Havana. February 5, 2009 Reflections of Fidel Contradictions between the politics of Obama and ethics THE other day I noted some of Obama's ideas that point to his role within a system that is the negation of every just principle. There are people who throw up their hands in horror at the expression of any critical opinion of this important figure, even when it is done decently and respectfully. This is always accompanied by subtle and not so subtle darts from those who possess the means to circulate and transform such opinions into components of media terrorism, which they impose on the peoples in order to sustain the unsustainable. Without exception, any criticism of mine is qualified as an attack, a charge or other similar nouns that reflect a lack of consideration and courtesy toward the person to whom they are directed. On this occasion, it is necessary to ask certain questions to which the new president of the United States should respond, among the many that could be formulated. For example, the following: Will he renounce or not his prerogative as president of the United States - and as exercised by many in the same office with very few exceptions as a per se right - of the power to order the assassination of foreign political adversaries, who always tend to be from underdeveloped countries? Maybe one of his various collaborators has informed him at some point of the sinister actions against Cuba undertaken by presidents, from Eisenhower and those who followed him, in the years 1960, '61, '62, '63, '64, '65, '66 and '67, including the mercenary Bay of Pigs invasion, campaigns of terror, the smuggling of vast quantities of weapons and explosives into our territory and other similar actions? I do not wish to cast any blame on Barack Obama, the current president of the United States, for acts that his presidential predecessors carried out before he was born or when he was just a child of six, born in Hawaii to a Muslim, black Kenyan father and a white American Christian mother. On the contrary, in the society of the United States, that constitutes an exceptional merit, which I am one of the first to recognize. Does President Obama know that for entire decades, our country was victim to the introduction of viruses and bacteria carrying diseases and plagues that affected humans, animals and plants, some of which - like hemorrhagic dengue fever - subsequently led to epidemics that cost the lives of thousands of children in Latin America, and plagues that affected the economy of the nations of the Caribbean and the rest of the continent, as collateral damage that it has not been possible to eliminate? Was he aware that a number of politically subordinated Latin American countries - today ashamed of the damage that they caused - participated in these acts of terrorism? Why has a disruptive Cuban Adjustment Act been imposed on our people, the only such case in the world, engendering the trafficking of humans and acts that have cost people's lives, fundamentally women and children,? Was it just to implement an economic blockade against our people that has lasted for close to 50 years? Was it correct to arbitrarily demand of the world the extraterritorial extension of that blockade, which can only generate hunger and scarcity for any nation? The United States cannot satisfy its vital needs without the extraction of vast mineral resources from a large number of countries which, in many cases, are restricted to exporting these without intermediary refining processes, an activity that, in general, if it suits the empire's interests, is marketed by the large transnational corporations of yanqui capital. Will that country renounce such privileges? Is such a measure compatible with the developed capitalist system? When Mr. Obama promises to invest considerable sums in order to become self-sufficient in oil, in spite of his county currently constituting the largest market in the world, what will happen to those nations whose basic income is derived from exporting that energy, many of them without any other significant source of income? When, as after any crisis, the competing and battling for markets and sources of employment are once again unleashed among those who best and most efficiently monopolize technologies with sophisticated means of production, what possibilities are left to the underdeveloped countries that dream of industrialization? However efficient the new vehicles that the automobile industry attains might be, will those procedures perhaps be what ecology requires for protecting humanity from the growing deterioration of the climate? Can the blind philosophy of the market replace what only rationality can promote? Obama is promising to print vast quantities of money in search of technologies that will multiply the production of energy, without which modern societies would be paralyzed. The energy sources that he has promised to rapidly develop include nuclear plants, which already have a high number of opponents, given the large risk of accidents with disastrous effects on life, the atmosphere and human alimentation. It is absolutely impossible to guarantee that such accidents will not take place. Without any need for such disastrous accidents, modern industry has contaminated all the seas of the planet with their toxic emissions. Is it correct to promise the conciliation of such contradictory and antagonistic interests without transgressing ethics? In order to please the trade unions that supported their campaign, the U.S. House of Representatives, dominated by Democrats, has launched the extremely protectionist slogan "Buy U.S. products," which casts aside a basic principle of the World Trade Organization, given that all the nations of the world, large or small, base their dreams of development on the exchange of goods and services for which, however, only the largest and those rich in natural resources have the privilege of surviving. Republicans in the United States, hit hard by the discredit brought upon them by the blunders of the Bush government, have been neither slow nor tardy in forestalling Obama's indulgencies to his trade union allies. Hence, the credit that voters granted the new president of the United States is being squandered. As an old politician and fighter, I am committing no sin by modestly expounding these ideas. Questions without easy answers could be formulated every day in line with the publication of hundreds of news items from the political, scientific and technological spheres that are reaching every country in the world. Fidel Castro Ruz February 4, 2009 5:14 p.m.