Thursday, April 16, 2009

Reflections of Comrade Fidel Castro: Does the OAS Have a Right to Exist?; No Rest for the World

Reflections of Fidel

Does the OAS have a right to exist?

(Taken from CubaDebate)

TODAY I spoke frankly of the atrocities committed against the peoples of Latin America. Those of the Caribbean were not even independent when the Cuban Revolution triumphed. April 19, when the Americas Summit ends, is precisely the 48th anniversary of the Cuba’s victory at the Bay of Pigs. I was careful with the OAS; I did not say one single word that could be interpreted as an offense to the venerable institution, although everyone knows how much repugnance it produces in us.

A fairly hostile dispatch from the British Reuters news agency affirms that: "Cuba needs to make clear that it is committed to democracy if it wants to return to the Organization of American States as demanded by a growing chorus of Latin American governments,’ OAS chief Jose Miguel Insulza said in an interview in the Brazilian O’Globo daily.

"U.S. President Barack Obama is reviewing Washington's decades-old policy of isolating communist Cuba ahead of a Summit of the Americas meeting this weekend, where Latin American leaders are expected to press for an end to the longstanding U.S. embargo on the island.

"Some countries are also expected to push for Cuba to be readmitted to the OAS, from which it was expelled in 1962 at the height of the Cold War.

"… Insulza cautioned that the OAS's democracy clause remained an obstacle to the push to readmit Cuba, a one-party state…

"We need to know if Cuba is interested in returning to multilateral organizations or if it is thinking only about the end of the embargo and economic growth," Insulza said.

"This is a summit of countries with good will but good will alone is not enough to cause change."

"’All 34 leaders at the Summit, from which Cuba is barred, are from democratic countries,’ said Insulza, a former Chilean foreign minister.

"’The general assembly of the OAS decided that all member countries must adhere to democratic principles,’ he said when asked about Cuba.

"But Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, one of Washington's fiercest critics, has already said he would seek to put Cuba at the center of the summit debates.

Insulza informed O’Globo that Cuba’s return to the organization does not only depend on the Americas Summit, but on the OAS General Assembly.

The OAS has a history that contains all the garbage of 60 years of betrayal of the peoples of Latin America.

Insulza is stating that, in order to enter the OAS, Cuba first has to be accepted by the institution. He knows that we do not even wish to hear the infamous name of that institution. It has not provided one single service to our peoples; it is the embodiment of betrayal. If all the aggressive actions in which it was complicit were added up, they would amount to hundreds of thousands of deaths and accumulate dozens of bloody years. Its meeting will be a battleground that will put many governments in an embarrassing situation. Let it not be said, however, that Cuba threw the first stone. Moreover, the supposition that we are desirous of entry into the OAS is offensive to us. The train passed by a while back and Insulza has been informed of that yet. Someday, many countries will be asking forgiveness for having belonged to it.

Evo spoke at midday today. He has not as yet given his last word on his attendance at the ALBA meeting and that of the Americas Summit. He gained a clear and decisive victory.

However, he did accept the reduction to seven of the number of [parliamentary] seats assigned to the indigenous peoples, from the 14 that he had proposed. The adversary will no doubt try to exploit that point in its intrigues against the Movement Toward Socialism, banking on wearing it down.

The MAS will have to fight hard to ensure the biometric electoral register and an alternative if the oligarchy manages to draw out the manufacture of the new register. His hunger strike was a brave and daring decision and the Bolivian people gained much in awareness.

Now the center of attention is focused on the Americas Summit. It will be a privilege to know what is said there; it will be a test of intelligence and shame. We shall not be going down on our knees to the OAS in order to enter the infamy.

Fidel Castro Ruz
April 14, 2009
4:43 p.m.
Translated by Granma International

Reflections of Fidel

No rest for the world

(Taken from CubaDebate)

ANYONE might think that after the Americas Summit, coming just 13 days after the G-20 one and after President Obama’s exhausting tour of France, Germany, Prague and Turkey, the world would have the right to rest for a few days.

But that is not the case. Timothy Geithner, U.S. Treasury Secretary, is to meet in Washington on April 24 with the ministers of finance of the G-7, the super-rich, to be immediately followed by a ministerial meeting of the G-20 on that same day.

The two meetings will take place before the Spring assemblies of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, governors of the world’s finances.

The interesting thing is that yesterday the Financial Times of London, the most important British newspaper in economic matters, detailed Europe’s complications in the field of energy.

The EFE news agency, quoting the abovementioned organ, noted the following: "The remaining lifespan of the UK’s North Sea oil and gas production risks being halved as the economic crisis has prompted a plunge in exploration in one of the western world’s most important deposits…

"The number of exploration wells being drilled in the North Sea has collapsed by 78 per cent in the first quarter of 2009 compared with the same period last year, according to the most recent industry data from Deloitte…

"In total, only 18 exploration and appraisal wells were drilled in the UK during the first quarter, marking a 41 per cent drop in total drilling activity compared with the same period last year.

"UK Oil and Gas, the industry group, is even more pessimistic, forecasting that total drilling could drop 66% this year.

"The North Sea’s situation is significantly worse than elsewhere because new discoveries tend to be smaller and rarer and old fields are becoming less productive but more expensive to maintain."

During the London Summit on April 4, presided over by Gordon Brown as host of the event, according to totally creditable sources, the British prime minister conducted himself in a visibly disparaging manner with participants from the Third World. He related to Obama himself in a prejudiced way, given the latter’s condition as an African American.

How much oil is going to be consumed in the world, at what cost and at what price? Who are the ones responsible for the tragedy? What limits will be imposed in Copenhagen on the developing countries? It is a really complicated problem.

The world is not resting. Neither is Obama.

Fidel Castro Ruz
April 14, 2009
7:02 p.m.
Translated by Granma International

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