1 Aug 2007
Fidel Castro’s latest article “The eternal flame”, published in the official Cuban newspaper Granma on August 1 2007, gave the closest hint yet that the ‘commandante’ may not return to his post as president of Cuba.
Stating that the one-year that he has spent recuperating from intestinal surgery and away from presidential functions is worth ten years as this has given him the opportunity to live “a unique experience”. That experience has “afforded me information and knowledge on vital questions facing humanity, knowledge I have conveyed to the people of Cuba with utmost honesty”. It should be recalled that for the past three months, Fidel Castro has been publishing articles on such issues like biofuels, American hegemony, trade embargo, and recent ones on the Latin American games.
Addressing the constant speculations about his possible return to power as president of Cuba, Fidel used the opportunity to chide the U.S –a country he usually refers to as “the empire”.
“Today, I am bombarded with questions as to when I will take up again what some call power, as though that power were possible without independence. The world knows [of the] real and destructive power, wielded by a decadent empire which threatens everyone”.
Fidel added that vice president Raul Castro consults him regularly when taking any important decision without explicitly addressing the question of his possible return to power. That could only be deduced from reading between the lines.
In what was seen as veiled confirmation of an irreversible transition in progress Fidel wrote;
“One year after the first Proclamation, I can share with the people of Cuba the satisfaction of seeing that what was then promised is reflected by today’s unquestionable reality: Raúl, the Party, the government, the National Assembly, the Young Communists League and grassroots and social organizations, headed by the workers, move forward, guided by the unshakable principle of unity.”
Fidel reserved his harshest criticism for those, led by the U.S government, who dream of an alternate transition in Cuba. “No one should entertain the slightest illusion that the empire, which carries the genes of its own destruction, will negotiate with Cuba. Though we have said, again and again, that our struggle is not against the people of the United Sates —something which is absolutely true— the latter is not in a position to curtail the apocalyptic impulses of its government or the foul and insane call for what they label a "democratic Cuba", as though leaders here put themselves forth and elect themselves without having to pass through that inflexible filter embodied by the overwhelming majority of an educated and cultivated people who must support them”.
The Cuban leader warned Cubans to “work untiringly” to strengthen their defense capabilities so that any invader of Cuba will pay an unbearable price. He paid tribute to those heroes that have sacrificed their lives for the Cuban revolution, mentioning in particular the recent occasion in which Raul Castro lit an eternal flame in honor of Frank Pais- a Cuban revolutionary that was killed by the Batista regime in 1957.
Fidel Castro 81 transferred power temporary to Raul Castro one year ago as he checked into the hospital to undergo intestinal surgery. He has since not appeared in public although there is evidence that his health has improved. There have been speculations that he could return to power but it is becoming apparent that he may opt for permanent retirement from active governance.
Njei Moses Timah