Sunday, October 29, 2006

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.