Today, the WFTU family mourns the loss of one of its members, Ramon, Ramonin.
Today Ramon, all those for whom you were fighting for we are mourning.
All those who walked beside you and all those you have honored while you were alive, are mourning;not only in your country in Cuba but all over the world.You left us no time to be prepared, you found us all unprepared; yet you left us without getting old.
You were a “giant” of the WFTU. Because one becomes a giant with the size of the soul, the fighting force of his heart and the vision of a communist mind. And you had it all. Throughout your life.
Since the first time I met you in 2003 at the WFTU office in Geneva until last year when the WFTU symbolically honored you in Geneva, you have kept these characteristics unchanged, no matter in what position you served the struggle of the international working class.
As the Head of the WFTU Office in Geneva, as a member of the WFTU Secretariat and Presidential Council member, as the Head of the WFTU Regional Office in Latin America.
Many images and moments are going around in my mind during these hours but I never forget your fighting attitude in the snowy and cold Prague in December 2005 when we went to take over the WFTU from the previous leadership.
An unyielding and steadfast defender of a new path which was coming to regenerate the WFTU.
Faithful to the directions of CTC and to the decisions of the 15th historic World Trade Union Congress.
And it may be an opportunity to say here something that only few know: you were the first to insist and nominate George Mavrikos to be elected in the position of the new General Secretary of the WFTU.
You left us Ramonin with your head held straight up, with honesty and dignity.
Tireless and unstoppable, you kept working for the problems of Latin American workers and of the whole world. Internationalism and solidarity, through your action, took flesh and bones.
We have been receiving messages about you from Vietnam, India, South Africa, the countries of the Arab world, the countries of Europe and all the countries of Latin America.
Everyone mourns for you and everyone has a good word to say about you, not only about the fighter but also about Ramon as a human.
Because you did not forget to be human above all.
The first thing you ‘ve always asked me when we met was about my daughter, and you did that for each one of us, to ask about his family.
You looked us straight in the eye, neither low nor high, as only pure and honest fighters do.
You had a lot of obligations and the day was not enough for you; but you always found the time and the mood not only to talk to your cadres and comrades but also to listen, to hear a lot in an open discussion about politics and party issues as well for all current international issues as well as for history matters.
You leave behind not your name but your work, for the workers of Cuba, of Latin America but also in all countries through the lines of the WFTU, you leave your actions, you leave your documents, your ideas, your proposals, everything that made your comrades believe in you, in the principles, in the values and the ideals that you represented, a legacy for the young fighters to be fighters in life and for life.
In the difficult years of the WFTU you were there and you endured.
You did not retreat, you were not afraid, you did not compromise, you did not betray.
With pride and faith in the principles of the WFTU, you fought like a real cadre from whatever position you were in and when the decisions were made, you stepped forward to implement them, no matter what point of view you personally had, you were stepping back in front of the general good.
The WFTU family says goodbye to you, we say goodbye to your evergreen youth, the optimism you shared and the joy of creation.
We send to your beloved son Abel and your beloved wife our strength and courage to their pain and loss.
Have a good trip Ramon.
Your faith in the vision of the WFTU, your dignity and your humanity is the flame that we will keep alive to always give us the example.
You were the champion of the principle of unstoppable struggle.
PS: I wish to thank the WFTU Secretariat for giving me the chance to address this personal message about the loss of Ramon.