[OPE-L:7326] Fwd: Fw: FIDEL: MAY 1 2002 Speech (English)

From: dashyaf@easynet.co.uk
Date: Tue Jun 04 2002 - 07:04:00 EDT

>Date: Sun, 12 May 2002 17:57:12 +0100
>Subject: Fwd: Fw: FIDEL: MAY 1 2002 Speech (English)
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>>From: "Suz Sunflower" <sunflowersuz@hotmail.com>
>>To: dashyaf@easynet.co.uk
>>Subject: Fwd: Fw: FIDEL: MAY 1 2002 Speech (English)
>>Date: Tue, 07 May 2002 12:31:27 +0000
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>>>1st 2002
>>>Official Translation - May 3, 2002
>>>Distinguished guests;
>>>Dear countrymen:
>>>We were condemned in Geneva by those who believe that this sea of
>>>people gathered here, which can be seen from every corner of the globe,
>>>has been deprived of its human rights. I am certain that not one of
>>>those Latin American countries that promoted, co-sponsored or supported
>>>this project could gather even 5% of the number here in their
>>>respective capitals.
>>>Are these fanatic, ignorant and uncultured individuals who lack any
>>>historical or political knowledge? If we were to ask this mass of
>>>people if there were any amongst them who could not read or write; or
>>>if there were any functional illiterate people who had never studied
>>>beyond grammar school, not one person could raise their hand. But if we
>>>were to ask how many of this same mass have the education of a ninth
>>>grader or above, more than  90%, would raise their hands. The only
>>>ones who wouldn't raise their hands would be the students who haven't
>>>yet reached their 15th birthdays.
>>>Our people's glorious tradition of rebellion and patriotic
>>>struggle, to which we must today add a full and profound understanding
>>>of freedom, equality and human dignity; their solidarity and
>>>internationalist spirit; their self-confidence and heroic conduct; 43
>>>years of tenacious and unrelenting struggle against the powerful
>>>empire; a broad and solid political culture and an extraordinary
>>>humanism --all of these qualities cultivated by the Revolution-- have
>>>made Cuba a unique country.
>>>Wretched indeed is the destiny of hundreds of millions of people in
>>>this part of the world who, from a truly human perspective, have been
>>>as yet unable to emerge from humanity's prehistory. And it will not be
>>>possible for them to escape such condition while the pillage that
>>>slaughtered tens of millions of their native ancestors, successively
>>>turning their countries into colonies, neo-colonies and economically
>>>dependant and underdeveloped countries, continues to govern their
>>>Events prior to, during and after Geneva are barely distinguishable
>>>from the shameful history with which our people have been more than
>>>familiar since the very first days after the triumph of the Revolution
>>>on January 1st, 1959.
>>>Cuba was the last Latin American country to free itself from
>>>Spanish colonialism after a heroic and lone struggle. Yet, it was
>>>unable to enjoy that victory, as it immediately fell in the hands of
>>>the fledgling North American empire, from which it once again liberated
>>>itself with the same determination and heroism 61 years later although
>>>it would be disgracefully abandoned and betrayed by every other Latin
>>>American government.
>>>No book by Marx or Lenin could illustrate the anti-national,
>>>submissive and treacherous nature of the Latin American oligarchies and
>>>the true significance of imperialism for the destiny of our people as
>>>clearly as the last 43 years of our Revolution's history. Every
>>>oligarchic and bourgeois government joined in the imperialist policy of
>>>isolation, blockade and aggression against Cuba, the sole exception
>>>being a country that had experienced its own great social revolution
>>>some decades before, the same that brought justice and real progress to
>>>the people of a nation mutilated by the insatiable expansionism of its
>>>northern neighbor and made the martyr on numerous occasions throughout
>>>its hazardous and painful history of foreign intervention and conquest.
>>>Tragically, this time the exception has become rule.
>>>Cuba is no longer the illiterate, uncultured and inexperienced
>>>country of those early days. Today, the Latin American population, that
>>>numbered 208 millions at that time including the English-speaking
>>>Caribbean nations, have swelled to 526 millions. They have also had the
>>>opportunity to learn firsthand the meaning of imperialist domination,
>>>exploitation, injustice and pillage. Despite the deluge of slander and
>>>lies against our exemplary people and their admirable struggle, and in
>>>the face of countless capitulations across the globe, there are ever
>>>more people who realize that Cuba is a powerful moral force, that
>>>defends the truth and shows its solidarity with other people of the
>>>Our Latin American brothers have repeatedly been told stories as
>>>fantastic as those in the "Arabian nights," in which they believe
>>>less and less every day. For 50 years they have been told that the
>>>hundreds of thousands of children that die every year due to neglect
>>>and hunger; the millions that work for pitiful salaries cleaning car
>>>windshields or shoes, or being traded or sexually exploited instead of
>>>going to school, represent democracy and respect for human rights. That
>>>the hundreds of millions of human beings living in poverty despite the
>>>immense wealth and natural resources that surround them; the vast
>>>number of unemployed and underemployed people and informal laborers who
>>>survive without the slightest aid, social security or protection; the
>>>medical neglect of mothers, children, old people and the poor
>>>population in general; the marginalization, drugs, lack of security and
>>>crime, are called democracy; are called respect for human rights. That
>>>the death squads, summary executions, torture, and the vanishing and
>>>murder of people; that the bribery, misappropriation, diversion and
>>>bare-faced robbery of public funds while schools and hospitals are
>>>closed, national assets and resources are privatized or often given
>>>away to domestic and foreign friends and partners in crime and
>>>corruption, constitute the fullest expression of democracy and human
>>>rights. It doesn't occur to them that the economic, political and
>>>social system that they defend is a total negation of all possibility
>>>of equality, freedom, democracy, human dignity and justice.
>>>An illiterate person or one whose education barely surpasses 4th
>>>grade, or one who lives in poverty or extreme poverty, or is unemployed
>>>or lives in shanty towns where the most unimaginable conditions are
>>>rife, or a person who wanders the streets exposed to the constant
>>>poison of commercial advertising sowing the seeds of fantasies,
>>>illusions and the desire for impossible consumption, a person such as
>>>this, that indeed could include vast numbers of people in the desperate
>>>daily fight for survival, could be the victim of every kind of abuse,
>>>blackmail, pressure and deceit and could lack any representative
>>>organization or see these crushed. It is certainly unlikely that such a
>>>person could be in a position to understand the complex problems of the
>>>world and the society in which they live. They are in no position to
>>>exercise their democratic rights, nor decide which is the most honest
>>>or demagogic or hypocritical candidate, this under a torrent of
>>>propaganda and lies where those with the most resources spout the most
>>>lies and deceit.
>>>No freedom of expression can exist where the principal and most
>>>effective media are an exclusive monopoly in the hands of the richest
>>>and most privileged sectors, sworn enemies of any economic, political
>>>or social change. The enjoyment of wealth, education, knowledge and
>>>culture are the preserve of those who, accounting for a tiny fraction
>>>of the population, receive the larger part of the goods produced in
>>>their countries. It is no coincidence that Latin America exhibits the
>>>greatest differences between the richest and the poorest.
>>>What kind of democracy and human rights could exist in these
>>>conditions? It would be like trying to grow flowers in the middle of
>>>the Sahara desert.
>>>On the other hand, when the total stripping of natural resources and
>>>the appropriation of human labor is presented as the ideal social and
>>>development model and the FTAA, i.e. the annexation and absorption of
>>>Latin America by the United States and dollarization are offered as the
>>>only way, it is clear that the prevailing political and economic system
>>>is approaching total crisis.
>>>Events in Argentina, that is today embroiled in an unbelievable
>>>economic and political chaos that has reduced the country to hunger,
>>>with more than 20% unemployment among the working population and where
>>>the people's bank savings --especially those of the middle and lower
>>>income classes- have been practically confiscated, point to nothing
>>>less than the swan song of neoliberal globalization. Such a crisis
>>>inevitably produces a complete lack of ethics and values.
>>>The behavior of many leaders as they watch their model economies
>>>collapse like so many houses of cards is truly obnoxious.
>>>People's protests are crushed with amazing violence. Tear gas, people
>>>dragged through the streets, brutality exercised against masses by the
>>>police armed with shields and swathed in the strangest helmets and
>>>outfits giving them the appearance of recent arrivals from a distant
>>>planet, are the methods used to defend that democracy and their
>>>citizen's human rights.
>>>Similar scenes have never been witnessed in our country. Never,
>>>over more than four decades, has force been used against our people.
>>>The revolutionary process grows out of the closest unity and
>>>cooperation of all our people, under a consensus without precedent in
>>>any other country in the world, unworkable and even unimaginable in a
>>>society of exploiters and exploited.
>>>A cultured, rebellious, brave and heroic people such as the Cuban
>>>could never be ruled by force, nor a force exist that would rule it
>>>because the Cuban people is the force. Never would our people stir up
>>>rebellion against themselves because they are the revolution, they are
>>>the government, they are the power. It is with their courage,
>>>intelligence and ideas that they have defended themselves from the most
>>>powerful empire the world has ever known.
>>>Such a political phenomenon had never before occurred in our
>>>Force has always been used by the oligarchs and the empire against
>>>the people.
>>>Each and every one of the Latin American countries that condemned
>>>us in Geneva or co-sponsored the draft resolution against Cuba are well
>>>below achieving the educational, cultural and social rates that are
>>>essential for a healthy, decent and just life of their citizens. Not
>>>one can match Cuba in a single one of these rates.
>>>For the sake of time, I will outline just a few figures for Latin
>>>America as a whole as compared to Cuba.
>>>  - Illiteracy rate: Latin America, 11.7%; Cuba, 0.2%
>>>  - Inhabitants per teacher: Latin America, 98.4; Cuba, 43, in other
>>>    words, 2.3 times as many teachers per capita
>>>  - Primary education enrolment ratio: Latin America, 92%; Cuba, 100%
>>>  - Secondary education enrolment ratio: Latin America, 52%; Cuba, 99.7%
>>>  - Primary school students reaching Fifth Grade: Latin America, 76%;
>>>    Cuba, 100%
>>>  - Infant mortality per thousand live births: Latin America, 32;
>>>    Cuba, 6.2
>>>  - Medical doctors per hundred thousand inhabitants: Latin America,
>>>    160; Cuba, 590
>>>  - Dentists per hundred thousand inhabitants: Latin America, 63;
>>>    Cuba, 89
>>>  - Nurses per hundred thousand inhabitants: Latin America, 69; Cuba, 743
>>>  - Hospital beds per 100 thousand inhabitants: Latin America, 220;
>>>    Cuba, 631.6
>>>  - Medically attended births: Latin America, 86.5%; Cuba, 100%
>>>  - Life expectancy at birth: Latin America, 70 years; Cuba, 76 years
>>>  - Population between 15 and 49 years of age infected with HIV/AIDS:
>>>    Latin America, 0.5%; Cuba, 0.05%
>>>  - Annual AIDS infection rate per million inhabitants, i.e. those who
>>>    develop the disease: Latin America, 65.25; Cuba, 15.6
>>>  - The first international study of the Latin American Laboratory of
>>>    Evaluation of educational quality, carried out in 12 Latin American
>>>    countries including Cuba, produced the following results.  Although
>>>    these data have been already mentioned, I would like to briefly refer
>>>    to them in detail:
>>>  - In Language, 3rd Grade: Cuba, 85.74 points; the remaining 11
>>>    countries, 59.11 points
>>>  - In Language, 4th Grade: Cuba, 87.25; the rest, 63.75
>>>  - In Mathematics, 3rd Grade: Cuba, 87.75; the rest, 58.31
>>>  - In Mathematics, 4th Grade: Cuba, 88.25; the rest, 62.04
>>>What is or will be the future of those countries?
>>>According to these figures, of the seven Latin American countries that
>>>voted against Cuba, four --Costa Rica, Chile, Argentina and Uruguay--
>>>that had boasted in the past of being the most advanced in the region,
>>>fall well behind Cuban figures. In some of these, they reach or scrape
>>>past the half way mark in comparison to Cuba, but in others they are
>>>very well below. This is the case of pre-school education for 0-5 year
>>>olds, for example, that only reaches 15.8%  of the children in that
>>>age group in Chile as compared to Cuba's 99.2%.
>>>It requires a truly cynical person to join such a Mafia-style
>>>adventure, in which they have been involved at the urge of the imperial
>>>The response to the emergence of the Bolivarian Revolution in which
>>>the people and the military joined together to unleash a revolutionary
>>>and democratic process that is also unprecedented, was a fascist coup
>>>The privileged oligarchy, that enjoys the bulk of the country's income
>>>and owns the most powerful media, set its followers on the Bolivarian
>>>people and the headquarters of the President himself under the
>>>influence and support of imperialism. Their goal was a bloody encounter
>>>that could be used to justify the coordinated actions of a small but
>>>extremely well-placed military force. Miraculously a bloody civil war
>>>was averted, thanks to the reasonable and sensible behavior of
>>>President Chávez, the support of the Bolivarian people and the loyalty
>>>of the vast majority of the officers and men of the Armed Forces in
>>>that sister nation. A new page in America's complex and arduous history
>>>has been turned by the very people that began the process of
>>>independence from Spain in this hemisphere.
>>>The stripping of Cuba's right to representation in Monterrey, the
>>>fascist coup in Venezuela and the disgraceful behavior in Geneva in the
>>>order in which they occurred have exposed and offered evidence of the
>>>dirty and hypocritical politics of the empire's lackeys. I must point
>>>out that the Presidents of Brazil, Ecuador, the Dominican Republic,
>>>Haiti and the English-speaking Caribbean countries did not join the
>>>celebrations of the coup. In the same way, Bolivia and Colombia joined
>>>the above countries in rejecting the deplorable behavior in Geneva.
>>>As for the fascist coup, not one condemned it except for the
>>>Argentinean President who was perhaps nervous considering his delicate
>>>political situation in which even a police Sargent could easily
>>>overthrow him.
>>>One month later, when the scandal broke out after the shameful
>>>Monterrey episode, some leaders maintained a decent silence. Not so the
>>>distinguished Secretary General of the discredited and repulsive OAS,
>>>as if that organization really existed. He threw poison darts with his
>>>support for the abuse sustained by Cuba.
>>>What trash are many of those who pretend to be sovereign governors!
>>>The honorable history of our Motherland, that once stood alone in
>>>battle against practically every one of the predecessors to those
>>>governments that voted against Cuba, who had allied themselves to the
>>>United States at that time in support of the Bay of Pigs invasion; that
>>>heroically resisted without a moment's weakness on the brink of being
>>>wiped off the face of the Earth in the October Crisis of 1962; should
>>>shame those conspiring with the United States in Geneva, if they still
>>>have at least, the freedom to be ashamed of themselves. Neither will
>>>they be able to deny without blushing that when the socialist camp
>>>collapsed, the USSR disintegrated, the Yankee blockade was tightened to
>>>include the sale of medicines and food, classified as a crime of
>>>genocide by the 1948 and 1949 Conventions, and all believed that the
>>>Cuban Revolution would be on its knees in just a few weeks, our people
>>>endured with unprecedented heroism and resilience.
>>>Cuba, after withstanding the most unbelievable difficulties and
>>>threats, terrorist attacks and risks of all kinds, has never and will
>>>never lower its flags before the hegemonic superpower that today
>>>hands out orders to its lackeys and bootlickers in this unfortunate
>>>hemisphere through a terrorist made Assistant Secretary of State for
>>>Latin America, showing an utter lack of respect by the United States
>>>government and an utter lack of modesty by its lackeys.
>>>When Cuba's honor, morale and credibility were called into question by
>>>the disagreement with the host country, it became very clear that
>>>hypocrisy and lies are inseparable and almost unique tools of the
>>>prevailing political and economic system in Latin America.
>>>My decency and ethics were under question when, placed in the
>>>dilemma of being loyal to a lie or loyal to the truth; loyal to deceit
>>>and slandering manipulation of the facts, or loyal to our people and
>>>all peoples of the world, I was loyal to the truth and to the people.
>>>The vestal virgins of the temple of hypocrisy tore their clothes in the
>>>name of privacy. Even honest men who had been outraged witnesses in the
>>>past to electoral incidents and dishonest traps of political
>>>adversaries were led to believe that my behavior was inappropriate.
>>>I did not invent anything, I called no-one nor laid any trap for
>>>anyone. I gave as much warning as I could to those who had challenged
>>>me for more than a month with their demands for evidence, evidence and
>>>more evidence. Although by no means did I feel bound by what was later
>>>proved, in the course of events, to be a deceitful trick to force me
>>>into silence and confidentiality over such a significant issue, I
>>>clearly demanded the cessation of all offences. Then, when the lies,
>>>slander and demands for proof continued over several weeks, I fulfilled
>>>the warning I had made.
>>>I was also accused of being vengeful because of the unfulfilled
>>>promise related to Geneva. All my life I have been a gentleman to my
>>>adversaries, even in war situations surrounded by death. I've never
>>>humiliated, offended nor wreaked revenge on a single prisoner, not even
>>>in the case of the Bay of Pigs while my comrades lay mortally wounded
>>>or dead around me. But I do know how to distinguish the ethical from
>>>the unethical. I delayed presentation of the evidence demanded from me
>>>only out of the desire to cause no harm to a sister country I admire
>>>and respect. Representatives from some friendly governments that
>>>participated in the Summit chastised me for not having presented the
>>>evidence in the conference itself.
>>>Lying is and will always be unjustifiable from a political, ethical
>>>and religious perspective. From what I remember of the catechism
>>>lessons I received in 1st Grade in a catholic school, it violates the
>>>eighth commandment of God's law. One must be honorable.
>>>I did not seek any pretexts, and I did not hesitate in expressing the
>>>need and duty to leave a historical record of that conversation which
>>>they asked me to keep private only once it had already begun. My
>>>personal letter to the President was also private, however, it was
>>>published without consulting me 48 hours later, on the very same day I
>>>left Monterrey.
>>>I truly regret having to include this issue in my speech, but I
>>>felt it was my duty to do so. High raking officials from that country
>>>continue to attack us on a daily basis over this subject, which is
>>>still too fresh to consign it to the wastebasket of forgetfulness.
>>>To those who so foolishly speak and repeat the imperialists slogan
>>>that no democracy and no respect for human rights exist in Cuba, let me
>>>repeat: no-one can question the fact that, despite being very small,
>>>our country today is the freest, fairest and most supportive country on
>>>the planet. It is also by far the most democratic. There is only one
>>>Party, but this neither nominates nor elects candidates. This is
>>>completely forbidden: it is the citizens from the grassroots level who
>>>propose, nominate and elect candidates. Our country enjoys an enviable
>>>and ever more solid and indestructible unity. The media is public and
>>>does not and cannot belong to private individuals. It carries no
>>>commercial advertisements and it does not promote consumerism; it
>>>entertains and informs, educates and never alienates.
>>>Cuba already occupies world-wide outstanding and hard-to-surpass
>>>positions in a growing number of fields essential to guarantee life and
>>>the most fundamental political, civil, social, and human rights to
>>>ensure the well-being and future of our people. The mass political
>>>knowledge of the Cuban people is unrivalled in any other country. Its
>>>cultural and social programs and achievements advance at an
>>>unprecedented pace.
>>>Our dreams become reality. A more humane society is possible, lies and
>>>slander notwithstanding. History will bear this out.
>>>Long live Socialism!
>>>Motherland or Death!
>>>We shall overcome!
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