FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

It Is Our Duty to Save Our Species

by FIDEL CASTRO RUIZ

Dear compatriots and friends from all over the world:

In this period I have worked intensively ensure the objectives set for our country in the Proclamation of July 31st.

Currently, we are facing an adversary who has dragged the United States to such a disaster that the American people are almost sure to prevent him from completing his presidential term.

In thinking how to address you, intellectuals and prestigious personalities from the world, I found myself in a dilemma, since we could not assemble in a small room. It was only in the Karl Marx Theater that all the guests would fit but, according to the doctors, I was not yet ready for such a challenging engagement.

I opted for this way to address you all. You are well aware of my identification with Marti’s ideas about honor and glory, when he said that all the glory of the world fits in a kernel of corn.

Your generosity to me is truly overwhelming. There are so many people whose names I would like to mention here that I chose not to do that either. I beg your pardon for only mentioning one name, that of <>Oswaldo Guayasamin, since he embodied many of your greatest virtues.

He painted four portraits of me; the first in 1961. That one is lost. I have looked for it everywhere but it has not appeared. It was particularly painful as it became apparent to me what an exceptional person Guayasamin was. The second one, which he painted in 1981, is preserved at Guayasamin’s House in Old Havana. The third one, painted in 1986, is kept at the “Antonio Nunez Jimenez Foundation of Man and Nature”. When we met, we were very far from even imagining that his fourth portrait would be his birthday present to me on August 1996.

His words were inspirational when he said: “In Quito or any other corner of the Earth leave the lights on, as I will be coming back late.”

At the inaugural ceremony of the Man’s Chapel, I said about Oswaldo Guayasamin: “He was the noblest, most honorable and humane person I ever met. He created his work at light-speed and his human dimension defied all limits.”

The work of creators will never be lost while this planet exists and human beings can breathe.

Today, thanks to technology, the works and knowledge created by man in thousands of years are within everybody’s reach, even if the impact of radiation from billions of computers and cell phones is still unknown.

A few days ago, the prestigious organization World Wildlife Foundation, based in Switzerland and considered the most important NGO in the world to monitor global environment, acknowledged that the set of measures implemented by Cuba to protect the environment made it the only country on Earth to meet the minimum requirements for sustainable development. This was for our country an encouraging honor, albeit one of limited world impact due to the low significance of its economy. Therefore, on November 23, I sent a message to President Hugo Chavez that read:

“Dear Hugo:

“The adoption of a Comprehensive Energy-Saving Program would make you the world’s most prestigious defender of the environment.

“The fact of Venezuela’s being the country with the largest oil reserves is of enormous importance, and would influence other other energy consumers to do the same, thus saving incalculable sums in investments.

“Just like Cuba, a nickel producing country, can mobilize resources amounting to billions of dollars for its development, Venezuela, a hydrocarbons exporter, could mobilize trillions.

“If the industrialized and wealthy countries were to succeed in achieving the miracle, of reproducing on the planet, solar fusion within the next decades, after first devastating the environment with their hydrocarbon emissions, how could the poor peoples that make up the immense majority of mankind live in this world?

“Hasta la victoria siempre!”

Finally, dearest friends who have honored us immensely with this visit to our country, it is with great sorrow that I bid you farewell for not being able to personally thank you and embrace every one of you. It is our duty to save our species.

 

 

Fidel Castro’s column appears in Granma.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
February 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Pierre M. Sprey - Franklin “Chuck” Spinney
Sleepwalking Into a Nuclear Arms Race with Russia
Ajamu Baraka
Malcolm X and Human Rights in the Time of Trumpism: Transcending the Master’s Tools
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Exxon’s End Game Theory
John Laforge
Did Obama Pave the Way for More Torture?
Mike Whitney
McMaster Takes Charge: Trump Relinquishes Control of Foreign Policy 
Paul Street
Liberal Hypocrisy, “Late-Shaming,” and Russia-Blaming in the Age of Trump
Patrick Cockburn
The Coming Decline of US and UK Power
Louisa Willcox
The Endangered Species Act: a Critical Safety Net Now Threatened by Congress and Trump
Vijay Prashad
A Foreign Policy of Cruel Populism
John Chuckman
Israel’s Terrible Problem: Two States or One?
Matthew Stevenson
The Parallax View of Donald Trump
Norman Pollack
Drumbeat of Fascism: Find, Arrest, Deport
Stan Cox
Can the Climate Survive Electoral Democracy? Maybe. Can It Survive Capitalism? No.
Ramzy Baroud
The Trump-Netanyahu Circus: Now, No One Can Save Israel from Itself
Edward Hunt
The United States of Permanent War
David Morgan
Trump and the Left: a Case of Mass Hysteria?
Pete Dolack
The Bait and Switch of Public-Private Partnerships
Mike Miller
What Kind of Movement Moment Are We In? 
Elliot Sperber
Why Resistance is Insufficient
Brian Cloughley
What are You Going to Do About Afghanistan, President Trump?
Binoy Kampmark
Warring in the Oncology Ward
Yves Engler
Remembering the Coup in Ghana
Jeremy Brecher
“Climate Kids” v. Trump: Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life”
Jonathan Taylor
Hate Trump? You Should Have Voted for Ron Paul
Franklin Lamb
Another Small Step for Syrian Refugee Children in Beirut’s “Aleppo Park”
Ron Jacobs
The Realist: Irreverence Was Their Only Sacred Cow
Andre Vltchek
Lock up England in Jail or an Insane Asylum!
Rev. William Alberts
Grandiose Marketing of Spirituality
Paul DeRienzo
Three Years Since the Kitty Litter Disaster at Waste Isolation Pilot Plant
Eric Sommer
Organize Workers Immigrant Defense Committees!
Steve Cooper
A Progressive Agenda
David Swanson
100 Years of Using War to Try to End All War
Andrew Stewart
The 4CHAN Presidency: A Media Critique of the Alt-Right
Edward Leer
Tripping USA: The Chair
Randy Shields
Tom Regan: The Life of the Animal Rights Party
Nyla Ali Khan
One Certain Effect of Instability in Kashmir is the Erosion of Freedom of Expression and Regional Integration
Rob Hager
The Only Fake News That Probably Threw the Election to Trump was not Russian 
Mike Garrity
Why Should We Pay Billionaires to Destroy Our Public Lands? 
Mark Dickman
The Prophet: Deutscher’s Trotsky
Christopher Brauchli
The Politics of the Toilet Police
Ezra Kronfeld
Joe Manchin: a Senate Republicrat to Dispute and Challenge
Clancy Sigal
The Nazis Called It a “Rafle”
Louis Proyect
Socialism Betrayed? Inside the Ukrainian Holodomor
Charles R. Larson
Review: Timothy B. Tyson’s “The Blood of Emmett Till”
David Yearsley
Founding Father of American Song
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail