By: Phatse Justice Piitso
Your excellency President-Elect Joe Biden,
Warm congratulations on your elections as the 46th President of the United States of America. Your electoral victory represents a tremendous opportunity, not only to the American people but to the whole of the world of humanity.
From the ancient antiquity of the Greek and the Roman empires, to the historical era of the signing of the magna carta, the great American revolution and the great October Socialist revolution, humanity has epitomised democracy as a treasure store of its highest values, to have given birth to the new modern society. Over centuries, it became an emboldened tradition of nation states, based on the will of the majority of the people.
It has become an inseparable phenomenon amongst the great nations of the world, whose civilisation continues to be passed from one generation to the other. In the midst of the spectacle of our struggle for freedom and necessity, we continue to derive the meaning of its existence, as we strive to build a better world for all of humanity.
From the earliest period of the Peloponnesian war between the Athens and Spartans, around 430 B.C, humanity has been confronted by the deadliest calamities which threatened its existence. After the devastating wars of history, a pandemic called the plague of Athens almost ravaged two thirds of the population.
As we walk along each other through this great journey of the trails, tribulations, and victories, of human civilisation, our mother nature continues to impose its influence on the destiny of our great nations. The CORONA Virus pandemic is one of such calamities. Its catastrophic consequences, define the inherent contradictions of mother nature.
We continue with this long journey, for we are men and women shaped by our time, who in our mortal hands, hold the power to transform our beautiful mother nature, into a valley of hope. Together we have the capabilities to build ourselves into a magnetic fortress to achieve our noble objectives.
Today the world and its people is celebrating the 62nd anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban revolution. One of the rare epochal events, which remains to be a turning point, in the history of our struggle, for the liberation of humankind.
For a period of almost hundred and twenty three years, since the outbreak of the American-Spanish war of 1898, during which the US empire occupied the sovereign state of the Republic of Cuba, and its territory of Guantanamo bay, the world witnessed some of the most untold forms of aggression against the peaceful people of the Caribbean Island. Their independence and sovereignty have been subjugated to the most horrendous forms of oppression and exploitation.
The decades long economic sanctions imposed unilaterally by successive US administrations, continue to inflict devastating consequences on the socio-economic conditions of the people. No other nation, endured such travesties of gross human rights violations, which the UN assembly declared to be a crime against humanity, as the people of the Republic of Cuba.
For the people of the African continent, the struggle of the Cuban people continues to be an inspiration, it continues to be an epitome of the new horizons of hope to the millions of our people. Their incalculable acts of solidarity during the struggle of the people of our continent against imperialism, colonialism, and apartheid, is a torch that continues to guide us into the future.
Throughout the years of the struggle for the independence of the homeland, the heroic Caribbean nation never lost its hope, understanding well that storms make people stronger, and that they never last forever. They embraced hope as a pendulum of prosperity in the midst of adversity.
The great teachings of Apostle Jose Marti and the Commander in Chief, Fidel Castro, have steered them to appreciate that empires, dynasties and oligarchies, have over centuries came and fell. When they come and fall, history will always judge them for the legacies they finally leave behind.
The struggle of the people of Venezuela against imperialism and colonial oppression have stayed with them much longer than what could be imagined. For years they have been at the height of insurmountable struggles for their own freedom and dignity.
The history of their struggle against colonial domination is written in the scars scattered all over their beautiful bodies. But they have become stronger to turn the pain of their wounds into medals of wisdom and hope.
In his famous letter from Jamaica of 1815, the liberator Simon Bolivar, the father of the war for the independence of Latin America, unequivocally expressed his resentment on the reluctance by the civilised nations of the Europe and North, to assist the struggle for the freedom of his people. He scathingly wrote on how the powerful nations, could not appreciate the fact that the freedom of the people of Venezuela, would be beneficial to both hemispheres.
He wrote: “With respect to heroic and helpless people of Venezuela, events there have moved so rapidly and the devastation has been such that it is reduced to frightful desolation and almost absolute indigence, although it was once among the fairest regions that are the pride of America. Its tyrants govern a desert, and they oppress only those unfortunate survivors who, having escaped death, lead a precarious existence.
A few women, children, and old men are all that remain. Most of the men have perished rather than to be slaves; those who survive continue to fight furiously on the fields and in the inland towns, until they expire or hurl into the sea those who, insatiable in their thirst for blood and crimes, rival those first monsters who wiped out America’s primitive race.
Nearly a million persons formerly dwelt in Venezuela, and it is no exaggeration to say that one out of four has succumbed either to the land, sword, hunger, plague, flight, or privation, all consequences of the war, save the earthquake”.
A few years later, during his address to the historic Congress of Angostura in 1819, he told delegates that an ignorant people are like a blind instrument of its own destruction, and emphasised on the significance of mobilising those whose limbs were benumbed by chains, their sight dimmed by the darkness of dungeons, and their strength sapped by the pestilence of servitude to march towards the august temple of liberty, in order to create a new equilibrium for the universe.
With a deep seated beautiful smiles, following on the footsteps of the founding father of their struggle for liberation Simon Bolivar, the heroic people of this country, continue to carry the flag of solidarity and internationalism to the temple of liberty. They do so because they have chosen the glorious path, of being part of the regiment of humanity, to build a better world for all.
The torments of this anguished history, have made them emerge stronger and more resolute than ever before, the sovereignty and territorial independence of their great nation is what they are prepared to die for. Through the unity of their struggle, they have embraced the Bolivarian socialist revolution as their future.
Even the Maroons, the self liberated slaves in the mountain ranges of Latin America, had their own forms of democracy to govern their own affairs. The Palmares, a true African state in the heart of the colonial Brazil, whose inhabitants were mostly descendants of the slave people from Angola, practised primitive forms of a socialist system to bring peace and stability among their population.
The dream of the self liberated slaves to build an ideal state based on the fundamental principles of fraternal equality and harmonious socio-economic order, is still a dominant feature of the revolutionary traditions of the people of Brazil. This culture is still evident in countries where maroon communities were established such as the Palenque de San Basilio in Columbia, the Esmeraldas in Ecuador, San Lorenzo de los Negros in Mexico, the Maroons on Jamaica and the Saamaka and Ndyuka in Suriname.
The growing concerns of interference by the USA empire, in the domestic affairs of most of the countries, such as Brazil, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Argentina, Venezuela, Ecuador, Guatemala, Cuba and therefore undermining their sovereignty and territorial independence is a worrisome phenomenon. The interests of the empire have superseded the interests of the millions of the people of the region.
The policy of peaceful coexistence with the people of this great region of Latin America is of great historic importance. Let the will of the majority, which is the common desire of the people, be an instrument of peace and harmony.
The resolution of the Israel Palestinian question, is at the centre stage of international peace and security. For decades, the peace loving people of the independent state of Palestine, have suffered the most gruesome forms of oppression, at the hands of the Israel imperialism.
It will be in the best interest of a peaceful world, to support the international effort for the establishment of a viable Palestinian state, existing side by side with the state of Israel, with the internationally recognised borders, and with East Jerusalem as its capital.
It is time that the world and its leaders halt the illegal occupation of the land of the Palestinian people by the apartheid pariah state of Israel and support the self determination and recognition of the Palestinian state.
The resolution of the Israel Palestinian conflict will be a giant leap forward in the history of the struggle of mankind. We have all the reasons to be true to humanity, and embrace the bond of our common humanity.
The people of Palestine have become an example of endurance in their long walk to freedom and dignity. The fact is even if strong people can stand up for themselves, our solidarity is about standing up for the others, for the stronger are the ones who stand for the weak and vulnerable.
Africa is not complete without the independence of the state of the Saharawi people. Historical necessity entrust us with the inalienable revolutionary task to ensure that the peace loving people of West Sahara are liberated from the bastion of Moroccan colonialism.
The international community has the responsibility to bring to an end the brutality of the Moroccan government against the people of Saharawi. There is not a nobler a cause than to give freedom to the last remaining colony on the African continent.
We call on the international community to do what is right fot the people of West Sahara, and their freedom and dignity. They deserve freedom of association, the freedom of movement and expression.
The peaceful resolution of the West Sahara question will be at the best interest of international peace and security. The world has come to change to give meaning to what freedom and equality represents.
It is for this humane reason Mr President, that I have written this open letter to you, to implore upon you, that in the responsibility entrusted to you by the majority of the people of the great American nation, that you change what the past history could not change.
The coarse of human history depends on our determination to rise to the occasion and be true to the aspirations of humanity, to be those determined to expand the frontiers of liberty to humanity, of being the fortitude of peace and tranquility. The most important lesson of history is the dream about the better future for all humanity.
The moments of history are few, they are a rare occasion, which today stand to make the mandate of your presidency, the glorious moment of our lifetime. The future belong to those who believe that democracy is indeed the will of the majority.
In the period of your elected mandate as the President of the United States of America, you have the opportunity to achieve this noble goal, of making a definitive contribution to the world for peace and prosperity. I have all the reason to trust that this can be a dream come true, that you can be a true liberator of our time.
I thank you.
* Ambassador Phatse Justice Piitso was a former Ambassador of South Africa to Cuba. He is now Chief of Staff in the office of the Secretary General of the African National Congress. He writes this article in his own personal capacity.