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April 2012, Week 2

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Tue, 10 Apr 2012 16:14:51 -0400
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Stephen Harper's Illusions

    "Stephen Harper's Illusions" is the title of
    the latest reflection by the leader of the
    Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro.

Havana
Prensa Latina
April 9, 2012

http://www.prensa-latina.cu/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=495526&Itemid=73

Reflections By Comrade Fidel

I think -and I do not intend to offend anyone- that
this is how the Prime Minister of Canada is called. I
deduced it from a statement published on "Holy
Wednesday" by a spokesperson of the Foreign Ministry of
that country. The United Nations Organization
membership is made up by almost 200 States -allegedly
independent States. They continuously change or are
forced into change. Many of their representatives are
honorable persons, friends of Cuba; but it is
impossible to remember the specifics about each and
every one of them.

During the second half of the twentieth century, I had
the privilege of living through years of intensive
erudition and I realized that Canadians, located in the
northernmost region of this hemisphere, were always
respectful towards our country. They invested in areas
of their interest and traded with Cuba, but they did
not interfere in the internal affairs of our State.

The revolutionary process that began on January 1st,
1959, did not introduce any measure that affected their
interests, which were taken into account by the
Revolution in maintaining normal and constructive
relations with the authorities of that country where a
significant effort was being made in the interest of
its own development. Thus, they were not accomplices of
the economic blockade, the war and the mercenary
invasion that the United States launched against Cuba.

In May of 1948, the year that witnessed the foundation
of the OAS, an institution with a shameful history
which did away with what little was left from the
dreams of the Liberators of the Americas, Canada was
from belonging to it. It kept that same status for more
than 40 years, until 1990. Some of its leaders visited
us. One of them was Pierre Elliott Trudeau, a brilliant
and courageous politician who died prematurely. We
attended his burial on behalf of Cuba.

The OAS is supposed to be a regional organization made
up by the sovereign States of this hemisphere. Such an
assertion, like many others which are made everyday,
involves a great number of lies. The least we can do is
to be aware of them, if we are to preserve the spirit
of struggle and our confidence on a more decent world.

The OAS is supposed to be a pan-American organization.
Any country in Europe, Africa, Asia or Oceania could
not belong to the OAS just because it has a colony, as
it is the case of France in Guadeloupe; or the
Netherlands in CuraƧao. But the British colonialism
could not define the status of Canada and explain
whether it was a colony, a republic or a kingdom.

The Head of State of Canada is Queen Elizabeth II,
although she vests her powers upon a Governor-General
appointed by her. Therefore, we could ask whether the
United Kingdom is also part of the OAS.

Likewise, the Honorable Foreign Minister of Canada does
not dare to say whether or not he supports Argentina in
the thorny issue of the Malvinas Islands. He has only
expressed beatific wishes for peace to prevail between
the two countries. But Great Britain has there its
biggest military base outside its territory in
violation of Argentina's sovereignty. It did not
apologize for having sunk the 'General Belgrano'
cruiser which was sailing outside the jurisdictional
waters that they themselves established which led to
the futile sacrifice of hundreds of youths who were
doing their military service. We should ask Obama and
Harper what stand they will take in the face of the
fairest claim by Argentina to be given back the
sovereignty over the islands so that it is no longer
deprived of the energy and fishing resources it so much
needs to develop the country.

I was really amazed after I made a much deeper analysis
of the activities carried out by Canadian
transnationals in Latin America. I knew about the
damage caused by the Yankees to the people of Canada.
They forced the country to look for oil by extracting
it from huge extensions of sand that are impregnated
with that fluid, thus causing an irreparable damage to
the environment of that beautiful and extensive
country.

The incredible damage was the one caused to millions of
persons by the Canadian companies specialized in the
mining of gold, precious metals and radioactive
materials.

An article published by the website Alainet a week ago,
signed by an Engineer on Environmental Quality, which
provides further details about an issue that has been
identified innumerable times as one of the main
scourges that affect millions of persons, stated that
mining companies, 60 per cent of which are financed
with Canadian capital, worked following the logic of
maximum yield at a low cost and in a short time; and
that these conditions turn out to be all the more
advantageous if in the places where they are stationed,
tax revenues are minimal and there are very few
environmental and social commitments...

According to the article, the mining laws in our
countries [...] do not include any obligation or
methodology to control environmental or social impacts;
the tax revenues that mining companies pay to the
countries of the region are, as an average, no more
than 1.5 per cent of the revenues received.

The article adds that the social struggle against
mining, particularly metal mining, has been growing as
long as entire generations are becoming aware of the
environmental and social impacts it causes.

It states that Guatemala has put up an admirable
resistance against mining projects, thanks to the
indigenous populations' awareness of the value of their
territories and their natural resources, which they
consider a priceless ancestral heritage. However, in
the last 10 years, the consequences of that struggle
have been felt in the assassination of 120 human
rights' activists and advocators.

This article also describes the current situation in El
Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, with
figures that make us meditate very deeply about the
seriousness and harshness of the ruthless pillaging
that is being carried out against the natural resources
of our countries, thus mortgaging the future of Latin
Americans.

The presence of Dilma Rousseff, who made a stopover in
Washington while traveling back to her country, will
serve to persuade Obama that although there are some
who take great delight in making slushy speeches, Latin
America is far from being a choir of countries begging
for alms.

The guayabera shirts to be worn by Obama in Cartagena
has become one of the main issues covered by the news
agencies: "Edgar Gomez [...] has designed one for the
U.S. President, Barack Obama, who will be wearing it
during the Summit of the Americas," said the daughter
of the designer, who added: "It is a white, sober
guayabera, with a handiwork that is more striking that
usual..."

Immediately after that, the news agency added that the
Caribbean shirt was first made by the banks of the
Yayabo River in Cuba; that is why they were originally
called yayaberas.

The curious thing about this, dear readers, is that
Cuba has been forbidden to attend that meeting, but not
the guayaberas. Who could hold back from laughing? We
must hurry up and tell Harper.

Fidel Castro Ruz

April 8, 2012

8:24 p.m

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