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FIDEL: “The Bolivarian Revolution and Peace”

November 19, 2009

While keeping one eye on Honduras, you might train the other eye on the US’ provocative military base plan in the land of its “enfant terrible,” Colombia.

Fidel is one of the clearest thinkers on the planet and the best at breaking down issues, especially those associated with the US and its unquenchable imperial thirst.

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Reflections by Fidel Castro

The Bolivarian Revolution and Peace

I know Chavez well, and no one could be more reluctant than him to allow a showdown between
the Venezuelan and Colombian peoples leading to bloodshed. These are two fraternal peoples,
the same as Cubans living in the east, center and west end of our island. I find no other way
to explain the close relationship between Venezuelans and Colombians.

    The slanderous Yankee accusation that Chavez is planning a war against neighboring
Colombia led an influential paper of that country to run a story last Sunday, November 15,
under the headline “War Drums.” It was a pejorative and insulting editorial against the
Venezuelan President asserting, among other things, that “Colombia should take very seriously
the gravest threat to its national security in more than seven decades as it comes from a
President with a military background…”

    It goes on to say that: “The reason is the growing potential for a provocation that can go
from an incident along the border to an attack on civilian and military facilities in
Colombia.”

    Further on the editorial claims it is likely “…that Hugo Chavez intensifies his attacks
against the ‘scrawny’ –the sobriquet he applies to his oppositionists—and tries to remove from
regional and local governments those who contradict him. He already did it with the Mayor of
Caracas…and now he wants to try with the governors of the states sharing borders with Colombia
who refuse to be under his rule…a clash with Colombian forces or the accusation that the
paramilitary plan to conduct actions within Venezuelan territory could be the pretext required
by Chavez’s regime to suspend constitutional rights.” 

    Such words can only serve to justify the United States’ aggressive plans and the blatant
treachery of the Venezuelan oligarchy and counterrevolution to their Homeland.

    Coinciding with the release of that editorial, the Bolivarian leader had published his
weekly column known as “Chavez’s lines,” where he analyzed the shameless concession of seven
US military bases in Colombia, a country that shares about 1,281 miles of border with
Venezuela.

    In his article, the President of the Bolivarian Republic was very clear and brave in
explaining his position.

    “…I said it this Friday at the rally for peace and against the US military bases in
Colombian territory: It is my duty to appeal to all of you, men and women, to defend Bolivar’s
Homeland, our children’s Homeland… Our Homeland is free today and we shall defend it with our
lives. Never again will Venezuela be anybody’s colony; never again will it kneel down before
any invader or empire…the extremely serious and transcendental problem in Colombia cannot be
overlooked by the Latin American governments…”

    Later on, he added some important concepts: “…the entire ‘gringo’ war arsenal included in
the agreement responds to the concept of extraterritorial operations…it turns the Colombian
territory into an enormous Yankee military enclave…the greatest threat to peace and security
in the South American region and in Our America.”

    “The agreement…prevents Colombia from offering anyone security and respect; not even
Colombian men and women. A country that has lost its sovereignty and become an instrument of
the ‘new colonial power’ envisioned by our Liberator cannot offer such guarantees.”
    Chavez is a true revolutionary, a profound and sincere thinker, a courageous and restless
worker. He did not win power through a coup d’état. He rebelled against the repression and
genocide unleashed by the neoliberal governments that surrendered the country’s huge natural
resources to the United States. He endured incarceration; he matured and developed his ideas.
He did not win power with weapons despite his military background.

    It is his merit to have taken the difficult path of a profound social Revolution starting
out from the so-called representative democracy and an absolute freedom of expression, at a
time when the most powerful media  resources of the country were –they still are—in the hands
of the oligarchy and at the service of the empire’s interests.

    In just 11 years, Venezuela has achieved the greatest educational and social progress
attained by any country in the world, despite the coup d’état and the destabilization plans
and smearing campaigns implemented by the United States.

    The empire did not decree an economic blockade on Venezuela, –as it did in the case of
Cuba– after the failure of its sophisticated actions against the Venezuelan people because it
would have meant blockading itself given its foreign energy dependence. But it has not
abandoned its purpose to do away with the Bolivarian process and the generous support this
gives the Caribbean and Central American peoples in terms of oil resources, and its extensive
trade relations with South America, China, Russia and numerous countries of Asia, Africa and
Europe. Large segments of the population in every continent sympathize with the Bolivarian
Revolution whose relations with Cuba are especially upsetting for the empire which for half a
century has sustained a criminal blockade against our country. Through the ALBA, Bolivar’s
Venezuela and Marti’s Cuba are promoting a new type of relationship and exchange on rational
and fair basis.

    The Bolivarian Revolution has been particularly generous with the Caribbean countries in
times of an exceptionally grave energy crisis.

    In the current new stage, the Venezuelan Revolution is facing entirely new problems which
did not exist almost exactly 50 years ago, when our Revolution triumphed in Cuba.

    At that time, drug-trafficking, organized crime, social violence and the paramilitaries
were barely known. The United States had yet to become the huge drug market that capitalism
and the consumer society have turned it into. It was not so difficult for the Revolution to
fight drug-trafficking in Cuba and to prevent the country from being drawn to its production
and consumption.

    Today, such scourges have brought to Mexico, Central America and South America a growing
tragedy which is far from beaten. The unequal terms of trade, protectionism and the plundering
of their natural resources has been compounded by drug-trafficking and the violence of
organized crime that underdevelopment, poverty, unemployment and the huge US drug market have
created in the Latin American societies. The incompetence of that imperial and wealthy nation
to prevent drug-trafficking and abuse has paved the way for the cultivation in many places of
Latin America of plants whose value as raw material for drug production often exceeds that of
the rest of the farm products, thus creating a very serious social and political quagmire.

    In Colombia, the paramilitary is today the imperialism’s frontline force to combat the
Bolivarian Revolution.

    It is precisely thanks to his military background that Chavez knows that the struggle
against drug-trafficking is a vulgar pretext used by the United States to justify a military
agreement that fully responds to the US post-cold war strategic concept of extending its world
domination.

    The air bases, the means, the operational rights and total impunity granted to the Yankee
military and civilian personnel by Colombia in its own territory have nothing to do with
fighting drug cultivation, production and trafficking. This is currently a world problem
spreading not only to South American countries, but also to Africa and other regions. It
already prevails in Afghanistan despite the massive presence of the Yankee troops.

    Drugs should not be used as a pretext to set up bases, invade countries and bring
violence, war and plundering to Third World nations. This is the worst environment to sow good
qualities among the people and to bring education, healthcare and development to other nations.

    Those who think that division between Venezuelans and Colombians can lead to the success
of their counterrevolutionary plans are deceiving themselves. Many of the best and most humble
workers in Venezuela are Colombians; the Revolution has given them and their immediate family
education, healthcare, employment, the right to citizenship and other benefits. Together,
Venezuelans and Colombians shall defend the great Homeland of the Liberator of the Americas;
together, they shall fight for peace and freedom.      The thousands of Cuban doctors,
educators and other collaborators carrying out their internationalist duty in Venezuela shall
be with them!

Fidel Castro Ruz

November 18, 2009

2:30 PM

Cuban News Agency
http://www.cubanews.ain.cu
ainnews@ain.cu

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