OT Castro Blames Capitalism for Third World Troublesgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TB2K spinoff uncensored : One Thread
Wednesday, April 12, 2000
Castro blames capitalism for Third World troubles
By JOHN RICE -- Associated Press
HAVANA (AP) -- Fidel Castro used his opening remarks at a summit of the world's poor nations today to blame the global capitalist system for creating a holocaust of death in poor countries.
"The images we see of mothers and children in whole regions of Africa under the lash of drought and other catastrophes remind us of the concentration camps of Nazi Germany," the Cuban president said.
He spoke before at least 40 heads of state or government at the first summit in the 36-year history of the so-called Group of 77, which has swelled to a gathering of 133 developing nations.
Castro also called for the elimination of the International Monetary Fund, accusing it of spreading poverty around the world.
"We lack a Nuremberg to judge the economic order imposed upon us, where every three years more men, women and children die of hunger and preventable diseases than died in the Second World War," Castro said.
Castro's complaints of inequality -- if not his comparisons -- were echoed by others, who called for more aid, fewer debts and a greater role in international decision-making.
"I am confident that this summit will be a milestone in our quest for development," said Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo as he opened the gathering.
Draft resolutions prepared by foreign ministers urged "the establishment of a more just and fair international economic system."
"To those already enjoying them, the benefits of globalization are clear: faster economic growth, higher living standards, the rapid spread of new technology and modern management skills," U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Tuesday in a speech at the University of Havana.
But, he said, "Many millions of people are excluded, left behind in squalor not because they have been exposed to too much globalization but because they have had too little or none at all."
Among the leaders joining Annan are South African President Thabo Mbeki, Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
The wide-ranging draft proposals call for a sort of new world order that would share technological advances, increase aid and investment, forgive debts and put poor countries on a more equal footing with rich ones in determining how aid is used.
Nigeria's Obasanjo, whose country chairs the G-77, told a news conference Tuesday that poor countries need more resources to promote democracy and stability.
In Nigeria, where his elected government replaced a military dictatorship last year, "we have just established a new dispensation, a democratic situation where we want to do everything right," he said.
Obasanjo said that if he goes to villagers and tells them, "I wanted to give you water but I have to pay debts ... even though the origin of these debts are dubious, and therefore I will not be able to give you water ... they will say 'get away with your new dispensation"' of democracy.
But he ruled out a "Havana Club of debtors" that would unite to suspend debt payments, saying it would interfere with aid transfers that some nations depend upon for part of their domestic budgets.
The draft documents call for giving poor countries a greater voice in development decisions by encouraging the United Nations to take a bigger role in economic aid, rather than channeling it through organizations controlled by rich nations.
They also suggest easing patent restrictions that keep poor nations from benefiting from new technologies and setting up mechanisms to share inventions.
The drafts urged preferential trade concessions for poorer nations and freer movement of labor to match recent liberalization of capital flows.
"Our peoples have run out of patience," Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque told a meeting of foreign ministers Tuesday. "For decades they have suffered broken promises and are today living in an economic and social situation that is increasingly serious and unsustainable."
-- viewer (firstname.lastname@example.org), April 12, 2000
Spoken as the true Communist Socialist that he is. He'd blame us if his sugar cane crop matured late.
-- StompOn (AllCommunistsAnd@Socialists.com), April 12, 2000.