Cuban Leader Fidel Castro denounces in his Op-eds, " Reflections of Fidel," a potential NATO intervention in Libya led by the US. He says that United States and NATO are after Libya's oil, the reason he claims the West (called the "Yankee Transnational") wants to take advantage of the internal conflict in Libya to promote military intervention.
Castro, however, is cautious and ambiguous in his position on Libya's internal crisis. From one side, as a revolutionary leader, he supports the "revolutionary wave" across the Middle East, and openly saluted the fall of former Egyptian President, Hosni Mubarak, whom he considered a Yankee ally. From the other side, Castro sees in Gaddafi the successor to Abdel Nasser, whom he admires, as well as a valuable fighter against Imperialism.
The Cuban leader tries, therefore, to give support to his "comrade" Gaddafi, but tries at the same time not to delegitimize completely the uprising in Libya, as speaking out against it would mean delegitimizing the other revolutions in the region as well. "One can be in agreement with Gaddafi or not," Castro writes. To keep his ambiguous position, Castro claims that the news coming from the "Empire's media" is inciting violence in Libya, while the "Empire" prepares the ground for a NATO invasion. Castro supports instead Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's efforts to avoid a military operation in Libya, which would mean the end of Gaddafi's regime.
Castro might also be concerned that similar military operations could be led in Latin America against his 52-year dictatorship. Castro joins Gaddafi (42 years in power) in the category of political criminals of contemporary history along with: Kim Il-Sung (North Korea, 46 years in power), Saddam Hussein (Iraq, 35 years in power), Francisco Franco (Spain, 36 years in power), Antonio de Oliveira Salazar (Portugal, 36 years in power), Alfredo Stroessner (Paraguay, 35 years in power), Sekou Toure (Guinea, 26 years in power). While the dictators mentioned above were removed from power, however, Castro and Gaddafi are still oppressing their people.
From the press:
NATO's inevitable war (Part II)
- We abstained from expressing opinions on the concepts of the Libyan leadership
- I strongly oppose the cynicism and lies currently being used to justify the invasion and occupation of Libya
- Chavez is making a valiant effort to find a solution without NATO intervention
NATO's inevitable war
- NATO could not miss the opportunity to take advantage of Libya's internal conflict
- The very leaders of the rebellion reject any foreign military intervention
Cynicism's Dance of Death
- The empire's mass media have prepared the ground for action
- Would the revolutionary wave stop a NATO intervention?
NATO's plan is to occupy Libya
- One can be in agreement with Gaddafi or not
- The worst injustice would be to remain silent in the face of the crime that NATO is preparing to commit against the Libyan people
Published on March 4, 2011
Media Outlet: Cuba Debate, Granma (Cuba)
Title: NATO's inevitable war (Part II)
When Gaddafi, aged 28 and a colonel in the Libyan army, inspired by his Egyptian colleague Abdel Nasser, overthrew King Idris I in 1969, he implemented important revolutionary measures such as agrarian reform and the nationalization of oil. The increasing income was dedicated to economic and social development, particularly educational and health services for the small Libyan population located in a vast desert territory with very little arable land. An extensive and deep sea of "fossil water" existed beneath that desert. When I heard about an experimental cultivation area I had the impression that, in the future, those aquifers would be more valuable than oil.
We abstained from expressing opinions on the concepts of the Libyan leadership
Religious faith, preached with the fervor that characterizes Muslim nations, helped in part to compensate for the strong tribal tendency that still survives in this Arab country. Libyan revolutionaries devised and implemented their own ideas in relation to legal and political institutions, which Cuba, as a principle, respected. We totally abstained from expressing any opinions concerning the concepts of the Libyan leadership.
We can clearly see that the fundamental concern of the United States and NATO is not Libya, but the revolutionary wave unleashed in the Arab world, which they wish to prevent at all costs. It is an irrefutable fact that relations between the United States and its NATO allies in recent years were excellent until the rebellion in Egypt and in Tunisia arose. In high-level meetings between Libya and NATO leaders, none of the latter had any problems with Gaddafi. The country was a secure source of high-quality oil, gas and even potassium supplies. The problems that arose between them in the early decades had been overcome.
Strategic sectors such as oil pumping and transportation were opened up to foreign investment. Privatizations were extended to many public enterprises. The International Monetary Fund exercised its beatific role in the implementation of those operations. Logically, [Former Spanish PM] Aznar was fulsome in his praise of Gaddafi and after him, [Former British PM] Blair, [Italian PM] Berlusconi, [French President] Sarkozy, [Spanish PM] Zapatero and even my friend the King of Spain, paraded past the sardonic regard of the Libyan leader. They were happy. Although it might seem that I am mocking, that is not the case; I am simply asking myself why they now want to take Gaddafi before the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
I strongly oppose the cynicism and lies currently being used to justify the invasion and occupation of Libya
They are accusing him 24 hours a day of firing on unarmed citizens who were protesting. Why did they not explain to the world that the weapons and, above all, the sophisticated machinery of repression possessed by Libya, was supplied by the United States, Britain and other illustrious hosts of Gaddafi?
I strongly oppose the cynicism and lies currently being used to justify the invasion and occupation of Libya.
The last time I visited Gaddafi was in May 2001, fifteen years after Reagan attacked his very modest residence; Gaddafi took me to see what was left of it. It had received a direct hit from the aircraft and was considerably destroyed; his little daughter, three years of age, had died in the attack: she was murdered by Ronald Reagan. There was no prior agreement on the part of NATO, the Human Rights Committee, or the Security Council.
Chavez is making a valiant effort to find a solution without NATO intervention
My previous visit had taken place in 1977, eight years after the beginning of the revolutionary process in Libya. I visited Tripoli; I took part in the General People's Congress in Sebha; I toured the first agricultural experiments with water pumped from the vast sea of fossil waters; I visited Benghazi, I was the object of a warm reception. It was a legendary country which had been the scenario of historic battles in World War II. It did not as yet have six million inhabitants, nor were its enormous volumes of oil and fossil waters known. […]
The Revolution in the Arab world so feared by the United States and NATO is that of those who lack all rights in the face of those who flaunt all privileges, and thus is destined to be more profound than the one unleashed in Europe in 1789 with the storming of the Bastille. Not even Louis XIV, when he proclaimed that he was the state, possessed the privileges of King Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz of Saudi Arabia, especially the vast wealth that lies below the surface of that almost desert country, where Yankee transnationals determine the pumping and thus the price of oil in the world. […]
The Bolivarian president, Hugo Chavez, is making a valiant effort to find a solution without NATO intervention in Libya. The chances of his attaining that objective would improve if he can achieve the feat of creating a broad movement of opinion before and not after the intervention takes place, and the peoples do not have to see the atrocious experience of Iraq repeated in other countries.
End of Reflection.
Fidel Castro Ruz
March 3, 2011, 10:32 p.m
Published on March 3, 2011
Media Outlet: Cuba Debate, Granma (Cuba)
Title: NATO's inevitable war
As opposed to the situation in Egypt and Tunisia, Libya occupies first place in the Human Development Index within Africa and has the highest life expectancy rate on the continent. Education and health receive special state attention. The cultural level of the population is without a doubt higher. Its problems are of another nature. The population is not in need of food or basic social services. The country requires many foreign workers to implement its ambitious production and social development plans.
Therefore it offers employment to hundreds of thousands of workers from Egypt, Tunisia, China and other nations. It has an enormous income and hard currency reserves deposited in the banks of rich countries, with which it acquires consumer goods and even sophisticated weapons, supplied by the very countries that now want to invade in the name of human rights.
The colossal campaign of lies unleashed by the mass media has created much confusion in world public opinion. Some time will pass before what really has happened in Libya is reconstructed, and real events are separated from the falsified ones that have been disseminated. Serious and prestigious broadcasters such as [Venezuelan channel] Telesur have been obliged to send reporters and photographers to one group's activities and then to the opposite side's, to report what was really occurring. […]
NATO could not miss the opportunity to take advantage of Libya's internal conflict
Imperialism and NATO – seriously concerned about the revolutionary wave unleashed in the Arab world, which produces a large portion of the oil sustaining the consumer economies of the rich, developed countries – could not miss the opportunity to take advantage of Libya's internal conflict to promote a military intervention. The statements formulated by the United States government from early on were clearly in this vein. […]
Despite the torrent of lies and the confusion created, the United States was unable to drag China or the Russian Federation into the UN Security Council's approval of military intervention in Libya, although it did achieve its current objectives within the Human Rights Council. As for a military intervention, the Secretary of State declared in words which did not leave the slightest doubt, "No option is off the table."
The very leaders of the rebellion reject any foreign military intervention
The fact is that Libya is involved in a civil war, as we had foreseen, and there is nothing the United Nations could have done to prevent it, except that its own Secretary General sprinkled a hefty dose of fuel on the fire. The problem which these actors perhaps never imagined is that the very leaders of the rebellion have burst upon the complicated scene, declaring that they reject any foreign military intervention.
Various news agencies reported that Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, spokesperson for the Libyan National Council, stated on Monday 28th that "The rest of Libya will be liberated by the Libyan people." "We can count on the army to liberate Tripoli," Ghoga assured, announcing the formation of a "National Council" to represent the country's cities in the hands of the insurrection. "What we want is intelligence information, but in no case that our air, land or sea sovereignty is affected," he added during a meeting with journalists in this city 1,000km east of Tripoli.
"The intransigence of opposition leaders over national sovereignty reflected opinions spontaneously expressed by many Libyan citizens to the international press in Benghazi," according to an AFP cable this past Monday. That same day, Abeir Imneina, a professor of political sciences at the University of Benghazi, stated, "There is a very strong feeling of nationalism in Libya."
"Moreover, the Iraqi example scares everyone in the Arab world," she stressed, in reference to the 2003 U.S. invasion, which was to have brought democracy to that country and then, by contagion, to the region as a whole -- a hypothesis totally refuted by the facts.
The professor continues, "We know very well what happened in Iraq, which is in the throes of instability. Following in those footsteps is not appealing at all. We do not want the Americans to come and then to have to regret [the end of the rule of] Gaddafi." But according to Abeir Imneina, "There is also the feeling that this is our revolution and that it is up to us forge ahead." […]
I shall continue tomorrow.
Fidel Castro Ruz
March 2, 2011, 8:19 p.m.
Published on February 24, 2011
Media Outlet: Cuba Debate, Granma (Cuba)
Title: Cynicism's dance of death
The politics of plunder imposed by the United States and its NATO allies in the Middle East is in crisis. This was inevitably unleashed with the high cost of grain, the effects of which are being felt with more force in the Arab nations where, despite their enormous oil resources, the shortage of water, arid areas and generalized poverty of the people contrast with the vast resources derived from oil possessed by the privileged sectors. […]
The genie is out of the bottle and NATO does not know how to control it. They are going to try to take maximum advantage of the lamentable events in Libya. No one is capable of knowing at this time what is happening there. All of the figures and versions, even the most improbable, have been disseminated by the empire through the mass media, sowing chaos and misinformation.
It is evident that a civil war is developing in Libya. Why and how was this unleashed? Who will suffer the consequences? The Reuters news agency, repeating the opinion of the well-known Nomura Japanese bank, said that the price of oil could surpass all limits: "If Libya and Algeria were to halt oil production together, prices could peak above US$220/bbl and OPEC spare capacity will be reduced to 2.1mmbbl/d, similar to levels seen during the Gulf war and when prices hit US$147/bbl in 2008,' the bank stated in a note." Who could pay this price today? What will be the consequences for the food crisis?
The empire's mass media have prepared the ground for action
The principal NATO leaders are exalted. British Prime Minister David Cameron, reported ANSA, "'admitted in a speech in Kuwait that the Western countries made a mistake in supporting non-democratic governments in the Arab world.'" He should be congratulated for his frankness. His French colleague Nicolas Sarkozy declared, "The prolonged brutal and bloody repression of the Libyan civilian population is repugnant." Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini declared "believable" the figure of one thousand dead in Tripoli […] 'the tragic figure will be a bloodbath." Ban Ki-moon added, "The use of violence in the country is absolutely unacceptable." "…the Security Council will act in accordance with what the international community decides."
What Ban Ki-moon is really waiting for is that Obama give the last word.
The President of the United States spoke Wednesday afternoon and stated that the Secretary of State would leave for Europe in order to reach an agreement with the NATO European allies as to what measures to take. Noticeable on his face was his readiness to take on the right-wing Republican John McCain; Joseph Lieberman, the pro-Israel Senator from Connecticut; and Tea Party leaders, in order to guarantee his nomination by the Democratic Party.
The empire's mass media have prepared the ground for action. There would be nothing strange about a military intervention in Libya, which would, additionally, guarantee Europe almost two million barrels of light oil a day, if events do not occur beforehand to put an end to the presidency or life of Gaddafi.
Would the revolutionary wave stop a NATO intervention?
In any event, Obama's role is complicated enough. What would the Arab and Islamic world's reaction be if much blood is spilled in this country in such an adventure? Would the revolutionary wave unleashed in Egypt stop a NATO intervention? […]
No one in the world will ever be in favor of the deaths of defenseless civilians in Libya or anywhere else. I ask myself, would the United States and NATO apply that principle to the defenseless civilians killed by Yankee drones, and this organization's soldiers, every day in Afghanistan and Pakistan?
It is cynicism's Dance of Death.
Fidel Castro Ruz
February 23, 2011, 7:42 p.m.
Published on February 21, 2011
Media Outlet: Cuba Debate, Granma (Cuba)
Title: NATO's plan is to occupy Libya
Oil became the principal wealth in the hands of the large Yankee transnationals; with that source of energy, they had at their disposal an instrument that considerably increased their political power in the world. It was their principal weapon when they decided simply to liquidate the Cuban Revolution as soon as the first, just and sovereign laws were enacted in our homeland: by depriving it of oil.
Current civilization was developed on the basis of this source of energy. Of the nations in this hemisphere it was Venezuela which paid the highest price. The United States made itself the owner of the vast oilfields which nature endowed upon that sister nation. […]
When our Revolution arose, Algeria, Libya and Egypt were not as yet oil producers and a large part of the substantial reserves of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and the United Arab Emirates were still to be discovered. In December of 1951, Libya became the first African country to attain its independence after World War II, during which its territory was the scene of significant battles between German and British troops, bringing fame to Generals Erwin Rommel and Bernard. L. Montgomery.
Total desert covers 95% of its territory. Technology made it possible to find significant fields of excellent quality light oil, currently providing 800 billion barrels per day, and abundant natural gas deposits. Such wealth allowed it to achieve a life expectancy rate of close to 75 years and the highest per capita income in Africa. Its harsh desert is located above an enormous lake of fossil water, equivalent to more than three times the land surface of Cuba, which has made it possible to construct a broad network of fresh water pipes which extends throughout the country.
Libya, which had one million inhabitants upon attaining its independence, now has a population of more than six million.
One can be in agreement with Gaddafi or not
The Libyan Revolution took place in September 1969. Its principal leader was Muammar al-Gaddafi, a soldier of Bedouin origin who was inspired in his early youth by the ideas of the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser. Without any doubt, many of his decisions are associated with the changes that came about when, as in Egypt, a weak and corrupt monarchy was overthrown in Libya.
The inhabitants of that country have age-old warrior traditions. It is said that the ancient Libyans formed part of Hannibal's army when he was at the point of liquidating Ancient Rome with the force that crossed the Alps.
One can be in agreement with Gaddafi or not. The world has been invaded with all kind of news, especially through the mass media. We shall have to wait the time needed to discover precisely how much is truth or lies, or a mix of the events, of all kinds, which, in the midst of chaos, have been taking place in Libya. What is absolutely evident to me is that the government of the United States is totally unconcerned about peace in Libya and will not hesitate to give NATO the order to invade that rich country, possibly in a matter of hours or a few days.
Those who, with perfidious intentions, invented the lie that Gaddafi was headed for Venezuela, as they did yesterday afternoon Sunday, February 20, today received a worthy response from Nicolás Maduro, Venezuelan Minister of Foreign Affairs, when he stated textually that he was "voting for the Libyan people, in the exercise of their sovereignty, to find a peaceful solution to their difficulties which will preserve the integrity of the Libyan people and nation, without the interference of imperialism…"
The worst injustice would be to remain silent in the face of the crime that NATO is preparing to commit against the Libyan people
For my part, I cannot imagine the Libyan leader abandoning the country, eluding the responsibilities attributed to him, whether or not this news is partly or totally false.
An honest person will always be against any injustice committed against any nation of the world, and the worst injustice, at this moment, would be to remain silent in the face of the crime that NATO is preparing to commit against the Libyan people. The chief of that military organization is being urged to do so. This must be condemned!
Fidel Castro Ruz
February 21, 2011, 10:14 p.m.