HAVANA TIMES, Feb. 22 — The US government plans to order the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to invade Libya, where strong riots have occurred in recent days, former Cuban President Fidel Castro predicted in a commentary on Monday. The historic leader of the Cuban Revolution said he doubts that President Muammar al-Gaddafi will abandon that African country, reported IPS.
The following is the complete text of the commentary by Fidel Castro on the volatile situation in Libya.
THE NATO PLAN IS TO OCCUPY LIBYA
by Fidel Castro
Oil has become the principal wealth in the hands of the great Yankee transnationals; through this energy source they had an instrument that considerably expanded their political power in the world. It was their main weapon when they decided to easily liquidate the Cuban Revolution as soon as the first just and sovereign laws were passed in our Homeland: depriving it of oil.
Upon this energy source today’s civilization was developed. Venezuela was the nation in this hemisphere that paid the highest price. The United States became the lord and master of the huge oil fields that Mother Nature had bestowed upon that sister country.
At the end of the last World War, it started to extract greater amounts of oil from the oil fields of Iran, as well as those in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the Arab countries located around them. These became the main suppliers. World consumption progressively increased to the fabulous figure of approximately 80 million barrels a day, including those being extracted on United States territory, to which later gas, hydro and nuclear energies were added. Until the beginning of the twentieth century, coal had been the basic source of energy that made industrial development possible, before billions of automobiles and engines consuming the liquid fuel were produced.
The squandering of oil and gas is associated with one of the greatest tragedies, not in the least resolved, which is suffered by humankind: climate change.
When our Revolution arose, Algeria, Libya and Egypt were not yet oil producers and a great part of the abundant reserves of Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Iran and the United Arab Emirates were still to be discovered.
In December of 1951, Libya becomes the first African country to attain its independence after WW II, during which its territory was the stage for important battles between the troops of Germany and the United Kingdom, conferring fame and glory on Generals Erwin Rommel and Bernard L. Montgomery.
Ninety-five percent of its territory is completely made up of desert. Technology permitted the discovery of vital oilfields of excellent quality light oil that today reach one million 800 thousand barrels a day along with abundant deposits of natural gas. Such riches allowed it to reach life expectancy that is almost at 75 years of age and the highest per capita income in Africa. Its harsh desert is located over an enormous lake of fossil waters, equivalent to more than three times the land area of Cuba; this has made it possible to construct a broad network of pipelines of fresh water that stretch from one end of the country to the other.
Libya, which had a million inhabitants when it attained independence, today has somewhat more than 6 million.
The Libyan Revolution took place in the month of September of the year 1969. Its main leader was Muammar al-Gaddafi, a soldier of Bedouin origin who, in his early years, was inspired by the ideas of the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser. Without any doubt, many of his decisions are associated with the changes that were produced when, as in Egypt, a weak and corrupt monarchy was overthrown in Libya.
The inhabitants of that country have age-old warrior traditions. It is said that ancient Libyans were a part of Hannibal’s army when he was at the point of destroying Ancient Rome with the troops that crossed the Alps.
One can agree with Gaddafi or not. The world has been invaded with all kinds of news, especially using the mass media. One has to wait the necessary length of time in order to learn precisely what is the truth and what are lies, or a mixture of events of every kind that, in the midst of chaos, were produced in Libya. For me, what is absolutely clear is that the government of the United States is not in the least worried about peace in Libya and it will not hesitate in giving NATO the order to invade that rich country, perhaps in a matter of hours or a few short days.
Those who with perfidious intentions invented the lie that Gaddafi was headed for Venezuela, just as they did yesterday afternoon on Sunday the 20th of February, today received an fitting response from Foreign Affairs Minister Nicolás Maduro when he literally stated that he was “wishing that the Libyan people would find, in the exercise of their sovereignty, a peaceful solution to their difficulties, that would preserve the integrity of the Libyan people and nation, without the interference of imperialism…”
As for me, I cannot imagine that the Libyan leader would abandon his country; escaping the responsibilities he is charged with, whether or not they are partially or totally false.
An honest person shall always be against any injustice being committed against any people in the world, and the worst of all, at this moment, would be to remain silent in the face of the crime that NATO is getting ready to commit against the Libyan people.
The leadership of that war-mongering organization has to do it. We must condemn it!