President Castro's message to new Spanish PM

Campaign News | Wednesday, 17 March 2004

Cuban leader asks for Latin Americans in Iraq to be sent home

Message from the President of the Councils of State and Ministers of the Republic of Cuba to the distinguished Mr. José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero on the occasion of his election as President of the Spanish government

Distinguished Mr. José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero:

The Spanish people, decidedly opposed to the cruel and unjust war of conquest in Iraq, likewise opposed by yourself, and outraged by the crude electoral manipulation of the unjustifiable terrorist aggression suffered on March 11, has decided to entrust you with the leadership of the Spanish government. On the occasion of this important event, which will have repercussions in the international sphere, we express to you our recognition.

I would also like to extend, and in a special way, our most profound admiration and a tribute of respect to the people of Spain for their nobility and heroism, demonstrated so many times throughout history.

I congratulate you on your decision to withdraw the Spanish troops from Iraq by June 30.

Bearing in mind this decision, I beg you not to forget that, by virtue of actions and pressures on the part of Mr. Aznar as president of the government of Spain, more than 1,000 young men from small and impoverished Latin American nations were sent as cannon fodder to Iraq under the command of the Spanish Legion. Thus, the possible death of any of those young people is the responsibility of the Spanish state.

The peoples of Latin America thus have the right to expect the immediate return of those young people. They do not have a duty to wait until June 30. The death of any one of those young Salvadorans, Hondurans, Dominicans and Nicaraguans would be doubly sad if, being immediately preventable, it is not prevented, given that the political responsibility of the principal author of that measure has been swept away by the Spanish people. The world, and particularly the peoples of our hemisphere, would greatly appreciate anything that you are able to do before assuming the presidency in order to avoid any more Latin American lives being added to those lost in the unjustifiable holocaust that took place in Madrid on March 11.

I hope that you understand the spirit of this message and transmit to you my most sincere sentiments of respect and consideration.

Fidel Castro Ruz

Havana, March 15, 2004

Original source Granma International:

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