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Posted on on January 1st, 2010
by Pincas Jawetz (

This amazing article was penned by Fidel Castro himself, then later we watched how Presidents Morales of Bolivia and Chavez of Venezuela spoke in the Copenhagen plenary similar words to these, in the name of the ALBA group of Latin and Caribbean States, on that very important Friday-the eighteenth.

Today, when finally writing about this, I also wonder if besides Simon Bolivar and Jose Marti, Chavez is not ready to accept also Abraham Lincoln as a third member of a historic triumvirate intended to set the Western Hemisphere apart from global machinations, provided President Obama does indeed stretch out a friendly hand to Cuba? I believe that this is within the realm of possibilities, and perhaps the easiest way for the US to free itself of the tyranny of oil and the influence of the oil lobby of Washington. I believe that our times start looking more and more like the pre-WWII days. The Abraham Lincoln Brigade that went to Spain had among its people some of the best the US had to offer. They were not stupid and recognized the Stalinist stealth-riders, as well as the fascist opponents, and remained true to democracy ideals that brought them there. Climate change provides the world the same opportunity as fighting for democracy did in those years. If Obama is ready to rein in the US extremists when it comes to economic relations with the countries of the Southern part of the Western Hemisphere, new line-ups are possible based on new agreed common goals of helping in the sustainable development of these countries, rather then continuing to regard them only as source of raw materials. Had the US done so earlier the world might have been a friendlier place to America – at least in that part that fell into the geopolitical Western Hemisphere Monrovian design.

Clearly, Castro and Chavez will criticize the US when being held at bay by the stick of US corporations, but when approached as partners for change they might actually be ready for political compromise. The reality is that even though they do not apply democracy to their States, the did eradicate analphabetism, hunger, and established health care systems, ahead of the US. Venezuela can help fund such positive activities thanks to its income from oil, but they seem ready to help fund also other positive activities if offered a place at the American table. The way they show pride in their baseball culture that derived from the US via Cuba, shows to me that I am not dreaming about pie in the sky.


Reflections of Fidel: The ALBA and Copenhagen.

The festivities associated with the 7th ALBA Summit, held in the historic Bolivian region of Cochabamba, showed the rich culture of the Latin American peoples and the joy elicited in children, young people and adults in general by the singing, the dancing, the costumes and rich expressions of the human beings of all ethnic groups, colors and shades: aborigine, black, white and mixed people. We could see there thousands of years of human history and precious culture that explain the determination with which the leaders of various Caribbean, Central and South American peoples convened that summit.

The meeting was a great success. Bolivia was the venue. I recently wrote on the excellent prospects of that country, an heir to the Aymara-Quechua culture. A small group of peoples from that area are bent on proving that a better world is possible. The ALBA – created by the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Cuba, inspired by Bolivar’s and Marti’s ideas, as an unprecedented example of revolutionary solidarity- has showed how much could be done in barely five years of peaceful cooperation. This started shortly after Hugo Chavez’s political and democratic victory. Imperialism underestimated him, and deliberately tried to oust him and remove him. The fact that for a good part of the 20th century Venezuela had been the world’s largest oil-producer, practically owned by the Yankee transnationals, made the chosen path particularly rough to pursue.

The powerful adversary had neoliberalism and the FTAA [Free Trade Area of the Americas]; two instruments of domination always used after the Cuban Revolution to crush resistance in the hemisphere.

It is irritating to think of the shameless and disrespectful way in which the US administration imposed the government of millionaire Pedro Carmona and tried to have elected President Hugo Chavez removed, at a time when the USSR had disappeared and the People’s Republic of China was a few years away from becoming the economic and commercial power it is today, after two decades of over 10 percent growth. The Venezuelan people, like that of Cuba, resisted the brutal thrust. The Sandinistas recovered, and the struggle for sovereignty, independence and socialism gained ground in Bolivia and Ecuador. Honduras, which had joined the ALBA, was the target of a brutal coup d’etat inspired by the Yankee ambassador and propelled from the US military base in Palmerola.

Today, there are four Latin American countries that have completely eradicated illiteracy: Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua. A fifth country, Ecuador, is quickly advancing towards that goal. The comprehensive healthcare programs are underway in the five countries at an unprecedented pace in the Third World. The programs of economic development with social justice have become projects of these five states, which already enjoy great prestige in the world for their brave position in the face of the empire’s economic, military and media power. Three English speaking Caribbean countries of black ancestry, determined to fight for their development, have also joined the ALBA.

This alone would be a great political merit if in today’s world that were the only big problem of man’s history.

The economic and political system that in a short historical period has led to the existence of more than one billion hungry people, and many more hundreds of millions whose lives are hardly longer than half the average of those in the wealthy and privileged countries, was until now the main problem for mankind. But, a new and extremely serious problem was strongly discussed at the ALBA Summit: climate change. A danger of such magnitude had never been known in human history.

As Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales and Daniel Ortega waved the people goodbye in the streets of Cochabamba yesterday, Sunday, that same day, according to news spread by BBC World, Gordon Brown was chairing in London a session of the Major Economies Forum mostly made up by the highest developed capitalist countries, the main culprits for the carbon dioxide emissions, that is, the gas causing the greenhouse effect.

The significance of Brown’s remarks is that they have not been made by a representative of ALBA or one of the 150 emerging or underdeveloped countries on the planet but of Great Britain, the country where industrial development started and one of those which have released most carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. The British Prime Minister warned that if an agreement is not reached at the UN Summit in Copenhagen, the consequences will be ‘devastating.’

Some of the ‘catastrophic’ consequences would be floods, droughts and lethal heat waves claimed the environmental group Nature World Fund referring to Brown’s assertion. “The climate change will be out of control within the next five to ten years if the CO2 emissions are not drastically cut down. There will not be a plan B if Copenhagen fails.”

The same news source claims that: “BBC specialist James Landale has explained that not everything is happening as expected.”

Newsweek reported that “it seems more unlikely every day that the states will commit to something in Copenhagen.”

According to reports from the major American press outlet, the chairman of the session, Gordon Brown, said that “if no agreement is reached, there is no doubt that the damage of the uncontrolled emissions will not be repaired with a future agreement.” He then went on to mention such conflicts as “unchecked migration and 1.8 billion people afflicted by water shortage.”

Actually, as the Cuban delegation claimed in Bangkok, the United States led the highest industrialized countries most opposed to the necessary reduction of emissions.

At the Cochabamba meeting, a new ALBA Summit was convened. The timetable will be: December 6, elections in Bolivia; December 13, ALBA summit in Havana; December 16, participation in the UN Copenhagen Summit. The small group of ALBA nations will be there. The issue is no longer “Homeland or Death”; it is truly and without exaggeration a matter of “Life or Death” for the human race.

The capitalist system is not only oppressing and plundering our countries; the wealthiest industrial nations wish to impose to the rest of the world the bulk of the burden in the struggle on climate change. Who are they trying to fool with that? In Copenhagen, the ALBA and the Third World countries will be struggling for the survival of the species.

Fidel Castro Ruz
October 19, 2009
6:05 PM

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