January 1, 1959, was an epiphany

January 1, 1959, was an epiphany
A few personal memories of the Cuban Revolution’s dawning

Author: Pedro de la Hoz | pedro@granma.cu
january 2, 2020 11:01:24

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Photo: René Mederos
Roberto Fernández Retamar recalls that it was his mother-in-law who gave him the first news he heard about the triumph of the Revolution: Adelaida de Juan’s mother, who “burst in with a smile on her face to tell me that Batista had left the country.” Roberto was one of the most important lyrical voices of the young generation and Adelaida would soon become one of the country’s most respected art critics and historians.

Juan Formell lived in La Lisa with his father. He bid the year farewell with his family, and was still awake into the dawn hours. He recalled, “As it was getting lighter, the neighbors began to talk, first quietly and then at the top of their lungs, shouting: Batista is gone, long live the July 26th Movement, long live Fidel!” For the musician who was just starting out, an unprecedented chapter in his life was opening, to which he would add, with time, his unique contribution to the development of Cuban popular culture.

The painter and poet Adigio Benítez for years drew incisive cartoons for the newspaper Hoy and then, under pseudonyms to protect his identity, published his work in the clandestine Weekly Letter from Cuban Communists. He was in hiding on January 1, 1959: “For someone who was in constant danger, the new situation was like breathing again. I soon realized that the Revolution had come to stay”.

“On the night of December 31, 1958,” remembers Chucho Valdés, a pianist and composer who would take Cuban jazz to a world-class level, “I went to work at the Deuaville Hotel, a few steps from the Malecón. I performed there from 11pm to 5am, every day, except Mondays. My father Bebo played with his band at the Sevilla Hotel, very close to the Presidential Palace. The old man would finish at three in the morning and move from the Sevilla to the Deauville to wait for me to finish, so that we could go home to sleep. That day you could feel the tension in the air. He called me from the Sevilla to tell me not to move, that he had noticed strange movement around the Palace. Later, in the neighborhood, the dictator’s escape was the news everyone was talking about. Over the following months, all of Cuba lived in celebration. I saw signs of change in the satisfaction apparent in humble people, with whom I lived everyday, and who received the benefits of steps taken by the new government.”

When I collected this testimony ten years ago, Leo Brouwer sent me a note I will now share: “1959. January 1. 5:00am, a phone rings nearby and wakes me. Another and yet another ring. I awake to hear the growing rumor. (…) 5:01am. Emotion and euphoria explode in our hearts. The tyrant Batista is gone! Fidel is coming! That night I finished two of the Three Guitar Notes I composed between January 1 and the 3rd. At the bottom of the handwritten page, I signed and dated: January 1, 1959. Free.”

The days passed and the emotion grew in Adigio until a poem emerged: Victory Day. He published it three years later in the notebook Días como llamas, in an edition under the care of Fayad Jamís, also a poet and painter.

On the morning of Victory Day, Retamar took a bus to his parents’ house: “I had an envelope that I tore open to write on. I scribbled a poem called El otro (The Other) January 1, 1959, to capture the feeling of that moment, as extraordinary as it was.”

Michael Barnet summed up in one word, what was in everyone’s soul, at that time of change: the triumph of January was an epiphany.

Two abducted Cuban doctors

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel speaks with his counterparts in Kenya and Somalia about two abducted Cuban doctors
“I held conversations with the Presidents of Kenya and Somalia,” Uhuru Kenyatta and Abdullahi Mohamed, respectively, the Cuban leader tweeted yesterday, to address the current state of bilateral relations

Author: Digital news staff | informacion@granma.cu
december 31, 2019 10:12:57

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Photo: Internet
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel spoke with his counterparts in Kenya and Somalia to inquire about efforts underway to ensure the “safe return” to the island of Cuban doctors abducted by terrorists in the border area between the two nations.

“I held conversations with the Presidents of Kenya and Somalia,” Uhuru Kenyatta and Abdullahi Mohamed, respectively, the Cuban leader tweeted yesterday, during which the current state of bilateral relations was addressed.

Also discussed were “efforts to achieve the safe return to the homeland of doctors Assel Herrera and Landy Rodriguez. Our support to their families,” he added.

Cuba recently thanked the Kenyan government for its work to secure the release and safe return of the doctors, who were adducted April 12, as they were traveling in a vehicle to Mandera Hospital, near the border with Somalia.

Ines Maria Chapman, a vice president of Cuba’s Council of Ministers, stated on December 16 that Herrera and Rodriguez “are well”, and that “efforts for their safe return continue.”

During a meeting with the national press, Chapman explained that as part of her participation in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Summit, which took place December 9-10 in Nairobi, she spoke with Kenyan officials and discussed the prisoners’ situation.

Herrera and Rodriguez worked at the Mandera hospital as members of Cuba’s medical brigade in the country, like thousands of other health professionals around the world.

“Our people can be sure that the leadership of the Party and the Cuban government are devoting permanent attention to this issue, and our priority is that they return safely to the homeland,” Chapman said, while emphasizing that Cuban authorities “are informed of how both doctors are doing, and in regular contact with their families in Cuba.”

Speech by Cuba’s President at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 60th anniversary

Díaz-Canel: May Cuban foreign policy continue to be a diplomacy of “Homeland or Death!”
Speech by Cuba’s President at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 60th anniversary commemoration

Author: Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez | internet@granma.cu
december 27, 2019 16:12:42f0026213

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo: José Manuel Correa

Speech by Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Republic of Cuba, at the commemoration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 60th anniversary, held in the Revolutionary Armed Forces Ministry’s Universal Hall, December 23, 2019, Year 61 of the Revolution

(Transcript: Presidency of the Republic)

Compañero José Ramón Machado Ventura, second secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee;

Compañero Esteban Lazo Hernández, Political Bureau member and President of the National Assembly of People’s Power and the Council of State;

Compañero Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla, Political Bureau member and Minister of Foreign Affairs;

Admired and beloved founders and officials of long standing;

Compañeras and compañeros:

I am pleased to assume the duty of speaking to you on the day that the 60th anniversary of Cuban revolutionary diplomacy is officially celebrated. Congratulations! (Applause)

We are united with Minrex by close ties and a history full of reasons to be proud of being Cuban, which began well before December 23, 1959.

Revolutionary diplomacy is, without a doubt, a well established fact, which has shone in the ideas and voice of Fidel since the initial days of the victory and his first trips abroad. In Caracas, barely 23 days after the triumph of the Revolution, the young leader was already talking about the need for Latin American integration:

“…How long are we going to be defenseless pieces of a continent whose liberator conceived as something more dignified, greater? How long are Latin Americans going to be living in this petty, ridiculous atmosphere? How long are we going to remain divided? How long are we going to be victims of powerful interests that attack all of our peoples? When are we going to raise the great slogan of union? The slogan of unity within nations is raised; why is the slogan of unity of nations not also raised?

In Washington, only four months after descending from the mountains, his ethics and defense of national sovereignty, his call for a relationship of equals impressed journalists, when he told them that if they were accustomed to seeing representatives of other governments come to ask for money, he was not. And he clarified: I come only to attempt to reach a better understanding with the U.S. people. We need better relations between Cuba and the United States.

Just a few days later, in Buenos Aires, at the meeting of the 21, he proposed a principle that you have emphasized a great deal on this anniversary of Minrex: the diplomacy of the people. He improvised a speech there that no veteran of another governments represented could surpass: “I am a new man here at this type of meeting; we are, moreover, in our homeland, a new government and perhaps that is why we are also bringing fresh ideas and beliefs from the people, since we still feel like the people, we speak here as a people, and as a people living an exceptional moment in its history, as a people full of confidence in our own destiny. I come to speak here, with the confidence of the people and with the frankness of the people.” Continue reading

Manuel Marrero Cruz, designated Prime Minister

A government with the people and for the people
Manuel Marrero Cruz, designated Prime Minister by the National Assembly, on the proposal of President Díaz-Canel, has served as Minister of Tourism, leading the development of this key sector for almost 16 years

Granmadecember 26, 2019 16:12:38

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Photo: José Manuel Correa
Presenting his proposal for the new Council of Ministers to the National Assembly of People’s Power Ninth Legislature, meeting in its Fourth Period of Ordinary Sessions, December 21, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez stated, “Given its relevance and the role it must play in conducting important processes, an exhaustive analysis was carried out, evaluating the necessary renewal of some members and, on the other hand, maintaining stability that will allow for the body to fulfill its responsibilities, in the complex situation we are all aware of.”

He added that those nominated “have ample experience in leadership, successively occupying different, higher-ranking positions, and also possess other qualities which demonstrate that they are in a position to serve on the Council of Ministers.”

Manuel Marrero Cruz, 56 years of age, was appointed as Prime Minister. He served as Minister of Tourism, over almost 16 years, chosen for this responsibility by Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz.

He is an architect by profession and began his career as project manager in the construction of tourist facilities in Holguín’s northern resort area, holding different management positions at hotels in eastern provinces and in Varadero.

In 1999, he was promoted to the position of first vice president of the Gaviota Tourism Enterprise Group, becoming its chief executive a year later.

Marrero’s career in this field and as a cadre has been characterized by his modesty, honesty, hard work, political sensibility, and loyalty to the Party and the Revolution.

He led the tourism sector in an outstanding fashion, one of the national economy’s key lines of development, which has required constant interaction with other Central State Administration bodies, the enterprise system, and provincial governments. He has likewise accumulated important experience in negotiations with foreign partners and participation in international events, demonstrating his ability, firm principles, and talent for dialogue.

They cannot forgive us for uniting in solidarity as Latin Americans

 They cannot forgive us for uniting in solidarity as Latin Americans and Caribbeans without imperial tutelage
Speech by Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, during the commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, at the University of Havana, December 14

Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdezdecember 16, 2019 15:12:44   

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Photo: Estudios Revolución
Speech by Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Republic of Cuba, during the political-cultural event commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Bolivarian Alliance for the peoples of Our America-Peoples Trade Agreement, at the University of Havana’s Grand Stairway, December 14, 2019, Year 61 of the Revolution

(Transcript: Presidency of the Republic)

Good evening.

This event is turned around: Maduro, Ralf and Daniel spoke just a bit and now I am going to have to speak a little more. (Laughter)

Dear Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee;

Dear ALBA-TCP heads of state and government;

Dear heads of delegations and guests:

Students of our universities, the present and future of the Cuban nation. To you and to all young people of Cuba, Latin America and the Caribbean, we address you today!

We have come here, to our glorious Grand Stairway, to celebrate 15 years of ALBA-TCP, because this alliance has its roots in the first meeting of two giants of Our America: the Comandante en jefe of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, and the then (young) leader of the Bolivarian Movement 200, Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías.

That meeting, which changed the history of Latin America and the Caribbean and impacted the world, took place December 13-15, 1994.

As is occurring today, we were living complex, uncertain days for the region and the world. And it was here nearby, in the University of Havana’s Aula Magna, where for the first time the analyses and premonitory proposals were heard of what, with time, joint effort, and the advance of progressive governments, would emerge in 2004 as this paradigm of solidary integration that we know as ALBA-TCP.

We also choose the Stairway, the door to our University, one of the oldest in America, because the present and future of Cuba and much of the rest of the world pass through here every day, young people from sister nations, students who share classrooms and dreams with our sons and daughters.

We firmly believe that universities cannot be disconnected from our world or its pressing problems. Here Fidel became a revolutionary, here he spoke to his Latin American contemporaries, with Hugo Chávez, here we study and think about the best possible world that we revolutionaries have set out to set our minds to winning. Continue reading

Life defeats death

Life defeats death
The day after attending the inauguration of Alberto Fernandez, the Cuban President visited the former Navy Petty-Officers School, the terrible ESMA, one of the Argentine dictatorship’s largest secret detention, torture, and extermination centers

Leticia Martínezdecember 12, 2019 15:12:55

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Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel visited the former ESMA, one of the most painful symbols of the dictatorship that Argentina endured between 1976 and 1983. Photo: Estudios Revolución
Buenos Aires, Argentina – More than 5,000 detainees, barely 200 survivors, in 2,818 days of dictatorship, are the macabre numbers that mark the “record” of terror behind the walls of the former Navy Petty-Officers School, the fearsome ESMA, one of the dictatorship’s largest secret centers of detention, torture and extermination.

Moving through the hustle and bustle of the city, still excited by the inauguration of President Alberto Fernandez and Vice President Cristina Fernandez, several men and women, tremendously happy for the their country’s new dawn, returned to the concentration camp where they were detained and tortured in their youth.

They were Ana, Néstor, Silvia, Mercedes, Ricardo, Graciela, Silvia, Alfredo, and Vera, the mother, 92 years of age, who lost her daughter Franca at 18, in an ESMA cell or perhaps in the flights of death. Little is known. They returned to the place that tore them apart, but this time with a different connotation – to accompany the President of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, through every corner of the barbarism.

The President said he felt it was his duty to make the visit, when he met them in one of the museum’s offices, with his companion, Lis Cuesta, waiting for him to arrive after a meeting with President Fernandez.

“Your agreeing to join me is beyond all my expectations. You have all of Cuba’s recognition and support; you are part of the energy that helps us every day to resist and triumph.”

“It will be a difficult journey,” warned Alejandra Naftal, director of the ESMA Memory Museum, before the tour began, “But this place is a victory for Argentines, the result of more than 40 years of struggle. It is not about death, but about life, respect, even for the indifferent who still deny everything that happened.

“A crime against humanity was committed here,” she stated, before President Díaz-Canel and his delegation began their walk through one of the most painful symbols of the dictatorship that Argentina endured between 1976 and 1983.

In what was the ESMA Officers Casino, the survivors recalled, for the President, details of the hell where they were taken after being abducted, blind-folded with thick black cloth, hand-cuffed, lying practically all the time in a space measuring 70 centimeters by two meters, with their heads always toward the corridor, to be seen by the guards, suffering suffocating temperatures, relieving themselves whenever their captors decided.

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With his voice choking, the Cuban President told his hosts, victims of the terror, after two hours at the ESMA, Photo: Estudios Revolución
Silvia showed him the miserable place where she gave birth to her daughter. They were together for only a week, before the baby was “fortunately” given to her grandmother. At her side, to relive the story, was Mercedes, the young woman who helped her give birth amidst the terror. Today, a question is written on one of the room’s walls: How is it possible that children were born here? Silvia’s little girl could answer.

The Cuban President learned of the atrocities in the voices of the victims; and of the pentothal given the “condemned” to numb them before they were thrown alive into the Plata River; of the so-called road of happiness that led to the torture room; of the electric prod used to kill; and of the screams they attempted to drown out with blazing music; of the women raped; of forced labor; of mock executions… all of this while daily life continued for authorities at the school, who years later would say they did not “notice” what was happening on the premises. Really?

The tour ended in the hall where information on all the detainees was processed. Today, more than four decades later, the names of the murderers are projected on its walls, many of them labeled “convicted.”

After two hours at the ESMA, with his voice choking, the Cuban President told his hosts, the victims of this terror, “You are light and dawn. There is enormous testimony here to what cruelty is, of what murder is, of what abuse is, of what the violation of human rights is; of what is harmful, what is perverse, of what is dreadful about military dictatorships… You cannot imagine what you have given us in terms of feelings, in revolutionary convictions,” he said.

“This is something we will remember all our lives,” the President stated, and referring to the missing youth as “the generation of my age,” he added, “We are not going to forget them. We came to this inauguration – and we explained this to President Alberto Fernandez – to tell you that you have the support of Cuba, that you have the respect of Cuba, that you have the friendship and solidarity of Cuba. Together we are going to walk the path of victory for Latin America.”

“At the solidarity event, I said, as in Fito’s song, to whoever says that all is lost, Cuba comes to give our heart.”

Thus, taking on greater meaning are the words of Graciela, one of the survivors who, before the tour, said: “When we were imprisoned, Cuba was our beacon. To be talking with you today is proof that we defeated them.”

Fidel unites us

Fidel unites us
With the dawn’s first light, and the placement of a floral wreath beside the monumental boulder where the ashes of Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz rest, in Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, the tribute to the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution began on the third anniversary of his physical disappearance

Author: Eduardo Palomares Calderón | palomares@granma.cu
december 5, 2019 09:12:57

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Photo: Eduardo Palomares
Santiago de Cuba – The city he called “the strongest stronghold of the Revolution,” marched again with Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz, on the third anniversary of Army General Raul Castro Ruz’s farewell.

The people of Santiago reiterated their response to U.S. imperialism that the tightening of the blockade brings greater unity among Cubans. Such determination marked the procession of thousands of workers, youth, students, and the city’s people in general, from Antonio Maceo Plaza de la Revolución, along Patria Avenue to the cemetery, re-enacting the journey of the small cedar urn bearing five letters: Fidel, with all the glory of the world.

The first tribute was the placement of a floral wreath before the monumental boulder in Santa Ifigenia Cemetery, in the name of the Cuban people, accompanied by Brigadier General José Solar Hernández and medical student Josefina Pósper Bruff, in the presence of Lázaro Expósito Canto and Beatriz Johnson Urrutia, members of the Party Central Committee and top party and government authorities, respectively, in the province.

“I think paying tribute to the father we had, and will always have, is a real honor,” said young musician Juan Guillermo Almeida.

Thus, once again, the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution has convoked the Cuban people, and, representing the entire nation, the city he visited on more than 150 occasions has marched en masse to show the world that continuity in Cuba means determination, loyalty, and unwavering commitment.

Our America in the face of the onslaught of imperialism and the oligarchies

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Our America in the face of the onslaught of imperialism and the oligarchies

CANCILLERÍA DE CUBA·WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 4, 2019

Declaration of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

The most recent events in the region confirm that the US government and the reactionary oligarchies bear the primary responsibility for the dangerous unrest and political and social instability that broke out in Latin America and the Caribbean.

As was anticipated by the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, on January 1, 2019: Those who entertained the illusion of the restoration of imperialist domination in our region should understand that Latin America and the Caribbean have changed and so has the world (…) The region resembles a large prairie in times of drought. A single spark could cause an uncontrollable fire that would damage the national interests of all.”

President Donald Trump proclaims the validity of the Monroe Doctrine and resorts to McCarthyism to maintain the imperialist domination over the natural resources of the region; prevent the exercise of the national sovereignty and the aspirations of regional integration and cooperation; attempt to re-establish his unipolar and hemispheric hegemony; eliminate progressive, revolutionary and alternative models to wild capitalism; revert political and social achievements and impose neo-liberal models, with full disregard for International Law, the rules of the game of representative democracy, the environment or the wellbeing of peoples. Continue reading

The Cuban President delivers a forceful speech at the 18th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement

Díaz-Canel: There is a historically postponed world waiting for our agreement and action
The Cuban President delivers a forceful speech at the 18th Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, in Baku, Azerbaijan

Author: Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez | internet@granma.cu
october 25, 2019 15:10:09

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Photo: Twitter
Dear President Ilham Aliyev,

Distinguished heads of state and government,

Delegates and guests:

With sincere emotion, I am grateful for the warm welcome given us by the people and government of the Republic of Azerbaijan, with whom we are joined by 27 years of uninterrupted relations. It has been a long but essential journey.

We reached the beautiful, prosperous Baku, after traveling more than 11,300 kilometers, breaking the blockade’s barriers – which in recent months have been brutally reinforced – because the current serious challenges require us to retake the role required of the Non-Aligned Movement in the international arena, as the organization that represents the majority of the planet.

Again, as in 1961, it is crucial that we work together, upholding the founding principles of Bandung, for peace and development of our peoples. Because it is our responsibility as political leaders, and because no one else will do it for us.

Before the open contempt for the just demands of the nations of the South by the United States and other governments; in the face of obscene politicization of human rights and flagrant disrespect for the right of peoples to choose their own political, socio-economic, and cultural systems; in the absence of a commitment to multilateralism and international treaties, others may be indifferent. We are not. Because all these actions are directed against our peoples.

The nations which, with their blood, their sweat, and their suffering have paid the highest price for progress, emerging from colonial exploitation and plunder, from centuries of economic and social relegation, have every right to ask:

Why do military expenditures continue to increase irrationally, while investments for development and cooperation are cut?

Why underestimate the seriousness of climate change that has endangered the existence of small island states and the survival of humanity itself?

Why are weapons not silenced and the most backward and impoverished nations compensated for their looting with fair, special, differentiated treatment?

Your Excellencies:

Cuba is honored to have been the first Latin American country in the Non-Aligned Movement. This grouping of free nations that operates under democratic rules and without veto, is what we defend and dream of seeing one day at the UN. Given the strength of these values, ​​we reiterate here:

Our solidarity with all peoples struggling for the recognition of their right to self-determination.

Our condemnation of unilateral decisions by the United States in support of Israel and against Iran, which increase instability in the volatile region of the Middle East.

Our call to end the war against the Syrian people and to find a comprehensive, fair, lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Our welcome to the process of rapprochement and inter-Korean dialogue and our condemnation of unilateral sanctions against the DPRK.

Our energetic rejection of U.S. campaigns against political forces, left leaders, and progressive governments in Latin America and the Caribbean

Our firm solidarity with the constitutional President of Venezuela, Nicolás Maduro, the Chavista Bolivarian Revolution and the civic-military union of the people, who have managed to defend the country’s sovereignty against great threats and dangers.

We also reaffirm our support and solidarity with the Nicaraguan government in the face of U.S. attempts to destabilize this sister nation.

Our congratulations to the people of the Plurinational State of Bolivia for their active participation in the electoral process and to President Evo Morales Ayma for his re-election.

We denounce the attempted coup and campaign of misinformation, destabilization, and violence unleashed by sectors of the opposition and instigated by the United States against peace and citizen security in Bolivia. The Bolivia of native peoples, vilified for centuries, which was placed by its extraordinary leader among the countries, with the greatest growth and reserves in our region

And, in particular, given the serious dangers it entails for our region and for the world, we reject the decision to activate the Inter-American Treaty of Reciprocal Assistance (TIAR), aimed at militarily supporting the U.S. desire to revive the Monroe Doctrine, in an irrational effort to “Make America Great, at the price of recovering the continent’s free nations as their backyard.

Dear leaders present here:

During the Cold War they called us the Third World. It was assumed that by not belonging to one bloc or another, we would be free from war. But our people know, because we took the deaths and the losses, since, if the weapons ever cooled, it was only among the powerful.

There is practically no nation in Africa, Asia, or Latin America, which has not suffered the painful cost of war, of liberation or intervention, of low, medium, or high intensity, during the second half of the 20th century, to this day.

Even where there was no death and destruction, there were high costs, when the prices of what we bought skyrocketed and the price of what we sold fell; when the dictatorship of the dollar and abusive financial institutions born of the so-called Bretton Woods agreement were imposed, that great scam to ensure that the world revolved around the vicissitudes of imperial politics.

The powerful, from their comfortable armored spaces, have made our countries laboratories and marketed their weapons, leaving us with millions dead, displaced, homeless, hungry, victims of violence.

They dictate rules of universal conduct that they constantly violate, and draw up lists to exclude us or punish us, if we do not submit to the blind laws of the market and imperial hegemony.

World War III is not the next war. There is a war underway with no beginning date or estimated conclusion, which for years has bled noble and peaceful nations, with weapons of imperial armies, mercenary soldiers, and terrorists disguised as liberators, in the name of the fight against terrorism, the defense of democracy, freedom, or human rights. Lies!

More lies than ever before told, with greater disdain and a more terrible cost to the vast majority of humanity, in the interest of a minority that has taken their luxuries to mind-boggling excesses.

In the 21st century, threats and aggressions of varying degrees are launched against all sovereign governments that refuse to serve the hegemonic power as sites for military bases, hand over resources, or yield to their mandates.

There is heroic Venezuela, for decades looted of its almost infinite energy reserves, until the Bolivarian Revolution recovered them, to put them at the service of its people, and regional and international solidarity and cooperation.

Against a Venezuela that resists, wielded are the most perverse accusations, psychological warfare techniques, and destabilization plots, in a thousand-times-failed attempt to provoke an internal conflict.

Displaying the worse infamy and cynicism, the empire accuses the Bolivarian government of being an instrument of Cuba.

As they do not practice or understand solidarity, blinded by maliciousness and impotence, they accuse our health workers of being disguised military personnel, pursue and block trade between our nations, affecting the vitality of our economies.

They break agreements, and unleash commercial, electronic, and media wars. They close doors, erect walls, confiscate assets, steal funds, prohibit exchanges. They ignore and violate international law. They promise to make America great – their America, not ours – at the cost of reducing what is available for the rest of the planet.

“They go to the heavens engulfing worlds,” our José Martí would say.

It is time to respond.

The Non-Aligned represent more than two thirds of the United Nations and close to 55% of the world’s population. We bring together nationalities, cultures, identities, human and political forces of all tendencies, lovers of peace intent upon achieving their own development, but without exclusion or hegemony.

A review of our common history, of the words and agreements of our leaders over six decades, has taught us, first of all, the libertarian, anti-imperialist vocation of the movement and the extraordinary force that can emerge from our solidarity and cooperation.

Together we have defeated colonialism and apartheid; we have faced aggression and interference, famines and natural disasters, epidemics, economic and political blockades.

We thank the Non-Aligned Movement for its longstanding position of condemnation and rejection of the blockade, of more than five decades, against our country and the Helms-Burton Act, with a marked extraterritorial nature, which reflects the increasing hostility of the United States in the face of our people’s resistance.

This criminal policy is the main obstacle to our development, but it is also an expression of disrespect, by a great power, for the human rights of Cubans, international law, and free trade.

Against all human logic of coexistence with respect for differences, the blockade is intensified day after day. Barely a week goes by, without the announcement of new measures to asphyxiate our economy.

Like pirates from other times, the current government of the United States has extended its blockade policy to the sea, pursuing and punishing companies, ships, and shippers involved in the transportation of fuel to Cuba.

Today we would like to reiterate to you that we will not give in to threats and pressures, and that we will not cease in our effort to move forward on our project of building a prosperous and sustainable nation. More prosperous and more sustainable, as we are more free, independent, socialist, and sovereign.

Your Excellencies:

On behalf of Cuba, I would like to recognize the work of the Presidency of Venezuela at the head of the Movement, amidst the most complex and harsh circumstances created by imperial political attacks.

At the same time, we commit all our support to the work of the Republic of Azerbaijan, during the 2019-2021 triennium.

If you allow me, I will refer to a small page from the long history of the Non-Aligned, to return to its essence. This is part of a speech by Fidel Castro, historical leader of the Cuban Revolution and one of the bravest and boldest defenders of non-alignment. Fidel said, at the Sixth Summit in Havana, in 1979, (and I quote):

“The strength of our united countries is very powerful. Those gathered here represent the vast majority of the peoples of the world. Let us all unite tightly together, concentrate the growing forces of our vigorous Movement at the United Nations and in all international forums to demand economic justice for our peoples, so that dominion over our resources and theft of our sweat cease! Let us unite to demand our right to development, our right to life, our right to the future! ”

Let us not wait for the bombs to fall on Venezuela or on Cuba, as they already fall on Syria, and before on Iraq and Libya, to support their reconstruction. Let us prevent aggression. Let us stop the runaway ambition and arrogance of the empire in time.

Cuba is proud to have been the scene of the Proclamation of Latin America as a Zone of Peace, and to have welcomed in our homeland the talks to end the long conflict in Colombia, today also at risk, given the constant attempts to destabilize the region that the United States promotes there, where it maintains nine of the 76 military bases it has across Latin America.

I would also like to remind you of the permanent disposition of our country to dialogue without conditions and based on reciprocal respect. Three years ago, during the previous summit, just 21 months had elapsed since the restoration of relations between the U.S. and Cuba.

There on Margarita Island, Venezuelan territory, our Army General reaffirmed Cuba’s “… will to maintain relations of civilized coexistence with the United States,” but at the same time warned, “Cuba will not renounce a single one of its principles, nor make concessions inherent to its sovereignty or independence. We will not yield in the defense of our revolutionary, anti-imperialist ideals, or in supporting the self-determination of peoples. ”

We confirm the decision to continue cooperating with peoples who request it, under the principle of sharing what we have, not giving what we have left over, since all we have in abundance is our courage.

We come to reaffirm to the NAM that Cuba’s new generations of leaders will give continuity to the principles that for almost 60 years we have sustained in the community of nations of which it is composed, and that we accept the challenge and have the strength to correct the imbalances that today endanger world peace.

I say, like José Martí referring to Our America, to the member countries of the Non-Aligned Movement:

“We can no longer be the people of the leaves, who live in the air, among flower-laden treetops, crackling or buzzing, as a capricious light caresses us, and storms topple or cut us. The trees must line up, so that the giant of the seven leagues cannot pass! It is the hour of recounting, and of united march.”

They have the strength of weapons. We, the strength of the peoples.

There is a historically postponed world waiting for our agreement and action.

I propose to align ourselves, but only around our own consensus:

No to war, yes for peace

No to hegemony, but for multilateralism

No to interference, but for sovereignty

No to exclusion, but for inclusion

No to hate, but for solidarity

No to the control of the world by the powerful, but for true freedom and the democratization of the United Nations and international relations.

Only unity can save us. There are more of us. Let us do more.

Thank you

(From Cubadebate)

Irish President Michael Higgins receives President Díaz-Canel

Irish President Michael Higgins receives President Díaz-Canel
The President of Ireland, Michael Higgins rtoday received the President of te Republic of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez

Author: Digital news staff | informacion@granma.cu
october 21, 2019 10:10:01

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Photo: twitter.com@Presidencia Cuba
The official welcome ceremony for the President of the Republic of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, was held this morning in Áras an Uachtaráin, official residence of the President of Ireland, located in Phoenix Park, north of the capital.

During the ceremony, Cuba’s national anthem was heard, and Díaz-Canel spoke with children there, mentioning the existence in Cuba of a street that bears the name of an Irishman, and a plaque that was visited by their President reading: “Two island towns in the same sea of struggle and hopes.”

According to the Cuban President’s Twitter account, the reception featured several highlights, including the planting of an oak tree, a traditional Irish symbol of friendship.Díaz-Canel expressed his gratitude, saying, “Thank you very much for the warm welcome, the attention given during my stay and for the frank discussion we just held…

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Photo:Presidencia Cuba
“Peace and independence have been precisely the principles that have guided the Cuban revolutionary process since 1868 and are still the principles we defend today.” he added.

“It is these principles which unite us to Ireland, a friendly people who, like Cuba, have been obliged to fight for their sovereignty.“We return to the green and patriotic Ireland, that of Che’s ancestors, the one that accompanied Felix Varela, the one described by Martí, the one that generated Fidel’s admiration.

“Let us toast today for peace and independence, for friendship between the peoples of Cuba and Ireland, so that we may always continue in the same sea of ​​struggle and hope,” he said.

Defending the Cuban Revolution