Reflections by Comrade Fidel
THE REAL INTENTIONS OF THE “PARTNERSHIP OF EQUALS”
Yesterday was a long day. I was paying attention to the ups and downs of Obama in Chile since noon, as I had done the day before with his adventures in the city of Rio de Janeiro. That city, in a brilliant challenge, had defeated Chicago in its aspirations to be the home of the 2016 Olympic Games when the new president of the United States and Nobel Peace Prize laureate was looking like a rival of Martin Luther King.
Nobody knew when he would arrive to Santiago de Chile and what a president of the United States would do there when one of his predecessors had committed the painful crime of promoting the overthrow and physical death of their heroic president, horrible tortures and the murders of thousands of Chileans.
I for one was trying to follow the news that was coming in about the tragedy in Japan and the brutal war unleashed against Libya while the illustrious visitor was proclaiming the “Partnership of Equals” in the region of the world where wealth is distributed in the worst way.
Among so many things, I lost track a bit and saw nothing of the lavish banquet for hundreds of people being served the delicacies nature offered from the sea. The banquet had been served in a Tokyo restaurant , the city where one can pay up to 300,000 dollars for a fresh blue-fin tuna, they had collected up to 10 million dollars.
That was too much work for a young man of my age. I wrote a brief Reflection and then went to bed for a long sleep.
This morning I was refreshed. My friend wouldn’t be arriving to El Salvador until after mid-day. I requested the cable dispatches, Internet articles and other recently arrived material.
I saw in the first place that, because of my reflections, the cables had given importance to what I had said about my position as First Party Secretary and I shall explain as briefly as possible. Concentrating on Barack Obama’s “Partnership of Equals” , a matter of so much historical importance – I say that seriously – I didn’t even remember that next month the Party Congress would be taking place.
My position on the subject was basically logical. Once I understood the seriousness of my state of health, I did what I thought, in my opinion, wasn’t necessary when I had that painful accident in Santa Clara; after the fall, treatment was tough, but my life was not in danger.
On the other hand, when I wrote the Proclamation on the 31st of July it was clear to me that the state of my health was extremely critical.
I immediately set aside all my public duties, adding to the proclamation some instructions to provide security and tranquility for the population.
It wasn’t necessary to specifically step down from each one of my duties.
For me, my most important duty was that of First Party Secretary. Because of ideology and on principle, in a revolutionary stage, that political position carries the highest authority. The other position I held was that of President of the Council of State and Government, elected by the National Assembly. Both posts had replacements, and not by virtue of some family connection, something I have never considered to be the source of right, but due to experience and merit.
The rank of Commander in Chief had been granted me by the struggle itself, a matter of chance more than because of any personal merit. The Revolution itself, in a subsequent stage, correctly designated headship of all armed institutions to the president, a function that in my opinion, ought to fall to the First Party Secretary. I consider that that’s how a country such as Cuba should be, having had to face an obstacle as considerable as the empire created by the United States.
Almost 14 years went by since the previous Party Congress; it coincided with the disappearance of the USSR, the socialist bloc, the Special Period and my own illness.
When gradually and partially my health was recovered, the idea didn’t even cross my mind about the need to proceed formally in order to expressly resign from any position. At that time, I accepted the honour of being elected as Deputy to the National Assembly, something that did not demand my physical presence and with which I might share my ideas.
Since I have more time than ever now to observe, to inform myself and to lay out certain points of view, I shall modestly fulfil my duty to fight for the ideas I have defended throughout my modest life.
I beg readers to forgive the time I have spent in this explanation that above-mentioned circumstances have forced me to undertake.
The most important matter, which I cannot forget, is that rare partnership between millionaires and starving people as proposed by the illustrious President of the United States.
Those who are well-informed, those who know for example, the history of this hemisphere, its battles, or even the history of the Cuban people defending their Revolution against the empire that, as Obama himself acknowledges, “now lasted for longer than I’ve been alive”, will surely be amazed by his proposal.
It is well-known that the current president is a good wordsmith, circumstances that, together with the economical crisis, growing unemployment, losses of homes, and deaths of American soldiers in the stupid wars of Bush, helped him to obtain his victory.
After observing him well, I wouldn’t be surprised that he was the author of the ridiculous name with which the massacre in Libya was baptized – “Odyssey Dawn” – that unsettled the dust of the mortal remains of Homer and those who contributed to the forging of the legend in the famous Greek poems, even though I admit, perhaps, the name was created by the military chiefs who are managing the thousands of nuclear weapons with which a mere command from the Nobel Peace Prize laureate can determine the end of our species.
His speech to whites, blacks, native peoples, mestizos and non-mestizos, religious or non-religious peoples of the Americas delivered in the Palacio de la Moneda Cultural Centre was distributed in a true copy by United States embassies everywhere, and it was translated and spread by Chile TV, CNN, and other broadcasting stations in other languages as I would imagine.
It was in the style of the speech he gave in the first year of his term in Cairo, the capital of his friend and ally Hosni Mubarak, whose tens of billions of dollars taken from the people were supposedly known to a president of the United States.
“…Chile shows that we need not be divided by race […] or ethnic conflict”, he assures us, and thus the American problem was erased from the map.
He obsessively insists almost immediately that “…our marvelous surroundings today, just steps from where Chile lost its democracy decades ago, …” Everything other than saying coup d’état, the murder of the honourable General Schneider, or the glorious name of Salvador Allende, as if the government of the United States had absolutely nothing to do with it.
The great poet Pablo Neruda, whose death was prompted by the treacherous coup, was quoted more than once, in this case to affirm our beautifully poetic “guiding stars” which are “struggle” and “hope”. Has Obama forgotten that Neruda was a Communist, a friend of the Cuban Revolution, a great admirer of Simon Bolivar who is reborn every hundred years, and inspiration for the Heroic Guerrilla Ernesto Guevara?
I was admiring Barack Obama’s profound knowledge of history almost from the very beginning of his message. Some irresponsible advisor forgot to explain to him that Neruda was a member of the Chilean Communist Party. After a few other insignificant paragraphs, he recognizes that “Now, I know I’m not the first president from the United States to pledge a new spirit of partnership with our Latin American neighbors. Words are easy, and I know that there have been times where perhaps the United States took this region for granted.”
“…Latin America is not the old stereotype of a region - in perpetual conflict or trapped in endless cycles of poverty.”
“In Colombia, great sacrifices by citizens and security forces have restored a level of security not seen in decades.” Over there, there was never any drug trafficking, paramilitary or secret cemeteries.
In his speech, the working class does not exist, nor do landless peasants, or the illiterate, or infant and maternal mortality, people becoming blind, or victims of parasites such as Chaga or bacterial diseases such as cholera.
“From Guadalajara to Santiago to Sao Paolo, a new MIDDLE CLASS is demanding more of themselves and more of their governments”, he states.
“When a coup in Honduras threatened democratic progress, the nations of the hemisphere unanimously invoked the Inter-American Democratic Charter, helping to lay the foundation for the return to the rule of law.”
The real reason for Obama’s marvellous speech is explained in inarguable fashion in the middle of his message and in his own words: “Latin America is only going to become more important to the United States, especially to our economy […] We buy more of your products, more of your goods than any other country, and we invest more in this region than any other country. […] we export more than three times as much to Latin America as we do to China. Our exports to this region -- which are growing faster than our exports to the rest of the world -- …”. One can perhaps assume from this that “when Latin America is more prosperous, the United States is more prosperous.”
Further on, he dedicates insipid words to real facts:
“But if we’re honest, we’ll also admit that […] progress in the Americas has not come fast enough. Not for the millions who endure the injustice of extreme poverty. Not for the children in shantytowns and the favelas who just want the same chance as everybody else.”
“…political and economic power that is too often concentrated in the hands of the few, instead of serving the many”, he said verbatim.
“...we are not the first generation to face these challenges. Fifty years ago this month, President John F. Kennedy proposed an ambitious Alliance for Progress.”
“President Kennedy’s challenge endures – ‘to build a hemisphere where all people can hope for a sustainable, suitable standard of living, and all can live out their lives in dignity and in freedom.”
It is incredible that he now comes up with such an awkward story, an insult to human intelligence.
He has nothing left other than to mention, among the great calamities, a problem that originates in the colossal US market of lethal weapons: “Criminal gangs and narco-traffickers are not only a threat to the security of our citizens. They’re a threat to development, because they scare away investment that economies need to prosper. And they are a direct threat to democracy, because they fuel the corruption that rots institutions from within.”
Further on he reluctantly adds: “But we’ll never break the grip of the cartels and the gangs unless we also address the social and economic forces that fuel criminality. We need to reach at-risk youth before they turn to drugs and crime.”
“...as President I’ve made it clear that the United States shares and accepts our share of responsibility for drug violence. After all, the demand for drugs, including in the United States, drives this crisis. And that’s why we’ve developed a new drug control strategy that focused on reducing the demand for drugs through education and prevention and treatment.”
What he doesn’t say is that in Honduras 76 per every 100,000 inhabitants are dying as a result of violence, 19 times higher than in Cuba where practically, despite proximity to the United States, that problem hardly exists.
After a bunch of similar bits of foolishness, about weapons headed for Mexico that are being seized, a Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Inter-American Development bank, with which he says they are increasing the Microfinance Growth Fund for the Americas and promises to create new “Pathways to Prosperity” and other highfalutin terms that he pronounces in English and Spanish, he returns to his outlandish promises of hemispheric unity and he tries to impress his audience with the dangers of climatic changes.
Obama adds: “And if anybody doubts the urgency of climate change, they look -- they should look no further than the Americas -- from the stronger storms in the Caribbean, to glacier melt in the Andes, to the loss of forests and farmland across the region.” Without the guts to acknowledge that his country is the one most responsible for that tragedy.
He explains that he is proud to announce that “…the United States will work with partners in this region, including the private sector, to increase the number of U.S. students studying in Latin America to 100,000, and the number of Latin America students studying in the United States to 100,000.” We already know how much it costs to study medicine or any other profession in that country, and the shameless brain drain being practiced in the United States.
All his empty words ends with praise for the OAS that Roa described as the Ministry of Yankee Colonies when our Homeland unforgettably made an accusation in the United Nations, informing that the government of the United States had attacked our territory on April 15th of 1961 with B-26s painted with Cuban flags; a shameless event that in 23 days will be 50 years old.
Thus he believed that everything was completely ready to proclaim the right to subvert law and order in our country.
He openly confesses that they are “allowing Americans to send remittances that bring some economic hope for people across Cuba, as well as more independence from Cuban authorities.”
“…we’ll continue to seek ways to increase the independence of the Cuban people, who I believe are entitled to the same freedom and liberty as everyone else in this hemisphere.”
Later he recognizes that the blockade is damaging Cuba, depriving the economy of resources. Why does he not recognize the intentions of Eisenhower, and the declared United States aim when he applied it was bringing the Cuban people to their knees by hunger?
Why is it still in place? How many billions of dollars does the compensation the US must pay our country come to? Why are they keeping the 5 Cuban anti-terrorist heroes imprisoned? Why aren’t they applying the Adjustment Law to all Latin Americans instead of allowing thousands of them to die or get injured on the border imposed on that country after having stolen more than half of its territory?
I ask the President of the United States to pardon my frankness.
I harbour no hard feelings against him or his people.
I fulfill the duty of laying out all that I think about his “Partnership of Equals”.
The United States will get nothing from creating and stimulating the mercenary profession. I can assure him that the best and most well-educated young people in our country, graduates from the University of Informatics Sciences, know much more about the Internet and computer science than the Nobel laureate and President of the United States.
Fidel Castro Ruz
March 22, 2011