While feeling still deeply sad, I could not talk anymore until I arrived in the Cruce de los Baños´Historical Centre where its workers welcomed us with tears on their eyes.
While being part of the Cuban press team in the year 2004, we met him personally on January 29th of that same year at the Miraflores Palace on the occasion of the first meeting for Cuban and Venezuelan intellectuals which was held in Caracas where we took some photos.
A few days ago, there had been two hurricanes which had affected the Cuban western region and Hugo Chávez was joking with the then local minister of culture, Abel Prieto when he said to him: “Fidel has just told me that those meteorological phenomena cross often over that region given the fact that no one pay attention to them there.”
It was on the rainy evening on May 19th of that same year and on the occasion of the reopening of the José Martí Cultural center in Caracas that our ambassador, Germán Sánchez, introduced me to him officially as a representative of the Cuban Radio who was part of our press staff.
What kind of works are you carrying out? Where are you staying? How are you being treated? Then after answering all his questions, Hugo Chávez made me another question: Where are you from in Cuba? I am from Santiago de Cuba, I replied to him proudly.
“Oh, listen, I have told Fidel that I want to go to Santiago de Cuba province to visit the Moncada barrack.” Hugo Chávez said to me with his great charisma and openness while greeting me again and giving me some pats on my shoulder. He even asked me to send to him a sample of those works I had been working on; therefore, I sent them to him immediately, the following morning.
Taking into consideration that opportune chance, I asked him an interview to be published on July 2nd on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the Haciendo Radio program of our radio station and the fact that it could be recorded in advance which he accepted except the idea about recording it.
“The live program would allow me to communicate directly by transmitting all my regards and gratitude to Fidel and the Cuban people.” Hugo Chávez said.
In the night on July 2nd, there was a call which woke me up by informing me that the President Chávez was ready for the interview requested by the Radio Rebelde station.
After all the official procedures, it was at eight o clock sharp that the President and Commander Chávez arrived in the Haciendo Radio program where without referring to the context about the journalistic work in Caracas, it was first achieved on July 2004 the live radio interview with the Bolivarian leader and the Cubans who admire him.
During the year 2004, we saw him to evade with courage and intelligence the traps, provocations and aggressions orchestrated by the Venezuelan-opposition oligarchy and its foreign accomplices. Moreover, He excelled in the referendum carried out on August 15th of that same year where he won another important electoral victory.
It is impossible to forget the lyric: ´Aviva las candelas el fuego barines y el sol de la victoria ya alumbra en santa Inés; ´ it is a stanza that was part of the song which he used to sing in that electoral campaign that showed his Venezuelan rural origin.
The privilege of the profession allowed me to see him while using his great intelligence at the Cumbre Iberoamericana (Latin American Summit) which was held in the year 2000 in Panama where the terrorist Luís Posada Carriles attempted to blow up, with a powerful C-4 explosive charge, the Panamanian Paraninfo University where Fidel was going to make a speech.
It was also in the Dominican Republic in 2002, the European Union, Latin America and the Caribbean in May 2006, including Vienna and other important international forums where he showed with honor the ability of its oratory while even saying to Bush the accurate words: ´You are a donkey’ and other accurate words´ Cahorro del Imperio.´ (Imperial puppy) to the then Mexican President Vicente Fox.
On December 22nd, 2007, Chávez visited Santiago de Cuba where he was warmly welcomed as absolutely any other head of state was ever welcomed and it was while leaving the old Moncada barrack where I managed to contact him:
“Tell me, how are you? He asked me and I replied: “That is precisely what I wanted to know from you Commander, then he said that he had told me that he would go to Santiago to the Moncada Barracks and the fact that he was there. I replied to him that we were really happy about it; however, we wanted to know his opinion about the official reception and he said that he did not deserve such honor and the fact that we had a wonderful people.”
That is the people from Santiago de Cuba province, the one which is paying to him an immortal tribute to make eternal his victory in Santa Inés.
Honor and Glory to the brave Commander!