Fidel Castro. It seems that Castro's recent
overtures to President Barack Obama could mark
a break between the two commandantes.
Castro and Chavez Split
"A black cat has scampered
between the two comandantes. One factor in the cooling of relations between
Chavez and Castro relates to Barack Obama. ... Castro has aimed a few serious and
courteous statements in Barack Obama's direction. ... Hugo Chavez hypothesized
that Barack Obama would turn out even worse than George Bush."
The election of
Barack Obama has created all kinds of geopolitical waves. This time from
Russia, a country with unique historic ties to Cuba, there is news that
the advent of Obama has created a rift between Latin America's leading
leftists. This caricature of President Barack
Obama is from Egypt's Al-Ahram
After half a
century of opposition, Fidel Castro has proclaimed the beginning of an era of rapprochement
with the United States. The banner of struggle against U.S. imperialism on the
Latin American continent has been taken up by Hugo Chavez.
President Hugo Chavez, who has always referred to Castro as his "father,
brother, teacher and comrade," recently made an unusual announcement.
According to Chavez, the leader of the Cuban Revolution, due to his recent
illness, would no longer be able to participate in official public events. In
doing so, Chavez allowed himself to do what would only be appropriate for
Fidel, or in an extreme case, a member of his immediate family. It should be
noted that it's been a while since Fidel himself issued any statement of public
support for his "pupil" Chavez. Apparently, a black cat has scampered
between the two comandantes. Most
likely, one factor in the cooling of relations between Chavez and Castro (not
the only one, but the principal one) relates to the new president of the United States,
Even before taking
office, Obama stated his willingness to meet with Raul Castro without
precondition, and also promised to lift restrictions on travel to Cuba and
remittances of money to the country. In the context of the financial crisis - a
bitter blow to Cuba - the influx of American money is vitally important to poor
Fidel Castro is
well aware that Venezuelan aid is destined to be drastically reduced (according
to official reports, Venezuela's
international currency reserves have dropped by 30 percent and are melting away
at an alarming rate). Havana also has little
hope for cooperation with Russia:
Moscow can no longer fully support Cuba as the USSR did during the 1960s-1980s,
and wouldn't want to if it could. To rely on Chinese, Brazilian and European investment
has become more difficult in this time of crisis.
actions by the United States aimed at weakening the blockade against Cuba will
be true manna for the Island of Freedom [this was a Soviet nickname for
Which is why
Fidel Castro has aimed a few serious and courteous statements in Barack Obama's
direction. The latest among them came in an article from his Reflections
series, published on the conclusion of talks with Argentine President Christina
Kirchner. "I don't harbor the slightest doubt over the honesty with which
Obama, the 11th president since January 1, 1959 [the victory of the Cuban
Revolution], expressed his ideas"
however, the Cuban leader expressed reservations that many questions regarding
American policy remain unanswered, but significantly, among those he mentioned
were only "a wasteful and materialistic system par excellence," which
threatens the environment. But nothing, for the first time since 1959, of the
"bloody crimes of imperialism" against "freedom-loving
people," and other revolutionary clichés. There can be only one
conclusion: Fidel Castro, after half a century of opposition, including armed
confrontation, has declared the beginning of an era of rapprochement with the
RUSSIA TODAY: WILL OBAMA LIFT
just a few days after Fidel Castro's article [Jan. 22], a statement issued by
Venezuela's press service can be viewed not as a response to Barack Obama's
political statements, but an answer to the article written by Hugo Chavez’
"father" and "teacher." After for some reason reminding the
U.S. president that Venezuela is a sovereign nation and not a colony
(by the way, Venezuela never
was a U.S. colony), Hugo
Chavez recalled that before taking office, Obama accused him of being, "an
obstacle to development in Latin America," and declared that, “Venezuela is
exporting terrorism." Here he also noted that when Barack Obama was asked
about the "murder of children and innocent civilians in Palestine, he was irresponsible, and remained
that Barack Obama has already begun meddling in Venezuela's domestic political
problems, proven by, according to the Venezuelan leader, the financial support
and "advice" being offered to his opposition.
It seems that
Chavez has in mind a recent meeting of Venezuelan opposition leaders with U.S.
officials. "The chief of the empire has become connected with the campaign
being conducted by the Venezuelan opposition, and has invited its
representatives to New York and Miami. Yesterday the first delegation arrived
there, where they will obtain lots of money to wage a dirty war and unleash
rioting in the streets."
Chavez hypothesized that Barack Obama would turn out even worse than George
Bush, and predicted that in future, he would have to "commiserate with the
American people and the entire world, because this means the continuation of
war, violence and political coups." The Venezuelan president stressed that
he has no great hopes for Obama, who would most likely become the newest
"fiasco" for his own people: "If Obama fails to obey the demands
of the empire (its ruling elite), he will be killed like Kennedy was killed,
like they slew Martin Luther King; like they slew Abraham Lincoln, who freed
the blacks and paid for it with his life. Therefore, I don't expect anything
good from Obama - just the same "stench" as his predecessor (I don't
want to use another word)."
In regard to the
mother of all enemies, "American Imperialism," Fidel Castro only
worries that Barack Obama won't be able to cope with the "wastefulness"
that threatens the environment. Meanwhile, comandante
Chavez, like the Fidel of 20 years ago, remembers "imperialism"
and all of its sins, including, naturally, the drinking of the blood of infants
(this time, Muslim infants), as well as all of the other unspeakable atrocities
against "freedom-loving people."
Fidel Castro is a
dark figure in the history of Cuba. His monstrous ambition has turned one of
the most developed and promising countries in Latin
America into a desolate "banana prison." But he's an
intellectual of the highest order and a strong leader. And there have been many
times that Castro, with tenacity and perhaps in desperation, warned Chavez,
even publicly, against the same mistakes that Castro and his supporters have
committed in Cuba.
Posted by WORLDMEETS.US
For Hugo Chavez,
in contrast to Fidel Castro, the United States cannot be tolerated. He needs an
enemy - a terrifying and bloodthirsty one. The hated Columbia, which continues
to beat down on Chavez' supporters, the FARC rebels, is not well suited to be
enemy number one. This is too small a scale for the "continental
leader." Chavez has bigger problems: he still can't defeat the opposition,
he still isn't capable of restoring even minimal order in the country, and he
needs someone to take the blame for these misfortunes. That is why he is
attacking Barack Obama, although U.S. history has never seen such a
"dove." And it is far more convenient to find and attack a virtual
enemy, as in a computer game, from whom one cannot expect any real retaliation
(Obama definitely won't attack Venezuela,
and is unlikely to seriously support the opposition, either).
The tension in
Latin America is escalating. In Columbia, the civil war rages on; in Peru, the
partisans of the "Shining Path" and the left in both Brazil
and Ecuador are growing restless; in El Salvador, the ultra-left and
ultra-right have nearly split Parliament in half. And the global financial
crisis is badly intensifying the continent's difficulties.
It is in these
circumstances that Fidel Castro, the former leader of the continent's guerrilla
forces, is playing the role of peacemaker; and Hugo Chavez, who calls himself a
social-democrat, with all his might is struggling to reignite the fire of a new
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