Reflections by the Commander in Chief
Another argument for the Manifesto
Why did I once claim, in one of my
reflections, that Bush had authorized or ordered my death?
That phrase may appear ambiguous and vague.
Perhaps it would be more accurate, though even more confusing, to
say that he both authorized and ordered my death. Allow me to
The denunciation surrounding his plan to
assassinate me was made before he snatched an electoral victory
from his opponent through fraud.
As early as August 5, 2000, I denounced these
plans in Pinar del Rio, before a vast congregation of combative
citizens who had gathered there for the traditional July 26
festivities, held in that province, in Villa Clara and Ciudad de
La Habana in recognition of their merits that year.
Attempts to identify those responsible for the
hundreds of plans to assassinate me meet with a shroud of secrecy.
All direct and indirect means have been used to bring about my
removal. Following Nixon’s morally forced renunciation Ford
forbade the participation of government employees in assassination
I am convinced that Carter, bound by ethical
convictions of a religious nature, would never have ordered any
such action against me. He was the only U.S. president who had a
gesture of friendship towards Cuba in several important areas,
including the establishment of the U.S. Interests Section in Cuba.
I don’t know that Clinton ever ordered my death,
so I cannot accuse him of such an action. Unquestionably, he
showed respect for the law and acted with political savvy when he
accepted the judicial decision that called for the kidnapped
child's return to his father and closest relatives, a decision by
then backed by the overwhelming majority of the U.S. people.
However, it is also a fact that, during his
administration, Posada Carriles hired Central American mercenaries
to place bombs in the hotels and recreational centers of cities
like Havana and Varadero in order to strike at Cuba's economy, hit
by the blockade and the special period. The terrorist had no
reservations about declaring that the young Italian tourist who
perished in one of the explosions was "in the wrong place at the
wrong time", a phrase Bush repeated recently like the line from a
poem. The money and even the electronic materials used to assemble
those bombs were provided by the Cuban American National
Foundation (CANF), which distributed the handsome sums at its
disposal through shameless lobbying with members of different
parties at the U.S. Congress.
At the close of 1997, the 7th Latin American
Summit of Heads of State and Government, which I was obliged to
attend, was to be held on Isla Margarita, Venezuela.
On October 27 that year, a vessel called "La
Esperanza" was en route to Isla Margarita. While sailing very
close to Puerto Rican coasts, it was intercepted by a patrol boat
of the Coast Guard and Customs Service of that occupied island on
suspicion of drug trafficking. On the vessel were four Cuban-born
terrorists carrying two 50-calibre Barrett semi-automatic assault
rifles with infrared-guided telescopic sights, capable of
delivering precision rounds to armor-plated vehicles and planes in
mid-air or about to take off or land from a distance of over a
thousand meters, and 7 boxes of munitions.
The semi-automatic rifles were the property of
Francisco José Hernández, Chairman of the Cuban American National
Foundation. The yacht "La Esperanza" was the registered property
of José Antonio Llamas, one of the directors of that
counterrevolutionary organization. Recently, the latter declared
that CANF had purchased a cargo helicopter, ten ultra-light,
remote-controlled planes, seven ships and abundant explosive
materials, with the express aim of executing terrorist actions
against Cuba. The organization also had another yacht at its
disposal, the "Midnight Express", which, according to Llamas, was
to transport the Chairman —the head of heads— Mas Canosa to the
island, where he would declare himself President after Fidel had
been assassinated and his government overthrown.
American officers in Puerto Rico had no choice but
to turn the four crew members over to the courts. In Venezuela,
Posada Carriles was to coordinate the execution of the plan. He
was expected to arrive there at any moment.
Could U.S. authorities, who generated and provided
the Foundation with public funds and million-dollar businesses,
have been unaware of these facts?
In December 1999, the detainees
were acquitted by an indulgent jury, for "lack of evidence". The
rigged proceedings were manipulated by Héctor Pesquera, corrupt
FBI officer who was later rewarded with the directorship of FBI
headquarters in Miami and was a key figure in the arrest of the
five Cuban anti-terrorist activists in Florida.
The notorious Cuban-American mafia was preparing
for the November 2000 presidential elections. Both parties were
contending for its support, for the Florida state could tilt the
balance. The chieftains, of pure Batista stock, were the experts
in committing fraud.
In the address I mentioned above, I literally said,
among other things:
"The so-called Republican Convention has just
come to an end. It was held in none other than the city of
Philadelphia, home to the famous 1776 Declaration of Independence.
Actually, (…) those slaveholders who rebelled against the British
colonial rule did not abolish the disgraceful practice of slavery
--which remained in effect for almost a whole century longer (…).
"(…) the first announcement made at the Republican
Convention just held in Philadelphia under the leadership of the
party’s illustrious candidate, [in violation of major
international agreements], was the plan to considerably raise the
military budget for research and development, and the construction
of an antimissile shield to cover the entire nation with a radar
network that could detect enemy missiles en route to U.S.
territory and shoot them down in mid-air.
"Those holding these views are unable to
understand that such a policy would meet with the overwhelming
opposition of the rest of the world, including Europe. That, like
a magnet, it would bring together all those nations threatened by
a strategy that would leave them helpless against the United
States. A new, dangerous and extremely costly arms race would
immediately follow and nothing could prevent the proliferation of
nuclear arms and other weapons of mass destruction".
I dared predict these events seven years before
Bush’s recent visit to the Albanian capital, which was the subject
of one of my reflections.
I continued my address as follows:
"The authors of the plan know very well that
slightly more than half the American people, who are still
confused and insufficiently informed about this complex issue,
believe that to be the most suitable solution in the interest of
the country’s peace and security. However, the adoption of this
extreme position by the Republican candidate vis à vis any other
more sensible or reasonable proposal from his opponent would
present him to voters as the strong, farsighted, tough guy that
the United States needs to confront all imaginary or real dangers.
This is the good news they sent out from Philadelphia to all of
the peoples on Earth".
This was still well before witnessing the
occupation of Afghanistan and the plans to unleash a war against
I proceeded to denounce Bush’s program vis-à-vis
"What does this smart platform have to offer Latin
America and the Caribbean in particular? There is a phrase that
says it all: "The next American century should include all of the
Americas." This simple statement means no less than the
proclamation of the United States’ right of ownership over Latin
America and the Caribbean.
"It later adds: ‘In concert with the Congress, (the
president) will work with key democracies (…) and --above all--
Mexico.’ (…). Particularly striking is the phrase that reads: ‘...and
--above all—Mexico’ since that is a country they robbed of half
its territory through an unjustifiable, expansionist war. Their
obvious intent is to begin with the economic annexation and full
political subordination of that country to the United States and
then do likewise with the rest of the countries in our region,
imposing a free trade agreement essentially favorable to U.S.
interests, from which not even the tiniest Caribbean island could
escape. They mean, of course, the free circulation of capital and
commodities, not the people!
"As expected, the highly biased Philadelphia
platform devotes a substantial part of its section on Latin
America to Cuba: ‘Our economic and political relations will change
when the Cuban regime frees all political prisoners, legalizes
peaceful protest, allows opposition political activity, permits
free expression, and commits to democratic elections.’ For the
authors of this demagogic abomination, freedom and democracy mean
an outdated, corrupt system in which it is money alone that
decides and elects, and in which a presidential candidate is
nominated, with lightning speed, as the heir to a vacant throne".
"Another wire story reports that: ‘The platform,
aside from active support for the enemies of the Revolution,
includes the broadcasting of news from the United States to the
Caribbean nation.’ That is, they intend to keep up with the filth
spewed against Cuba by subversive radio stations located in U.S.
territory; they will persist in the outrageous use of the name of
José Martí --a name that is glorious and sacred to our people-- in
official U.S. government broadcasts directed against Cuba".
"[At a press conference, U.S. legislators of Cuban
descent euphorically squealed]: ‘This is unprecedented language.
Never before has the Republican Party made such a broad commitment’".
"To top off the mountain of garbage contained in
the Republican platform, it is finally stated: ‘Republicans
believe that the United States should adhere to the principles
established by the 1966 Cuban Adjustment Act, which recognizes the
rights of Cuban refugees fleeing communist tyranny’".
"The prestige of the imperial policy will so
crumble that not even its dust will remain. We will systematically
denounce and demolish one by one, its hypocrisy and lies. They
obviously have absolutely no idea what kinds of people have been
forged in these 40 years of Revolution.
"Our message will reach all corners of the Earth,
and our struggle will serve as an example. The world, ever more
ungovernable, will fight until hegemony and the subjugation of
peoples become totally unsustainable.
"Whoever is elected leader of the empire should
not ignore that Cuba demands the total removal of the murderous
Cuban Adjustment Act and the criminal pieces of legislation that
bear the notorious names of Torricelli and Helms-Burton as well as
the genocidal blockade and economic war. It should be noted that
those who have authored, promoted and enforced these laws and
policies are guilty of the crime of genocide, as defined and
condemned by international treaties signed by both the United
States and Cuba".
"They must not forget that although no lawsuits
have been filed so far demanding compensation for moral damage --and
this compensation could be substantial-- the U.S. government
already owes the Cuban people over 300 billion dollars for the
human damage resulting from its mercenary invasion by the Bay of
Pigs, its dirty war and many other crimes".
"They should not entertain any illusion regarding
Cuba’s stance if relations between the United States and our
country ever become as normal as those currently existing with
other socialist countries like China and Vietnam. We will not
remain silent in the face of any crime, aggression or injustice
committed against other peoples. Our battle of ideas will not
cease as long as the current imperialist, hegemonic and unipolar
system is still in place and remains a scourge of humanity and a
mortal threat to the survival of our species.
"A growing number of millions of Americans are
becoming aware of the horrors of the economic and political order
imposed on the world".
"The Cuban Revolution does not merely confide in
the moral integrity and patriotic and revolutionary spirit of its
people, and in the survival instinct of the human species, whose
very existence is threatened. It also believes and confides in the
traditional idealism of the American people that can only be led
into unjust wars and shameful aggressions through vulgar deceit.
Once demagoguery and lies are definitely exposed and defeated, the
world will find excellent allies in the American people. This is
what happened in the case of the repugnant war that cost the lives
of millions of Vietnamese and over 50,000 young Americans. A more
recent example is the American people noble support of a little
boy and a Cuban family, victims of a brutal crime perpetrated by a
band of criminals who, after having taken advantage of that
country’s hospitality, ended up showing their hatred and
frustration by trampling and burning the U.S. flag.
"The changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba must be
unilateral because the U.S. leaders have unilaterally imposed the
blockade and economic war against Cuba".
"From here, from this province where the Bronze
Titan ultimately crowned, in Mantua, the colossal feat of the
invasion he had begun in Mangos de Baraguá, we say to them: You
fools! Do you not understand that Cuba is impregnable, that its
Revolution is indestructible, that its people will never bow down
or surrender? Do you not realize that our patriotism and
internationalism are as deeply rooted in our minds and hearts as
the imposing mogotes of Pinar del Río are in the volcanic
rocks of this part of an island that is called Cuba and is
surrounded today by the halo of having successfully endured almost
42 years of blockade and aggression by the most formidable power
that ever existed?
"We are defended by the strength of our prestige
and the example we have set, the indestructible steel that is the
justice of our cause, the inextinguishable fire of our truth and
our morale as well as the double trench of stone and ideas that we
have built which is unassailable.
"That is why, Mr. Bush, if you finally become the
leader of what no longer is and can no longer be called a republic
but rather an empire, then, in the spirit of an honest adversary,
I suggest that you leave aside the euphoria and fever of your
Convention, and reconsider your position in order to avoid the
risk of becoming the tenth American president to come and go
watching with sterile and unnecessary bitterness a Revolution that
will not bow down or surrender and that can never be destroyed.
"I am very much aware of what you have recklessly
told your close and indiscreet friends in the Cuban-American mob:
that you can solve the problem of Cuba very easily, in clear
reference to the methods used in the sinister era when the Central
Intelligence Agency was directly involved in assassination plots
against our country’s leaders. Because I do not share this narrow
view of the role of individuals in history, I urge you not to
forget that for every one of the revolutionary leaders you may
decide to so remove, there are millions of men and women in Cuba
who are capable of taking their places and altogether there are
far more of them than you could ever remove, or that your immense
political, economic and military power could ever defeat".
I believe this long reflection is yet another
argument in support of what I expounded on in the Manifesto for
the People of Cuba.
Fidel Castro Ruz
June 24, 2007