Reflections by comrade Fidel
THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH
††††††††††† It is a spiritual force. It played a major role at critical times in the history of Russia. At the onset of the Great Russian War, after the treacherous Nazi attack, Stalin turned to her for support to the workers and peasants that the October Revolution had changed into the owners of factories and the land.
††††††††††† After the demise of the USSR, this church was not an ally of imperialism. Thatís why in 2004, when His Eminence Vladimir Mijailovich Gundiaev, Kiril Metropolitan of Smolensk and Kaliningrad visited our country, I suggested building a Cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church in the capital of Cuba as a monument to Cuban-Russian friendship. The Historian of the City, Eusebio Leal, would be in charge of this undertaking. During the construction, earth was brought from the place where the remains were laid to rest of the Soviet soldiers who perished in our country during the tens of years they rendered services here. Thus, when the Cathedral was dedicated this past Sunday, I wanted to meet with the esteemed personality of the Russian Orthodox Church visiting with us.
††††††††††† Tomorrow, Thursday, he will be in Venezuela talking with President Chavez. Both draw inspiration from identical ethical principles derived from the preaching of Jesus Christ according to the Gospels, a religious belief they both share. After that, he will be visiting Ecuador to talk with Correa, a political leader who was trained in the Liberation Theology.
††††††††††† His Eminence is not an enemy of socialism and he does not condemn to eternal fire those who struggle for a better world on the basis of Marxism-Leninism. He is listened to with great attention when he addresses the UN Human Rights Commission and other institutions. In his enormous country, he often speaks on television, for fifteen minutes on Saturdays, and tens of millions of people follow his every word attentively.
††††††††††† Our capital is honored with the presence of a Temple worthy of the prestigious Russian Orthodox Church. This is an undisputable evidence of our Revolutionís respect for the basic principles of human rights as it befits a profound and radical socialist Revolution.
††††††††††† There is no reason to make the least concession to Yankee imperialism. I am under the impression that His Eminence feels the same way. He is not an anti-Muslim; he respects that faith. And, in his ecumenical conception he feels that the Catholic Church can solve its differences with such countries as China and Vietnam.
††††††††††† It was really nice and rewarding to talk with him.
††††††††††† Fidel Castro Ruz
††††††††††† October 21, 2008
††††††††††† 7:40 p.m. †††††††††