Cuban Leaders

G77 and BRICS have the opportunity

to generate a

historical transformation.

Statement by H.E. President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez at the Dialogues of the BRICS Summit.
Johannesburg, South Africa, August 24, 2023. Year 65 of the Revolution.

Your Excellency, Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa; Distinguished Heads of State and Government and Heads of Delegations;
Esteemed participants; It is for me a great honor and privilege to be able to participate gr a BRICS Summit, a mechanism of integration that, due to its novelty and diversity, opens expectations and hopes, in the path to the strengthening of multilateralism, which is as much urgent as it is essential for the destiny of the human kind itself.
We highly appreciate that this event takes place in African continent, the land of our ancestors. Africa is part of the very essence of the Cuban identity. Our satisfaction is even greater for being here in South Africa, a country we are united to by fraternal bonds.
More than 400,000 compatriots contributed to the struggle against Apartheid in African lands; 2,289 of our internationalist combatants died heroically, thus writing, with their sacrifice, one of the most beautiful pages in the history of solidarity among peoples.
A well-known African saying goes as follows: “The footprints left by those who have walked together will never fade away.”
In the case of Cuba and South Africa, those footprints are so solid and indelible as the memory of the historic leaders of both nations. We could never forget the embrace of Nelson Mandela and Fidel Castro when they met here and demand each other to meet again, as it only happens between very close brothers.
I am attending this dialogue with the enormous responsibility vested in Cuba to chair of the G-77 and China, the broadest and most diverse group of developing nations. We are its 134 nations, we account for two thirds of the United Nations membership and 80 per cent of the world’s population.
We are currently facing colossal challenges. We are being witness to a post-pandemic world that is ever more unequal. Exclusion and poverty have multiplied after two years of pandemic followed by dramatic conflicts.
During the last 10 years, the foreign debt of the South nations, which has been several times paid over, has doubled. Unilateral coercive measures are increasingly implemented. More than 3 billion people are affected by ecosystems degradation. There are over 1 million endangered animal and plant species, it can be read in the Message of the Secretary General on World Environment Day. If we do not take immediate action we will pass on our children and grandchildren an unrecognizable planet, not only for those born in the previous century, but also a planet that would irremediably become uninhabitable.
Seven years ahead of the deadline established to meet the 2030 Agenda Sustainable Development Goals, the panorama is discouraging. Half of the 169 goals agreed upon are far or very far from being met. Hardly any progress has been attained in the achievement of more than 30 per cent of them. Worse still, there have been regressions as compared to 2015, according to the most recent report of the United Nations.
Western developed countries and big transnationals have designed an international order that is hostile to the progress of our nations in the South and has proved to be effective only for exiguous minorities.
The G-77 and BRICS have the responsibility of advocating a change of the current order. This is not an option; it is the only alternative.
Nowadays no one would question the increasing authority of BRICS. We welcome its eventual expansion, which will contribute to reinforce its relevance and representativeness.
The G-77 and BRICS has historically called for a true transformation of the current international financial architecture, which is deeply unjust, anachronistic and dysfunctional.
The New Development Bank created by BRICS can and should become an alternative in the face of the current financial institutions which for almost a century have implemented Draconian formulas in order to make a profit from the reserves of the South and replicate their subjugation and domination schemes.
We welcome the appointment of Dilma Rousseff at the helm of this entity and the BRICS’ initiative to create a broad-base foreign currency reserve to guarantee certainty and stability to the South is commendable. The expansion of that mechanism to other countries would contribute to palliate the imbalances of the current monetary system.
The establishment of mutual credit lines in local currencies by the banks of the BRICS countries and the possibility to create a single currency for their operations are also some of the initiatives that could be implemented in the relations with other developing countries to reduce the abusive monopoly of the US currency.
BRICS’ countries are world leaders in agricultural production; they account for approximately one third of the world’s food production. Acting jointly with the rest of developing countries they could make a substantial contribution to the eradication of hunger, currently suffered by more than 700 million persons in the world.
When it comes to climate change, we emphasize the strategic importance of the effective coordination between BRICS and G-77 in order to safeguard the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities in the implementation of the Framework Convention and the Paris Agreement.
In the context of COP-28 to be held this year in Dubai, a Summit of the G-77 leaders will be convened by Cuba to reinforce strategic coordination.
Scientific and technical development is today monopolized by a club of countries that owns most of the patents, technologies and research centers and encourages a brain-drain from our countries. G-77 and BRICS should do more to change such a situation. It is in that spirit that Cuba has called for the celebration of a Summit of Heads of State and Government of the G-77 and China on Science, Technology and Innovation as a premise of development, which will take place from September 15 to 16 this year in Havana. We are waiting for you there.
Now is the time for collective action if we are to advance towards a more just and sustainable development.
We strongly believe in the power of unity amidst diversity. This is the time to act together in the defense of our historic demands, which have been unattended for so long that they have multiplied the problems faced by our nations.
And since we are in “the country of the rainbow,” which defeated hatred from the past by bringing together its rich diversity of cultures, languages and religious beliefs, let us be consistent with the precepts of the wise African humanist Ubuntu philosophy which, in the face of selfishness and individualism, promotes a fraternal and respectful way of life whereby no one is left behind. The G77 and BRICS have the opportunity to generate a historical transformation. Let us take advantage of it, for the wellbeing of future generations. Thank you, very much. (Applause)


Brazil to Send Business Leaders to Cuba in Push to Rebuild Ties

Daniel Carvalho, Bloomberg News



    Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva , Photographer: Arthur Menescal/Bloomberg


(Bloomberg) -- A delegation of at least 30 Brazilian business leaders will travel to Havana on Monday in search of opportunities to boost trade with Cuba, the latest step in President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva’s push to repair relations between the two nations.

 The four-day mission will take place ahead of Lula’s own trip to the Caribbean island, where he will meet with Cuba leader Miguel Diaz-Canel and take part in the Group of 77 meetings, a United Nations economic summit of developing countries. 

 Brazil’s ties with Cuba deteriorated under right-wing former President Jair Bolsonaro, although they were never fully severed. Since taking office in January, Lula has sought to rebuild relations with both Havana and Venezuela, and met with Diaz-Canel on the sidelines of a global finance summit in Paris earlier this year.

 That has created an opening for industry leaders eager to bolster trade relationships, according to Jorge Viana, the head of the Brazilian Trade and Investment Promotion Agency, or Apex, which is leading the trip.

 “That’s an opportunity to to resume our trade relations, after the previous Brazilian government left Cuba aside,” Viana said in a statement. “It makes no sense for Brazil to turn its back on Central America and the Caribbean countries, including Cuba, as we have done for the past four years.”

 Brazil is the fourth-largest supplier of goods to Cuba, behind only Spain, China and the US, according to Apex. But the volume of its exports in 2022 was little more than half of what it sent to the island 10 years earlier.

Read More: Lula Weighs Cuba Debt as Brazil Pushes to Revive Relations

The trip will include business leaders from the air transportation, agriculture, energy and health industries. The names of those joining the delegation were not disclosed. 

 Food, industrial machinery, transportation equipment and chemicals are the areas with the largest export opportunities in Cuba, according to Apex. The agency also expects the creation of a commercial airline route connecting Sao Paulo and Havana, it said in the statement.

 Lula will also travel to New York for the United Nations General Assembly this month. He is planning to meet there with President Joe Biden, whose efforts to reorient US policy toward its longtime adversaries in Havana have been largely overshadowed by other global priorities.

©2023 Bloomberg L.P.


 Lula in Havana for the G77 + China


In Havana, Cuba, Lula da Silva, the Brazilian President, is received at the Jose Marti International Airport by Omar Venegas Hechemendia, acting head of the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation of Cuba. During his stay in Cuba, Lula will hold working meetings with his Cuban counterpart, Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, participate in the G77 and China summit, and then continue on to the United Nations General Assembly in New York. 

Dozens of heads of state and government, as well as leaders of international organizations and agencies including UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, are in Havana to discuss the most pressing political and economic issues for developing nations in the mist of systemic international crisis. The G77 and China is the largest bloc and includes 134 developing nations within the UN, the most diverse space for concerted action in the multilateral sphere. Cuba assumed the pro tempore presidency of the Group since January 2023 with a commitment to advance the common interests of the South.


The best of each generation has faced the challenges with the spirit that was revealed in Moncada

Speech delivered by Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic, at the ceremony marking the 70th Anniversary of the attack on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Barracks, in Santiago de Cuba, on July 26, 2023, "Year 65 of the Revolution".

Author: Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez |

august 3, 2023 10:08:29

We will always stand up to confront hatred, violence, the perversity of those who do not want freedom and peace for Cuba, maintained Miguel Díaz-Canel, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. Photo: Juvenal Balán

Speech delivered by Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic, at the ceremony marking the 70th Anniversary of the attack on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Barracks, in Santiago de Cuba, on July 26, 2023, "Year 65 of the Revolution".

(Shorthand Versions - Presidency of the Republic)

Dear Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, fighter of July 26, assailant of the Moncada Barracks, leader of the Cuban Revolution;

Dear Commander of the Revolution Ramiro Valdés Menéndez, assailant of the Moncada;          

Dear combatants of the heroic deed of July 26;

Women and men of Santiago de Cuba;

People of Cuba:


Once again Santiago brings us together in one of the most beloved celebrations of the homeland.

We celebrated yesterday, July 25, Santiago's Day, the 508th anniversary of the town that would be declared city in 1523. Santiago was also the capital of Cuba and the starting point of the conquistadors towards continental lands.

Before being named Santiago, these lands were called Cuba and its original inhabitants were the first to call themselves Cubans. Historians confirm that this was the case until the near 19th century.

From them, we also know that the Patron Saint of this city, despite his Spanish origin, was dressed as a mambi with a yarey hat during the wars of independence, as shown by the piece preserved in the Emilio Bacardi Museum of this city, the oldest in Cuba.

And the Mambisa Virgin, the pilgrim Caridad de El Cobre, venerated by the patriots of this region, has her altar in the church where the bravest of Cubans was baptized: Antonio Maceo y Grajales, also known as the Bronze Titan.

"It's Santiago de Cuba! / Don't be amazed at anything!", the great poet Manuel Navarro Luna would say. And those verses enclose as many legends as realities of the singular world of Santiago.

Today is July 26th and history asks to talk about a closer time: that of the boys, most of them fresh-faced, who without their own knowledge, as I said a few days ago, came to change the national history in the early morning of that carnival day in Santiago de Cuba. According to Dr. Olga Portuondo, historian of the City, it connects with the rebellion of the independence period, when the most famous popular festivals in Cuba served to mask actions and messages of the rebels against the Spanish metropolis in their necessary link with their collaborators in the city.

Taking advantage of the hustle and bustle of the carnival of 1953, the assault on the Guillermon Moncada Barracks, the second military fortress of the Batista dictatorship, took place. An action with which the Centennial Generation would start the small engine that started the big engine of the Revolution up to our days, as Fidel expressed.

Army General Raul Castro Ruz, one of the young assailants, was only 22 years old. He later described the action with the most beautiful words on the Eighth Anniversary: If Karl Marx said of the Paris communards that they tried to take the sky by storm, of the attack on the Moncada by several dozen young men armed with shotguns to kill birds, someone should say that they tried to take the sky by surprise (Applause).

Photo: Juvenal Balán

Here we are, 70 years later, in another Saint Anne morning, another dawn enlivened by congas. Without shots breaking the dawn, we enter the gardens of the Ciudad Escolar 26 de Julio, which is now a school and museum, an integrated fortress of education and culture.

It is a real privilege to walk through the events with some of its protagonists. The date, the early morning and the historical company remind us of what the young people in their early twenties experienced seven decades ago, when they took over the Barracks, the Court and the Civil Hospital.

Fidel and Abel guided the actions, which were kept a secret until the last hour. Fidel, visionary, told his comrades: "You can win in a few hours or be defeated... in any case, listen well!... the Movement will triumph. If we win tomorrow, what Martí aspired to will be done sooner. If the opposite happens, the action will serve as an example to the people of Cuba."

We are already in combat. Raul Gomez Garcia's verses stand out in the collective memory before leaving La Granjita. The assailants who do not arrive because they get lost in the unknown city; Ramiro who enters through Post 3 with those of the first car, reduces three soldiers and, when leaving, a bullet in one foot will follow him to the Sierra Maestra; the guard who breaks the surprise factor and makes the assault fail; Raul who takes command of the actions in the Court, when they seemed lost; Fidel who orders a retreat.

Then comes the revenge, the bloodbath, the crime and the abuses in the hospital. The eyes of Abel, the serene resistance of the women and the accusatory photo of Tasende wounded in the leg and later murdered. Fidel captured by an honorable military and thus saved from the massacre of Chaviano. Fidel pictured standing under the image of Martí, intellectual author of the assault.

Those who try to attack the Revolution today by accusing the Government of dictatorship should look for information on the events following the assault on this barracks and in the Bayamo barracks. Only six comrades died during the actions within these walls; 55 were brutally tortured and murdered later. The assailants of the Bayamo barracks suffered a similar fate.

Fidel denounced it before the tribunal that tried him: "They were not killed for a minute, an hour or a whole day, but rather, in a whole week: the blows, the tortures, the rooftop throws and the shootings did not cease for an instant as instruments of extermination handled by perfect craftsmen of crime. The Moncada barracks became a workshop of torture and death, and some unworthy men turned the military uniform into butchers' aprons."

The actions of July 26, 1953 were the beginning of the end of the last dictatorship installed in Cuba, with the recognition and (in)moral and material support of the United States. That is why they do not forgive the Revolution. For that reason and because they believed , with the physical disappearance of the Historic Generation, they could break national independence, international solidarity, the defense of the socialist alternative to savage capitalism.

The Moncada is the resumption of the revolution so many times frustrated since 1868 by the breakdown of unity or foreign interference. The young people who, here in Santiago or there in Bayamo, threw themselves into combat without fear, neither of bullets, nor of repression, nor of death, gave their lives, in the first place, for the Marti's ideal of conquering all justice.

Maintaining what has been conquered and advancing further is the duty of the generations responsible today for the immediate destiny of the nation that our fathers won for us.

As long as the United States keeps its brutal and genocidal blockade against Cuba and tries to trample on our national dignity, we will have a Moncada to storm! (Applause.)

As long as we do not reach a dignified level of prosperity for all Cubans, we will have a Moncada to storm! (Applause.)

Every day, every hour, every minute, we have a Moncada to storm!

This Revolution is a constant struggle against hatred: it is the most passionate defense of freedom, love and happiness. The assault on the Moncada was also one of those instances! (Applause.)

We will always stand up to confront hatred, violence, the perversity of those who do not want freedom and peace for Cuba. Since 1959, we are many more than a few dozen brave young people against Batista's tyranny. Since 1959, we are a people who defend the Revolution and socialism as the fairest way to achieve the fairest society for all (Applause).

Cuba has had to confront the imperial ambitions of its powerful neighbor for more than 200 years. Under various forms and methods, by seduction or aggression, with stick or carrot, its obsession to possess us has not ceased.

It is a behavior dictated by the very nature of imperialism, a natural enemy of the right to self-determination of peoples and of any government that really intends to develop programs of social justice. It is a fierce and implacable adversary of countries, especially in our region, that exercise their foreign policy independently.

It is a behavior of intolerant and very anti-democratic rejection of socialism and all the values that are pillars of our national identity and on which the process of independence and national sovereignty rests and would rest on July 26, 1953.

They have shown themselves to be more aggressive and more intolerant when they realize that there is no force in the world capable of making us renounce those Marxist ideals, and also those of Martí and Fidel Castro, which inspire the untiring struggle for the greatest possible social justice.

It explains the severity of the economic blockade and the current validity of the reinforcement measures established by the Donald Trump administration and maintained by the Biden administration, whose effect has elevated the policy of economic coercion that has made the blockade escalate to a more aggressive and harmful dimension.

To illustrate the severity of that policy, which the empire's spokesmen and other willing "servants of the past under a new name" try to deny loudly, I will only mention five of the most perverse measures, the most harmful to the economy and to our population:

I begin, although it is one of the most recent, with the unjustified inclusion of Cuba in the arbitrary list of the United States Government on States that allegedly sponsor terrorism. Beyond the slanderous meaning of that designation, it is known to have a very significant extraterritorial impact that harms Cuba's commercial and financial transactions in almost any part of the world.

Naming Cuba on the list does not respond to any genuine concern about the scourge of terrorism. It is an opportunistic act aimed at deeply damaging the Cuban economy.

A second is the application of the provision of Title Three of the Helms-Burton Act, which allows actions to be taken in U.S. courts against businessmen from any country that legitimately establish trade and investment relations in Cuba. It is an action aimed at preventing foreign investment and damaging our foreign trade by threatening companies from any part of the world.

A third is the persecution of fuel supplies that the country has the need and every right to import. This is an aggressive action in violation of international law, which remains in force against Cuba with a significant impact on our energy requirements for transportation, agriculture, water supply, industry and the fundamental services on which the daily life of the population depends.

The fourth measure, which illustrates the wickedness of this policy, is the intense persecution and demonization of the medical services provided by Cuban professionals in dozens of countries for the benefit of hundreds of thousands of people, mainly low-income and in less favored areas. This is an attack on an activity that is widely recognized internationally for the humanitarian benefit it offers and for contributing to the human right of access to health.

This measure seeks to slander the Revolution and deprive the country of important economic income to sustain the national public health system itself.

A fifth and final example of these measures is the existence of an arbitrary list of Cuban entities with which Americans are prohibited from dealing with. It is a measure directed fundamentally against the tourist sector and seeks to limit income to the economy in this way.

These are just illustrative examples. They are all arbitrary and punitive decisions. That is why they provoke, together with the blockade as a whole, universal rejection, reiterated in multiple international forums.

The reason is on Cuba's side. The blockade and hostility isolate the United States, but its effects can be lethal for an economy with limited resources.

When we observe the expressions of support and solidarity that the Cuban nation receives from any corner of the planet, we feel reasons to consider that we are fortunate, that our work, our trajectory and our commitment are references for those who face and fight against injustice in many parts of the world. In spite of the current difficulties, in spite of the overwhelming effort to suffocate us, in spite of the powerful machinery of communication that in the service of imperialism is dedicated to discredit us, in the useless effort to demoralize us and break the authority that Cuba has earned as a political and moral power. That is the example of Cuba!

We will always feel deeply grateful to have by our side, those friends who have risked and are risking everything for the fate of Cuba. I am speaking of the peoples in struggle, whose representatives are here with us this July 26 without asking for comforts and almost always supporting us in volunteer work under the intense summer heat, this year more scorching than ever.

From this tribune, an embrace and the grateful applause of Cuba for the sisters and brothers infalt

From this rostrum, an embrace and the grateful applause of Cuba for the unfailing sisters and brothers: Gail Walker and the Pastors for Peace Caravan representing the noblest of the American people (Applause); the Juan Rius Rivera Brigade, of the brave Puerto Ricans threatened and harassed by the colonial government (Applause); the 28th Latin American and Caribbean Brigade of Solidarity with Cuba (Applause and exclamations of: "Long live socialist Cuba! "(Applause); the Caravana group from Brazil (Applause), the youth brigades from Belgium and Germany, among many others.

Thank you, sisters and brothers! Cuba's resistance, I will say it again and again, is also a merit of you who give us encouragement (Applause).

People of Santiago:

This celebration of the 70th Anniversary of Moncada you have earned it for your history, but also, and very especially, for the work and the results in a period of serious limitations for the whole country.

It was not only Santiago because it is the heart of this history, and 70 years is a very significant date; it is Santiago, as the Political Bureau informed at the time of approving the celebrations, for being also at the forefront of the most outstanding provinces in Cuba, a recognition shared by Cienfuegos and Sancti Spiritus, for their stability and progress in the main tasks, and also the recognition to Ciego de Avila and Matanzas. Our congratulations to the people of those Cuban provinces! (Applause).

The good performance of these territories does not mean in any way that there are no problems in them, but they are distinguished by the way they face them with the aim of overcoming them and moving forward.

As for Santiago de Cuba, we know, as the Army General who knows and loves them best has said so many times, that Santiago is still Santiago! (Applause) That dissatisfaction is part of the spirit of rebellion that distinguishes them and that there are still many Moncada to be stormed to solve all the problems that beset us!

But coming back here again and again in the last years and months we always find progress and a province that has jumped over the hard shortages of the country, surpassing others in fundamental sectors such as Agriculture, Education and Health.

A province that has maintained its beauty and hygiene and that has worked in the transformation of its neighborhoods with social debts with the same passion that its baseball players play in the Guillermón Moncada, or dance tightly behind the drums, the cowbell and the Chinese cornet when the Cocuyé is played from La Trocha to Enramadas, or in the Fiesta del Caribe, also called the Fiesta del Fuego (Applause).

You have done well, people of Santiago, and surely you can do better!

As we discussed in the National Assembly, the people are waiting for answers on issues that today affect the standard of living and the daily life of all that we can solve without waiting for the blockade to be lifted. The battle against illegalities, crime and, above all, for the increase in the supply of consumer goods to fight inflation is a difficult Moncada that we have the duty to take on here and throughout the country. Cuba deserves it, and those who one day came to this barracks to change history for the good of all, are waiting for us to do so! (Applause).

On this sentiment I would like to share with you something that Haydee Santamaría once said: "There is that moment when everything can be beautiful and heroic (...). And at that moment one can risk everything to preserve what really matters, which is the passion that brought us to Moncada, and that is named after them, that looks like them, that has its welcoming and strong hands, that has its truth in words and that can be called Abel, Renato, Boris, Mario or have any other name, but always at that moment and in those that will follow it can be called Cuba.

"And there is that other moment in which neither torture, nor humiliation, nor threat can defeat that passion that brought us to Moncada" (Applause).

Good Cubans, patriots, compatriots, people of Saniago:

Let us ratify here, before those assailants of the Moncada barracks 70 years ago who still accompany us, and on the earth that keeps the blood or the ashes of those who are no longer here, to preserve and protect the memory of those who gave their lives so that we could be definitively free, in that act of surrender that still moves us.

Since July 26, 1953, the best of each generation has lived facing the challenges and difficulties imposed by the times, with the spirit that was revealed in the Moncada, the idea of Fidel that will never abandon us: The setback can be turned into victory! (Applause).

Finally, with Fidel we repeat his words to Santiago when he presented the title of Hero to the City: "May your heroism, your patriotism and your revolutionary spirit always be an example for all Cubans! May what we learned here always be the heroic slogan of our people: Homeland or Death! "May what we learned here on that glorious January 1st always await us: victory!

"Thank you, Santiago!"

Long live the Cuban Revolution!" (Applause and exclamations of: "Long live!").

Homeland or Death!

(Exclamations of: "We shall overcome!")


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