As faithful followers of José Martí, Cuban delegates to the 8th Summit of the Americas parallel forums, in representation of organizations of Cuba's civil society and people, come to this Plaza to pay tribute to the forefathers and precursors of the homeland, in Lima, Peru, first country in the Americas to recognize the Republic of Cuba in Arms, when the struggle for our independence had just begun.
We do so in deep gratitude to the Peruvian people, for the contribution of their history and traditions to the formation of Latin American identity, and for the share of blood, conviction, and principles that several of their sons contributed to our independence, and the defense of our sovereignty and self-determination.
Our peoples are united also by relations of solidarity, established in difficult moments, on the occasion of natural disasters. Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz was one of the first to donate blood for victims of the 1970 earthquake and thousands of Cubans joined him. Our health collaborators traveled on this occasion to assist those affected, as they would again in 2007, three days after the Ica earthquake, and last year following the Piura floods.
Cubans are grateful for the solidarity and help to those affected by Hurricane Irma in 2017, as well as the ongoing support of the Peruvian people and government in the battle against the U.S. economic, commercial, financial blockade of our country.
We are joined as well by other experiences of cooperation in the areas of sports, education, and culture, as well as the rich life we shared with more than 25,000 Peruvians who received eye surgery in our country and the 1,864 professionals in various specialties who studied in Cuba.
Our delegation, which includes representatives of youth, students, workers, farmers, cooperatives, self-employed, intellectuals, academics, religious leaders and professionals, among others, will participate in the parallel forums and the Summit of the Peoples with a great sense of responsibility and constructive spirit, to contribute the experience of the Cuban Revolution that has, over almost 60 years, constructed a consensus in favor of our political, economic, and social system, forged through participative, socialist democracy, in which human beings constitutes the highest priority, and in which government is exercised by the people.
Today, like yesterday, with the legacy of Martí and Fidel, we reaffirm our commitment to the so-necessary integration of our peoples, to not allow the "giant of the seven league boots" to pass, and to create the common homeland of which our predecessors dreamed.