Voices from Russia

Sunday, 4 December 2016

“Viva Fidel!” Castro’s Ashes Interred in Santiago de Cuba












On Sunday, nine days of mourning and a four-day procession across the country ended in eastern Cuba, as they laid Fidel Castro to rest next to independence hero José Martí. Crowds lining the streets of Santiago de Cuba (Cuba’s second-biggest city) shouted “Viva Fidel!” and “I am Fidel!” as a camouflage-green hearse made its way to Santa Ifigenia cemetery, the resting place of numerous national figures, where a tomb had been secretly constructed during the past months. Artillery fired a 21-gun salute as the ashes, in an urn wrapped in the Cuban flag, disappeared beyond the gates of the cemetery. They didn’t televise the ceremony, and they didn’t allow journalists inside. The 500-mile journey from Havana, where Castro (who led his country for 49 years) died on 25 November, was a reverse of his 1959 march on Havana that ended with Castro assuming control of the island. Reportedly, Fidel himself planned every aspect of the procession before his death at the age of 90, including the night the hearse spent outside the mausoleum of Che Guevara. The public display of mourning culminated on Saturday night, when his brother, 85-year-old Raúl Castro, delivered a speech on a square in Santiago packed with tens of thousands of Cubans, many of whom were crying. Castro, who assumed full control of Cuba in 2008, following a series of medical setbacks to his brother said:

The unconquered Fidel calls us with his example. We’ll overcome any obstacle, turmoil, or threat in the building of socialism in Cuba.

An assembly of current and former world leaders, including Venezuela’s Nicolás Maduro, Bolivia’s Evo Morales, Jacob Zuma of South Africa, and Brazilian ex-presidents Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff looked on, or addressed the crowd. Raúl Castro announced that they’d name no places after Fidel, and erect no monuments to him, since “the leader of the revolution strongly opposed any manifestation of cult of personality”.

4 December 2016



4 December 2016. George Galloway on Comrade Fidel



Fidel Castro didn’t die. He isn’t dead; he lives-on in all of us, and in the lives of our children, even those yet unborn. That’s why these gold-toothed scar faces are dancing in Miami today, because they think that they’ll be going back to business as it was before. The greatest legacy of Fidel Castro is that Cuba will never ever again be anybody’s casino, anybody’s bordello. It is a free country, thanks to the Cuban revolution and its leader Fidel Castro, one of the greatest human beings who ever lived, who ever walked this earth. We were privileged to live in his era. Some of us were privileged to be his comrade and friend and to spend many hours with him. He isn’t gone. Hasta la victoria siempre, Comandante Fidel Castro! Presente!

George Galloway

Sunday, 1 September 2013

As John Robles Sees It… World Cools to Obama… Sceptical of American Hysteria… Consider Attack on Syria Fishy

00 Uncle Sam Kicked Out. 01.09.13


The world community’s reaction to America‘s desperate fanatical drive to war in Syria, which seems matched only by the irrational violent and insane behaviour of the Syrian-liver-eating-opposition, left Washington looking like a desperate schoolyard bully looking for a little kid to beat up for his lunch money. Only this time the bully has Tomahawk missiles hides in an “armoured car”.

Russian reaction

Russia’s reaction was coherent and unwavering from the beginning of the conflict and the latest escalation saw some of the harshest statements so far to come out of Moscow. Aleksandr Lukashevich, the official spokesman for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MID), stated that Washington’s statements threatening to use military force against Syria unilaterally are unacceptable. He said, “Given the lack of evidence, any unilateral military action bypassing the UN Security Council, no matter how limited it is, would be a direct violation of international law and would undermine the prospects for a political and diplomatic solution to the conflict in Syria and will lead to a new round of confrontation and victims”. He went on to say, “Instead of executing the decisions of G8’s summit in Lough Erne and subsequent agreements to submit comprehensive report from experts investigating possible cases of use of chemical weapons in Syria to the UN Security Council, in the absence of any evidence, we hear threats of a strike on Syria”. Lukashevich emphasised that even “American allies” want to wait for the completion of the UN chemical expert group “in order to get an unbiased picture of what really happened and decide on further steps in terms of the Syrian crisis”.

On Friday, Russia welcomed the British Parliament’s rejection of military action against Syria and warned that such an attack without UN approval would deal a major blow to the existing world order. Yuri Ushakov, President Putin‘s chief foreign policy aide, said the British vote showed a growing public understanding of the dangers of an attack against President Bashar al-Assad‘s régime, saying, “This reflects the majority opinion amongst the British and Europeans. It seems to me that people are starting to understand how dangerous such scenarios are”. For some, the USA seems to be behaving like the brutal owner of a dog who beats his pet into submission and understands nothing but violence and force. US President Barack Obama, rather than encouraging dialogue, diplomacy, and intelligent debate, decided unilaterally, as he put it, to “teach President Assad a lesson”.

NATO won’t provide support

The latest defection from America’s war lust was NATO, with Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen officially stating that NATO has no plans to join the USA in military action in Syria, and that such intervention would require the approval of all 28 NATO member countries. Unlike the military aggression in Libya, most European countries failed to support the latest urgent attempts by the USA to launch an immediate military action against Syria.

US Secretary of State provides no proof

On Friday, US Secretary of State John Kerry gave a lacklustre speech, the beginning of which was delayed for more than an hour. Kerry looked pale, resigned, and gaunt, lacking any kind of enthusiasm, being almost robotic in his delivery. His speech, which was no doubt intended to cement and inspire a drive for war in Syria, was unconvincing, and left one, from the start, waiting for expected evidence that he never presented. During the speech, Mr Kerry robotically used the phrase “we know” 23 times, the phrase “I know” once, but the key word the world was waiting for, “proof”, was never heard. As for “evidence”, he cited the “high confidence” of the “American Intelligence Community” and evidence available on the internet. He stated that the US government wouldn’t repeat the “Iraq moment” (a whimsical and lackadaisical sounding way to name war-crimes and war-lies), but the only difference so far was that no evidence was presented whatsoever. No yellowcake, no 45-minute-WMDs, no satellite photos of chemical weapons trailers and supposed weapons and chemical production sites, no outrageous shocking witness statements, nothing. Just endless rhetoric and statements, after which one almost expects to hear, “You believe me, don’t you?”

Calls for adherence to international law and UN standards

The UN is currently investigating, and rather than waiting for the UN to complete the investigation, the USA continues to drive for an invasion and is willing to do so unilaterally, or as they say, to use some kind of “limited bombardment” to implement their “humanitarian” aggression. Many countries called for calm; they want the USA to wait for the conclusion of the investigation, for a UN Resolution, and to adhere to international law.

UK Parliament and impassioned speech

In a 29 August speech, British MP George Galloway from the Respect Party cited public opinion polls showing that only 11 percent of Britons support the UK going to war against Syria, whilst, interestingly enough, only 6 percent of Americans do so. Britain put it to a vote, but the USA seems to be simply waiting for its imperial president to give the order; gone are the days of Congressional votes and declarations of war, it’s just the “decider in chief” and his whims. During his impassioned speech, Mr Galloway repeated Labour leader Ed Miliband’s statements that there’s no compelling evidence that the chemical weapons attacks that took place in Syria were the responsibility of President Assad. He stated that the American assertion that Assad was “mad enough” to launch a chemical weapons attack on the very day that he’d allowed UN chemical weapons inspectors into the country, and, furthermore, was insane enough to do so right in Damascus, was ridiculous. The MP made the very astute observation that if such a madman was ruling the country, what would he do if the West launched a barrage of Tomahawk missiles?

At the emergency session of the House of Commons, the esteemed Mr Galloway wondered aloud as to why if Mr Assad were such a monstrous madman, why was he allowed as a guest at Buckingham Palace just a few years ago, and why was he recommended for an honour and hailed as a moderniser. He said the narrative changed because someone decided on régime change. He said that people were uneasy because they can see the character of the Syrian opposition. He mentioned the Syrian opposition leader who filmed himself cutting open the chest of a Syrian soldier and eating his heart and liver and video showing the decapitation of Christian priests. These facts cause terror amongst all 23 minority groups in Syria; this is what they fear will happen if the opposition wins. Finally, he asked the House when was it when the Russians and Chinese had ceased to be members of the international community, and who the USA was to unilaterally decide to invade a country if they couldn’t even convince the UN Security Council of the need for a military operation.

More evidence of American and terrorist involvement in attack

In light of evidence that the chemical weapons were delivered to the “rebels” by Egypt, and that the attacks were carried out by these same “rebels”, as well as recent threats against Russia by Saudi Prince Bandar to President Putin over Russia’s support for Syria, it’s time the world took a long hard look at who the real “madmen” here are.

00 John Robles. VOR 06.1231 August 2013

John Robles

Voice of Russia World Service


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