Thursday, August 31, 2006

Venezuelan and Syrian Presidents Reject US Hegemony

30 August, 2006

DAMASCUS, August 29.— Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said Tuesday in Damascus that the governments of Venezuela and Syria are firmly united against the aggressions and hegemonic intentions of the US empire.
"We are here to work, to reach an agreement, to sign a number of accords, and to commit ourselves to open new channels of integration between Caracas and Damascus," said Chavez shortly after his arrival in the Syrian capital for a two day visit, reported the Venezuelan national broadcaster Venezolana de Television.
"Venezuela and Syria are two courageous nations; we are not afraid of saying things," commented Chavez.
"Today begins a new stage in this history," added Chavez, who on Tuesday completed an official visit to Malaysia as part of a tour that included China and will also take him to Angola.
Syrian President Bashar Al Assad expressed his satisfaction in receiving "a great leader on an international scale."
"Before the president’s arrival, we were listening to his strong position in support of our causes and his sincere feelings towards the rights of peoples who have their territories occupied," said Al Assad accompanied by Chavez.
"We share many common positions because our stance on international causes is parallel to that of Venezuela: rejecting international hegemony, rejecting the unilateral power of the United States," he said.
"What we want during this visit is to convert these prospects into effective work and coordinate high level policies," added Al Assad.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

We Want to Build a New Middle East without US Tampering

29 August, 2006
After a "long conversation between brothers and comrades with Army General Raul Castro Ruz," on Sunday afternoon, and before boarding his plane back to Damascus, the Syrian Minister of Information granted an exclusive interview to Granma.
Three weeks of Israeli aggression against the Lebanese people and threats against Syria and Iran compel us to ask the distinguished guest about his views on the current situation in the Middle East.
If we were to let ourselves be guided by the Western media, it would seem that this last confrontation is unconnected to the three other wars between the Israelis and the Arabs. This last, the longest of all, was the first time Israel was not confronted by an Army or a state. Despite all its military might, Israel was unable to defeat the Islamic movement Hezbollah; although in trying to do so, it killed over 1,000 Lebanese and destroyed a large portion of that country’s infrastructure. On this matter, the Syrian minister said:
The region is now faced with the same problems as before the war on Lebanon, with the US administration’s propensity to impose its hegemony in the region. The United States has clearly stated that it wants to build a new Middle East, a key piece in its plans for domination.
Confronted with this situation, Syrian President Bachar Al Assad has been very emphatic on the need to build a new Middle East, without the tampering of the United States or aggression from Israel. The Arab Middle East should be one where our will is respected; the will of resistance, freedom, social, economic and political development. This is what we need to build.
Our countries have been attacked and our territories have been occupied by Israel; this is why we have the right to fight and resist until we build a region of peace, free from foreign interference, threats and aggressions.
Events in Lebanon have destroyed the myth of Israeli invulnerability. What has been the impact of this latest aggression within Israel?
Today, Israel is in the midst of a severe political dilemma. The government of Prime Minister Olmert is faced with a real crisis, and it is possible that the current coalition will have to step down from power, amidst the current contradictions. Several different opinions have surfaced in the aftermath of the aggression on Lebanon.
On one side are the current Ministers of Foreign Affairs, Security and Defense who are talking about negotiating and engaging in a dialogue with Syria. The return of the Golan Heights should be at the center of these negotiations.
On the other hand, we have deputy Prime Minister Simon Peres who is saying that Israel has come to the bargaining table five times with no results. Our President has reiterated that we are willing to negotiate, but we demand the return of the Golan Heights to Syrian sovereignty and the withdrawal of Israel to the border it had on June 4, 1967. Once this occurs, we will be ready to meet the Israelis in the quest of a peace which encompass its withdrawal from Southern Lebanon and the return of the occupied Palestinian Territories. Tel Aviv should acknowledge the right of the Palestinian people to have an independent state and the rights of the refugees to return to their homeland.
Those who attack Palestine and Lebanon, and occupy their territories, know too well that they are to blame for the instability in the region.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

More US Students at Cuba Med School

29 August, 2006

"We are bringing young people who couldn’t fulfill their dreams in the United States," said Rev. Lucius Walker, as he accompanied a new group of US students to the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM) in Havana.
ELAM began primarily as a center to train doctors from the Central American countries hit by hurricane Mitch in 1998. Soon after, it expanded to accept low-income students from around Latin America and more recently has also given underprivileged young people from the United States the opportunity to study medicine.
Rev. Walker said that the new students are themselves victims of "the values in our country" that turns medicine into a commercial product and of a deficient public health system. He noted that these young people haven’t lost their dreams and now can continuing dreaming thanks to Cuba.
"We have a marvelous task through Pastors for Peace —which each year sponsors a caravan to Cuba in defiance of the US blockade against the island—, but we have never been part of a project that brings so much joy as the Latin American School of Medicine, said Walker.
After expressing his gratitude for all that Cuba does, Walker asked that Fidel Castro be told "the immense appreciation we feel for him, for his ideas, and also reiterate to him our commitment to continue working together for this project."
The new US students, seven women and six men, were welcomed by ELAM President Dr. Juan D. Carrizo Estevez. With this new group, a total of 88 young people from the US are now studying medicine in Cuba.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Cuban Doctors Helping Guatemalans

IZABAL, Guatemala, August 25.— A Cuban medical brigade is currently bringing health and hope to thousands of people in Guatemala’s Caribbean zone.
Eight years ago, when Hurricane Mitch devastated large portions of Central America and the Motagua River flooded extensive parts of this region, the first Cuban physicians arrived in the department of Izabal, and they are still working here today.
"We are 15 collaborators, mostly women, including gynecologists, pediatricians, anesthetists, epidemiologists, nurses and experts in Integral General Medicine," said Odalys Rodriguez, coordinator of the Jose Marti Brigade in this department.
The Cuban doctors are working in five Izabal municipalities: Puerto Barrios, Livingston, El Estor Morales and Los Amates.
The most frequent diseases reported are acute respiratory problems, intestinal parasitism, skin afflictions and malnutrition, mainly in children.
Five doctors are also stationed at the Mother-Child Center of El Estor, where they offer 24-hour service on a rotating basis. The facility operates in the zone known for having the highest maternal mortality rate in all of Guatemala.
Odalys Rodriguez says that since the center opened, the maternal mortality rate has dropped drastically by two-thirds, from the 179 per 100,000 women rate a year earlier.
She noted how the Guatemalans have a good impression of the Cuban physicians and most importantly trust them. The fact that many patients speak native languages instead of Spanish has not been an obstacle for understanding, added Odalys (PL).

Friday, August 25, 2006

25 August, 2006
China Backs Venezuela Bid for Security Council Seat
BEIJING, August 24.— China supports Venezuela’s bid for a UN Security Council seat, said President Hugo Chavez on Thursday following a meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao.
The meeting, attended by the closest collaborators of both presidents, was held after the official welcome to the Venezuelan president at the People’s Palace.
Chavez said that the Chinese decision to support the Venezuelan candidacy as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council was announced by Hu Jintao at that meeting, reported Prensa Latina.
The Venezuelan leader said he was pleased with the agreements and understanding achieved with the Chinese authorities.
Chavez noted that the positive outcomes of the meeting are the result of three years of efforts to strengthen relations, now closer in the geopolitical, economic, technological, investment and cooperation fields.
Chavez made brief statements to the press at the end of the eight-document signing ceremony, which included memorandums of understanding and agreements in energy, finance, oil exploitation and home building.
The deals also included visits of Chinese tourist groups to Venezuela, as well as the setting up of a bilateral Business Committee.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Photo exhibition on Fidel Castro inaugurated

MORE than 100 people attended the August 21 opening of a photographic exhibition on revealing moments in the life of President Fidel Castro at the International Press Center in Havana. Canto a la Vida (Song to Life) — the exhibition’s title — "impacts the inner world of our feelings because of the stamp left on us by the ideas and struggle initiated and led by an exceptional human being," said Tubal Páez, president of the Cuban Journalists Union, in remarks at the opening.
"In observing them (the photos), we realize how much there is of Fidel Castro in us and how much in the nation’s soul, how much of his character, his methods, his style, his way of acting and reacting," Páez added.
He also noted that this is the most photographed Revolution, and will continue to be so because there will always be Revolution and there will always be photography, he affirmed.
Comprised of more than 80 images by 50 Cuban and foreign artists, Canto a la vida offers a panorama of the life of the Cuban Revolution’s leader, who celebrated his 80th birthday on August 13.
Photographers featured in the exhibition include the renowned Alberto Korda, who made the photo of Comandante Ernesto Che Guevara that has circled the globe.
Photographers from other countries include Andrew St. George, Burt Glinn and Robert Taber (United States), Cándido Mayo (Spain-Mexico), Enrique Meneses and R. del Valle-Rico (Spain), Ernesto Bazán (Italy), Félix Cordero (Puerto Rico) and Sven Creusmann (Germany).
The International Press Center, José Martí International Journalism Institute, Fototeca de Cuba and the Ministry of Culture’s Center for Cultural Development and Communication, among other institutions, are promoting the exhibition. (PL)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Injustice against the Five and impunity for terrorism

BY ORLANDO ORAMAS LEON— Granma daily staff writer—
GERARDO, Ramón, René, Fernando and Antonio are still behind bars in the United States, three of them in maximum security prisons, and all of them subjected to the hateful revenge of those in Washington who have made them the target of reprisals against the Cuban Revolution.
The "hole," lack of communication, and psychological pressures are some of the weapons that have been used to try to break their integrity, in addition to the unjust and rigged trial that put them in jail.
Recently Gerardo has been informed that his correspondence will be delayed for several months. What a paradox, while at the same time terrorist Orlando Bosch, who is enjoying a pardon granted by the United States, is openly proclaiming his crimes, including the sabotage of a Cubana Aviation passenger plane in October 1976 and several assassination attempts against President Fidel Castro.
Thus, when the U.S. 11th Court of Appeals of Atlanta has decided not to accept the considerations of three judges regarding the need for a retrial for the Five due to the biased atmosphere of Miami, Bosch is making makes statements to the Barcelona daily La Vanguardia boasting of his crimes.
This is further evidence of the double standard of the Bush administration’s supposed global crusade against terrorism, which holds the five Cubans as political hostages while turning a blind eye to the confessions of anti-Cuba terrorists recently published in the U.S. press.
Writing in the Los Angeles Times, published in California near where Gerardo is serving two life terms plus 15 years, Carol J. Williams maintains that conspiracies such as those of Robert Ferro (caught with more than 1,500 weapons), the purchase of arms and helicopters revealed by José Antonio Llama, and other anti-Cuba plots should help the judicial cause of our brothers.
In other words, those conspiracies confirm Cuba’s need for these patriots’ mission to infiltrate Miami criminal groups in order to prevent terrorist attacks against the island, given that more than 3,000 people have already been killed along with a similar number of wounded and incapacitated, superseding the tragic balance of those killed in the attack on the Twin Towers.
The statements of Bosch, the doctor of death, were corroborated in the Times article.
He confirmed to La Vanguardia that "there were many attempts" to kill Fidel. He also told of the plan to assassinate the Cuban president in Chile in 1971, as well as the attempt on the Cuban ambassador in Buenos Aires. "Afterwards we did a thousand things," gloated the man pardoned by George Bush Sr.
He also bragged about the Barbados crime. "For me (that plane with 73 passengers on board) is a war target," and he continued "Communists all of them. The athletes were wearing five gold medals for fencing… it was Fidel’s glory…"
It would never occur to anyone in the United States to publicly admit to plotting a bomb attack, or to having done so in the past. It would mean prison for sure, unless the target was Cuba, which the White House has a permanent need to destroy.

Friday, August 18, 2006

No enemy can defeat us

Affirms Raúl in a statement to Granma. He affirmed that Fidel continues to improve and thanked people for the thousands of messages of solidarity and support from our country and abroad. Measures have been taken to prevent any attempt at aggression. The people are giving a conclusive demonstration of confidence in themselves.The General of the Army Raúl Castro Ruz has offered an interview to Granma daily. The conversation took place in his office at the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (MINFAR) and focused on the principal events of recent days.Comrade Raúl, our people joyfully received the message and photographs of the Comandante en Jefe published in the press and the subsequent television report of the encounter with president Chávez. Nevertheless, taking advantage of this opportunity, it would be greatly appreciated by millions of people who have attentively followed information on the state of health of compañero Fidel, to hear your personal assessment, as someone always so united to him.Without any doubt, what most interests all of us at this time is the Jefe’s health.On behalf of all the people, I will begin by congratulating and thanking the doctors and the other compañeros and compañeras who have attended to him in an excellent manner, with an unsurpassable professionalism and, above all, with much love and dedication. This has been a very important factor in Fidel’s progressive recovery.Moreover, I think that his exceptional physical and mental nature has also been essential to his satisfactory and gradual recovery.We Cubans, even when we don’t see you for a while on television or in the written press, know that you are there, at your combat post as always. But I think that these words of yours will also disarm the speculation and lies present in some of the foreign media.If you are referring to those in other countries who entertain themselves by speculating about if I am going to appear on television or in the papers or not; well, I appeared with Fidel on Sunday (August 13) and when I received President Chávez , although really those comments don’t bother me in the slightest.What does interest me greatly is what our people are thinking, although, fortunately, we live in this geographically small island, where everything that we are doing is known. I can confirm that when I talk with the population or other local leaders in my tours of the country.As a point of fact, I am not used to making frequent appearances in public, except at times when it is required. Many tasks related to defense should not be made public and have to be handled with maximum care, and that has been one of my fundamental responsibilities as FAR minister. Moreover, I have always been discreet, that is my way, and in passing I will clarify that I am thinking of continuing in that way. But that has not been the fundamental reason why I don’t appear very often in the mass media; simply, it has not been necessary.No essential orientation has been overlooked…Effectively, the Comandante en Jefe’s Proclamation gave the information that could be given at that time and moreover, proposed specific tasks for everyone. The main thing is to dedicate oneself in body and soul to fulfilling them. That is what all the leaders at different levels have been doing, together with our people who have known how to maintain an exemplary discipline, vigilance and working spirit.On behalf of the Comandante en Jefe and the Party leadership, I will take the opportunity of thanking everyone for the innumerable displays of support for the Revolution and for the content of his Proclamation, as well as the demonstrations of affection that have been expressed by figures from the cultural sector; professionals and workers in all sectors; campesinos, soldiers, housewives, students, pioneers; among them numerous believers, public figures and religious institutions from the overwhelming majority of denominations; finally, the people of Cuba. It has been a conclusive demonstration of their unbreakable unity and their revolutionary consciousness, essential pillars of the fortitude of our country.The breadth of support coming from all over the world has also been impressive.Yes, really heartening. That is why I should also like to express thanks for the numerous messages of solidarity and respect from all over the world, from people of the most diverse social categories, from simple workers to intellectual and political figures, as well as a significant and representative number of religious institutions and figures. All of them have done so without any conditions whatsoever. Messages from the few who did not act in that way were not accepted or acknowledged.Also, they have been joined to date (August 17) by some 12,000 signatories supporting the call made 10 days ago by prominent cultural personalities from more than 100 countries, among them various Nobel Prize winners, condemning the interfering and aggressive statements of the government of the United States, and which also exposes the openly interventionist nature of the Bush Plan, as we are calling that monster that would seem to be dusted off from the times when – as at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th – they frustrated the independence of Cuba and imposed their administrators on us.Now they have also designed one for the supposed "transition." One McCarry, who recently stated that the United States does not accept the continuity of the Cuban Revolution, although he didn’t say how they are thinking of averting that.One gets the impression that the enemies of the Revolution have been left speechless by the conclusive reaction of the Cuban population, immune to their giant and disgraceful campaign of offenses and lies. They are talking with surprise at the calm reigning in Cuba, as if it was something unusual and not exactly normal, and which all of us here knew would happen in a situation such as this.Yes, it would seem that they have come to believe their own lies. The most probable is that their "think tanks" and many of their analysts are now drawing other conclusions.As you were saying, absolute tranquility is reigning in the country. And something even more important, the serene, disciplined and decisive attitude that can be felt in every workplace, in every city, in every neighborhood. The same one that our people always assume in moments of difficulty. If we were to be guided solely by the internal situation, I am not exaggerating in affirming that it would not have been necessary to mobilize even one pioneer from among those who guard the ballot boxes in the elections. But we have never ignored a threat from the enemy. It would be irresponsible to do so when faced with a government like that of the United States, which has is declaring with the greatest audacity that it does not accept what is established in the Cuban Constitution. From over there, as if they were the rulers of the planet, they are saying that there must be a transition to a social regime of their liking and that they "would take note of those who oppose that." Although it seems incredible, this boorish and at the same time stupid attitude was assumed by President Bush a few days ago. They’ll have to waste a lot of paper and ink...A lot. For that reason I would advise them to do the opposite. To "take note," as they say, of the annexationists on the payroll of the U.S. Interest Section here in Havana, those who are going to receive the crumbs of the announced $80 million earmarked for subversion, because the bulk of it will be distributed in Miami, as is usually the case.On the contrary, the list is going to be interminable. They would have to list the names of millions and millions of Cuban men and women, the same ones who are ready to receive their designated administrator with rifles in hand.At this juncture, they should be very clear that it is not possible to achieve anything in Cuba with impositions and threats. On the contrary, we have always been disposed to normalize relations on an equal plane. What we do not accept is the arrogant and interventionist policy frequently assumed by the current administration of that country.Recently rereading Party Congress documents, I found ideas that seemed to have been written today. For example, this excerpt from the Central Report presented by Fidel to the Third Congress in February 1986:"As we have demonstrated many times, Cuba is not remiss to discussing its prolonged differences with the United States and to go out in search of peace and better relations between our people."And he continued:"But that would have to be on the basis of the most unrestricted respect for our condition as a country that does not tolerate shadows on its independence, for whose dignity and sovereignty entire generations of Cubans have fought and sacrificed themselves. This would be possible only when the United States decides to negotiate with seriousness and is willing to treat us with a spirit of equality, reciprocity and the fullest mutual respect."Similar formulations are contained in the documents from the other Party Congresses and have also been reaffirmed by its first secretary on diverse occasions. Nevertheless they are continuing with the same aggressive and arrogant policy as always.That is the reality. More than 20 years have passed since Fidel pronounced the words that I have just cited; they have that 485-page interventionist plan that I already mentioned, approved in 2004, in which they detail how they propose to dismantle the achievements of the Revolution in health, education, social security; agrarian reform and urban reform; in other words, to kick the people off their land, out of their homes so as to hand them back to their former owners, etc. etc. etc.To cap it all, just a few days ago, on July 10, President Bush officially approved a document complementing the former one, and which they had posted with a very low profile on the Internet in June. They have openly stated that it includes a secret appendix that is not being published "for reasons of national security" and "to ensure its effective implementation;" those are literally the terms that they used, and which constitute a flagrant violation of international law.For a while now we have been adopting measures to confront those plans. These were reinforced particularly when the current U.S. government initiated the unbridled warmongering policy that it has maintained to date, including the announced intention to attack without previous warning any of those places that they call the "sixty or more dark corners of the world."A notable escalation of aggression…Effectively, and in 2003 the plans became more explicit. On December 5 of that year, Mr. Roger Noriega, then assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere Affairs, declared – I don’t know if it was intentional or a slip – that "the transition in Cuba – in other words – the death of Fidel – could happen at any moment and we have to be prepared to be agile and decisive." That "the United States wanted to be sure that the regime’s cronies have no hope of holding onto power" and, so as to leave no doubt, he added that they were working "to ensure that there was no succession to the Castro regime." Subsequently he and other senior U.S. officials have returned to the theme insistently. What other form exists for obtaining these goals that is not military aggression? Thus, the country adopted the pertinent measures for counteracting that real danger. Faced with similar situations, Martí taught us what to do: "Plan against plan. Without a plan of resistance, a plan of attack cannot be defeated," he wrote in the newspaper Patria on June 11, 1892. The United States government is not revealing the contents of that appendix because it is illegal. Its publication must be demanded, above all now that they have spoken about its existence in order to threaten Cuba. On the contrary, our defense plans are transparent and legal, simply because they do not threaten anybody; their sole objective is to guarantee the sovereignty and independence of the homeland; they do not violate any national or international law whatsoever. The country’s media has informed about the seriousness and reach of the measures that we have been adopting recently to steadily strengthen our defense. Just over a month ago, on July 1, the issue was analyzed extensively by the Fifth Plenum of the Central Committee of the Party. Some of the empire’s war hawks thought that the moment had come to destroy the Revolution this past July 31. We could not rule out the risk of somebody going crazy, or even crazier, within the U.S. government. Consequently, at 3 a.m. on August 1, in fulfillment of the plans approved and signed on January 13, 2005 by compañero Fidel, and after having made the established consultations, I decided to substantially raise our combative capacity and readiness via the implementation of the projected measures, including the mobilization of several tens of thousands of reservists and militia members, and the proposal to our principal units of regular troops, including the Special Troops, of missions demanded by the political/military situation that has been created. All of the mobilized personnel has completed or is currently completing an important cycle of combat training and cohesion, part of that under campaign conditions. These troops will rotate, in approximately equal numbers, as the proposed objectives are attained. All of the reservists and militia members who are to participate in these activities will be informed, with the necessary anticipation, of the date of incorporation into their units and the time that they will remain in these to fulfill their guard duty to the homeland. To date, the mobilization that we began on August 1 has developed satisfactorily, thanks to the magnificent response by our reservists and militia members, as well as the commendable labor undertaken by the military commands and especially by the Defense Councils, under the leadership of the Party, at every level. It is not my intention to exaggerate the danger. I never have done so. Up until now, the attacks during these days have not gone further than rhetorical ones, except for the substantial increase in subversive anti-Cuba broadcasts over radio and television. They have announced the use of a new airplane...Previously, they were using, at varying intervals, a military airplane known as Comando Solo. From this past August 5, they began using another type of aircraft that has effected daily transmissions. On August 11, it did so in conjunction with the aforementioned Comando Solo. In fact, on the 5th and 6th, our radars detected that transmissions were being made from international waters, in outright violation of the agreements of the International Telecommunications Union, to which the United States is a signatory, which once again we are condemning via the corresponding channels and agencies, given that moreover these transmissions are affecting broadcasting in our country.In reality, we are totally unconcerned at the hypothetical influence of this crude and abysmally-made propaganda, very much below the cultural and political levels of the Cuban population and which moreover our people reject, just as they reject the little signs on the U.S. Interests Section. That is not what this is about; it is above all a matter of sovereignty and of dignity. We would never passively allow the consummation of that aggressive act, and that is why we interfere with it. All things considered, they are spending millions in U.S. taxpayers’ money to achieve the same result as ever: a TV that is not seen. I add to these reflections on the country’s defense an idea expressed by Fidel in 1975, in his Central Report to the First Party Congress, which I have quoted so much that I know it by heart: "As long as imperialism exists, the Party, the State and the people will give their utmost attention to the services of defense. The revolutionary guard will never be neglected. History shows with too much eloquence that those who forget this principle do not survive the error." That has been our guide throughout many years, and continues to be today for more than enough reasons. I think that we Cubans have shown during these days that we all share that conviction. I agree with you, and that is why I conclude by ratifying my congratulations to the Cuban people for their overwhelming demonstration of confidence in themselves; a demonstration of maturity, serenity, monolithic unity, discipline, revolutionary consciousness and — put this in capital letters — FIRMNESS, which reminded me of the conduct of the Cuban people during the heroic days of the so-called Missile Crisis in October 1962. They are the fruits of a Revolution whose concept Fidel summed up in his speech of May 1, 2000, in 20 basic ideas that constitute the quintessence of ideological political work. They are the results of many years of combat that, under his leadership, we have waged. Let nobody doubt, as long as we remain like that, no enemy will be able to defeat us. •

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The New Hitler Is Bush

When an astronaut was asked how he saw the Earth from the moon, he responded: "Fragile." He also noted that no divisions could be seen between nations. Life, the greatest flowering of evolution, is threatened today and there is great urgency to take care of it, says Leonardo Boff.I congratulate all of you gathered at a peace congress in Berlin and as I have been officially asked to send you a message since I couldn’t be present, I’m sending this: Just as at one time the cause of the wars was Hitler, now the cause of the wars is Bush. In a conference like yours it would be hypocritical not to say it.Bush has stated that he does not rule out the use of any weapon. And therefore, not even nuclear ones. In fact, he has used arms of mass destruction to fight non existing arms of mass destruction in Iraq. US author Noam Chomsky has stated that the greatest State terrorism is that practiced by the United States. Before, Martin Luther King had said that his government was the greatest perpetrator of violence in the world. The United States has invaded countries 216 times (including mine, Nicaragua). A long time ago, Mark Twain said his country’s flag should remain the same but with the white stripes painted black and the stars replaced by skulls and cross-bones. Bush has turned even worse, because the president has put himself above the Constitution and above national and international law.The governments of Europe should demand the United States to submit a report on its secret prisons in Europe and on using European airports to transfer prisoners to countries where torture is a routine, as has been denounced by several US papers. The Washington Post itself has reported that there are secret US prisons in eight foreign countries.Amnesty International has talked about the US Gulags stating that one of those Gulags is the Guantanamo Base. There all human rights and all international laws are violated; a territory where the United States has no right to be and where even the right to visit is illegal.In Guantanamo, one of the interrogators told a teenager named Mohamed: "This camp is for those who are going to be here forever. Don’t think that you will ever return to your home. You will be here for the rest of your life. Don’t worry; we will keep you alive so that you can suffer more." The young man responded: "Before, I had hope. Now that I am at Guantanamo I’ve lost all hope." (I took this statement from a US Catholic worker).In Guantanamo there have been hundreds of suicide attempts (350 during the first year and a half) which authorities insist on calling: "Manipulative actions to hurt oneself."The United States has a new Gestapo. I’ve been there and many people are aware of it. However, many are either not aware, or are in agreement with it, just as occurred in Germany many years ago. The churches are also responsible because of their silence.The world should not continue to tolerate this, nor should the secrecy or silence continue. At the beginning of the Nuremberg Tribunals a US prosecutor, Judge Robert Jackson, declared that to avoid that these crimes occur, government leaders had to be held responsible. I say the same should happen with Bush, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Bremen and others. I think they should be tried in Nuremberg.The war in Iraq is a prolonged war crime. What’s worse is that many other countries are also threatened. As a Latin American, I raise my voice in defense of Cuba and in defense of Venezuela, both seriously threatened (and Cuba being subjected to the longest economic blockade in history).We don’t deny that Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda are satanic, but agree that both were created by the United States during its conflict with the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. I am in agreement with Gunter Grass in that "terrorism can only be fought with more economic justice."There is a psalm that says: "Justice and peace will kiss." It’s because justice and peace go together. There’s no justice without peace and no peace without justice. Our weapon against war is humanism, because as Marti said, "Homeland is Humanity." War is a major threat to this planet and the solar system. And the human race is a species threatened by extinction.I end by joining German theologian Karl Rahner in saying that the human body is sacred. It is sacred because it was created by God, as all the religions on Earth profess, and God created all of its functions, including its sexuality. And besides, we Christians believe that in the human body the Word was made flesh. We defend peace and justice and defend the human body.