By Fidel Castro
I am really sorry I have to disprove him. Today, he is nothing but a good-natured looking man, fully devoted to a historical legacy, as if the history of the empire—and what is even much more important, the fate of humankind—were something guaranteed beyond several decades into the future, and as if a nuclear war could not break out in Korea, Iran or any other place in turmoil.
As is well known, the United Nations appointed him as its “special envoy” in Haiti.
Clinton–who, incidentally, was the President of the United States after George H. W. Bush and before George W. Bush–out of ridiculous political jealousy, prevented former President Carter from taking part in the negotiations on migration with Cuba. He signed the Helms-Burton Act and was an accomplice to the actions perpetrated by the Cuban American Foundation against our homeland.
There are more than enough testimonies that attested to that behavior, but we found no reason to take him too seriously, nor had we any animadversion on his activities related to the mission that, for obvious reasons, the UN had entrusted him.
We had been cooperating with the sister nation of Haiti for many years in several areas, especially in the training of doctors and the provision of services to its population, and Clinton wasn’t bothering us one little bit. If he was ever interested in showing some success, we saw no reason why he should hinder our cooperation with Haiti in such a sensitive field. Then the earthquake hit unexpectedly, bringing much death and destruction and subsequently the epidemic broke out.
Just two days ago, a meeting held in the Dominican Republic capital about reconstruction in Haiti began complicating things. About 80 persons, among them several ambassadors representing donors of more than 100 million dollars, numerous members of the Clinton Foundation and the representatives of both the US and the Haitian governments participated in that meeting.
Few people spoke. The Venezuelan ambassador was one of them, for having been one of the most important donors. He spoke briefly, with sincere, well-aimed words. For almost all the time, Clinton spoke at the meeting which began at 5:30 p.m. and concluded at midnight. Also present was the Cuban ambassador, who was there like some stone-carved guest, attending at the request of Haiti and Santo Domingo. He wasn’t allowed to utter a single word; he was just entitled to witness an event where absolutely nothing was resolved. Presumably, the meeting was to continue the next day, but none of that happened.
The Dominican Republic meeting was a deceptive move. The Haitians’ indignation was absolutely justified. The country destroyed by an earthquake almost one year ago had in fact been abandoned to its own fate.
Today, December 16th, the reports published by the American AP news agency read as follows:
“Former U.S. President Bill Clinton declared his confidence in Haiti’s post-quake reconstruction effort Wednesday, making a one-day visit amid civil unrest, rampant disease and a seemingly intractable political crisis.
“The UN special envoy to Haiti traveled to the troubled country a day after the interim reconstruction commission, of which he is co-chairman, was forced to hold its meeting in the neighboring Dominican Republic after violence that broke out following Haiti’s disputed Nov. 28 presidential elections.
“Clinton visited a cholera clinic run by the “Doctors Without Borders” that has treated 100,000 people sickened in the epidemic that broke out in October. He then went to the main UN peacekeeping base for meetings with Haitian and international officials.
“The meeting a day before approved some $430 million in projects. But it was most notable for anger over the slow pace of reconstruction and a letter from frustrated Haitian members who said they were left out of the decision making and complained approved projects ‘do not advance the reconstruction of Haiti and long-term development’.”
See what Clinton added later at a news conference, according to the report:
“‘I share their frustration …’.”
“…hundreds of thousands of Haitians would find new permanent housing next year and many more would move out of the tent and tarp camps that had been home to more than 1 million persons since the January 12 earthquake.
“But such promises have been made before. […] Only $897 million of the more than $5.7 billion pledged for 2010-11 has been delivered.”
The 897 million mentioned are nowhere to be found.
Moreover, stating that a clinic run by “Doctors Without Borders” has treated 100,000 people is absolutely dishonest.
In a statement to the press, Dr. Lea Guido, PAHO-WHO representative in Haiti, reported today that the number of people affected up to December 11th had reached 104 918, a truly unprecedented figure that could not have been treated by a “Doctors Without Borders” clinic.
It is obvious, and Mr. Clinton should know that, that Europe, the US and Canada take away doctors, nurses, physical therapists and other health technicians from Caribbean countries, and they lack the necessary personnel to do that job, with a few honorable exceptions.
Obviously, Clinton with his lies would like to ignore the work being done by more than a thousand Cuban and Latin American doctors, nurses and technicians who are bearing the brunt of the battle to defeat the epidemic in the only way possible, that is, by going to the most far-flung corners of the country. Half of its almost 10 million inhabitants live in rural areas.
It would have been impossible to treat such a high number of people, in such conditions, without the support of the eminent Latin American lady who represents PAHO-WHO in Cuba and Haiti.
Our country has committed itself to mobilizing the necessary human personnel to accomplish that noble task.
As she has indicated: “The human resources being sent by Cuba are being directed right now to the most isolated areas of this nation. And that is very timely.”
They are already arriving and very soon the necessary personnel shall be there.
Yesterday the Cuban medical brigade treated 931 patients; two of them died. The case fatality rate on that date was 0.2 per cent.