We are here, and will remain, free, sovereign and independent
Stated Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, closing the National Assembly of People’s Power 8th Legislature’s 10th Period of Ordinary Sessions
Author: Raúl Castro Ruz | email@example.com
december 22, 2017 12:12:37
Photo: Estudio Revolución
Speech presented by Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee, during the closure of the National Assembly of People’s Power 8th Legislature’s 10th Period of Ordinary Sessions, in Havana’s International Conference Center, December 21, 2017, Year 59 of the Revolution
(Council of State transcript / GI translation)
Compañeras and compañeros:
It is my responsibility to make the closing remarks for this last Period of Ordinary Sessions of the National Assembly of People’s Power’s 8th Legislature. On this occasion, I will address several topics of national and international relevance.
Between September 8 and 10, the country was struck by Hurricane Irma, described as the most powerful and violent extreme weather event in the history of the Atlantic Ocean, which impacted, to one degree or another, 12 provinces, with strong winds, heavy rain, and severe coastal flooding.
Despite the enormous effort conducted to safeguard the population, that included the protection of more than 1.8 million persons, we were obliged to mourn the loss of 10 compatriots. More than 179,000 dwellings were affected and significant damage caused to infrastructure, national health system buildings, educational centers, the sugar industry, tourist facilities, and communications. For the first time ever, the national electrical grid was interrupted across the entire country
In summary, damage caused by Hurricane Irma was calculated at 13,000,185,000 pesos, a figure produced on the basis of parity between the peso and the U.S. dollar.
Once again, made evident was the spirit of resistance and victory of our people, who confronted the event and the recovery period with organization, unity, discipline, and solidarity.
Within only 20 days, electrical service and water distribution were restored throughout the national territory, an effort in which, along with specialized forces, standing out were mixed support brigades, organized in every municipality, to undertake clean-up, pruning of trees, opening of trenches, and transportation of utility poles, supporting the workers who took on the task of reestablishing electrical service.