Cuba Is Not Indifferent to the Massacre in Gaza

By Alejandra Garcia on November 19, 2023 from Havana

President Diaz Canel receives a keffiyeh from a Palestinian medical student.

In little more than a month, 12,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israel, including 5,000 children, before the passive gaze of the governments of the world. It is the people of these countries who are protesting in large numbers for an end to the conflict that is leaving Palestine in ruins, in almost non-existent living conditions. Every day, thousands and hundreds of thousands of demonstrators around the world take to the streets in favor of peace, and Cuba does not remain indifferent either, as our government and the people call in one voice for a cease-fire and the self determination of the Palestinian people.

On Friday, in a gesture of profound respect, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel and other leaders invited 144 young Palestinians studying medicine in Cuba to a meeting at the Palace of the Revolution . And it was emotional and heartbreaking.

“What a shame of humanity. Tears and even words are not enough to alleviate the pain of the Palestinian people who are being wiped out in an act of extermination perpetrated by Israel,” the Cuban president stressed.

photo: Ricardo-Lopez-Hevia

Fifty-three out of the 144 Palestinians who attended the meeting live in the Gaza Strip. This is the case of Maria, 22, who has already witnessed four wars in her country. She expressed her gratitude for the act of solidarity at the Palace of the Revolution, one of the many others that have taken place throughout the Caribbean country in support of the Palestinian people since October 6.

“In Gaza, mothers carry their children twice: once in their wombs and once in their shrouds. It’s hard to be away from family, but my mother has asked me to continue studying, not to give up, because medicine is the noblest job in the world. ‘Raise up your name and the name of Palestine, she told me,” the young student recounted.

Mohammed Ahmed Zannoun, who has been in Cuba for nine months, told how he and his friends cannot let the day go by without talking to their families. “What do we Palestinians want? A free homeland. We are not asking for anything else,” he said, adding how grateful he and his fellow students are for Cuba’s support amid so much indifference from the international community.

One prevailing sentiment prevailed in the auditorium. “Our territory won’t be razed to the ground, and our people won’t be exterminated because there will always be a combatant left standing.” And an image prevailed as well; that of  the students placed on the shoulders of the Cuban leaders a traditional keffiyeh that symbolizes the Palestinian people, the same item that Fidel once wore on the shoulders of his uniform.

“We Cubans learned to defend the Palestinian cause from the internationalist and humanist vision of the historic leader of our Revolution, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, who was always a friend of that nation that demands its right to self-determination,” the president declared.

This Friday, the Cuban and Palestinian flags also illuminated the facade of the José Martí monument in the emblematic Plaza de la Revolución, thanks to renowned Cuban artists.

The island has expressed on numerous occasions its unconditional support for the right of Palestine to be a free and sovereign state, with its capital in East Jerusalem and in pre-1967 borders. This yearning has been frustrated by the interference of US-backed Israel, whose land confiscation, illegal settlements, and widespread discrimination have inflicted suffering on the Palestinian population, stripping them of their fundamental rights.

“We strongly condemn Israel’s genocide. We will accompany Palestine in fulfilling its dream. As Fidel once said, it is time to put an end to the philosophy of dispossession so that the philosophy of war dies due to lack of incentives,” the Cuban president concluded.

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano – English