Thursday July 24th, 2014, 2:26 am (EDT)

Che

I make a halt in my daily struggle to bow my head in respect and gratitude to the exceptional combatant who fell on October 8th, forty years ago; for the example he passed on to us as leader of his Rebel Army Column, which crossed the swampy grounds of the former provinces of Oriente and Camagüey while being chased by enemy troops. He was the liberator of the city of Santa Clara, and the creator of voluntary work; he accomplished honorable political missions abroad and served as a messenger of militant internationalism in eastern Congo and Bolivia; he built a new awareness in our America and the world.

I thank him for what he tried but was not able to do in his home country, because he was like a flower prematurely severed from its stem.

He left us his unmistakable style of writing — with elegance, brevity and veracity — every detail of whatever happened to cross his mind. He was a predestinate, but he didn’t know it. He still fights with us and for us.

Yesterday, we commemorated the 31st anniversary of the killing of the passengers and crew of a Cuban airliner that was blown up in mid-flight, and we are on the threshold of the tenth anniversary of the cruel and unjust imprisonment of the five Cuban anti-terrorist heroes. We likewise bow our heads to them all.

It was with great emotion that I watched and heard the commemoration ceremony on TV.

Fidel Castro Ruz
October 7, 2007