A copy of the outcome of those meetings was sent to all the world
governments, of course with some exceptions, because it might have
seemed insulting for some. At that time, the petrodollars had flooded
the market and the large transnational banks were virtually demanding
that the countries accept high loans. Needless to say, the people
responsible for the economy had taken on those commitments without
consulting anybody. That period coincided with the presence of the most
repressive and bloody governments this continent has ever suffered,
installed by imperialism. Large sums were spent on weapons, luxuries
and consumer goods. The subsequent debt grew to 800 billion dollars
while today’s catastrophic dangers were being hatched, the dangers that
weigh upon a population that doubled in just two decades and along with
it, the number of those condemned to a life of extreme poverty. Today,
in the Latin American region, the difference between the most favored
population and the one with the lowest income is the greatest in the

Many years before the subjects of today’s debates were center stage,
the struggles of the Third World focused on equally agonizing problems
like the unequal exchange. Year after year it was discovered that the
price of the industrialized nations’ exports, usually manufactured with
our raw materials, would unilaterally grow while our basic exports
remained unchanged. The price of coffee and cacao, just to mention two
examples, was approximately 2,000 dollars a ton. A cup of coffee or a
chocolate milkshake could be bought in cities like New York for a few
cents; today, these cost several dollars, perhaps 30 or 40 times what
they cost back then. Today, the purchase of a tractor, a truck or
medical equipment require several times the volume of products that was
needed to import them back then; jute, henequen and other Third World
produced fibers that were substituted by synthetic ones succumbed to
the same fate. In the meantime, tanned hides, rubber and natural fibers
used in many textiles were being replaced by synthetic materials
derived from the sophisticated petrochemical industry while sugar
prices hit rock bottom, crushed by the large subsidies granted by the
industrialized countries to their agricultural sector.

The former colonies or neocolonies that had been promised a glowing
future after World War II had not yet awakened from the Bretton Woods
dream. From top to bottom, the system had been designed for
exploitation and plundering.

When consciousness was beginning to be roused, the other extremely
adverse factors had not yet surfaced, such as the undreamed-of
squandering of energy that industrialized countries had fallen prey to.
They were paying less than two dollars a barrel of oil. The source of
fuel, with the exception of the United States where it was very
abundant, was basically in Third World countries, chiefly in the Middle
East but also in Mexico, Venezuela, and later in Africa. But not all of
the countries that by virtue of yet another white lie classified as
"developing countries" were oil producers, since 82 of them are among
the poorest and as a rule they must import oil. A terrible situation
awaits them if food stuffs are to be transformed into biofuels or
agrifuels, as the peasant and native movements in our region prefer to
call them.

Thirty years ago, the idea of global warming hanging over our species’
life like a sword of Damocles was not even known by the immense
majority of the inhabitants of our planet; even today there is great
ignorance and confusion about these issues. If we listen to the
spokesmen of the transnational companies and their media, we are living
in the best of all possible worlds: an economy ruled by the market,
plus transnational capital, plus sophisticated technology equals a
constant growth of productivity, higher GDP, higher living standards
and every dream of the human species come true; the state should not
interfere with anything, it should not even exist, other than as an
instrument of the large financial capital.

But reality is hard-headed. Germany, one of the most highly
industrialized countries in the world, loses sleep over its 10 percent
unemployment. The toughest and least attractive jobs are taken by
immigrants who, desperate in their growing poverty, break into
industrialized Europe through any possible chink. Apparently, nobody is
taking note of the number of inhabitants on our planet, growing
precisely in the undeveloped countries.

More than 700 representatives of social organizations have just been
meeting in Havana to discuss various issues raised in this reflection.
Many of them set out their points of view and left indelible
impressions on us. There is plenty of material to reflect upon as well
as new events happening every day.

Even now, as a consequence of liberating a terrorist monster, two young
men, who were fulfilling their legal duty in the Active Military
Service, anxious to taste consumerism in the United States, hijacked a
bus, crashed through one of the doors of the domestic flights terminal
at the airport, drove up to a civilian aircraft and got on board with
their hostages, demanding to be taken to the United States. A few days
earlier, they had killed a soldier, who was standing guard, to steal
two automatic weapons, and in the plane they fired four shots that
killed a brave officer who, unarmed and held hostage in the bus, had
attempted to prevent the plane’s hijacking. The impunity and the
material gains that have rewarded any violent action against Cuba
during the last half-century encourage such events. It had been many
months since we had such an incident. All it needed was setting a
notorious terrorist free and once again death come calling at our door.
The perpetrators have not gone on trial yet because, in the course of
events, both were wounded; one of them was shot by the other as he
fired inside the plane, while they were struggling with the heroic army
officer. Now, many people abroad are waiting for the reaction of our
Courts and of the Council of State, while our people here are deeply
outraged with these events. We really need a large dose of calmness and
sangfroid to confront these problems.

The apocalyptic head of the empire declared more than five years ago
that the United States armed forces had to be on the ready to make
pre-emptive attacks on 60 or more countries in the world; nothing less
than one third of the international community. Apparently, he is not
satisfied with the death, the torture and the uprooting of millions of
people to seize their natural resources and the product of their labors.

Meanwhile, the impressive international meeting that just concluded in
Havana reaffirmed my personal conviction: every evil idea must be
submitted to devastating criticism, avoiding any concession.

Cuban Agency News
La Agencia Cubana de Noticias (ACN) es una división de la Agencia de Información Nacional (AIN) de Cuba fundada el 21 de mayo de 1974.

Cuban News Agency