Fidel at the Non-Aligned Conference (text)

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue Feb 25 07:24:37 MST 2003


(As Washington tries to obtain endorsement
from the UN Security Council for its war on
Iraq, and implicitly on any other country that
it chooses, Cuba addresses the Non-Aligned
Movement to explain the stakes in the struggle
and advances a political platform of resistence.

(Fidel particularly notes the key role of world
and U.S. public opinion - i.e., the anti-war
movement - in saving the human race from
possible extinction at this crucial time.)
================================

REMARKS BY DR. FIDEL CASTRO RUZ,
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA,
TO THE XIII CONFERENCE OF HEADS OF
STATE OR GOVERNMENT OF THE
NON-ALIGNED MOVEMENT.
KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA,
FEBRUARY 25, 2003.

Your Excellency and very dear friend Mahathir
bin Mohamad, Prime Minister of Malaysia:

Esteemed leaders and members of delegations:

Distinguished guests:

These are hard times we are living. In recent months,
we have more than once heard scarily words and
statements. In his speech to the West Point graduating
cadets, on June 1st, 2002, the United States President
stated:

    "Our security will require transforming the
    military you lead, a military that must be
    ready to strike at a moment's notice in
    any dark corner of the world."

That same day, he proclaimed the doctrine of a
pre-emptive strike, something that no one had ever
done in the political history of the world. A few
months later, while referring to the unnecessary and
almost certain military action against Iraq, he said:

    "And if war is forced upon us, we will fight with the
    full force and might of the United States Army."

That statement was not made by the government of a
small and weak nation, but by the leader of the
richest and mightiest military power that has ever
existed, the same that possesses thousands of nuclear
weapons enough to obliterate the world population
several times over-- and other fearful conventional
military systems and weapons of mass destruction.
That is what we are: Dark corners of the world.

That is the perception some have of the Third World
nations. Never before had anyone offered a better
definition; no one had shown such despise.

The former colonies of powers that divided the world
among them and plundered it for centuries constitute
today the group of underdeveloped countries. There is
nothing like full independence, fair treatment on
equal footing or national security for any of us; none
is a permanent member of the UN Security Council with
a veto right; none has any possibility to be involved
in the decisions of the International Financial
Institutions; none can keep its best talents; none
can protect itself from the flight of capital or the
destruction of Nature and the environment caused by
the squandering, selfish and insatiable consumerism of
the economically developed countries.

After the latest world carnage in the l940s, we were
promised a world of peace, the reduction of the gap
between the rich and the poor and the assistance of
the highly developed to the less developed countries.

It was all a huge lie. We were imposed an
unsustainable and unbearable world order. The world
is being driven to a dead road and within hardly 150
years, the oil and gas it took the planet 300 million
years to accumulate will have been depleted.

In just one hundred years, the world population has
grown from 1.5 billion to over 6 billion people that
will have to fully depend on energy sources that are
still to be researched and developed. Poverty
continues its expansion while old and new diseases
threaten whole nations with annihilation. The soils
are eroded and lose fertility; the climate is
changing; breathing air, drinking water and
the seas are increasingly contaminated.

Authority is snatched from the United Nations,
its established procedures obstructed, and the
Organization itself destroyed; development assistance
is reduced; there are continuous demands from the
Third World countries to pay a 2.5 trillion US dollars
debt that cannot be paid under the present
circumstances while one trillion US dollars are spent
in ever more sophisticated and deadly weapons.
Why is that? What is that for?

A similar amount is spent on commercial publicity,
sowing consumerist expectations that cannot be
realized into the minds of billions of people.
Why is that and what for?

For the first time the human species is running a
real risk of extinction due to the insane behavior of
the very same human beings, who are thus becoming
the victims of such "civilization". However, no one will
fight for us, that is, for the overwhelming majority,
only we will do it.

Only we can save humanity ourselves with the support
of millions of manual and intellectual workers from
the developed nations who are conscious of the
catastrophes befalling their peoples. Only we can do
it by sowing ideas, building awareness and mobilizing
the world public opinion and the American public
opinion.

No one needs to be told this. You know it very well.
Our most sacred duty is to fight, and fight we will!

Thank you, very much.






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