Friday, November 19, 2010

Reflections of Former Cuban President Fidel Castro: A Colossal Madhouse at the G20 and Other Issues

Havana. November 15, 2010

Reflections of Fidel

A colossal madhouse

THAT is what the G20 meeting that began yesterday in Seoul, capital of the Republic of Korea, has turned into.

"What is the G20?" many readers, inundated with initials, will ask. Yet another monster of the powerful empire and its richest allies, which created the G7: the United States, Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Canada. Later on they decided to admit Russia into the club, which was then called the G8.

Subsequently they deigned to admit five important emerging countries: China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa. Then the group increased with the admission of various OECD countries – more initials, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development – Australia, the Republic of Korea and Turkey. Saudi Arabia, Argentina and Indonesia were added to the group, taking it to 19. The twentieth member of the G-20 was none other than the European Union. One country, Spain, has boasted the unique denomination of "permanent guest" since 2010.

Another important high-level meeting is taking place almost simultaneously in Japan, that of the APEC. If our patient readers add to the previous group the following countries: Malaysia, Brunei, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, Chinese Taipei, Papua new Guinea, Chile, Peru and Vietnam, all with important trade exchanges and all of them bathed by the waters of the Pacific, they have what is called the APEC: the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, the complete jigsaw. They would only need the map; a laptop could perfectly well provide one.

At such international events fundamental aspects of the economy and finances of the world are discussed. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, with decisive power in financial affairs, have their master: the United States.

It is important to recall that, at the end of World War II, the industry and agriculture of the United States were intact; those of Western Europe were totally destroyed apart from exceptions like Switzerland and Sweden; the USSR was materially razed and with enormous human losses in excess of 25 million people; Japan was conquered, ruined and occupied. Approximately 80% of the world’s gold reserves had moved to the United States.

From June 1 to July 22, 1944, in an isolated but spacious and comfortable hotel in Bretton Woods, a small location in the state of New Hampshire, northeast United States, the Monetary and Financial Conference of the recently-created United Nations Organization took place.

The United States had the exceptional privilege of converting its paper money into an international currency, convertible into gold at the fixed rate of $35 per Troy ounce. As the overwhelming majority of countries deposit their currency reserves in United States’ banks, something equivalent to a considerable loan to the richest country in the world, its convertibility at least established a ceiling to the unlimited printing of paper money. And it at least signified a guarantee for the value of the countries’ reserves deposited in its banks.

On the basis of that enormous privilege and insofar as the printing of bills had the limit of their convertibility into gold, the powerful country increased its control over the riches of the planet.

The military adventures of the United States in alliance with the former colonial powers, particularly the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Belgium, Holland and the recently-created Western Germany, led them into military wars and adventures that placed the monetary system born in Bretton Woods in crisis.

In the era of the genocidal war on Vietnam, a country in which the United States was at the point of using nuclear weapons, the U.S. president took the shameful unilateral decision of suspending the convertibility of the dollar. From that moment the emission of paper money had had no limits. He abused that privilege in such a way that the Troy ounce gold value passed from $35 to figures already in excess of $1,400; in other words, no less than 40 times the value that it maintained for 27 years, until 1971, when Richard Nixon adopted that disastrous decision.

The worst of the current economic crisis currently hitting U.S. society is that the anti-crisis measures of other moments in the history of the imperialist United States capitalist system have not succeeded in restoring its normal march. Submerged in a state debt that is approaching $14 trillion; in other words, as large as the GDP of the United States, the fiscal deficit remains; the enormous outlay to save the banks and the reduction to almost zero of interest rates have barely been able to reduce the unemployment level to under 10%, nor the number of families whose homes are being repossessed. The gigantic budgets channeled into defense – which exceed those of the rest of the world put together – are growing, and graver still: those directed toward war.

The president of the United States, elected barely two years ago by one of the traditional parties, has suffered the greatest defeat recalled in the last three quarters of a century. Frustration and racism are mixed together in that reaction. The U.S. economist and writer William K. Black coined it with a memorable sentence: "The best way to rob a bank is to own one." The most reactionary sectors of the United States are sharpening their claws, making their own an idea that would be the antithesis of that of the Bolsheviks in October 1917: "All power to the extreme right of the United States."

It would seem that the government of the United States, with its traditional anti-crisis measures, has had recourse to another desperate decision: prior to the G20 meeting the Federal Reserve announced that it was to buy $60 billon U.S. dollars.

On Wednesday, November 10, one of the most important U.S. news agencies announced: "President Barack Obama has arrived in South Korea to take part in meetings with the 20 principal economic powers of the world.

"Tensions over monetary policies and commercial interests have been notable prior to the G-20 Summit. The atmosphere remained heated due to a U.S. decision to pump $600 billion in cash into its sluggish economy. The maneuver has infuriated leaders around the world.

"However, Obama has defended the measure taken by the Federal Reserve."

The same agency communicated to world opinion on November 11:

"A strong sense of pessimism shrouded the start of an economic summit of rich and emerging economies on Thursday, with President Barack Obama and fellow world leaders arriving in Seoul sharply divided over currency and trade policies. "Founded in 1999 and elevated to summit level two years ago, the Group of 20 (G20, a forum that covers developed countries like the United States and Germany, as well as emerging giants like China and Brazil) has become the centerpiece of government efforts to reactivate the global economy and avert another world financial collapse…"

"Failure in Seoul could have severe consequences. The risk is that countries would try to keep their currencies artificially low to give their exporters a competitive edge in global markets. That could lead to a destructive trade war.

"Countries might throw up barriers to imports — a repeat of policies that worsened the Great Depression."

"But agreement appeared elusive as the summit began, divided between those such as United States that want to get China to allow its currency rise in the face of other currencies, in order to reduce the enormous trade surplus of the Asian giant with Washington by pushing up Chinese exports and cutting U.S. imports.

"Other countries are irate over U.S. Federal Reserve plans to pump $600 billion of new money into the sluggish American economy, effectively devaluing the dollar. They see that move as a reckless and selfish scheme to flood markets with dollars, driving down the value of the U.S. currency and giving American exporters an advantage."

"The G20 countries [...] are finding no common ground on the most vexing problem: how to address a global economy that's long been nourished by huge U.S. trade deficits with China, Germany and Japan."

"Brazil's president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, warned that such policies would "bankrupt" the world.

"If the rich countries are not consuming and want to grow its economy on exports, the world goes bankrupt because there would be no one to buy," he told reporters. "Everybody would like to sell..."

"The summit began with a certain pessimism for Obama and the South Korean president, Lee Myung-bak, whose ministers were not able to reach agreement on a free trade treaty, bogged down for some time and for which there were hopes that it could be solved this week."

"The G20 leaders met on Thursday night in Seoul’s National Museum of Korea for the dinner marking the official start of the summit."

"Outside, a few thousand protesters rallied against the G-20 and the South Korean government."

Today, Thursday 12, the summit concluded with a statement of 20 points and 32 paragraphs.

As one would suppose the world is not constituted of the total of 32 countries which make up the G-20 or the APEC on its own. The 187 which voted in favor of eliminating the blockade of Cuba, as opposed to the two that voted to maintain it and the three that abstained, add up to 192. For 160 of them there is no tribunal whatsoever where they can voice one word about the imperial plunder of their resources and their urgent economic necessities. In Seoul, the United Nations Organization does not even exist. That distinguished institution will not even say a single word?

During these same last few days really dramatic news arrived concerning Haiti – where, in a matter of minutes, an earthquake killed approximately 250,000 people in January of this year – via the European news agencies:

"Haitian authorities are warning of the rapidity with which the cholera epidemic is extending through the city of Gonaives, in the north of the island. The mayor of this coastal locality, Pierreleus Saint-Justin, confirms that he personally buried 31 persons on Tuesday, and expected to inter a further 15 corpses.

"‘Others could be dying as we speak,’ he has declared. [...] Since November 5, 70 corpses have been buried in the urban nucleus of Gonaives alone, but ‘there are more people who died in rural areas’ close to the city."

"…the situation ‘is becoming catastrophic’ in Gonaives [...] flooding caused by Hurricane Tomas could make the situation worse."

"On Wednesday, the health authorities in Haiti raised the total of victims throughout the country due to the disease to 643 up until November 8. The number infected with cholera in the same period is 9,971. Radio stations are noting that figures to be announced on Friday could talk of more than 700 dead." "…the government is now confirming that the disease is seriously affecting the population of Port-au-Prince and threatening the suburbs of the capital, where more than one million people are still living in tent cities in the wake of the January 12 earthquake."

Today, the news agencies were talking of 796 dead and 12,303 people affected.

More than three million inhabitants are threatened, many of them living in tents and in the ruins left by the earthquake, without drinking water.

The principal U.S. news agency informed yesterday:

"The first portion of U.S. reconstruction money for Haiti is on its way more than seven months after it was promised to help the country rebuild from the Jan. 12 earthquake.

"… will transfer $120 million - about one-tenth of the total amount pledged - to the World Bank-run Haiti Reconstruction Fund in the next few days, U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said."

"Having completed the process as outlined in the appropriation, we are now moving aggressively to commit that money to Haiti's reconstruction," Crowley said.

"A State Department aide said money destined for the fund would go toward rubble removal, housing, a partial credit guarantee fund, support for an Inter-American Development Bank education reform plan and budget support for the Haitian government."

On the epidemic of cholera, a disease that has already affected many South American countries over the years, and could extend throughout the Caribbean and other parts of our hemisphere, not one word is being said.

Fidel Castro Ruz
November 12, 2010
8:49 p.m.

Translated by Granma International

Havana. November 15, 2010

Reflections of Fidel

The G20, the APEC and the last rites of credibility

(Taken from CubaDebate)

ACCORDING to the practice of the Catholic Church, when a sick person’s health is very grave, after confession come the last rites. That is what has happened with the credibility of the United States in the almost simultaneous meetings of the G20 and the APEC. On the basis of that, one does not know what is coming. Maybe they will proceed to give it a Christian burial or incinerate the remains of the absurd illusion that it is possible to maintain a system which is incompatible with the life of humanity, whose members today, November 14, 2010, according to rigorous international calculations, have ascended to 6.884 billion (6,884,000,307,685) inhabitants. The number of people inhabiting the planet is growing at the rate of 77 million-plus per year.

When I was examining the list of the APEC member countries, I noted that it was headed by the United States and Japan, two of the richest nations in the world; they were followed by Canada, Australia, Singapore and South Korea, considerably industrialized; it includes Russia, a powerful state with significant natural, scientific and technical resources; to these are added a group of the most important emerging countries, such as China, Indonesia and other South East Asian nations bathed by the waters of the Pacific, thus amounting to the 21 countries who met in Japan on the 13th and 14th, almost simultaneously with the G20, nine of which had been at the meeting in Seoul to discuss the most important problems. All of the countries of both forums are capitalist, with the exception of China and Vietnam, two nations whose revolutionary transformation the United States tried to prevent by fire and sword.

One very poor state that has nothing in common with the rest of the 20 appears on the APEC members’ list: Papua New Guinea. I looked for details of that country, located in the extreme north of the Australian continent. In 1942, [U.S. Army General] MacArthur went to stay in its current capital, Port Moresby, well away from the Japanese, after they had invaded and occupied the principal U.S. base of its colony in the Philippines, installed in Luzon, a few miles from Manila.

What is known of the country included at No. 17 on the APEC list? That its first inhabitants arrived there 45 or 50,000 years ago from the southeast of Asia, in the Pleistocene ice age; they were hunters and gatherers. A second wave of immigrants arrived more than 40,000 years later, in approximately 3,500 BC, and were the bearers of a more advanced culture, who practiced horticulture and fishing, knew about navigation, and dominated clay pottery in the same era in which the latter was being developed in Babylon.

The Europeans arrived in Polynesia, both from the east and the west; 5,000 years later, the Spanish, Portuguese, British and Dutch implemented their colonization based on firepower and iron swords, they conquered the territories, their resources and enslaved their inhabitants.

While admitting that they contributed the knowledge and advances of societies with greater cultural development than certain human communities which inhabited isolated territories bathed and separated by the waters of the Pacific, nevertheless, civilizations existed in a large part of Asia and the Middle East which were far above those of the Europe of those times. The conquistadores imposed themselves by the force of their arms in territories such as China, India and the Middle East, which were the cradle of millenary civilizations, when Europe was a territory disputed by barbaric tribes.

The colonial powers deigned to grant independence to Papua New Guinea in September of 1975.

According to the census of the year 2000, the population of Papua New Guinea ascended to 5,190,800 inhabitants and its territorial extension is 462,840 square kilometers.

Despite its vast natural resources: oil, copper and gold, which constitute 80% of its exports, Papua New Guinea has the lowest life expectancy rate at birth in the world. Its abundant fishing wealth is exploited by foreign companies, and is seriously affected by the climate changes of the marine currents of the Pacific. From 1995 to 1997 the production of coffee, cacao, tea, sugar and coconut considerably diminished due to the effects of droughts.

It is the country with the largest number of languages, amounting to 820, equivalent to 12% of the 7,536 which, according to specialists, exist in the world. Many villages have their own language.

The Democratic Republic of East Timor, with its dramatic and heroic history, is not far from there. It was conquered by the Portuguese in 1512, together with Guinea Bissau, the Cape Verde islands and Sao Tomé and Príncipe, Angola and Mozambique, Portuguese colonies which for centuries shared the same fate, but no other colony had such a wretched destiny.

When the Carnation Revolution of 1974 put paid to the Salazar dictatorship in Portugal, a member of NATO and a close ally of the United States, the Revolutionary Front of Timor Leste proclaimed independence on November 29, 1975. But it was only able to enjoy it for nine days. On December 7 of that same year, the bloody dictatorship of Suharto – who, in complicity with the CIA, had defeated the constitutional government of Sukarno in Indonesia, murdering hundreds and thousands of communists and progressives – with the prior agreement of the United States, sent an expedition with forces of the Indonesian army to invade East Timor. After 27 years of heroic struggle, the people of that country, under the leadership of the FRETILIN, once again installed a constitutional government in Timor.

I do not need to explain the close historical links that exist between our country and the former Portuguese colonies; our battles against the troops of apartheid – which the Reagan government supplied with strategic nuclear weapons – grant our country the moral authority to express an opinion on the APEC decisions, when the government of the United States imposes measures that are a blow to the interests of all countries, including the rest of the members of that institution.

It has attempted to impose on China the revaluation of its yuan (renmimbi, the Chinese currency) without taking into account that since China initiated its administrative policy of the yuan in July 2005, it has gradually revalued, from the 8.28 yuans acquired for one dollar; now less than 6.70 can be acquired.

According to an article in the Financial Times on October 6 this year, the Chinese prime minister stated during a visit to Brussels that the appreciation of the yuan was already taking place, but that China refused to give guarantees as to the speed with which this process would be carried out, and firmly advised:

"Do not work to pressurise us on the renminbi rate." He said that precipitate action on this issue could wipe out Chinese export companies, creating severe consequences for its economy, and concluded: "If China saw social and economic turbulence, then it would be a disaster for the world."

It is very evident that all of the Third World countries which have in China a secure market for their exports – directed at meeting the needs of a population which, in the last census of 2008 ascended to 1,324,000, 655,000 inhabitants, almost one billion more than the population of the United States, and an economy which is growing at an average rate of no less than 10% per year – would obtain fewer products from their exports to that country and, in their turn, all their exports to the rest of the world, paid for in dollars, would obtain a paper money worth steadily less.

Eighty percent of U.S. exports are services: those of the so-called leisure industry and many others, which do not meet the basic needs of our peoples, made urgent by the needs of development and vital services for society.

In an article published on the Internet entitled "The West Perfecting Its Techniques to Hurt China", among other interesting aspects, Andre Vltchek states:

"Tactics that were at work – to first discredit and then destroy all Communist and Socialist, progressive and nationalist states, governments and movements including Soviet Union, Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea, Chile, Tanzania, and recently Venezuela – are considered useful until this day. Now they are more refined, (more people and technology are involved) and much more effective than anytime in the past. After all, the task that Western global dictatorship defined for itself is tremendous: China – the most populated nation on earth.

The fact that China is historically peaceful, non-confrontational and very successful makes the task much more difficult. On top of it, China violates human rights much lesser than all Western allies in Asia Pacific including Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand and definitely much lesser than the West itself. After all, the West is presently (indirectly) involved in massacres in Congo/DRC (at least 5 million have died there), in destabilizing the entire Horn of Africa and parts of Latin America and in aggressive wars in Iraq, Afghanistan to name just a few lethal adventures.

"People see concretely what China is doing", explains Mwandawiro Mghanga, former Kenyan MP, member of Defense and Foreign Relations Committees, poet and prisoner of conscience under brutal pro-Western regime of former dictator Moi. "If you travel throughout the country, you’ll see Chinese constructing and building roads, stadiums and housing projects which are very good. They are also very closely involved with people in spite of all propaganda being spread by the West. The reality of what China is doing is being seen and appreciated by our citizens. But there is great pressure on Kenyan government not to cooperate with China. In fact, there is great hostility towards Kenya – the West is punishing this country for having relatively close ties with PRC."

The annual APEC summit began yesterday in Yokohama.

Micro-forums are at work within APEC, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), a free trade agreement limited to Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, and Singapore, in which the United States, Australia, Peru, Malaysia and Vietnam would like to be included. All in all, anything that serves to sell something: market, market, market.

Obama, like one of the gift-bearing kings, was strolling around handing out seats on the United Nations Security Council, like a man managing his own property. According to European news agencies "…this Saturday, he indicated that Japan is the kind of country that should occupy a permanent seat at the UN Security Council…", whereas previously, in the parliamentary chamber in New Delhi, he had said that his government "would support the possible entry of India onto the United Nations Security Council." Pakistan, of course, complained bitterly over this yanki promise. What he didn’t say was whether that seat would come with or without the right to veto, as if this anti-democratic privilege was an eternal one.

Likewise, we are unaware whether he also made such a generous offer to Lula, despite the fact that more than 500 million Latin Americans and almost one billion Africans do not have permanent representation on this Council. How much longer does he think that he can continue to manipulate this world in this way? But, perhaps I am mistaken and I am underestimating Obama when, in his euphoria, he decides to offer all the aspirants the support of the United States.

Of course, the G-20 and APEC meetings may both have happy endings, just like the Hollywood Westerns when we were schoolchildren. The Blah, blah, blah won the Oscar "Vision of Yokohoma," as the Japanese Prime Minister described it in the Final Statement of the APEC Summit.

Nevertheless, according to information circulated by a more serious U.S. news agency, Chinese President Hu Jintao stated: "‘The recovery is not solid, and imbalances are causing great uncertainty’ […] The employment situation in developed countries is grim, and emerging markets face inflationary pressures and asset price bubbles."

Another European agency which is usually objective stated: "Chinese President Hu Jintao said that his country would not yield to external pressure to change policy."

Following the meeting, Obama ended his Asian tour with "a visit to the statue of the Great Buddha of Kamadura – made of bronze – measuring 13 meters in height and weighing 93 tons, constructed in 1252 and portraying the Amida Buddha, seated in the lotus position with his hands in the position of meditation."

For his part, General David Richards – chief of the British Armed Forces – has said that Al-Qaeda – thus he erroneously describes the Afghan resistance, those actually responsible for the fight against NATO, and who have nothing to do with the forces created by the CIA in the battle against Soviet troops – cannot be defeated and that the United Kingdom must be prepared to face the threat of attacks by Islamists for the next 30 years at least.

"In an interview with British newspaper The Sunday Telegraph, General Richards stated that his country should focus on containing the threat to its own citizens, a task – he said – that could be fulfilled in place of trying to defeat Islamic militants.

"‘In conventional war, defeat and victory is very clear cut and is symbolized by troops marching into another (enemy) nation's capital,’ stated the British chief of staff.

"‘First of all you have to ask: "do we need to defeat it (Islamist militancy)?" in the sense of a clear cut victory, and I would argue that it is unnecessary and would never be achieved,’ he added.

"It is a bold statement and he quickly adds: ‘But can we contain it to the point that our lives and our children's lives are led securely? I think we can.’"

"According to Richards, the real weapons in the war against Al-Qaeda are education and democracy."

"He also said that the British army and government were guilty of not understanding everything that was at stake in Afghanistan and admitted that the Afghan people are beginning to tire of NATO’s failure to deliver on many of its promises."

"According to BBC journalist Frank Gardner, General Richards’ comments reflect a ‘new realism’ in anti-terrorist circles in the United Kingdom and the United States.

Gardner confirms that if Richards had said what he said five years ago, his comments would have been considered scandalous and defeatist."

Obama has more than enough reasons for visiting the Great Buddha of Kamakura now that the fascist right is rapidly gaining ground in a Europe of reformist currents – including that of Sweden – and in the yanki consumer society, too many people are ignorant of almost everything and believe that social justice, public healthcare, education, solidarity and peace are things that belong to communists. Einstein, who wanted the anti-fascist United States of Franklin D. Roosevelt to take possession of the atomic bomb before it could be developed by Nazi Germany, could never have imagined that an extreme fascist right-wing would take control of the U.S. government.

Fidel Castro Ruz

November 14, 2010
7:58 p.m.

Translated by Granma International

Havana. October 28, 2010


The empire and the human race’s right to life

How fantastic! I exclaimed when I read the last line of the revelations of the well-known journalist Seymour Hersh, published by Democracy Now and named as one of the 25 most censored stories in the United States.

The material is entitled "War Crimes of General Stanley McChrystal" and was included in Project Censored, produced by a university in California and which includes the most essential paragraphs of those revelations.

"General Stanley McChrystal was appointed by President Barack Obama in May 2009 as commander in charge of the war in Afghanistan. He had been formerly in charge of the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) headed by former Vice President Dick Cheney. Most of what General McChrystal has done over a thirty-three-year career remains classified [in other words, secret], including service between 2003 and 2008 as commander of the JSOC, a special black operations commando unit of the Navy Seals and Delta Force so clandestine that the Pentagon for years refused to acknowledge its existence and Delta Force [soldiers kept secret from the army and used for special operations. The unit is formerly known as 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta (1st SFOD-D) while the Pentagon calls it the Combat Applications Group].

"Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Seymour Hersh claims that the Bush administration ran an executive assassination ring that reported directly to former Vice President Dick Cheney, and that Congress had no oversight of it whatsoever. The JSOC team would go into countries, without talking to the ambassador or to the CIA station chief, find people on a to-be-killed list, execute them, and leave. There was an ongoing list of targeted people, cleared by Vice President Cheney’s office […] Hersh asserts that there have been assassinations in a dozen countries in the Middle East and Latin America. ‘There’s an executive order, signed by President Ford, in the ’70s, forbidding such action. It’s not only contrary—it’s illegal, it’s immoral, it’s counterproductive,’ he added.

"JSOC was also involved in war crimes, including the torture of prisoners in secret "ghost" detention sites. Camp Nama in Iraq was one such "ghost" facility hidden from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and accused of some of the worst acts of torture."

"McChrystal, then a Major General, was officially based at Fort Bragg in North Carolina, but he was a frequent visitor to Camp Nama and other bases in Iraq and Afghanistan under his command."

Then comes a point of special interest when facts such as these come into conflict with officials who, in fulfilling their functions, were forced to perform actions that put them in open violation of the law and implied committing serious crimes.

"An interrogator at Camp Nama described locking prisoners in shipping containers for twenty-four hours at a time in extreme heat, exposing them to extreme cold with periodic soaking in cold water, bombardment with bright lights and loud music, sleep deprivation, and severe beatings."

Immediately we are dealing with flagrant violations of international principles and agreements signed by the United States. Cuban readers will recall the story told in the two pieces where I wrote about our relations with the International Red Cross, to whom we returned a great number of prisoners from the enemy army that had fallen into our hands during our defence of the Sierra Maestra and the later strategic counter-offensive against the Cuban army, with soldiers trained and supplied by the U.S. Never was any prisoner mistreated and none of the wounded was ever denied immediate care. That very same institution, headquartered in Switzerland, could testify to those facts.

"Under international law, the International Red Cross is the organization responsible for supervising the fulfilment of the Geneva Conventions and therefore has a right to examine all installations where prisoners are kept in any country that is at war or under military occupation."

"In describing why no other press had covered the story, Hersh stated, ‘My colleagues at the press corps often don’t follow up, not because they don’t want to but because they don’t know who to call. If I’m writing something on the Joint Special Operations Command, which is an ostensibly classified unit, how do they find it out? The government will tell them everything I write is wrong or that they can’t comment. It’s easy for those stories to be dismissed. I do think the relationship with JSOC is changing under Obama. It’s more under control now.’

"…the decision by Obama’s administration to appoint General McChrystal as the new commander in charge of the war in Afghanistan, as well as the continuation of the military commission for the detainees held in the Guantánamo Bay prison, are unfortunately examples of the Obama administration continuing to walk in Bush’s footsteps."

"Rock Creek Free Press reported in their June 2010 issue that Seymour Hersh, speaking at the Global Investigative Journalism conference in Geneva in April 2010, had criticized President Barack Obama and alleged that US forces are engaged in ‘battlefield executions.’ ‘Those we capture in Afghanistan are being executed on the battlefield,’ Hersh claimed."

At this point, the narrative comes into contact with a highly current reality: the continuity of a policy by the president who succeeded the delirious W. Bush, inventor of the war unleashed to seize the world’s most important gas and oil resources in a region inhabited by more than 2.5 billion people, in virtue of acts committed against the people of the United States by an organization of men recruited and armed by the CIA to fight in Afghanistan against Soviet soldiers and who continue to enjoy the backing of the closest U.S. allies.

The complex and unpredictable region whose resources are being disputed extends from Iraq and the Middle East to the remote limits of the Chinese region of Xinjiang, passing through Iraq, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Iran, and the former Soviet republics of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, capable of supplying gas and oil to the growing economy of the People’s Republic of China and industrialized Europe. The population of Afghanistan, as well as one part of Pakistan, a country with 170 million inhabitants and which possesses nuclear weapons, are the victim of yanki drone aircraft attacks which are massacring the civilian population.

The 25 news items most censored by the corporate media, selected by Sonoma State University, California – as it has been doing for 34 years – include one corresponding to the 2009-2010 period, "The War Crimes of General Stanley McChrystal;" and another two are related to our island: "Media Ignores Cuban medical aid in Haitian earthquake" and "Prisoners Still Brutalized at Gitmo." A fourth state: "Obama Reduces Social Spending and Boosts Military Spending."

Our Minister of Foreign Affairs, Bruno Rodríguez, was the politician responsible for the Cuban Medical Mission sent to Pakistan when a destructive earthquake forcefully struck the rugged landscape of that country’s northeastern region, where extensive areas inhabited by the same ethnic group, with the same culture and traditions, were arbitrarily divided by British colonialism into countries that later fell under the yanki aegis.

In his speech of yesterday, October 26th, at the UN headquarters, he demonstrated how excellently well-informed he is of the international situation of our complex world.

Given its significance, his brilliant speech and the Resolution approved by that institution require a Reflection that I am proposing to write.

Fidel Castro Ruz
October 27, 2010
9:16 p.m.

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