President Nasser of Egypt and Che Guevara of Cuba
Originally uploaded by Pan-African News Wire Photo File
Front page of Juventud Rebelde in print:
SPECIAL FOUR-PAGE CHE SUPPLEMENT TO JUVENTUD REBELDE:
Reflections by Cuban President Fidel Castro
I make a halt in my daily struggle to bow my head in respect and gratitude to the exceptional combatant who fell in combat on October 8th, forty years ago; for the example he passed on to us as leader of his Rebel Army Column, crossing the swampy grounds of the former provinces of Oriente and Camagüey, while being chased by enemy troops.
He was the liberator of the city of Santa Clara and the mastermind of
voluntary work; he accomplished honorable political missions abroad and served as messenger of militant internationalism in East Congo and Bolivia. He built a new awareness in our America and the world.
I thank him for what he tried and failed to do in his home country, because he was like a flower prematurely severed from its stem.
He left to us his unmistakable literary style. He was elegant, swift and
true to every detail of whatever happened to cross his mind. He was a predestinate, but he didn't know it. He still fights with us and for us.
Yesterday, we commemorated the 31st anniversary of the killing of all
passengers and the crew of a Cubana airliner blown in mid-air, and we are on the threshold of the tenth anniversary of the cruel and unjust imprisonment of the five Cuban anti-terrorist heroes. We likewise bow our heads in respect to them all.
It was with great emotion that I watched and heard the commemoration ceremony on TV.
Fidel Castro Ruz
October 7, 2007
REPUBLIC OF CUBA
National Peoples´ Power Assembly
International Relations Commission
DECLARATION ON THE CRIMINAL AND GENOCIDAL BLOCKADE IMPOSED BY THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AGAINST CUBA
In a memorandum from the United States Department of State dated on June 24, 1959, the essence of the policy which was already being carried out against Cuba was stated. At that time, they were considering the lifting of the Cuban sugar quota on the U.S. market in order to bring about that "the sugar industry would promptly suffer an abrupt decline, causing widespread further unemployment. The large numbers of people thus forced out of work would begin to go hungry". At the same meeting, Secretary of State, Christian Herter, was defining these initial actions as "economic war measures".
Several months later, on April 6, 1960, at a meeting headed by the President of the United States himself, a document, adopted by the State Department, was being discussed which textually read: "The majority of Cubans support Castro. There is no effective political opposition in Cuba…the only predictable measure we have today to alienate internal support for the Revolution is through disillusionment and desperation, based on dissatisfaction and economic duress. Every possible means should be undertaken promptly to weaken the economic life of Cuba, to decrease real salaries, to bring about hunger, desperation and the overthrow of government".
Since 1959, over the course of almost 50 years, the people of Cuba have been victims of this cruel and criminal policy that has been imposed, maintained and toughened by all successive U.S. administrations, right up to the present day.
Never before have any people had to withstand such a long siege by the most powerful nation recorded in history. Moreover, never have any people resisted so great an aggression with such heroism, without capitulating, without renouncing their independence and sovereignty, or their right to construct the political, economic and social system of their choice.
The recent report presented by Cuba at the United Nations General Assembly irrefutably demonstrates the enormous impact the blockade has on the lives of every Cuban man and woman, two-thirds of whom were born and have grown up under this irrational and demented policy.
For fifteen years, in overwhelming votes at the UN General Assembly, the international community has expressed its view of the need to put an end to this monstrosity of the United States government; nevertheless, successive U.S. administrations have turned a deaf ear on this universal outcry, and far from making any steps towards its total elimination, have systematically reinforced its instrumentation and ever more rigorous application.
The Torricelli Act and the Helms Burton Law, with their eminently extra-territorial natures, and later, President Bush’s Plan for the re-colonization of Cuba in May 2004, in its aim to bring about the internalization of its illegal policy, have intensified pressures and sanctions against governments, banks and companies of third countries, achieving in several cases, as the report circulated by Cuba indicates, an imposition of their will and a bringing about of an effective application through blackmail and threats.
The systematic application of this economic war which has already cost our country more than 89,000 million dollars, together with the increase of all manner of aggression, by open and extended state terrorism, have resulted in thousands of victims among the Cuban population and have been detrimental to the most elementary right to life, attempting to destroy it through hunger and disease, in a genuine act of genocide.
The Permanent Commission for International Relations of the National People’s Power Assembly, reflecting the express will of all the deputies in our National Assembly and of the people we legitimately represent, calls on all parliamentarians in the world and on their legislative bodies, to denounce and demand the end of this policy of extermination which has been in place for almost 50 years.
Meanwhile, in spite of the blockade and all aggression, the Cuban people will continue their struggle to construct, day by day, a country that has a greater sense of solidarity and which, once and for all, achieves every justice.
Havana, October 5, 2007.