[Marxism] Castro's TV appearance
lnp3 at panix.com
Tue Jul 13 06:13:53 MDT 2010
Fidel Castro returns to TV with dire warning of nuclear conflict
In rare appearance, Cuba's former president, 82, analyses Middle East
situation and says Iran will not be cowed by the US
* Jo Tuckman in Mexico City
Former Cuban leader Fidel Castro speaks on Cuban television Former
president Fidel Castro speaks on Cuban television, the second time in
less than a week that he has made a public appearance. Photograph: Reuters
The Middle East is on the verge of a nuclear war triggered by a US
attack on Iran in the name of preventing the country from developing its
own weapons, according to ageing Cuban revolutionary Fidel Castro.
"To do this on the basis of a calculation that the Iranians are going to
come running out to ask the Yankees for forgiveness is absurd," Castro
said. "They [the US] will encounter a terrible resistance that will
spread the conflict that cannot end up any other way than turning nuclear."
The former Cuban president said Israel would throw the first bomb, but
the risk that red buttons would also be pressed in Pakistan and India
Castro made the prediction on Cuban TV last night, in a dramatic return
to public life after four years in near-seclusion.
"The US is activating the machinery to destroy Iran," he said. "But the
Iranians have been building up a defensive force little by little for
Castro said attacking Iran would have a very different result from
invading Iraq. "When Bush attacked Iraq, Iraq was a divided country," he
said. "Iran is not divided."
The Cuban leader also emphasised that India, Pakistan and Israel are the
three nuclear powers who have refused to sign the nuclear
"The control that Israel has over the United States is enormous."
"US foreign policy is better described as the policy of total impunity."
The leader of the 1959 Cuban Revolution who went on to become an icon of
resistance to US dominance in Latin America during the Cold War, and
ended up as the great survivor of the fall of communism, fell seriously
ill in 2006. After emergency intestinal surgery he handed power over to
his younger brother Raul, who is now 79, first temporarily and then
Castro appeared in a couple of videotaped interviews with Cuban
television in 2007 and rather more frequently in photographs greeting
foreign leaders visiting the island. He had not been seen in a public
setting until photographs of him visiting a science centre in Havana
were published in the Communist party newspaper Granma on Monday. He was
shown smiling and chatting to workers, dressed in sports clothes and
Still the official head of Cuba's Communist party, Castro maintains a
lively presence in print, publishing regular 'Reflections' on his own
nation and the world.
In recent weeks he has turned his attention to the Middle East, prompted
by the Israeli raid on an aid convoy attempting to break the blockade of
Gaza on 31 May. During Monday's broadcast of a special edition of a
daily public affairs show called Round Table, the 82-year-old looked
rather frail and his voice was somewhat weak. He shuffled papers and
quoted extensively from the Arabic press, Pentagon and Noam Chomsky,
Dressed casually in a tracksuit top over a checked shirt, the man once
known for always wearing military fatigues, interspersed his warnings of
imminent nuclear conflict with a rambling history lecture that ranged
from the roots of the Korean war to the Cuban missile crisis, by way of
the war in Angola.
"We have experiences of being close to it [nuclear war]," he said. "Now
I believe the threat of war has greatly increased. They [the US] is
playing with fire."
News that Castro would appear on TV garnered emotional responses from
Havana residents. "We are so, so excited to see him. It is
unbelievable," sugar ministry worker Paula Alonso told Reuters TV.
"Especially for people from the same generation, we want to see our
Castro's reappearance comes after last week's decision by the regime to
release 52 political prisoners over the next few months, following
negotiations with the Vatican and Spain. They were jailed in 2003 during
a crackdown on dissidence when he was still in power. The first group of
freed prisoners was expected to arrive in Madrid today.
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