Chávez, Evo and Obama (part II)

If our Nobel Prize winner is deceiving himself—something that has yet to be established—that perhaps explains the incredible contradictions in his reasoning and the confusion sowed among his listeners.

There is not a drop of morality, not even of politics, in his attempt to justify his announced decision to veto any resolution approved supporting the recognition of Palestine as an independent state and a member of the United Nations. Even politicians who in no way share socialist ideas and lead parties which were closely allied with Augusto Pinochet support Palestine’s right to full membership in the UN.

Barrack Obama’s words on the main topic of discussion today in the organization’s General Assembly can only be applauded by NATO, with its artillery, missiles and bombings.

The rest of his speech consisted of empty words, lacking moral authority and making no sense. Let us observe, for example, how just how vacuous they were. In a starving world, plundered by transnational corporations and the consumerism of developed capitalist countries, Obama proclaimed:

To stop disease that spreads across borders, we must strengthen our system of public health. We will continue the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. We will focus on the health of mothers and of children. And we must come together to prevent, and detect, and fight every kind of biological danger – whether it’s a pandemic like H1N1, or a terrorist threat, or a treatable disease.

To preserve our planet, we must not put off action that climate change demands. We have to tap the power of science to save those resources that are scarce. And together, we must continue our work to build on the progress made in Copenhagen and Cancun, so that all the major economies here today follow through on the commitments that were made. Together, we must work to transform the energy that powers our economies, and support others as they move down that path. That is what our commitment to the next generation demands. And to make sure our societies reach their potential, we must allow our citizens to reach theirs.

Everyone knows that the United States did not sign the Kyoto Protocol and has sabotaged all efforts to protect humanity from the terrible consequences of climate change, despite being the country which consumes a considerable, disproportionate part of the world’s oil and natural resources.

Let us make a record of the idyllic words with which he attempted to beguile the state leaders assembled there:

I know there’s no straight line to that progress, no single path to success. We come from different cultures, and carry with us different histories. But let us never forget that even as we gather here as heads of different governments, we represent citizens who share the same basic aspirations—to live with dignity and freedom; to get an education and pursue opportunity; to love our families, and love and worship our God; to live in the kind of peace that makes life worth living. It is the nature of our imperfect world that we are forced to learn these lessons over and over again.

… Because those who came before us believed that peace is preferable to war, and freedom is preferable to suppression, and prosperity is preferable to poverty. That’s the message that comes not from capitals, but from citizens, from our people. And when the cornerstone of this very building was put in place, President Truman came here to New York and said, “The United Nations is essentially an expression of the moral nature of man’s aspirations.” The moral nature of man’s aspirations. As we live in a world that is changing at a breathtaking pace, that’s a lesson that we must never forget.

Peace is hard, but we know that it is possible. So, together, let us be resolved to see that it is defined by our hopes and not by our fears. Together, let us make peace, but a peace, most importantly, that will last.

Thank you very much.

Listening to this until the very end is worthy of more than gratitude; it merits a medal.

As I have already indicated, early in the afternoon, it befell the President of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, Evo Morales Ayma, to take the floor and immediately address the essential issues.

… There is a clear difference over the culture of life and the culture of death. There is a clear difference over the truth in the face of falsehoods, a profound difference over peace as opposed to war.

… I believe it is going to be difficult to understand each other with economic policies which concentrate capital in the hands of a few. The facts show that 1% of the world’s population holds 50% of the wealth. If such profound differences exist, how can poverty be reduced? And if we do not eliminate poverty, how can we guarantee a lasting peace?

I remember perfectly well how as a child whenever there was a rebellion of the people against the capitalist system, against the economic model based on the permanent plunder of our natural resources, the union leaders, the political leaders of the left were accused of being communists and arrested. The popular movements were attacked militarily: arrests, exile, massacres, persecution, incarceration, accused of being communists, socialists, Maoists, Marxist-Leninists. But now, they have other tools, they make accusations of drug trafficking and terrorism.

… they plan interventions whenever a president, a government, a people are not pro-capitalist or pro-imperialist.

… A lasting peace is spoken of. How can there be lasting peace with U.S. military bases? How can there be lasting peace with military interventions?

Of what use is the United Nations if a group of nations here decides on interventions, massacres?

If we want this organization, the United Nations, to have the authority to have its resolutions respected, well, we have to begin thinking about re-founding the United Nations…

Every year the United Nations—practically 100% of the countries, with the exception of the United States and Israel—decides to lift the blockade, end the economic blockade of Cuba. And who respects this? Of course, the Security Council is never going to respect this United Nations resolution… I cannot understand how, in an organization including all of the world’s nations, resolutions are not respected. What is the United Nations?

I would like to tell you that Bolivia is not turning its back on the recognition of Palestine in the United Nations. Our position is that Bolivia welcomes Palestine to the United Nations.

You all know, dear listeners, that I come from the Indigenous Campesino Movement and when our families talk about a company, we assume that that company has a lot of money, holds a lot of money, they’re millionaires. We can’t understand how a company could ask the state to lend it money for its investments.

That’s why I say that these international financial entities are the ones who do business through private companies, but who has to pay for it? Of course, it is the people, the states.

… Bolivia has a historic demand, of Chile, to return to the sea, to retake sovereign access to the Pacific, with sovereignty. Therefore Bolivia has made the decision to resort to international tribunals, to demand useful, sovereign access to the Pacific Ocean.

Resolution 37/10 of the UN General Assembly, November 15, 1982, establishes that ‘recourse to judicial settlement of legal disputes, particularly referral to the International Court of Justice, should not be considered an unfriendly act between States.’

Bolivia is protected by law and by right has recourse to an International Court because its confinement is the result of an unjust war, an invasion. Demanding a solution in the international arena represents for Bolivia the reparation of a historic injustice.

Bolivia is a peaceful state which favors dialogue with neighboring countries, and for that reason maintains open channels of bilateral negotiation with Chile, without renouncing its right to have recourse to an International Court…

The peoples are not responsible for the maritime confinement of Bolivia, those responsible are the oligarchies, the transnationals which, as always, appropriate the peoples’ natural resources.

The 1904 Treaty did not contribute to peace or friendship; it caused Bolivia’s lack of access to a sovereign port for more than one century.

… in the region of the Americas another movement of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean is being organized, I would say a new OAS without the United States, in order to liberate ourselves from certain impositions, fortunately, with the little experience that we have acquired in UNASUR. […] If there is a conflict between countries, we no longer need […] persons coming from above and outside to impose order.

I also want to take advantage of this opportunity to address a central issue: combating drug trafficking. Combating drug trafficking is being utilized by U.S. imperialism for purely political ends. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration in Bolivia was not combating drug trafficking, it was controlling drug trafficking for political ends. If there was a labor leader, or an anti-imperialist political leader, that’s why the DEA was there: to implicate him or her. We saved many leaders, many politicians from that kind of dirty work by the empire to implicate us in drug trafficking. They are still attempting to do just that.

In recent weeks certain media from the United States were saying that the presidential plane had been detained in the United States due to traces of cocaine. How untrue! They are trying to confuse the population, trying to promote a dirty campaign against the government, even against the state. However, what is the United States doing? Decertifying Bolivia and Venezuela. What moral authority does the United States have to certify or decertify countries in South America or in Latin America, when the United States is the world’s prime consumer of drugs, the prime producer of marijuana in the world? […] What authority does it have to certify or decertify? It is another means of frightening or intimidating countries, trying to teach countries a lesson. However, Bolivia is, very responsibly, fighting drug trafficking.

In the same U.S. report; that is to say, of the Department of State of the United States acknowledges a net reduction of coca cultivation; that the interdiction has improved.

But, where is the market? The market is the origin of drug trafficking and the market is here. And who decertifies the United States because it has not reduced the market?

This morning, President Calderón of Mexico said that the drug market is still growing and asked why there is no responsibility taken for eradicating the market. […] Let’s fight under a shared co-responsibility. […] In Bolivia, we’re not afraid, and we have to end secret banking if we want to make a frontal assault on drug trafficking.

… One of the crises, on the margins of the crisis of capitalism, is the food crisis. […] We have a little experience in Bolivia: giving credits with zero interest to rice, corn, wheat and soy producers, and they can also pay their debts with their products, such as food; or accessible credits to encourage production. However, the international banks never take small producers into account, never take associations, cooperatives into account and these can make a very good contribution if they are given the opportunity. […] We have to end commerce which is based on competitiveness.

In a competition, who wins? The most powerful, the one with the most advantages, always the transnationals, and who are the small producers, who are these families who wish to rise up through their own efforts? […] Within a policy of competition we are certainly not going to solve the issue of poverty.

But, finally, to end this speech, I want to state that the crisis of capitalism is already unpayable. […] The economic crisis of capitalism is not circumstantial, but structural and what are the capitalist or imperialist countries doing? Seeking any pretext for intervening in a country in order to recoup its natural resources.

This morning, the President of the United States said that Iraq has been liberated and that they are going to govern themselves. The Iraqis are going to be able to govern themselves, but in whose hands is the Iraqis’ oil now?

They welcomed it, they said that autocracy in Libya was over, now it’s a democracy; it can be a democracy, but in whose hands is Libya’s oil going to be now? […] the bombardments were not the fault of Gaddafi, the fault of certain rebels, but because of seeking Libya’s oil.

… Therefore, they want to overcome it, their crisis, the crisis of capitalism, they want to rectify it by recouping our natural resources, on the basis of our oil, on the basis of our gas, our natural resources.

… we have an enormous responsibility: defending the rights of Mother Earth.

… the best way of defending human rights today is by defending the rights of Mother Earth […] here we have an enormous responsibility in approving the rights of Mother Earth. Just over 60 years ago the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was approved. Just over 60 years ago it was recognized in the United Nations that human beings have their rights as well. After political rights, economic rights, the rights of the indigenous peoples, now we have the enormous responsibility of how to defend the rights of Mother Earth.

We are also convinced that infinite growth on a finite planet is unsustainable and impossible, the limits on growth are the degeneration of the Earth’s ecosystems. […] We are calling for […] a new decalogue of social demands: in financial systems, over natural resources, over basic services, over production, over dignity and sovereignty and, on this basis, to begin to re-found the United Nations, so that the United Nations becomes the highest body for solving issues of peace, issues of poverty, issues of the dignity and sovereignty of the peoples of the world.

We hope that this experience as a President might serve for something for all of us, as I also have come to learn from many of you in order to continue working for the equality and dignity of the Bolivian people.

Thank you very much indeed.

After the essential concepts of Evo Morales, Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian National Authority, who was granted speaking rights two days ago, set out the dramatic sufferings of the inhabitants of Palestine:

…the crass historical injustice perpetrated against our people, for whom it was deemed convenient to establish the state of Palestine in just 22% of the territory of Palestine and, above all, the Palestinian territory which Israel occupied in 1967. Taking that historic step, which was applauded by the states of the world, allowed an excessive acquiescence in order to achieve a historical contemporization, which would allow peace to be attained in the land of peace.

[…] Our people will continue popular, peaceful resistance to the Israeli occupation, its settlements and its policy of apartheid, as well as the construction of the racist wall of annexation […] armed with dreams, courage, hope and mottoes in the face of tanks, teargas, bulldozers and bullets.

… we want to extend a hand to the Israeli government and people for the establishment of peace, and I say to you: let us build together, in an urgent way, a future for our sons and daughters in which they can enjoy peace, security and prosperity. […] Let us build relations of cooperation based on parity, equity and friendship between two neighboring states, Palestine and Israel, instead of policies of occupation, settlements, war and the elimination of the other.

Almost half a century has passed since that brutal occupation promoted and supported by the United States. However, barely a day passes without the wall rising, monstrous mechanical equipment destroying Palestinian homes and some young or even adolescent Palestinian falling injured or dead.

What profound truths were contained in Evo’s words!

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Fidel Castro Ruz

September 26, 2011

10:32 p.m.