Editor’s note: The following is the English translation of the message of President Miguel Díaz-Canel of Cuba to the People’s Summit for Democracy, held in Los Angeles during June 8-10 as a counter-event to Washington’s exclusionary Summit of the Americas. The Cuban president’s message was broadcast in the closing ceremony of the People’s Summit, on June 10.
Manolo, named in the Cuban president’s address, is Manolo de los Santos, director of The People’s Forum, who was one of the principal organizers of the People’s Summit.
Dear Manolo, comrades participating in the People’s Summit,
I was not wrong when I said that I would not be at the Summit of the Americas but the voice of Cuba certainly will be.
You are our voice. The Revolution has always had it very clear: where governments deprive us of our voice, peoples will be there to represent us, to speak on our behalf. This has been the case since the times of the Ministry of Colonies, when there were governments that were pushed by the empire to break relations with Cuba, and they ended up by obeying the order of the master, with the honorable exception of Mexico.
The ICAP—the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples—was born from this understanding.
Solidarity is not just a principle that is inseparable from the revolutionary praxis. It is the most formidable weapon for those of us who believe in the power of the masses, in the telluric force of mobilized peoples and the inspiring struggle for social justice.
Wherever there are peoples in struggle, Cuba will be there. And wherever Cuba is, there will be people in struggle.
The struggle that we share today dates back centuries, and has cost of the blood of the best sons and daughters of the Great Homeland. The struggle is waged against the powerful neighbor’s attempts to recolonize our American nations. It is waged against the spirit of the Monroe Doctrine that continues to guide the United States and its political approach to our region. It is waged against the imperialist policies of sanctions and punishments for governments that do not yield to such designs. It is waged against the aspirations of the US politicians to become police and supreme judges, determined to establish who should be our leaders and even our civil society.
Cuba was the first Latin American nation excluded from the hemispheric alliances for having rebelled against the empire. Others tried to do the same before, and were subject to coup d’états, dictatorships and transnational operations of terror, like Operation Condor.
Cuba was expelled from the OAS; it was separated from its natural environment. Several aggressions were financed, and are still financed against the Revolution. We are the honorable survivors of 63 years of blockade and, to the disgrace of that powerful empire, which is 30 times bigger than our island, we are among the countries of the hemisphere with the best levels of education, health, as well as our own scientific development.
Today, Venezuela is also being arrogantly punished. It has been robbed of its savings and its assets abroad, and its legitimate government has not been recognized. Vicious attacks have been launched to strangle Nicaragua, a nation that has faced so many attempts of conquest in history and where at some point in time a dictatorship that was strongly sponsored by Washington was imposed.
People are wise. People have memory. The people who have organized a summit that the empire wanted to prevent, as well as the proud governments that did not silence their denunciations and raised their voices also in our behalf, understand that where there used to be one punished nation before, now there are three, and tomorrow there will be ten. However, if the peoples close ranks, the mythical giant in its seven-league boots that floats around in the sky devouring worlds, shall not pass.
Thanks to that understanding, the 9th Summit of the Americas was not exactly what its organizers expected. Solidarity was ever more present also where it had not been invited, where it was not wanted.
Therefore, I would ask you to share our most sincere appreciation with the governments of the region that firmly opposed the exclusions of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua from the Summit of the Americas. Deserving our special recognition are President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico; the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves; the Presidents of Bolivia, Lucho Arce, and Honduras, Xiomara Castro; as well as the many leaders and heads of Caribbean and Latin American delegations who, during the Summit itself, have rejected the exclusion of Cuba and the criminal blockade against our people.
The United States is not the enemy. The United States of workers, indigenous peoples and immigrants, who have also been excluded, not once but day after day, by the merciless empire of the market; that United States that you are showing to us, a rebellious, insubordinate, pro-active and fraternal United States, is our natural sister; is not, and will never be, our enemy.
Thank you, brothers and sisters, for showing what the poweful have wanted to censor and hide for so long. Thank you for giving a voice to the excluded. Thank you for painting the horizon with hope. Thank you for ratifying to us, once again, that a better world is possible.
From the bottom of my heart, Manolo, comrades, thank you very much.