'The worst of all crises'

October 17, 2008

The developed capitalist system is today in a crisis.

But, it is not the usual crisis happening once in a number of years; not even the traumatic crisis of the 1930s, but the worst of all crises since the world started to pursue this growth and development model.

The current crisis of the developed capitalist system is taking place when the empire is about to change leadership in the elections to be held on November 4.

The candidates of the two main parties that will say the last
word in these elections are trying to persuade the bewildered voters — many of whom have never cared to cast a vote — that as candidates to the presidency they can secure the well-being and consumerism of what they describe as only middle class people, even though they are not planning
to introduce any real changes to what they consider the most perfect economic system the world has ever known.

The same world that, in their minds, is less important than the happiness of over 300 million people who account for less than 5% of the world population.

The fate of the remaining 95% of human beings, peace and war, the fit or unfit-for-breathing air, will highly depend on the decisions of the administrative leader of the empire.

Racism is deeply rooted in the US, where the minds of
millions of people can hardly reconcile with the notion that a black man, with his wife and children could live in the White House, which is precisely called "white".

It's a miracle that the Democratic candidate has not met the
same destiny as Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and others who only a few decades ago dreamed of justice and equality [and were assassinated].

Meditating on the current US public debt — US$10.266 trillion — that President George Bush is laying on the shoulders of the new generations in that country, I took to calculating how long it would take a man to count the debt that he has doubled in eight years.

A man working eight hours a day, without missing a second, and
counting 100 $1 bills per minute, during 300 days in the year, would need 710 billion years to count that amount of money.

I could not find a more graphic way to describe the volume of
money that is practically mentioned every day now.

We might be wondering [due to recent US government measures] about the contribution of Bush's administration to socialism. But, let's not entertain any illusions.

Once the banking operations go back to normal, the imperialists will return the banks to private business as some other countries in this hemisphere have already done.

The people always foot the bill.

The only choice left to human society is to overcome this contradiction; otherwise it will not be able to survive.

At this time, the ocean of money being poured into the world
finances by the central banks of the developed capitalist countries is dealing a hard blow to the stock exchanges of the countries that resort to these institutions in an effort to beat their economic underdevelopment.

Cuba has no stock exchange. We shall certainly find more rational and more socialist ways of financing our development.

The current crisis and the brutal measures of the US
administration to save itself will bring more inflation, more devaluation of national currencies, more painful losses in the markets, lower prices for basic export commodities and more unequal exchange.

But, they will also bring people to a better understanding of the truth, a greater conscience, more rebelliousness and more revolutions.

[Abridged from Fidel Castro's October 11 "Reflections" column, posted at http://www.cuba.cu.]

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