For all those interested in the globalization of food systems and related
>Date: Mon, 25 Nov 1996 11:15:54 -0800 (PST)
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>From: John Donnelly <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Barricada: Fidel at World Food Summit 11/18 (fwd)
>THOUGHT YOU MIGHT FIND THIS OF INTEREST !!??!! john
>>Via NY Transfer News Collective * All the News that Doesn't Fit
>> FIDEL CASTRO STARS AT WORLD FOOD SUMMIT
>> from "Barricada," Managua, Nicaragua, Nov 18, 1996
>> Translated by Toby Mailman
>>ROME, NOV.18 -- Appearing before the plenary of the U.N. World Food Summit
>>[on November 18th], Cuban president Fidel Castro accused capitalism and
>>neoliberalism of "killing so many people in the world," and described as
>>"shameful" because of its modest scope the aim of reducing from 800
>>million to 400 million the number of poor in the world by the year 2015.
>>"Hunger, inseparable companion of the poor, is the daughter of the unequal
>>distribution of wealth and of the injustices of this world. The rich do
>>not know hunger," the Cuban leader said yesterday.
>>Dressed in a dark blue suit and a red tie with white spots, the five
>>minute speech of the Cuban leader, one of the shortest at the Summit, won
>>the longest applause from the delegates from the 174 countries of the
>>United Nationas Organization for Food and Agriculture (FAO).
>>The Cuban head of state asked more questions than he gave answers, with
>>the clear intention of awakening the consciences of the 174 countries who
>>form part of the FAO, who were present at the meeting.
>>"What cosmetic cures are we going to apply so that within 20 years there
>>are 400 million instead of 800 million hungry? This goal is, just for its
>>modesty, a shame," the president said in refererence to the goal of the
>>And he said, accusingly, "It is capitalism, neoliberalism, the laws of a
>>savage market, external debt, underdevelopment, unequal exchange, which
>>are killing so many people in the world."
>>With a paused rythmn and low voice which was at times very emotional,
>>before an audience over which total silence reigned, Fidel asked, "If
>>thirty five thousand people die of hunger every day, half of them
>>children, why in the developed countries do they uproot olive groves,
>>sacrifice herds of animals and pay large sums for the earth not to
>>"If the world is rightly moved," he asked, "when accidents, natural or
>>social catastrophes occur which kill thousands of people, why isn't it
>>moved the same way in the face of this genocide which takes place very day
>>in front of our eyes?"
>>Fidel, the only Latin American head of state to participate in the summit,
>>added, "Efforts are being organized for intervening to prevent the death
>>of thousands of people in Zaire. What are we doing to prevent the death
>>by hunger of a million people each month in the rest of the world?"
>>He insisted that "it doesn't make sense to me that within twenty years
>>there will stll be 400 million people in a state of malnutrition, because
>>this means that at least 100 million of them will die of hunger."
>>"Why is there the production of more and more sophisticated weapons after
>>the cold war has ended? And what is the reason for the ferocious
>>competition to sell weapons to underdeveloped countries, weapons that will
>>not give them more power to defend their independence and where what needs
>>to be killed is hunger?" he proposed, and suggested allocating to the
>>fight against hunger at least a part of the 700 billion dollars which are
>>invested in military spending throughout the world.
>>And raising his voice he emphasized, "Why add to all this criminal
>>policies, absurd blockades which include food and medicines to kill hunger
>>and illnesses for entire peoples? Where are the ethics, the
>>justification, the respect for the most basic human rights, the sense of
>>"May the truth reign and not hypocrisy and lies," he exhorted. "Let us be
>>aware that in this world hegemony, arrogance and egotism must end."
>>Cuba has been under an economic, financial and commercial blockade since
>>1962, imposed by the United States, which in march of this year was
>>strengthened with the Helms-Burton Law.
>>At the end of his speech, paraphrasing Ernest Hemingway, the U.S. writer
>>who lived and died in Havana [sic; Hemingway died in the US -- NY
>>Transfer], Fidel warned that "the bells that toll today for those who are
>>dying of hunger every day, will toll tomorrow for all of humanity which
>>did not want, did not know how, or could not be wise enough to save itself
>>The next speaker following the Cuban president had to wait, because of the
>>long line of delegates, diplomats and FAO personnel which formed to ask
>>for the autograph of Fidel, defined unanimously in the Italian press as
>>the "star of the summit."
>>The summit ended with a press conference in which President Fidel Castro
>>captured attention by affirming that "in Cuba we do not have to make
>>another opening called counterrevolution," and gave assurances that the
>>Pope "can come to my country whenever he wants."
>>The Cuban leader, who yesterday answered seven of the 14 questions asked
>>of the five presidents present at the press conference, talked about the
>>effects on the Cuban population of the U.S. commercial blockade.
>>"It is possible now, since the presidential campaign is concluded, and in
>>spite of the fact that the Republicans have the majority in Congress, the
>>president of the United States, Bill Clinton, can respect the Food Summit
>>agreement and do something against the blockades and embargos," Fidel
>>The Cuban lader described as "an attempt at genocide" the U.S. commerical
>>blockade imposed 35 years ago, and said the next visit of Pope John Paul
>>II to Cuba "can have important repercussions on international public
>>opinion, since the Pope has also condemned the embargo."
>>Regading his personal meeting with the Pope, scheduled for tomorrow, Fidel
>>said it brings "a message of friendship" and joked, affirming that "I'm
>>not going to involve myself in the area of theology."
>>from "El Nuevo Diario," Managua, Nicaragua, Nov. 18, 1996
>>Translated by Toby Mailman
>>U.S. DENIES RIGHT TO FOOD
>>Refuses to Sign on to Aim of the FOA Meeting in Rome
>>ROME, NOV 18 (Reuter) -- The U.S. said Sunday that to achieve the right to
>>adequate food is "an aim or an aspiration" and not an international
>>obligation of governments.
>>In a document written as a reservation to the statement on hunger adopted
>>by the FOA food summit, Washington added that it did not sign on to the
>>aim of the summit, according to which the countries must allocate 0.7 per
>>cent of their annual economic wealth to help development.
>>The five-day summit, which ended Sunday, adopted by consensus a document
>>which affirmed "the right of all to have access to adequate food and the
>>basic right of all not to be hungry."
>>"The United States believes that this is an aim or an aspiration to be
>>realized in a progressive manner but which does not propose any
>>international obligation or reduce the responsibilities of national
>>governments toward their citizens," the United States said.
>>The text is one of the reservations and intepretations of the summit's
>>document presented by 15 countries, the organizers said.
>>Others, including the Vatican, Argentina and various Muslim countries,
>>voiced strong objections to references in the summit's statement to
>>population and family planning policies.
>>Divided World Food Summit Ends in Rome
>>ROME, NOV 18 (Reuter) -- The U.N. World Food Summit ended with a strong
>>call to do away with hunger, but with profound differences on the way to
>>achieve that goal.
>>The five day summit in Rome, sponsored by the United Nations Organization
>>for Food and Agriculture (FAO), and overshadowed by the crisis in Zaire,
>>adopted a Statement on World Food Security and a Plan of Action.
>>Through the project the countries committed themselves to reduce by half
>>by the year 2015 the 840 million undernourished people.
>>"We have the possibility of achieving it, we have the way to do it, we
>>have the resources and we have shown that we are willing. We are
>>undertaking a race against the clock, and let us go beyond the aim which
>>we have laid out for ourselves," said the director general of FAO, Jacques
>>Dioug, during the closing session of the summit.
>>The summit has shown that "We all will work hand in hand to assure
>>ourselves that the children and babies do not cry from hunger and the
>>mothers do not see their children without hope," the Senegalese Diouf told
>>The texts of the final documents of the summit were acclaimed at the
>>beginning of the meeting, after more than two years of negotiations, and
>>contain compromise language in controversial areas such as commerce,
>>development assistance, population, sanctions and women's rights.
>>Nonetheless, the 15 delegations expressed their reservations or
>>interpretations of the text of the documents, including the United States,
>>the greatest provider of food in the world.
>>Fidel Discusses Meeting with Pope
>>ROME, NOV 18 (Reuter) -- Cuban president Fidel Castro cited the Bible, two
>>days before his historic meeting with Pope John Paul II, but distanced
>>himself from the head of the Catholic church in relation to the
>>controversial theme of birth control.
>>The veteran communist leader, who became the star of the World Food Summit
>>in Rome, called by the U.N. to give impulse to the battle against hunger
>>on the planet, said in a press conference that he would not be giving a
>>course on Marx and Engels.
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