May 1: Cubans in record numbers back Socialism

Campaign News | Wednesday, 5 May 2004

Fidel tells US that its world is untenable

Havana, May 1 (PL) "It appears we have a record today," Cuban President Fidel Castro said in greeting to the millions of Cubans massed at Revolution Square in Havana and the countless plazas across the nation in support of their socialist system on the Island.

One of the early speakers, Cuban workers? union (CTC) general secretary Pedro Ross, condemned US President George W. Bush?s plan to promote political changes on the Island, scheduled to be announced today by US Secretary of State Colin Powell, and noted that it was response to this threat that brought such record numbers of Cubans to the plazas for May Day.

We don?t know what they are going to invent today, in 45 years they have tried everything said Ross, referring to the many US aggressions against Cuba since 1959, and he continued: "while Cuban workers want to live and work in peace, they are not intimidated by danger and are prepared to resist any preventive war?we will never be slaves again."

Whoever tries to take over Cuba, will confront a fighting people, loyal to Fidel and socialism, the union leader promised, to fervent applause from the more than million people at the Havana plaza.

Ross also referred to the five Cuban political prisoners held in the United States since 1998, unjustly condemned for trying to prevent acts of terrorism and who are viewed here as supreme examples of firmness and loyalty, "We will not rest until we free them," the CTC leader concluded.

In his speech, Fidel called the presence and treatment of more than 600 prisoners at the illegal US Naval Base in Guantanamo (on Cuban territory) one of the most grotesque cases of human rights violations.

Speaking to the more than a million people who gathered at the Revolution Square, and broadcast live by Cuban television and CNN in Spanish, the president accused the United States of kidnapping these people, including citizens of countries the US considers allies.

The inmates, captured during the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, remain there without having had trials, without communication, identification, legal defense, either penal or process law, without physical guaranties or time limits, he denounced.

Fgidel recalled that the White House put these people on the 454 square miles of eastern Cuban territory it has occupied since the beginning of the last century without consulting Island authorities, "Simply communicating the decision to us."

Fidel noted that they could have brought the prisoners to their territory, but chose a piece of land occupied illegally and by force, in what he considered "a weird contribution to civilization."

Forgetting these facts, the United States and the European Union committed the error of again putting his country in the dock at the Human Rights Commission in Geneva, the Cuban leader pointed out.

The commission?s 60th period of sessions in March and April showed the great hypocrisy, the permanent lie and the cynicism with which the owners of the world try to preserve the putrid system of political and economic domination imposed on humanity, Fidel Castro remarked.

Fidel urged the leaders of the United States to be "calmer, more sensible, saner and more intelligent" in their policy toward the Caribbean Island.

Fidel Castro spoke to a record-breaking crowd of Cubans hours before a committee of US officials and extreme rightwing anti-Cuban extremists in Miami gave US President George W. Bush a proposal to stimulate a political transition in the Island.

Ironically referring to the luxury of precognition based on "the disappearance of some of us", the statesman affirmed that Cubans would continue resolute in the struggle, despite new US plans to affect the Cuban economy and destabilize the country.

Emphasizing that Cubans hold no hatred for the US people, the president also reiterated Cuba?s position that US troops should get out of Iraq, where they should never have been sent, and that Washington should return the five Cuban political prisoners held in the US since 1998, who were sentenced to long terms at a rigged Miami trial.

Fidel argued that the situation of Gerardo Hernandez, Antonio Guerrero, Rene Gonzalez, Ramon Labanino and Fernando Gonzalez is a most shameful and cruel case of human rights violation.

The Cuban Five?s total isolation in US Federal prisons isn?t much better than the condition of those held sequestered at the US illegan Naval Base in Guantanamo, the Cuban leader recognized, alluding to the more than 600 people the United States holds captive in its military enclave on Cuban territory.

On the Human Rights Commission in Geneva?s approval of a US-promoted anti-Cuban resolution, Fidel remarked it was "a pyrrhic victory."

He pointed out that in spite of enormous Washington pressure only 22 of the 53 commission members yielded to the US pressure.

Dressed in his traditional olive green uniform, Fidel Castro noted that 20 countries voted with Cuba against the resolution, and they did so on principle and with singular courage, and that 10 other nations abstained with dignity and self-respect.

Of the seven Latin American countries that supported the United States, Fidel Castro explained that four suffer great social and economic poverty and are supremely dependent, with leaders obliged to render total abasement to Washington.

No one considers them independent States. Until now that is a simple fiction, the Cuban leader said, using Peru as an example of the degree of abdication and dependency to which imperialism and neoliberal globalization has brought to many Latin American countries; political ruination when they are obliged to do things that are like accepting "the kiss of the devil."

He noted that Alejandro Toledo, Peruvian chief of State, saw his popularity go down to only 8 percent.

The Chilean government must be judged by Salvador Allende, who fell fighting with gun in hand and who occupies a place of honor and glory in the history of the continent, the Cuban leader pointed out.

He likewise recalled the thousands of Chileans who disappeared and were tortured and murdered by the design of those who elaborated and proposed the resolution to condemn Cuba, where [since the triumph of the Revolution] not one of these things have occured.

Fidel Castro said that in Mexico, those dear, brother people, the Congress asked President Vicente Fox to abstain from supporting the resolution that the White House demanded.

It is deeply painful, he added, that such prestige and influence gained in Latin America and the world through untouchable international policy resulting from a true and profound revolution has turned to ashes.

The solidarity of Latin America is vital for Mexico, the Cuban president pointed out, since more than half of its territory was snatched by its northern neighbor and the rest is at enormous risk.

He said that the US frontier with Mexico is no longer at the Bravo River, but much deeper within than that line of death, where 500 Mexicans die each year by virtue of a cold-blooded principle: free transit for capital and markets - and persecution, exclusion and death for human beings.

Fidel Castro warned that such a situation will not be resolved by voting declarations against Cuba and accusing her of violating human rights.

Regarding the position assumed by the Mexican authorities, the Cuban president noted that the most humiliating aspect for Mexico was that news of its vote in Geneva was announced from Washington.

The Cuban leader also criticized the posture assumed by the European Union, which voted in a bloc "like a Mafia ally of Washington" to achieve what he called a petty piece of work against the opposition and abstention of 60 percent of commission members.

Fidel went on to say that the present US government?s policy of adventurism has brought the world continually more unsolvable problems.

“The economic order is increasingly unsustainable, and so no one is surprised by the outburst of movements and revolutions,” he said.

As a consequence of the International Monetary Fund?s current policy, the Latin American foreign debt is up to 750 billion dollars, and when we add that of the rest of the Third World countries, it reaches 2.5 trillion dollars, he pointed out.

This situation, he predicted, will bring the world to a catastrophe, it is a dead-end of insoluble problems, where humanity will have to fight for more than economic justice or redistribution of wealth, it will have to fight for survival of the species.

The system imposed by the IMF and the other international financial entities forces all Third World people to transfer the money in their reserves to the banks of developed countries, chiefly those in the United States, which lend it to the government to finance its war policy, the leader declared.

With this money, he expanded, it is armed to the teeth with the most sophisticated equipment and carries out wars of conquest for raw materials.

By depositing their funds in US banks, the Third World countries are covering the US trade and budget deficits, which this year hit 512 billion and 500 billion dollars respectively, Fidel Castro explained.

At the Havana event, attended by 1,000 guests from 53 nations and the diplomatic corps accredited in Cuba, and notably, the ambassadors of the 20 countries that did not back the proposal against the Island at the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva, the president recounted the results of the 60th period of sessions of that commission, calling it shameful and a hypocrisy by "such august defenders of human rights."

In his two-hour speech, Fidel Castro also discussed the March 11 terrorist attacks in Madrid and the results of the election that followed a few days later. In the vote, the Spanish people overthrew ex President Jose Maria Aznar who had favored the interests of the United States. The Cuban president called it extraordinary and stimulating, especially the role played by young people.

Now the newly-elected Spanish President Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who has fulfilled his promise to bring home his country?s troops, has the duty to also return the young Latin American soldiers who were recruited [by Aznar] from Santo Domingo, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua to be cannon fodder in Iraq, the Cuban leader emphasized.

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May day image gallery at:{FE9F723B-07FC-412C-ADD1-25DB6E4AAB01}&language=EN

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