Reflections by Fidel Castro Ruz
April 30th 2012
The most shattering article that I have read recently about Latin America was written by Renán Vega Cantor, Associate Professor at the National Pedagogical University of Bogotá, which was published three days ago by the website ‘Rebelión’ under the title; “Echoes from the Summit of the Americas”.
It is a brief article and I won’t reproduce any part of it here. Those who are interested in the subject can look it up at the aforementioned website.
On more than one occasion I have referred to the infamous agreement which the United States imposed on Latin American and Caribbean countries when the OAS was founded at the foreign ministers meeting held in the city of Bogotá on April, 1948. Just by sheer coincidence I happened to be there on that date, helping to organize a Latin American students’ congress with the principal objective of struggling against European colonialism and the bloody tyranny imposed by the United States in this hemisphere.
One of Colombia’s most brilliant political leaders, Jorge Eliécer Gaitán, who had managed to unite the most progressive sectors of Colombia politics who were in opposition to the Yankee monstrosity with increasing strength, had offered his support to the celebration of the students’ congress. No one doubted that he would win the upcoming elections in Colombia, but he was treacherously murdered. His death led to a rebellion which has now continued for over half a century.
Social struggles have extended throughout millennia, since human beings, through resorting to wars, were able to take hold of surplus production in order to satisfy life’s essential needs.
It is well know that the era of physical slavery, the most brutal form of exploitation, was still taking place in some countries until little more than a century ago; as was the case in our own homeland during the final stages of Spanish colonialism.
Even in the United States, the enslavement of African descendants continued until the presidency of Abraham Lincoln. This brutal form of slavery was abolished there hardly thirty years before it was abolished in Cuba.
Martin Luther King still dreamed about the equality of black Americans until almost 44 years ago, when he was vilely murdered on April, 1968.
The accelerated development of science and technology has been a sign of our times. Whether we are aware of it or not, this is what will mark the future of humanity. This is an entirely new era. What prevails in every corner of this globalized world is the real struggle of our species for its own survival.
As for now, all Latin American nations, particularly our own, will be affected by the process that is taking place in Venezuela; the Liberator of the Americas’ birthplace.
I barely need to reiterate what you already know: the close links that exist between our people and the people of Venezuela and Hugo Chávez, the man behind the Bolivarian Revolution, and to the United Socialist Party which he has founded.
One of the first actions promoted by the Bolivarian Revolution was medical cooperation with Cuba. This is an area where our country has achieved special prestige, and which is now recognised by international public opinion. Thousands of health centers, equipped with state-of-the-art technology and produced by some of the world’s leading industry specialists, have been set up by the Bolivarian government to provide medical assistance to its people. Chávez, for his part, did not choose to go to expensive private clinics to care for his own health, but rather he put his care in the hands of the same medical services that he offers to his people.
Our doctors have also devoted part of their time to training Venezuelan doctors, in classrooms which have been properly equipped by the Venezuelan government. The people of Venezuela, irrespective of their personal incomes, began to receive the specialized services offered by our doctors; a fact which has meant that they now rank amongst the top countries in the world in terms of access to healthcare and that their health standards have visibly begun to improve.
President Obama knows this perfectly well and has talked about it with some of his visitors. He candidly told one of them: “The problem is that the United States sends soldiers, whilst Cuba, however, sends doctors”.
Chávez, a leader who has not had a minute’s rest in the last twelve years and who appeared to be in robust health was, however, affected by an unexpected illness that was discovered and treated by the same specialized staff that usually treat him. It was not easy to persuade him of the need to pay maximum attention to his own health. Since that moment, and with exemplary conduct, he has rigorously followed the treatment prescribed without neglecting his duties as Head of State and leader of his country.
I would dare to describe his attitude as both heroic and disciplined; he never forgets about his obligations for even a single minute, and at times he does this to the point of exhaustion. I can attest to this fact because I have not ceased to be in touch and exchange with him. He has not stopped devoting his abundant intelligence to the study and analysis of his country’s problems. He finds the oligarchy spokespeople and the empire’s vile and slanderous remarks to be amusing. I have never once heard him utter any insult or vile remark when referring to his enemies; that is not his kind of language.
The enemy knows the features of his character and is currently multiplying its efforts with the purpose of slandering and attacking President Chávez. I, for one, do not hesitate in stating my modest opinion –which emanates from more than half a century of struggle – and that is that the oligarchy will never again be able to govern that country. That is the reason why the US government’s decision to promote the overthrow of the Bolivarian government under such circumstances becomes a source of concern.
Besides, insisting on waging a slanderous campaign, claiming that there is a desperate struggle within the leadership of the Bolivarian government to take control of the revolutionary government in the event that the president is unable to overcome his illness, is nothing short of a huge lie. On the contrary, I have observed the greatest unity among the leaders of the Bolivarian Revolution.
Under such circumstances, any mistake made by Obama could provoke rivers of blood in Venezuela, and Venezuelan blood is also Ecuadorian, Brazilian, Argentinean, Bolivian, Chilean, Uruguayan, Central American, Dominican and Cuban blood.
It is necessary to bear in mind this reality when analyzing the political situation in Venezuela.
Is it now understood why the workers’ anthem urges us to change the world by destroying bourgeois imperialism?
Fidel Castro Ruz