From Voice of the dark corners

By Fidel Castro

The Guardian (UK)

March 6, 2003

These are hard times we are living in. In recent months, we have more than once heard chilling words and statements. In his speech to West Point graduating cadets on June 1 2002, the United States president declared: "Our security will require transforming the military you will lead, a military that must be ready to strike at a moment's notice in any dark corner of the world."

That same day, he proclaimed the doctrine of the pre-emptive strike, something no one had ever done in the political history of the world. A few months later, referring to the unnecessary and almost certain military action against Iraq, he said: "And if war is forced upon us, we will fight with the full force and might of the United States army."

That statement was not made by the government of a small and weak nation, but by the leader of the richest and mightiest military power that has ever existed, which possesses thousands of nuclear weapons, enough to obliterate the world's population several times over - and other terrifying conventional military systems and weapons of mass destruction.

That is what we are: dark corners of the world. That is the perception some have of the third world nations. Never before had anyone offered a better definition; no one had shown such contempt. The former colonies of powers that divided the world among them and plundered it for centuries today make up the group of underdeveloped countries....

*****

However, no one will fight for us, that is, for the overwhelming majority, only we will do it. Only we can save humanity ourselves with the support of millions of manual and intellectual workers from the developed nations who are conscious of the catastrophes befalling their peoples. Only we can do it by sowing ideas, building awareness and mobilising global and North American public opinion. No one needs to be told this. You know it very well. Our most sacred duty is to fight, and fight we will.

Fidel Castro Ruiz

Fidel Castro Ruiz 2003

Fidel Castro is president of the Republic of Cuba. This is an edited version of a speech delivered to the Non Aligned Movement summit in Kuala Lumpur

Click here for Guardian edited version of speech

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