Reflections by the Commander in Chief


An honorable response


            Events follow each other at an incredible pace. Sometimes, several occur simultaneously. Their inherent significance and usefulness as examples is what I wish to, or, better, feel compelled to comment on. I am not referring, today, to what occurred in Geneva, which is considered a well-deserved revolutionary victory for Third World nations. Rather, I shall refer to Cuba's response to the European Council on Foreign Relations, published last Friday, June 22, on Gramna's front page.

            The statement was a response worthy of our Revolution and its high political leadership. One by one, all points calling for an immediate response from Cuba were addressed and clarified. Allow me to enumerate and go over them again:


  1. "A dialogue between sovereign and equal partners, devoid of any conditions or impending threats, is the only possible dialogue with Cuba. If the European Union wishes to engage in any form of dialogue with Cuba, it must definitively eliminate those sanctions, which have since proved impracticable and unsustainable”. 


  1. “The 'Conclusions’ also failed to mention the so-called ‘Common Position', hastily agreed upon by EU Ministers of Finance in 1996 under pressures from Aznar and on the basis of a draft drawn up by the US State Department”. 


  1. “After so many mistakes and failures, the only obvious conclusion that the European Union should fittingly draw is that the so-called 'Common Position’ must disappear, since there were and there are no reasons whatsoever for its existence and because it hinders any normal, mutually respectful relationship of common interest with our country”.


  1. “A group of influential European nations have tried to change this ludicrous situation. Others, such as the Czech Republic, have confirmed to be American pawns on the European map. The ‘Conclusions of the Council’ slanderously meddle in matters that are of Cuba's strict concern, pass judgment and announce intrusive and hypocritical actions that Cuba regards as offensive and unacceptable and strongly repudiates”. 


  1. Cuba is an independent and sovereign country and the European Union is wrong if it believes it can treat it as anything other than an equal”. 


  1. “The European Union has shown persistent and humiliating subordination to the United States, of a kind that renders it incapable of holding positions based on European interests and turns it into an accomplice, despite all talk to the contrary, to the criminal and inhuman blockade that the US imposes on the Cuban people, and about which the ‘Conclusions’ did not even dare say a single word”.


  1. “In the European Union Summit with the United States last April, it stooped to questioning Cuba and accepted a reference that acknowledges the legitimacy of the “Bush Plan.” Known are its collusion with the Empire's envoys and even with the spurious inspector for Cuba appointed by the United States”.


  1. “The European Union is shamelessly hypocritical when it unjustly points its finger at Cuba while it remains silent about acts of US-coordinated torture at the illegal Guantánamo Naval Base, which encroaches upon Cuban territory, and at Abu Ghraib, where these are even administered to European citizens”.


  1. “It impudently remains silent about kidnappings by US Special Forces in third countries and has offered its territory to cooperate with the CIA's secret flights and to harbor illegal prisons. Nor has it said anything about the hundreds of persons who have disappeared as a result of these actions or about the hundreds of thousands of civilians murdered in Iraq”. 


  1.  “It is the European Union which must rectify the mistakes it has made with respect to Cuba”.


At the risk of turning this into an extensive reflection, I wish to add a number of facts. The European Union has been led by Washington to a mighty cul-de-sac. The Cold War ended with the triumph of the real consumerism of developed capitalism, and the frantic impulse to consume that had been awakened in broad sectors of the populations of the socialist block and Soviet Union. They had lost the battle of ideas. The Russian people, the main moving force behind the October Revolution, were violently deprived of important commitments which encompassed agreements and guarantees for its security and sovereignty: Europe was stripped of over 400 SS-20 missiles, as NATO described them. These mobile missiles, fitted with three nuclear warheads each, were pointed to every corner in Europe where US military bases and NATO forces were located. In its triumphalist intoxication, the aggressive military alliance had taken under its wing many former socialist republics of Europe, a number of which, seeking economic benefits, have made the rest of Europe a hostage of their foreign policy, which unconditionally serves the strategic interests of the United States.


All European Union members have the right to veto a decision. This system is politically dysfunctional and curtails, in practice, the sovereignty of all members. The European Union is today in worse shape than the former socialist block ever was. The vain Tony Blair, manufacturer of sophisticated submarines and a friend of Bush, is already being announced as a potential future candidate to chair the European Union. The cables bring the news today that he was appointed special envoy for the Middle East, where he so amply contributed to that disastrous war unleashed by the United States.


In the energy sector, we see European governments beg for oil in the few regions in the world where the empire has not forcibly appropriated this resource, in much the same way it purchases, with worthless bills, any European company it pleases.


The euro, however, is a stable currency, much more than the dollar, which is constantly being devalued. Even though the dollar is defended by the holders of US bonds and bills, the empire faces the risk of an economic disaster of dramatic repercussions.


Europe, on the other hand, would be one of the areas most severely affected by global warming. Its well-known and modern port facilities would end up underwater.


Today, it desperately proposes free trade agreements with Latin America which are worse than Washington's, in search of raw materials and bio-diesel. We are beginning to hear criticisms about this. But Europe's money is not in the hands of the Community, it belongs to transnational corporations which may relocate to countries where labor is cheap in search of profits.


Cuba’s proud and honorable response has underscored the essentials.


Though every good strategy includes a good tactic, neither of the two are sound if arrogance and smugness are tolerated.


Europeans themselves will one day come to understand the absurd situation they were led to by imperialism and will realize that a Caribbean country pointed out some necessary truths for them. The wild horse of consumerism cannot continue to gallop madly ahead, for such a race is unsustainable. 


The last European Union meeting held to address the future community treaty was further proof of the demoralization of Europe. Last Sunday, June 24, the AFP reported that Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi expressed his "bitterness” over the Brussels summit, where he accused European Union leaders of staging the spectacle of an emotionless Europe, in an interview for La Repubblica newspaper.


"'As a European, allow me to be embittered for the spectacle I find myself in front of’, Prodi, ex-chairman of the European Commission, said.

"’The doggedness of some governments to negate every emotional aspect of Europe has hurt me', he added, referring to Poland, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands and Great Britain.

“’And then these are the same governments that rebuke Europe for being far from citizens’, he affirmed.

 "’But how can you involve citizens without involving their emotions? How can you give them pride to be European if the symbols of its pride [such as the flag and hymn] are negated?’ he asked”.

“Prodi lambasted [Tony Blair] for ‘conducting a battle’ against the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights”.

       “He criticized Polish President Lech Kaczynski, who said he could not share his stances because Italy and Poland were 'very different nations'”.

            “Prodi concluded by saying that 'never before had Eurosceptics expressed themselves so explicitly and programmatically' as in the last Summit”.

            At the last G-8 meeting, Bush had sent Europeans a chilly message.

            At this decisive point in time, the number of enemies one has, which will be fewer and fewer with time, is of no importance. What is important is “the stars we carry on our foreheads.” 


Fidel Castro Ruz

June 27, 2007

6:30 pm.