Cuba: The Homeland of Solidarity

By Yaimi Ravelo  on January 28, 2023 from Havana

My country is not for sale. All photos by: Yaimi Ravelo

“If Homeland is Humanity, Cuba is the Homeland of Solidarity”; that is the spirit that filled the V International Conference for the Balance of the World since its inauguration last Tuesday, January 24 at the Convention Palace in Havana.

Marti’s phrase paraphrased by Brazilian theologian Frei Betto was echoed in the voices of more than a thousand delegates who participated in the Solidarity Commission that met this Friday in the framework of this international event.

“It is an honor to share with you the struggle for dreams and hope for a better world, a world of peace and social justice for all,” said Fernando Gonzalez Llort, president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP).

The Hero of the Republic of Cuba considered that the large participation of people from all continents of the planet is a sign of the international support that Cuba and its Revolution have despite the global crisis that is hitting humanity.

“Cuba has stoically resisted the intensification of unilateral sanctions promoted by the Trump administration and opportunistically maintained by his successor Joe Biden.

Along with the tightening of the blockade, the open policy of subversion promoted and the attempts undertaken to destabilize the internal order in Cuba have been evident.

We have lived in the last years under the permanent harassment of a huge media campaign that tries to overshadow our achievements and magnify our difficulties”, expressed Gonzalez.

You are opposing all this under very difficult conditions for the mere fact of raising your voice in favor of Cuba.

The ICAP president thanked the political and moral support of the friends of Cuba, and the valuable help coming from the solidarity that the Cuban people have received after fatal accidents and the pandemic.

Oscar Lopez Rivera

The Solidarity Commission panel was also chaired by Oscar Lopez Rivera, Puerto Rican hero and former political prisoner in the USA; Gail Walker, president of Pastors for Peace; Dr. Manuel Enrique Rodriguez Llata, researcher at the Fidel Castro Center; Raul Antonio Capote, Cuban journalist and David Deutchmann, president of Editorial Ocean Press/South, who presented the 4th edition of the book “Solidarity without Borders”.

With the presence of Rogelio Polanco, Head of the Ideological Department of the CCPCC, Emilio Lozada García, Head of the International Relations Department of the CCPCC and representatives of the Embassy of Palestine in Cuba, the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, the delegates honored the Cuban apostle José Martí on the 170th anniversary of his birth and Commander Fidel Castro as a precursor of international solidarity.

A testimony of injustice

“For me it is an honor to be here. As a Puerto Rican I have lived a strong life, with a lot of love, and I have also lived a painful life because of what the U.S. government has done to us,” said Oscar López Rivera, hero of the Puerto Rican resistance.

That government that has done so much damage to us that it is the worst enemy anyone can find in the world. Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico have not yet reached the courage to collectively say ‘we cannot tolerate this occupation in our homeland any longer and we cannot allow the U.S. government to be the one who governs us, we are in a very hard stage.

Puerto Rico is not for sale, Puerto Rico is not for sale, we are not selling our homeland to anyone,” exclaimed Oscar López, who received a standing ovation from the audience.

We prefer to die standing up fighting, we are not going to allow them to do to us what they have done for all these years since 1898. It has been many years, I have seen Puerto Ricans lose their lives forced to serve the U.S. government, I want you to know that I was forced to go to Vietnam, it was not because I wanted to go to Vietnam.

If I did not go to Vietnam it was 5 years in federal prison, if there is a great injustice in the world it is to put an innocent person in prison. American prisons are filled with them and they are the worst prisons in the world.

I spent 36 years in prison, not two or three, but I spent 5 of those years with this comrade who is a brother to me,” he said about Fernando González Llort, who embraced him deeply.

I live with the hope of seeing a better and fairer world. I believe that if we fight, unite and use solidarity, we will find the way to defeat the enemy and it would be a better and fairer world”.

Debate on the value of Solidarity and in defense of just causes.

The heart-wrenching testimony of the Puerto Rican hero was the beginning of a myriad of denunciations, among them the repression suffered by the people of Peru that has lost more than 60 lives demanding respect for democracy.

The delegates also raised their voices for the human beings who suffer the atrocities of imperialism in their countries and communities. They are living witnesses of oppression and colonialism in the 21st century.

The recent massacre of the Palestinian people perpetuated by the Zionist army in the West Bank, where 9 Palestinians died, was denounced by Majed Abu Aljawa, first secretary of the Palestinian embassy in Cuba.

A few days before the beginning of the year 2023, the Israeli army had assassinated 29 Palestinians in the course of the month in the framework of military incursions in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, among whom five children were victims of the cruel genocide.

The Palestinian cause is embraced by progressive forces around the world. The mainstream media conceals the intentions of the State of Israel as a way to erase the Palestinian nation from the Middle East.

The Solidarity Commission also raised its voice for the Saharawi people.

The Saharawi conflict is facing a serious situation due to the occupation of the Moroccan army and the continuous blockades of the Peace Process, in an attempt to find a permanent solution which guarantees the right of the Saharawi people to self-determination and independence.

The chargé d’affaires of the embassy of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic, Mohamed Lamin Mulay, thanked the Cuban government for its unconditional support for the Saharawi cause.

In his intervention he affirmed that his people under the leadership of the Polisario Front will take up arms to increase military capabilities on the different open fronts with the aim of achieving definitive victory over the Moroccan occupation troops.

Mulay also condemned the unjust blockade suffered by the people of Cuba as part of the hostile policy towards the island by the US government.

“We are a single homeland, the Patria Grande that our liberators dreamed of, heroes and heroines who have offered their lives regardless of those divisions forced on us by the northern country,” stated Yhonny García Calle, National Coordinator of the Venezuela-Cuba Friendship and Mutual Solidarity Movement and Coordinator of the Latin American and Caribbean Continental Network of Solidarity with Cuba and the Just Causes.

We are men and women of good, who have in Martí the light and guide for the struggle of the peoples of the world,” he said.

García Calle went on to denounce the economic and financial commercial blockade imposed by the United States on the island, the return of the territory of Guantánamo to its legitimate owner without conditions, he demanded the exclusion of Cuba from the list of countries promoting terrorism.

The Venezuelan militant also denounced the sanctions imposed by the US government on his country, demanded the return of Venezuelan financial assets kidnapped by orders of the White House and the release of Alex Saab, Venezuelan diplomat kidnapped by the US.

Relations between Cuba and the United States of America

Johana Tablada

The afternoon session of the Solidarity Commission featured a keynote lecture given by Johana Tablada, Deputy Director General of the US Directorate of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs who described the U.S. foreign policy towards the island as “of maximum pressure”. She pointed out that this type of aggression leads us to shortages of all kinds, from the lack of supplies in hospitals -because suppliers with whom we have historically traded with have failed to fulfill their commitments- to the enormous difficulty the country is going through to provide the entire population with the essential foodstuffs to live.

The Cuban head of state expressed her gratitude for the international solidarity of the activists and governments that constantly denounce the blockade imposed by the US, to which they sent medicines, syringes for vaccination in the confrontation with Covid 19, and requested the sending of Cuban medical brigades to their countries.

With regard to the list of State sponsors of terrorism, in which Cuba is still included by the U.S. government, she pointed out that it is a great injustice, because Cuba has been one of the main victims of that scourge, promoted and sponsored by the U.S. governments.

“Because of that inclusion, more than 40 banks in the world have cancelled services with Cuban and foreign embassies and companies that maintained operations with the Island, thus directly affecting our people,” he said.

“The U.S. Government took advantage of the pandemic to achieve the destabilization of Cuba, to make the Health systems collapse, to try to provoke a situation of desperation in the population.”

“The Government of Cuba only asks that they respect our right to be independent, sovereign and to be a socialist country”. However, “that does not change the Cuban position of advocating bilateral understanding”.

In the debates and denunciations in the Solidarity Commission for this V International Conference for the Balance of the World, the participation of comrades from Brazil, Angola, Barbados, Bonaire, French Guyana, Zimbabwe, Egypt, USA, Ecuador, Tanzania, among others, was outstanding.

The V International Conference for the Balance of the World will conclude this today with a tribute to the birthday of the master of the leader of International Solidarity.

Source: Cuba en Resumen