[News] Fidel - A Brilliant and Courageous Statement
news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Jul 5 11:28:33 EDT 2011
Reflections by Comrade Fidel
A BRILLIANT AND COURAGEOUS STATEMENT
Attending to other matters that are now top
priority, I momentarily strayed from the
frequency with which I had been writing
reflections in the year 2010; however, Hugo
Chávez Frías proclamation last Thursday the
30th, obliges me to write these lines.
The president of Venezuela is one of the men who
has done the most for the health and education of
his people; since these are subjects where the
Cuban Revolution has accumulated the most
experience, we gladly collaborate to the maximum
with this sister country in both areas.
It is by no means a matter of that country
lacking doctors; quite the opposite. They had an
abundance of doctors, among them there were even
first-class professionals, just as in other Latin
American countries. It is a social matter. The
best medical doctors and the most sophisticated
equipment could be placed at the service of
private medicine, as it is in all capitalist
countries. And often not even that, because in
underdeveloped capitalism, like the type that
used to exist in Venezuela, the wealthy class had
sufficient means to go to the best hospitals in
the United States or Europe, something that was
and is customary and nobody can deny it.
Even worse, the United States and Europe have
been noted for seducing the best specialists from
any exploited Third World country to abandon
their homeland and to emigrate to the consumer
societies. Training doctors for that world in the
developed countries implies fabulous sums of
money that millions of poor Latin American and
Caribbean families would never be able to pay. In
Cuba, that used to happen until the Revolution
took up the challenge, not just of training
doctors capable of serving our own country, but
also the other peoples of Latin America, the Caribbean or the world.
Never have we stolen the intelligences of other
peoples. On the contrary; in Cuba we have trained
tens of thousands of doctors and other top-level
professionals, for free, in order to send them back to their own countries.
Thanks to the profound Bolivarian and
Marti-inspired revolutions, Venezuela and Cuba
are countries where health and education have
been extraordinarily developed. Every citizen
has the real right to receive general education
and professional training at no cost, something
that the United States has not been able to
ensure for all its inhabitants. The reality is
that the government of that country invests a
billion dollars every year on its military
machine and its war adventures. Furthermore, it
is the greatest exporter of weapons and the
instruments of death and the greatest market for
drugs in the world. Because of this traffic,
tens of thousands of Latin American lives are lost every year.
It is such a real and well-known fact that more
than 50 years ago, a president having military
origins bitterly denounced the decisive power
accumulated by the military-industrial complex in that country.
These words would be superfluous if it were not
for the intervention of the hateful and repugnant
campaign unleashed by the massive Venezuelan
oligarchy media, at the service of that empire,
using the health problems being experienced by
the Bolivarian President. We are united to the
President with close and indestructible bonds of
friendship that came into being from his first
visit to our homeland on December 13th, 1994.
Some were surprised by the coincidence of his
visit to Cuba with the necessity of seeking
medical care. The Venezuelan President visited
out country with the same aim that took him to
Brazil and Ecuador. He had no intention of
receiving medical care in our homeland.
It is well-known that for a few years now, a team
of Cuban health specialists are providing their
services to the Venezuelan President who, loyal
to his Bolivarian principles, never considered
them to be undesirable foreigners, but sons and
daughters of the Great Latin American Homeland on
behalf of which The Liberator fought, right up to his last living breath.
The first contingent of Cuban doctors left for
Venezuela when the Vargas Stadium tragedy
occurred, taking thousands of this noble
countrys lives. This action of solidarity was
nothing new; it made up a tradition
well-established in our country from the first
years of the Revolution, from the time almost
half a century ago when Cuban doctors were sent
to recently-independent Algeria. That tradition
grew stronger while the Cuban Revolution, in the
midst of a cruel blockade, was training
internationalist doctors. Countries such as
Peru, Somozas Nicaragua and other countries in
our hemisphere and in the Third World were
suffering from tragedies as a result of
earthquakes or other causes that required Cubas
solidarity. So, our country became the nation in
the world that had the highest rate of doctors
and specialized health personnel, with extremely
high levels of experience and professional capabilities.
President Chávez put a great emphasis in relating
with our health personnel. This way, a bond of
confidence and friendship was born between him
and the Cuban doctors who were always very
sensitive to the treatment of the Venezuelan
leader; and he was able to create thousands of
health centres and outfit them with the necessary
equipment in order to provide free services for
all Venezuelans. There was no other government in
the world that did so much, in such a short time,
for the health of its people.
A large percentage of Cuban health personnel
provided services in Venezuela and many of them
also acted as teachers in certain subjects that
were being taught to train more than 20,000 young
Venezuelans who began to graduate as medical
doctors. Many of them began their studies in our
country. The internationalist doctors, members of
Battalion 51, graduates of the Latin American
School of Medicine, have earned solid prestige in
carrying out complicated and difficult missions.
On these bases my relations in this field with
President Hugo Chávez were built.
I should add that in the course of more than
twelve years, since February 2, 1999, the
president and leader of the Venezuelan Revolution
has not rested one single day and thus he
occupies a unique place in the history of this
hemisphere. All of his energy has been dedicated to the Revolution.
One could say that for every extra hour Chávez
dedicates to his work, the president of the United States rests for two hours.
It was difficult, almost impossible, that his
health would not suffer some sort of breakdown
and this is what happened in the last few months.
He is a person used to the rigors of military
life and he would stoically put up with the aches
and pains that were plaguing him with ever
increasing frequency. Given the friendly
relations developed and the constant exchanges
between Cuba and Venezuela, added to my personal
health experience that I underwent since the
proclamation of July 30, 2006, it is not unusual
that I should have noticed the need for a strict
medical check-up for the President. He is far too
generous in granting me any special merit in this matter.
Of course, I admit that it was no easy task that
I set for myself. It wasnt difficult for me to
notice that he had some health problems. Seven
months had gone by since his last visit to
Cuba. The medical team devoted to caring for his
health had pleaded for me to take up the
matter. From the very first moment, the
Presidents attitude was one of informing the
people, with complete clarity, about the state of
his health. That was why, at the point by then
of returning, via his minister of Foreign
Affairs, he informed the people about his health
up to that instant and he promised to keep them informed in detail.
Each treatment was accompanied by rigorous
cellular and laboratory analyses, of the kind
that are done under such circumstances.
One of the tests, several days following the
first surgery, showed results that determined
more radical surgery and special treatment for the patient.
In his dignified message on June 30th, the
noticeably recovered President speaks about the
state of his health with absolute clarity.
I admit that it was no easy task for me to inform
my friend about the new development. I could see
the dignity with which he received the news that
--while his mind was dealing with so many
important tasks, among them the celebrations
commemorating the Bicentennial and the
formalization of the agreement on Latin American
and Caribbean unity much more than the physical
suffering that radical surgery would imply,
signified a test, as he put it, that he compared
to the difficult moments he had to face in his
lifetime as an unyielding combatant.
Along with him, the team of persons caring for
him and who he described as sublime fought a
magnificent battle which I have witnessed.
With no hesitation whatsoever, I state that the
results are impressive and that the patient
fought a decisive battle that shall lead him and
Venezuela along with him, to a great victory.
One has to make sure that his declaration is
communicated word for word in every language, but
especially it should be translated and subtitled
into English; this is a language that can be
understood on this Tower of Babel into which
imperialism has transformed the world.
Now the external and internal enemies of Hugo
Chávez are at the mercy of his words and his
initiatives. Without a doubt there shall be
surprises in store for them. Let us wish him our
most steadfast support and trust. The lies of
the empire and the treason of the quislings shall
be defeated. Today there are millions of militant
and aware Venezuelans who shall never be made to
submit to the oligarchy and the empire.
Fidel Castro Ruz
July 3, 2011
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
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