In the day of debates this Sunday, among the deputies to the National Assembly of People’s Power, the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Party and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, reflected on strategic issues, especially for the Cuban economy.
Lessons learned from the past year
In the Economic Affairs Committee, Díaz-Canel put into context the lessons learned from this year, marked by the covid-19 and by the blockade, exacerbated with 243 sustained measures that try to suffocate us, provoke an internal situation and generate a social outbreak to overthrow the Revolution.
He also pointed out that if we were to experience the pandemic or a similar situation again, we would surely do things differently, even though the country’s response was remarkable, due to the talent of the people, our scientists, and the health system.
This, he assured, is possible with the completion of the vaccination, which already covers 84.7% of the population with a complete schedule, and, in the same way, the application of the booster dose must be advanced promptly.
The need to work differently
With these aspects in mind, he stressed that the approach of the Budget Plan for 2022 must be different from how we have traditionally worked. He highlighted the importance of understanding that the continuation of the process of economic revival which has begun to manifest itself –even when a complex situation of shortages and shortages still persists – requires that the achievements of the confrontation with COVID-19 must be sustainable and not reversed.
He warned that it is urgent to specify this plan and the Budget Law. If we are forced to return to isolation, to physical distancing, to stop economic and social activity, the proposed indicators cannot be met.
The measures contained, he indicated, are aimed at improving the situation of our economy; it is not that they will solve all the problems, but they will make it possible to advance in a more effective way to the solution. This, in turn, must be combined with everything that we have been promoting in relation to the concept of People’s Power, of defending that exercise with more democracy and participation, as Fidel taught us.
Strengthening Popular Power from the bottom up
He pointed out that it is necessary to work on strengthening Popular Power, recognizing that this comes from the bottom up; from the communities to the municipality, from the municipalities to the provinces, and from the provinces to the country.
Many times, he commented, our actions are guided by the fact that we have become accustomed to decisions coming from above and then we apply them. “When we do that, there are many links in the middle, and we slow down the processes, and also the solutions.”
The proposal of the Plan and the Budget focuses on the need to give powers to the municipalities, stressed the President of the Republic, so that they exercise the autonomy which the Constitution recognizes, thereby addressing problems that have to do with the treatment of the situations of vulnerability in communities.
For there to be democracy and participation, spaces must also be maintained so that the population can discuss, propose, and assess the various situations that surround it, he said.
He argued that there are accountability assemblies, those of the Party nuclei, the office of the delegate of People’s Power with his electors, in addition to the digital mechanisms that have been opened thanks to the process of computerization of society.
The Head of State gave a special look to an essential issue: economic inflation. He specified that it must be understood that part of this problem is because the supply is less than the demand, and that today that demand is concentrated in medicines and food, and that this must be promoted. All this in the midst of the pandemic and an intensified blockade, with sustained subversion.
Faced with the challenge of increasing the supply, he reflected on the approval, last April, of 63 measures to promote agricultural production, which arose from meetings with the base, with producers, to learn about their main concerns. The measures also addressed investments in renewable energy sources, in order to keep changing the country’s energy matrix and to depend less and less on the import of fuels, which will strengthen sovereignty.
In another vein, he commented on the causes that have influenced the rise in some prices in the state sector. One of them, he explained, has been the inefficiencies of the companies whose actions went against the pocket of the population.
Domestic and foreign trade
The First Secretary also focused on the improvement of domestic trade, seeking more quality in services, transparency in management and diversifying offers. At the same time he called for improvement in the development of electronic commerce and the expansion of home delivery.
When we design an efficient control system with popular participation, the problem of corruption ends, and the same happens with the violation of prices and embezzlement, said Díaz-Canel.
In the same way, he insisted, that we have to diversify the mechanisms of foreign trade and foreign investment, in order to make them more agile; as well as perfecting the banking system.
President Diaz-Canel again addresses the nation on Cuban television, calling for peace and tranquility, respect and solidarity among compatriots and others around the world, saving Cuba to continue building and dreaming
Communist Party of Cuba First Secretary and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel, appeared on Cuban television, yesterday evening, and stated, “Peace and citizen tranquility, respect and solidarity among compatriots and others in need around the world, saving Cuba to continue building, growing, dreaming and achieving the greatest possible prosperity. This is our message to our people.” – If they remove the blockade, if they leave us alone and allow us to act with our own talent, we can achieve prosperity and expand the Revolution’s immense work for social justice, he insisted. – We have not been able to address many of the people’s dissatisfactions, because of the blockade, among other factors, he said. – In the midst of fake news reports and perverse manipulation regarding Cuba, he noted that Army General Raúl Castro Ruz is present, ready to support the Revolution, with his boots on and a foot in the stirrup. – He added that the way social networks are being used to attack Cuba constitutes media terrorism. – We cannot allow them to disunite us, to divide us, he said.
Fidel’s words about difficult times
– The First Secretary referred to Fidel’s words in 1992: Difficult times are difficult times; in difficult times the number of people wavering increases. In difficult times – and this is a law of history – there are those who become confused, there are those who become discouraged, there are those who are intimidated, there are those who become soft, there are those who betray, there are those who desert.
We cannot allow those who do not want the best for our land to disunite us, to divide us. But it is also in difficult times that men and women are tested; it is in difficult times that those who are worth something are really tested,” and Diaz-Canel added: “Our people are worth something; they are worth a lot and will act in this way, fearlessly, with courage and determination. This people will never lack patriotic virtues. – We are calling for peace, understanding and harmony, the President reiterated.
We call for the unity of the entire Cuban family
We are going to defend the Revolution, whatever the cost, we are calling for harmony and for no one to allow hatred to be introduced. Let us not allow anyone to divide us. Our problems will be solved by Cubans. We call for the unity of the entire Cuban family, our institutions and the people… This is a country of security and tranquility, Díaz-Canel insisted.
The First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic yesterday called for the unity of Cubans and respect among Cubans, freeing ourselves of any feelings of hatred, while demanding compliance with the norms that guarantee social tranquility in our society
During a meeting of the COVID-19 prevention and control national task force yesterday afternoon, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic, Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, called for “the unity of Cubans, and respect among Cubans, freeing ourselves of any feelings of hatred, while demanding compliance with the norms that guarantee social tranquility in our society.”
Also in attendance were Prime Minister Manuel Marrero Cruz and the President of the National Assembly of People’s Power, Esteban Lazo Hernández. Diaz-Canel referred to the current situation in the country, marked by a dangerous new wave of COVID-19, the brutally tightened U.S. blockade and disturbances by small counterrevolutionary groups orchestrated from abroad.
He explained to those present at the meeting and authorities in all provinces and the special municipality via videoconference, that there must be clarity about the programs with which the enemy “intends to destabilize our country, and how they are being sorely disappointed.”
The President recalled all that has been done in the COVID battle and efforts to keep the economy going despite the epidemic’s impact, aggravated by escalating economic aggression on the part of the United States, adding, “We do not always achieve all the results we need since we do not have the necessary resources, because of the blockade,” but our objective continues to be “the real prosperity we want for our people.”
A dialogue of respect
The motivations that move the efforts of Cuba in Revolution, our efforts, he said, “disrupt, destroy all the perversity of the empire’s plans, the plans of the Cuban-American mafia that is determined to prevent the revival of a dialogue of respect, of equals, without restrictive measures, without coercive measures between two countries that are very different ideologically, but are geographically close and could develop a fully civilized relationship, based on mutual respect. These, he stressed, are the arguments, the convictions that we must continue defending… reiterating our conviction and our truths.”
Referring to recent disturbances, the President noted, “The calls on social networks are totally aggressive, calling for murder, calling for lynching, threatening, calling for the destruction of facilities, calling for attacks against people’s homes, and in particular against persons identified as revolutionaries.” “In other words, this talk that the government is repressing peaceful demonstrations, or the requests that Cuba or the government respect the opinion of its citizens is a total lie and a total slander. Those who are demonstrating are not demonstrating peacefully. They are motivated by the hatred that has been instilled in them by the strategy of subversion so outrageously mounted, so perverse, so maliciously promoted on social networks.”
“This is media terrorism…and we will be denouncing those who have joined these campaigns for supporting terrorism,” he said. “If anyone should be on a list of terrorists, or of countries that support terrorism, it should be those who have lent themselves to this little game of the empire’s. But, we must be very calm, patient and serene.” Díaz-Canel explained that those who have perpetrated media terrorism “have used the very demonstrations in support of the Revolution, as if they were against the Revolution,” even using photographs of events in other countries, that have nothing to do with Cuba. He cited a photo of a demonstration in Egypt and one of soccer fans in Argentina celebrating their victory in the Copa America, posted as anti-government protest in Cuba. “This is so ridiculous,” he said, “but it poisons and the worst thing is that we have people who are so taken with all this that they believe the information. This is why I believe we must be very coherent, we must continue denouncing what occurs on the social networks, and not to let ourselves be poisoned.”
Unity and respect not hatred
He noted the real objective of those who are perpetrating this media terrorism, pointing out that Cuba’s enemies are attempting to create a situation of chaos, rock throwing, street barricades and all the phenomena they have instigated in other countries, which are outlined in the famous U.S. manual describing how soft coups, and their different phases, are conducted.
“We must continue working to eliminate the vestiges of delinquency we have, the vestiges we may have of indecent behavior; we must continue advancing with our social programs, which have been hit hard by the economic-financial situation, and the political will to work on this is there, but we cannot lower our guard…Wherever revolutionary vigilance exists, there will be no place for provocations, counterrevolutionary propaganda or vandalism. And sometimes we are obliged to take action in the face of this aggression; we must act firmly, but always avoiding any danger to human lives.”
The First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic called for “the unity of Cubans and respect among Cubans, freeing ourselves of any feelings of hatred… while demanding compliance with the norms that guarantee social tranquility in our society. And we will see, when at another time we evaluate what this moment meant and what they wanted to do to Cuba and our people, how many lies, how much hatred, how much viciousness, how much malice was calculated for all this.”
“We are here because the streets belong to Fidel, because the streets of Cuba belong to revolutionaries.” This was the phrase we heard the loudest walking along several Havana avenues Sunday afternoon, July 11, when an entire people came out to defend their Revolution.
We heard it, for example, in front of the Capitol, seat of the National Assembly of People’s Power, and along Prado down to the waterfront Malecon. We heard it up to Belascoaín, and along Carlos III, where neighbors gathered, waving flags and, above all, ideas.
A woman shouted from her balcony, “Viva la Revolución!” and “Viva Cuba Libre!” Her voice joined those of many younger residents who, on the street below, waved the 26th of July Movement flag and repeated, louder and louder, clearer and clearer: “Fidel, Raúl and Díaz-Canel are here,” “Patria o Muerte, Venceremos” (Homeland or Death, We will win).
We heard it along Infanta, from women and men, Cubans with few and many years of age, all with the same conviction: a country like ours, with so many dreams and more than a few pains, is defended tooth and nail, knowing that, as the poet said, “For this freedom/ beautiful as life/ we must give our all/ if necessary/ even the shadow/ and it will never be enough.”
We heard it from Julio Alejandro Gómez, a blogger who joined the honest demands of those who love and create and took to the streets, “because I am a revolutionary and I know that this is a manipulation. They want to take advantage of our needs and problems to apply the same formula of ‘social unrest’ that they have used in other countries; but with Cuba there are no formulas that work. The Revolution belongs to the people and is defended by the people.”
We heard Alberto Bermudez, who lives on Infanta, and in the midst of the racket, hummed “I die as I lived” with a group of buddies and, soon thereafter, it was the notes of the national anthem they offered.
“Unity and continuity,” others shouted, while Alberto interrupted his song to affirm, “Fidel, this is your people, and the streets belong to the people. The order has been given and we are here. We are going to win, in spite of COVID-19, in spite of whatever.”
The same phrases, shouted along the way, led our group of reporters to Alfredo Vázquez, provincial secretary of the Federation of Cuban Workers in Havana, who was injured in one of the confrontations with the “destabilizers.”
“They hit me hard on the head and I ended up with a seven-stitch gash. But here I am, my flag stained with blood, ready to continue defending the Revolution, because to die for the Homeland is to live,” he insisted without slowing his pace, just like Cuba, the land of revolutionaries who are never intimidated.
And there beside Via Blanca, Faustino Leonard, a resident of Cerro municipality, also spoke to us about the day, with the remains of rocks thrown still on the street.
“The quarrel was tough here, but there were more revolutionaries. The saboteurs ran away to hide, probably to some cave, like rats usually do. Let no one doubt it, this country belongs to the people, and will continue to belong to us.”
Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez arrived in San Antonio de los Baños in the province of Artemisa to talk with inhabitants about a provocation by a group of counterrevolutionaries attempting to subvert the public order, while Cuba is struggling against COVID-19, as well as the brutal blockade imposed by the U.S. government
Yesterday afternoon Benito Alonso Gonzalez left the comfort of his home in the municipality of San Antonio de los Baños, in the province of Artemisa, because a group at the service of foreign and annexationist interests, paid and directed by the United States, was looking to provoke a social explosion.
He went to the park, and spoke to reporters there about “the traitors who want to sell the Revolution for a few pesos,” the revolution that helped save his brother from COVID-19 just two weeks ago, the revolution that asks us to stay home, to avoid seeing more people die due to the pandemic.
There, the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, Benito himself, and the provocateurs came across a crowd of residents carrying Cuban flags and shouting: Long live the Revolution, Homeland or Death, Venceremos!
“Those of us who have come this far are faithful custodians of the Revolution, we want it strong, we were raised by the Revolution. And now, with the presence of Díaz-Canel, we feel firm, secure, because the Revolution is with the people, who are the true owners of the streets. In Cuba we will not allow those who want to take away what we have conquered to enter,” warned Antonio Crespo, a resident of San Antonio who joined the popular response.
Also in the park where Díaz-Canel went to confront those who intended to fracture the unity of the Party, the state, the government and the people, were father and son, Roberto Reyes Herrera, president of the Antonio Briones Montoto agricultural cooperative production unit, and Yosbel Reyes Sotomayor. The former recalled the hard times Cubans faced before 1959, which his parents told him about, and insisted that he is grateful for “the opportunities the Revolution has given me, that a few do not want to recognize.”
His son likewise stated, “I’m sure that it was the Cuban-American mafia who paid the provocateurs who wanted to take advantage of the difficult situation Cuba is experiencing,” adding, “The youth of San Antonio are on the side of our leaders, that is why we have taken to the parks and the streets.”
The flags, the cheers, the revolutionary conscience and confidence in those who are working every day to move our nation forward, left drowning in a sigh of impotence the malicious imperialist lackeys who made Benito leave his quiet Sunday at home. He insisted, “Let it be known, the people of Cuba are not those who disturbed the peace today, those who love the empire so much. The people of Cuba are the doctors, the scientists who made the vaccines, those of us who came to tell the President: Whatever it takes, Díaz-Canel, whatever it takes!”
For 60 years the example of the Cuban Revolution has bothered the United States, stated First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, yesterday, during a special message from the Palace of the Revolution explaining to the people the most recent provocation orchestrated by small groups of counterrevolutionaries.
For 60 years the example of the Cuban Revolution has bothered the United States, stated First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, yesterday, during a special message from the Palace of the Revolution explaining to the people the most recent provocation orchestrated by small groups of counterrevolutionaries.
The President began his remarks with a revolutionary greeting to the entire people, and said: “Unfortunately, we have been obliged to interrupt our Sunday, that all our families take to rest and spend time together, to inform you and share with you a series of elements related to the events that have been taking place today, which are part of a high level, systematic, escalating provocation, which has been promoted by the counterrevolution over these days.”
The background to the situation we are experiencing
What is the background to this situation we are experiencing, he asked.
“We have been honest, we have been open, we have been clear, and at all times we have explained the complexities of the current situation to our people. I remember that more than a year and a half ago, when the second half of 2019 was just starting, we had to explain that we were heading toward a difficult conjuncture, and we used that term, which was later taken up as part of popular humor, since we have remained in this ‘conjuncture’ for a long time…Beginning with all the signs that the U.S. government, headed by the Trump administration, was giving in relation to Cuba.”
Diaz-Canel recalled that the adoption of an extensive series of restrictive measures to tighten the blockade began; financial persecution, energy persecution, with the goal of asphyxiating the country’s economy.
Ongoing efforts to promote massive social explosion in Cuba
He denounced ongoing efforts to provoke a massive social explosion in Cuba, including all sorts of propaganda and ideological constructions they fabricate to call for misnamed humanitarian interventions, which end up as military interventions and interference, trampling the rights and violating the sovereignty, the independence of peoples.
This succession of hostile acts continued, he noted, “Then came the 243 measures we all know about. And in the last days of that administration the decision was made to include Cuba on the list of countries sponsoring terrorism.”
He reiterated that this list is a totally spurious list, an illegitimate list, and a unilateral list, fabricated by the U.S. in the belief that they are the power dominates the world, that they are the emperors of this world.”
He noted that, unfortunately, due to the lack of principles that exists within more than a few international institutions and national governments, many cave in and go along with these hostile measures and actions.
“It must be recognized that others do not submit to be the imposition of these measures, but they are limited by the extraterritorial nature that these.
“And that further increased the impact of the restrictions, which above all implied that the country was immediately cut off from its main sources of foreign currency income: I am talking about tourism, I am talking about the trips of Cubans and U.S. citizens to our country, about the much-awaited remittances to Cuban families from their relatives in the United States.”
U.S. efforts to discredit Cuban medical brigades
The President also denounced U.S. efforts to discredit Cuban medical brigades, since this medical collaboration, beyond the many instances of solidarity provided, also generates foreign currency income.
All this, he said, is causing shortages in the country: “Shortages of food, of medicines, raw materials and inputs needed by our economic and productive processes, which contribute both exports and supplies for the people; therefore here two important elements are cut off: the capacity to export and to acquire foreign currency to import and invest, and the capacity of the productive processes to be produce a full range of goods and services for our population.”
A ferocious media campaign to discredit Cuba
He pointed out that the country “has seen its fuel supply limited, access to spare parts limited, and all this has caused dissatisfaction, has exacerbated accumulated problems, which we have not been able to resolve, have been around since the special period, and to all this has been added a ferocious media campaign to discredit us, as part of a so-called non-conventional war, which attempts, on the one hand, to break the unity of the Party, the government, the state and the people, attempting to portray the government as inept, incapable of providing wellbeing to the Cuban people, attempting to portray the U.S. government as “very concerned about the welfare of the Cuban people,” who it has unjustly blockaded, telling them how they can aspire to development and progress in a country such as ours.
“These are the usual hypocritical prescriptions and speeches of double standards, which we know very well, throughout the history of United States behavior toward Cuba. We know how they intervened in our country, how they appropriated our island, how they maintained domination of our Island during the pseudo-republic and how their interests were hit hard by the triumph of the Cuban Revolution.
“For 60 years the example of the Cuban Revolution has bothered them, and they have constantly tightened… applied an unjust, criminal, cruel blockade, reinforced, worse than ever under pandemic conditions. Therein lies the manifest perversity, the maliciousness of all these intentions: blockade and restrictive measures, which they have never taken against any other country, or against those they consider their main enemies.
“This has been a work and a policy of viciousness against a small Island, which only aspires to defend its independence, its sovereignty and build, with self-determination, its society in accordance with the principles that more than 86% of the population has approved, has supported in the broad and democratic exercise we held, to approve the current Constitution of the Republic of Cuba.
“And in the midst of these conditions comes the pandemic, a pandemic that has not only affected Cuba, a pandemic that has affected the whole world, a pandemic that has also affected the United States, that has affected rich countries. It must be said that the United States and other rich countries did not have the capacity to confront the effects of this pandemic at the beginning.
“And in many of those first world countries, with much more wealth, health systems collapsed, intensive care units were overwhelmed. The poor have been disadvantaged because there are no public policies directed toward saving the people,” and these rich countries in many cases have worse results than Cuba in terms of responding to the pandemic.
Despite the difficult times, we have met the challenges and shared what little we have
“And we were impacted by the pandemic and, in the midst of all these other restrictions, with the reserves that the country has created, with the little we had in the country, with the little we have been able to acquire this difficult year and a half, is that we have been able to meet these challenges, these tests.
“And we have done it with courage, we have done it without giving in and, above all, we have done it by sharing among all the little we have, and we have not only shared within Cuba, we have shared with the world. There is the example of the Henry Reeve internationalist brigades, which has gone to places brutally affected by the pandemic.
“And this is how we have moved forward, controlling one wave after another, with a tremendous capacity for sacrifice on the part of our people, of our scientists, of our health personnel, of almost the entire country involved in this.
The first vaccine in Latin America
Díaz-Canel recalled that five candidate vaccines have been developed, one already recognized as a vaccine, the first in Latin America against COVID-19. Cuba is already vaccinating our population, and this is a process that takes time. Vaccines must be produced, but we currently have one of the highest vaccination rates in the world and in a few weeks we will have reached more than 20% of the total population,” he noted.
However, he noted, in the last few months more aggressive strains have appeared, and in the midst of this already serious situation, another group of complications began to appear.
“First of all, new cases are emerging at a speed and accumulation that exceeded the capacities we have been able to create to treat these patients in state institutions. On the other hand, we have been obliged to expand capacity in other centers,” he explained.
In this sense, by opening more centers, to which energy priority must be given – in the midst of the accumulation of problems in the generation of electricity, the number of circuits that we must protect, to attend these patients, has increased.
With more patients, he continued, the stock of medicines is also running low and acquiring them is very difficult; and in the midst of all this, we continue to work for everyone.
We will emerge sooner rather than later from this peak in the pandemic
“Now we have been obliged to resort to home isolation due to the lack of capacity in a number of provinces, and call on families to participate more directly, more responsibly. One never tires of admiring the capacity for creative resistance of our people.”
With these values, he insisted, with vaccination advancing, complying with the necessary sanitary measures, we will emerge sooner rather than later from this peak in the pandemic, which is not only hitting Cuba. Cuba managed to postpone this high point with everything we did, and we will overcome it.
But now, he noted, in a very cowardly, subtle, opportunistic and perverse manner, exploiting the most difficult situations we have in provinces like Matanzas and Ciego de Avila, those who have always supported the blockade, those who have served as mercenaries, lackeys of the Yankee empire, begin to appear with calls for a humanitarian intervention, a humanitarian corridor, to strengthen the idea that the Cuban government is not capable of handling this situation, as if they were really interested in the welfare and health of our people.
If they really are concerned about the people, if they want to solve Cuba’s problems: lift the blockade and let’s see how we do
“If they want to make a gesture toward Cuba, if they really are concerned about the people, if they want to solve Cuba’s problems: lift the blockade and let’s see how we do, why don’t they do that? Why don’t they have the courage to lift the blockade, what legal and moral basis allows a foreign government to implement such a policy against a small country, and in the midst of such adverse conditions? Isn’t this genocide?”
He denounced the assertion that a dictatorship exists in Cuba, “A dictatorship that is concerned about providing healthcare for its entire population, that seeks welfare for all, that in the midst of this situation is capable of conducting public policies, aspiring to vaccination with a Cuban vaccine, because we knew that no one was going to sell us any, since we don’t have the money to buy them,” he said.
“What a strange dictatorship,” he exclaimed. Now they are shouting that we are murderers. Where are the murder victims in Cuba, where are the missing persons in Cuba? Other countries that have suffered these pandemic peaks were not attacked in the press and they were not offered humanitarian intervention as a solution, nor were they subjected to these slander campaigns as we are, Díaz-Canel emphasized.
“I believe that life, history, the facts show what is behind all this, which is the effort to asphyxiate us and put an end to the Revolution, and for that they are trying to discourage our people, to confuse our people. And when the people are facing severe conditions, then events like the ones we experienced in San Antonio de los Baños take place.”
About the events in this area, he detailed:
Who was part of the group? It included members of the population, who have needs, who are experiencing some of these shortages; it included revolutionaries who are confused, do not have all the arguments, or were expressing these dissatisfactions, but they were doing differently, because they were seeking to understand, seeking explanations.
“But this was led by a core group of manipulators who are indeed lending themselves to the designs of the SOS Matanzas or SOS Cuba campaigns… Several days ago, they were preparing demonstrations or social disturbances of this type in several Cuban cities. This is criminal, at a time when people should be at home, protecting themselves.”
Diaz-Canel reported that revolutionaries in San Antonio de los Baños, provincial authorities, a group from the country’s leadership showed up there, we confronted the counterrevolutionaries and we talked to the revolutionaries, and to those asking for explanations, to show that Cuba’s streets belong to revolutionaries.
He pointed out that we know there are other groups of people gathering in streets and plazas, in other cities of the country, also moved by unhealthy purposes. “I am also giving this information, to reaffirm that in Cuba the streets belong to revolutionaries, that the state, the revolutionary government, guided by the Party, are more than willing to discuss, to argue and to participate with the people in the solution of problems, but recognizing the real cause of our problems, without allowing ourselves to be confused.”
Those who are encouraging demonstrations are not interested in good healthcare for Cuba, he emphasized. Remember that their model is neoliberal, the privatization of health, of medical services, of education; that everyone should save themselves as best they can, that those who have the money can access health care, he warned.
“We are not going to surrender sovereignty, the independence of our people, or the freedom of this nation. There are many of us revolutionaries in this town who are willing to give our lives and this is not a slogan, it is a conviction. They will have to step over our corpses if they want to confront the Revolution, and we are ready for anything and we will be in the streets fighting.”
We know that incidents of this type are being orchestrated in the streets of Havana and that there are large groups of revolutionaries confronting counterrevolutionary elements. We are separating the confused revolutionaries, the inhabitants of Cuba who have specific concerns, but we are not going to allow any counterrevolutionary, any mercenary, to provoke destabilization among our people.
“This is why we are calling on all revolutionaries in our country, all communists, to take to the streets in any of the places where these provocations may take place today, from now on, throughout these days,” he insisted.
“As I said in my closing speech at the Party Congress, we revolutionaries defend the Revolution above all else, we communists on the front lines, and with that conviction we are now in the streets, we are not going to allow anyone to manipulate our situation, or defend a plan that is not Cuban, that is not for the welfare of Cubans and that is annexationist. This is the task to which we call revolutionaries and communists of this country,” he concluded.
Speech by Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Republic of Cuba during the closure of the Ninth Legislature of the National Assembly of People’s Power’s Sixth Ordinary Period of Sessions, at the Convention Center, December 17, 2020, Year 62 of the Revolution
President Díaz-Canel condemned U.S. insistence on attempting to destroy us, while we insist on living and winning, stating, “Cuba Viva rose above our own possibilities. Photo: Estudios Revolución
Dear Army General Raúl Castro Ruz and compañeros of the Historic Generation;
Compañero Esteban Lazo, President of the National Assembly of People’s Power and of the Council of State;
Cuba is honored to have compañero Gerardo Hernández Nordelo as a member of our Council of State, today, six years since his return to the homeland. (Applause)
A year ago, from this same podium, we said: They threw us to our death and we are alive! We imagined, at the time, that nothing could be worse than that escalation of measures to tighten the imperialist blockade and attack the sources of our energy supply, our medical brigades and any option of financing.
Until 2020 arrived, a year that has been as hard and challenging as few others, a product of the startling COVID-19 pandemic that, suddenly, and for months, closed the doors on our economy and life itself.
Everything was worse, since its impact was universal and reached unbearable levels, with the opportunistic tightening of the U.S. blockade, definitive proof of the maliciousness of our adversaries.
They insisted on trying to kill us; but we insisted on living and winning. Cuba Viva (alive) rose above our own possibilities.
This is the destiny of our people, growing in the face of challenges. This is in the genes of the Cuban nation, forged in the resistance and rebellion of slaves who refused to be enslaved and the will of immigrants full of dreams; this is the legacy of our independence leaders who burned their riches in the fire of Revolution, of the mothers who bore their children amidst the battle, and the strong creole identity that matured over the long years during which the homeland was only free in the scrub. It lies in the successive generations that shed their blood and planted seeds in unequal fights in the streets and mountains, until victory.
Remarks by Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Republic of Cuba, via videoconference, at the Meeting of Leaders, commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Sao Paulo Forum’s founding, July 28, 2020, Year 62 of the Revolution
(Transcript: Presidencia.gob.cu /Translation: GI)
Dear Nicolas, Daniel, Rosario and Monica
Brothers and sisters of the political forces following this videoconference with interest:
I am accompanied by compañero José Ramón Machado Ventura, second secretary of our Party Central Committee, and compañero Bruno Rodríguez, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Cuba and member of our Political Bureau.
Thank you, Daniel, for your words; thank you, Maduro, for your words, for the book and the beautiful video about Chávez.
Thirty years ago, doomsayers of despair, enthusiasts of the market, advocates of a single thought, would have the world believe that history had ended.
And here we are, the intransigent defenders of hope and another possible world, celebrating 30 years of an embrace that is now history.
Today we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Sao Paulo Forum, an idea born from the political genius of Fidel and an exceptional protagonist of this unifying accomplishment: Brother Lula, former President and leader of the Brazilian and Latin American left.
When the Soviet Union and the socialist camp in Eastern Europe collapsed and their gravediggers set out to bury the emancipatory ideas of the left on this side of the world, the creation of the Sao Paolo Forum provided a sharp shove to a ship that seemed to be drifting.
The revolutionary, progressive and democratic political forces of Latin America and the Caribbean converged in this organization of legitimate consensus to construct unity of the left for the emancipation and integration of our peoples, challenging the Monroe Doctrine and its allies on the continent.
The march of history could not be stopped. Socialist ideals have reared their heads in the empire’s backyard with their own personality and strength, and today it is only right to recognize compañero Lula and the leaders of Brazil’s Workers Party for their performance leading the Executive Secretariat of the Sao Paulo Forum.
This celebration also allows us to thank the Sao Paulo Forum for their unwavering support to the Cuban people and especially the solidarity campaign, undertaken this year, calling for an end to the blockade against Cuba.
This virtual meeting is taking place on the 66th birthday of a dear friend of Cuba, who Fidel described as the best friend of Cuba and of all peoples who struggle, Comandante Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías, who at the Sao Paulo Forum in 2012 invited us to lay “the cornerstone of South American, Latin American, Caribbean and world liberation, without fear.”
The invincible example of Chavez now summons us to continue the struggle, with firmness and optimism, convinced that there are no obstacles, however difficult they may seem, that our peoples, united, cannot overcome, as Venezuela, Nicaragua and Cuba demonstrate today.
“Doctors, not bombs”, Fidel said one day, responding to the ridiculous imperial pretension of subjugating peoples with wars and threats of intervention against 60 or more “dark corners of the world.”
And today we are witnessing the confirmation of his words, amidst the most complex human drama on the planet in real time.
Not even the most powerful and sophisticated weapons have been able to stop the new coronavirus pandemic. On the contrary, now the true, anti-human essence of capital has become more visible and more terrifying, with its insistence on the market and its uncontrolled rise under ruthless neoliberal policies: governments that are helplessly witnessing the collapse of their health systems, unable to save millions of lives, even those that were thought to be out of danger in the chaotic, brutal northern empire that despises us.
The region of the Americas is today sadly the epicenter of the pandemic. The neoliberal policies of many governments, bent on placing the market above human lives, make it impossible to predict the moment when a definitive control of the disease will be possible. The spread of the virus is a fact, if we consider that the first million cases were confirmed over 96 days, but the latest million were counted within only 16. Neoliberal paradigms have fallen into absolute disrepute. Whether their credulous followers like it or not, the history of their economic experiment is about to end, or human existence will be further compromised.
Despite the indisputable emergency the pandemic has created for everyone, the United States government has not desisted in its hegemonic plans for the region, reactivating the Monroe Doctrine and McCarthyism, escalating interference, threatening the use of force, and promoting a policy of legal attacks on leftist and progressive leaders and organizations.
While thousands die every day within the empire’s territory, the current tenant of the White House maintains continuous pressure on governments that are not to their liking, while receiving support from regional lackeys who operate in their interests.
Of particular concern, within this deplorable scenario, are imperialism’s interventionist actions in violation of international law against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, which we condemn and reject with the same vehemence with which we reaffirm our solidarity with legitimate President brother Nicolás Maduro Moros and the civic-military union that sustains the country’s sovereignty.
We also reiterate our solidarity with the Sandinista government and people, led by Comandante Daniel Ortega, and reject unilateral coercive measures that threaten the peace, well-being, justice and development of the Nicaraguan people.
We reaffirm, once again, our strict adherence to the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed by the Latin American and Caribbean heads of state and government in January of 2014, in Havana, and confirm our unwavering commitment to the eradication of colonialism until the debt to the peoples still living under colonial status is settled.
Dear brothers and sisters:
I speak on behalf of a sovereign, revolutionary and solidary Cuba, which will never allow itself to be subjugated, either by seduction or by force: the homeland of Martí, Fidel and Raúl.
I am speaking on behalf of a heroic and noble people who for 60 years have resisted the most cruel and genocidal of blockades, an economic, commercial and financial siege by the world’s greatest power, intensified as we battle the pandemic, with relentless, perverse persecution, insisting on a plan to force us to surrender with hunger and hardship.
Under the leadership of the Party, the government of our small, blockaded nation, along with political, mass and social organizations and our people, has controlled and is defeating COVID-19, without over-confidence.
This victory, which includes our commitment to make it sustainable over time, is the fruit of the will of a socialist state that places human beings at the center of our policies, with a free, universal health care system and the coordinated and dedicated intelligence of professionals and workers in the arenas of health, science, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.
After more than four months actively confronting the pandemic, Cuba regrets the loss of 87 lives, but we are consoled and encouraged by the fact that not a single child, no pregnant woman, doctor or health worker has died.
Unquestionable successes were achieved thanks to the coordinated action of our public health system and the country’s network of scientific institutions, incorporating the accumulated experience of 60 years of revolutionary science and medicine in measures adopted by the government.
For the post-Covid-19 stage, a strategy was approved that should allow us to return gradually, step by step, in a differentiated fashion, to a new normality in our productive and social activities.
The Party Political Bureau, in a meeting led by its first secretary, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, approved an economic strategy to address the negative effects of the pandemic, recover and reach adequate levels of development and well-being for our entire people, without leaving any citizen abandoned to fate.
As I expressed recently, those results seem to have made our adversaries very uncomfortable. The aggressiveness of the United States government against the island is growing, as are its plans for political and ideological subversion with actions meant to discredit Cuban leaders and the work of our government, along with constant attempts to provoke a social explosion and opposition within our institutions.
We are facing very well designed and heavily financed plans to act with unprecedented ferocity and impunity on multiple platforms within the complex contemporary media scene. We are not surprised. The strategies of manipulation, distortion of reality and deceit that are used daily to confuse and demobilize social movements and the peoples of our region are no different.
But we are a people raised by Fidel, who eliminated the word surrender from our political dictionary, very early on.
We know and face the openly aggressive enemy, without losing focus on our political and social priorities, without moving even one millimeter away from the vocation of solidarity, cultivated by Fidel and the Revolution, with the help of other sister peoples who, as Che said, clamor for the concurrence of our modest efforts.
A total of 45 Henry Reeve brigades specialized in disasters and major epidemics are now working in 38 countries and territories, with 3,772 members – including 2,399 women – who have assisted more than 250,000 covid-19 patients and saved more than 8,000 lives. In addition, 28,000 health collaborators in 58 countries have joined national and local efforts to combat the disease, caring for more than 83,268 covid-19 patients and saving 13,636 lives, to date.
The altruism of our health professionals irritates the empire which, instead of attending to the serious situation of its own infected citizens, has unleashed a campaign to discredit Cuban medical collaboration.
This useless war will not destroy or bury in oblivion the human work to protect life carried out by our professionals, earning the admiration, recognition and gratitude of millions around the world, which has led to a movement across the planet advocating the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize to the Henry Reeve contingent.
Worthy of note, in this battle, is the fraternal collaboration of the Bolivarian Revolution of Venezuela, the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua and the Cuban Revolution, three revolutions with governments fully dedicated to saving lives and providing well-being to their respective peoples; three revolutions that, facing the brutal onslaught of the empire and its allies in the neoliberal right on the continent, have, with integration and firmness, defended themselves and preserved, under very difficult conditions, the independence, sovereignty and dignity of the homeland of Bolivar and Chavez, of Sandino and Carlos Fonseca, of Marti and Fidel.
This experience confirms that only cooperation and international solidarity will save humanity from this crisis, unprecedented in world history.
The preamble of the “Consensus of Our America,” a document that emerged from the Sao Paolo Forum’s experience in struggle, is dedicated to the leader of the Cuban Revolution and states: “Among the innumerable examples Fidel bequeathed to Latin America and the Caribbean revolutionaries, two stand out as decisive in the struggles of our peoples, our parties and movements. These are unity and consistent internationalism.”
Faithful to his legacy, and given the challenging reality that we are facing, the Cuban people continue the construction of a prosperous and sustainable socialism, with the premise of what Army General Raul Castro Ruz has stated: “Fidel’s enduring teaching is that it is possible, that human beings are capable of overcoming the most difficult conditions, if they do not lose their will to triumph, correctly evaluate every situation, and do not renounce their just, noble principles.”
Dear brothers and sisters:
Cuba we will continue on the independent and sovereign path, with the people leading the way. There will be no pandemic, no blockade, no imperial pressure that will change our course.
To political forces in the Sao Paulo Forum, we call on you to mobilize in unity to face the new challenges, along with social and popular movements and intellectuals of the left.
The true, definitive independence of Our America depends on the character, strength and correctness for our current struggles.
We will continue, alongside the Sao Paulo Forum, to contribute to the unity and integration of Latin America and the Caribbean.
History is made by the people, even if it is written by others. No empire can decree the end of history as long as there are chains to be broken, walls to be demolished, exclusions and abuses to be fought.
For the life and independence of our peoples; for the legacy of our founders, who taught us that even in the most difficult conditions it was always possible, it is always possible and will always be possible; for the new generations giving continuity to the struggle, as Maduro explained; for anti-imperialist unity that is the tactic and strategy of victory: We will struggle, we will live and triumph! (Applause).
Immersed in the great task of dealing with Covid-19, Cuba, its government and its president Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, do not forget for a second the two doctors, Assel Herrera and Landy Rodríguez, kidnapped in Kenya
Díaz-Canel, on his Twitter account, wrote that he had called the relatives of both doctors and assured them that, despite the current world situation of the covid-19, “we continue the efforts for their safe return to Cuba” .
The two Cuban health professionals were kidnapped in Kenya by the Al Shabab group, and taken to neighboring Somalia.
During all this time, Cuba has held systematic conversations with the governments of both countries, and its top leaders have assured the authorities of the Island that the collaborators of Medicine are alive, and all efforts are made for their release.
Coinciding with this first year of kidnapping, the spokesman for the Kenyan Executive, Cyril Oguna, assured the EFE agency that
“We work every day to make sure they come home alive.”
Asked if the Kenyan government has received any proof of recent life, Oguna replied: «Yes. We are working with our partners when it comes to sharing intelligence information. We have evidence that they are alive.
From the same day 04/12/19, in an informative note, the MINSAP announced that all channels were established with the Kenyan authorities, to reach a solution regarding the kidnapping of both internationalist doctors.
Two days later, on April 14, Miguel Díaz-Canel stated, on his Twitter account, that “Cuba is working tirelessly for the safe return of Assel (Herrera) and Landy (Rodríguez), our doctors kidnapped in Kenya.
With them and their loved ones we share the certainty that their humanitarian mission will be respected and recognized. We believe in the power of solidarity ».
On June 22 of the same year, on another Twitter, the president reported that he had “telephone conversations with the presidents of Kenya and Somalia, HE. Mr.
Uhru Kenyatta and Abdullahi Mohamed, as part of the permanent monitoring that we do of the actions to obtain the return of our kidnapped doctors Landy Rodríguez and Assel Herrera ».
On December 16 of last year, Cuba conveyed its gratitude to the Government of Kenya for the efforts made by that country to try to achieve the safe return of the doctors to the West Indian nation.
“The Kenyan authorities confirmed that both doctors are well and will continue efforts for their safe return,” said Inés María Chapman, vice president of the Cuban Council of Ministers at a press conference.
On December 30, 2019, Díaz-Canel held talks with the presidents of Kenya and Somalia, in which they exchanged on the current state of bilateral relations and on the efforts for the safe return of doctors to the Homeland.
During a meeting on January 17, 2020, with relatives of the doctor Assel Herrera in Las Tunas, the Cuban President reiterated to them the “full support” of the Government in the midst of the “unfortunately long and complex” process to obtain his return.
Then, on February 8, Díaz-Canel visited in Santa Clara the relatives of the Cuban doctor Landy Rodríguez Hernández, to whom he reaffirmed that Cuba continues to work constantly to guarantee the safe return of his compatriots.
Speech by Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Republic of Cuba, during the political-cultural event commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Bolivarian Alliance for the peoples of Our America-Peoples Trade Agreement, at the University of Havana’s Grand Stairway, December 14, 2019, Year 61 of the Revolution
(Transcript: Presidency of the Republic)
This event is turned around: Maduro, Ralf and Daniel spoke just a bit and now I am going to have to speak a little more. (Laughter)
Dear Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee;
Dear ALBA-TCP heads of state and government;
Dear heads of delegations and guests:
Students of our universities, the present and future of the Cuban nation. To you and to all young people of Cuba, Latin America and the Caribbean, we address you today!
Fidel & young Chavez
We have come here, to our glorious Grand Stairway, to celebrate 15 years of ALBA-TCP, because this alliance has its roots in the first meeting of two giants of Our America: the Comandante en jefe of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, and the then (young) leader of the Bolivarian Movement 200, Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías.
That meeting, which changed the history of Latin America and the Caribbean and impacted the world, took place December 13-15, 1994.
As is occurring today, we were living complex, uncertain days for the region and the world. And it was here nearby, in the University of Havana’s Aula Magna, where for the first time the analyses and premonitory proposals were heard of what, with time, joint effort, and the advance of progressive governments, would emerge in 2004 as this paradigm of solidary integration that we know as ALBA-TCP.
We also choose the Stairway, the door to our University, one of the oldest in America, because the present and future of Cuba and much of the rest of the world pass through here every day, young people from sister nations, students who share classrooms and dreams with our sons and daughters.
We firmly believe that universities cannot be disconnected from our world or its pressing problems. Here Fidel became a revolutionary, here he spoke to his Latin American contemporaries, with Hugo Chávez, here we study and think about the best possible world that we revolutionaries have set out to set our minds to winning.
Sisters and brothers:
Exactly one year ago, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America met with the objective of establishing common positions in the face of the evident intensification of aggression against our nations. The forecasts of that moment were not exaggerated.
US destabilization campaign
The government of the United States and its allies launched, and insist on continuing, a ferocious, unscrupulous destabilization campaign in the region.
They are doing so by resuming the brutal application of the Monroe Doctrine, to which the current administration in Washington has openly and arrogantly committed itself.
They have escalated their actions against the sister Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, violating the most elementary principles of international law. They have gone so far as to designate who can speak on behalf of Venezuela and make decisions on the country’s funds and real estate outside its territory. Never before in history has democracy been so offended, speaking in the name of democracy while trampling it.
The recent invocation against Venezuela of the obsolete Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR) – which never served to safeguard the interests of the region – is another warning that peace, democracy and security are being threatened.
What else is the purpose of reviving an institution like TIAR, which backed coups, established military dictatorships and was unable to support one of its members when an extra-regional power occupied its territory and unleashed a war?
The determination of the Venezuelan people
The United States coordinated attacks on the homeland of Bolívar and Chávez without understanding that the determination of its people is strengthened even more in the face of foreign aggression. They failed and will continue to fail before the solid civil-military union and the courage of millions of Venezuelans, who have always sworn to be loyal, and never traitors. (Applause)
Here is our brother Nicolás Maduro, representing that victorious, firm union.
Long live the Bolivarian Revolution! (Exclamations of: Viva!)
We reiterate our solidarity with the Sandinista Popular Revolution, which with its president at the forefront, Comandante Daniel Ortega Saavedra, is resisting imperial attacks on Nicaragua, despite the threats, and advancing on the path of reconciliation, peace and just development for its country.
Long live the Sandinista Revolution! (Exclamations of: Viva!)
We celebrate the release of the Brazilian workers’ leader and former President of that country, compañero Luiz Inácio “Lula” da Silva, and at the same time we call on everyone to continue demanding his full freedom, the recognition of his innocence and the restitution of all his political rights.
Despite imperial conspiracies and the politicization of judicial systems, corruption, and the discrediting of politics by agents of imperialism, neoliberalism and the media, Lula’s example shows that we will always find a way to fight for truth, dignity and solidarity in order to defeat lies.
Bolivia, the absent brother, deserves special mention.
The faithful pawn of the US: the OAS
The coup against constitutional President Evo Morales Ayma confirmed that the United States and reactionary forces do not hesitate to violate, by any means, the people’s freedoms and human rights to reverse emancipatory processes in the region. As always, they used their faithful pawn: the Organization of American States (OAS).
It is no surprise that the first foreign policy move by the coup plotters in Bolivia, following the imperialists’ script, was to leave ALBA.
In countries like Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Brazil, we watch with pain and indignation as the number of deaths rises and injuries reach thousands, with eye injuries increasing to hundreds of young people, as a result of repression as brutal as that we remember from the dark days of military dictatorships. Social activists, journalists and former guerrillas are murdered. Cases of violence, torture and rape of detainees now number in the hundreds.
Several of the military and police authorities who today are the protagonists of this horrible repression were trained at the now defunct School of the Americas. Those who persecute leftist and progressive leaders were trained in the current International Academy for Law Enforcement, also made in the USA.
The people’s resistance
Day by day, we follow with admiration the dramatic course of the people’s resistance and the growing mobilizations.
From this podium, we emphatically denounce the complicit, shameful silence of many, the distortion and cover-up of what occurred in Bolivia by the corporate, oligarchic media.
And here today, Cuba reaffirms our support and solidarity with compañero Evo Morales Ayma. (Applause) Long live the governments and peoples who uphold dignity and sovereignty by welcoming and supporting the persecuted leaders! (Exclamations of: Vivan!)
Our health personnel who served in Bolivia are closely acquainted with the brutality of the coup plotters, whose repressive forces, led directly by the United States, physically assaulted two collaborators, while 54 were unjustly detained, some for several days.
Members of the Cuban Medical Brigade were, for absolutely no reason, humiliated, searched and stripped of their belongings. The coup authorities incited hatred against Cubans.
The cowardice of these repressors contrasted sharply with the dignity and courage of our self-sacrificing professionals, who deserve recognition for their unwavering stance, a product of Cuba’s internationalist tradition. (Applause)
They are all back, ready to defend the homeland, and take on the next mission.
Once again, “the tiger lurks”
The events that have transpired in Bolivia sound the alarm and alert us. Once again “the tiger lurks,” as Martí said in his magnificent essay Our America:
“The colony continued to live within the republic; and our America is being saved from its great errors (…) by the superior virtue, fertilized with necessary blood, of the republic that fights against the colony. The tiger waits, behind every tree, crouched in every corner”.
In our recent visit to Argentina, to attend the inauguration of Alberto and Cristina, we held a valuable dialogue with important intellectuals and artists in that country.
From all of them, we heard the most formidable criticism of neoliberalism “the tiger that lurks” and its serious consequences for the peoples of America that have been destroyed by neoliberal experiments.
Argentine filmmaker and current Minister of Culture Tristán Bauer has just documented the serious social costs of neoliberalism in the four years of the Macri administration, in a documentary titled: Tierra arrasada.
Others present recalled that these processes are supported by a powerful media network that progressive projects must confront in an unequal battle. And proposals were made to promote a kind of cultural strategy that addresses this asymmetry.
What remains of the colonial mentality in America must disappear before our peoples disappear, with their dreams of emancipation and integration, postponed since Bolivar’s times.
Disseminating ideas and values to defend our conquests
It is essential to disseminate ideas and values to defend our conquests. And it is also necessary to join together in the area of communication so that the colonial mentality does not engulf us with its ammunition of false symbols, like the mirrors that the conquerors gave to our noble, original inhabitants, in exchange for the natural wealth with which they have built their power.
The magnificent ideas that were presented in just two hours, during the meeting with Argentine friends, confirm the enormous potential of the imaginative Latin American intelligentsia, whose best exponents have always been allies in the battle for social justice.
Compañeras and compañeros:
Even in the face of the most brutal U.S. pressure, Cuba won a resounding victory at the United Nations, when 187 countries voted in favor of our resolution condemning the U.S. economic, commercial and financial blockade.
Those who did not have the courage to resist U.S. pressure and did not dare to condemn the blockade of Cuba bear the responsibility of supporting a policy that no people on earth approves, because it is criminal, because it violates the human rights of millions, because it is extraterritorial, illegal and outrageous.
And because what they are doing to Cuba, today, they will do tomorrow to other nations, as has been proven more than once in recent years. No one is exempt from the empire’s whip, and to allow others to be beaten is to open the way to lashings for all.
We are pleased to know that this attitude does not reflect what the fraternal peoples of Brazil and Colombia truly feel.
In victories such as the UN condemnation of the blockade, ALBA has been and must continue to be a front of unity and resistance to the empire, to coups and to interventionist positions that shame the honorable men and women of our continent.
Progressive victories in Mexico and Argentina
Likewise, we salute and are encouraged by progressive victories in Mexico and Argentina, where new governments have already shown, in a very short period, their commitment to peace, democracy, development and social justice for the peoples, and to the genuine unity and integration of Our America.
In recent months we have heard ridiculous accusations of the Cuban and Bolivarian revolutions, in a malicious attempt to justify what they refuse to understand: the profound reasons for popular revolts against neoliberalism that continue to take place in several countries of the region. They do not surprise us.
The popular demonstrations are the result of struggles against inequality and social injustices accumulated over the years. And they are here to stay, and will increase if their causes are not addressed.
Pushing the “de-historization” of time
Those who repress refuse to see in these demonstrations the real causes, because, in order to maintain power, neoliberalism attempts to prevent us from developing historical consciousness, pushing the “de-historization” of time. That is why ideologues, like Francis Fukuyama, insist that history has ended.
They try to tell us that capitalism is eternal. So, they want to perpetuate social inequality, misery, exclusion. Time is history! And ours is based on Bolívar, San Martín, Sucre, Martí, Che, Fidel, Chávez, Sandino, the struggle against slavery, against Spanish domination, against invasions and against the blockade of Cuba by genocidal imperialism.
Neoliberalism has forced the world economy to move from production to speculation. While the world Gross Domestic Product is growing at an annual average of 1% to 2%, financial profits grows more than 5% a year. While eight hundred and twenty million people are threatened with death by hunger, twenty trillion dollars are stashed in tax havens!
Brutal dehumanization and global colonization
Neoliberalism produces what Marx foresaw: people have no value as human being, but on the basis of the commodities they hold. This is brutal dehumanization.
Neoliberalism does not promote globalization, but global colonization. Its purpose is to make the world a great market to which only the rich have access, the rest are excluded; they are disposable beings, condemned to an early death.
Neoliberalism is based on competition, socialism on solidarity. Neoliberalism in the private accumulation of wealth; socialism in the sharing of wealth. Neoliberalism in defending the interests of capital; socialism, human rights and those of nature.
The United States and the Latin American oligarchies cannot forgive us for constructing models that are inclusive and committed to the people despite pressure and the sieges of sanctions and blockades.
Building solidarity models
We can give them the formula: We don’t build models for the 1%. We don’t build exclusion models. We are building solidarity models and practicing integration. (Applause)
And we are not forgiven for uniting in solidarity as Latin Americans and Caribbeans without imperial tutelage.
They do not forgive us not only for choosing to assert independence, freedom, sovereignty over our resources and self-determination, but also for demonstrating that we are capable of defending this choice.
Sharing in solidarity where other bring weapons
They do not forgive Cuba for defending the philosophy of sharing in solidarity what we have, of taking health and literacy where others bring weapons, of teaching people to read and write, or restoring sight and saving the lives of those who have never had quality health services.
Now, when in some countries Cuban cooperation has been interrupted, as a result of imperialist and oligarchic conspiracies, we note with concern that millions of Latin Americans have been stripped of their human right to health. The oligarchies don’t care and they bend under pressure from the pathological Yankee campaign.
The only military and security forces that interfere in the internal affairs of countries and threaten Latin America and the Caribbean are those of the United States.
Cuba will resist all threats. We have been hardened in the struggle. We have a united people. We count on the solidarity of the world, of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, and especially of our brothers and sisters in ALBA.
We will not renounce socialism! We will not renounce solidarity! We will not renounce friendship! We will not renounce dignity! (Applause)
I reiterate the embrace of this noble, courageous and solidary people, in this beautiful city that has just completed 500 years of history and struggle. A city to which you can always return to receive the affection of those who do not surrender, will not surrender, and will continue the vibrant Revolution that brought us thus far.
Let us conclude as such events always do, on this historic stairway, with a celebration of life, of the future that is prepared here to make possible the better world for which so many generations have given their blood and their very lives.
We are Cuba!
And we are also Latin America and the Caribbean, all united by ALBA-TCP!