MORE THAN ONE MILLION TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND RESIDENTS OF HAVANA TO TAKE PART IN COMBATIVE MARCH ON JULY 26
PEOPLE WHO HAVE TRIUMPHED AND WILL CONTINUE TO TRIUMPH
July 26 this year will be historic. That day, at 8:00 am, the most massive march ever protesting the aggressions and crimes of imperialism against Cuba will begin past the U.S. Interest Section and over one million two hundred thousand residents of Havana will take part in it.
A few months ago, a new administration took power in the United States. The way in which this came about violated even the internal laws that rule the empire. In the manner of the "banana republics" it has created in our hemisphere, a scandalous electoral fraud was perpetrated. One candidate robbed another of the post that would have rightly been his in accordance with the established system.
As fate would have it, the hard-fought battle was decided in Florida, one of the states with the largest number of votes for the election of the president. The shameless theft took place in Miami Dade county, the domain of the Cuban-American terrorist mob. Through gross manipulation, trickery and illegal conduct, including acts of coercion and violence against African-American voters, they kept tens of thousands of U.S. citizens in this county alone from exercising their right to vote, thus allowing the extreme right and its presidential candidate to take control of the government. Thanks to this fraud, that candidate achieved a hair’s breadth victory of 537 individual votes in the state of Florida, while he was actually beaten by 337,576 in the national count.
This shady and contemptible episode, subsequently validated by the corrupt U.S. legal system, was preceded by a carnivalesque political campaign costing billions of dollars. Our people, immersed in their battle of ideas and fully informed of every detail of the events, were able to grasp like never before the vast difference between true revolutionary democracy and the shameless political parody that is staged in the heart of the empire.
The new president of the United States is acting exactly as he was expected to. With regard to both domestic and foreign policy, he is promoting the most reactionary ideas of the political sector he represents, in every possible field. His sole philosophy seems to be a government of the wealthiest, by the wealthiest and for the wealthiest, within and beyond his country’s borders. At this critical and uncertain time for humanity, the empire is attempting to use its tremendous military, economic and technological power to impose the interests of its increasingly vast transnational corporations on the entire planet.
At a time when neoliberal globalization is provoking more and more disasters in the Third World, and the three major centers of world economy – the United States, Europe and Japan – are facing growing difficulties, and constantly cutting back their forecasts for growth, while the economies of other countries are faced with the serious threat of a grave crisis, the new U.S. government is proving to be more self-serving, more insatiable and less cooperative with the rest of the world than ever before.
At a time when climatic changes are causing increasingly frequent and intense floods, droughts and other natural disasters, carbon dioxide levels continue to rise, the ozone layer is increasingly thinner, the deserts are growing, drinking water is more and more scarce, and the seas —a source of food for the growing world population— are being polluted and impoverished, the new government of the United States, which is home to only 5% of the world population, yet consumes 25% of available energy annually and emits the largest amount of polluting gases, has dealt a brutal blow to the Kyoto Protocol, and within its own borders it has liquidated the just measures established to protect important and valuable areas of its territory, with complete disdain for future generations of U.S. citizens.
At a time when a real possibility had emerged for an end to the arms race, after many decades of cold war, the new government of the United States is unilaterally breaking the ABM Treaty and announcing the establishment of a global anti-missile shield, using the pretext, as false as it is shameless, of alleged threats posed by Third World countries, which do not have the slightest capability of reaching U.S. territory with strategic missiles and nuclear weapons.
Given that the empire’s real strategic goal is to reduce Russia, China and the world to a state of total helplessness, the threat of a new arms race in the midst of grave global problems has arisen with unexpected and troubling imminence. What is more, the president of the United States has just announced in Genoa that the superpower will not abide by the Convention on Bacteriological Weapons.
Despite all the talk about the end of the cold war, the United States’ military budget, far from being reduced, has been increased year by year. New and sophisticated weapons, fit for nothing less than absolute control over the world, are being developed at a feverish pace. This has all been accompanied by other troubling events, such as the attempt to obstruct peace and reunification in Korea, and the brutal veto, a short time ago, of a Security Council resolution aimed at protecting the Palestinian people, the victims of a true genocide.
Why are all these steps being taken? Where are they leading? There can be neither peace nor development in the world under these conditions. The very survival of the human race will be seriously threatened by such absurd and unjustifiable decisions.
In our hemisphere, the role taken on by the new U.S. government is that of obstructing any effort aimed at economic and political unity among the countries of Latin America, removing Europe and the industrialized countries of Asia from trade competition and investment in our region, and imposing a free trade agreement that would essentially signify the annexation of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean to the United States. The dollar would be the sole currency, and the big U.S. transnationals would be the exclusive owners of the most important and profitable lines of production and services in the hemisphere. Hundreds of millions of people in Latin America and the Caribbean would become nothing more than a source of cheap labor.
Such a future is neither acceptable nor viable. Throughout the world, people are fighting back against the globalization of plunder, poverty and hunger. Neither the IMF, nor the WTO, nor the Group of Seven and other such institutions, nor the ideologues of neoliberalism can find a single place on the planet to meet anymore. Seattle, Washington, Davos, Quebec and Genoa, with their brutal scenes of repression, have demonstrated this. Those who represent or defend the suicidal and unsustainable world order being imposed on humanity can only meet in fortified bunkers, with the use of protective gear, noxious gases, rubber bullets, high-pressure water hoses and armored vehicles specially designed to suppress those who protest with ever less fear and ever greater courage.
Cuba has never accepted and will never accept this world order, just as it never accepted the status of a neocolony of the United States and, for that very reason, carried out a profound revolution.
The new U.S. administration cannot hide the resentment bred by the empire’s impotence to force our heroic people into surrender. All of its statements, even before its fraudulent election, ooze hatred for our country. Once it had taken power, it adopted measures to even further tighten the genocidal blockade, and stepped up its warnings and threats of punitive measures against U.S. citizens who visit our country. In addition, that administration nominated as the assistant secretary of state for Latin American affairs a genuine gangster of Cuban descent, with an extremely shady past and close links to the Miami terrorist mob. This is an individual who has broken laws, written and published statements supposedly signed by Nicaraguan Contra leaders, and worked with Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North and Luis Posada Carriles on tasks assigned to them by the White House aimed at overthrowing the Sandinista government.
The murderous Cuban Adjustment Act has been reinforced with new privileges and incentives that even further promote the smuggling of aliens and illegal migration, by virtue of a recent and highly unusual court decision, deliberately uncontested by the government, which grants resident status and the right to work to all Cubans who arrive in U.S. territory by air, from anywhere in the world, even if they are carrying false documents. The U.S. government has failed to adopt measures against migrant smugglers working out of Florida, who risk the lives and cause the deaths of women, children and other citizens of Cuba. It has passed regulations that tighten the blockade and make it impossible in practice for Cuba to acquire food, medicine and medical equipment from the United States.
The blockade of food and medicine constitutes a crime of genocide even in times of war, as is clearly stipulated in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide of 1948 and the Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War of 1949, both of which were signed and ratified by both Cuba and the United States, along with the vast majority of states. These conventions grant the victimized country the power to try those who commit these crimes, as long as there is no international court to do so. This abominable act of genocide has been carried out by the U.S. authorities against Cuba for over 42 years.
After the triumph of the Revolution, the government of the United States unleashed a wave of terrorism against our people. The U.S. government is responsible for the use and development of such criminal forms of aggression. Before and after the mercenary invasion of Bay of Pigs and the Missile Crisis – which came about as the result of measures adopted in response to the United States’ plans to invade Cuba with its own military forces – terrorist acts of all kinds were carried out in Cuban territory against factories, commercial centers, recreational facilities, schools, sugar cane plantations, food-related facilities, and all kinds of economic and social facilities, almost without exception. Solely during the period from November 1961 to January 1963, or a mere 14 months, acting upon direct orders from the U.S. government, their agents carried out a total of 5780 terrorist actions against our country, including 716 major acts of sabotage against economic targets. This barbaric and inhumane terrorist war was officially christened by its authors with the strange and cynical name of "Operation Mongoose".
Independently of the above-mentioned actions, mercenary gangs organized and trained by the United States disrupted the peace in all the provinces of the country and murdered teachers, literacy campaign volunteers, workers and peasants in the areas where they operated.
Cuban diplomats were victims of terrorist acts and lost their lives both within the United States and elsewhere.
An airplane was blown up in mid-air, taking the lives of dozens of innocent people. The mastermind of this and other major acts of terrorism freely walks the streets of Miami today.
Hundreds of experts in the use of explosives were trained by official U.S. government institutions, which used them against Cuba. Their ties with these institutions were never broken. The FBI and CIA were fully aware of each and every one of the activities of these terrorists. They knew very well that they were the ones attacking recreational facilities on our coasts and planting bombs in hotels in our capital in the 1990s, the ones organizing and financing these acts from the United States.
In the last 15 years alone, dozens of plots to assassinate the head of the Cuban state have been continually organized, planned and financed from the United States. The most recent was scheduled to take place at the Ibero-American Summit in Panama, barely eight months ago. The lives of numerous heads of state or hundreds of university students were in danger, depending upon the final decision adopted by the terrorists. They were caught with explosives and other necessary means to carry out their plans, thanks to the detailed information timely provided by Cuba to the Panamanian authorities. The FBI and CIA knew about the plot in detail. The Cuban-American National Foundation, which has close ties with the U.S. government and its new president, assumed the role of direct responsibility for these actions. This is the same terrorist mob that served as the main means of support for the electoral campaign of the current president and perpetrated the scandalous fraud that brought him to this post.
This makes even more criminal and disgraceful the trial against five heroic Cuban patriots who, without using violence or causing the slightest physical harm to anyone, were fulfilling their sacred duty of gathering information on terrorist plots against Cuba. They were subjected to atrocious and inhumane treatment, confined to punishment cells for 17 months, as all of our people know.
Almost a year after their arrest, the U.S. authorities shamelessly came up with the serious charge of conspiracy to murder, linking them to the incident of the planes shot down in February of 1996. Together with other planes operating out of U.S. territory, under the direction of a mobster, terrorist and participant in the Bay of Pigs invasion, they had been violating Cuban land and airspace for years, with the full complicity and tolerance of the U.S. authorities.
What pretext did they use for doing this? That of providing help to those encouraged by the murderous Cuban Adjustment Act to take part in illegal emigration and migrant smuggling. What is more: when the charge was ridiculed and torn apart at the trial by the defense attorneys and by the defendants themselves, the jury was tricked, pressured and terrorized into declaring them guilty. Today, once again, like a cowardly reprisal for their courageous Message to the People of the United States, they find themselves locked up in punishment cells.
Cuban funds unjustly and arbitrarily blocked in the United States were made available to the terrorists of the Cuban-American mob who operate with impunity from U.S. territory, under the guise of compensation for deaths that are the exclusive responsibility of the U.S. authorities. Now they are trying to implicate our imprisoned compatriots in those events, when they had absolutely nothing to do with the incident that caused those deaths.
We could ask ourselves: When will the U.S. government bring to trial the people responsible for the aggression and terrorist acts against Cuba that have claimed the lives of 3478 of our people and left another 2099 physically disabled?
When is compensation going to be paid for the crimes committed against our people and the damage caused by over 42 years of bloody aggression and the genocidal blockade?
Although the summer is traditionally a time for vacations and carnivals in our capital, July 26 will be a day of combat.
We cannot forget that in the punishment cells of a brutal jail, where they have been locked up for nearly three years as political prisoners of the empire, there are five exemplary patriots, five heroic brothers who bring honor to our people and remind us of many of the most worthy combatants in our glorious history.
To them, to the struggle against the genocidal blockade and the murderous laws that cause the loss of countless lives, to the struggle against the brutal intent to asphyxiate our people and force them into surrender through hunger and disease, to the battle of ideas, to the extraordinary merit of having withstood more than 42 years of hostility and the aggression to which we are subjected by the most powerful empire to ever exist on Earth, to the unprecedented feat of having endured ten years of the special period without giving in to the empire, we dedicate this July 26.
The streets of the capital will shake as we demonstrate to the world that we are ready for battle at their side, and along with them, we are determined to save humanity and build a better future for all of the people on our planet.
In response to the imperialistic, haughty, arrogant and menacing language that with the accent and style of Hitler’s we have heard in recent days, let us send a clear and unmistakable message to those who express themselves this way, that is, a calm and dignified but forceful and unmistakable message: the Cuban people feel nothing but scorn for their cowardly threats. They are people who know how to fight, people who have triumphed and will continue to triumph!