Speech by Rafael Correa Delgado, President of the Republic of Ecuador, during the presentation ceremony of the José Martí Order, at the Palace of the Revolution, May 5, 2017, “Year 59 of the Revolution.” (Council of State transcript – GI translation)

Thank you very much.

A warm embrace to the Cuban delegation, to its President, Comandante Raúl Castro Ruz; an embrace to the Ecuadoran delegation, the Cuban people, the Ecuadoran people, brothers and sisters of the great homeland.

This is my last visit as President of the Republic of Ecuador to our beloved Cuba, to this sister land, to this beautiful land, this friendly land. It has been ten intense and very happy years, and the best way to end these ten years is by visiting our beloved Cuba.

Thank you to the Cuban people for treating us so well. Yesterday we were in the city of Santiago visiting the tomb of the Apostle José Martí, visiting the tomb of Fidel, leaving him that white rose that one leaves to a sincere friend who always offered his hand.

We visited the former Moncada Garrison and, as one of those privileges life offers up, our guide was a protagonist of that heroic feat, Comandante Ramiro Valdés. I convey to him my greetings, respect, and affection and likewise to all the heroes of the Revolution.

If I have been able to do anything in these ten years – alluding to what Newton once wrote, he said: “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants,” – if I have been able to do anything it has been to stand on the shoulders of giants; giants like Bolívar, giants like Eloy Alfaro, like his friend José Martí, giants like Che; giants that life has given me the opportunity to meet, to be their friend, to receive their advice directly, like Néstor Kirchner, like Hugo Chávez, like Fidel.

Today, I carry the José Martí Order on my chest, we have always carried José Martí in our hearts. I have been a follower of Martí my entire life, I believe he was an extraordinary man, ahead of his time, a leader in thought and a leader in action, a Latin American who not only forms part of the region’s history, but of world history.

I receive this distinction, dearest Raúl, because I know that it is not meant for this compañero, as we have only fulfilled, at most, our duty; it is meant for the Ecuadoran people, to seal this unbreakable brotherhood between Cuba and Ecuador, to continue to build together the great homeland.

As our old fighter, General Eloy Alfaro Delgado, said, I am nothing, I am worth nothing, I claim nothing, I seek nothing for myself, everything is for you, the people, who have the right to be free.

Thank you very much, Cuba.

¡Hasta la victoria siempre, compañeros!

Source: Granma / RedGlobe