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Aktuelle Berichte aus Brasilien – Politik, Kultur und Naturschutz

„Cuba, a hurricane named blockade“ – Brasiliens wichtigster Befreiungstheologe Frei Betto.

On 29th October 2008 the United Nations General Assembly, after hearing the report presented by Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, will vote the Cuba project which relates to the suspension of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on this Caribbean island by the US government since 1959.
This will be the seventeenth time that the UN will deal with this subject.

In 2007, 184 of the 192 UN member countries voted in favour of the project requesting the suspension. Unfortunately their resolutions are not obligatory whereas the Security Council™s are.The fact that most of the countries condemned the blockade 16 times shows a gesture of solidarity to the Island and a moral defeat for the White House whose abuse of power proves that they have not the minimum consideration for the opinion of the international community which repudiates US hostility.The blockade is the main obstacle to development in Cuba. Last year it represented a loss of US$3,775 billion to the country. Over the past 50 years since the Revolution, it is calculated that the total loss reaches US$224,6 billion, taking into account the devaluation of the dollar and its fluctuations over time.

The blockade is an octopus with extraterritorial tentacles, violating international law, particularly the Geneva Convention which classifies it as genocide. Businesses, banks and citizens who maintain economic, commercial or financial relations with Cuba suffer persecution. Just as China did during the Olympics, the US government also blocks internet web sites related to Cuba.

With great effort Cuba has managed to open small loopholes in the blockade such as purchasing foodstuffs from the US. The companies selling to them have to face gigantic bureaucracy mainly because the commercialization must pass through a third country as intermediary since the blockade forbids direct relations between USA and Cuba. The buyer is obliged to pay in advance and cannot sell its own products to the USA therefore the ships return empty to their home ports.

The recent hurricanes, Gustav and Ike, caused much damage to the Island. Agricultural areas were devastated, 444,000 homes were affected, of which 67,000 were totally destroyed. With the increase in the price of foodstuffs on the international market, Cuba doesn™t have a millstone around its neck thanks to international solidarity which includes the European Union and Brazil.
The Cuban government requested the White House declare a truce in the blockade during the next six months for humanitarian reasons. So far, Bush has kept completely silent. However, the White House publicity machine tries to camouflage the presidential omission with a series of lies, such as the offer of US$5 million to Cubans who are victims of the hurricanes.What does this small amount represent compared to the US$46 million that USAID has received this year to finance mercenary groups dedicated to anti Cuban terrorism? Plus another US$40 million liberated to maintain the radio and television transmissions against the regime in Cuba.In spite of the blockade having caused more damage than all the hurricanes which have already affected Cuba, the nation resists and is now mobilised into large volunteer groups to mend the damage caused by nature and to improve agricultural production thanks to recent measures which allow the peasants access to lands where previously only sugar cane was planted. The peasants will now be able to sell to the State and directly to the consumer as well.

Not contemplating its own navel, Cuba reaffirms its international solidarity and sends doctors to the victims of hurricanes in Haiti and maintains doctors and teachers in more than 70 countries, most of them poor.

History is an old lady who surprises us every day: who would have imagined, a year ago, that Cuban socialism would see the financial crisis on Wall Street and the most capitalist state in the world contradict all its speeches and intervene in the market to try and save banks and businesses?  Where is the dogma of the immaculate conception that preaches that there is no salvation outside the market?

PS: Contributions towards the purchase of foodstuffs and medicines to be sent to the victims of the hurricanes in Cuba can be sent to the Associaçáo Açáo Solidária Madre Cristina.  Banco do Brasil 4328-1 Conta corrente 6654-0.
*Frei Betto is a writer, author of ”A mosca azul “ reflexáo sobre o poder (The Blue Fly “ reflections on Power) (Rocco).ABOUT THE AUTOR

He is a Brazilian Dominican with an international reputation as a liberation theologian.
Within Brazil he is equally famous as a writer, with over 52 books to his name.  In 1985 he won Brazil™s most important literary prize, the Jabuti, and was elected Intellectual of the Year by the members of the Brazilian Writers™ Union.Frei Betto has always been active in Brazilian social movements, and has been an adviser to the Church™s ministry to workers in Sáo Paulo™s industrial belt, to the Church base communities, and to the Landless Rural Workers™ Movement (MST).In 2003-2004, he was Special Adviser to President Lula and Coordinator of Social Mobilisation for the Brazilian Government™s Zero Hunger programme.

Dieser Beitrag wurde am Sonntag, 26. Oktober 2008 um 15:24 Uhr veröffentlicht und wurde unter der Kategorie Kultur, Politik abgelegt. Du kannst die Kommentare zu diesen Eintrag durch den RSS-Feed verfolgen.

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