Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Restless and Brutal North: Reflections of Fidel Castro

Havana. April 25 2011


The restless and brutal North

Taken from CubaDebate

I was reading a large amount of material and books to keep my promise and continue my Reflection of April 14th about the Bay of Pigs when I took a look at yesterday’s latest news items, which were abundant, as they are everyday. Mountains can pile up every week, ranging from the earthquake in Japan, Ollanta Humala victory in Peru over Keiko, daughter of former president Alberto Fujimori.

Peru is an important exporter of silver, copper, zinc, tin and other minerals and has extensive deposits of uranium which powerful transnationals hope to exploit. The most terrible weapons known to humanity are made with enriched uranium, as is the fuel used in nuclear power plants which, despite the warnings of environmentalists, are being built at an ever increasing rate in the United States, Europe and Japan.

It would not be fair, of course, to blame Peru for this. Peruvians did not create colonialism, capitalism or imperialism. Nor can the people of the United States be blamed, also victims of the system which has engendered there the most confounding policies known on the planet.

This past April 8, the masters of the universe produced their usual report on ‘human rights’ violations, provoking an astute analysis on the Rebelión web site, by the Cuban Manuel E. Yepe, based on the Chinese Council of State’s response, citing facts which demonstrate the disastrous condition of human rights in the United States.

"… The United States is the nation which most seriously violates human rights, both within the country itself and around the world and is one of the nations doing the least to guarantee the life, property and personal security of its residents.

"Every year, one of every five people is the victim of crime, the highest rate on the planet. According to official figures, those older than 12 years of age, suffer 4.3 million violent attacks.

"Crime increased alarmingly in four cities within the country (Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles and New York) and significant increases over the previous year’s rate where recorded in two other cities (Saint Louis and Detroit).

"The Supreme Court has ruled that the possession of guns for self-defense is a constitutional right which cannot be abridged by state governments. 90 million of the country’s 300 have 200 million firearms.

"There were 12,000 murders committed with firearms, while 47% of robberies committed involved the use of guns.

"Under the protection of the ‘terrorist activities’ section of the Patriot Act, torture and extreme violence are common practice in extracting confessions from the accused. 266 persons, 16 on death row, serving unjust sentences in the U.S. were absolved of any crime with the use of DNA testing.

"Washington advocates for Internet freedom in order to make use of the network as an important tool of diplomatic pressure and hegemony, but places strict restrictions on cyberspace within its own territory and is trying to establish a legal framework to attack the challenge represented by Wikileaks.

"With a high rate of unemployment, the proportion of U.S. citizens living in poverty has reached a record level. One of every eight citizens resorted to the use of food stamps last year.

"The number of families seeking refuge in homeless shelters increased by 7% and remained in such facilities longer. Violent crime against homeless families continues to increase.

"Racial discrimination permeates every aspect of social life. Minority groups face discrimination in the workplace, are humiliated and are not considered for promotions, benefits or hiring. One third of Blacks suffered workplace discrimination, although only 16% dared to submit a complaint.

The unemployment rate among whites is 16.2 %, among Latinos and Asians it is 22 %, and among Blacks, 33 %. Afro-Americans and Latinos represent 41% of the prison population and the proportion of Afro-Americans serving life sentences is 11 times that of whites.

"90% of women have faced gender discrimination of some kind within the workplace. 20 million women are victims of rape; almost 60,000 female prisoners have suffered sexual aggression or violence. A fifth of young women who are university students have faced sexual aggression and 60% of the rapes on campuses occur within dormitories.

"Nine of every ten homosexual, bisexual and transsexual students have faced harassment at school.

"The report devotes a chapter to the violations of human rights perpetuated by the United States beyond its borders. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, led by the U.S. have caused an exorbitant number of civilian deaths within these countries.

"U.S. anti-terrorist efforts have been plagued by serious scandals around abuse of prisoners, indefinite detentions without trial or charges, in centers like that in Guantánamo and other places around the world, created to interrogate ‘high level prisoners’ applying the worse torture techniques.

"The Chinese document also recalls that the U.S. has violated the right of the Cuban population to life and development, ignoring world opinion expressed by the United Nations General Assembly which, for 19 consecutive years, has reaffirmed ‘the need to end the economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba.’

"The U.S. has not ratified international human rights conventions such as the International Covenant of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women; the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities or the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

"The facts which support the document presented by the Chinese government substantiate the sinister history of the U.S. in this area and disqualify it as the ‘judge’ of human rights around the world. Its human rights diplomacy is pure hypocrisy and double standards in the service of its strategic imperial interests. The Chinese government advises the U.S. government to take concrete steps to improve its own human rights situation, examine and correct its activities in this area and desist in its continuous hegemonic activity manipulating the human rights issue in order to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries."

The significance of this analysis, in our opinion, is that such a denunciation is made in a document presented by the Chinese state, a country of 1,342 million citizens, which holds two trillion U.S. dollars in reserve, and without whose trade the empire would sink. I thought it important that our people be aware of the precise facts contained in the Chinese Council of State document.

If Cuba had said this, it wouldn’t bear the same significance; we’ve been denouncing these hypocrites for 50 years.

Martí said more than 116 years ago, in 1895: "… the policy which we must thwart, which we are thwarting with our blood, is the annexation of the peoples of Our America by the restless and brutal North which disparages us…"

"I lived within the monster and I know its entrails."

Fidel Castro Ruz
April 23, 2011
7: 32 p.m.

Translated by Granma International

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