INFORMATION OFFERED TO THE PEOPLE BY DR. FIDEL CASTRO RUZ, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA, IN A TELEVISION AND RADIO APPEARANCE, JUNE 13TH 2002.
On Wednesday June 5th, exactly eight days ago, in the meeting I held with the leaders of the mass organizations to review the project they proposed to present to the National Assembly prior to approval by their national leaderships as a response to George W. Bush’s speech before the terrorist mob in Miami, I made three suggestions.
One, to publicly discuss the idea with the Cuban people; two, to mobilize the entire nation in support of such a just, dignified and convincing response; three, to offer each citizen of voting age the possibility to fully exercise that right to sign this historic project and endorse it.
We are all of one mind. The appropriate consultation and preparations have been undertaken. The first two steps have already been taken; the third remains, and should be commenced without delay.
Tomorrow, June 14th, marks the anniversary of the births of Maceo and Che, two great symbols of revolutionary intransigence, the most outstanding feature of our people’s heroic fight from 1868 to the present day.
On Saturday May 15th at 8:00am, in el Cacahual, where the mortal remains of the Bronze Titan and his loyal aide Panchito Gómez Toro, son of the renowned internationalist combatant and leader of the Liberating Army, Máximo Gómez, are to be found, special homage will be paid to Maceo and Che in a solemn ceremony in keeping with the nature and importance of that sight.
On the same day, at 10:00am, in 129,523 locations around the country, the appropriate copies of the proposed amendment to the Constitution presented by the Special Session of the mass organizations leaders will be available to all those citizens of voting age who wish to sign this historic project. These copies will be available at every one of these locations from that moment until 12 noon on Tuesday the 18th.
The necessary facilities have been provided for those citizens who find themselves away from their places of residence due to personal or professional matters, for scholarship students away from home, for military or security personnel who are away from their places of residence in the line of duty and for those absent due to health or other reasons. Not one single Cuban will be left without the opportunity to sign.
The mass organizations will be entirely responsible for this task through the national, provincial, municipal and local commissions created especially for this purpose. Support will be provided, of course, by the Party and the Communist Youth. This will not be a state activity.
The leaderships of the mass organizations will be issuing concrete instructions to all their teams as of tonight. Tomorrow at 6:00pm, in the Round Table Meeting to be broadcast on both television and radio, precise details will be offered to all of the people. Special emphasis will be placed on the appropriate measures to avoid the repetition of signatures.
The tropical depression covering the entire island continues to affect our rain saturated country. Neither the rain, however, nor isolation nor difficult terrain will prevent a single Cuban from having access to this prerogative.
With the well-known capacity for organization our people have acquired, with their culture and political conscience, this important step will be taken to definitively demonstrate to the world just how the Cuban people think and feel.
Millions of Cubans will also make use of this opportunity to offer a convincing and fitting response to the uninvited "liberator", W. Bush. All that will remain will be the discussion and decision by the National Assembly of Peoples Power that will say the last word.
Yesterday, on the very day that the shameful Platt Amendment reached its 101st anniversary, the Amendment that cruelly humiliated our people, treacherously stripping them of an independence they had won after 30 years of unprecedented and heroic struggle, our people offered the most dignified and extraordinary tribute to the generation that suffered such terrible humiliation. Despite the adverse weather conditions, under the depression I have already mentioned with rain falling or threatened from Las Tunas to Pinar del Río, almost 9 out of every 10 Cubans participated in one way or another in the marches, rallies and other patriotic activities throughout Cuba, to the amazement of the entire world.
This was the most dignified response to those who today attempt to impose a Platt Amendment on Cuba once again and unequivocal proof that those days are gone for good!