Tomorrow the G-20 Meeting begins, that is the meeting of the most developed and wealthy countries on the planet: the United States, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy and the European Union as a separate entity but with the right to participate; they are the fundamental bastions of NATO plus its allies Japan, South Korea, Australia and Turkey in its double aspect of developing country and NATO member, just as Saudi Arabia – a gigantic reservoir of light oil in the hands of western transnationals, extracting from it 9.4 million barrels a day, whose value at current prices totals one billion dollars per day – on one side of the table, and on the other, a group of countries having growing economic and political clout who, as a matter of fact, because of the number of inhabitants and natural resources, are becoming an expression of the interests of the majority of our long-suffering and pillaged world: the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.
Spain, also a NATO ally, is just a “Guest Country”.
We are talking about a meeting among the great producers of industrial machinery and articles and of the great suppliers of raw materials that, over half a millennium following the Conquest, were European colonies and in the past century supplied them with agricultural products, minerals and energy resources, victims of a pitiless unequal exchange.
This dark period in history has been going on since the descendants of the Barbarian tribes populating Europe “discovered” and conquered this hemisphere, armed with swords, cross-bows and harquebuses.
“The discoverers”, so covered with excuses by the so-called western world, as if a part of humanity hadn’t been living on the continent for 40 million years, harboured the aim of seeking a shorter trade route to China.
In that country, with which they had antecedents via the silk merchants and merchants of other products prized by the aristocracy and burgeoning European bourgeoisie, they had found a fabulous civilization having a written language, refined arts, agriculture, metals, gunpowder and advanced principles of political and military organization, including armies with tens or perhaps thousands of cavalry.
They were on the point of capsizing when they sighted land, in the vicinity of Cuba. A short while later Columbus took possession of our island in the name of the King of Spain. Would he have been able to do that had he actually landed in China, as he had proposed? His error cost this hemisphere tens of millions of lives that were lost as consequence of the partitioning of the Americas by the Papal Bull between the two kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula, and in the constant conflicts among the medieval nobility.
The Conquest and the search for gold and silver, as the genial native painter Oswaldo Guayasamín pointed out, cost 70 million lives of those living in the hemisphere, birthplace of important civilizations.
Black Africa can also speak about what that Conquest meant for millions of its children, ripped away and sold as slaves in this hemisphere.
The multi-million-dollar oligarchy, whose Heads of State or Government will be meeting in Cannes with the representatives of almost 6 billion inhabitants that aspire to a decent existence for their peoples, should meditate on these realities.
Those countries would like to monopolize technologies and markets through patents, banks, the most modern and costly transportation means, cybernetic supremacy over complex production processes, control of communications and the mass media in order to dupe the world.
Now that the inhabitants of the world number 7 billion, the states representing only one out of seven persons, who, judging by the massive protests in Europe and the United States, are not very happy, put the survival of our species at risk.
Could anyone forget that the US was the country that impeded the Kyoto Agreement when we had a little more time to prevent a catastrophe with the climate change that is being produced as we watch?
On the 28th and 29th of October past, another meeting of Heads of State and Governments took place: the community of Ibero-American countries. Among the calamities that the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking peoples have had to put up with is the fact that they are the region in the world with the most inequalities in terms of the distribution of their wealth.
Cuba’s Chancellor Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla traveled from the UN meeting in New York on the blockade of Cuba to the capital of Paraguay where that second meeting was being held. There, highly interesting things were being said about the crisis that is sweeping over the European Community.
The new prime minister of Portugal poured out his bitterness with the European Union when he declared that it has become exhausted and without funds with the record rescue of Greece. It could face up to a crisis in Portugal but it would be bankrupt, unable to aid Italy, the seventh world economy, and this would drag down France whose banks hold the greatest part of the Italian debt.
The Iberian leaders doubt that the commitment assumed with Greece would be fulfilled and if it is not fulfilled they predict a longer crisis than that of 1929.
This morning, the news dispatches inform about the drastic consequences of the never-before-seen rainfall in Thailand, the major rice exporter whose sales will be reduced from 25 million tons to 19.
In contrast, news about China increasing its production of metal copper to almost 5 million tons caused considerable effect.
However, while the US keeps intact its veto power at the International Monetary Fund, China is being denied the simple right of approving the Yuan as convertible currency in that body. How long will that tyranny prevail?
It is through this looking-glass that we must analyse every single word that is spoken at the G-20 Summit.
Fidel Castro Ruz
November 2, 2011