Reflection of Fidel Castro published in Granma on 14th Feb 2011.
I said several days ago that the die was cast for Mubarak and that not even Obama could save him.
The world knows what is taking place in the Middle East. The news is circulating at incredible speed. Politicians barely have time to read the cables coming in by the hour. Everyone is aware of the importance of what is occurring there.
After 18 days of harsh battling, the Egyptian people attained an important objective: to defeat the United States’ principal ally in the heart of the Arab countries. Mubarak was oppressing and plundering his own people, he was an enemy of the Palestinians and an accomplice of Israel, the sixth nuclear power on the planet, associated with the military NATO group.
The Egyptian Armed Forces, under the command of Gamal Abdel Nasser, had overthrown a submissive king and created the Republic which, with support from the USSR, defended the homeland from the Franco-British and Israeli invasion in 1956 and retained possession of the Suez Canal and the independence of this millennial nation.
Thus Egypt enjoyed a high level of prestige in the Third World. Nasser was known as one of the most outstanding leaders of the Non-Aligned Movement, which he participated in creating, together with other eminent leaders of Asia, Africa and Oceania who were fighting for national liberation and political and economic independence from the former colonies.
Egypt always enjoyed the support and respect of the abovementioned international organization which brings together more than 100 countries. That sister nation currently presides over the Movement for the three-year period established; and the support of many of its members for the struggle which its people are now waging will not be slow in coming.
What did the Camp David Accords signify, and why are the heroic Palestinian people so passionately defending their most vital rights?
At Camp David – with the mediation of the then U.S. President Jimmy Carter – the Egyptian leader Anwar al-Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin signed the famous accords between Egypt and Israel.
It is said that they held secret talks during 12 days and, on September 17, 1979, signed two important accords: one referring to peace between Egypt and Israel, and another related to the creation of an autonomous territory in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, which Al-Sadat thought – and Israel knew and shared the idea – would be the headquarters of the Palestinian state, whose existence, as well as that of the state of Israel, the United Nations Organization agreed on November 29, 1947, during the British Mandate of Palestine.
After difficult and complex talks, Israel agreed to withdraw its troops from the Egyptian territory of Sinai, although it categorically rejected the participation of Palestinian representatives in the peace negotiations.
As a result of the first agreement, Israel returned to Egypt the Sinai territory occupied in one of the Arab-Israeli wars.
In virtue of the second, both parties committed themselves to negotiate the creation of the autonomous regime in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The former comprised a territory of 5,640 square kilometers and 2.1 million inhabitants; and the latter, 360 square kilometers and 1.5 million inhabitants.
The Arab countries were angry with that agreement in which, in their judgment, Egypt did not energetically and firmly defend a Palestinian state whose right to exist had been at the center of the struggles waged for decades by the Arab states.
Their reaction reached such extreme indignation that many of them broke off relations with Egypt. In that way, the UN Resolution of November 1947 was erased from the map. The autonomous entity was never created and thus the Palestinians were deprived of the right to exist as an independent state, leading to the interminable tragedy endured there and which should have been resolved more than three decades ago.
The Arab population of Palestine is the victim of acts of genocide; their lands are being snatched from them and are deprived of water in those semi-desert areas, and their housing is destroyed with sledge hammers. In the Gaza Strip, one and a half million people are systematically attacked with explosive missiles, live phosphorus and the well-known stun grenades. The territory of the Strip is blockaded by land and sea. Why is there so much talk about the Camp David Accords and no mention of Palestine?
The United States supplies Israel with the most modern and sophisticated armament, worth billions of dollars every year. Egypt, an Arab country, was converted into the second recipient of U.S. weapons. To fight against whom? Against another Arab country? Against the Egyptian people themselves?
When the population was demanding respect for their most elemental rights and the resignation of a president whose policies consisted of exploiting and plundering his people, the repressive forces trained by the United States did not hesitate to fire on them, killing hundreds and wounding thousands.
When the Egyptian people were awaiting explanations from the government of their own country, the replies came from senior officers from U.S. intelligence agencies or the U.S. government, without any respect whatsoever for Egyptian officials.
Do the leaders of the United States and their intelligence services, by any chance, know nothing of the Mubarak government’s colossal theft?
Faced with the people’s mass protests in Tahrir Square, neither government officials nor intelligence agents said one single word about privileges and the bold-faced robbery of billions of dollars.
It would be an error to imagine that the revolutionary popular movement in Egypt simply constitutes a reaction against the violation of their most fundamental rights. Peoples do not risk repression or death, nor do they stand fast the whole night protesting energetically about purely formal issues. They do so when their legal and material rights are pitilessly sacrificed to the insatiable demands of corrupt politicians and to the national and international forces sacking the country.
The rate of poverty already affected the vast majority of a combative, young and patriotic people, whose dignity, culture and beliefs have all been attacked.
How could they reconcile themselves to the continuing increase in the price of food with the tens of billions of dollars attributed to President Mubarak and the privileged sectors of his government and society?
At this point, it is not enough to know how high that figure is; it must be demanded that the funds be returned to the nation.
Obama is affected by the events in Egypt; he acts or appears to act as if he were the owner of the planet. What is happening in Egypt seems to be his own issue. He has not stopped talking over the telephone with leaders of other countries.
The EFE agency, for example, reports, “… He spoke with British Prime Minister
David Cameron; Jordan’s King Abdala II and with the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a moderate Islamist.
“The U.S. President recognized the ‘historic change’ that Egyptians have made and reaffirmed his admiration for their efforts…”
The principal U.S. news agency AP released some arguments worthy of attention:
“Wanted: Moderate, Western-leaning Mideast leaders willing to be friends with Israel and cooperate in the fight against Islamic extremism while protecting human rights…
“That’s the impossible wish list from the Obama administration after popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia ousted two long-serving and close but deeply flawed U.S. allies in stunning rebellions that many believe will spread.
“This dream resume doesn’t exist and isn’t likely to appear soon. Part of the reason is that American administrations for the past four decades sacrificed the lofty human rights ideals they espoused for the sake of stability, continuity and oil in one of the world’s most volatile regions.
“‘Egypt will never be the same,’ Obama said as he welcomed the departure of Hosni Mubarak on Friday.
“‘Through their peaceful protests,’ Obama said, ‘Egyptians changed their country, and in doing so changed the world.’
“Even though governments around the Arab world are nervous, there is no sign that entrenched elites in Egypt and Tunisia are willing to cede the power and vast economic leverage they have enjoyed…
“The Obama administration has insisted ever since President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled Tunisia last month – a day after Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton warned Arab leaders in a speech in Qatar that without reform the foundations of their countries were ‘sinking into the sand…'”
The people in Tahrir Square do not appear to be very docile.
Europe Press relates:
“Thousands of demonstrators have arrived in Tahrir Square, the epicenter of the mobilizations which provoked the resignation of the country’s President, Hosni Mubarak, to reinforce those who have remained in the area despite attempts by the military police to dislodge them, according to reports by the BBC.
“The BBC correspondent posted in the central Cairo plaza has reiterated that the army is looking indecisive faced with the arrival of more demonstrators…
“The hardcore are situated on one of the square’s corners… and have decided to stay in Tahrir to make sure that their demands are met.”
Regardless of what may happen in Egypt, one of the most serious problems faced by imperialism at this time is the shortage of grain, which I analyzed in my January 19 Reflection.
The United States uses an important part of the corn it raises, and a large portion of soybeans, to produce biofuels. Europe, for its part, employs millions of hectares of land for this purpose.
On the other hand, as a consequence of climate change produced fundamentally by the rich, developed countries, a shortage of water and food is emerging which is incompatible with the growth of the world’s population, at a rate which will result in 9 billion inhabitants within 30 years, without the United Nations or the most influential governments on the planet warning or informing the world of the situation in the wake of the fraudulent Copenhagen and Cancun meetings.
We support the valiant Egyptian people and their struggle for political rights and social justice.
We are not opposed to the people of Israel; we are opposed to the genocide of the Palestinian people and in favor of their right to an independent state.
We are not in favor of war, but rather in favor of peace among all peoples.
Fidel Castro Ruz
February 13, 2011