Tehran, August 13, 2020. Thus began the anecdotes about the only official visit of our Commander-in-Chief to the Islamic Republic of Iran, which we asked our brother, the solidarity leader Abdolhamid Sharabi, to tell us in remembrance of this universal holiday that is Fidel's birthday.
We thank Sharabi not only for decades of unwavering friendship, but also for the publication and translation into Persian of the book "Speeches by Fidel" which contains 18 speeches by the Commander delivered between 1960 and 1981, the Persian text of the book "Fidel y la Religión ", as well as the publications through the Iran-Cuba Friendship Association, and later by the Casa de América Latina (HOLA), of the valuable reflections that the Historical Leader of the Cuban Revolution gave us.
What follows is the result of an extremely exciting exchange that we had with Sharabi, responding to our request that he tell us, from the deepest feeling ... well, much and very well has already been written about the political and bilateral significance of that visit. .
On the sunny days of May 8-10, 2001, the most meaningful turning point in the relations that unite these revolutions and peoples took place. ”... The leader of the Cuban Revolution had come to visit a friendly country. His visit was awaited by all of us at the Iran-Cuba Friendship Association, and received by the great masses of the Iranian people, who called the Commander by his first name (something very unusual in Iran), indicating how close they felt. by a man who had proven tireless. in the fight not only for his people, but also for all the oppressed throughout the world ... "
The agenda was intense, Fidel began by paying tribute to Imam Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Revolution, visiting his home and expressing his admiration for the simplicity of the life of a man who was the Leader of a great nation. He fraternally exchanged with then-President Sayed Mohamed Khatami and Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei. When Fidel and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei met, their message that Iran and Cuba together could defeat US imperialism went around the world.
But Fidel could not stop reciprocating with the organizations in solidarity with Cuba that he was prepared for his meeting with students and professors from the two most important universities in Iran: the University of Tehran and the Tarbiat Modares University. The latter is the house of higher studies for those who will be professors in the Persian nation, which reinforced the importance of Fidel speaking to them there.
Sharabi tells us that no more Fidel entered the Aula Magna, he stood up, without prior coordination, and shouted as loudly as he could: Long live Fidel! His cry was replicated for several minutes, while the Commander, in clear reciprocity, raised his fist and saluted them. The atmosphere was overwhelming and there was no room for a pin in both rooms.
Fidel dared to speak a few words in Farsi and in a very humble way apologized for not being in a position to speak it fluently. That gesture had a tremendous impact on audiences.
“We were all excited to hear Fidel's sincere and educational speeches. The hallways were packed. The public, impatient for his arrival and super excited for his appearance. Fidel spoke of the importance of education, not in a limited sense but rather in one sense, of knowing several languages, different sciences, history, etc. He gave extensive statistics on the achievements of the Islamic Revolution in a number of fields such as education, health, roads, clean water and electricity, compared to the period when Shah was in power. "
Sharabi has not stopped being in contact with our Diplomatic Mission in Tehran for a single moment since its opening a few months after the triumph of the Islamic Revolution in 1979, which Cuba immediately recognized by direct indications of our Commander in Chief. For many years Sharabi had insisted with his Cuban brothers that Fidel's visit to Iran was vital, something he did relentlessly from 1979 to 2001, when he was president of the Iran-Cuba Friendship Association. Seeing Fidel in Iran was his joy, emotion and in all modesty something that he considers a personal achievement. His dream and commitment came true
“Fidel was received in Iran not only as a distinguished statesman, but above all as a man who belonged to his people; coming to power after a long struggle on behalf of his people; remaining loyal and truthful to his people; serving the interests not of a handful of the rich and favored, but of the masses of the disadvantaged and oppressed. As a man who had championed deep international solidarity among peoples of all colors, races and religions, and finally as a close, sincere friend and supporter of the Iranian people in their heroic struggles for independence, peace and justice. He was not a stranger among us, but a member of the family. It was such a moving and unforgettable visit”