Fidel Castro’s Reflections: The Will of Iron (Pt. 1 & 2)

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October 18, 2011

Part One

Two days ago on Friday October 14th, Granma and Juventud Rebelde, the Communist Party and Youth League newspapers, published a brave and energetic message from René González, Hero of the Republic,  to the people of Cuba, after the odious and unfair 13-year punishment  had finished, separately, like the other four heroes who are serving longer sentences in prisons that are hundreds of miles away from each other.  Not for one instant did the unshakeable steadfastness of each one of them falter, even when they were repeatedly thrown into punishment cells, veritable sepulchres, without any space to move, just as “Yankee justice” decreed, with no crime or any kind of evidence. If there was anything in which such “justice” didn’t make a mistake, it was in the selection of the type of men it was punishing.

René was additionally prohibited from returning to his Homeland to be with his family and his people for three years. He will have to remain in the territory of the country that had imposed such unfair punishment on him.

For everyone, and especially for those of us who have lived through critical years in the history of our Homeland, René’s words profoundly sized it up.

“The fact that I am now out of prison – he stated – only means that one avenue of abuse to which I was subjected has been closed, […] we still have four brothers whom we have to rescue and whom we need with us with their families, to be among you giving the best of themselves…”

“For me, this is only a trench, a new place in which I am going to continue fighting for justice so that the Five of us can return together to you.”

“…to all the people who have accompanied us over the years, who have been thousands, and through whom we have been able, little by little, to break through this information blockade, to break through the wall of silence that the corporate media have built around the case, I extend to you, on behalf of the Five, my most profound gratitude, my commitment to continue representing you as you deserve, which is definitely what we Five are doing, because we are not only Five, we are a whole people who have resisted for 50 years, and it is thanks to that that we are still resisting, […]  and will never fail you and will always rise to the heights that you deserve

René’s sincere, steadfast and energetic words, the unmistakable tone of voice of a fighter who has withstood 13 infinite years of brutal and unfair punishment without faltering for one second, are really impressive.

Imperial tyranny will not be able to sustain its gross lies about the injustice committed against the Five Cuban Anti-terrorist Heroes. It doesn’t matter how treacherously the information media in its control does its best to present them as agents and spies that placed United States security at risk. The President of the National Assembly and the prestigious lawyer José Pertierra have been in charge of pulverizing the gross Yankee lies about the heroic Cuban anti-terrorists.

The memory of the victorious battle our people waged for the return of the boy Elián González to his family and homeland crossed my mind.  In the face of the monstrous behaviour of the Cuban counter-revolutionary mafia of Miami and its contempt of the country’s authorities, the very president of the United States at that time, Bill Clinton, was forced to send security forces in order to impose American law and order on the fascist groups who were being contemptuous and setting symbols and flags of that country on fire, headed by the “ferocious she-wolf” Ileana Ros, among others, who today is nothing less than the Chairperson of the Foreign Relations Committee of the US House of Representatives and dictates rules on that country’s foreign policy.

René González’ message to the people of Cuba, at his own initiative and bravely taking on any risk, reinforces our profound conviction that the position of the US government in terms of the Five Cuban heroes is by now unsustainable, just as its justification of the criminal economic blockade against our homeland and the punitive measures it applies on foreign enterprises that do business with our country.

Such a policy, brutal and unusual, has been transformed by the powerful empire into an international norm, despite the practically unanimous opinion of all the members of the United Nations, with the exception of the US and Israel.

Facts irrefutably show that in the globalized world of today, under the aegis of the Yankee empire, no security guarantee exists for any other country. In the UN one can repeat time and time again the unanimous rejection of the economic blockade on Cuba, or any other measure such as the right of the Palestinian people to their constitution as a state, but unless such a right, or any other, fits in with the empire’s interests, it has no validity whatsoever.

Without it being a deliberate purpose of the Revolution, our country has become an example of what a small state can achieve if it steadfastly sustains a policy of principles even when scientific and technological advances, its patents and the distribution of the planet’s wealth is in the hands of the most developed and richest nations, that in times past were the colonial powers, disseminators of looting and poverty in our countries.

In its long struggle against the empire, our country’s combatants have been at the point of being the target for nuclear weapons at the service of that power: the first time in October of 1962; and the second time in mid-1988. On neither of these two occasions did our Homeland succumb to Yankee blackmail: in 1962, it permitted no inspection of any sort on its territory, and in 1988, after the battle of Cuito Cuanavale and the advance of 50,000 Cuban and Angolan soldiers over the South African forces equipped by the West and provided with nuclear missiles, they decided to negotiate the independence of Namibia and the end of Apartheid.

The peoples of the Third World recognize and are thankful for the unselfish solidarity of Cuba in areas that are so important such as health and education.

Who can believe the strange lie about Cuba supporting terrorism?

Such a dull and stupid fib on the part of the powerful country which, only 90 miles away from its shores, not only applied against it a criminal blockade but also perpetrated the most grotesque acts of terrorism. The fires set in educational, recreational and business centres; the live phosphorus in the sugar cane plantations; the use of explosives in factories; the pirate attacks against port facilities and fishing and cargo vessels; the organizing of counter-revolutionary gangs; infiltrations by agents and providing weapons to mercenary gangs began in 1959, after the First Agrarian Reform Law, leaving a trail of death and destruction in our Homeland.

The bombing of our air force bases and the landing of mercenary troops at the Bay of Pigs, escorted by American aircraft carriers and warships cost innumerable victims when our revolutionary process was barely starting. Can the United States deny these facts?

Assassination plans on the leaders of the Revolution organized by US intelligence services were innumerable; in fact their gross actions didn’t limit themselves to that. Viruses and bacteria were introduced into our country to sabotage the production of plants and animals; even worse, diseases that didn’t even exist in this hemisphere were introduced into Cuba against the population. Haemorrhagic dengue affected hundreds of thousands of persons and around 150 of them, mainly children, died. That disease still creates havoc in this hemisphere.

The tale of what the United States has committed against our people would be endless.

Fidel Castro Ruz
October 16, 2011
9:05 p.m.


Part Two

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!

Fidel Castro Ruz
October 17, 2011
10:35 p.m.

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