Castro on the US Elections

Like many other politicos and sofa pundits, I’ll be staying up all night (due to the time difference, I expect to be up from 0000-0500hrs GMT here). Yes, I have a major essay to write, and a presentation tomorrow for a conference on climate change and developing countries, but, yeah, whatever. I’ll be working on the essay along with a bottle of wine and several cups of tea surrounded by US international students (all but one are pro-Obama), and bewildered British, Indian, German and Greek students there just for the atmosphere of it all. I think there’ll be enougth time to sleep before the conference…

Alot of the pro-Obama US students here have taken advantage of the sale of fireworks available here for Guy Fawkes Day, and I’m expecting to hear several fireworks should the election go to Obama as the polls are predicting. Incidentally, I put forward the prediction that McCain would win, but if Obama got in there would be assasination attempts on him almost immediately. I’m no fan of either candidate, but I certainly would see Obama as a lesser evil, and I even more so would not like to see him assasinated. Either way, I am curious to see if all the talk of socialism of late in the campaign, in combination with the financial crisis, results in any boosts to the SP-USA’s votes.

And that brings us to the topic at hand. Several US media have badly misrepresented Fidel Castro as endorsing Mr. Obama, and the US Republicans have siezed on this and begun propagandising as such. Below you will find the entire article by Fidel from the Cuban paper ‘Granma,’ as well as a link to the original (for purists wishing to check its validity). Essentially, Castro does not endorse Obama but regards him as less dangerous than McCain and more intelligent. Qutie a difference.

Reflections of Fidel
The November 4 elections

TOMORROW will be a very important day. World opinion will be following what happens with the elections in the United States. It is the most powerful nation on the planet. With less than five percent of the world’s population, it annually sucks up enormous quantities of oil and gas, minerals, raw materials, consumer goods and sophisticated products from other countries; many of these, especially fuel and products that are mined, are not renewable.

It is the largest producer and exporter of weapons. The military industrial complex also has an insatiable market within the same country. Its air and naval forces are concentrated on dozens of military bases in other countries. The strategic missiles of the United States, which carry nuclear warheads, can reach any point in the world with total precision.

Many of the most intelligent minds in the world are plucked out of their native countries and placed at the service of this system. It is a parasitical and rapacious empire.

As everybody knows, the black population that was brought into the United States through slavery for centuries is victim of intense racial discrimination.

Obama, the Democratic candidate, is part African, and the color black and other physical traits of that race predominate in him. He was able to study at an institution of higher learning from which he graduated with brilliant grades. He is no doubt more intelligent, educated and level-headed than his Republican rival.

I am analyzing tomorrow’s elections as the world is experiencing a serious financial crisis, the worst since the 1930s, among many others that have seriously affected the economies of many countries for more than three-quarters of a century.

The international media, analysts and political commentators are spending some of their time on the issue. Obama is considered as the best political orator in the United States in recent decades. His compatriot Toni Morrison, winner of the Nobel Literature Prize in 1993 —the first of her ethnicity born in the United States to win that award and an excellent writer — describes him as the future president and poet of that nation.

I have observed the struggle between the two rivals. The black candidate, who surprised everyone so much when he won the nomination against strong adversaries, has articulated his ideas well, and strikes with them over and over in the minds of voters. He does not hesitate to affirm that above all, more than Republicans and Democrats, they are the people of the United States, citizens that he describes as the most productive in the world; that he will cut taxes for the middle class, in which he includes almost everybody; he will eliminate them for the poorest and raise them for the richest. Income will not be allocated to saving banks.

He reiterates over and over that the ruinous spending on Bush’s war in Iraq should not be paid for by U.S. taxpayers. He would put an end to that and bring back the U.S. soldiers. Perhaps he took into account the fact that that country had nothing to do with the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It has cost the blood of thousands of U.S. soldiers, dead or injured in combat, and more than one million lives in that Muslim nation. It was a war of conquest imposed by the empire in its search for oil.

Given the financial crisis that has broken out and its consequences, U.S. citizens are more concerned at this time about the economy than the war in Iraq. They are tormented by their worries over jobs; the security of their savings deposited in banks; their retirements funds; the fear of losing the purchasing power of their money and the homes in which they live with their families. They wish for the security of receiving, in any circumstances, adequate medical services, and the guarantee of their children’s right to higher education.

Obama is defiant; I think that he has run and will run increasing risks in the country in which an extremist can legally acquire a sophisticated modern weapon on any street corner, just like in the early 18th century in the West of the United States. He supports his system and will base himself on it. Concerns over the world’s pressing problems really do not occupy an important place in Obama’s mind, and even less so in the mind of the candidate who, as a war pilot, dropped dozens of tons of bombs on the city of Hanoi, more than 15,000 kilometers from Washington, without any remorse in his conscience.

Last Thursday the 30th, when I wrote to Lula, along with what I described in my reflections of October 31, I literally said to him in my letter, “Racism and discrimination have existed in U.S. society since it was born more than two centuries ago. Blacks and Latin Americans have always been discriminated against there. Its citizens were educated in consumerism. Humanity is objectively threatened by its weapons of mass destruction.

“The people of the United States are more concerned about the economy than the war in Iraq. McCain is old, bellicose, uncultured, not very intelligent and not in good health.”

Finally, I added, “If my estimates should be erroneous, all kinds of racism prevail and the Republican candidate obtains the presidency, the danger of war would grow and the opportunities of the peoples to advance would be reduced. Despite everything, we must fight and raise awareness about this, no matter who wins these elections.”

When this opinion of mine is published tomorrow, nobody will have any time to say that I wrote something that could be utilized by one of the candidates for their campaign. I had to be, and have been, neutral in the electoral battle. It is not “interference in the internal affairs of the United States,” as the State Department would say, with all that respect it has for the sovereignty of other countries.

One thought on “Castro on the US Elections

  1. Nice to hear the old cow chew the cud. There he is grim, immovable, and bankrupt, banging away at a typewriter. I suppose computers are bourgeois. They are the product of rapacious capitalism.

    BTW, I suppose we will never know, as the press is utterly controlled ( quite correctly of course ), but I have heard rumors of racism against blacks in Cuba. Occasionally some class traitor gets word out that Blacks are a little less equal than whites. Those of Hispanic blood get the good spots in government and their kids go to the nice schools. Blacks get the jobs lower down the class scale.

    And I know that all labor is redemptive and I would much rather be a ditch digger than be a … well a cranky old dictator with nothing to do but hash over the various horrors of the 20th century, as loyal right thinking people heap me with praise. Yep. Ditch digging for me. But it does seem odd that you don’t see more blacks in the top positions in Cuba. I realized that Cuba is a land of secular saints ensuring the triumph of the working class with every day they live and every breath they take, and I commit a crime against history by saying so …

    but it does nag in my mind.

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