The following message from political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal was prepared for the Workers’ Summit in Tijuana, Mexico, June 10-12, which is being held in response to President Joe Biden’s Summit of the Americas.
My brothers, sisters and comrades in Tijuana, I welcome you, delegates of the excluded. People from Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela and beyond.
Many of you come from poor nations, countries with relatively low GDP, like Cuba, for example, which has a GDP roughly equal to Ghana. As I write from the richest nation on earth, I have to add that I also write from a nation that cannot protect its own children. See the ugly massacre in Texas, where 19 babies were slain in elementary school, while cops filled the halls.
Here tens of thousands of former students can’t afford to pay their loans to schools and colleges. Again, look at Cuba, where people can go from kindergarten to medical school for free. And not just Cubans. Students can go to medical school in Cuba, even if they aren’t from Cuba. And remember, Cuba isn’t a rich country. It does what it does, because it dedicates its resources [medicine] to public service.
What does it matter if America with all its riches, couldn’t prevent the deaths of 1 million people because of COVID-19? In fact, you can go to any ghetto in America and see hunger and poverty. People who live in food deserts, people who are homeless. You’ll also find the greatest level of imprisonment in the world.
So why should poor nations listen to rich nations? What do they have to teach us? Racism, class strife, violent cops, corrupt politicians, greedy businessmen and militarism. The poor and excluded of the world have only each other. If we work in solidarity, we surely can do better. Thank you, muchas gracias.
With love, not fear, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.