Havana, Mar 16. -"The Disasters Threatening the World" is Fidel Castro's latest reflection. Prensa Latina posts below the full text:
THE DISASTERS THREATENING THE WORLD
If the speed of light would not exist; if the star closest to our sun would not be four light years from the Earth, the only inhabited planet in our system; if ETs really existed; the imaginary visitors to the planet would continue their voyage without understanding all that our humankind is suffering.
Just a few centuries ago in the millennial history of Man, nobody knew what was happening on the other side of the globe. Today, we can find out what’s happening right away and sometimes they are hugely transcendental events that affect all the peoples of the world.
Without more preamble, I shall limit myself to the most important news during the last two days.
“TeleSUR, March13, 2011
“Volcano eruption in Japan triggers new alarm
“The Japanese Meteorological Agency informs that the volcano Shimoedake, located on the island of Kyushu to the south-east of Japan, spewed ash and stones this Sunday to a height of four thousand metres, after two week of relative calm and two days after the devastating earthquake and tsunami that lashed the country.”
“…it became active last January for the first time in 52 years…”
“According to a BBC report, buildings in a radius of 4 kilometres were damaged and hundreds of persons fled from the vicinity, panic-stricken.”
“The […] seismic movement with a magnitude of 9.0 on the Richter Scale, according to the Meteorological Agency of Japan, has already had repercussions on other volcanoes…”
“Japan crushed by the quake, tsunami and explosions at nuclear plants
“SENDAI, Japan, Mar.14, 2011 (AFP) – A double explosion on Monday in Reactor No. 3 at the Fukushima 1 nuclear plant fed the rumour of an atomic disaster in Japan, a country already overwhelmed by a quake and a tsunami that may have left more than 10,000 dead.
“Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO), operator of Fukushima 1 (250 km to the north-east of Tokyo), also admitted the possibility that the fuel of Reactor 2 had entered into fusion because of damage to the cooling circuit. The government, for its part, minimized the possibility that an important explosion should be produced in that reactor.
“Rescue teams found approximately 2,000 corpses on the coast of Miyagi Prefecture (north-east), while millions of Japanese were attempting to survive without water, electricity, fuel or sufficient food and hundreds of thousands were forced to take shelter at emergency centres because of the tsunami that destroyed their homes.”
Aid workers from around the world arrived in the archipelago to collaborate with more than 100,000 soldiers that are trying to give aid in a country that continues to be shaken by earthquake after-shocks and lives in permanent fear of false alarms about new tsunamis.”
“Fear of a nuclear disaster was being added to the agony caused by the devastation. The quake, the tsunami and the explosions at the plants place the country into its “most serious crisis (…) since the end of WW II”, stated Prime Minister Naoto Kan.”
“An explosion had occurred on Saturday in Reactor No. 1, taking the life of one technician and injuring eleven.
“Fusion is produced on account of the reheating of the bars of fuel that start to melt just like candles.”
“Authorities declared a state of emergency at a second nuclear plant, the Onagawa Plant in the north-east…”
“Another nuclear plant, Tokai, suffered damages to its cooling system…”
“An 8.9-magnitude earthquake, and the following tsunami with a height of 10 metres, ripped through the north-eastern coast of the Japanese archipelago on Friday.”
“More than 10,000 persons may have lost their lives in the coastal prefecture of Miyagi (north-eastern Japan)…”
“At least 5.6 million homes are still without electrical power…”
“DATA- What’s happening in the Japanese nuclear reactors?
“March 14 (Reuters) – A second explosion shook the Japanese nuclear plant damaged by an earthquake, where authorities are working desperately to prevent nuclear fusion in the reactors.”
“The nucleus of a reactor consists of a series of tubes or metal zircon bars that contain pellets of uranium fuel stored in what the engineers call the fuel equipment.”
“Back-up refrigeration had problems several times during the last three days in Reactors 1, 2 and 3 at the Fukushima plant.”
“However, natural degradation of radioactive materials in the reactor’s nucleus continues to produce heat, called residual heat, falling to a quarter of its original level during the first hour and then disappearing more slowly.”
“Usually that heat is eliminated by refrigeration pumps that, in the Fukushima Plant, lost its emergency energy supply due to the earthquake, tsunami or both.”
“It was that hydrogen gas that caused the two explosions in the Fukushima Plant, in Unit 1 on Saturday and in Reactor 3 on Monday, according to experts and officials.”
“If a steel dome should break inside a reactor, the radiation levels will rise. But at this point now the heat is not enough to destroy them, experts say.”
“The risk is still there that the nucleus could melt and that could make removal of the fuel really difficult, or even impossible; that’s what happened on Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania in 1979.”
“EFE March 14th
“US moves its vessels further from the Japanese coast after detecting radioactivity in 17 soldiers”
“The Pentagon informed today that 17 soldiers who are participating in assistance work in Japan registered “low levels” of radioactivity and it ordered its Seventh Fleet vessels based in the Japanese city of Yokosuka to be temporarily repositioned.”
“The USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier was 160 kilometres to the north-east of the plant at the time of the escape after the tsunami following the quake with a magnitude of nine points on the Richter Scale that shook Japan.”
“Fighting to cool down Fukushima Reactors 2 and 3 and number of dead grows”
“International News, Mar 14 (EFE).- Those in charge of Reactor 2 at the Fukushima Plant in Japan are trying to cool it down, after it may have suffered partial fusion as a result of over-heating; they are also cooling down Reactor 3 where there was an explosion that did not cause any radioactivity to escape.”
“While authorities struggle to control the nuclear risk, the number of dead increases as a result of the earthquake that has caused the worst tragedy in Japan since WW II.”
“The tremor could be felt powerfully in Tokyo, the largest city in the world with more than 30 million inhabitants, where the mood is one of sadness and citizens are using alternate transportation such as bicycles in the face of fuel shortages.”
“The country’s Meteorological Agency has warned the Japanese about a week of after-shocks and of a 70 percent possibility of a 7-point earthquake in Japan by this Wednesday.”
“Germany cancels plans for nuclear extension for three months”
“Berlin, Mar 14 (dpa)”
“The accident recorded this weekend at the Japanese Fukushima Plant as a result of the earthquake and later tsunami that devastated the Asian country on Friday ‘has completely changed the global situation’, Merkel stated.”
“‘Accidents in Japan show that what we thought impossible is possible and the risks we thought were improbable are not so improbable’, she went on to specify…”
“AFP. Yemen: Three demonstrators dead, among them a 12-year-old boy”
“SANAH (AFP) – Three demonstrators died, among them a 12-year-old boy and hundreds were injured on Saturday in Yemen where the protesters accused the police of having used toxic gases to disperse them.”
“A demonstrator died and approximately 300 were injured or intoxicated by the gases…”
“According to the UN, 37 demonstrators and at least six police died since the unrest began in Yemen.”
“ABU DHABI, March 14 (Reuters)”
“The price increase for crude and the recent and sudden reduction of the existence of cereals in the world could indicate a supply crisis, FAO Director Jacques Diouf told Reuters…”.
“‘The high prices are worrying and we have a huge decrease in their existence’…”.
“LONDON (AP) — British-based defense contractor BAE Systems PLC bribed Saudi officials in return for lucrative arms deals in Saudi Arabia, according to a newly released secret U.S. diplomatic cable.”
“…BAE, Europe's largest defense contractor, paid more than 70 million pounds ($113 million) to a Saudi prince.”
“EFE. Ashton does not dismiss the possibility of imposing a no-fly zone over Libya
“In Cairo today, Catherine Ashton, in charge of EU Foreign Policy, does not dismiss the possibility of imposing a no-fly zone over Libya after meeting with Arab League Secretary General Amro Musa.”
“TRIPOLI, 14 (ANSA) – The forces of Muammar Kadafi today attacked Ajdabiya, in eastern Libya, and Zuwarah in the north-east, while the opposition National Council assured it would recover positions and said that it has international commitment to establish a no-fly zone.”
“The Council assured today that it obtained the commitment of the United States, Great Britain and France to set up a no-fly zone.”
“General Abd al Fattah Yunis, member of the rebel military council, assured that they would recover positions on the coast and in the country’s Eastern region…”
“‘We shall recover those cities and you will soon hear that our army advances towards Sidra and Tripoli’.”
“100 THOUSAND VOLUNTEERS HAVE JOINED GADDAFI FORCES
“TRIPOLI, 14 (ANSA) – Some 100 thousand volunteers have joined Libyan armed forces since the start of combat between troops backing Muammar Gaddafi and the rebel groups, government sources stated today.”
“Bahrain: opposition denounces “occupation” after the arrival of Saudi soldiers
“MANAMA, March 14, 2011 (AFP)”
“‘The people of Bahrain is facing a real danger: that of a war against the citizens of Bahrain with no declaration of war’, seven opposition members emphasized, including Wefaq chiita, in a report.
“‘We consider the entry of any soldier, any military vehicle, into the land, air or sea space of the Kingdom of Bahrain to be a flagrant occupation of the unarmed people of Bahrain and a violation of international treaties and agreements’, the opposition added.”
“MORE PROTESTS YEMEN, BAHRAIN AND MOROCCO
“MANAMA and ADEN, 13 (ANSA) – Protest demonstrations continue today in Yemen, where three people died, and in Bahrain and Morocco, against the governments of those countries, local sources informed today.”
“…in Saudi Arabia, dozens of persons met today in the vicinity of the Ministry of the Interior headquarters in Riyadh to demand the liberation of a group of activists being held by police.”
“MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Tens of thousands of Bahraini protesters encircled one of the royal family's palaces Saturday, shouting calls for political freedom and the king's ouster a day after a similar march triggered a violent response from security forces.”
“Protests in Bahrain modeled on the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.”
“Bahrain holds particular importance to Washington as the host of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet…”
“United Arab Emirates to send troops to Bahrain
“DUBAI, March 14 2011 (AFP) – The United Arab Emirates announced on Monday they are going to send troops to Bahrain to contribute to “preserve order and stability” in that neighbouring country where the Saudis have already arrived with the same military purpose.”
“MANAMA, March 14 2011 (AFP) – The opposition in Bahrain stated on Monday that ‘any foreign military presence’ shall be considered to be ‘an occupation’, in their reaction to the arrival of Saudi troops in the Kingdom.”
“More than a thousand Saudi soldiers, part of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) common forces, arrived in Bahrain, swept by a wave of demonstrations, according to statements to AFP by a Saudi in charge.”
“MEXICO (AFP) – The so-called US ‘Operation Fast and Furious’ that presumably allowed the deliberate entry into Mexico of almost 2,000 weapons, placed relations between the two countries into a delicate position, according to experts, and caused the unanimous irritation of Mexican legislators.”
“‘If the US acted without including any Mexican authority, we are dealing with totally unacceptable interference and a clear show of non-confidence’ by Washington in the Mexican police, former Ambassador to the US Jorge Montaño commented to AFP.”
“Mexico is facing unprecedented spiralling violence that has left almost 35,000 dead since December of 2006 in confrontations between drug traffickers and anti-drug police, as well as around a hundred victims caught in the cross-fire.”
“The Mexican senate described 'Fast and Furious' as an ‘aggressive and unilateral’ operation and an ‘insult to the sovereignty’ of Mexico.”
“IPS March 14 15:04”
“Tonight we were informed that Reactor No. 2 at the Fukushima 1 Plant was melting after emergency cooling systems failed, and this aggravated fears of radioactive contamination. On Saturday and this Monday there were explosions in Reactors 1 and 3.”
“Reactor No. 2 is functioning with a fuel known as Oxide Mix (MOX fuel) that contains plutonium, a particularly harmful substance for health.”
“ROME, 14 (ANSA) – There is a total of 442 active nuclear reactors in the world, concentrated in 29 countries and constructed by no more than ten companies.
“Europe, […] where governments today began to review their policy in the sector, has 148 active reactors in 16 countries.
“To those […] already active, we can add 65 that are under construction…”
“The world record for the number of functioning nuclear reactors is held by the United States with 104, followed by France with 58, Japan with 54…”
Last minute news just heard in Cuba informs that there was a third explosion at Fukushima:
“EFE March 15 20:13
“There is fear of radioactive leaks due to the nuclear fusion of a reactor at Fukushima
“Tokyo, March 15 (EFE).- The company operating the Fukushima Nuclear Plant (north-eastern Japan) today acknowledged that it fears radioactive leaks due to a possible fusion in the nucleus of Reactor No. 2 which this morning suffered an explosion.
“Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) admitted that radiation may have been released after the structure enclosing Reactor No. 2 was damaged while radioactive levels in the area registered 8.217 microsieverts per hour, as opposed to the allowed 500.”
We can observe the complex situation prevailing in the Arab world where a revolutionary wave has been unleashed by its peoples.
The Saudi King supports the NATO war in Libya; while in Bahrain, NATO supports the Saudi invasion. The blood of the Arab peoples will be spilt to benefit the great trans-nationals of the United States while oil prices reach unpredictable heights as wars are unleashed in the areas producing the most oil and nuclear disasters in Japan multiply the resistance of peoples to the proliferation of nuclear plants.
Wastage and the capitalist consumer societies in their neo-liberal and imperialist phase are taking the world into a blind alley, where climatic change and the growing cost of foods lead billions of people towards more acute poverty levels. (Prensa Latina)
Fidel Castro Ruz
March 14, 2011