Hasta Siempre ! Fidel
First time I had a chance to meet , to shake hands , to ask several questions and to listen to Fidel was in Havana in 1976 when he was elected president of Cuba.
He did not give me an interview. But he advised to listen to his 3 hour speech on the founding of the National Assembly at the Revolution square, with other 500 000 Cubans, in which he explaned the role of the common people in the revoluition and the role of the revolution in the life of the common people.
He did not give me an interview /at that time he was working only with Barbara Walters/ but helped me /”with Granma”/ to meet with almost all members of the Politbiuro and of the government /incl. Raul and Ramon/.
At the beginning of the 80-ies I had the chance to meet Fidel for second time- in Moscow ,for the congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and to listen to his one and a half hour speech. Other 600 mln people in the socialst countries were listening as well. /By the way Fidel was looking much better that Brezhnev at the tribune./
Last time I met and shake hands with Fidel was in 1986 in Harare - Zimbabwe, for the conference of the Nonaligned countries , where, as the leader of the movement, he gave a 2 hour speech. Other 3 billion people over the world were listening as well.
Fidel was the last great , titanic politician of the great XX century. He was loved by millions. And hated by few who more than 500 times tried to eliminate him. But he survived .
His life was a mirror of our times with the simple sentence :” a revolution is a struggle to the death between the future and the past.”
In 2008 when the National Assembly prepared to reconfirm Fidel as Cuba ‘s leader he declined and posted a letter on which he said : “ I do not bid you farewell. My only wish is to fight as a soldier of ideas.”
After my first visit to Cuba in 1976 I wrote a small and quite naive / I was thinking/ book “Cuba: El futuro es nuestro”-/Cuba: The future is ours./
Today I found it and had a look again. It did not look so naive. And the title was no mistake.
Hasta Siempre, Comandante!