Havana, March 29 (IANS/EFE) Cuba’s Fidel Castro published Friday the complete transcript of the telephone conversation he had with Hugo Chavez in April 2002 when the since-deceased Venezuelan president was restored to office following an abortive coup.
Friday’s edition of Communist Party daily Granma included an eight-page supplement with a few words by Castro together with the transcript of the April 14, 2002, exchange.
“(Simon) Bolivar kept his word. More than 100 years later, reincarnated in Chavez, he was faithful, this time more than ever, to his commitment to return when the awareness of the Venezuelan people should awaken,” Fidel, who relinquished power to younger brother Raul Castro in 2006 after falling gravely ill, said in a brief note accompanying the transcript.
For several months Castro has not published more of his writing in Cuban media and his article Friday appears at a time of political crisis in Venezuela and protests against the government of Nicolas Maduro, who became head of state following Chavez’s March 2013 death from cancer.
The coup on April 11, 2002, removed Chavez from power for less than 48 hours. He was ousted and taken to the island of La Orchila, until loyal military troops restored him to the presidency.
In 2012, Granma published another phone call that Fidel Castro made to Chavez at midnight on April 12, 2002, in which he suggested honorable treatment for those who had toppled him and that he let them live.
In the transcript released this Friday, Chavez tells Castro how he lived through his downfall and about his captivity, and shared information about other details such as the situation at the Cuban Embassy in Caracas during the uprising.