Key address by Comrade Raul Castro Ruz, President of the State Council and the Council of Ministers at the closing session of the First Session of the 7th legislature of the National Assembly of People’s Power. Convention Center. Havana, February 24 2008, “Year 50th of the Revolution”
As comrade Fidel alerted us in his fundamental Reflection of last January 14th, the people’s mandate to this legislature is very clear: to continue strengthening the Revolution at a historical juncture which demands from us to be dialectic and creative.
The composition of the State Council, which has just been elected by this Assembly, raised much expectation both in Cuba and abroad. The most significant was clarified by comrade Fidel in his Message of February 18th. There is very little that I can add to what he said except to express to our people, on behalf of the Revolution’s Leadership, our appreciation for the innumerable expressions of serenity, maturity, self-assurance, and the combination of genuine sadness and revolutionary determination.
I take on the responsibility entrusted to me deeply convinced that, as I have often said, there is only one Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution.
Fidel is Fidel; we all know it very well. Fidel is irreplaceable and the people shall continue his work when he is no longer physically with us; although his ideas will always be with us, the same ideas that have made it possible to build the beacon of dignity and justice our country represents.
The Communist Party, a sure guarantee of the unity of the Cuban nation, is the sole worthy heir to our people’s confidence in its leader. It is the top leading force of our State and society as provided in Article 5 of our Constitution approved by referendum by exactly 97.7% of the voters.
This conviction shall become especially significant when as a fact of life the generation that founded and forged the Revolution is no longer present.
Fortunately, it is not that moment we are living today. Fidel is here, as always, with a very clear mind and his capacity to analyze and foresee perfectly intact and strengthened now that he can dedicate to studying and analyzing the countless hours he previously used to tackle the daily problems.
Despite his steady recovery, his physical condition will not allow him those endless working sessions—often separated by hardly a few hours of rest—that characterized his work practically from the moment he started the revolutionary struggle, the same that grew in intensity through the long years of the Special Period when he did not take one single day off.
Comrade Fidel’s decision, a new contribution enhancing his example, ensures as from now the continuity of the Revolution and is perfectly consistent with a life guided by Martí’s precept that: “All the glory of the world fits in a kernel of corn.”
Likewise, his determination is unchangeable with regards to his decision to continue making his contribution to the revolutionary cause and to the most noble ideas and objectives of mankind, while he has the strength to do so.
Therefore, with the certainty that I am expressing the will of our people, I appeal to this Assembly, as the supreme body of the State power, to allow me to continue consulting with the maximum leader of the Revolution, comrade Fidel Castro Ruz, the decisions of special transcendence for the future of our nation, basically those associated to defense, foreign policy and the socioeconomic development of the country.
For this and for many other reasons, I shall rather often today quote some of the fundamental ideas and concepts expressed by him in his Reflections. I avail myself of this occasion to say that we should study them for they are educational and they show his capacity to look into the future. We should always bear in mind something that Raul Roa liked to say to those close to him: “Fidel hears the grass growing and sees what is happening around the corner.”