There is not one shred of ethics, and not even of politics, in his attempt to justify his announced decision to veto any resolution to recognize Palestine as an independent State and member of the United Nations. Even politicians, who in no way share socialist philosophy and lead parties that were closely allied with Augusto Pinochet, are proclaiming Palestine’s right to be a member of the UN.
Barack Obama’s words on the principal matter that is being debated today in the General Assembly of that organization can only be applauded by NATO cannon, rockets and bombers.
The remainder of his speech are empty phrases, lacking any moral authority and meaning. Let us observe, for example, how these words were devoid of ideas when in the world, starved and pillaged by the transnationals and the consumerism of developed capitalist countries, Obama announces:
“To stop disease that spreads across borders, we must strengthen our system of public health. We will continue the fight against HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. We will focus on the health of mothers and of children. And we must come together to prevent, and detect, and fight every kind of biological danger -- whether it’s a pandemic like H1N1, or a terrorist threat, or a […] disease.”
“We must not put off action that climate change demands. We have to tap the power of science to save those resources that are scarce. And together, we must continue our work to build on the progress made in Copenhagen and Cancun, so that all the major economies here today follow through on the commitments that were made. Together, we must work to transform the energy that powers our economies, and support others as they move down that path. That is what our commitment to the next generation demands. And to make sure our societies reach their potential, we must allow our citizens to reach theirs”
Everyone knows that the United States was not a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol and that it has sabotaged all efforts to preserve humankind from the terrible consequences of climate change, in spite of being the country which consumes a considerable and disproportionate part of fuel and world resources.
Let us put on the record the idyllic words with which he would like to cajole the men of State meeting there:
“I know there’s no straight line to that progress, no single path to success. We come from different cultures, and carry with us different histories. But let us never forget that even as we gather here as heads of different governments, we represent citizens who share the same basic aspirations -- to live with dignity and freedom; to get an education and pursue opportunity; to love our families, and love and worship our God; to live in the kind of peace that makes life worth living. It is the nature of our imperfect world that we are forced to learn these lessons over and over again.”
“…because those who came before us believed that peace is preferable to war, and freedom is preferable to suppression, and prosperity is preferable to poverty. That’s the message that comes not from capitals, but from citizens, from our people. And when the cornerstone of this very building was put in place, President Truman came here to New York and said, “The United Nations is essentially an expression of the moral nature of man’s aspirations.” As we live in a world that is changing at a breathtaking pace, that’s a lesson that we must never forget. Peace is hard, but we know that it is possible. So, together, let us be resolved to see that it is defined by our hopes and not by our fears. Together, let us make peace, but a peace, most importantly, that will last.”
“Thank you very much.”
Listening to them right up to the end deserves something more than gratitude; it deserves a prize.
As I have already stated, early in the afternoon, Evo Morales Ayma, president of the Plurinational State of Bolivia, took to the podium; he swiftly went into the essential topics.
“…there is a clear difference in the culture of life as opposed to the culture of death; there is a clear difference in truth as opposed to falsehood, a profound difference between peace and war.”
“…I think that it will be difficult to understand each other with economic policies that concentrate capital in just a few hands. Information shows us that 1% of the world population concentrates 50% of the wealth. If such profound differences exist, how can poverty be resolved? And if we do not abolish poverty, how can a long-lasting peace be guaranteed?”
“As a child, I remember perfectly well that earlier, whenever there was a rebellion by the people against a capitalist system, against the economic models of the permanent pillage of our natural resources, the labour union leaders, the left-leaning political leaders, were accused of being communists in order to arrest them; the social forces were under military intervention: confinement, exile, massacres, persecution, imprisonment, accusations of being communist, socialist, Maoist, Marxist-Leninist. I think this has now stopped; now they no longer accuse us of being Marxist-Leninist, now they have other instruments such as drug-trafficking and terrorism …”
“…they prepare interventions when their presidents, when their governments, when their peoples are not pro-capitalist or pro-imperialist.”
“…we speak of long-lasting peace. How can there be long-lasting peace with American military bases? How can there be long-lasting peace with military interventions?”
“What is the use of this UN when a group of countries decide on interventions, on massacres?”
“If we were to want this organization, the United Nations, to have the authority to cause resolutions to be respected, then we have to start thinking about re-founding the United Nations …”
“Every year, at the United Nations decisions are made—by almost one hundred percent of the nations, except the US and Israel— to unblock, to end the economic embargo on Cuba. And who causes that to be respected? Of course, the Security Council is never going to cause that UN resolution to be respected […] I cannot understand how in an organization made up of all the countries in the world, their resolutions are not respected. What is the UN?”
“I would like to tell you that Bolivia is not turning its back on the recognition of Palestine in the United Nations. Our position is that Bolivia welcomes Palestine to the United Nations.”
“You know, dear listeners, that I come from the Indigenous Peasant Movement, and when our families talk about a company, we think that the company has a lot of money, it deals with a lot of money, that they are millionaires, and they couldn’t understand how a company asks a State to loan them money for corresponding investment.
“Therefore I say that these international financial bodies are the ones doing business through the private companies; but who has to pay for that? It is exactly the peoples, the States.”
“…Bolivia has a historic case against Chile for the return to the sea, with sovereignty to the Pacific Ocean, with sovereignty. Therefore, Bolivia has made the decision to turn to international courts in order to sue for a useful sovereign exit to the Pacific Ocean.
“The UN General Assembly Resolution 37/10 of November 15, 1982, establishes that ‘turning to an International Court of Justice to resolve litigation between States should not be considered a non-friendly act.’
“Bolivia is protected by the right and the reason of turning to an International Court because having been cut off is the product of an unfair war, an invasion. Suing for a solution on the international stage, represents for Bolivia reparation of a historical injustice.
“Bolivia is a pacifist State that favours dialogue with neighbouring countries, and therefore it keeps the channels of bilateral negotiation with Chile open, without that meaning a renunciation of its right to turn to an International Court …”
“Peoples are not responsible for cutting off Bolivia from the coast; the causes are the oligarchies, the transnationals, who took over the natural resources as they always do.
“The 1904 Treaty brought neither peace nor friendship; it resulted in the fact that for more than a century Bolivia had no access to a sovereign port.”
“…in the region of the Americas, another movement of Latin American and Caribbean countries is being born, I should call it a new OAS without the US, to free ourselves from certain impositions, fortunately, with the bit of experience we have in UNASUR. […] we no longer need, whenever a conflict between countries arises […] for them to come down from the north and from the outside to establish order.”
“I would also like to take this opportunity on a central issue: the fight against drug trafficking. The fight against drug trafficking is being used by US imperialism for clearly political aims. In Bolivia, the United States’ DEA did not fight against drug-trafficking; it controlled drug trafficking for political purposes. If there was some trade union leader, or some anti-imperialist political leader, that’s what the DEA was for: to involve them. Many leaders, many of us politicians, saved ourselves from those dirty imperialist jobs to involve us in drug trafficking. They are still trying to do that, until the present.”
“In past weeks some of the media from the United States was saying that the presidential plane was detained in the US with traces of cocaine. What a lie! They attempt to confuse the population; they try to create a dirty campaign against the government, even against the State. Nevertheless, what does the US do? It decertifies Bolivia and Venezuela. What moral authority does the US have to certify or decertify countries in South or Latin America, when the United States is the number one consumer of drugs in the world, when the United States is one of the world marihuana producers, the number one producer of marihuana in the world […] With what authority can it certify or decertify? It is another way of frightening or intimidating countries, teaching them a lesson. However Bolivia, with great responsibility, goes on fighting against drug trafficking.
“In the same report from the United States, I mean, from the US State Department, a net decrease in the production of coca growing is acknowledged; that has improved the indictment.
“But where is the market? The market is the origin of drug trafficking and the market is here. And who decertifies the US because the market hasn’t dried up?
“This morning, President Calderón of Mexico was saying that the drug market keeps on growing and why there are no responsibilities to eradicate the market […] Let’s wage the war under a shared co-responsibility […] In Bolivia we are not afraid and we must terminate the banking secret if we want to wage frontal war against drug trafficking.”
“…One of the crisis, besides the crisis of capitalism, is the food crisis. […] we have a little experience in Bolivia: we give loans to rice, corn, wheat and soy growers, with zero percent interest, and they can even pay back their debt with their products; we are talking about food; or soft loans to encourage production. Nevertheless, international banks never take into account the small producers, they never take into account the associations, cooperatives, who can really contribute well if given the opportunity. […] We must put an end to competitive business.
“In a competition, who wins? The most powerful, the one having the most advantages, always the transnationals. And what about the small producers? And what about that family that wants to get ahead with their own efforts? […] With competition policy we are surely never going to resolve the issue of poverty.
“But finally, to conclude this speech I would like to tell you that the crisis of capitalism can no longer be paid […] The economic crisis of capitalism is not just critical, it is structural. And what do the capitalist or imperialist countries do? They look for any excuse to intervene in a country and to take over their natural resources.
“This morning the president of the United States was saying that now Iraq was liberated, they are going to govern themselves. The Iraqis may govern themselves, but in whose hands has Iraqi oil now fallen?
“They said that autocracy has ended in Libya, that now they have a democracy; it may be a democracy, but in whose hands will Libyan oil now be? […] the bombing cannot be blamed on Gaddafi, the fault of some rebels, but it is because of the search for Libyan oil.”
“…Therefore, its crisis, the crisis of capitalism, they want to get over it, they want to fix it by taking over our natural resources, on the basis of our oil, our gas, our natural resources.
“…we have a huge responsibility: to defend the rights of Mother Earth.”
“…the best way of defending human rights is now to defend the rights of Mother Earth […] herein we have our huge responsibility to pass the rights of Mother Earth. Just 60 years ago they passed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Just 60 years ago they realized in the UN that the human being has rights. After political rights, economic rights, the rights of the indigenous peoples, now we have the huge responsibility of knowing how to defend the rights of Mother Earth.
“We are also convinced that the infinite growth of the planet is unsustainable and impossible, the limit for growth is the degenerative capacity of the Earth’s ecosystems […] we make a call for […] a new decalogue of social vindications: in financial systems, over natural resources, over basic services, over production, over dignity and sovereignty, and on this basis to re-found the United Nations so that the United Nations may be the supreme authority for solving the problems of peace, poverty and the dignity and sovereignty of the peoples of the world.”
“We hope that this experience as President can be of some good for all of us, just as I am learning from many of you in order to go on working for the equality and dignity of the Bolivian people.
“Thank you very much.”
Following Evo Morales’ convincing concepts, President Mahmud Abbas of the National Palestinian Authority, who took to the podium two days later, laid out the dramatic suffering of the inhabitants of Palestine: “…the crass historical injustice perpetrated on our people, therefore it was agreed to set up the State of Palestine on just 22% of Palestine’s territory and, above all, Palestinian territory occupied by Israel in 1967. Taking that historic step, applauded by the States of the world, allowed for exceeding acquiescence in order to reach a historical compromise, that would permit peace to be achieved in the land of peace.”
“[…] Our people shall continue with their peaceful popular resistance to the Israeli occupation, their settlements and their policy of apartheid, as well as the building of the wall of racist annexation […] armed with dreams, courage, hope and slogans in the face of tanks, tear gas, bulldozers and bullets.”
“…we would like to extend our hand to the government and people of Israel for peace to be imposed, and I say to you: let us build together, in an urgent manner, a future for our children where they may enjoy freedom, security and prosperity. […] Let us build relationships of cooperation that are based on the parity, equality and friendship between two neighbour States, Palestine and Israel, instead of policies of occupation, settlements, war and the elimination of the other side.”
Almost half a century has gone by since that brutal occupation promoted and supported by the United States. However, it is barely a day since the wall was erected, monstrous mechanical machinery is destroying Palestinian homes and some young person, and even a Palestinian teenager, is wounded or killed.
What profound truths Evo’s words hold!
Fidel Castro Ruz
September 26, 2011