Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fidel Castro on Nuclear War

Latest news from "el comandante" Fidel Castro: Castro delivers a speech on the disastrous global effects of a nuclear war. He directs himself at an assembly of Japanese peace activists among which a survivor of the Hiroshima bomb tells Castro about her own nuclear nightmare. The speech was broadcast by CUBAVISION TV on September 23, 2010. According to Cuba's national daily "Diario Granma" it had been recorded two days before, on Tuesday September 21, when Castro met with 600 members
of the Japanese "Peace Crusade" (Crucero por la Paz).

Mrs. Watanabe tells Castro how she and her family experienced the Hiroshima bomb. Staying in the rear part of their house at the time of the explosion she was able to survive. Her father, just back from his nightshift at Hiroshima, could even watch the plane that dropped the bomb. It circled over their heads.

In his speech, Fidel Castro is citing a Western scientist who predicted a global climate disaster even if only 100 of the existing 25.000 nuclear arms were going off. This could happen in the frame of a regional nuclear conflict, between, lets say, India and Pakistan. The bombings of one single hour might therefore result in some kind of "nuclear winter" characterized by very low temperatures and the total absence of sunlight. Thus, the nourishment for about one billion people could not be produced any longer. He asks himself how many people really knew about those consequences that were awaiting them after such regional conflict.

It should be remembered that Castro only recently reappeared on the political stage and in uniform on September 3 when he warned the international community about a nuclear war that might be triggered off as a consequence of the actual conflict between Iran and the West.

Obviously, Castro is having some difficulties while speaking. But it is not his brain that doesn't function normally as he speaks rather fluently and rarely looks at his notes. Disturbing pauses in his speech are only related to the time needed for translation. It even seems that Castro is getting more vigorous during his speech, increasing his speed until he "overtakes" his highly skilled translator. I remember having heard that Fidel Castro, in his best years, rarely spoke for less than three hours. This time it was only one single hour, still too long for a well-educated European politician, acquainted to restrict himself to one quarter of an hour whatever the subject might be. Let's say, one more time "el comandante Fidel" convinced us of being alive and unwilling to die.

The BBC video of September 3, when Castro unexpectedly appeared to hold a speech at the University of Havana, showed Cuban students who expressed much sympathy for their 84 years old leader despite all those problems that are actually haunting the people of Cuba. This was not a "last waving of the flag" as we know it from East Germany's organized youth being confronted with their stiffly acting leader Erich Honecker at the state's 40th anniversary in 1989 when Honecker was just 77 years old. This was quite different !

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