The return of the kidnapped child brought great joy to our people. The Miami mob that advocates annexation and the imperialist policy against Cuba had suffered an overwhelming defeat. The American people, who we have always respected and never blamed for the criminal acts of aggression perpetrated by its governments, grew in our estimation for the noble support offered by a wide majority to the rights of the child and his family.

The determined but peaceful action of our united, indefatigable and tenacious people decided the outcome of the first battle in a long struggle. The message was carried to the world that denounced the monstrous nature of the action and destroyed all sorts of myths and lies. The resolute struggle was an irrefutable expression of their high morale and education, their growing culture and political consciousness, and their attachment to truth and principles.

However, it would be unforgivable to raise our hopes and forget that the worst and the most difficult must still be overcome.

The kidnapping of Elián was but another consequence of the murderous Cuban Adjustment Act. Actually, 11 people perished --women, children and elders-- who were on the same makeshift boat with him. No one really knows how many have died and how many more will still die that way.

After Elián’s return, scores of minors born in our country have been taken to the United States in risky operations put up by smugglers of human beings using boats coming from the U.S. or travelling in flimsy boats like that which sank with him on board.

Recently, a group of 37 people who had spent five days on a solitary small island, without food or water, was found by sheer chance. An expecting mother, her life seriously threatened, and an unconscious little girl were urgently taken to a hospital in the south of Florida. Not a word has been said since about the event.

The U.S. government refuses to provide any information about the children illegally pulled out of our country. Only exceptionally are investigations conducted and the aliens’ smugglers punished. A very small number of boats are intercepted despite the fact that according to the migratory agreements the United States is bound to discourage such illegal and unsafe journeys. Quite the opposite has been done: the United States has multiplied the prerogatives and privileges granted by the sinister Cuban Adjustment Act.

Among several people returned to Cuba a while ago, who were travelling on one of the intercepted boats, there was a mother taking with her a baby girl who just a few days before had been submitted to heart surgery. It is incredible! That medical procedure, which in Cuba is offered free of charge like all other health services, would have cost tens of thousands of dollars in the United States to those who can afford it.

Forty years ago, almost 15 thousand Cuban children were surreptitiously moved to America unaccompanied as part of one of the most cynical and infamous operations in history based on a vile and repulsive lie about parental authority which spread panic among many families. Those children endured terrible suffering and a number of them could never again reunite with their parents.

Three hundred Mexicans die every year trying to cross over the wall that separates them from the United States. Countless Haitians and Dominicans also perish when they try it through the sea. Let the Mexicans move freely into the United States. After all, they come from a country that together with Canada and the United States is a member of the North American Free Trade Agreement. Let the same right be accorded to people from Latin America and the Caribbean. That would certainly mean respect for life and the human rights of people in this hemisphere or, at least, have the Cuban Adjustment Act removed so as to prevent deaths and the revolting smuggling of human beings between Cuba and the United States!

The rigorous, brutal and deadly blockade against Cuba is notorious as it is the longest that history has known. However, there have always been in the U.S. Congress lawmakers opposed to that policy of hostility and aggression against the Cuban people. Throughout the years they have undertaken efforts to limit or reduce the severity of that criminal policy whose purpose it is to force our indomitable people to surrender out of hunger and disease. Lately, the number of these legislators has increased but their initiatives come up against a set of perfidious laws, amendments and executive orders which have deliberately tied up a legislative Gordian knot that can only be untied as the legendary character did: by cutting it in one blow, in this case with an Act passed by both Houses and endorsed by the American President who has practically lost control over the unfair economic measures imposed on Cuba.

The initiative to permit the sale of food and medicine to our country promoted by a growing number of lawmakers shows an awareness and the admissible purpose to end what in strictly legal terms can be qualified as an act of genocide clearly defined as such in the Treaty on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide and the covenant related to the Protection due to Civilians in wartime, from 1948 and 1949, respectively. Both have been signed by almost every nation in the world, including the United States of America and Cuba. To withhold food and medicine from any people of any nation is definitely banned, even in wartime. These treaties also set forth the right of the targeted nation to submit such actions to trial in its own courts of law.

The Cuban-American Mafia frantically opposes the lifting of the prohibition to sell food and medicine to Cuba. Actually, if that were done it would still be absolutely impossible to bring it to terms with the rest of the laws and amendments that constitute the blockade. Our country, which has endured such burden and has directly or indirectly lost over 100 billion dollars, would not be able to purchase food and medicine while subjected to this policy of blockade and economic warfare that deprive it of the indispensable resources needed for that.

It is fair to say that for those who oppose that nefarious policy against our country any small step toward the removal of the blockade is significant and we should be grateful for their noble and constructive efforts. On the other hand, it is understandable that we should advise our people and the world that it would mean absolutely nothing to Cuba, that Cuba cannot accept it and that, under such conditions, it would not have available the resources needed for the purchase of food and medicine. It should also be said that for years the U.S. administrations have been heedless of the resolutions adopted by the overwhelming majority of countries represented at the UN General Assembly.

On July 26, at 8:30 am, almost at the same time when the final struggle for the independence of our homeland began 47 years ago, the people from the capital will take part in a great march to demand the total lifting of the deadly blockade and the end of the economic war affecting 11 million Cubans on a daily basis.

We will not stop halfway to our goal; we will get to the end of this political battle. We will tear to pieces, one by one, every lie and the immense hypocrisy of those who govern the empire. We shall denounce them everywhere in Cuba and the world over. Our people’s education and political culture will grow day after day as in the last seven months of continuous struggle for Elián’s return. Our message will go everywhere and other peoples’ consciousness will grow as they are also victims of plundering and aggression. There will be no way to prevent it or to counteract it.

We shall continue to offer the American people all the consideration and respect they deserve. We are not fighting the American people; we are fighting a criminal and unjustified policy. At the same time, we shall defend the constitutional right of Americans to be exposed to the truth, to travel and see Cuba with their own eyes; we shall also defend their families’ right to safety by preventing that many delinquents and outlaws travel to the United States illegally and unrestricted. Likewise, we shall defend the Americans right to sell the fruits of their farming and industry to our country and to purchase goods and services from us as well as their right to do business with us and to invest, on equal footing, in those areas of the economy opened to partnership and foreign capital investment.

The volume of our economy is not significant but the Americans’ right to culturally and economically relate to any country in the world is certainly important to them. Only a policy lacking ethic and principles would fail to admit it.

Forty-one years have shown the futility of the efforts to destroy a Revolution that has brought so much equity, social justice, education and ethical and patriotic values to the Cuban people. There is no way to destroy it and there will be none in the future. Any attempt to do it by force would commit the aggressors to pay an unaffordable political and human toll, and it would still be useless.

The murderous Cuban Adjustment Act, the deadly blockade and the economic war should cease completely, and they certainly will!


Published in the newspapers Granma, Juventud Rebelde and Trabajadores on July 24, 2000.