FIDEL AT THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Campaign News | Thursday, 1 July 2004
‘We have an adversary powerful in technology and armaments, but a total orphan in terms of ideas’
BY MARIA JULIA MAYORAL AND LOURDES PEREZ-Granma daily staff writers-
“WE have the tranquility of being prepared on every terrain to confront any aggression. Enormous trenches of stone can be united with enormous trenches of idea at the precise and exact moment at which imperialism is condemned to an insoluble crisis,” affirmed President Fidel Castro yesterday, speaking during the Cuban National Assembly debate, which approved a declaration against the new measures designed to provoke the rapid end of the Revolution implemented by the U.S. government.
“They forget,” he noted, “that our people defeated the criminals who governed here with more than 100,000 men under arms. Today Cuba has millions of weapons and millions of people who know how to use them, well-prepared officers and chiefs, hundreds of thousands of university graduates, close to one million intellectuals and a people with the highest political culture in the world.
“We know that we have an enemy powerful in technology and armaments, but a total orphan in ideas. I am in no doubt that this empire is not going to have the duration of the Roman one; the rate and the velocity at which events are occurring in these times and the point that the planet has reached give me total certainty of that,” stated the president of the Councils of State and Ministers.
The declaration, unanimously approved, was presented by Ricardo Alarcón, president of the National Assembly.
During the session, with the presence of First Vice President of the Council of State and General of the Army Raúl Castro, deputies also advocated the circulation and discussion of the imperialist plans by all means possible.
Many expressed their condemnation of the infamous measures approved and put into practice by the Bush administration.
Dr. Agustín Lage qualified this new Yankee brainchild as a perverse plan, that likewise militates against scientific labors being developed in Cuba, commenting that dozens of U.S. researchers wishing to attend important international medical events here have recently been denied travel permits to do so.
Osvaldo Martínez, president of the Parliamentary Economics Commission, referred to the chapters of the report that conceive of our country as a subsidiary of Florida and a Puerto Rico on its knees, with a previously appointed colonial administrator to undertake the so-called transition. He explained that the intention is to privatize everything as rapidly as possible. This aggression, he stated, is an insult to the intelligence and culture attained by the Cubans.
With its obsessions, the Washington plan gives prime place to the return of properties to their former owners, above and beyond any humane considerations. Moreover, it acknowledges that the process of such a transition would be slow, painful and politically sensitive, affirmed the likewise director of the Center for Research into the World Economy.
The measures recently passed in the United States are part of promises by Bush to the pro-Batista and annexationist mafia who brought him to power, stated journalist and youth leader Randy Alonso.
Deputy Nieves Alemañy, representative of the Cuban Women’s Federation, expressed that nobody can bring their stories or lies about a “free Cuba” to that sector of the population. “Today we are playing leading roles in a revolutionary project, in which Cuban women represent 66.1% of the country’s technical and professional work force, and we enjoy rights that we are not disposed to losing to satisfy the cravings of this ultra-right clique,” she confirmed.
Reverend Raúl Suárez pointed to the wide gulf between the peace and justice-based pastoral vocation and the petition for “help” the document presents to the church in order to manipulate awareness, separate families, destroy the economy and drive the masses to desperation. “We do not have the vocation of Judas; the evangelical churches have cast in our lot with the Cuban people,” he emphasized.
Another deputy and pastor, Sergio Arce, appealed to the condition of devout and Christian believer that Bush claims to espouse, for a proper understanding of the concept of the family. He said that the head of the White House dreams in a delirious way of being the substitute for God, but that satanic undertaking is an impossible one to fulfill.
Armando Hart, director of the José Martí Program Office, warned of the dangers of this diabolical annexationist plan not only for Cuba, but for the entire world. “Be careful, Mr. Bush,” the deputy affirmed, adding: “Cuba is not alone; don’t go looking for another Viet Nam in the Caribbean in the 21st century.”
City Historian Eusebio Leal emphasized the importance of a closer rapprochement with the U.S. intelligentsia and people, where there are important human values. These measures by the current U.S. administration, he affirmed, “are the most defiant of all the aggressions throughout history against our people from an arrogant state.
Havana July 1: The Cuban Parliament today debated the latest measures adopted by the Bush regime strengthening the 45- year-old US blockade and passed the following declaration.
DECLARATION OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY OF PEOPLE'S POWER OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA
The Empire wants to annihilate the Cuban Nation and proclaims it
with insolent arrogance.
Intensifying the economic war, internal subversion, anti-Cuba propaganda and exerting pressure on the rest of the world in order to create conditions which could produce a direct military intervention to destroy the Revolution, end our independence and sovereignty and achieve its longtime annexationist desire of seizing control of Cuba.
Yesterday the government of Washington put into effect new and brutal measures against the people of Cuba and against Cubans who reside in the United States. The new regulations are defined by their authors as part of a plan to bring about the "rapid end" of the revolutionary government.
These new measures increase the unjust and discriminatory restrictions imposed on Cuban Americans, being the only group that the United States, in open violation of its own Constitution, claims the right to determine the relations they can maintain with their families and their country of origin. Now, the U.S. government does not even allow them to visit Cuba once a year. Now they can only do so every three years, and only with specific permission from the government. The amount of money they can spend in Cuba and or send to their families here has been severely reduced. Visits and remittances are now strictly confined to what the Bush administration describes as "immediate family", which capriciously excludes, among others, aunts and uncles, cousins and nieces and nephews. What legal precedents can U.S. authorities cite for such an intrusion into the privates lives of these people? Where are those "family values" that the current president and his friends are always boasting of? Does Mr. Bush still call himself a "compassionate conservative"?
Those who drafted these measures and those in charge of implementing them have warned that there will be no exceptions, that they will be applied retroactively and strictly, under the threat of stiff fines and severe prison sentences for those who violate the US policy of blockade. A kind of apartheid has been created for those Cubans in the United States.
Since yesterday, they have also eliminated practically all the licenses which, although still subjected to rigorous regulations, allowed some North Americans to visit our country. They have even done away with the possibility of doing so and not spending a cent in Cuba, proving that, in addition to intensifying the blockade and damaging the Cuban economy, the measures seek to impede direct contact with our reality for millions of North Americans who wish to exercise a right recognized over three consecutive years in the US Congress by a wide majority. What is Mr. Bush and the ultra-reactionary Cuban American Mafia, that dictated this irrational policy, afraid of?
The North American plan has a particularly cynical edge. On the one hand, it drastically cuts off remittances from Cuban residents in the United States to their families in Cuba, and on the other hand, it authorizes and instigates money and material support for the tiny groups of traitors who operate here on U.S. orders. As they strip U.S. citizens of their freedom to visit Cuba, they spend the federal budget to promote trips of people from third countries who come with the stated aim of supplying those mercenaries. They will earmark 59 million dollars in the next two years to finance them and direct their actions in order to undermine Cuban society. Of that, 18 million dollars will go to radio and television transmissions from a C-130 military plane, which constitutes an irresponsible and illegal violation of international law and aviation and telecommunication norms.
They also threaten more arbitrary use of those chapters of the Helms-Burton Law conceived to punish business executives from third countries. In the famous, "memorandum of understanding" signed with the European Union, the U.S. Administration had pledged to try and eliminate those aspects of the Law, but it never attempted to do so. Now Bush, subjected to ridicule and insults, is threatening to employ even more aggressive instruments.
Crudely disguised as "Assistance to a Free Cuba", a report of more than 450 pages filled with hatred, lies and tiresome rhetoric, minutely details the measures that Washington would impose if it gained possession of our country. Cuban society would be completely submitted to the United States, which would dominate without exception, each and every one of its activities. An all-embracing review of such unmitigated intervention would be interminable. We will only point out some aspects of the North American plan that give an idea of the level of servitude and exploitation to which it intends to submit Cubans.
One of the first steps the so-called "transition government" would make would be the return of property to its owners, to the former exploiters, including homes and lands coveted by the pro-Batista, annexationist Mafia. The process would be rapid and would be under the direction of the United States government, which would establish a special mechanism for that purpose. The infamous text specifically announces the eviction of those who live in claimed homes or who cannot pay onerous rents, and the return of farm evictions, the dissolution of agricultural cooperatives and the reconstitution of former large land holdings. What was already foreseen in the Helms-Burton Law, is now expressed in ever bolder language.
" All sectors of the economy would be privatized and would remain under the direction of a permanent U.S. government committee for Economic Reconstruction which they propose to form immediately.
" Subsidies and price controls would be eliminated on goods and services received by the population.
" Security and social assistance programs would be dismantled and pensions would no longer be paid.
" Health and education services would be privatized
It would be a return to capitalism in its most brutal form and under the yoke of a foreign government. The consequences for our people would be so terrible, that the report itself admits that "it won't be easy" to carry through this transition and that such attempts would be greeted by widespread rejection from Cuban society. That is why it stresses as an "immediate priority" the creation of repressive forces that would be organized, trained, equipped and advised by the United States government.
As proof that what they propose will mean intervention and will submit Cuba to an annexationist regime, the president of the United States will now designate an official who will be in charge of coordinating all their aggressive measures to destroy the Revolution and who would later head the interventionist government: Valeriano Weyler and Leonard Wood rolled into a single person and a true genocidal design.
Of course, they will find it impossible to make their sinister plans a reality. First, they would have to invade this country, occupy it militarily. This they will never be able to do. We are prepared and willing to fight to the last man and the last woman to prevent this. If they attack us, they will find a united, cultured people here, owners of a glorious history of heroism, struggle and sacrifice for freedom, who will never renounce their independence nor their ideals of justice and solidarity; who will never renounce their beautiful, noble and profoundly humane achievements, which they have been able to construct despite aggressions from the Empire. If they attack us, they will suffer their biggest and most shameful defeat.
We will face these measures and whatever others our enemies can invent. We will resist and we will struggle. Steadfastly united around Fidel, Raul and our Party and under their wisdom and leadership, we continue onwards ever toward victory.
National Assembly of People's Power of the Republic of Cuba
Havana, July 1, 2004
"Year of the 45th Anniversary of the Triumph of the Revolution"