REFLECTIONS BY COMRADE FIDEL
PEACE AND PROSPERITY
Pope Benedict XVI outsmarted Brown, the British Prime Minister, who replaced Blair, whom I met and spoke with for a few minutes during a recess at the WTO Second Conference in Geneva 10 years ago; it was following his speech and I was expressing my disagreement on the matter of an incorrect sentence he used about the social situation of British children. Brown’s voice, positions and tone at his press conference in the presence of Bush, gave me the impression that he is self-assuming as his predecessor in the leadership of the Labor Party. The activities of the new British Prime Minister, coinciding with the Pope's visit, were just like those of a leader of the government of a banana republic.
Benedict XVI paid special attention to
April 13th when, 65 years ago, over one thousand prisoners were
incinerated in the town of
Bush welcomed him at Andrews Air Force
Base in the
His visit also coincided with his 81st birthday. Bush, thoughtful and indulgent, sang Happy Birthday to him, right on the 16th.
The Pope was, undoubtedly, smart as he started to counterattack from the beginning of his visit. In spite of his 81 years that he would be celebrating a few hours later, he descended from the plane, barely touching the handrails of the steep steps, and by the time he reached the last treads, he was not even doing that. He is a short man who appears to weigh about half of what Bush weighs. He has a light step. He never, for one single minute, abandoned his smile and the sparkle in his eyes, and he immediately set out to follow a schedule that would have exhausted any 18 year-old visitor. Television coverage went wild.
The Pope visited universities, a Catholic
cultural centre built just for the occasion; he met with representatives from
hundreds of Catholic schools and universities across the huge country. The
leader of the empire did not dare ask the
As the leader of a Church, at a time when
a war has been unleashed by the
He met with representatives of religions
whose churches hold influence over billions of people. Jewish leaders received
him warmly. Of course, they idealized the capitalist system of the
Jewish synagogues remained opened and respected here, and their representatives, together with the rest of the churches, have meetings with leaders of the Party and the Revolutionary Government, even at the highest levels.
It is particularly important to claim for the right to life in the name of freedom of creed. Benedict XVI addressed the United Nations Organization in his capacity as the religious leader of a powerful church deeply rooted among many peoples of the world:
“…the desire for peace, the quest for justice, respect for the dignity of the person, humanitarian cooperation and assistance - express the just aspirations of the human spirit...”
“…development goals, reduction of local and global inequalities, protection of the environment, of resources and of the climate, require all international leaders to act jointly and to show a readiness to work in good faith, respecting the law, and promoting solidarity with the weakest regions of the planet…”
“Here our thoughts turn also to the way the results of scientific research and technological advances have sometimes been applied.”
“[these rights] are based on the natural law inscribed on human hearts and present in different cultures and civilizations.”
“…the saying: Do not do to others what you would not want done to you ‘cannot in any way vary according to the different understandings that have arisen in the world’…”
“My presence at this Assembly is a sign of esteem for the United Nations, and it is intended to express the hope that the Organization will increasingly serve as a sign of unity between States and an instrument of service to the entire human family.”
When he concluded, he exclaimed in English, French, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese and Russian: “Peace and prosperity with God’s help!”
Even though it is not easy to decipher the Vatican’s thinking on the thorny issues that are being dealt with in a world where the President of the United States and his rich and developed allies have imposed a bloody war against the culture and religion of more than a billion persons in the name of the fight against terrorism, and where torture, pillage and conquest by force of hydrocarbons and raw materials reigns supreme, what the Pope stated is the antithesis of the policy of brutality and force applied by the singer of Happy Birthday.
In the next few days, the peoples of Latin
America shall be on the verge of confronting two tragedies: that of
Today, Benedict XIV returns to
Fidel Castro Ruz
April 20, 2008