National Assembly Address
Dear comrade Alarcón:
Please read the following message, addressed to the National Assembly, when you open the morning session.
A heartfelt embrace,
Fidel Castro Ruz
December 27, 2007
Comrades of the National Assembly:
You have no easy task on your hands. On January 1st, 1959, surrounded by the accumulated and deepening grievances that our society inherited from its neo-colonial past under
Nearly 50 years since the triumph of the Revolution, we can justifiably feel proud of ourselves, as we have held our ground, for almost half a century, in the struggle against the most powerful empire ever to exist in history. In the Proclamation I signed on July 31, 2006, none of you saw any signs of nepotism or an attempt to usurp parliamentary powers. That year, at once difficult and promising for the Revolution, the unity of the people, the Party and State were essential to continue moving forward and to face the declared threat of a military action by the United States.
This past December 24, during his visit to the various districts of the municipality which honored me with the nomination of candidate to parliament, Raúl noted that all of the numerous candidates proposed by the people of a district famous for its combativeness, but with a low educational level, had completed their higher education. This, as he said on Cuban television, made a profound impression in him.
Party, State and Government cadres and grassroots organizations face new problems in their work with an intelligent, watchful and educated people who detest bureaucratic hurdles and inconsiderate justifications. Deep down, every citizen wages an individual battle against humanity's innate tendency to stick to its survival instincts, a natural law which governs all life.
We are all born marked by that instinct, which science defines as primary. Coming face to face with this instinct is rewarding because it leads us to a dialectical process and to a constant and altruistic struggle, bringing us closer to Martí and making us true communists.
What the international press has emphasized most in its reports on
We also face great risks that threaten the human species as a whole. This has become more and more evident to me since I predicted, for the first time in Rio de Janeiro, --over 15 years ago, in June 1992-- that a species was threatened with extinction as a result of the destruction of its natural habitat. Today, the number of people who understand the real danger of this grows every day.
A recent book by Joseph Stiglitz, former Vice-President of the World Bank and President Clinton's chief economic advisor until 2002, Nobel Prize laureate and bestselling author in the
Few people are aware of these facts. The same economic system which forced this unsustainable wastefulness on us impedes the distribution of Stiglitz' book. Only a few thousand copies of an excellent edition have been published, enough to guarantee a margin of profit. This responds to a market demand, which the publishing house cannot ignore if it is to survive.
Today, we know that life on Earth has been protected by the ozone layer, located in the atmosphere’s outer ring, at an altitude between 15 to 50 kilometers, in the region known as the stratosphere, which acts as the planet’s shield against the type of solar radiation which can prove harmful. There are greenhouse gases whose warming potential is higher than that of carbon dioxide and which widen the hole in the ozone layer above
To have a clear sense of this phenomenon, suffice it to say that the world produces an average of 4.37 metric tons of carbon dioxide per capita. In the case of the
The ozone layer, in brief, protects us from ultraviolet and heat radiation which affects the immune system, sight, skin and life of human beings. Under extreme conditions, the destruction of that layer by human beings would affect all forms of life on the planet.
Other problems, foreign to our nation and many others under similar conditions, also threaten us. A victorious counterrevolution would spell a disaster for us, worse than
General Suharto, who overthrew him, had been trained by Japanese occupation forces. At the conclusion of World War II,
The news on the events in
The extraordinary circumstances faced by
There hasn't been a day in my life in which I haven't learned something.
Martí taught us that "all of the world's glory fits in a kernel of corn". Many times have I said and repeated this phrase, which carries in eleven words a veritable school of ethics.
Fortunately, exemplary conducts will continue to flourish with the consciousness of our peoples as long as our species exists.
I am certain that many young Cubans, in their struggle against the Giant in the Seven-League Boots, would do as they did. Money can buy everything save the soul of a people who has never gone down on its knees.
I read the brief and concise report which Raúl wrote and sent me. We must not waste a minute as we continue to move forward. I will raise my hand, next to you, to show my support.
Fidel Castro Ruz
December 27, 2007