March of the torches across all of Cuba

Source: Granma
January 16 2017

by María Elena Álvarez Ponce | internet@granma.cu

The people united will march the night of January 28, on the eve of the anniversary of José Martí’s birth, from San Antonio to Maisí, with Fidel as always

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Photo: Yaimí Ravelo

The night of January 28

Havana.–From San Antonio to Maisí, for Cuba and Martí, and as always with Fidel, the people united will march the night of January 28, in a tribute to José Martí, on the eve of the anniversary of his birth.

In 168 municipalities 

Confirming the news was Susely Morfa González, member of the Communist Party of Cuba’s Central Committee and the Council of State, first secretary of the Young Communists League (UJC). She reported to the press that marches will take place in 168 municipalities across the country, in which men, women, youth, children, workers, older adults, retirees, homemakers, veteran combatants, and students will fill the nation’s streets to honor the national hero.

The demonstrations of patriotism will begin in unison shortly after 10pm on the night of the 27th, in an unequivocal show of support for the Revolution by a people which is true to its roots, proud of its history, conscious of all that has been accomplished, and confident in the future being constructed, she said.

World Festival of Youth

Together we will raise torches, the flame of life and liberty, as Fidel and his generation did on the first such march held in 1953, Morfa explained, departing from the University of Havana’s Grand Staircase and culminating at the Fragua where the youthful José Martí was imprisoned.

The Young Communist League leader additionally noted that the march will take place after a meeting of the national committee making preparations for Cuba’s participation in the upcoming World Festival of Youth, set to take place this coming October in the Russian city of Sochi. (ACN)

Cuban youth have decided to live in our free Cuba

Source:  Granma
January 4, 2017

by: Jennifer Bello Martínez | internet@granma.cu

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Remarks by Jennifer Bello Martínez, a member of the Council of State and President of the Federation of University Students in José Martí Plaza de la Revolución, January 2, 2017, “Year 59 of the Revolution”

Compatriots,

Friends from around the world accompanying us today,

People of Cuba:

Photo: Anabel Díaz


The landing of the Granma  expeditionaries

Called together by history, the present and future, we come together at this historic Plaza only two days after the 58th anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the heroic uprising in Santiago de Cuba, the landing of the Granma expeditionaries, and Revolutionary Armed Forces Day.

This celebration has special motives which, for every Cuban, represent commitment, will, and confidence in the future of the socialist Revolution true to the ideas of Fidel and Martí.

We dedicate this commemoration to Comandante en Jefe of the Cuban Revolution and our youth, heirs and continuators of our people’s struggles and victories.

A united people

What will take place this morning, is only possible because there exists a united people, the ultimate expression of a Revolution of workers; campesions; students; soldiers; noble men and women who are proud of this society.

Last December marked two years since the announcement of the decision by Cuba and the United States to re-establish diplomatic relations and initiate a process toward the normalization of bilateral relations.

We would not have arrived at this historic moment if it were not for the resistance of the Cuban people, their loyalty to the ideals and principles that have guided them throughout their history as a nation.

Demanding the lifting of the blockade

Much remains to be done to advance in this process, which will be long and as part of which complicated problems accumulated over more than 50 years must be solved. Cuba will not stop demanding the lifting of the blockade, which causes damage and deprivation to our people, nor stop demanding the return of the territory occupied by the United States Naval Base in Guantánamo, against the will of the Cuban government and people. Neither will it stop demanding an end to subversive and interventionist programs intended to provoke changes in the political, economic and social order freely chosen by our people.

A demonstration of this has been the mobilization and energetic participation of students and the entire society, which like a hornet’s nest, we proclaim before the world to defend every conquest. The vanguard will continue to be the vanguard, forever patriots and anti-imperialists.

Bastión 2016

Just as Army General Raúl Castro Ruz remarked in his speech last September 17, during the 17th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement held in Venezuela: “Cuba will never renounce any of its principles or compromise its sovereignty and independence. Cuba will not cease defending its revolutionary and anti-imperialist ideals, or supporting the self-determination of all peoples.
As part of the country’s defense preparation we conducted the Bastión 2016 Strategic Exercise, in order to update and carry out actions outlined in defense plans and to combat different enemy actions. Bastión 2016, an essential element to the implementation of the doctrine of “War by the Entire People,” once again demonstrated the unbreakable will of the Cuban people to defend their sovereignty and preserve the work of the Revolution.

Always at the ready to conquer what is to come

Precisely these principles have been those for which we have struggled since the cry of independence, and we are showing this with this Military Review and March of the Combatant People, which bears within it our history, our symbols, the rebelliousness, and heroism of this people. Marching by will be the mambises, (independence fighters) who the homeland will contemplate with pride, on their horses and with their machetes of liberation.

A replica of the Granma yacht, representing the feat accomplished by those 82 expeditionaries who made possible the dream of national liberation, this time will set sail upon a joyful sea of children, the next generation waving their blue neckerchiefs, with the commitment to be the future and be always at the ready to conquer what is to come.

In tight ranks, four columns of youth will march, representing those brave guerillas who created the Rebel Army; from their blood the new homeland emerged: free, combative, and invincible.

Recalling the epic of Girón and the Literacy Campaign

The epic of Girón, decisive for the nascent revolution, will also be recalled. Parading through the Plaza will be 90 combatants from that heroic battle, representing the Rebel Army, the police, and the newly formed National Revolutionary Militias. The decision to bear any cost necessary for the cause of socialism continues to motivate the millions of Cubans who populate this island.

Today, as well, we remember the Literacy Campaign work done by children and youth, with love and bravery, represented by 90 students from the Enrique José Varona University of Pedagogical Sciences, wearing the uniforms which illuminated this plaza when our people raised the banner proclaiming, before the world, that Cuba was an illiteracy-free territory.

Also marching will be seven blocs of combatants who completed missions in more than 40 nations, where they served as examples of respect for the dignity and sovereignty of the country. The confidence gained in the hearts of these peoples, was the fruit of the impeccable conduct of our soldiers.

Our girls and boys are hope, the most pure essence of the Revolution’s work. Representing all of the country’s children here are young members of La Colmenita, (Children’s theater company) little hardworking bumblebees who share love, peace, and wisdom with their honey.

Committees for the Defense of the Revolution

Under the gaze of José Martí, our troops composed of youth from the Revolutionary Armed Forces and Ministry of the Interior academies; from the three valuable armies; soldiers, and militias will march, and pay heartfelt tribute to the thousands of combatants who keep the peace and provide tranquility for the Cuban people.

Representing the popular character of the country’s defense, the provincial, municipal, and neighborhood Committees for the Defense of the Revolution will parade, along with Production and Defense Brigades and our university militias, who respond to the nation’s call: Present!

The people of Havana, representing all of Cuba, will fill the Plaza de la Revolución with the responsibility to continue struggling for our sovereign, independent, socialist, democratic, prosperous and sustainable nation.

Since October 10, 1868

Younger generations, as symbols of life, love, human justice, and Revolution, will demonstrate their commitment to the homeland, our Party, to Fidel and Raúl. We walk these streets with the enthusiasm and the drive that characterize Cuban youth, committed to defending this sky and our only flag.

Since October 10, 1868, Cuban men and women have decided to live in a free, sovereign, independent Cuba. No one can make us forget our history, or the symbols of this people’s resistance.

We make our own the ideas of the historic leader of the Revolution, expressed in the plenary session of the 7th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba: “To our sisters and brothers of Latin America and the world, we must convey to you that the Cuban people will triumph … We will set forth on the path and perfect what we must perfect, with absolute loyalty and our forces united, like Martí, Maceo, and Gómez, in an unstoppable march.”

Eternal glory to those who have died for the homeland!

Long live the Cuban Revolution!

Long live Fidel, forever!

Viva Cuba Libre!

Cuban university students committed to continuing Fidel’s legacy

Source:  Granma
December 21 2016

by: Julio Martínez Molina | informacion@granma.cu

Federation of University Students (FEU) hold national celebration of the organization’s 94th anniversary, reaffirming their commitment to Fidel.

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CIENFUEGOS.—There was no other word, figure, or set of ideas of greater emphasis than those of Fidel, during the national commemoration of the Federation of University Students’ 94th anniversary, held in Cienfuegos, yesterday December 20.

To uphold the banner of socialism

The firm decision of students in attendance to uphold the banner of socialism and the ideas of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution was reiterated in speeches, chants, and signs.

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FEU President and member of the Council of State, Jennifer Bello Martínez, commented, “This 94th anniversary has a special connotation as the first without the presence of the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution, and we decided to dedicate it to this eternal youth, of whose legacy we will be continuators. He always placed his confidence in university students, always debated any idea he had with university students, because he knew that this is where the reliable rearguard was, in revolutionary processes.”

She noted that Cienfuegos had earned the honor of being the site of the celebration with the pace of its efforts to implement plans made during the organization’s 8th Congress. The student leader concluded saying that 2017 would be a busy year for the FEU, as chapters mobilize members to contribute to all the tasks the country is undertaking

Santiago de Cuba says I am Fidel (Photos)

Source:  Las Razones de Cuba
December 3 2016

Images showing how people live in Santiago de Cuba, the # TributoaFidel. These people, who love Fidel, took to the streets to wait for him, to greet him while shouting loudly #YoSoyFidel.

Read more:

#FidelCastro , #HastalaVictoriaSiempre , #HastaSiempreComandante , #TributoaFidel ,  #YosoyFidel , Fidel Castro Ruz , Die Fidel Castro Ruz

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The world bids farewell to a giant of world history

Source:  Granma
November 26 2016

by: Redacción Internacional | internacionales@granma.cu

International media feature the news of Fidel Castro’s death
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From all corners of the planet, recognition of the life and work of one of the great leaders of the 20th century and thus far into the 21st – the guerilla in the Sierra Maestra and international statesman who changed forever the history of Latin America and the peoples of the world: Fidel Castro.

Nicolas Maduro

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro was among the first to make a statement following Fidel’s death, late November 25, at 90 years of age, calling for the preservation of his anti-imperialist and emancipatory legacy, writing on his Twitter account, “Sixty years since the Granma yacht ‘s departure, Comandante Fidel Castro has passed into immortality.”

Evo Morales

Evo Morales, President of Bolivia, in a telephone contact with teleSUR, said that the best way to honor Fidel is to consolidate the unity of the world’s peoples, and never forget his unrelenting resistance to the imperialist model, adding, “Fidel has given us lessons in struggle, perseverance, liberation, and the integration of the world’s peoples.”

Sánchez Cerén

Likewise, Salvadorian President Salvador Sánchez Cerén expressed “profound pain upon hearing of the death of a dear friend and eternal comrade,” saying that Fidel would live forever in the hearts of peoples struggling for justice, dignity, and brotherhood.

Enrique Peña Nieto

Enrique Peña Nieto, Mexico’s head of state, emphasized the role played by the Comandante in promoting relations between the two countries, based on respect, dialogue and solidarity, while the daily La Jornada, with one of the highest circulations in the country, featured the news of Fidel’s death, calling him a “central figure” of the 20th century.

Narendra Modi

India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, sent his condolences to the government and people of Cuba, writing on Twitter, “India mourns the loss of a great friend. May his soul rest in peace.”

Sonia Gandhi, leader of the opposition Congress Party in this country, lamented the great loss and emphasized Fidel’s struggle for the oppressed of the world, and his role in the Non Aligned Movement.

Jacob Zuma

South African President Jacob Zuma, likewise expressed the pain he felt upon hearing of Fidel’s death, “a great leader and revolutionary,” saying, that the solidarity of Cuba in the struggle against apartheid would never be forgotten.

Konstantin Kosachov

The president of the Russian Senate’s international relations committee, Konstantin Kosachov, commented that Fidel will always be included in world history, since, with his leadership, Cuba was able to resist external pressure and chart its own course.

Cuban singer songwriter Silvio Rodríguez, on his blog Segunda Cita, sent his condolences to “Fidel’s family and the people of Cuba, the world and universe, for the loss of one of the most extraordinary human beings of all times.”

Ivan Marquez

Ivan Marquez, head of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia-People’s Army (FARC-EP) negotiating team in peace talks with the Colombian government, said that the world had lost “the most admirable revolutionary of the 20th century,” adding, “Thank you, Fidel, for your great love of Colombia. May the Peace Accords of Havana be our posthumous tribute.”

Several Colombian media outlets interrupted their nighttime programming to broadcast news of the death of the Cuban leader, including RCN, Noticias 24 and Cable Noticias, featuring interviews and pieces on his life and work.

Both the influential magazine Semana and daily El Tiempo featured the news on their webpages.

The French daily Le Monde published a piece recalling the close relations Fidel shared with numerous intellectuals and artists of international renown, including Gabriel García Márquez and Jean-Paul Sartre.

In Ecuador, according to Prensa Latina, the Agencia de Noticias Andes disseminated Raúl Castro’s announcement of the Comandante en Jefe’s death, while the digital version of the daily El Telégrafo devoted several article on its front page to the leader of the Cuban Revolution.

The Italian news agencies AGI, ANSA, RAI, and important dailies like La Repubblica, Correire della Sera, La Stampa, Il Sole 24 Ore, and Il Messagero, featured the news on their webpages.

Unity, the best tribute

Source:  Granma
November 27 2016

by: National news staff | informacion@granma.cu

It was with deep sorrow and regret that the Cuban people learned of the passing of Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz. Granma shares some reactions to the news

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PhotoRicardo López Hevia

Hasta siempre, Fidel

His death was met with tributes and moments of reflection by the Cuban people, who neither want, nor are ready, to say farewell, choosing instead to salute the global leader with a “Hasta siempre, Fidel.”

The fact that a man like Fidel is no longer with us is a difficult reality to bear, stated Artemisa resident and Revolutionary combatant Plácido Núñez, speaking to Granma.

Meanwhile, an emotional Maritsa Leyva who works at the Las Tunas based Nuevo Éxito food processing plant, stated, “Honestly, from the very bottom of my heart I’m telling you, so much pain can’t fit in my chest. To say Fidel, is to say Cuba, brother, the world.”

Lázaro Castro Aguilera, director of the Birán Historic Site and National Monument noted that the death of the Comandante “caused great pain. I had a tight feeling in my chest and went to visit the tomb of Lina, Fidel’s mother. I imagined talking to her, telling her that the great son she gave to the world – and for whom she suffered immensely, realizing how he suffered the vicissitudes of a revolutionary – would no longer be among us.”

Genuine pain

He also recalled “the times that Fidel visited and talked about his life in great detail here. It was like I could see him riding up-hill on a horse, like a hunter; I could picture him washing in the river close by, and doing things that kids and adolescents do.”

Despite being deeply affected by the news of Fidel’s death, staff at the farm where the Co­man­dante en Jefe was born will continue to receive visitors that arrive to the establishment over the coming days.

”We must continue researching Fidel, in order to reveal the entirety of his greatness and wisdom, as a way of keeping him alive, to ensure that he always accompanies us,” added López.

According to the director, visitors to Birán are very respectful, and the majority express genuine pain. A book of condolences – which sits next to a photo of Fidel surrounded by flowers – has been opened for visitors to the facility to sign.

The best way to honor him is to remain united

”People approach staff at the Birán Historic Site to speak about all that Fidel has done for the people, the importance of respecting his ideas. The majority believe that the best way to honor him is to remain united,” stated Lázaro Castro Aguilera, speaking to Granma.

All Cubans have been deeply affected by the news. Birán resident Pedro Pascual Rodríguez for instance stated, “I feel bad. Fidel has died! The revolutionary with the greatest ability to organize I have ever known. He was able to unite Cuban patriots and lead them to victory. Then he spent his life doing the same around the world.”

Iraida Martínez Duardo, a retired teacher from the province of Las Tunas described Fidel’s death as an irreparable loss, “Above all because even at 90 years of age he still retained the same lucidity and spirit which have always characterized him. Now it’s our duty to continue his work, the Cuban people will never forget this day. I will never forget it.”

The greatest statesman

Those who remember how Cuba was before the glorious triumph of 1959 know just how much Fidel’s leadership means, stated a visibly emotional Vicenta Calderín, a retiree who lives in the province of Artemisa. “The Comandante offered Cubans a better future, what he did for the people is unparalleled.”

”It was Fidel that led the Revolution and took important steps to eradicate illiteracy, promote health and education. Today will be remembered with sadness,” according to Manuel de Jesús Catalá Balón, Guantánamo resident and combatant of the Rebel Army’s Juan M. Ameijeiras Sixth Column.

For Antonio Marrero Duvergel, Radio Re­belde correspondent in Guantánamo, Fidel has been the greatest statesman in history; an outstanding military strategist; insurmountable politician; leader of the masses; tireless student, with a vast knowledge on matters of science, economics, sports, culture, the environment; an excellent orator… global example of internationalism with an unwavering commitment to the people, the dispossessed; qualities which have seen his work spread across the entire globe, cemented forever among revolutionaries.

Indebted to Fidel

Leonardo Aguilar, a 70 year old Guantánamo resident remembers Fidel as the person from whom he has learned the most in his life.

”I was a literacy teacher, and I have participated in every task required by the Revolution. That’s how I’ve come to define myself over the years. I saw him once when he came to Guantánamo, but only from afar. I would have liked to shake his hand,” noted Aguilar.

Meanwhile, Marrero Duvergel recalled, “I was born in the countryside, and thanks to Fidel and the Revolution I became a journalist. What I am today, I owe to him.”

Joaquín González, a teacher at the Ernesto Che Guevara vocational school in Villa Clara noted, “The Revolution led by Fidel was the same one that provided brain surgery for my daughter in a famous hospital in the capital, and which today pays my wife Nilda a stipend to take care of her. I will never forget this.”

Eternal gratitude

Comments such as these reflect the Cuban people’s eternal gratitude toward the Comandante. His ideas, his motivation to fight and concept of Revolution “Will carry on, in the hands of Army General Raúl Castro, who will have the support and commitment of the entire Cuban people,” stated Eberto Estrada Sao, director of the Las Tunas Provincial Meteorology Institute.

”He will be remembered as a good man, of respect, worthy of these times, an indisputable leader of this nation, of the Americas and the world. Now he will multiply in every Cuban that considers them self to be a worthy continuer of his work.”

Rigoberto Miralles, a retiree from Bayamo, noted that the Comandante’s constant lessons in struggle, tenacity, sacrifice, humanism, solidarity, patriotism “will show us the path to follow to achieve the prosperous society that we Cubans aspire to create, without renouncing the sovereignty woven with the blood of the heroes and martyrs of the homeland.”

Humanist qualities

”I had the luck of knowing him as a child, when we were students at the Número 15 Rural Mixed School, located close to his childhood home. He didn’t seem like the son of the most prominent landowner in the area, given the way he treated the other students,” commented Pascual Rodríguez, a neighbor from Birán.

Rodríguez also noted, “You immediately realized he was very intelligent, and was ready to do anything. When I think back, I realize that even at that time you could already see the humanist qualities for which he is renowned.”

According to Delia Rivero Tour, a teacher at the Volodia Kindergarten in Las Tunas, “Starting now we must keep his memory alive, remember him.

Tenderness toward children

“I always think about his tenderness toward children with a phrase of his which says “a healthy child deserves everything, a sick one even more.”

These words speak volumes about the man he was,” stated the Kindergarten teacher.

Lorena Infante García, a student at the Inés Luaces Middle School in Camagüey, agrees, noting that “we love him as our most senior leader, for everything that he has done for the happiness and well-being of Cuban children and those worldwide.”

According to Infante, for pioneros (elementary school students), the Comandante has been and will continue to be an example to follow, in the same way as José Martí, Ignacio Agramonte, Antonio Maceo, Camilo Cienfuegos, Ernesto Che Guevara and so many other Cuban heroes and martyrs.”

Good people

This means being good, disciplined and committed students, ready to respond to every call made to improve the Revolution, become highly qualified professionals, and above all good people, just like him, always sincere, honest, and concerned about the fate of others, she noted.

“The Cuban youth, for whom he did so much, have lost their Comandante on the physical plane, but will continuously rediscover him by preserving his immense legacy in all aspects: ethical, moral, patriotic. Observing his conduct will be a mirror before which we look at ourselves, to be better and more committed,” stated 23 year old bank employee Lisandra Mar­tínez Acea, from Cienfuegos.

This is a moment to ratify his thought and the principles of the Revolution…His ideas and actions turned our country into an example for the rest of the world, and him into an icon, a source of inspiration, stated Yamilia Almanza a young worker at the Latin American School of Medicine.

A source of inspiration

Fidel is and will continue to be a guide, a source of inspiration, a catalyst for every revolutionary project, the man of Moncada, the Gran­ma expedition, the Sierra Maestra, the indisputable leader…the eternal Comandante.

No one should think that the death of our Comandante means and end to the Revolution, stated Armando Peña Gar­vey, an employee at Guan­tánamo’s La Primada food processing plant, “on the contrary, now we are going to become even stronger and more united. We’ve got to keep on, and show the world who we Cubans are.”

“Fidel isn’t dead at all,” said Jesús Catalá Balón, combatant from the Rebel Army’s Juan M. Ameijeiras Sixth Column.
“What died was his body, but he’s still alive, because there are millions of people here, above all youths, who are following in his footsteps. Here, and around the world,” he added.

To keep the flame of the Revolution alive

Meanwhile, Ángel González Rodríguez, reserve forces Lieutenant Colonel based in Santa Clara noted that “As a child I saw the Freedom Caravan pass by, and at some place, before masses of cheering people, Fidel stated that he would like to see this multitude at his burial, because it would mean that he had fulfilled his promise to the people, to whom he dedicated his life. And that’s exactly how it will be.”

His death is a terrible event, but nothing is going to happen here, highlighted literacy campaign volunteer, Leonardo Aguilar. “Raúl is here, and with him the youth and entire country, to keep the flame of the Revolution alive.”

Fidel: It is worthwhile to have lived!

Extract from speech delivered by Dr. Fidel Castro Ruz at the Commemoration of the 60th Anniversary of his admission to the University of Havana , in the Aula Magna of the University, on November 17, 2005

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“There must be an end to stupidity in the world, and to abuse, and to the (rule of an) empire based on might and terror.  It will disappear when all fear disappears. Every day there are more fearless countries.  Every day there will be more countries that will rebel and the empire will not be able to keep that infamous system alive any longer.

Salvador Allende once spoke of things that would happen rather sooner than later. I believe that sooner rather than later the empire will disintegrate and the American people will enjoy more freedom than ever, they will be able to aspire to more justice than ever before; they will be able too use science and technology for their own improvement and for the betterment of humanity; they will be able to join all of us who fight for the survival of the species; they will be able to join all of us who fight for opportunities for the human species.

It’s only fair to struggle for that and that is why we must use all our energy, all our effort and all our time  to be able to say with the voice of millions, or hundreds of thousands of millions of people: it is worthwhile to have been born! It is worthwhile to have lived!”

Source:  Fidel Castro, We Can Build The Most Just Society in the World, 2005, Havana, Cuba, Publications Office of the Council of State, p 102.