Esteemed Foreign Ministers and Heads of Delegations of ALBA-TCP member countries;
Distinguished guests to this Fifteenth Meeting of ALBA-TCP Political Council;
Today, April 10, is a most inspiring day for Cuba: it marks the 125th anniversary of the foundation of the Cuban Revolutionary Party by José Martí; it was formed to “achieve absolute independence for the island of Cuba and to aid and encourage that of Puerto Rico through the combined efforts of all men of good will”. He was bent on the creation of “a new nation able to defeat, through the order that stems from meaningful work and a balance of social forces, the dangers of sudden liberty in a society built upon slavery.”
By invoking Marti’s appeal to unity and organization for long-lasting struggle and solidarity among those who struggle for emancipation, we Cubans welcome you to Havana in difficult times which precisely require those three virtues that the Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution, Comrade Fidel, taught us to defend: unity, organization and solidarity.
The Fourteenth Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Alliance held on March 5th in Caracas provided us with a declaration that is a powerful guide for action, to ride out the times facing Our America and to confront the dangers that are hovering over our peoples, particularly those who, by expressing their will at the ballot box, have formed a government and are now being harassed by oligarchies, by imperialism and by its instruments of domination.
In the Declaration of Caracas, born out of our most recent meetings and discussions contains the keys to jointly confront the new imperial agenda against the region, to avert the attacks launched against left-wing and progressive governments and to prevent turning back all the achievements attained by our peoples in the course of the last twenty years.
The Declaration of Caracas could not be more relevant when it affirms, and I quote: “popular democratic processes headed by left-wing governments, political forces and movements face a new offensive launched by imperialism, transnational capital and national oligarchies. The decline of imperial hegemonism, the impacts of the international systematic crisis and the fall in the prices of our export commodities, particularly hydrocarbons, impose new challenges. These are generated by the same forces that created poverty, exclusion and the dependence of our nations and imposed on us invasions and dictatorships to consolidate their power.”
The Declaration continues:
“During all these years and against our resistance, neoliberalism has not ceased in its efforts to expand its financial logic: this is not about a theory of development; it is the doctrine of the all-out plunder of our peoples. Under neoliberalism, the world economy has not grown in real terms. Instead, instability, speculation, foreign debt, unequal exchange, ever more frequent financial crises, poverty, inequality and the abyss between the opulent North and the dispossessed South have increased.”
The text continues:
“Resurgence of neoliberalism has revived the worst conservatism, reactivated fundamentalism, xenophobia, racism and militarism. This policy is being financed by foreign companies and governments. The scientific and technological progress has led to a high level of political and communicational coordination between imperialists and oligarchs to manipulate the masses and attack our cultures. New faces, instruments and methods are causing confusion among voters and distort electoral results.”
The Declaration of Caracas reads as follows:
“Right-wing parties are using the legislative, judicial and media power as platforms for conspiracies; they are unscrupulously doing away with the democratic order they used to support; they impose new adjustments through privatizations and mass lay-outs and promote the articulation of political subversion.”
“Corruption, which was fought by the left-wing and progressive organizations and movements of the region before taking power and against which they have had to struggle very hard once they are in office, is being politically manipulated with the purpose of criminalizing and demoralizing organizations and leaders. There are some who use it as a pretext to attack the effectiveness, justice and efficiency of public administrations, thus affecting the citizens’ confidence in their institutions and their participation. Others escape as they immorally hide their capitals in fiscal havens.”
“We should strongly denounce and combat all of them as we improve our efforts to strengthen a good management of public and collective assets. Social control over these assets should be taken on as a priority in all member countries of ALBA-TCP. Coping with that phenomenon is crucial and should be part of our integrity and our ethics as we work for the prosperity of our nations.”
The Declaration of the Fourteenth Summit of ALBA-TCP continues as follows:
“The main attack is being launched against the Bolivarian Revolution. The US arbitrary sanctions against Venezuela, particularly against its Executive Vice-President, comrade Tareck El Aissami, should be cancelled. The inexplicable executive order signed by the US President declaring Venezuela as an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security of that country, should be abrogated. Venezuela is the cradle of the freedom of Our America, a promoter of regional integration and a stronghold of anti-imperialism. The defense of Venezuela and its Revolution is not exclusive to Venezuelans. It is a cause that calls upon all of us who fight for true independence in Latin America and the Caribbean. The Ayacucho Battle of the Twenty First century is being waged in Venezuela today.” End of quote.
The swift evolution of recent events and the threats to the postulates of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as Zone of Peace, signed in this same city three years ago, highlight the importance of the Declaration of Caracas and give this Council Meeting new meaning and urgency in order to discuss everything going on, particularly the threats launched against the Bolivarian Revolution and the role to be played by the Alliance.
It would seem as if there are two Venezuelas: one of them, the real one, the one of its people and the civic-military union, of ALBA-TCP, PetroCaribe, the Association of Caribbean States, the Human Rights Council and the UN Special Committee of 24, the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States and the Non-Aligned Movement; and the other which has been fabricated by the Organization of American States, the media and other powerful international powers.
We have been witness to the discredit that is rampant within the OAS, the shady deals and the whimsical and cynical manipulation even of its rules, as well as the perverse, unworthy and vulgar performance of its Secretary-General who has joined the claque of imperial interests, political Miami mafias and vulgar mercenaries.
Thanks to Venezuela, ALBA and PetroCaribe many countries didn’t go through a blackout during the darkest hours, and millions of our compatriots have learned to read and write, while others recovered the light of their eyes and have started to have access to dignified and non-profit health care and the mass practice of sports and enjoyment of culture, and they are growing and learning from our aboriginal cultures, showing that there is no better path than the one we build on our own.
What does the OAS know about all this? What has the OAS done for us? What will that organization, which endorsed the blockade and the aggressions against Cuba, the attempted coup d’états in Venezuela, Ecuador and Bolivia, the dirty war against Nicaragua or the invasions against Grenada and Haiti, know about solidarity?
Other urgent matters are also motivating us: the support required by the Ecuadoran people and its Citizens’ Revolution after recently winning an election in which all the political, social, economic and human achievements attained during the last ten years were at stake; as well as the necessary support for Nicaragua, faced with the plots of ultra-reactionary mafias within the US Congress; the defense of the dignity and the legitimate interests of our small sister island nations in the Caribbean which are subject to pressures exerted by imperialist financial centers.
I invite you to discuss all of that in the same spirit that prevailed during the recent meeting in Caracas of our Heads of State and government; I invite you to organize and to better coordinate our actions. I also invite you to share practical solutions, such as the project to create the Fund for Assistance to Migrants which is intended to help our compatriots in distress and to challenge the brutal policies of the North.
On behalf of President Raúl Castro, I welcome you to Havana on this day of intense work for the Greater Homeland.
Our strength is and will be our unity.
Thank you very much.