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Dossier: Reflections by Cuban President Fidel Castro

(3 August 2007) Because of its importance, I am prioritizing this subject, among others. I am not going to deny that the prerogatives of power, whether real, relative or fictitious, have an influence on human beings, because they were all educated this way, right from the remotest of times of the species.

(31 July 2007) This is a political reflection. To be more precise: it is another proclamation. Exactly one year ago today, on July 31, 2006, I issued the first proclamation. But the year gone by is worth 10, for I have had the opportunity to live a unique experience which has afforded me information and knowledge on vital questions facing humanity, knowledge I have conveyed to the people of Cuba with the utmost honesty.

On the XV Pan American Games, Rio de Janeiro
(7 August 2007) Many important events are taking place around the world. Some are related to Cuba. Sometimes the news that reaches our country is much more interesting than a simple reflection of mine aimed at creating awareness. The BBC interview of Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, one of our Five Heroes, which was televised yesterday, had a profound impact on me; what human content, profundity and brilliance, qualities that could only come from a mind that has endured 9 years of unjust psychological torture.

(4 August 2007) I am writing this quickly and a little late. I should do this because of the strong emphasis I have placed in the analysis of this matter.

Do you think that you merely enjoy the Pan American Games? Think again, and you will realize that no matter your age, you run, jump, put the shots, throw javelins, discuses and hammers; soar above hurdles and tracks, relay batons, spike balls, score a basket, row, execute ippons, turn your rival over, follow strategies, splash water over yourself after running for two hours and even stop taking in the oxygen that your lungs are demanding.

What, from the technological and economic points of view, has been the worst problem faced by poor countries? The brain drain. What has been their worst problem in patriotic and educational terms? Talent theft.
(23 July 2007) A short while ago I was saying about the brain drain that is disgusting. A bit later, a good offensive player on the Cuban handball team showed up wearing the uniform of a professional Sao Paulo team.

(19 July 2007) Today, Thursday, I am writing for the sports page. It struck me to see the number of athletes injured in many of the sports, with the exception of swimming, ping pong, tennis and a few others. Professional status forces you to risk your life like a modern gladiator. When they are not felled by a real injury, they pretend like drama specialists.

(17 July 2007) Aren't you watching the Pan-American Games? I think I hear many Cubans asking. Of course I am! I answer; I can hardly get my eyes off the TV set. Sometimes I forget about the time when I should take some meal or pill. And then I complain because no one dared to pull me away from a baseball inning when the game was quite even, Mayeta was batting, two men were on base, and there was one out.

(17 July 2007) I mentioned something and included a quotation on this topic for an example I used in my last reflection, titled "Bush, Health and Education", which I dedicated to children. In this reflection, aimed at the first class to graduate from the University of Information Sciences (UCI), I shall delve more deeply into this thorny issue.

AREN'T YOU watching the Pan-American Games? I think I hear many Cubans asking. Of course I am! I answer; I can hardly get my eyes off the TV set.

(14 July 2007) I will not refer to Bush's health and education, but to that of his neighbours. It was not an improvised declaration. The AP agency tells us what his opening words were: "Tenemos corazones grandes en este país" (We have big hearts in this country); he said this in Spanish in front of 250 representatives of private and religious groups, foundations and NGOs who had come to Washington with all expenses paid by his government.

(10 July 2007) The National Directorate of the UJC (Communist Youth League) agreed to communicate the following measure as it was concluding its strategy: "Last Saturday, July 7, the National Bureau of the Communist Youth decided to tighten up the plan for the mobilization of forces of the Student Work Brigades (BET), guided by the principle of using students for tasks of a social and recreational nature, in numbers adjusted to a necessary minimum and within municipalities where they reside, in order to avoid relying on transportation."

(7 July 2007) The founding fathers of the American nation could not imagine that what they were proclaiming at that time, as any other historical society, was carrying within it the seeds of its own transformation .

(30 June 2007) Sunday is a good day to read something that would appear to be science fiction. It was announced that the CIA would be declassifying hundreds of pages on illegal actions that included plans to eliminate the leaders of foreign governments. Suddenly the publication is halted and it is delayed one day.

(28 June 2007) An unusual news item appeared a few minutes ago, coming from EFE and Reuters. I am going by the Spanish version: "One day, the Good Lord will take Fidel Castro away."

(27 June 2007) Events follow each other at an incredible pace. Sometimes, several occur simultaneously. Their inherent significance and usefulness as examples is what I wish to, or, better, feel compelled to comment on.

(24 June 2007) 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 explain immediately: the denunciation surrounding his plan to assassinate me was made before he snatched an electoral victory from his opponent through fraud.

(23 June 2007) Dear comrades, reading your message filled me with emotion. None of you had been born when the Revolution triumphed. The ideas that this message beautifully express sprang from history's deepest furrow.

(22 June 2007) While writing a brief reflection is helpful, in that the hundred and twelve accredited foreign newspapers and press agencies in our country that receive it in advance can publish important parts of its text, long reflections allow me to expound, as extensively as I wish, on concepts I deem important and which provide our people, the main protagonist against any potential aggression, as well as countries facing similar circumstances, the required information to form their own judgment.

(20 June 2007) Vilma is dead. Even though the news was expected, it was still an impact. Out of respect for her delicate health condition, I never raised her name in my reflections. Vilma's example today is more necessary than ever. She devoted her entire life to the struggle for women's rights when in Cuba most women were discriminated against as human beings, the same as in the rest of the world, with only the honourable revolutionary exceptions.

(17 June 2007) I hope that no-one say that I am gratuitously attacking Bush. Surely they will understand my reasons for strongly criticizing his policies. Robert Woodward is an American journalist and writer who became famous for the series of articles published by The Washington Post, written by him and Carl Bernstein, which eventually led to the investigation and resignation of Nixon.

(13 June 2007) Albania was really the only place where Bush got any affection; to such an extent that the reception in Bulgaria where several thousand people awaited him waving little American flags seemed cool to him.

(11 June 2007) We now know that Bush's strange visit to the capital of Albania really happened. There he resolutely spoke in favor of independence for Kosovo without the least respect for the interests of Serbia, Russia and the various European countries, all sensitive to the fate of the province which was the scenario for the latest NATO war.

(7 June 2007) I don't like the idea of seeming to be a vengeful person, someone wishful to relentlessly pursue an adversary. I had promised myself to wait a bit and see how the contradictions between Bush and his European allies would unfold on the vital subject of climate change.

(29 May 2007) For those who are not informed - and I am one of them - G-8 refers to the group of most developed countries, including Russia. The anticipated meeting which begins in six days has awakened great expectations due to the profound political and economic crisis threatening the world.

(28 May 2007) A few days ago, while analyzing the expenses involved in the construction of three submarines of the Astute series, I said that with this money "75,000 doctors could be trained to look after 150 million people, assuming that the cost of training a doctor would be one-third of what it costs in the United States."

(25 May 2007) A word popped up in my mind. I looked it up in the dictionary and there it was; it's an onomatopoeic word and its connotation is tragic: bang. I've probably never used it in my life.
(May 23, 2007) A summary of the FAO declaration from its headquarters in Rome, on 16 May 2007. World cereal production is on track to reach a record level in 2007. In spite of this, supplies will be barely adequate to meet increased demand, boosted by the development of the biofuels industry.

(22 May 2007) On 28 March, less than two months ago, when Bush proclaimed his diabolical idea of producing fuel from food, after a meeting with the most important U.S. automobile manufacturers, I wrote my first reflection.

(May 21, 2007) The press dispatches bring the news; it belongs to the Astute Class, the first of its kind to be constructed in Great Britain in more than two decades.

(16 May 2007) At the 6th Hemispheric Meeting in Havana, when the discussion turned to the subject of production of biofuels from foodstuffs, which are constantly getting more expensive, the huge majority voiced their opposition with indignation.

(14 May 2007) María Luisa Mendonça brought to the meeting in Havana, a powerful documentary film on the subject of manual sugarcane cutting in Brazil. As I did in my previous reflection, I have written a summary using María Luisa's own paragraphs and phrases.

(May 9, 2007) Atilio Borón, a prestigious leftist intellectual who until recently headed the Latin American Council of Social Sciences (CLACSO), wrote an article for the 6th Hemispheric Meeting of Struggle against the FTAs and for the Integration of Peoples which just wrapped up in Havana; he was kind enough to send it to me along with a letter.

(7 May 2007) I cannot speak as an economist or a scientist. I simply speak as a politician who wishes to unravel the economists' and scientists' arguments one way or another. I also try to sense the motivations of each one of those who make statements on these matters.

(30 April 2007) I hold nothing against Brazil, even though to more than a few Brazilians continuously bombarded with the most diverse arguments, which can be confusing even for people who have traditionally been friendly to Cuba, we might sound callous and careless about hurting that country's net income of hard currency.

(10 April 2007) George W. Bush is undoubtedly the most genuine representative of a system of terror forced on the world by the technological, economic and political superiority of the most powerful country known to this planet. For this reason, we share the tragedy of the American people and their ethical values.

(3 April 2007) The Camp David meeting has just come to an end. All of us followed the press conference offered by the presidents of the United States and Brazil attentively, as we did the news surrounding

(28 March 2007) It is not an exaggeration; this is rather a conservative figure. I have meditated for quite a long time on that after the meeting held by President Bush with the U.S. automakers.

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