HAVANA TIMES, Jan 14 — Former Cuban President Fidel Castro published a commentary on Thursday night analyzing the speech earlier in the day by US President Obama at the University of Tucson.
Castro wrote that Obama missed the opportunity to “morally condemn the policies which inspired” the killing of six persons and wounding of 13 more including congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in Tucson on January 8th.
The following is the full text of the commentary on Obama’s speech by Fidel Castro:
OBAMA’S SPEECH IN ARIZONA
By Fidel Castro
Yesterday I listened to him when he spoke at the University of Tucson where homage was being paid to the 6 people murdered and the 14 wounded in the Arizona massacre, especially the Democratic congresswoman for that state, seriously wounded by a gunshot to the head.
It was the deed of an unbalanced person, drunk on the preaching of hatred that reigns in American society, where the fascist Tea Party has imposed its extremism on the Republican Party which, under the aegis of George W. Bush, led the world to where it is now, on the brink of the abyss.
Added to the disaster of wars was the greatest economic crisis in the history of the United States and a government debt that today is equal to 100% of the GDP, together with a monthly deficit totalling more than 80 billion dollars and again more homes being lost as a result of unpaid mortgages. The prices of oil, metals, and food are progressively going up. Lack of confidence in paper currency causes gold purchases to increase and there are quite a few people who see the price of gold ascending to $ 2,000 a Troy ounce. There are some who even think it will reach $2,500.
Climatic phenomena have worsened, with considerable losses to harvests in the Russian Federation, Europe, China, Australia, North and South America and in other areas, putting in danger the food supplies for more than 80 Third World countries, creating political instability in a growing number of them.
The world is facing so many political, military, energy, food and environmental problems that there is no country wanting the United States to return to extremist positions that would increase the risks of nuclear war.
International condemnation of the crime in Arizona was almost unanimous, a crime that demonstrates an expression of that extremism. No one expected the President of the United States to make an impassioned or confrontational speech, something that wouldn’t correspond to his style or with the domestic circumstances and the climate of irrational hatred that is prevailing in the United States.
The victims of the shooting were definitely brave, each with their merit, and in general they were humble citizens; if it hadn’t been so, they wouldn’t have been there, defending the right of all Americans to medical care and opposing the anti-immigrant laws.
The mother of a 9-year-old girl born on September 11th had courageously stated that the hatred unleashed in the world had to cease. I do not harbor, any doubt in the least that the victims were worthy of recognition by the President of the United States, along with the citizens of Tucson, the students at the University and the doctors who, whenever events of this type occur, always unreservedly express the solidarity which human beings carry inside themselves. The severely wounded congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, deserves the national and international accolade being given her. Today, the medical team was continuing to give positive information on the state of her condition.
Of course, Obama’s speech was lacking the moral condemnation of the policies which inspired such an act.
I was trying to imagine how men such as Franklin Delano Roosevelt would have acted in similar circumstances, not to mention Lincoln who didn’t shrink from giving his famous Gettysburg Address. What other moment is the President of the United States waiting for to express the opinion that I am sure is being shared by the great majority of US people?
It is not a matter of the government of the United States lacking an exceptional personality to lead it. What transforms a president into a historical personage, who has been able to reach that position because of his merits, does not lie in the person, but in the need for him at a determinate moment in the history of his nation.
Yesterday when he began his speech, he looked tense, and very much dependent on the written pages. He soon recovered his calm, his usual command of the stage, and the precise words to express his ideas. What he didn’t say was because he didn’t want to say it.
For delivery of well-written and just praise for those deserving it, he could be awarded a prize.
For a political speech, he left a lot to be desired.