junge Welt, August 13th Dear Comandante,

On the occasion of your 90th birthday the members of the Network of Intellectuals, Artists, and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity want to extend our most sincere congratulations and above all our deepest gratitude for everything you have done for the peoples of Our America and the rest of the world.

Your presence has been a permanent source of inspiration, not only when the ascending tide of the popular struggles were making firm steps towards socialism, but also in the recurrent moments when our advances have been stopped due to the ferocity of the reaction of imperialism and their local allies.

In the phases of uprising your example forced us to never be satisfied and like good revolutionaries we pursued with renewed vigor our march especially when we needed to confront adversities or the counter-offensive of the enemy. The memory of your attitude after the Moncada or the attack of imperialism in Playa Giron strengthened our spirits and convinced us that the unyielding will to fight for our ideals was the sure path to victory. You showed us that path on countless occasions, and we can assure you that all that teaching reiterated to us in your meeting with intellectuals on February 10, 2012, when you said that “Even if we heard that in a few weeks the world will come to an end, our duty would be to fight, to continue fighting until the end”, will never be forgotten. This thinking of yours has ingrained a very deep and indelible brand in millions of people in Latin America and the Caribbean who, like many others in other parts of the world, know that this will be our destiny; fighting to the end knowing that the dominant class and imperialism will never just give up.

These convictions that our ideas and the values we hold are infinitely superior to those of the enemy and are an essential ingredient of our revolutionary militancy. From you we learned that defending our values demands from us the most absolute intransigency. We learned this again when with virtuous obstinacy you opposed the herding of the flags of socialism while the Soviet Union and the Socialist camp disappeared. Thanks to your unwavering conviction the Cuban revolution could continue on its march, and by your heroic example, you opened a path that a few years later would start growing in numerous countries of our America after the electoral victory of the presidency of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela in December of 1998. If you had been convinced by those who advised you to leave forever the Socialist project and throw Cuba into the arms of capitalism that bright period that opened from the end of the last century until now, with the defeat of the FTAA, the creation of ALBA, of UNASUR, of CELAC, of Petrocaribe, of the Bank of the South, of Telesur and of this Network in Defense of Humanity would never have taken place. The powerful light that radiated in the lighthouse of the Cuban Revolution was decisive in pushing our people to leave behind that long neoliberal night of the 1990s and return to the path of our Second and Definitive Independence.

That is why our debt, the debt of our people to you, Comandante, is immeasurable and hence our deep gratitude for your revolutionary integrity, for being faithful to that wonderful definition of “revolution”. You expressed it so well in your speech on May 1, 2000, when you pointed out that revolution “is to defend the values in which we believe at the cost of any sacrifice; it is modesty, selflessness, altruism, solidarity and heroism; it is fighting with audacity, intelligence and realism.” Throughout your prolific life you have been faithful to these ideas, that will live eternally in the soul of all the revolutionaries around the world, in all of those who know that another world is possible and necessary, and that if we continue to struggle with constancy and consistency as you have shown for so many years, the victory is inevitable.

Happy 90 years, Fidel! Thanks for your example. You can be sure that we will be faithful to you teachings until the final victory.

On behalf of the Executive Secretariat of the Network in Defense of Humanity, (REDH)

Carmen Bohórquez (REDH General coordinador)
Alicia Jrapko (REDH United States)
Ángel Guerra (REDH Cuba/México)
Ariana López (REDH Cuba)
Atilio Boron (REDH Argentina)
David Comissiong (REDH Caribbean)
Fredy Ñáñez (REDH Venezuela)
Hugo Moldiz (REDH Bolivia)
Juan Manuel Karg (REDH Argentina)
Katu Arkonada (REDH Basque Country/Bolivia)
Luciano Vasapollo (REDH Italy)
Marilia Guimaraes (REDH Brazil)
Nayar López Castellanos (REDH México)
Omar González (REDH Cuba)
Roger Landa (REDH Venezuela)