Centrul Diplomatic/Diplomatic Center

Centrul de Studii Politice si Diplomatie/ Center for Political Science and Diplomacy

G-20 A Colossal Madhouse and Failure by Fidel Castro

A Colossal Madhouse. This is what the G-20 meeting that started yesterday in Seoul, the capital of the Republic of Korea, has been turned into. Many readers, saturated with acronyms, may wonder: What is the G-20? This is one of the many miscreations concocted by the most powerful empire and its allies, who also created the G-7: the United States, Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Canada. Later on they decided to admit Russia in a club that was then called the G-8. Afterwards they condescended to admit 5 important emerging countries: China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa. Then the group membership increased after the inclusion of the member countries of the OECD –another acronym-, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development: Australia, the Republic of Korea and Turkey. The group was also joined by Saudi Arabia, Argentina and Indonesia, and they all summed up 19. The twentieth member of the G-20 was no other than the European Union. As from this year, 2010, one country, Spain, holds the peculiar category of “permanent guest.” Another important international high level meeting is taking place almost simultaneously in Japan: the APEC meeting. If patient readers bother to add to the former group the following countries: Malaysia, Brunei, New Zealand, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong,  Taiwan, Papua-New Guinea, Chile, Peru and Vietnam -all of them with a significant trade volume, with coasts washed by the Pacific Ocean waters- the result would be what is called the APEC: the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum, and with that the entire jigsaw puzzle is completed. They would only need a map, but a laptop could perfectly provide that. At such international events crucial international economic and financial issues are discussed. The International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, with decision-making powers when it comes to financial matters, have their own master: the United States. It is important to remember that after the Second World War, the US industry and agriculture remained intact; those in Western Europe were totally destroyed, with the exceptions of Switzerland and Sweden. The USSR had been materially devastated and scored huge material losses that surpassed the figure of 25 million persons. Japan was defeated, in ruins and occupied. Around 80 per cent of the world’s gold reserves were sent to the United States. In a remote, though spacious and comfortable hotel at Bretton Woods, a small community of the US north eastern state of New Hampshire, the Monetary and Financial Conference of the recently created United Nations Organization was held from July 1st to 22 of 1944. The United States was granted the exceptional privilege of turning its paper money into an international hard currency pegged to a gold standard mechanism fixed at 35 US dollars per one Troy ounce of gold. Since the overwhelming majority of countries keep their foreign exchange reserves in the US banks -which is the same as granting a significant loan to the richest country in the world-, the gold pattern mechanism established at least a ceiling for the unrestricted issuance of paper money. This was at least some sort of guarantee on the value of the reserves that countries kept in US banks. Based on that enormous privilege -and for as long as the issuance of paper money was limited by the gold standard mechanism- that powerful country continued to increase its control over the planet’s wealth. The military adventures of the United States in alliance with the former colonial powers, particularly the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands and the recently created West Germany, led that country into other military adventures and wars that plunged the monetary system established at Bretton Woods into a crisis. At the time of the genocidal war in Vietnam, a country against which the US was at the verge of using nuclear weapons, the US President took the shameless and unilateral decision of suspending the dollar’s gold pattern. Ever since then, there have been no limits to the issuance of paper money. That privilege was so much overused that the value of the Troy ounce of gold went from 35 dollars to figures way above 1 400 dollars, that is, no less than 40 times the value it kept for 27 years until 1971, when Richard Nixon took such nefarious decision. The worst thing about the present economic crisis that affects the American society today is that former anti-crisis measures applied at different moments in the history of the US imperialist capitalist system have not helped it now to resume its usual pace. The US is wracked by a national debt close to 14 billion dollars -that is, as much as the US GDP- and the fiscal deficit remains unchanged. The sky-rocketing banks bailout loans and interest rates almost equal to zero have hardly decreased unemployment to figures below 10 per cent. The number of households whose houses are being closed out have barely decreased either. Its gigantic defense budgets which are much higher than those of the rest of the world – and what is worse, those devoted to the war- have continued to grow. The US President, who was elected hardly two years ago by one of the traditional parties, has been dealt the biggest defeat ever remembered in the last three fourths of a century. Such a reaction is a combination of frustration and racism. The US economist and writer William K. Black wrote a memorable phrase: “The best way to rob a bank is to own one”. The most reactionary sectors in the United States are sharpening their teeth and have appropriated an idea that would be the antithesis of the one expressed by the Bolsheviks in October of 1917: “All power to the US extreme right.” Seemingly, the US government, with its traditional anti-crisis measures, resorted to another desperate decision: the Federal Reserve announced it would buy 600 billion US dollars before the G-20 meeting. On Wednesday November 10, one of the most important US news agencies reported that “President Obama had arrived in South Korea to attend meetings of the world’s top 20 economic powers.” “Tensions over currencies and trade gaps have simmered ahead of the summit following a decision by the U.S. to flood its sluggish economy with $600 billion in cash that has alarmed leaders around the globe. “Obama has defended the move by the U.S. Federal Reserve.” On November 11, the same agency reported to the world’s public opinion the following: “A strong sense of pessimism shrouded the start of an economic summit of rich and emerging economies Thursday […] with world leaders arriving in Seoul sharply divided over currency and trade policies. “Established in 1999 and raised to summit level two years ago, the G-20 has— encompassing rich nations such as Germany and the U.S. as well as emerging giants such as China and Brazil — has become the centerpiece of international efforts to revive the global economy and prevent future financial meltdowns…” “Failure in Seoul could have severe consequences. The risk is that countries would try to keep their currencies artificially low to give their exporters a competitive edge in global markets. That could lead to a destructive trade war. “Countries might throw up barriers to imports — a repeat of policies that worsened the Great Depression. There are countries, such as the United States, whose top priority would be “to get China to allow its currency rise” against other currencies that would allow for a reduction of the huge trading surplus of the Asian giant with Washington, since it will make Chinese exports to be more expensive and US imports cheaper. “There are those which irate over U.S. Federal Reserve plans to pump $600 billion of new money into the sluggish American economy”. They see this measure as a selfish move to fill markets with dollars, thus devaluing that currency and giving US exporters and unfair price edge. “The G-20 countries […] are finding little common ground on the most vexing problem: What to do about a global economy that depends on huge U.S. trade deficits with China, Germany and Japan?” “Brazil’s president, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, warned that the world would go “bankrupt” if rich countries cut back on consumption and tried to export their way to prosperity.” “‘If the rich countries are not consuming and want to grow its economy on exports, the world goes bankrupt because there would be no one to buy. Everybody would like to sell…’” The summit started amid a rather pessimistic ambiance for Obama and the South Korean President Li Myung-bak, “whose negotiators failed to agree on a long-stalled free trade agreement that it was hoped could be reached this week.” “G-20 leaders gathered Thursday evening at Seoul’s grand National Museum of Korea for the dinner that marked the official start of the two-day event.” “Outside, a few thousand protesters rallied against the G-20 and the South Korean government.” Today, Friday 12, the summit concluded with a declaration that contained 20 items and 32 paragraphs. Presumably, the world is not made up only by the 32 countries that belong to the G-20 or only by those which belong to the APEC. The 187 nations that voted in favor of lifting the blockade against Cuba, as opposed to the two that voted against and the two that abstained, make a total of 192. For 160 of them there is no forum whatsoever where they could express a single word about the imperial plundering of their resources or about their urgent economic needs. In Seoul, the United Nations does not even exist. Won’t that honorable institution say a single word about it? In these days European news agencies have been publishing really tragic news about Haiti –where, in only minutes, an earthquake killed around 250 000 persons in January this year. According to reports, the Haitian authorities have warned about the speed with which the cholera epidemic is spreading throughout the city of Gonaives, in the northern part of the island. The Major of that coastal village, Pierreleus Saint-Justin, asserts he has personally buried 31 corpses on Tuesday, and expected to bury another 15. “Others could be dying as we speak”, he added. The report states that as from November 5, 70 corpses have been buried only in the urban area of Gonaives, but there are more people who have died in rural areas nearby the city. According to the report, the situation is becoming catastrophic in Gonaives. The floods caused by hurricane ‘Tomas’ could make the situation to be even worse.” Last Wednesday, the health authorities in Haiti fixed at 643 the number of victims who had died until November 8 in the entire country as a result of the epidemic. The number of persons infected with the cholera virus during the same period amounts to 9 971. Radio stations report that the figures to be released on Friday could include more than 700 deadly casualties. The government asserts now that the disease is taking a serious toll on the population of Port-au-Prince and is threatening the capital outskirts, where more than one million people have been living in tents since the earthquake on January 12. News are reporting today a figure of 796 deaths and a total of 12 303 persons infected. More than 3 million inhabitants are now threatened; many of them live in tents and among the rubble left by the earthquake, without potable water. The main US agency reported yesterday that the first part of the US Fund for the Reconstruction of Haiti was already on the way now, more than seven months after being committed to help rebuilding the country devastated by the earthquake in January. Reportedly, in the next few days, the agency will transfer approximately 120 million dollars –around one tenth of the amount promised- to the Fund for the Reconstruction of Haiti, managed by the World Bank, as was stated by P.J.Crowley, the State Department’s speaker. An assistant of the State Department stated that the money allocated to the Fund would be used to remove the rubble, build houses, grant credits, support and educational reform program to be implemented by the Inter-American Development Bank and support the Haitian government budget. Not a single word has been said about the cholera epidemics, a disease that for years affected many countries in South America and could spread throughout the Caribbean and other parts of our hemisphere.

Fidel Castro Ruz

December 2, 2010 Posted by | African affairs, Al Quds, Bertrand Russell Tribunal, Blackseanews Agency, Coreea, Diplomacy, Eastern Europe, Ecology, Economy, Environment, European Council on International Relations, Fidel Castro, Foreign policy, G20 Summit, History, Ierusalim - Al Quds, Information on Korea, Informations, Institute of International Relations and Economic Cooperation, International Relation, Kazahstan, Korea, Latin America, Leaders, Mass media, News, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Open Letter, Orient, Oriental Art, OSCE-Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Palestine, Politics, Religion, Russia, Russian Affairs, Socialism, Tourism, Travel, United Nations Global Compact, United States, War Crimes | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

FIDEL CASTRO TO DIPLOMATIC CENTER (II)

SEVEN DAGGERS AT THE HEART OF THE AMERICAS 

Fidel Castro

            I read and reread data and articles written by smart personalities, some better known than others, who publish in various media outlets drawing the information from sources nobody questions.  Everywhere in the world, the people living on this planet are taking economic, environmental and war risks due to the United States policies but no other region of the world as threatened by such grave problems as that country’s neighbors, that is, the peoples of this continent south of that hegemonic power.

            The presence of such a powerful empire –with military bases, nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers; modern warships and sophisticated fighter planes that can carry any type of weapons, deployed in every continent and ocean; with hundreds of thousands of troops and a government that claims absolute impunity for them– is the most important headache for any government, be it a leftist, rightist or center government, an allied of the United States or not.

            The problem for those of us who are its neighbors is not that it is a different country with a different language. There are Americans of every color and background. They are people just like us with all kinds of feelings, in one sense or another. What is dramatic is the system that has been developed there and imposed on everyone else. That system is not new to the use of force and to the domination methods that have prevailed throughout history; what is new is the time we are living. Approaching the issue from a traditional perspective would be a mistake and no one would benefit. Reading and getting acquainted with the ideas of the advocates of the system can be very educational for it helps to become aware of the nature of a system which builds on a continuous appeal to selfishness and to the peoples’ most basic instincts.

            Without convictions about the value of conscience and its capacity to prevail over instincts, it would not be possible to even speak of a hope for change in any period of the very short history of man. Neither would it be possible to understand the formidable obstacles lying in the way of the different political leaders of the Latin American or Ibero-American nations in the hemisphere. In any case, the peoples living in this part of the world in the last tens of thousands of years until the famous discovery of the Americas had no traits of the Latin, Iberian or European peoples and their features resembled more those of the Asian peoples where their ancestors had come from. Today, we can find them on the faces of the indigenous people in Mexico, Central America, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay and Chile, a country where the Araucanians wrote enduring pages. In certain areas of Canada and Alaska they still preserve their indigenous roots as purely as they can, but in the continental United States a large part of the ancient peoples was exterminated by the white conquerors.

            As everybody knows, millions of Africans were uprooted from their land and brought to work as slaves in this hemisphere. In some countries like Haiti and a large part of the Caribbean Islands their descendants make up the majority of the population, and in some other countries they add up to large segments. In the United States, there are tens of millions of people of African descent who, as a rule, are the poorest and most discriminated against.

            For centuries that country claimed privileged rights over our continent. At the time of Jose Marti, it tried to impose a single currency based on gold, a metal whose value has been the steadiest through history. In general, international trade was based on gold; but that is not the case today. From the days of Nixon’s administration, world trade developed on the basis of the paper money printed by the United States, the dollar, a currency worth today about 27 times less than in the early ‘70s; one of the many ways to dominate and defraud the rest of the world. At the present moment, however, other currencies are taking the place of the dollar in international trade and in the hard currency reserves.

            Then, while the value of the empire’s currency is decreasing, its military forces’ reserves are increasing and the state-of-the-art technology and science monopolized by the superpower are largely directed to weapons development. Presently, it is not only the thousands of nuclear missiles or the modern destructive power of conventional weapons, but the guided planes piloted by robots. This is not just a fantasy. Some of these aircraft are being used in Afghanistan and elsewhere. Recent reports indicate that in a relatively near future, by the year 2020, –long before the Antarctic icecap melts– the empire plans to have among its 2500 war planes, 1100 fifth-generation F-35 and F-22 fighter-bombers. Just to give an idea of that potential, suffice it to say that the aircraft used at the Soto Cano base in Honduras to train that country’s pilots are F-5, and the ones supplied to the Venezuelan air force –prior to Chavez– and to Chile and other countries, were small F-16 squadrons.Even more significant is the empire’s plan for the next 30 years anticipating that every U.S. combat aircraft, from fighter planes to heavy bombers and tanker planes are piloted by robots.   Such a military might is not a necessity of the world; it is a necessity of the economic system that the empire imposes to the world.

            Anyone understands that if the robots can replace the combat pilots, they can also replace the workers in many factories. The free-trade agreements that the empire is trying to impose on the countries of this hemisphere mean that these workers will have to compete with the advanced technology and the robots of the Yankee industry.

            Robots do not go on strike; they are obedient and disciplined. We have seen on TV machinery that can pick up apples and other fruits. The question could also be asked to the American workers. Where will the jobs be? What is the future that capitalism without borders, in its advanced development stage, assigns to the people?

            In light of this and other realities, the leaders of UNASUR, MERCOSUR, the Rio Group and others cannot but analyze the very good question raised by Venezuela: What’s the meaning of the military and naval bases that the United States wants to set up around Venezuela and in the heart of South America? I remember that a few years back, when relations between Colombia and Venezuela, two sister nations bound by geography and history, grew dangerously tense Cuba quietly promoted significant steps leading to peace between them. Cuba will never encourage war between sister nations. Historic experience, the manifest destiny claimed and applied by the United States and the weak accusations against Venezuela about weapon supplies to the FARC, combined with the negotiations aimed at granting to the U.S. Armed Forces seven places in that territory to be used by their air and naval troops, are leaving Venezuela no other choice but to invest in weaponry the resources it could use for the economy, social programs and cooperation with other countries of the region having less resources and development. Venezuela’s military build-up is not aimed against the fraternal people of Colombia but against the empire which already tried to overthrow its Revolution and today intends to set up its sophisticated weapons near the Venezuelan border.

            It would be a serious mistake to believe that only Venezuela is being threatened. Actually, every country in the south of the continent is under threat. Not one of them will be able to avoid the issue as some of them have already stated.           The present and future generations will pass judgment on their leaders for the way they conduct themselves at this moment. It is not only the United States, but the United States and the system. What does it offer? What does it want?

            It offers the FTAA, that is, the early ruin of our countries: free transit of goods and capital, but not free transit of people. They are now afraid that the opulent consumerist society is inundated by poor Hispanics, indigenous people, black, mulatto or whites who cannot find jobs in their own countries. They return everyone who commits an offense or that they do not need; quite often these people are killed before they enter that country or returned like animals when they are not necessary. Twelve million Latin American or Caribbean immigrants remain in the United States illegally. A new economy has emerged in our countries, especially in the smallest and poorest: that of remittances. In times of crisis, this strikes mostly the immigrants and their families. Parents and children are separated, sometimes forever. If the immigrant is of military age, he is given the chance to enlist for fighting thousands of miles away from home “on behalf of freedom and democracy,” and if they do not get killed, on their return they are given the right to become US citizens. Then, as they are well trained they are offered the possibility of a contract, not as official soldiers but as civilian soldiers for the private companies that provide services to the imperial wars of conquest.

            There are other extremely serious dangers. There are always news of immigrants from Mexico and other countries of our region dying as they try to cross the U.S.-Mexican border. The number of victims each year widely exceeds the totality of those who lost their lives in the almost 28 years of existence of the famous Berlin Wall.            But what is most incredible is that there is hardly any news in the world about a war that is taking thousands of lives every year. In 2009, more Mexicans have been killed than the number of American soldiers who died during Bush’s war on Iraq in the course of his administration.

            The cause of the war in Mexico is the largest drug market in the world: the United States market. But there is no war going on in the American territory between the U.S. police and the military fighting the drug-traffickers. The war has instead been exported to Mexico and Central America, but especially to the Aztec country which is closer to the United States. Dreadful images of dead bodies are shown on TV while news keep coming in of people murdered in the surgery rooms where their lives were being saved. None of these images originates in the U.S. territory.

            Such a wave of violence and bloodshed is expanding through the countries of South America, affecting them to a lesser or greater extent. Where does the money come from if not the endless source of the U.S. market? Likewise, consumption tends to expand to the rest of the countries in the region causing more victims and direct or indirect damages than AIDS, malaria and other illnesses put together.

            The imperial plans of domination are preceded by huge sums of money assigned to the task of deceiving and misinforming the public. For this purpose, they have the full complicity of the oligarchy, the bourgeoisie, the rightist intelligentsia and the media.   They are experts in spreading news of the politicians’ mistakes and contradictions. The fate of mankind must not be left in the hands of robots turned into people or people turned into robots.

            In the year 2010, the U.S. government will promote its policy through the State Department and USAID spending 2.2 billion dollars –12 percent more than the Bush administration received in the last year of its second term– and almost 450 million of them will be used to prove that the tyranny imposed on the world means democracy and respect for human rights.

            They constantly appeal to the human beings’ instinct and selfishness; they despise the value of education and conscience. The resistance put up by the Cuban people throughout 50 years is evident. Resistance is the weapon that peoples can never give up. The Puerto Ricans were able to stop the military exercises in Vieques by standing on the site of the firing range.

            Bolivar’s homeland is today the country they are most worried about for its historical role in the struggle for the independence of the peoples of the Americas. Cubans working there as healthcare and informatics specialists, educators, physical education and sports professors, agricultural technicians and specialists in other areas should do their best to fulfill their internationalist duty to prove that the peoples can put up a resistance and carry forward the most sacred principles of human society. Otherwise, the empire will destroy civilization and even the human race. 

Fidel Castro Ruz – August , 2009

August 13, 2009 Posted by | Diplomacy, Ecology, Economy, Foreign policy, History, Informations, International Relation, Latin America, Leaders, Mass media, News, Politics, United States | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment