The Good Lord Protected Me From Bush...
"The Good Lord Protected Me From Bush," said President Fidel Castro referring to recent statements by the US statesman, who predicted that "one day, the Good Lord will take Fidel Castro away."
Fidel Castro: The Good Lord Protected Me From Bush...
Havana, Jun 29 (Prensa Latina) "The Good Lord Protected Me From Bush," said President Fidel Castro referring to recent statements by the US statesman, who predicted that "one day, the Good Lord will take Fidel Castro away."
In his article published by "Granma" newspaper, the Cuban R evolution leader recalls that "this wasn't said in a pious church. Our man spoke at the Naval Academy in Newport."
"He was answering," stated Fidel Castro, "a question, clearly well thought out, about the situation in Latin America, made by a Colombian graduate of the Academy. What a coincidence!"
Due to its importance, Prensa Latina integrally reproduces below reflections by the Cuban president:
The Good Lord Protected Me From Bush
An unusual news item appeared a few minutes ago, coming from EFE and REUTERS. I am going by the Spanish version: "One day, the Good Lord will take Fidel Castro away."
This wasn't said in a pious church. Our man spoke at the Naval Academy in Newport, just as he had done at West Point, where he uttered the famous phrase about what dozens of dark corners of the world could expect. He was answering a question, clearly well thought out, about the situation in Latin America, made by a Colombian graduate of the Academy. What a coincidence!
Immediately, as if he were anxious to say something about Cuba and at the same time complaining with the Good Lord, he added: "There is only one non democratic country in our neighborhood and that's Cuba. I strongly believe that the people of Cuba ought to live in a free society. It's in our interest that Cuba become free and it's in the interest of the Cuban people that they don't live under an antiquated form of government that has just been repressive.
Earlier he had promised: "We shall continue pressing hard for freedom in Cuba."
Then, as bold as you like, the spokesman of the White House National Security Council, Gordon Johndroe, when asked whether Bush was hoping for Castro's death, replied: "The President was speaking about an inevitable event." It would appear that the brilliant official and his boss are going to live for thousands of years.
Now I understand why I've survived the plans laid by Bush and the presidents who ordered my assassination: the Good Lord has protected me.
Fidel Castro Ruz
June 28, 2007
EU must rectify errors...
It is the European Union that must rectify errors committed against Cuba
• Statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on
conclusions reached by the European Union's External Relations Council regarding Cuba
The European Union's Council of Foreign Ministers adopted several decisions on June 18 regarding Cuba.
A document published by the European Union (EU) titled "Conclusions on Cuba" contains a proposal for "comprehensive and open political dialogue with the Cuban authorities on all topics of mutual interest," which the Cuban Foreign Minister has noted, considering it a much-needed rectification.
However, the abovementioned document does not refer to the so-called sanctions that the EU attempted to impose on Cuba, unjustly and rashly, in 2003 and which for two years, out of arrogance, it maintains as "suspended" only.
With Cuba, the only dialogue possible is one between sovereign and equal parties, without any conditions or pending threats. If the EU wants a dialogue with Cuba, it must completely eliminate those sanctions, which have been inapplicable and unsustainable.
The "Conclusions" also do not mention the so-called "Common Position" reached hastily by the financial ministers of the EU in 1996, under pressure by Aznar and based on a draft written in the U.S. State Department.
After so many errors and failures, the only obvious conclusion the EU should reach is that its so-called "Common Position" should disappear, because there neither was nor is any reason whatsoever for its existence, and because it is an obstacle to normal, mutually respectful relations of common interest with our country.
It should be acknowledged that a group of influential European nations has made efforts to change this ridiculous situation. Others, like the Czech Republic, have devoted themselves to being U.S. peons on the European map.
In addition, the "Council Conclusions" meddle, in a slanderous way, in strictly internal Cuban affairs; they issue judgments and announce interventionist and hypocritical actions that Cuba considers to be offensive and unacceptable and rejects energetically.
We do not recognize any moral authority whatsoever on the part of the European Union to judge or advise Cuba.
If, in alluding to President Fidel Castro's temporary delegation of duties to comrade Raúl Castro and calling it "a new situation," they are expressing the illusion that contradictions or differences exist between the Revolution's leaders or that Cuba's revolutionaries are divided, they are wrong again. The Revolution is more solid and more united than ever.
Our country has risked its very existence; it has waged heroic resistance and has fought tirelessly for more than a century to defend its independence. Cuba is an independent and sovereign country, and the European Union is mistaken if it thinks that it can treat Cuba in any way other than as an equal.
The European Union has shown persistent and humiliating subordination to the United States, rendering it incapable of holding positions based on European interests and making it an accomplice — though it says otherwise — to the criminal and inhumane blockade imposed by that country on the Cuban people, something about which the "Conclusions" does not dare to say a single word. In a statement from the summit it held in April with the United States, the European Union bowed down, questioning Cuba and accepting a motion that gave legitimacy to the "Bush Plan." Its secret meetings with messengers from the empire are well-known, including with the illegitimate administrator appointed for Cuba by the United States, and its officials are often present in anti-Cuban events in Miami or held in Europe but budgeted in Washington.
The European Union is shamefully hypocritical when it unjustly addresses Cuba but remains silent about the torture carried out by the United States on its illegal naval base in Guantánamo, which usurps Cuban territory, and Abu Ghraib, which is even used against European citizens. It remains silent, with impunity, about the kidnappings of individuals by the U.S. special services in third countries, and it has provided its territory for collaborating with secret CIA flights and for sheltering illegal prisons. It has not said anything either about the dozens of people who have disappeared under those circumstances, nor about the hundreds of thousands of civilians murdered in Iraq.
It is the European Union that must rectify errors committed against Cuba. Every step in the right direction will be appropriately welcomed. But there is no hurry: we have all the time in the world.
Havana, June 22, 2007
An honorable response
Events follow each other at an incredible pace. Sometimes, several occur simultaneously. Their inherent significance and usefulness as examples is what I wish to, or, better, feel compelled to comment on. I am not referring, today, to what occurred in Geneva, which is considered a well-deserved revolutionary victory for Third World nations. Rather, I shall refer to Cuba's response to the European Council on Foreign Relations, published last Friday, June 22, on Gramna's front page.
The statement was a response worthy of our Revolution and its high political leadership. One by one, all points calling for an immediate response from Cuba were addressed and clarified. Allow me to enumerate and go over them again:
"A dialogue between sovereign and equal partners, devoid of any conditions or impending threats, is the only possible dialogue with Cuba. If the European Union wishes to engage in any form of dialogue with Cuba, it must definitively eliminate those sanctions, which have since proved impracticable and unsustainable".
"The 'Conclusions' also failed to mention the so-called 'Common Position', hastily agreed upon by EU Ministers of Finance in 1996 under pressures from Aznar and on the basis of a draft drawn up by the US State Department".
"After so many mistakes and failures, the only obvious conclusion that the European Union should fittingly draw is that the so-called 'Common Position' must disappear, since there were and there are no reasons whatsoever for its existence and because it hinders any normal, mutually respectful relationship of common interest with our country".
"A group of influential European nations have tried to change this ludicrous situation. Others, such as the Czech Republic, have confirmed to be American pawns on the European map. The 'Conclusions of the Council' slanderously meddle in matters that are of Cuba's strict concern, pass judgment and announce intrusive and hypocritical actions that Cuba regards as offensive and unacceptable and strongly repudiates".
"Cuba is an independent and sovereign country and the European Union is wrong if it believes it can treat it as anything other than an equal".
"The European Union has shown persistent and humiliating subordination to the United States, of a kind that renders it incapable of holding positions based on European interests and turns it into an accomplice, despite all talk to the contrary, to the criminal and inhuman blockade that the US imposes on the Cuban people, and about which the 'Conclusions' did not even dare say a single word".
"In the European Union Summit with the United States last April, it stooped to questioning Cuba and accepted a reference that acknowledges the legitimacy of the "Bush Plan." Known are its collusion with the Empire's envoys and even with the spurious inspector for Cuba appointed by the United States".
"The European Union is shamelessly hypocritical when it unjustly points its finger at Cuba while it remains silent about acts of US-coordinated torture at the illegal Guantánamo Naval Base, which encroaches upon Cuban territory, and at Abu Ghraib, where these are even administered to European citizens".
"It impudently remains silent about kidnappings by US Special Forces in third countries and has offered its territory to cooperate with the CIA's secret flights and to harbor illegal prisons. Nor has it said anything about the hundreds of persons who have disappeared as a result of these actions or about the hundreds of thousands of civilians murdered in Iraq".
"It is the European Union which must rectify the mistakes it has made with respect to Cuba".
At the risk of turning this into an extensive reflection, I wish to add a number of facts. The European Union has been led by Washington to a mighty cul-de-sac. The Cold War ended with the triumph of the real consumerism of developed capitalism, and the frantic impulse to consume that had been awakened in broad sectors of the populations of the socialist block and Soviet Union. They had lost the battle of ideas. The Russian people, the main moving force behind the October Revolution, were violently deprived of important commitments which encompassed agreements and guarantees for its security and sovereignty: Europe was stripped of over 400 SS-20 missiles, as NATO described them. These mobile missiles, fitted with three nuclear warheads each, were pointed to every corner in Europe where US military bases and NATO forces were located. In its triumphalist intoxication, the aggressive military alliance had taken under its wing many former socialist republics of Europe, a number of which, seeking economic benefits, have made the rest of Europe a hostage of their foreign policy, which unconditionally serves the strategic interests of the United States.
All European Union members have the right to veto a decision. This system is politically dysfunctional and curtails, in practice, the sovereignty of all members. The European Union is today in worse shape than the former socialist block ever was. The vain Tony Blair, manufacturer of sophisticated submarines and a friend of Bush, is already being announced as a potential future candidate to chair the European Union. The cables bring the news today that he was appointed special envoy for the Middle East, where he so amply contributed to that disastrous war unleashed by the United States.
In the energy sector, we see European governments beg for oil in the few regions in the world where the empire has not forcibly appropriated this resource, in much the same way it purchases, with worthless bills, any European company it pleases.
The euro, however, is a stable currency, much more than the dollar, which is constantly being devalued. Even though the dollar is defended by the holders of US bonds and bills, the empire faces the risk of an economic disaster of dramatic repercussions.
Europe, on the other hand, would be one of the areas most severely affected by global warming. Its well-known and modern port facilities would end up underwater.
Today, it desperately proposes free trade agreements with Latin America which are worse than Washington's, in search of raw materials and bio-diesel. We are beginning to hear criticisms about this. But Europe's money is not in the hands of the Community, it belongs to transnational corporations which may relocate to countries where labor is cheap in search of profits.
Cuba's proud and honorable response has underscored the essentials.
Though every good strategy includes a good tactic, neither of the two are sound if arrogance and smugness are tolerated.
Europeans themselves will one day come to understand the absurd situation they were led to by imperialism and will realize that a Caribbean country pointed out some necessary truths for them. The wild horse of consumerism cannot continue to gallop madly ahead, for such a race is unsustainable.
The last European Union meeting held to address the future community treaty was further proof of the demoralization of Europe. Last Sunday, June 24, the AFP reported that Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi expressed his "bitterness" over the Brussels summit, where he accused European Union leaders of staging the spectacle of an emotionless Europe, in an interview for La Repubblica newspaper.
"'As a European, allow me to be embittered for the spectacle I find myself in front of', Prodi, ex-chairman of the European Commission, said.
"'The doggedness of some governments to negate every emotional aspect of Europe has hurt me', he added, referring to Poland, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Great Britain.
"'And then these are the same governments that rebuke Europe for being far from citizens', he affirmed.
"'But how can you involve citizens without involving their emotions? How can you give them pride to be European if the symbols of its pride [such as the flag and hymn] are negated?' he asked".
"Prodi lambasted [Tony Blair] for 'conducting a battle' against the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights".
"He criticized Polish President Lech Kaczynski, who said he could not share his stances because Italy and Poland were 'very different nations'".
"Prodi concluded by saying that 'never before had Eurosceptics expressed themselves so explicitly and programmatically' as in the last Summit".
At the last G-8 meeting, Bush had sent Europeans a chilly message.
At this decisive point in time, the number of enemies one has, which will be fewer and fewer with time, is of no importance. What is important is "the stars we carry on our foreheads."
Fidel Castro Ruz
June 27, 2007
Human Rights Council discontinues mandate against Cuba
• Statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
AT the end of its 5th Session in Geneva, the Human Rights Council decided to discontinue the mandate of the so-called personal representative of the High Commissioner for Human Rights in relation to Cuba, thus putting an end to the U.S. government's manipulation of the human rights issue against our country.
This decision of the body that replaced the discredited Human Rights Commission constitutes a historic victory in our people's struggle to seek justice and put an end to the anti-Cuban operation conceived of by the United States precisely as a pretext for maintaining and exacerbating its genocidal policy of blockade and aggression of Cuba.
With this decision, the Human Rights Council has acknowledged the unjust, selective and discriminatory nature of the actions perpetrated against our country over decades, and given its vigorous denial to the resolutions and mechanisms that the U.S. government managed to impose in the now-expired Human Rights Commission (HRC) by using coercion, threats and heavy pressure.
The backing of members of the Non-Aligned Movement and other Third World countries has been essential in achieving this result. Even the European Union countries, constant allies of the United States in its actions against Cuba within the framework of the former HRC, had no other option than to accept the discontinuation of the discredited mandate against Cuba as the only way of trying to give credibility to the Council, which has just completed its first year of existence.
This result constitutes an act of essential justice for the valiant and generous Cuban people, whose sons and daughters contributed to the disappearance of colonialism and apartheid in Africa, and who now, in a modest and selfless way, are devoting themselves to the fulfillment of the human rights of millions of people in 100-plus countries who receiving the solidarity of more than 42,000 Cuban doctors, nurses, teachers, sports trainers, engineers and technicians. It is an act of justice for the people who are currently educating, free of charge, more than 30,000 young students from 118 countries and have restored the sight of close to 700,000 persons from 31 countries.
It constitutes an acknowledgement of the prestige and work of Cuba and its Revolution, whose undeniable labors in promoting and protecting all human rights for everybody, and in creating a society that is constantly more just, more egalitarian and more humane, cannot be ignored or distorted.
It is a merited acknowledgement of Cuba's defense of Third World interests, its condemnation of and resistance to U.S. pretensions of imperial domination, of the Cuba that, on its own merit, was elected a founding member of the Human Rights Council by 135 votes of more than two thirds of the UN General Assembly membership, despite pressure from the government of the United States and the European Union, both of which worked actively against the Cuban candidacy.
The result of the recently-concluded institutional construction process of the Council, despite the shortcomings and deficiencies that it continues to have, is favorable to the countries of the Third World, organized and united by the Non-Aligned Movement under the presidency of Cuba. The Movement played an active role and succeeded in placing items of particular importance for the nations of the South on the Council's agenda, including the "situation of human rights in Palestine and the occupied Arab territories," "the right to development," and "racial discrimination and xenophobia."
It now remains to be seen whether the industrialized countries that used the former HRC as an instrument for trying to impose their concepts and political vision are really disposed to work on the basis of the principles of universality, impartiality, objectivity, non-selectiveness, constructive dialogue and cooperation, avoiding double standards and the politicization that led to the discredit of the expired Human Rights Commission, which became a inquisition tribunal for the countries of the South.
In its quality as president of the Non-Aligned Movement, Cuba has played an important role in this process, and will continue battling in defense of the truth, our sovereignty and the interests of the countries of the Third World.
Havana, June 19, 2007.
"Year 49 of the Revolution."
Translated by Granma International
http://www.granma.cubaweb.cu/secciones/reflexiones/esp-007.html (Complete serie of Fidel's reflections)
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