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AFRICANS FOR CUBA list: "Considering Fidel's Contemporary Value to Humanity"

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magbana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-02-09 04:59 PM
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AFRICANS FOR CUBA list: "Considering Fidel's Contemporary Value to Humanity"
I picked this up from the Africans for Cuba list. It was submitted by Roy Walker at comment in brackets is from Roy. I really like the articles he chose.

The great crisis of the 1930s
IT is a difficult subject to explain, although it seems very simple. The U.S. Federal Reserve system was created in 1913 as the result of capitalism in full development. Salvador Allende, a man we all remember as from our era, had turned about 15 years old.
World War I broke out in 1914, when the heir prince to the Austrian-Hungarian Empire in the heart of central and southern Europe, was assassinated in Sarajevo. Canada was still a British colon y. The GB pound sterling had the privilege of being the currency used internationally. The basic metal used to make it was gold, as it had been for more than 1,000 years in the capital of the Roman empire of the east, Constantinople. Those who began the bloody battles against Muslims in the Near East, brandishing religious pretexts, were feudal knights of the Christian kingdoms of Europe, whose real purpose was to control trade routes and other mundane, more vulgar goals that could be addressed on another occasion.
The United States began to participate in World War I toward the end, in 1917, two years after the 0A sinking of the Lusitania, which was carrying U.S. passengers who had departed from New York. It was sunk by torpedoes fired from a German submarine with absurd instructions to attack a ship flying the flag of a distant, rich and potentially powerful country that, under the cover of supposed neutrality, intended to find a pretext to participate in the war on the side of Britain, France and their allies. The attack took place on May 7, 1915, as was crossing the strait between Ireland and England. In the 20 minutes it took to founder, very few passengers were able to abandon ship; the 1,198 people who were still aboard perished.
The growth of the U.S. economy after that war was maintained continuously, except for cyclical crises that were resolved by the Federal Reserve system (FED), without more serious consequences.
On October 24, 1929, remembered in U.S. history as "Black Thursday," the economic crisis broke out. The Reserve Bank of New York, which is based on Wall Street, just like other banks and corporations according to the right-wing theorist and renowned U.S. economist Milton Friedman, Nobel laureate in economics (1976), reacted "instinctively," adopting the measures that he considered to be most correct: "of20putting money into circulation." The Reserve Bank in Washington, accustomed to the preeminence of its opinions, was able to finally impose the opposite idea. The secretary of the Treasury under President Hoover supported the Reserve Bank of Washington, and the one in New York ended up giving way. "But the worst was yet to come," stated Friedman, who explains more clearly than any other eminent economist some of them from the opposite tendency the sequence of events, when he wrote, "Until the fall of 1930, the recession in economic activity, despite being serious, was not affected by financial difficulties or the petitions of depositors who were trying to withdraw their deposits. The character of the recession changed drastically when a series of bankruptcies in the Midwestern and southern United States weakened peoples confidence in banks and resulted in numerous attempts to convert bank deposits into cash.
"On December 11, 1930, the Bank of the United States closed. It was the critical date. It was the largest commercial bank ever to collapse in U.S. history."
In the month of December 1930 alone, 352 banks closed their doors. "The FED could have reached a better solution by making a large-scale buyout on the market20of public debt securities.
"In September 1931, the date on which Britain abandoned the gold standard, it followed a policy that was even more negative.
"The system reacted after two years of hard repression, increasing that type of interest to a level never reached in its history."
We should take into account that Friedman is reflecting an opinion that still predominates in official U.S. circles almost 80 years later.
"In 1932, the FED, under pressure from Congress, ended its period of sessions and immediately =2 0 canceled its buying program.
"The final episode was the bank panic of 1933.
"Fear intensified during the interregnum between Herbert Hoover and Franklin D. Roosevelt, elected on November 8, 1932, but whose inauguration did not take place until March 4, 1933. The first did not wish to take any drastic measures without the cooperation of the new president, while Roosevelt, for his part, did not want to assume any responsibilities until he was sworn in."
The episode reminds us of what is happening today with the president elected in the recent November 4 elections, less20than a month ago, Barack Obama, who will succeed Bush on January 20, 2009. Only the period of interregnum has changed; in the 1930s, it was no more than 117 days, and currently it is no more than 77.
Right during the peak of the economic boom, according to Friedman, there were as many as 25,000 banks in the United States. At the start of 1933, the number had gone down to 18,000.
"When President Roosevelt decided to end the bank closure, 10 days after it had begun" Friedman said "something less than 12,000 banks were authorized to open their doors, to which only 3,000 were added 20 later. Therefore, altogether, about 10,000 of the 25,000 banks existing in 1929 disappeared during those four years, via a process of bankruptcy, merger or liquidation.
"The closure of businesses, falling production and growing unemployment all fueled nervousness and fear.
"Once the depression was underway, it spread to other countries and, of course, there was a reflexive influence; another example of the realignment so omnipresence in a complex economy," Friedman concludes.
The world of 1933 that he referred to in his book =2 0 is nothing at all like todays, which is totally globalized, comprising more than 190 states represented at the UN, whose inhabitants are all being threatened by dangers that scientists even the most optimistic, cannot ignore, and that a growing number of people know about and agree on, including prominent U.S. politicians.
The echo of the repercussion of the current crisis can be seen in the desperate efforts of major world leaders.
The Xinhua agency reports that President Hu Jintao of the Peoples Republic of China, a country that has experience d sustained, two-digit growth in recent years, warned yesterday that "China is under growing pressure because of its enormous population, limited resources and environmental problems." It is the only country that we know has hard currency reserves of almost $2 trillion. The Chinese president lists "a series of essential steps for protecting the fundamental interests of the population and protecting the environment in the strategy of industrialization and modernization of China." He said, finally, that "with the propagation of the financial crisis, world demand for products has been considerably reduced."
With these words from the leader20of the most populated country on the planet, it is not necessary to add more arguments concerning the profundity of the current crisis.

Fidel Castro Blasts Obama on May Day

HAVANA (AFP) Fidel Castro blasted US President Barack Obama Friday
in provocative May Day remarks, saying the United States only wanted
Cuba to return "to the fold, like slaves."

Castro, 82, who led Cuba for almost 50 years and remains head of the
Cuban Communist Party, was not in outreach mode, though Obama and
Cuban President Raul Castro, 77, have made remarks aimed at easing
Cold War-era tensions.

"Today, they stand ready to forgive us -- as if we would resign
ourselves to returning to the fold like slaves, who after tasting
freedom, go back to the yoke and whip," Fidel Castro said in a defiant
address published in Cuban state media to mark May Day.

Obama has said the United States wants to see progress on human rights
and political freedom from Cuba. That runs counter to Cuba's main
interest in maintaining and projecting the Americas' only communist
regime into the future.

Castro, who for decades referred to the United States as the enemy,
warned: "The (US) adversary must never delude itself into thinking
that Cuba will surrender."

Cuba on Thursday accused the US government of being an "international
criminal" after Washington said it was keeping Cuba on a list of
countries that allegedly support terrorism.

The forceful reaction came after the US State Department issued a
report lumping Cuba with Iran, Syria and Sudan on a blacklist as
sponsors of terrorism.

"The author (of the report) is an international criminal," said
Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez.

"We do not recognize any political or moral authorities from the
government of the United States to create any list, on any subject,
nor to certify good or bad behaviors," Cuba's top diplomat said at a
press conference.

"In matters of terrorism, the government of the United States has had
a long record of state-sponsored acts of terrorism, not only against

Havana namely accuses Washington of "giving refuge" to Luis Posada
Carriles, a one-time CIA operative that Cuba and Venezuela want in
connection with the bombing of a Cuban passenger plane in 1976 that
killed 73 people.

Posada Carriles was arrested in the United States in 2005 on
immigration charges, but was released in May 2007 after a federal
judge in=2 0Texas dropped the indictment.

Rodriguez also mentioned that the administration of former president
George W. Bush "was certified by the world public opinion" as being
"aggressive and warmongering," and that it violated international law
and carried out torture.

Obama so far has eased a few US sanctions on Cuba. But he has not
actively opposed the 47-year-old US economic embargo on Cuba, which
Havana says it wants lifted.

Nor has Obama publicly addressed the issue of the US naval base at
Guantanamo Bay on Cuba's southeast coast. He has, however, vowed to
close the prison camp on the base by January 2010.

President Raul Castro bluntly declared on Wednesday that Cuba will not
make symbolic "gestures" to appease the United States, even while
leaving a door open to more dialogue.

In a first direct Cuban response to a US call for gestures from
communist Cuba, Castro told a Non-Aligned Movement meeting in Havana
that any forthcoming shows of goodwill must start from the US side.

"Cuba is not the one that stops its country's businessmen from doing
business with ours; Cuba is not the one punishing financial
transactions by US banks," the Cuban leader said.

"Cuba does not have a military base on US territory against the will
of its people," he stressed in a clear reference to the G uantanamo
prison, steeped in controversy worldwide.

Havana has demanded that the United States leave the Guantanamo base
for decades, but Washington insists it has a right to stay.

Copyright 2009 AFP. All rights reserved.

Fidels imprint in the present and future memory of the African people
The Ubuntu Prize, awarded by South Africa last year to the leader of the Cuban Revolution, presented in Havana

Pedro de la Hoz
Fidels imprint in the present and future memory of the African peopleTWO firm hands hold a crystal sphere with a silhouette of the African continent. The trophy was especially designed for the Commander in Chief Fidel Castro. The Ubuntu prize was awarded to the leader of the Cuban Revolution on September 23, 2008 by the South Africa National Cultural Heritage Council, and was made public last night in Havana.
On behalf of Fidel, Culture Minister Abel Prieto received the highly prized symbol brought to the island by Sonwabile Mancotywa, executive director of the South African organization.
Fidel shares this much prized distinction with two other great political figures, former South 20 African President Nelson Mandela and Kenneth Kaunda, former president of Zambia. At the award ceremony in the Museum of Decorative Arts, Mancotywa affirmed that the decision to give the prize to the Commander in Chief was warmly welcomed in his country. In the presence of Vice President Esteban Lazo, he said that Fidel was chosen for his internationalist, humanist, and solidarity work, which embodies the purest foundations of Ubuntus philosophy, which can be summed up in the concept of zul umuntu, nigumuntu, nagamuntu (a person is a person because of others). Fidel, he emphasized, has left an indelible mark in the present and future of the African people. His nation also recently awarded Fidel the Oliver Tambo Order.
Thanking him for this gesture in the name of the historic leader of the Revolution, Abel Prieto noted how the frivolous and consumerist North has scorned the wisdom of the traditional cultures of the peoples of the South, who are contributing ethical values in order to change the world.
Translated by Granma International

Roy Walker

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