On March 5, 2013, the world learned the sad news of the death of Hugo Chávez. All already knew of his painful illness, but those are news we never want to hear. For the Cuban people, the Bolivarian leader represented brotherhood, solidarity, cooperation and unconditional support.
For Fidel Castro, Chávez meant: “(…) a Venezuelan soldier. In his mind the Bolívar’s ideas germinated only naturally. Suffice it to observe the way I which his thinking went through different political stages, starting from his humble origin, the school, the military academy, his reading of History, the reality of his country and the humiliating presence of the Yankee domination “; so he wrote expressed in his Reflection “Democratic Socialism”, of September 26, 2008.
At times, when the Latin American right has folded to the policies of Imperialism to subjugate Venezuela, provoking military interference and supporting political illegitimacy, Cubadebate and the site Fidel Soldado de las Ideas, recall fragments of Fidel Castro’s article “We lost our best friend “, written on March 11, 2013:
On January 23, 1959, 22 days after the revolutionary triumph in Cuba, I visited Venezuela to thank its people and the government which assumed power after the Pérez Jiménez dictatorship, for the dispatch of 150 rifles at the end of 1958. I said at that time:
“…Venezuela is the homeland of the Liberator, where the idea of the union of the peoples of America was conceived. Therefore, Venezuela must be the country to lead the union of the peoples of America; as Cubans, we support our brothers and sisters in Venezuela.
“I have spoken of these ideas not because I am moved by any kind of personal ambition, or even the ambition of glory, because, at the end of the day, ambitions of glory remain a vanity, and as Martí said, ‘All the glory of the world fits into a kernel of corn.’
“And so, upon coming here to talk in this way to the people of Venezuela, I do so thinking honorably and deeply, that if we want to save America, if we want to save the freedom of each one of our societies that, at the end of the day, are part of one great society, which is the society of Latin America; if it is that we want to save the revolution of Cuba, the revolution of Venezuela and the revolution of all the countries on our continent, we have to come closer to each other and we have to solidly support each other, because alone and divided, we will fail.”
That is what I said on that day and today, 54 years later, I endorse it!
I must only include on that list the other nations of the world which, for more than half a century, have been victims of exploitation and plunder. That was the struggle of Hugo Chávez.
Not even he himself suspected how great he was.
¡Until victory forever (Hasta la victoria siempre), unforgettable friend!
March 11th, 2013