By Fidel Castro
In contrast with what is happening in Egypt and Tunisia, Libya occupies the first spot on the Human Development Index for Africa and it has the highest life expectancy on the continent. Education and health receive special attention from the State. The cultural level of its population is without a doubt the highest. Its problems are of a different sort. The population wasn’t lacking food and essential social services. The country needed an abundant foreign labour force to carry out ambitious plans for production and social development.
For that reason, it provided jobs for hundreds of thousands of workers from Egypt, Tunisia, China and other countries. It had enormous incomes and reserves in convertible currencies deposited in the banks of the wealthy countries from which they acquired consumer goods and even sophisticated weapons that were supplied exactly by the same countries that today want to invade it in the name of human rights.
The colossal campaign of lies, unleashed by the mass media, resulted in great confusion in world public opinion. Some time will go by before we can reconstruct what has really happened in Libya, and we can separate the true facts from the false ones that have been spread.
Serious and prestigious broadcasting companies such as Telesur, saw themselves with the obligation to send reporters and cameramen to the activities of one group and those on the opposing side, so that they could inform about what was really happening.
Communications were blocked, honest diplomatic officials were risking their lives going through neighbourhoods and observing activities, day and night, in order to inform about what was going on. The empire and its main allies used the most sophisticated media to divulge information about the events, among which one had to deduce the shreds of the truth.
Without any doubt, the faces of the young people who were protesting in Benghazi, men, and women wearing the veil or without the veil, were expressing genuine indignation.
One is able to see the influence that the tribal component still exercises on that Arab country, despite the Muslim faith that 95% of its population sincerely shares.
Imperialism and NATO – seriously concerned by the revolutionary wave unleashed in the Arab world, where a large part of the oil is generated that sustains the consumer economy of the developed and rich countries – could not help but take advantage of the internal conflict arising in Libya so that they could promote military intervention. The statements made by the United States administration right from the first instant were categorical in that sense.
The circumstances could not be more propitious. In the November elections, the Republican right-wing struck a resounding blow on President Obama, an expert in rhetoric.
The fascist “mission accomplished” group, now backed ideologically by the extremists of the Tea Party, reduced the possibilities of the current president to a merely decorative role in which even his health program and the dubious economic recovery were in danger as a result of the budget deficit and the uncontrollable growth of the public debt which were breaking all historical records.
In spite of the flood of lies and the confusion that was created, the US could not drag China and the Russian Federation to the approval by the Security Council for a military intervention in Libya, even though it managed to obtain however, in the Human Rights Council, approval of the objectives it was seeking at that moment. In regards to a military intervention, the Secretary of State stated in words that admit not the slightest doubt: “no option is being ruled out”.
The real fact is that Libya is now wrapped up in a civil war, as we had foreseen, and the United Nations could do nothing to avoid it, other than its own Secretary General sprinkling the fire with a goodly dose of fuel.
The problem that perhaps the actors were not imagining is that the very leaders of the rebellion were bursting into the complicated matter declaring that they were rejecting all foreign military intervention.
Various news agencies informed that Abdelhafiz Ghoga, spokesperson for the Committee of the Revolution stated on Monday the 28th that “‘The rest of Libya shall be liberated by the Libyan people’”.
“We are counting on the army to liberate Tripoli’ assured Ghoga during the announcement of the formation of a ‘National Council’ to represent the cities of the country in the hands of the insurrection.”
“‘What we want is intelligence information, but in no case that our sovereignty is affected in the air, on land or on the seas’, he added during an encounter with journalists in this city located 1000 kilometres to the east of Tripoli.”
“The intransigence of the people responsible for the opposition on national sovereignty was reflecting the opinion being spontaneously manifested by many Libyan citizens to the international press in Benghazi”, informed a dispatch of the AFP agency this past Monday.
That same day, a political sciences professor at the University of Benghazi, Abeir Imneina, stated:
“There is very strong national feeling in Libya.”
“‘Furthermore, the example of Iraq strikes fear in the Arab world as a whole’, she underlined, in reference to the American invasion of 2003 that was supposed to bring democracy to that country and then, by contagion, to the region as a whole, a hypothesis totally belied by the facts.”
The professor goes on:
“‘We know what happened in Iraq, it’s that it is fully unstable and we really don’t want to follow the same path. We don’t want the Americans to come to have to go crying to Gaddafi’, this expert continued.”
“But according to Abeir Imneina, ‘there also exists the feeling that this is our revolution, and that it is we who have to make it’.”
A few hours after this dispatch was printed, two of the main press bodies of the United States, The New York Times and The Washington Post, hastened to offer new versions on the subject; the DPA agency informs on this on the following day, March the first:
“The Libyan opposition could request that the West bomb from the air strategic positions of the forces loyal to President Muamar al Gaddafi, the US press informed today.”
“The subject is being discussed inside the Libyan Revolutionary Council, ‘The New York Times’ and ‘The Washington Post’ specified in their online versions.”
“‘The New York Times’ notes that these discussions reveal the growing frustration of the rebel leaders in the face of the possibility that Gaddafi should retake power”.
“In the event that air actions are carried out within the United Nations framework, these would not imply international intervention, explained the council’s spokesperson, quoted by The New York Times”.
“The council is made up of lawyers, academics, judges and prominent members of Libyan society.”
The dispatch states:
“‘The Washington Post’ quoted rebels acknowledging that, without Western backing, combat with the forces loyal to Gaddafi could last a long time and cost many human lives.”
It is noteworthy that in that regard, not one single worker, peasant or builder is mentioned, not anyone related to material production or any young student or combatant among those who take part in the demonstrations. Why the effort to present the rebels as prominent members of society demanding bombing by the US and NATO in order to kill Libyans?
Some day we shall know the truth, through persons such as the political sciences professor from the University of Benghazi who, with such eloquence, tells of the terrible experience that killed, destroyed homes, left millions of persons in Iraq without jobs or forced them to emigrate.
On Wednesday, the second of March, the EFE Agency presents the well-known rebel spokesperson making statements that, in my opinion, affirm and at the same time contradict those made on Monday: “Benghazi (Libya), March 2. The rebel Libyan leadership today asked the UN Security Council to launch an air attack ‘against the mercenaries’ of the Muamar el Gaddafi regime.”
“‘Our Army cannot launch attacks against the mercenaries, due to their defensive role’, stated the spokesperson for the rebels, Abdelhafiz Ghoga, at a press conference in Benghazi.”
“‘A strategic air attack is different from a foreign intervention which we reject’, emphasized the spokesperson for the opposition forces which at all times have shown themselves to be against a foreign military intervention in the Libyan conflict”.
Which one of the many imperialist wars would this look like?
The one in Spain in 1936? Mussolini’s against Ethiopia in 1935? George W. Bush’s against Iraq in the year 2003 or any other of the dozens of wars promoted by the United States against the peoples of the Americas, from the invasion of Mexico in 1846 to the invasion of the Falkland Islands in 1982?
Without excluding, of course, the mercenary invasion of the Bay of Pigs, the dirty war and the blockade of our Homeland throughout 50 years, that will have another anniversary next April 16th.
In all those wars, like that of Vietnam which cost millions of lives, the most cynical justifications and measures prevailed.
For anyone harbouring any doubts, about the inevitable military intervention that shall occur in Libya, the AP news agency, which I consider to be well-informed, headlined a cable printed today which stated: “The NATO countries are drawing up a contingency plan taking as its model the flight exclusion zones established over the Balkans in the 1990s, in the event that the international community decides to impose an air embargo over Libya, diplomats said”.
Further on it concludes: “Officials, who were not able to give their names due to the delicate nature of the matter, indicated that the opinions being observed start with the flight exclusion zone that the western military alliance imposed over Bosnia in 1993 that had the mandate of the Security Council, and with the NATO bombing in Kosovo in 1999, THAT DID NOT HAVE IT”.