Raul Castro photographed with other Cuban leaders. He is in charge with the illness of President Fidel Castro.
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire Photo File
July 26, 2007
Raul Castro Calls for Hard Work, More Production, Greater Efficiency
“We need to work hard and be systematic, consolidating every achievement no matter how small,” said Cuba’s first vice president during his speech in Camaguey marking the 54th anniversary of the July 26, National Rebellion Day.
Cuba is waging several battles at the same time which require a concerted effort so that there is unity, said Raul Castro. “Unity is the chief weapon of the Revolution and it is essential to take advantage of the potential that Cuba’s socialist society offers,” he noted.
The first vice president said the nation’s industrial capacity should be
recovered wherever possible, seeking to substitute imports and expand exports. He said that with the price of oil skyrocketing, Cuba’s nationwide energy saving effort is strategic and an almost inexhaustible resource. He regretted though that not enough attention has been paid to the need to be energy efficient.
Raul Castro said Cuba is presently studying the possibility of expanded foreign investment in projects that contribute with capital, technology and markets. He cautioned against a repeat of mistakes made in the past in the area of foreign investments due to what he called “naivety and ignorance regarding this activity.”
He said Cuba will look for serious entrepreneurs for projects with sound, clearly defined legal frameworks that ensure the predominant role of the State and of socialist ownership.
The vice president said Cuba will further boost its cooperation with other countries, citing the need for unity on the basis of absolute respect for the path chosen by each nation. He pointed to the high level relations attained with Venezuela, Bolivia, and Nicaragua and the solid links that exist with China y Vietnam.
“We will continue to assign priority to the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and to the thriving international movement of solidarity with the [Cuban] Revolution,” he said, adding that Cuba will step up its work with the United Nations and with multilateral institutions to which the island belongs.
Raul Castro stressed that the upcoming People’s Power legislative elections will provide an opportunity to demonstrate the extraordinary force of Cuba’s true democracy.
He also called on Cubans to be systematic and effective in their efforts, based on planning that considers the strategic priorities set. “We need to be creative and critical in what we do; avoiding being schematic and thinking everything we do is perfect and doesn’t merit revision.”
The first vice president recalled that during a similar commemoration
on July 26, 1989, Fidel Castro had said that even if the USSR were to disintegrate, Cuba would continue with its revolution, ready to pay the necessary high price for freedom.
“History has shown beyond a doubt that Cuba has stood by that determination,” he stressed.
Raul Castro called on Cubans to keep fresh in their minds and apply
President Fidel Castro’s definition of what the Cuban Revolution is about, as outlined in his May Day speech in the year 2000:
“Revolution means to have a sense of history; it is changing everything that must be changed; it is full equality and freedom; it is being treated and treating others like human beings; it is achieving emancipation by ourselves and through our own efforts; it is challenging powerful dominant forces from within and without the social and national milieu; it is defending the values in which we believe at the cost of any sacrifice; it is modesty, selflessness, altruism, solidarity and heroism; it is fighting with courage, intelligence and realism; it is never lying or violating ethical principles; it is a profound conviction that there is no power in the world that can crush the power of truth and ideas.
Revolution means unity; it is independence, it is fighting for our dreams of justice for Cuba and for the world, which is the foundation of our patriotism, our socialism and our internationalism.”
Raul Castro said the best tribute Cubans could pay to Fidel on an occasion like today’s, and the best contribution to his getting well, is by always abiding by those revolutionary principles as they go about their daily lives.
He pledged a commitment to work guided by the instructions set forth by President Fidel Castro when he became ill and in the future.
“Regardless of the difficulties, the Cuban people will never be caught off guard by its enemies,” concluded Raul.