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    Reflections of Fidel:
    Total Transparency

    WHO could doubt it? Observers from all over the world and the whole caboodle attended the Venezuelan elections on November 23. They dispatched their cables with total freedom. The oligarchy was busy shouting to the world the gross calumny that the extension of the closing of the polling booths, which gave citizens the right to vote, was aimed at promoting fraud, despite the fact that the National Electoral Council had previously agreed to and announced it.

    If the United States should adopt such a measure in order to facilitate the indirect election of the president of that country, which functions as a model for the Venezuelan oligarchs, that would be totally correct; but not in Venezuela, although it is not even about the election of their president – which is direct – like that of the other executive offices. For them, the only honorable and decent things are an abject submission to the empire, the flight of hard currency in the volume of billions of dollars that escapes every year, and maintaining poverty, illiteracy and unemployment at over 20%.

    I would not assume to express any opinion in relation to any other country in this hemisphere, if I was to forget that we are sister nations, and that Martí, who fought and died for Cuba and for Our America, affirmed one day before the statue of the Liberator Simón Bolívar: “Let Venezuela tell me how to serve her: she has in me a son.”

    Working in the heart of that beautiful people are 40,000 highly qualified Cuban compatriots, prepared to give up their lives for the people of Bolívar and who are running the risks of any imperialist strike alongside them.

    I am not one to give intrusive opinions on the country of the ALBA (Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas).

    Venezuela could become a model of socialist development starting from the resources that the transnationals used to extract from its rich nature and the sweat of its manual and professional workers. No foreign power will determine its future and it is marching in favor of the highest levels of education, culture, health and full employment. It is an example to follow for other sister nations of this hemisphere, without going down on its knees: it does not wish to be towed along by an empire that plunders it. Venezuela has called on the UN General Assembly to design a new international financial structure. Cuba supports her in that undertaking.

    Watching the international news, it would seem that the USSR disintegrated yesterday. As Stella Calloni would say, today, Monday, the media terrorist apparatus was unleashed. However, after the mist has cleared, the truth will once again emerge.

    Yesterday’s elections constituted a great qualitative leap for the Bolivarian revolutionary process in many aspects that can be measured; and not as the apparatus of mass disinformation is saying: “Castro thinks that the Revolution in Venezuela will continue despite the elections.” No! Precisely from an analysis of the basic information reflected in the voting slips of the National Electoral Council, I can see in all its clarity the great victory obtained.

    There were precise details, the unobjectionable victory of the candidates for governors in 17 of the 22 states, all of them members of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela; a greater turnout than ever before; 1.5 million votes more than those obtained by opposition candidates who aspired to that position; 264 mayoralties out of the 328 that had elections. An opposition party does not exist; just a number of opponents with half a dozen parties; and total transparence. That is why I said and I reiterate that the flame of the Revolution will be very difficult to extinguish in Venezuela.

    Fidel Castro Ruz
    November 24, 2008
    6:35 p.m.

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