Neither represented nor excommunicated, only today could I learn what was discussed at the Summit of Port of Spain. They led us all to entertain hopes that the meeting would not be secret, but those running the show deprived us of such an interesting intellectual exercise. We shall get to know the substance but not the tone of voice, the look in the eyes or the facial look that can be a reflection of a person’s ideas, ethic and character. A Secret Summit is worse than a silent movie. For a few minutes the television showed some images. There was a gentleman on Obama’s left whom I could not identify clearly as he laid his hand on Obama’s shoulder, like an eight-year-old boy on a classmate in the front row. Then, another member of his entourage standing beside him interrupted the president of the United States for a dialogue; those coming up to address him had the appearance of an oligarchy that never knew what hunger is and who expect to find in Obama’s powerful nation the shield that will protect the system from the fearsome social changes.
Up to that moment, a bizarre atmosphere prevailed at the
The artistic function arranged by the host was really spectacular. I have seldom seen something like it; perhaps never. A good announcer, apparently a Trinitarian, had proudly said that it was unique.
It was a feast of culture and luxury. I meditated about it. I calculated the cost of all that and suddenly I realized that no other country in the
Did anyone in that meeting remember that Obama promised to invest as much money as necessary to make the
Something really impressed me as the summit unfolded until today, Saturday, April 18, at when I am writing these lines: Daniel Ortega’s remarks. I had promised myself not to publish anything until next Monday, April 20, but rather to observe the developments in the celebrated summit.
It was not the economist, the scientist, the intellectual or the poet speaking; Daniel did not choose an elaborate language to impress his audience. He spoke as the president of one of the poorest countries in the hemisphere, as a revolutionary combatant, on behalf of a group of Central American nations and the
It would suffice to be one of the hundreds of thousands of Nicaraguans who learned how to read and write in the first stage of the Sandinista Revolution, when the illiteracy rate was reduced from 60 to 12 percent, or again when Daniel received power in 2008 as the illiteracy rate had increased to 35 percent.
His remarks extended for nearly 50 minutes. He spoke slowly and calm, but the reproduction of the full text would make this Reflection too extensive.
I shall summarize his statement using his own words for each of the basic ideas he expressed. I will avoid the use of suspension points and use inverted commas only when Daniel quotes other people or institutions.
Our crime: we had freed ourselves from Anastasio Somoza’s tyranny imposed through the intervention of the Yankee troops in
From the past century,
These were followed by interventions extending from the year 1912 to 1932, which resulted in the imposition of the Somozas’ tyranny equipped, funded and defended by American leaders.
I had the opportunity of meeting President Reagan during the war; we shook hands and I asked him to stop the war against
I had the opportunity of meeting President Carter and when he told me that “now that the Nicaraguan people had got rid of the Somoza tyranny it was time for
As the war was still going on, I had the chance to meet the then recently inaugurated President of the United States George Bush, senior. In the year 1989, at a gathering in
We are waging a struggle in Nicaragua, Central America and Latin America to eradicate illiteracy with the generous and unconditional solidarity of the fraternal Cuban people, of Fidel who promoted such literacy campaigns in solidarity with our peoples, and of President Raul Castro who has continued these programs for the benefit of all of the Latin American and Caribbean peoples.
Later, the Bolivarian people of
Most of the presidents and heads of government of
Another country is not present here because unlike
We are working to build a great alliance, a great unity of Latin American and
In the 1950s racial discrimination was institutionalized, it was part of the American way of life, part of the American democracy: black people could not walk into white people’s restaurants or white people’s bars. The children of black families could not attend the white children schools. In order to turn down the wall of racial discrimination it was necessary --and this President Obama knows better than we do—Martin Luther King, jr, said: “I have a dream.” The dream became a reality and the wall of racial discrimination collapsed in the
This meeting, this gathering is opening exactly the same day that the invasion of
That is history. In the year 2002, also in the month of April, on the 11th, a coup d’etat was dealt to murder an elected president in the
I think that the time I’m taking is shorter than the three hours I had to wait at the airport inside the plane.
The freedom of expression must apply to the big ones and the little ones:
We are asking that all immigrants in the
The only way to stop that flow of emigrants to the
We have the ungrateful task of protecting the
How much does the
It’s not fair, it’s not equitable, it’s not ethical. It is not moral that the G-20 continues to make the great decisions; the time has come for the G-192, that is, for all countries in the United Nations to make them.
Those who have had dealings with the IMF are perfectly aware of what the Fund has meant, of the social, agricultural and productive programs that have been cut off to obtain resources to pay back the debt, a debt imposed by the rules established by global capitalism. It has only been an instrument setting forth and developing colonialist, neocolonialist and imperialist policies from the metropolises.
Mahatma Gandhi, who waged a heroic struggle against
The only way to save the planet, and the sustainable development of mankind with it, will be to lay the foundations of a new international economic order, a new socio-economic and political model which is truly fair, supportive and democratic.
There is the project known as PETROCARIBE and there is ALBA –most of the
“The heads of Sate and Government of Bolivia, Cuba, Dominica, Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela, members of ALBA, consider that the draft Declaration of the Fifth Summit of the Americas is insufficient and unacceptable for the following reasons:
(He goes on to read the ALBA Declaration on the document proposed for the
“It does not respond to the issue of the Global Economic Crisis, even though that is the greatest challenge faced by mankind in decades.
“It unjustifiably excludes
“What we are experiencing is a structural and systemic global economic crisis and not just another cyclic crisis.
“The environmental crisis has been caused by capitalism which had subordinated the necessary conditions for life on the planet to the predominance of markets and profits.
To avoid this outcome it is necessary to develop an alternative model to the capitalist system. A system in harmony with our Mother Earth and not one that plunders its natural resources; a system of cultural diversity and not of crushing cultures and imposing cultural values and life styles that have nothing to do with the realities of our countries; a system of peace based on social justice and not on imperialist wars and policies; a system that does not reduce them to simple consumers or merchandise.
Regarding the U.S. blockade on Cuba and the exclusion of this country from the Summit of the Americas, the member countries of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) reiterate the Declaration adopted last December 16, 2008, by all of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on the necessity to put an end to the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States of America, including the implementation of the so-called Helms-Burton Act, widely known to all.
In my country,
As the Nicaraguan Revolution triumphed in 1979, it found that the tyrannies and governments that had been imposed and sustained in Nicaragua by the U.S. administrations, the self-defined democratic governments, had left Nicaragua with 60 percent illiteracy.
Our first big battle was to eradicate illiteracy. We undertook that battle and reduced illiteracy to 11.5 or 12 percent. We couldn’t go further because we were imposed a war policy by the Reagan administration.
We left the government in 1990 with 12.5 percent illiteracy in the country and on January 2007 we received back the country with 35 percent illiteracy.
This data have not been made up by the government; they have been released by agencies specialized in education and culture.
That is the result of the neoliberalism applied in
It is an ethical problem, a moral problem, and the future lies on it; not only the future of the most impoverished countries --as the five countries of Latin America and the Caribbean I have mentioned—that have little else to lose other than our shackles, if there is not a change of ethics, a change of moral, a change of values that will enable us to be really sustainable.
It is no longer a matter of ideology, it’s not a political issue; it’s a matter of survival. And this applies to all, from the G-20 to the G-5 who are the most impoverished in
I think that this crisis that is affecting the world today and that is leading to discussions, debates, and to a search for solutions we should approach it bearing in mind that the current development model is no longer possible, no longer sustainable.
The only way to save us all is to change the model.
Thank you, very much.
Daniel’s phrases at the opening session of the
It is hours. I have just listened to the words of President Hugo Chavez. Apparently, Venezolana de Television introduced a camera in the “Secret Summit” and carried some of his words. Yesterday we saw him graciously return Obama’s gesture as he walked up to greet him, unquestionably a clever gesture of the
This time Chavez stood up from his chair, walked to Obama’s seat at the head of a rectangular hall near Michelle Bachelet, and presented him with the well known book by Galeano, Las venas abiertas de America Latina, systematically updated by the author. I simply mentioned the time it was when I listened to him.
It is announced that the
His predecessor went to bed early and slept for many hours. Seemingly, Obama works hard and sleeps little.
Today, the 19th , at hours, I don’t see anything new. The CNN news channel has no fresh news. The clock struck 12 when the Prime Minister of
Manning had said before that the document had been elaborated two years back when there was not a deep economic crisis; therefore, the current issues had not been properly examined. Of course, I thought, McCain was not there; surely the OAS, Leonel and the
The leaders in the press conference were the Prime Minister of Canada, certainly a rightist and the only one who had been rude to Cuba; Mexican President Felipe Calderon; Martin Torrijos from Panama and, naturally, Patrick Manning. The
Obama spoke of the
We, the Cubans do not do it to gain influence; it’s a tradition that was born in
He was gruff and elusive with regards to the blockade in his interview with the press; but he is already born and he will be 48 years next August 4.
Nine days later, that same month, I will be 83, almost twice his age, but now I have much more time to think. I wish to remind him of a basic ethical principle with respect to Cuba: there is no excuse for any injustice, any crime to last, regardless of time; the cruel blockade on the Cuban people takes lives and causes suffering; it also affects the economy of the nation and limits its possibilities to cooperate with healthcare, education and sports services, with energy saving and with the protection of the environment in many poor countries of the world.
Fidel Castro Ruz