(Taken from CubaDebate)
In response to changes made within the executive, certain news agencies are throwing up their hands in horror.
Several of them are saying or echoing “popular” rumors about the substitution of “Fidel’s men” for “Raúl’s men.”
The majority of those who have been replaced were never proposed by me. Almost without exception, they were proposed for their posts by other comrades within the leadership of the Party or the state. I never devoted myself to that task.
I have never underestimated human intelligence or the vanity of men.
I was consulted about the new ministers who have just been appointed even though there was no rule obliging those who proposed them to consult me, given that I renounced the prerogatives of power some time ago. They acted simply as genuine revolutionaries who carry within them loyalty to principles.
There has been no injustice committed against certain cadres.
Neither of the two individuals mentioned by news reports as the most affected have uttered a word to express any disagreement with the decision. It had nothing to do with an absence of personal value. It was another reason. The sweetness of power for which they had made no sacrifice awoke in them ambitions that led them to an unworthy role. The external enemy was filled with illusions about them.
I don’t accept the gossip being mixed in with the Baseball Classic that is about to commence. I stated very clearly that our baseball players were first-rate young men, men who believe in “Patria o Muerte” (Homeland or Death).
As I have stated on other occasions, we will return with the shield or on the shield.
We will win because we know how to and we can combine something that only free men can, those who have no owners, not professional players.
Leonel Fernández was telling me yesterday afternoon that some of the excellent professional Dominican ballplayers didn’t want to take part in this competition; they would be absent, which would be sad for their people, who watched them grow.
Chávez still doesn’t know why his magnificent pitchers and hitters will be defeated by our athletes.
The Cuban national team that will measure its strength this year against the best professional players from the Major Leagues in the United States and Japan is much stronger and better prepared than the one of three years ago.
Many of them are already veterans despite their youthful age. None of the players who made the team stayed behind, except for health reasons.
I assume full responsibility for success or the opposite. The victories will be for all of us; defeat will never be bereft.
Patria o Muerte! Venceremos!
Fidel Castro Ruz
March 3, 2009