Message from President Fidel Castro to participants in the celebrations for his 80th birthday
Dear compatriots and dear friends from all over the world:
During this time, I have worked intensely to guarantee in our country the objectives of the Proclamation of the 31st of July.
Now we find ourselves facing an adversary who has led the United States into a disaster of such magnitude, that it is almost certain that the U.S. people themselves will not allow him to conclude his presidential mandate.
In addressing you, intellectuals and prominent individuals of the world, I was in a dilemma: I could not bring you all together in a small venue. It was only within the Karl Marx Theater that all of the visitors would fit and, according to my doctors, I was still not in a condition to face such a colossal encounter.
I opted for the variant of speaking to all of you utilizing this channel. My thinking is well-known regarding Jos� Mart�’s ideas of glories and honors, when he said that they can all fit on a grain of corn.
Your generosity really overwhelms me. There are so many people that I would like to mention here that once again, I am opting not to do so, and I ask you to forgive me for mentioning just one name: that of Oswaldo Guayasam�n, because he was able to synthesize many of the best virtues of those present here.
He made four portraits of me. The first one that he painted in 1961 was lost. I looked for it in every possible corner, and it never appeared. I suffered so much when I found out what an exceptional person Guayasam�n was. The second was in 1981 and is kept at the Casa Guayasam�n in Old Havana. The third, in 1986, is kept at the “Antonio N��ez Jim�nez Foundation for Nature and Man.” How far we were, he and I, when we first met, from imagining that the fourth portrait would be his birthday gift in August 1996.
How inspired his words were when he said: “From Quito and in any corner of the Earth, leave a light burning, because I will be back later.”
About Oswaldo Guayasam�n, I wrote one day, during the inauguration of the Capilla del Hombre, “He was the most noble, transparent and humane person I have ever known. He created at the speed of light, and his magnitude as a human being was limitless.”
As long as the planet exists and human beings breathe, the work of creators will exist.
Today, moreover, thanks to technology, the work and knowledge that humanity has created throughout thousands of years is within everyone’s reach, even though it is not yet known how human beings are affected by the radiation from billions of computers and cell phones.
Recently, the prestigious World Wildlife Fund, based in Switzerland and considered internationally to be the most important NGO overseeing the global environment, stated that all of the measures taken by Cuba to protect the environment made it the only country on Earth that meets the minimum requirements for sustainable development. This is an encouraging honor for our country, but of little importance in the world, given the weight of its economy. That is why, on this past 23rd, I sent a message to President Ch�vez saying:
“By adopting a Comprehensive Energy Savings Program, you have become the most prestigious defender of the environment in the world.
“The fact that Venezuela is the country with the largest oil reserves is extremely important, and will make you an example that will draw along all other energy consumers to do the same, saving a countless amount of investment.
“Just as Cuba, a nickel producer, can mobilize resources worth billions of dollars for its development, Venezuela, with its exports of hydrocarbons, could mobilize trillions.
“If the rich industrialized nations were to achieve the miracle of reproducing throughout the planet – within several dozen years – solar fusion, having first destroyed the environment with hydrocarbon emissions, how will the poor nations, who constitute the immense majority of humanity, be able to live in that world?
“�Hasta la victoria siempre!”
Finally, dear friends, who have done us the immense honor of visiting our country, I very sorrowfully take my leave of you, because I was not able to personally thank you and embrace each one of you. We have the duty to save our species.
Fidel Castro Ruz
November 28, 2006
(Translated by Granma International)