Saturday, 19 December 2009

FIDEL's COMMENTS ON COPENHAGEN

Reflections of Fidel:
The Moment of Truth


Translated by Granma International

NEWS arriving from the Danish capital paints a picture of
chaos. After planning an event in which around 40,000
people were to participate, the hosts have no way of
keeping their promise. Evo, who was the first of the ALBA
presidents to arrive there, expressed certain profound
truths emanating from the millenary culture of his people.

According to the news agencies, he affirmed that he had
received a mandate from the Bolivian people to oppose any
agreement if the final declaration fails not meet
expectations. He explained that climate change is not the
cause but the effect, that we have an obligation to defend
the rights of Mother Earth against the model of capitalist
development, the culture of life against the culture of
death. He spoke of the climate debt that the rich countries
must pay to the poor countries, and the return of
atmospheric space seized from the latter.

He described as "ridiculous" the figure of $10 billion
dollars offered per year up until 2012 when, in reality,
hundreds of billions of dollars are needed every year. He
also accused the United States of spending trillions of
dollars on exporting terrorism to Iraq and Afghanistan and
establishing military bases in Latin America.

The president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
addressed the Summit on December 16th, at 8:40 a.m. Cuban
time. He made a brilliant speech that received tremendous
applause. His remarks were categorical.

Contesting a document proposed to the Summit by the Danish
minister chairing the conference, he stated:

"…it is a text that comes from nothing, we do not accept
any other text unless it comes out of the working groups
which are the legitimate texts that have been discussed
with such intensity during these two years."

"There is a group of countries which believe themselves
superior to us from the South, to us from the Third World…"

"…we are not surprised: there is no democracy in the world
and we are here, once again, in the face of powerful
evidence of a world imperial dictatorship."

"…I was reading some of the slogans painted in the streets
by the young people…One: ‘Let’s not change the climate,
let’s change the system’…Another: ‘If the climate was a
bank, they would have saved it already.’"

"Obama… received the Nobel Peace prize virtually the same
day that he was sending an additional 30,000 soldiers to
kill innocent people in Afghanistan."

"We were raising our hands to accompany Brazil, India,
Bolivia and China, in their interesting position … but,
well, we were not given the floor…"

"The rich are destroying the Earth… do they have plans to
go to another planet?"

"Climate change is, without any doubt, the most devastating
environmental problem of the present century."

"The United States could amount to possibly 300 million
inhabitants; China has a population that is almost five
times larger than the United States. The United States
consumes more than 20 million barrels of oil per day. Chine
barely reaches 5 or 6 million barrels per day. One can’t
ask the same of the United States and China."

"… reducing contaminating gas emissions and achieving a
long-term cooperation agreement […] seems to have failed,
for now. What is the reason for that? […] the irresponsible
attitude and the lack of political will on the part of the
most powerful nations of the planet."

"…the gap that separates the rich countries from the poor
is still expanding despite the existence of the Millennium
Goals, the Monterrey Summit on finance, all of these
summits – as the president of Senegal said, denouncing a
great truth, promises and promises and promises that have
been unfulfilled, while the world continues along its
destructive path."

"…The total income of the 500 richest individuals on the
planet is greater than the income of the 416 million
poorest people."

"Infant mortality stands at 47 per 1,000 live births; but
the figure for the rich countries is just 5 ..."

"…For how long are we going to allow millions of children
to continue dying from curable diseases?"

"Some 2.6 billion people live without health services,"

"Brazilian Leonardo Boff wrote: ‘that the fittest survive
over the ashes of the weakest.’"

Jean Jacob Rousseau [sic] said: ""Between the weak and the
strong, it is freedom which oppresses." For this reason,
the empire talks of freedom, in order to invade, to murder,
to annihilate, to exploit, that is its freedom. And
Rousseau goes on: "it is the law which sets free."

"For how long are we going to allow armed conflicts that
massacre millions of innocent human beings, with the aim of
awarding the resources of other nations to the more
powerful ones?"

"Almost two centuries ago, Simón Bolívar, the Liberator
said:

‘If nature opposes, we will fight against her and make her
obey us.’"

"This planet is billions of years old, and has existed for
billions of years without us, the human race: that is to
say, it does not need us to exist. Now, we cannot live
without the Earth…"

Evo addressed the conference in the morning of today,
Thursday. His speech will also never be forgotten.

He very candidly opened his remarks by saying: "I wish to
say how upset we are over the lack of organization and the
delays in this international gathering…"

His basic ideas were the following:

"When we ask the hosts what is going on, […] we are told it
is the United Nations; when we ask the United Nations what
is going on, they say it is Denmark, so we don’t know who
is disorganizing this international event…" "…I’m very
shocked because only the effects and not the causes of
climate change are being discussed."

"If we fail to identify where the destruction of the
environment is coming from […] we will never be able to
solve this problem…"

"…two cultures are under discussion here: the culture of
life and the culture of death; the culture of death, which
is capitalism. We, the indigenous peoples, say that it is
living better, better at the cost of others.’"

"…exploiting others, plundering their natural resources,
assaulting Mother Earth, privatizing basic services…"

"…living well is living in solidarity, in equality, in
complementation, in reciprocity…"

"These two different ways of life, these two cultures of
life are in debate when we it comes to climate change, and
if we do not decide which is the better way of living or of
life, it is certain that we are never going to resolve this
issue, because we have problems with life: luxury and
consumerism damage humanity and sometimes we don’t want to
admit the truth in this kind of international event."

"…in our way of life being truthful is sacred, and we are
not practicing the truths here."

"…in our Constitution it reads ama sua, ama llulla, ama
quella, which means do not steal, do not lie, do not be
weak."

"…Mother Earth or Nature exist and will continue to exist
without the human race, but human beings can’t live without
planet Earth, therefore, it is our duty to defend the right
of Mother Earth."

"…I applaud the United Nations because this year, it has
finally established the International Day of Mother Earth."

"…a mother is sacred, a mother is our life; a mother cannot
be rented, cannot be sold or assaulted, she must be
respected."

"We have profound differences with the Western model, and
that is under discussion at this moment."

"We are in Europe, and you know that many Bolivian
families, many Latin American families come to Europe. Why
do they come here? To improve their living conditions. In
Bolivia, they might be earning $100 or $200 per month; but
that family, that person comes here to take care of an
elderly European grandfather or grandmother and earns
$1,000 a month."

"These are the asymmetries that exist among continents and
we are obliged to discuss ways in which to achieve a
certain equilibrium, […] reducing these profound
asymmetries that exist among families, among countries, and
especially continents."

""When […] our brothers and sisters come here to survive or
to improve their living conditions they are expelled. There
are papers which are known as repatriation documents […]
but when those elderly Europeans arrived in Latin America
all those years ago, they were never expelled. My families,
my brothers do not come here to seize control of mines, nor
do they possess thousands of hectares in order to become
landowners. In the past, no visas or passports were
required to come to Abya Yala, now called, America."

"…the rich nations should welcome all migrants who are
affected by climate change instead of forcing them to
return to their countries as they are doing at the moment…"

"…our obligation is to save all of humanity and not half of
humanity."

"…the FTAA, the Free Trade Area of the Americas, […] is not
a Free Trade Area of the Americas, but a free colonization
area of the Americas…"

Evo suggested the following questions, among others, for a
worldwide referendum on climate change:

"..Do you agree to reestablishing a harmonious relationship
with Nature, recognizing the rights of Mother Earth...?"

"…Are you in agreement with changing this system of
excessive consumerism and waste, that is, the capitalist
system...?"

"…Do you agree that the developed countries should reduce
and reabsorb their greenhouse gas emissions…?"

"…Do you agree on transferring everything that is currently
being spent in wars to create a budget higher than the
defense budget to tackle the problem of climate change…?"

As is widely known, the UN Agreement on Climate Change was
signed in the Japanese city of Kyoto in 1997. This protocol
obliged 38 industrialized nations to reduce their
greenhouse gas emissions by a certain percentage in
relation to those emitted in 1990. The countries of the
European Union committed themselves to 8%, a move which
came into effect in 2005, when most of the signatory
countries had already ratified it. George W. Bush, then
president of the United States – the largest producer of
greenhouse gases and responsible for a quarter of total
emissions – had rejected the agreement from mid-2001
onward.

The other members of the United Nations continued with
their efforts. The research centers continued with their
work. It is now evident that a major disaster is
threatening our species. Perhaps the worst aspect is that
the blind egotism of a privileged and rich minority is
attempting to lay the burden of the necessary sacrifices on
the vast majority of the planet’s inhabitants.

That contradiction is reflected in Copenhagen. Thousands of
people are there, fiercely defending their points of view.

The Danish police are resorting to brutal methods to crush
resistance; many protesters are being preventively
arrested. I spoke on the phone with our Foreign Minister
Bruno Rodriguez, who was at a solidarity rally in
Copenhagen with Chávez, Evo, Lazo and other ALBA
representatives. I asked him who those people were that the
Danish police suppressed with such hate, twisting back
their arms and beating them repeatedly across the back. He
said they were Danish citizens and people from other
European nations as well as members of the social movements
who were demanding from the Summit an immediate solution to
deal with climate change. He also told me that debates in
the Summit were to continue until midnight. It was already
night in Copenhagen when I spoke with him. The time
difference is six hours.

Our comrades in the Danish capital have informed us that an
even worse situation is expected tomorrow morning, Friday
18th. At 10:00 a.m. the UN Summit is to be adjourned for
two hours while the Danish prime minister meets with 20
heads of state invited by him to discuss "global problems"
with Obama. That is what they have called the meeting,
which is aimed at imposing an agreement on climate change.

Even though all of the official delegations are to take
part, only "invited guests" will be allowed to express
their views. Of course, neither Chávez nor Evo are among
those entitled to express their opinions. The idea is to
give the illustrious Nobel Laureate an opportunity to read
his previously drafted speech, preceded by the decision to
de adopted in that meeting to postpone the agreement until
the end of next year in Mexico City. The social movements
will not be permitted to attend. After that show, the
"Summit" will resume in the plenary hall until its
ignominious closure.

As television channels have broadcast the footage, the
world has been able to see the fascist methods used against
the people in Copenhagen. The protesters, young people in
the main, who have been repressed, have earned the
solidarity of the peoples.

Despite the maneuvers and unprincipled lies of the leaders
of the empire, the moment of truth is drawing closer. Their
own allies are increasingly losing confidence in them. In
Mexico, as in Copenhagen or anywhere else in the world,
they will be met by the growing resistance of the peoples
who have not lost the hope of surviving.

Fidel Castro Ruz

December 17, 2009

6:46 p.m.

3 comments:

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