Wednesday, August 25, 2010

I am ready to continue discussing

Reflections of Fidel

(Taken from CubaDebate)

TWO days ago I was watching Vanessa Davies on her "Contragolpe" (Counterpunch) program broadcast by Venezolana de Televisión’s Canal 8. She was dialoging with and multiplying her questions to Basem Tajeldine, an intelligent and honest Venezuelan whose face transpired nobility. When I switched on the television my thesis that only Obama could halt the disaster was being approached.

The incommensurable power attributed to him came immediately to the mind of the historian. And that is so, undoubtedly. But we are thinking of two distinct powers.

Real political power in the United States is held by the powerful oligarchy of multimillionaires who govern not only that country but also the world: the gigantic power of the Bilderberg Club described by Daniel Estulin, created by the Rockefellers and the Trilateral Commission.

The military apparatus of the United States with its security agencies is far more powerful than Barack Obama, president of the United States. He did not create that apparatus, neither did that apparatus create him. The exceptional circumstances of the economic crisis and the war were the principal factors that took a descendent of the sector most discriminated against in the United States, gifted with culture and intelligence, to the post which he occupies.

Where does Obama’s power lie at this point in time? Why am I affirming that war or peace will depend on him? Hopefully the interchange between the journalist and the historian might serve to illustrate the issue.

I will say it in another way: the famous little briefcase with its keys and button to launch a nuclear bomb emerged because of the terrible decision that it implied, the devastating nature of the weapon, and the need not to lose a fraction of a minute. Kennedy and Krushchev underwent that experience, and Cuba was at the point of being the first target of a mass attack using those weapons.

I still remember the anguish reflected in the questions that Kennedy suggested French journalist Jean Daniel should put to me, when he found out that Daniel was coming to Cuba and would meet with me. "Does Castro know how close we were to a world war?" I suggested that he return to Washington to speak with him. The story is a well-known one.

The subject was so interesting that I invited him to leave Havana, and we were approaching the issue well into the morning, in a house near the sea at the famous Varadero beach.

Nobody had to tell us anything, because they immediately advised me of the assassination and we tuned into to a U.S. radio station. At that very moment it was announced that a number of shots had fatally wounded the president of the United States.

Mercenary hands had carried out the homicide.

For the right in the United States, including the CIA mercenaries who landed at Girón [Bay of Pigs], he was not sufficiently energetic with Cuba.

Almost half a century has passed since then. The world changed, far more that 20,000 nuclear weapons were developed, their destructive power is equivalent to nearly 450,000 times that which destroyed the city of Hiroshima. Anybody has the right to ask: what is the use of the nuclear briefcase? Could a president possibly direct something as sophisticated and complex as a nuclear war?

That briefcase is something as symbolic as the ceremonial staff that is kept in the hands of the president as pure fiction.

The only significant fact is that in the United States there is a Constitution which establishes that there is only one person in the country who can give the order to start a war, which is now more important than ever, since a world nuclear war could break out in one minute and possibly last one day.

So, I can ask a number of questions. Could somebody other than the president give the order to start a war? Did Kennedy himself need another faculty to attack Girón and then unleash war in Vietnam? Johnson to escalate it? Nixon to devastatingly bombard that country? Reagan to invade Grenada? Bush Sr., on December 20, 1989, to attack the cities of Panama, Colón, to flatten the poor neighborhood of El Chorrillo and kill thousands of poor people there? Did Clinton need it to attack Serbia and create Kosovo? Bush Jr., for the atrocious invasion of Iraq? I have mentioned in their order only some of the best known crimes of the empire to date. Obama has done nothing more than to receive the inheritance.

The old thinking does not adapt easily to new realities.

Well, all right. I have posed the idea, not of Obama being powerful or super-powerful; he prefers to play basketball or give speeches; he has, moreover, been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Michael Moore exhorted him to earn it. Perhaps nobody imagined, him least of all, the idea that, in this final stage of 2010, if he complies with the instructions of the United Nations Security Council, to which a South Korean named Ban Ki-Moon is possibly firmly exhorting him, he will be responsible for the disappearance of the human species.

I am ready to continue discussing the issue.

Fidel Castro Ruz

August 22, 2010

12:26 p.m.

Translated by Granma International