Source: Granma International, May 5 2011.
by Fidel Castro Ruz
THOSE who pay attention to these issues know that, on September 11, 2001, our people expressed solidarity with the United States and offered the modest support we could provide in the area of emergency care for the victims of the brutal attack on the Twin Towers in New York.
We also immediately offered our country’s runways to U.S. aircraft with no place to land given the chaos which reigned in the first few hours after the strike.
The Cuba Revolution’s historic position in opposition to acts which endanger the lives of civilians is well known.
Unwavering participants in the armed struggle against the Batista dictatorship we were, but opposed, in principle, to any terrorist act which would lead to the death of innocent people. Such a position, maintained over half a century, allows us the right to express a point of view on this delicate issue.
In a massive public event that day at [Havana’s] Ciudad Deportiva, I expressed the conviction that international terrorism would never be ended through violence and war.
He was clearly, for years, a friend of the United States, trained by it, and an adversary of the USSR and socialism, but whatever the acts attributed to Bin Laden, the murder of an unarmed human being surrounded by his family constitutes an abhorrent deed. This is apparently what the government of the most powerful nation ever to exist did.
The carefully crafted speech given by Obama announcing the death of Bin Laden affirms, "…we know that the worst images are those that were unseen to the world. The empty seat at the dinner table. Children who were forced to grow up without their mother or their father. Parents who would never know the feeling of their child's embrace. Nearly 3,000 citizens taken from us, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts."
This paragraph contains a dramatic truth, but it does not deter honest people from remembering the unjust wars unleashed by the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan, the hundreds of thousands of children forced to grow up without their mother or their father and the parents who would never know the feeling of their child's embrace.
Millions of citizens fled far from their peoples in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Cuba and other countries of the world.
Nor have hundreds of millions of people forgotten the horrific images of human beings in Guantánamo, occupied Cuban territory, filing by silently, subjected to months, even years, of unbearable, maddening torture. They are individuals kidnapped and transported to secret prisons with the hypocritical complicity of supposedly civilized societies.
Obama cannot conceal the fact that Osama was executed in the presence of his children and wives, now being held by authorities in Pakistan, a Muslim country of almost 200 million inhabitants which has seen its laws violated, its national dignity offended and its religious traditions debased.
How will he prevent the women and children of the person executed outside of the law, without a trial, from explaining what happened and the images from being transmitted around the world?
On January 28, 2002, CBS journalist Dan Rather reported on this television network that on September 10, 2001, the day before the World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks, Osama Bin Laden was treated with kidney dialysis in a Pakistani military hospital. He was in no position to hide or seek refuge in deep caverns.
Murdering him and consigning his body to the depths of the ocean demonstrates fear and insecurity, making him a much more dangerous figure.
After the initial euphoria, public opinion in the very United States will eventually turn against the methods used, which far from protecting its citizens, will multiply the hatred and vengeful feelings against them.