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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

In the face of war and violence, let us defend peace! -- Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez

Remarks by Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic, at the ceremony for the 10th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, Kingstown, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, on 1st. March 2024, "Year 66 of the Revolution."

Speech by Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez at the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) ceremony for the 10th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace. Translated from the Spanish.

Dear Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves;

Dear President Xiomara Castro,

Dear President Gustavo Petro,

Dear Secretary-General Antonio Guterres,

Their Excellencies, Heads of State and Government and other Heads of Delegations,

Latin American and Caribbean Friends:

I thank and congratulate Brother Ralph for the happy initiative of bringing us together in this official ceremony to commemorate together the tenth anniversary of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.

Our Proclamation is very young, but it is, without a doubt, a historic milestone in the equally young history of CELAC.

Cuba is particularly honoured that the signing of this emblematic document by the heads of State and Government of the 33 countries of the region took place at the Havana Summit; But the merit belongs to everyone, because only the will of all made it not only possible, but also effective.

The Proclamation means hope for millions of people, whose main concern is survival in a world convulsed by violence and war.

Peace is not only a legitimate right of all peoples and of every human being, it is a fundamental condition for the enjoyment of all human rights, in particular the supreme right to life.

The region and the world need peace, in order to concentrate all its capacity, intelligence and resources on confronting the real enemies of our species: hunger, poverty, climate change, illiteracy, disease, the depletion of natural resources and the growing marginalization to which the vast majority of the world's population is subjected today.

José Martí called blessed the land where the battles for peace are fought. Defending peace also implies the firmest rejection of unilateral coercive measures and blockades imposed by powerful countries, which seek to act as universal judges to isolate and subjugate sovereign States.

To support peace is to defend the right of each people to freely choose its political model and its own path towards economic and social development.

To advance the integration of Latin America and the Caribbean, it is essential to preserve peace. It allows us to listen to each other in order to understand each other, to get closer to what unites us and to discuss differences in a civilized and respectful way.

I remember with great emotion that moment, ten years ago, when the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, in his capacity as President pro tempore of CELAC, invited his colleagues in the region to sign the Proclamation. Unity in diversity, called upon as it was necessary, was present. Today we know that history was being made.

We did it because the Proclamation didn't stay in that room and in those signatures. It is a living, transcendental and paradigmatic document that commits us to our peoples and the world.

It is a valuable legacy to present and future generations who will benefit from the wise decision to banish forever from the region the use and threat of the use of force.

Let's honor the giant heroes of Our America!

In the face of differences, dialogue!

In the face of challenges, cooperation!

In the face of diversity, more unity!

In the face of war and violence, let us defend peace!

Thank you very much (Applause).


Translated from the Spanish and shared via License CC-BY-NC


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