Leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, addressed a letter to Executive Vice President of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, on occasion of the 8th anniversary of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA).
The full text of the message is posted below. It was read at Bolivar Square in Caracas this Saturday:
Dear Nicolás Maduro
On occasion of the anniveraries you are marking today, I would like to express that the absence of the President elected by more than 8 million Venezuelans shakes us all, filling us with consternation.
I met Hugo Chavez just 18 years ago. Someone had invited him to Cuba and he agreed. He told me he had the idea to request an interview with me. I was far from imagining that those Army men described as putschists by press reports, who had sow their ideas so discretely for years, were an elite group of Bolivarian revolutionaries. I welcomed Chavez in the airport, accompanied him to the place where he would stay and talked with him for hours, exchanging views.
The following day at the Main Lecture Hall of the University of Havana, everyone expressed his ideas.
Our views differ in aspects that have nothing to do with the political ideas and principles, and we not even talk about them.
Our medical cooperation with Venezuela started in the wake of the tragedy of Vargas, in which thousands of people died as a result of the neglect and lack of foresight under which the poorest population in that state lived.
Meanwhile, Venezuela has especially supported the peoples of the Caribbean, Central America and South America.
It developed strong links with Bolivia, Ecuador, Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and other countries and has relations with Russia, Belarus, Ukraine and other former Soviet republics. It does not forget Palestine or Libya. It pays special attention to its economic links and political relations with China. It supports the peoples of Africa. It practices a peaceful policy with all countries.
Hugo Chavez is admired and respected worldwide.
Everybody, even many of his opponents, wish him a prompt recovery. The doctors are fighting with optimism for that purpose.
As it is known, all Cuban revolutionaries support and follow the ideas of Jose Marti and Simon Bolivar. I am certain that you, with him and even without him, as painful as his absence might be, would be able to continue his work.
Long live Hugo Chavez!
Forever Until Victory!
Fidel Castro Ruz
December 15, 2012