Message from Commander in Chief Fidel Castro, President of the State Council and the Government of the Republic of Cuba, to the Heads of State and Government of the Caribbean Community.
Havana, July 2, 2003
Your Excellencies, dear friends:
It has not been possible this time to meet with my brothers and sisters from the Caribbean Community. I regret it most deeply, as it would have given me great satisfaction to share with friends like you this moment of rejoicing and celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the Caribbean Community, mindful of your response to the celebration of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations by Cuba, Barbados, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Jamaica. I consider your presence in Havana last December 8 a show of friendship and affection, the same you have always showed the Cuban people, and for which we are ever grateful.
Sometimes we are not fully aware of the significance of our achievements. It is very likely that in reviewing the work of the Caribbean Community in the last three years you will focus on what remains to be done. We rather congratulate you all on your achievements in the process of integration and unity of the Caribbean Community. Indeed, no other group of countries in our hemisphere has attained like CARICOM a degree of political, economic and social coordination.
We continue to pay attention to the current efforts to implement the Community’s Single Economy and Market, and the Caribbean Court of Law, as well as to the other initiatives aimed at building a unified position to take up the challenges posed by globalisation with the creation of alliances representing external hegemonic interests.
I am sure that your deliberations during this 30th anniversary of the Caribbean Community will boost such noble endeavours. To that end, you may certainly count, as always, with the selfless, unconditional, concrete and active support of Cuba.
We feel this is a propitious occasion to reaffirm the cooperation proposals that we announced last December 8 in Havana. Since then, our cooperation has continued to grow in the areas of education, healthcare and others. At present new students from the CARICOM countries are preparing to commence their medical studies and others at Cuban universities. We are extremely happy and confident about the success and progress of these youths who are studying hard to serve their peoples!
We accompany you too in the defence of the interests of the small economies and the requests for a special differential treatment so far ignored by the most powerful nations.
We are also brought together by the deepest conviction that we need to defend the basic principles of international law and resolutely oppose any attempt at overriding it.
No circumstances can change Cuba’s interest and willingness to strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation with its sister nations of the Caribbean. We shall spare no efforts to achieve regional integration and unity among our peoples.
As I indicated in my remarks during our meeting in Havana last year, "the Caribbean countries face the challenge of surviving and advancing amid the deepest economic, social and political crisis that our hemisphere and the world has ever sustained, at a time when neo-liberal globalisation is threatening to destroy not only our right to development but even our cultural diversity and our identity. The only way out for our peoples is integration and cooperation not only among states but also among the diverse regional groups and organizations."
Indeed, this would have been an excellent opportunity to exchange views on the difficult situation that we are facing with the recent increase of hostile actions and threats from the United States of America against Cuba.
We are going through extremely difficult and dangerous times. The traditional enemies of the Cuban Revolution are presently bent on fabricating pretexts to allow the U.S. government to justify a military aggression against Cuba. Of course, we are very much aware that to prove its hegemonic intent in this unipolar world the superpower does not even need any plausible pretext to attack a sovereign nation. The painful case of Iraq is but an eloquent example. It is only the strength and value of our cause, the unity of our people, the unshakable determination to stand up to any attacks and the international solidarity that can prevent an aggression.
We are subjected to a subversive war that impinges on the most sacred principles of International Law and other regulations that guide peaceful coexistence among States. There is an attempt to destroy Cuba’s constitutional order by using a bunch of mercenaries to fabricate a fictitious opposition. The Cuban Adjustment Act and the practice of receiving in the U.S. territory even those who resort to terrorism and violence to get there paved the way for a spate of hijackings of Cuban air and sea-crafts that endangered the lives of innocent people with the purpose of creating a migratory crisis that would set the ground for an aggression on Cuba.
The encouragement of President Bush’s anti-Cuban rhetoric has resulted in a recent announcement in Miami of the creation of another organization that advocates an international blockade on Cuba and a "multilateral" military intervention against our country.
The European Union, in its effort to readjust its relations with the United States affected by the war on Iraq, has joined that aggressive policy against Cuba.
The withdrawal of our application to adhere to the Cotonou Pact is a response to the decision made by the European Community to suspend the consideration of this issue, which it additionally subordinated to unacceptable prerequisites. Cuba shall always be grateful to its Caribbean brothers and sisters for their support to our application for admission to Cotonou. It was our interest to join with you and the countries of Africa and the Pacific that led to our filing for admission.
I would have avail myself of this meeting, dear brothers and sisters, to explain to you some of the main programs we are currently embarked upon. I would have told you about the great efforts made in Cuba today to raise to unprecedented levels the comprehensive education and culture of our people; about the scores of ongoing programs aimed at multiplying the capacities and opportunities for our children and youths to study and, about the countless social programs carried out, as all of these experiences can be very useful to the Caribbean countries. I certainly gives us great pleasure to make them all available to you. I would have also explain about the huge battle we are waging for the release of five Cuban heroes who have been brutally incarcerated and humiliated in the United States for the crime of defending their homeland and fighting terrorism.
As for Cuba, dear friends, allow me to reiterate our profoundest conviction that regardless the new aggressive designs of the empire, the Cuban people will not stop fighting for a better future and will firmly abide by its principles. We shall go on forward. Cuba counts on the unity of its people that is willing to fight up to victory. We take pride in our yesterday dreams that are our realities today. Our dreams today will also become beautiful realities. We have no doubts about it.
Despite aggressions, blockades and threats, with the restless effort of our people, the indestructible stance of our ideas and principles and the invaluable support of hundreds of millions of men and women all over the world, we are certain of our victory.
We are also encouraged by the certainty that while defending our independence, our right to development, the path freely chosen by our sovereign people we are also defending those same rights for every small nation of the Caribbean that could one day find themselves equally threatened by the arrogance of the empire.
Fidel Castro Ruz