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A Fire That Could Burn Everyone

by FIDEL CASTRO

You may agree or not with Gaddafi’s political ideas, but no one has the right to question the existence of Libya as an independent state and member of the United Nations.

The world has not yet reached the point which, in my view, is an essential condition for the survival of our human species: access by all the peoples to the material resources of this planet. There is no other in the Solar System that we know that has the most elemental conditions for life.

The United States itself always tried to be a melting pot of all races, all beliefs and all nations: white, black, yellow, the Indians and mixed races, with no other differences than those between the masters and slaves, the rich and poor; but all within its borders: To its North was Canada; to the South, Mexico; to the East, the Atlantic Ocean and to the West, the Pacific Ocean. Alaska, Puerto Rico and Hawaii were simple historical accidents.

What makes the issue complicated is that it does not imply the noble wish of those fighting for a better world, which deserves as much respect as the peoples’ religious beliefs do. It would only take some kind of radioactive isotopes that stemmed from the enriched uranium used by thermonuclear plants in relatively small amounts—since they do not exist in nature—to put an end to the fragile existence of our species. Keeping those wastes in increasing volumes, under reinforced concrete and steel coffins, is one of the major challenges for technology.

Events like the Chernobyl accident or the earthquake in Japan have revealed those mortal risks.

This is not the issue I’d like to address today, but how amazed I was yesterday to see, on Walter Martinez’s show “Dossier” on Venezuelan television, the filmed images of the meeting between the chief of the US Department of Defense Robert Gates and the U.K. Defense Minister, Liam Fox, who visited the United States to discuss the criminal war unleashed by NATO against Libya. It was something difficult to believe, the British minister won an “Oscar”; he was a bundle of nerves, he was tense and spoke like crazy; and he gave the impression that he was just spitting out the words.

Of course, he first got to the entrance of the Pentangon, where Gates was awaiting him with a smile. The flags of both countries, the one of the ancient British colonial empire and that of its stepson, the United States Empire, flew high on both sides as the two national anthems were played. Right hand on chest, the rigorous and solemn military salute of the ceremony given by the host country. This was the initial act. Later, the two ministers stepped into the US Defense building. They are supposed to have spoken for a long time, given the images I saw, as each of them returned with a speech in hand, undoubtedly prepared in advance.

The context of this entire scenario was made up by personnel in uniform. On the left I could see a tall, slim young soldier, who seemed to have a shaved redhead, wearing a cap with the black peak pulled nearly down to his throat, presenting his bayoneted rifle. He did not blink nor seem to breathe, like the figure of a soldier ready to shoot a rifle bullet or a nuclear rocket with a destructive capacity of 100 thousand tons of TNT. Gates spoke showing the smile and natural manners of a host. The British man, however, did so in the way I explained.

I have not often seen anything more horrifying than this; he was releasing hatred, frustration, fury and using threatening language against the Libyan leader and urging his unconditional surrender. He looked indignant because the powerful NATO warplanes had not been able to crush the Libyan resistance in 72 hours.

He was only missing the exclamation: “blood, sweat and tears,” just like Winston Churchill when he calculated the price to be paid by his country in the fight against the Nazi warplanes. But in this case, the Nazi-fascist role is being played by NATO with its thousands of bombing missions by the most modern aircraft ever known by the world.

To cap it all came the decision by the US administration to authorize the use of drones to kill Libyan men, women and children, like in Afghanistan, thousands of kilometers from Western Europe, but this time against an Arab and African country, before the eyes of hundreds of millions of Europeans and no less than in the name of the United Nations Organization.

Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin yesterday said that these acts of war were illegal and they are outside the framework of the accords adopted by the UN Security Council.

The crude attacks against the Libyan people, which have taken on a Nazi-fascist character, may be used against any Third World nation.

I am really amazed at the resistance posed by Libya.

The belligerent organization now depends on Gaddafi. If he resists and does not yield to their demands, he will enter history as one of the great figures of the Arab nations.

NATO is poking a fire that could burn everyone!

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Fidel Castro’s column appears in Granma.

CounterPunch Magazine

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