14ymedio, Havana, 11 December 2015 — While security forces were deployed in the streets of Havana to prevent the celebration of Human Rights Day, Fidel Castro wrote a letter to the glory of the Venezuelan president, published today by the daily Granma.
Under the anodyne title, Fidel’s Message to President Nicolas Maduro, Cuba’s former president joins “the unanimous opinion” of those who have congratulated Maduro for his “brilliant, valiant speech made on the night of December 6, as soon as the election results were announced.” He does not refer at any point to the crushing defeat suffered by the heir of Hugo Chavez at the hands of the opposition, represented by the Democratic Unity Roundtable (MUD), which has achieved a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly.
The president reiterated in his message several ideas already addressed in previous “Reflections of Fidel,” such as fears of a possible global conflict because, he said, “There are nine states which possess nuclear weapons.”
However, as countries that avoided the debacle he points to “the People’s Republic of China and Russia,” who “know the world’s problems much better than the United States,” and have “their own revolutionary experience.”
Castro did not mention, however, the serious obstacles that will face the Venezuelan executive starting in January, with a National Assembly where the opposition, with its 112 MPs out of a total of 167, has the power to initiate a recall referendum against President Maduro. Among the the fears that are already spreading across the island, is a possible cut in aid, in the form of oil shipments, sent from Caracas, and the end of programs that have allowed tens of thousands of Cubans, in recent years, to serve on medical and other missions in the South American country.
In his text, Castro believes that Venezuela has “the largest and most modern system of public schools in the world,” and says the same is true of “the country’s network of medical care centers and the attention paid to the health of a brave people.” These statements contrast with the social and economic indicators released in recent weeks, which show that the country has the highest inflation in the world and suffers a serious shortage of commodities, medicines and food.