Category Archives: Fidel Castro

On Fidel’s 95th birthday, in a 2021 full of challenges

In the country’s every heartbeat
On Fidel’s 95th birthday, in a 2021 full of challenges, a pandemic and a criminal blockade, the Comandante en jefe returns “on battle footing,” in this great struggle for life

Author: Elson Concepción Pérez |
august 13, 2021 10:08:20

Photo: Granma Archives
Fidel is always present, with his example, with his ideas and actions, in the country’s every heartbeat. In times of adversity and of times of victory.

Now, on his 95th birthday, in a 2021 full of challenges, a pandemic and a criminal blockade, the Comandante en jefe returns “on battle footing,” in this great struggle for life, guiding the generation of continuity, correcting the course of the work we are constructing.

From the sacred boulder, where his physical remains rest, he accompanies his brothers and sisters in combat, in the Sierra and on the plains, and his younger followers, who apply his teachings, offering, first and foremost, his example of always being close to the people, listening to them, convoking them, sharing the truth, building confidence in victory.

The Comandante of ideas and action is the Fidel Cubans know, recognized and respected around the world.

As fate would have it, his 95th birthday coincides with the most terrible pandemic seen in centuries. During this difficult journey for Cuba, Fidel, as always, has been present, every day, every hour – a light.

Fidel foresaw these times. He was the architect of a scientific infrastructure that today provides an urgently needed response. Cuba, without the slightest self-congratulatory rhetoric, is the only country in the Third World that has been able to conceive and develop five candidate vaccines – one already a recognized vaccine – to immunize the entire country this year and share with other peoples.

His presence is a living force in every testimony of a grateful Cuban, from the campesino in the Sierra Maestra, vaccinated with Abdala very close to his land, who exclaimed on television, “Thank you Fidel,” to the parents of a small girl in Camagüey, who expressed similar words when their daughter became one of the first children to receive a dose of the immunogen, as part of clinical trials in the pediatric age group, a study still pending in almost all countries producing vaccines.

Fidel understood, like few others, the intricacies of how a poor, blockaded country, with little industrial development and a legacy of colonial backwardness, would be able to undertake one of its most colossal battles: to become a country of science.

He not only internalized and helped others understand the need to prioritize the training of men and women who, perhaps illiterate in 1959, could be the seeds watered during the Literacy Campaign, whose children and grandchildren, with new schools and fabulous teachers, would learn that only with education could the Cuban nation become the country imagined in the Moncada Program.

When Fidel said, “The first thing we must save is culture,” he synthesized in this expression how much culture lies within education, science, humanism, solidarity.

Once the first scientists were trained, the Comandante en jefe went for more: constructing scientific research and development poles, with modern facilities and state-of-the-art technology, with laboratories and industrial plants to produce drugs, vaccines and even equipment manufactured only in the so-called First World, denied to Cuba on orders from imperialism.

Well before the pandemic had spread to our archipelago, the continuators of his work, the hundreds and thousands of graduates from our universities, were charged with developing plans and protocols to confront the virus, without abandoning the other battles of a nation that is determined – by Fidel’s own mandate – to “change everything that must be changed,” to be better.

A number of expressions of this gratitude were also heard recently from the other side of the world, when in faraway Tokyo, our Olympic champions dedicated their medals to the memory of the Comandante en jefe, recognizing him as the driving force behind our current sports development. He was remembered, euphoric and proud, when, after each victory, Party First Secretary and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, personally called the medal winners, often during the dawn hours in Cuba, and congratulated them on behalf of our people, just as the leader of the Revolution did.

There will be no other commitment to this Fidel than that of defending and perfecting the great work he bequeathed to us.

As difficult as it may be, this 2021 will continue to be another year with Fidel, a year of resistance and victory. His example, today and always, remains and summons us.

On the fourth anniversary of the Comandante en jefe’s physical disappearance

Photo: Juvenal Balán

Fidel: A necessary presence
On the fourth anniversary of the Comandante en jefe’s physical disappearance, November 25, his work, example, and words as alive as ever, “We have shown that human beings can and must be better. We demonstrate the value of conscience and ethics. We offer lives.”
This last year we have seen you riding, as an invincible warrior, into combat against an epidemic, the consequences of which you anticipated, with your vision of future, when you filled the island with doctors and research centers to confront – with science – the many diseases that would appear over time.

You knew that it would be poor countries that would be the most affected and made much-needed solidarity a fundamental banner of the Revolution, unfortunately little practiced where selfishness and greed prevail under the name of neo-liberalism.

Although you left for another dimension, you are leading the current battles, from the depths of a rock extracted from the mountains of your Sierra Maestra. We confirm how necessary you are – perhaps indispensable.

But the current year of 2020, four years after we accompanied you to immortality, has been singular, given the challenges, the battles fought, the action of a people who know you are present, who saw and felt you in every effort undertaken, on every front, in every victory achieved and every adversity faced

I can imagine how you would feel knowing that a doctor or nurse, of those tens of thousands you saw trained, today face, there in the red zone or in the rear of a hospital, doctor’s office or polyclinic, a terrible pandemic that has endangered all of humanity.

What would you say when those who by the thousands departed to confront Covid-19 in other lands around the world, making a reality of that phrase you repeated so many times, “We do not give away what we have left over; we share what we have.”

How present you have been at the Finlay Vaccine Institute, among those who have set out to make your teaching a reality and to produce the candidate vaccines Sovereign 01 and 02, to combat the pandemic not only in Cuba, but making them available to the entire world, to the poorest countries.

How many times have you visited the exemplary Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center, and how many times have you discussed the role of science in the development of our homeland, with workers, doctors, scientists?

You are recalled here and now, within every institution located in the Scientific Pole. Working there are many of those who shook your hand, those who answered your questions, those who accepted the challenge you posed to undertake the necessary work of those who cannot wait, over time and with quality.

When I see the thousands of members of the Henry Reeve Contingent brigades depart and return victorious, I am reminded of the first health professionals organized to offer solidarity abroad.

Today, more than ever, your thoughts are present, as expressed in the constitution of this medical contingent: “We have shown that human beings can and must be better. We demonstrate the value of conscience and ethics. We offer lives.”

I remember the time in May of 2001, when I participated as a journalist in your visit to Algeria, the meetings with leaders and professionals of that nation, who were always grateful for the honor of being the first to receive a Cuban medical brigade, just a few months after that nation achieved its independence.

On May 24, 1963, a group of 58 health professionals departed to Algeria, including 32 doctors, four dentists, 14 nurses and eight technicians who worked in different parts of the country for some 18 months.

Nor can I forget Barbados, when in December 2005, you spoke to Caribbean leaders at the Cuba-CARICOM Summit, and referred to Operation Miracle that had saved the vision of so many in these small countries. You were moved by what leaders like Ralph Gonsalves, Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, said, who, with tears in his eyes, thanked you for Cuba’s great solidarity with the world’s most needy.

Today, when you are not physically present among us, you continue to be a daily reference that marks a human work of extraordinary magnitude.

This is why, across the Caribbean, you are remembered and venerated, in the countries of Africa, in a grateful Vietnam, in Latin America where Cuban solidarity, our medical and educational missions, and others, have contributed to millions, saving lives, curing disease, and more millions learning to read and write.

Another battle waged this year, one of those in which you always took the lead, was the battle against tropical storms like Eta, with their devastating impact on agricultural, housing, schools and other institutions. We remember the great flood control works you conceived when a hurricane named Flora, October 3, 1963, struck our country, mainly areas in the present provinces of Las Tunas, Holguín, Granma and Camagüey.

What would have become of our island without the dams, the canals, the reservoirs of various sizes throughout the country, which as you would so often explain, store the water needed for human and agricultural use, and most importantly prevent floods, overflowing rivers and other phenomenon that cost human lives and destroy food crops?

During this year’s great battles, like others in previous years, we have had in you, Fidel, an obligatory reference, the example to follow, the lesson that makes every Cuban part of a better present and future for our people.

We can assure you that you are present, Comandante, as is the Revolution you made, which this people continues to carry forward.

Fidel: A necessary presence
On the fourth anniversary of the Comandante en jefe’s physical disappearance, November 25, his work, example, and words as alive as ever, “We have shown that human beings can and must be better. We demonstrate the value of conscience and ethics. We offer lives.”

Elson Concepción Péreznovember 24, 2020 09:11:53

¡Hasta la victoria siempre! The world bids farewell to a giant of world history / Spanish/Enlgish










Ha nacido una nueva estrella en el firmamento

Los compañeros de Casa de las Américas NY nos
unimos al inmenso dolor del pueblo Cubano,
por el fallecimiento de nuestro querido comandante.
Su ejemplo de lucha revolucionaria nos han de hacer
más fuerte en nuestro empeño en defensa de la revolución
y lograr más temprano que tarde el levantamiento del
criminal bloqueo a nuestra patria Cuba.

A los detractores del querido comandante que hoy
celebran en Miami la muerte de este, decimos que nada
ni nadie podrá empañar tan radiante figura.
Hoy el comandante “se pasea serena y tranquilamente
por la sombra de la muerte.”

A new star has been born in the Universe.

The companions of Casa de Las Améreicas NY
partake in the immense pain of the Cuban people,
due to the death of our beloved commander.
His example of revolutionary struggle makes
us stronger in our efforts to defend the revolution
and to achieve sooner than later, the lifting of the
criminal blockade of our homeland Cuba.

To the detractors of the beloved commander celebrating
his death in Miami today, we tell you that nothing and no
one will be able to tarnish such a radiant figure.

Today the commander “walks serenely and peacefully
through the shadow of death.”

The imperishable example of Fidel

With the passing of the great revolutionary leader Fidel Castro on November 25, 2016 it is first and foremost to the Cuban people that we express our condolences and our solidarity.

Fidel was a product of a profound and rich Cuban and Latin American history, but it must be said that the example and legacy of Fidel belongs in truth to the world. And in particular to the oppressed and exploited overwhelming majority of humanity, in every corner of our Earth.
Continue reading The imperishable example of Fidel