Category: Fidel Castro
Cuban President Diaz-Canel speech to 9th Communist Party Congress
worker | April 29, 2021 | 8:16 pm | Communist Party of Cuba, Cuba, Fidel Castro, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez | Comments closed
Full text of speech by Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic of Cuba during the 8th Party Congress, April 19, 2021, Year 63 of the Revolution

Dear Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, leader of the Cuban Revolution;

Dear compañeros of the historic generation of the revolutionary process and founders of the Communist Party of Cuba;

Members of the Political Bureau and Secretariat of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee;

Members of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee;


Compañeras and compañeros:

The Eighth Congress concludes and I have no hesitation in describing it as historic. This is a fact.

Apart from our emotions and feelings involved in living history and the undefeated leadership of those who today pass on responsibilities and tasks to our generation, there is a transcendence that is impossible to ignore:

The Apostle’s Centennial Generation, guided by Fidel and Raúl over more than six intense decades, can declare today, with dignity and pride, that the socialist revolution they made only 90 miles from the powerful empire, is alive, firm, and taking action amidst the gale shaking an ever more unequal and unjust world, following the collapse of the world socialist system.

And this generation can say much more. This generation can affirm that the Revolution does not end with theirs, because they managed to shape new generations equally committed to the ideals of social justice that have cost the blood of the best sons and daughters of the Cuban nation.

What we receive today are not positions or tasks. This is not only the leadership of a country. What we have before us, continually challenging us, is a heroic, immense work.

It is the daring uprising of Céspedes, the unwavering honor of Agramonte, the dignified intransigence of Maceo, the impressive acumen of Gómez, the Maroons’ quest for liberty, the passion of war poets, the ferocity of Mariana in the scrub and the inspiring light of Martí.

It is the foundational youth of Mella, the tremendous verses of Villena, the radical anti-imperialism of Guiteras, the absolute dedication of the Centennial Generation, Haydee and Melba behind bars, Vilma defying the repressors, Celia organizing the command post in the Sierra, Cuban mothers confronting the dictatorship that murdered their children; the female platoon in the Sierra, Camilo’s boundless fidelity, Che’s universal legacy, Fidel’s profound, creative leadership, the continuity upheld by Raul.

It is the Great Rebellion, the underground, the guerrilla fronts, the strategic counteroffensive, the invasion of the West, the decisive battles, the triumphal entry into Havana, the Agrarian Reform, the literacy campaign, the fight against counterrevolutionary bandits, the militias, the Girón victory, the October Crisis, internationalist collaboration in Africa, Asia and Latin America, Che’s guerrilla war, to the blood for Vietnam, for Angola, for Ethiopia, for Nicaragua, the medical brigades, Elián González, The Five, ELAM, Operation Miracle, ALBA, the Henry Reeve contingent, science, medicine, culture, high performance sports, universities, and human solidarity re-founded in this land.

What unites us is so much that the list will always be incomplete, but this can some idea of the great monument that the Cuban people have erected over more than 150 years of struggle.

Photo: Estudio Revolución

This history can be summarized in two words: the people and unity, which is to say, the Party. Because the Communist Party of Cuba, which has never been an electoral party, was not born of a split. It was born from the unity of all political forces with profoundly humanist ideals that had been shaped in the struggle to transform an unequal, unjust country, dependent on a foreign power and under the yoke of a bloody military dictatorship.

Today we say: We are Cuba! Cuba Viva! and it sounds simple, easy, but how difficult it has been to achieve and maintain our sovereignty and independence in the midst of the most ferocious siege.

The historic generation, aware of its role in this heroic creation – that is every day of the Cuban Revolution – in the face of a multidimensional, permanent war waged by its closest neighbor, has always worked on the development of new generations and facilitated the gradual transfer of principal leadership responsibilities.

Thanks to this patient work over years, a milestone in our political history is confirmed here today, defining the Eighth Congress as the Congress of Continuity. And the central standard-bearer of this process has been compañero Army General Raúl Castro Ruz. (Applause)

When I took office as President of the Councils of State and Ministers in 2018, I wanted to express in my remarks the sentiments of many of us and recognize Raúl’s work at the head of the Revolution and the Party.

With his proverbial modesty, he asked me to forego some of the words about him that I wished to state at that time. Today, abusing the responsibility that I assume leading the Party and with more knowledge of cause, due to the intimate rapport we established in addressing the issues and strategic tasks of the country, experiencing firsthand the way he has led our preparation, I would like to do historic justice and relate what I wrote at that time and, as a matter of discipline, left unsaid.

Compañero Raúl, who has prepared, conducted and led this process of generational continuity with tenacity, with no attachment to positions or responsibilities, a heightened sense of duty and of the historic moment, with serenity, maturity, confidence, revolutionary firmness, with altruism and modesty, on the basis of his own merits, authority and because Cuba needs him, will be consulted regarding the most important strategic decisions impacting the nation’s destiny. (Applause) He will always be present, well informed of everything, fighting with energy, contributing ideas and arguments to the revolutionary cause, through his advice, his guidance and alertness to any error or deficiency, ready to confront imperialism as the first with his rifle in hand on the front lines of combat.

The Army General will continue to be present because he is a reference for every Cuban communist and revolutionary. Raúl, as our people affectionately call him, is Fidel’s best disciple, but he has also contributed a great deal to revolutionary ethics, the work of the Party and to improvement of government.

The work done under his leadership at the head of the country over the last decade is colossal. His legacy of resistance in the face of threats and aggression and in efforts to perfect our society is paradigmatic.

He assumed the leadership of the country in a difficult economic and social situation. In his dimension as a statesmanship, forging consensus, he has led, pushed for and encouraged profound, necessary structural and conceptual changes as part of the process of perfecting and updating the Cuban economic and social model.

Raúl was able to achieve the renegotiation of an enormous debt, honestly and respectfully abiding by the word given and the principle that the nation would honor its commitments to creditors, thus strengthening confidence in Cuba.

He led, with wisdom, the debate that culminated in a transcendental update of our Migratory Law; insisted on transformations in the agricultural sector; promoted without prejudice the expansion of non-state forms of economic management, the approval of a new Foreign Investment Law, the creation of the Mariel Special Development Zone, the elimination of obstacles to the strengthening of Cuban state enterprises, investments in the tourism sector, the program for the computerization of society, and the maintenance and improvement, to the degree possible, of our social conquests.

With patience and intelligence, Raúl achieved the release of our Five Heroes, thus fulfilling Fidel’s promise that they would return.

His trademark style was evident in wide-ranging, dynamic activity in the country’s foreign relations. With firmness, dignity and mettle, he personally led the process of talks and negotiations directed toward the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with the United States.

Raúl’s unquestionable qualities as a statesman, as a defender of Latin American integration, distinguished in a special way Cuba’s period as pro tempore president of CELAC. His most important legacy, the defense of unity within diversity, led to the declaration of the region as a Zone of Peace and contributed decisively to the peace talks in Colombia.

Raúl has defended the rights of Caribbean countries and particularly those of Haiti in international forums like no one else. With deep pride, Cubans listened to his emotional voice and precise language at the Summit of the Americas in Panama, where he recalled the true history of Our America.

He achieved these accomplishments while facing the illness and death of his beloved companion in life and struggles, our extraordinary Vilma (Applause), with whom he shared his passion for the Revolution and with whom he founded a beautiful family. During this period, he also suffered the illness and death of his principle reference in revolutionary life, who was also his boss and brother, compañero Fidel, to whom he has been uncompromisingly loyal. (Applause)

He put revolutionary courage and sense of duty before his human pain. He kissed the urn that held Vilma’s ashes and offered a military salute before the boulder bearing Fidel’s name, and led the country without rest, with success, energy and dedication. His contributions to the Revolution are transcendental.

Photo: Estudio Revolución

The Raul we know, admire, respect and love, made his political debut as the leader of a group of young university students who in April of 1952 symbolically buried the 1940 Constitution, trampled by the March 10 coup; in January of 1953, he was one of the founders of the March of the Torches and in March of the same year he attended the International Conference on the Rights of Youth and preparatory meetings for the Fourth World Festival of Youth and Students. Upon his return, he became one of the Moncada assailants, becoming a leader in combat. He was then imprisoned on the Isle of Pines, participated in preparation of the struggle against the Batista’s dictatorship during his exile in Mexico, set sail on the Granma, was reunited with Fidel in Cinco Palmas, embarked on the struggle in the Sierra Maestra, and given his merits and courage, was promoted to Comandante and founded the Frank País Second Eastern Front, in an exemplary manner.

He is also the political leader who promoted debate on improving Party work, always demanding a strong connection with the people, with his ear to the ground. To him we owe decisive phrases and decisions at crucial moments for the country, such as that warning that “beans are as important as cannons” and the emblematic “Yes, we can!” which raised national spirits in the darkest moment of the Special Period.

The military chief of the Second Eastern Front who, amidst the war of liberation, undertook organizational and governmental experiences for the benefit of the population, which would later be extended across the country after the revolutionary victory. He directed for almost half a century the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, making a decisive contribution to the independence of Angola, Namibia and the end of apartheid. At the same time, he was instrumental in achieving important results in the preparation of the country’s defense and in developing the strategic concept of the War of the Entire People. Under his command, the Revolutionary Armed Forces became the government’s most disciplined and efficient body, in which experiences

were organized that later served the country, including enterprise improvement, with its valuable concepts of administration, sustainability, efficiency and control, from which the FAR Enterprise System was born, going on to achieve remarkable results that contribute to the country’s economy.

Raúl, the guerrilla, in permanent contact and alliance with nature, acquired a special sensitivity to environmental issues, which would later mark his efforts to promote the water diversion program and Tarea Vida (climate change).

The Comanadante en jefe of the Cuban Revolution, who placed on the Army General’s chest the highest decorations, dedicated precise words to his work as a leader during the closing of the Fifth Party Congress. Speaking of his brother in blood and ideas, Fidel stated: “Life has brought us much satisfaction and many emotions, much luck, and I can truly say that it has been a stroke of luck for our Party, our Revolution and for me, that we have had a compañero like Raúl, of whose merits I do not need to speak, of whose experience, capacity and contributions to the Revolution it is not necessary to speak. He is known for his tireless activity, his constant and methodical work in the armed forces, in the Party. How fortunate that we have had this.” (Applause) This luck, described by Fidel, is called Raúl Modesto Castro Ruz. (Applause).

Compañeras y compañeros:

This Congress, with its broad, critical debate, defending a comprehensive vision of continuity, has contributed ideas, concepts and directives that chart the course to move forward resisting. But it is essential to face this challenge with the greatest possible knowledge of the complex national and international context, conscious that the world has changed dramatically and that there are too many closed doors for nations with few resources and even more for those of us who are intent on being sovereign.

The level of concentration, diversity and complexity of today’s media, of the technological tools that support digital networks and the resources employed in the generation of contents, allow powerful groups – fundamentally in highly developed countries – to convert into universal patterns ideas, tastes, emotions and ideological currents which are often completely alien to the context they impact. For these wizards of communication, truth is not only negotiable but even worse: superfluous. Via the dissemination of false premises, distortions and infamous lies of all kinds, they contribute to promoting political instability in an attempt to overthrow governments, wherever the will of a free and independent nation has not been broken. No people is safe from lies and slander in the era of “post-truth.” This is a reality that Cuba faces every day, as we persist in our intention to build a more just, sovereign socialist society, in peace with the rest of the world and without foreign interference or tutelage. The Central Report clearly exposed several of the specific challenges facing our country, particularly those associated with attempts to dominate and impose the hegemony of U.S. imperialism and the brutal blockade, with its extraterritorial impact which batters us on almost all fronts and, over the last four years, was escalated to a qualitatively more aggressive level.

No one with a minimum of honesty and economic data available in the public domain can ignore the fact that this siege constitutes the principal obstacle to our country’s development to progress in our search for prosperity and well-being. By reaffirming this truth, we are not attempting to hide the inadequacies of our own reality, about which a great deal has been said. This is about responding to those who cynically disseminate the idea that the blockade does not exist.

Photo: Estudio Revolución

The economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba for more than 60 years – opportunistically and maliciously tightened during periods of greatest crisis over the last three decades, in an attempt to create hunger and misery that would provoke a social outbreak and undermine the legitimacy of the Revolution – is the longest violation, sustained over time, against the human rights of a people and constitutes, given its impact, a crime against humanity.

This historical offense will remain indelible in the conscience and hearts of Cuban men and women who have felt in the flesh the disproportionate cruelty of an enemy many times superior, which cannot accept the construction, under its nose, of an alternative, more just and equitable society, founded on solid principles and ideals of social justice and human solidarity, with independence and sovereignty as the compass and fundamental premise of our decisions.

Let no one dare deny the blockade even the slightest responsibility for our principal problems. To do so is to deny the empire’s unjustifiable powers: its almost absolute domination of global markets and finances and its decisive influence on the politics of other governments, some of which, believing themselves to be partners, act as henchmen.

It must be said again and again, without fear of repeating ourselves. They must be the first to tire of a crime that is as useless as it is long. Our demand to put an end to the blockade is and will be without respite, a relentless struggle as long as this ruthless and genocidal policy remains in effect. We know we have the support of the international community, reaffirmed on countless occasions, and of a large portion of Cubans abroad.

To this day, the 242 hostile measures adopted by the Donald Trump administration remain in force, in addition to actions resulting from the re-inclusion of Cuba on the State Department’s spurious, arbitrary list of countries that allegedly sponsor terrorism. No U.S. official, no politician of this or any other country can state that Cuba sponsors terrorism, without ignoring the truth. We are a country that is the victim of terrorism, organized, financed and executed, in most cases, by the United States.

The campaigns of subversion and ideological poisoning promoted by United States agencies and entities continue, with the intention of discrediting Cuba, slandering the Revolution, attempting to confuse the people, encouraging despair, apathy, and recalcitrance, exacerbating internal contradictions.

They are designed to take advantage of the obvious material scarcity and difficulties faced by our population, as a consequence of the combined effect of the global economic crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic and the tightening of the economic blockade.

It is said that Cuba is not a priority for the United States, and as a sovereign nation has no need to be so. It is worth asking: Why does specific legislation exist, such as the Torricelli Act or the Helms-Burton Act – just to mention two examples – with the sole purpose of attacking and attempting to control Cuba’s destiny by coercing third parties that establish or intend to establish trade or cooperation relations with us? Why does the United States devote hundreds of millions of dollars on efforts to subvert the Cuban constitutional order? Why do they spend so much time and money trying to undermine the national conscience of Cuban women and men? What justifies a cruel and relentless economic war for more than 60 years? Why do they pay the price of international isolation, as evidenced in the United Nations and other international forums, by maintaining a morally and legally unsustainable policy?

Our aspiration is to live in peace and interact with our northern neighbor as we do with the rest of the international community, on the basis of equality and mutual respect, without interference of any kind. This is the position of the Party and the state. It is the will of our people.

It is striking that the U.S. government declares as its foreign policy priorities the fight against climate change; confronting health threats, such as the COVID-19 pandemic; the promotion of human rights; and migration issues. This contrasts sharply with the actual conduct of the country and its historical record, both in domestic and foreign policy. The examples are well known.

Paradoxically, these four issues are areas in which the interest of both peoples and the mutual benefit would justify exploring the possibilities of bilateral cooperation, if a solution to such complex problems is truly sought, with honesty and a desire to achieve results.

In these times of world uncertainty, of enormous environmental challenge, facing the blows of a pandemic that has reconfigured the world’s behavior and aggravated the global crisis that was on the horizon, the Party’s work will be focused on defense of the Revolution. The Party leads the Cuban Revolution’s foreign policy, which rests on the notion that a better world is possible and that to struggle for it requires the cooperation of many and the mobilization of the peoples.

This has been a consistent guiding principle of our international efforts and is reconfirmed by this Congress.

We express our willingness to develop friendly, cooperative relations with any country in the world; we are pleased to practice international solidarity even in countries with government ideologies we do not share. We reiterate the determination to expose the truth with clarity, no matter how much this may bother some, to defend principles, join just causes, confront atrocities, as we have confronted foreign aggression, colonialism, racism and apartheid.

This is the foundation of our aspirations for the full independence of Our America and of our commitment to help achieve an economically and socially integrated region, capable of defending the commitment of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.

This is the foreign policy described in the Congress Central Report, which we reaffirm today.

Compañeras y compañeros:

It has been very difficult to resist and face the current situation, which has slowed our advance toward the prosperity we desire. Attention to meeting the demands and needs of the people has not ceased; we have explained every decision, convening and undertaking processes, with complex actions and measures, but the truth is that understanding and success have not always been achieved.

I say this without complaint. In an authentic Revolution, victory lies in learning. We are not taking a proven route. We are challenged to constantly innovate, changing everything that needs to be changed, without renouncing our dearest principles. Without ever departing from the concept of Revolution bequeathed to us by the undefeated leader of this epic feat, but free from rigid ideas and aware of the possible mistakes involved in clearing the path as we go.

In presenting the Central Report, Army General cited the helpful experiences of China and Vietnam, where undeniable progress in the economy and their populations’ standard of living has been made. Both processes, which confirm the great potential of socialist planning, have undergone more than one correction along the way, although the blockade imposed on their economies lasted less time and was less aggressive.

The work of the Party in present circumstances has been and will continue to be fundamental. It is impossible to imagine this moment without the work of the political vanguard, but our organization is urgently in need of changes in its workstyle, which must become better suited to this era and its challenges.

The Communist Party of Cuba will continue in the recognition and defense of our essences: independence, sovereignty, socialist democracy, peace, economic efficiency, security and the conquests of social justice: Socialism! To these we add the struggle for a prosperity that ranges from food to recreation; includes scientific development, superior spiritual wealth and wellbeing; and empowers the design of the functional and the beautiful.

Socialism is worth defending because it is the answer to the need for a more just, equitable, balanced and inclusive world; it is the real possibility of designing with intelligence and sensitivity a space where everyone belongs, not only those who have the resources. It is directed, like no other system, to concretizing Marti’s call to conquer all justice.

The principal strength needed to achieve this goal is unity, everything that unites us: dreams, concerns, but also fears in the face of common dangers. We will defend this unity, without discrimination, with no room allowed for prejudices, dogmas or stereotypes that unjustly divide persons.

An element indispensible to maintaining the Party’s forging of this unity is the exemplarity of its members, which demands from all militants a public attitude that, based on their capacity, dedication, and accomplishments, is one of admiration and respect, among an acutely perceptive people, capable of recognizing at a distance any fake commitment or double standards.

Generational continuity is a fundamental part of this unity. It is necessary to speak and share achievements with our young people as the most important people they are; distinguish them as protagonists of the transformations underway. In them lies the strength, the disposition and decision, the sincerity needed in any undertaking or revolutionary contribution that the situation demands. During the pandemic’s worse moments, they have demonstrated this with courage and responsibility.

Today it is the Party’s duty to consolidate the authority gained by the historic generation on the basis of their merits, and preserve the leadership and moral authority of our organization.

To achieve these objectives, it is essential to strengthen the dynamics of the Party’s functioning and the proactivity of our membership in addressing society’s most pressing problems, under the premise that, given our nature as a single party, will always have the challenge of being increasingly more democratic, more attractive, closer to the people as a whole and not only in our immediate environments.

Although the subject was extensively debated before and during the Congress, I would like to offer some comments on the need to strengthen the internal life of the Party in order to have more external life, that is to say, to really function as a vanguard with leadership capacity, able to project itself in its environment with genuine concerns for the functioning of society, and with the power to convoke and mobilize, to defeat any plan of the enemies of the Cuban nation attempting to provoke a social explosion.

Today we need more consensually established forums and better prepared documentation to promote honest, constructive debate within our cells, and to stimulate popular debate, promoting regular meetings with students and young people in different professions and trades.

These are not times of printed bulletins or waiting for long processes of coordination and analysis to promote debate in our cells. The dynamics of these times force us to look for more flexible, brief and innovative ways of communicating orientations. In the Internet era, which has already allowed millions of Cubans to develop a certain perception of the world on a cell phone, our messages to the membership cannot follow the slow route of the old printing press.

The basic premise, also a legacy of the Comandante en jefe, is to never lie or violate ethical principles. The solid authority of the Party rests on these values, and our militants will always be called upon to tell and consider the truth, no matter how hard it may be or appear to be. We, the cadres of the Revolution, have been educated in this principle. And all members are always called upon to wield the truth as our first combat weapon. This is the mission of the vanguard to which we belong.

The truth, clearly and opportunely expressed, is inseparable from the permanent duty to be and to set an example. Our ability to lead depends on how we assume leadership. A people like ours, which has always identified with the bravest of the troops, will only accept and recognize as the vanguard those who are capable of acting like the leaders who shaped us.

The most revolutionary within the Revolution is and must always be the Party, just as the Party must be the force that revolutionizes the Revolution. (Applause)

We see and hear our intellectuals and artists, educators, doctors, journalists, the scientists, creators, athletes, also professionals and technicians, students, workers, workers and campesinos, combatants of the FAR and the Minint, who are members of the Party and its Youth, as the motor force that constantly revolutionizes the Revolution.

And it is our duty as Party cadres to understand that this political force is not monochromatic, nor are all members identical, much less unanimous when expressing themselves. We must be capable of appreciating the strength of the forest, of its trees in a row and in tight ranks when the Revolution needs it. Unity must prevail without ever forgetting that we must see the forest as well as the trees. The collective and the individuals are not the same, even if although when united they are perceived as such. Preserving the legitimacy needed to ensure that the project continues to advance is based on the deep knowledge of its singularities.

We cannot allow ourselves to be overcome by the weight of difficulties. New vitality must be given to popular mobilizations, initiatives that strengthen us.

Routine has undermined many of our processes and today it is urgent to shake off inertia to promote honest, constructive discussion on priority issues, defining actions in each location, with the participation of cadres in the life of cells.

Making growth in the Party ranks a process that arouses genuine interest, with social impact, generating more attractive work methods, on the basis of members’ accountability and the daily dynamics of political work in municipalities and provinces.

To the extent that we approach the battles to raise the quality of life of Cubans with clarity and transparency, and encourage youth to participate with their natural enthusiasm in all the tasks that are critical to the country, we will be reactivating the essence of the Party.

It is our obligation to be standard bearers in the fight against corruption, dishonest ways of acting, abuse of power, favoritism and double standards.

Our conduct at work, before society, in the family and our circles of friends must be coherent with the values we defend.

Party discipline, collective leadership, theoretical studies and the promotion of events on the viability of socialism, the ideas of Marxism-Leninism, the traditions of Cuban thought, particularly those of Martí and Fidel, are subjects that cannot be postponed in our Party schools, along with necessary theoretical and administrative training, with modern management techniques and a broad cultural and historical foundation.

I am convinced that we must incorporate as pillars of our work the computerization of all the organization’s internal processes; the support of science and innovation in approaching and resolving the most complex issues; as well as the creative development of social communication.

The Party’s work in the constant search for emancipatory alternatives also needs a good bath of science and technology, which must be part of this process.

Marxism has left us an invaluable legacy: the certainty that science and technology are an indissoluble part of social processes and that the key to the perspective and prospective development of any project lies in the relationship of science-technology-society. This is the way to build a socialist economy based on knowledge, a society increasingly built on knowledge – A promising horizon for new generations.

There are many tasks ahead that require the active and proactive participation of our membership, in order to mobilize the country’s energy to make progress on our objectives for development, particularly food security and sovereignty, industrial development and the energy problem. But also, and first of all, in the preparation for defense, the strengthening of our institutional order and the socialist state of law.

We will continue to work on laws required by the new Constitution and on the strengthening of socialist democracy, linked to social justice and equity; the full exercise of human rights; effective representation and participation of society in economic and social processes underway, directed toward a prosperous, democratic and sustainable socialism. All this in an environment increasingly free of the burdens of bureaucracy, excessive centralism and inefficiency.

Success in these efforts depends on our ability to dialogue with the population, to enthuse and involve all citizens and to rebuild values that give greater meaning and importance to social commitment. Conscious that democracy is more socialist to the extent that it is more participatory, it is up to us to stimulate popular participation, creating spaces and procedures to address, evaluate and implement the demands and proposals that make it effective.

This essential connection with the demands and needs of the people through participation is linked to one of the fundamental tasks of the Party in these times: social communication, still insufficiently understood, with the erroneous idea that it is a secondary matter given the urgency of economic and political issues. As if these urgencies were not, in some cases, the result of underestimating the specific importance of social communication.

The role of locals, cells and other party structures, internally and in their relationships with state and government bodies, mass organizations and civil society, must be that of a convener, a facilitator of exchange and revolutionary debate, stripped of formalism, impositions and superfluous directives. Revolutionary, because it springs from the concerns of those committed to improving and strengthening the process, ensuring that it is not detained or stuck.

We, members and non-members committed to Cuba’s wellbeing, must advance the search for effective solutions, which in daily practice contribute, at the grassroots level, to a thorough understanding of our reality. Every person, every work collective, every mass organization counts. The battle is ours, it belongs to all of us and this is where we must concentrate our efforts. It is a matter of survival, of dignity, of decorum and of preserving the conquests we have won.


The Revolution has given meaning to terms which we must not abandon in our desire to confront and transform the context: let us defend elegance, prestige, joy, decency, rights, efficiency, quality, culture of detail, beauty, virtue, honor, dignity and truth in everything we propose and do. On the basis of this Party practice, we must devote ourselves to advancing the re-ordering, the recovery, the consideration and strengthening of the ethical and moral values that have brought us this far, undoubtedly hard hit over the last decades by the adversities and successive periods of difficult circumstances.

In the face of the unjust international economic order imposed by bankrupt, discredited neoliberalism, Cuba maintains a line of action that inspires admiration, amazement and all manner of positive sentiments among those who yearn for a better global reality. Our conduct also increases the frustration, desperation and impotence of the northern neighbor and its acolytes, of the sellouts and annexationists, of the submissive and undignified who bow to the designs of the empire, all sworn enemies who are determined to devise the most perverse plans to attack the Revolution, create distrust and fracture our unity.

By tightening the economic siege, they seek to fabricate the image of a rigid, paralyzed, slow Revolution, which has no solutions or anything new to offer, incapable of promoting dialogue and defending participation, or providing happiness. They attempt to coopt our themes, words and phrases to paralyze wills, destroy sentiments and paradigms. Money flows in torrents to bury the Revolution.

We are not a closed society, nor is this revolutionary process weak, out-of-touch or stagnant. Over the course of 60 years we have consolidated an absolutely novel, challenging political project, in the midst of unimaginable pressure. And in order to perfect it, we have risen to the occasion, advanced and rectified errors many times.

In the ideological battle we must turn to Fidel, who taught us not only that culture is the first thing that must be saved, but that to save it we must maintain constant interaction with our intellectuals and artists.

He also taught us that this would not be a comfortable dialogue for the parties involved, but that it has been and must be a permanent, ongoing process, in which respect and willingness to work together are proven in practice.

The Revolution is not only unafraid of creative thought, but encourages it, cultivates it, opens fields for its growth and development, recognizes it and draws on its contributions. This is why a system of artistic education and cultural promotion was created, one which has served to protect and safeguard the most valuable of the tangible and intangible patrimony of Cuban creators, for all these years, even in the most difficult.

Learning in the arena of politics and ideology concerns all forces participating in a social process. What is unforgivable is not that mistakes were made previously or are being made right now. What is unforgivable is not correcting them.

In this sense we have been consistent; we have rectified errors and the will to continue doing so exists, because it is critical to development in the field of ideas, as well as the economic and others.

A beautiful song, a duet by Silvio Rodríguez and Santiago Feliú, warns: “How much doubt is cast every time the lie wins!” Big media and digital social networks serve as effective platforms for limitless distortions and lies. With every person who doubts or shares a piece of false news, they score a small, but harmful victory.

It would be naive to pretend that the exponents of certain acts of an artistic political, or other nature, ignore or are not interested in considering the context. There is a fine, fragile line between an opportune act and an opportunist one, between the liberal and the chaotic, between independentists and neoannexionists, between transcendence and irresponsibility.

Their unwillingness to even acknowledge that the most radical right is viciously conspiring to eliminate our experience without thinking twice – and that if we perish as a project we will never again have the option of self-determination – is ultimately an act of criminal irresponsibility toward their country and their time.

We are no longer talking about cultural colonization, we are talking about an all’out war by the most conservative ultra-right, today desperate, ready to use any means, anxious to eliminate any site of progress, obsessed with destroying any leftist project.

They are sociopaths with digital technology always available, always at the ready, waging an open war against reason and sentiment. They attack, not a political system alone, but the true, urgent needs of humans, what connects us as a species. That is the most dangerous war, but also the most cowardly.

We cannot ignore that the enemies of the Revolution employ concepts of unconventional warfare against Cuba, a war in which everything that is banal, vulgar, indecent and false is fair game, although they attempt to get a foothold appealing to sensitivity, culture and thought.

The paladins of freedom, who traffic in values, of which they have no understanding, are attempting to dismantle a Revolution that has emancipated millions.

They shamelessly incite the desecration of symbols and the country’s most sacred historical dates and places. They call for disobedience, disrespect, disorder and public indiscipline, accompanying these calls with the slanderous construction of pseudo-realities, bent on confusing, discouraging and promoting negativity.

The Cuban Revolution will not be betrayed or handed over to those who seek to live by playing with the fate of the homeland. (Applause) We will not allow the artivistas – as they call themselves, in quotation marks – of chaos, vulgarity, contempt, to defile the flag and insult authorities. We are not unaware that they desperately seek to be arrested, following the orders of those who pay them, who continue to find credible victims, taken in by their infamous reports from Cuba.

It’s good to warn the mercenary lumpen profiting from the destiny of all – those who demand “invasion now,” those who continually offend in word and deed those who do not rest – that the patience of this people has limits! (Prolonged applause)

Virtue will be in knowing how to close ranks in the defense of the homeland entrusted to us by those who have preceded us and brought us to the present.

Not even in the worst of situations can a Party member be a passive spectator of a provocation, or let a compañera or compañero in the ranks stand alone against provocateurs. The Revolution is defended by revolutionaries! (Applause) And among revolutionaries, we Communists go to the fore. (Applause) Never as an elite, but as a conscious, committed force. That means being and acting like a political vanguard. (Applause)

We must be proud to be part of the Party’s ranks and understand membership as an act of consecration to the ideals that the organization defends with passion, joy, and responsibility.

It is time to understand and use all the resources of social communication, particularly work on digital networks, to deal with the issues impacting society; to interact and provide timely responses from all institution to which citizens turn; to promote participation, transparency and accountability; to make visible the spirit that moves the country.

We must take advantage of all communication platforms to fight our battle as revolutionaries, making the weight of history felt, our patriotic motivations and convictions heard, and the keys of collective leadership understood. We have the challenge of telling with our own voice all the good that has been done, as well as what can and should be done, showing our light and our commitment.

We live in an ordered, organized country, where we work hard to resist the blows of a hostile, suffocating reality, but which is determined to move forward toward greater social wellbeing. This truth must be heard every day through a steady stream of informative, educational and illustrative reports, describing every project, every scene of resistance and construction to overcome adversity.

Let’s do this without being self-righteous, without boasting, offering contents based on the truth and virtue, on firmness and coherence, elegance and moderation, without tiresome speeches that provoke rejection, with arguments and sentiments, sensitivity and empathy. With the language of those who resist on a daily basis, in that most intimate dimension of the homeland which is the neighborhood, the small plot of land, the community, the factory, the school, the construction site, and the family, closing the gap between institutional discourse and public demands.

The Revolution is real dialogue that puts truth and ethics before indecency and perversity, that does not negotiate its existence, does not legitimize mercenaries and acts with security and firmness.

Let us approach with objectivity progress made in the struggle for the emancipation of women, against gender violence, racism and discrimination, in favor of the care and protection of the environment and animals. And recognize that we need to advance further, to give increasingly more just responses to the people’s concerns.

Let us practice a partisan and revolutionary militancy that actively confronts racist and discriminatory behavior and defends the rights of Cuban women.

Compañeras and compañeros:

Allow me now to say a few words about the crucial economic battle, without which all other battles can be futile.

The five-year period being evaluated by this Congress did not produce good economic results. This was also influenced by inefficiency and ineffectiveness in the performance of a significant portion of the enterprise system and the budgeted sector; structural problems exist that affect their development. Unresolved during the period were excessive, non-essential expenses and the lack of control of material and financial resources, as well as unnecessary obstacles and bureaucracy, among other evils that hinder our economic development, the solution of which depends on us.

Despite having faced difficulties of various kinds during this period, the economy has shown resilience, making it possible to preserve our social conquests, without renouncing the development goals set, or our solidarity and support to other peoples.

Cuba has given a magnificent lesson of how political will; the Revolution’s humanist vocation; government management; public policies that put human beings at the center; dialogue between our principal decision makers and scientists; and the people’s participation can, with relative success, confront a complex problem like the pandemic.

A small country without resources, besieged and cruelly blockaded, has achieved results indicative of a better performance than that of many countries in the world and the region. This work is sustained by the economy we criticize to improve it and make it more efficient, but that has made possible inclusive social gains that are clearly significant.

The Party reiterates that we are not satisfied with maintaining the country’s potential strength at a survival level. On the contrary, we aspire to resist creatively, without renouncing our development projects, perfecting them, updating their concepts, modernizing ways of doing and participating.

In the shortest possible time, on the basis of our own efforts, recognizing that the path lies within ourselves, with the least possible external dependence, we must meet the challenge of producing the food we need, make better use of renewable energy sources, develop our tourism potential with quality and sustainability, improve the efficiency in the investment process, direct national production to meet the demands of the domestic market, and provide better quality services to the population.

There are basic concepts in any type of economy, which we must definitively instate, like savings and the circular economy. Eliminating the import mentality is also imperative.

To overcome the crisis, it is necessary to dynamize the process of updating the economic and social model and implementation of the Strategy and the National Economic and Social Development Plan through 2030, establishing a flexible relationship between necessary planning, decentralization and the autonomy essential for local development, with the participation of all economic actors, including state enterprises, micro, small and medium-sized enterprises and cooperatives.

That is, we will resist, creatively, with deep, objective analysis of each situation, summoning expert knowledge, promoting popular participation and innovation. Of course, without renouncing our internationalist principles of solidarity and cooperation with humanity.

The Ordering Task, not always well understood, even by those who have the responsibility of executing it, will immediately demand a great deal of political work, given the highly complex process it is.

Questions have been raised about whether this was the right time to launch the re-ordering, in the midst of the unexpected challenges imposed by the pandemic and the escalation of the blockade. There is only one answer: we could no longer postpone this transformation intended to stimulate development and the articulated participation of all economic actors.

It is only honest to acknowledge that the re-ordering has presented problems of implementation, due to insufficient preparation of some directors and inadequate interpretation of the regulations, but misunderstandings have also emerged based on the mistake of associating this process with problems that were present before its implementation. To this must be added dissatisfaction generated by argumentation that was not always timely or precise, plus some inadmissible demands, which are far removed from the principles guiding the task.


Our first response has been to provide follow up and immediate solutions -whenever possible – to the critical issues raised by the population, promoting an important exercise of citizen participation, which cannot be ignored, evident in adjustments, corrections and changes implemented. Rates, prices and the most recent measures to favor and stimulate the production and commercialization of foodstuffs are part of this strategy.

Once again we appeal to the necessary change of mentality that can facilitate these efforts. It is time to move from making the call to transformation.

We will win to the extent that the goal of everything we do is always the greatest possible happiness of Cubans, defended on the basis of the essence of our socialism.

The current situation and the objectives which emerged from our debates represent a very great challenge for Cuban leaders. Society and its institutions need cadres, with a profoundly ethical and professional preparation, distinguished by qualities including revolutionary dissatisfaction, sensitivity to the people’s problems, the disposition to devote oneself, and the ability to face adversity with creativity that inspires and motivates innovation.

In any situation, but especially in the most difficult and challenging, our cadres must stand out for their dedication to the task, their eagerness to improve, their modesty and sufficient sensitivity to put themselves in the place of others, putting the “we” before the “I.” They have the responsibility to dialogue sincerely, from the heart, and be quick to incorporate these perceptions in decision making.

The Congress has approved a strategy for the preparation of cadres that will include a scientific approach in their selection, training and promotion, and will take into account a gradual transition involving different responsibilities.


The blockade and the pandemic have come together in the last year to put our projections and dreams on hold. We have been struggling hard against the daily difficulties and, although at times it might seem that we will not be able to get by, in the midst of uncertainty, we are suddenly assaulted and dazzled by our own capacity for resistance and creation.

The fact that a country blockaded to a perverse limit has managed to sustain the vitality of its basic services, treat the entire population of infected and suspect cases, install more than twenty molecular biology laboratories in record time, design and develop national prototypes of pulmonary ventilators and diagnostic kits, and develop five candidate vaccines, planning to produce enough doses to immunize the entire population and contribute to other nations, in addition to providing meritorious, recognized medical collaboration to several peoples of the world, is much more than a light at the end of the tunnel. It is proof that we are on the right side of history and that our revolutionary socialist project has so much potential and reach that not even the greatest empire of all time has been able to demolish.

Our people have given this unquestionable feat a name: Fidel Castro Ruz! (Applause)

The Comandante en jefe, under Martí’s precept that to govern is to foresee, in very uncertain days for Cuba, promoted the development of biotechnology, the production of pharmaceuticals and vaccines, and the training of doctors for the nation and the world. He, who saw earlier and farther, as far as humanity can project its dreams, is a continuous reference, at a time when, before the astonished eyes of many, Cuba emerges saving itself and contributing to saving the world from the worse pandemic in centuries.

At a time when women and men in white lab coats, members of the Henry Reeve brigade, descend the stairs of an airplane carrying the single starred flag out front, intent on saving lives without putting a price on their work, the lies and slanders attacking Cuba begin to dissolve like ice in hot water and our truth is multiplied by this redeeming action.

Compatriots from all of Cuba, everyday militants of the Revolution: members of the Political Bureau, the Secretariat and the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba elected today assume the extraordinary commitment to give continuity to the Cuban Revolution. (Applause)

After several years of work and dedication to Party tasks, we bid farewell to several compañeras and compañeros who in their respective roles are part of all that the country has undertaken and achieved under challenging conditions in recent years. They all take with them the best of recognitions: to have worked at the highest levels of the Party founded and led by Fidel, Raúl and other compañeras and compañeros of the historic centenary generation, including Comandantes de la Revolución Ramiro Valdés and Guillermo García, who continue every day to give us lessons in devotion and dedication to the common work. (Applause)

To Rebel Army Comandante José Ramón Machado Ventura (applause), who for dozens of years carried on his shoulders difficult tasks of the organization, its functioning and internal life, the control of resources and administration, we offer our permanent gratitude for his dedication and example, for his discipline and loyalty. For his teachings, support and confidence in those of us who have moved, step by step, from grassroots student and youth organizations to leadership tasks. His straight-forwardness, his modesty and commitment will always accompany us as lessons of life (Applause).

As for the Army General, the Congress of Continuity wishes to place on record our enormous debt to a man who will never be able to separate himself from the Party of which he is a founder.

Summarizing his contributions to the Revolution, as I did at the beginning of my remarks, is not only the duty of comrades. It is a way of reminding ourselves of the principal qualities of a leader, of an authentic revolutionary, always unsatisfied with the work he leads and attentive to the social beat, sensitive to everything that serves or harms the people.

Intransigent and firm when it comes to confronting the adversary and defending the work. Sincere and affectionate when he encourages, recognizes, rewards, or even reprimands a comrade in battle.

Continuity is affirmed by example and within the teachings of the authentic leaders who have preceded us, always evident in the timely, heartfelt recognition of those who give their all for the collective good.

Compañero Army General, Minister or simply Raúl, as the people call him, on behalf of my compañeras and compañeros and the Cuban people: Thank you for your example, your drive, your strength and your confidence! (Applause) Thank you for being there and helping us believe in ourselves.

Important, very important, was your support and encouragement during these years of learning and training that today allow us to assume responsibilities in which you and Fidel made history. The challenge is tremendous, but we have the peace of mind that the school is close, that you are by our side. (Applause)

Compañeras and compañeros:

What is happening today places us once again before the thread of history. It is April 19, the day of the Girón victory, that first fight against the mercenaries of the empire which wanted to surprise the Revolution but was surprised. The declaration of the socialist character of the Revolution on the eve of those battles, Fidel’s courage and genius shining in the organization of the battle, ensuring that it lasted less than 72 hours and preventing the establishment of a beachhead, the image of our leader atop a tank in action, always in front of his troops, have returned, on the occasion of the date, to remind us who we are, where we come from and where we are going. (Applause)

The Communist Party of Cuba is indissolubly linked to that symbol of resistance and to the victory that awaits those who fight fair for the rights of their peoples and claim nothing more than a place in the vanguard.

Our generation understands the responsibility we assume in accepting this challenge and declares before the historic generation our honor and pride in giving continuity to the Revolution. (Applause) We do so guided by the principle immortalized by Maceo, “…Whoever attempts to appropriate Cuba, will gather the dust of its soil, drenched in blood, if he does not perish in the struggle.”

Paraphrasing Camilo in his well-known words to Fidel upon receiving the rank of Rebel Army Comandante in the Sierra Maestra, we would like to say to the historic generation, to our fellow Party members and our beloved people: Thank you for giving us the opportunity to serve this most worthy cause for which we will always be ready to give our lives… It would be easier to stop breathing than to stop being true to your confidence! (Applause).

We are Cuba!

Cuba lives!

Homeland or Death!



Cien Horas con Fidel (Part 2)
worker | October 11, 2020 | 6:42 pm | Cuba, Fidel Castro | Comments closed

Cien Horas con Fidel (Part 1)
worker | October 6, 2020 | 7:52 pm | Fidel Castro | Comments closed

Fidel Castro, ¡presente! Thousands gathered at the University of Havana to honour the Comandante
worker | November 29, 2017 | 6:36 pm | Cuba, Fidel Castro | Comments closed

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Fidel Castro, ¡presente! Thousands gathered at the University of Havana to honour the Comandante

Thousands of people gathered at the University of Havana in order to pay their respect to Comadante Fidel Castro, on the one years since his death. Report from Granma International.

Once again the historic guerilla brought together a multitude of grateful youth. Once again he showed us the right way, with his index finger pointing to the future. In a cultural-political act at the University of Havana’s historic Grand Staircase – where he spoke to students on many occasions – the generation in which he placed all his trust, gathered one year after his passing, to show that Fidel has not left, and that today, he is more present than ever. 

Accompanied by José Ramón Machado Ventura, second secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee; Party Political Bureau members Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, first vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba, and Mercedes López Acea, a Council of State vice president, the hearts of Cuba’s youth throbbed with every song sung that evening, and with the images recalling Fidel’s life-long connection with the new generations. 
“I am Fidel,” “We hear him, we feel him, Fidel is present!” were the phrases chanted by the multitude of youth gathered on the same steps Fidel climbed every morning in his conquest for knowledge, to commemorate the day that the eternal youth began his journey into eternity; same day 60 years before when he and other expeditionaries set sail on the Granma yacht to free Cuba.
Leading that expedition, “the man that taught us to be, the leader par excellence, Marti’s loyalist follower, our comrade in the struggle” as President of the National Organizing Committee of the Federation of Secondary School Students, Niuvys Garcés described him; Fidel, the man who transcended “the borders of his time” to “live forever among is people.” 
“That’s how we feel you Fidel, more present and alive (…) Every day you call on us to attack the Moncada Garrisons, to be the Granma yacht expeditionaries, to ask ourselves what we must improve in order to be outstanding students (…) how to love our history more and defend our homeland under any circumstance.”

During the ceremony, which also saw the participation of Olga Lidia Tapia, a member of the Party Central Committee Secretariat, and Susely Morfa González, first secretary of the Young Communist League (UJC) National Committee, the young student noted that everyday Cubans must think “what would he (Fidel) do if he was here,” and reflect on his concept of the true essence of Revolution.
Because, as Raúl Palmero, President of the Federation of University Students (FEU), “the giant” left us a noble nation and redefined the role of youth; he transformed all of Cuba into a university, and gave us the greatest gift of all: “an independent homeland built with pride and which will never surrender.”

Palmero went on to recall a message sent by the Comandante en Jefe to the FEU on January 26, 2015, in which he “warned that imperialism cannot be trusted,” and in so doing, the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution supplied students with weapons and the truth, “like just another classmate.” 

The poem Canto a Fidel, in addition to songs which have become narratives of the Revolution, such as “La Bayamesa,” “La Era,” “Mi historia crecerá,” “Cualquier lugar es mi tierra,” “14 verbos de junio,” and “Cabalgando con Fidel,” were just some of the musical offerings presented during the ceremony, which also saw performances by Trova singers Raúl Torres, Eduardo Sosa, Annie Garcés and Vicente Feliú; as well as groups like the Jazz Band, Arnaldo Rodríguez y su Talismán, Moncada and La Colmenita; the company Tiempos and actor Alden Knight, among others. 
The ceremony was also attended by the heads of the ministries of Education and Culture, Ena Elsa Velázquez Cobiella and Abel Prieto Jiménez, respectively; senior officials of the UJC, youth movements and other guests.
Allende’s Last Stand Against US-Supported Fascism in Chile in 1973
worker | September 13, 2017 | 8:35 pm | Analysis, Chile, Fascist terrorism, Fidel Castro, Salvador Allende | Comments closed

A man takes part in a demonstration commemorating the 44nd anniversary of Chile's 1973 military coup, in Santiago, Chile, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017.

Allende’s Last Stand Against US-Supported Fascism in Chile in 1973

© AP Photo/ Esteban Felix


Get short URL
John Wight
0 474110

On 9/11 1973 Chile’s democratically elected president, Salvador Allende, perished, along with thousands of his supporters after the Chilean military, led by General Augusto Pinochet with the support of Washington, mounted a coup that succeeded in overthrowing his government.

For obvious though lamentable reasons this is the 9/11 anniversary that hardly makes the news, dwarfed by its more infamous counterpart, the terrorist attack unleashed against the United States in 2001.

However the significance of the fascist coup in Chile in 1973 cannot be overstated, as here ensued the world’s first experiment in that mass experiment in human despair more commonly known as neoliberalism. This free market economic doctrine was the brainchild of US economist Milton Friedman, developing it along with his disciples at the notorious school of economics at the University of Chicago in the 1960s and 1970s, which he headed.

Friedman, who died in 2006, was and is still considered a genius on the right of the political spectrum, his doctrine embraced by various right wing leaders and governments from the 1970s to the present day. The likes of the aforementioned Augusto Pinochet, along with Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and Boris Yeltsin, embraced Friedman’s ideas and applied it them their respective countries with disastrous results for the working class and the poor of each.

In essence the most extreme, deregulated model of capitalism ever devised, neoliberalism changed the role of the economy from a servant of society to a tyrant ruling over it. Indeed it is an economic system and doctrine so extreme it requires a major economic and/or social convulsion, in other words a shock to enable it to be applied with the minimum of resistance.

Thus we have the coup in Chile on 11 September 1973.

Exploring the aftermath of the coup in Chile in her peerless work, The Shock Doctrine, Canadian journalist Naomi Klein reveals, “For the first year and a half, Pinochet faithfully followed the Chicago [School] rules.” As a result, she goes on,

“In 1974 inflation reached 375 percent, the highest rate in the world. The cost of basics such as bread went through the roof. At the same time, Chileans were being thrown out of work because Pinochet’s experiment with ‘free trade’ was flooding the country with cheap imports.”

Salvador Allende, a Marxist intellectual and physician, by the time of his election as president in 1970 had been involved in Chilean politics for forty years, in which time he served as a senator, deputy and cabinet minister. He had also stood for the presidency three times and lost. His program for government was avowedly socialist, i.e. the nationalization of key industries, specifically copper, land reform, the introduction of healthcare, and redistribution of the nation’s wealth and income to the benefit of the workers responsible for creating it.

In his maiden speech to the Chilean Parliament as the nation’s president, Allende said:

“This is an unprecedented time, which offers us the material means of realizing the most generous Utopian dreams of the past. The only thing that prevents our achieving this is the heritage of greed, of fear and of obsolete institutional traditions. Between our time and that of the liberation of man on a planetary scale, this inheritance has to be overcome. Only in this way will it be possible to call upon men to reconstruct their lives, not as products of a past of slavery and exploitation, but in the most conscious realization of their noblest potentialities. This is the socialist ideal.”

However just as the Cuban people have experienced in their history, and as the people of Venezuela are experiencing now, there is nothing more powerful than the wrath of Washington-backed economic interests and oligarchs wherever and whenever socialist governments dare emerge in Latin America to challenge the right of the rich and business interests to rule.

The US president in 1970 was Richard Nixon, who in response to Allende’s election promised to “make the [Chilean] economy scream,” instructing the CIA to start working to undermine the country in order to pave the way for a military takeover. At the time US business interests in Chile were extensive, especially in the copper mining industry in which two US corporations, Anaconda and Kennicott, were major players.

Even more important than those US business interests, however, was Washington’s foreign policy priority of containing socialism and communism, a priority measured in its commitment to the War in Vietnam, thousands of miles from its own borders, at that time. When it came to its ‘own backyard’ in Latin America, where the Cuban Revolution of 1959 had inspired and catalysed socialism across the region, Washington’s determination to crush the ‘red menace’ was especially fierce.

Nixon’s Secretary of State (foreign secretary) was Henry Kissinger, a man with enough blood on his hands to have a river named after it. Of Allende’s election in Chile in 1970, he said:

“I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist due to the irresponsibility of its people. The issues are much too important for the Chilean voters to be left to decide for themselves.”

Allende chose not to heed the advice of his friend and comrade, Cuba’s Fidel Castro, to arm the workers, having warned him against placing too much trust in his country’s military high command. It was a decision that would cost him his life. Having refused the offer of safe passage and exile from the country when the coup began, Allende shot himself rather than be taken alive.

In his farewell address, broadcast to the nation and the world over the radio with the sound of gunfire clearly discernible in the background, Allende said, “In this definitive moment, the last thing which I can say to you is that I hope you will learn this lesson: foreign capital, imperialism united with reaction, created the climate for the armed forces to break with their tradition. These are my last words. I am sure that my sacrifice will not be in vain; I am sure that it will at least be a moral lesson which will punish felony, cowardice and treason.”

Upon coming to power, General Pinochet unleashed a wave of terror and murder that none who witnessed it would ever forget. And yet right up to the end of his life, Pinochet enjoyed the protection and support of the likes of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, darling of the right and like Pinochet a passionate champion of neoliberalism.

This article is dedicated to its countless victims.

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik. 

Check out John’s Sputnik radio show, Hard Facts.

When is the World Going to Impose Sanctions on America?
worker | July 31, 2017 | 7:13 pm | Analysis, Cuba, DPRK, Fidel Castro, Imperialism, Iran, Russia | Comments closed

US flag

When is the World Going to Impose Sanctions on America?

CC0 / Pixabay


Get short URL
John Wight

Only when we are living in a world in which sanctions are imposed ‘on’ the United States rather than ‘by’ the United States will we know justice reigns.

The decision taken by the US Congress to “punish Russia” for alleged meddling in the US elections with the maintenance of existing sanctions has been followed by a bill to weaken the ability of President Trump to “weaken sanctions on Russia,” thus presenting a direct challenge to the President’s authority. The bill was passed in the House of Representatives by an overwhelming majority and at time of writing awaits a hearing in the Senate, which along with the House makes up the US Congress. The legislation also includes new sanctions against not only Russia but also Iran and North Korea, thus maintaining the pattern of waging economic war against states which refuse to accept that Washington’s writ should run wherever it decides whenever it decides.

Economic sanctions are not the benign instrument that some might assume. On the contrary, they are tantamount to an act of war, a means by which economic might is wielded as club to bludgeon ‘recalcitrant’ nations and states into submission. And though sanctions may not evoke the same sense of potency of cruise missiles, they kill just the same. The experience of the Iraqi people leaves no doubt of it.

Between 1990 and 2003 sanctions on Iraq, imposed by the UN, are estimated to have been directly responsible for the deaths of 2 million people, half a million of them children according to Unicef. Multilateral sanctions were imposed on the country in response to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait in August 1990. Under UN Security Council Resolution 661 it was mandated that UN-member states should prevent all imports originating in Iraq and Iraqi-occupied Kuwait, business activity between nationals of member states and Iraq, and should undertake an embargo of funds or “economic resources” to Iraq or Iraqi-occupied Kuwait, except for medical or humanitarian purposes.

As journalist John Pilger wrote in a March 2000 article:

“Under economic sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council almost 10 years ago, Iraq is denied equipment and expertise to clean up its contaminated battlefields, as Kuwait was cleaned up. At the same time, the Sanctions Committee in New York, dominated by the Americans and British, has blocked or delayed a range of vital equipment, chemotherapy drugs and even painkillers. ‘For us doctors,’ said Dr Al-Ali, ‘it is like torture. We see children die from the kind of cancers from which, given the right treatment, there is a good recovery rate.’ Three children died while I was there.”

The sanctions imposed on Iraq were so draconian and sustained that two UN Humanitarian Coordinators in Iraq, Denis Halliday and Hans von Sponeck, resigned in protest. Yet even with the evidence of the role of the sanctions in killing half a million Iraqi children, Washington remained unrepentant. The by now infamous words of former UN Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in 1996, when in response to a question during an interview about the infanticide that was taking place as a result of the sanctions she said “the price is worth it,” exposed the barbarity that lies behind the mask of Western civilization.

The fact the sanctions were only lifted from Iraq after the devastating war unleashed on the country by the US and its UK ally in 2003 had killed countless more children tells its own story.

Cuba has suffered under the iron heel of US economic sanctions and embargo longer than any other country on the planet. A raft of economic sanctions were originally imposed on the island in 1960 by the Eisenhower administration after the Cuban revolution of the previous year succeeded in toppling the US-supported dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista, after which US corporations and businesses that had been operating without restraint in Cuba were expropriated and nationalized.

Miniature flags representing Cuba and the United States are displayed on the dash of an American classic car in Havana, Cuba.
© AP Photo/ Franklin Reyes, File
Miniature flags representing Cuba and the United States are displayed on the dash of an American classic car in Havana, Cuba.

Relations between Havana and Washington turned even more sour two years later when Fidel Castro defied Washington in forging close ties with the Soviet Union. In response, the Kennedy administration imposed complete economic sanctions, which have remained more or less in place over succeeding decades.

As French journalist Salim Lamrani pointed out in a 2016 interview on the history of US sanctions against Cuba:

“The sanctions are anachronistic because they date back to the Cold War. They are cruel because they affect the most vulnerable categories of the Cuban people, not the leaders. Finally, they are ineffective to the extent that the initial goal of overthrowing the Cuban Revolution has clearly failed.”

Most cogently, Lamrani makes the point that “Rather than isolating Cuba internationally, these sanctions have instead isolated the United States.”

The sanctions imposed by the US and its European allies/vassals on Russia, meanwhile, have been justified as a response to ‘Russian aggression’ in eastern Ukraine, along with reunification of of Crimea with Russia in 2014. As I have written previously, this is a false and tendentious rendering of what has occurred in Ukraine and why.

But regardless of the whys and wherefores, the idea that the largest country in Europe with the second most powerful military in the world, whose economy is stable and built on solid foundations, could ever be brought to its knees by economic sanctions is so preposterous it is laughable.

However the mendacity and arrogance behind Washington’s history of imposing economic sanctions against other states is certainly no laughing matter, not when we consider the ineffable human suffering they have caused and continue to cause.

Moreover, a history of subverting, destabilizing, and destroying one country after another is all the evidence needed to label the US a country so drunk with power and a corresponding sense of exceptionalism that the rest of the world would be more than justified in uniting to impose sanctions on it. In fact, given the brutal history of US imperialism the world needs to as a matter of necessity.

As Fidel Castro said, “The United States tyrannizes and pillages the globalized world with its political, economic, technological, and military might.”

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

“Condemn me. It does not matter. The peoples will have the last word!”- Fidel Castro Ruz, 26 July 2003
worker | July 25, 2017 | 9:45 pm | Cuba, Fidel Castro, political struggle | Comments closed

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

“Condemn me. It does not matter. The peoples will have the last word!”- Fidel Castro Ruz, 26 July 2003
Speech by Comandante Fidel Castro Ruz on the 50th anniversary of the attack on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Cespedes Garrisons, in Santiago de Cuba, 26 July 2003:
It seems almost unreal to be here in this same place 50 years after the events we are commemorating today, which took place that morning of July 26, 1953. I was 26 years old back then; today, 50 more years of struggle have been added to my life.
Way back then, I could not have imagined for even a second that this evening, the few participants in that action who are still alive would be gathered here, together with those, gathered here or listening to us all around the country, who were influenced by or participated directly in the Revolution; together with those who were children or teenagers back then; with those who were not even born yet and today are parents or even grandparents; with whole contingents of fully fledged men and women, full of revolutionary and internationalist glory and history, soldiers and officers in active duty or the reserves, civilians who have accomplished veritable feats; with a seemingly infinite number of young combatants; with dedicated workers or enthusiastic students, as well as some who are both at the same time; and with millions of children who fill our imagination of eternal dreamers. And once again, life has given me the unique privilege of addressing all of you.
I am not speaking here on my own behalf. I am doing it in the name of the heroic efforts of our people and the thousands of combatants who have given their lives throughout half a century. I am doing it too, with pride for the great work they have succeeded in carrying out, the obstacles they have overcome, and the impossible things they have made possible.
In the terribly sad days that followed the action, I explained to the court where I was tried the reasons that led us to undertake this struggle.
At that time, Cuba had a population of less than six million people. Based on the information available back then, I gave a harsh description, with approximate statistics, of the situation facing our people 55 years after the U.S. intervention. That intervention came when Spain had already been militarily defeated by the tenacity and heroism of the Cuban patriots, and it frustrated the goals of our long war of independence when in 1902 it established a complete political and economic control over Cuba.
The forceful imposition on our first Constitution of the right of the U.S. government to intervene in Cuba and the occupation of national territory by U.S. military bases, together with the total domination of our economy and natural resources, reduced our national sovereignty to practically nil.
I will quote just a few brief paragraphs from my statements at that trial on October 16, 1953:
“Six hundred thousand Cubans without work.”

“Five hundred thousand farm laborers who work four months of the year and starve the rest.”
“Four hundred thousand industrial workers and laborers whose retirement funds have been embezzled, whose homes are wretched quarters, whose salaries pass from the hands of the boss to those of the moneylender, whose life is endless work and whose only rest is the tomb.”
“Ten thousand young professionals: medical doctors, engineers, lawyers, veterinarians, school teachers, dentists, pharmacists, journalists, painters, sculptors, etc., who finish school with their degrees anxious to work and full of hopes, only to find themselves at a dead end, with all doors closed to them.”
“Eighty-five percent of the small farmers in Cuba pay a rent and live under constant threat of being evicted from the land they till.”
“There are two hundred thousand peasant families who do not have a single acre of land to till to provide food for their starving children.”
“More than half of our most productive land is in foreign hands.”
“Nearly three hundred thousand caballerías (over three million hectares) of arable land owned by powerful interests remain idle.”
“Two million two hundred thousand of our urban population pay rents that take between one fifth and one third of their incomes.”
“Two million eight hundred thousand of our rural and suburban population lack electricity.”
“The little rural schoolhouses are attended by a mere half of the school age children who go barefoot, half-naked and undernourished.”
“Ninety per cent of the children in the countryside are sick with parasites.”
“Society is indifferent to the mass murder of so many thousands of children who die every year from lack of resources.”
“From May to December over a million people are jobless in Cuba, with a population of five and a half million.”
“When the head of a family works only four months a year, how can he purchase clothing and medicine for his children? They will grow up with rickets, with not a single good tooth in their mouths by the time they reach thirty; they will have heard ten million speeches and will finally die of poverty and disillusion. Public hospitals, which are always full, accept only patients recommended by some powerful politician who, in return, demands the votes of the unfortunate one and his family so that Cuba may continue forever in the same or worse condition.”
Perhaps the most important statement I made about the economic and social situation was the following:
“The nation’s future, the solutions to its problems, cannot continue to depend on the selfish interests of a dozen big businessmen nor on the cold calculations of profits that ten or twelve magnates draw up in their air-conditioned offices. The country cannot continue begging on its knees for miracles from a golden fleece, like the one mentioned in The Old Testament destroyed by the prophet’s fury. Golden fleece cannot perform miracles of any kind. […] Statesmen whose statesmanship consists of preserving the status quo and mouthing phrases like ‘absolute freedom of enterprise,’ ‘guarantees to investment capital’ and ‘law of supply and demand,’ will not solve these problems.”
“In this present-day world, social problems are not solved by spontaneous generation.”

These statements and ideas described a whole underlying thinking regarding the capitalist economic and social system that simply had to be eliminated. They expressed, in essence, the idea of a new political and social system for Cuba, although it may have been dangerous to propose such a thing in the midst of the sea of prejudices and ideological venom spread by the ruling classes, allied to the empire and imposed on a population where 90% of the people were illiterate or semi-literate, without even a sixth-grade education; discontent, combative and rebellious, yet unable to discern such an acute and profound problem. Since then, I have held the most solid and firm conviction that ignorance has been the most powerful and fearsome weapon of the exploiters throughout all of history.
Educating the people about the truth, with words and irrefutable facts, has perhaps been the fundamental factor in the grandiose feat that our people have achieved.
Those humiliating realities have been crushed, despite blockades, threats, aggressions, massive terrorism and the unrestrained use of the most powerful media in history against our Revolution.
The statistics leave no room for doubt.
It has since been possible to more precisely determine that the real population of Cuba in 1953, according to the census taken that year, was 5,820,000. The current population, according to the census of September 2002, now in the final phase of data processing, is 11,177,743.
The statistics tell us that in 1953, a total of 807,700 people were illiterate, meaning an illiteracy rate of 22.3%, a figure that undoubtedly grew later during the seven years of Batista’s tyranny. In the year 2002, the number was a mere 38,183, or 0.5% of the population. The Ministry of Education estimates that the real figure is even lower, because in their thorough search for people who have not been given literacy training in their sectors or neighborhoods, visiting homes, it has been very difficult to locate them. Their estimates, based on investigative methods even more precise than a census, reveal a total of 18,000, for a rate of 0.2%. Of course, neither figure includes those who cannot learn to read or write because of mental or physical disabilities.
In 1953, the number of people with junior or senior high school education was 139,984, or 3.2% of the population aged 10 and over. In 2002, the number had risen to 5,733,243, which is 41 times greater, equivalent to 58.9% of the population in the same age group.
The number of university graduates grew from 53,490 in 1953 to 712,672 in 2002.
Unemployment, despite the fact that the 1953 census was taken in the middle of the sugar harvest, –that is, the time of the highest demand for labor– was 8.4% of the economically active population. The 2002 census, taken in September, revealed that the unemployment rate in Cuba today is a mere 3.1%. And this was the case in spite of the fact that the active labor force in 1953 was only 2,059,659 people, whereas in 2002 it had reached 4,427,028. What is most striking is that next year, when unemployment is reduced to less than 3%, Cuba will enter the category of countries with full employment, something that is inconceivable in any other country of Latin America or even the so-called economically developed nations in the midst of the current worldwide economic situation.
Without going into other areas of noteworthy social advances, I will simply add that between 1953 and 2002, the population almost doubled, the number of homes tripled, and the number of persons per home was reduced from 4.46 in 1953 to 3.16 in 2002; 75.4% of these homes were built after the triumph of the Revolution.
Eighty five percent of the people own the houses they dwell and they do not pay taxes; the remaining 15% pays a rather symbolic rent.
Of the total number of homes in the country, the percentage of huts fell from 33.3% in 1953 to 5.7% in 2002, while the percentage of homes with electrical power service rose from 55.6% in 1953 to 95.5% in 2002.
These statistics, however, do not tell the full story. Cold figures cannot express quality, and it is in terms of quality that the most truly spectacular advances have been achieved by Cuba.
Today, by a wide margin, our country occupies first place worldwide in the number of teachers, professors and educators per capita. The country’s active teaching staff accounts for the incredible figure of 290,574.
According to studies analyzing a group of the main educational indicators, Cuba also occupies first place, above the developed countries. The maximum of 20 students per teacher in primary schools already attained, and the ratio of one teacher per 15 students in junior high school –grades seven, eight and nine– that will be achieved this coming school year, are things that could not even be dreamed of in the world’s wealthiest, most developed countries.
The number of doctors is 67,079, of which 45,599 are specialists and 8,858 are in training. The number of nurses is 81,459, while that of healthcare technicians is 66,339, for a total of 214,877 doctors, nurses and technicians in the healthcare sector.
Life expectancy is 76.15 years; infant mortality is 6.5 for 1000 live births during the first year of life, lower than any other Third World country and even some of the developed nations.
There are 35,902 physical education, sports and recreation instructors, a great many more than the total number of teachers and professors in all areas of education before the Revolution.
Cuba is now fully engaged in the transformation of its own systems of education, culture and healthcare, through which it has attained so many achievements, in order to reach new levels of excellence never even imagined, based on the accumulated experience and new technological possibilities.
These programs are now fully underway, and it is estimated that the knowledge currently acquired by children, teenagers and young people will be tripled with each school year. At the same time, within five years at most, average life expectancy should rise to 80 years. The most developed and wealthy countries will never attain a ratio of 20 students in a classroom in primary school, or one teacher to 15 students in high school, or succeed in taking university education to every municipality throughout the country to place it within reach of the whole population, or in offering the highest quality educational and healthcare services to all of their citizens free of charge. Their economic and political systems are not designed for this.
In Cuba, the social and human nightmare denounced in 1953, which gave rise to our struggle, had been left behind just a few years after the triumph of the Revolution in 1959. Soon, there were no longer peasants, sharecroppers or tenant farmers without land; all of them became the owners of the land they farmed. There were no longer undernourished, barefoot, parasite-ridden children, without schools or teachers, even if their schooling took place beneath the shade of a tree. They no longer died in massive numbers from hunger, disease, from lack of resources or medical care. No longer were the rural areas filled with unemployed men and women. A new stage began in the creation and construction of educational, healthcare, residential, sports and other public facilities, as well as thousands of kilometers of highways, dams, irrigation channels, agricultural facilities, electrical power plants and power lines, agricultural, mechanical and construction material industries, and everything essential for the sustained development of the country.
The labor demand was so great that for many years, large contingents of men and women from the cities were mobilized to work in agriculture, construction and industrial production, which laid the foundations for the extraordinary social development achieved by our country, which I mentioned earlier.
I am talking as if the country were an idyllic haven of peace, as if there had not been over four decades of a rigorous blockade and economic war, aggressions of all kinds, countless acts of sabotage and terrorism, assassination plots and an endless list of hostile actions against our country, which I do not wish to emphasize in this speech, so as to focus on essential ideas of the present.
Suffice it to say that defense-related tasks alone required the permanent mobilization of hundreds of thousands of men and women and large material resources.
This hard-fought battle served to toughen our people, and taught them to fight simultaneously on many different fronts, to do a lot with very little, and to never be discouraged by obstacles.
Decisive proof of this was their heroic conduct, their tenacity and unshakably firm stance when the socialist bloc disappeared and the USSR splintered. The feat they accomplished then, when no one in the world would have bet a penny on the survival of the Revolution, will go down in history as one of the greatest ever achieved. They did it without violating a single one of the ethical and humanitarian principles of the Revolution, despite the shrieking and slander of our enemies.
The Moncada Program was fulfilled, and over-fulfilled. For some time now, we have been pursuing even greater and previously unimaginable dreams.
Today, great battles are being waged in the area of ideas, while confronting problems associated with the world situation, perhaps the most critical to ever face humanity. I am obliged to devote a part of my speech to this.
Several weeks ago, in early June, the European Union adopted an infamous resolution, drafted by a small group of bureaucrats, without prior analysis by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs themselves, and promoted by an individual of markedly fascist lineage and ideology: José María Aznar. The adoption of this resolution constituted a cowardly and repugnant action that added to the hostility, threats and dangers posed for Cuba by the aggressive policy of the hegemonic superpower.
They decided to eliminate or reduce to a minimum what they define as “humanitarian aid” to Cuba.
How much of this aid has been provided in the past few years, which have been so very difficult for the economy of our country? In 2000 the so-called humanitarian aid received from the European Union was 3.6 million dollars; in 2001 it was 8.5 million; in 2002, 0.6 million. And this was before the application of the just measures that Cuba adopted, on fully legal grounds, to defend the security of our people against the serious threats of imperialist aggression, something that no one ignores.
As can be seen, the average was 4.2 million dollars annually, which was reduced to less than a million in 2002.
What does this amount really mean for a country that suffered the impact of three hurricanes between November of 2001 and October of 2002, resulting in 2.5 billion dollars in damages for our country, combined with the devastating effect on our revenues of the drop in tourism after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks against the United States, the drop in sugar and nickel prices due to the international economic crisis, and the considerable rise in oil prices owing to various factors? What does it mean in comparison with the 72 billion dollars in losses and damages resulting from the economic blockade imposed by the U.S. government for more than four decades, and with regards to which, as a result of the extraterritorial and brutal Helms-Burton Act, which threatened the economic interests of the European Union itself, the latter reached a shameful “understanding” where it pledged not to support its businesspeople in their dealings with Cuba, in exchange for vague promises that the Act would not be applied to its investments in the United States?
Through its sugar subsidies, the countries of the European Union have caused billions of dollars in losses for the Cuban economy throughout the entire duration of the U.S. blockade.
Cuba’s payments to the countries of the European Union for goods imported over the last five years totaled some 7.5 billion dollars, or an approximate average of 1.5 billion dollars annually. On the other hand, over the last five years, these countries only purchased an average of 571 million dollars worth of imports from Cuba annually. Who is actually helping whom?
Moreover, this much touted humanitarian aid usually comes with bureaucratic delays and unacceptable conditions, such as creating funds of an equal value in national currency, at the exchange rate of our currency exchange bureaus, to provide funding in national currency for other projects where decisions were to be adopted with the participation of third parties.
This means that if the European Commission were to hand over a million dollars, they want the Cuban side to put up 27 million Cuban pesos in exchange, to fund other projects in national currency for the same amount, and the execution of the projects would involve the participation of European non-governmental organizations in all decision-making processes. This absurd condition, which was never accepted, practically paralyzed the flow of aid for a number of projects for three years, and subsequently limited it considerably.
Between October 2000 and December 2002, the European Commission officially approved four projects for an approximate total amount of 10.6 million US dollars (almost all of it for technical assistance in administrative, legal and economic matters) and only 1.9 million dollars for food security. None of this has been executed, due to the delays caused by the bureaucratic mechanisms of this institution. Nevertheless, in all European Union reports, these amounts appear as “approved for Cuba”, although the truth remains that until now not a penny of this funding has reached our country.
It should be remembered that additionally, in all of their reports on aid to Cuba, the European Commission and member countries include so-called indirect costs, such as airfares on their own airlines, accommodation, travel expenses, salaries and First World-standard luxuries. The portion of the supposed aid money that actually directly benefits the projects is whittled away through these expenditures, which do not help the country in any way, but are nonetheless calculated as part of their “generosity” for public relations purposes.
It is truly outrageous to attempt to pressure and intimidate Cuba with these measures.
Cuba, a small country, besieged and blockaded, has not only been able to survive, but also to help many countries of the Third World, exploited throughout centuries by the European colonial powers.
In the course of 40 years, over 40,000 youths from more than 100 Third World countries, including 30,000 from Africa, have graduated in Cuba as university-educated professionals and qualified technical workers, at no cost to them whatsoever, and our country has not attempted to steal a single one of them, as the countries of the European Union do with many of the brightest minds. Throughout this time, on the other hand, over 52,000 Cuban doctors and health care workers, who have saved millions of lives, have provided their services voluntarily and free of charge in 93 countries.
Even though the country has still not completely left behind the special period, last year, 2002, there were already more than 16,000 youths from throughout the Third World undertaking higher studies in our country, free of charge, including over 8,000 being trained as doctors. If we were to calculate what they would have to pay for this education in the United States and Europe, the result would be the equivalent of a donation of more than 450 million dollars every year. If you include the 3,700 doctors providing their services abroad in the most far-flung and inhospitable locales, you would have to add almost 200 million US dollars more, based on the annual salary paid to doctors by the WHO. All in all approximately 700 million dollars.
These things that our country can do, not on the basis of its financial resources, but rather the extraordinary human capital created by the Revolution, should serve as an example to the European Union, and make it feel ashamed of the measly and ineffective aid it offers these countries.
While Cuban soldiers were shedding their blood fighting the forces of apartheid, the countries of the European Union exchanged billions of dollars worth of trade every year with the South African racists, and through their investments, reaped the benefits of the cheap, semi-slave labor of the South African natives.
This past July 21, less than a week ago, the European Union, in a much-trumpeted meeting to review its shameful common position on Cuba, ratified the infamous measures adopted against Cuba on June 5 and declared that political dialogue should continue ‘in order to more efficiently pursue the goals of the common position’.
The government of Cuba, out of a basic sense of dignity, relinquishes any aid or remnant of humanitarian aid that may be offered by the European Commission and the governments of the European Union. Our country would only accept this kind of aid, no matter how modest, from regional or local autonomous governments, non-governmental organizations, and solidarity movements, which do not impose political conditions on Cuba.
The European Union is fooling itself when it states that political dialogue should continue. The sovereignty and dignity of this people are not open to discussion with anyone, much less with a group of former colonial powers historically responsible for the slave trade, the plunder and even extermination of entire peoples, and the underdevelopment and poverty suffered today by billions of human beings whom they continue to plunder through unequal trade, the exploitation and exhaustion of their natural resources, an unpayable foreign debt, the brain drain, and other means.
The European Union lacks the necessary freedom to take part in a fully independent dialogue. Its commitments to NATO and the United States, and its conduct in Geneva, where it acts in league with those who want to destroy Cuba, render it incapable of engaging in a constructive exchange. Countries from the former socialist community will soon join the European Union, albeit the opportunistic leaders who govern them, more loyal to the interests of the United States than to those of Europe, will serve as Trojan horses of the superpower within the EU. These are full of hatred towards Cuba, which they left on its own and cannot forgive for having endured and proven that socialism is capable of achieving a society a thousand times more just and humane that the rotten system they have adopted.
When the European Union was created, we applauded it, because it was the only intelligent and useful thing they could do to counterbalance the hegemony of their powerful military ally and economic competitor. We also applauded the euro as something beneficial for the worldwide economy in the face of the suffocating and almost absolute power of the U.S. dollar.
But now, when the European Union adopts this arrogant and calculated attitude, in hope of reconciliation with the masters of the world, it insults Cuba, then, it does not deserve the slightest consideration and respect from our people.
Any dialogue should take place in public, in international forums, and should address the grave problems threatening the world.
We shall not attempt to discuss the principles of the European Union or Disunion. In Cuba they will find a country that neither obeys masters, nor accepts threats, nor begs for charity, nor lacks the courage to speak out the truth.
They need someone to tell them a few truths, because there are many who flatter them out of self-interest, or are simply spellbound by the splendor of Europe’s past glories. Why do they not criticize or help Spain to improve the disastrous state of its educational system, which brings shame to Europe with its banana republic levels? Why do they not come to the aid of the United Kingdom, to prevent drugs from wiping out this proud nation? Why do they not analyze and help themselves, when they so obviously need it?
The European Union would do well to speak less and do more for the genuine human rights of the immense majority of the peoples of the world; to act with intelligence and dignity in the face of those who do not want to leave it with even the crumbs of the resources of the planet they aspire to conquer; to defend its cultural identity against the invasion and penetration of the powerful transnationals of the U.S. entertainment industry; to take care of its unemployed, who number in the tens of millions; to educate its functionally illiterate; to give humane treatment to immigrants; to guarantee true social security and medical care for all of its citizens, as Cuba does; to moderate its consumerist and wasteful habits; to guarantee that all of its members contribute 1% of their GDP, as some already do, to support development in the Third World or at least alleviate, without bureaucracy or demagoguery, the terrible situation of poverty, poor health and illiteracy; to compensate Africa and other regions for the damage wreaked throughout centuries by slavery and colonialism; to grant independence to the colonial enclaves still maintained in this hemisphere, from the Caribbean to the Falkland Islands, without denying them the economic aid they deserve for the historical damage and colonial exploitation they have suffered.
To a list that would be endless, I could add:
To undertake a genuine policy supporting human rights with actual deeds and not just hollow words; to investigate what really happened with the Basques murdered by GAL and demand that responsibility be taken; to tell the world how scientist Dr. David Kelly was brutally murdered, or how he was led to commit suicide; to respond at some point to the questions I posed to them in Rio de Janeiro regarding the new strategic conception of NATO as it relates to the countries of Latin America; to firmly and resolutely oppose the doctrine of preemptive strikes against any country in the world, proclaimed by the most formidable military power in all of history, for you know where the consequences for humanity will lead.
To slander and impose sanctions on Cuba, is not only unfair and cowardly but ridiculous. Thanks to the great and selfless human capital it has created, which they lack, Cuba does not need the aid of the European Union to survive, develop and achieve what they will never achieve.
The European Union should temper its arrogance an prepotency.
For decades, our people have confronted powers much greater than those possessed by the European Union; new forces are emerging everywhere, with tremendous vigor. The peoples are tired of guardians, interference and plunder, imposed through mechanisms that benefit the most developed and wealthy at the cost of the growing poverty and ruin of others. Some of these peoples are already advancing with unrestrainable force, and others will join them. Among them there are giants awakening. The future belongs to these peoples.
In the name of 50 years of resistance and relentless struggle in the face of a force many times greater than theirs, and of the social and human achievements attained by Cuba without any help whatsoever from the countries of the European Union, I invite them to reflect calmly on their errors, and to avoid being carried away by outbursts of anger or Euronarcissistic inebriation.
Neither Europe nor the United States will have the last word on the future of Humanity!
I could repeat here something similar to what I said in the spurious court where I was tried and sentenced for the struggle we initiated five decades ago today, but this time it will not be me who says it; it will be declared and foretold by a people that has carried out a profound, transcendental and historic Revolution, and has succeeded in defending it:
Condemn me. It does not matter. The peoples will have the last word!
Eternal glory to those who have fallen during 50 years of struggle!
Eternal glory to the people that turned its dreams into a reality!