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.

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