Havana.  October 22, 2008

      Reflections of Fidel
      The Russian Orthodox Church

      IT is a spiritual force. In the critical moments of Russian history it 
played an important role. When the Great Russian War began after the 
treacherous Nazi attack, Stalin turned to it in support of the workers and 
peasants that the October Revolution made owners of the factories and the land.

      When the USSR disintegrated, imperialism did not have an ally in that 
Church. For that reason, when His Eminence Vladimir Mijailovich Gundiav, 
Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, visited our country in 2004, I 
proposed to him to build a cathedral of the Russian Orthodox Church as a 
monument to Cuban-Russian friendship. City Historian Eusebio Leal assumed 
responsibility for the completion of the task. Soil from the place where the 
remains of Soviet soldiers who died in our country during many years of lending 
their services here. For that reason, when the Cathedral was inaugurated last 
Sunday, I felt a desire to talk with the esteemed figure from the Russian 
Orthodox Church who was visiting us.

      Tomorrow, Thursday, he will be in Venezuela conversing with President 
Chávez. Both are inspired by the same ethical principles emanating from 
Christ's preaching according to the Evangelists, a religious belief that the 
two share. Then he is to visit Ecuador to talk with Correa, a political leader 
educated in Liberation Theology.

      His Eminence is not an enemy of socialism, nor does he condemn to eternal 
fire those of us who based ourselves on Marxism-Leninism to fight for a just 
world. When he talks in the UN Human Rights Council or other institutions, he 
is listened to with much respect. In his immense country, he talks regularly on 
television, for 15 minutes every Saturday, and is followed with interest by 
tens of millions of people.

      Our capital is enriched with a temple worthy of the prestigious Russian 
Orthodox Church, which is unimpeachable evidence of the respect of our 
Revolution for one of the fundamental principles of human rights, in consonance 
with a profound and radical socialist revolution.

      There is no reason whatsoever to make the slightest concession to Yankee 
imperialism. I have the impression that His Eminence thinks that way. He is not 
anti-Muslim, he respects that religion. Within his ecumenical conception, he 
believes that the Catholic Church can solve his problems with countries such as 
China and Vietnam.

      It was most agreeable and edifying talking with him.

      Fidel Castro Ruz
      October 21, 2008
      7:40 p.m.

      Translated by Granma International 


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