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Fidel Castro publishes lengthy column on war, climate change


This news story was published on January 8, 2012.
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By Juan O. Tamayo, McClatchy Newspapers –

MIAMI — Putting to rest rumors that he had died, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has published his first column in nearly two months — a 3,121-word exposition on nuclear war, climate change and other threats to the survival of the human species.

The column, titled “The march toward the abyss,” dated Jan. 4 and published Thursday in virtually all Cuban government news outlets, was Castro’s first since Nov. 13 and came at the end of a week that saw rumors of his death spread, particularly on Twitter.

No up-to-date photos of the 85-year-old Castro, who passed on power to his brother RaAl after undergoing emergency surgery in 2006, were published along with the lengthy column. A Cuban television newsman needed nearly 30 minutes to read it on air, Havana residents said.

The column hammered on one of Castro’s favorite topics, arguing that the dangers of nuclear war and climate change “are decisive, and both are each day further from a solution.”

“What I am trying to do is to put myself at a point within our species so I can speak about the march toward the abyss. I could even speak of an ‘inexorable’ march, and I would surely be closer to reality,” the former Cuban leader wrote.

He referred to the growing tensions in the Middle East and Israel’s nuclear weapons, but not to Iran’s alleged nuclear weapons programs or its threat to block the Straits of Hormuz, through which much of the Middle East’s oil is exported.

Castro also attacked the “demagogic verbiage, declarations and speeches of the tyranny imposed on the world” by the U.S. government and called President Barack Obama “a guy who has fooled the world with dishonest promises, because he knew from the git-go that he would never fulfill them.”

“War is a tragedy that could happen, and it’s very likely that it will happen,” he wrote. “But even if humanity was capable of delaying it for some time, another equally dramatic event is already taking place at an increased pace: climate change.”

He added: “We should not ignore the fact that if our marvelous thinking species disappears, many millions of years will pass before another species capable of thinking develops, according to the principles … of the evolution of the species, discovered by Darwin in 1859 and today accepted by all serious scientists, whether or not they believe in God.”

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