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Source in Spanish

Havana, 29 of March of 2007

Reflections of President Fidel Castro

The condemned until death premature by hunger and thirst more than 3 billion people in the world

One is not an exaggerated number; she is rather cautious. In that I have meditated enough after the meeting of president Bush with the North American manufacturers of automobiles.

The sinister idea to turn foods fuel stayed established as economic line of the foreign policy of the United States the past Monday 26 definitively of March.

A cable of the AP, agency of North American information that it arrives at all the corners of the world, says very textually:

“WASHINGTON, 26 of March (AP). President George W. Bush praised Monday the benefits of the automobiles that work with ethanol and biodiesel, during a meeting with manufacturers of vehicles, in which he looked for to give impulse to his alternative fuel plans.

“Bush said that a commitment of the leaders of the national automotive industry to duplicate its production of vehicles to alternative fuel would help to that the motorists leave the motors that work with gasoline and reduce to the dependency of the country respect to the import petroleum.

“`This is a great technological advance for the country', said Bush after inspecting three vehicles to alternative fuel. If the nation wants to reduce the gasoline consumption, the consumer must be in possibility of making a rational decision.

“The President insisted to the Congress to advance express in a legislation that the government proposed recently to order the use of 132 000 million liters (35 000 million gallons) of alternative fuels for the 2017 and to impose more demanding standards of fuel saving in the automobiles.

“Bush met with the president of advice and chief of a main directorate of General Motors Corp, Rich Wagoner; the chief of a main directorate of Ford Motor Co., Alan Mulally and the chief of a main directorate of the group Chrysler de Daimler Chrysler AG, Tom LaSorda.

“The participants in the encounter discussed measures to support the production of vehicles to alternative fuel, attempts to develop to the ethanol from sources like the turf or serrín, and a proposal to reduce in a 20% the gasoline consumption in 10 years.

“The discussions were made in a while in which the prices of the gasoline have raised. The most recent study of the organization Lundberg Survey indicated that the price national average of the gasoline has raised 6 cents by gallon (3.78 liters) in last the two weeks, to 2.61 dollars.”

I think that to reduce and in addition to recycle all the motors that consume electricity and fuel it is an elementary and urgent necessity of all the humanity. The tragedy does not consist of reducing those expenses of energy, but of the idea to turn foods fuel.

Today it is known with all precision that one ton of maize only can produce 413 liters of ethanol like average, in agreement with densities, which is equivalent to 109 gallons.

The price average of the maize in the ports of the United States rises to 167 dollars the ton. 320 million tons of maize are required therefore to produce 35 000 million gallons of ethanol.

According to data of the FAO, the maize harvest of the United States in year 2005 rose to 280.2 million tons.

Although the President speaks to produce fuel from turf or wood shavings, anyone includes/understands that they are devoid phrases absolutely of realism. Understand well: 35 000 million gallons mean 35 followed of nine zeros!

Beautiful examples will come later from which in the productivity by man and hectare they reach the experimented ones and organized agriculturists of the United States well: the maize turned ethanol; the remainders of that maize turned food animal with 26% of protein; the excrement of the cattle used like raw material for the gas production. Of course, this is after numerous investments to the reach only of the most powerful companies, in which everything must move on the base of consumption of electricity and fuel. This prescription to the Third World Countries is applied and will see how many people will let consume maize between the masses hungry of our planet. Or something worse: présteseles financing to the poor countries to produce ethanol of the maize or any other type of food and will not be left a tree to defend the humanity of the climatic change.

Other countries of the rich world have programmed to use not only maize, but also wheat, seeds of sunflower, colza and other foods to dedicate them to the fuel production. For the European, for example, it would be business of concerning all soya of the world in order to reduce the cost in fuel of his automobiles and to feed his animals with the remainders of that leguminosa, specially rich in all the types of essential amino acids.

In Cuba, the alcohol took place like by-product of the sugar industry, after doing three extractions to him of sugar to the cane juice. The climate change is affecting our sugar production already. Great droughts come alternating with rains record, that as soon as they allow to produce sugar during one hundred days with yields adapted in the months of ours very moderate winter so that sugar by ton of cane or lack needs cane by hectare due to the prolonged droughts in the months of sowing and culture.

In Venezuela, I have understood that they would use the alcohol does not stop to export, but to improve the environmental quality of its own fuel. For that reason, independently of the excellent Brazilian technology to produce alcohol, in Cuba the use of such technology for the direct alcohol production from the cane juice does not constitute more than a dream or a delirium of which they are deluded with that idea. In our country, the earth dedicated to the direct alcohol production can much more be useful in the food production for the town and in the protection of environment.

All the countries of the world, rich and poor, without exception some, could simply save million million dollars in investment and fuel changing all the incandescent small pumps by fluorescent small pumps, something that Cuba has carried out in all the homes of the country. That would mean a breathing to resist the climatic change without killing of hunger the poor masses of the world.

As it can be observed, use adjectives not to describe to the system and the owners of the world. That task knows it to make excellently the experts in information and the honest men of socioeconómicas and political sciences well that in the world abound and which constantly the present and the future of our species hurgan in. A computer is enough and the increasing number of networks of Internet.

Today we know for the first time a really globalizada economy and a dominant power in the economic, political and military land, that in anything is looked like the Rome of the emperors.

Some will be asked so that I speak of hunger and thirst. I respond: one is not the other face of a currency, but of several faces of another piece, as they can be a dice with six faces, or a polyhedron with many more faces.

I go in this case to an official agency of the news, founded on 1945 and informed generally well on the economic and social problems into the world: the TELAM. Very textually, it said:

“Near 2 billion people they will hardly inhabit within 18 years in countries and regions where the water is a distant memory. Two thirds of the world-wide population could live in places where that shortage produces social and economic tensions of such magnitude that could take to the towns to wars by appraised `blue gold'.

“During last the 100 years, the use of the water has increased to a rate more of twice superior to the rate of growth of the population.

“According to the statistics of the World-wide Council of the Water (WWC, by its abbreviations in English), esteem that stops the 2015 number of inhabitants affected by this serious situation rises to 3 500 million people.

“The Organization of United Nations celebrated the 23 of March the World-wide Day of the Water, calling to face from that same day the world-wide shortage of the water under the coordination of the Organization of Nations United for Agriculture and the Feeding (the FAO), with the objective to emphasize the increasing importance of the lack of water at world-wide level and the necessity of a greater integration and cooperation than allows to guarantee a management maintained and efficient of the hydric resources.

“Many regions of the planet undergo a severe water shortage, living with less than 500 cubic meters by person per year. Every time they are plus the regions that suffer the chronic lack of the vital element.

“Main consequences of the water shortage are the insufficient amount of that precious liquid for the food production, the impossibility of industrial, urban and tourist development and problems of health.”

Up to here the TELAM cable.

I let mention in this case other important facts, like the ice that melts in Greenland and Antarctica, the damages in the ozone layer and the increasing amount of mercury in many species of fish of habitual consumption.

There are other subjects that can be approached, but simply I try with these lines to comment out on the meeting of president Bush with the main executives of North American automotive companies.

March 28 of the 2007
Fidel Castro