Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Fidel Castro on Retirement and Raul

What the international press has emphasized most in its reports on Cuba in
recent days is the statement I made on the 17th of this month, in a letter
to the director of Cuban television's Round Table program, where I said that
I am not clinging to power. I could add that for some time I did, due to my
youth and lack of awareness, when, without any guidance, I started to leave
my political ignorance behind and became a utopian socialist. It was a stage
in my life when I believed I knew what had to be done and wanted to be in a
position to do it! What made me change? Life did, delving more deeply into
Martí’s ideas and those of the classics of socialism. The more deeply I
became involved in the struggle, the stronger was my identification with
those aims and, well before the revolutionary victory I was already
convinced that it was my duty to fight for these aims or to die in combat.

Other problems, foreign to our nation and many others under similar
conditions, also threaten us. A victorious counterrevolution would spell a
disaster for us, worse than Indonesia's tragedy. Sukarno, overthrown in
1967, was a nationalist leader who, loyal to Indonesia, headed the
guerrillas who fought the Japanese.

General Suharto, who overthrew him, had been trained by Japanese occupation
forces. At the conclusion of World War II, Holland, a U.S. ally,
re-established control over that distant, extensive and populated territory.
Suharto maneuvered. He hoisted the banners of U.S. imperialism. He committed
an atrocious act of genocide. Today we know that, under instructions from
the CIA, he not only killed hundreds of thousands but also imprisoned a
million communists and deprived them and their relatives of all properties
or rights; his family amassed a fortune of 40 billion dollars —which, at
today's exchange rate, would be equivalent to hundreds of billions— by
handing over the country's natural resources, the sweat of Indonesians, to
foreign investors. The West paid up. Texan-born Lyndon B. Johnson, Kennedy's
successor, was then the President of the United States.

Cuba's Five Heroes, imprisoned by the empire, are to be held up as examples
for the new generations.

Fortunately, exemplary conducts will continue to flourish with the
consciousness of our peoples as long as our species exists.

I am certain that many young Cubans, in their struggle against the Giant in
the Seven-League Boots, would do as they did. Money can buy everything save
the soul of a people who has never gone down on its knees.

I read the brief and concise report which Raúl wrote and sent me. We must
not waste a minute as we continue to move forward. I will raise my hand,
next to you, to show my support.

Fidel Castro Ruz
December 27, 2007

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