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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

"In this Cuba it will always be possible to do the impossible!" - Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez

Highlights from the speech of the Cuban President and First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba to the closing of the Eighth Session of the IX Legislature of the National Assembly of People's Power.

The Eighth Session of the IX Legislature of the National Assembly of People's Power wrapped up last week in Cuba. The session included a renewed commitment to healthcare as a right for all Cubans and the greenlighting of a new family code that will now be put forward for popular consultation by the Cuban people.

At the closing of the session (December 22) Cuban President and First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez gave a tour-de-force speech in defense of the revolution and its accomplishments.

Here we have translated some highlights:

- A failed state cannot stand 62 years of intensified blockade in the midst of a pandemic; nor does a dictatorship withstand these blows. We categorically reject those terms with which they try to put labels on a Revolution that, in successive acts of heroic creation, has become an example of real dissent to the global hegemony imposed by the dictatorship of capital.

- What democracy do those who privilege one group of rights to the detriment of others talk about? With what morals do you call this country undemocratic? Why do they insist on ostracizing us? Is it because we do not submit to imperial power?

The political model that they are trying to standardize, the one they want to impose on Cuba and that is based on neoliberalism, is incapable of guaranteeing all rights for all people; it promotes inequality, selfishness, poverty, hatred, insecurity, discrimination, violence, arbitrariness, injustice and the unlimited power of economic elites.

- Contrary to the desire initially shared by many, the global experience of COVID-19 has not led us to a more supportive, compassionate, humble and austere world.

Threats to international peace and security and to the environment, on which life on the planet depends, remain as present or more present than before the pandemic. Selfishness, the concentration of wealth, the increase in inequality and the growing political power of big transnational capital over the governments of numerous countries are visible and increasingly dangerous characteristics.

In this turbulent international scenario, our national development and foreign policy must unfold, without abandoning the commitments to peace and against militarism, the duties in the common effort to protect the environment and the climate balance, as well as the values of solidarity and friendship with other peoples and the defense of just causes.

We will continue to promote the integration of the Latin American and Caribbean region, the defense of the true and definitive sovereignty of the nations that make it up, and the safeguarding of the Proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.

Over the course of this year, electoral processes in Peru, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Honduras, Chile and sister Caribbean nations continued to shape a correlation of forces more favorable to the defense of sovereignty, social justice and regional integration.

The challenges are great, but we observe with hope, respect and solidarity the efforts to recover the social advances that neoliberalism spoiled, and the processes of integration and cooperation that are genuinely Latin American.

We are a country of peace, with bonds of friendship and respect in all corners of the planet, with vast and mutually beneficial cooperative relations with numerous nations.

The significant presence of students from several nations in Cuba and the enriching practice of tens of thousands of Cuban professionals on almost all continents translate, after several decades, into enduring cultural ties that bring us closer to other peoples in a special way.

We will continue to work actively within the framework of the United Nations and in defense of multilateralism.

One year after our entry into observer status in the Eurasian Economic Union, significant progress is being made in the links we foster with that emerging grouping.

The Government of the United States has determined to make aggression against Cuba its official policy and, after unsuccessfully betting on suffocating us with the tightening of the blockade in the midst of the pandemic, it is trying to undermine the peace and tranquility of citizens. This vile and genocidal policy, which is markedly opportunistic, is rejected by the international community.

This issue has been talked about enough and the people are well informed. Despite this, we do not renounce to develop, under conditions of equality and mutual respect, a constructive relationship with the Government of the United States. In the meantime, we facilitate and promote ties with the people of that country, in all possible spheres and with special emphasis on the community of Cuban origin that resides there.

We are convinced that the great problems facing humanity today and those it will face in the future can only be solved through cooperation and not confrontation.

In recent months we have received, from many parts of the world, extraordinary expressions of solidarity, of identification with the cause of Cuba in favor of justice, of respect for the contribution of our people to those most in need, of rejection of the destabilizing plans of the Government of the United States and the criminal economic blockade, as well as admiration for the ability to rise back up after facing the most acute challenges.

We are deeply grateful for the international campaign promoted by Cubans living abroad and friends of solidarity around the world, especially in the United States, in defense of Cuba, against the blockade and the rest of the measures that hinder the development of the country and in favor of the natural bond that must exist between nationals abroad and their families and relatives in Cuba.

We reiterate the inalterable decision to continue strengthening and diversifying ties with our nationals abroad, based on unrestricted respect for the sovereignty and independence of the Homeland.

- As Fidel once said, one day a monument to the Cuban people will have to be erected. In that monument he laid the first stone as the driver and maximum leader of the liberation process, and enlarged it by materializing dreams and creating new dreams through the Literacy Campaign that we commemorate today. Fidel, Raúl and their companions of the Centennial Generation faced and overcame colossal challenges that enlarge that monument.

The Continuity that we are honored to represent has the duty to do its part and will do it! Not imitating, not copying, not expecting solutions to spring only from history; because what history has to give us is an accumulation of originality, of daring solutions and of heroic creation.

We have to complete that monument by jumping over the blockade, our limitations, difficulties and brakes.

The year 2021 was a great school of what we can no longer and should no longer do, and what we can and must do.

I call on you to think and act. To live up to our people and their historical leaders. To work with the greatest efficiency, intensely, but without stress. With the intelligence of our scientists, with the dedication of our Health workers, with the courage and discipline of our armed forces, with the optimism and faith of our sports champions, with the boldness and creativity of our young people, with the shocking passion of our artists!

In this Cuba it will always be possible to do the impossible!



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