[Marxism] Fidel on Marulanda, Ingrid Betancourt, and journalistic tasks

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Fri Jul 4 06:23:58 MDT 2008

The true story and the challenge of the Cuban journalists
by Fidel Castro


Yesterday, an important event took place, which will be an issue the
following days. This is the release of Ingrid Betancourt and a group
of people held by the FARC, that is, the Revolutionary Armed Forces
from Colombia.

On January 10th this year, our ambassador to Venezuela, German
Sanchez, following a request of the Venezuelan and Colombian
governments, took part in the release of Clara Rojas to the
International Red Cross. She had been a candidate to vice President
of Colombia when Ingrid Betancourt was running for President and was
kidnapped on February 23, 2002. Consuelo Gonzalez, a member of the
House of Representatives, kidnapped on September 10, 2001, was
released with her.

An era of peace was opening for Colombia. This is a process Cuba has
been supporting for over two decades, as it is most convenient for
the unity and peace of the peoples of our America, using new ways in
the special and complex circumstances prevailing after the demise of
the USSR in the early 1990s --which I wont try to analyze here-- very
different from those existing in Cuba, Nicaragua and other countries
in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s of the 20th century.

The bombing of a camp in Ecuadorian soil in the early hours of March
1st, --while Colombian guerrillas and young visitors from different
nationalities were sleeping-- using Yankee technology; the occupation
of the territory, the coup de grace on the wounded and the kidnapping
of corpses as part of the terrorist plan from the United States
government was repudiated the world over.

A Rio Group meeting was then held in the Dominican Republic on March
7th. There the events were strongly condemned while the US
administration applauded.

Manuel Marulanda, a peasant and communist militant, the main leader
of that guerrilla founded almost half a century ago was still alive.
He passed away on the 26th of that same month.

Ingrid Betancourt, feeble and sick, as well as other captives with a
serious health condition could hardly resist any longer.

Out of a basically humanist sentiment, we rejoiced at the news that
Ingrid Betancourt, three American citizens and other captives had
been released. The civilians should have never been kidnapped neither
should the militaries have been kept prisoners in the conditions of
the jungle. These were objectively cruel actions. No revolutionary
purpose could justify it. The time will come when the subjective
factors should be analyzed in depth.

We won our revolutionary war in Cuba by immediately releasing every
prisoner absolutely unconditionally. The soldiers and officers
captured in battle were released to the International Red Cross; we
only kept their weapons. No soldier will ever surrender if he thinks
he will be killed or subjected to cruel treatment.

We are watching with concern how the imperialists try to capitalize
on what happened in Colombia in order to hide and justify their
heinous crimes of genocide against other peoples. They want to
deflect international attention from their interventionist plans in
Venezuela and Bolivia and from the presence of the 4th Fleet in
support of the political line that intends to obliterate the
independence of the countries located south of the United States
while taking possession of their natural resources.

These should be illustrative examples for all of our journalists. In
our times, truth is navigating rough seas, where the mass media are
in the hands of those threatening human survival with their immense
economic, technologic and military resources. That’s the challenge
faced by the Cuban journalists!

Fidel Castro Ruz

July 3, 2008

4:26 p.m.


     Los Angeles, California
     Editor-in-Chief, CubaNews
     "Cuba - Un Paraíso bajo el bloqueo"

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