HAVANA, Oct. 17th Former Cuban Vice President Carlos Lage Dávila reappeared in his 70s in a video where he recounts what his life has been like in these decades and calls for “profound changes” for Cuba.
In the 8:41 minute audiovisual material, the former official makes his first public statement after 12 years of silence, and documents with photographic images the most important stages of his career as a professional and politician, while with a voiceover he reads a script with an account of what has been lived.
The video apparently recorded and distributed by the former vice president under the LaG Producciones label, appeared posted by journalist and teacher Milena Recio on her Facebook wall.
Lage, who celebrated his 70th birthday last Friday, affirms that he continues to trust the revolution and firmly believes that “socialism is a fairer and more humane society.”
“And in our case, that of Cuba and the Cubans, the only way to be independent as a nation and worthy as a people. Although this socialism can only be reached with profound changes, many more than in the last 20 years. supposed limits and taking risks, that is now what is truly revolutionary, “said Lage, who is remembered for being the architect of the calculated economic reforms implemented on the island more than three decades ago.
“In the face of any dilemma that arises in the future, whatever the causes, I will be on the side that benefits the revolution,” he said.
Lage was removed as vice president on March 2, 2009, as part of a purge of the ruling hierarchy that included several high-ranking figures from the political elite, including Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque.
Three days after his dismissal, Lage and Pérez Roque also had to resign from their positions in the Council of State, the Communist Party and the National Assembly of People’s Power.
In an article published days later under the heading of “Reflections”, Fidel Castro said that the group of destitute had been carried away by “the honey of power.”
These are his first public statements after the defenestration process in which he was involved, after knowing some recordings made by State Security in which he referred disparagingly towards José Ramón Machado Ventura, a high-ranking figure in the Communist Party and Raúl Castro’s henchman.
After recounting the characteristics of his childhood and his training as a doctor, he refers that “the tasks and responsibilities in the youth organizations, in the party, and in the Government marked his existence.”
Although he affirms that he knew “in depth the revolutionary, intellectual and human greatness of Fidel”, with whom he worked for 20 years, the former regime official assures that socialism “can only be reached with profound changes” and, he said, “that is now the truly revolutionary. “
“I knew in depth the revolutionary, intellectual and human greatness of Fidel, almost 20 of the 70 years of my life were with him, including the endless days of uncertainty, optimism and firmness of the Special Period. I felt him as a friend and part of the family. My admiration and affection for Fidel cannot be modified, “said the former official, who was one of the leaders with the greatest influence in the Cuban state.
Regarding his stage as a government official, Lage points out that he dedicated himself to the revolution “with passion and without time limits, with disinterest and without living from it.”
“I am proud that this has been the case. The replacement of my position did not surprise me, together with Emma and the boys we had anticipated it, that is where the second life began, very different from the previous one,” he explained.
His moments after the dismissal ordered by Fidel and Raúl Castro are narrated as a stage of resilience forged by his wife Emma Codorniú and his three children, Carlos, César and Cristina; his brothers, nephews, brothers-in-law, and the whole family.
“They all closed the line and were closer than ever,” said the former official, who affirms that since his adolescence he embraced “the revolution and its ideals of justice.”
He relates that acquaintances and strangers have made him live “real moments of emotion”, something that still happens with relative frequency today.
He also tells about his return to Medicine, where he had studied the speciality of Pediatrics: “He had to be a doctor and had not practised for 35 years. A diploma, a master’s degree, a speciality, the second-degree speciality, the teaching category, they required me to study and even return to the classroom at 58 years old, but I found no reason not to
A colleague who knows it is not the salary and the reason asked me why I was still working, and I replied: ‘To help’, and I will follow him doing as long as my health allows it, “he said. (Translated from Cibercuba)