HAVANA TIMES, Dec. 17 — Former Cuban President Fidel Castro had sharp criticism Friday for his US counterpart Bill Clinton, the current UN Special Envoy to Haiti, in a commentary published in the Cuban press. HT brings you the full text of Castro’s observations.
By Fidel Castro
It truly pains me having to deny it. Today he is nothing more than a simple fellow consigned to history, as if the empire’s history, and even more importantly, the history of the human race, were guaranteed beyond a few dozen years, without a nuclear war breaking out in Korea, Iran or some other area of conflict.
As is known, the United Nations has sent a special envoy to Haiti.
Clinton – who was of course President after George H. W. Bush and before George W. Bush – prevented former President Carter from participating in immigration negotiations with Cuba for reasons of ridiculous political jealousy, promoted the Helms-Burton Act and was complicit with the Cuban-American National Foundation’s attacks on Cuba.
There is abundant evidence about this behavior, but we did not for that reason take it too seriously, nor were we hostile towards his activities related to the mission to which, for obvious reasons, the UN assigned him.
We had been cooperating with this sister country for many years in various fields, especially in the training of doctors and the provision of health services to the population, and Clinton didn’t bother us at all. If he was interested in any success, we saw no reason to limit our cooperation with Haiti in such a sensitive area. Then came the unexpected earthquake, bringing death and destruction, and subsequently, the epidemic.
Just two days ago, a meeting took place in the capital of the Dominican Republic about the reconstruction of Haiti, and has complicated things. Approximately 80 people, including several ambassadors, representing the donors of more than $100 million; many members of the Clinton Foundation, of the U.S. government and of that of Haiti participated in it.
Few people took the floor; among them the Venezuelan ambassador who, as one of the most important donors, spoke briefly, using heartfelt, clear and accurate words. Clinton took up almost all of the time in a meeting which began at 5:30 pm and ended at midnight. The Cuban ambassador, as a key participant, was there silent witness at the request of Haiti and Santo Domingo. He was not conceded the right to say a single word, although he was a witness to a meeting that accomplished absolutely nothing. It was supposed to continue the following day. But none of that happened.
The meeting in the Dominican Republic was a deceptive maneuver. The indignation of the Haitians was absolutely justified. The country destroyed by the earthquake which occurred almost a year ago has been abandoned to its fate.
Today, Thursday, December 16, a dispatch from the U.S. agency AP published the following:
“Former U.S. President Bill Clinton declared his confidence in Haiti’s post-quake reconstruction effort Wednesday, making a one-day visit amid civil unrest, rampant disease and a seemingly intractable political crisis.
“The U.N. special envoy to Haiti travelled to the troubled country a day after the interim reconstruction commission of which he is co-chairman was forced to hold its meeting in the neighboring Dominican Republic after violence broke out following Haiti’s disputed Nov. 28 presidential election.
“Clinton visited a cholera clinic run by Doctors Without Borders that has treated some of the more than 100,000 people sickened in the epidemic that broke out in October. He then went to the main U.N. peacekeeping base for meetings with Haitian and international officials.
“The meeting a day before approved some $430 million in projects. But it was more notable for anger over the slow pace of reconstruction and a letter from frustrated Haitian members who said they were left out of decision-making and complained that approved projects do not advance the reconstruction of Haiti and long-term development.'”
Notice what he said later in a press conference, according to the dispatch.
“’I share their frustration…’”
“… Hundreds of thousands of Haitians would find new permanent housing next year and many more would move out of the tent and tarp camps that have been home to more than 1 million people since the Jan. 12 earthquake.
“But such promises have been made before. The house-less believed they would start getting new homes — or at least sturdier temporary shelters — months ago. Only $897 million of the more than $5.7 billion pledged for 2010-11 has been delivered.”
The $897 million mentioned is nowhere to be seen.
It constitutes, moreover, a total disregard for the truth to assert that 100,000 people have been treated in a clinic administered by “Doctors without Borders.”
In a statement to the press by Dr. Lea Guido, representing the Pan American Health Organization-World Health Organization (PHO/WHO) in Haiti, reported today that the number affected through December 11 had reached 104,918 people, a truly unprecedented number of people who could not have been treated in a “Doctors without Borders” clinic.
It is clear, and Clinton knows full well that Europe, the United States and Canada drain doctors, nurses, therapists and other health technicians from Caribbean countries, which lack the personnel needed to carry out that task, with a few honorable exceptions.
Obviously, with his lies, Clinton is presuming to ignore the work of more than 1,000 Cuban and Latin American doctors, nurses and technicians bearing the brunt of the battle against the epidemic in the only way possible that is by reaching the most remote corners of the country. Half of Haiti’s 10 million inhabitants live in rural areas.
Such a great number of people, under such conditions, would not have been treated without the support of the eminent Latin American woman who represents the WHO in Cuba and Haiti.
Our country has committed to mobilizing the human resources needed to complete this noble task.
As she stated, “The human resources Cuba is sending are, at this moment, moving to the most isolated areas of the country. And this is very timely.”
They are arriving now and very soon the necessary personnel will be there.
Yesterday, the Cuban Medical Brigade treated 931 patients, with two deceased, for a mortality rate for the day of 0.2%.
Translated by Granma International