Click amount to donate direct to CounterPunch
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $500
  • $other
  • use PayPal
Spring Fund Drive: Keep CounterPunch Afloat
CounterPunch is a lifeboat of sanity in today’s turbulent political seas. Please make a tax-deductible donation and help us continue to fight Trump and his enablers on both sides of the aisle. Every dollar counts!
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Chavez’s Clarion Call

It was 2006. I was really very ill but very much aware of what was happening. During those days around the middle of September, the XIV NAM Summit where Cuba was elected to the Presidency was ending. I could barely sit up and take my place at a table. That’s how I received some important heads of state or government. The Prime Minister of India was among them. The highest ranking visitor I received in that emergency room in the Presidential Palace was the Ghanaian Kofi Annan, Secretary General of the United Nations, who a few days later would be ending his mandate.

Abdelaziz Bouteflika, the president of Algeria, one of the personalities with whom I met, looked me straight in the eye and said: “If you need my blood Fidel, you have it”.

I appreciated it greatly. He had been foreign minister in the government of our friend Houari Boumediene.

Bouteflika as well had just gone through a health crisis that had him teetering on the edge of death. One might say that his recovery was astounding.

His words constituted a noble and selfless support for our cause, which was not expected, by our internationalist spirit that was never exercised in exchange for anything.

His noble gesture took place years after a despicable traitor to the history of his self-sacrificing and combative people coincided, in the city of Monterrey Mexico, with the demands of the head of the empire that I be thrown out of a Summit taking place there, after speaking to the people gathered there, with the exception of Bush who hadn’t touched Mexican soil while I was setting foot on the same land.

Just before the minute I left, Hugo Chavez urgently visited me and, indignant about such high-handed behaviour by the head of state of the host country, he exclaimed: “Fidel, tell me how much oil Cuba needs to defeat the Yankee blockade”.

The dialogue seemed unreal. It isn’t easy to remember, through the mist of emotions, what the exact words of my response were. Doubtlessly, they were words negating my acceptance.

Be that as it may, Cuba’s destiny followed its course. The fate of our people was bound to the legendary memory of Che and the thinking of Marti and Bolivar.

Our future cannot be separated from the events happening next Sunday when the day for approving the Constitutional Amendment begins. There is no other alternative but victory.

The destinies of the peoples of “Our America” will depend substantially on that victory and it will be an event which will have influence on the rest of the planet.

However, what is missing is an acknowledgement to Hugo Chavez for his contribution to Spanish literature. His latest article published on February 12th under the title of “Chavez’ Lines”, is an inspired document of exceptional quality, of the kind only great writers can pull together. It is pure Chavez, body and soul, reflected in print, the way very few can achieve.

Last week’s enthusiastic throng is a spectacle which can only be accessed by television for an incalculable number of people in the world.

The unmasking of the staged self-provocation in the Jewish synagogue is the antithesis of those moving images that in 1945 Soviet troops showed to the world after they stormed and took the Auschwitz concentration camp; they showed the world what had happened to millions of Jews and people from other occupied countries including children, old people and women, imprisoned by the Nazis. It wasn’t Eisenhower’s soldiers making the effort and spilling their blood to liberate them.

The monstrous world of injustices that imperialism has imposed on the planet marks the inexorable end of a system and an era which cannot have long to survive. This too shall run out. We thank our Venezuelan compatriot for his clarion call.

More articles by:

Fidel Castro’s column appears in Granma.

May 22, 2018
Stanley L. Cohen
Broken Dreams and Lost Lives: Israel, Gaza and the Hamas Card
Kathy Kelly
Scourging Yemen
Andrew Levine
November’s “Revolution” Will Not Be Televised
Ted Rall
#MeToo is a Cultural Workaround to a Legal Failure
Gary Leupp
Question for Discussion: Is Russia an Adversary Nation?
Binoy Kampmark
Unsettling the Summits: John Bolton’s Libya Solution
Doug Johnson
As Andrea Horwath Surges, Undecided Voters Threaten to Upend Doug Ford’s Hopes in Canada’s Most Populated Province
Kenneth Surin
Malaysia’s Surprising Election Results
Dana Cook
Canada’s ‘Superwoman’: Margot Kidder
Dean Baker
The Trade Deficit With China: Up Sharply, for Those Who Care
John Feffer
Playing Trump for Peace How the Korean Peninsula Could Become a Bright Spot in a World Gone Mad
Peter Gelderloos
Decades in Prison for Protesting Trump?
Thomas Knapp
Yes, Virginia, There is a Deep State
Andrew Stewart
What the Providence Teachers’ Union Needs for a Win
Jimmy Centeno
Mexico’s First Presidential Debate: All against One
May 21, 2018
Ron Jacobs
Gina Haspell: She’s Certainly Qualified for the Job
Uri Avnery
The Day of Shame
Amitai Ben-Abba
Israel’s New Ideology of Genocide
Patrick Cockburn
Israel is at the Height of Its Power, But the Palestinians are Still There
Frank Stricker
Can We Finally Stop Worrying About Unemployment?
Binoy Kampmark
Royal Wedding Madness
Roy Morrison
Middle East War Clouds Gather
Edward Curtin
Gina Haspel and Pinocchio From Rome
Juana Carrasco Martin
The United States is a Country Addicted to Violence
Dean Baker
Wealth Inequality: It’s Not Clear What It Means
Robert Dodge
At the Brink of Nuclear War, Who Will Lead?
Vern Loomis
If I’m Lying, I’m Dying
Valerie Reynoso
How LBJ initiated the Military Coup in the Dominican Republic
Weekend Edition
May 18, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Andrew Levine
The Donald, Vlad, and Bibi
Robert Fisk
How Long Will We Pretend Palestinians Aren’t People?
Jeffrey St. Clair
Wild at Heart: Keeping Up With Margie Kidder
Roger Harris
Venezuela on the Eve of Presidential Elections: The US Empire Isn’t Sitting by Idly
Michael Slager
Criminalizing Victims: the Fate of Honduran Refugees 
John Laforge
Don’t Call It an Explosion: Gaseous Ignition Events with Radioactive Waste
Carlo Filice
The First “Fake News” Story (or, What the Serpent Would Have Said)
Dave Lindorff
Israel Crosses a Line as IDF Snipers Murder Unarmed Protesters in the Ghetto of Gaza
Gary Leupp
The McCain Cult
Robert Fantina
What’s Wrong With the United States?
Jill Richardson
The Lesson I Learned Growing Up Jewish
David Orenstein
A Call to Secular Humanist Resistance
W. T. Whitney
The U.S. Role in Removing a Revolutionary and in Restoring War to Colombia
Rev. William Alberts
The Danger of Praying Truth to Power
Alan Macleod
A Primer on the Venezuelan Elections
John W. Whitehead
The Age of Petty Tyrannies
Franklin Lamb
Have Recent Events Sounded the Death Knell for Iran’s Regional Project?
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail