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HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

Fidel Castro sends message to Cuban Parliament

Posted December 29, 2007 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
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ACN

Cuban Parliament, which is holding the 10th Ordinary Session of its 6th Legislature today at Havana’s Convention Palace, has received a message from President Fidel Castro.

In the presence of Cuba’s First Vice President Raul Castro Ruz, Parliament President Ricardo Alarcon said that he spoke with Fidel Castro before the session opened and that the Revolution leader had asked him to read his message to the parliamentarians.

In his message Fidel acknowledges the work of Cuban parliamentarians in the face of accumulated and increasing needs inherited by Cuban society from the US neo-colonial rule on January 1st, 1959.

“Our pride is legitimate when we are about to mark 50 years after the triumph of the Revolution, because we have resisted for nearly half a century, the most powerful empire ever in history” said Fidel in his message.

The Cuban Revolution leader reminds the parliamentarians that they could see no sign of any nepotism or usurpation of the parliament’s functions in his proclamation issued on July 31, 2006. “In that difficult and promising year for the Revolution, the unity of the people, the Party and the State was a crucial requisite to keep advancing and facing the threats of a military intervention declared by the United States.”

In his message, Fidel says that what the international media has underscored most about Cuba over the past few days was a phrase of his, contained in a letter addressed last December 17 to the director of the TV program “The Round Table”, in which he said that he was not a person to cling to power. He said that he was now adding that he indeed was for some time, due to the excesses of youth and lack of awareness, in times when, without any tutor he was overcoming his political ignorance to become a utopian socialist. “It was a stage in which I thought I knew what should be done and I wished to do it,” said Fidel and explained that life changed him as he continued to study the ideas of Jose Marti and the classic Socialists more deeply. He said that the more he struggled the more he identified himself with those ideas, and that long before the revolutionary victory he already thought that his duty was to fight for those ideas or get killed in combat.

The Cuban President also warned of the dangers posed on humankind and recalled a recent book by former World Bank Vice President Joseph Stiglitz, who was also major advisor to former US President Bill Clinton, which contributes up-to-date information about the threats pending on the human species. Stiglitz notes that the United States is the country which releases the largest amounts of green-house gasses in the world, with 6 billion tons of carbon dioxide annually, Fidel explains in his message and points out that few people know this information about the need to protect the ozone layer that protects life on the planet.

Fidel also refers to world issues like the situation in Pakistan which he calls an example of threats pending on humankind, since it is an internal conflict in country with nuclear weapons; a consequence of the political adventures and wars unleashed by the United States to get hold of the world’s natural resources.

The situation in Pakistan has had an immediate impact on oil prices and the stock market, said Fidel and recalled that no country or region may avoid the consequences.

“We have to be prepared for everything,” he said and noted that he learned something new every single day of his life.

The Cuban Revolution leader also said in his message that the five Cuban antiterrorist fighters held in US jails are an example to follow by the new generations and he was sure that many young Cubans would do the same if necessary.

Member Comments

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On December 29, 2007, publisher wrote:

Is it just me or do these last few paragraphs make your head spin?

It’s maddening to read the rantings of an old man clinging to power. He may not be clinging to the power of the Presidency but you can rest assured that he will cling to international power/relevancy to his dying day.

Since Fidel hardly ever mentions anything related to current events in Cuba, it is clear to me that he does not want to be President any longer with the day to day responsibilities that come with it.

Fidel wants to be God of Cuba and his vote is the only one needed for that position.

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On December 29, 2007, Wajiro wrote:

It sounded more like a death bed confession to me.

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On December 29, 2007, HavanAndrew wrote:

Picked this up from Telegraph.co.uk

American spy chiefs have now begun to rethink their previous assumption that Cuban communism will collapse after Castro’s death, The Sunday Telegraph has learnt.

Instead, they expect the future of the nation to be decided by a power struggle between two younger men.

The “good cop” is Carlos Lage Davila, 56. As his country’s economics tsar, the former doctor is credited with negotiating the favourable deal with Hugo Chavez, the Venezuelan president, to import oil to Cuba - an arrangement that has mitigated the effects of the US economic embargo against the island.

His rival is Felipe Perez Roque, 42, the foreign minister. He is the “bad cop”, regarded as a firebrand more likely to fight real reforms.

An intelligence source said: “It will come down to Lage or Roque. Whoever wins will determine the speed and nature of reforms in Cuba.”

Dan Erikson, a Cuba specialist at Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based think-tank, said: “Lage is seen as being more sophisticated, mature and diplomatic. Perez Roque is younger and likely to play the role of attack dog.

“If you want someone to do a trade deal, you send Lage. If you want someone to deliver a tirade at the UN, you send Perez Roque.”

The US government remains committed to the view that Cuban communism will disintegrate when Castro dies, but CIA analysts and the state department are now preparing plans to deal with slower political change.

Central to this is an assessment that Cuba’s leaders have persuaded Castro that if he wants his revolution to survive his death, he needs to help the handover of power.

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On December 29, 2007, publisher wrote:

I suppose Lage is the good communist and Perez Roque is the bad communist.

Both are still communists. Lage might have a shot at dealing with the US but not Perez Roque.

I have no faith in Perez Roque and don’t think he is smart enough to run anything although he might think he is smart enough or maybe he thinks he is entitled because he thinks like Fidel.

Perez Roque is old school and the old school will be closing soon.

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On December 29, 2007, Wajiro wrote:

They are both Dogs, but I suppose we might have to go with one for a change to come

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On December 29, 2007, publisher wrote:

Raul is on a short leash. Lage will be on an even shorter leash.

Who is going to manage the chaos/turmoil/disruption/interruption/change/progress/etc?

How heavy handed will the military and “special brigades” be once change is happening?

Remember, there hasn’t been change in Cuba for 49 years. Do you really expect a smooth transition after Fidel’s death?

I don’t.

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On December 29, 2007, HavanAndrew wrote:

Lage = Gorbachev.

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On December 29, 2007, publisher wrote:

Yikes. You think?

Very interesting.

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On December 30, 2007, J. Perez wrote:

Lage will win out because he will have the support of Raul and the military.

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On December 30, 2007, manfredz wrote:

publisher:
cant agree with your statement that there hasnt been change in Cuba in 49 years.  Sure compared to whats required, what has changed is peanuts, but its because there have been changes that i have hopes that Cuba can weather the big changes that are required and will hopefully come in 2008.

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On January 03, 2008, cubanpete wrote:

The reference to Cuba’s “Parliament” is interesting.  Cuba does not have a multi-party Parliament in the sense of the U.K.‘s House of Commons.  There are no opposition parties and there is no Question Period.  Before La Revolucion, Cuba used to have both a house of representatives as well as a senate situated in the Capitolio building where elected officials could freely and without fear debate the issues of the day.  No longer; the Capitolio is now a silent tomb to the past.

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On January 03, 2008, Wajiro wrote:

Certainly a third man election in Cuba is necessary, and that is what makes Fidel and Raul shake in their boots, with Raul being 76 and not well in health, the thought makes them shake, that a third man should be appointed in line, the mayhem and destruction of the establishment they caused , never gave them a chance to think, that they both could one day be gone.

They know as soon as they croak changes will have to take place, exposing all the evil they have done.

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On January 03, 2008, Cuban American wrote:

I don’t see any swift changes coming, and I don’t see the US being willing to negotiate with niether Perez Roque, or Lage unless some reforms are made.  I hope that we do see a push to change this year though, I am happy to see the opposition continues to demonstrate without fear.  To me thats a huge sign that the people of Cuba in the end will decide what happens.

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On January 03, 2008, Wajiro wrote:

As It should be, all we ask of the US if they are not going to help us, then stop meddling in Cuban affairs.