HAVANA, July 27 (acn).-
Cuban News Agency
We waited in the small theater of the José Martí Memorial. We knew he was outside, laying, with as much privacy as possible, a wreath to the National Hero, next to the monument in the square. “It’s July 26, it’s not just any tribute,” someone notes almost in a whisper so as not to break the silence of the room where we waited, several dozen people sensing his proximity.
A second later his voice is heard at the door. It is Fidel.
“So many well-known people!”, he says, moving down the hall, waving to those in the seats nearby. “There is Rosa Miriam,” he says to Marina Menendez, the deputy director of Juventud Rebelde, who was sitting next to me. “You know, one day, she asked me if we would survive the Special Period?”, he laughs and squeezed my hand tightly. Unbelievable. He remembers one afternoon in late 1990 that I’d almost forgotten. I had just graduated and by chance I had to report an event at the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center, and Fidel arrived. As if we were riding in a time machine, that day we literally watched the movie of what the
Cubans would live through in the coming years of the special period, after the fall of the USSR. I was so shocked that when I was in front of him the only thing I could think to ask was: “Do you really believe that we might survive?”.
Fidel walked on. He greeted relatives of Commander of the Revolution Juan Almeida, the Rev.
Lucius Walker, members of the Pastors for Peace Caravan, the Rev. Raul Suarez. Also Silvio Rodriguez, Amaury Pérez, Sara Gonzalez, Frank Fernández, Vicente Feliu, the painters Nelson Domínguez, Kcho, Zaida del Rio, Rancaño, Flora Fong …. joking with some, thanking others. He came in his olive green. Then he sat at the front of the auditorium, next to a small table waiting for some folders. Randy Alonso, director of Cuban television program, Mesa Redonda, moderated the exchange of questions and comments, beginning with Alexis Leyva Machado (Kcho)
HE ALSO TALKED WITH THE FAMILY OF COMMANDER OF THE REVOLUTION JUAN ALMEIDA.
He brought two flags, one of July 26, which Commander of the Revolution Juan Almeida gave the artist, and which accompanied the “Marta Machado” artistic Brigade, organized by Kcho and a group made up of prominent Cuban artists who attended to the victims of the terrible hurricanes that struck Cuba in 2008, and also to the victims of the earthquake on Jan. 12 in Haiti. Immediately, a flagpole appeared and the flag was raised, alongside the national flag, in the left wing of the Theatre.
Fidel warmed up and talked about the events of Moncada, exactly 57 years ago:”I’ve said it before and I repeat, if I had to do it again, I would do everything the same, except paying attention to the Cossack Post. I had to go on….If I had carried on these people would not have shot at those in the post, and I would not have given in to the temptation to take those two machine guns, which was due to our shortage of weapons.”
“There were enough men,” he reaffirmed. “I would say no more were needed. We had about three times more men than it needed to take that goal. I am convinced of that.”
The Rev. Raul Suarez, who heads the Martin Luther King Center, asked the Commander in Chief for a reflection. “For us it was not easy to live our faith and practice our vocation in a socialist-revolutionary process. We had been instilled to the core American anti-communist ideology…. What we really fell in love with of the Revolution and sharing this process with our people was what motivated you to go to Moncada. I would like a few words from you… At this time in our country we badly need ethical moral and spiritual sustain to do everything we have to do…” ended Raul.
THE LEADER OF THE REVOLUTION GREETS THE REVEREND LUCIUS WALKER.
Fidel had listened to him carefully: “Really all we had,” he said, “was inspiration.
One cannot explain what would have happened to Silvio and everyone here, without inspiration. One should aim, almost as a rule, to be each day a little bit better. And do not give up that line…..”
For everything else you can find explanations and each of these are legitimate, the Commander in Chief went on to say, acknowledging that there is no contradiction between the believers and the Revolution, as the Brazilian father Frei Betto said in the conversation that was later inserted in the book ‘Fidel and Religion’. He admits that “science permeates and penetrates and goes to incredible limits. We are less than dust, and that we know from science.”
“What did man know 200 years ago?” And he recalled the “Prayer to God,” by the poet Gabriel de la Concepción Valdés “Plácido” (1809-1844), where he talks of the “heliacal star” and that Mary, the mother of Christ, ‘bore the pain’. “That always struck me, because he knew that there was helium in the stars. But nothing more than that. Not much more. What happened to knowledge? They have erupted.
Fifty years ago, at the Moncada, we knew nothing. And since then, in a few years, science has advanced so much ….All these devices, all these cameras,
blackberry … that anyone has “he smiled “I am not a fortune teller, he continued,” I am not a prophet. But I see things logically and we must see them with a bit of serenity and be prepared. Our people are prepared now to see them. And see the dangers. It would be terrible if we were to face problems that we hadn’t thought of, “he concluded.
IRAN, NORTH KOREA AND BRITISH PETROLEUM
These concerns, Fidel added, led him to write the latest Reflections on the terrible situation that has been brewing in the Middle East, which began with an article entitled “The Empire and war”, published on June 1 after Israel’s attack on an humanitarian fleet bound for Gaza, which asks: “Could Obama enjoy the emotions of a second presidential election without the Pentagon or the State of Israel, whose behavior does not follow the U.S. decisions at all, in using their nuclear weapons on Iran? What would life on our planet be like after that? “.
Leaving the pages of his Reflections on the table he said: “And that is starting to appear in Korea and I think that the conflict could be unleashed there. They made people believe that North Korea had sunk the ship (Cheonan). With an old Soviet submarine, which makes a tremendous noise and can be heard almost without equipment ….And fires a torpedo. And half of the world believes that, yes, the North Koreans sank the ship.
He did not invent this information. Fidel cited an article by Global Research which had “truly amazing details of what happened.” When the situation started to worsen, the leader of the Revolution would share his findings systematically, born in the heat of the daily news in Asia and the Middle East, and warnings that important specialists were revealing, until he discerned “the inevitable war”, the title of his reflection on 16 June.
On June 24 he published “How I wish I was wrong.” “It’s funny,” he paused and looked at the audience: “I was wrong, but in another way,” and claimed the need to be prepared for a tragedy that can be daunting, if they use the vast nuclear arsenal that is in the hands of the superpowers today against Iran and North Korea.
To demonstrate how this is possible he recalls that years ago the United States, in time of Nixon, threatened to use tactical nuclear weapons against Vietnam and Korea. However, “with that comes the problem of the oil leak…. BP is drilling for oil at great depths, with modern technology, to 8,000 meters, which is where the leak is,” and adds: “Today 107 days after the leak occurred, it has not yet been resolved. And (Barack) Obama knows, but he does not admit publicly that it is a great danger.. ”
The Commander in Chief said that this is not a hopeless situation: “What chance that the company was looking for oil!” he said, recalling the role of BP in the coup against Mossadegh in Iran. “Who would have thought of that? It is not the first time something like this has happened. There have been other disasters, with ships from Alaska…. But even Bush did not dare to authorize the drilling. However, Obama authorized the British to drill because he believes blindly in technology.”
What if British Petroleum hadn’t caused this accident? “They would have carried on
drilling….. they have 27,000 unproductive wells, and the concern of government, is textual, that gas begins to seep from the non-productive wells. And there is no solution to this disaster. That is why they have not talked again about this matter, after they said it had been resolved. ”
This is the subject matter of the Reflection of Fidel on August 3: “I have all the data, but I’m waiting for what they say today and what they will say tomorrow…. but you will see, don’t get impatient. I just ask you to trust me.”
He announced that he will also call for a special session of the National Assembly to discuss such important matters.
Irma Shelton, a journalist with the Information System of Television Cubana, asked Fidel to comment on the situation no less critical in Latin America, with the U.S. military deployment in Costa Rica, approved by the parliament and the presidency of that country, to which can be added military exercises in Peru and the breaking of relations between Venezuela and Colombia. “All those things,” he said, “reveal the irresponsibility of the Empire. They do not control, they cannot control their instincts. I say it seriously, they belong to prehistory.”
And ironically he said: “That’s all inspired by the ‘noblest’ of purposes: fighting drugs..”
Later singer Amaury Perez asked, “There are forces supporting President Obama that have the impression that he was ill advised to authorize British Petroleum to drill the deeper hole, that this disaster was calculated by these right-wing forces that are against Obama to not triggering his re-election for another term. Have you ever thought that this could be a possibility too? “.
Fidel touched his forehead with his left hand for a second and responded, “It seems to me difficult that anyone might advise that, in order to spite the other. What they can do is taking up any little thing to attack him…. But it doesn’t seem to me that they have led the man to make a mistake so that they could attack him. No.. ”
He added: “The problem with Obama is his obsession that U.S. be independent of oil imports. It has the highest per capita consumption of oil and gas in the world. And it is seeking not rely on oil from Venezuela, Iran and the Middle East. They have put that company in Saudi Arabia, which is producing 10 million barrels a day, and has the capacity to produce 20 millions a day. Do you know what can happen to the environment? “.
He talked of the dramatic predictions that the film Home, directed by Yann Arthus-Bertrand, raises and asked “But is renewable energy a dream? They have already made the first trial flight with a small plane that weighs 60 kilograms… the first time it flew for over ten hours with solar energy. In the new trial it could fly for 33 days. No one knows what you can do harnessing the power of the sea, rivers, methods to make rain in times of drought there are many ways in which science can help. ”
He put forward some ideas he would express this Tuesday, July 27, in a reflection dedicated to “the strategic victory”, which takes up again the military conception of the Rebel Army during the last moments of the offensive against Batista, where they did not commit the errors that prevented the taking of the Moncada Barracks in 1953, and the revolutionaries were able to withstand 10,000 men who had the support of the Navy, Air Force, under constant bombardment. He announces a forthcoming book, on which he has worked with researcher Katiuska Blanco.
The Rev. Lucius Walker, leader of the Pastors for Peace, asked about the future of Haiti.
Fidel responded without hesitation, “In today’s world, there is no solution there. In the future I am talking about, yes. (USA) is a major producer of food, it produces for two billion people. It has the capacity to build houses to withstand earthquakes. The problem is how the resources are distributed….. This country (Haiti) needs to plant again its forests. But it has no solution in the current world order.. ”
He recalled the U.S. selfishness and callousness faced with the millions of hungry and in need of healthcare, particularly children. Also, the blockade that Cuba is suffering and the unjust imprisonment of the five Cuban anti-terrorists in U.S. prisons, who are serving long sentences. “They have not made the slightest gesture to release them. Five people separated from their families… And they will have to release them.”
He talked, quite moved, about his visit to Artemisa. We were looking on the Round Table at stories related to Moncada. “I discovered the value of music (which ran in the background).
Colossal. Fabulous. Vitier’s music. It’s something I can never forget. Nobody knows what it’s worth. It’s an infinite satisfaction. I do not want to stop paying tribute to the men whose gift to humanity is through their music.”
Applause. Fidel walked back down the hallway to leave the José Martí Memorial Theatre. Again, the hugs, greetings, a small comment here and there. When he passed near my chair, he paused for a moment: “See, my daughter, how we were able to resist.”