Yesterday, I had a lengthy talk with Miguel d’Escoto, president pro tempore of the United Nations General Assembly. I had listened to his remarks at the ALBA meeting in Cumana on April 17.
I admired his significant statement. I had first met him after the victory of the Revolution in Nicaragua when Daniel Ortega appointed him minister of Foreign Affairs, a position he held until Reagan’s dirty war, which caused the death of thousands of Sandinista youths and great economic damage, ended up with the victory of counterrevolution in Nicaragua.
The backwardness that situation brought throughout seventeen years, and the economic and social disaster imposed by the U.S. “democracy” on the noble Nicaraguan people, led to the return of the Sandinista government to the country; this time with constitutional limitations and a marked dependency from the United States. Daniel denounced it on April 17, at the Summit of the Americas in Port of Spain where with great dignity he condemned the blockade on Cuba. On the other hand, Miguel d’Escoto, who as a minister of Foreign Affairs of Nicaragua had earned great prestige with his talents and ideas, was elected in 2007 president of the UN General Assembly for a two-year period.
It was in this capacity that he attended the Non Aligned Movement’s ministerial meeting held in Havana this past April 28, 29 and 30. Today, he was at the Revolution Square with Raul watching the impressive parade for the International Worker’s Day carried live by our television while in Santiago, the cradle of the Revolution, and in the other provinces of the country enthusiastic parades took place which constituted an irrefutable expression of the fortitude of our Revolution.
The words of the announcers were heard from the rostrum vibrant with emotion as Miguel d’Escoto and many foreign relation ministers and representatives of NAM as well as two thousand visitors from countries of every continent shared the joy of this workers’ celebration.
The poem dedicated by Fayad Jamis to Manuel Navarro Luna, a revolutionary and communist poet who lived in Granma province since he was a six year old child –the same province where our last war of liberation started– was quoted more than once.
From his early childhood, Navarro Luna was forced to give up school and start working in various trades. He worked as a janitor, a shoe shiner, and a diver, a night watchman and a clerk. He studied by himself to acquire some knowledge.
In 1915 he published his first poems and in 1919 his first book. In 1930 he joined the Communist Party.
He worked at the first Communist Mayor’s office in Cuba after the fall of Machado’s government in 1933. After the revolutionary victory in 1959, and challenging the passing of time, he became a member of the National Militias and took part in the fight against the counterrevolutionary bandits at Escambray and in the victory of Playa Giron.
…For this freedom of song beneath the rain We will have to give our all For this freedom of being closely bound To the heart of the people sweet, firm we will have to give our all For this freedom of a sunflower opened in the dawn of factory furnaces And illuminated schools And of crackling earth and waking child We will have to give our all There is not alternative but freedom There is not other path but freedom There is not homeland but freedom There will be no poetry without the violent music of freedom For this freedom which is the terror Of those who always violated it In the name of lavish misery For this freedom which is the night of the oppressors And the definitive dawn of the whold invincible people For this freedom which lights up sunken eyes Bare feet Leaking roofs And the eyes of children who wander in dust For this freedom which is youths empire For this freedom Beautiful like life We will have to give our all If necessary Even our shadows And it will never be enough.
The white, red and blue colors of our flag, sustained by the industrious hands of thousands of students from the University of Informatics Sciences closed the parade, preceded by the youths of the university and middle level education students’ federations from the capital; the disciplined and active youths of humble origins being trained as Social Workers; the children from La Colmenita art troupe and other creations of the Revolution; they are all aware that they carry a flame that nobody will ever be able to extinguish.
I was very pleased to know that Miguel d’Escoto was there watching the parade. Three days before, in his remarks to the foreign ministers and representatives of the Non Aligned Movement he had said:
“…The world order exists based on the capitalist culture in which having more means being better; the same that promotes selfishness, greed, usury and social irresponsibility. These anti-values of the capitalist culture have led the world to a number of converging crises that should be effectively taken care of; otherwise they might endanger the life of the human species and the capacity to sustain life on Earth.
“At the root of all of the different crises we are facing lie an enormous moral crisis, a deep crisis of ethical values and principles. We have all betrayed the values derived from our respective religious and ethical-philosophic traditions. By succumbing to the capitalist temptations we have betrayed ourselves, and by assuming its anti-life values of hatred and selfishness, we have become the worst predators, enemies of our Mother Earth, we have dehumanized ourselves…
“…Cuba has always been a place for spiritual refreshment. Here we can all see that love is stronger and more powerful than selfishness. Here more than anywhere else we can learn what solidarity is: the most important antidote for humanity to survive the insane selfishness that seems destined to bring about its annihilation.
“…In this 21st century, a century of reconciliation and peace through the rule of law, social justice and democratic inclusiveness, we respect every minority and we want to hear them all. It is at the G-192, the General Assembly, where we shall decide on the path to take in order to avoid the trap of the insane and suicidal selfishness that capitalism has led the world to. It will not be with any kind of revanchism but with the spirit to build a better world for all, without exceptions or exclusions…
He did not run for the position of president of the UN General Assembly he now occupies. He learned of his candidacy through the Nicaraguan Ambassador to the UN. It was Latin America’s turn, and Daniel Ortega, being aware of his qualities had made the proposal unhesitatingly. He did not even have time to explain his health problems to take on such a high responsibility. The countries of Latin America, Africa and the Third World quickly offered their support. Miguel was not perturbed by the difficulties and accepted the position.
He handed me a document he signed as president of the UN General Assembly designating Cuba a paradigm of international solidarity and showed me the gold medal that comes with the decree and that he designed himself.
He said in his remarks many other interesting things that I am not quoting here to avoid being to extensive.
His words and deeds have honored our Revolution.
…We will have to give our all If necessary Even our shadows And it will never be enough.
These were the final words of this poem by Fayad Jamis.
Fidel Castro Ruz
May 1, 2009