[Marxism] Re: Welcoming Pope John Paul II to Cuba - Fidel Castros Speech 1998

Lueko Willms l.willms at jpberlin.de
Sat Apr 2 13:56:00 MST 2005

.    On  02.04.05
  wrote  L.Willms at JPBERLIN.de (Lueko Willms)
     on  marxism at lists.econ.utah.edu
     in  9U5BWbiuflB at jpberlin-l.willms.jpberlin.de
  about  Welcoming Pope John Paul II to Cuba - Fidel Castros Speech 1998

LW>    After Pope John Paul II has finally crossed over the line from
LW> life to death, Fidel Castro's speech at the welcoming ceremony for
LW> this Pope's visit to Cuba in January 1998 might serve as orbituary:

   And, as sequel, Fidel Castro's farewell for the Pope John Paul II  
on his leave from Havanna on January 25, 1998

--------- schnipp -----------------------------------------

The Militant,
Vol.62/No.6           February 16, 1998

Castro: `Cuba Does Not Know Fear; It Steadfastly Defends Its Principles'


Below we reprint the speech given by Cuban president Fidel Castro at  
the January 25 ceremony concluding the visit of Pope John Paul II to  
Cuba. Translation is by the Militant.

Your Holiness, I believe we have given the world an excellent example:  
you, by visiting what some people call the last bastion of communism;  
we, by receiving the religious leaders said to have been responsible  
for the destruction of socialism in Europe. Some forecast apocalyptic  
events, others dreamed of them.

It was cruelly unjust that some associated your pastoral visit with  
the mean-spirited hope of destroying the noble aims and independence  
of a small country that has been subjected to blockade and full-scale  
economic war for nearly 40 years.

Your holiness, Cuba is like a new but 1,000 times smaller David, armed  
with the same sling as in biblical times. We are fighting for survival  
against a giant nuclear-age Goliath who is trying to prevent our  
development and bring us to our knees through hunger and illness. If  
this story had not been written then, it would have to be written now.  
This monstrous crime cannot be excused or overlooked.

Your Holiness, every time I hear or read the slanders contrived  
against my country and my people by those who love no other God than  
money, I always recall - as I mentioned the day you arrived - the  
Christians of ancient Rome, who were so atrociously slandered  
themselves. Throughout history, slander has often been used as the  
great justification for crimes against peoples. I also remember the  
Jews who were exterminated by the Nazis, and the four million  
Vietnamese who died as the result of napalm, chemical weapons, and  
bombs. The fact they were Christians, Jews, or communists did not give  
anyone the right to exterminate them.

Thousands of journalists have broadcast every detail of your visit,  
every word spoken, to millions of people around the world. Countless  
Cubans and visitors from abroad were interviewed throughout the  
country. Our national television stations broadcast live to our people  
every mass, homily, and speech. Perhaps never before has so much news  
and opinion about such a small nation been heard in such a short space  
of time and by so many people on our planet.

Cuba does not know fear; it despises lies, it listens with respect, it  
believes in its ideas, it steadfastly defends its principles, and has  
nothing to hide from the world.

I am moved by your holiness's efforts on behalf of a more just world.  
States will disappear, peoples will come to constitute one single  
human family. If that solidarity you proclaim is extended throughout  
the earth, and the abundance of wealth that humans are capable of  
producing with their skills and labor are equitably shared among all  
human beings currently inhabiting the planet, a world without hunger  
or poverty could really be created; a world without oppression or  
exploitation, without humiliation or contempt, without injustice or  
inequalities, where humanity could live with full moral and material  
dignity, in genuine liberty.

That would be the most just world! Your views on the gospel, on  
worldwide cooperation among people of faith, would not be in  
contradiction with such a world.

For the honor of your visit, for all your expressions of affection for  
Cubans, for all your words, even those with which I might disagree, in  
the name of all the people of Cuba, your holiness, I thank you.

------------------ schnapp --------------------------------

Lüko Willms                                     http://www.mlwerke.de
/--------- L.WILLMS at jpberlin.de -- Alle Rechte vorbehalten --

"Es sind nicht die Generäle und Könige, die die Geschichte machen,
sondern die breiten Massen des Volkes"                - Nelson Mandela

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