Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Fidel from my balcony

Thursday, November 30, 2006

You don’t have a duty to beanywhere, Fidel: your duty to humanity is to look after yourself and go on living…

Dear brother and sister followers of Fidel:
Fidel’s transparency has made us clearly understand reality. But what he would most want is that we continue going forward. First you heard the voice of Oswaldo Guayasamín, creator of the Foundation 30 years ago, and whose living memory holds the thinking and sentiment of hundreds, thousands, millions of human beings, who are here or who have been unable to come to be with us in these days that are going to be marvelous, not only because of the love that we, you and the maestro’s family will be giving, but because of the personality of the man who is being honored: that volcano called Fidel!
The Guayasamín Foundation wishes to share with you, the visiting women and men from 80 countries, the privilege represented by being able to participate in this unparalleled tribute.
It is our wish that each segment of the program will be fulfilled as successfully as possible. It includes the Guayasamín exhibition, made concrete in an embrace from the artist to his brother Fidel; the international concert Todas las voces, Todas (All Voices Together) in which artists and singer-songwriters who are generously dedicating their music to Fidel will participate; and the colloquium in which we are going to dialogue on and update the memory of what has taken place and look at the projections of what is to happen in this world in turmoil, everything in relation to Fidel and to Cuba, both of whom symbolize the real concept of Revolution.
In the framework of this tribute, we are going to launch a book reproducing the works of Oswaldo Guayasamín twinned with poems from Pablo Neruda’s Canto General (General Song), and another book that brings together marvelously the thinking and a large part of the history of the Comandante, Cien horas con Fidel (One Hundred Hours with Fidel), written with such intelligence by the journalist Ignacio Ramonet, present here, in its third edition, which is an additional privilege for all of us.
However, that is little enough of what we can do as a tribute to a man who has given everything in favor of others, his own Cuban people and other peoples from Latin America and the world, whom he treats as if they were his own in the exemplary attitude of converting himself into the driving force of the most internationalist solidarity known to contemporary history.
An example of decorum, of austerity, of total detachment from material ambition, personal sacrifice in his inexhaustible work, all those virtues that have brought him to occupy that unique place in the history of these times in which he has dedicated most of his 80 years to fighting, leading battles, defeating – one after the other – the governments of imperialism and many of their figureheads, with all their blockades, their assassination attempts, their perverse genocidal practices.
Eighty years, which are many, many more for a person who found the strength to extend his days and working hours to the infinite.
His being this volcano that he has been, as Oswaldo Guayasamín describes him, is the reason for us meeting here to say to him:
Thank you, Fidel, for existing…
Thank you for having had the valor to forge the 26th of July…
Thank you for everything that you have done and for attaining the absolution of history a long time ago…
Thank you for the Granma landing, the beginning of the victory…
Thank you for making Cuba a free territory…
With the beneficiaries of the "I Can Do It," Operation Miracle (programs), and the thousands of medical students, we say to you: Thank you for making your dreams of social justice a reality…
Thank you for continuing to be a guerrilla…
With Elián González and with the five patriots imprisoned by the empire, we say to you: Thank you for being tenacious and for winning all your battles…
You do not have a duty to be anywhere, Fidel: your duty to humanity is to look after yourself and to go on living…
Friends: And so that Fidel hears from where you are, from the hand of the memory of Oswaldo Guayasamín, let us lavish to that volcano of tenderness the most loving standing ovation…
ALFREDO VERADirector of International Relations of theGuayasamín Foundation.Coordinator of the Tribute.
Message from President Fidel Castroto participants in the celebrations for his 80th birthday
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:
"Dear Hugo:
"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.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Preparations for Fidel’s Birthday Full Steam Ahead

More than a thousand personalities from all continents will be come to Cuba between November 28 and the first days of December to celebrate the 80th birthday of Cuban President Fidel Castro in what will be "a demonstration of love, passion, affection and respect for the leader of the Revolution," said Alfredo Vera, member of the Guayasamin Foundation, the institution promoting of the initiative.

"Fidel Castro and the late Ecuadorian painter Oswaldo Guayasamin were united by profound ties of friendship and mutual admiration," said Vera.

The Foundation’s international relations person said the events to take place in Havana as part of the celebration include a colloquium on the thoughts of Fidel Castro; a concert at the Jose Martí Anti-imperialist Bandstand and an exhibition of Guayasamin’s paintings at the National Museum of Fine Arts.

The announcements were made on the nightly TV and Radio program The Round Table. Important intellectuals have confirmed their presence at the celebrations, among them, sociologist and journalist Ignacio Ramonet, Ecuador’s former president Rodrigo Borja, writer and essayist Luis Britto, and author Atilio Boron.

Foundation Vice-president Saskia Guayasamin, told the Round Table that convening the event was a task achieved on short notice, as a result of the great admiration for Fidel and his father Oswaldo, "who dedicated his painting to the defense of the poor and dispossessed of the Americas."

Vera added that the colloquium will run from November 29 through December 1. He said three commissions will delve into Fidel’s views on solidarity, internationalism and the need to forge a new type of human being. Discussions will also focus on the leader of the Cuban revolution’s concepts of justice, equity and humanity’s most pressing problems.

Round Table host Randy Alonso announced that all the debates will be taped for further broadcast on the program.

Guayasamin´s grandson, Alfredo Che Vera, provided details on the concert Todas las Voces Todas, scheduled to take place on November 30, with the participation of renowned musicians and singers from Cuba and Latin America.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Fidel gives camera to boy humiliated by the blockade

RAYSEL Sosa González received a digital camera on Wednesday night (Oct. 25), sent by President Fidel Castro, the daily Juventud Rebelde reported.

The boy received his gift publicly from the hands of Roberto González, deputy minister of health, at the school where Raysel attends seventh grade, Olof Palme Junior High, in the Havana neighborhood of La Lisa.

Jorge González, who leads the Coloring My Barrio Community Workshop, where Raysel cultivates his artistic talent, said that for four months, they had suffered together after the Japanese company Nikon shamefully refused to give Raysel the camera that was his prize for the 15th International Children’s Painting Competition on the Environment, because the camera had U.S. components.

“Today, justice has been done, and it has come from the most just man in the world,” the teacher affirmed.

Raysel, who was so surprised that he didn’t open his carefully gift-wrapped present for several minutes, said he was very happy about the camera sent by Fidel.

He said that he would like to see him when he gets better, give him a kiss on the cheek, and thank him for that warm gesture.

Raysel hasn’t yet decided what images his new camera will capture, but he will always remember this day, along with the pleasant knowledge of the solidarity given him by his classmates and neighbors, who a few minutes earlier had listened attentively to the detailed explanation from José Ramón Cabaña, an official with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, regarding the aggressive U.S. policy toward Cuba and its relentless blockade, which was used to try to deprive this young Cuba of his happiness.
Fidel is in the heart of each one of us

General of the Army Raúl Castro tells pioneers at their 4th Congress

“Fidel was not physically present here, but he has been in a more important place, in the hearts of each of us,” affirmed General of the Army Raúl Castro Ruz, in the final event of the 4th Congress of the José Martí Pioneers Organization (OPJM) which met over two days in the International Conference Center.

“He is going to enjoy this event very much, it will fill him with profound joy to see these calm, disciplined and solemn children; to see this beautiful verdant flower that you represent.”

He recalled the response of the Cuban leader when the pioneers repeated in the 3rd Congress: “Fidel, Fidel, what is it that Fidel has, that the Americans can’t handle him?” “I have you,” he answered five years ago. Nobody would be in the least doubt of what he had when he said that.

When Fidel recovers, he is going to participate in a solemn session with the delegates to this 4th Pioneers Congress, noted Raúl, a proposal he transmitted at the initiative of Carlos Lage. The news provoked an explosion of joy in the plenary session.

“You have to urge Fidel to get better, and I am going to tell him on your behalf. I wouldn’t miss that solemn session,” Raúl added.


The second secretary of the Party refuted the lies in the U.S. and Miami press on Fidel’s imminent death. “He is steadily improving, but as he warned in his proclamation, his recovery will take time. He has a telephone at his side and is using it more and more every day,” he emphasized.

Raúl said that he had met with the leader of the Revolution the previous Friday at 8:30 p.m. as agreed by him, and that Carlos Lage, vice president of the Council of State, and Felipe Pérez Roque, minister of foreign affairs, had also been present. Fidel gave them some directions on affairs of state.

Recalling anecdotes from the insurrectional struggle, he confided that the sentence he liked the most from the personal diary that he kept for the first 80 days after the Granma landing was the one he wrote in January 1957, the time of battle at La Plata, the first victory of the Rebel Army.

On that occasion he noted: “There from a distance I saw the flames of freedom burning over the garrisons of oppression. One day we will raise up schools on their ashes.”

“I can’t help but get emotional when I see everything that the Revolution has done in education under the precise guidance of what some of you call the Pionero Mayor.


“Nobody should get confused about this little country that shelters a great peaceful people, but if they set upon us they are going to come up against a telluric khaki force, with a wasps’ nest, as Fidel said once. We wish the best for our people, but they wish them the worst,” he said, alluding to the enemies of the Revolution.

Raúl announced that there is to be a military parade in the capital on December 2 to demonstrate the upgrading of our defense armaments on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the Revolutionary Armed Forces.

There is also to be another military parade on November 30 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the insurrection in that city in support of the landing of the expeditionary forces from the yacht Granma.

Also present at the congress were José Ramón Machado Ventura, Esteban Lazo and Carlos Lage, all members of the Political Bureau, as well as others from the Central Committee Secretariat, as were representatives of the Union of Young Communists , the Federation of University Students, the Federation of Students in Intermediate Education and the Ministry of Education.


Raúl Castro was the depository of the seals that accredit him and Fidel as delegates to the 4th Pioneers Congress, presented by Herlys Ortiz in the name of more than 1.4 million Cuban pioneers.

Raúl received the surprise load of mass hugs and kisses from the pioneers, who gave him a picture in which children are asking him to accept their entry “into Fidel’s army, as soldiers of ideas and fires, for the battles of today and tomorrow, at the orders of a general like you, faithful to the dreams of Martí.”

A piece of crystal carved with the face of José Martí by Carlos Marcoleta, an artist from Cárdenas, was sent to Fidel, the oldest of the pioneers, via Marcoleta’s younger brother.

Raúl enjoyed the affection and contagious joy of the children, who sung, laughed, joked and even cried with emotion.

The FAR minister told them that Fidel had sent a special present to them: the second edition of the book, Cien horas con Fidel (One Hundred Hours with Fidel), the result of interviews by the Franco-Spanish writer Ignacio Ramonet.

“You have been present for every minute of this Congress, in every dream, in every poem, in every song,” affirmed Miriám Yanet Martín, national OPJM president.

In her message she assured: “Like you, Comandante, have them, they have you and they are here to let you know that.”


On the 39th anniversary of Che’s death in Bolivia pioneers are multiplying his ideas, affirmed Mercedes López Acea, member of the Central Committee Secretariat, on closing the congress.

Lázaro Izquierdo, a Cuban doctor who works in La Higuera medical post, told the pioneers of his experiences in that historic place in Bolivia.

Dr. Izquierdo, a member of the Henry Reeve International Brigade, arrived in La Higuera, where they killed Che, along with other health professionals when Bolivia was affected by torrential rain last February.

“We are there to fulfill the dreams of Che Guevara, the dreams of those adult models sought by Cuban children and those in La Higuera,” he stated.

In La Higuera, Che is not only looked on as a saint; he is still a symbol for many people in the world. Villa Grande was the scenario where he contributed not only to restore the medical post but carried construction materials on his shoulders to a height of 2,300 meters.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Fidel received the writer Miguel Bonasso
The Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz received the President of the Commission of Natural Resources and Environment of the House of Representatives of the Argentine Republic, Miguel Bonasso, who is in Cuba as personal representative of the President from his country to the meeting of the Group of the 15, which will take session tomorrow in occasion of XIV the Summit of the Movement of non-Aligned Countries. In touching and brotherly encounter, Fidel showed to the outstanding writer and Argentine journalist the first unit of the second Cuban, reviewed and enriched edition with new data, of the book "One hundred hours with Fidel", who will be flattered to the Government and Chiefs of State and other present personalities in the Summit of the NOAL.The Commander-in-Chief told to Bonasso the intense process of revision of the book, to which he dedicated numerous hours, even in the middle of the strategic tasks of conduction of the Power Revolution and the fabulous educational and health programs in which the country is involve now. He said that the book became a something very important to him, not only by the necessary precisions of content, just by the commitment that he has made with the Cuban people to review it, to print a new edition that could be distributed in all the country. One and other again he reviewed each chapter of the book until the minimum detail, even during the trip to Argentina, the intense day of the 26 of July and in the process of recovery after the operation, even at the most complicated moments, when he did not know of how long would arrange to do it, with the objective to fulfil his commitment with the Cuban people.The result is just more than an edition finished, with deep and important reflections and unpublished documents that add more value to the exceptional testimony of the leader of the Cuban Revolution. Fidel and Bonasso also interchanged opinions on diverse subjects of interest of our special region and in on the development of the Miracle operation, by which 400 000 patients have been operated in hardly two years, the great majority Latin American and Caribbean. In addition to the advanced centres whereupon counts the country, where have been made most of these operations, Cuba has installed Oftalmological Centres of high level in Bolivia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Haiti and Venezuela, to take care of patients of those countries and bordering nations. In Bolivia, where several centres are installed, the capacity of operations reaches more than 100 thousand annual people. During the encounter, Bonasso gave to Fidel a trip portfolio, as expression of its confidence in which he will continue travelling by the world taking the voice and the message of Cuba. He expressed to him that he saw him far better that what he has imagined from the published thing and he appreciated him with the same spirit and the lucidity whereupon saw him in Cordova, the last July, when they shared several moments during the days of that visit.Fidel thanked Bonasso for his presence in Cuba and its decided support to the Latin American integrating projects, since he has demonstrated with his participation in several encounter of intellectuals of the region and their presence to it in the presidency and his presence as orator in the crowded act in the Revolution Square the past February 3rd, when the International Jose Martí Prize was given to the President Hugo Chávez , and in the presidency of the historical act of April 29th, when the incorporation of Bolivia to the agreements of the ALBA took place.Taken from Pagina/12
Fidel was chosen President of the MNOAL
The Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, was chosen President of the MNOAL today by acclamations of the Movement of Countries non-Aligned in the XIV Summit, that began today under the conduction of Raul Castro, Chief of State in functions of Cuba. To proposal of Prime minister of Malaysia, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Fidel received the applause of the leaders of more than 100 delegations of countries members, in his condition of President of the MNOAL, which assumes for the second time. Minutes before, the Cuban chancellor Felipe Perez Roque informed that Raul Castro, Chief of State in functions, would head the delegation of the greater one of the Antilles, in as much the Commander-in-Chief recovers satisfactorily and follows the prescription of the doctors, who indicated rest to him.The own Badawi in self expressed to the plenary , and it was accepted by acclamations, that the First Vice-president of Cuba would assume the presidency in functions of the Summit, until Fidel reassumes his responsibilities of State and Government.The XIV Conference of the MNOAL began in the morning shortly after the 10, as soon as Raul gave the official welcome to the heads of delegations. In the presidential entrance of the Palace of Conventions of the Cuban capital, Raul interchanged greetings with each one of the presidents, prime minister and other high leaders, to those who the Honour guard presented his respect.After the intervention of Felipe, the Prime minister of Malaysia made a report of the activity of the MNOAL in the last three years, in which this forum of agreement was revitalized it self in the defence of its original principles.“We trust that Cuba will be able to direct the Movement, its history gives us the certainty that non-Aligned will be in the good hands of Cuba and it will reach higher levels”, said Badawi.“Then I assume”, said Raul when he took possession.
Took it from Granma.cu
Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez Visit with Fidel Castro

Commander in chief Fidel Castro met with the presidents of Bolivia and Venezuela, Evo Morales and Hugo Chavez on Saturday night, the second time he spoke with the two South American leaders in less than a week.
The three presidents exchanged impressions on the 14th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement that was wrapping up in Havana. They agreed on the need to work to further revitalize the movement as the representative organization of the aspirations and views of Third World nations.
Evo and Fidel talked about the projects implemented between the two nations as part of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) and the Peoples Free Trade Treaty of Nations, promoted by Bolivia, Venezuela and Cuba.
Fidel Castro expressed his deep admiration for President Morales and extolled his extraordinary struggle for Bolivians to recover control over their country's natural resources.
The Cuban leader spoke with his close friend Hugo Chavez about increased cooperation with Bolivia in the fields of health, education and other social fields.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Raul Castro Received Syria Minister of Information

Raul Castro, Second Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party, received on Sunday August 27 a delegation from Syria headed by the Minister of Information, Mohsen Bilal.

The Syrian minister traveled to Cuba as a personal emissary of President Bachar Al Assad. He carried a message to Raul Castro wishing Cuban President Fidel Castro a speedy recovery and reaffirmed his country’s solidarity with the people, Communist Party and government of Cuba at a time when the island faces stepped up threats and aggressions from the Bush administration.

During the meeting, Bilal confirmed that President Al Assad will participate at the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) Summit set for Sept. 11-16 in Havana and gave the Syrian government’s total support for Cuba as the next president of 116-member NAM.
The minister informed the Cubans on the situation in the Middle East and his country after the Israeli invasion of Lebanon, the increased repression and massacres against the Palestinian people and the increased threats against Syria.

Raul Castro expressed appreciation for the message from President Bachar Al Assad and reiterated Cuba’s support to the Syrian people in the face of aggressions and hostilities from Tel Aviv. He also confirmed the island’s support of Syria’s efforts to recovery the Golan Heights, occupied by Israel since the 1967 invasion.

Raul Castro told the visitor that President Fidel Castro was gradually and satisfactorily recovering from his surgery. He noted the total peace reigning in the country and the effort being made by the Communist Party, government and the people in general to carry out the tasks entrusted in them by Fidel in his Proclamation of July 31, including the decision to substantially raise the country’s combat capability and readiness.

The Defense Minister said that Cuba is ready for the Non-Aligned Summit and highlighted the numerous displays of support received from around the world.
Accompanying Raul Castro in his meeting with the Syrian minister were Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque and Fernando Remirez de Estenoz, member of the Communist Party Secretariat.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Fidel Castro Better Every Day
Responding to concern in Lima over President Fidel Castro´s health, Pedro Ross, head of the Cuban Workers Union (CTC), reported the president´s marked improvement.
Fidel Castro is very well, every day improving and he is walking, Ross said to thunderous applause during a dialog with hundreds of sympathizers of the Cuban Revolution.

The union leader, who ends a six-day visit to this country tomorrow, said there is absolute calm in the island in spite of the difficulties with the statesman s health. Fidel Castro had emergency surgery at the end of July.
Life in Cuba goes on as well as before, said the also member of the Cuban State Council, after remarking that the supposed transition prompted by US president George W. Bush will have to wait until most Cubans die.
Facing those not-so-new threats, Cuban men and women are ready to receive aggressors with rifles in hand, said Ross.

The Cuban union leader then dealt with the country s economic advances. Previously, he and the delegation that accompanies him held talks with the Peruvian CGTP (General Confederation of Workers).
Ross also visited the city of Arequipa and conversed with leaders of Peru s leftwing political parties.