[Marxism] Fidel Castro: "A Silent Complicity"

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Thu Oct 11 06:51:50 MDT 2007

Reflections by Cuban President Fidel Castro
A Silent Complicity
October 10, 2007

The world cannot afford to let the tragedy of NATO's war against
Yugoslavia be forgotten due to the silence of those who were actors
and accomplices of that brutal genocide.

President Clinton, National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, Secretary
of State Madeleine Albright and other close collaborators of the
President, including the person who was ordered by Berger not to take
notes when Cuba was discussed, were at the meeting Clinton held with
Aznar in the White House on April 13, 1999, where the decision to
intensify the bombings was made, and Aznar suggested that Serbian
television, radio and other facilities be bombed, in actions that
would take the lives of innumerable defenseless civilians.

Some of them, through press statements or in a book or memoir, may
have individually written about the adventure, but none focused on
the real danger and suicidal wars that the United States is leading
the world to. The publication of the existing secret documents could
be the legacy of a President in 200 years from now, when, judging by
the pace we're going at, there will no longer be any publicity or

Less than ten years have since gone by.

In Europe and elsewhere they have many accomplices keeping silence.

After my third message was sent to Milosevic, Italy's Minister of
Transportation visited Cuba. I met with him on March 30, 1999 and
directly discussed the issue of the war against Yugoslavia.

What follows is a summary of what I said to him, according to the
notes taken during our conversation, in the presence of my Office
staff and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

"I began by asking why they had invaded Serbia and how they were
going to reach a settlement. I told him that, in my opinion, it had
been a great mistake and that, were the Serbs to offer resistance,
they would run into a cul-de-sac. Why did Europe need to dismantle
Yugoslavia, which had implemented many reforms and which, strictly
speaking -the Cold War having ended- could not be labeled a communist
state and, much less, an enemy of Europe? I explained that, in order
to satisfy the German government's demand, Europe had encouraged and
supported the separation of Croatia, where, during World War II, Nazi
Germany organized the fearful chetniks, groups which perpetrated
countless crimes and massacres against the Serbs and the liberation
movement headed by Tito.

"Due to this complacency and lack of political foresight, in the
prevailing euphoria of the days when the socialist block and the
Soviet Union were in a crisis, Europe dismantled Yugoslavia. This
resulted in bloody episodes and, specially, in the long and violent
war in Bosnia and, ultimately, in NATO's current war against Serbia.
By then, Macedonia's separation had also taken place, which meant the
mutilation of the greater part of the Yugoslav Federation. Only
Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo remained.

"As everyone knows, for decades Kosovo's population of Albanian
descent grew uninterruptedly until it became the broad majority. 
In Tito's lifetime, long before his death, many Serbian families left
Kosovo seeking safety faced with the numerous acts of violence that
extremist groups from Kosovo committed against them. At that time, in
Kosovo, the Serbs were subjected to what today is called ethnic

"Yugoslavia's unnecessary and bloody disintegration encouraged and
unleashed the underlying conflicts between the majority, of Albanian
descent, and Kosovo's Serbian minority, conflicts which are at the
root of the current problem.

"The Serbian people are the essential core of what remains of the
former Yugoslavia. They are a combative and courageous people who
have been profoundly humiliated. I was convinced that, offered ample
autonomy, Serbia would have accepted an honorable and peaceful
settlement of the conflicts in Kosovo.

"Kosovo's moderate groups, acting in an intelligent and constructive
fashion, supported this settlement, as the presence of a broad
majority of Albanian descent would, sooner or later, make the
peaceful emergence of an independent state possible. Europe knows
perfectly well that Kosovo's extremist groups did not want this
settlement; they demanded immediate independence and, because of
this, wanted the intervention of NATO forces.

"It is unfair to lay all of the responsibility on Serbia. Serbia has
not invaded any sovereign country. What it has done, in essence, is
oppose the military presence of foreign troops in its territory. 
For months, in recent weeks particularly, it has known nothing but
constant threats. Its unconditional surrender was urged. No country
can be treated like that, let alone the people who, in the days of
Europe's occupation, fought most heroically against the Nazis and
have ample experience in irregular warfare.

"If the Serbs resist -and I am convinced that they will resist- NATO
will have no other option but to commit genocide, but such an action
would fail, for two reasons:

"Firstly: they would be unable to defeat the Serbian people if the
latter applied all of its experience and irregular warfare doctrine.

"Secondly: Public opinion in NATO member countries themselves would
not allow such an action.

"Armored divisions, stealth bombers, tomahawk, cruise missiles or any
other so-called intelligent weapon would not suffice. A missile or
bomb would have to be launched for every person capable of carrying a
rifle, a bazooka or a portable anti-aircraft weapon. All of NATO's
power would, in this case, be useless. There are star wars and there
are ground wars. All high-tech equipment notwithstanding, individual
combatants would be the most important element in this type of war.

"Beyond Kosovo, a much more serious problem is emerging, to the
detriment of Europe's and the world's interests. Russia has been
humiliated terribly. NATO has already advanced to the borders of what
was once the Soviet Union and it is promising to include other states
of the former socialist block, and even Baltic countries that were
part of the Soviet Union. Russians have every reason to think they
will not stop until they reach the walls of the Kremlin.

"Like the Serbs, the Russians are a Slavic people and this sense of
identity is very strong among these peoples. The attacks on Serbia
are profoundly humiliating for them and, more than any other action,
they have produced deep and justified feelings of insecurity, not
only among the Russians but in India and China as well, and these
countries will undoubtedly attempt to ally themselves to Russia to
guarantee their security. I doubt the Russians would cease to do
whatever is necessary to retain a response capability which would be
their sole guarantee in this situation.

"Neither Europe nor the world, with their current and overwhelming
economic problems, would gain anything through such a course of

"A few days ago, in the early morning of March 26, while returning
from Colombia to Russia before schedule, the President of the Russian
Federation's State DUMA, Guennadi Selezniov, made a stopover at
Havana's airport. I took up these issues with him of my own
initiative. I told him no military solution was possible, that,
without a doubt, any effort to offer Serbia military aid would
inevitably lead to a general war, as the only means available to wage
such a war today are not conventional. I said also that the battle
was of a political, not military, nature.

"Selezniov publicly expressed this point of view I shared with him.

"Both, Europe and the world are duty-bound to find such a settlement,
which, though difficult and complex, is perfectly possible. 
If, rather than devote all their efforts to threatening Serbia with
terrible bombings, they had brought pressures to bear on extremists
in Kosovo, such a settlement could have been reached. Only NATO can
contain extremists in Kosovo through frank and uncompromising
efforts. It is not a question of using weapons to achieve this, but,
rather, of warning the extremists in such a way that they will be
certain, beyond all doubt, that they do not have NATO's support.
There is no question that the bombs that have been dropped on Serbia
for a week now will never contribute to these dissuasive efforts.

"In addition to this, I believe it is a serious political mistake
that the United States and Europe should try to keep Russia on the
edge of the precipice in economic terms by imposing it the
International Monetary Fund's unviable formulas.

"The West makes no mention of the 300 billion dollars that have been
stolen from Russia and relocated to Portugal, Spain, France, Italy,
Austria and other countries. This is fifteen times the miserable
20-billion-dollar loan that the International Monetary Fund has been
discussing for months now. The West, which recommended or imposed
these models and policies on Russia, shares in the responsibility for
this ruthless plundering of Russia's wealth.

"An internal explosion in Russia would be catastrophic. This is
coupled with NATO's encroachment, which I've already mentioned, the
proposal to cancel the Strategic Anti-Missile Defense Agreement and,
now, the incredible humiliation surrounding the attack launched by
NATO's powerful forces against a small country like Serbia.

"I told him I was against all kinds of genocide or slaughters,
regardless of the perpetrator, and that all ethnic groups and
religions, without exception, are deserving of the right to life,
culture and peace.

"If I have taken the liberty of explaining this, it is because I feel
it is my duty to warn you of these dangers and of the need to solve
them. To lay these issues on the table does no harm to anyone and
can, on the contrary, benefit everyone. I again expressed my
conviction that the Serbs would resist, and that a peaceful
settlement was, in my opinion, feasible, even though negotiating with
a country on which thousands of bombs had been dropped and whose
honor, dignity and economy had been dealt a harsh blow was by no
means easy.

"NATO has practically no more military targets to strike, perhaps
only concentrated or moving troops remain, and the easiest thing for
these troops would be to split up to wage another type of war in
which they cannot be destroyed by air strikes.

"Europe knows that ground combat would be very costly in terms of
human lives and, what's more, futile. I added that, were the Serbs to
deploy the strategy we would use in our country in the event of an
invasion by the United States, an area in which they have already
shown extraordinary experience, NATO's war would be futile and
repulsive, an act of genocide in the heart of Europe destined to be
condemned everywhere".

Today is a glorious day for our country, the day in which Carlos
Manuel de Céspedes began Cuba's war of independence against the
Spanish metropolis.

He was a source of inspiration for the generations of Cubans who came
after him. What he taught us was the duty to reflect on and confront
the dangers that menace the human species today.

Fidel Castro Ruz

October 10, 2007

7:55 p.m.

Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews
writer - photographer - activist

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