President Fidel Castro Ruz of Cuba shown in a recent video released by the revolutionary government on October 28, 2006 showing the 80-year-old leader recuperating from surgery earlier in the year.
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire Photo File.
Dear compatriots and dear friends from all over the world:
During this time, I have worked intensely to guarantee in our country the objectives of the Proclamation of the 31st of July.
Now we find ourselves facing an adversary who has led the United States into a disaster of such magnitude, that it is almost certain that the U.S. people themselves will not allow him to conclude his presidential mandate.
In addressing you, intellectuals and prominent individuals of the world, I was in a dilemma: I could not bring you all together in a small venue. It was only within the Karl Marx Theater that all of the visitors would fit and, according to my doctors, I was still not in a condition to face such a colossal encounter.
I opted for the variant of speaking to all of you utilizing this channel. My thinking is well-known regarding José Martí’s ideas of glories and honors, when he said that they can all fit on a grain of corn.
Your generosity really overwhelms me. There are so many people that I would like to mention here that once again, I am opting not to do so, and I ask you to forgive me for mentioning just one name: that of Oswaldo Guayasamín, because he was able to synthesize many of the best virtues of those present here.
He made four portraits of me. The first one that he painted in 1961 was lost. I looked for it in every possible corner, and it never appeared. I suffered so much when I found out what an exceptional person Guayasamín was. The second was in 1981 and is kept at the Casa Guayasamín in Old Havana. The third, in 1986, is kept at the "Antonio Núñez Jiménez Foundation for Nature and Man." How far we were, he and I, when we first met, from imagining that the fourth portrait would be his birthday gift in August 1996.
How inspired his words were when he said: "From Quito and in any corner of the Earth, leave a light burning, because I will be back later."
About Oswaldo Guayasamín, I wrote one day, during the inauguration of the Capilla del Hombre, "He was the most noble, transparent and humane person I have ever known. He created at the speed of light, and his magnitude as a human being was limitless."
As long as the planet exists and human beings breathe, the work of creators will exist.
Today, moreover, thanks to technology, the work and knowledge that humanity has created throughout thousands of years is within everyone’s reach, even though it is not yet known how human beings are affected by the radiation from billions of computers and cell phones.
Recently, the prestigious World Wildlife Fund, based in Switzerland and considered internationally to be the most important NGO overseeing the global environment, stated that all of the measures taken by Cuba to protect the environment made it the only country on Earth that meets the minimum requirements for sustainable development. This is an encouraging honor for our country, but of little importance in the world, given the weight of its economy. That is why, on this past 23rd, I sent a message to President Chávez saying:
"By adopting a Comprehensive Energy Savings Program, you have become the most prestigious defender of the environment in the world.
"The fact that Venezuela is the country with the largest oil reserves is extremely important, and will make you an example that will draw along all other energy consumers to do the same, saving a countless amount of investment.
"Just as Cuba, a nickel producer, can mobilize resources worth billions of dollars for its development, Venezuela, with its exports of hydrocarbons, could mobilize trillions.
"If the rich industrialized nations were to achieve the miracle of reproducing throughout the planet – within several dozen years – solar fusion, having first destroyed the environment with hydrocarbon emissions, how will the poor nations, who constitute the immense majority of humanity, be able to live in that world?
"¡Hasta la victoria siempre!"
Finally, dear friends, who have done us the immense honor of visiting our country, I very sorrowfully take my leave of you, because I was not able to personally thank you and embrace each one of you. We have the duty to save our species.
Fidel Castro Ruz
November 28, 2006
(Translated by Granma International)
Political event, military review and march of the combative people: December 2
By Alberto Nuñez Betancourt—Granma daily staff writer—
THE presence of 300,000 of the capital’s residents in the name of all Cubans in the archipelago before the historic leadership of the Revolution and the monument to José Martí, Cuba’s national hero, at the culmination of the political event and the military review on December 2 will be an irrefutable expression of the unity of the Communist Party, the Revolutionary Armed Forces and the people, Pedro Sáez Montejo, member of the Political Bureau and first secretary of the Party in the City of Havana, affirmed to this daily.
Sáez noted that the patriotic event on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Granma landing, Revolutionary Armed Forces Day and the celebration of President Fidel Castro’s 80th birthday contains the recognition of all the armed forces, fruit of that army referred to by Camilo Cienfuegos as the people in uniform.
He added that representatives of four capital municipalities:
Cerro, Central Havana, Old Havana and Plaza will be mobilizing from the early hours of Saturday, with the territories selected bearing in mind the most rational use of transport resources, given that participants will basically arrive on foot.
The Party leader commented that the number of people attending responds to the plan of guaranteeing the activity at a prudential time and with all quality. He expressed thanks for the attitude of many people in other municipalities who affirmed their wish to participate and noted that during these years of the Battle of Ideas people in the capital have acquired much experience at the time of distributing forces in the face of all challenges.
For that reason, he affirmed that the march of the combative people would be characterized by the organization, discipline, enthusiasm and patriotism of the participants, who include young pioneers, other student forces and young people in general, representing the new generations of Cuban revolutionaries.
Saturday’s event in the José Martí Plaza de la Revolución will be a singular opportunity for the imperialist enemy to once again confirm the strength of our Revolution, the potential created to assure our achievements and undertake new victories, Sáez concluded.
(Translated by Granma International)
Fidel’s homeland is not only Cuba, but the planet Earth
Conviction of participants in the colloquium organized in Havana by the Guayasamín Foundation for the 80th birthday of the leader of the Cuban Revolution
BY ORFILIO PELAEZ, JOEL MAYOR LORAN AND PEDRO DE LA HOZ —Granma daily staff writers —
FOR Argentine Hebe de Bonafini, one of the emblematic Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, “he is the greatest, wisest, most integral and sincere man whom I have ever met,” while the popular Italian communicator Gianni Mina worked it out: “The collapse of socialism in Eastern Europe began 17 years ago, and Cuba, under the leadership of the Comandante, is still on its feet and moving forwards.” And from the south of Our America, the words of the venerable Volodia Teitelboim made themselves felt: “Fidel’s homeland is not only Cuba, but the planet Earth.”
Voices like these, diverse and however coinciding in sound and reasoned arguments and profound convictions, dialogued yesterday in Havana’s International Convention Center during the first session of the colloquium Memory and Future: Cuba and Fidel, organized by the Oswaldo Guayasamín Foundation to pay tribute to the leader of the Revolution on the occasion of his 80th birthday.
The younger generations of the continent also expressed themselves. Luther Castillo, a Honduran graduate from the Latin America School of Medicine, stressed that 115 years since the founding of the Autonomous University of Honduras, hardly any black doctors have graduated, while in Cuba the total is now 18 from his country’s Garifuna community.
Participants from 80 countries held simultaneous sessions in three rooms in order to cover the solidarity of the Cuban Revolution; achievements in popular participation, social justice, science, health, education and sports; and culture and the mass media.
Mozambican writer and historic leader Marcelino dos Santos recalled that the liberation of the peoples of Africa is fertilized by the generously spilled blood of the Cuban people.
From Bolivarian Venezuela, Francisco Sesto, minister of culture, highlighted that the combination of a humanist vision with a firmness of principles can be seen in the person of Fidel, and poet and politico Tarek William Saab described the Cuban leader as a continuer of the Venezuelan liberator Bolívar.
After recounting her experience in promoting literacy programs drawn up on the island, Argentine Claudia Camba drew applause by saying: “The best tribute to Fidel is for all of us to go out to sow his dreams everywhere, and to make them real.”
Translated by Granma International