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  HOME | Cuba

Castro: Climate Change Is More Serious Than Financial Crisis

HAVANA – Former Cuban President Fidel Castro says that climate change is more serious than the international economic crisis that is the main subject of Thursday’s G-20 summit in London.

“The financial crisis is not the only problem. There’s another worse one, because it has to do not with the means of production and distribution but with our very existence. I’m referring to climate change. Both are here and will be discussed simultaneously,” Castro said in the latest of his commentaries on current events.

In his column, he analyzed the prospects for the G-20 summit and the imminent negotiations about climate change in Bonn, with quotes from international news agencies and the media in other countries, after in an earlier article he lamented the fact that the Cuban media – all under state control – were neglecting the London conference.

Regarding the G-20, in the article Castro used sports terminology to say that the conclave in London is “the classic among the biggest economies in the world, the most developed and those that are developing,” and he added that “the rules of the game are not very clear.”

“We’ll see what is discussed and how it is discussed. Will a final declaration be prepared and approved in advance? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. In any case, it will be very interesting to learn, amid so much diplomacy, what positions each party adopts. In one way or another, no secrets will be possible,” he said.

The 82-year-old Fidel, who formally stepped down last year in favor of younger brother Raul Castro, noted that there is much information showing that “the regulation of the international financial system has become a point of friction between London and Washington, on one side, and Paris on the other.”

He said that “with $8.42 trillion in public money committed by the governments of the rich world to rescue the banking sector, world poverty could be eliminated during the next 50 years,” as the British-based charity Oxfam has declared.

Regarding climate change, Castro recalled that at the Bonn meeting, which will begin on Sunday, Washington will announce a new position and U.S. President Barack Obama has called a forum on energy and the climate for the end of the month.

“Strong contradictions exist regarding the contribution that the economies should make,” Castro said, referring to arguments between the rich world and emerging powers such as China and India, whose leaders say the brunt of the cost of reducing greenhouse emissions should be borne by Europe and the United States.

He added that while the Antarctic ice cap is melting at a faster rate, the skeptics are crying that “the scientists are exaggerating” and continue to dream “such feeble hopes.”

Fidel Castro was sidelined in July 2006 by a near-fatal intestinal illness. During his convalescence, he began writing “Reflections” on a wide range of matters. EFE

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