Friday, October 5, 2018

Cuba’s President Miguel Díaz-Canel at the UN General Assembly. Global Capitalism Triggers War and Poverty
Speech of Cuba’s President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez at the United Nations General Assembly
Miguel Diaz-Canal Bermudez
Madam President:
Mister Secretary-General:
It is impossible to be here, speak from this rostrum on behalf of Cuba, and not recall historic moments of the General Assembly which are also part of our dearest memories: Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Raúl Castro and the “Chancellor of Dignity”, Raúl Roa, just to mention the most significant, have brought here not only the voice of our people but also the voice of other Latin American and Caribbean, African, Asian, non-aligned peoples, with whom we have shared more than half a century of struggles for a fair international order, which is still far off being attained.
It is absurd but consistent with the irrationality of a world in which the richest 0.7% of the population owns 46% of all the wealth, while the poorer 70% of the population can access only 2.7% of it; 3.460 billion people survive in poverty; 815 million go hungry; 758 million are illiterate and 844 million lack basic services of drinking water. All these figures, by the way, are prepared and regularly used by global organizations, but it seems that they have failed to raise sufficient awareness of the so-called international community.
These realities, Madam President, are not the result of socialism, like the President of the United States said yesterday here. They are the consequence of capitalism, especially imperialism and neoliberalism; of the selfishness and exclusion that is inherent to that system, and of an economic, political, social and cultural paradigm that privileges wealth accumulation in the hands of a few at the cost of the exploitation and dire poverty of the large majorities.
Capitalism consolidated colonialism. It gave birth to fascism, terrorism and apartheid and spread wars and conflicts; the breaches of sovereignty and self-determination of the peoples; repression of workers, minorities, refugees and migrants. Capitalism is the opposite of solidarity and democratic participation. The production and consumption patterns that characterize it, promote plundering, militarism, threats to peace; they generate violations of human rights and are the greatest danger to the ecological balance of the planet and the survival of the human being.
No one should be deceived by anybody claiming that humanity lacks enough material, financial and technological resources to eradicate poverty, hunger, preventable diseases and other scourges. What is lacking is the political will of the industrialized countries, who have the moral duty, the historical responsibility and the abundant resources to solve the most pressing global problems.
The truth is that while it is claimed that there is a shortfall in funding to attain the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda or address the increasing impact of climate change, 1.74 trillion dollars were wasted in military expenditure in the year 2017, the highest figure since the end of the Cold War.
Climate change is another unavoidable reality and a matter of survival for the human species, particularly for Small Island Developing States. Some of its effects are already irreversible.
Scientific evidence indicates there is an increase of 1.1° C relative to pre-industrial levels, and that 9 out of 10 persons living in urban areas breathe polluted air.
However, the United States, one of the major polluters of yesteryear and today, refuses to accompany the international community in the implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change. It thus endangers the lives of future generations and the survival of all species, including humans.
In addition, and as if there were not enough threats to humanity and its dazzling creations, it is a fact that the military and nuclear hegemonism of imperialism is perpetuating itself and expanding to the detriment of the hopes of the majority of peoples for a general and complete disarmament. Cuba shares this ideal and, as testament of its commitment with this goal, on January 31, it became the fifth State to ratify the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
In this organization that was born out of the human desire to overcome the destruction left by a terrible war with the dialogue between nations, it is not possible to keep quiet about the danger looming over all of us, with the exacerbation of local conflicts, wars of aggression disguised as “humanitarian interventions”, the forceful overthrow of sovereign governments, the so-called “soft coups” and interference in other States’ internal affairs, recurrent forms of action by some powers, using the most diverse excuses.
The international cooperation for the promotion and protection of all human rights for all is a must. However, its discriminatory and selective manipulation with claims of domination, violates the rights to peace, self-determination and development of the peoples.
Cuba rejects the militarization of outer space and cyberspace, as well as the covert and illegal use of the information and communication technologies to attack other states.
The exercise of multilateralism and full respect for the principles and rules of International Law to advance towards a multipolar, democratic and equitable world, are required in order to ensure peaceful coexistence, preserve international peace and security and find lasting solutions for systemic problems.
Against that logic, the threat or use of force, unilateralism, pressures, retaliations and sanctions which increasingly characterize the behavior and rhetoric of the U.S. government and its abusive use of the veto power in the Security Council in order to impose their political agenda, pose huge challenges and threats within the United Nations itself.
Why don’t we just implement the promised strengthening of the General Assembly as the main organ of deliberation, decision and representation. The reform of the Security Council must not be delayed or prevented, as this organ is in need of adjusting to the times by democratizing its membership and working methods.
Today we have come to reiterate what Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz said on the occasion of the fiftieth anniversary of the UN, which summarizes the most noble aspiration of the majority of humanity, and I quote: “We want a world without hegemonistic practices, without nuclear weapons, without interventionism, without racism, without national or religious hatred, without violations of the sovereignty of any country, with respect for independence and the free self-determination of peoples, without universal models that do not take into account the traditions and cultures of all components of humanity at all. Without cruel blockades that kill men, women, children, the young, and the elderly like silent atomic bombs”.
More than 20 years have elapsed since that demand was made and none of those ills have been cured; in fact, they have exacerbated. We have every right to ask why. And we have the duty to insist on effective and equitable solutions.
Madam President:
Our America is currently undergoing a stage of persistent threats, inconsistent with the “Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace”, signed in Havana by the Heads of States and Government on the occasion of the 2nd Summit of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, in 2014.
The current U.S. administration has proclaimed the relevance of the Monroe Doctrine and, in a new deployment of its imperial policy in the region, is attacking Venezuela with special cruelty.
It is in this threatening context that we wish to reiterate our absolute support to the Bolivarian and Chavista Revolution, the civic-military union of the Venezuelan people and its legitimate and democratic government, led by the constitutional President Nicolas Maduros Moros. We reject the intervention attempts and sanctions against Venezuela, aimed at suffocating her economically and hurting Venezuelan families.
We likewise reject the attempts at destabilizing the Nicaraguan government, a country of peace that has made remarkable social, economic and public safety progress in favor of its people.
We denounce the politically-motivated imprisonment of former president Luiz Incicio Lula da Silva, and the decision to prevent the people from voting and electing Brazil’s most popular leader to the Presidency.
We stand in solidarity with the Caribbean nations who demand legitimate reparation for the horrible effects of slavery as well as the fair, special and differential treatment that they deserve.
We reaffirm our historic commitment with the self-determination and independence of our brother people of Puerto Rico.
We support Argentina’s legitimate sovereignty claim over the Malvinas Islands, South Sandwich and South Georgia Islands.
We reiterate our unrestricted support to a comprehensive, just and lasting solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, on the basis of the creation of two States, allowing the Palestinian people to exercise their right to self-determination and to have an independent and sovereign State based upon the pre-1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital. We reject the unilateral action of the United States to establish their diplomatic representation in the city of Jerusalem, which heightens even more the tensions in the region. We condemn the barbarities of the Israeli forces against the civilian population in Gaza.
We reaffirm our steadfast solidarity with the Saharan people, and support the search for a final solution to the question of Western Sahara, which will allow the exercise of self-determination and to live in peace in their territory.
We support the search for a peaceful and negotiated solution to the situation imposed in
Syria, without foreign interference and with full respect for its sovereignty and territorial integrity. We reject any direct or indirect intervention, carried out without the legitimate authorities of the country.
The continued expansion of NATO towards Russian borders is causing serious threats, worsened by the imposition of arbitrary sanctions, which we reject.
We demand compliance with the Islamic Republic of Iran’s nuclear deal.
We welcome the process of rapprochement and dialogue among the Koreas. This is the way to achieve a lasting peace, reconciliation and stability in the Korean peninsula. At the same time, we strongly condemn the imposition of unilateral and unfair sanctions against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and foreign interference in Korean internal affairs.
The violations of the rules of international trade and the sanctions against China, the European Union and other countries will bring about harmful effects, particularly for developing States.
We favor dialogue and cooperation, thanks to which we can report today that the Cuba-EU Agreement on Political Dialogue and Cooperation has provisionally entered into force and is a good foundation to develop beneficial ties between the Parties.
Madam President:
The government of the U.S. maintains an aggressive rhetoric towards Cuba and a policy aimed at subverting the political, economic, social, and cultural system in my country. Contrary to the interests of both peoples and giving in to the pressures of minority sectors, the new U.S. government has devoted itself to artificially fabricate under false pretexts, scenarios of tension and hostility that serve nobody’s interests.
This in contrast to the fact that we have formal diplomatic relations and mutually beneficial cooperation programs in a limited number of areas.
Our peoples share increasingly closer historic and cultural bonds, which are expressed in the arts, sports, science, the environment, among others. The potential for a fluent business relationship is well known and a genuine and respectful understanding would be in the interest of the entire region.
However, the essential and defining element of the bilateral relationship continues to be the blockade, which seeks to suffocate the Cuban economy in order to generate hardships and disrupt the constitutional order. It is a cruel policy, punishing Cuban families and the entire Nation.
It is the most comprehensive and long-standing system of economic sanctions ever implemented against any country. It has been and continues to be a major obstacle to the country’s development and to the realization of the aspirations to progress and well-being of several generations of Cubans.
As has been said for so many years in this same place, due to its aggressive extraterritorial implementation, the blockade seriously damages the sovereignty and interests of all countries.
On behalf of the Cuban people, I would like to thank this General Assembly for the virtually unanimous rejection of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States against my country.
Nevertheless, the actions of the U.S. government against my country go farther. They include public and covert programs of gross interference in Cuba’s internal affairs. To this end, tens of millions of dollars that are officially allocated in its budget are used, in violation of the standards and principles upon which this organization rests, and in particular, of Cuba’s sovereignty as an independent nation.
Cuba stands ready to develop respectful and civilized relations with the U.S. government on the basis of sovereign equality and mutual respect. This is the will of the Cuban people and we know this is a shared aspiration by most U.S. citizens and, particularly, by Cubans living there.
We shall continue to tirelessly demand the end of the cruel economic, commercial and financial blockade, the return of the territory illegally occupied by the Guantánamo Naval Base and adequate compensation to our people for the thousands of dead and disabled and for the economic and property damages caused to Cuba over so many years of aggression.
Cuba will always be willing to engage in dialogue and cooperate on the basis of respect and an equal footing. We shall never make concessions affecting our sovereignty and national independence, we shall not negotiate our principles nor shall we accept conditionalities.
In spite of the blockade, the hostility and the actions carried out by the United States to impose a regime change in Cuba, the Cuban Revolution is right here, alive and strong, faithful to her principles!
Madam President:
The generational change in our government should not raise the hopes of the enemies of the Revolution. We are the continuity, not a rupture. Cuba has continued taking steps to improve its model of economic and social development in order to build a sovereign, independent, socialist, democratic, prosperous and sustainable Nations. This is the path that our people has freely chosen.
The country will not go back to the opprobrious past that it shook off with the greatest sacrifices during 150 years of struggle for independence and full dignity. By the decision of the overwhelming majority of Cubans, we shall continue the work that started almost 60 years ago.
In this conviction, we began a constitutional reform process, a truly participatory and democratic exercise, through popular discussion of the draft which will eventually be approved in a referendum. I am certain that there will be no changes in our strategic objectives and that the irrevocable nature of socialism will be ratified.
The principles of foreign policy will remain unchanged. As the First Secretary of our Party, Raúl Castro Ruz, said in his statement on the occasion of the 70 anniversary of the United Nations, and I quote: “The international community will always be able to count on Cuba’s sincere voice against injustice, inequality, underdevelopment, discrimination and manipulation; and for the establishment of a fairer and more equitable international order, truly focused on human beings, their dignity and well-being”.
The Cuba on behalf of which I speak today is the proud successor of that independent, sovereign, fraternal and solidarity policy with the poorest of this world, producers of all the wealth on the planet, although the unequal global order has sentenced them with dire poverty on behalf of words like democracy, freedom and human rights, words which the rich have actually emptied of meaning.
It has been exciting and pleasant to take the floor at the same rostrum from which Fidel expressed powerful truths 58 years ago that still continue to shake us, in front of representatives of more than 190 nations who, rejecting extortion and pressures, every year fill the voting screen of worthy green lights of approval for our demand for the end of the blockade.
I bid you farewell in the hope that the noble aspirations of most of Humanity will be achieved before younger generations take this rostrum to demand the same as we do today, and our historic predecessors did in yesteryear.
Thank you very much.


From: Global Research, October 05, 2018
United Nations General Assembly

(https://www.globalresearch.ca/cubas-president-miguel-diaz-canel-at-the-un-general-assembly-global-capitalism-triggers-war-and-poverty/5656218)

Thursday, April 26, 2018




Speech by compañero Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, President of the Councils of State and Ministers of the Republic of Cuba, in the Constituent Session of the 9th Legislature of the National Assembly of People’s Power, Havana International Conference Center, April 19, 2018, “Year 60 of the Revolution”
(Council of State transcript / GI translation)
Compañero deputy, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba,
Compatriots:
I come to speak on behalf of all Cubans, who today begin a new mandate at the service of a nation whose history makes us proud; not only those born in this land, but millions of children of America and the world that love and respect it as their own.
I do so with all the responsibility that an act of this nature entails and with the awareness that we are not inaugurating just another legislature.
Martí said that “pompous words are unnecessary to speak of sublime men.” And this is the case now, when I fulfill, with honor and emotion, the mandate of our people to dedicate the first thought to the historic generation that, with exemplary dedication and humility, accompanies us in this hour of pressing challenges in which Cuba expects that we be like them, capable of victoriously fighting all the battles that await us.
The presence of Raúl, Machado, Ramiro, Guillermo and other Heroes of the Republic, as deputies of the Legislature that takes office today, is not due to a, more than deserved, tribute for the work done. The Army General and First Secretary of the Party was the candidate to receive the most votes in the general elections, just as the Second Secretary and the Comandantes of the Revolution, also Heroes of Labor of the Republic of Cuba, were among those who received the highest number of votes.
They ennoble this hall and offer us the opportunity, by embracing them, to embrace living history.
More than half a century of slander and dark invitations to generational rupture and discouragement in the face of difficulties, have not been able to tear down the columns of the temple of our faith: the Revolution of Fidel and the Centennial Generation of Martí continues in its 60th year with the dignity of its founders intact and ennobled by having been able to do in each moment what each moment demanded.
With the constitution of the 9th Legislature of the National Assembly of People’s Power, the revolutionary electoral process that the Cuban people have led in recent months comes to an end, reaffirming its eminently democratic nature and, at the same time, conscious of its profound historic significance.
The people, exercising their civil right, have proposed, nominated, and elected their representatives in the different government bodies based on their identification with them, their merit, and ability to represent communities, social sectors, collective interests, without publicity campaigns subject to the power of money, without politicking or fraud, corruption or demagoguery.
The election has been the result of collective wishes, without any of those elected harboring personal aspirations. Citizens have honored humble, hard-working, modest people as their genuine representatives.
This is an election that emerges from the people, who at the same time control its administration, thus participating in the decision making and in the implementation of approved policies. And although we have done so many times in the last 40 years, we can affirm that this election process concluding today has become a resounding victory for the unity of the Cuban people, and an expression of their commitment to defend the revolutionary work in times of uncertainty for the majority of the planet’s inhabitants, whose wishes do not count when applying policies that minimize their rights and curtail their conquests.
To that trust that the people place in us with their vote, there is only one way to reciprocate: acting, creating, and working tirelessly, to respond to their demands and needs, in a permanent and close bond with our humble, generous, and noble people.
If someone wanted to see Cuba as a group of citizens, according to their age, racial, gender, and occupational composition, it would be enough to view and study the membership of our Assembly and the representation of women, Black and mixed race Cubans, young people and senior citizens, who occupy decision-making positions at the highest levels of government, almost in the same proportion as the statistics that define the nation.
The most important thing is not, however, how much we resemble the country we are. What we cannot forget for even a second, as of this moment, is the commitment that we acquire to the people and to the future. All deputies, the leadership of the Assembly, the members of the Councils of State and Ministers, have as our primary raison d’être a systematic link with the population, which obliges us to deepen the analysis of the problems that concern society as a whole and the everyday lives of Cuban men and women, fostering a broad and sincere debate about them, and encouraging all possible ways to solve or mitigate their impact with the participation of those involved, either because they are afflicted by or because they have the ability to solve them.
Compatriots:
Two years ago today, in the closure of the 7th Party Congress, the Army General told us that his generation would hand over, and I quote: “the banners of the Revolution and Socialism to new leaders, without the slightest trace of sadness or pessimism, with the pride of having fulfilled one’s duty, convinced that they will be able to continue and magnify the Revolution’s work, to which great effort was devoted, and life itself for many generations of compatriots.”
This means, among many reasons, that the mandate given by the people to this Legislature is to provide continuity to the Cuban Revolution at a crucial historic moment, which will be marked by all that we manage to advance in the updating of the economic and social model, perfecting and strengthening our work in all spheres of national life.
I assume the responsibility for which I have been elected with the conviction that all Cuban revolutionaries, from the position we occupy, based on the work we do, from any post or trench of the socialist homeland, will be faithful to the exemplary legacy of the Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz, historic leader of our Revolution, and also to the example, the courage and the teachings of Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, current leader of the revolutionary process (Applause).
I name them and I evoke Martí, in his biographical sketch of Céspedes and Agramonte: “The stranger, or the pretentious, or the ambitious can write these names without trembling: the good Cuban, cannot.” Fidel and Raúl, bound by blood, ideals, and struggle, show us the meaning of the word brother in its highest degree, so valued in the emotional ties of national identity.
Much more. They, along with the men and women who brought the Revolution to this point, offer us the key to a new siblinghood, forged in the resistance and the shared battles that transformed us into compañeras and compañeros. Unity, so necessary while the nation was being forged, is since 1959 its most valuable and sacred strength; that has become extraordinary and invulnerable in the core of our only Party, which was not born of the rupture or splitting of others, but of the integration of all those that set out to build a better country.
For us it is totally clear that only the Communist Party of Cuba, the superior leading force of society and the state, guarantees the unity of the Cuban nation and is the worthy heir to the confidence placed in their leaders by the people, as compañero Raúl Castro Ruz stated in his speech on the 45th anniversary of the creation of the Western Army, on June 14, 2006.
That is why Raúl, who firmly prepared, steered, and led this process of generational continuity, without attachment to positions and responsibilities, with a high sense of duty and the historic moment, with serenity, maturity, confidence, revolutionary resolve, with altruism and modesty, remains through legitimacy and his own merit at the forefront of the political vanguard (Applause).
He continues to be our First Secretary, as the reference that he is for any Cuban communist and revolutionary. And because Cuba needs him, contributing ideas and purposes to the revolutionary cause, guiding and warning of any error or shortcoming, teaching, and always ready to confront imperialism in the face of any attempt to attack the country, as the first with his rifle at the hour of combat.
Raúl, as our people affectionately call him, is Fidel’s best disciple, but he has also contributed innumerable values to revolutionary ethics, Party work, and the perfecting of government.
The work undertaken with his leadership in the last decade is colossal. His legacy of resistance faced with threats and aggressions, and in the pursuit of the perfection of our society, is fundamental. He assumed the leadership of the nation in a difficult economic and social juncture. He put revolutionary courage and his sense of duty ahead of human pain, and led the country without rest, committed, with certainty, with impetus, with dedication and devotion. As a statesman, forging popular consensus, he has led, promoted, and stimulated profound and essential structural and conceptual changes as part of the process of perfecting and updating the Cuban Economic and Social Model.
With patience, intelligence, and firm decisions, that at the same time required secrecy, he secured the release of our Five Heroes, thus fulfilling Fidel’s promise that they would return (Applause). He has marked broad and dynamic international relations activity with his affable personal style. With firmness, dignity, and fortitude he led the talks and negotiations that had as their aim the reestablishment of diplomatic relations with the United States. He headed the CELAC presidency pro tempore, defending unity within diversity and achieving the declaration of the Latin American and Caribbean region as a zone of peace.
He decisively contributed to the success of the Colombia peace talks and has defended Caribbean countries, and in particular the always overlooked Haiti and Puerto Rico, in all regional and hemispheric dialogue scenarios.
His rousing voice and forceful speech at the Summit of the Americas in Panama continues to move us, exalting the true history of Our America and the reasons for the Spartan resistance and unwavering solidarity of the Cuban people with the just causes of the region and the world, against all odds, threats and aggressions.
This is the Raúl we know, admire, respect, and love.
The student and rebel Raúl who participated in the first March of the Torches in January 1953, and who, in March of the same year, took part in the International Conference in Defence of the Rights of Youth, and the preparations for the Fourth World Festival of Youth and Students; the combatant Raúl who, in the heat of battle, assumed the command in the Palacio de Justicia of Santiago de Cuba, as part of the actions of the assault on the Moncada Garrison; served a prison sentence on the Isle of Pines; prepared for the fight against Batista during exile in Mexico; landed in the Granma; was reunited with Fidel in Cinco Palmas; launched the struggle in the Sierra Maestra; and due to his merits and bravery was promoted to Comandante.
The military commander Raúl, who in the Frank País Second Eastern Front, in the midst of the liberation war, developed organizational and governance experiences for the good of the population, which would later be duplicated throughout the country until the revolutionary triumph.
The Raúl who, at the head of the Ministry of the Armed Forces for 48 years, contributed to the achievement of results in the defense preparation of the country and in the development of the doctrine of the War of the Entire People, making it the most disciplined and efficient state administration body, at whose core experiences were developed that later served the country.
The political leader, Raúl, who has constantly promoted debate for the improvement of Party work, linked to the people, with ears kept well to the ground, and who, at very difficult times, convened us with integrity to prove that “Yes, we can,” and thus, the country and the Revolution could be saved.
I am aware of the concerns and expectations that a moment such as this naturally raises, but we have the strength, intelligence and wisdom of the people; the experience and leadership of the Party; the ideas of Fidel and the presence of Raúl, also accompanied by the invaluable leader, human being and devoted worker, compañero José Ramón Machado Ventura (applause) as Second Secretary of the political organization representing Cuban communists; as well as the strength, prestige, loyalty, and example of an Army founded by those who will never cease to represent the uniformed people.
Knowing popular feeling, I state to this Assembly, the supreme organ of state power, that compañero Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, as first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, will take the lead in the most important decisions for the present and future of the country (Lengthy applause).
We are living in a world characterized by growing threats to peace and security, interventionist wars, dangers to the survival of the human species and an unjust and exclusionary international economic order.
In this context, I reaffirm that Cuban foreign policy will remain the same and reiterate that no one will be able to weaken the Revolution or crush the Cuban people, because Cuba does not make concessions essential to its sovereignty or independence, negotiate its principles or accept conditions.
We will never give in to pressure or threats; the sovereign Cuban people will continue to decided the changes that need to be made.
I am aware that the task we are charged with entails an enormous responsibility to the people, which is why I call for the support of all those who occupy leadership responsibilities at different levels and in different institutions of the Revolution, but above all, I trust in the decisive support of the Cuban people, without which – and facing threats and challenges, which will always exist for a country committed to Revolution - it will be impossible for our society to successfully advance.
Our management and leadership must be increasingly collective, in constant contact with the people and facilitating the participation of the population in revolutionary tasks and decision making, through broadly democratic processes which are already an inseparable part of national policy.
In the same way that the Revolution has never made any promises over all these years, nor will I. I am here to express my commitment to work for and ensure the fulfilment of the program that we have given ourselves as a government and a people, in the form of the Policy Guidelines of the Party and Revolution over the short, medium, and long term. Only hard, selfless and efficient work every day will lead to concrete results and achievements which will represent new victories for the homeland and socialism, without ever abandoning the combative readiness of our undefeated Revolutionary Armed Forces.
This is how we will confront the threats of our powerful imperialist neighbor. Here, there is no space for a transition that ignores or destroys so many years of struggle. In Cuba, the people have decided, that there is only room for the generations born and educated under the Revolution and the founding generation to continue to work, without bowing to pressure, without fear or retreat, defending our truth and motives, without renouncing our sovereignty and independence, development programs or dreams.
We will always be willing to dialogue and cooperate on the basis of respect and equality, with those who are also willing to do so.
There will be no space in this legislature for those who aspire to the restoration of capitalism; this legislature will defend the Revolution and will continue perfecting socialism.
In order to tackle our internal difficulties it is important to emphasize that our priorities are defined in the documents approved at the Seventh Party Congress, and reaffirmed by Parliament, after being submitted to a broad process of popular consultation.
These documents recognize that political-ideological work, the struggle for peace, unity and ideological resolve, closely linked to the development of the national economy and ensuring the conscious, active, and committed participation of the majority of the population in the updating of our social and economic model, is our fundamental mission. Simply put, it is up to us to ensure implementation and advance this process.
Conscious of these priorities, it is our responsibility to perfect their implementation, correct mistakes, extract experiences, avoid improvisation, superficiality, delays and violations which irritate the population, sow pessimism and despondency, distancing us from our goals over time.
We must continually work to uphold unity, discipline, comprehensive analysis, and stringency in all organizations, bodies and institutions; in order to ensure that the great potential and opportunities that exist in our society are sustained and expressed in concrete results for growth, development, and prosperity.
On behalf of the compañeras and compañeros elected to senior positions within the National Assembly of People’s Power and Council of State we express, with a deep sense of commitment, that we will never betray the confidence placed in us.
And to those who, owing to ignorance or bad faith, doubt the commitment of the generations which today assume new responsibilities within the Cuban state, we have the duty to clearly tell them that the Revolution is alive, and will continue to live on, with a sense of the historic moment, changing everything that must be changed; emancipating ourselves on our own and through our own efforts;challenging powerful dominant forces in and beyond the social and national arena; defending the values in which we believe at the price of any sacrifice; with modesty, selflessness, altruism, solidarity, and heroism; fighting with courage, intelligence and realism; never lying or violating ethical principles, and the deep conviction that Fidel transmitted to us with his concept of Revolution, that there is no force in the world that can crush the power of truth and ideas. Revolution is unity; it is independence, it is struggling for our dreams of justice for Cuba and for the world, which is the foundation of our patriotism, our socialism, and our internationalism.
The Revolution continues its course without a single absentee, because we are even accompanied by our dead in crucial hours, just like Céspedes, Agramonte, Maceo, Gómez, and Martí, among so many others who were always present during our most difficult battles.
To content ourselves with living in the shadow of the glory that precedes us would be to betray that same glory. The members of this Parliament have been born, raised, and learned with the founders of the Revolution that all dreams are possible to achieve, even when the opposite seems to be true. “You don’t need wings to make a dream. It’s enough to have hands, a chest, legs, and determination,” as the poet would say.
This quote reminds us that the effort and sacrifice of Cuban revolutionaries have always been embraced by song and poetry, art and criticism. We are a Revolution that can say that it has been told and sung, from the very beginning, with the talent and originality of its artists and creators, true interpreters of popular wisdom and the dissatisfaction and hopes of Cuba’s soul.
And that will continue to be so. Intellectuals, journalists, creators, will always accompany us in our efforts to ensure that this archipelago, put on the global political map by the Revolution, also continues to be recognized for its singular way of fighting while singing, dancing, laughing, and triumphing. We are Cuba, which means resistance, joy, creativity, solidarity, and life.
No other country has resisted for so many years, without surrendering, the economic, commercial, military, political and media onslaught which Cuba has faced. But this has by no means been on account of a miracle. It has been the result of, in the first place, an authentic Revolution which emerged from the very heart of the people, a consistent leadership which never put itself above the people, but at the front in the hours of greatest danger and risk, and of an army born in the middle of the mountains with, and for, the poor of the Earth, whose bravery and expertise transcend our borders and has acted with as much ferocity in war as it has creativity in peace. That is to say, necessity, originality, imagination, courage, and heroic creation, according to Mariátegui.
“Create is this generation’s password” wrote Martí, a phase which Fidel’s generation made their own, and which those of us who have the responsability of elevating his legacy, are duty bound to make our own.
Outside there is a world that looks upon us with more questions than certainties. For too long, and in the worst ways, we have received the erroneous message that the Revolution ends with its guerrillas.
In the age of communication, our adversaries have been able to lie, distort and silence our Revolutionary work. And even then they have still not been able to destroy it. We must be more creative when spreading our truth. At a time when there exist more tribunals than the open and multitudinous ones that were, at another time, the loud-speaker of the Revolution, we must learn to make more and better use of the possibilities of technology in order to inundate our truths across infinite spaces on planet internet, where today lies reign.
Let us clearly state that the Cuban Revolution continues to be olive green, and ready to take on all battles.

The first being to overcome our own acts of indiscipline, mistakes and imperfections, while at the same time advancing “without haste, but without pause,” – a wise warning from compañero Raúl – toward the horizon, toward the prosperity we owe ourselves and which we must achieve sooner or later, in the midst of the turmoil of a world weakened by uncertainty, injustice, violence by the powerful, and contempt for small nations and the poor majorities.
Compañeras and compañeros: 

On a day as symbolic as today, full of emotion and meaning, on which we have shared commitments and convictions, we think of Fidel, of his ideas, of his formidable, prolific, indispensable legacy, as a way of nurturing this genuine desire to keep him among us, forever.
May every fiber of our revolutionary lineage tremble when we proclaim: I am Fidel!
And we swear to defend until our last breath this “socialist and democratic Revolution of the humble, by the humble and for the humble,” won for us by the historic generation fighting on the sands of Playa Girón, 57 years ago, and which now hands it over to us, undefeated and assured that we will know how to take it as far, and place it as high as they did, are doing, and will continue to do. (Applause).
It is vital to state today:
Homeland or death!
Socialism or death!
We will overcome! (Applause)