Yesterday I gave details of my encounter with the Five compatriots who received the honorific title of Hero of the Republic of Cuba and the prestigious Order of Playa Girón
73 days had passed since the arrival of those recently freed to the country. To me, the priority was the reunion of these compatriots with their families, and the rigorous health check and medical attention for the brave compañeros who arrived from the depths of the odious imperial prisons, where they endured unjust and criminal sentences for preventing terrorist attacks which could have taken the lives of any boy, girl, man or woman, young people, adults or elderly people.
My fundamental interest was in the time that would be needed to exchange ideas and revolutionary experiences, which are the raison d'être of our lives.
Other details prolonged the meeting to a certain extent. The three missing compañeros, arrived to the homeland this last December 17.
On January 11, Maradona spoke of the letter that I had sent him and demonstrated the document which had provoked curiosity, but on that occasion he didn’t reveal the details. Last weekend he once again referred to our exchange on Telesur. In order that everything be clear, I have included the full texts of the exchange I held with Maradona himself.
Fidel Castro Ruz
March 2, 2015
Letter from Fidel to Diego Armando Maradona
I was very happy to hear that you would be in Cuba during the first weeks of January, 2015, with the outstanding compañero who has shared with you the adventure of a fascinating sport.
I have at hand a list of oil producing and exporting countries, arranged by their production capacity and export policy, at a time when the latter gravely threatens the future of humanity. Others do so for reasons of a different kind.
Saudi Arabia 11.730.000 barrels per day,
The United States 11.110.000
United Arab Emirates 3.213.000
The rest, through number 20 on the list, the United Kingdom, extract in their respective territories more than one million barrels per day.
These are the countries which occupy the top positions according to their production capacity, although not for their proven reserves.
Learning of your visit to Cuba in these days made me very happy; thanks to my conversations with you during the most exceptional years of our unforgettable friend Hugo Chávez, I gathered that the encounter in Mar del Plata could not be forgotten. Hugo reminded the United States there was another America.
For my part, just a few minutes ago I watched, for the second time, the interview with Gerardo, Antonio and Ramón. Did you know that I still haven’t been able to greet them? Although I was able to send flowers to little Gema. What a beautiful name!
I heard that you would be on the plane at 5:30pm, tomorrow, Monday January 12. Is that true?
In the recent Central American and Caribbean Games, in a discipline as important as football, a referee imposed an arbitrary penalty against us; it wasn’t even moderately fair. Money for the rich and penalties for the poor.
As you can see, I want to be impartial, but I can assure you, it’s difficult.
A strong embrace, Maestro!
Fidel Castro Ruz
January 11, 2015
7: 25 p.m.
Letter from Diego Armando Maradona to Fidel
Dubai, January 16, 2015
This past January 11 I left Havana with the joy of knowing that you were well and the pride of being the bearer, once again, of your message, your eternal friendship and your concern for the problems of the world.
It was the piece of happiness I was lacking to complete the beginning of the second season of the program De Zurda, broadcast by Telesur, which had a special kick-off in Havana, on route to the Copa América, in Chile.
As I am a privileged witness to your concerns that Venezuela be able to continue on the victorious path outlined by that other great friend of ours, the unforgettable Comandante Chávez, I inform you that on February 28 and March 1 “De Zurda viajero” will be aired from Caracas, Venezuela. They will undoubtedly be two very moving programs, in which we will not only talk about football.
Fidel, If there is something I have learned from you over all these years of sincere and beautiful friendship, it’s that loyalty has no price, that a friend is worth more than all the gold in the world, and ideas are not negotiated. That’s why De Zurda is a tribute to our friendship.
Accustomed to your “historic” goals, I wanted to thank you for the letter which made me spokesperson for your happy existence. More than a month has passed and many people are interested to learn the content of that letter. With the graciousness that characterizes you, you assured that it would only be published if I decided so. I not only want for the content to be known, but I also want to share my response with everyone.
With a strong embrace, Comandante friend,
Diego Armando Maradona