Reflections by Comrade Fidel
THE MEETING WITH BARBARA LEE AND OTHER MEMBERS OF THE BLACK CAUCUS
The morning was stormy, damp and cold. Strong winds were blowing and the sky was dark. This was no spring day, not warm.
Barbara wanted to visit the Latin American School of Medicine where 114 young Americans are dedicated to studying medicine.
The official plane that had
brought them to
I did not attempt to meet with all of them since I don’t have enough room for the seven of them, plus the translator and the minister accompanying them. I asked that she visit me with two other legislators, as assigned by the group. Thus I was able to meet with her again.
On this occasion,
circumstances had changed considerably. The Legislative Black Caucus represents
a sector that carries a lot of weight in the
The long struggle for
equality and justice was illuminated by the life and example of Martin Luther
King whose thinking and work today enthrals millions of people in the world and
who was the reason, in my view, why a black citizen, at a moment of deep
crisis, reached the
As a result, a new meeting
with the Black Caucus would take on, for me personally, a special
significance. I learned about their stay
Raul had also communicated to me the magnificent impression they had made on him during his meeting with them which had extended for almost four hours last night, on Monday.
When Barbara Lee arrived at the house, accompanied by Bobby Rush, Democratic Congressman for Illinois, and Laura Richardson, Congresswoman for California, together with José Miyar Barrueco, the Minister of CITMA, who for many years was secretary of the Council of State, it was 11:35 a.m.; the skies had cleared and radiant sunshine filled the courtyard. I was really happy to see Barbara once again and to have the possibility of personally greeting Bobby and Laura, two people whose names were by now familiar because of their words spoken at the meetings with Raul, Alarcón, Bruno, Miyar and the relatives of the Cuban Five.
Their meeting with me lasted 1 hour and forty-five minutes, by the clock; in reality, it took half a minute if I were to judge by the speed with which it took place and my desires to listen to them.
I briefly told them about
my experiences during two years and seven months of medical care and the
activities to which I now dedicate myself.
I explained to them all I have learned in this period of enforced
confinement, especially my great interest in all that is happening in the world
and especially in the
Barbara is proud of
presiding over the Black Caucus, of participating actively in her country’s
politics with new verve and optimism, of her son who had not yet been born at
the time of the Cuban revolution, and of her five grandchildren. She had cast her sole vote against Bush’s
genocidal war in
She particularly remembers
Dellums who brought her to
Rush spoke next; he is the oldest and most experienced of the legislators and he was a radical activist in his youth. His life has been a never-ending crescendo of political and human knowledge. He is member of the Trade and Energy Committee and of the Communications and Internet Sub-Committee. I listened to him without interrupting for a period of 15 or 20 minutes. He explained that in his youth he read the works of important modern revolutionary thinkers who were the starting point for his later political maturity through observation and meditation about what was happening in his country and in the world. He mentioned Mandela, Che and other extraordinary persons by name, people who sacrificed themselves for others. As a general characteristic among the leaders of the Black Caucus, he quotes verses from the Bible like Martin Luther King used to do, backing up his points of view. “The word justice is mentioned in the Bible two thousand times, almost as many times as the word love”, he tells me. He spoke of his health, the battles he has waged to preserve it and to survive from cancer.
He personally knows Obama, having dealt with him closely for years, at times even as an adversary; he expressed a high and sincere concept of him; he describes him as an honest and good person who wants to help the American people.
He expressed admiration for
the health services provided in
I could listen to him for hours as a never-ending fountain of knowledge and maturity.
I asked him about the
meaning of his statement: “Obama can improve relations with
Finally, I asked him about
which of the books published in English in the
It was an excellent meeting.
Fidel Castro Ruz