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A Question of Place

This article will be published on December 28th.

On February 29, 2000, a first-grader in the Buell Elementary School in Flint took a semi-automatic rifle to school and fatally shot his classmate, six-year-old Kayla Rolland. Since then, there have been countless stories about the tragedy in the media. Those I have read or heard have focused on the chaos in the boy’s family and/or guns in the home and community. All have avoided saying that Buell School is in Flint. Instead they have located it in “Mt. Morris Township, somewhere near Flint.”… Buell Elementary School is in the Flint Beecher school district, and has a Flint address and a Flint phone number. But Flint officials, in collusion with GM, deny that Beecher is in Flint, which has been known as Buick City. They want to dissociate GM from the devastation and violence that have overtaken the city since the Buick plant closed down.… I was in Flint a couple of weeks before the Buell shooting and GM’s responsibility for the city’s disintegration is as plain as day. A generation ago, Flint was a thriving working-class town. Now the abandoned Buick plant, spread out over an area as large as Detroit’s downtown, sits like a ghostly monster in the midst of empty parking lots, surrounded by block after block of tiny houses, little more than shacks, which once housed GM workers. No wonder Flint suffers from one of the highest per capita rates of murder, rape, and theft in the country.… | more |

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“Dangerous Circumstances”

The Council on Foreign Relations Proposes a New Grand Strategy Towards China

The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is the think tank of monopoly-finance capital, Wall Street’s think tank. It is also a membership organization: the ultimate networking, socializing, strategic-planning, and consensus-forming institution of the dominant sector of the U.S. capitalist class.… It is the world’s most powerful private organization, the “high command” body of the U.S. plutocracy. The Council has an almost century-long history of forming study groups to plan the United States’ overall “grand” strategic policies. It sets the agenda for debate, builds consensus among both the powerful and attentive publics, and then inserts its own network of people into public office to implement its favored doctrines in the real world. One of its latest efforts, a study group on U.S. grand strategy toward China, completed its work and issued a report in March 2015—approved by the CFR board of directors—entitled Revising U.S. Grand Strategy Toward China.… | more |

“Fidel Castro is dying” by Fidel Castro

In the following message, Fidel Castro ridicules the most recent “Fidel Castro is dying” lies of the global imperialist media. He also explains his decision to cease publishing his “Reflections” – a modest assessment that there are other more important matters to occupy the Cuban press. Nonetheless, shall maintain the complete “Reflections” blog as an historically unparalleled instance of honest comment on world events as they occurred, by the leading political figure of our time.… | more |

What Obama Knows

The most demolishing article I have seen nowadays about Latin America was written by Renán Vega Cantor, full professor at the National Pedagogical University of Bogotá, which was published three days ago by the website ‘Rebelión’ under the title “Ecos de la Cumbre de las Américas” (Echoes of the Summit of the Americas).

It is a brief article and I need make no copy here.  Those who specialize on the subject can look it up at the aforementioned website.

I have referred more than once to the infamous agreement that the United States imposed on Latin American and Caribbean countries when the OAS was founded at the foreign ministers meeting held in the city of Bogotá on April, 1948.  Just by sheer coincidence, I happened to be there on that date, helping to organize the celebration of a Latin American students’ congress whose main goal was to struggle against the European colonies and the bloody tyrannies imposed by the United States in this hemisphere.

One of the most brilliant political leaders in Colombia, Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, who had managed to unite, with ever growing strength, the most progressive sectors in Colombia that opposed the Yankees’ miscreation, had offered his support to the celebration of the students’ congress.  No one doubted he would win during the upcoming elections, but he was treacherously murdered. His death led to a rebellion that has kept alive for more than half a century.

Social struggles have been taking place throughout millennia, since human beings, by resorting to wars, were able to take hold of a surplus production to satisfy the essential needs of life.

As is known, the years of physical slavery, the most brutal form of exploitation, went on in some countries until a little more than a century ago, as it happened in our own homeland during the final stages of the Spanish colonial domination.

Even in the United States, the enslavement of African descendants continued until the presidency of Abraham Lincoln.  That brutal form of slavery was abolished there hardly thirty years before it was abolished in Cuba.

Martin Luther King dreamed about the equality of black Americans until almost 44 years ago, when he was vilely murdered on April, 1968.

The accelerated development of science and technology has been a sign of our times. Whether we are aware of it or not, this is what will mark the future of humanity.  This is an entirely new era.  What prevails in every corner of this globalized world is the real struggle of our species for its own survival.

As for now, all Latin American nations, particularly our own, will be affected by the process that is taking place in Venezuela, the home country of the Liberator of the Americas.

I barely need to reiterate what you already know: the close links that exist between our people and the people of Venezuela and Hugo Chávez, the promoter of the Bolivarian Revolution and the United Socialist Party he founded.

One of the first actions promoted by the Bolivarian Revolution was the medical cooperation with Cuba.  This is an area where our country has achieved a special prestige, which has been recognized nowadays by the international public opinion.  Thousands of health centers equipped with state-of-the-art technology manufactured by the world’s specialized industry have been founded by the Bolivarian government to provide medical assistance to its people.  Chávez, on his part, did not choose to go to expensive private clinics to care for his own health.  He trusted it to the same medical services he was offering to his people.

Besides, our doctors have devoted part of their time to the training of Venezuelan doctors in classrooms that have been properly equipped by the Venezuelan government.  The people of Venezuela, regardless of their personal incomes, began to receive the specialized services offered by our doctors.  It is now among the ones with the best medical care in the world and their health standards have obviously begun to improve.

President Obama knows this only too well and has talked about it with some of his visitors.  He candidly told one of them: “The problem is that the United States sends soldiers while Cuba, however, sends doctors”.

Chávez, a leader who has not had a minute of rest in the last twelve years and enjoyed an iron constitution, was, however, affected by an unexpected illness that was discovered and treated by the same specialized staff that usually assisted him.  It was not easy to persuade him of the need to pay maximum attention to his own health.  Since that moment, with an exemplary behavior, he has rigorously followed the treatment prescribed without neglecting his duties as Head of State and leader of his country.

I would dare to describe his attitude as heroic and disciplined. Not even for a single minute does he forget about his obligations; at times he does that to the point of exhaustion. I can attest to that because I have not ceased to be in touch and exchange with him.  He has not stopped to devote his fertile intelligence to the study and analysis of the problems of his country. He finds the vile remarks and slanders of the spokespersons of the oligarchy and the empire to be amusing.  I never heard him utter any insult or vile remarks when referring to his enemies.  That is not his kind of language.

The enemy knows the features of his character and is multiplying its efforts with the purpose of slandering and attacking President Chávez.  I, for one, do not hesitate in stating my modest opinion –which emanates from more than half a century of struggles- that the oligarchy will never again be able to govern that country.  That is the reason why the US government’s decision to promote the overthrow of the Bolivarian government under such circumstances becomes a source of concern.

Besides, to insist on a slanderous campaign stating that among the top leadership of the Bolivarian government there is a desperate quarrel to assume command of the revolutionary government if the President is not able to overcome his illness, is tantamount to building a gross lie.

Quite on the contrary, I have been able to see the closest unity among the leaders of the Bolivarian Revolution.

Under such circumstances, any mistake made by Obama could provoke rivers of blood in Venezuela.  The Venezuelan blood is also Ecuadorian, Brazilian, Argentinean, Bolivian, Chilean, Uruguayan, Central American, Dominican and Cuban blood.

It is necessary to bear in mind this reality when analyzing the political situation in Venezuela.

Is it now understood why the workers’ anthem is a call to change the world by doing away with the bourgeois empire?

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Fidel Castro Ruz

April 27, 2012

7:59 p.m.

The Genius of Chávez

President Chávez presented his annual report on activities carried out in 2011 and his program for 2012 to the Venezuelan Parliament. After thoroughly carrying out the formalities required by this important activity, he addressed the official state authorities, members of parliament from all parties, and supporters and opposition members who had come to the Assembly to participate in the country’s most solemn act.

As usual, the Bolivarian leader was gracious and respectful to all those present. When anyone asked for the floor to make a clarification, he granted it as soon as possible. When one of the members of parliament, who had warmly greeted Chávez as did other opposition members, asked to speak, in a great political gesture Chávez interrupted his report presentation and gave her the floor. What surprised me was the extreme severity of the rebuke, launched against the president with words that really put to test Chávez’ chivalry and cold blood. The MPs statement was undoubtedly an insult, although this was not her intention. He alone was capable of calmly responding to the offensive word ‘thief’ that she had used to judge the president’s conduct in terms of the adopted laws and measures.

After verifying the exact term that was used, Chávez responded to the individual challenge for debate with an elegant and sedated phrase, “An eagle does not hunt flies,” and without adding another word he calmly proceeded with his report.

It represented an insurmountable test of mental agility and self control. Another woman, of unquestionable humble origins, expressed her astonishment in moving and heartfelt words over what she had just witnessed and the overwhelming majority present broke out in applause. Judging by the sheer volume, the applause seemed to be coming from all of Chávez’ friends and many of his adversaries as well.

Chávez’ report lasted more than nine hours without the people ever losing interest. Maybe because of that incident, his words were heard by an immeasurable number of people. Many times I have given extensive speeches on difficult topics, always striving to make the ideas I was transmitting understandable. And I was really at a loss to explain how that soldier of humble origins was able to keep his mind so agile and his incomparable talent to deliver such an address without losing his voice or strength.

To me politics is an extensive and decisive battle of ideas. Publicity is the work of publicists, who perhaps know the techniques to get listeners, spectators and readers to do what they are told to do. If that science, or art, or whatever they call it is employed for the good of human beings, they deserve some respect; the same respect merited by those who teach people how to think.

Venezuela today is the site of a great battle. Internal and external enemies of the revolution prefer chaos—as Chávez has said—to the just, organized and peaceful development of the country. Being accustomed to analyzing the events that have occurred over more than half a century, and to observing, with greater foundations for judgment, the eventful history of our time and human behavior, one learns to almost predict the future development of events.

To promote a far-reaching Revolution in Venezuela was no easy task. Venezuela is a country full of glorious history, but extraordinarily rich in resources that are of vital importance to the imperialist powers that have, and continue to map out guidelines in the world.

Political leaders the likes of Romulo Betancourt and Carlos Andres Perez lack the most minimal personal qualities to carry out such a task. Furthermore, Betancourt was excessively vain and hypocritical. He had many opportunities to learn about the situation in Venezuela. As a young man he was a member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Costa Rica. He had a strong grasp of Latin American history and the role of imperialism, of poverty rates, and the ruthless plundering of natural resources in South America. He could not ignore that in a vastly rich country such as Venezuela, the majority of the people lived in extreme poverty. The archival footage is irrefutable proof of that reality of life.

As Chávez has explained many times, for more than half a century Venezuela was the world’s major oil exporter. At the beginning of the 20th century, European and Yankee warships intervened to support an illegal and tyrannical government that handed the country over to foreign monopolies. It is well known that incalculable funds flowed out of Venezuela to swell the wealth of monopolies and the Venezuelan oligarchy.

I remember when I visited Venezuela for the first time—after the triumph of the Revolution, to give thanks for the support and friendliness afforded to our struggle—, oil was worth barely two dollars a barrel.

Afterwards when I went to Venezuela to take part in the swearing-in ceremony for Chávez, the day he took an oath on the “dying constitution” held by Calderas, oil was worth seven dollars a barrel, despite 40 years having passed since my first visit and almost 30 years since the “distinguished” Richard Nixon had cancelled the direct convertibility of the United States dollar to gold and the US began to buy the world with pieces of paper. For a century, Venezuela was a supplier of cheap fuel to the empire’s economy and a net exporter of capital to developed and rich countries.

Why did these repugnant situations dominate for more than a century?

Latin American Armed Forces’ officials went to their privileged schools in the United States, where the Olympic champions of democracies gave them special courses on maintaining imperialist and bourgeois order. Coups d’état were always welcomed if their objective was to “defend democracies,” safeguarding and guaranteeing this repugnant system, in league with the oligarchies. Whether voters knew how to read and write, whether they had homes, employment, medical services and education were unimportant as long as the sacred right to property was maintained. Chávez brilliantly explains this situation. No one knows as well as him what happened in our countries.

Even worse was that the sophisticated nature of weapons, the complex workings and use of modern armaments that require years of learning, the training of highly qualified specialists, and the almost prohibitive cost of such weapons for the weak economies of the continent created a very strong mechanism of subordination and dependence. The US Government, employing mechanisms that did not require prior consultation with the other governments, set guidelines and policies for the military. The most sophisticated techniques of torture were passed on to the so-called security agencies to interrogate those who rebelled against the dirty and repugnant system of hunger and exploitation.

Despite all this, many honest officials, tired of so many indignations, bravely attempted to eradicate that embarrassing treason against the history of our independence struggles.

In Argentina, military official Juan Domingo Peron was able to design an independent and worker-based policy in his country. A bloody military coup overthrew him, expelled him from his country, and kept him in exile from 1955 to 1973. Years later, under the aegis of the Yankees, they once again attacked the government, murdering, torturing and disappearing tens of thousands of Argentines. They were not even able to defend the country during the colonial war that England carried out against Argentina with the conspiratorial support of the United States and henchman Augusto Pinochet with his cohort of fascists officers trained at the School of the Americas.

In Santo Domingo, Colonel Francisco Caamaño Deño; in Peru, General Velazco Alvarado; in Panama, General Omar Torrijos; and in other countries captains and officers who gave their lives anonymously were the antithesis of the traitorous behavior embodied by Somoza, Trujillo, Stroessner and the cruel tyrannies in Uruguay, El Salvador and other countries in Central and South America. The revolutionary military personnel did not expound elaborate theories, nor was this to be expected. They were not academicians educated in political science, but rather men with a sense of honor who loved their country.

But how far can honest men—who deplore injustice and crime—go along the path of revolution?

Venezuela is an outstanding example of the theoretical and practical role that the military can play in the revolutionary struggle for the independence of our peoples, as they did two centuries ago under the brilliant leadership of Simon Bolivar.

Chávez, a Venezuelan military officer of humble origins, stepped into the political life of Venezuela inspired by the ideas of the Liberator of America. On Bolivar, an inexhaustible source of inspiration, Marti wrote: “he won sublime battles with soldiers barefoot and half naked […] who never fought so much, nor fought better, in the world for freedom …”

“… Of Bolivar, he said, you can talk only after climbing up a mountain to use it as a platform […] or after freeing a bunch of peoples united in one fist …”

“… what he did not do, still remains undone today, because Bolivar still has things to do in the Americas.”

More than half a century later the famous, award-winning poet Pablo Neruda wrote a poem on Bolivar which Chávez frequently quotes. The final stanza reads:

“I met Bolivar one long morning, in Madrid, at the head of the Fifth Regiment, Father, I said, you are or not or who you are? And looking at the Mountain Headquarters, he said:

‘I wake up every hundred years when the people awaken.’ ”

But the Bolivarian leader is not limited to theoretical elaborations. His concrete measures are implemented without hesitation. The English-speaking Caribbean countries, which have to contend with modern and luxurious Yankee cruise ships for the right to receive tourists in their hotels, restaurants and recreation centers, quite often foreign-owned, but at least they generate employment, will always welcome fuel from Venezuela, supplied by that country with special payment facilities, when the barrel reached prices that sometimes exceeded US $100.

In the tiny state of Nicaragua, the land of Sandino, the “General of Free Men”, the Central Intelligence Agency organized the exchange of guns for drugs through Luis Posada Carriles after he was rescued from a Venezuelan prison. This operation resulted in thousands of deaths and mutilations among that heroic people. Nicaragua has also received the solidarity support of Venezuela. These are unprecedented examples in the history of this hemisphere.

The ruinous Free Trade Agreement that the Yankees intend to impose on Latin America, as they did with Mexico, would turn Latin America and the Caribbean not only into the region with the world’s worst distribution of wealth, which already is. It will turn it into a huge market where corn and other staple foods that are traditional sources of plant and animal protein would be displaced by subsidized U.S. crops, as is already happening in Mexico.

Used cars and other goods are displacing Mexican industry manufactures; job opportunities are decreasing in both cities and the countryside; the drug and arms trades are escalating, growing numbers of youngsters aged 14 or 15 years are turned into fearsome criminals. Never before, buses or other vehicles full of people who even paid to be transported across the border in search of employment, have been kidnapped and mass murdered. Known figures grow from year to year. More than ten thousand people are now losing their lives each year.

It is impossible to analyze the Bolivarian Revolution without taking these realities into account.

The armed forces, in such social circumstances, are forced into endless and wearisome wars.

Honduras is not an industrialized, financial or commercial country, or even a major producer of drugs. However, some of its cities break the record of drug-related violent deaths. There instead stands the banner of a major base of the strategic forces of the United States Southern Command. What is happening there, and is already happening in more than one Latin American country, is the Dantesque picture painted above, from which some countries have begun to escape. Among them and first, Venezuela, not just because it has considerable natural resources, but because it has been rescued from the insatiable greed of foreign corporations and has sparked considerable political and social forces capable of great achievements. Venezuela today is quite another from that I went to only 12 years ago, which had already deeply impressed me, seeing it as a Phoenix rising again from the ashes of its history.

Mentioning the mysterious computer of Raul Reyes, in the hands of the U.S. and the CIA after the attack organized and supplied by them in full Ecuadorian territory, which killed Marulanda’s replacement as well as several unarmed American youths, a version has been released that Chávez supported the “narco-terrorist organization FARC.” The true terrorists and drug traffickers in Colombia are the paramilitaries that supplied drugs to American dealers to sell them in the largest drug market in the world: the United States.

I never spoke with Marulanda, but I did speak with honored writers and intellectuals who came to know him well. I discussed his thoughts and history. He was undoubtedly a brave and revolutionary man, which I do not hesitate to affirm. I explained that I did not agree with him on his tactics. In my view, two or three thousand men would have been more than enough to defeat a conventional army in the territory of Colombia. His mistake was to devise a revolutionary army with almost as many soldiers as the enemy. That was extremely expensive.

Today, technology has changed many aspects of war; the forms of struggle also change. In fact, the clash of conventional forces between powers possessing nuclear weapons has become impossible. We do not have to have the knowledge of Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking and thousands of other scientists to understand that. It is a latent danger and the result is known or should be known. Thinking beings could take millions of years to repopulate the planet.

Nevertheless, I hold the duty to fight, which in itself is something innate in man, to find solutions that will enable a more reasoned and dignified existence.

Since I met Chávez, now as president of Venezuela, from the final stages of the Pastrana administration, I always saw him interested in promoting peace in Colombia. He facilitated meetings between the Colombian government and the revolutionaries that took place in Cuba, note well, on the basis of reaching a true peace agreement and not a surrender.

I do not recall ever having heard Chávez promote anything but peace in Colombia, nor mention Raul Reyes. We always addressed other issues. He particularly appreciates the Colombians, millions of them live in Venezuela and everyone benefits from the social measures taken by the Revolution, and the people of Colombia appreciate that almost as much as those of Venezuela.

I wish to express my solidarity and appreciation to General Henry Rangel Silva, Head of Strategic Operational Command of the Armed Forces, and newly appointed Minister of Defense of the Bolivarian Republic. I had the honor of meeting him when he visited Chávez in Cuba a few months ago. I could see in him an intelligent, well-meant, capable, and yet modest man. I heard his calm, brave and clear speech, which inspired confidence.

He led the organization of the most perfect parade of a Latin American military force that I have ever seen. We hope it will serve as encouragement and example to other brother armies.

The Yankees had nothing to do with that parade, and would not be able to do better.

It is extremely unfair to criticize Chávez for the resources invested in the excellent weapons which were displayed there. I’m sure they will never be used to attack a neighboring country. The weapons, resources and knowledge must go along the paths of unity to see America, as The Liberator dreamed, ”… the greatest nation in the world, greatest not so much by virtue of her area and wealth as by her freedom and glory..”

Everything unites us more than Europe or the United States itself, except the lack of independence imposed on us for 200 years.

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Fidel Castro Ruz

January 25, 2012

8:32 p.m.

The Best President for the United States

A well-known European news agency yesterday published from Sydney, Australia that a group of Australian researchers at the University of New South Wales announced the creation of an electrical cable ten thousand times thinner than a strand of hair, capable of carrying as much electricity as a traditional copper cable.

Bent Weber, lead author of a study published in Science magazine at the University of New South Wales, in Sydney, Australia explained that “Interconnecting wiring of this scale will be vital for the development of future atomic-scale electronic circuits”.

“The wires were made by precisely placing chains of phosphorus atoms within a silicon crystal, according to the study, which includes researchers from the University of Melbourne and Purdue University in the US.”

The discovery is essential in the international race to develop the first ‘quantum computer’, super-fast machines capable of processing enormous amounts of information in just a few seconds: a series of calculations that would take years, or even decades, for today’s computers.

“In a traditional copper cable, the electricity is generated when the copper electrons flow along a conductor: but as the cable or conductor becomes smaller, resistance to the electrical flow becomes greater.”

In order to solve this problem, Weber and his team used specially designed microscopes with atomic precision that allowed them to place the phosphorus atoms into the silicone crystals.

“This allowed the nanocable to act as the copper, with the electrons flowing easily and with no resistance problems. They are trying to prove that with this technique it is possible to minimize components down to the scale of a few atoms.

If we are going to use atoms as bits, we need cables on the same scale as the atoms ― observed the supervisor of the group physicist, Micelle Simmons.”

With these unstoppable technological advances that ought to be for the well-being of humankind, I was recalling that just four days ago I wrote about the warming of the Earth and the accelerated exploitation of shale gas in a world that in two hundred years is consuming the fossil energy accumulated for 4 billion years.

Imagine Obama, that wordsmith, for whom, in his desperate search for re-election, the dreams of Martin Luther King Jr. are light years further away than the Earth is from the nearest inhabitable planet.

Worse yet: any of the Republican Congressmen who are presidential hopefuls, or any leader of the Tea Party carries more nuclear weapons on their backs than ideas of peace in their heads.

Let the readers imagine for one moment that powerful quantum calculator capable of multiplying an infinite number of times the data that today is collected by modern computers.

Is it not perhaps obvious that the worst thing of all this is the absence in the White House of a robot capable of governing the United States and preventing a war that would put an end to the life of our species?

I am certain that 90 percent of registered Americans, especially Hispanics, Afro-Americans and the growing numbers of the impoverished middle class would vote for the robot.

Signature of Fidel Raul Castro

Fidel Castro Ruz

January 8, 2012

6:18 p.m.

The overwhelming victory of Daniel and the FSLN

ON Sunday, November 6, 72 hours ago, there was a general election in which Nicaragua’s Daniel Ortega and the FSLN won an overwhelming victory.

Perhaps by chance, the following day was the 94th anniversary of the glorious Soviet Socialist Revolution. Indelible pages of history were written by Russian workers, peasants and soldiers, and the name of Lenin will forever shine among men and women who dream of a just destiny for humanity.

These issues are constantly more complex and efforts invested in educating new generations will never be sufficient. For that reason, today I am dedicating a space to comment on this event, in the midst of so many taking place every day on the planet and of which news arrives in a growing number of ways barely imaginable a few decades ago.

I must say that the elections in Nicaragua were in the traditional and bourgeois style, which has nothing just or equitable about it, given that the oligarchical sectors, anti-nationalist and pro-imperialist in nature, as a rule have a monopoly on the economic and publicity resources which – in general and particularly so in our hemisphere – are in the service of the empire’s political and military interests. This precisely highlights the magnitude of the Sandinista victory.

This is a truth which is well known in our homeland since Martí died in combat in Dos Ríos on May 19, 1895, “so that the independence of Cuba will prevent in time the expansion of the United States throughout the Antilles, and that nation falling, with even more force, upon our American lands.” We will never tire of repeating it, especially after our people have demonstrated their capacity to withstand half a century of that empire’s sustained economic blockade and brutal aggression.

However, it is not hatred which moves our people, but ideas. They gave birth to our solidarity with the people of Sandino, the General of free men and women, whose deeds we read about with admiration as students more than 60 years ago now, and lacking the marvelous cultural perspectives of those who, in a few days, together with high school students, will participate in what has become a beautiful tradition: the University Books and Reading Festival.

The heroic death of the Nicaraguan hero who fought against the yankee occupiers of his territory was always a source of inspiration for Cuban revolutionaries. There is nothing strange about our solidarity with the Nicaraguan people, expressed since the very first day of the revolutionary triumph in Cuba on January 1, 1959.

Yesterday, November 8, Granma recalled the heroic death in 1976, barely two and a half years before the FSLN triumph, of its founder Carlos Fonseca Amador, “the tayacán [daring leader] conqueror of death,” as a beautiful song written in his memory says, “bridegroom of the Red and Black Homeland, all of Nicaragua cries out for you ‘Present.’”

I know Daniel well; he never adopted extremist positions and was always invariably faithful to basic principles. Charged with the presidency, based on a collegiate political leadership, he was characterized by his respectful conduct in the context of the varying points of view of compañeros from tendencies which emerged within Sandinism at a certain stage of the struggle before the triumph. He thus became a promoter of unity among revolutionaries and he maintained in constant contact with the people. The great influence that he acquired among Nicaragua’s poorest sectors is due to that.

The profundity of the Sandinista Revolution earned him the hatred of the Nicaraguan oligarchy and yankee imperialism.

The most atrocious crimes were perpetrated against his country and his people during the dirty war that Reagan and Bush promoted by the administration and the Central Intelligence Agency.

Countless counterrevolutionary bands were organized, trained and supplied by them; drug trafficking became the instrument for financing the counterrevolution and the tens of thousands of weapons brought into the country resulted in the death or injury of thousands of Nicaraguans.

The Sandinistas maintained elections in the midst of that unequal and unjust battle.

This situation was compounded by the collapse of the Socialist camp, the imminent disintegration of the USSR and the beginning of the Special Period in our homeland. In these highly difficult circumstances and in spite of the majority support of the Nicaraguan people, expressed in all the opinion polls, a victorious election was made impossible.

The Nicaraguan people were once again forced to endure almost 17 years of corrupt and pro-imperialist governments. The indicators for the health, literacy and social justice implemented in Nicaragua began to fall painfully. However, under Daniel’s leadership, the Sandinista revolutionaries continued their struggle throughout those bitter years, and once again the people restored the government, albeit in extremely difficult circumstances which demanded maximum experience and political wisdom.

Cuba continued under the brutal yankee blockade, additionally suffering the harsh consequences of the Special Period and the hostility of one of the worst murderers who has governed the United States, George W. Bush, son of the father who had promoted the dirty war in Nicaragua, terrorist Posada Carriles’ liberty to distribute arms among Nicaraguan counterrevolutionaries, and who pardoned Orlando Bosch, the other mastermind of the Cubana passenger plane sabotage.

However, a new stage was beginning in our America with the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela and the coming to power in Ecuador, Bolivia, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Paraguay of governments committed to the independence and integration of the Latin American peoples.

With satisfaction, I can moreover affirm that Cuba’s solidarity with the homeland of Sandino never ceased in the field of political and social solidarity. In all justice, I should point out that Nicaragua was one of the countries which best utilized Cuba’s collaboration in health and education.

The thousands of doctors who have volunteered their services in that heroic sister country feel highly motivated by the Sandinistas’ excellent use of their efforts. The same could be affirmed in relation to the thousands of teachers who, once in the early phase of the process, went to the remotest mountain regions to teach campesinos to read and write. Today, educational experiences in general and particularly the practices of medical teaching derived from the Latin America School of Medicine, in which thousands of excellent doctors have been trained, have been transferred to Nicaragua. These realities constitute an excellent stimulus for our people.

These details that I am mentioning are no more than an example of the prolific efforts of Sandinista revolutionaries for their homeland’s development.

The fundamental aspect of Daniel’s role and in my opinion, the reason behind his overwhelming victory, is that he never moved away from his contact with the people and the incessant struggle for their well-being.

Today he is a veritably experienced leader who was capable of managing complex and difficult situations, starting with the years during which his country was once again under the aegis of rapacious capitalism. He knows how to manage complicated problems in an intelligent manner, what he can or cannot do, what he must or must not do to guarantee peace and the sustained advance of the country’s economic and social development. He knows very well that the resounding victory is due to his heroic and valiant people, through their broad participation and close to two thirds of votes in his favor. He was capable of achieving close links with workers, campesinos, students, youth, women, technicians, professionals, artists and all the progressive sectors and forces sustaining the country and contributing to its advance. I believe that the call to all democratic political forces prepared to work for the country’s independence and economic and social development is very correct.

In the current world the problems are extremely complex and difficult. But while the world exists, we small countries can and must exercise our rights to independence, cooperation, development and peace.

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Fidel Castro Ruz

November 9, 2011

8:12 p.m.

The G-20 Meeting

Tomorrow the G-20 Meeting begins, that is the meeting of the most developed and wealthy countries on the planet: the United States, Canada, Germany, Great Britain, France, Italy and the European Union as a separate entity but with the right to participate; they are the fundamental bastions of NATO plus its allies Japan, South Korea, Australia and Turkey in its double aspect of developing country and NATO member, just as Saudi Arabia – a gigantic reservoir of light oil in the hands of western transnationals, extracting from it 9.4 million barrels a day, whose value at current prices totals one billion dollars per day – on one side of the table, and on the other, a group of countries having growing economic and political clout who, as a matter of fact, because of the number of inhabitants and natural resources, are becoming an expression of the interests of the majority of our long-suffering and pillaged world: the People’s Republic of China, the Russian Federation, India, Indonesia, South Africa, Brazil, Argentina and Mexico.

Spain, also a NATO ally, is just a “Guest Country”.

We are talking about a meeting among the great producers of industrial machinery and articles and of the great suppliers of raw materials that, over half a millennium following the Conquest, were European colonies and in the past century supplied them with agricultural products, minerals and energy resources, victims of a pitiless unequal exchange.

This dark period in history has been going on since the descendants of the Barbarian tribes populating Europe “discovered” and conquered this hemisphere, armed with swords, cross-bows and harquebuses.

“The discoverers”, so covered with excuses by the so-called western world, as if a part of humanity hadn’t been living on the continent for 40 million years, harboured the aim of seeking a shorter trade route to China.

In that country, with which they had antecedents via the silk merchants and merchants of other products prized by the aristocracy and burgeoning European bourgeoisie, they had found a fabulous civilization having a written language, refined arts, agriculture, metals, gunpowder and advanced principles of political and military organization, including armies with tens or perhaps thousands of cavalry.

They were on the point of capsizing when they sighted land, in the vicinity of Cuba. A short while later Columbus took possession of our island in the name of the King of Spain. Would he have been able to do that had he actually landed in China, as he had proposed? His error cost this hemisphere tens of millions of lives that were lost as consequence of the partitioning of the Americas by the Papal Bull between the two kingdoms of the Iberian Peninsula, and in the constant conflicts among the medieval nobility.

The Conquest and the search for gold and silver, as the genial native painter Oswaldo Guayasamín pointed out, cost 70 million lives of those living in the hemisphere, birthplace of important civilizations.

Black Africa can also speak about what that Conquest meant for millions of its children, ripped away and sold as slaves in this hemisphere.

The multi-million-dollar oligarchy, whose Heads of State or Government will be meeting in Cannes with the representatives of almost 6 billion inhabitants that aspire to a decent existence for their peoples, should meditate on these realities.

Those countries would like to monopolize technologies and markets through patents, banks, the most modern and costly transportation means, cybernetic supremacy over complex production processes, control of communications and the mass media in order to dupe the world.

Now that the inhabitants of the world number 7 billion, the states representing only one out of seven persons, who, judging by the massive protests in Europe and the United States, are not very happy, put the survival of our species at risk.

Could anyone forget that the US was the country that impeded the Kyoto Agreement when we had a little more time to prevent a catastrophe with the climate change that is being produced as we watch?

On the 28th and 29th of October past, another meeting of Heads of State and Governments took place: the community of Ibero-American countries. Among the calamities that the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking peoples have had to put up with is the fact that they are the region in the world with the most inequalities in terms of the distribution of their wealth.

Cuba’s Chancellor Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla traveled from the UN meeting in New York on the blockade of Cuba to the capital of Paraguay where that second meeting was being held. There, highly interesting things were being said about the crisis that is sweeping over the European Community.

The new prime minister of Portugal poured out his bitterness with the European Union when he declared that it has become exhausted and without funds with the record rescue of Greece.  It could face up to a crisis in Portugal but it would be bankrupt, unable to aid Italy, the seventh world economy, and this would drag down France whose banks hold the greatest part of the Italian debt.

The Iberian leaders doubt that the commitment assumed with Greece would be fulfilled and if it is not fulfilled they predict a longer crisis than that of 1929.

This morning, the news dispatches inform about the drastic consequences of the never-before-seen rainfall in Thailand, the major rice exporter whose sales will be reduced from 25 million tons to 19.

In contrast, news about China increasing its production of metal copper to almost 5 million tons caused considerable effect.

However, while the US keeps intact its veto power at the International Monetary Fund, China is being denied the simple right of approving the Yuan as convertible currency in that body.  How long will that tyranny prevail?

It is through this looking-glass that we must analyse every single word that is spoken at the G-20 Summit.

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Fidel Castro Ruz

November 2, 2011

8:54 p.m.

NATO’s Genocidal Role (Part 3)

ON February 23, under the title “Cynicism’s danse macabre,” I stated:

“The politics of plunder imposed by the United States and its NATO allies in the Middle East is in crisis.”

“Thanks to Sadat’s betrayal at Camp David, the Palestinian Arab State has not come into existence, despite the United Nations agreements of November 1947, and Israel has become a powerful nuclear force allied with the United States and NATO.

“The U.S. military-industrial complex supplies tens of billions of dollars every year to Israel and to the very Arab states that it subjugates and humiliates.

“The genie is out of the bottle and NATO doesn’t know how to control it.

“They are going to try and take maximum advantage of the lamentable events in Libya. No one is capable of knowing at this time what is happening there. All of the figures and versions, even the most improbable, have been disseminated by the empire through the mass media, sowing chaos and misinformation.

“It is evident that a civil war is developing in Libya. Why and how was this unleashed? Who will suffer the consequences? The Reuters news agency, repeating the opinion of the well-known Nomura Japanese bank, said that the price of oil could surpass all limits.”

“…What will be the consequences for the food crisis?

“The principal NATO leaders are exalted. British Prime Minister

David Cameron, informed ANSA, ‘…admitted in a speech in Kuwait that the Western countries made a mistake in supporting non-democratic governments in the Arab world.’”

“His French colleague Nicolas Sarkozy declared, ‘The prolonged brutal and bloody repression of the Libyan civilian population is repugnant.’”

“Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini declared ‘believable’ the figure of one thousand dead in Tripoli […] ‘the tragic figure will be a bloodbath.’”

“Hillary Clinton declared, ‘…the bloodbath is completely unacceptable and has to stop…’”

“Ban Ki-moon added, ‘The use of violence in the country is absolutely unacceptable.’”

“…’the Security Council will act in accordance with what the international community decides.’”

“’We are considering a number of options.’”

“What Ban Ki-moon is really waiting for is that Obama give the final word.

“The President of the United States spoke Wednesday afternoon and stated that the Secretary of State would leave for Europe in order to reach an agreement with the NATO European allies as to what measures to take. Noticeable on his face was his readiness to take on the right-wing Republican John McCain; Joseph Lieberman, the pro-Israel Senator from Connecticut; and Tea Party leaders, in order to guarantee his nomination by the Democratic Party.

“The empire’s mass media have prepared the ground for action. There would be nothing strange about a military intervention in Libya, which would, additionally, guarantee Europe almost two million barrels of light oil a day, if events do not occur beforehand to put an end to the presidency or life of Gaddafi.

“In any event, Obama’s role is complicated enough. What would the Arab and Islamic world’s reaction be if much blood is spilt in this country in such an adventure? Would the revolutionary wave unleashed in Egypt stop a NATO intervention?

“In Iraq the innocent blood of more than a million Arab citizens was shed when this country was invaded on false pretenses. Mission accomplished, George W. Bush proclaimed.

“No one in the world will ever be in favor of the deaths of defenseless civilians in Libya or anywhere else. I ask myself, would the United States and NATO apply that principle to the defenseless civilians killed every day by yankee drones and this organization’s soldiers in Afghanistan and Pakistan?

“It is a danse macabre of cynicism.”

While I was meditating on these events, the United Nations debate scheduled for yesterday, Tuesday, October 25 on the “Necessity of ending the commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba began. This is something which has been demanded by the vast majority of this institution’s member countries for 20 years.

This time the numerous elemental and just arguments – which for United States governments were no more than rhetorical exercises – revealed, like never before, the political and moral weakness of the most powerful empire ever to have existed, and to whose oligarchical interests and insatiable thirst for power and riches all the planet’s inhabitants have been subjected, including the very people of that country.

The United States is tyrannizing and plundering the globalized world with its political, economic, technological and military might.

That truth is becoming more and more obvious in the wake of the honest and courageous debates which have taken place in the United Nations during the last 20 years, with the support of states which one would imagine are expressing the will of the vast majority of the planet’s inhabitants.

Before [Cuban Foreign Minister] Bruno’s speech, many country organizations expressed their points of view through one of their members. The first was Argentina, in the name of the Group of 77 plus China; followed by Egypt, in the name of the Non-Aligned Movement; Kenya, in the name of the African Union; Belize, in the name of CARICOM; Kazakhstan, in the name of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation; and Uruguay, in the name of MERCOSUR.

Independently of these expressions of a collective nature, China, a country of growing political and economic weight in the world, India and Indonesia strongly supported the resolution via their ambassadors; between the three of them they represent 2.7 billion inhabitants. The ambassadors of the Russian Federation, Belarus, South Africa, Algeria, Venezuela and Mexico did likewise. The impassioned words of solidarity expressed by the ambassador of Belize, speaking on behalf of the Caribbean community, and those of St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Bolivia, resonated among the poorest countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. Their arguments in the context of the solidarity of our people – despite a blockade which has already lasted 50 years – will be a constant stimulus for our doctors, educators and scientists.

Nicaragua spoke before the vote, to bravely explain why it would vote against this perfidious measure.

The United States representative also spoke before the vote, in order to explain the inexplicable. I felt sorry for him. It is the role that they assigned to him.

At the hour of voting, two countries were absent: Libya and Sweden; three abstained: Marshall Islands, Micronesia and Palau; two voted against: the United States and Israel. Adding together those who voted against, abstained or were absent: the United States, with 313 million inhabitants; Israel, with 7.4 million; Sweden, with 9.1 million; Libya, with 6.5 million; Marshall Islands, with 67,100; Micronesia, 106,800; Palau, with 20,900, the total amounts to 336.948 million, equivalent to 4.8% of the world population, which has already risen to seven billion this month.

After the vote, speaking in the name of the European Union, Poland explained the votes of members of this bloc which, in spite of its close alliance with the United States and its obligatory participation in the blockade, is against this criminal measure.

Subsequently, 17 countries addressed the Assembly to explain, resolutely and decisively, why they voted for the resolution against the blockade.

I will continue Friday the 28th.

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Fidel Castro Ruz

October 26, 2011

9:45 p.m.

NATO’s Genocidal Role (Part 2)

A little over eight months ago, on February 21st of this year, I stated with complete conviction: “The NATO plan is to occupy Libya”. With that title I dealt with the subject for the first time in a Reflection whose content seemed to be the product of a fantasy.

I include in these lines the elements for the opinion that led me to that conclusion.

“Oil has become the principal wealth in the hands of the great Yankee transnationals; through this energy source they had an instrument that considerably expanded their political power in the world.”

“Upon this energy source today’s civilization was developed. Venezuela was the nation in this hemisphere that paid the highest price. The United States became the lord and master of the huge oil fields that Mother Nature had bestowed upon that sister country.”

“At the end of the last World War, it started to extract greater amounts of oil from the oil fields of Iran, as well as those in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and the Arab countries located around them. These became the main suppliers. World consumption progressively increased to the fabulous figure of approximately 80 million barrels a day, including those being extracted on United States territory, to which later gas, hydro and nuclear energies were added.”

“The squandering of oil and gas is associated with one of the greatest tragedies, not in the least resolved, which is suffered by humankind: climate change.”

“In December of 1951, Libya becomes the first African country to attain its independence after WW II, during which its territory was the stage for important battles between the troops of Germany and the United Kingdom…”

“Ninety-five percent of its territory is completely made up of desert. Technology permitted the discovery of vital oilfields of excellent quality light oil that today reach one million 800 thousand barrels a day along with abundant deposits of natural gas. […] Its harsh desert is located over an enormous lake of fossil waters, equivalent to more than three times the land area of Cuba; this has made it possible to construct a broad network of pipelines of fresh water that stretch from one end of the country to the other.”

“The Libyan Revolution took place in the month of September of the year 1969. Its main leader was Muammar al-Gaddafi, a soldier of Bedouin origin who, in his early years, was inspired by the ideas of the Egyptian leader Gamal Abdel Nasser. Without any doubt, many of his decisions are associated with the changes that were produced when, as in Egypt, a weak and corrupt monarchy was overthrown in Libya.”

“One can agree with Gaddafi or not. The world has been invaded with all kinds of news, especially using the mass media. One has to wait the necessary length of time in order to learn precisely what is the truth and what are lies, or a mixture of events of every kind that, in the midst of chaos, were produced in Libya. For me, what is absolutely clear is that the government of the United States is not in the least worried about peace in Libya and it will not hesitate in giving NATO the order to invade that rich country, perhaps in a matter of hours or a few short days.”

“Those who with perfidious intentions invented the lie that Gaddafi was headed for Venezuela, just as they did yesterday afternoon on Sunday the 20th of February, today received an fitting response from Foreign Affairs Minister Nicolás Maduro…”

“As for me, I cannot imagine that the Libyan leader would abandon his country; escaping the responsibilities he is charged with, whether or not they are partially or totally false.”

“An honest person shall always be against any injustice being committed against any people in the world, and the worst of all, at this moment, would be to remain silent in the face of the crime that NATO is getting ready to commit against the Libyan people.”

“The leadership of that war-mongering organization has to do it. We must condemn it!”

At that early date I had realized something that was absolutely obvious.

Tomorrow, on Tuesday October 25th, our chancellor Bruno Rodríguez will speak at UN Headquarters to denounce the criminal blockade of the United States against Cuba. We shall be closely following that battle which will once again make clear the necessity of putting an end to, not just the blockade, but the system that spawns injustice on our planet, squanders its natural resources and puts human survival at risk. We shall be paying particular attention to Cuba’s declaration.

I shall continue on Wednesday the 26th.

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Fidel Castro Ruz

October 24, 2011.

5:19 p.m.

NATO’s Genocidal Role (Part 1)

That brutal military alliance has become the most perfidious instrument of repression known in the history of humankind.

NATO took on that global repressive role as soon as the USSR, which had served the United States as an excuse for its creation, ceased to exist. Its criminal purpose became obvious in Serbia, a Slavic country, whose people had so heroically fought against Nazi troops in WW II.

When in March of 1999 the countries of this ill-fated organization, in its efforts to disintegrate Yugoslavia after the death of Josip Broz Tito, sent their troops in support of the Kosovar secessionists, they ran into strong resistance from that nation whose experienced forces were still intact.

The Yankee administration, advised by the Spanish right-wing government of José María Aznar, attacked the Serbian TV stations, the bridges over the Danube River and Belgrade, that country’s capital. The embassy of the People’s Republic of China was destroyed by Yankee bombs, several of the officials died and there could not have been any error as the authors alleged. Many Serbian patriots lost their lives. President Slobodan Miloševiс, overwhelmed by the power of the aggressors and the disappearance of the USSR, ceded to NATO demands and admitted to the presence of that alliance’s troops in Kosovo under the UN mandate; this finally led to his political downfall and subsequent trial by The Hague courts which were less than impartial. He died a strange death in prison. Had the Serbian leader resisted a few more days, NATO would have entered into a serious crisis which was on the point of exploding. The empire thus had much more time to impose its hegemony among the every more subordinated members of that organization.

Between February 21st and April 27th of this year, I published nine Reflections on the subject on the CubaDebate website; in them I amply dealt with NATO’s role in Libya and what, in my opinion, was going to happen.

Therefore I find myself obliged to synthesize the essential ideas that I put forth, and the events that have been happening as foreseen, just that now the central figure in that story, Muammar Al-Gaddafi, was seriously wounded by the most modern NATO fighter-bombers which intercepted and incapacitated his vehicle, he was captured while still alive and murdered by men that organization had armed.

His body has been kidnapped and exhibited as a trophy of war, conduct that violates the most basic principles of the norms of Muslim and other religious beliefs in the world. It is being announced that very soon Libya shall be declared a “democratic state and defender of human rights.”

I find myself obliged to dedicate several Reflections to these important and significant events.

I shall continue tomorrow, on Monday.

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Fidel Castro Ruz

October 23, 2011

6:10 p.m.

The Will of Steel (part 2)

A will of iron   (Part 2)

WHEN, in 1976, the most serious terrorist acts were committed against Cuba, in particular the in-flight sabotage of a Cuban airliner which had departed from Barbados with 73 persons aboard – among them pilots, flight attendants and auxiliary personnel offering their services to the airline, the complete juvenile fencing team which had won all the gold medals contested in the Central American and Caribbean Championship, Cuban passengers and those from other countries who had confidence in that plane. The act created such indignation, that the most extraordinary crowd ever seen in the Plaza de la Revolución gathered to close the mourning period, of which there is graphic evidence. The painful scenes were and are unforgettable. Perhaps leaders in the United States and many people around the world did not have the opportunity to see them. It would be illustrative to have those images disseminated by the mass media so that others might understand the motivation of our heroic anti-terrorist fighters.

Bush Sr. was an important official within the U.S. intelligence services when these forces were given the mission of organizing the counterrevolution in Cuba. The CIA created, in Florida, the largest operations base in the Western Hemisphere, which took charge of subversive efforts in Cuba. It organized attempts to assassinate leaders of the Revolution and took responsibility for the plans and plots which, had they been successful, would have cost many lives on both sides, given the resolve of our people demonstrated in Playa Girón [Bay of Pigs], to struggle to their last drop of blood. Bush never understood that Cuba’s victory saved many lives, both Cuban and U.S. ones.

The monstrous Barbados crime was committed when he was head of the CIA, with almost as much authority as President Ford.

In June of that year, he called a meeting in Bonao, in the Dominican Republic, to create the Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations, under the personal supervision of Vernon Walters, the CIA deputy director. Take note: “United Revolutionary Organizations.”

Orlando Bosch and Posada Carriles, active CIA agents, were designated leaders of this organization. Thus a new stage of terrorist acts against Cuba was initiated. October 6, 1976, Orlando Bosch and Posada Carriles personally directed the sabotage which caused the Cubana plane to explode in flight.

Authorities in Barbados arrested the four persons involved and returned them to Venezuela.

The scandal was so huge that the government of that country, allied with the United States at the time and an accomplice in its crimes within and without Venezuela, had no alternative but to prosecute them in Venezuelan courts.

The Sandinista Revolution had triumphed in July of 1979 [in Nicaragua] and a bloody, dirty war promoted by the United States broke out in that country. Reagan was President of the United States.

When Gerald Ford replaced Nixon, the attempts to assassinate foreign leaders had created such a scandal that he prohibited U.S. agents from participating in such acts. Congress denied funds for the dirty war in Nicaragua. Posada Carriles was needed. The CIA, through the so-called Cuban-American National Foundation, bribed the relevant jailers with healthy sums and the terrorist walked out of prison like any other visitor. Moved immediately to Ilopango, El Salvador, he not only organized the distribution of weapons which led to thousands of deaths and mutilations among Nicaraguan patriots, but also, with CIA cooperation, acquired drugs in Central America, smuggled them into the U.S. and bought weapons in the country for Nicaraguan counterrevolutionaries.

In the interest of space, I will omit numerous factual details of this brutal history.

It is impossible to understand why the illustrious Nobel Peace Prize winner who presides over the United States government, is willing to repeat the stupid idea that Cuba is a terrorist country and is keeping four Cuban anti-terrorist fighters in isolated prisons and inhumane conditions, a sanction which has not been imposed on any other adversary of the United States – much less when no U.S. military force has indicated that these Cubans represent any danger whatsoever – and preventing René from returning to his homeland and his family’s embrace.

That same Sunday, October 9, when René conveyed his courageous message to the people of Cuba, he recorded and filmed another fraternal “Message to Fidel and Raúl.” On the advice of Ricardo Alarcón, President of the National Assembly, neither message was made public until the Florida District Court probation officer had formally communicated to him the conditions of his three years of “supervised release.”

Now that that requisite has been met I am pleased to inform our people of the textual content of the message which so much honors our heroes and expresses their exemplary behavior and will of iron:

Dear Comandante:

First of all an embrace, my gratitude and appreciation not just for all of the support that you have invested in us, for the way in which you have mobilized an entire people and have mobilized international solidarity for our case, but – in the first place – for having served as an inspiration to us, for having been the example which we have followed during these 13 years, and for having been for us a flag behind which we were always going to march.

For us, this mission has been nothing more than the continuation of everything that you have done, which your generation did for the Cuban people and the rest of humanity.

For me it is an enormous pleasure to send you this message, to send you a temporal embrace in this way, because I know that we will finally embrace each other; however much our adversaries try to prevent it, I know that we are going to give each other that embrace. I know that we Five will return because you promised that and because you have mobilized energy, the best of humanity, the will of everyone to make that happen.

For us, it is an honor to serve the cause which you inspired in the people of Cuba, to be your followers, followers of the path which you and Raúl opened, and we will never stop being worthy of this confidence that you deposited in us.

To both of you, to you Fidel, to Raúl, who is now guiding us in this new difficult, complex but glorious stage in which we are immersed in order to break the economic dependence which still fetters us and prevents us from constructing the society we want, I send an embrace from the Five, and say to you both that we always had confidence in you. When we were alone in the hole, when we were incommunicado, when we couldn’t receive any news, when my four brothers knew nothing about their families because they could not tell them, we always had confidence in you both, we always knew that you would not abandon your sons, because we always knew that the Revolution never abandoned those who defended it. That is why it deserves to be defended and that is why we shall always do so.

And although I am not sure that we deserve all the honors that have been given us, I can say to you that the rest of our lives will be dedicated to meriting them, because you inspire us, because you are the flag which taught us how to conduct ourselves and, to the end of our days, we will try to be worthy of the confidence which you deposited in us.

For me now, this is a trench in which I will continue in the same combat to which you called me and I will keep going to the end, until justice is done, following your orders, doing what has to be done.

And I say to Fidel and Raúl: “Comandantes, both of you, at your orders!

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Fidel Castro Ruz

October 17, 2011

10:35 p.m.