Reflections of Fidel
My shoes pinch
WHILE the damaged reactors are emitting radioactive
smoke in Japan and monstrous looking aircraft and
nuclear submarines are launching lethal guided
missiles over Libya, a North African Third World
country with barely six million inhabitants, Barack
Obama was telling Chileans a story similar to the
ones I heard when I was four years old: “My little
shoes are pinching me, my stockings are hot; but the
little kiss you gave me, I carry in my heart.”
of his listeners were left stunned in that Cultural
Center in Santiago de Chile.
the President looked anxiously at the audience after
mentioning the perfidious Cuba, expecting an
explosion of applause, there was a glacial silence.
Behind him, ah – blessed coincidence! – among the
other Latin American flags, was precisely the Cuban
he had looked over his right shoulder for one second
he would have seen, like a shadow, the symbol of the
Revolution on the rebel island which his powerful
country wanted, but was unable, to destroy.
Without any doubt, anyone at all would be
extraordinarily optimistic to think that the peoples
of Our America would applaud the 50th anniversary of
the mercenary invasion of Girón [Bay of Pigs], 50
years of cruel economic blockade of a sister
country, 50 years of threats and acts of terrorism
that have cost thousands of lives, 50 years of plots
to assassinate the leaders of the historic process.
felt myself alluded to in his words.
Effectively, I lent my services to the Revolution
for a very long time, but I never avoided risks or
violated constitutional, ideological or ethical
principles; I regret not having been in better
health so as to continue serving.
I became sick, I unhesitatingly renounced all my
state and political responsibilities, including that
of first secretary of the Party and I never
attempted to exercise them after the proclamation of
July 31, 2006, not even when I partially recovered
my health more than a year later, even though
everyone continued to affectionately address me in
I remain and will continue being what I promised: a
soldier of ideas, as long as I can think or breathe.
Obama was questioned about the coup d’état against
the heroic President Salvador Allende, promoted like
many others by the United States, and the mysterious
death of Eduardo Frei Montalva, assassinated by
agents of the DINA, a creation of the U.S.
government, he lost his presence of mind and began
Without any doubt, at the end of his speech, the
commentator on Chilean television was totally
accurate when he stated that Obama had nothing to
offer the hemisphere.
my part, I do not want to give the impression of
feeling any hatred toward a person, and far less
toward the people of the United States, whom I
acknowledge for the contribution to culture and
science made by many of their sons and daughters.
Obama now has before him a visit to El Salvador,
tomorrow, Tuesday. There he will have to invent a
lot, because in that sister Central American nation
the weapons and advisors that it received from his
country were responsible for much bloodshed.
wish him bon voyage and a little more good sense.
Fidel Castro Ruz
March 21, 2011
Translated by Granma International