Photo: Yaimí Ravelo

Speech by Homero Acosta Álvarez, Secretary of the Council of State, during the presentation ceremony of the José Martí Order to the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa Delgado, at the Palace of the Revolution, May 5, 2017, “Year 59 of the Revolution”

(Council of State transcript / GI translation)

Compañero Rafael Correa Delgado, President of the Republic of Ecuador;

Compañero Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, President of the Councils of State and Ministers of the Republic of Cuba;

Distinguished members of the Ecuadoran delegation;

Ecuadoran and Cuban compañeras and compañeros:

Today we receive and decorate the President of the sister Republic of Ecuador and leader of the Citizens’ Revolution, who led his people when they sought new paths of emancipation for their homeland and who, as a minister and faced with the ethical option to serve or betray the people, resigned from his post to found the Patria Altiva y Soberana (PAIS) movement, with which he overcame the partitocracy, led the people to power, introduced transformations in the economy and society and modified the political-legal foundations of the state, which resulted in enormous popular support.

Together with other regional leaders, Correa helped to promote spaces such as UNASUR and CELAC, to defend the independence of our homelands, to advance solidary integration and economic and social development. He also joined ALBA-TCP, as a space for unity, consensus and regional integration.

In his effort to maintain and enhance the achievements of the Citizens’ Revolution, he denounced the voracity of transnationals and the financial exploitation of the centers of imperialist power; he confronted courageously, intelligently and with faith in victory, an attempted coup and all kinds of destabilizing actions by the right wing opposition and transnational capital.

When he came to power, there already existed ties between Cuba and Ecuador, born of a common history and dreams, which had their highest expression in the relationship between José Martí, Antonio Maceo and Eloy Alfaro. These bonds were cemented in the blood of Ecuadorans who fought and died for the independence of Cuba, in the close friendship between Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro and the painter Oswaldo Guayasamín, and in the many gestures of mutual solidarity between the two countries, whose most recent examples are seen in Santiago de Cuba and in Manabí and other coastal provinces of Ecuador.

Correa transformed the excellent relations between Ecuador and Cuba into an example of fraternity and solidarity among sister nations that respect each other. We never forget his forceful denunciations of the blockade against our country. It is impossible to ignore his defense of the Five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters. We always remember his dignified and courageous attitude against the isolation of Cuba, when he refused to attend the 6th Summit of the Americas.

In virtue of the merits of this friend of Cuba and the Cuban Revolution, of his values and commitment to his ideas and his people, for whom we know he will continue to fight in the future, the Council of State of the Republic of Cuba, on the proposal of its President, agreed to award him the José Martí Order, which exalts those who fight for independence, freedom and anti-imperialist solidarity among the peoples of Our America.

With this act, the Cuban government and people reiterate their unconditional solidarity with the Ecuadoran government and people, who we will always accompany, and we ask you, President Correa, to accept this as a sincere gesture of respect and friendship toward Ecuador.