The 8th Continental Forum in Solidarity with Cuba opened Friday in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, with the participation of 370 delegates from 25 countries as other delegations continue to arrive today.
The rector of Santo Domingo´s Autonomous University, hosting the forum, Ivan Grullon acknowledged Cuba´s support with other countries of the world as he addressed the opening session.
The coordinator of the forum´s organizing committee Ivan Rodriguez said that the event is dedicated to commanders Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez as participants will demand the end of the over-50-year US economic, commercial and financial blockade of Cuba.
“The countries of The Americas are here today to tell the world that Cuba, the most supportive nation in modern history, is not alone and that the criminal blockade has been the worst human rights violation against over 11 million Cubans,” he noted.
Meanwhile, the president of the Cuban Friendship Institute, Kenia Serrano thanked the huge solidarity by all participants at the forum and insisted that the Cuban message to the gathering is that of keeping consolidating the struggle by all movements of solidarity amidst the counter-offensive unleashed by the rightwing to stop the advancement of the progressive nations.
Serrano also called for the biggest efforts to support the independence of Puerto Rico and to fight for the release of Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera, who has served 35 years in a US jail. She also called for support of Venezuela, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina and Haiti.
The opening session of the forum was presided over by the president of the Dominican Senate Cristina Lizardo; the head of the Puerto Rican Solidarity-with-Cuba Committee, Milagros Rivera and by Cuban Hero Fernando Gonzalez, among other personalities.