Fidel Castro’s Quzai-Third Worldist Quote

“It is necessary to point out the societies of consumers are those who are fundamentally responsible for the atrocious destruction of the environment. They are born from former colonial powers and imperial politics which in turn engendered the backwardness and poverty which are now beating down the immense majority of humankind.

“With only 20 percent of the world’s population, they consume two-thirds of the metal and three-fourths of the energy which are produced in the world. They have poisoned the seas and the rivers. They have weakened and punctured the ozone layer. They have saturated the atmosphere with gasses which alter climatic conditions with catastrophic effects from which we are now beginning to suffer. The forests are disappearing. The deserts are expanding. Thousands of millions of tons of fertile soil end up every year in the sea. Numerous species are becoming extinct.

“The population explosion and poverty lead to desperate efforts to survive at the expense of nature. It is not possible to blame this on the countries of the Third World­former colonies. Nations currently exploited and plundered by an unfair economic world order.

“The solution cannot be to impede the development of those who most need it. The reality of the situation is that everything contributes to their development­and poverty constitutes a flagrant violation of ecology. Tens of millions of men, women and children die every year in the Third World as a result of this­more than in both of the two world wars. Unequal trade, protectionism and foreign debt attack ecology and give rise to the destruction of the environment.

“If we want to save humanity from this self-destruction, it is necessary to better distribute the available wealth and technology of the planet. Less luxury and less extravagance in a few countries­for that matter; less poverty and less hunger in a large portion of the earth. No more transference to the Third World of the lifestyles and consumer habits which ruin the environment. Make human existence more rational. Apply a fair international economic order. Make use of all the scientific knowledge necessary for ongoing development without contamination. Pay the ecological debt and not the foreign debt. Let hunger disappear and not mankind.

“Since the supposed threats of communism have disappeared and there are no longer pretexts for cold wars, arms races and military spending, what is preventing immediate allocation of these resources to advancing the development of the Third World and combatting the threat of ecological destruction of the planet? Stop selfishness! Stop “Hegemonisms!” Stop insensitivity, irresponsibility and deceit! Tomorrow will be too late to do what we should have done a long time ago.”

– Fidel Castro