Yesterday was a long day. From midday I paid attention to Obama’s vicissitudes in Chile, as I had done the day before with his adventures in the city of Rio de Janeiro. In a brilliant challenge, that city defeated Chicago in its aspiration to host the 2016 Olympics, when the new President of the United States and Nobel Peace laureate seemed to be an emulator of Martin Luther King.
Nobody knew when he was arriving in Santiago de Chile and what a President of the United States would do there, where one of his predecessors had committed the painful crime of promoting the defeat and physical death of its heroic President, horrific acts of torture and the murder of thousands of Chileans.
For my part, I also tried to follow the news coming in about the tragedy of Japan and the brutal war unleashed on Libya, while the illustrious visitor proclaimed the “Alliance of Equals” in the region which has the worst distribution of wealth in the world.
Among so many things, I neglected myself a bit and saw nothing of the sumptuous banquet for hundreds of people with the exquisite food that nature bequeathed to the sea and which, had it taken place in a restaurant in Tokyo, a city where up to $300,000 is paid for a fresh blue tuna fin, would have cost up to $10 million.
It was too much work for a young man of my age. I wrote a brief Reflection and then slept for a long time.
This morning, I was refreshed. My friend would not be arriving in El Salvador until after midday. I asked for cable reports, Internet articles and other recently released material.
In the first place, I saw that, through my own fault, the news cables had given importance to what I said in relation to the post of first secretary of the Party, and I will explain that as briefly as possible. I was concentrating so hard on Barack Obama’s “Alliance of Equals,” a matter of so much historic significance – I am talking seriously – that I didn’t even recall that the Party Congress takes place next month.
My attitude in relation to the subject was basically logical. Understanding the gravity of my heath, I did what in my judgment was unnecessary when I had that painful accident in Santa Clara; after the fall the treatment was hard but my life was not in danger.
On the other hand, when I wrote the July 31 proclamation it was obvious to me that my state of health was extremely critical.
I immediately gave up all my public functions, adding to that certain instructions in order to offer the population security and tranquility.
In concrete terms, resigning from all of my posts was not necessary.
For me, the most important function was that of first secretary of the Party. In terms of ideology and as a matter of principle, that political responsibility carries the most authority during a revolutionary period. The other responsibility I held was that of president of the Council of State and Government, elected by the National Assembly. There was a replacement for both positions, and not by virtue of family ties, which I have never considered a source by right, but by experience and merit.
The rank of Comandante en Jefe was bestowed upon me by the struggle itself, a matter of chance rather than personal merit. The Revolution itself, in a later stage, correctly assigned the leadership of all the armed institutions to the President, a role which, in my opinion, should be fulfilled by the first secretary of the Party. I understand that that is how it has to be in a country which, like Cuba, has had to confront an obstacle as considerable as the empire created by the United States.
Almost 14 years have passed since the previous Party Congress, which coincided with the disappearance of the USSR and the Socialist Camp, the Special Period and my own illness.
When I progressively and partially recovered my health, the idea or need to proceed to the formality of expressly resigning from any post never even crossed my mind. During that period I accepted the honor of being elected as a deputy to the National Assembly, which did not require my physical presence and which allowed me to share ideas.
As I now have more time than ever to observe, inform myself and express certain points of view, I shall modestly fulfill my duty of fighting for the ideas that I have defended throughout my modest life.
I ask readers to excuse me for the time invested in this explanation, which the abovementioned circumstances obliged me to undertake.
The most important issue, I have not forgotten, is the unprecedented alliance between millionaires and the hungry proposed by the illustrious President of the United States.
The well-informed – for example, those who know the history of this hemisphere, its struggles, or even solely that of the people of Cuba defending the Revolution against the empire which, as Obama himself realizes, has lasted longer than “his own existence” – will surely be astounded by his proposal.
It is known that the current President is good weaver of words, a circumstance which, compounded by the economic crisis, growing unemployment, loss of homes, and the death of U.S. soldiers in Bush’s stupid wars, helped him to obtain his victory.
After observing him closely, it would not surprise me if he was the author of the ridiculous title baptizing the slaughter in Libya: “Dawn Odyssey,” which must have stirred the dust of Homer’s remains and of those who contributed to forging the legend in the famous Greek poems, although I admit that the title may have been a creation of the military chiefs who manage the thousands of nuclear weapons with which a simple order from the Nobel Peace laureate could determine the end of our species.
Faithful copies of his speech in the Moneda Palace Cultural Center to the white, black, native Indian, mixed race and non-mixed race peoples, believers and non-believers of the Americas were distributed everywhere by U.S. embassies, and translated and broadcast by Chile TV, CNN, and I imagine by other networks in other languages.
It was in the same style as the one he made in the first year of his mandate, in Cairo, the capital of his friend and ally Hosni Mubarak, whose tens of billions of dollars stolen from the people is a fact presumably known to a President of the United States.
“…Chile shows that we need not be divided by race or religion or ethnic conflict,” he assured, thus erasing the American problem from the map.
Almost immediately he emphasized, “…our marvelous surroundings today, just steps from where Chile lost its democracy decades ago…”
All of this without mentioning the coup d’état, the assassination of the honorable General Schneider, or the glorious name of Salvador Allende, as if the U.S. government had absolutely nothing to do with those acts.
The great poet Pablo Neruda, whose death was accelerated by the treacherous coup, was referred to more than once, in this case to affirm in a beautifully poetic way, that our original “guiding stars” are “struggle and hope.” Is Obama unaware of the fact that Pablo Neruda was a communist, a friend of the Cuban Revolution, a great admirer of Simón Bolívar, who is reborn every century, and who inspired the heroic guerrilla Ernesto Guevara?
I was amazed, practically from the beginning of his message, by Barack Obama’s profound historical knowledge. An irresponsible advisor forgot to explain that Neruda was a member of the Communist Party of Chile. After a few insignificant paragraphs he admits, “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. […] 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.” There were never drug traffickers, paramilitary forces or secret burial grounds there.
In his speech, the working class does not exist, nor do landless campesinos, illiteracy, maternal and infant mortality, persons losing their sight or victims of parasites like Chaga or bacterial diseases like cholera.
“From Guadalajara to Santiago to Sao Paolo, a new middle class is demanding more of themselves and more of their governments,” he says.
“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 marvelous speech is indisputably explained halfway through 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 […] are growing faster than our exports to the rest of the world.” Perhaps from this it can be deduced, “When Latin America is more prosperous, the United States is more prosperous.”
Later on, he dedicates a few insipid words to reality.
“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 says literally.
“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 should arrive now with this contemptible story which constitutes an insult to human intelligence.
He has no choice but to mention, among the many calamities, a problem which has its origins in the colossal U.S. market and that country’s homicidal 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.”
Later 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.”
He says that, in Honduras, 76 out of every 100,000 inhabitants die as a result of violence, 19 times the rate in Cuba, where, despite its proximity to the United States, the problem is practically non-existent.
After more foolishness along these lines, about weapons confiscated en route to Mexico, a Trans-Pacific Partnership, the Inter-American Development Bank, with which he says efforts are being made to increase the Microfinance Growth Fund for the Americas and promises the creation of new Pathways to Prosperity and other pretentious terms which he pronounces in English and Spanish, he returns to his preposterous promises of hemispheric unity and tries to impress listeners with the dangers of climate change.
Obama adds, “If anybody doubts the urgency of climate change, 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.” He doesn’t have the courage to admit that his country bears the greatest responsibility 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.” It is well known what it costs to study medicine or any other career in that country and the shameless theft of brain-power practiced by the United States.
All of this oratory to close with praise for the OAS which Roa [Raúl Roa, former Cuban Minister of Foreign Affairs] described as the “Ministry of Yankee Colonies” when, in his memorable statement from our country to the United Nations, he reported that the United States had attacked our territory April 15, 1961 with B-26 bombers bearing Cuban insignia, a shameful act which, within 23 days, will be remembered on its 50th anniversary.
In this way, he thought everything was well established, in order to proclaim the right to subvert order in our country.
He boasts that the U.S. is “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.”
Then he admits that the blockade hurts Cuba, denies the economy resources. Why doesn’t he recognize that Eisenhower’s intentions, the goal announced by the United States when it was first implemented was to force the Cuban people to surrender out of hunger?
Why is it maintained? How many hundreds of billions of dollars of damages does the United States owe our country? Why do they keep the five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters imprisoned? Why isn’t the Cuban Adjustment Act applied to all Latin Americans rather than allowing thousands of them to die or be injured on the border imposed after that country stole half of their territory?
I beg the President of the United States to forgive my frankness.
I do not hold any hard feelings toward him or his people.
I am fulfilling my responsibility to express my opinion about his “Alliance of Equals.”
The United States has nothing to gain by creating and encouraging mercenary careers. I can assure him that our country’s finest, most prepared youth graduating from the University of Computer Science know much more about the Internet and informatics than the Nobel Prize winner and President of the United States.
Fidel Castro Ruz
March 22, 2011