The US Interests Section office in Havana is a smuggling enterprise, says Fidel
Campaign News | Monday, 23 January 2006
Cuban president speaks to reporters near the José Martí Anti-Imperialist Tribunal
BY ENRIQUE MONTESINOS AND ALBERTO NUNEZ-Granma daily staff writers-
“THIS country cannot be conquered or dominated, because as long as there is one patriot alive, he or she will be fighting. We are invulnerable militarily and politically, and we are marching toward economic invulnerability.”
Those were the comments of President Fidel Castro during a question-and-answer session with reporters near the José Martí Anti-Imperialist Tribunal, where construction work is underway to expand that venue, a fruit of the current Battle of Ideas.
In response to a question on how he sees Cuba’s relations with the rest of the world, the revolutionary leader said that he could see how the empire was surrounded by contempt and repugnance because of its many crimes and torture committed in various countries, and in contrast, how our country is surrounded today by growing sympathy and admiration because of its firmness and ability.
He asserted that those merits are historic and cannot be concealed. “We sow ideas and consciousness. We have means for helping the world; our human capital is growing and is not running out, because it is not gold, or oil or nickel.”
Fidel asked for patience from the journalists, who with their typical curiosity wanted to know what exactly was being built in front of the offices of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana. He confined himself to saying that in face of the new and insolent provocation by the general staff of the counterrevolution in Cuba, “we saw ourselves obliged to respond.”
“The world is in real danger, because they have a monopoly on nuclear weapons, and it bothers them when another country like Iran wants to produce nuclear energy,” the Cuban president said.
“They have no right to prohibit that nation from peacefully using nuclear energy,” he affirmed. “With the excuse that doing so is a threat, they are even talking about attacking that country.”
He added that they have never complained about the nuclear arms that Israel possesses, and noted that in Angola, South Africa considered using those horrific weapons against us.
ONLY THE TRUTH CAN SAVE THIS SPECIES
“The world will disappear if it is not courageous enough to reject the warmongering policies of Bush, who used the atrocious attacks of September 11 as an excuse, and emboldened, spoke of attacking 60 countries on a list, including European ones like the Netherlands; they even talked about invading the Netherlands.”
“Not even Hitler said that; Hitler looked for pretexts, but Bush is attacking more barefacedly and has many more weapons; he is crazy, and the world is in real danger. Only the truth can save this species,” Fidel said.
He noted that Cuba had its own experience with nuclear weapons 44 years ago, “when a “shadow” was hanging over our country, and we didn’t even blink; nobody trembled. He is an unbridled crazy man; some people over there might fear him, but we’re not at all afraid of him.”
With respect to the imperialist attempt to free murderer Luis Posada Carriles, the Cuban president noted that for 40 years, that individual has maintained contact with the U.S. intelligence services, responsible for planning hundreds of assassination attempts against Fidel’s person, the most recent in Panama, when almost 50 kilograms of explosives were seized from Posada that would have killed hundreds of students. “They tried him and convicted him there, but later it was Bush who got him out of jail and now they don’t even dare to say how he entered U.S. territory.”
“They are not returning him to Venezuela, by invoking the Convention against Torture, even though are no death squads, no death penalty in Venezuela. A coup d’état happened there, and its masterminds are still on the loose. If this were about torture, then the first one convicted would have to be Bush, because he has committed torture all over the world.”
In addition, Fidel qualified the U.S. Interests Section in Havana as a smuggling enterprise. Last year, that office brought in more than 100 tons of products - cameras, videos, radios, to better receive the broadcasts of the ill-named Radio and TV Martí - using the diplomatic pouch.
After exposing that it is also a place through which enormous sums of money are channeled to promote the counterrevolution and create destabilization in the country, he also emphasized that its employees have increasingly less oxygen.
When he began talking to reporters, Fidel commented that “it was not very intelligent of them to put out their little signboard again,” referring to the U.S. Interests Section electronic billboard.
He explained that the Bush government is trying to please the mafia which handed him the presidency and are pressuring him to place restrictions on migratory policies and thus promote illegal departures.
“It is a big mistake to encourage illegal departures, which violates their own laws and one of their own newspapers recently said that it was craziness; that they should get rid of the so-called Cuban Adjustment Act.”
It completely contradicts their battle against illegal immigration by Latin Americans who are trying to escape the poverty of their underdeveloped countries, with illusions about the consumer society.” And he pointed out that meanwhile they are building a giant wall where 500 Mexicans die every year, more than all of those that died on the Berlin Wall.
He added: “They are making a very big mistake, because they are incapable of seeing the changes or the moment that our country is going through; they thought that Cuba only had a few days left, and although our people went through many sacrifices, they were capable of resisting,” he affirmed, adding that the world has changed, and that Latin America had also changed.
“They think that we’re still in 1995,” he said, “but 10 years have gone by, and today our consciousness is more solid.”
“They have tried to prevent U.S. farmers from exporting to Cuba because what has happened is Cuba has become one of their main importers. They are trying to create a situation to prevent that trade, but we are prepared for all contingencies,” he reiterated.
“Cuba has become a moral fortress. We have the means to help the world,” he declared.
WE WILL BE AT THE BASEBALL CLASSIC
“We’ll all be at the Baseball Classic, fighting fair and square, even though they have robbed us of some good players, the ones they’ve offered millions of dollars to, to bribe and corrupt them,” Fidel said.
He described as stupidity the attempt to prevent Cuba from attending that tournament, and said it was very positive that many people protested when they found out that Cuba was being denied the possibility of participating.
“We have shown our quality during international competitions, in matches against Major League players, who have even come here,” he noted.
“The imperialists feel powerless before us, because they cannot destroy the Revolution.”
Further on, the Cuban president affirmed that our convertible currency is strong, while the dollar is at Cuba’s mercy and is worth whatever we want it to be worth here.
He reiterated that the revolutionary government will always be ready to assist workers and retirees.
SCHAFIK NEVER SURRENDERED
Fidel affirmed that he believes in humanity, in the value of the talent of the human species, which is capable of overcoming the most difficult moments.
Remarking on the stature of those who, fervently and with anti-imperialist stances, are leading their people today, like Evo Morales and Hugo Chávez, Fidel referred to another recently deceased great revolutionary, Salvadoran patriot Schafik Handal, an impeccable man who never gave in or surrendered.
“All of those values give us life,” he concluded.
Bulldozers move in on US Interests Section in Havana
Cuban bulldozers are digging up an area in front of the US interests section in the capital, Havana.
US diplomats say the move is designed to obscure the illuminated messages, mainly on human rights themes, that are being displayed on the building.
President Fidel Castro has described the scrolling messages as a gross provocation, saying he believes the US wants to sever all relations with Cuba.
The two countries have not had diplomatic links for 45 years.
What was once the car park of the US mission in Havana is rapidly turning into a major construction site.
Huge cranes have been brought in and teams of builders are working there non-stop.
But no-one will say what is being built, not even President Castro.
On Wednesday night, his black Mercedes drew up to the site. He emerged to give the workers a pep talk.
American envoys in Havana, he said, were cockroaches.
Asked what was being built, he said he did not want to ruin the surprise.
As he spoke, the huge US electronic billboard scrolled out its illuminated messages across the building behind him.
One gave news that Palestinians had been voting for the first time in 10 years.
Another declared that President Bush believed people had the right to choose how they lived their lives.
The propaganda war between the US and Cuba is nothing new - but this is an escalation.
Already Cuba has put up scores of posters in the capital caricaturing President Bush as both a fascist and a vampire.
Where this will all end is not clear.
President Castro says he believes the US is intending to break off all relations with Cuba. He also says he does not believe Cuba would lose much if that happened.