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Monday, September 28, 2009

Pittsburgh and the Margarita Summit

Reflections of Fidel

(Taken from CubaDebate)

THE Leaders’ Statement of the G-20 Summit in Pittsburgh on Friday, September 25, would appear to be unreal. Let us look at the principal points of its content:

"We meet in the midst of a critical transition from crisis to recovery to turn the page on an era of irresponsibility and to adopt a set of policies, regulations and reforms to meet the needs of the 21st century global economy."

"We pledge today to sustain our strong policy response until a durable recovery is secured."

"…we pledge to adopt the policies needed to lay the foundation for strong, sustained and balanced growth in the 21st century."

"We want growth without cycles of boom and bust and markets that foster responsibility not recklessness."

"…we act together to generate strong, sustainable and balanced global growth. We need a durable recovery that creates the good jobs our people need."

"We need to establish a pattern of growth across countries that is more sustainable and balanced, and reduce development imbalances."

"We pledge to avoid destabilizing booms and busts in asset and credit prices."

"…we will also make decisive progress on structural reforms that foster private demand and strengthen long-run growth potential."

"Where reckless behavior and a lack of responsibility led to crisis, we will not allow a return to banking as usual."

"We are committed to act together to raise capital standards, to implement strong international compensation standards aimed at ending practices that lead to excessive risk-taking…"

"We designated the G-20 to be the premier forum for our international economic cooperation."

"We are committed to a shift in International Monetary Fund (IMF) quota share to dynamic emerging markets and developing countries of at least 5%."

"Sustained economic development is essential in order to reduce poverty."

The G-20 is made up of the seven most industrialized and richest countries:

United States, Canada, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Japan, plus Russia; the 11 principal emerging countries: China, India, South Korea, Indonesia, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Mexico and the European Union, a number of which have excellent economic and political relations with us. Spain and Holland have participated as guests in the last three Summits.

The idea of capitalist development without crises is the grand illusion that the United States and its allies are trying to sell to the emerging economy countries participating in the G-20.

Almost the totality of the Third World countries that are not allies of the United States are observing how this nation prints paper money which circulates throughout the planet as convertible currency without gold backing, buys shares and companies, natural resources, goods and real estate assets and public debt bonds, protects its products, dispossesses nations of their finest brains and confers an extraterritorial nature on its laws. This is in addition to the overwhelming power of its arms and its monopoly of the fundamental means of information.

Consumer societies are incompatible with the conservation of natural and energy resources that the development and the preservation of our species require.

In a brief historical period and thanks to its Revolution, China ceased being a semicolonial and semifeudal country, grew at the rate of more than 10% over the past 20 years and has become the principal driving force of the world economy. Never has a huge multinational state achieved similar growth. It now possesses the highest reserves of convertible currency and is the largest creditor of the United States.

The difference is abysmal in relation to the most developed capitalist countries of the world: the United States and Japan. The debts of both nations, in their turn, accumulate the sum of $20 trillion.

The United States can no longer constitute a model of economic development.

Starting from the fact that in recent years the planet’s temperature has increased by 0.8 degrees Celsius, on the same day as the Pittsburgh Summit ended, the top U.S. news agency reported that "Earth's temperature is likely to jump nearly 3 degrees Celsius between now and the end of the century, even if every country cuts greenhouse gas emissions as proposed, according to a United Nations update."

"Scientists looked at emission plans from 192 nations and calculated what would happen to global warming. The projections take into account 80 percent pollution cuts from the U.S. and Europe by 2050, which are not sure things."

"Carbon dioxide, mostly from the burning of fossil fuels such as coal and oil, is the main cause of global warming, trapping the sun's energy in the atmosphere. The world's average temperature has already risen 1.4 degrees (0.8 degrees Celsius)," it reiterates. "Much of projected rise in temperature is because of developing nations, which aren't talking much about cutting their emissions, scientists said at a United Nations press conference Thursday."

"‘We are headed toward very serious changes in our planet,’ said Achim Steiner, head of the U.N.'s environment program."

"Even if the developed world cuts its emissions by 80 percent and the developing world cuts theirs in half by 2050…the world is still facing a 3-degree (1.7 degree Celsius) said Robert Corell, a prominent U.S. climate scientist who helped oversee the update."

"…still translates into a nearly 5 degree (2.7 degree Celsius) increase in world temperature by the end of the century. European leaders and the Obama White House have set a goal to limit warming to just a couple degrees."

What they have not explained is how they are going to reach that objective, nor the GDP contribution to invest in poor countries and compensate for the damage occasioned by the volume of contaminating gases that the most industrialized nations have discharged into the atmosphere. World public opinion must acquire a solid culture on climate change. Even if there isn’t the slightest error of calculation, humanity will be marching to the edge of the abyss.

When Obama was meeting in Pittsburgh with his G-20 guests to talk about the delights of Capua, the Summit of the Heads of State of UNASUR and the Organization of African Unity [African Union] was beginning on the Venezuelan Isla Margarita. More than 60 presidents, prime ministers and high-ranking representatives of South American and Africa met there. Also present were Lula, Cristina Fernández and President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, who had arrived from Pittsburgh to enjoy a warmer and more fraternal summit, during which the problems of the Third World were covered with much frankness. The president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Rafael Chávez, was brilliant and vibrant in that Summit. I had the agreeable possibility of listening to the voices of known and proven friends.

Cuba is grateful for the support and solidarity that emerged from that Summit, where nothing was left in oblivion.

Whatever happens, the peoples will become constantly more aware of their rights and their duties!

What a great battle will be waged in Copenhagen!

Fidel Castro Ruz
September 27, 2009
6.14 p.m.

Translated by Granma International

- Reflections oF Fidel