Photo: Jose M. Correa

The President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro Moros, praised the impressive demonstration of love by the people of Havana and Cuba during “this night of victory for the common homeland.”

“Havana overflowed with love,” he said. A love professed by youth, women, soldiers, children - the people.

The emotional Venezuelan President shouted the name Fidel, while the hundreds of thousands gathered in the Plaza de la Revolución joined him in chorus, chanting: “Fidel, Fidel, qué tiene Fidel que los imperialistas no pueden con él” (Fidel, Fidel! What is it that he has, that the imperialists can’t defeat him?).

Maduro stressed that they had been unable to defeat Fidel and will never be able to defeat the people of Cuba, their dreams, hopes, and the Great Homeland.

He also expressed that there was no better way to say “¡Hasta pronto, hasta siempre Fidel!” than this gigantic union of the people, this historic energy, representative of six decades of struggle. He noted that leaders, men and women from the five continents, had gathered in the Havana square to say in every language, Fidel is present.

Maduro said that he was in Havana accompanied by a delegation full of love and gratitude to the leader of the Revolution, of whom Comandante Chávez considered himself a son, a follower of his ideas and example.

He recalled the ties that united his nation and Cuba: “Chávez said that the path is charted, the Bolivarian Revolution is a sister of the soul and the history of the Cuban Revolution. Thus it is and will be, by design of the giants that founded it.”

“We have come to this sacred place to honor the eternal youth, the eternal dreamer, the eternal rebel. From the homeland of Bolívar and Chávez I bring a voice that carries millions of voices, to say with the greatest admiration and gratitude: mission accomplished, splendidly accomplished!” Maduro emphasized.

The Venezuelan President recalled the occasion in 2015, on visiting Fidel to celebrate his 89th birthday, when in conversation with Evo Morales and himself, the Cuban leader told them that he would accompany them to the age of 90. Maduro noted that at the time, he had replied to the Comandante en Jefe that he could not leave, to which Fidel responded: “I have already done what I had to do, now it’s up to you.”

“He surpassed his mission on this earth beyond all expectations, few lives are so complete, so brilliant; he leaves undefeated, better still, he remains undefeated among us, absolved, absolutely absolved by the Great Homeland,” he added.

Maduro also stressed that Fidel was always sure of the value of his own conscience, “From such certainly came his incredible historic courage, his infallible bravery.”

Evoking a phrase of Victor Hugo, referring to the power of an idea whose time has come, he emphasized that Fidel became an invincible idea of his time, which extended from generation to generation in the Great Homeland and in all humanity.

He mentioned the long list of national heroes and moments that accompany Fidel’s name and history: Moncada, Abel, Haydée, Melba, Raúl, Vilma, Juan Almeida, Granma, Frank, Che, Camilo, Sierra Maestra, Girón, the two Declarations of Havana, the Crisis of October, Martí.

He emphasized that when Fidel is mentioned, reference is also made to the Bolivarian Revolution of the 21st century, as well as to Chávez, his beloved son and disciple.

Nicolás Maduro stressed how Fidel had served Venezuela as if it were his own homeland, with the solidarity that saw doctors, athletes and teachers help the Venezuelan people, bringing healthcare, education, combating violence and misery.

“Without Cuba’s support, her example of struggle and capacity for solidarity, the path of our Revolution would have been tougher and our advance slower,” he said.

Maduro stated that Fidel had once again boarded the Granma yacht - precisely 60 years after departing from Mexico, leading an expedition that changed the course of Cuba’s history - noting that he would live on in millions of men and women of the Cuban Revolution, representing the future.

“Cuba has a destiny charted, a historic trajectory that will be renewed with the symbol of Fidel’s departure.”

“Fidel said, now I understand that my destiny was not to come to the world to rest at the end of my life. We know Comandante, that you will not rest, you belong to the lineage of those who remain vigilant, you still have much to do in the Great Homeland, and we will continue to hear your voice as a pulse of conscience, when you tell us that the duty of every revolutionary is to make the revolution,” the Venezuelan President concluded.