HAVANA TIMES, Jan 9 — With Arizona residents still reeling from Saturday’s massacre at a Tucson supermarket, former Cuban President Fidel Castro wrote an op-ed piece from Havana condemning the violence saying “any sane person could ask the question whether the act occurred in Afghanistan or Arizona.”
“A piece of sad news was reported Saturday afternoon from the United States: the Democratic congresswoman from Arizona, Gabrielle Giffords, was the victim of a criminal attack when she held a political meeting in her district in Tucson,” noted Fidel Castro.
The following is the official translation of Fidel Castros comments.
AN ATROCIOUS ACT
Sad news was broadcast this afternoon from the United States: Gabrielle Giffords, Democratic congresswoman for Arizona, was the victim of a criminal attempt while taking part at a political meeting at her electoral district in Tucson. On the other side of the border lies Mexico, the Latin American country to which that territory used to belong when, in an unjust war, more than one half of its area was seized from it.
Along its arid surface, many of those who emigrate from Mexico, Central America and other Latin American countries try to escape hunger, poverty and the underdevelopment to which those countries have been led by the United States. Money and goods can freely cross the border; human beings cannot. Without mentioning the drugs and weapons that cross that line in either direction.
Hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans who work in that country doing the toughest and worst paid jobs are captured each year and sent back to their points of departure, many times separated from their closest kin. They were hoping that the new administration would correct that criminal and inhuman policy.
According to just-arrived news, 18 people were shot and six died, among them a 9-year-old girl and Federal Judge John Roll.
The congresswoman was seriously wounded by a bullet in the head. Doctors were fighting to save her life.
She is married to NASA astronaut Mark Kelly. She was first elected to Congress in 2006 at the age of 36. “She is a supporter of migrant reform, stem cell research and alternative energy”, measures that are hated by the far right.
She was re-elected as the Democratic representative in the past elections.
When her father was asked whether she had any enemies, he replied: The entire Tea Party”.
It is known that the former US vice-presidential candidate in the 2008 elections and Tea Party leader, Sarah Palin, published on her website, as the aim for supporters of her party, a map of the congressional districts of 20 of the representatives who had backed President Obama’s proposed health reform bill and she had them marked with the viewfinder of a rifle.
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ political opponent was a former Marine who appeared in the electoral campaign with an M-16 in a message which apparently stated: “Help get rid of Gabrielle Giffords…shoot the entire ammo chamber of an M-16 with Jesse Kelly.”
In March 2010, Gabrielle’s district office was attacked. She stated that when people do that they were going to have to be aware of the consequences; political leaders should get together and set limits.
Any sensible person could well wonder whether such an act happened in Afghanistan or in an electoral district in Arizona.
Obama stated: “…an unspeakable tragedy, a number of Americans were shot…”
“And while we are continuing to receive information, we know that some have passed away, and that Representative Giffords is gravely wounded…”.
“We do not yet have all the answers. What we do know is that such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society….”
“I ask all Americans to join me and Michelle in keeping Representative Giffords, the victims of this tragedy, and their families in our prayers.”
His appeal is quite dramatic and very sad. Even those of us who don’t share his political or philosophical ideas in the least sincerely hope that no children, judges, congressmen or any US citizen should die in such an absurd and unjustifiable way.
It is sad to remember that in the world every year many millions of people are dying as the consequence of absurd wars, poverty, growing famines and the deterioration of the environment promoted by the wealthiest and most developed nations on the planet.
We would like Obama and the United States Congress to share those concerns with all the other peoples.