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News :: Human Rights : International : Organizing : Politics : War and Militarism
The White House Ghost
15 Oct 2008
The President of the United States, George Bush, enters today his last 100 days in power overshadowed by very high unpopularity rates and one of the worst economic crises in recent decades.
sos-economy-usa-2008-10-03.jpg
The White House Ghost

Three days ago, on Friday October 10, the world was shocked by the impact of the Wall Street financial crisis. There is no way to count the millions of dollars in paper money injected by the Federal Reserve into the world finances to keep up banking operations and to prevent savers from loosing their money.
The G-7 Finance ministers meeting has agreed to implement the following measures:
—"Take decisive measures and use every available instrument to back financial institutions of importance to the system and prevent their bankrupt.
—"Take all the necessary steps to unfreeze the credit and monetary markets and to ensure that banks and other financial institutions have plenty of access to liquidity and funds.
—"To ensure that the banks and other major financial intermediaries, depending on their needs, can raise capital from both public and private sources in sufficient amounts to restore confidence and to enable them to make loans to families and businesses.
—"To ensure that the respective national insurance of deposits and guarantee schemes are robust and consistent so that the minor depositors continue to have confidence in the safety of their deposits.
—"To act, when appropriate, to re-launch the secondary markets for mortgages.
That same day, the US Treasure Secretary confirmed that the government will purchase bank shares, thus joining the British initiative. Both the United States and Great Britain have indicated that they will purchase preferential shares which are the first to report dividends but have no right to vote.
President Bush deemed his presence unnecessary at that meeting of Finance ministers. He will meet with them on Saturday. Where was he on Friday October 10? No less than in Miami. He was attending a fundraising for Florida Republican candidates. Actually, with a 24 percent approval rate he is the head of State with the least support in the entire history of the United States. He was meeting with business people and ringleaders of the Cuban scum in Miami. There he was, driven by his maniac anti-Cuban obsession, at the end of his gloomy two terms as leader of the empire. He could not even count on the support of the Cuban-American National Foundation set up by Reagan as part of his crusade against Cuba.
For purely demagogical reasons, that organization had publicly asked him to provisionally lift the ban on sending direct assistance to relatives and others affected by the devastating hurricanes which hit our people. Raul Martinez, a former mayor of Hialeah and a rival of Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart, had criticized the current policy of the man who was elected President by fraudulent means with less national votes than his adversary, due to Florida’s weight in the electoral vote count, when he failed to have a majority even there.
On Sunday October 12, the European Union chaired by France agreed to request from the United States the organization of a summit conference to "reestablish the international financial system." This much was stated by President Sarkozy after a meeting in Paris of the euro zone countries.
Sarkozy indicated that Europe should now join the United States and other powers to go to the source of the financial crisis which has sunk the stock markets.
"We should persuade our American friends of the need for an international summit to reestablish the financial system," said Sarkozy, current President of the EU. It will not be a gift to the banks, the French President emphasized.
The President of the United States, George Bush, enters today his last 100 days in power overshadowed by very high unpopularity rates and one of the worst economic crises in recent decades.
On the other hand, Brazilian minister of Treasure Guido Mantega criticized the IMF today for describing the advanced nations as models to pursue. He also said that the standards of these nations should not prevail in the future reform of the financial system.
"The world is watching in awe how the present crisis exposes serious policy weaknesses and mistakes of countries that were considered models and offered as reference of good governance," said Mantega at the International Monetary and Financial Committee, the leading organ of the IMF.
With an economy torn to pieces, the United States President, who reached that position in such an irregular and irresponsible way, has put in a real predicament all of its NATO allies and Japan, the US most developed and the wealthiest military, economic and technological partner in the Pacific.
Miami is today a madhouse and Bush has turned into a ghost.
The Stock Exchanges could not fall lower because they were already on the floor. Today, they were breathing happily thanks to the enormous injections of money artificially inflating them at the expense of the future. However, this absurdity cannot last. Bretton Woods is crumbling. The world will never be the same.

Fidel Castro Ruz

October 13, 2008

5:20 p.m.


http://www.granma.cubaweb.cu/english/news/art0010.html




Cuba: A hurricane named Blockade

Frei Betto

On October 29, the UN General Assembly will vote on the Cuban resolution that seeks a suspension of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States government against Cuba since 1959. Before the vote, they will hear a report on its content from UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.
It will be the 17th time the UN deals with this issue. In 2007, 184 of the 192 UN member nations voted in favor of the resolution to end the blockade. Unfortunately, UN resolutions are not of obligatory compliance, except those from the Security Council.
The fact that the majority of the countries have condemned the blockade 16 times represents a show of support for the island and a moral defeat for the White House whose arrogance is evident for not taking into account the international community, which repudiates the US hostility.
The blockade is an octopus with extraterritorial tentacles that violates international law, especially the Geneva Convention, which makes it a type of genocide. Businesses, banks and citizens that maintain economic, commercial and financial relations with Cuba are persecuted. As another example of what the US government did against China during the Olympics, it also blocked websites related to Cuba.
At a high cost, the government of Cuba has managed to open small fissures in the blockade, such as purchasing some food items from the US. However, the companies that sell to Cuba face a huge bureaucracy, above all because the purchases have to come via a third country, since the blockade prohibits direct relations between the US and Cuba. The buyer is forced to pay in advance and can’t sell its products to US importers; thus the boats return empty to the ports.
The recent hurricanes, Gustav and Ike, caused lots of damage to the island. Farming areas were devastated, 444,000 homes were damaged including 63,000 totally destroyed. The Cuban government asked the White House for a six-month blockade truce for humanitarian reasons. To date, there has been complete silence from the White House on the request. The White House publicity machine tries to camouflage the presidential silence with a series of lies, like the offer of 5 million dollars to the Cuban hurricane victims.
But, what does that amount represent compared to the US$ 46 million that USAID received this year to finance mercenary groups dedicated to terrorism against Cuba? And another 40 million was budgeted to maintain radio and television broadcasts against Cuba.
Despite the blockade causing more damage than the hurricanes, Cuba is resisting and mobilizing its cooperatives to repair the damage caused by nature and boost agricultural production thanks to recent measures that offer farmers land where sugar was once produced.
Besides having the government as a sure buyer, Cuban farmers will be able to sell direct to the consumer. Without fixating on its own navel, Cuba reiterates its international solidarity and sends doctors to the victims of the hurricanes in Haiti and maintains doctors and professors in more than 70 countries, the majority poor.
History is something that surprises us each day: Who would have imagined a year ago, that Cuban socialists would be observing the financial crisis on Wall Street and that the most capitalist state on Earth would contradict its own discourse and intervene in the market to try and save banks and businesses? What’s left of the dogma of the Immaculate Conception that states there is no salvation outside of the market?



http://www.granma.cubaweb.cu/english/news/art006.html




- Statement from the National Assembly of People’s Power:

http://www.granma.cubaweb.cu/english/news/art001.html

- Europeans urge release of Cuban Five:

http://www.granma.cubaweb.cu/english/news/art002.html

- Close to 200,000 medical students enrolled at university:

http://www.granma.cu/ingles/2008/octubre/mier8/medical-students.html
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