Category Archives: Old World

Fidel again on the nuclear war nobody is talking about

Knowing the Truth in Time CubaDebate (español)

Fidel Castro Ruz

Translation: Machetera

When writing each one of my previous Reflections, while a catastrophe for humanity is rapidly approaching, my greatest concern has been to perform the basic duty of informing our people.

Today I’m calmer than I’ve been for 26 days.  As things continue to happen at short notice, I can reiterate and add to the reports presented to Cuban and international opinion.

Obama has promised to attend the World Cup quarter-finals on July 2nd, if his country advances from the second round.  He should know better than anyone that these quarter-finals may not take place since very serious events will take place before then, or at least he ought to know that.

On Friday, June 25th, an international news agency known for its close attention to detail in its reports, published the declarations of the “…commander of the elite Navy corps of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard, General Ali Fadavi…” warning “…that if the United States and its allies inspect Iranian ships in international waters, ‘they will receive a response in the Persian Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.’” Continue reading

Fidel sketches the rapidly approaching world war

The English translation of Fidel’s reflection released by Granma International today  contains an unfortunate error.  The Spanish original says:

El Sha de Irán había sido derrocado por el Ayatollah Ruhollah Jomeini en 1979 sin emplear un arma. Estados Unidos le impuso después la guerra a aquella nación con el empleo de armas químicas, cuyos componentes suministró a Irak junto a la información requerida por sus unidades de combate y que fueron empleadas por estas contra los Guardianes de la Revolución.

This was translated as:

The Shah of Iran had been defeated by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in 1979 without using a single weapon. The United States imposed the Shah after the war on that nation with the use of chemical weapons, whose components it supplied to Iraq together with the information needed by its combat units and which were deployed by them against the Revolutionary Guards.

What was imposed on Iran as punishment for tossing out the Shah was not the Shah again, but a chemical war.  In addition to correcting this error, I have taken the opportunity to edit the rest of the piece for the sake of readability. Continue reading

The Battle of Copenhagen

An alternate English translation of President Hugo Chávez’s speech about the climate summit in Copenhagen, by the wonderfully talented translator & Tlaxcala member, David Brookbank.

“The Battle of Copenhagen” Español

Copenhagen was the scene of a historic battle in the context of the 15th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.  Better said: In the beautiful and snow-covered capital of Denmark, a battle began which did not end on December 18, 2009.  I want to reiterate: Copenhagen was only the beginning of the decisive battle for the salvation of the planet.  A battle on the field of ideas and of praxis.

The Brazilian Leonardo Boff, the great liberation theologian and one of the most authoritative voices on the subject of ecology, in an essential article entitled, What is at stake in Copenhagen, penned these insightful and courageous words:  “What can we hope for from Copenhagen?  Perhaps just this simple confession: We cannot continue the way we are going.  And this simple proposition:  We are going to change course.” Continue reading

Aminetu Haidar – In Spite of Everything

Aminetu Haidar by Juan Kavellido

Aminetu Haidar – In Spite of Everything Español

By Atenea Acevedo

Translated by Manuel Talens, edited by Machetera

Our senses, habituated to a never innocent violence – normalized through lingering media bombardment – only react when the scandalous aspect of news reaches the border between reality and fiction. Once in a while, almost always later than sooner, the violence that mercilessly strikes women appears in mass media headlines: women retained in Serbian rape camps, young working women slaughtered in Ciudad Juárez, women murdered by either romantic or sexual partners. Less frequently, a specific face repeats itself on the television screens and a name struggles to conquer a corner of our memory. Today such a face belongs to Saharawi activist Aminetu Haidar, a peaceful defender of human rights and international humanitarian rights whose case began to filter out through tiny snippets of information and now expands like a pool of uncontainable blood.

Aminetu – a former detainee in Moroccan secret jails, where she “disappeared” for years – has the willpower that we usually find in those who have lived and suffered enough to thoroughly know both the strength and fragility of the human spirit. Continue reading

Proof positive

gal_6541“The Russian Revolution was the tangible proof needed by the earth’s damned, to be sure that Marx’s dream was not an illusion” Español

An interview with Spanish writer Manuel Talens on the 92nd anniversary of the October Revolution

By Salvador López Arnal

English translation: Machetera

From its first day, the October Revolution was a reference point for the international and internationalist labor movement as well as the socialist organizations that hadn’t surrendered in the face of the militarism and longings for conquest demonstrated by the powerful of the earth. It was also a celebrated reference point. The acts that were organized in homage to that glorious date, November 7th, are still remembered by many revolutionary fighters. Since the disintegration of the USSR, since the savage capitalist counterrevolution’s victory in the land of Gorky and Mayakovsky, even here, at this red website, forgetfulness lives, an unjust and suicidal forgetfulness. To remember this date, to speak about the meaning of that socialist revolution, we conversed with Spanish writer, scientist, translator and militant Manuel Talens. Continue reading

Allan McDonald on Obama’s prize

For more about Wendy Elizabeth Ávila, see Avi Lewis’s report for Faultlines, embedded at the end of this post.


Wendy and Obama Español

Peace as a medal rather than a principle

By Allan McDonald

English translation: Machetera

Wendy Elizabeth Ávila was born in Tegucigalpa on June 28, 1985, under a rain of melancholy ashes.

Barack Hussein Obama was born in Honolulu on August 4, 1961, under a carnival of Asiatic colors.

Wendy went to a public school, poor, like her comrades, and in her arms she always carried notebooks with the word “hope” written in upper case.

Obama went to the prestigious Harvard Law School with its hors d’oeuvres enriched by the protein of the judiciary.

Wendy grew up with an open smile, fresh with dreams.

Obama grew up in the mists of greed and public lies. Continue reading

Atilio Boron on Obama’s prize

AkevittSkole2-374Consolation Prize (Amended)*- Español

By Atilio A. Boron

English translation: Machetera

In an astonishing decision, the Norwegian Nobel Committee put an end to seven months of searching among the 205 nominees for the Nobel Peace Prize and conferred it upon Barack Obama.   Piedad Córdoba, the brave Colombian senator whose efforts in search of peace for her violence-ridden country largely deserved to be rewarded with the Nobel Prize was tossed to the wayside so that it might be granted to the American president. It is not a minor surprise to know that Obama’s nomination was submitted to the Norwegian Committee two months after his inauguration. What did he do in such a short period of time on behalf of the world peace? He delivered gentle speeches and made rather nebulous exhortations to end violent confrontations. The Colombian senator, on the other hand, has spent the last ten years in a tireless effort to put an end to armed struggle and to pacify her country. She put her own body and her actions on the line. But the Norwegian Committee did not share this appreciation and Piedad was once again passed over. A woman, black, leftist, and Latin American: too many flaws and defects for the cautious members of the Committee, always politically correct, forever sanctimonious, who only by mistake would it confer the prize upon a public figure whose struggles for peace were unacceptable to the empire. The Dalai Lama is acceptable; Piedad Córdoba is not. For him, the Prize; for her, the cold shoulder. Continue reading