Letter from Fidel to Chávez
I'm very pleased you've been able to get back to that piece of Latin American land you love so much and that fraternal people who support you so whole-heartedly.
A long, agonising wait, your amazing physical resilience and the total dedication of the doctors (as they have shown for 10 years) were needed to reach this goal.
It would be remiss not to mention the indomitable constancy with which your closest relatives, your comrades in revolutionary leadership, the Bolivarian Armed Forces - rearmed and re-equipped by you - and decent people all over the world, have expressed their concern.
Special mention is merited for the encouragement the Venezuelan people gave you with their daily demonstrations of unwavering, enthusiastic support. That's the explanation for the happy return to Venezuela.
You learned a lot about life, Hugo, during those harsh days of suffering and privations. Now that we no longer have the privilege of receiving your news on a daily basis, we will revert to the correspondence method we have used for many years past.
We shall live fighting for justice among human beings, without worrying about the years, the months, the days or the hours; aware, humbly, that it is our lot to live in the most crucial era in the history of mankind. Our people - which is yours too - will know tomorrow by this same means of your return to Venezuela.
Everything had to be arranged with much discretion, so as not to give the fascist groups an opportunity to plan their cynical actions against the Bolivarian revolutionary process.
When the socialist camp collapsed and the USSR disintegrated, imperialism, with the sharp dagger of its sanctions, tried to drown the Cuban Revolution in blood; Venezuela, a relatively small country in a divided Latin America, was able to thwart it. For reasons of time, I won't mention the many West Indian, Central and South American countries that Venezuela - in addition to its sweeping economic and social plans - has been able to help. That's why decent people the world over have closely followed the health and other news of Chávez.
Ever on to victory!
With much affection
17 February 2013