Will of iron (Part I)

Havana. October 17, 2011

REFLECTIONS OF FIDEL
Will of iron

Part I

(Taken from CubaDebate)

GRANMA and Juventud Rebelde, the Party and the [Communist] Youth’s press, published two days ago – Friday, October 14 – a valiant and forceful message to the people of Cuba from Hero of the Republic René González, upon completing his vengeful and unjust sentence of 13 years, alone, like the other four heroes serving longer terms in prisons hundreds of thousands of miles distant from each other. The implacable resolve of each one of them has never failed for one instant, even when they were repeatedly sent to punishment cells – veritable tombs – without any space in which to move around, whenever "yankee justice" decided, without any crime or evidence whatsoever. If that "justice" got one thing right it was in its selection of the kind of men that they were punishing.

René was also prohibited, for three additional years, from returning to his homeland to be united with his family and his people. He must remain within the territory of the country which imposed such an unjust sentence.

For everyone, and particularly for those of us who have lived through the critical years of our country’s history, René’s words had a profound impact.

"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 exhausted […] we still have four brothers who we have to rescue and who 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 to be done so that the Five of us can return together to you."

"To all those 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 silence that the corporate media have created 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, strong and determined words in the unmistakable tone of voice of a fighter who has endured 13 infinite years of brutal and unjust punishment without vacillating for one second, are truly impressive.

The imperial dictatorship will not be able to sustain its crude lies about the injustice committed against the five Cuban anti-terrorist heroes. It does not matter how perfidiously the media under its control excels in presenting them as agents and spies endangering the security of the United States. The President of the National Assembly [Ricardo
Alarcón] and the eminent lawyer José Pertierra have taken it upon themselves to pulverize the crude yankee calumnies concerning the heroic Cuban anti-terrorists.

Memories of our people’s victorious battle for the return of the child Elián González to the heart of his family and his homeland comes to my mind. Faced with the monstrous conduct of the Cuban counterrevolutionary mafia in Miami and their contempt for the country’s authorities, the very President of the United States at that time, Bill Clinton, was forced to send in security forces in order to impose U.S. law on fascist groups who held them in contempt and burned the country’s symbols and flags, led by, among others, the "big, bad wolf" Ileana Ros, currently no less than chairwoman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs which establishes guidelines for this country’s foreign policy.

René González’ message to the people of Cuba, on his own initiative and valiantly assuming the risk, reinforces our profound conviction that the position of the United States government in relation to the five Cuban heroes is already unsustainable, as is equally so its justification of the criminal economic blockade of our homeland and the punitive measures it is implementing in the case of foreign enterprises trading with our country.

This brutal, unprecedented policy has been transformed by the empire into an international norm, despite its practically unanimous rejection by all members of the United Nations, with the sole exception of the United States and Israel.

Events have irrefutably shown that, in today’s globalized world under yankee direction, there is no guarantee of security for any other country. The unanimous condemnation of the economic blockade of Cuba can be repeated a thousand and one times in the United Nations – or any other measure such as the right of the Palestinian people to statehood – without that right, or any other which does not serve the interests of the empire, being respected in any way whatsoever.

Although it was not a deliberate goal of the Revolution, our country has become an example of what a small state can accomplish if it consistently maintains a principled policy, even when scientific and technical advances, patents and the distribution of wealth on the planet remain in the hands of the most developed and richest countries, the erstwhile colonial powers, purveyors of plunder and poverty in our nations.

During the long struggle against the empire, our country’s fighters have even faced becoming targets of the empire’s nuclear weapons, first in October of 1962 and secondly, mid-1998. In neither of these two situations did our homeland yield to yankee coercion. In 1962, no inspection whatsoever was allowed within our territory and, in 1988, after the battle of Cuito Cuanavale and the advance of 50,000 Cuban and Angolan soldiers against South African forces armed and supplied with nuclear weapons by the Western powers, they decided to negotiate the independence of Namibia and an end to apartheid.

The peoples of the Third World recognize and appreciate Cuba’s altruistic solidarity in areas as important as health care and education.

Who would believe the outrageous lie that Cuba supports terrorism?

Such a dim-witted, stupid tale is told by a powerful nation which has not only enforced a criminal blockade against a country 90 miles from its coastline, but has also perpetuated hideous acts of terrorism. Fire-bombings of schools, recreation centers and commercial areas; explosives planted in factories; pirate attacks on port facilities, fishing boats and cargo ships; the organization of counterrevolutionary armed bands; the infiltration of agents and the supply of weapons to mercenaries, which began in 1959 after the first land reform law was enacted, leaving a trail of death and destruction in our homeland.

The bombings of our air force bases and the landing of mercenary troops at Playa Girón [Bay of Pigs], escorted by U.S. aircraft carriers and warships, took innumerable lives just as our revolutionary process was beginning. Can the United States deny these facts?

Attempts to assassinate leaders of the Revolution organized by United States’ intelligence agencies were innumerable, but they did not confine themselves to these crude efforts. Viruses and bacteria were introduced into our country to sabotage agricultural and livestock production. Even worse was the introduction of diseases which didn’t even exist in this hemisphere, in an attack on the population. Hemorrhagic dengue affected hundreds of thousands of people and 150, mostly children, lost their lives. This disease still has devastating effects on the continent.

A recounting of what the United States had done to our people would be interminable.

I will continue tomorrow.

Fidel Castro Ruz

October 16, 2011

9:05 p.m.

Translated by Granma International

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