Fidel Castro: Obama can avert impending nuclear holocaust

BY JUAN O. TAMAYO

jtamayo@ElNuevoHerald.com

Cuba’s Fidel Castro took part in his first government function since he nearly died in 2006, repeating his apocalyptic warnings of a nuclear war that only President Barack Obama can avert as he spoke Saturday to a special session of parliament.

Castro, who will turn 84 on Friday, appeared lucid and healthy during his 90-minute appearance before the National Assembly of People’s Power, though an aide helped him walk around the stage.

It was the first time he participated in an official government act in four years and the latest in a string of recent public appearances that have fueled reports he wants to return to his leadership position.

Castro largely avoided the limelight after emergency intestinal surgery left him at death’s door in 2006. His younger brother Raúl formally succeeded him as Cuba’s leader in 2008.

Assembly members burst into applause when he walked in, said he looked “as big as ever” and called him comandante en jefe instead of his more recent and plain title of compañero. One sent him “kisses, comandante.”

Wearing a military-styled olive green jacket, Castro sat on the stage among the Assembly’s leadership but not on the chair that he used when he led the country, which has been left empty since 2006.

Raúl Castro, wearing a white guayabera, sat on the opposite side of the stage and did not speak during the session, held solely to hear his brother. The live TV broadcast did not show the brothers interacting at any point.

“It was clearly a command performance, and nothing about it will enhance Raúl’s legitimacy as Cuba’s president,” said Brian Latell, a former Cuba analyst at the CIA.

`MORE IN CONTROL’“Does it all mean that Fidel is now more in control than in the past four year? I think so,” said Andy Gomez, senior fellow at the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies.

“But it’s difficult to take him seriously,” added Miami radio commentator Ninoska Perez. “He talks about the risks of nuclear war, and his 50 years in power have been as catastrophic as a nuclear war.”

As in all his recent appearances, Castro did not mention Cuba’s economic crisis or his brother’s efforts to ease it by adopting some reforms — a silence interpreted by analysts as reflecting the older brother’s steadfast adherence to the communist ideology.

Castro stood at the podium and read from a prepared text on the threat of nuclear war over Iran and North Korea for 11 minutes, then took questions writen by lawmakers who were selected by Assembly President Ricardo Alarcón.

He appeared to tire toward the end of the special Assembly session, held at this request though officially he does not have the authority to order it, and Alarcón quickly brought it to an end.

Underlining the importance of his appearance, Castro noted that CNN was to broadcast the first half-hour live, and estimated its cost in advertising revenues at $100 million.

Cuban officials invited foreign diplomats and journalists to the session, and announced that the live TV signal would be available free of charge to foreign stations.

BLUNDERSCastro made a couple of blunders during the question and answer period, referring to Russia as “the Soviets” and `USSR” and saying that the Big Bang that formed the universe occurred 18,000 years ago.

But he seemed clear-minded as he urged Assembly members to consider the risks of nuclear war.

The lawmakers’ questions stuck to the script.

None asked about domestic issues.

“What kind of parliament is this? It has no inconvenient questions, does not question, does not demand change. It only applauds, flatters, agrees,” popular blogger Yoani Sánchez wrote in a Tweet.

Castro noted that after months of warning of the risks of nuclear war if the United States tries to inspect Iranian ships beginning in September, as part of U.N. sanctions, he’s now less pesimistic.

“At first I thought that the imminent danger of war had no solution possible,” he said.

“I am sure, however, that it will not happen that way and that, on the contrary, the conditions for a solution . . . are being created at this time.”

“One man alone will have to make the decision: The president of the United States,” Castro said, because Iran will not bow to U.S. and Israeli demands to halt its nuclear program.

If Obama approves an attack on Iran, he added, he will trigger a war that will spread through the Middle East and Asia and cause “the instantaneous death of hundreds of millions of people, among them an incalculable number of people in his own country.”

The “established order of the planet . . . will inevitably collapse, the reigning social order will disappear abruptly” and all currencies will be worthless, he added.

Castro noted that “as luck would have it,” Obama’s father was Muslim and his mother was Christian and added he hoped the U.S. president will become conscious of the threat to world peace.

In comparison, he called Richard Nixon a “cynic,” branded Ronald Reagan and Harry Truman as “ignorant” and called Jimmy Carter “a decent person.”

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/08/07/1766036_p2/fidel-castro-at-cuban-parliament.html#ixzz0w6zjbn5H
 

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/2010/08/07/1766036/fidel-castro-at-cuban-parliament.html#ixzz0w6zW1j6W

Published in: on August 9, 2010 at 8:44 am  Leave a Comment  

Wheat Crisis Threatens Inflationary Timebomb, Food Riots

Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
Monday, August 9, 2010

Wheat Crisis Threatens Inflationary Timebomb, Food Riots 090810top

Russia’s ban on wheat exports following widespread fires in the country sent food prices skyrocketing by 19 per cent in just a single week as fears grow that global volatility in foodstuffs and commodities could lead to a worldwide inflationary timebomb accompanied by widespread food riots.

Lenin once called grain the “currency of currencies,” underscoring its importance in how it affects everything from staple foods such as bread to animal feed.

On Thursday Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin signed a decree prohibiting the export of wheat, barley, rye, corn and flour until the end of the year, contributing to a whopping 92 per cent rise in world wheat prices since June.

Having A Supply Of Healthy Foods That Last Just Makes Sense

Persistent drought conditions across the Russian Federation are also threatening winter plantings, “With potentially serious implications for world wheat supplies in 2011/12,” according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation.

Food shortages as a result of freak weather conditions in other areas of the globe are also contributing to spiraling prices.

– Droughts in Ukraine and Kazakhstan, two of the world’s great “breadbaskets” are also impacting prices.

– Floods in Canada have further reduced wheat supply and driven up costs.

– Unseasonal frosts in Florida have hit orange juice harvests.

– Devastating floods in Pakistan have wiped away livestock and farms, with thousands of square miles of agricultural land destroyed, causing prices of staple foods to soar.

– Excessive rain in Brazil and Colombia has inflated coffee prices.

– Rising grain feedstock prices have led to a general spike in meat prices globally.

    According to the London Independent, the crisis threatens to spark an “inflationary timebomb,” wreaking fiscal devastation to fragile economies in the west, while threatening the very livelihoods of millions of people in developing countries.

    “Taken together it suggests that Western nations will be hit by a sharp inflationary spike next year, as the price of bread, beer, petrol and many other everyday items climbs higher again. Given the sluggish prospects for growth in Western economies it threatens a return to “stagflation” – stagnant growth coupled with high inflation,” states the report.”

    Global hedge funds are now moving to corner the food and commodities market, with hedge fund manager Anthony Ward investing a purported £650m ($1 billion dollars) in the cocoa market by buying 240,000 tonnes of beans, enough to make 5 billion chocolate bars. Financial speculation on food prices has amplified volatile prices.

    Globalist mouthpiece the Financial Times concedes that “another food crisis does not look out of the question,” as a result of Russia’s wheat export ban, noting that food riots occurred in developing countries two years ago amidst similar conditions.

    Allied with proposed consumption taxes on carbon dioxide, spikes in sales taxes, income tax bracket hikes, gas price increases, crippling austerity measures, and the sinking U.S. dollar, skyrocketing food prices will serve to further financially castrate Americans, achieving the elite’s goal of eviscerating the middle class by forcing them to adopt lower standards of living and becoming more dependent on big government for their sustenance and survival.

    Published in: on August 9, 2010 at 8:41 am  Leave a Comment  

    Arizona Sheriff: ‘Our Own Government Has Become Our Enemy’

    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/70324

    Arizona Sheriff: ‘Our Own Government Has Become Our Enemy’
    Monday, August 02, 2010
    By Penny Starr, Senior Staff Writer


    Pinal County (Ariz.) Sheriff Paul Babeu
    (Correction: As initially posted, this story inaccurately said that Pinal County was contiguous with the Mexican border. It is in southern Arizona, but not on the border.)

    (CNSNews.com)
    – Pinal County (Ariz.) Sheriff Paul Babeu is hopping mad at the federal government.

    Babeu told CNSNews.com that rather than help law enforcement in Arizona stop the hundreds of thousands of people who come into the United States illegally, the federal government is targeting the state and its law enforcement personnel.

    “What’s very troubling is the fact that at a time when we in law enforcement and our state need help from the federal government, instead of sending help they put up billboard-size signs warning our citizens to stay out of the desert in my county because of dangerous drug and human smuggling and weapons and bandits and all these other things and then, behind that, they drag us into court with the ACLU,” Babeu said.

    The sheriff was referring to the law suits filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and the U.S. Department of Justice challenging the state’s new immigration law.

    “So who has partnered with the ACLU?” Babeu said in a telephone interview with CNSNews.com. “It’s the president and (Attorney General) Eric Holder himself. And that’s simply outrageous.”

    Last week, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton placed a temporary injunction on portions of the bill that allowed law enforcement personnel during the course of a criminal investigation who have probable cause to think an individual is in the country illegally to check immigration status. The state of Arizona filed an appeal on Thursday with the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    “Our own government has become our enemy and is taking us to court at a time when we need help,” Babeu said.

    Babeu and Sheriff Larry Dever of Cochise County Ariz., spoke by phone with CNSNews.com last week about the May 17 ACLU class-action lawsuit, which charges the law uses racial profiling and named the county attorneys and sheriffs in all 15 Arizona counties as defendants. The Department of Justice filed a lawsuit on July 6, charging the Arizona law preempted the federal government’s sole right to enforce immigration law.

    “If the president would do his job and secure the border; send 3,000 armed soldiers to the Arizona border and stop the illegal immigration and the drug smuggling and the violence, we wouldn’t even be in this position and where we’re forced to take matters into our own hands,” Babeu said.
    Dever said the federal government’s failure to secure the border and its current thwarting of Arizona’s effort to control illegal immigration within its borders has implications for the entire country.

    “The bigger picture is while what’s going on in Arizona is critically important, what comes out of this and happens here will affect our entire nation in terms of our ability to protect our citizenry from a very serious homeland security threat,” Dever said. “People who are coming across the border in my county aren’t staying there. They’re going everywhere USA and a lot of them are bad, bad people.”

    According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), about 250,000 people were detained in Arizona in the last 12 months for being in the country illegally. Babeu said that that number only reflects the number of people detained and that thousands more enter the country illegally each year.

    The CBP also reports that 17 percent of those detained already have a criminal record in the United States.

    Both Babeu and Dever said they want to remain involved in the legal battle over the law, which many experts predict will end up being decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

    Dever has hired an independent attorney to represent him in the ACLU case and his attorney has already filed a motion of intervention in the DOJ lawsuit so the “(Dever) will have a seat at the table.”

    A Web site also has been launched by the non-profit, Iowa-based Legacy Foundation to raise money for the Babeu’s and Dever’s legal defense.

    Both men said they believe the outcome of the case has national significance.“For us, this is a public safety matter and a national security threat,” Babeu said.

     

    Published in: on August 3, 2010 at 11:44 am  Leave a Comment  

    Mexican Officials to Patrol Staten Island Following Latest Bias Attack

    http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local-beat/Mexican-Man-Pummeled-in-Latest-Staten-Island-Hate-Attack-99325314.html

    Mexican Officials to Patrol Staten Island Following Latest Bias Attack

    Sixth attack against immigrants since April

    By JUAN DEJESUS
    Updated 8:39 AM EDT, Wed, Jul 28, 2010

     

    //

    Getty Images/Thos Robinson

    Police are investigating another assault on a Hispanic man in Staten Island as a possible hate crime — and the Mexican government is now getting involved as well.

    Five men attacked the 40-year-old Mexican man Friday night as he was walking home after a soccer game at Faber Park, cop said. The attackers allegedly pummeled him while yelling anti-Mexican epithets. The man suffered head trauma, a fractured jaw and needed ten stitches above his eye, officials said.

    The group of men made off with his backpack.

    This is at least the sixth violent, ethnically-charged incident that has taken place in the neighborhood since April, and community leaders are urging residents to remain alert.

    //

    “We will act decisively in order to protect our citizens and will actively promote that those guilty of these vicious attacks are brought to justice expeditiously. We are working hand-in-hand with local authorities on all levels,” said Consul General of Mexico in New York, Ruben Beltran in an email to the Staten Island Advance.

    The latest victim is a construction worker who has called the United States his home for the last five years, said Beltran. Police say they are looking for five suspects in this latest case, which is being investigated as a hate crime.

    Beltran has asked the NYPD to “conduct a thorough investigation” of the alleged hate-crime cases. Beltran has offered “extensive cooperation and all the necessary support to ensure that justice is served.”

    According to the Advance, this latest incident has promoted the Mexican Consulate to post personnel in Staten Island until further notice. This move is an effort to safeguard the rights of individuals and effectively assist and provide information to the Mexican residents of this area.

    The Guardian Angels, lead by Curtis Sliwa, have also pledged to patrol the area.  Make the Road New York, a local community group that serves the communities of Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island is organizing a march that will take place on Wednesday.

    Mexican officials have also created an information line that for immigrants to contact if they are afraid to contact authorities directly, the number is 1-800-724-7264.

    Anyone with information about the case is being asked to contact Crime Stoppers by calling 1-800-577-TIPS, by texting TIP577 to CRIMES, or by going to NYPDCrimeStoppers.com.

    Published in: on July 28, 2010 at 12:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

    Possible False Flag? Japanese Say Oil Tanker Attacked Near Hormuz

    Possible False Flag? Japanese Say Oil Tanker Attacked Near Hormuz

    Kurt Nimmo
    Infowars.com
    July 28, 2010

    The Japanese supertanker, M. Star.

     
      japtanker.jpg
       
     
       

    Bloomberg is reporting this morning that an oil tanker owned by the Japanese company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines Ltd., operator of the world’s second-largest oil-tanker fleet, may have been attacked near the Strait of Hormuz, a strategically important waterway between the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf bordering Iran.

    There was an explosion aboard M. Star at 5:30 a.m. Tokyo time that slightly injured one crew member, Mitsui said in a statement. The ship is on its way to Fujairah in the United Arab Emirates to assess the damage. No oil is reported leaking from the vessel.

    The explosion on the starboard side of the ship damaged hatches and a lifeboat, Corey Barker, a spokesman for the U.S. Fifth Fleet, speaking by phone from the fleet’s base in Manama, Bahrain, told Bloomberg. “The cause and extent of the damage is unknown and will be investigated,” he said.

    “If it turns out to be an attack it will have implications for ships going in and out of the Strait of Hormuz, and would lead to delays and rising tanker rates,” said Ben Goggin, a freight derivatives broker at SSY Futures Ltd., a unit of the world’s second-largest shipbroker.

      There was a series of naval stand-offs between the U.S. and Iran in the Strait of Hormuz in December 2007 and January 2008. The Pentagon accused Iran of threatening the U.S. 5th Fleet but this was later contradicted by the Navy. According to Press TV, a naval officer “had literally given the order” to fire on the Iranian ships.

      Vice Adm. Kevin J. Cosgriff, commander of the the 5th fleet, said the U.S. ships “received a radio call that was threatening in nature to the effect that they were closing our ships and that … the U.S. ships would explode.” Iran characterized the radio communication as a standard transmission between ships.

      On July 8, 2008, Ali Shirazi, a mid-level clerical aide to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said “U.S. shipping in the Persian Gulf will be Iran’s first targets and they will be burned” if there is an attack on Iran.

      In July, 2008, Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh told an audience at the Campus Progress journalism conference that Bush administration officials held a meeting Dick Cheney’s office to discuss ways to provoke a war with Iran. “There was a dozen ideas proffered about how to trigger a war. The one that interested me the most was why don’t we build — we in our shipyard — build four or five boats that look like Iranian PT boats. Put Navy seals on them with a lot of arms. And next time one of our boats goes to the Straits of Hormuz, start a shoot-up,” said Hersh.

      http://www.infowars.com/possible-false-flag-japanese-say-oil-tanker-attacked-near-hormuz/

      Published in: on July 28, 2010 at 12:33 pm  Leave a Comment  

      Black Sea challenge by U.S. set to keep Russia on edge

      http://search.japantimes.co.jp/rss/eo20100726a2.html

      A storm is gathering in and around the Black Sea as Russia faces a mounting challenge from the United States, which is beefing up its military presence in former Soviet satellite countries like Romania, Bulgaria and Hungary.

      // //

      One look at a map of the region shows the critical geopolitical importance of the Black Sea, as its southern coast connects to the Middle East via Turkey and its northern coast adjoins Ukraine, which is home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet and which houses 80 percent of the pipelines supplying natural gas from Russia to Western Europe.

      In Romania, the U.S. has spent $50 million since last year to expand bases to accommodate 1,700 troops. The principal facility is the Mikhail Kogalniceanu Air Base located in Constanta, facing the Black Sea. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency is said to maintain a secret detention facility at the base.

      There is nothing new about the U.S. maintaining military bases in Romania, which dates back to the beginning of the Iraq war. What is important is Washington’s announcement of its intention to use them indefinitely. In May, a marine corps unit centered around a tank battalion was dispatched to the Mikhail Kogalniceanu base for the first time.

      In Bulgaria, meanwhile, the U.S. plans to expand bases there to accommodate 2,500 troops. The core facility is the Bezmer Air Base, about 50 km from the Black Sea southern coast. When the project is completed, the U.S. will have a strategic air base in Bulgaria comparable in scale to the air bases at Inzirlik in Turkey and Appiano in Italy. Joint American-Bulgarian air force drills were conducted in May.

      The American move to strengthen its defense capability in countries formerly under Soviet influence is not limited to Romania and Bulgaria. It is also conspicuous in Hungary, although that country does not face the Black Sea. For several years the Papa Air Base in Hungary has functioned as a base for the U.S. Air Force’s state-of-the-art Boeing C-17 transport aircraft, making it one of the crucial strategic air transport centers outside of the U.S.

      It is important to note that all these moves represent only the initial step that Washington has taken to expand its military presence in the Black Sea region. Upon completion of these base expansion projects in 2012, two-thirds of the highly mobile Rapid Reaction Corps of the U.S. Army in Europe will be concentrated in Romania and Bulgaria.

      This means that the U.S. front line of defense is shifting from the eastern border of Germany to the Black Sea, which is adjacent to the Middle East, the Caucasus and Russia.

      Another source of Russian uneasiness is a move to revive a plan to establish a U.S. missile defense system in Europe. Even though President Barack Obama is said to have abandoned a project involving Poland and Czech Republic, it is said that a similar system will be completed in Romania and Bulgaria between 2018 and 2020.

      Romania is ready to accept deployment of 20 SM-3 anti-ballistic missile units, currently installed on American naval vessels with the Aegis Combat System. These missiles could later be replaced with the more advanced terminal high altitude area defense (THAAD) missiles. They will also be deployed in Bulgaria.

      Meanwhile, it has become more likely that the X-band radar system, which the U.S. originally planned to install in the Czech Republic, will be set up in Israel.

      U.S. destroyers carrying Tomahawk cruise missiles have made a number of calls on Georgian, Romanian and Bulgarian ports since the armed conflict between Russia and Georgia in 2008.

      A leading official of the Russian Navy stated recently that an increased U.S. presence in the region would bring about a “dramatic change in the military balance in the Black Sea” and present a “serious threat to Russia.” He went on to say that Russia would counter these American moves by further strengthening the Black Sea Fleet.

      Washington responded by bluntly claiming that the deployment of the missile defense system is designed to prevent Iran from attacking Europe with its missiles. But anyone with even the most rudimentary military knowledge would admit that Tehran has neither the technology to develop long-range missiles nor the need to attack Europe. Russia’s sense of crisis is not groundless.

      The only consolation for Moscow of late came in Ukraine’s presidential election in February, when pro-Western Viktor Yushchenko lost to pro-Russian Viktor Yanukovych. Subsequently, the Ukrainian legislature passed a new law, permitting the Russian Black Sea Fleet to continue using the facilities in Sevastopol for another 25 years. Even so, Moscow does not have any effective means of countering Romania and Bulgaria, which seek to strengthen their military collaboration with the U.S.

      The whole world puzzles over Washington’s motivation for seeking a greater military presence in the Black Sea region, since it hardly can be interpreted as mere expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

      Nor is it possible to understand the true motive of the U.S. by reading the Quadrennial Defense Review, announced in February. It appears all but certain that the waves of the Black Sea will only get higher.

      This is an abridged translation of an article from the July issue of Sentaku, a monthly magazine of political, social and economic affairs.

      Published in: on July 28, 2010 at 8:23 am  Leave a Comment