Cuban leader slams U.S. policies

Vinay Kumar

“U.S. is against those who want to achieve independence, sovereignty”

U.S. responsible for 25 per of the world’s pollution

Iraq, Afghanistan turned into “darkest corners”

COIMBATORE: Expressing concern over the prevailing “difficult international situation,” a senior functionary of the Communist Party of Cuba on Sunday blamed the policies of Washington, which, he said, fostered inequalities and benefited only the rich and the powerful in the world.

“U.S. policies have left behind a vast majority of people, including developing nations, in abject conditions of injustice, inequalities, poor health care and poverty. Even the so-called middle classes are also negatively affected,” said Fernando Remirez de Estenoz Barciela.

The Cuban leader, who heads the Department of International Relations and is also the Central Committee member of the Communist Party of his country, was pained at the growing disparity between the rich and the poor. “Today, more than two billion people in the world live below the poverty line. More than 100 million people suffer starvation and every year 11 million children die due to diseases that can be cured and prevented,” he told The Hindu.

Mr. Estenoz is attending the ongoing 19th Congress of the CPI(M) here as a fraternal delegate. Putting America on the mat for being responsible for 25 per of the world’s pollution, though being home to only four per cent of the world population, he feared that if gone unchecked, such pollution levels would risk the future of the mankind and the planet itself.

Slamming the Bush administration for being against all people who want to achieve independence and sovereignty for a better future, he said that due to the wrong U.S. policies, Iraq and Afghanistan had been turned into the “darkest corners” of the world. He claimed that 90 per cent of the world’s opium production was taking place in Afghanistan.

On the ever-increasing defence and military spending of the U.S., the Cuban leader said Washington’s military budget was more than the budgets of all other countries.

“Look, they went and invaded Iraq on the suspicion of finding weapons of mass destruction. America lied to the world, there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq,” he observed.

Vowing to launch a struggle to change the “grim international situation,” he said the Cuban Communist Party would cooperate in its endeavour with the CPI(M).

He cited the rise of revolutionary progressive powers in Latin American countries such as Venezuela, Nicaragua, Ecuador and Bolivia which held out a ray of hope for the oppressed sections of the world.

Answering a query on the U.S. war on terror, Mr. Estenoz said that it was being “manipulated” by the Bush Administration which was adopting double standards.

Asserting that India was one of the most important countries with a cultural history dating back to thousands of years, he said the Cuban people had always supported India’s struggle against British imperialism and its war for attaining independence.

Maintaining that every country had to find its own way, the Cuban leader said he had brought a message of solidarity, friendship, goodwill from the Cuban people, as in the past.

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