Trade Area of the Americas, but a 
free colonization area of the Americas
”

Evo suggested the following questions, among 
others, for a worldwide referendum on climate change:

“..Do you agree to restore a harmonious 
relationship with Nature recognizing the rights of Mother Earth...?”

“
Do you agree to change this excessively 
consumerist and wasting model, that is, the capitalist system...?”

“
Do you agree that the developed countries 
should reduce and reabsorb their greenhouse effect gas emissions
?”

“
Do you agree on transferring everything that is 
currently being spent in wars to create a budget 
higher than the defense budget to tackle the problem of climate change..?.”

As it is widely known, the UN Agreement on 
Climate Change was signed in Kyoto in 1997. This 
instrument bound 38 industrial nations to cut 
down their greenhouse effect gas emissions to a 
certain percentage in comparison with those of 
1990. The European Union countries committed to 
an 8% as of 2005, the year when most of the 
signatories had already ratified it. George W. 
Bush, then President of the United States, --the 
largest greenhouse effect gas producer country 
which is responsible for one-fourth of such 
emissions­had rejected the agreement since the midst of 2001.

The other UN members continued their efforts. The 
research centers proceeded with their work. It is 
evident by now that a major catastrophe is 
threatening our species. Perhaps the worst could 
be that the blind selfishness of a privileged 
wealthy minority tries to bring the burden of the 
necessary sacrifices to weigh heavily on the 
overwhelming majority of the inhabitants of the planet.

That contradiction can be perceived in Copenhagen 
where thousands of people are standing firm by their views.

The Danish police are resorting to brutal methods 
to crush resistance; many protesters are being 
preventively arrested. I spoke over the phone 
with our Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, who 
was at a solidarity rally in Copenhagen with 
Chavez, Evo, Lazo and other representatives of 
ALBA. I asked him who those people were that the 
Danish police suppressed with such hate, twisting 
their arms and beating their backs repeatedly. He 
said they were Danish citizens and people from 
other European nations as well as members of the 
social movements who were demanding from the 
Summit a real solution now to deal with climate 
change. He also told me that debates in the 
Summit would continue at midnight. It was already 
night in Copenhagen as I spoke with him. The time difference is six hours.

Our comrades have reported from the Danish 
capital that a worse situation is expected 
tomorrow, Thursday. At 10 in the morning, the UN 
Summit will be adjourned for two hours as the 
Danish Head of Government meets with 20 Heads of 
Government he has invited to talk “global 
problems” with Obama. That’s what they have 
called the meeting whose objective it is to 
impose an agreement on climate change.

Even though all of the official delegations will 
take part, only “the invitees” will be allowed to 
offer their views. Of course, neither Chavez nor 
Evo are counted among those entitled to express 
their opinions. The idea is to give an 
opportunity to the Nobel Laureate to read a 
previously elaborated speech, after the decision 
has been made in that meeting to postpone the 
agreement until the end of next year in Mexico 
City. The social movements will not be allowed to 
attend. After that show, the “Summit” will resume 
its works in the plenary hall until its inglorious closing.

Since television has carried the images, the 
world has seen the fascist methods used against 
the people in Copenhagen. The protesters, most of 
them young people, have won the solidarity of the peoples.

Despite the maneuvers and deception of the 
leaders of the empire, their moment of truth is 
drawing closer. Their own allies are losing 
confidence in them. In Mexico, the same as in 
Copenhagen or elsewhere in the world, they will 
be met by the growing resistance of the peoples 
that have not renounced the hope to survive.

Fidel Castro Ruz
December 17, 2009
6:46 p.m.








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