Speech by Nicolás Maduro Moros, Constitutional President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Caracas, May 30, 2018
(Council of State transcript / GI translation)
Dear compañero Miguel Díaz-Canel, President of the Councils of State and Ministers of the Republic of Cuba;
Compañero Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez;
Compañera spouse of Díaz-Canel;
Ambassador Rogelio Polanco;
Compañero Executive Vice President, Tareck;
Compañera Cilia Flores, First Combatant;
Vice presidents of governments present: Castro Soteldo;
Vladimir Padrino, who is celebrating his birthday, happy birthday Vladimir Padrino López (Applause), you’ve reached my age, 55, best wishes to you and your family, strong soldier, brave, patriotic, revolutionary, loyal, a combatant of all the age-old battles.
Compañero professor Aristóbulo;
Ministers, Foreign Minister:
Today has been a very positive, auspicious day, on which we have reaffirmed the path of union between Cuba and Venezuela. It is the ratification of a historic path, that of Bolívar and his dreams of independence and freedom for Cuba, for Puerto Rico, the path of Martí, the greatest Bolivarian of the 19th century and beyond, a man able to understand and interpret Bolivar’s project – his dreams – and to embody them at that crucial time of struggle that the great apostle of Cuba and America, José Martí, was destined to live during his short life.
It is the historic path taken once again by Fidel in the Sierra Maestra and later realized together with his son Hugo Chávez, father and son, working together, two giants which life has given us the privilege of knowing and living alongside them in their dreams, their greatness, and also in their humility as true revolutionary leaders.
It was Fidel and Chávez who ensured that the path of history would take shape in the form of a common project, in Alba, the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America, and it is within this framework that the Cuban and Bolivarian Revolutions unite to say: Long live America, America struggles, America dreams, America has a right to a future! That’s right, here we are reaffirming this path, a path made of sacrifice, hard work, martyrs, a great history, strong emotions, of the great homeland. These are the sentiments that motivate us.
Here we are, the children of Bolívar and Martí, that’s right, the children of Fidel and Chávez, as we have always stated and as seen in Army General, our brother, Raúl Castro Ruz. From here, we send a revolutionary greeting full of love and admiration to Raúl (Applause), and to all the people of Venezuela.
This state visit is the first one I have received since the exemplary reelection conducted by our people on May 20, in a laudable election process, a reelection achieved through hard work and struggle, a historic, heroic, unique victory that belongs to the people of Venezuela.
That same May 20, I received a call from compañero Díaz-Canel, at which point we started to plan this encounter, the state visit that is currently taking place.
I wish to express my solidarity with the Cuban people who have suffered storms and heavy rains. As always, I reaffirm our active and continuous solidarity; Executive Vice President please make the necessary arrangements to provide all our support and solidarity to the Cuban people, to the sister people of Cuba who are always affected by hurricanes and storms at this time of year, right there at the very center of dignity in the Caribbean Sea.
We have had a good day – I must report – during which we reviewed all Cuba-Venezuela cooperation efforts, Alba cooperation, cooperation in the framework of Petrocaribe, and have decided on two principal lines of work: the first, the consolidation and renewal of all projects, missions and large-scale initiatives involving Cuba and Venezuela and stemming from the inspirational agreement, the comprehensive Martí-Bolívar agreement, signed by Comandante Chávez and Comandante Fidel Castro in October, if I recall correctly, of 2000, right here at the Presidential Palace in Ayacucho Hall.
Today we are gathered in the Sol del Perú Hall, featuring the sun of America, of freedom, of Bolívar and Sucre.
That October day of 2000 a historic path was agreed upon. At that time, many said that our dream of bringing education, culture, sports, dignity, and life to our people was impossible, and that it was a document full of utopian ideals which would go no further than the paper they were written on, remaining in the year 2000.
Almost 18 years later and we can say compañero President Díaz-Canel, that the comprehensive agreement which bears the signatures of Comandante Fidel Castro and Comandante Chávez, has given the people of Cuba, Venezuela and America, dignity, education, culture, health, and life (Applause). It has been a great achievement.
Today compañeros, ministers, Cuban and Venezuelan collaborators, we reaffirmed a key line of work for the missions and large-scale initiatives: to consolidate, renew and improve the Barrio Adentro mission in order to improve medical care, Minister of Health, to offer quality and more comprehensive treatment to our people in the neighborhoods, in communities throughout the country, to strengthen it; to integrate the cultural identity of our people by strengthening and expanding the cultural mission Corazón Adentro; to expand access to sports and provide support to high performance athletes by strengthening sports initiatives; develop and re-launch Operation Miracle with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean, on the poor of the Earth, as José Martí would say; to consolidate, renew, and improve strategic cooperation in every sense: economic, commercial, financial, tourism; to consolidate, renew, improve and expand, that is our primary line of work.
Our second line of action, compañero President, regards new projects linked to industry, agriculture, mining, and tourism. This is a broad plan, looking to the next 10 years at least, for the development of a solid economic base between Cuba, Venezuela, and Alba.
We know that the pending issue, the pending task for our 21st century independence revolutions, is the economy; is economic, productive development, growth, the creation of wealth, of meeting the material needs of our peoples.
We are world champions in the distribution of wealth, and unmatched in the social sphere. Socialism has shown its superiority in the social and political spheres; however the great challenge of comprehensive economic development still remains, and we have the knowledge, the ability, the will to come together, within the framework of Alba, to advance in projects designed to create wealth, to satisfy our needs, and the comprehensive development of our productive forces, as has already been achieved by other sister nations in Asia, like China, and Vietnam.
I believe, compañero President, I believe comrades, that with the same determination through which we have managed to advance in all other areas of the social, political, and cultural life of our peoples, we too will work hard for Cuba, Venezuela, Alba, and Our America. I truly believe so.
We have spoken in detail about the mistakes we have made, the shortcomings, the opportunities to develop food production, joint mining projects, compressive oil development, financial development, two countries with enormous potential, two countries with the educational, professional, cultural, and organizational bases to bring about an economic revolution and witness the results of an economic miracle of shared growth, of the production of wealth and satisfaction of our material needs.
This was the central focus of talks during the official visit I made, last April, to compañero President Miguel Díaz-Canel and the state visit currently underway, and just like Walter Martínez from Dossier - the best TV show in the world -would say, “You’re all seeing this, right?”
We all enjoy Dossier, a great, informative program with a geopolitical outlook. So, as Walter Martínez would say, our dreams are in full development, the great dream of a vast, united, independent, sovereign, noble, peaceful America; the dreams of a strengthened, revitalized Alba, the dreams of a renewed Petrocaribe, the dreams of Cuba, Venezuela, Bolívar, Martí; the dreams of Fidel the giant; Chávez the giant. How beautiful life is! And to quote the poet (Violeta Parra): Thank you to life, that has given us so much, and with such abundance and all this strength, it is now up to us to move forward together.
Truly, I am very happy for this visit, for today.
We have presented the Liberators Order which now hangs, gleaming from the chest of the young revolutionary who assumed the presidency of the Councils of State and Ministers of Cuba, in an exemplary process conducted in a way only the Cuban Revolution could; with the wisdom of Fidel, Raúl, the wisdom of Cuba’s revolutionary leadership, and the Cuban people (Applause).
I told President Miguel Díaz-Canel, comrade, brother, that the Liberators Order is recognition of the struggle, but above all, of our commitment to the future, the commitment of the new generations who have recently assumed the baton and leadership of our homelands (Applause).
Here, we continue on with the spirit of Fidel, the spirit of Bolívar, of Martí and Chávez. We continue onward toward our single destiny: victory, victory, victory (Applause).
Long live Cuba! (Shouts of Viva!)
Long live Fidel! (Shouts of Viva!))
Long live Venezuela! (Shouts of Viva!))
Long live Chávez! (Shouts of Viva!)
And just like Che, we proclaim from the bottom of our hearts: Cuba, Venezuela, onward to victory always!
Thank you Venezuela!
Thank you comrades! (Applause)