Young People from Mayabeque Ratify Support for the Cuban Revolution

Havana: The context during which this event takes place, essential aspects of the issues that will be addressed in the commissions, relations with the United States and the blockade against Cuba, as well as the international projection of the nation were some elements addressed by the Army General this April 16

Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) introduced the delegates of the 8th Congress the Central Report of this great event with headquarters, for four days, at the Havana Convention Center, where strict sanitary measures have been taken against COVID-19.

This opening, he recalled, takes place on a momentous date in the history of the nation: the 60th anniversary of the proclamation by the Commander in Chief, Fidel Castro Ruz, of the socialist character of the Revolution, on April 16, 1961 at the farewell of the mourning of the fallen the day before in the attacks to the air bases, a prelude to the mercenary invasion of Playa Girón.

We plan to conclude the Congress, Raúl specified, on April 19, when we will also commemorate the 60th anniversary of the victory over that mercenary expedition, achieved in less than 72 hours by Rebel Army fighters, policemen and militiamen, who under the personal direction of Fidel they did not give the invaders a moment’s respite.

The invasion of Playa Girón, carried out under the mandate of a Democratic president, was part of the Covert Action Program against the Castro regime, put into effect by President Eisenhower. They foresaw the creation of a unified opposition in Cuba, psychological warfare, plans to attack the main revolutionary leaders, especially Fidel, sabotage of economic objectives and terrorist actions in the cities, the promotion of armed counterrevolutionary gangs that massacred peasants, workers and young participants in the glorious literacy campaign.

We will never forget the 3,478 dead and 2,099 maimed and disabled people who are victims of State terrorism applied against our country, said the First Secretary of the Party’s Central Committee.

Raúl also mentioned that the 8th Congress is being held two years after the proclamation of the Constitution of the Republic, on April 10, 2019, a century and a half after the first Mambisa Constitution.

The approval of the Constitution demands the updating of a good part of the laws and other legal provisions that develop its precepts. For this, the National Assembly of People’s Power approved the corresponding legislative schedule, which is being met.

From April 2019 to date, the Army General said, the Cuban Parliament approved 11 laws in the interest of guaranteeing the functioning and organization of the main structures of the State and Government; the Council of State also issued 33 decree-laws.


The Central Report that I present to you today, Raúl said, was previously approved by the Political Bureau of the Communist Party. On this occasion, considering the restrictions imposed on us by confronting the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of delegates to Congress, proposed from the base and democratically elected representing more than 700 thousand militants has been limited to 300.

In these extraordinary circumstances, he clarified, we developed the 8th Congress fulfilling objective 17 approved in the First National Conference of the Party that established the periodicity of five years for the celebration of the great party event, except in the face of the threat of war, serious natural disasters and other exceptional situations.

We are not in normal times, far from it, but we came to the conclusion that it was not only possible, but also necessary to hold our Congress on the scheduled date, Raúl commented.

The Army General explained that this great event was reached with the increase of 27 thousand Party members, since the decrease that had been manifested since 2006 has stopped. This encouraging result has been characterized in spite of the casualties caused by cause of death, deactivation and external sanctions applied.

However, we cannot ignore that, in correspondence with the nation’s demographic trends, the average age of our Party members is growing, where 42.6% are over 55 years of age.

At the same time, there has been a sustained increase in UJC militants, which is nourished by the mass of students and young workers, among the latter, priority has been given to peasants, agricultural workers and other important sectors of the economy, in order to which there are unused potentialities that could serve as a valuable contribution to the future growth of the Party, he added.

The First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Party also referred to the confrontation with the pandemic, based on the National Plan approved by the Political Bureau on January 30, 2020, which has been updated and enriched by the experiences accumulated in the different stages.

This plan includes inter sectorial actions with the integration of the Central State Administration Bodies, mass organizations and the participation of the people, especially young people. His main strength, he assured, is the political will to attend to the health of our population.

Compliance with this plan has shown that it is possible to control the epidemic, by observing the established protocols, differentiated care for vulnerable groups, the active search for cases, as well as the isolation of suspects and contacts, hospital admission, treatment preventive and therapeutic, novel drugs produced by the Cuban pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry, emerged under the personal direction of the Commander in Chief.

The results achieved are possible, he affirmed, only in a socialist society, with a universal and free health system, accessible and with competent and committed professionals. However, in recent months there has been a worldwide outbreak, from which Cuba is not excluded, as a consequence, among other reasons, of having relaxed compliance with the established measures.

The country’s response to COVID-19, he said, has been characterized by the contribution of scientists and experts in the development of research and innovations and the immediate introduction of their results, aimed at the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of patients. .

Intensive work is being done on the clinical trials of five vaccine candidates, which could serve to immunize the entire Cuban population and contribute to the health of other nations.

These results, by themselves, as I have already expressed on other occasions, make my admiration for Fidel grow, said Raúl.


The First Secretary specified that the 8th Congress will focus its work on the analysis of three commissions. The first, chaired by the Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero Cruz, will address the economic-social results achieved since the celebration of the 7th Congress to date and projections to continue advancing development.

In their debates will be the evaluation of the implementation process from the 6th  Congress of the Guidelines of the Economic and Social Policy of the Party and the Revolution, and the proposal for its updating, as well as the Conceptualization of the Cuban Economic and Social Model, and the status of compliance with the Economic and Social Strategy to promote the economy and coping with the global crisis caused by COVID-19.

The second commission, headed by comrade José Ramón Machado Ventura, Second Secretary of the Central Committee, will evaluate compliance with the resolution approved by the 7th Congress on the work objectives of the First National Conference, held in January 2012, related to the functioning of the Party, ideological activity and connection with the masses, as well as projections to improve the Party’s work in current and future circumstances.

Finally, the third Commission, headed by the President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, will present an assessment of the situation of the cadres of the Party, the UJC, the mass organizations, the State and the Government, as well as the role of the Party to achieve superior results.

The documents that we present for your consideration today, the result of the work of these three commissions, were previously discussed in the provincial committees of the Party and the government councils at that level, with the participation of the first secretaries of the Party, the leaders of the organizations. of the masses and the administrative cadres of the municipalities, as well as the boards of directors of the Central State Administration Bodies and the national directorates of the mass organizations and the Young Communists League.

As a result of these debates, Raúl added, significant modifications were introduced that enriched its content. More recently they were submitted to the consideration of the delegates to Congress, grouped in the respective provincial delegations.


The Army General referred to the fact that the desire for higher income seems to provoke in some people to desire a privatization process that would sweep away the foundations and essences of the socialist society built over more than six decades. While others, hoping to explode the socialist principle of the State monopoly on foreign trade have been demanding that private commercial importation be authorized, with the aim of establishing a non-state system of foreign trade.

These are questions that cannot lend themselves to the naivety of the leadership cadres and Party members. There are limits that we cannot exceed because the consequences would be irreversible and would lead to strategic errors and the very destruction of socialism and, therefore, of national sovereignty and independence, he warned.

In keeping with the matter, he recalled the words of Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, at the closing of the 6th. Congress of the Young Communists League(UJC), on April 4, 1992, when it stated that, without firmness, without decision, without a consistent spirit, the Revolution would not even have triumphed, because those who make concessions, those who give up, Those who go soft, those who betray, those never get anywhere.


The First Secretary of the Party engaged never to forget that the ownership of all the people over the fundamental means of production constitutes the basis of the real power of the workers.

In addition, he affirmed that the state business system has the special challenge of consolidating its position as the dominant form of management in the economy. This is an essential condition for the maintenance of socialist society, therefore it is unavoidable to provoke a shaking of business structures, from top to bottom and vice versa; the definitive banishment of inefficiency, conformity and lack of initiatives.

Old and bad habits must be modified and entrepreneurial and proactive traits must be developed in the management teams of our companies and establishments, which will function with greater autonomy every day, achieving higher productions and more efficiency.

All this is said easy; the difficult, but not impossible, is to materialize and consolidate the change. It is necessary to make a true turn in order to defend the increase in national production, especially of food, eradicating the harmful habit of importing it, and generating diversified and competitive exports, said Raúl.

On the other hand, he said, we have to get used to living with what we have and not expecting to spend more than we are capable of generating. Doing otherwise constitutes a mistake that we have already made and cannot repeat. Do not forget that saving is the fastest and safest income available to us.

Regarding a strategic sector for the national economy such as tourism, which had been growing steadily until 2018, he made reference to the fall suffered the following year from the measures adopted by the US administration against the Island and, later, due to the crisis caused by COVID-19.

However, he explained, the closure of most of the establishments has been used to maintain and reform the hotel staff. So that, when the tourist operation restarts, Cuba can offer a better quality service. We are optimistic and confident that this sector will not only recover, but will continue to develop for the good of the entire country.

In another order, he pointed out that it is necessary to ensure that the unsatisfied demands of the population constitute an incentive for national producers, based on the efficient and rational use of material and financial resources.

These are the purposes pursued by the Economic-Social Strategy to boost the economy and face the global crisis caused by COVID-19, implemented by the country’s leadership.

It is not idle to reiterate, he stressed, that the decisions in the economy in no case can cause a break in the ideals of justice and equality of the Revolution, or of the unity and confidence of the people around his party.

Raúl took the opportunity to thank a good part of our creditors for their willingness to restructure overdue debts and, at the same time, assure them of their willingness to fulfill their financial commitments as the economy begins to recover. Likewise, the decision to guarantee bank deposits in freely convertible currency and in Cuban pesos, as well as cash in the hands of the population and international legal entities, is ratified.

The First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Party referred to the fact that the extreme situation of lack of liquidity forced the reintroduction of freely convertible currency in a part of the retail trade and, later, of the wholesaler.

This necessary measure – he explained – had the initial purpose of ensuring the presence in the domestic market of a set of assortments that over the last five years have been disappearing from the state supply, leaving room for illegal activity of purchasing in the market abroad and reselling these items at sky-high profit rates.

Already under the effects of COVID-19, sales in freely convertible currency were expanded to other products, including food, with the aim of encouraging remittances that Cuban citizens residing abroad make to their relatives in the national territory, he said.

Along with this, -he added- the government has ensured the allocation of an appreciable volume of foreign currency to guarantee the sustainability of the supply in Cuban pesos of a small group of basic products of food, hygiene and personal hygiene, and work to reestablish the presence of national suppliers in this market.

Regarding the impact of sales in freely convertible currency, the Army General pointed out that, due to an inadequate communication policy and the publication of incorrect approaches in several of our press media, some confusion was generated in some management cadres, who attacked the alleged inequality that emanates from these sales and demanded that all the internal commerce of the country be returned to the supply book.

With the passing of the months and the public interventions of the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister and other government officials, it was possible to understand that sales in freely convertible currency are necessary and that they will last as long as it takes us to recover and strengthen the economy, and thereby ensure the real convertibility of the national currency, he emphasized.


Raúl also stressed that, amid these complex circumstances, measures have continued to be adopted in the interest of encouraging foreign investment, eliminating delays and obstacles in its operation, which compromise its decisive contribution with the performance of the national economy.

It is time to erase from our minds the prejudices of the past associated with foreign investment and ensure a correct preparation and design of new businesses with the participation of foreign capital. Proof of this, are the results achieved in the Mariel Special Development Zone, which stands as an important pole of attraction for foreign and national investors, who enjoy impressive infrastructures that have not stopped being executed despite the measures to reinforce the blockade from the United States, he highlighted when referring to the subject.


At another point in the Report, Raúl spoke to those present about the implementation of the Guidelines of the Economic and Social Policy of the Party and the Revolution, on which he expressed that the trend of progress is consolidated.

However, certain shortcomings in the planning, organization, control and monitoring of the processes are still evident and, in some cases, slow and late reactions to correct deviations, as well as the lack of comprehensiveness and vision regarding the levels of risk and deficiencies.

Regarding the implementation of what was agreed in the 7th. Party Congress, he criticized that the training and social communication actions have lacked the opportunity, quality and scope required.

Likewise, it indicated that there is resistance to change and a lack of renewal capacity, expressed in attitudes of inertia and immobility when applying the measures adopted, the fear of exercising the powers granted and prejudices towards non-ownership and management state forms.

Likewise, it pointed out that the Permanent Commission for Implementation and Development failed to adequately organize the participation of the different actors involved in the implementation of the Guidelines, and assumed functions that exceeded the mandate given by Congress, which limited the role that corresponded with their functions.

At the same time, he continued, he did not sufficiently encourage political and mass organizations to play a more active role in this process. All this motivated the Political Bureau to adopt the decision to distribute the responsibilities in the conduct of the implementation of the Guidelines between the Commission and the organisms of the Central State Administration and the national entities, with which superior progress was achieved.

The First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Party informed that, as a result of the update of the Guidelines approved in the 7th. Congress, it is proposed to maintain 17, modify 165, delete 92 and add 18, for which they would be made up of a total of 200 Guidelines.


As it is known, the conceptualization of the economic and social model, a theoretical guide for the construction of socialism in Cuba, was approved in the 7th Congress with the mandate to discuss it in the organizations of the Party, the Young Communists League, and with wide sectors of the society, and then submit it to the approval of the Plenary of the Central Committee of the Party.

Within the framework of the tasks entrusted to Commission number 1, created by the Political Bureau to assess the updating of the content of this programmatic document, its main postulates were ratified and, in accordance with the Constitution, modifications were also aimed at achieving greater precision on some issues, which will be debated by the delegates in the respective committees, Raúl said.


He explained that after more than a decade of study and work, from the first of January of this year we began the application of the Ordering Task, which, as had been reiterated, does not constitute the magic solution to the problems of our economy; but it will allow, as its name indicates, to order and make transparent the performance of the different actors in the economic scenario and to encourage the love for work and the meaning of life of the citizens

We must erase the hackneyed illusion, which arose under the protection of paternalism and egalitarianism, that Cuba is the only country where you can live without working. The average standard of living and consumption of Cubans should be determined by the legal income they receive and not by excessive subsidies and / or undue gratuities, he stressed.

He explained that the few months that have passed have confirmed the complexity and scope of this process that touches all the components of Cuban society, with a broad set of decisions and actions that are unprecedented in the recent history of the Revolution.

The design stage did not take us so long for pleasure, with the participation and contribution of highly qualified specialists and researchers from the productive and academic field of the country, the valuable contribution of institutions from other nations, as well as the experiences of similar processes applied in China and Vietnam, saving the differences, he said.

He expanded that along with unobjectionable achievements in the establishment of monetary and exchange unification, the general reform of wages, pensions and social assistance, as well as the reduction of subsidies and gratuities.

Raúl stated that in the period that has elapsed since the 7th Congress, held in 2016, has continued to advance in meeting the objectives of the First National Conference in terms of the modifications introduced in the means and objectives of the party organization’s work, and in serving grassroots organizations and to the main problems of the political, economic and social life of the nation with the purpose of overcoming the impersonation and interference in the functions and decisions that correspond to the State, Government and administrative institutions, without ceasing to lead in conjunction with said authorities the confrontation with the situations that affect the Revolution.


He continued to ensure that the statutes of our Party define him as the continuation of the Cuban Revolutionary Party created by Martí to lead the struggles for independence, of the first Communist Party of Cuba created by Carlos Baliño and Julio Antonio Mella, and of the one born from the voluntary integration of the three revolutionary organizations that led the fight against Batista’s tyranny.

The existence in Cuba of a single party has been and will always be in the focus of the enemy’s campaigns, determined to fragment and disunite the Cubans with the siren songs of the sacrosanct bourgeois democracy, starting from the ancient tactic of divide and win.

The unity of the vast majority of Cubans around the Party and the work and ideals of the Revolution has been our fundamental strategic weapon to successfully confront all kinds of threats and aggressions. For this reason, he ratified, this unity must be guarded with zeal and never accept the division between revolutionaries under false pretenses of greater democracy, since that would be the first step to destroy the Revolution itself, socialism and, consequently, national independence from within. and fall back under the rule of US imperialism.

That is why he insisted that if we have a single party, we must promote in its functioning, and in general in our society, the broadest democracy and a permanent sincere and deep exchange of opinions, not always coincident; express the link with the working mass and the population and ensure the growing participation of citizens in fundamental decisions.

In addition, he explained that the Party’s attention to the Young Communists League (UJC), student organizations and youth movements has been strengthened, in order to raise their prominence and strengthen political-ideological work while preserving independence.

In order to continue consolidating the unity of Cubans, the confrontation with prejudices and all kinds of discrimination has been maintained. Likewise, the policy of attention to religious institutions and fraternal associations that are increasingly inserted in different spheres of national activity was updated.

As for the mass organizations, he stated that it is necessary to revitalize their actions in all spheres of society and update their functioning in correspondence with the times we live in, which are very different from those of the early years of the Revolution, when they were born.

In this regard, he also stressed that it is necessary to rescue work at the base, in factories, on farms, in blocks and neighborhoods in defense of the Revolution and in the fight against manifestations of crime and social indiscipline.

He argued the need to raise revolutionary militancy and intransigence and strengthen its contribution to ideological work, the confrontation with the subversive plans of the enemy and the creation and consolidation of values.

Likewise, the Army General assured that the Party continues to support the work of the Federation of Cuban Women and other institutions in the defense of women’s rights and denouncing gender violence. The confrontation with prejudices associated with sexual orientation and gender identity will be deepened.

In compliance with the constitutional mandate, the Council of State approved the commission that will draft the preliminary draft of the Family Code for its analysis in Parliament and subsequent discussion with the population, an activity that is already being worked on.

The creation of the Government Program and the commission headed by the President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel to address the issue of racial discrimination, will promote a more effective confrontation with those lags of the past and greater coherence in the presentation and conduct a public debate about them, he assured.


On the other hand, despite the fact that ideological work constitutes one of the main directions of work of the Party, he said he was dissatisfied with the progress made.

Although it is true that our press media are characterized by their attachment to the truth and rejection of lies, it is also true that there persist manifestations of triumphalism, stridency and superficiality in the way they approach the reality of the country, Raúl commented, who added that these approaches damage the credibility of the approved information and communication policy.

The immediacy in the approach to the national task should not be at odds with objectivity, professionalism and above all political intentionality, he said.

Referring to political-ideological work, he pointed out that it is not enough to do more of the same. Creativity is required, adjusting it effectively to the scenario in which we live, promoting the study of the country’s history, reaching each Cuban with the message of optimism and the confidence that together we will know how to face and overcome any obstacle.

He observed that a profound transformation is required aimed at enhancing the essences and values ​​that emanate from the work of the Revolution.


He also addressed the current environment in which the program of ideological and cultural subversion has been redoubled, aimed at discrediting the socialist model of development and presenting us the capitalist restoration as the only alternative.

He emphasized that the subversive component of US policy toward Cuba centers on the breakdown of national unity.

In this sense, priority is given to actions aimed at young people, women and academics, the artistic and intellectual sector, journalists, athletes, people of sexual diversity and religions … Matters of interest to specific groups related to protection are manipulated of animals, the environment or artistic and cultural manifestations; all aimed at ignoring the existing institutions.

He denounced that aggressive actions have not ceased to be financed with the use of radio and television stations based in the United States, while monetary support for the development of platforms for the generation of ideological content that openly calls for the overthrow of the revolution.

They launch calls for demonstrations in public spaces, incite the execution of sabotage and terrorist acts, including the murder of public order agents and representatives of the revolutionary power. Without the slightest shame they declare the fees that are paid from the United States to the executors of these criminal actions, he said.


Let’s not forget that the US government created the working group on the Internet for Cuba, which aims to turn social networks into channels of subversion, the creation of wireless networks outside of state control, and the organization of cyber-attacks on public infrastructure, the Army General recalled.

We have already spoken about the benefits and dangers of using the internet and social networks, even in Parliament, which has been meeting here for several dozen years, he added.

Likewise, he stressed that there should be no spaces for naivety at this point, or for excessive enthusiasm for new technologies without previously guaranteeing computer security.

Lies, manipulation and the spread of fake news no longer know any limits. Through them, the virtual image of Cuba as a dying society with no future, on the verge of collapsing and giving way to the much-desired social outbreak, is conformed and disseminated to the four winds, he remarked.

However, the truth is otherwise. The internal counterrevolution, which lacks a social base, leadership and organizational capacity, continues to decrease in the number of its members and the number of actions with social impact, concentrating its activism on social networks and the internet.

We are firmly convinced that the streets, parks and squares belong to the revolutionaries, and that we will never deny our heroic people the right to defend their Revolution, he emphasized.


In terms of cadre policy, the Army General specified that he has continued to work on compliance with the agreements of the last Party congresses and the First National Conference.

Likewise, he stressed, there is a progressive and sustained increase in the promotion of young people, women, blacks and mulattoes, on the basis of merit and personal qualities, although what has been achieved is insufficient in relation to the main responsibilities in the Party, State and Government.

He continues to promote cadres from the Young Communist League to professional work in the Party. At the same time, weaknesses persist in the application of the cadre policy, which are reflected in the tendency to formalism and the superficiality of not a few cadres that are considered essential and do not attend to the formation of the reserve, he explained.

A scarce link with the people, lack of sensitivity and inability to mobilize the groups in solving problems and in working towards subordinates is revealed. There is an insufficient communication culture, which limits the ability to understand, participate and debate the issues that concern the mass of workers, he stressed.

Yet, the First Secretary added, there are cases of colleagues who are promoted to management positions without having proven the ability and preparation to exercise them, while a slight intention and projection to improve the composition of the cadre of cadres is manifested in terms of women, blacks and mulattos.

The practice of keeping as second boss and substitute colleagues who everyone knows do not have the conditions to be promoted continues, which damages the integrity of the boss instead of preserving it, and freezes the normal development and promotion of new leaders, he said.

He also considered it appropriate to refer to the content of Article 4 of the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba, which states: The defense of the Socialist Homeland is the greatest honor and supreme duty of every Cuban.

This important postulate of the Constitution must be taken into account in the work of all communist militants, including cadre politics. The promotion to higher positions of colleagues who, for unjustified reasons, have not fulfilled Active Military Service, which is the main route of military preparation that all citizens must fulfill, and in the first place, cadres, cannot be admitted, he said.

In this sphere – he continued – we have the valuable example of the decision adopted at the request of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, since 2002, that all students of the Higher Institute of International Relations (ISRI) of both sexes, prior to their admission, complete their military service for a year in the Border Brigade, in front of the illegal Guantánamo Naval Base.

In light of the aging trend of the Cuban population, the First Secretary of the Party’s Central Committee commented that among many other negative elements limits the number of citizens who reach the statutory age to join the military service, the experience of ISRI It should be studied with the purpose of gradually generalizing that the accumulation of Higher Education students previously fulfill the service.

The President of the Republic himself, Miguel Díaz-Canel, before a call from the Commander in Chief, voluntarily fulfilled the Military Service in antiaircraft defense units to assimilate the new techniques after graduating as an electronics engineer at the Central University of Las Villas, the Army General recalled.

And as he himself has expressed, that period – in his case of three years – was very useful in training as a revolutionary cadre.

Due to its strategic nature, the Party’s cadre policy requires constant improvement and updating, so as to ensure the selection, training and promotion of cadres characterized by their commitment to the Revolution, humility, modesty, personal example and firm convictions against to any vestige of elitism, vanity, self-sufficiency and ambition, he indicated.

He also stressed that this policy should ensure the pool of tomorrow’s leaders, in close union with the masses, with the ability to mobilize, dialogue, argue and be decisive, as well as raise political sensitivity, responsibility, discipline, demand and control, making use of collective management as the only way to find the best solutions to problems.


During the reading of the Central Report, Raúl also made reference to the flagrant abuses of the United States, the main economic, military and technological power, whose irresponsible actions have been the greatest threat to peace and the survival of life on Earth.

This context explains, in part, the particularly harmful effect of the economic blockade with which the US attacks our country, in a scenario where the international economy is increasingly interconnected, interdependent and increasingly subject to the dictates of the financial centers. of power that are controlled from Washington, he maintained.

Despite the repeated and overwhelming rejection of the international community, the blockade damages Cuba’s economic relations with practically every nation on the planet, regardless of the country’s political position or its relationship with us.

In many cases, he said, governments do not even have the ability to enforce their sovereign prerogatives over the actions of national entities that reside in their own territories, since these are often subordinate to Washington, as if we lived in a world subjugated by the power of the United States.

It is a phenomenon that is expressed with special impact in the financial sector, when the national banks of several countries privilege the provisions of US institutions over the political decisions of their own government, he pointed out. These realities are reaffirmed as neoliberal globalization has spread.

That blockade, which our people have faced for more than 60 years, with effort, sacrifice and creativity, would have been capable of devastating the economy and social stability of any country, even those that are richer and more powerful than Cuba, said the Army General, Raúl Castro Ruz. It is, in his words, the most comprehensive, unequal and prolonged economic war ever unleashed against any nation.

Only under the conditions of the socialist system, based on social justice, the unity of the people around the Party and the joint and united effort to defend the country, can an underdeveloped and relatively small nation like ours, with scarce natural wealth, avoid collapse and even encourage development, he said.

The policy against Cuba, unleashed by the previous United States government, was reinforced precisely in the harsh conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighting the ruthless nature of imperialism, he said.

At times, he commented, the damage it has caused to the economy and the objective impact of the 240 coercive measures adopted since 2017 is not sufficiently understood or assessed in detail.

It must be understood that these are not simple actions to increase the blockade, but rather new methods, some of them unprecedented, increasing the magnitude of the economic war, which is reflected in the material deficiencies that accompany us in daily life.

The Army General recalled, among the first actions carried out to reinforce the economic siege against Cuba, the determination, in November 2017, of a list of grassroots business entities which would be subject to additional restrictions to those already suffered by the blocking.

That list, which was updated several times today, includes, according to Raúl, 231 units, many of them with responsibilities in the country’s retail network, the supply system of the most important needs for the economy and the population, all the hotel facilities, as well as various institutions in the financial sector.

He added that the United States government justifies this action on the pretext of restricting the activity of companies belonging to the defense and security sector, which it accuses of supporting the repression of human rights in Cuba and intervention in Venezuela. .

However, he assured that our people are well aware that this illegitimate persecution is directed against successful entities, whose social function is totally economic and commercial, and which ensure a significant contribution to the national economy.

He also knows, he added, with clear certainty and from historical experience that the objective of this measure is to extend the economic siege to sabotage the business system, obstruct the process of updating the economy, break State management and impose informality and chaos, with the stated goal of strangling the country and causing a social outbreak.

According to the Army General, in the extraordinary task of facing the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been necessary to dedicate considerable resources to guarantee, urgently, the equipment and materials for our hospitals and healthcare centers. The cost would have been less, he said, if Cuba had not had to face the impact of the blockade.

On the other hand, the financial persecution, he stressed, acquired the characteristics of a true hunt against Cuban transactions, which undermines our payment capacities for imported products and services, and for the collection of those that we export, with the consequent increase in price of foreign trade.

To punish Cuba and Cubans living inside and outside the country, the United States first limited, and then practically cut off, any possibility of remitting money to Cuba.

These realities, he expressed, are present in the shortage of essential products for the population’s consumption and are the cause of many difficulties for the national industry to have the necessary inputs, on time and with the required quality. This includes both consumer goods and medicines and food industry assortments.

The strengthening of the blockade, considered the First Secretary of the PCC, complicates the fulfillment of international financial commitments, despite the firm decision to honor them and the effort we undertake which, although modest, entails a great sacrifice.

According to the Army General, measures were increasingly implemented to restrict travel to Cuba, both by air and by sea, which meant a brutal blow to a part of the non-state sector of the economy, dedicated to services. .

The damage that these measures cause to the standard of living of the population, he asserted, is not fortuitous or a collateral effect; it is the consequence of a deliberate intention to punish the Cuban people.

Raúl also pointed out that another of the most significant actions, due to its degree of cruelty, because it is inadmissible under International Law and because of the level of impunity, with which the United States commits it, is the determination, since April 2019, to deprive Cuba of fuel supplies.

To achieve this, he explained, they apply measures typical of unconventional warfare, in order to prevent those supplies from reaching the national territory.

It is one of the actions that best illustrates, in his opinion, the new dimension of the economic war against Cuba, and if the coup has not been devastating as the United States expected, it is because of the strength of the society we have built and the ability to resistance of our people.

In the count of grievances, Raúl also highlighted the immoral campaign unleashed against the international medical cooperation provided by Cuba.

Our trajectory on this front, he affirmed, is unmatched in the world. It is an effort inherent to the moral principles on which Cuban society is built and rests on the notion that we share what we have, not what is left over.

The success of having formed, he pointed out, with perseverance and dedication, a significant human resource capacity and having a robust, effective and sustainable public health system, gives us that opportunity to share with others.

In the words of the Army General, it is a solidarity effort that will continue despite the campaigns, it has saved lives, faced diseases, alleviated suffering and improved the health and well-being conditions of millions of people in the world, almost always of the populations most vulnerable or disadvantaged, in conditions of extreme difficulty, and even danger.

The US attack, he reiterated, is aimed at discrediting such noble and recognized work and depriving Cuba of the fair, honest and legitimate income that, with his efforts, thousands of technically and ethically trained professionals in the country ensure.

Access to healthcare is a universal human right and the United States Government commits a crime by attacking us, and is dedicated to sabotaging the only source of medical services to which millions of people in the world have access.


The Army General addressed in his report the impact of the application of the Helms-Burton Act, especially since April 2019, when the United States decided for the first time to allow, under the protection of its title III, to admit in courts of that country the demands presented by the presumed claimants of properties that were justly and legitimately nationalized in the early years of the Revolution.

It is not a new law, he said, it is a monstrosity that dates back to 1996, which codifies the blockade into law and establishes the obligation of the US government to attack Cuba economically on an international scale and in a comprehensive manner.

It also provides for the promotion of political subversion to destroy the Cuban constitutional order with the support each year of official and millionaire financing from the State budget. He reaches the height of designing the program of political intervention in our country and the establishment of a tutelage that would subject the Cuban nation to the condition of territory subjugated and subordinate to the sovereignty of the United States.

It is a law that our people must know well and that they cannot afford to forget even if one day they are defeated.

The First Secretary recalled that when in December 2014 we decided jointly with the Government of the United States, then headed by President Barack Obama, to move towards a better understanding between our respective countries, he told the National Assembly of People’s Power: “An important step has been taken, but the essential aspect of ending the economic, commercial and financial blockade against Cuba, which has intensified in recent years, particularly in the field of financial transactions with the application of huge and illegitimate fines against different countries banks, remains to be resolved “.

The aggressive behavior unleashed by the previous US administration reaffirms with clear evidence that any perspective of a truly positive evolution in the relationship between the two countries, in order to be sustainable, would have to be associated with the elimination of the economic blockade and the legislative framework that supports it, the Army General asserted.

We are not deluded that it is something easy and simple; on the contrary, it will require the sensible and respectful political will of whoever rules in the United States.

Cuba has maintained and maintains that we do not identify the American people as an enemy, that political and ideological differences are not impediments to a respectful and civilized relationship with our neighbor, Raúl clarified.

We have stated, he reiterated, that we can develop a cooperative relationship on many issues, of benefits for many countries and for the region. We will never forget the content of Article 16 subsection a) of the Constitution of the Republic, which reaffirms that economic, diplomatic and political relations with any other State may never be negotiated under aggression, threat or coercion.


We ratify from this Party Congress the will to develop a respectful dialogue, to build a new type of relations with the United States, without the intention that in order to achieve this, Cuba renounces the principles of the Revolution and Socialism, makes concessions inherent to its sovereignty and independence, give in in the defense of their ideals and the exercise of their foreign policy, committed to just causes in defense of the self-determination of the peoples, he said.

At the same time, we have the duty to remain vigilant, to assume with responsibility the teachings of history and to protect our country and the sovereign right for which so many generations of Cubans have sacrificed, he continued.

Exactly five years ago today we warned that the Latin American and Caribbean region was under the effects of a strongly articulated counteroffensive, promoted by imperialism and regional oligarchies against revolutionary and progressive governments, the Army General stressed.

That counteroffensive – he added – was strengthened when the conduct of United States foreign policy fell into the hands of sinister figures, linked to interference and interventionist episodes in the region and associated with elements of the Cuban-American far right, several of them known terrorist and corrupt trajectory.


Later, the First Secretary of the Communist Party commented that this was also a period in which several governments in the region tried to ignore the proclamation of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, signed in January 2014, in Havana, by the heads of State and Government of the region.

In this sense, he recalled that this transcendental political instrument rests on essential principles for full independence, the real enjoyment of sovereign rights and for the aspirations of unity and integration of our region.

Raúl reiterated Cuba’s solidarity with Venezuela and its President Nicolás Maduro Moros, and with Sandinista Nicaragua and its President Daniel Ortega Saavedra. We also greet, he said, Luis Arce, president of Bolivia, a nation where his people staged a resounding victory against the coup.

We observe with hope, respect and solidarity, Raúl pointed out, the political processes led by Andrés Manuel López Obrador, in Mexico, and Alberto Fernández, in Argentina, in an effort to reverse the consequences of the implementation of neoliberal policies that caused so much damage to their nations.

We ratify, he added, our solidarity with the former president of Brazil, Luis Ignacio Lula Da Silva, leader of the Workers’ Party. And we will continue to defend the legitimate interests of the Caribbean nations: the Caribbean can always count on Cuba.

In particular, Raúl pointed out, we corroborate our commitment to the brother people of Haiti; and we reaffirm our full support for the self-determination and independence of Puerto Rico. Cuba’s commitment to the unity of Latin America and the Caribbean is maintained, he indicated.

The First Secretary also made reference to the consolidation, in the last five years, of the excellent relations with the parties and governments of China, Vietnam, Laos and Korea, Asian socialist countries to which we are united by a historical friendship and solidarity.

Likewise, political relations with Russia have been deepened at the highest level, a country with which we share great coincidences on the most diverse topics on the international agenda and which has maintained a firm position of rejection of the United States’ blockade of Cuba.

Regarding the links with the European Union, the first Secretary of the Party, highlighted the progress in that relationship, despite the existing political differences, through the implementation of the Agreement for political dialogue and cooperation, based on mutual respect and reciprocity. In that sense, he referred to cooperation in sectors such as renewable energy, agriculture and culture.

On the other hand, he ratified the maintenance of collaboration with the countries of Africa, a continent to which we have strong ties of history and culture. An example of this is the thousands of collaborators who provide their services in dozens of these nations. We appreciate the unanimous position of the African Union in solidarity with Cuba and against the blockade during these years.

In addition, he said, Cuba continues its support for the causes of the Palestinian and Saharawi peoples, which will continue to be an invariable commitment.


On the described scenario, he stressed that he demands from everyone to permanently ensure the priority of defense. For this reason, he reflected with a quote from the Commander in Chief in the Central Report to the First Party Congress: “As long as imperialism exists, the Party, the State and the people will pay the maximum attention to the defense services. The revolutionary guard will never be neglected. History teaches, too eloquently, that those who forget this principle do not survive error”.

Consequently, he stated that the strategic conception of War of all the people remains in full force, as endorsed by Article 217 of the Constitution of the Republic, which means that each citizen knows and has a means, a place and a form of struggle against the enemy, under the leadership of the Party.

He added that this doctrine supposes permanent attention to the strengthening of the fighting capacity and disposition, the updating of the country’s defensive plans and the preparation of the leaders, chiefs and management bodies at different levels to conduct the planned actions.

For this reason, he specified, it is necessary to reestablish, as soon as the conditions of COVID-19 allow it, the realization of the national days of defense, with the massive participation of the people, stripping us of any formalism or fanfare and, with it, ensuring its usefulness for the preparation of the population. Let’s not forget that military invulnerability is achieved through constant improvement.

In this period, he detailed, the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) continued- —in unison with their participation in the confrontation with exceptional situations and disasters, as has been the case of COVID-19— the formation of troops, production, maintenance and preparation of military technique and armaments, in which the assurance of the Union of Military Industries has been essential, based on the scientific potential achieved.

Regarding the value of the FAR, he took up the words of Fidel in his central report to the First Congress of the Party, where he declared that the Rebel Army was the soul of the Revolution, and from its victorious weapons the new Homeland emerged free, vigorous and invincible. .

Due to the validity of that statement, he ratified that the FAR, born from the Rebel Army, have not renounced, nor will they renounce, to be the soul of the Revolution forever.

Regarding the work of the Ministry of the Interior (MININT), he expressed that his combatants, in close ties with the people, the Party and the mass organizations, continued to strengthen the prevention and confrontation with enemy activity, illegalities, corruption and social indiscipline.

In the last five years the Minint reached a higher level of organization and cohesion, an issue in which it is fair to acknowledge the decisive contribution of Vice Admiral Julio César Gandarilla Bermejo, member of the Central Committee of the Party, deputy to the National Assembly of People’s Power and Minister of the Interior until his death, to whom to his brilliant record of service to the Revolution is added the correct and far-sighted selection and preparation of the new generations, which guarantee the continuity with a sure relief of the leadership of this body.

The First Secretary recognized the work of both the FAR and the Minint in food production, which has allowed both institutions to supply themselves in most of the products required. The level of satisfaction achieved represents 83% and 72% for each organization, respectively.


He recalled that in the 6th Party Congress, ten years ago, he stated that despite the fact that several attempts were made to promote young people to senior positions, the elections were not always successful and, as a consequence, at that time we did not have a reserve of duly prepared substitutes, with sufficient experience and maturity to assume the new and complex tasks of leadership in the Party, the State and the Government.

I also expressed that we should gradually solve this issue, without haste and improvisation, which would also require the strengthening of the democratic spirit and the collective character of the functioning of the Party’s leadership bodies, and state and governmental power, and that rejuvenation be guaranteed systematic throughout the chain of administrative and partisan positions in the country, he said.

He added that, although we cannot consider this work strategy to be fulfilled, he is satisfied that the leadership of the country was handed over to a group of prepared leaders, hardened by decades of experience in their transition from the base to the highest responsibilities, committed to the ethics and principles of the Revolution and Socialism, and identified with the roots and values ​​of the history and culture of the nation, imbued with great sensitivity towards the people, full of passion and anti-imperialist spirit.

They are knowledgeable people that represent the continuity in the work begun by Céspedes on October 10, 1868, continued by Gómez, Maceo, Calixto García and Agramonte; restarted by Martí at the head of the Cuban Revolutionary Party; for Baliño and Mella, Villena, Guiteras, Jesús Menéndez, Abel, José Antonio, Frank País, Camilo, Che, Celia, Haydée, Melba and Vilma, Almeida and our usual Commander-in-Chief, Fidel.

One of those colleagues, Raúl said, was Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, a member of the Political Bureau and President of the Republic for three years, a position that, according to the assessment of the Party leadership, he has been carrying out with good results.

We have said that Díaz-Canel is not the result of improvisation, but of a thoughtful selection of a young revolutionary with the conditions to be promoted to higher positions, he asserted.

Raúl highlighted that the current President of the Republic successfully passed for 15 years as First Secretary of the Party in the provinces of Villa Clara and Holguín, then he was Minister of Higher Education, Vice President of the Council of Ministers and First Vice President of the Councils of State and of Ministers, a position that was combined with attention to the ideological front in the Party.

That is why he chairs the Panel Commission, whose process is based on his own experience, he emphasized.

He also stressed that, in the last three years, Díaz-Canel has known how to form a team and promote cohesion with the higher bodies of the Party, the State and the Government.


At the end of his intervention, the Army General ratified the decision to conclude his mission at the head of the Central Committee of the Party.

“As for me,” he said, “my task as First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba concludes with the satisfaction of having fulfilled, and the confidence in the future of the country, with the thoughtful conviction of not accepting Proposals to keep me in higher positions in the party organization, in whose ranks I will continue to serve as one more revolutionary fighter, ready to make my modest contribution until the end of my life.

«Nothing compels me to make this decision, but I fervently believe in the strength and value of the example and in the understanding of my compatriots. And let no one doubt it, that while I live, I will be ready, with my foot on the stirrup to defend the Homeland, the Revolution and Socialism. With more strength than ever, let us shout ¡Viva Cuba Libre !, ¡Viva Fidel! ¡Patria o Muerte! We will win! ”Raúl concluded on the morning of April 16.

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