| by Fidel Castro Ruz
(Taken from CubaDebate)
(October 23, Havana, Sri Lanka Guardian) 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 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.
WHEN, in 1976, the most serious terrorist acts were committed against Cuba, in particular the in-flight sabotage of a Cuban airliner which had departed from Barbados with 73 persons aboard – among them pilots, flight attendants and auxiliary personnel offering their services to the airline, the complete juvenile fencing team which had won all the gold medals contested in the Central American and Caribbean Championship, Cuban passengers and those from other countries who had confidence in that plane. The act created such indignation, that the most extraordinary crowd ever seen in the Plaza de la Revolución gathered to close the mourning period, of which there is graphic evidence. The painful scenes were and are unforgettable. Perhaps leaders in the United States and many people around the world did not have the opportunity to see them. It would be illustrative to have those images disseminated by the mass media so that others might understand the motivation of our heroic anti-terrorist fighters.
Bush Sr. was an important official within the U.S. intelligence services when these forces were given the mission of organizing the counterrevolution in Cuba. The CIA created, in Florida, the largest operations base in the Western Hemisphere, which took charge of subversive efforts in Cuba. It organized attempts to assassinate leaders of the Revolution and took responsibility for the plans and plots which, had they been successful, would have cost many lives on both sides, given the resolve of our people demonstrated in Playa Girón [Bay of Pigs], to struggle to their last drop of blood. Bush never understood that Cuba’s victory saved many lives, both Cuban and U.S. ones.
The monstrous Barbados crime was committed when he was head of the CIA, with almost as much authority as President Ford.
In June of that year, he called a meeting in Bonao, in the Dominican Republic, to create the Coordination of United Revolutionary Organizations, under the personal supervision of Vernon Walters, the CIA deputy director. Take note: “United Revolutionary Organizations.”
Orlando Bosch and Posada Carriles, active CIA agents, were designated leaders of this organization. Thus a new stage of terrorist acts against Cuba was initiated. October 6, 1976, Orlando Bosch and Posada Carriles personally directed the sabotage which caused the Cubana plane to explode in flight.
Authorities in Barbados arrested the four persons involved and returned them to Venezuela.
The scandal was so huge that the government of that country, allied with the United States at the time and an accomplice in its crimes within and without Venezuela, had no alternative but to prosecute them in Venezuelan courts.
The Sandinista Revolution had triumphed in July of 1979 [in Nicaragua] and a bloody, dirty war promoted by the United States broke out in that country. Reagan was President of the United States.
When Gerald Ford replaced Nixon, the attempts to assassinate foreign leaders had created such a scandal that he prohibited U.S. agents from participating in such acts. Congress denied funds for the dirty war in Nicaragua. Posada Carriles was needed. The CIA, through the so-called Cuban-American National Foundation, bribed the relevant jailers with healthy sums and the terrorist walked out of prison like any other visitor. Moved immediately to Ilopango, El Salvador, he not only organized the distribution of weapons which led to thousands of deaths and mutilations among Nicaraguan patriots, but also, with CIA cooperation, acquired drugs in Central America, smuggled them into the U.S. and bought weapons in the country for Nicaraguan counterrevolutionaries.
In the interest of space, I will omit numerous factual details of this brutal history.
It is impossible to understand why the illustrious Nobel Peace Prize winner who presides over the United States government, is willing to repeat the stupid idea that Cuba is a terrorist country and is keeping four Cuban anti-terrorist fighters in isolated prisons and inhumane conditions, a sanction which has not been imposed on any other adversary of the United States – much less when no U.S. military force has indicated that these Cubans represent any danger whatsoever – and preventing René from returning to his homeland and his family’s embrace.
That same Sunday, October 9, when René conveyed his courageous message to the people of Cuba, he recorded and filmed another fraternal “Message to Fidel and Raúl.” On the advice of Ricardo Alarcón, President of the National Assembly, neither message was made public until the Florida District Court probation officer had formally communicated to him the conditions of his three years of “supervised release.”
Now that that requisite has been met I am pleased to inform our people of the textual content of the message which so much honors our heroes and expresses their exemplary behavior and will of iron:
First of all an embrace, my gratitude and appreciation not just for all of the support that you have invested in us, for the way in which you have mobilized an entire people and have mobilized international solidarity for our case, but – in the first place – for having served as an inspiration to us, for having been the example which we have followed during these 13 years, and for having been for us a flag behind which we were always going to march.
For us, this mission has been nothing more than the continuation of everything that you have done, which your generation did for the Cuban people and the rest of humanity.
For me it is an enormous pleasure to send you this message, to send you a temporal embrace in this way, because I know that we will finally embrace each other; however much our adversaries try to prevent it, I know that we are going to give each other that embrace. I know that we Five will return because you promised that and because you have mobilized energy, the best of humanity, the will of everyone to make that happen.
For us, it is an honor to serve the cause which you inspired in the people of Cuba, to be your followers, followers of the path which you and Raúl opened, and we will never stop being worthy of this confidence that you deposited in us.
To both of you, to you Fidel, to Raúl, who is now guiding us in this new difficult, complex but glorious stage in which we are immersed in order to break the economic dependence which still fetters us and prevents us from constructing the society we want, I send an embrace from the Five, and say to you both that we always had confidence in you. When we were alone in the hole, when we were incommunicado, when we couldn’t receive any news, when my four brothers knew nothing about their families because they could not tell them, we always had confidence in you both, we always knew that you would not abandon your sons, because we always knew that the Revolution never abandoned those who defended it. That is why it deserves to be defended and that is why we shall always do so.
And although I am not sure that we deserve all the honors that have been given us, I can say to you that the rest of our lives will be dedicated to meriting them, because you inspire us, because you are the flag which taught us how to conduct ourselves and, to the end of our days, we will try to be worthy of the confidence which you deposited in us.
For me now, this is a trench in which I will continue in the same combat to which you called me and I will keep going to the end, until justice is done, following your orders, doing what has to be done.
And I say to Fidel and Raúl: “Comandantes, both of you, at your orders!