The Cuban revolutionary leader and former president, Fidel Castro, has given a valedictory speech on the final day of the country’s 7th Communist party congress, acknowledging he will not be long for this world.
The 89-year-old Castro made the comments in what is likely to be his final speech to the congress at Convention Palace in the capital Havana on Tuesday, after the Communist party announced that it had reelected 84-year-old Raul Castro, Fidel’s brother and the country’s incumbent president, for another five years as the first secretary of the party.
“I’ll be 90 years old soon. Soon I’ll be like all the others. The time will come for all of us, but the ideas of the Cuban communists will remain as proof on this planet that if they are worked at with fervor and dignity, they can produce the material and cultural goods that human beings need, and we need to fight without truce to obtain them,” Castro said in his most extensive public appearance in years.
Fidel led the 1959 Cuban socialist revolution, which overthrew the US-backed authoritarian government of Fulgencio Batista, and brought Castro to power. He served as the president of Cuba from 1976 to 2008 and as the first secretary of the central committee of the Communist party of the country from 1961 to 2011.
“This may be one of the last times I speak in this room. We must tell our brothers in Latin America and the world that the Cuban people will be victorious,” Castro further said, dressed in a plaid shirt and sweat top.
Castro’s comments came as younger Cubans complain bitterly about low state salaries of about $25 a month that leave them struggling to afford food and other staple goods. They might be disappointed by the aging leadership’s decision on Tuesday and expect the leaders to begin handing over the reins to younger generation and introduce more substantial economic reforms.
By Press TV