Inspired by our heritage, we celebrate the 67th anniversary of the Moncada assault, in a year of trials and tension, with strength and renewed energy, and with the precaution required by the current health situation
On the 67th anniversary of the Moncada assault, the Cuban Revolution is full of strength and renewed energy, in a year of trials and tension, to which the pandemic – from which we are recovering – added extraordinary challenges. Our firm will to triumph, has allowed us to reach this date with pride and optimism, which we will celebrate with the required precaution given the health situation.
With confidence in the goodness and greatness of what we have created, again prevailing is the unity of the Cuban people; our solidarity and discipline in implementing the strategy approved by the Party, and led by the government and Defense Councils. In this effort, the strength of an articulated health system, beginning in the community; the participation of scientists in the decision-making process and our accumulated knowledge in many fields; the work of mass organizations; and the timely coverage provided by our media, have all been decisive elements.
We face this panorama on the basis of the exemplary work of Fidel, who educated us with a humanist vocation and bequeathed to us a wealth of integrated forces, institutions and professionals who have once again demonstrated the dedication and capacity to inspire of socialist Cuba.
What we have experienced serves to confirm that July 26th marked the beginning of a new era in Cuban history. Those who prevented the death of Martí’s ideas with that colossal assault on Cuba’s second most important military garrison, along with the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes in Bayamo, acknowledge that, on the morning of St. Anne, when they set out to defeat the Batista dictatorship, they never suspected they would reach this day, more than six decades of continuous struggle later – not even when, on the orders of the Comandante en Jefe, they victoriously entered Santiago de Cuba on January 1, 1959, exactly five years, five months and five days after the Moncada.
These youth with a different spirit, with the pure love of children and the disinterest of heroes, took up the cause of the Mambis who, in 1868, with Céspedes in the lead, launched a war against the Spanish yoke. Nor did they abandon the ideals of Maceo and Gómez, with whom José Martí in 1895 resumed the struggle for freedom, until the victory was usurped by the U.S. intervention.
Not even under those difficult circumstances was the redemptive flame extinguished, raised by figures of the stature of Baliño, Mella, Villena, Guiteras and Jesús Menéndez, among many others who did not resign themselves to living with such an affront.
This was the passion that motivated the Centennial Generation, under the leadership of Fidel, to storm the garrison on July 26, 1953, one hundred years after Martí’s birth, determined to no longer tolerate the crimes and abuses of a bloody dictatorship totally subordinated to the interests of the United States.
After the military setback and the vilscious murder of many of their brothers in the struggle, they managed to overcome the humiliations of prison, and made this stage a period of fruitful learning. Nor did they rest while in exile in Mexico, where they prepared the next, decisive stage of the battle, before setting sail on the Granma.
They survived a devastating blow at Alegría de Pío and took to the Sierra Maestra to begin the nascent Rebel Army’s guerrilla struggle, under the indisputable leadership of Fidel, who was able to forge unity among all revolutionary forces and lead them to victory on January 1, 1959.
Another stage was then beginning that would shake the foundations of Cuban society. Fidel’s premonitory words, expressed on January 8 upon his arrival in Havana, soon became reality: “The dictatorship has been overthrown; the joy is immense and yet much remains to be done.”
The Revolution inherited the grim results of misgovernment, corruption, illiteracy, prostitution, poverty and inequality. In his History will absolve me, Fidel presented unquestionable figures describing the dramatic situation of our people, 55 years after the U.S. intervention.
With the implementation of the Moncada Program, the Cuban people became the owners of the land, industry and their homes; they became literate and schools and universities were built; doctors were trained for Cuba and the world, and the foundations laid to democratize spaces for creation, dissemination and access to culture. In essence, Martí’s deepest desire, that Cubans’ devotion to the full dignity of man prevail, has become a reality, cited in Article 1 of our new Constitution.
The Revolution, as expressed by our first secretary of the Party Central Committee, Army General Raul Castro, put an end to many myths, among them, that it was not possible to build socialism on a small island 90 miles from the United States. A Revolution that was not the consequence of an international confrontation, that did not limit itself to the replacement of one power by another, but dismantled the repressive machinery of the dictatorial regime and laid the foundations of a new society; built an army that is the people in uniform, and developed a unique military doctrine to defend itself: war of all the people.
Going deeper in our understanding, it is impossible to forget the heroic sacrifices made confronting the long list of events we have experienced, including the promotion and organization of state terrorism with sabotage and banditry financed by the United States government; the breaking of diplomatic relations by all Latin American countries, with the honorable exception of Mexico; the invasion at Playa Girón; the genocidal economic, commercial and financial blockade; the massive media campaign of defamation against our emancipation process and leaders, especially Fidel, the target of more than 600 assassination attempts; the October Crisis; the hijackings and attacks on civilian vessels and aircraft, and the outrages that have taken a terrible toll of 3,478 dead and 2,099 disabled, to date.
These last 62 years have been singularly marked by the incessant struggle against the designs of 12 U.S. administrations, which have not abandoned the goal of transforming the political, economic and social order we have chosen; to extinguish Cuba’s example in the region and the rest of the world, and to reinstate imperialist rule over our archipelago.
We have also received the noble, generous support of many sister peoples, while we have offered our solidarity in different regions, both on glorious internationalist missions and in programs of medical, educational, and sports collaboration, among others, concretely expressing Martí’s love for humanity.
The heroic people of yesterday and today, proud of our national history and culture, have been hard at work on difficult fronts, and have done a great deal with very little, without becoming discouraged. The decisive test, faced with tenacity and perseverance, came during the special period to which we were subjected as a result of the disappearance of the socialist camp and the Soviet Union, amidst a wave of uncertainty and demoralization that these dramatic events generated among many progressive forces.
When no one in the world would have bet on the survival of the Revolution, our people resisted and showed that it was possible, without making any concessions in ethical and humanitarian principles, winning the invaluable support of solidarity movements that never stopped believing in the example of our people’s actions.
History has put events and protagonists in their place, in spite of the fact that the far-right in Florida is bent on escalating the United States’ aggressive policy toward Cuba, to the delight of the most hostile forces in that government.
With the goal of promoting generational discord and uncertainty, looking to destroy socialism from within, imperialism also strives to sell, to the youngest members of society, the alleged advantages of dispensing with ideals and social conscience.
We have given sufficient evidence that we defend socialism because we believe in justice, in balanced and sustainable development, in solidarity and in the democracy of the people, not in the power of capital; we repudiate discrimination and combat organized crime, drug trafficking, terrorism, human trafficking and all forms of slavery, and we defend the human rights of citizens.
Cuba is not only waging great battles in the field of ideas, but is also facing problems associated with the world crisis, perhaps the most acute ever experienced by humanity, as a result of this pandemic, to which we must add as an invariable backdrop the intensified hostility of the United States government, which is taking systematic action to hinder the performance of our national economy and asphyxiate the people.
With a series of measures designed to address the national economy’s current condition, and above all dynamize it, the challenge is to understand the scope of this transformation, which is meant to defend our sovereignty and explore paths to development.
Despite enemies and manipulators, despite those who do not understand, the Cuban people will once again assert, as on that historic 26th in 1953, the great strength of our spirituality in the tireless search for a better country. Our inspiring heritage marks our steps with the passion it arouses, and illuminates the future of our Revolution, an overwhelmingly powerful force in our pursuit of an ideal, in our unwavering defense of collective justice and beauty.
With the Moncada as a living presence in our memory, and the nation’s renewed determination, Cuba can count on its people and, very especially, on the wisdom and strength of our youth, who bear the perennial brilliance of those who, at their age, were able to demolish the walls of ignominy and uplift the homeland’s soul.