Fidel’s first visit to Venezuela

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Fidel Castro made a dream come true when he traveled for the first time to Caracas on January 23, 1959, a few days after the revolutionary triumph, in which Venezuela did its bit by contributing with weapons sent to the Rebel Army in Cuba.

The leader of the Cuban Revolution visits Venezuela on an official invitation to celebrate the first anniversary of the overthrow of the dictatorship that existed in that country.

Throughout his stay in Venezuela, Fidel received numerous expressions of affection from both leaders and the people. In Santiago del León de Caracas, in the Municipal Council of the territory, the visitor was declared Guest of Honor.

In the aerial square of El Silencio in a multitudinous act the encounter of Fidel with the Venezuelan people took place. There he gave a speech and explained: “Why did I come to Venezuela? I came to Venezuela, first, because of a feeling of gratitude; second, because of an elementary duty of reciprocity for all the institutions that so generously invited me to participate in the joy of Venezuela on this glorious day of January 23, but also for another reason: because the people of Cuba need the help of the people of Venezuela, because the people of Cuba, in this difficult minute, although glorious in their history, need the moral support of the people of Venezuela.

He referred to the defamatory campaign against Cuba at the international level, while reporting on the audacity and courage of the men who fought alongside him in confronting an army with all kinds of weapons, while the people, unarmed, with no tanks, no cannons, no 500-pound bombs, no planes, no training, no war practices, were able to overthrow, in two years of frontal struggle, the armed forces of a dictatorship that had 60,000 men on arms.

After referring to aspects related to the history of Cuba and the liberation struggle that made the triumph of the Revolution possible, Fidel thanked the Venezuelan people for their affection and solidarity.

In addition, he stressed: “I need only to tell my brothers in Venezuela that Cuba will never have enough to pay them for this gesture of solidarity, that Cuba will never have enough to pay them for this formidable and great moral support that the Venezuelan people have given them today, and that I will never, ever have enough to express my gratitude to the Venezuelan people for the encouragement I have received here.”

And later he assured: “And I only promise this good and generous people, to whom I have given nothing and of whom we Cubans have received everything, to do for other peoples what you have done for us, and not to consider ourselves entitled to rest in peace while there is only one man from Latin America living under the opprobrium of tyranny.

That same January 23 Fidel also spoke at the Central University of Caracas, as shown in the picture.
He reflected on the attitude and work of the revolutionaries and specified in this regard: “To be a revolutionary is to have a revolutionary posture in all orders, to dedicate his/her life to the cause of the peoples, to dedicate his/her life to the cause of the revolution of the peoples, to the full redemption of the oppressed and exploited peoples.

He commented on the characteristics of the Cuban Revolution and how the participation of the people in its defense and development was essential.

In addition, he confirmed his confidence in the people by stating: “I believe in the people as something alive, as something capable of making history, because it is the people who have made history, not men.

In that speech Fidel went so far as to say something very symbolic that with the passing of six decades it has been maintained and magnified.

Addressing the links that unite the peoples of Cuba and Venezuela, he stressed: “If Cubans love Venezuela as they love Cuba, Venezuelans love Cuba as they love Venezuela, they are the foundations of the same homeland.

(With information from Radio Rebelde in Spanish)

Written by Jorge Lora

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