The following excerpt is from “‘El Gallego’ Fernández — An Unconditional Soldier of the Revolution,” the speech given by José Ramón Machado Ventura, second secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, at the memorial tribute to José Ramón Fernández in Havana Jan. 8.
A book containing his memoirs, with a forward by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, came off the press some two months ago, with the idea of presenting it to the public on the occasion of his 95th birthday.
That didn’t happen. Already bedridden when he received the first copy and heard about the idea, he insisted — strongly — that the book presentation not take place on that date. “That would be rather pretentious on my part,” he said. That’s the way Fernández was.
At the end of the book, he wrote these lines that by themselves explain the meaning of his long and fruitful life as a revolutionary:
“My greatest pride, in the healthy sense of the word, is to have had the confidence of two great men of our revolutionary process, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz and Army General Raúl Castro Ruz.”
“My experiences were shaped by these two individuals, who I have followed throughout all these years, and by my commitment to my homeland and the people of Cuba, who I cherish with all my heart. They are the incentive to continue contributing my physical and mental energy to this great work of the Cuban socialist revolution. My only duty is to be faithful to that confidence as long as there is life in me.”
So end his words, to which could only be added — You did so until the last moment of your existence.