Arab Impulses: Anti-Islamic nations court Saudi kingdom!

Arab Impulses: Anti-Islamic nations court Saudi kingdom!

-DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL 

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The recent political developments reveal that Saudi Arabia, like Israel, feels miserable without the official courting of the USA.

Saudi Arabia is clamoring for a major role in shaping the region. They feel they deserve that.The way the Iran nuclear talks were handled particularly rankled the Saudis.

For the first time in diplomatic history of Saudi Arabia, the birth nation of Islam sees America as a big enough storm, upsetting all Saudi calculations for the region and world at large to control the Shi’a nations.

Saudi Arabia which obediently stood behind the USA in whatever the super power did or did not, including attacking Islamic nations from Afghanistan to Libya is now unhappy that the CIA-Pentagon refuses to attack Iran and Syria as expected by Saudi led Sunni Arab nations.

Increasingly vocal in its frustration over recent US policies in the Mideast, a frantic Saudi Arabia is strengthening ties elsewhere, seeking out an alignment that will bolster its position after it was pushed to the sidelines this year.

Yet, Saudi Arabia cannot afford to reveal whole truth about Sept-11 hoax, because that would expose the land of Holy sites to global criticism for its role in joint anti-Islamic operations. .

If Saudi leaders take Americans for granted, it is their own fault only. The CIA that controls even Saudi intelligence would verily proceed along its own hidden agendas. Saudi can do nothing about it.

US allies are now the target of Saudi Arabia and they would stand gains from such revision of Saudi attitude.

In doing so, the strategists of Riyadh is aiming at  making USA small in the world eyes so that Washington would  return to Saudi fold  with an early attack on Iran and Syria.

After all, USA and Saudi Arabia have been close allies for decades now, Riyadh has promoted US links even by sacrificing its legitimate veto handle on UNSC, thereby remaining a stooge of USA, for no credible reason.

The Saudis are particularly annoyed that the USA and Britain did not follow through with threats to punish Assad’s government over the use of WMD- chemical weapons. Those decisions caused similar uproar in France for Hollande, who many at home believed was left hanging as the only Western power to pledge military support.

Unlike the USA, the French have resisted suspending non-lethal aid to the rebels and show no signs of changing course. Hence Saudi Arabia picked  it a close anti-Syria ally.

France was the special guest of Saudi Arabia as the French president visited the kingdom as important guest.

Saudi and France say they will continue to back the rebels fighting to overthrow Assad, in contrast with the Obama administration’s hesitation. The Saudi monarchy cannot fathom the fact that Assad might survive this crisis and then turn against them. They reject this possibility and are willing to do what they can to make Assad go.

The Syrian conflict, which has claimed more than 120,000 people and spawned a regional refugee crisis, has become in many ways a proxy fight pitting Saudi Arabia and other Sunni-led Arab states against Shiite powerhouse Iran, a major supporter of Assad.

What the Saudis won’t do is send in their own well-equipped armed forces, because it could empower the Saudi military to turn against them as happened elsewhere during the Arab Spring. The Saudis also watch with trepidation at the warming ties between Iran and the West.

 

 

France

French President Francois Hollande and Saudi King Abdullah held talks on Sunday the 29th December on escalating tensions in the Middle East, with a focus on Lebanon and Syria, during a visit also aimed at boosting commercial ties. Hollande said in an interview that Paris and Riyadh share a “will to work for peace, security and stability in the Middle East.

With an entourage of French executives from the lucrative defense and energy sectors, including four ministers and 30 top French business figures, President Francois Hollande arrived in Riyadh for a flurry of accords and contracts that have been in the works for months. The two countries also find themselves unexpectedly aligned in resistance, if not outright opposition, to US policy on Syria’s civil war and Iran’s nuclear program.

At the news conference, Hollande also highlighted several commercial contracts that had been signed throughout the year and said he and King Abdullah talked about other possible areas of cooperation, like nuclear energy. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the U.S. and Saudi Arabia “share the same goals” of ending the war in Syria and preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, but she stopped short of endorsing a Saudi role at the bargaining table with Iran.

The two leaders, meeting at the king’s luxurious Rawdat Khurayim farm, 60 kilometres (37 miles) northeast of the capital, both expressed concern over Iranian interference in Lebanon and the region. Hollande highlighted both aspects of the relationship during the visit, underscoring for reporters the number of diplomatic issues that the two countries agree on and noting that trade between the two had doubled in the past 10 years to 8 billion euros ($11 billion) in 2013. The Saudi King (monarch) highlighted a “convergence” of positions between the two countries on several issues. Abdullah expressed his concern, even anxiety, about regional crises — Iran, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt — and praised France’s courageous position on these key dossiers.

Hollande noted in the interview that Saudi Arabia has become France’s “top client in the Middle East” with trade exceeding eight billion euros ($11 billion) in 2013, including French exports worth three billion euros. The balance of trade remains in Riyadh’s favour on the back of its oil exports to France. Hollande also highlighted contracts won by French companies in the oil-rich kingdom, including Alstom’s Riyadh metro deal.’’

The Saudi ambassador to Britain, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, recently described the policies of some partners toward Iran and Syria as a “dangerous gamble,” while calling for the kingdom to be more assertive internationally after decades of operating in diplomatic shadows.

Hollande said he and King Abdullah were on the same page in terms of finding a “definitive solution” to Iran’s nuclear drive as well as on the crisis in Syria. He reiterated that any transition in Syria “must not result in the prolongation” of Assad’s regime. In his interview Hollande accused Assad of using the threat of fundamentalist fighters “to put pressure on the moderate opposition”. Assad said this week that Syria was being confronted by a major offensive by Islamist extremists. Radical Islamist groups have taken on an increasingly prominent role in the Syrian conflict.

Hollande also met with Syrian opposition leader Ahmed Jarba. Syria opposition, weakened by many factors now, urged to join peace talks. He urged the Syrian opposition to take part in a peace conference in Geneva in January aimed at brokering an end to the country’s civil war.

The US-Russian backed talks dubbed Geneva 2 are aimed at reaching an agreement on a transition to end the war which has claimed an estimated 126,000 lives since March 2011 and displaced millions of people.

Syria’s increasingly fractured opposition has said Assad must step down as part of any deal, which Damascus rejects.

Francois Hollande ended the year with 24 hours of high-level meetings with the Saudi leadership in a visit intended to showcase commercial and diplomatic strength.

France has been one of the strongest backers of the Syrian moderate leadership, and Hollande had pledged military support against Syrian President Bashar Assad until both the United States and Britain backed away. On Iran, the French shouldered their way into the negotiations with Iran, demanding a better deal and warning that the Tehran government needed careful monitoring.

“We expected to be standing shoulder to shoulder with our friends and partners who have previously talked so much about the importance of moral values in foreign policy,” he wrote in the piece titled “Saudi Arabia Will Go It Alone.” But it may not have to. The French have been clear that they share Saudi fears that U.S. and Russian concerns over Islamic militants could leave Assad the victor in any peace deal.

Hollande’s visit is his second since taking office in May 2012 — a rarity for a French leader outside Europe — and his defense minister has been three times, most recently after the announcement of a 1.1 billion euro ($1.4 billion) contract with the Saudi navy.

During their meeting Sunday, King Abdullah expressed his concern over the situation in both Iran and Syria to Hollande, and he praised what he called France’s “courageous” position on these matters, according to a French official familiar with the discussions who would only speak on condition of anonymity in accordance with diplomatic rules.

At a news conference after the meeting, Hollande noted that the two countries’ relations had deepened in recent months, in part because of their agreement on the crises in the region, including Syria’s civil war and Iran’s nuclear program.

In October, Saudi Arabia stunned diplomats when it rejected its first ever seat on the UN Security Council without veto. The Saudi Foreign Ministry blasted the council for an “inability to perform its duties” in stopping the war in Syria. The problems in Mideast today is clear negligence on the part of the world, who continue to watch the suffering of the people without taking steps to stop that suffering.

 

Saudi, Syria, Lebanon 

 

 

Lebanon was at the top of the Saudi-France agenda amid heightening tensions in Beirut and Hollande later met with Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a strong critic of the Iran-backed Shiite Hezbollah movement, which is fighting alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Syria’s civil war.

 

Hariri, the son of former premier Rafiq Hariri, who was assassinated in a massive car bomb in February 2005, lives outside Lebanon due to security fears. In a statement Hariri highlighted “the importance of French support of the Lebanese state in particular the Lebanese army.” Lebanon’s armed forces are woefully under-equipped and face multiplying security challenges, underlined by the blast that killed Chatah, although officials played down any link with the Saudi aid pledge. Hollande also pledged to “meet” any requests by the Lebanese government to arm the army. His comments came as Lebanon’s President Michel Sleiman announced from Beirut that Saudi Arabia had pledged $3 billion for the Lebanese army to buy French equipment.

The West’s policies on Iran and Syria are a “dangerous gamble” and Saudi Arabia is prepared to act on its own to safeguard security in the region, a top Saudi diplomat said.”We believe that many of the West’s policies on both Iran and Syria risk the stability and security of the Middle East,” the Saudi ambassador to Britain, Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf bin Abdulaziz, wrote in a commentary in the New York Times. “This is a dangerous gamble, about which we cannot remain silent, and will not stand idly by,” he wrote. The bluntly-worded warning was the latest in a series of public statements by senior Saudi figures expressing displeasure with US and Western diplomatic initiatives towards Syria and Iran.

Citing Iran’s backing for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime, he said “rather than challenging the Syrian and Iranian governments, some of our Western partners have refused to take much-needed action against them. “The West has allowed one regime to survive and the other to continue its program for uranium enrichment, with all the consequent dangers of weaponization,” he wrote. Diplomatic talks with Iran may “dilute” the West’s will to confront both Damascus and Tehran, he said. “What price is ‘peace’ though, when it is made with such regimes?” As a result, Saudi Arabia “has no choice but to become more assertive in international affairs: more determined than ever to stand up for the genuine stability our region so desperately needs.”

The Saudi ambassador slammed the West for its reluctance to offer decisive help to Syrian rebels, vowing to continue support for the Free Syrian Army and the “Syrian opposition.” The Gulf monarchy had “global responsibilities,” both political and economic, and he said: “We will act to fulfill these responsibilities, with or without the support of our Western partners.”  In a thinly veiled jab at US President Barack Obama, the Saudi ambassador said that “for all their talk of ‘red lines,’ when it counted, our partners have seemed all too ready to concede our safety and risk our region’s stability.” Obama had used the term “red lines” to warn Syria’s regime against using chemical weapons. After the regime was accused of firing chemical weapons, Obama threatened punitive military strikes. But in the end,  with no proper evidence of regime use of WMD,  he pursued a diplomatic agreement in which Damascus promised to give up its lethal arsenal of chemical agents.

 

 

Observation 

 

Unfortunately, Saudi Arabia has given the world the impression that it cannot tolerate Shii’te Iran and Sunni Syria ruled by a Shi’te president. Riyadh is annoyed with a rising Turkey, an impressive Islamic Iran, hates Sunni Syria because it is ruled by a Shiite while it promotes Shi’ite Bahrain ruled by a Sunni leader and sent it’s military there to defend the Sunni ruler against the Arab Spring, there.

Until recently, Saudi leaders rarely voiced public criticism of their Western allies in a decades-long partnership. But Washington’s decision to pull back from military action in Syria and its backing for an interim nuclear deal with Iran has dismayed the oil-rich Saudi kingdom, which views Tehran as a dangerous regional rival.

 

Washington has strived to downplay any suggestion of a rift with Saudi Arabia.  Senior American officials have traveled to the Gulf recently to reassure allies, including Saudi Arabia. And the US partnership, which includes billions in defense contracts, would likely endure beyond the current tensions.

A closer Saudi-French relationship could mean more of those lucrative deals go to Paris.

The Saudi obsession that they will be sold out to the Iranians in a grand bargain makes them want to be in these meetings to ensure that does not happen. Iran would never agree to any talks involving the Saudis, but that wouldn’t stop the kingdom from trying.

Saudi Arabia  should revise its pro-west and anti-Islam polices to aid the enemies of Islam. In stead of trying for war against Iran or Sunni Syria,  Riyadh would do well  by creating infrastructure to defend Islam, Muslim nations, and global Muslims- maybe called Islamic Security Organization (ISO) 

Unless it  undertakes  steps to secure Islam,  it cannot claim leadership of  entire Islamic world. 

 

 

د. عبد راف 

BY DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL has been an educationist, Columnist-Commentator  on world affairs Expert on Mideast AffairsChronicler of Foreign occupations & Freedom movements (Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, Chechnya, etc.) Chancellor-Founder of Centor for International Affairs(CIA);   Former university Teacher;  Editor:INTERNATIONAL OPINION; FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES; Author of books;website: http://abdulruff.wordpress.com/ mail: abdulruff_jnu@yahoo.com/Phone: 91-8129081217—(Account: No 62310377429 – CIF No: 78215311481- State Bank of Hyderabad, India)

_____________________

Terrorism is caused by anti-Islamic forces. Anti-Islamism is more dangerous than “terrorism”.  Fake democracies have zero-tolerance to any criticism of their anti-Muslim and other aggressive practices.

Turkey faces Arab spring effect!

 

 

Turkey faces Arab spring effect!

-DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL 

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Turkey, the only Muslim nation of European continent thought it escaped the Arab Spring that unleashed in Arab nations but  it now seems Turkey could only delay it.  The opposition  was only waiting for the  right moment to attack the stability of the nation of Turks. .

As Americans are working overtime to appease both  Israeli criminals and  Arab leaders  for  interconnected reasons,  Turkey, the former Ottoman Empire, is being  shaken in recent times with  park demolition issue  snowballed into  more grave  troubles for the government. by  rebel operations, obviously  inspired , if not used by  the US-Israel terror twins.

The Islamist government run by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) are facing serious problems with rebels attempt to destabilize the former Ottoman Empire in Arab Spring style which was modeled on Czechoslovakia spring during the Soviet regime.

Having grown in recent times as a leader of Islamic world, Turkey suddenly is facing internal problems. Protesters calling for the ouster of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan were due out in force as a mounting political crisis forced the Turkish lira down to record lows. Demonstrators planned to take to the streets in Ankara and Istanbul, as the government scrambled to contain a graft probe that has posed the biggest threat to Erdogan’s 11-year rule.

Pro-government media has suggested the corruption inquiry — which forced Erdogan to reshuffle his government after three ministers quit and has implicated his own son — could be a setup to trigger a military coup. But the army, seen as guarantor of the country’s secular traditions, made it clear it would not get involved in political debates.

Being a strong defender of capitalism and NATO imperialism of which Israeli fascism is a part, Turkey now faces problems upon fighting against Zionist crimes in Palestine.

The situation in Turkey is severe to say the least … also because massive uncertainty has taken hold which is unlikely to subside in the near future The backdrop to the crisis is a power struggle between Erdogan and former ally Fethullah Gulen, a US-based Turkish cleric who is hugely influential at home and whose followers hold key positions in the judiciary and the police.

Commentators form the west say that the cabinet reshuffle may contain the fire for now but it will not put it out.

Erdogan is seen as increasingly struggling to limit damage and hold onto power, and his unstated hopes of running for president in 2014. He has ordered the sacking of dozens of police officers believed linked to Gulen, who has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 1999.

On Friday, in yet another twist to the political crisis, Turkey’s top court blocked implementation of a government decree ordering police to inform their superiors before launching investigations issued by public prosecutors. The government decree was introduced last week after police conducted raids targeting senior figures including the sons of ministers and businessmen as part of the fast-moving corruption inquiry.

Erdogan on 28th December Friday again alleged that the corruption probe amounted to a “smear campaign” orchestrated by outside forces bent on undermining his administration and the country’s economy. “There are outside powers behind this,” he said in a speech to supporters of his Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the northwestern city of Sakarya. “The target of the attack is Turkey whose economy is growing … and whose weight in the world increases,” he said.

 

Turkey sees the hidden hands of USA in the recent troubles in the country. Americans are trying to appease Saudi Arabia  , deadly upset over US inability to  attack Iran or Syria,  Last weekend Erdogan charged that “some ambassadors are engaged in provocative actions” and “we don’t have to keep you in our country” — all seen as a veiled threat to US Ambassador Francis Ricciardone.

 

Pro-government newspapers, meanwhile, went straight for Ricciardone, saying: “Get out of this country” The headlines were in stark contrast to the mood in May when Erdogan hailed the Turkish-US partnership during a visit to NATO-ally Washington. The US State Department on Friday criticized these “baseless attacks” and said it had made its concerns known to Turkish authorities.”We find the continued baseless attacks by some elements of the Turkish media against our ambassador … to be deeply disturbing,” said spokesperson Jen Psaki. “Turkish officials have assured us that they do not credit such false accusations against American officials, including Ambassador Ricciardone,” the statement said.

The scandal has weighed down on the local currency and fuelled anti-government sentiment brewing since the mass protests that engulfed the country in June. The graft investigation had created a “bomb effect” in markets. As the Turkish currency lira plunged to 2.1764 to the dollar in mid-morning, trading on the Istanbul stock exchange, the BIST 100, dropped 4.3 percent by early afternoon, after having dropped 2.33 percent Thursday and 4.2 percent.

 

In order for the lira and Turkish stocks to end their harsh descent, decisive leadership will be needed and credible measures taken which will appease foreign investors and the Turkish population alike.

 

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to  take bold steps to  restore normalcy in the country by talking to the rebels as well as  cooling  tempers with western leaders who oppose Islamisation of Turkey or any other country in the world- and hence the rebelish troubles in Turkey as well.

 

Istanbul should consider reforming its foreign policy goals.

 

 

د. عبد راف 

BY DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL has been an educationist, Columnist-Commentator  on world affairs Expert on Mideast AffairsChronicler of Foreign occupations & Freedom movements (Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, Chechnya, etc.) Chancellor-Founder of Centor for International Affairs(CIA);   Former university Teacher;  Editor:INTERNATIONAL OPINION; FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES; Author of books;website: http://abdulruff.wordpress.com/ mail: abdulruff_jnu@yahoo.com/Phone: 91-8129081217—(Account: No 62310377429 – CIF No: 78215311481- State Bank of Hyderabad, India)

_____________________

Terrorism is caused by anti-Islamic forces. Anti-Islamism is more dangerous than “terrorism”.  Fake democracies have zero-tolerance to any criticism of their anti-Muslim and other aggressive practices.

India would benefit from Aam Aadmi Party

 

 

  India would benefit from Aam Aadmi Party

          -DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL 

                  _______________

 

 

The Common Man (Aam Aadmi) Party has taken control of the capital by poll and accepting the mandate given to it, which swept into power on anti-corruption platform.

Price rise and lethargic officials were the also the topics of the electioneering.

The AAP party’s main agenda, therefore, is to check and end corruption while cynics keep raising the issue of how the party would go about big business which brings in plenty of taxes to the government.

Debates are on about the AAP’s plans for taping the big business to help the state with needy resources to offset the genuine problems of common Delhiites.

Arvind Kejriwal‘s party is also against allowing foreign supermarket chains in the country, a long-awaited demand of global retail corporate giants eyeing India’s largely unorganized retail market.

While the party’s fight against corruption has found wider support, economists said AAP stand on retail make it look soft on economic reform.

As the newest party, the AAP would find many bottlenecks in fulfilling the promises made to Delhiites but it will have to overcome all obstructions. So far, obviously, there is very little clarity on how the party plans to fulfill its promises, while critics raise a sense of suspicion.

The AAP said in its manifesto that a very big water tanker mafia is operating in Delhi and this mafia along with the leaders giving them patronage will be sent to jail.

AAP  platform includes some suspicions about local and international companies. For instance, top in the party’s to-do list is a promise to slash electricity tariffs by half. In its manifesto, the party said power distribution companies have been dressing up their accounts to show losses and raise tariffs. The party pledged to audit power companies and cancel the licenses of any who resist.

The party has also promised it will ensure every household in Delhi gets 700 liters of free water each day. A chronic shortage of water is a big issue in Delhi where residents often have to buy water from private suppliers.

With a view to deleting a portion of media suspicion, the AAP government has decided to supply the water free of cost as per its poll promise and reduce the electricity bill.

 

The Aam Aadmi Party has said it won’t let foreign supermarkets set foot in Delhi as they could drive thousands of local stores out of business. In September last year, the Congress led central government opened up the retail market to foreign multi-brand retailers, permitting them own up to a 51% stake in local ventures. As the major promoter of capitalist system in India, the right wing Hindutva BJP seeks 100 foreign involvements in Indian economy, pushes for foreign supermarkets.

This corporatist economic format exposes the BJP’s pseudo patriotic instincts.  

Some also question whether giving away more power and water is the best way to end shortages in the capital. There should permanent settlement of water problem for Indian capital and for which central government also should come forward to join the Delhi state to solve the problem.  Metro system has somehow solved the acute transportation in Delhi as well as the heavy road traffic.

People and onlookers are cautiously optimistic, hoping that the new party will follow through on its promise to bring the corruption levels down. That would more than offset any new restrictions on doing business. The question is not what you plan to do, but how you plan to do so

Aam Aadmi party has made robot impact on global political scene because of its spectacular win in Indian capital Delhi state, trouncing the leading political parties Congress and BJP, among others.

The success or failure of the next moves by the upstart party–born out of a surge of anti-incumbency sentiment–could set the tone for next year’s national elections.

The party, which made a spectacular debut at the Delhi state elections earlier this month, could find resonance for its political agenda if it contests the national polls. While its graft-busting rhetoric has resonated with the electorate, how that will translate into economic policy remains to be seen.

Before taking a metro train for his swearing in ceremony,  the new CM of Delhi Kejriwal said:  This fight is not about making Arvind Kejriwal the chief minister of Delhi, but it is start for another fight for independence. This fight will go on till this country is free of corruption and injustice. It is a historic day and a victory for the common man today. I think if all the people of this country join hands, then it can be freed of this deep rooted corruption.”  

 

By all available accounts, India as a nation seeking equal justice from Delhi‘s Common-man’s party by way of weakening the now strong corruption networks, nationally and regionally.

People are eager to trust their leaders who are really genuinely sympathetic to their concerns.

Hopefully not just India but the world at large will gain a lot from the politico-economic experiments now shaping the government in Delhi. 

 

 

 

د. عبد راف 

BY DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL has been an educationist, Columnist-Commentator  on world affairs Expert on Mideast AffairsChronicler of Foreign occupations & Freedom movements (Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, Chechnya, etc.) Chancellor-Founder of Centor for International Affairs(CIA);   Former university Teacher;  Editor:INTERNATIONAL OPINION; FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES; Author of books;website: http://abdulruff.wordpress.com/ mail: abdulruff_jnu@yahoo.com/Phone: 91-8129081217—(Account: No 62310377429 – CIF No: 78215311481- State Bank of Hyderabad, India)

_____________________

Terrorism is caused by anti-Islamic forces. Anti-Islamism is more dangerous than “terrorism”.  Fake democracies have zero-tolerance to any criticism of their anti-Muslim and other aggressive practices. 

Delhi People’s Durbar: Kejriwal assumes power, swears to change system

 

 

Delhi People’s Durbar: Kejriwal assumes power, swears to change system

-DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL 

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When people trust a party and elect it  in preference to other important national parties,  people expect quite a lot from the party  and trust its ability to deliver.  When party assuming power  signals  to protect the  people’s interests,  nation feels safe and secure.

 

This  exactly has happened in Delhi state of India where people opted Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) by  rejecting other national parties like Congress and BJP and entrust the mandate to the new leadership to govern honestly and sincerely for the welfare of Delhiites.  .

 

History was made on 28th December when Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) founder leader Arvind Kejriwal took oath as Delhi’s seventh and youngest chief minister of Delhi state at the Ramlila Maidan, watched by tens of thousands of excited supporters at the venue and on live television around the country.

Wearing his trademark white cap, Arvind Kejriwal was sworn in today as Delhi’s youngest chief minister, as an estimated one lakh people cheered for him at Ram Lila Maidan, a massive public park in the heart of the city. It was the culmination of a momentous campaign for people’s rights that was mounted by Kejriwal and his Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), formed only a year ago but recognized a few months ago on thieve of the Delhi poll  and which rode to power in a major electoral upset this month.
Along with Kejirwal were sworn in six of his relatively youthful ministers by Delhi Lt Governor Najeeb Jung amid a crescendo of cheers and claps from his white cap-waving sea of supporters and voters who reposed faith in him and his promises to “change the system”.

Along with Kejriwal, other AAP leaders Manish Sisodia, Satyendra Kumar Jain and Somnath Bharti, Rakhi Birla, Saurabh Bharadwaj, Girish Soni also took oath as cabinet ministers. Kejriwal announced ministries, keeps home, finance, vigilance power, planning to himself In a short press conference, Arvind Kejriwal announced the allotment of ministries. He said he will keep the home ministry, finance, planning, and vigilance and power ministries to himself. Somnath Bharti will handle tourism, law and administrative reforms. Rakhi Birla will take charge of women and child development and take charge of women’s security. Girish Soni gets SC, ST, employment and labour portfolios. Satyendra Jain has been given health and industries. Manish Sisodia will hold the PWD and education ministries.

Following the swearing-in ceremony, Kejriwal in a speech at the Ramlila maidan announced a special number which will bring corrupt government officers to book. Delhi’s new CM Kejriwal in a speech appealed to his newly sworn in ministers to never become arrogant during their tenure. He said, “I swear that in my life I will never take bribes or give bribes. If anyone asks for a bribe, pay it and report it to a special number, the phone will be activated in 2 days. We shall catch the corrupt red handed.” He added, “The fight is very long and we will need the support of people to end corruption in the capital and the country. We don’t have solutions to all problems. “We don’t have a magic wand to solve problems immediately. We have all stepped out to clean this politics and for the past 2 years.  Kejriwal said his party was formed to serve the common man. “If we walk on the path of truth, ultimately the truth will win,” he said. “We had to form a party to wade out arrogant politicians, hope that the noone else has to form a party to wade us out. We came here to serve and we will go to our constituencies and serve the common man of whom we are a part.”

After announcing the ministries, Arvind Kejriwal held his first Cabinet meeting in which he warned his party members, MLAs and his ministers of not growing the kind of hubris that can fell a party. “Never let pride grow inside you. Let it never happen that like we had to finish corrupt parties, some other party has to come up to end our hubris. Remember, our battle was not to become ministers and MLAs. Our idea was to serve the aam aadmi. Whenever you meet people in your constituency, meet him with folded hands, like you have been doing so far,” he said. He specifically also warned party workers to not do anything that betrays audacity, pride in having won.
Part naive, part melodramatic, part idealistic, Arvind Kejriwal strikes a chord as the aam aadmi CM of Delhi In his first address as the chief minister of Delhi, Arvind Kerjriwal hit several right notes – some perfectly in line with the traditional style of Indian politicking, some surprisingly unaffected, some high on idealism and some laudably sharp. Kejriwal started his speech with a call media have now come to associate with Narendra Modi – “Bharat Mata ki Jai”. However, he quickly followed it up with a hint of the revolutionary streak in his party.  He shouted ‘Inquilab Zindabad’ immediately after.

With doubts already making the rounds about the Kejriwal government’s abilities to keep promises, the cabinet has to get cracking on providing free 700 litres of water and subsidizing electricity bills immediately. Kejriwal had said though water will be made free as soon as the government takes charge, making sure it reaches all corners of Delhi will be an uphill task and will take some time.

 

Kejriwa became the first time MLA from New Delhi constituency after defeating incumbent Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit on 8th December, 2013. AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal said he will start working immediately after taking oath as Delhi’s chief minister Saturday, adding that he had Gandhian activist Anna Hazare’s “best wishes”. Kejriwal told the media that he would go to the Delhi government’s secretariat shortly after being sworn in at the sprawling Ramlila Maidan here. He also told the media outside his residence at Kaushambi township near Delhi that he had received a message of greetings from Hazare, who Kejriwal regards as his guru. Kejriwal said Hazare, who is based in Maharashtra, had extended his “best wishes” to the new Aam Aadmi Party government. Hazare, who had been invited to attend the ceremony, expressed his inability to do so due to ill health.

 

 

And perfectly in line with the thrust of his party, Kejriwal came up with a grandiose beginning to his appeal to the people of Delhi. He said, “Today, it was not me who was sworn-in as the chief minister of Delhi, the six ministers standing with me have not been sworn-in. Every aam aadmi in Delhi has sworn in as the chief minister of Delhi today.”

 

 

 

A failure of the AAP government has high chances of being made out as a fall-out of the non-cooperation or non performance of the bureaucrats. Now  the officers too will have to take these expectations seriously and serve the people of Delhi.   Kejriwal tackled the bureaucracy as his biggest challenge while running a government.  It is difficult to work with the existing ranks of bureaucrats and bureaucracy

 

India is not stranger to the change of tone in public outreach programs and behavior of a party once they come to power – in fact, one of India’s favorite reasons to be cynical about the county’s politics is the obvious change in tone and color of a party’s approach once it wins.  

 

 

In a moment of near-brutal honesty Kejriwal admitted that the magnitude of the responsibility that has been placed on his shoulders scares him. “It scares me, the kind of hopes you have on me. But this is not just our government, it is your government. You have to help us succeed, you have to help us implement our ideas. I just hope that God gives us enough strength to fight all challenges,” he said. With this declaration, Kejriwal, at least verbally addressed similar apprehensions among his voters and supporters.

 

 

Kejriwal hinted as making sweeping changes in the way of governing Delhi, in a language that people understand the best. He suggested that if any official ever asks for bribes, we should get a ‘setting’ with him. ‘Setting’ in colloquial Hindi means an arrangement where two parties stand to benefit equally. “I will give you a number in two days. You can call on this number and get corrupt officials caught red handed,” he exhorted. He then washed his hands off the responsibility of re-poll in case Congress withdraws support from them. “I have been hearing some noise about us not coming out winners in the confidence vote that will take place in a week. If we don’t, we’ll go back to the voters and you’ll make sure that we win with a clear majority,” he said.

 

It is important here to notice, that Kejriwal’s governance pitch, continued to be one that demands honest and zealous participation from the people of Delhi, he then made the huge crowd at the Ramlila Maidan take an oath of honesty with him. Curiously enough, large sections of the crowd repeated with him, “We will neither give bribes, nor take bribes.”

 

 

Then, bringing in a hint of fun to the sombre occasion, he first apologized for his bad singing skills, but anyway went on to sing the party’s anthem in a wobbly, mostly out-of-tune voice.  People saw in Kejriwal a very aam aadmi-like leader they longed to see for too long. .

 

Now what is more appealing to a regular aam aadmi than a leader to admits to fear, trepidation in a language he himself does? While most other emotions – sympathy, pain or concern – fear and apprehension is something that doesn’t sound as concocted. However, given that the political affections of the masses have always tilted towards the overwhelming, one wonders if Kejriwal’s raw ‘aam aadmi’ card would yield followers outside Delhi. 

 

 

A word for Common-man” party 

 

Congress  party may not pull down the  AAP government right now and the government would survive without difficulty because Congress party would not gain anything if they do it now. 

 

Anti-corruption  is the  slogan of the AAP party  and the party now should  make this theme of the government at all levels. 

 

The party would serve the nation well by n disallowing corrupt people in the government for whatever reason. The party should monitor the  activities of all party leaders, functionaries,  MLAs, ministers, among others, and punish those who are found guilty of bribery or service for monetary benefits or spoiling the party image as the common man’s party. 

 

That Delhiites could enacted regime change by elections, bringing in a new party, AAP, to serve the ordinary masses should generate enough enthusiasm all over India where people are genuinely fed up with  bogus  politics. Corrupt politicians and their parties use communal and other gimmicks to fool the people. AAP should help usher in new  politics of quality that benefits  ordinary masses  and keep the corrupt people out of office and in jails.   

 

Power hungry people should have no place in a party like AAP which is committed to people, common people. Power hunger leads to rampant corruption in the government and society. Such people  are a threat to AAP and nation. they should be shown door at the earliest before  the decease  spread further, wrecking  the party and system. 

 

 

Youth is the hope of future. Indian youth faces serious problem from cricket which they take more seriously than education and politics. They should be properly taught about the hidden agendas in cricket and joint cricket exercises meant only for  helping batboys with 100s and 50s, making  fake records and false rankings. IPL gambling corrupts the youth minds and harms the national pride, people’s  genuine needs. The emerging new politics of India is expected to change the mindset of  the youth to shed fanatic mentality. and in imbibe  true values.  .  . 

 

Generally, after the elections, the ruling party  just ignores the voters and keep them out of bound for the swearing in ceremony and onward.  As the first beginning of the new regime change, CM Kejriwal invited all voters and others to the swearing in ceremony.  By making them a part of the ceremony the new government has enlisted their continued support of the masses.

 

Delhites look to new government a lot more. Also, the people of India at large!

 

Common people deserve a lot, a lot more.  

 

Only dedicated political parties without  hidden agendas can enlive their dreams. . 

 

 

د. عبد راف 

BY DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL has been an educationist, Columnist-Commentator  on world affairs Expert on Mideast AffairsChronicler of Foreign occupations & Freedom movements (Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, Chechnya, etc.) Chancellor-Founder of Centor for International Affairs(CIA);   Former university Teacher;  Editor:INTERNATIONAL OPINION; FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES; Author of books;website: http://abdulruff.wordpress.com/ mail: abdulruff_jnu@yahoo.com/Phone: 91-8129081217—(Account: No 62310377429 – CIF No: 78215311481- State Bank of Hyderabad, India)

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Terrorism is caused by anti-Islamic forces. Anti-Islamism is more dangerous than “terrorism”.  Fake democracies have zero-tolerance to any criticism of their anti-Muslim and other aggressive practices.

Christmas celebrated without electricity in parts of Canada, USA

 

Christmas celebrated without electricity in parts of Canada, USA

-DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL 

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Homes and businesses were without power on 24th-25th December in parts of central and northeastern USA and into Canada after a weekend ice and snow storm rolled across the region.

The entire region was under a cold alert, with temperatures expected to be well below freezing Tuesday.

Some US states kept emergency shelters open for people without power. The number of customers in Maine without power spiked to more than 100,000, even as Central Maine Power Co. sent more than 1,000 workers to help restore power throughout the state. That was the case, too, in Michigan, where Jackson-based Consumers Energy — the state’s largest utility — said it hadn’t had this many outages during any Christmas week since its founding 126 years ago. Close to 17 percent of its 1.8 million electric customers lost power during the storm that hit late Saturday; roughly 157,000 remained without it

In Toronto, Officials in Canada’s Ontario province said, 72,000 people were without electricity on Christmas Day and their efforts to light up on the night did not get any positive response. ,

Elsewhere in Canada, tens of thousands of people are still without power in New Brunswick and Quebec, and hundreds in Nova Scotia. More than 500,000 households in the north-eastern USA and the south-eastern Canada are still without electricity after last weekend’s severe ice storm. Utility crews are working round-the-clock, but warn that some homes could be without power at least until Saturday.

At least 27 deaths in the region have been linked to the storm. Most of those were caused by apparent carbon monoxide poisoning as people used gas generators, charcoal stoves and other appliances to heat their homes in freezing temperatures. Toronto Mayor Rob Ford warned earlier this week “I understand they want to keep warm, but you cannot do this. This is deadly”.  Other fatalities were caused by traffic accidents.

Environment Canada meteorologist David Phillips warned earlier this week that the ice would remain as temperatures stayed below freezing. “There’s no natural melting going on,” he said. “It’s going to be human effort and endeavor that will get rid of the sheath of ice that’s covering eastern Canada.”

In the USA, states from Maine to Michigan have been affected by the adverse weather. Travel between Toronto and Montreal, Ottawa and New York had been disrupted.

People elect political parties only to govern them without harming their genuine interests and by proper ways.

As the terrocratic regimes in the west ignore the available methods of electrify generation other than by nuclear mode, people of both USA and Canada suffer due to shortage of power supply.

One does not know if the regimes deliberately cut power to make life miserable fro the users, as it is done in India I and other less developed nations where most of the people live without proper nutrition and support and regular power cut is very common. .

Hopefully, the US-Canada regimes would ensure that the electric link is resumed at the earliest. 

It is time to devise non-nuclear techniques to generate enough electricity for entire world, country wise, region wise and globally.

 

 

 

 

 

د. عبد راف 

BY DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL has been an educationist, Columnist-Commentator  on world affairs Expert on Mideast AffairsChronicler of Foreign occupations & Freedom movements (Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, Chechnya, etc.) Chancellor-Founder of Centor for International Affairs(CIA);   Former university Teacher;  Editor:INTERNATIONAL OPINION; FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES; Author of books;website: http://abdulruff.wordpress.com/ mail: abdulruff_jnu@yahoo.com/Phone: 91-8129081217—(Account: No 62310377429 – CIF No: 78215311481- State Bank of Hyderabad, India)

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Common-man’s Party from Activism to Governance: Myth and Reality of Indian Politics

 

 

 

Common-man’s Party from Activism to Governance: Myth and Reality of Indian Politics

-DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL 

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The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) chief Arvind Kejriwal is making the choice of heading a minority government with Congress support from outside  The rise of the Aam Aadmi Party has been a welcome change in Indian politics but also agree that the party’s poll promises are somewhat “unfeasible”.

So now India’s debutant Aam Admi Party needs to get out of its activism mode and must meet people’s expectations as it looks set to form a government in Delhi.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), or Common Man’s party, is a minority government with 28 of the 70 seats won in the assembly polls, well short of 8 MLAs to form ministry on its own, and has decided to govern Delhi with support from the Congress.

 

The rise of AAP is threatening to the Congress and BJP, now more the BJP which seeks to attack Congress and win votes. .AAP shares BJP votes considerably.  True, Congress finds it difficult to defend their corruption cases. Kejriwal would target the Congress as well as BJP if he aims very high in Parliamentary polls. 

All political parties are power hungry, both national and regional. Congress and BJP vie for power by attacking each other, though anti-Islamism and anti-Mosque politics bind them all together.

All parties have assessed their costs and benefits in making their moves and are hoping that in the next couple of months, the dice will roll their way – at the Lok Sabha elections due in April-May. The risk the BJP is courting is the prowess of Kejriwal. Kejriwal can manage to consolidate on his Aam Aadmi positioning and the BJP would lose not only Delhi, but also a few Lok Sabha seats at national level.  Aam Aadmi party can subsume and replace BJP’s role of opposition but without Hindutva agenda. 

 

With too many illegal mining and bribery cases hanging around its “patriotic” the neck, BJP cannot claim to be corruption-free, but it is widely seen as less corrupt and it is also a right-wing party, and more pro-business. Plus it has a projected leader who is seen to be well on governance right now.

BJP is wonder if Kejriwal could announce all kinds of anti-corruption probes of several years of Congress-BJP reigns even while being CM.

 

The BJP’s political calculation in not staking a claim to form a government despite being the single largest party in Delhi is prompted by the need to be seen as not power hungry before the Lok Sabha polls. The BJP party may be willing to sacrifice a CM post in Delhi in order to win bigger in the Lok Sabha polls. Any covert or overt moves to buy MLAs – not easy in the given scenario anyway – would expose the party’s clean image claims. A factor the BJP probably took into account was the possibility of having to face a belligerent Kejriwal disclosing one corruption scandal after another under its watch. The BJP rules the Municipal Corporation of Delhi. Perhaps the party is gambling on the fact that in government, Kejriwal will be under greater scrutiny for missteps – if any. It may also be gambling that a Kejriwal who has to run government will not be able to spread the AAP’s tentacles to other metro cities quickly enough before the next Lok Sabha polls.

 AAP can eat into the Modi magic and deny BJP a good seat count. Both Congress and BJP calculate Kejriwal might rule only for two months – and few people can presume that he will lose all his goodwill in two months. No party that has just won a big mandate ever loses public support so early.

 

Kejriwal has probably been cornered by a tactical Congress move to give him support and the BJP’s unwillingness to risk a minority government before the Lok Sabha. After playing holier-than-thou to Congress, Kejriwal risked being seen as someone unwilling to shoulder responsibility when offered a chance. He has two months to make his moves – on Jan Lokpal, free water supplies, and power tariff audits. In a crunch all this is possible to demonstrate before the Lok Sabha election code kicks in around end-February. Even if he cannot achieve all his goals, he can claim he needs a majority to make his moves – and most Delhi voters may give him the benefit of doubt.

The “jan sabhas” (people’s assembly) held to decide whether AAP should form a government – which turned out to be free publicity shows for Kejriwal – were extensively covered by the media, while both Congress and BJP are left out in the cold.

 

 

BJP knows well that it was AAP poll campaign that helped the party to win so many MLA seats in Delhi though AAP also got so many seats- not expected by BJP which wanted to reap all benefits of AAP campaign.

 

AAP has occupied the pro-people space that the Congress always sought and is almost the same kind of non-communal populist party Congress wanted to be.

 

For Congress, however, BJP and its supportive media remains the top opponent at all India level chiefly because AAP has not yet expanded its canvas being Delhi. .

 

 

Observation

 

AAP has been amplified due to the party’s overt criticism of other political parties. Given the manner in which the AAP has attacked all political parties, accusing them of betraying the trust of the people, it will have to deliver on its promises double quick once it takes over the government. And therein lies the will of the government to deliver.

Indian political history reveals that anti-corruption platforms are difficult to sustain, while governance is a larger platform to own for a political party.  They lose the steam and both Congress and BJP defeated them eventually. AAP needs to change that view and mindset with good performance.

 

Perhaps, anti-corruption alone is not a good enough plank for the long-term, for it is governance that matters. This does not mean AAP will not dent the BJP in 2014. But it does mean that over the long term, its economic plank will become more important than its pure anti-corruption rhetoric.

Perhaps corruption and bribery are inherent in Indian consciousness and will come out sooner than later when Lokpal, under pressure and other mischief by politicians, cools down.

 

Good governance can make the AAP look larger than Congress and BJP put together.

 

The task of governance, it will find, is not about pleasing everyone all the time, but of weighing competing claims, making choices and taking responsibility for them.

 Now that their favorite AAP has come to power, Delhiites expect quite a lot from the new rulers who are people friendly. AAP must fulfill its promise of auditing private electricity distribution companies and slashing power bills by 50%. While an audit is welcome, a massive reduction in power tariffs is improbable given rising coal and gas prices. But AAP must keep its word given to the people of Delhi and slash the tariff to 50%. And let the future requirements could settle the matter in favor the people. AAP may have to adjust its approach as it now has to govern Delhi.

 

The AAP’s journey from mass movement to curb corruption to political office in just one year is without a parallel in Indian electoral history but “the real test of the AAP’s commitment to clean politics and transparent governance begins now.

 

د. عبد راف 

BY DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL has been an educationist, Columnist-Commentator  on world affairs Expert on Mideast AffairsChronicler of Foreign occupations & Freedom movements (Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, Chechnya, etc.) Chancellor-Founder of Centor for International Affairs(CIA);   Former university Teacher;  Editor:INTERNATIONAL OPINION; FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES; Author of books;website: http://abdulruff.wordpress.com/ mail: abdulruff_jnu@yahoo.com/Phone: 91-8129081217—(Account: No 62310377429 – CIF No: 78215311481- State Bank of Hyderabad, India)

End of Ideology

Realignment between USA and Cuba?

-DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL 

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Before we debate on emerging new US diplomacy towards Cube one simple question needs to be asked right here.

 

Is American imperialism capable of changes?

 

Can one expect US leadership respect humanity at large and to formulate humanist policies against capitalism, imperialism?

 

When American imperialists are losing world status step by step, now it is communist Cuba, one of the strongest US opponents, seeking better relations with its major foe.

 

New beginning?

In a speech given on 22 December  before the National Assembly as the final plenary session of the year came to a close, the Cuban president recalled that Havana has expressed to Washington “on multiple occasions” its willingness to maintain a “respectful dialogue on equal terms, without compromising the independence, sovereignty and self-determination” of Cuba.

Although nothing new trend in international relations should surprise anybody, Cuban President Raul Castro, the heir-brother of revolutionary Fidel Castro who was known for his anti-Americanism, has called for “civilized relations” with the United States, saying the two countries should respect each other, especially their differences.

It seems Nelson Mandela after his death has just played a unity role in bringing together former global enemies by patching up their differences.

Even before the “meet” of Obama and Raul, Americans and Cubans are already on talking terms. In recent times, the relations between the two neighbors have shown signs of improvement of late, although some stumbling blocks to reconciliation remain.

It has come to light now that both countries have been in talks to for constructive cooperation.  However, strategists on both sides doubt their intent.  Castro said Cuban and American officials had met several times over the last year to discuss practical matters, such as immigration and the re-establishment of a postal service.

 

Fidel Castro, an ally of Soviet Union and opposing USA, is known for his bold action in 1963 “Cuban Missile Crisis” by threatening to push the missile button targeting America. Had he pushed the button perhaps that would have resulted in another world war.

Castro and Obama’s brief, unprecedented handshake awakened some expectations about bilateral relations, though neither government gave any importance to the matter, considering it a normal example of civil behavior.

In talking about relations between Washington and Havana, whose political differences go back more than 50 years, Castro did not, however, mention his greeting to US President Barack Obama in South Africa at the Memorial for the late South African leader, Nelson Mandela.

Broken Ties

Cuba is once of reaming communist regimes on the face of the earth.  Washington has failed to coerce Havana to change the system by allowing US multinationals to enter  and  control Cuban economy, but Cuba has vehemently opposed the great idea of CIA. .

To those countries that are blacklisted by the CIA for opposing USA for whatever reasons, Americans insists on the norms of shared values for any true relationships.

The US broke off relations with in 1961 after the revolution and maintains an economic embargo against the island. Although Washington keeps making some concessions of Cuba the relations have remain cold even after the end of Cold war.

President Raul Castro said the US should drop its demand for regime change on the communist-run island. That would allow both sides to continue work on improving relations. Castro’s comments in a rare public speech follow a public handshake with President Obama at the memorial ceremony for Nelson Mandela in South Africa earlier this month. We do not ask the United States to change its political and social system.”

 

Castro explained that the relations should be civilized and he warned: “If we really want to make progress in bilateral relations, we have to learn to respect each other’s differences and get used to living peacefully with them. Otherwise, we are only ready for another 55 years like the last. ”If we really want to make progress in bilateral relations, we must get used to coexisting with them peacefully,” the president said during an address broadcast Saturday on state television. Castro told legislators at the closing session of the parliament in the capital, Havana that they do not ask the United States to change its political and social system, “nor do we agree to negotiate over ours”.

Castro again offered the US government the option of a “respectful dialogue” that would not compromise the island’s sovereignty, and said the two countries can establish “civilized relations.”  Castro said: ”If in recent times we have been able to have certain discussions on subjects of mutual benefit…we believe we can resolve other matters, establish civilized relations between the two countries, as our people and the vast majority of US citizens and Cuban emigrants would wish” .

Raul Castro, 82, took over from his brother, Fidel, in 2006, pursuing Fidel’s polices. Fidel had serious health problems and was never able to come back to power. Two years later, he resigned and transferred control permanently to Raul Castro, who has since carried out a program of economic reforms, which has helped efforts for relations with the US to be improved. But critics say the pace of change has been too slow, not to the liking or standards of the Americans. But Castro warned:”The reform process in Cuba cannot be rushed or it will lead to failure”.

Among the most recent changes announced by Raul Castro is the end of restrictions on private individuals to buy new and second hand cars.  Cuban communist program is to restrict people to one car so that process of equality opportunities is on.

Now anyone with enough money will be allowed to order the vehicles from a government dealer. Until now, only those who were given a previous government authorization were allowed to buy cars in Cuba.

Many Cubans oppose the US embargo, arguing that it attacks the economic resources of Cuba’s people rather than its government. Economic damage resulting from the embargo is probably at least partially responsible for endemic food shortages and transportation difficulties in Cuba. Food imports from the United States have increased in recent years despite the embargo, resulting in slight improvements in this situation.

Academics outside of Cuba have also criticized the embargo for its effects on food, clean water, medicine, and other economic needs of the Cuban population. It has also been linked to shortages of medical supplies and soap which have resulted in a series of medical crises and heightened levels of infectious diseases. It has also been linked to epidemics of specific diseases, including neurological disorders caused by poor nutrition and blindness.

 

US interests

USA and Cuba, located in the same time zone, do not have common ideology as they do not share American values. Also, distance between USA and Cuba is 777 miles or 1250 KM (kilometers) and 538.21 meters.

 

Yet, the United States of America and Cuba have a long history of close economic and political ties. Though Cuba had been a Spanish colony for nearly 400 years, the island had developed increasing trade links with the United States during the 19th century. In December of 1898, Spain ceded control of Cuba to the US following its defeat in the Spanish-American War.

 

Plans for purchase of Cuba from the Spanish Empire were put forward at various times by the USA. As the Spanish influence waned in the Caribbean, the United States gradually gained a position of economic and political dominance over the island, with the vast majority of foreign investment holdings and the bulk of imports and exports in its hands, as well as a strong influence on Cuban political affairs.

 

As it could not purchase Cuba from Spain, the USA later assisted Cuba in its liberation from Spain in 1902, yet frequently intervened in Cuban political affairs. There was substantial US investment in Cuban production of sugar and tobacco for export, and in tourism, as well as preferential access for Cuban exports to the USA. By 1926 US companies owned 60% of the Cuban sugar industry and imported 95% of the total Cuban crop.

 

The Cuban Revolution of 1959 saw the overthrow of General Fulgencio Batista and the rise to power of Fidel Castro. The U.S. government formally recognized the new Cuban administration, but relations were to deteriorate rapidly as the Cuban government passed the first Agrarian Reform Law, allowing for the expropriation of large-scale (largely American-owned) land holdings.

 

The US embargo against Cuba is an economic, commercial, and financial embargo imposed on Cuba on February 7, 1962. The embargo was enacted after Cuba expropriated the properties of United States rich citizens and corporations.

 

In 1999, US President Bill Clinton expanded the trade embargo even further by ending the practice of foreign subsidiaries of U.S. companies trading with Cuba totaling more than US$700 million a year.

 

At present, the embargo, which limits American businesses from conducting business with Cuban interests, is still in effect, making it one of the few times in history that United States citizens have been restricted from doing business abroad, and is the most enduring trade embargo in modern history. Despite the existence of the embargo, the United States is the seventh largest exporter to Cuba (4.3% of Cuba’s imports are from the US).

 

In November 2001, US companies began selling food to the country for the first time since Washington imposed the trade embargo after the revolution. In 2002, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter became the first former or sitting U.S. president to visit Cuba since 1928

 

Following his 2004 reelection, George W. Bush declared Cuba to be one of the few “outposts of tyranny” remaining in the world. Tensions heightened as the Under Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security Affairs, John R. Bolton, accused Cuba of maintaining a biological weapons program

 

Bolton identified the Castro government as part of America’s “axis of evil,” highlighting the fact that the Cuban leader visited several US foes, including Libya, Iran and Syria. Cuba was also identified as a State Sponsor of Terrorism by the United States Department of State. The Cuban government denies the claim, and in turn has accused the U.S. of engaging in state sponsored terrorism against Cuba.

 

The Cuban government denies the claim, and in turn has accused the U.S. of engaging in state sponsored terrorism against Cuba

 

On September 8, 2006, it was revealed that at least ten South Florida journalists received regular payments from the US government for organized media programs

 

In April 2009 US President Barack Obama began implementing a less strict policy towards Cuba. The U.S. president had stated that he is open to dialogue with Cuba, but that he would only lift the trade embargo if Cuba has political change. In March 2009, Obama signed into law a Congressional spending bill which eased some economic sanctions on Cuba and eased travel restrictions on Cuban Americans.

 

At the 2009 5th Summit of the Americas, President Obama signaled the opening of a new beginning with Cuba. On 27 July 2012, Raúl Castro said that the Cuban government is willing to hold talks with the United States government to “discuss anything”. On December 10 2013, in an unprecedented move at a state memorial service for Nelson Mandela, Barack Obama and Raul Castro shook hands.

 

Cuba goes Kremlin

 

 

The Cuban Revolution which propelled Fidel Castro to power on January 1, 1959, initially attracted little attention in Moscow. Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev asked his advisers to consult Cuba’s Communists who reported that Castro was a representative of the “haute bourgeoisie” and working for the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. In February 1960 Khrushchev sent his deputy Anastas Mikoyan to Cuba to discover motivations of Castro against USA and Mikoyan returned from Cuba with the opinion that Castro’s new administration should be helped economically and politically. ‘

 

Washington’s increasing economic embargo led Cuba to hurriedly seek new markets to avert economic disaster. Castro asked for help from the Soviets and in response Khrushchev approved the temporary purchase of Cuban sugar in exchange for Soviet fuel. This deal was to play a part in sustaining the Cuban economy for many years to come.  The defense of Cuba became a matter of prestige for the Soviet Union, and Khruschev believed that the U.S. would block all access to the island whether by sea or air.

 

Khrushchev agreed on a deployment plan in May 1962 chiefly in response to NATO positioning their nuclear missiles in Turkey in 1958, and by late July over sixty Soviet ships were in route to Cuba, some of them already carrying military material.

 

In a televised address on October 22, U.S. President John F. Kennedy announced the discovery of the installations and proclaimed that any nuclear missile attack from Cuba would be regarded as an attack by the Soviet Union and would be responded to accordingly. Khrushchev sent letters to Kennedy on October 23 and 24 claiming the deterrent nature of the missiles in Cuba and the peaceful intentions of the Soviet Union. On October 26, the Soviets offered to withdraw the missiles in return for a U.S. guarantee not to invade Cuba or support any invasion and to remove all missiles set in southern Italy and in Turkey. This deal was accepted and the crisis abated.

 

Castro was not consulted throughout the Kennedy-Khrushchev negotiations and the unilateral Soviet withdrawal of the missiles and bombers wounded Castro’s pride and prestige.

 

The missile crisis had a significant impact on the countries involved. While it led to a thaw in US-Soviet relations, it significantly strained Cuban-Soviet relations.

 

With Cuba’s proximity to the United States, Castro and his regime became an important Cold War ally for the Soviets. The relationship was for the most part an economic one, with the Soviet Union providing military, economic and political assistance to Cuba. After the establishment of diplomatic ties with the Soviet Union after the Cuban revolution of 1959, Cuba became increasingly dependent on Soviet markets and military aid becoming an ally of the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Moscow kept in regular contact with Havana, sharing varying close relations until the collapse of the bloc in 1991. After the demise of the Soviet Union, Cuba entered an era of economic hardship.

 

A US arms embargo had been in force since March 1958 when armed conflict broke out in Cuba between rebels and the Batista government. In July 1960, in response to the expropriations by the Cuban government, the United States reduced the Cuban import quota of sugar by 7,000,000 tons; the Soviet Union responded by agreeing to purchase the sugar instead, and Cuba took further actions to take over American businesses. In response to Cuba’s alignment with the Soviet Union during the Cold War, President John F. Kennedy extended measures

 

Following the Cuban Missile Crisis, Kennedy imposed travel restrictions on February 8, 1963, and the Cuban Assets Control Regulations were issued on July 8, 1963, under the Trading with the Enemy Act in response to Cubans hosting Soviet nuclear weapons, which led to the Cuban Missile Crisis. Under these restrictions, Cuban assets in the U.S. were frozen and the existing restrictions were consolidated.

 

When Gorbachev came to power in March 1985, Cuba remained an important Cold War propaganda tool for the Soviet Union. Economic investment and trade in Cuba was at its highest; in 1985 trade between the two nations accounted for over 70 percent of Cuba’s entire trade. The two nations continued to collaborate on projects in the sciences, technology, sports, and education.  However, throughout the Gorbachev era diplomatic relations cooled until the collapse of the Soviet Empire in 1991 and the termination of Soviet-Cuban relations.

Heightened tensions best characterize diplomatic relations between Cuba and the Soviet Union throughout the Gorbachev era. The introduction of Gorbachev’s reforms of perestroika, glasnost, and his “new thinking” on foreign policy set off an economic crisis in the Soviet Union, opened up the Soviets and their allies to increasing internal criticism from dissidents, and sparked an ideological conflict with Fidel Castro’s regime.

 

The collapse of Soviet Union and end of socialism in Europe resulted in the end of Cuban-Soviet relations and great isolation and economic hardship in Cuba.

 

 

An Observation

Whether or not Americans would trust the Cubans or take their words seriously is the moot question now to expect any drastic changes in US-Cuban relations. .

 

 

 

د. عبد راف 

BY DR. ABDUL RUFF COLACHAL has been an educationist, Columnist-Commentator  on world affairs Expert on Mideast Affairs, Chronicler of Foreign occupations & Freedom movements (Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Xinjiang, Chechnya, etc.) Chancellor-Founder of Centor for International Affairs(CIA);   Former university Teacher;  Editor:INTERNATIONAL OPINION; FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES; Author of books;website: http://abdulruff.wordpress.com/ mail: abdulruff_jnu@yahoo.com/Phone: 91-8129081217—(Account: No 62310377429 – CIF No: 78215311481- State Bank of Hyderabad, India)