President Rafael Correa Delgado’s Speech at the Ceremony of the José Martí Order

Speech by Rafael Correa Delgado, President of the Republic of Ecuador, during the presentation ceremony of the José Martí Order, at the Palace of the Revolution, May 5, 2017, “Year 59 of the Revolution.”
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Foto: Yaimí Ravelo

I have always carried José Martí in my heart, and now I carry him on my chest.

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Council of State transcript – GI translation

Thank you very much.

A warm embrace to the Cuban delegation, to its President, Comandante Raúl Castro Ruz; an embrace to the Ecuadoran delegation, the Cuban people, the Ecuadoran people, brothers and sisters of the great homeland.

This is my last visit as President of the Republic of Ecuador to our beloved Cuba, to this sister land, to this beautiful land, this friendly land. It has been ten intense and very happy years, and the best way to end these ten years is by visiting our beloved Cuba.

Thank you to the Cuban people for treating us so well. Yesterday we were in the city of Santiago visiting the tomb of the Apostle José Martí, visiting the tomb of Fidel, leaving him that white rose that one leaves to a sincere friend who always offered his hand.

We visited the former Moncada Garrison and, as one of those privileges life offers up, our guide was a protagonist of that heroic feat, Comandante Ramiro Valdés. I convey to him my greetings, respect, and affection and likewise to all the heroes of the Revolution.

If I have been able to do anything in these ten years – alluding to what Newton once wrote, he said: “If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants,” – if I have been able to do anything it has been to stand on the shoulders of giants; giants like Bolívar, giants like Eloy Alfaro, like his friend José Martí, giants like Che; giants that life has given me the opportunity to meet, to be their friend, to receive their advice directly, like Néstor Kirchner, like Hugo Chávez, like Fidel.

Today, I carry the José Martí Order on my chest, we have always carried José Martí in our hearts. I have been a follower of Martí my entire life, I believe he was an extraordinary man, ahead of his time, a leader in thought and a leader in action, a Latin American who not only forms part of the region’s history, but of world history.

I receive this distinction, dearest Raúl, because I know that it is not meant for this compañero, as we have only fulfilled, at most, our duty; it is meant for the Ecuadoran people, to seal this unbreakable brotherhood between Cuba and Ecuador, to continue to build together the great homeland.

As our old fighter, General Eloy Alfaro Delgado, said, I am nothing, I am worth nothing, I claim nothing, I seek nothing for myself, everything is for you, the people, who have the right to be free.

Thank you very much, Cuba.

¡Hasta la victoria siempre, compañeros!

(Applause).

An example of fraternity and solidarity

In the presence of Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the Councils of State and Ministers, Ecuadoran President Rafael Correa was presented with the José Martí Order, the highest distinction awarded by the Council of State to foreign personalities.

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Council of State transcript / GI translation

Speech by Homero Acosta Álvarez, Secretary of the Council of State, during the presentation ceremony of the José Martí Order to the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa Delgado, at the Palace of the Revolution, May 5, 2017, “Year 59 of the Revolution.”

Compañero Rafael Correa Delgado, President of the Republic of Ecuador;

Compañero Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the Councils of State and Ministers of the Republic of Cuba;

Distinguished members of the Ecuadoran delegation;

Ecuadoran and Cuban compañeras and compañeros:

Today we receive and decorate the President of the sister Republic of Ecuador and leader of the Citizens’ Revolution, who led his people when they sought new paths of emancipation for their homeland and who, as a minister and faced with the ethical option to serve or betray the people, resigned from his post to found the Patria Altiva y Soberana (PAIS) movement, with which he overcame the partitocracy, led the people to power, introduced transformations in the economy and society and modified the political-legal foundations of the state, which resulted in enormous popular support.

Together with other regional leaders, Correa helped to promote spaces such as UNASUR and CELAC, to defend the independence of our homelands, to advance solidary integration and economic and social development. He also joined ALBA-TCP, as a space for unity, consensus and regional integration.

In his effort to maintain and enhance the achievements of the Citizens’ Revolution, he denounced the voracity of transnationals and the financial exploitation of the centers of imperialist power; he confronted courageously, intelligently and with faith in victory, an attempted coup and all kinds of destabilizing actions by the right wing opposition and transnational capital.

When he came to power, there already existed ties between Cuba and Ecuador, born of a common history and dreams, which had their highest expression in the relationship between José Martí, Antonio Maceo and Eloy Alfaro. These bonds were cemented in the blood of Ecuadorans who fought and died for the independence of Cuba, in the close friendship between Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro and the painter Oswaldo Guayasamín, and in the many gestures of mutual solidarity between the two countries, whose most recent examples are seen in Santiago de Cuba and in Manabí and other coastal provinces of Ecuador.

Correa transformed the excellent relations between Ecuador and Cuba into an example of fraternity and solidarity among sister nations that respect each other. We never forget his forceful denunciations of the blockade against our country. It is impossible to ignore his defense of the Five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters. We always remember his dignified and courageous attitude against the isolation of Cuba, when he refused to attend the 6th Summit of the Americas.

In virtue of the merits of this friend of Cuba and the Cuban Revolution, of his values and commitment to his ideas and his people, for whom we know he will continue to fight in the future, the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba, on the proposal of its President, agreed to award him the José Martí Order, which exalts those who fight for independence, freedom and anti-imperialist solidarity among the peoples of Our America.

With this act, the Cuban government and people reiterate their unconditional solidarity with the Ecuadoran government and people, who we will always accompany, and we ask you, President Correa, to accept this as a sincere gesture of respect and friendship toward Ecuador.

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