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Watching the US Presidential Campaign from Havana


That Tuesday there was no fresh international news. The modest message I wrote to the Cuban people on Monday, February 18, was widely and easily disseminated. As from 11 o’clock in the morning I started to receive concrete news. The previous night I had slept like never before. I had a clear conscience and I had promised myself a vacation. The days of tension, awaiting the proximity of February 24, had left me exhausted.

Today I will not say a single word about persons very dear to me in Cuba and in the world who in many different ways expressed their emotions. I also received a great number of opinions collected in the streets through reliable methods, which almost without exception and in a very spontaneous way conveyed the deepest feelings of solidarity. Someday I shall discuss that issue.

Right now I am focusing on the adversary. I enjoyed watching the embarrassment of every United States presidential candidate. One by one they all felt compelled to exact urgent demands from Cuba to avoid the risk of losing a single vote. Anyone could have thought that I was a Pulitzer Prize winner interviewing them on very sensitive political and even personal issues for the CNN from Las Vegas, a place where the logics of the games of chance prevails, and that should be humbly visited by anyone running for President.

Fifty years of blockade seemed too little to the favorites. Change! Change! Change! They all cried in unison.

I agree. Change! But, inside the United States. Cuba changed long ago and will now follow a dialectical path.

We will never go back to the past! Cries our people.

Annexation! Annexation! Annexation! Responds the adversary. That is what it really means when it speaks about change.

José Martí, unveiling the secret of his silent struggle, denounced the voracious and expansionistic empire that his brilliant intelligence had discovered and described more than one century after the enactment of the revolutionary Declaration of Independence of the Thirteen Colonies.

The end of a historical period is not the same as the beginning of the end of an unsustainable system.

All of a sudden, the weakened European powers, allied to that system, are exacting the same demands. In their opinion, the time has come to dance to the music of democracy and freedom, which since the times of Torquemada, they never really knew.

The colonization and neo-colonization of entire continents, from which they get energy, raw materials, and cheap labor, are a moral discredit to them.

An illustrious Spanish personality, once an impeccable socialist and minister of Culture, who for some time now and even today has been advocating for the war and the use of weapons, is the synthesis of sheer nonsense. Kosovo and its unilateral declaration of independence are now hunting them as an impertinent nightmare.

In Iraq and Afghanistan, men of flesh and blood wearing the United States and NATO uniforms continue to die. The memories of the USSR, which disintegrated in part because of the interventionist adventure in Afghanistan, are chasing the Europeans like a shadow.

Bush senior endorses McCain as his candidate, while Bush junior declares in some country of Africa -where man originated yesterday and which is a martyr continent today- where no one knows what he was doing, that my message was the beginning of the road towards freedom in Cuba, that is to say, the annexation decreed by his government in a huge and thick text.

The day before, TV networks from all over the world showed a group of state-of-the-art bombers performing spectacular maneuvers, giving full guarantees that any bombs could be launched, that the aircraft that carried them will not be detected by radars, and that this will not be considered a war crime.

A protest raised by some important countries had to do with the imperial idea of testing a new weapon under the pretext of avoiding the possible fall on the territory of a foreign country of a spy satellite, one of the many artifacts that the United States has put into the planet orbit for military purposes.

I had thought not to write a reflection at least in 10 days, but I had no right to remain silent for so long. We need to open ideological fire against them.

I wrote this on Tuesday at 3:35 pm. Yesterday, I reviewed it and I will deliver it today, Thursday, in the afternoon. I have begged that my reflections be published on the second page or any other of our newspapers, never on the front page, and that brief summaries of them should be published in other media in case they are long.

I am now fully devoted to the effort of casting my full-slate vote in support of the Presidency of the National Assembly and the new State Council, as well as on the right way to do it.

I thank all readers for having waited so patiently.





Fidel Castro’s column appears in Granma.

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