Brothers and sisters,
It is always exciting to return to Harlem. But today we did not come here to mourn the death of our Commander in Chief, although we are overwhelmed by sorrow. We came here, to the heart of Harlem, the Harlem that sheltered him and extended its helping hand in 1960, the Harlem of the historic meeting between Malcolm X and Fidel, which became a genuine expression of political solidarity from the African-American people towards the Cuban people, the same Harlem that received him again in the years 1995 and 2000, the Harlem of Lucius Walker, Elombe Brath of December 12, the supportive and revolutionary Harlem, indispensable in his visits.
Today, we have come to Harlem to celebrate his life because as our Apostle José Martí said: “Dying is nothing, dying is living, dying is planting”. We celebrate his life because Fidel has not died, Fidel has multiplied in all of us, and every one of us is Fidel.
We came to celebrate the life of a man who gave his own life to serve the cause of the common good, the cause of the dispossessed of the world, a man who taught us that principles are not negotiable and that we must uphold them whatever the sacrifice might be, who taught us to live with dignity, to raise our voice against injustice and discrimination, to never give up and to challenge the dominant forces. He taught us the value of unity and solidarity, and that we can make mistakes but we must have the courage to recognize them and rectify them.
Fidel set us free, he made us freer men and women, he taught us to dream and he made us realize that dreams can come true and obstacles can be overcome. Through him we learned that there is no force in the world capable of ripping off the power of truth and ideas.
The Commander will never return physically to Harlem. However, I am convinced that his ideas, his thoughts, his legacy, will stay in Harlem, in each and everyone of you. There is no doubt in my mind that all of you, as revolutionaries of the world, will not let his example die.
I take this opportunity to thank the people of Harlem for its never-ending solidarity to the Cuban Revolution and its huge expressions of respect, admiration and affection for our beloved Fidel.
And before you, we reaffirm that the Cuban Revolution will continue its unstoppable path, with confidence and optimism, because as Malcolm X said: “That is indeed a Revolution”.
Thank you Harlem, Fidel’s home from yesterday, today and always!
Until victory forever! (Hasta la Victoria Siempre)