Fidel’s message at the launch of La contraofensiva estratégica

We are at an exceptional moment in the history of the human race

THESE days see the end of the time periods given by the United Nations Security Council for Iran to comply with the demands drawn up by the United States related to its nuclear research and enriched uranium program for medical purposes and the production of electrical energy.

That is the only thing that can be proven.

The fear that it is seeking to produce a nuclear weapon is merely a supposition.

In the context of the delicate problem, the United States and its Western allies, among them two of the five nuclear powers with the right to a veto, France and the United Kingdom, backed by the richest and most developed capitalist powers in the world, have promoted an increasing number of sanctions against Iran, a country rich in oil and of Muslim religion. Now, the measures passed include the inspection of its merchant ships and extremely harsh economic sanctions that are leading to the strangulation of its economy.

I have closely followed the grave dangers contained in that situation, given that if a military outbreak should come at that point, the war would rapidly become nuclear and lethal for the rest of the world in its consequences.

I was not seeking publicity or sensationalism by pointing out those dangers. Simply alerting world opinion in the hope that, warned of such a grave danger, it might contribute to avoiding it.

At least it has been possible to draw attention to a problem that was not even being mentioned in the major media outlets of world opinion.

That obliges me to utilize part of the time given to the launch of this book, on whose publication we have been working industriously. I did not want it to coincide with the 7th or the 9th. The former was the end of the 90-day period given by the Security Council to know if Iran had complied with the requisite to authorize the inspection of its merchant fleet. The other date was the end of the three-month period noted in the June 9 Resolution, possibly that time period was the Council’s intention.

To date, we only have the unwonted statement by the director general of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), Japanese Yukiya Amano, a yankis’ man. He fuelled the flames even further and, like Pontius Pilate, washed his hands of it.

A spokesman from the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs commented with merited contempt on his statement. A cable from the EFE agency noted that his affirmation that “’Our friends shouldn’t concern themselves, given that we do not believe that our region is in a position for new military adventures,’ and that ‘Iran is totally prepared to respond to any military invasion,’ was an obvious reference to the Cuban leader Fidel Castro, ‘who warned of the possibility of an Israeli nuclear attack on Iran with the support of the United States.’”

News items on the issue are coming in and are mixed up with others of notable repercussion.

The journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, of the Atlantic Monthly magazine, already known to our public, is publishing parts of the long interview that he had with me, some of whose interesting points he has set about programming prior to a future and extensive article.

“There were many odd things about my recent Havana stopover […] – he relates – “but one of the most unusual was Fidel Castro’s level of self-reflection […] but it seemed truly striking that Castro was willing to admit that he misplayed his hand at a crucial moment in the Cuban Missile Crisis […] that he regrets asking Khruschev to nuke the U.S.” That is true, he did approach the issue and he did ask me that question. Textually, as he expounds it in the first part of his report, his words were: “At a certain point it seemed logical for you to recommend that the Soviets bomb the U.S. Does what you recommended still seem logical now?” Fidel answered: ‘After I’ve seen what I’ve seen, and knowing what I know now, it wasn’t worth it all.’”

I had clearly explained to him, and it is confirmed in writing, the content of the message “…if the imperialists invaded Cuba, a country with Russian nuclear weapons, in those circumstances it must never allow a nuclear first strike against it such as the one that was dealt it on June 22, 1941, when the German army and all the European forces attacked the USSR.”

It could be observed that in that brief allusion to the issue, in the second part of the giving that news to the public, readers could not have realized that “if the United States invaded Cuba, a country with Russian nuclear weapons,” in that case I did recommend preventing the enemy from dealing the first strike, nor the profound irony of my reply “…if I had known then what I know now,” in an evident reference to the betrayal committed by a Russian president who, saturated by an alcoholic substance, handed over to the United States that country’s most important military secrets.

At another point in the conversation Goldberg relates: “I asked him if he believed the Cuban model was still something worth exporting.” It is obvious that that question implicitly contained the theory that Cuba was exporting revolution. I replied, “The Cuban model doesn’t even work for us anymore.” I stated that without any bitterness or concern. I am very amused now to see how he interpreted it to the letter and consulted, as he says, with Julia Sweig, the CFR analyst who accompanied him, and drew up the theory that he expounded. But the fact is that my response meant exactly the opposite of what both U.S. journalists interpreted concerning the Cuban model.

As everybody knows, my idea is that the capitalist system no longer serves the United States nor the world, given that it goes from crisis to crisis, crises that are constantly graver, global and repetitive, from which it cannot escape. How could such a system serve for a socialist country such as Cuba?

On hearing that I had an interview with Goldberg, many Arab friends were concerned and sent messages pointing to him as “the great defender of Zionism.”

From all of this one can deduce the great confusion existing in the world. For that reason, I hope that what I am telling them about my thinking will be useful.

The ideas expressed by me are contained in 333 Reflections, by chance, and of them, the last 26 refer exclusively to environmental problems and the imminent danger of a nuclear conflagration.

Now I must add in a very brief synthesis:

I have always condemned the Holocaust. In the Reflections “Obama’s speech in Cairo,” “A blow waiting to happen” and “The opinion of an expert,” I expressed that with all clarity.

I have never been an enemy of the Hebrew people, whom I admire for their ability to resist dispersion and persecution during 2,000 years. Many of the most brilliant talents, Karl Marx and Albert Einstein, were Jews, because it is a nation in which the most intelligent survived, in virtue of a law of nature. In our country, and in the world, they were persecuted and defamed. But this is only a fragment of the ideas that I am defending.

They were not the only people persecuted and defamed for their beliefs. Over more than 12 centuries, Muslims were attacked and persecuted by European Christians, on account of their beliefs, as were the first Christians in Ancient Rome before it became the official religion of that empire. History must be admitted and recorded as it is, with its tragic realities and its ferocious wars. I have spoken about that and that is why, with all reason, I am explaining the dangers humanity is running today, when these have been transformed into the greatest risk of suicide for our fragile species.

If a war on Iran, even conventional in nature, was to be added to that, the United States might just as well turn out the lights and say goodbye. How could it resist a war against 1.5 billion Muslims?

For a real revolutionary, defending peace does not mean renouncing the principles of justice, without which human life and society would lack any meaning.

I still think that Goldberg is a great journalist, capable of expounding, with elegance and mastery, his points of view, which oblige debate. He is not inventing phrases, he is transferring them and interpreting them.

I shall not mention the content of many other aspects of our conversations. I will respect the confidential nature of the issues that we approached, while awaiting with interest his extensive article.

The current news items flooding in from everywhere oblige me to complete its launch with these words, the seeds of which are contained in the book La contraofensiva estratégica (The Strategic Counteroffensive) that I have just presented.

I consider that all peoples have the right to peace and the enjoyment of the planet’s goods and natural resources. It is shameful what is happening with the populations of many African countries, where millions of skeletal children, women and men can be seen among their inhabitants as a result of a lack of food, water and medicines. Then there is the shocking graphic news arriving from the Middle East, where the Palestinians are being deprived of their lands, their homes demolished by monstrous equipment and, men, women and children, bombarded with live phosphorous and other means of extermination, as well as Dantesque scenes of families exterminated by bombs dropped on Afghani and Pakistani villages by drone aircraft, and the Iraqis, who are dying after years of war, and more than one million lives sacrificed in that battle imposed by a president of the United States.

The last things that could have been anticipated was the news of the expulsion of the French Romany peoples, victims of the cruelty of the French ultra-right, which has already risen to 7,000 of them, victims of another kind of racial holocaust. The energetic protest by the French is elemental while, at the same time, the millionaires are limiting their retirement rights and also reducing employment possibilities.

News has been coming in from the United States of a pastor in the state of Florida, who is proposing to burn the sacred book of the Qur’an in his own church. Even yanki and European military chiefs on punitive war missions were shaken by a news item that they consider risky for their soldiers.

Walter Martínez, the eminent journalist of Venezolana de Televisión’s “Dossier” program, was stunned by such insanity.

Yesterday, Thursday evening, the news came in that the pastor had desisted. One would have to know what the FBI agents who paid him a visit “in order to persuade him” had to say. It was a huge media show, a chaos, the very things of an empire that is sinking.

I thank you all for your attention.

September 10, 2010

Translated by Granma International


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