Elio Delgado Legon
HAVANA TIMES — Next August 13, the leader of the Cuban revolution, Fidel Castro, will turn 90. It seems incredible that a man who has been targeted by the Central Intelligence Agency for over 50 years should be reaching this age, not having locked himself up somewhere to stay out of harm’s reach, as Fidel Castro never failed to attend any of the activities he planned, neither in Cuba nor abroad.
Fidel Castro will continue to celebrate birthdays until, one day, as is only natural, he will cease to be among us physically, to go down in history as one of the greatest statesmen of the 20th and 21st century. Great men never truly die; they continue to live in the annals of history and in the hearts and memories of peoples.
Centuries will pass and, every 13th of August, his birthday will be celebrated in all corners of the planet where the Cuban revolution has offered its fraternal aid to make the lives easier of those excluded and marginalized by a selfish society, concerned only with its own, petty interests.
Fidel Castro is the man who has struggled the most for peace on earth and to protect the natural conditions that make human life possible. However, he has never even been considered for a Nobel Peace Prize, even though no one is as deserving of one as he is.
Many intellectuals around the world have praised Fidel Castro. I will limit myself to only a few comments because of space limitations.
“For he was born among the people and among the people he remains, which is why his greatness is the greatness of the Cuban people. Everything he’s done, all of his actions are the expression of the loftiest aspirations of Jose Marti’s homeland. The peace I believe in is not and will not be divorced from justice, freedom, the hope of a better world – and all of this is embodied by Fidel.” – Jorge Amado, Brazilian writer, 1986.
“He’s a sequoyah, an old, giant tree that, when others have been cut down, continues to stand, surrounded by those desperate to make the final cut. Then, we will be left with no one like him. We will have other marvelous people and we ourselves will have to be thus, but he is our inspiration.” – Alice Walker, US writer.
“When the word Fidel is heard from the mouth of a child, an adult, in addition to its direct value, it has a series of resonances, like the music produced by a harmonica, which touches the fibers of our sensibility, of our conscience. Fidel is the sculptor of the Cuban revolution.” – Julio Cortazar, Argentine intellectual, 1982.
“(…) I admire his leadership and I consider him to be one of the most important leaders in the world today. A certain international press has tried to disfigure Fidel’s image, but I don’t always believe all the international press says.” – George McGovern, former US Senator, 1982.
“The Cuban people and Fidel are offering us their heart, their lives, everything, and I believe this is a marvelous example of life, integrity, and we have to continue united, continue to struggle, because the struggle isn’t over.” – Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Nobel Peace Prize.
“Fidel Castro is the greatest man I have ever met. I’ve met many people, great musicians, great writers, great politicians. No one ever gave me the impression of fullness, of a full character, in all its dimensions, with each of their phrases, that Fidel did. The people are on the side of Fidel absolutely, the people of Cuba hope Fidel will live forever. The generalized belief in Latin America is that Cuba is the realization of all the peoples that aspire to be, it is our hope.” – Oswaldo Guayasamin, Ecuadorian painter and sculptor, 1991.
“Fidel is the hopeful light of a future with more solidarity and justice.” – Rafael Alberti, Spanish poet, 1996.
Time Does Not Devour Redeemers
A living statue of a stronger metal,
the monsters of gold and mud
could not kill you with the bullet or the poison
and want time to condemn you to death.
They count your hours, they like to see
your white, Hellenic beard,
and in the heights of their idle thinking
they are amused by your gray hairs.
The peoples, however, give you roses,
poems and songs, more because
you fulfill dreams than because you are growing older,
for the age of heroes and of geniuses
is not measured in days or years
but in long centuries and millennia.
– Jesus Orta Ruiza, Cuban poet, 1996.
These are the opinions of great men and women around the world, and it is the reason I claim Fidel is an eternal man.