Celac is a Work of All, Strengthening it is a Necessity that Cannot be Postponed

By Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez on January 24, 2023 from Buenos Aires

Cuban President Miguel Diaz Canel, photo presidencia

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, photo presidencia

Dear President Alberto Fernández:

Your Excellencies Heads of State and Government and other heads of delegation:

Dear Latin American and Caribbean friends:

Returning to Buenos Aires for this meeting of nations is a cause for joy, even more so after the days of collective euphoria that overflowed its enormous avenues for a triumph that we feel as our own in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The joy is completed and honored with the full reincorporation of Brazil by decision of our beloved Lula, to whom we express our full support and solidarity in the face of the violent and anti-democratic acts that sought to generate chaos and disrespect to the majority will of the Brazilian people, who elected him president.

We are united and convoked by the indispensable Latin American and Caribbean integration, in this diverse and inclusive mechanism; sustained by a profound vocation for independence.

In Washington, the determination to divide, stigmatize and subordinate us to their interests persists, almost 200 years after the Monroe Doctrine was promulgated. This was evidenced by the exclusive hemispheric meeting held in Los Angeles, where, abusing its power as host and closing its eyes and ears to the demands of the majority, it excluded, fractured and ignored us.

The political failure of that meeting demonstrated the isolation of the strategy of hegemonism and domination, as opposed to the feeling of unity and sovereignty shared by our nations.

Cuba has been reiterating in all international meetings the dangerous escalation of actions that seek to eternalize imperialist hegemonism by attacking multilateralism and peace.

The stubborn reality will always be stronger than any attempt to divide us, because we share challenges derived from an unjust, plundering and anti-democratic international order, which prevents us from overcoming the alarming levels of poverty, unemployment, food insecurity and exclusion that characterize the economic and social panorama of the region, still the most unequal on the planet.

It is therefore urgent to close ranks and project a strategic vision, as has been called for here, towards economic, social and cultural integration that will enable us to move towards sustainable development.

We should ask ourselves what prevents us from complementing each other, stimulating intra-regional trade and boosting investments in areas of common interest?

It is urgent to find fair solutions to the foreign debt problem; and it is essential to demand the cessation of unilateral coercive measures and illegal blockades.

In the face of a hegemonic cultural model, we must defend our broad and rich culture, the genuine fruit of centuries of tradition and miscegenation, and the cornerstone of the process of emancipation and integration of our peoples.

In the complex and challenging post-pandemic world, which globally suffers the serious economic, political and social repercussions of military conflicts and the unstoppable impacts of climate change, the only possibility for those of us who come from a common colonial and neocolonial past is unity.

In this sense, Cuba supports as an interesting and useful project the idea of constituting the Latin American Medicines Agency.

Dear colleagues:

The government of the United States insists on destroying the development model that we Cubans have sovereignly decided to build, through a cruel, illegitimate, illegal and immoral policy of economic asphyxiation.

It uses its technological hegemony and control of the media and digital platforms to carry out destabilization operations, an unprecedented media war and to promote the so-called “regime change”, with the support of tens of millions of dollars from the federal budget.

Its unfounded and unilateral decision to include Cuba in the spurious list of States that allegedly sponsor terrorism severely impacts our development aspirations.

I thank once again this Community and its member states for their forceful call for the removal of Cuba from the list and the lifting of the blockade.

Cuba will not be intimidated by such aggressions. We will not betray the history of resistance, dignity and defense of social justice that made the Cuban Revolution an emancipating force for human beings.

We do not limit ourselves to resist. Cuba has not stopped creating, in the hard years of confronting the pandemic and the blockade intensified by 243 measures applied by the Trump administration. Vaccines, dozens of new medicines and disease care protocols, as well as new equipment and treatments, confirm the value of that creative resistance.

Distinguished colleagues:

We are encouraged by the changes in the regional political landscape, oriented towards social justice and the search for peace and sovereignty.

At this time, the Peruvian people deserve our attention and solidarity and it is up to our Peruvian brothers and sisters to find solutions to their challenges by themselves.

With the ample arguments that history offers us, I also say that we do not recognize, nor will we recognize any authority whatsoever in the OAS, which is the organization that, in the service of the United States, supported and supports military interventions, coups d’état and interference in Latin America and the Caribbean against popular and legitimate governments. The OAS is the organization that did nothing against the murders, torture, forced disappearances and persecution of social, progressive and leftist leaders of the region, which will remain forever in our memory.

Cuba has repeatedly ratified, but it goes without saying today, the support and the strongest solidarity with the legitimate governments of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia, subjected to persistent attempts of destabilization.

Likewise, we support the just demands for reparations for the damages of slavery and colonialism of our Caribbean brothers, who need and deserve a fair, special and differentiated treatment.

We will always support the noble causes: the independence of Puerto Rico; stability and peace in Haiti, based on full respect for its sovereignty; the peace process in Colombia; and Argentina’s right over the Malvinas, South Sandwich and South Georgia Islands and the surrounding maritime areas.

We repudiate the actions and threats against the delegation of President Nicolas Maduro, denounced by the Venezuelan government.

And from the beloved Argentina, whose women have marked the regional history with unparalleled heroism, I convey all our solidarity and support to Vice President Cristina Fernandez.

Latin American and Caribbean friends:

Under the leadership of Argentina and its president, Alberto Fernandez, Celac experienced remarkable progress in 2022, which we must continue to consolidate. We extend our full support to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and to Brother Ralph Gonsalves during his Presidency of Celac in 2023, always guided by the maxim of unity in diversity, solidarity and cooperation, with strict adherence to the postulates of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.

You can also count on Cuba as Chairman of the Group of 77 plus China during this year, in which we will work tirelessly to worthily represent the interests of the nations of the South.

We are inspired by the integrationist ideals of the Latin American and Caribbean heroes. Celac is the work of all of us. Strengthening it is an urgent necessity and a shared duty to achieve the unity and integration of what Martí called Our America.

Thank you very much

Source: Cubadebate, translation Resumen Latinoamericano – US