TOMORROW the G-20 meeting begins; that is to say, the meeting of the planet’s most developed and rich countries: the United States, Canada, Germany, the United kingdom, France, Italy, and the European Union as a separate entity with a right to participate; these are the fundamental bastions of NATO, plus their allies Japan, South Korea, Australia and Turkey. This last has two characteristics, that of a developing country and member of NATO, as well as Saudi Arabia – a giant reservoir of light oil in the hands of Western transnationals, which pump 9.4 million barrels a day there. All these on one side of the table and, on the other, a group of countries with growing economic and political weight which, due to the numbers of their inhabitants and their natural resources are in fact becoming an expression of the interests of the majority of our suffering and plundered world: the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.
Spain, also a NATO ally, is the only "guest country."
It is a meeting between the large producers of machinery and industrial items and the large suppliers of raw materials which, for 500 years after the conquest, were European colonies and, in the last century, supplied them with agricultural products, minerals and energy resources, and the victims of a merciless unequal exchange.
This dark period of history has continued since the descendants of barbaric tribes which populated Europe "discovered" and conquered this hemisphere, armed with swords, crossbows and harquebuses.
"The discoverers" - who the so-called Western world so often apologizes for, as if one part of humanity had not lived on the continent for 40,000 years - harbored the aim of discovering a shorter route for trade with China.
In that country, of which they possessed information via traders of silk and other valuable products desired by the aristocracy and nascent European bourgeoisie, they would have found a fabulous civilization which possessed a written language, refined arts, agriculture, metals, gunpowder and advanced principles of political and military organization, including armies with tens or even hundreds of thousands of cavalry soldiers.
They were at the point of disaster when, in the vicinity of Cuba, they found land. Shortly afterward Columbus took possession of our island in the name of the King of Spain. Would he have been able to do that if he really had reached China, which was his aim? His error cost this hemisphere tens of millions of lives lost as a result of the division of the Americas, in virtue of a papal bull between two kingdoms on the Iberian Peninsula, in the context of the constant conflicts of their medieval nobility.
As the brilliant indigenous Ecuadorian painter Oswaldo Guayasamín noted, the conquest and the search for gold and silver took the lives of 70 million people inhabiting the hemisphere, the cradle of important civilizations.
Africa can also speak of what that conquest signified for millions of its sons and daughters, uprooted and sold as slaves in this hemisphere.
The multimillionaire oligarchy, whose heads of state or government are to meet in Cannes with the representatives of almost six billion inhabitants who aspire to a dignified existence for their peoples, should meditate on these realities.
Those countries are attempting to monopolize technologies and markets by means of patents, banks, the most modern and costly forms of transportation, cybernetic domination of complex productive processes, and the control of communications and the mass media in order to deceive the world.
Now that the planet’s inhabitants amount to seven billion, the states which represent just one of every seven people who, to judge by the massive protests in Europe and the United States are not very happy, are putting the survival of our species at risk.
Could anyone forget that the United States was the country which blocked the Kyoto Agreement when there was a little more time to avert a catastrophe resulting from climate change which is taking place before our eyes?
Another meeting, of the heads of state and government comprising the Ibero-American Community of Nations, took place this past October 28 and 29. Among the calamities that the Spanish and Portuguese speaking peoples have had to endure, is the reality of being the region of the world with the greatest inequality in the distribution of wealth.
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla traveled from the UN meeting in New York on the blockade of Cuba, to the capital of Paraguay, where the Ibero-American Summit took place. Extremely interesting things were said there in relation to the crisis rocking the European Community.
The new Prime Minister of Portugal voiced his bitterness against the European Union, affirming that it has been left exhausted and is falling apart with the rescue package of record magnitude being channeled to Greece. It could face a crisis in Portugal but it would remain bankrupt, totally unable to rescue Italy, the seventh world economy, which would in turn drag down France, in whose banks the major part of the Italian debt is accumulating.
The Iberian leaders doubt that the commitment taken on with Greece will be met and, if it is not met, they predict a crisis more prolonged than that of 1929.
This morning, news agencies gave details of the harsh consequences of rains never seen before in Thailand, the largest exporter of rice, sales of which will be reduced from 25 million tons to 19.
On the other hand, news that China was increasing production of metallic copper to close to five million tons, had a considerable effect.
Nevertheless, while the United States preserves intact its power of veto in the International Monetary Fund, China is being denied the simple right of approval of the yuan as convertible currency in this organization. How much longer will this tyranny last?
It is through this looking glass that must analyze every word stated at the G-20 Summit.
Fidel Castro Ruz
November 2, 2011