The events since Tuesday are earth-shaking and unbelievable. The election is a horror story unmatched in fiction. Not only has the American voting public been betrayed AGAIN, the Democrats have been DOUBLY betrayed! How gentlemanly of you, John Kerry, to step aside! No one will ever accuse you of being confrontational. That politeness is important in the Senate, isn’t it? The gentleman from Massachusetts!

I had recoiled at the Republican smear tactics during the campaign, accusing you of flip-flopping! I am repulsed in general by such simplistic, ad hominem distortions of truth. So, I was quick to champion your right to change your mind about important things. And specifically, the wisdom of adjusting a decision to fit new circumstances is always preferable to rigid adherence to dogmatic views; after all, this is what learning is all about.

Well, now, I reserve that right for myself. I tried very hard to honor your integrity, integrity, integrity, wanting to believe that you had the best interests of the people at heart; now I no longer honor your wisdom and sincerity. I am angry! You promised that our votes COUNTED and that every vote would BE counted! You lied!

When you decided that yielding the presidency almost within a few hours of the first announced tallying, no doubt, wishing not to be accused of being a “sore-loser,” you betrayed all of us who counted on YOU to be our standard bearer! Thousands of us…not just yourself…maybe millions of us, invested time…you have no idea how much time, and hope for our country, hope for our future, fighting for you! Fighting for us! You appeared to be the more trustworthy person. During the ordeal with Al Gore, faulty reasoning, about ending the uncertainty by not counting all the ballots cast by the American voters, prevailed. This is the antithesis of Democracy! It boggles my mind! You didn’t have the perseverance to fight for us! You bailed out.

All of your Macho posturing to no avail! So, you are brave enough to take on terrorists (and kill them, for shame!) but when it comes to facing up to King George, and the manipulating Republican machine, and the possibility of long, drawn-out, recounts, challenges, lawsuits, whatever it would take…you turn out to be a wimp, after all! We deserve better than to be treated so disrespectfully. I’m angry at the Democratic leadership also! They gave you bad advice. I will never again vote for a Democratic candidate. WE NEED A PEOPLE’S PARTY!

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Bush “Spending His Political Capital”

At the time of this Blog entry, UN Secretary General, Kofi Annan, is issuing warnings that the further invasion of Fallujah will be disastrous and counter-productive, and more disruptive of Iraqi security and the lives of Iraqi civilians than the present siege situation. United States Ground Forces are amassed, after heavy bombing for three days, ready for assault, possibly to level the city, expecting heavy hand-to-hand guerilla warfare.

This is as egregious and immoral and unjustified an attack, on flimsy pretexts, as Hitler’s invasion of Poland. This unethical United States Leadership marks a new low in World history that will indeed “live in infamy!”

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Ethical Leadership Is Needed

These thoughtful Humanistic statements have been presented by ethical World Leaders. The following declarations and addresses denote the kind of World Leadership we need. The expression “Family Values” was used in a much distorted and illogical way during the campaign for the November, 2004 election in the US. The plan described below to tax the sale of arms to help eradicate poverty and hunger is in the truest sense the meaning of “Family Values.” Valuing the right to life of children who are already born!

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Taxes, Weapons, and Hunger

In January, 2004, in a joint declaration made in Geneva, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, of Brazil and President Jacques Chirac of France suggested a tax on arms sales and certain international financial transactions to fund a global drive against hunger and poverty. An estimated 840 million people live in hunger and 1.1 billion people struggle to survive on less than one dollar a day, according to the United Nations.

Targets, called the Millennium Development Goals or MDGs, as they’ve been dubbed, have been set for the year 2015. This includes a target to cut in half the number of people on this Earth who are undernourished. But these goals are still in jeopardy because of sparse funding from governments. There has been alarm that many poor countries would not meet the targets “unless they receive substantial external resources and support.”

The Presidents planned to set up a group of experts which would explore possible new sources of financing to tackle poverty. “We considered it vital to forge a truly global partnership in order to mobilize political will and financial support, engage governments, the UN system and the financial institutions, re-orient development priorities and policies,” the declaration stated. Any new resources would be channeled to “a special fund to combat hunger and poverty,” it added.

The move was welcomed by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who urged the international community to refocus on development issues and to “prevent the world from sliding back into brute competition based on the laws of the jungle”.

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This is a Proclamation by President Fidel Castro, on the occasion of a protest on May 28, 2004 by the Cuban People, against US tyrannical treatment of Cuba.

Mr. George W. Bush: The million Cubans who are gathered here today to march past your Interests Section is just a small part of a valiant and heroic people who would like to be here with us, if it were physically possible.

We have not gathered in a hostile gesture to the American people whose ethics, rooted in the time when the first pilgrims emigrated to this hemisphere, are well known to us. Neither do we wish to upset the officials, employees and guards of this mission, who are given all the safety and guarantees that a civilized and educated people such as ours can offer while they serve their terms. This is an outraged protest and a denunciation of the brutal, ruthless and cruel measures against our country that your country has just adopted.

We know beforehand what you believe or want to make others believe about those who are marching here. In your opinion they are oppressed masses who yearn for liberty and who have been forced onto the streets by the Cuban government. You completely ignore that no force in the world could drag a dignified, proud people, which has withstood 45 years of hostility, blockade and aggression from the most powerful nation on earth, on to the streets like a flock of animals each one with rope around their neck.

A statesman, or whoever claims to be one, should know that down through history really humane ideas of justice have been shown to be much more powerful than force; force leaves in its wake only dusty, contemptible ruins; humane ideas leave a luminous trail that no one will ever be able to extinguish. Every era has had its own ideas, both good and bad ones, and they have accumulated. But the worst, most sinister and uncertain ideas belong in this era in which we live in a barbarous, uncivilized, globalized world.

In the world that you seek to impose on us today there is not the slightest notion of ethics, credibility, standards of justice, humanitarian feelings, nor of the elementary principles of solidarity and generosity. Everything that is written about human rights in your world, and in the world of your allies who share in plundering the world, is an enormous lie. Billions of human beings live in infrahuman conditions starving, without enough food, medicine, clothes, shoes or shelter and without even a minimum amount of knowledge or enough information to understand their tragedy and that of the world in which they live.

Surely nobody has told you about the tens of millions of children, adolescents, youths, mothers, middle or elderly people who die every year but that could have been saved in this “idyllic Eden of dreams” which is Earth, nor have they told you at what rate the natural conditions for life are being destroyed and that the hydrocarbons which took the world 300 million years to create are being squandered in a century and a half, with devastating effects.

You have only to ask your assistants for precise data on the tens of thousands of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons, bombers, smart long range missiles, battleships and aircraft carriers, conventional and non-conventional weapons in your arsenals which are enough to wipe out all life of the planet.

Neither you nor anyone else would ever be able to sleep again. Neither would your allies, who are trying to emulate your military build-up. If your allies low responsibility coefficient, political talent, inequality between their respective states and their infinitesimal inclination to reflect in the time they have left between protocols, meetings and advisors, are taken into account, those who have the destiny of the world in their hands can harbor few hopes when, half puzzled half indifferent, they gaze upon the real madhouse that world politics has become.

The purpose of these words is not to offend nor insult you: but since you have set out to intimidate, to terrorize this country and eventually to destroy its socio-economic system and independence, and if necessary its very physical existence, I consider it my elemental duty to remind you of a few home truths.

You have neither the morality nor the right, none whatsoever, to speak of freedom, democracy and human rights when you hold enough power to destroy humanity and are attempting to install a world tyranny, side-stepping and destroying the United Nations Organization, violating the human rights of any and every country, waging wars of conquest to take over world markets and resources and installing decadent and anachronistic political and social systems which are leading the human race into the abyss.

There are other reasons why you cannot mention the word democracy: among these is the fact that everyone knows you became president of the United States through fraud. You cannot speak of freedom because you cannot conceive of a world other than one ruled by fear of the lethal weapons which your inexpert hands might rain down on humanity. You cannot speak of the environment because you are completely ignorant of the fact that the human race is in danger of disappearing.

You label a tyranny the economic and political system that has guided the Cuban people to higher levels of literacy, knowledge and culture than those in the most developed countries in the world. The same that has reduced infant mortality to a rate lower than that of the United States and whose population is provided with all healthcare and education services and with other extremely important social and human services free of charge.

Listening to you talk of human rights in Cuba has a hollow, absurd ring. This, Mr. Bush, is one of the few countries in this hemisphere where not once in 45 years has there been a single case of torture, a single death squad, a single extrajudicial execution or a single ruler who has become a millionaire through having held power.

You lack the moral authority to speak of Cuba, a dignified country which has withstood 45 years of a brutal blockade, economic war and terrorist attacks which have cost thousands of lives and ten of billions of dollars in economic losses. You are attacking Cuba for petty, political reasons, trying to obtain electoral support from a shrinking group of renegades and mercenaries who have no ethical principles whatsoever. You lack the moral right to speak of terrorism because you are surrounded by a bunch of murderers who have caused the death of thousands of Cubans through terrorist methods.

You do not hide your contempt for human life, because you have not hesitated to order the extrajudicial death of a secret, unknown number of people in various parts of the world. You have no right whatsoever, except for that of brute force, to intervene in Cuba’s affairs and, whenever the fancy takes you, to proclaim the transition from one system to another and to take measures to make this happen. This people can be exterminated -it’s as well you know this- or wiped off the face of the earth but it cannot be subjugated nor put once again into the humiliating position of a United States neo-colony.

Cuba fights on the side of life in the world; you fight on the side of death. Whereas you kill countless people with your indiscriminate, pre-emptive surprise attacks, Cuba saves the lives of hundreds of thousands of children, mothers, old and sick people all over the world. The only thing you know about Cuba are the lies that spill forth from the ravenous mouths of the corrupt and insatiable mob of former Batista supporters and their descendents who are experts in electoral fraud and capable of electing President of the United States someone who did not obtain enough votes to claim victory.

Human beings are not aware of nor can they be aware of freedom in a regime of inequality like the one you represent. No one is born equal in the United States. In the black and Latin ghettos and on the reservations for the natives who once inhabited that land but were exterminated, there is no other equality but that of being poor and excluded.

Our people, educated in solidarity and internationalism, do not hate the American people nor do they want to see young white, black, Native Americans, mestizo or Latin soldiers from that country die, young people driven by unemployment to enlist in the military to be sent to any corner of the world in traitorous, pre-emptive attacks or in wars of conquest.

The unbelievable torture applied to prisoners in Iraq has rendered the world speechless. I do not seek to offend you with these words, as I have already said. My only hope is that in your leisure time one of your assistants would bring these truths to your notice, even though they may not be completely pleasing to you.

Since you have decided that the die is cast, I have the pleasure of saying farewell like the Roman gladiators who were about to fight in the arena: Hail Cesar, those who are about to die salute you! My only regret is that I would not even see your face because in that case you would be thousands of miles away while I shall be in the frontline to die fighting in defense of my homeland.

In the name of the Cuban people, Fidel Castro Ruz.

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This is a Humanist address sent from Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to the United Nations on the occasion of the General Debate of the 59th Session of the General Assembly in New York, September 2004.

Through Foreign Minister Jean Ping, of Gabon, I greet the representatives of all peoples gathered here today. I fraternally salute Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who has been guiding the work of the United Nations with wisdom and devotion.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

For the second time I address this universal assembly on behalf of Brazil. I have a life-long commitment to those silenced by inequality, hunger and hopelessness. To them, in the powerful words of Franz Fanon, the colonial past has bestowed a common legacy: “If you so desire, take it: the freedom to starve to death”.

Today, we are 191 Nation-States. In the past, 125 of us were subjected to the oppression of a few powers, which originally occupied less than 2% of the globe. The end of colonialism confirmed, in the political arena, the right of peoples to self-determination. This Assembly is the highest expression of an international order based on the independence of nations.

Political transformation, however, has not been transposed to the economic and social fields. And history shows this will not happen spontaneously. In 1820, the per capita income of the richest nation in the world was five times greater than that of the poorest one. Today, this disparity reaches 80 to 1. The former subjects have become perpetual debtors in the international economic system. Protectionist barriers and other obstacles to balanced trade, aggravated by the concentration of investments, knowledge and technology, have followed colonial domination.

A powerful and all-encompassing invisible cogwheel runs the system from afar. It often revokes democratic decisions, shrivels the sovereignty of States, and imposes itself to elected governments. It demands that legitimate national development projects be renounced. The perverse logic of draining the needy to irrigate the bountiful still stands.

In the past decades, an ill-inclusive and asymmetric globalization has deepened the devastating legacy of poverty and social regression, which now bursts into the agenda of the 21st Century. Today, in 54 countries the per capita income is lower than what it was ten years ago. In 34 countries, life expectancy has decreased. In 14, a greater number of children starve to death.

In Africa, where colonialism resisted until the twilight of the twentieth century, 200 million people are caught in an existence marked by hunger, disease and neglect, to which the world has become oblivious, numbed by the routine of the distant suffering of others. Lack of basic sanitation has killed more children in the past decade than all military conflicts since the end of World War II.

Love cannot spring from cruelty. Peace will never rise from poverty and hunger. The hatred and senselessness that spread throughout the world feed on despair, on the absolute lack of hope for many peoples. This year alone, more than 1,700 people have died as a consequence of terrorist attacks around the world; in Madrid, Baghdad, Jakarta. Those are tragedies that must be added to so many others: in India, in the Middle East, in the United States, and, more recently, the barbaric slaughter of children in Beslan. Mankind is losing the fight for peace.

Only the enlightened values of Humanism, applied with clarity of mind and determination, will be able to counter barbarism. The situation imposes on peoples and leaders of the world, a new sense of collective and individual responsibility. If peace is our goal, it is our task to build it. I firmly believe that the process launched will heighten the level of the fight against world poverty. As we advance in this new alliance, we shall have better means to attain the Millennium Development Goals, especially with regard to the eradication of hunger.

It was in this same spirit of contributing to the reduction of poverty that Brazil, India and South Africa established, last year, the IBSA Fund for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation. Our first project will be implemented in Guinea Bissau. HIV/AIDS and its nefarious connection to hunger and poverty, is also a priority. Our International Cooperation Program with other developing countries in combating HIV/AIDS is now operational in six countries, and will soon be extended to another three.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am fully aware of the serious security problems that pose a threat to international stability. There seems to be no perspective for improvement in the critical situation in the Middle East. In this and in other conflicts, the international community cannot allow violence – whether sponsored by States or other actors – to prevail over democratic dialogue. The Palestinian people are still far from achieving the self-determination they are entitled to. The profound causes of our insecurity are complex. The necessary fight against terrorism cannot be conceived strictly in military terms. We must develop strategies that encompass both solidarity and firmness, while strictly respecting International law.

On this basis, Brazil and other Latin-American countries have responded to the call of the United Nations and engaged in the stabilization efforts in Haiti. If we seek new paradigms in international relations, we cannot shirk from addressing the concrete situations that emerge. The promotion of equitable development is crucial to addressing the centuries-old causes of Haitian instability.

In spite of its grave social and economic problems, a culture of peace prevails in our region. Our continent is undergoing a period of democratic coming of age, with increasing involvement of a vibrant civil society. We have learned that development and social justice must be sought with determination and openness to dialogue. Instability bouts in our region have been dealt with in strict respect of institutions.

Whenever requested, and within its means and capabilities, Brazil has given its contribution to help friendly countries overcome crises that have threatened their constitutional order and stability. We do not stand for interference in domestic affairs, but neither can we condone omission and indifference in face of situations that affect our neighbors. Brazil is committed to the establishment of a politically stable, prosperous and united South America, on the basis of strengthening MERCOSUL and of its strategic relationship with Argentina. Thanks to decisive initiatives in structural, economic, commercial, social and cultural integration, the possibility of a Community of South-American States is no longer a distant dream.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Brazil is at work in multilateral negotiations with a view to reaching just and equitable agreements. At the last meeting of the World Trade Organization, we took a fundamental step towards the elimination of abusive restrictions that hamper developing countries. Coordination among countries from Africa, Asia and Latin America in the G-20 was decisive for keeping the Doha Round on the right track of trade liberalization with social justice. A successful Doha Round could take more than 500 million people out of poverty. It is essential to carry on building a new world economic and commercial geography which, while maintaining the vital ties to developed countries, allows for the establishment of solid bridges among the countries of the South, which have remained isolated from one another for too long.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Brazil is committed to the success of the International Climate Change Regime. We are developing renewable sources of energy. That is why we shall continue to actively strive for the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol. South America contains around 50% of world biodiversity. We stand for combating biopiracy as well as for the negotiation of an international regime for sharing the benefits derived from the utilization of genetic resources and traditional knowledge.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I reiterate what I stated from this very rostrum last year: only an international order based on multilateralism can promote peace and the sustainable development of nations. It must be based on a constructive dialogue among different cultures and world visions. No organ is better suited than the UN for ensuring the world’s convergence towards common goals.

The Security Council is the only source of legitimate action in the field of international peace and security. But its composition must reflect today’s reality – not perpetuate the post-World War II era. Reform proposals that simply dress the current structure in new clothes and do not provide for an increase in the number of permanent members are manifestly insufficient. The difficulties inherent to any reform process must not make us lose sight of its urgency.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

There will be neither security nor stability in the world until a more just and democratic order is established. The community of nations must give a clear and urgent response to this challenge. We can find such a response in the wise words of the Prophet Isaiah: “The fruit of righteousness will be peace”. Thank you.

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