Monday, July 26, 2010

Machado Ventura's July 26 speech in Spanish

José Ramón Machado Ventura

Discurso del compañero José Ramón Machado Ventura, Primer Vicepresidente del Consejo de Estado y de Ministros en el acto por el 26 de Julio de 2010, en la Plaza Comandante Ernesto Guevara, de Santa Clara.


Compañero General de Ejército Raúl Castro Ruz, Presidente de los Consejos de Estado y de Ministros.

Compañeros Rafael Ramírez y Ricardo Menéndez, Vicepresidentes de la República Bolivariana de Venezuela y demás Ministros y miembros de la delegación de esa nación hermana que nos honra hoy con su presencia en este acto.

Compañeras y compañeros de la Dirección del Partido, del Estado y el Gobierno, de la Unión de Jóvenes Comunistas y las organizaciones de masas, de la Asociación de Combatientes de la Revolución Cubana, las gloriosas Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias y el Ministerio del Interior.

Asaltantes y familiares de los mártires de los cuarteles Moncada y Carlos Manuel de Céspedes y de nuestros Cinco Héroes, injustamente condenados y detenidos en las cárceles del imperio yanqui.

Caravanistas de Pastores por la Paz orientados y dirigidos por el reverendo Lucius Walker que durante veintiún años han enfrentado y vulnerado el bloqueo contra nuestra Patria y una vez más dan, con su asistencia a este acto, muestra de su amor por la Revolución Cubana.

Compatriotas:

Como fue informado, la Dirección de nuestro Partido decidió dedicar este 26 de Julio al Libertador Simón Bolívar, en el 227 aniversario de su natalicio, y también al Bicentenario de las luchas independentistas de los pueblos de Nuestra América.

El compañero Hugo Chávez había previsto estar aquí junto al pueblo de Cuba y hablar en este acto. No ha podido ser, pero sabemos que él comanda hoy al heroico pueblo venezolano que se apresta a responder, como denunció en la tarde de ayer, a las amenazas del imperio contra la seguridad nacional y la soberanía de Venezuela y contra su propia vida.

Reiteramos, una vez más, nuestra inquebrantable solidaridad con Venezuela y la condena al despliegue de bases militares norteamericanas en Colombia, que pone en peligro la paz en la región.

Ante las amenazas y provocaciones, Venezuela tiene todo el derecho a defenderse y contará siempre con el firme respaldo de todo el pueblo cubano.

Presente en esta tribuna, en representación del presidente Chávez y del pueblo venezolano, se encuentra la Delegación de ese hermano país a la Primera Cumbre Cuba-Venezuela, integrada por los dos Vicepresidentes ya mencionados, seis Ministros y otros compañeros.

Esta Cumbre tiene como principal objetivo avanzar hacia un nivel más alto de nuestros vínculos, consolidar la unión económica entre Venezuela y Cuba, chequear la ejecución de los proyectos acordados e iniciar otros, en beneficio del bienestar de ambos pueblos.

Nos inspiran las ideas, aún por realizarse, de una gran nación de Repúblicas, de Bolívar y de Nuestra América, de José Martí.

Nuestro Héroe Nacional, inspirador de la generación que hace exactamente 57 años asaltó los cuarteles Moncada y Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, sintió una profunda admiración por Simón Bolívar. Todos conocemos el célebre pasaje de La Edad de Oro en que narra con singular devoción cómo, sin quitarse el polvo del camino, rindió tributo emocionado ante la estatua ecuestre del Libertador en Caracas.

Con su verbo elocuente, dedicó a Bolívar medulares escritos y apasionados discursos. En uno de éstos, Martí hacía énfasis al decir: «...porque lo que él no dejó hecho, sin hacer está hasta hoy, porque Bolívar tiene que hacer en América todavía!».

Nunca como hoy, aquellas proféticas palabras del Apóstol de Cuba tienen tanta vigencia. Ellas marcan el camino de la unidad, por el que ya avanzamos decididamente en la Alianza Bolivariana de los Pueblos de Nuestra América.

Cuando en toda América Latina se conmemora el Bicentenario del inicio de las luchas por la independencia, cada vez con más fuerza los pueblos se levantan para llevar a término la obra inconclusa, y hacer realidad las aspiraciones de libertad y justicia por las que lucharon Bolívar y tantos otros héroes eternos.

El Comandante en Jefe rindió este sábado, en el Mausoleo de Artemisa, homenaje a los mártires del 26 de julio y a la lucha sin tregua de nuestro pueblo por su independencia. Reiteró en su mensaje a los combatientes revolucionarios de Artemisa y de toda Cuba, que su pensamiento revolucionario partió de la idea martiana de que «Patria es Humanidad» y que nuestra lucha constituye una prueba de lo que puede lograr un pequeño país frente al gigantesco poder del imperio.

Fidel, cuya visible recuperación es motivo de profunda alegría para los revolucionarios cubanos y para los hombres y mujeres progresistas más allá de nuestras fronteras, está presente y combatiendo en este día que tanto significa para él y para todos nosotros.

El propio Fidel ha plasmado reiteradamente su admiración infinita por Bolívar. En el libro Un grano de maíz, el líder de la Revolución Cubana apuntó: «Yo he leído mucho sobre Bolívar y no me canso nunca de leer sobre Bolívar, sobre cada uno de sus minutos, cada una de sus tragedias, cada uno de sus éxitos. Tengo una simpatía extraordinaria por Bolívar como no la tengo, digamos, por ningún otro personaje de la historia...».

Eso fue dicho precisamente en 1992, el año en que Chávez encabezó al pueblo venezolano en el alzamiento del 4 de Febrero; valiente y patriótica acción lanzada para hacer revivir, dar continuidad y llevar a la práctica los sueños del Libertador.

Como el asalto al Moncada abrió el camino a la etapa definitiva de la Revolución Cubana, la sublevación de los militares patriotas comandada por Chávez, fue precursora de la pujante e invencible Revolución Bolivariana.

Son los mismos sueños que inspiraron al Che y a sus heroicos compañeros de la gesta internacionalista en Bolivia, cuyos restos son custodiados celosamente por los hijos de esta aguerrida tierra villaclareña, que vio combatir al Guerrillero Heroico y acompañarán siempre a nuestro pueblo, como glorioso Destacamento de Refuerzo, en las luchas de hoy y de mañana. Che estaría orgulloso de este acto de reafirmación patriótica y latinoamericanista, de cuya causa fue un paladín.

Queridos compatriotas:

En el afán por obtener la sede del acto central por el Día de la Rebeldía Nacional, tienen un mérito particular las provincias que resultaron ganadoras: Ciego de Ávila, Granma y Ciudad de La Habana, que obtuvieron la condición de Destacadas, y Villa Clara que mereció ser la sede conmemorativa. No se trata de una emulación triunfalista, de fanfarrias y grandes actos, sino de premiar el esfuerzo, los resultados y el modesto cumplimiento del deber.

Villa Clara ha mantenido una gran estabilidad en los últimos 12 años, con avances en los principales sectores socioeconómicos del territorio, que incluyen la industria, la producción agropecuaria y el desarrollo de un importante polo turístico, unidos a sus logros en la esfera social, en la educación, la cultura y la salud.

Estas son razones suficientes para felicitar particularmente al pueblo villaclareño, protagonista indiscutible de esos resultados, y a la Dirección del Partido y del Gobierno de la provincia, que ha alcanzado una labor cohesionada, y ha sido cantera de importantes cuadros para otros territorios y frentes de la Revolución.

Compañeras y compañeros:

Con posterioridad a los severos daños que nos ocasionaron los tres devastadores huracanes que nos azotaron hace cerca de dos años, nuestro pueblo ha debido realizar una intensa labor, en medio de un entorno internacional especialmente adverso como resultado de los efectos de la actual crisis económica global, en cuyo surgimiento no tenemos la más mínima responsabilidad, pero que junto a otros pueblos sufrimos las consecuencias; se suma a ello el anacrónico bloqueo que se empeña en mantener la administración norteamericana desde hace 50 años, y los efectos cada vez más visibles de los cambios climáticos.

En estas complejas circunstancias, como señaló Raúl en la clausura del Congreso de la Unión de Jóvenes Comunistas, «la batalla económica constituye hoy, más que nunca, la tarea principal y el centro del trabajo ideológico de los cuadros, porque de ella depende la sostenibilidad y preservación de nuestro sistema social» (fin de la cita).

No es ocioso insistir en que la producción de alimentos continúa siendo un frente esencial de la batalla económica, de ahí que debemos continuar dándole la máxima prioridad. En el Congreso de la Asociación Nacional de Agricultores Pequeños, celebrado hace apenas dos meses, se discutió lo relacionado con este estratégico sector, que demanda consolidar el proceso de entrega de tierras en usufructo y avanzar sostenidamente en el programa de la agricultura suburbana.

El ahorro, la reducción de gastos y la máxima racionalidad posible de fuerzas y recursos son una imperiosa necesidad en todos los sectores. En la educación se ha demostrado que pueden ejecutarse profundas transformaciones en el proceso docente-educativo, dirigidas a elevar su calidad, y disminuir al mismo tiempo los costos. Algo similar puede decirse de los servicios de salud, donde tenemos mucho que avanzar para eliminar derroches y gastos superfluos.

Otra tarea en la que no se puede bajar la atención ni un instante es la referida al ahorro de energía. El chequeo sistemático, la exigencia y la disciplina son indispensables para la consecución de los objetivos trazados.

Es oportuno destacar, que continuaremos el estudio, el análisis y la toma de las decisiones que conduzcan a superar nuestras insuficiencias en todos los órdenes, y perfeccionar nuestra sociedad. Actuaremos sin soluciones populistas, demagógicas o engañosas. No nos conduciremos por campañas de la prensa extranjera. Proseguiremos con sentido de responsabilidad, paso a paso, al ritmo que determinemos nosotros, sin improvisaciones ni precipitaciones, para no errar y dejar atrás definitivamente errores o medidas que no se avienen a las condiciones actuales.

Nuestro pueblo ha dado sobradas pruebas de la confianza en la dirección de nuestro Partido y Gobierno, y confía en la irrevocable voluntad que nos anima en la solución de los problemas.

No tememos a los difíciles retos que tenemos por delante, contamos para ello con la fuerza invencible de nuestro pueblo, que como dijera Fidel en ocasión de la conmemoración del vigésimo aniversario del 26 de Julio, «...si aquel día éramos un puñado de hombres, hoy somos un pueblo entero conquistando el porvenir».

Los mártires heroicos de aquella gesta no cayeron en vano. Su sacrificio hizo posible el triunfo del primero de enero de 1959. Ellos nos han acompañado en los momentos más duros de la lucha: en Girón y la Crisis de Octubre, en las gloriosas misiones internacionalistas, en los días en que desaparecía el campo socialista, se desintegraba la Unión Soviética y el Imperio y sus lacayos se frotaban las manos proclamando el fin de la Historia y augurando las horas finales de la Revolución.

¡Hoy ratificamos el compromiso ante ellos de ser fieles a los ideales por los que dieron su vida, cambiando lo que deba ser cambiado en este momento histórico, pero sin aceptar jamás presiones externas ni menoscabo alguno a nuestra soberanía, y sin renunciar ni a uno solo de nuestros sueños de justicia para Cuba y para el mundo!

De esa fidelidad y firmeza, nuestro pueblo ha dado prueba durante más de cinco décadas, y ese compromiso patriótico es hoy más alto que nunca, frente a los retos, las amenazas e intentos de chantaje.

¡Que vivan por siempre los héroes y mártires del 26 de Julio!
¡Viva la indestructible hermandad entre Cuba y Venezuela!
¡Vivan Fidel y Raúl!
¡Hasta la victoria siempre!

Revolution Day photo gallery, 2010

Cuban Vice President: Cuba won't be swayed by outside influences

Jose Ramon Machado Ventura

SANTA CLARA, Cuba - Cuba will make reforms at its own pace, proceeding "step by step," without yielding to pressures from anyone, Jose Ramon Machado Ventura said Monday on Revolution Day.
Machado Ventura, 79, gave the main speech during the event in Santa Clara in central Cuba. President Raul Castro attended but did not speak.
Fidel Castro, who has made six public appearances in recent weeks, did not attend, despite some speculation that he might show up.
Machado Ventura is first vice president of the Council of State in Cuba. He was among those rebels who joined Fidel Castro in the Sierra Maestra during the early days of the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s.
He said Cuba would fight to maintain its socialist system and would not allow any foreign powers or groups to impose conditions on the country.
He also said the government would seek solutions to economic problems only after careful study.
"We will not act with populist solutions," he said.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Fidel Castro in the spotlight again. Why now?

Fidel Castro in Artemisa. Photos: CubaDebate

In Artemisa on Saturday, Fidel Castro honored rebels killed during the attack on the Moncada barracks on July 26, 1953, in Santiago de Cuba.
This is Castro's first known public appearance outside Havana since July 2006. It is the latest in a string of appearances and has many people wondering whether the former president will attend the big event on Monday celebrating the 57th anniversary of the Moncada assault.
The Moncada attack marked the beginning of the Cuban revolution and is one of the biggest holidays of the year for the socialist government.
Castro's appearances raise many questions. Why is the former Cuban president going public now? And what did he mean on Saturday when he said:
Un año como el actual, en que nos aproximamos cada día más a dramáticos acontecimientos, me siento obligado a recordar a los valerosos compañeros encerrados en las prisiones de alta seguridad de Estados Unidos.
The words - dramáticos acontecimientos - dramatic events - caught my eye. Does Castro have something planned? Are his appearances leading up to something bigger?
So many questions, but one of the biggest is why has Fidel Castro chosen to raise his profile now?
I can't imagine that his appearances aren't part of a broader strategy. Fidel Castro is a strategist. He's a chess player. He plans many moves ahead.
So what is he up to?
Many Cubans wonder about the direction of the country. They have questions and Raul Castro does not always answer them.
When older brother Fidel was president, he was known as one of the most talkative leaders on earth. He was in the Cuban media all the time, talking, describing, explaining, trying to convince.
The Cuban people went from that style to the low-key approach of Raul Castro, who has got to be one of the least talkative heads of state around.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Old blouse brings out revolutionary nostalgia

Marta Rojas

Tucked away in Marta Rojas' closet is a memento from the Cuban revolution, a 51-year-old blouse.
"I don't think it fits me anymore," said Rojas, taking it off the hanger. "Let's see."
She slipped her hands gently into the sleeves and pulled the blouse to her chest.
"Look at that!" she said. "I can still wear it after all these years."
But there was a time when Rojas, 82, couldn't wear the blouse on the streets. She had to hide it before Fidel Castro took power because it was the uniform of members of the clandestine July 26 Movement.
After Castro defeated U.S.-backed Fulgencio Batista on Jan. 1, 1959, his followers in Havana could finally wear their July 26 shirts, blouses and armbands in public, said Rojas, the author of five novels.
"January 1st was something of a sensation," she said. "Everyone came out with their July 26 Movement shirts."
But Rojas said her most exciting moment during those early days of the revolution came hours earlier. Not long after midnight on Jan. 1, she said the Havana editor of Bohemia magazine, Enrique de la Osa, called her and other staff members and told them to go to strategic points in the city where gun battles between the rebels and Batista's forces might occur.
"We knew the revolution was going to triumph," she said. "But we didn't know exactly when or how it was going to happen."
Rojas said she had gone with friends that night to the famed Tropicana club, known for its music and dancers. But few people were there, she said.
Many of Havana's wealthy elites on Dec. 31 had gone to the Isla de los Pinos, renamed Isla de la Juventud, or Isle of Youth, after the revolution. They went to attend the opening of El Colony hotel, Rojas said.
Rojas said she decided to go to a guest house near Ciudad Libertad, where there was a military airport.
"I wanted to be near there in case there was a gunfight," she said.
But it was quiet and she went to sleep for the night.
Suddenly, the director of Bohemia magazine called her and woke her.
"He said, 'Fidel's entering Santiago de Cuba,'" the country's second-largest city. "Do you have your notes from Moncada?"
The director was referring to material Rojas had gathered during Castro's trial in 1953.
Cuban authorities had captured the rebel leader after he and some of his followers attacked the Moncada barracks in Santiago de Cuba. Rojas covered Castro's trial, but her stories could not be published because of government censorship.
Rojas had left her notes from Moncada with a girlfriend, a nanny named Santa who had nothing to do with the revolution. The Bohemia director sent a driver to pick up Rojas so she could get the notes.
"That really hit me," she said. "Six years had gone by and I could finally use that material."
She said she worked through the morning to make the magazine's publication deadline. Then, that afternoon, she put on her July 26 blouse and wore it public for the first time.
"Everyone streamed into the streets," said Rojas, who watched as Batista's followers headed to the airport at Ciudad Libertad to flee the country.
Rojas said there was no major fighting in Havana as Batista's forces gave up.
"I didn't hear a single shot," she said.
That was more than a half century ago. Since then, Rojas said, "So many things have happened in this revolution. It's been one thing after another and another."
But she said her most memorable moments came during those pre-dawn hours before Castro's triumphant march into Santiago de Cuba.
"I remember details, even people's names. It's as if I were watching a movie."

Cuba: The Battle for Hearts and Minds

A stray cat peers into an apartment building in Havana's Vedado neighborhood.

I am wrapping up a trip to Cuba. I've been working on several journalism projects, the most important of which is a series of articles about U.S. policy toward Cuba and the political opposition.
I am grateful to the Pulitzer Center in Washington, which helped finance this trip.
Among my goals over the past few weeks has been to find out what Cuban dissidents think of U.S. policy and whether they are getting any of the millions of dollars the American government has set aside for pro-democracy programs in Cuba.
Cuban officials have shown tolerance as I've traveled around Havana interviewing dissidents, pro-democracy activists and bloggers.
I have not tried to hide what I'm doing. I met Yoani Sanchez, for instance, at a public park yesterday. I know that Cuban security agents are very good at what they do. I think they generally know who meets with dissidents and other people they regard as enemies of the socialist government. I haven't wanted it to appear that I'm trying to sneak around and put anything past the security agents. That's why I think it was a good idea to meet Yoani in a public place.
My goal is to cover the evolution of Cuba over the long haul. I am not looking for big, sensational headlines. I'd rather write stories that are balanced, giving a variety of points of view.
I am not trying take sides or meddle in Cuba's internal affairs. My hope is to better understand whether U.S. pro-democracy programs are having an impact.
Some dissidents told me they welcome help from abroad. Others said they don't accept money from the United States or from U.S.-financed groups.
I also interviewed Cuban experts on the so-called counterrevolution. These experts included Reinaldo Taladri, Jesus Arboleya and others who provided great insight into the Cuban government view of U.S. policy.
I also spoke to Aleida Godinez, a.k.a. Agent Vilma, who infiltrated dissident groups and testified against a top leader of the political opposition in 2003. She said U.S. taxpayers who are financing Cuban dissidents are wasting their money, not building a democracy.
Before leaving for Cuba, a colleague sent me an e-mail asking if I had taken on more of a Miami point of view since I haven't actually lived in Cuba since early 2005. Did I understand less and less about the reality on the ground in Cuba? he asked.
Maybe so, I told him.
You read a lot of the blogs and you get the sense that Cuba is about to explode. But once I got here, it didn't look like that at all.
The economy is ragged and people scramble to make ends meet. But I don't see any signs of civil unrest. I attended two Damas de Blanco marches in Havana and they went off without incident. They were orderly, almost subdued.
There is much I have not seen. I went to Camaguey this week, but haven't had time during this trip to spend much time outside Havana. I've read reports that opposition protests are more spirited in some interior towns. But I don't know if that's true.
Tomorrow I head to Santa Clara. Raul Castro is scheduled to speak the following day, the 57th anniversary of the attack on the Moncada barracks in Santiago de Cuba.
It'll be interesting to hear what he says and see how the crowd reacts.
Once I get back to the U.S., I plan to continue doing interviews to learn more about the more than $100 million the American government has spent on Cuban pro-democracy programs over the past five years. This is a complicated subject that requires - and deserves - much more investigation.
While in Cuba, I've concentrated most of my effort on reporting and interviewing - not writing. But I have sent more than a half dozen hurried reporter's notebook entries to the Pulitzer Center blog, called Untold Stories. They'll be published in the coming days.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Where will Fidel Castro turn up next?

Photo taken near Marti statue in Parque Central.

Just a few days remain before the July 26 anniversary of the attack on Moncada. Raul Castro is expected to speak at 7 p.m. in Santa Clara.
Will Fidel Castro make a surprise appearance? His string of five public appearances weren't announced to the press in Havana. My guess is that he won't show up in Santa Clara, but who knows... Fidel Castro has been full of surprises for more than a half century.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Future of Damas de Blanco?

Laura Pollan, leader of Damas de Blanco

Las Damas de Blanco has been a vital force in bringing international attention to the cause of Cuba's political prisoners.
The group is made up of mostly of wives and other relatives of 75 dissidents, journalists and others jailed in a government crackdown on dissent in March 2003.
In a dramatic move, Cuban authorities have begun releasing 52 prisoners, representing the last of the 75 who remained in prison.
Laura Pollan, leader of Damas de Blanco, said she and other members of the group will continue fighting until all political prisoners are freed.
Elizardo Sanchez, a leading human rights activist in Havana, said more than 100 political prisoners remain in Cuban jails.
A Cuban government official who spoke on condition of anonymity questioned that figure and said those remaining inmates are common criminals, not political prisoners.
All this raises questions:
In what form will Damas de Blanco continue to exist?
How many members of the group will drop out once their love ones are freed?
How many women will continue to march on Sundays?
And how will the United States government respond to the prisoner release?

Leap into the sand


A young Cuban athlete takes part in a long-jump competition at the Estadio Panamericano, east of Havana.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Fidel Castro makes a rare appearance on Cuban television

Fidel Castro and Randy Alonso met Monday evening

Fidel Castro on Monday made a lengthy appearance on Cuban television for the first time since he fell ill in July 2006. He said he worried that the United States would attack Iran, setting off a nuclear war.
"They're playing with fire," Castro told Randy Alonso, the host of Mesa Redonda, a Cuban news program.


Castro, who is nearly 84 years old, sat behind a small desk during the encounter and read from a series of news reports detailing the latest developments in the Middle East.
"I read quite a bit of news every day," Castro said.
Castro and Alonso discussed the possibility of war for nearly an hour with the former president doing most of the talking.
Alonso then read Castro's most recent column on the threat of war. That took about 19 minutes. Alonso thanked Castro for appearing on the program and that was the end of the show.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Extraordinary times in Cuba

Laura Pollan, leader of Las Damas de Blanco, marches along Quinta Avenida in Havana on Sunday.

There has been a flurry of news in Cuba. First came the Cuban government's decision to release 52 political prisoners over the next three months. Then came the extradition of Francisco Chavez Abarca, a Salvadoran accused of carrying out violent attacks against Cuba.


Salvadoran Foreign Minister Hugo Martinez, at left in the photo below, arrived to meet with his Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez, at right. Items on their agenda included Salvadoran President Mauricio Funes' upcoming visit to Cuba.


More news came today when Fidel Castro's photographer son Alex posted photos showing the former Cuban president visiting a research center in Havana. Alex Castro shot the pictures last week at the National Center for Scientific Investigation in Havana. One news report said Castro used a cell phone camera to take the pictures; I haven't confirmed that.

 Photos by Alex Castro. Source: CubaDebate

News of Fidel Castro's rare public appearance comes days after the Cuban government said it would free 52 prisoners held since a government crackdown on dissidents in March 2003.
Guillermo Fariñas announced he'd end his 134-day hunger strike after Cuban authorities announced the release. Fariñas is a dissident and independent journalist in the central town of Santa Clara. He began his protest after dissident Orlando Zapata Tamayo died in February after an 86-day hunger strike.
Laura Pollan said on Sunday that at least 20 of the 52 prisoners have agreed to leave Cuba and travel to Spain. Six others refused, saying they want to stay in Cuba.
More than a dozen reporters and photographers showed up to cover the Damas' march on Sunday. The women marched without any interference. A passing motorist yelled something like, "Those people aren't news." Another shouted, "Mariconas," which means lesbians.
The Damas kneeled in front of Santa Rita Church and prayed after finishing their march, then they chanted "Freedom! Freedom!" A few minutes later as they gathered at a nearby park and some of them repeated the chant. A man who was shooting video missed that shot and asked the Damas to repeat it. One prominent member of the group refused, saying that these chants "come from the soul" and aren't meant to be repeated just because someone asks.
The cameraman asked if, well, the Damas could please be inspired again to feel it "from the soul." More than a half dozen of the women complied, chanting "Freedom! Freedom!" once again, then told the cameraman that they hoped he was satisfied.