Cartagena de Indias, Colombia.— The Cuban President paid a heartfelt tribute to Gabriel García Márquez, “the big absentee today,” shortly after the official signing ceremony of the Colombia Peace Agreements concluded on September 26.
“This is a modest tribute that we wanted to pay to Gabo, because during the visits he made to Cuba, he spoke at length with Fidel and with me about peace in Colombia,” stated the Army General. Speaking before the press, he also recalled this eternal friend’s continual insistence on the need to achieve peace, as happened on Monday, September 26.
Raúl arrived to the University of Colombia’s Cloister of Mercy, accompanied by the Cuban delegation which attended the historic signing ceremony, where a minute silence was held, after which the Army General laid a floral wreath before the bronze bust of the author of the celebrated novel One Hundred Years of Solitude; at the foot of which some of his ashes rest.
”I was thinking about him during the ceremony,” confessed the Cuban leader, “which is why we wanted to make this tribute before leaving for Cuba; for him and for all those killed on both sides…Long live peace,” he stated emotionally, fully aware that peace is what the world needs most.
I convey my respect, my greetings and congratulations, noted Raúl, to the entire Colombian people and “I wish you success in the steps which remain ahead.”