By Javier Rodriguez   from Boyle Heights   8 Oct 2014

With the upmost respect, I am posting this article by Fidel on one of the most heroic chapters of Cuban Solidarity in Angola, Africa in 1976, when, with their disciplined and highly trained military forces, the Cubans helped and more so led the onslaught against the racist and then believed invincible South Africa Apartheid armies. The victory was decisive in revealing to the African people in the whole continent, that South Africa Apartheid could be defeated, even with the American Empire and Israel’s support mainly with intelligence gathering and of course weapons.

It was a futile attempt to stop the decolonization of Angola and these are the words of Nelson Mandela, who at that time was the world’s most known and popular political prisoner.

Fidel incisively reveals the South Africans were attempting, in essence to stop, again to reiterate, with American and Israel help, the celebration of Angola’s Independence from Portugal Colonialism.

In fact, after his release and during his first world tour to thank the countries which with their unstoppable international support and solidarity, made not only his release possible after 26 years of imprisonment, but more important, also made possible the freedom and independence of Angola and later South Africa, the one stop that was a must for Mandela was Cuba. He went to thank Fidel and the Cuban revolution and to insist Fidel visit Cuba. In fact number two, there is a video that unequivocally reveals the meeting in a small apartment office between Mandela and Fidel and the interpreter, where the former conveys to the Cuban leader, “all I want to know is when are you going to visit our country {South Africa} so my people can see you and thank you in person.”

In the article below, “Heroes of Our Time” Fidel not only describes and analyses that unprecedented historical development of 1976 and places the thousands of Cuban forces, all volunteers, as true heroes of humanity, but also places it in the context of today’s contemporary history, when just a few days ago Cuba sent 186 medical volunteer doctors:

“the  first Medical Brigade to Sierra Leone, noted as one of the area’s most seriously affected by the cruel Ebola epidemic, is an example which the country can be proud of; as in this instance it is not possible to reach a higher place of honor and glory. Just as nobody had the slightest doubt that the hundreds of thousands of combatants who went to Angola and other African countries, had provided humanity with an example which will never be able to be erased from human history; nor can it be denied that the heroic action of the army of white coats will occupy one of the highest places of honor in this history.” Fidel Castro

It is important to mention that UNIVISION, a staunch enemy of progressive and left revolutions in Latin America, conveniently in its national news, anchor Jorge Ramos today omitted to mention the Cuban departure of the white coat soldiers to Africa. And to give you the broader picture of humanitarian medical help in the form of Cuban volunteer doctors and support staff, for several years and up to the present there have been 10,000 doctors in Venezuela, an unspecified amount of medical personnel in Nicaragua, and within the last 12 months 7,000 of them traveled to and provide free medical care to Brazil. It should be categorically clarified that the Cubans live amongst the people they serve and I’m talking about ghettoes and the countryside.

Now at the same time Obama is boasting of sending assistance to Africa in the form of military personnel, not volunteer doctors, primarily because that highest level of principles and values that are required are not taught in the schools of higher in the entrails of the Empire. In fact number three; upon graduation from medical school our new doctors exit their university and medical schools with $200,000 debt which places them at an economic disadvantage medical in society.

I will end with this also important historical fact of the Mexican immigrant solidarity of those years for the anti colonialist revolutions of Viet Nam, Cuba, Angola, Ethiopia, Algiers, etc. The trail blazing and pioneering organization of the immigrant rights movement of those years, C.A.S.A. Autonomous Center for Social Action, then led by over 250 young activists and leaders, including all my brothers and sister, waged a national campaign of information, history and analysis of the Angola revolution and the Cuban participation through community and university forums, media interviews, press conferences and constant reports in our national newspaper “Sin Fronteras.” So if you haven’t met one of the most important heroic personalities of the last 114 years and you have not been ideologically vaccinated to the point of being dogmatically blinded by the system’s propaganda machine, do like Oliver Stone, Beyonce, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and all my family “investigate and search for the truth” ZAZ read on…….


GRANMA Oct 7, 2014

Heroes of our time

There is much to say about the difficult times humanity is experiencing. Today, however, is a day of special interest for us and perhaps for many other people. Throughout our short revolutionary history, since the insidious coup, carried out by the empire on March 10, 1952 against our small county, we have often been faced with the need to take important decisions.

When there was no other alternative, other young people, from any other nation faced with our complicated situation, did, or intended to do the same as us, although, in the particular case of Cuba, fate, as on so many other occasions throughout history, played a decisive role.

Due to the scenes created in our country by the United States at that time, with no other objective than to curtail the risk of limited social advances which could inspire future radical changes in the Yankee property that Cuba had become, our Socialist Revolution was conceived.

The Second World War, which ended in 1945, consolidated the dominance of the United States as the principal economic and military power, and turned the country – which itself lay far from the battle fields – into the most powerful on the planet.

The crushing victory of 1959 – this we can assert without a shadow of chauvinism – became an example of what a small nation, fighting for itself, can also do for others. Latin American countries, with a minority of honorable exceptions, leaped upon the crumbs offered up by the United States; for example, Cuba’s sugar quota which, for almost a century and a half had supplied this county during its most critical years, was divided up among producers eager to enter world markets.

Dwight D. Eisenhower, the illustrious U.S. General who governed the country at the time, had led allied troops in the war in which they liberated, despite their own powerful means, just a small part of Europe occupied by the Nazis. The substitute for President Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, turned out to be the traditional conservative who usually assumes such political responsibilities in the United States during difficult times.

The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics – which, until the end of the 20th century was the greatest nation in the history of the struggle against the ruthless exploitation of human beings – was dissolved and replaced with a Federation which reduced the area of that great multinational State by no less than 5.5 million square kilometers.

There was something, however, that could not be dissolved: the heroic spirit of the Russian people who, together with their brothers from the rest of the USSR, have managed to preserve a force powerful enough that, in addition to the People’s Republic of China and countries such as Brazil, India and South Africa, they constitute a group with the necessary power to curb the attempts to recolonize the planet.

We experienced two illustrative examples of these realities in the People’s Republic of Angola. Cuba, like many other socialist countries and liberation movements, collaborated with Angola and others who were fighting against Portuguese control in Africa. This control was exercised through direct rule with the support of its allies.

Solidarity with Angola was one of the key issues for the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries and the Socialist Camp. The country’s independence was inevitable and was accepted by the international community.

The racist State of South Africa and the corrupt government of the former Belgium Congo, with the support of European allies, carefully prepared to conquer and divide up Angola. Cuba, who had been supporting the nation’s struggle for many years, received a request from Agostinho Neto to train the Angolan armed forces which, stationed in Luanda, the country’s capital, should be ready by November 11, 1975, when Neto would officially take office. The soviets, faithful to their commitments, had supplied military equipment and were only awaiting the day of independence to send instructors. Cuba, for its part, agreed to send the instructors requested by Neto.

The racist regime of South Africa, globally condemned and despised, decided to advance its plans and send forces in armored vehicles, equipped with powerful weaponry which, having advanced 100 kilometers from its border, attacked the first training camp, where various Cuban instructors died following heroic resistance. After several days of fighting by those valiant instructors and Angolans, they managed to halt the South African advance towards Luanda, the capital of Angola, to where a battalion of Special Troops from the Ministry of the Interior had been transported from Havana, in the Cuban airline’s old Britannia fleet.

That was how the epic struggle in that sub-Saharan African country began, terrorized by the racists whites, in which motorized infantry battalions and tank brigades, armored artillery and other fighting means, repelled the racist South African forces, forcing them to retreat back to the same border from which they had come.

It was not in 1975 that the most dangerous period of struggle occurred. That would come approximately 12 years later, in southern Angola.

Thus what seemed liked the end of the racist escapade in southern Angola was only the beginning, but at least they had learnt that the revolutionary forces of white, mulato and black Cubans, together with the Angolan soldiers, were able to make the supposedly invincible racists swallow the dust of defeat. Perhaps they relied too heavily on their technology, wealth and the support of the dominant empire.

Although it was never our intention, the sovereign attitude of our country was not without conflict with the USSR, which itself did so much for us in truly difficult times, when cutting the fuel supplies to Cuba from the United States could have led to a prolonged and costly conflict with the dominant Northern power. Whether this danger existed or not, the dilemma we faced was deciding whether to be free or to resign ourselves to being slaves to the powerful neighboring empire.

In a situation as complicated as that of Angolan independence, in the direct fight against neocolonialism, it was impossible for differences regarding some aspects not to arise, which could have had serious consequences on the planned objectives, which in Cuba’s case, as part of this struggle, had the right and duty to lead it to success. Whenever we believed that any aspect of our foreign policy could be at odds with the strategic policy of the USSR, we did everything possible to avoid it. The common objectives required that each respect the merits and experience of the other. Modesty is not incompatible with the serious analysis of the complexity and importance of each situation, although in our policy we were always very strict with everything relating to solidarity with the Soviet Union.

At decisive moments of the struggle in Angola against imperialism and racism, such a situation occurred, which stemmed from our direct participation in the fight and the fact that our forces not only fought, but also trained thousands of Angolan combatants, who we supported in their struggle against the pro-Yankee and pro-racist forces of South Africa. A soviet solider was the government advisor and directed the Angolan forces. We disagreed however, on an important point: the reiterated frequency with which he defended the erroneous measure of stationing the best trained Angolan troops more than 5,500 kilometers from the capital of Luanda, an idea relating to a different kind of warfare, nothing like the subversive and guerilla character of the Angolan counterrevolutionaries.

In reality the National Union for the Total Independence of Angola didn’t have a base, nor did Savimbi have a point from which to resist, it was a trap by the South African racists which served only to lure the best and most well equipped Angolan troops there, to strike them at will. We therefore opposed the strategy – which was applied more than once – until the end when it was demanded that we hit the enemy with our own forces which led to the battle of Cuito Cuanavale. I would say that the prolonged military confrontation against the South African army was the result of the last offensive against Savimbi´s supposed “capital” – in a distant corner of the border between Angola, South Africa and occupied Namibia -, toward which the valiant Angolan forces, departing from Cuito Cuanavale, a former NATO military base, well equipped with the newest armored cars, tanks and other combat means, began their 100 kilometer march to the supposed counterrevolutionary capital. Our bold fighter pilots supported them with Mig-23s whilst they remained still within their combat radius.

Once they passed those limits, the enemy launched a heavy attack against the Armed Forces for the Liberation of Angola soldiers with their combat planes, heavy artillery and well equipped ground forces, resulting in heavy casualties of dead and injured. But this time, in their pursuit of the battered Angolan brigades, they headed towards the former NATO military base.

The Angolan units retreated in a front several miles wide separated by gaps of a few kilometers. Given the severity of the losses and the dangers which could result from them, employing the usual means, a request was sent to the President of Angola to appeal to Cuba for support, and that’s what he did. The firm response this time was that the request would only be accepted if all Angolan forces and means of combat on the Southern Front were subordinated to Cuban military command. This condition was immediately accepted.

Forces were quickly mobilized for the battle of Cuito Cuanavale, where the South African invaders and their sophisticated arms clashed with armored units, conventional artillery and the Mig-23s flown by our brave pilots. The Angolan artillery, tanks, and other means in the area which lacked personnel were made ready for combat by Cubans. The Angolan tanks which during their retreat could not overcome the obstacle of the mighty Queve River, to the east of the former NATO base – the bridge over which had been destroyed weeks before by an unmanned South African plane laden with explosives – were buried and surrounded by anti-personnel and anti-tank mines. The advancing South African troops came up against an insurmountable barrier against which they crashed. In this way, with a minimal number of casualties and advantageous conditions, the South African forces were decisively defeated on Angolan soil.

But the fight was not over; the complicity of Israeli imperialism had turned South Africa into a nuclear country. Once again our army was faced with the risk of becoming the target of such weapons. But this point, with all the relevant facts, requires further elaboration, which can perhaps be written in the coming months.

What happened last night which led to this lengthy analysis? Two things, I consider to be of singular significance:

The departure of the first Cuban Medical Brigade to Africa to fight against Ebola.

The brutal murder in Caracas, Venezuela, of the young revolutionary Member of Parliament, Robert Serra.

Both events reflect the heroic spirit and potential of the revolutionary processes taking place in the homeland of José Martí and the birthplace of the liberation of Latin America, the heroic Venezuela of Simón Bolívar and Hugo Chávez.

How many shocking lessons can be learnt from these actions! Words can hardly express the moral value of such events, which occurred almost simultaneously.

I will never be able to believe that the murder of the young parliamentarian was the work of chance. It would be really inconceivable if the repugnant act, comparable to those orchestrated by the worst Yankee intelligence organizations, had not been committed intentionally, even when it absolutely fits the plans and actions of the enemies of the Venezuelan Revolution.

Anyway, the position of the Venezuelan authorities to emphasize the need to thoroughly investigate the nature of the crime seems absolutely correct to me. The people, however, have expressed their deep conviction regarding the nature of the brutal and bloody act.

The departure of the first Medical Brigade to Sierra Leone, noted as one of the areas most seriously affected by the cruel Ebola epidemic, is an example which the country can be proud of; as in this instance it is not possible to reach a higher place of honor and glory. Just as nobody had the slightest doubt that the hundreds of thousands of combatants who went to Angola and other African countries, had provided humanity with an example which will never be able to be erased from human history; nor can it be denied that the heroic action of the army of white coats will occupy one of the highest places of honor in this history.

It won’t be the producers of lethal weapons who receive this deserved honor. May the example of the Cubans heading to Africa also capture the hearts and minds of other doctors around the world, especially those who posses resources, practice a religion or have the deepest conviction to fulfill the duty of human solidarity.

Those heading to fight against Ebola and for the survival of other human beings have a difficult task ahead of them, even risking their own lives. We must not cease in our efforts to ensure that those who fulfill such duties count on the maximum safety in the tasks they undertake and the measures they must take to protect themselves and our own country from this and another illnesses and epidemics.

The personnel heading to Africa are also protecting those who remain here, because the worst that can happen is that this epidemic or other more serious illnesses reach our continent, or the heart of any community in any county in the world, where a child, mother or human being could die. There are enough doctors on the planet to ensure that no one has to die due to lack of medical attention. This is what I wish to express.

Honor and glory to our valiant fighters for health and life!

Honor and glory to the young revolutionary Robert Serra and his partner María Herrera!

I wrote these ideas on October 2 when I learnt of both pieces of news, but I preferred to wait another day in order for public opinion to form and ask Granma to publish it on Saturday.

Fidel Castro Ruz

October 2, 2014

8:47 p.m.  

Artículo de Fidel: Los héroes de nuestra época

Mucho hay que decir de estos tiempos difíciles para la humanidad. Hoy, sin embargo, es un día de especial interés para nosotros y quizá también para muchas personas.

A lo largo de nuestra breve historia revolucionaria, desde el golpe artero del 10 de marzo de 1952 promovido por el imperio contra nuestro pequeño país, no pocas veces nos vimos en la necesidad de tomar importantes decisiones.

Cuando ya no quedaba alternativa alguna, otros jóvenes, de cualquier otra nación en nuestra compleja situación, hacían o se proponían hacer lo mismo que nosotros, aunque en el caso particular de Cuba el azar, como tantas veces en la historia, jugó un papel decisivo.

A partir del drama creado en nuestro país por Estados Unidos en aquella fecha, sin otro objetivo que frenar el riesgo de limitados avances sociales que pudieran alentar futuros de cambios radicales en la propiedad yanki en que había sido convertida Cuba, se engendró nuestra Revo­lución Socialista.

La Segunda Guerra Mundial, finalizada en 1945, consolidó el poder de Estados Unidos como principal potencia económica y militar, y convirtió ese país —cuyo territorio estaba distante de los campos de batalla— en el más poderoso del planeta.

La aplastante victoria de 1959, podemos afirmarlo sin sombra de chovinismo, se convirtió en ejemplo de lo que una pequeña nación, luchando por sí misma, puede hacer también por los demás.

Los países latinoamericanos, con un mínimo de honrosas excepciones, se lanzaron tras las migajas ofrecidas por Estados Unidos; por ejemplo, la cuota azucarera de Cuba, que durante casi un siglo y medio abasteció a ese país en sus años críticos, fue repartida entre productores ansiosos de mercados en el mundo.

El ilustre general norteamericano que presidía entonces ese país, Dwight D. Eisenhower, había dirigido las tropas coaligadas en la guerra en que liberaron, a pesar de contar con poderosos medios, solo una pequeña parte de la Europa ocupada por los nazis. El sustituto del presidente  Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, resultó ser el conservador tradicional que en Estados Unidos suele asumir tales responsabilidades políticas en los años difíciles.

La Unión de Repúblicas Socialistas Soviéticas —que constituyó hasta fines del pasado siglo XX, la más grandiosa nación de la historia en la lucha contra la explotación despiadada de los seres humanos— fue disuelta y sustituida por una Federación que redujo la superficie de aquel gran Estado multinacional en no menos de cinco millones 500 mil kilómetros cuadrados.

Algo, sin embargo, no pudo ser disuelto: el espíritu heroico del pueblo ruso, que unido a sus hermanos del resto de la URSS ha sido capaz de preservar una fuerza tan poderosa que junto a la República Popular China y países como Brasil, India y Sudáfrica, constituyen un grupo con el poder necesario para frenar el intento de recolonizar el planeta.

Dos ejemplos ilustrativos de estas realidades los vivimos en la República Popular de Angola. Cuba, como otros mu­chos países socialistas y movimientos de liberación, colaboró con ella y con otros que luchaban contra el dominio portugués en África. Este se ejercía de forma administrativa directa con el apoyo de sus aliados.

La solidaridad con Angola era uno de los puntos esenciales del Movimiento de Países No Alineados y del Campo So­cialista. La independencia de ese país se hizo inevitable y era aceptada por la co­munidad mundial.

El Estado racista de Sudáfrica y el Go­bierno corrupto del antiguo Congo Belga, con el apoyo de aliados europeos, se preparaban esmeradamente para la conquista y el reparto de Angola. Cuba, que desde hacía años cooperaba con la lucha de ese pueblo, recibió la solicitud de Agostinho Neto para el entrenamiento de sus fuerzas armadas que, instaladas en Luanda, la capital del país, debían estar listas para su toma de posesión oficialmente establecida para el 11 de noviembre de 1975. Los soviéticos, fieles a sus compromisos, les habían suministrado equipos militares y esperaban solo el día de la independencia para enviar a los instructores. Cuba, por su parte, acordó el envío de los instructores solicitados por Neto.

El régimen racista de Sudáfrica, condenado y despreciado por la opinión mundial, decide adelantar sus planes y envía fuerzas motorizadas en vehículos blindados, dotados de potente artillería que, tras un avance de cientos de kilómetros a partir de su frontera, atacó el primer campamento de instrucción, donde varios instructores cubanos murieron en heroica resistencia. Tras varios días de combates sostenidos por aquellos valerosos instructores junto a los angolanos, lograron detener el avance de los sudafricanos hacia Luanda, la capital de Angola, adonde había sido enviado por aire un batallón de Tropas Especiales del Ministerio del Interior, transportado desde La Habana en los viejos aviones Britannia de nuestra línea aérea.

Así comenzó aquella épica lucha en aquel país de África negra, tiranizado por los racistas blancos, en la que batallones de infantería motorizada y brigadas de tanques, artillería blindada y medios adecuados de lucha, rechazaron a las fuerzas racistas de Sudáfrica y las obligaron a retroceder hasta la misma frontera de donde habían partido.

No fue únicamente ese año 1975 la etapa más peligrosa de aquella contienda. Esta tuvo lugar, aproximadamente 12 años más tarde, en el sur de Angola.

Así lo que parecía el fin de la aventura racista en el sur de Angola era solo el comienzo, pero al menos habían podido comprender que aquellas fuerzas revolucionarias de cubanos blancos, mulatos y negros, junto a los soldados angolanos, eran capaces de hacer tragar el polvo de la derrota a los supuestamente invencibles racistas. Tal vez confiaron entonces en su tecnología, sus riquezas y el apoyo del imperio dominante.

Aunque no fuese nunca nuestra intención, la actitud soberana de nuestro país no dejaba de tener contradicciones con la propia URSS, que tanto hizo por nosotros en días realmente difíciles, cuando el corte de los suministros de combustible a Cuba desde Estados Unidos nos habría llevado a un prolongado y costoso conflicto con la poderosa potencia del Norte. De­sa­parecido ese peligro o no, el dilema era decidirse a ser libres o resignarse a ser esclavos del poderoso imperio vecino.

En situación tan complicada como el acceso de Angola a la independencia, en lucha frontal contra el neocolonialismo, era imposible que no surgieran diferencias en algunos aspectos de los que po­dían derivarse consecuencias graves para los objetivos trazados, que en el caso de Cuba, como parte en esa lucha, tenía el derecho y el deber de conducirla al éxito. Siempre que a nuestro juicio cualquier aspecto de nuestra política internacional podía chocar con la política estratégica de la URSS, hacíamos lo posible por evitarlo. Los objetivos comunes exigían de cada cual el respeto a los méritos y experiencias de cada uno de ellos. La modestia no está reñida con el análisis serio de la complejidad e importancia de cada situación, aunque en nuestra política siempre fuimos muy estrictos con todo lo que se refería a la solidaridad con la Unión Soviética.

En momentos decisivos de la lucha en Angola contra el imperialismo y el racismo se produjo una de esas contradicciones, que se derivó de nuestra participación directa en aquella contienda y del hecho de que nuestras fuerzas no solo luchaban, sino que también instruían cada año a miles de combatientes angolanos, a los cuales apoyábamos en su lucha contra las fuerzas pro yankis y pro racistas de Sudáfrica. Un militar soviético era el asesor del gobierno y planificaba el empleo de las fuerzas angolanas. Discrepábamos, sin embargo, en un punto y por cierto importante: la reiterada frecuencia con que se defendía el criterio erróneo de emplear en aquel país las tropas angolanas mejor entrenadas a casi mil quinientos kilómetros de distancia de Luanda, la capital, por la concepción propia de otro tipo de guerra, nada parecida a la de carácter subversivo y guerrillera de los contrarrevolucionarios angolanos. En realidad no existía una capital de la UNITA, ni Savimbi tenía un punto donde resistir, se trataba de un señuelo de la Sudáfrica racista que servía solo para atraer hacia allí las mejores y más suministradas tropas angolanas para golpearlas a su antojo. Nos oponíamos por tanto a tal concepto que más de una vez se aplicó, hasta la última en la que se demandó golpear al enemigo con nuestras propias fuerzas lo que dio lugar a la batalla de Cuito Cuanavale. Diré que aquel prolongado enfrentamiento militar contra el ejército sudafricano se produjo a raíz de la última ofensiva contra la supuesta “capital de Savimbi” —en un lejano rincón de la frontera de Angola, Sudáfrica y la Namibia ocupada—, hacia donde las valientes fuerzas angolanas, partiendo de Cuito Cuanavale, antigua base militar desactivada de la OTAN, aunque bien equipadas con los más nuevos carros blindados, tanques y otros medios de combate, iniciaban su marcha de cientos de kilómetros hacia la supuesta capital contrarrevolucionaria. Nuestros audaces pilotos de combate los apoyaban con los Mig-23 cuando estaban todavía dentro de su radio de acción.

Cuando rebasaban aquellos límites, el enemigo golpeaba fuertemente a los valerosos soldados de las FAPLA con sus aviones de combate, su artillería pesada y sus bien equipadas fuerzas terrestres, ocasionando cuantiosas bajas en muertos y heridos. Pero esta vez se dirigían, en su persecución de las golpeadas brigadas angolanas, hacia la antigua base militar de la OTAN.

Las unidades angolanas retrocedían en un frente de varios kilómetros de ancho con brechas de kilómetros de separación entre ellas. Dada la gravedad de las pérdidas y el peligro que podía derivarse de ellas, con seguridad se produciría la solicitud habitual del asesoramiento al Presidente de Angola para que apelara al apoyo cubano, y así ocurrió. La respuesta firme esta vez fue que tal solicitud se aceptaría solo si todas las fuerzas y medios de combate angolanos en el Frente Sur se subordinaban al mando militar cubano. El resultado inmediato fue que se aceptaba aquella condición.

Con rapidez se movilizaron las fuerzas en función de la batalla de Cuito Cuanavale, donde los invasores sudafricanos y sus armas sofisticadas se estrellaron contra las unidades blindadas, la artillería convencional y los Mig-23 tripulados por los audaces pilotos de nuestra aviación. La artillería, tanques y otros medios angolanos ubicados en aquel punto que carecían de personal fueron puestos en disposición combativa por personal cubano. Los tanques angolanos que en su retirada no podían vencer el obstáculo del caudaloso río Queve, al Este de la antigua base de la OTAN —cuyo puente había sido destruido semanas antes por un avión sudafricano sin piloto, cargado de explosivos— fueron enterrados y rodeados de minas antipersonal y antitanques. Las tropas sudafricanas que avanzaban se toparon a poca distancia con una barrera infranqueable contra la cual se estrellaron. De esa forma con un mínimo de bajas y ventajosas condiciones, las fuerzas sudafricanas fueron contundentemente derrotadas en aquel territorio angolano.

Pero la lucha no había concluido, el imperialismo con la complicidad de Israel había convertido a Sudáfrica en un país nuclear. A nuestro ejército le tocaba por segunda vez el riesgo de convertirse en un blanco de tal arma. Pero ese punto, con todos los elementos de juicio pertinentes, está por elaborarse y tal vez se pueda escribir en los meses venideros.

¿Qué sucesos ocurrieron anoche que dieron lugar a este prolongado análisis? Dos hechos, a mi juicio, de especial trascendencia:

La partida de la primera Brigada Mé­dica Cubana hacia África a luchar contra el Ébola.

El brutal asesinato en Caracas, Vene­zuela, del joven diputado revolucionario Robert Serra.

Ambos hechos reflejan el espíritu heroico y la capacidad de los procesos revolucionarios que tienen lugar en la Patria de José Martí y en la cuna de la libertad de América, la Venezuela heroica de Simón Bolívar y Hugo Chávez.

¡Cuántas asombrosas lecciones encierran estos acontecimientos! Apenas las palabras alcanzan para expresar el valor moral de tales hechos, ocurridos casi simultáneamente.

No podría jamás creer que el crimen del joven diputado venezolano sea obra de la casualidad. Sería tan increí­ble, y de tal modo ajustado a la práctica de los peores organismos yankis de inteligencia, que la verdadera casualidad fuera que el repugnante hecho no hubiera sido realizado intencionalmente, más aún cuando se ajusta absolutamente a lo previsto y anunciado por los enemigos de la Revolución Venezolana.

De todas formas me parece absolutamente correcta la posición de las autoridades venezolanas de plantear la necesidad de investigar cuidadosamente el carácter del crimen. El pueblo, sin embargo, expresa conmovido su profunda convicción sobre la naturaleza del brutal hecho de sangre.

El envío de la primera Brigada Médica a Sierra Leona, señalado como uno de los puntos de mayor presencia de la cruel epidemia de Ébola, es un ejemplo del cual un país puede enorgullecerse, pues no es posible alcanzar en este instante un sitial de mayor honor y gloria. Si nadie tuvo la menor duda de que los cientos de miles de combatientes que fueron a An­gola y a otros países de África o América, prestaron a la humanidad un ejemplo que no podrá borrarse nunca de la historia humana; menos dudaría que la acción heroica del ejército de batas blancas ocupará un altísimo lugar de honor en esa historia.

No serán los fabricantes de armas letales los que alcancen merecido honor. Ojalá el ejemplo de los cubanos que marchan al África prenda también en la mente y el corazón de otros médicos en el mundo, especialmente de aquellos que poseen más recursos, practiquen una religión u otra, o la convicción más profunda del deber de la solidaridad humana.

Es dura la tarea de los que marchan al combate contra el Ébola y por la supervivencia de otros seres humanos, aun al riesgo de su propia vida. No por ello debemos dejar de hacer lo imposible por garantizarle, a los que tales deberes cumplan, el máximo de seguridad en las ta­reas que desempeñen y en las medidas a tomar para protegerlos a ellos y a nuestro propio pueblo, de esta u otras enfermedades y epidemias.

El personal que marcha al África nos está protegiendo también a los que aquí quedamos, porque lo peor que puede ocurrir es que tal epidemia u otras peores se extiendan por nuestro continente, o en el seno del pueblo de cualquier país del mundo, donde un niño, una madre o un ser humano pueda morir. Hay suficientes médicos en el planeta para que nadie tenga que morir por falta de asistencia. Es lo que deseo expresar.

¡Honor y gloria para nuestros valerosos combatientes por la salud y la vida!

¡Honor y gloria para el joven revolucionario venezolano Robert Serra junto a la compañera María Herrera!

Estas ideas las escribí el dos de octubre cuando supe ambas noticias, pero preferí esperar un día más para que la opinión internacional se informara bien y pedirle a Granma que lo publicara el sábado.

Fidel Castro Ruz

Octubre 2 de 2014

8 y 47 p.m.