Two Hungry Wolves and a Little Red Riding Hood
Reflections of Fidel - May 18, 2008
By Fidel Castro
ONE basic idea has been occupying my mind since my old days as a utopian socialist. It came from nowhere, with the simple notions of good and evil inculcated in everybody by the society in which they are born, full of instincts and lacking in values that parents, particularly mothers, begin to sow in any society or epoch.
As I did not have a political mentor, hazard and chance were inseparable components of my life. I acquired an ideology on my own account from the moment when I had a real opportunity to observe and meditate upon the years I lived as a child, an adolescent and a young student. For me education became the instrument par excellence for change in the period in which it has befallen me to live and on which the very survival of our fragile species might depend.
After many years of experience, what I think today on the delicate issue is totally coherent with this idea. I do not need to apologize – as certain people prefer to do – for stating the truth, although it might be hard.
More than 2,000 years ago, Demosthenes, a famous Greek orator, ardently defended in public squares a society in which 85% of the people were slaves or citizens lacking in equality and rights, as a natural state of affairs. Philosophers shared that point of view. The word democracy emerged there. They could not have been asked for more in their time. Today, with a vast wealth of knowledge, the productive forces have multiplied innumerable times and messages via the mass media are drawn up for millions of people; the overwhelming majority, fed up with traditional politics, do not want to hear anything about that. Public figures lack confidence at a time when it is most needed by the peoples given the risks that threaten us.
When the Soviet Union collapsed, Francis Fukuyama, a U.S. citizen of Japanese origin, born and educated in the United States and with a university degree in that same country, wrote his book The End of History and the Last Man, which many people must know as it was highly promoted by the leaders of the empire. He had become a hawk of neoconservatism and a promoter of the one way of thinking.
According to him, only one class would remain, the U.S. middle class; the rest of us, I think, would be condemned to live as beggars. Fukuyama was a definite supporter of the war on Iraq, like Vice president Cheney and his select group. For him, history ends in what Marx saw as "the end of prehistory."
In the opening ceremony of the Latin American and Caribbean-European Union Summit in Peru on May 15, English, German and other languages were spoken without essential parts of the speeches being translated by the television channels into Spanish or Portuguese, as if in Mexico, Brazil, Peru, Ecuador or other nations, Indians, Blacks, mixed-race persons and whites – more than 550 million people, in their vast majority poor – spoke English, German or another foreign language.
However, these days the grand Lima meeting and its final declaration is being spoken of with praise. There, among other things, it was understood that the weapons acquired by a country threatened with genocide by the empire, as Cuba has been for many years and Venezuela is today, are not to be ethically differentiated from those that deploy repressive forces to repress the people and defend the interests of the oligarchy, allied with that same empire. One cannot convert nations into just one more item of merchandise or compromise the present and future of the new generations.
The Fourth Fleet was not mentioned, of course, in the televised speeches of that meeting, as an interventionist and threatening force. One of the Latin American countries represented there has just practiced combined maneuvers with U.S. Nimitz-type aircraft carriers, endowed with all kinds of weapons of mass destruction.
A few years ago the repressive forces in that country disappeared, tortured and murdered tens of thousands of people. The sons and daughters of the victims were expropriated by the defenders of the properties of the wealthy. Their principal military leaders cooperated with the empire in its dirty wars. They trusted in that alliance. Why fall into the same trap again? Although it is easy to infer which is the country referred to, I do not want to mention it in order not to hurt a sister nation.
The Europe that raised its voice in song is the same that supported the war on Serbia, the U.S. conquest of Iraq’s oil, the religious conflicts in the Near and Middle East, the secret prisons and landings, and the conspiracies of horrendous torture and assassination hatched by Bush.
That Europe shares with the United States extraterritorial legislation which, in violation of the sovereignty of their own territories, is increasing the blockade against Cuba by blocking the supply of technologies, components and even medicines to our country. Its publicity media is associated with the empire’s media power.
What I said in the first Latin American meeting with Europe nine years ago in Rio de Janeiro has lost none of its validity. Nothing has changed since then except the objective conditions, which are making atrocious capitalist exploitation even more unsustainable.
The meeting’s host was at the point of making the Europeans fly off the handle when, in the closing session, he mentioned certain points proposed by Cuba:
1) To cancel the debt of Latin America and the Caribbean.
2) To annually invest 10% of what is being spent on military activities in the Third World nations.
3) To end the enormous subsidies to agriculture which compete against our countries’ agricultural products.
4) To allocate to Latin America and the Caribbean their part of the commitment of 0.7% of its GDP.
Judging by the faces and the looks, I observed that the European leaders were swallowing hard for some seconds. But, why get so uptight? In Spain it would be even easier to make vibrant speeches and marvelous final declarations. There had been a lot of hard work. The banquet was coming. There would not be any food crisis on the table. The proteins and liquors would be flowing free. The only person missing was Bush, who was working tirelessly for peace in the Middle East, as is his custom. He was excused. Long live the market!
The dominant spirit among the rich representatives of Europe was one of ethnic and political superiority. All of them were the bearers of capitalist and consumerist bourgeois thinking and talked and applauded in its name. Many brought with them the businesspersons who are the pillar and support of "their democratic systems, guaranteeing freedom and human rights." You would have to be an export in cloud physics to understand them.
At the present time, the United States and Europe are competing between and against each other for oil, essential raw materials and markets, now with the addition of the pretext of combating terrorism and organized crime, which they themselves have created with voracious and insatiable consumer societies. Two hungry wolves disguised as good grandmothers, and a Little Red Riding Hood.
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