Reflections by the Commander in Chief




†††† Of all the presidents of the United States, and those who aspire to that office, I only met one who, for ethical-religious reasons, was not an accomplice to the brutal terrorism against Cuba:James Carter.That assumes, of course, another President who forbade that United States officials should be used to assassinate Cuban leaders.That was the case of Gerald Ford who replaced Nixon after the Watergate scandal.Given his irregular manner of ascending to the office, one might characterize him as a symbolic President.

†††† It is to the illustrious President Eisenhower, not in the least opposed to anti-Cuban terrorism but rather its initiator, that we owe thanks for at least providing a definition of the industrial-military complex which today, with its insatiable and incurable voracity, makes up the motor that is driving the human species to its current crisis.More than three billion years have gone by since planet Earth saw the first forms of life springing up.

†††† One day, Che [Guevara] and I went to play golf.He had been a caddie once to earn some money in his spare time; I, on the other hand, knew absolutely nothing about this expensive sport.The United States government had already decreed the suspension and the redistribution of Cubaís sugar quota, after the Revolution had passed the Agrarian Reform Law.The golf game was a photo opportunity.The real purpose was to make fun of Eisenhower.

†††† In the United States, you can have a minimum of votes and still become President.That is what happened to Bush.Having a majority of electoral votes and losing the Presidency is what happened to Gore.For that reason, the State of Florida is the prize everyone aspires to, because of the presidential votes it provides.In the case of Bush, an electoral fraud was also needed; for this, the first Cuban emigrants, who were the Batista supporters and the bourgeois, were best masters.

†††† Clinton is not excluded from all of this, neither is the Democratic Partyís candidate.The Helms-Burton Act was passed with his support, with a ready-made excuse:the downing of Brothers to the Rescue planes, those which on more than one occasion had flown over the city of Havana and which had violated Cuban territory dozens of times.The order to fend off flights over the Capital had been given to the Cuban Air Force just weeks earlier.

†††† I must tell you that, close to that episode, Congressman Bill Richardson had arrived on a visit to Cuba on January 19, 1996.As usual, he brought with him petitions asking that several counter-revolutionaries be released from prison.We explained to him that we were by now tired of receiving such petitions, and I talked to him about what was happening with the Brothers to the Rescue flights.I also talked to him about the unfulfilled promises regarding the blockade.Richardson returned a few days later, on the 10th of February, and very earnestly told me, to the best of my recollection, the following: "That will not be happening again; the President has ordered those flights to be suspended".

†††† In those days, I believed that orders issued by the President of the United States would be carried out.The planes were brought down on February 24, some days after the reply.The New Yorker Magazine supplies details about that meeting with Richardson.

†††† Apparently, Clinton gave the order to suspend those flights, but nobody paid any attention to it.It was an election year, and he took advantage of that excuse to invite the Foundation leaders over and to sign that criminal Act, with the approval of all.

†††† Following the migratory crisis of 1994, we learned that Carter wanted to do something to find a solution.Clinton didn't accept it and he called Salinas de Gortari, the President of Mexico.Cuba had been the last nation to recognize his electoral victory.He had contacted him on his inauguration as the new President of Mexico.

†††† Salinas informed me by phone of Clintonís decision to find a satisfactory solution, and in turn he was asked for his cooperation in this effort.That was how an agreement was reached in principle.That agreement with Clinton included the idea of putting an end to the economic blockade.The only witness we could count on was Salinas.Clinton had thus left out Carter.Cuba was not able to decide who the mediator would be.Salinas relates this episode accurately.Anyone with an interest can read about it in his books.

†††† Clinton was really kind when we informally crossed paths at a UN meeting attended by many heads of state.Moreover, he was friendly, as well as intelligent, in demanding adherence to the law in the case of the kidnapped boy, when he was rescued by special federal agents sent from Washington.

††† The candidates are now immersed in the Florida adventure:Hillary, the Clinton successor; Obama, the popular African American candidate and several of the other 16 who, up until the present, have proposed their candidacy in both parties, with the exception of Republican Congressman Ronald Ernest Paul and the former Democratic Senator from Alaska, Maurice Robert Gravel, and the other three Democrats Dennis Kucinich, Christopher Dodd and Bill Richardson.

†††† I donít know what Carter said during his race to the White House.Whatever his position was, I was right when I guessed that his election could avoid a holocaust for the people of Panama, and that is just what I said to Torrijos.He established the U.S. Interests Section in Cuba and promoted an agreement about jurisdictional maritime limits.The circumstances surrounding his term prevented him from taking things any further and, in my opinion he embarked on several imperial adventures.

†††† Today, talk is about the seemingly invincible ticket that might be created with Hillary for President and Obama for Vice President.Both of them feel the sacred duty of demanding ďa democratic government in CubaĒ.They are not making politics: they are playing a game of cards on a Sunday afternoon.

†††† The media declares that this would be essential, unless Gore decides to run.I donít think he will do so; better than anyone, he knows about the kind of catastrophe that awaits humanity if it continues along its current course.When he was a candidate, he of course committed the error of yearning for ďa democratic CubaĒ.

††† Enough of tales and nostalgia.This is written simply to increase the conscience of the Cuban people.


Fidel Castro Ruz

August 27, 2007.

4:56 p.m.