I take a break from the tasks that are occupying all of my time these days to dedicate a few words to the unique opportunity presented by the political science of the sixtieth session of the United Nations General Assembly.
The yearly event demands singular effort from those taking on the greatest of political responsibilities in many countries. For them, it constitutes a tough test. For the fans of that art, and there are many since it vitally affects everybody, it is difficult to remove oneself from the temptation of observing the interminable but educational show.
In the first place, there are infinite thorny subjects and conflicts of interests. For a great number of the participants it is necessary to take positions on events that constitute flagrant violations of principles.
For example, what position to take on the NATO genocide in Libya?
Would anybody like to leave proof that under their leadership the government of their country supported the monstrous crime being committed by the US and their NATO allies, whose sophisticated fighter planes, manned or unmanned, undertook more than twenty thousand attack missions on a small Third World state that has barely six million inhabitants, alleging the same reasons that were used yesterday to attack and invade Serbia, Iraq and Afghanistan and which today threaten to do likewise in Syria or some other country in the world?
Was it not precisely the government of the State hosting the UN that ordered the butchery in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, the mercenary attack on the Bay of Pigs in Cuba, the invasion of Santo Domingo, the "Dirty War" in Nicaragua, the occupation of Grenada and Panama by US military forces and the massacre of Panamanians in El Chorrillo?
Who promoted the military coups and genocides in Chile, Argentina and Uruguay that cost tens of thousands of deaths and disappeared?
I am not speaking about things that happened 500 years ago, when the Spanish were starting the genocide in the Americas, or 200 years ago when Yankees exterminated native peoples in the United States or enslaved Africans, despite the fact that "all men are born free and equal" as the Philadelphia Declaration of Independence states.
I am speaking of events that occurred in the last few decades and which are happening today. These events have to be remembered and repeated whenever an occurrence having the importance and prominence of the meeting taking place at the United Nations where the political integrity and ethics of governments are being put to the test.
Many of these represent small and poor countries needing support and international cooperation, technology, markets and loans that the developed capitalist powers have handled at their whim. Despite the unabashed monopoly of the mass media and the fascist methods of the United States and their allies to confuse and dupe world opinion, resistance of the peoples grows, and that can be seen in the discussions that are being produced in the United Nations.
Quite a few Third World leaders, despite the obstacles and contradictions indicated, have laid out their ideas with courage. The very voices emanating from the governments of Latin America and the Caribbean no longer bear the lackey and scandalous accent of the OAS that characterized the statements of Heads of State in past decades.
Two of them have addressed that forum; both of them, Bolivarian President Hugo Chavez, a mixture of the races that make up the peoples of Venezuela and Evo Morales, pure descendent of age-old native roots, poured out their concepts at that meeting, one of them via a message and the other speaking live, in response to the speech given by the Yankee president.
Telesur broadcast the three statements. Thanks to that, from the evening of Tuesday the 20th, we were able to learn of President Chavez’ message that was thoroughly read out by Walter Martinez on his program, Dossier. Obama gave his speech on Wednesday morning as the Head of State of the UN host country, and Evo gave his speech early that same afternoon.
For the sake of brevity, I shall take essential paragraphs of both texts.
Chavez was unable to personally attend the UN Summit, after 12 years of struggle, without one single day’s rest that put his life at risk and affected his health and who today is struggling in self-sacrifice for his full recovery. Nevertheless it was difficult for his courageous message to not deal with the most crucial topic at the historic meeting. I transcribe it, almost in its entirety:
"I address these words to the UN General Assembly […] to ratify, on this day and in this setting, Venezuela’s full support of the recognition of the Palestinian State: of Palestine’s right to become a free, sovereign and independent state. This represents an act of historic justice towards a people who carry with them, from time immemorial, all the pain and suffering of the world.
"The great French philosopher, Gilles Deleuze, […] wrote with the full weight of the truth: The Palestinian cause is first and foremost the set of injustices that these people have suffered and continue to suffer. And I dare add that the Palestinian cause also represents a constant and unwavering will to resist, already written in the historic memory of the human condition […]
Mahmoud Darwish, the infinite voice of the longed-for Palestine, with heartfelt conscience speaks about this love:
"We don’t need memories/ because we carry within us Mount Carmelo and in our eyelids is the herb of Galilee. Don’t say: If only we could flow to my country like a river! Don’t say that! Because we are in the flesh of our country and our country is in our flesh.’
"Against those who falsely assert that what has happened to the Palestinian people is not genocide, Deleuze himself states with unfaltering lucidity: From beginning to end, it involved acting as if the Palestinian people not only must not exist, but had never existed. It represents the very essence of genocide: to decree that a people do not exist; to deny them the right to existence. "…conflict resolution in the Middle East must, necessarily, bring justice to the Palestinian people; this is the only path to peace.
"It is upsetting and painful that the same people who suffered one of the worst examples of genocide in history have become the executioners of the Palestinian people: it is upsetting and painful that the heritage of the Holocaust be the Nakba. And it is truly disturbing that Zionism continues to use the charge of anti-Semitism as blackmail against those who oppose their violations and crimes. Israel has, blatantly and despicably, used and continues to use the memory of the victims. And they do so to act with complete impunity against Palestine. It’s worth mentioning that anti-Semitism is a Western, European, scourge in which the Arabs do not participate. Furthermore, let’s not forget that it is the Semite Palestine people who suffer from the ethnic cleansing practiced by the Israeli colonialist State.."
"…It is one thing to denounce anti-Semitism, and an entirely different thing to passively accept that Zionistic barbarism enforces an apartheid regime against the Palestinian people. From an ethical standpoint those who denounce the first, must condemn the second."
"…Zionism, as a world vision, is absolutely racist. Irrefutable proof of this can be seen in these words written with terrifying cynicism by Golda Meir: How are we to return the occupied territories? There is nobody to return them to. There is no such thing as a Palestinian people. It is not as people think, that there existed a people called Palestinians, who considered themselves as Palestinians, and that we came and threw them out and took their country. They didn’t exist.’"
"Read and reread the document historically known as the Balfour declaration of 1917: the British Government assumed the legal authority to promise a national home in Palestine to the Jewish people, deliberately ignoring the presence and wishes of its inhabitants. It should be added that Christians and Muslims lived in peace for centuries in the Holy Land up until the time when Zionism began to claim it as its complete and exclusive property."
"By the end of World War II, the Palestinian people’s tragedy worsened, with their expulsion from their territory and, at the same time, from history. In 1947, the despicable and illegal UN resolution 181 recommends dividing Palestine into a Jewish State, an Arab State, and an area under ternational control (Jerusalem and Belem). […] , 56 percent of the territory was granted to Zionism to establish its State. In fact, this resolution violated international law and blatantly ignored the will of the vast Arab majority: the right to self-determination of the people became a dead letter."
"…contrary to what Israel and the United States are trying to make the world believe through transnational media outlets, what happened and continues to happen in Palestine Â using Said’s words Â is not a religious conflict, but a political conflict, with a colonial and imperialist stamp. It did not begin in the Middle East, but rather in Europe."
What was and continues to be at the heart of the conflict?: debate and discussion has prioritized Israel’s security while ignoring Palestine’s. This is corroborated by recent events; a good example is the latest act of genocide set off by Israel during its Operation Molten Lead in Gaza.
"Palestine’s security cannot be reduced to the simple acknowledgement of a limited self-government and self-policing in its "enclaves" along the west bank of the Jordan and in the Gaza Strip. This ignores the creation of the Palestinian State, in the borders set prior to 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital; and the rights of its citizens and their self-determination as a people. This further disregards the compensation and subsequent return to the Homeland of 50 percent of the Palestinian people who are scattered all over the world, as established by resolution 194.
"It’s unbelievable that a country (Israel) that owes its existence to a general assembly resolution could be so disdainful of the resolutions that emanate from the UN, said Father Miguel D’Escoto when pleading for the end of the massacre against the people of Gaza in late 2008 and early 2009.
"It is impossible to ignore the crisis in the United Nations. In 2005, before this very same General Assembly, we argued that the United Nations model had become exhausted. The fact that the debate on the Palestinian issue has been delayed and is being openly sabotaged reconfirms this.
" For several days, Washington has been stating that, at the Security Council, it will veto what will be a majority resolution of the General Assembly: the recognition of Palestine as a full member of the UN. In the Statement of Recognition of the Palestinian State, Venezuela, together with the sister Nations that make up the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), have denounced that such a just aspiration could be blocked by this means. As we know, the empire, in this and other instances, is trying to impose its double standard on the world stage: Yankee double standards are violating international law in Libya, while allowing Israel to do whatever it pleases, thus becoming the main accomplice of the Palestinian genocide being carried out by the hands of Zionist barbarity. Edward Said touched a nerve when he wrote that: Israeli interests in the United States have made the US’ Middle East policy Israeli-centric.’"
"I would like to conclude with the voice of Mahmoud Darwish in his memorable poem On This Earth: We have on this earth what makes life worth living: On this earth, the lady of earth, Mother of all beginnings Mother of all ends. She was called… Palestine. Her name later became… Palestine. My Lady, because you are my Lady, I deserve life.’"
"It will continue to be called Palestine: Palestine will live and overcome! Long-live free, sovereign and independent Palestine!
"Hugo Chavez Frias, President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela."
When the meeting convened the next morning his words were already in the hearts and minds of all the persons meeting there. The Bolivarian leader was never an enemy of the Jewish people. A man with special sensitivity, he deeply detested the brutal crime committed by the Nazis on children, women and men, young and old in the concentration camps where gypsies were also victims of atrocious crimes and extermination attempts, something nobody of course remembers and is never mentioned. Likewise, hundreds of thousands of Russians perished in those extermination camps, considered to be an inferior race by Nazi racial concepts.
When Chavez returned to his country from Cuba on the night of Thursday September 22nd, he indignantly referred to the speech given by Barack Obama at the United Nations. Few times have I heard him speak with such disappointment about a leader whom he treated with determinate respect, as a victim of his own history of racial discrimination in the United States. He never thought him capable of acting as George Bush would
have and he held on to a respectful memory of the words they exchanged at the Trinidad and Tobago meeting. "Yesterday we were listening to a
number of speeches, also the day before yesterday, over there at the N, lovely speeches like the one made by President Dilma Rousseff; a highly ethical speech like the one made by President Evo Morales.
Obama’s Cynical Speech
A speech we might catalogue as a monument to cynicism, President Obama’s speech, is a monument to cynicism because his own face was betraying him, his own face was a poem; a man calling for peace, imagine that, Obama calling for peace, with what kind of morals? A historical monument to cynicism, that’s what President Obama’s speech was. "Lovely speeches, guiding speeches, that’s what we were listening to: the speech by President Lugo, that of the Argentine president, setting courageous positions before the world."
When the New York meeting convened on the morning of Wednesday, September 21st, the President of the United States, – on the tail of the words spoken by the President of Brazil which opened up discussions and after the de rigueur introduction – took to the podium and began his speech.
"Over nearly seven decades" he began, "even as the United Nations helped avert a third world war, we still live in a world scarred by conflict and plagued by poverty. Even as we proclaim our love for peace and our hatred of war, there are still convulsions in our world that endanger us all." We don’t know when, according to Obama, the UN prevented World War III.
"I took office at a time of two wars for the United States. Moreover, the violent extremists who drew us into war in the first place Â Osama bin Laden, and his al Qaeda organization Â remained at large. Today, we’ve set a new direction. At the end of this year, America’s military operation in Iraq will be over. We will have a normal relationship with a sovereign nation that is a member of the community of nations. That equal partnership will be strengthened by our support for Iraq Â for its government and for its security forces, for its people and for their aspirations."
What country is Obama really talking about?
"As we end the war in Iraq, the United States and our coalition partners have begun a transition in Afghanistan. Between now and 2014, an increasingly capable Afghan government and security forces will step forward to take responsibility for the future of their country. As they do, we are drawing down our own forces, while building an enduring partnership with the Afghan people. So let there be no doubt: The tide of war is receding.
"When I took office, roughly 180,000 Americans were serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. By the end of this year, that number will be cut in half, and it will continue to decline. This is critical for the sovereignty of Iraq and Afghanistan. It’s also critical to the strength of the United States as we build our nation at home. Moreover, we are poised to end these wars from a position of strength. Ten years ago, there was an open wound and twisted steel, a broken heart in the center of this city. Today, as a new tower is rising at Ground Zero, it symbolizes New York’s renewal, even as al Qaeda is under more pressure than ever before. Its leadership has been degraded. And Osama bin Laden, a man who murdered thousands of people from dozens of countries, will never endanger the peace of the world again."
Who was Bin Laden’s ally, who really trained and armed him to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan? It wasn’t the socialists, or the revolutionaries in any part of the world.
"This has been a difficult decade. […] But today, we stand at a crossroads of history with the chance to move decisively in the direction of peace. To do so, we must return to the wisdom of those who created this institution. The United Nations’ Founding Charter calls upon us, "to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security."
Who has military bases everywhere throughout the world, who is the greatest exporter of weapons, who possesses hundreds of spy satellites, who invests billions of dollars every year on military expenses?
"This year has been a time of extraordinary transformation. More nations have stepped forward to maintain international peace and security. And more individuals are claiming their universal right to live in freedom and dignity."
Then he cites the cases of Southern Sudan and Cote d’Ivoire. He doesn’t say that in the former, the Yankee transnationals launched themselves on the oil reserves of that new country, whose president, at that very UN Assembly, said that it was a valuable resource, but would run out and he proposed its rational and best use.
Neither did Obama state that peace in Cote d’Ivoire was reached with the backing of the colonialist soldiers of an eminent member of belligerent NATO which had just dropped thousands of bombs over Libya. A little later on he mentions Tunisia and he attributed the US with the merit of the popular movement that overthrew that country’s government, imperialism’s ally.
Even more mind-boggling, Obama would like to ignore that the US was responsible for Egypt installing the tyrannical and corrupt Hosni Mubarak government, which betrayed Nasser’s principles and allied itself with imperialism, stealing tens of thousands of millions from his country and tyrannizing at courageous people.
"One year ago," Obama states, "Egypt had known one President for nearly 30 years. But for 18 days, the eyes of the world were glued to Tahrir Square, where Egyptians from all walks of life Â men and women, young and old, Muslim and Christian Â demanded their universal rights. We saw in those protesters the moral force of non-violence that has lit the world from Delhi to Warsaw, from Selma to South Africa Â and we knew that change had come to Egypt and to the Arab world."
"Day after day, in the face of bullets and bombs, the Libyan people refused to give back that freedom. And when they were threatened by the kind of mass atrocity that often went unchallenged in the last century, the United Nations lived up to its charter. The Security Council authorized all necessary measures to prevent a massacre. The Arab League called for this effort; Arab nations joined a NATO-led coalition that halted Qaddafi’s forces in their tracks"
"Yesterday, the leaders of a new Libya took their rightful place beside us, and this week, the United States is reopening our embassy in Tripoli.
"This is how the international community is supposed to work Â nations standing together for the sake of peace and security, and individuals claiming their rights."
"Now, all of us have a responsibility to support the new Libya Â the new Libyan government as they confront the challenge of turning this moment of promise into a just and lasting peace for all Libyans."
"The Qaddafi regime is over. Gbagbo, Ben Ali, Mubarak are no longer in power. Osama bin Laden is gone, and the idea that change could only come through violence has been buried with him."
Observe the poetic form with which Obama deals with the Bin Laden affair, whatever had been responsible for this former ally, executing him by shooting him in his face in front of his wife and children and throwing his body into the sea from an aircraft carrier, ignoring the religious customs and traditions of more than a billion religious persons and the basic legal principles established by all penal systems. Such methods do not lead, nor will they ever lead, to peace.
"Something is happening in our world," Â he carries on, regarding Libya. "The way things have been is not the way that they will be. Dictators are on notice. Technology is putting power into the hands of the people. The youth are delivering a powerful rebuke to dictatorship, and rejecting the lie that some races, some peoples, some religions, some ethnicities do not desire democracy. "The promise written down on paper Â "all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights" Â is closer at hand The measure of our success must be whether people can live in sustained freedom, dignity, and security. And the United Nations and its member states must do their part to support those basic aspirations. And we have more work to do."
Right away he starts in on another Muslim country where, as it is well-known, his intelligence services along with those of Israel, systematically murder the most distinguished military technology scientists. He follows up with a threat on Syria, where Yankee aggressivity could lead to a massacre even more horrifying than that in Libya: "Today, men and women and children are being tortured, detained and murdered by the Syrian regime. Thousands have been killed, many during the holy time of Ramadan. Thousands more have poured across Syria’s borders.
"The Syrian people have shown dignity and courage in their pursuit of justice Â protesting peacefully, standing silently in the streets, dying for the same values that this institution is supposed to stand for. And the question for us is clear: Will we stand with the Syrian people, or with their oppressors? Already, the United States has imposed strong sanctions on Syria’s leaders. We supported a transfer of power that is responsive to the Syrian people But for the sake of Syria Â and the peace and security of the world Â we must speak with one voice. There’s no excuse for inaction. Now is the time for the United Nations Security Council to sanction the Syrian regime, and to stand with the Syrian people."
Could it be that some country has been left out of the bloody threats made by this illustrious defender of security and international peace? Who granted such prerogatives to the United States?
"Throughout the region, we will have to respond to the calls for change. In Yemen, men, women and children gather by the thousands in towns and city squares every day with the hope that their determination and spilled blood will prevail over a corrupt system. America supports those aspirations. We must work with Yemen’s neighbors and our partners around the world to seek a path that allows for a peaceful transition of power from President Saleh, and a movement to free and fair elections as soon as possible.
"In Bahrain, steps have been taken toward reform and accountability. We’re pleased with that, but more is required. America is a close friend of Bahrain, and we will continue to call on the government and the main opposition bloc Â the Wifaq Â to pursue a meaningful dialogue that brings peaceful change that is responsive to the people. We believe the patriotism that binds Bahrainis together must be more powerful than the sectarian forces that would tear them apart. It will be hard, but it is possible."
He doesn’t mention one single word about the fact that that’s where one of the largest military bases in the region is and that the Yankee transnationals control and dispose of at will the greatest oil and gas reserves of Saudi Arabia and the Arab Emirates.
"We believe that each nation must chart its own course to fulfill the aspirations of its people, and America does not expect to agree with every party or person who expresses themselves politically. But we will always stand up for the universal rights that were embraced by this Assembly. Those rights depend on elections that are free and fair; on governance that is transparent and accountable; respect for the rights of women and minorities; justice that is equal and fair. That is what our people deserve. Those are the elements of peace that can last."
"…the United States will continue to support those nations that transition to democracy Â with greater trade and investment Â so that freedom is followed by opportunity. We will pursue a deeper engagement with governments, but also with civil society Â students and entrepreneurs, political parties and the press.
"We have banned those who abuse human rights from traveling to our country. And we’ve sanctioned those who trample on human rights abroad. And we will always serve as a voice for those who’ve been silenced."
After this long-winded speech, the distinguished Nobel Prize laureate embarks on the thorny issue of his alliance with Israel that certainly doesn’t come up among the privileged possessors of one of the most modern system of nuclear weapons and means capable of reaching distant targets. He knows full well how arbitrary and unpopular that policy is.
"I know, particularly this week, that for many in this hall, there’s one issue that stands as a test for these principles and a test for American foreign policy, and that is the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. One year ago, I stood at this podium and I called for an independent Palestine. I believed then, and I believe now, that the Palestinian people deserve a state of their own.
"But what I also said is that a genuine peace can only be realized between the Israelis and the Palestinians themselves. One year later, despite extensive efforts by America and others, the parties have not bridged their differences. Faced with this stalemate, I put forward a new basis for negotiations in May of this year. That basis is clear. It’s well known to all of us here. Israelis must know that any agreement provides assurances for their security. Palestinians deserve to know the territorial basis of their state.
"Now, I know that many are frustrated by the lack of progress. I assure you, so am I. But the question isn’t the goal that we seek Â the question is how do we reach that goal. Peace is hard work. Peace will not come through statements and resolutions at the United Nations Â if it were that easy, it would have been accomplished by now. Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians who must live side by side.
"Ultimately, it is the Israelis and the Palestinians Â not us — who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them: on borders and on security, on refugees and Jerusalem. Ultimately, peace depends upon compromise among people who must live together long after our speeches are over, long after our votes have been tallied.
Next, he goes on to verbosely explain and justify the unexplainable and unjustifiable. "…There’s no question that the Palestinians have seen that vision delayed for too long. It is precisely because we believe so strongly in the aspirations of the Palestinian people that America has invested so much time and so much effort in the building of a Palestinian state, and the negotiations that can deliver a Palestinian state. But understand this as well: America’s commitment to Israel’s security is unshakeable. Our friendship with Israel is deep and enduring.."
"The Jewish people have forged a successful state in their historic homeland. Israel deserves recognition. It deserves normal relations with its neighbors. And friends of the Palestinians do them no favors by ignoring this truth.
"…each side has legitimate aspirations Â and that’s part of what makes peace so hard. And the deadlock will only be broken when each side learns to stand in the other’s shoes; each side can see the world through the other’s eyes. That’s what we should be encouraging. That’s what we should be promoting."
Meanwhile, the Palestinians remain exiled from their own homeland, their homes are destroyed by monstrous mechanical machinery and an odious wall that is much higher than the Berlin Wall was, separating Palestinian from Palestinian. The best Obama might have acknowledged is that the very Israeli citizens are by now tired of the waste of resources invested in the military sphere that deprives them of peace and access to the elementary means or living. Just like the Palestinians, they are suffering from the consequences of these policies imposed by the United States and the most warlike and reactionary elements in the Zionist State.
"even as we confront these challenges of conflict and revolution, we must also recognize Â we must also remind ourselves […]. True peace depends on creating the opportunity that makes life worth living. And to do that, we must confront the common enemies of humanity: nuclear weapons and poverty, ignorance and disease."
Who can understand this gibberish spoken by the President of the United States before the General Assembly? He follows up with his unintelligible philosophy: "To lift the specter of mass destruction, we must come together to pursue the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons. Over the last two years, we’ve begun to walk down that path. Since our Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, nearly 50 nations have taken steps to secure nuclear materials from terrorists and smugglers"
Could there be any terrorism greater than the aggressive and bellicose policy of a country whose arsenal of nuclear weapons could destroy life on this planet several times over?
"America will continue to work for a ban on the testing of nuclear weapons and the production of fissile material needed to make them", Obama goes on to promise us.
"And so we have begun to move in the right direction. And the United States is committed to meeting our obligations. But even as we meet our obligations, we’ve strengthened the treaties and institutions that help stop the spread of these weapons. […]. The Iranian government cannot demonstrate that its program is peaceful"
Back to the same old refrain! But this time Iran is not alone; it is accompanied by the Democratic Republic of Korea.
"North Korea has yet to take concrete steps towards abandoning its weapons and continues belligerent action against the South. There’s a future of greater opportunity for the people of these nations if their governments meet their international obligations. But if they continue down a path that is outside international law, they must be met with greater pressure and isolation. That is what our commitment to peace and security demands."
To be continued tomorrow.
If our Nobel laureate is deluding himself, something that is still to be proven, perhaps that explains the incredible contradictions in his thinking and the confusion sown among his listeners. 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 Â 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 statesmen 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 Â 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 his words 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 madeÂby almost one hundred percent of the nations, except the US and Israel Â 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 Calderon 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!
September 26-27, 2011