Communist Party of Cuba
To meet again with the common endeavour to coordinate our struggle is already an indisputable achievement for those of us who have consciously taken up the responsibility to be the voice of all peoples. To be here today is a new challenge to those that, day by day, try to suppress and suffocate the cry for freedom in many parts of the world. The purpose that summons us has an expression of urgent need, in the face of an increasingly complex and dangerous outlook for mankind.
First of all, we would like to express our gratitude to the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) for the effort to organise and secure this meeting, acknowledging the difficult situation in which it has had to work. This event has an especial meaning for the fact that it takes place in a scenario which has witnessed important struggles during this year of the Greek people, who have faced with courage and determination the cruel and unjust capitalist strategies. The rallying and coordinating role played by the KKE has been crucial in this. We express our militant solidarity with the party and the combative people of Greece.
We sincerely hope that our discussions will consolidate in each country the role of the parties present here and will offer alternatives to face, in a united way, the impact of the present crisis and the unsustainable neo-liberal system.
Imperialism is showing its deepest weaknesses and contradictions and the crisis is expressing itself as a structural phenomenon which cannot be overcome without a dramatic impact on the very capitalist system.
Ignoring the popular outcry, governments have implemented urgent packages to rescue the banking system. Huge resources from the taxes paid by their citizens have been used to cover the big liquidity deficit of the banks, as a result of the irresponsible and speculating policies of these institutions at the service of the exploitative classes. They have implemented the so-called “austerity measures”, under the pretext that it is necessary to cover the state deficit, something which is worsened by the rescue of the banks. And as a result of all this, once again, all the burden of the crisis is unloaded on the shoulders of the workers and ordinary citizens.
On the other hand, the sudden slowdown of world trade has brought about a big economic contraction in the weakest countries, resulting in an increase of poverty and unemployment. Climate change, natural disasters and the weakness of the dollar have caused a skyrocketing increase of oil and food prices, dragging millions of people into hunger and marginalisation. There are increasing conflicts for control of natural resources, which leads dangerously to wars that threaten world peace and, therefore, the human race.
The crisis of the neo-liberal model imposed during the 1990s by the so-called Consensus of Washington on Latin America and the Caribbean brought about the emergence of several popular governments and uprisings, as well as the proliferation of militant social movements, among which we have to highlight the indigenous people, the students, the working sectors and unemployed people.
Socialism and imperialism
It should be noted that during the absolute reign of neo-liberalism and the unipolar world in the 1990s, the words “socialism” and “imperialism” almost disappeared from the public language of almost all left parties and leaders, and even more of the center-left. One of Chavez’s merits was to define, from January 2004 to the beginning of 2005, the anti-imperialist and socialist course of the Bolivarian Revolution. Thereafter and on the basis of the new realities unleashed by the nationalistic and radical processes in Bolivia and Ecuador and the debate in this context on socialism of the 21st Century — also promoted by Chavez — the issue of socialism has started to be raised again in a minority, but increasing, group of parties and leaders.
The above-mentioned compels us to intensify, strengthen and sharpen to the maximum our abilities and strengths in order to make more systematic, efficient and wider, our influence and solidarity with these processes in favour of the anti-imperialist and anti-capitalist struggles and projects and all the national and popular gains that pave the way for this historical course.
Today that the powerful Western states and, specifically, the European Union are facing a serious systemic crisis, the Latin American and Caribbean countries with the recent foundation of the Community of the Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) focus their attempts to preserve sovereignty, their independence and to develop cooperation and solidarity, independently with weak or powerful countries, and not on the basis of the competition and imbalance. This is the beginning of a promising and strategic stage for the region.
Comrades all: Cuba belongs to the so-called Third World and the impact of the crisis on our country is stronger if we take into account that our economic and social development has been affected for decades by the longest and most unjust economic, commercial and financial blockade in history. The direct economic damage caused to the Cuban people by the implementation of the blockade exceeds $975 billion.
Behind the genocidal act of imperialism is the clear objective to overthrow the revolutionary government and to destroy the constitutional order that our people’s sovereignty defends. In spite of the false image of flexibility that the present US administration tries to depict, the blockade remains intact, despite the rejection and unanimous condemnation by the international community which, in a systematic and firm way, has demanded the end of this injustice.
Imperialism’s attempt to isolate us crushes daily against the categorical and overwhelming support of the Cuban Revolution and the heroic resistance of a people that refuses to give up its sovereign rights.
In defence of that sovereignty we enjoy today, Cuba is updating its economic model and is implementing changes that will allow us to continue advancing in the development of socialism. The transformations in Cuba began in 1959 and they have never stopped. We will resolutely change everything that has to be changed, but it will be done within the revolution and socialism. Because of this ability of renewal we have been able to resist the most hostile and aggressive attempts to destroy our country.
Our big problem is to tackle economic efficiency and to be able to face today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. Therefore, the Communist Party of Cuba is implementing an economic updating process, since the battle for the economy depends on the sustainability and preservation of our system. The proposed model was endorsed in the discussions with the population, and then it was approved by the 6th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba. This is not a finished process, but it is one in which we are continuously working to improve.
For Cubans, socialism is not merely the most just and sustainable alternative; it is, above all, the guarantee of our national security, our independence and our identity. What will not change in Cuba are the achievements that we have made with sacrifice and devotion; the commitment to maintain solidarity with our brothers of the Third World and with other peoples; equal opportunities and social justice.
We will guarantee the right to employment, to a decent retirement and to social security. We will continue to see the human being as the first and most important thing and we will continue to trust in their unlimited capacity to transform history. We will continue to believe in human values and we will continue to accompany all those who, just like us, struggle for a more just and equitable world.
Gratitude for solidarity
We avail ourselves of this opportunity to express our gratitude for the innumerable expressions of solidarity towards the just cause of our people against the irrational blockade imposed by the United States and in favour of the release of the Cuban Five. One of them served an unjust sentence, but he is not allowed to return to Cuba to join his family, while the other four remain under a cruel and unjust political imprisonment due to the gross corruption of the legal process and the illegal behaviour of the US Government.
The Cuban Revolution has been able to resist, in the first place, thanks to our people’s commitment and unity, and also because of the unconditional support of those who have trusted us and have seen Cuba as the reason for their own struggle. To all these brothers, we convey the assurance that we will not disappoint them. We also convey our solidarity and support for the strategies of integration in Latin America; to the struggles of the peoples of Africa and the Middle East, recalling specially the suffering caused to the population by NATO and US aggressions; and to the struggle of the Palestinian people.
Comrades: imperialism is reinforcing its formula of threats, interventions in the internal affairs, encouragement of conflicts and military aggressions in order to assert its will and subjugate the peoples. It is our responsibility not to be indifferent, to denounce it and to demand that governments fulfill their obligations to their people and humankind.
As a result of the economic and energy crisis in the main centres of world power, a new geopolitical sharing of the world is being promoted among the powers, in which our peoples can be the victim of any military intervention. This is the “model” they are already defending as an option to intervene militarily in any country perceived as an obstacle to their strategic interests. Hence, the present struggle takes on unforeseen dimensions and shades. The anti-communist offensive is revitalised in an attempt to silence, discredit and overcome us. It will be essential to use all our ideological maturity, our sacrifice and, mainly, the unity of all communists in order to organise an effective strategy to face imperialism’s hegemony.
The road seems long and difficult. The only option to advance in the face of the new challenges is unity in our diversity and the ability to understand the need of multiplying solidarity among the forces of change and progress. History shows that victory is only possible if we are true to the principles that we defend and to unity.
Long Live Socialism!