On more than one occasion, I have referred to the infamous agreement which the United States imposed on Latin American and Caribbean countries when the Organisation of American States was founded in Bogota on April 30, 1948.
Just by sheer coincidence I happened to be there on that date, helping to organise a Latin American students’ congress with the objective of struggling against European colonialism and the bloody tyranny imposed by the United States in this hemisphere.
One of Colombia’s most brilliant political leaders, Jorge Eliecer Gaitan, who had managed to unite the most progressive sectors of Colombia politics in opposition to the Yankee monstrosity with growing strength, had offered his support to the celebration of the students’ congress.
No one doubted that he would win the upcoming elections in Colombia, but he was treacherously murdered. His death led to a rebellion which has now continued for over half a century.
This is an entirely new era. What prevails in every corner of this globalised world is the real struggle of our species for its own survival.
As for now, all Latin American nations, particularly our own, will be affected by the process taking place in Venezuela.
I barely need to reiterate what you already know: the close links that exist between the Cuban people and the people of Venezuela.
One of the first actions promoted by the Bolivarian revolution was medical cooperation with Cuba. This is an area where our country has achieved special prestige, which is recognised by international public opinion.
Thousands of health centres, equipped with state-of-the-art technology and produced by some of the world’s leading industry specialists, have been set up by the Venezuelan government to provide medical assistance to its people.
Our doctors have also devoted part of their time to training Venezuelan doctors, in classrooms which have been properly equipped by the Venezuelan government.
The people of Venezuela began to receive the specialised services offered by our doctors; a fact which has meant that they now rank amongst the top countries in the world in terms of access to healthcare and that their health standards have visibly begun to improve.
US President Barack Obama knows this perfectly well and has talked about it with some of his visitors. He candidly told one of them: “The problem is that the United States sends soldiers, while Cuba, however, sends doctors."
I do not hesitate in stating my modest opinion — which emanates from more than half a century of struggle — that the oligarchy will never again be able to govern that country. That is the reason why the US government’s decision to promote the overthrow of the Venezuelan government under such circumstances becomes a source of concern.
Besides, insisting on waging a slanderous campaign, claiming that there is a desperate struggle within the leadership of the Bolivarian government to take control of the revolutionary government in the event that the president is unable to overcome his personal illness, is nothing short of a huge lie.
On the contrary, I have observed the greatest unity among the leaders of the Bolivarian revolution.
Under such circumstances, any mistake made by Obama could provoke rivers of blood in Venezuela, and Venezuelan blood is also Ecuadorian, Brazilian, Argentinean, Bolivian, Chilean, Uruguayan, Central American, Dominican and Cuban blood.
It is necessary to bear in mind this reality when analysing the political situation in Venezuela.
Is it now understood why the workers’ anthem urges us to change the world by destroying capitalist imperialism?
[A longer version of this “Reflections of Fidel” column can be found at Venezuela Analysis.]