By MSc. María Inés Álvarez Garay (*)
– On the occasion of November 25th, 2016, date of the physical departure of the historical Cuban leader Fidel Castro
After almost 4 years of the physical departure of our eternal Commander-in-Chief, Fidel Castro, remembering him for his ideas, his principles and his dignity as a complete man is the best way to pay tribute to him.
His unlimited defense of Marti’s, anti-imperialist and anti-colonialist ideas, and his identification with Marxist and Leninist thought, made him the main protagonist of the liberating national Revolution in Cuba.
It is precisely Fidel who managed in Cuba to raise the internationalist and solidarity spirit of his people to its maximum expression. This was demonstrated from the student stage and during his historic plea known as History will absolve me in 1953, where he defended the political program that would guide the revolutionary process in case of victory. Among the exposed aspects was their position of solidarity:
“[…] Cuban policy in America would be one of close solidarity with the democratic peoples of the continent and that the political persecuted of the bloody tyrannies that oppress sister nations, would find in the homeland of Martí, not like today, persecution, hunger and treason, but generous asylum, brotherhood and bread. Cuba should be a bastion of freedom and not a shameful link of despotism ”.
Solidarity is conceptually the bond that unites men and peoples in such a way that the well-being of one determines that of the other. Union, accession, joint responsibility.
For the Cuban people, solidarity is a universal human principle that accompanies man since society arises; it is educated and cultivated in the family, in school, in the community, through teaching; it can become a value in the personality of individuals and becomes a conviction when it is made aware and expressed in the behavior and attitude in the family, the community and in the social relationships established by men, and in our international aid to all the needy peoples of the planet.
Upon assuming the presidency of the Movement of Non-Aligned Countries (NAM), Fidel then reaffirmed the internationalist and supportive character of the Cuban Revolution, which is fully valid today: «In international relations we practice our solidarity with deeds, not with beautiful words», he asserted.
The largest of the Antilles has not tired of demonstrating to the world the value and altruistic principles that guide its society, that new man who has formed and who shakes the world for his values, principles, professional ethics, selflessness and humanism, qualities that are identified in their daily actions that only reflect the teachings of our eternal Commander-in-Chief, who was and is one of the most relevant personalities of the contemporary World Revolutionary Movement, and educator, with his humanistic and supportive thinking, of millions of young people in planet Earth.
As Fidel expressed well in 1968:.
“Our duty today as a poor and underdeveloped people is the maximum effort to get out of poverty, misery, and underdevelopment. But in the future, we cannot think of full wealth while there are other peoples who need our help. And it is necessary that from now on we educate our people and educate our children … educate our people in that concept of internationalist duty, in that sense of internationalist duty. «
Today Cuban solidarity has reached the most remote corners of the planet, making history, collecting the recognition and gratitude of hundreds of thousands of grateful people: How can we not be in solidarity? How not to follow Fidel’s legacy when he said:
«To be internationalists is to pay off our own debt to humanity.»
There is no doubt that the internationalist spirit and solidarity that Fidel instilled in the Cuban people constitutes one of his greatest legacies. The statistics are eloquent: more than 400 thousand health workers have completed international missions, and on more than one occasion in many cases, in 164 nations.
Some of these missions are true feats, such as the fight against Ebola in Africa, against cholera in Haiti; against the aftermath of natural disasters, such as those carried out by the Henry Reeve International Contingent brigades in Pakistan, Indonesia, Mexico, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Venezuela, among other countries. In addition, in Cuba 35 thousand 613 health professionals from 138 countries have been trained for free.
But Cuba has done much more, even amid the fierce campaign to smear the United States against Cuban doctors. Numerous governments asked the Caribbean island for collaboration in health personnel, action protocols and medicines to combat the Covid-19 pandemic that is hitting the world, taking thousands of lives.
It is that the sun cannot be covered with a finger … Cuba has offered solidarity to the
peoples that have needed it. Its medical brigades have been deployed across the globe in an act of unprecedented generosity for humanity, and for the first time in rich Europe.
Cuba fights for a healthy world, health is everyone’s right and for that beautiful Antillean nation, the human being has the first place: We are altruistic and in solidarity by conviction, we are faithful to internationalist principles and to our addiction to save lives.
At present, 43 brigades are active in 33 countries and 2,523 professionals attend to patients who are victims of this lethal disease, which has spread throughout the planet, with more than 50 million infected since its appearance.
As a result of this feat are the voices of international organizations, personalities and peoples, requesting the Nobel Peace Prize for Cuban doctors.
Cuba is an exceptional country, it shares what it has and not what is left over, heals body and soul, and sows seeds of love, health and brotherhood in all corners of this needy world.
It is precisely those values that today must move the world, safeguard life, fight for health, and all of this is what Cuban doctors emanate.
The duty of a man is where it is most useful … so wrote the National Hero José Martí in a letter addressed to his mother Doña Leonor Pérez, on March 25th, 1895. When 125 years of that letter has elapsed, it is still evident in that universal Cuban, a deep commitment to society and inexhaustible patriotic sentiment.
«Doctors and not bombs», reiterated the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution and main promoter of the development of Sciences in Cuba, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro.
That is our motto. Saving lives and sharing what we are and have, at the price of any sacrifice, is what we offer the world from the United Nations, from which we only ask for a change in tune with the gravity of the moment. We are Cuba. Let us fight together for the promotion of peace, solidarity and development «, expressed President Miguel Díaz-Canel at the 75th regular session of the UN General Assembly.
For all this and much more we are faithful to your legacy, Fidel. Thank you, we live eternally proud of being Cubans and having been formed under your guidance and your brilliant ideas. You live forever in the hearts of all Cubans and of all the worthy and brave of this world.
(*) Professor and collaborator of the Cuban Medical Brigade in Gambia