Díaz-Canel: The Association of Caribbean States must continue to be the mainstay of Greater Caribbean unity

Source: Granma
April 1 2019

Photo: Estudios Revolución

Speech by Miguel M. Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Councils of State and Ministers, at the VIII Meeting of the Association of Caribbean States, in Managua, Nicaragua, March 29, 2019, Year 61 of the Revolution

(Council of State transcript / GI translation)

Compañero Comandante Daniel Ortega Saavedra, President of the sister Republic of Nicaragua and of the VIII Meeting of the Association of Caribbean States;

Compañera Rosario Murillo, Vice President of the Republic of Nicaragua;

Distinguished heads of state and government and heads of delegations;

Her Excellency Ambassador June Soomer, general secretary of the Association;

Dear delegates and guests:

Our national poet, Nicolás Guillén, a singular voice among the great voices of this region, dedicated a short poem to the sea that joins us, with which I would like to greet you. It is entitled “The Caribbean” and goes:

In the aquarium of the Great Zoo,

swims the Caribbean.

This enigmatic marine animal

has a crystal crest,

a blue back, a green tail,

a belly of compact coral,

gray hurricane fins.

In the aquarium, this inscription:

“Be careful: it bites.”

This verse of Guillen’s speaks of the crystal crest that makes our Caribbean fragile. And also of the fierce beast that lives here. Fragility and ferocity distinguish us. Fragility and ferocity unite us. And unity, we know well, makes us strong.

Born of this strength, sustained only by unity, is the very timely Managua Declaration adopted by this meeting, with the title: “Joining forces in the Caribbean to confront climate change,” an issue that has generated growing concern over the last few decades.

As the Comandante en Jefe of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, warned almost 30 years ago, during the Earth Summit held in Río de Janeiro, in 1992, “An important biological species is in danger of extinction as a result of the rapid and progressive elimination of its natural living conditions: man.”

The Caribbean knows this well since it often suffers the impact. Surely for this reason, since its Second Summit in Santo Domingo, in 1999, the Association of Caribbean States has included among its lines of work agreement and cooperation on climate change and disaster risk reduction.

The causes of climate change have been identified by the scientific community and recognized by practically all governments.

But neither efforts made or international commitments in environmental matters are sufficient to stop the alarming increase in global temperature and stabilize it in the area of 1.5ºC, as developing countries demand.

More developed nations, who are mainly responsible for today’s unsustainable situation, must honor the commitment to provide at least 100 billion USD a year to support the work of developing countries.

The global commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must prevail based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, within a framework of international cooperation that ensures the resources and necessary transfer of technologies to developing countries.

Required is the modification of patterns of production and consumption that have been imposed on us, and the promotion of a fair, democratic, and equitable international economic order, to confront climate change and achieve sustainable development.

Mr. President:

Each of us understands what is being talked about. The intensity and persistence of natural phenomena of various kinds in the Greater Caribbean constantly punish us with the adverse effects of climate change, particularly developing small island states.

Living with hurricanes has conditioned our lives; modifying our geographies and affecting migration. And it has also educated us in the need to devote more study to these phenomena that plague us and work to reverse the damage they cause. The Cuban Revolution was obliged to learn this lesson very early on, the hard way, during Hurricane Flora in 1963, which left the former province of Oriente under water and took the lives of more than a thousand people.

More recent history has shown that, in the worst moments, working together has saved us. We firmly believe that only our unity and mutual cooperation will allow us to face the dangers and effects of meteorological events and assume the subsequent recovery.

Solidarity must be a fundamental principle for the members of the Association of Caribbean States

Along this very line of thought, today, I would like to reiterate the unwavering support of Cuba, under all circumstances, to the right of small island states and developing nations to receive special and differential treatment in access to trade and investment.

We also support the just and necessary demand to receive cooperation according to a nation’s real situation and needs, and not on the basis of per capita income statistics that classify them as middle income countries and exclude them from access to financial resources, indispensable for development.

We welcome the election of Barbados as President of the Board of Directors of the Association’s Council of Ministers. We express our fraternal congratulations for this and for the country’s willingness to contribute during this period.

Dear delegates:

The President of the United States, the Secretary of State, and the National Security Advisor declare that the Monroe Doctrine is as relevant today as the day it was written, and that it is the country’s formal policy, as in the time of expansion and intervention of the United States in our region, of military aggressions and impositions.

These statements and consequent actions challenge our Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed by heads of state and government, in January 2014, in Havana, on the occasion of the Second CELAC Summit.

We declared then our permanent commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes in order to banish forever the use of force, and threats to use force, in the region; to strictly comply with the obligation not to intervene, directly or indirectly, in the internal affairs of any other state; to foster relations of friendship and cooperation among ourselves and with other nations, regardless of differences in political, economic, and social systems or levels of development; to practice tolerance and coexist in peace as good neighbors; to the intention of Latin American and the Caribbean states to fully respect the inalienable right of all to choose their own political, economic, social, and cultural system, as an essential condition for ensuring peaceful coexistence among nations; to the promotion in the region of a culture of peace based, among others, on the principles of the United Nations Declaration on the Culture of Peace.

The Proclamation also urges all member states of the international community to fully respect these purposes and principles in their relations with CELAC member states.

In this context, our nations must continue working together. It is our duty to protect peace, amongst us all, and preserve what has been achieved, confident that the current situation of confrontation and threats will be overcome.

Cuba, in particular, has been subject to an irrational and perverse tightening of the blockade by the United States, whose administration has unleashed, at the same time, a campaign of distortions, lies, and pretexts to sustain a policy of persecution and harassment that the international community openly rejects and condemns.

I would like to express our profound gratitude to all the countries of the region for their opposition to this irrational, illegal, and cruel policy against our people.

Beyond political or ideological differences, I call on all Caribbean governments to defend peace and oppose military aggression and the escalation of coercive economic measures against Venezuela that seriously damage its citizens and put the stability of the entire region at risk.

We also reiterate our solidarity and support for the government of Reconciliation and National Unity of the Republic of Nicaragua in the face of destabilization attempts, and we celebrate the negotiation process to ensure peace and preserve the social and economic gains achieved in this sister nation.

Faithful to our vision of defending unity within diversity, as on innumerable occasions the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Army General Raul Castro Ruz, has asserted in forums like this one, we call on you to continue working together, concentrating on all that unites us, incomparably superior to the little that separates us, and to prioritize the fulfillment of agreements reached by the XXIII Council of Ministers regarding the strengthening and revitalization of the Association.

The Association of Caribbean States must continue to be the mainstay of Greater Caribbean unity, which is the only alternative given the enormous challenges we face.

Member states of this organization share the responsibility to avoid damaging the consensus that we have built together over the years, and to continue fostering solidarity, as an indispensable premise to develop actions on all the issues that are part of the organization’s mandate.

Cuba will continue working in favor of this unity and for the consolidation of our Association, and hope that this important meeting will contribute decisively to the effort.

Thank you very much!

Bob Marley: They Don’t Want To See Us Unite

 

They don’t want to see us unite

All they want us to do is keep on fussing and fighting

They don’t want to see us live together

All they want us to do is keep on killing one another

Top ranking’, top ranking’

Are you skanking’? (skanking’, skanking’)

Are you skanking’? (skanking’, skanking’)

Wo-ho, top ranking’ (top ranking’)

Oh, did you mean what you say now?

Are you, oh are you? (ranking’, ranking’)

Are ya, Lord, Lord, Lord (skanking’, skanking’)

They say the blood runs

And it runs through our line,

And our hearts, heart of hearts divine, yeah!

And John saw them coming, ooh!

A with the truth

From an ancient time

The brotherly love (brotherly love)

The sisterly love (sisterly love)

I feel this morning, I feel this morning

Brotherly love (brotherly love)

The sisterly love (sisterly love)

I feel this morning, this morning, hey!

They don’t want us to unite

All they want us to do is keep on fussing and fighting

They don’t want to see us live together

All they want us to do is keep on killing one another

Top ranking’ (top ranking’)

Did ya mean what you say now? (top ranking’)

Are you skanking’? (skanking’, skanking’)

Are you skanking’? (skanking’, skanking’)

Top ranking’ (top ranking)

Did you mean what you say? (top ranking’)

Are you? (ranking’, ranking)

Are you? (skanking’, skanking’)

Top ranking’ (top ranking’)

Top ranking’ (top ranking’)

Are you? (skanking’, skanking’)

Ow are you? (skanking’, skanking’)

Journalism of the left in times of the right

Source:  Granma
March 13 2019

The truth can be silenced, if it does not reach everyone, or is drowned out by lies shouted louder

walter martinez telesur.jpgWalter Martínez is one of those journalists who struggles everyday to spread the truth on his teleSUR program. Photo: panorama.com.ve

As children, one of the first things we learned was that there is strength in unity. Be it from “Once upon a time” tales or the stories of Mama Oca, we came to understand that all together we could move mountains, while alone, the road was steeper.

Later, something simple, that could be so easily understood at an early age, became increasing complicated as the years went by, as we divided ourselves as independent, sometimes selfish, beings, in search of our own wellbeing.

What may appear as no more than a bedtime story is applicable in all spheres of life, even politics, as the people of Latin America should know.

The conservative restoration

The years when Hugo Chávez began a project in Venezuela to put those who were last first – joined by 11 progressive governments across Latin America and the Caribbean, beginning in 1998 – may seem like a long time ago, given the current panorama.

But, as Basque political analyst and journalist Katu Arkonada said on teleSUR: “The 2009 coup against Mel Zelaya in Honduras; the parliamentary coup against Fernando Lugo in Paraguay in 2012; the 2016 impeachment of Dilma in Brazil; and the electoral victory of Macri in Argentina, allowed the attempted conservative restoration to be partially accomplished.”

A restoration which now includes Jair Bolsonaro, the Brazilian Trump, as the new head of state is known, who is creating a military government, according to the eminent intellectual Frei Betto.

In Ecuador, since the end of Rafael Correa’s administration, the left has been split, and the Citizens Revolution social project dismantled.

Venezuela, for its part, is facing a difficult moment and a fierce media campaign intended to create confusion and fear, to destabilize the country and discredit the government of Nicolás Maduro, democratically elected by a clear majority.

The role of committed media and journalists

So, given this discouraging panorama, what is the role of committed media and journalists? How can we advance the struggle when giant media corporations like O Globo, in Brazil, or Clarín, in Argentina, defend capitalist interests?

Surrender will never be the solution. We must fight, use our revolutionary self-criticism, reach the people; portray the governments that have reduced poverty, provided health, education, and jobs.

This lesson is a pending issue for the left in countries where today neoliberalism is being imposed on our peoples.

Argentine journalist and intellectual Stella Calloni, in an interview with Granma, noted that the left is going through a difficult moment; that in her country telling the truth can be very expensive, as the 3,000 media workers dismissed for “ideological differences” know well.

This is happening in Brazil, too, where television broadcaster O Globo controls 80% of the country’s stations. Journalist Beto Almeida, told Granma, that reporters are suffering persecution, highlighting the case of his two colleagues Juca Kfouri and Jean Wyllys, whose lives have been threatened.

Venezuela offers another example of the damage that new media can do if used maliciously. The truth, if it does not reach everyone, and is drowned out by lies shouted louder, can be silenced. Infamous fake news reports, spread by unethical professionals who prioritize impact over accuracy, influence individuals with manipulative, manufactured scenarios.

The need for journalists of the left to come together

Given this reality, Stella Calloni emphasizes the need for journalists of the left to come together to tell the stories that don’t make the headlines, “We are coming up with ways nows, for example, bringing together all individuals who have web sites to struggle as alternative media, bringing them together to have an amalgam of voices to tell what is happening and is not known.”

Brazilian sports reporter Juca Kfouri commented, “Journalism is characterized by its attempt to make a better world,” and given this premise, he continues to denounce what is going on in his country, despite the threats, using football to raise consciousness.

It is clear that, in the current scenario, more than ever the courage is needed to open the eyes of readers, viewers, radio listeners, knowing how to use media weapons is an urgent challenge. Calloni, in comments made during the International Journalism Forum, emphasized that information is a weapon of war, and reaffirmed that we are facing a cultural battle, with painful results, in which discredit is stronger than a bullet. The right knows how to use these weapons well. The facts show it. Numerous studies show that WhatsApp played a key role in Bolsonaro’s electoral victory. A similar case is that of U.S. President Donald Trump. As journalist Rosa Miriam Elizalde expressed in a recent lecture: “We are facing a new media architecture. While the mass media imposes the agenda, others deal with the personal and emotional base. Today public opinion is not built exclusively with published opinion, but with shared opinion. ”Social media move emotions, which in turn move voters who go to the polls without confirming what they read, accepting Facebook posts as unquestionable truth.

Thus the importance of finding new ways of communicating, while preserving ethical practices of the trade, without resorting to crude manipulations. Seeking, as Calloni said, “a creative way to resist.”

Life online and offline

IN CONTEXT:Many times the debate within the left is lost, counterpoising taking the street versus taking the internet, as if they were mutually exclusive. If there is a central task on the left, it is to understand that life online and offline are not separate, they are a continuum, part of a single body, and the internet can be many things, except an intangible, ethereal world apart. Cyberspace is the heart of a supranational system that is directly related to physical space, in at least three dimensions. First, its communication routes, nodes, and servers (physical infrastructure) are located somewhere geographically. Second, the protocols or rules of the game that allow people to connect – domains – have a national identity and involve zones of sovereignty, state control, and their own language. And third, cyberspace emphasizes physical geography in a special way: with services, navigation devices, technical gadgets, and mobile devices, which create an interactive map of interconnected channels of information, technology, and people. People have nationality, obey laws, and are also physically present somewhere.

It is not chaos, there are laws. This scenario is regulated by hierarchies and the main network nodes (internet) located in a specific physical spot, which accentuate the disparities of contemporary society, establishing a new map in which center and periphery are clearly located. Of course, notions of time and space, of power and freedom, the individual and the collective, the public and private, national and international culture, and the productive and unproductive, but all within this hegemonic capitalist framework. Within this structure, the development of new models of mediation is encouraged, impacting subsystems of production, distribution, and consumption, on the one hand, and the mechanisms of social reproduction and power, on the other.

Source: Lecture by Rosa Miriam Elizalde during the International Journalism Forum, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of Cuba’s Mission Truth and the foundation of Prensa Latina.

Venezuela Suspends Flights, Closes Several Borders Amid Intervention Threats

Source:  TeleSUR
February 20 2019

Vice President of Venezuela Delcy Rodríguez speaks during a press conference. Vice President of Venezuela Delcy Rodríguez speaks during a press conference. | Photo: Reuters

Rodríguez called for unity among the Venezuelan people against the interference threats that have been leveled against the country for this Feb. 23

Delcy Rodríguez called for unity among the Venezuelan people against the interference threats that have been leveled against the country for this Feb. 23

Vice President of Venezuela Delcy Rodríguez announced Wednesday the suspension of flights and closure of Venezuelan borders with the island of Curaçao, Aruba and Bonaire in response to the interventionist threats that the South American country is experiencing.

Rodriguez urged that “the best humanitarian aid they can give the people of Venezuela is to return the resources, which they are stealing,” rebuking the United States and the economic blockades that affect the country.

She added said the government extends an invitation to the right-wing opposition for restoring dialogue and resuming diplomatic mechanisms, an invitation that has repeatedly made the Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

In addition, Rodriguez called for unity among the Venezuelan people against the interference threats that have been leveled against the country for this Feb. 23 seeking to violate the sovereignty of Venezuelan territory by announcing an illegal entry of the aid into the country.

The OAS plays Judas in the Americas

Source:  Granma
January 23 2019

It is time for the peoples of the region to wake up and expose the onslaught against Venezuela and Nicaragua

oas plays judas

I wonder: What is the point of the OAS? Is it worth being a member? Why not build a common Latin American and Caribbean front and unmask it for what it is, along with its current Secretary General, Luis Almagro?

What is happening today against Venezuela and Nicaragua reminds me of the same OAS, conniving and servile to the dictates of the United States, and its attacks on Cuba in the year 1960, 12 months after the Revolution triumphed.

It was back then, at the VII Meeting of Consultation of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, in San Jose, Costa Rica, that the Organization urged member states to condemn the island, as part of U.S. government attempts to create a political and diplomatic context that isolated Cuba, and thus mask the planned military attacks prepared by the CIA, contained in the secret directive “A Program of Covert Action Against the Castro Regime,” approved March 17, 1960.

How can we forget – given that Washington has recently set up the same scenario, this time accompanied by a fierce media campaign, against Latin American nations such as Venezuela and Nicaragua – the Cuban position at the Costa Rican OAS meeting of 1960, voiced by the “Chancellor of Dignity” Raúl Roa García. How can we forget the exclamations of an entire people: “With or without the OAS, we will win the fight!”

Referring to the OAS decision to isolate Cuba, Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro said that the meeting in Costa Rica was a lesson for the peoples of America, who will never forgive the betrayal of those who offered the rights of the Cuban nation to the empire on a silver platter.

Those who signed the document “will go down in history as the Judas Iscariot of the Americas!” Fidel said then.

There are plenty of examples to show that the OAS is nothing more than an imperialist instrument, acting in an interventionist way against the peoples of the region; just as there are to unmask a traitor like Luis Almagro, who has become Latin America’s most fanatical enemy, and the most submissive of the U.S. government’s lackeys.

The latest campaign by this discredited institution has been its interventionist efforts against two democratically elected governments of the region: those of Venezuela and Nicaragua.

The OAS has surpassed all expectations with regard to the Bolivarian nation, dictating disrespectful and crude resolutions, leading a media war to destabilize the country and create real chaos in the region.

Revealed for what he is, Luis Almagro recently tweeted: “We welcome the assumption of Guaidó as Acting President of Venezuela under Article 233 of the Constitution. He has our support, that of the international community and that of the Venezuelan people.”

This was the first reaction of the OAS and its secretary general to the statements of the president of the National Assembly of Venezuela (in a state of contempt), Juan Guaidó, that he would assume the presidency of the Bolivarian nation, after describing its legitimate President, Nicolás Maduro, as an “usurper.”

This is undoubtedly part of an escalating war against Venezuela, and a shameless means of interfering in its internal affairs.
AGAINST NICARAGUA

Regarding another sovereign state of the region, Nicaragua, the OAS invoked the Inter-American Democratic Charter, which may lead to the suspension of Central American country from the organization, as reported by EFE.

Luis Almagro’s speech at the last meeting of the OAS, in addition to being long and meddlesome, exposed him as the liar he is. Just as it did 60 years ago against Cuba, the OAS is now fabricating an interventionist farce with statements like: “In a democracy, there can be no repression, nor violation of the human rights of opponents, students, politicians, campesinos, civilians and minors.”

The interesting thing about all this is that within the same OAS that lacks all credibility, are representatives of countries like Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Colombia and others, the daily settings of repression against students, workers, teachers, indigenous people, and where hundreds of social leaders are assassinated. All this is done in the name of democracy, just like that defended by the Judas, Luis Almagro.

Our peoples, in some cases confused by the current reactionary attack mounted from Washington and seconded by the OAS, will unmask the traitors who vote against Venezuela and Nicaragua today, as they did against Cuba. And I am sure they will do so in the future, as long as we act promptly and unite to discredit the OAS, Luis Almagro and the self-proclaimed Lima Group.

Raul: The revolution is a symbol of full independence, resistance, altruism and internationalism

Source:  TeleSUR
January 1 2019

raul 2019

Army General Raul Castro Ruz, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, spoke during the Central Act in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the  triumph of the Cuban Revolution, January 1. Raul spoke in the Santa Ifigenia patrimonial cemetery, of the heroic city of Santiago de Cuba.

RELATED:  60 Years of Defending Cuba Against a Barbarous Empire

The Cuban Revolution stopped the abject military dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista and was led by Fidel Castro and others, such as Ernesto Che Guevara, Camilo Cienfuegos and Raul Castro, among others.

60th anniversary of the Revolution

“Sunrise in Cuba on the 60th anniversary of the Revolution, yes to the celebration, to joy, to the tireless defense of everything we build and raise together,” Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel stated earlier on his Twitter account. At the same time leaders, political and social organizations from all over the world have sent congratulations to Cuba for the anniversary of the triumph of the Revolution. Bolivian President Evo Morales stated that “with the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, the light of hope and invincible will was born for the liberation of the peoples.”

“Santiago de Cuba is the cradle of the revolution,” is how Raul Castro started his speech, in which he honored the sacrifice of the Cuban People during 60 years of revolution, and during the years of fight against the Batista dictatorship.

The triumph of the Cuban Revolution on January 1, 1959, was made possible thanks to the efforts of many young revolutionaries backed by the Cuban people who sacrificed everything for the emancipation of their country, according to Castro. Raul Castro named and thanked the efforts made by people like Frank Pais, who “was killed at the age of 22, by the minions of the tyranny,” backed by the United States.

The younger generations

“The optimism and the joy of Fidel for the victory,” continue today in the Cuban revolutionary process that continues to be young and fresh as “the process of transferring the main obligations of the revolution to the younger generations is going well, very well,” according to the Comandante Raul Castro.

“Together with the heroic Cuban people, we feel deeply happy and confident when we see our own eyes, that the new generations continue with the goal of building socialism, the only guarantee of national independence and sovereignty.”

The Cuban Revolution was not the war against Fulgencio Batista and his troops, the Revolution is based on the advancements made in favor of the Cuban people. With the triumph of the Cuban Revolution began a time of important struggles to change the foundation of the society, a fight for the structure of socialism in the Caribbean island.

RELATED: Cuba Celebrates 60 Years Since Key Revolutionary Victory

“I believe that this is a decisive moment in our history: tyranny has been overthrown. The joy is immense. And yet, much remains to be done. We do not deceive ourselves, believing that everything will be easy from now on; perhaps everything will be more difficult in the future,” said Fidel after the triumph and Raul quoted him during his speech.

Interventionist acts against Cuba

Since the beginning of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution, the changes made by the new order were criticized and attacked by international powers, mainly by the “U.S. imperialism (..) No one can deny that since the #CubanRevolution was victorious on that first of January, it has not had one minute of appeasement in 60 years.”

The interventionist acts against Cuba have been crystal clear and well documented for 60 years since the triumph; “bands armed and financed by the American government, attempts to assassinate Fidel and different revolutionary leaders. The economic, commercial and financial blockade, and other political and diplomatic actions. International lying campaigns. The attempted invasion of Playa Giron … and an endless list of hostile acts against our homeland.”

The Cuban Revolution has surpassed “12 U.S. administrations that have not stopped trying to impose destabilization in Cuba.” Raul Castro has warned against the new attempts of the U.S. government, led by the Donald Trump administration, that “seems to take again the road of open confrontation with Cuba, and makes an appeal to the dark Monroe Doctrine.”

According to Raul Castro, the U.S government, backed by its think thanks “fuse new falsehoods and again try to blame Cuba for all the ills in the region as if these were not the result of terrible neoliberal policies,” policies mainly sustained by economists and intellectuals based on the U.S. or from some international organizations like the International Monetary Fund (IMF) or the World Bank (WB).

RELATED: ‘A Creature Called Revolution:’ Castro And Allende Think LatAm

There are new forms of interventionism propagated in the Latin American region, “they are the same ones that declare the intention to continue forcing the deterioration of bilateral relations and promote new measures of commercial and financial blockade.” The revolution has resisted against countless aggressions, with an indestructible link to the Cuban people who gave the necessary strength for it.

Attack on progressivism

However, Castro warned against the new forms of attacks, that are now not only focused on Cuba but on every possible space of progressivism. The “imperialist” forces “say they are willing to challenge international law, contravene the rules of international trade and aggressively apply extra-territorial measures and laws against the sovereignty of other states.” By qualifying other countries as “treats to national security,” as they have done with Cuba, Nicaragua and Venezuela, “the extreme right in Florida has hijacked the US policy against Cuba,” and against progressivism.

“I reiterate our conviction to live in a civilized manner, and in a condition of respect and peace with the United States. We are also prepared to resist a confrontation, which we do not want,” stated Castro. He also warned interventionist agents against plotting against the Cuban people, as they are prepared to “face any aggression. (…) The greatest lesson that revolutionaries and progressive movements can draw from the situation that has been forged is that of never forgetting unity with the people and never ceasing to support the most dispossessed.”

The unity of the people

“We are not intimidated by the language of force or threats. They did not intimidate us when the revolutionary process was not consolidated. They will not succeed now that the unity of the people is an indisputable reality. Today we are a whole people defending their revolution.”

As the “imperial fence is closing” on Latin America, specifically on “Venezuela, Nicaragua and our country (Cuba),” Castro called for more unity in the continent, and as “the revolution is a symbol of full independence, resistance, altruism and internationalism,” the Cuban people will help and defend the principles of sovereignty and self-determination of every person in the region.

RELATED: 60 Years On, Revolution Still Alive in Cuba

Castro recounted the coups made against several progressive governments in different countries in the region, starting with a coup in Honduras, and with parliamentary and judiciary coups in other countries. He called for the freedom of former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who was put in jail “denying him of sure victory in the previous elections;” as well as he called to put an end to the persecution against former presidents; Brazilian Dilma Rousseff and Argentine Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Castro warned the interventionist forces that they “need to understand that Latin America and the Caribbean have changed. We base ourselves on the concept of unity in diversity. As the moral and political authority of Cuba is based on history, therefore, no threat will make us desist from our solidarity with the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela. The aggression against this sister republic must cease,” said Castro.

Commander Raul Castro concluded his speech by saying that “in this significant date we cannot forget about the Cuban women, who are always fighting for the emancipation of their homeland and in the construction of the homeland that we build today. LIVE FOREVER THE CUBAN REVOLUTION.”