The world is ever more misinformed in the midst of a turmoil of events that occur at a speed never before expected.
Those of us who have lived a few more years and experienced a certain eagerness for information can attest to the amount of ignorance with which we used to approach facts.
While an increasing number of persons lack housing, bread, water, health, education and employment in the planet, the wealth of the Earth is being wasted and squandered to manufacture weapons and wage endless fratricidal wars. This has become –and is ever more becoming- a more frequent and abominable world practice.
Our glorious and heroic people, despite an inhumane blockade that has been in place for more than half a century, has never given in: it has struggled and will continue to struggle against the sinister empire. That is our humble merit and our humble contribution.
At the opposite side of our planet, in Seoul, the capital of South Korea, President Barack Obama is attending a Summit on Nuclear Security to impose policies related to the distribution and use of nuclear weapons.
These are, no doubt, unheard of events.
I personally did not become aware of these realities just by mere chance. The experience lived throughout more than fifteen years since the triumph of the Cuban Revolution –after the battle in Girón, the criminal Yankee blockade that intended to subdue us by hunger; the pirate attacks, the dirty war and the nuclear missile crisis in October, 1962, which pushed the world to the verge of a sinister hecatomb- led me to the conviction that Marxist and honest Christians –of whom I had met many- regardless of their political and religious beliefs, should and could struggle for justice and peace among human beings.
I proclaimed so and I have maintained so without any hesitation whatsoever. The reasons I have today are absolutely valid and even more important, because all the events that have occurred for almost 40 years now confirm that. Today there are more reasons than ever, because neither Marxists or Christians, whether Catholic or not; Muslims, Shiites or Sunnites; freethinkers, dialectical materialists or even persons who think would like to see the premature disappearance of our irreplaceable thinking species, and wait until the complex laws of evolution could give rise to another similar species with the capacity to think.
Tomorrow I will gladly greet His Excellency Pope Benedict XVI, as I did with John Paul II, a man in whom the contact with children and the humble citizens of the people always aroused feelings of affection.
That is why I decided to ask him for some minutes of his very busy schedule when I knew from our Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez that he would be glad to have that modest and simple contact.
Fidel Castro Ruz
Farewell speech by Army General Raúl Castro, President of the Councils of State and of Ministers in honor of His Holiness Benedict XVI
Havana, March 28th, 2012
Since your arrival in Cuban soil, our people welcomed you, and today bid you farewell with respect and affection.
Your visit has taken place in a context of mutual understanding. Your events with Cubans have provided you with the opportunity to know us better and to see for yourself the justice of our purposes.
The full dignity of the human being has been Cuba’s main objective. We are aware that such an objective is not achieved only on material basis, but also on the basis of spiritual values such as generosity, solidarity, the sentiment of justice, altruism, mutual respect, honesty and the commitment to the truth.
Achieving the common good was a tenet we learnt from Father Félix Varela. Subsequently, José Martí wrote that “being cultured is the only way of being free” and called on us to “conquer all justice”.
We attach the highest importance to the family, favor everything that ennobles it and grant privilege to the role of parents in the education of children. We look after childhood as our greatest hope and encourage youth, without paternalism, to participate freely and creatively in the fulfillments of our society.
We recognize the patriotic contribution of the Cuban emigration, from the decisive contribution to our Independence of tobacco growers from de Tampa and Cayo Hueso and all who were supporters of the wishes of José Martí, to Cubans who presently oppose those who attack Cuba and manipulate the migratory issue for political reasons. We have made great efforts to fully normalize Cuba’s relations with its immigrants, who love the Homeland and their families, and we will continue to make them for the common will of our Nation.
This is a just people, who takes pride in the virtues of its five sons who have been sentenced for struggling against terrorism and for defending the truth; a people who is with them every minute of their undeserved incarceration and shares the feeling of their families who are suffering.
Our country is pleased to be among those that have done the most for life, freedom and human dignity.
We share the conviction that only the mobilization of peoples’ conscience, the mutual respect, dialogue and cooperation will allow the world to find solutions to the most serious problems.
We have found many and profound common grounds, although, as it is natural, we do not think the same about all the matters.
The Cuban people, who is self-scarifying and educated, has listened with great attention to every one of the words of Your Holiness has told them.
For your decision to visit us, for your affectionate sentiments towards Cubans, which will always treasure, I express to you, on behalf of Cuba and on my own behalf, our profound gratitude and esteem.
Thank you very much.