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War, Racism and Economic Injustice: The Global Ravages of Capitalism Paperback – 15 Jul 2001


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Synopsis

Fidel Castro, tireless advocate for a more just world, speaks to the hearts of people every-where who are demanding a change in the world economic order. He comments, "People used to talk about apartheid in South Africa. Today we could talk about apartheid throughout the world, where over four billion people are deprived of the most basic rights of all human beings." This sharp, brief collection analyzes the crisis of the Third World, possibilities for sustainable development and the future of socialism in the new millennium. "We are fighting for the most sacred rights of the poor countries; but we are also fighting for the salvation of a First World incapable of preserving the existence of the human species." On a more optimistic note, Castro concludes: "The end of history, predicted by a few euphoric dreamers, is not here, yet. Perhaps history is just beginning..." "It is the heart of he or she that I seek, who looks at a life of vapid materialism, of capitalist excess, and finds it simply intolerable." Mumia Abu-Jamal"

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Amazon.com: 6 reviews
27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
A light that illuminates the contemporary world. 14 Jun 2004
By Tim Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I read Castro's book as part of an ongoing series in my attempt to make sense out of the jumble of political puzzle pieces strewn around in my head. Only now after many books, many articles and finally this compilation of Castro's speeches can I say that I have a good idea of the picture that is emerging out of the welter of political "spin" that clouds our contemporary world.

I should have read this book three years ago when I started this mammouth mind-puzzle but I did not know that the book even existed. Had I known, it would have saved much time because Castro says what all the other writers say but in a far more concise manner.

I know, I know-there will be many who dismiss this comment because they believe that a marxist socialist can never be believed even when he is quoting United Nation's facts and figures; however, his facts, figures and interpretations are repeated over and over again by other writers from other countries on other continents. The sum of the information is just too great to ignore-read this wonderful, concise volume and you will be much the wiser for your effort.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
Fine survey of world's problems and their cause - capitalism 6 July 2004
By William Podmore - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book contains a selection of Fidel's speeches given between June 2000 and November 2001. A portrait of a great and humane man emerges from these pages. He addresses a remarkable variety of subjects, but always links them to their root cause, our continued tolerance of the unjust and unworkable economic disorder that is capitalism.
He defends Cuba's exceptional achievements in the fields of health and education, pointing out that in Cuba life expectancy is remarkably high. He upholds Cuba's democracy as more full and just than the parliamentary democracy that we increasingly reject.
He notes that more Cuban doctors and health workers are providing free medical services in Third World countries than at any previous time. They are training 5000 Latin American medical students to become doctors in Latin America. Cuban doctors have set up medical schools in Gambia and Equatorial Guinea to educate doctors to live and work in Africa, not to poach them, as the Blair government does. Cuban doctors are working to assist African countries to cope with the devastations of AIDS.
War, terrorism and economic crisis are all born of an unsuccessful and unsustainable political and economic order. Fidel deplores the fact that the US government holds the sole veto power in the IMF and the World Bank, which prevents these bodies from being changed from tools of destruction. Fidel asserts that theft of resources and of capital from Third World countries equals genocide, and looking at the huge numbers of unnecessary child deaths in those countries, one can only agree.
He warns against recourse to war as a solution to problems. Instead, he proposes that the UN Security Council, an executive body, should be subordinated to the democratic legislature of the General Assembly.
On the Middle East crisis, he points out that in 2001 the US government vetoed a draft resolution for setting up observers to protect the Palestinian people, and Blair's representative abstained! Since 1972, there have been 23 US vetoes on Resolutions aimed at solving the crisis there. The US alone blocks the two-state solution that the rest of the world demands.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
History Will Absolve 9 May 2006
By Drew Hunkins - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
With incredible wisdom, erudition and experience Castro touches on all the major issues of our time in this concise and spectacular book. Over 500 years of imperialism and exploitation against the Caribbean, South America and Central America are addressed. One consistent theme he constantly refers to is the need for solidarity amongst all of the Latin people of the Western Hemisphere.

Interesting sections of the book deal with the living standards in Cuba that have all gone in a positive, life-affirming direction since the ouster of Batista in the late 1950s and the onset of the revolution's socio-economic programs. Literacy rates, infant mortality, vaccinations, poverty levels, employment rates - in all of these categories the common Cuban folks are the envy of the rest of the Latin American masses who are gripped by incredible levels of poverty and crushing exploitation.

Fidel also includes insightful chapters expounding on the speculative global economy that has developed since Nixon's dismantling of the Bretton Wood system in the early 1970s. It's an economy that hinges on the machinations of international financiers making computerized currency trades in a matter of seconds. Castro alludes to its unsustainability since it's a system that has virtually nothing to do with the substantive manufacture of goods and services. Instead, daily by the minute currency speculation and financial bubbles dictate global capitalism. Of course along with addressing this relatively recent phenomenon the book also includes a fair critique of the FTAA.

Most interesting is a chapter consisting entirely of the speech Castro delivered to the International Conference on Racism in South Africa two weeks prior to the September 11th attacks. He admonishes the Israeli and United States attendees for thumbing their noses to the conference by walking out when Palestinian rights were broached.

It is books such as this magnificent offering by Ocean Press that will help keep the spirit and hope of the Cuban revolution alive for eternity. History will indeed absolve Fidel, his comrades, and all the other Latin American liberation movements for having the bravery and compassion for humankind to attempt to rid themselves of the neo-colonialism and maldevelopment that has been their lot.
8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
One of the most important voices of our time 24 April 2005
By Malvin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"War, Racism and Economic Injustice" is not a treatise on the title subject per se but rather is a collection of speeches delivered by Fidel Castro between January 2000 and November 2001. In these coherent and passionate presentations, Mr. Castro distinguishes himself as possibly the most important, if not most misunderstood, critic of globalization and an articulate spokesperson for the invisible poor of the Third World. Indeed, Mr. Castro's unique life experiences and demonstrated ability to persuasively speak truth to power definitively distinguishes him from all other current world leaders.

The opening chapter is an interview with Mr. Castro in which he condemns the U.S. political system as undemocratic inasmuch as it is controlled by mega corporations, who have imposed "apartheid throughout the world" through the imposition of an unjust economic order. Mr. Castro goes on to credit the Cuban people for their durability in surviving the illegal U.S. economic embargo and the collapse of the Soviet Union, and asks for the forgiveness of debt on behalf of the poor nations of the world. Throughout the interview, Mr. Castro reveals myriad aspects of his personality, including intellectualism, humanitarianism, self-confidence and humor.

The following 14 speeches are delivered on a range of topics delivered at major cities including the United Nations, Harlem, Caracas, Panama City, Quebec, South Africa and of course, Havana. Reading the content of these speeches, one is impressed with Mr. Castro's ability to deliver relevant content that could not have failed to resonate with their diverse audiences. While Mr. Castro often supports his statements with thorough research and consistently presents a well-reasoned, cogent argument, the urgency of his still-revolutionary message fairly leaps off the page.

One of the key themes articulated by Mr. Castro is the problem of capitalist consumer culture and the unequal distribution of resources which in turn is leading the world inexorably towards environmental, social and economic disaster. Mr. Castro astutely connects the historic abuse and slavery of indigenous peoples and imperialism with the impoverishment of the citizens of the Third World today. Cuba's embrace of socialism and its successes with respect to education, health care and democracy are compared favorably with the fate of many others who have been suffering from the ill effects of globalization, including the poor of the industrialized nations and a growing class of impoverished people living within the U.S. and Europe. In my view, it is ironic that Mr. Castro's message contains many truths about what may need to be done to create a sustainable and just world economy that would help guarantee prosperity for all, although it is often the case that opinion leaders in the wealthy nations attempt to discredit him and his ideas.

For example, the final two speeches on the U.S. war on terrorism are noteworthy for their insight into current events and how all nations might collectively work together to resolve difficult issues. Delivered mere weeks after the attacks of September 11, 2001 Mr. Castro's keen political observations have proven to be prescient, including the attribution of fanaticism to both the Islamic fundamentalists and U.S. leadership, as well as his prediction that George W. Bush would probably use the crisis to further an extreme right-wing political agenda. However, Mr. Castro displays considerable statesmanship by opposing both terrorism and war, saying that "thinking and conscience can be stronger than terror and death" and calling for peace and international cooperation to help resolve differences between nations.

I encourage everyone to read this remarkably thought-provoking and inspiring book written by one of the most important voices of our time.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
not hard to believe & easy to read 20 Dec 2004
By Jose Lopez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I enjoyed most of this book - it started to get old towards the end because Castro recycles material from earlier speeches. Nevertheless, I would recommend this book to anyone.
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