Early on the morning of July 17, more than 100,000 people gathered at the Havana seawall to reaffirm their commitment to an independent, socialist Cuba. Actions in defense of the Cuban Revolution also took place in cities and towns across the island.
Speech delivered by Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba Central Committee and President of the Republic, during the revolutionary reaffirmation event, held on the Piragua esplanade, Havana, July 17, 2021, Year 63 of the Revolution.
Dear Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, leader of the Cuban Revolution;
People of Cuba, Cuban men and women;
Long live free Cuba! (Exclamations of: Viva!)
Free from foreign interference and free from the hatred incited by those who for 60 years have attempted to asphyxiate the nation and provoke a social explosion, and now presenting themselves as our saviors.
Stop the lies, the infamy and the hatred. Cuba is absolutely allergic to hatred, and it will never be a land of hate!
Nothing good can be built with hate. Hatred robs us of time to love and of love itself, if we let it in, as a reaction to the hatred of our adversaries.
We have experienced it during these days of hate inundating us on social networks, not-so “social” networks, with which parents and children have kept company throughout these long months of pandemic, to the point that many spend more time connected to the internet than their families; that family, which, with unity, can be invulnerable to anything that threatens.
A mother was telling me yesterday that her teenage daughter had asked, with tears in her eyes, if this was Cuba, when she saw the images of violent acts shared by some friends on Facebook.
The owners of these networks, the dictators with their algorithms, as a recent documentary denounces, have opened the floodgates of their powerful platforms to hate, without a minimum of ethical control.
This is hatred that divides families, friends, society, and threatens to sweep many of our values into the corner of the useless.
The images bombarding us with violence, blood, protests, shouting, vandalism, threats, harassment and repression have continued without pause over the last six days.
During previous weeks, an intense political-communications operation was mounted by an articulated platform of media poison, financed by the U.S. government and by the state of Florida’s political machinery.
Its objective was to encourage disturbances and instability in the country, taking advantage of the difficult conditions caused by the pandemic, the tightened blockade and the Trump administration’s 243 additional measures.
During those days, acts of unconventional warfare were committed, including calls for a social explosion, violence, aggression against police agents, vandalism and sabotage.
To accomplish this, they used artificial intelligence and Big Data systems, cyber-troops and cyber-terrorism to promote the fabrication of homemade weapons and incendiary devices, harassing speech, coercion and financing of digital “leaders” and international influencers.
This was facilitated by the complicity of a powerful transnational that allowed their own regulations to be violated with impunity, disregarding the legitimate complaints of users and some press media and cable agencies.
Cuban television has made the objectives of this campaign abundantly clear by reconstructing the sequence of events that occurred last Sunday.
First the protests were called, then a false account of the events was constructed to generate emotional reactions of solidarity with the demonstrators, and then the vandalism was unleashed, which occurred hours before our improvised appearance on television, after returning from San Antonio de los Baños.
The route of this outrage is clear. After the fact, the events were presented out of order, as if they were the result of our legitimate call for revolutionaries to defend the Revolution.
An attempt was made to tell the story backward. What I may have said didn’t matter; the calls for unity, peace and solidarity made by many do not count. The ill-intentioned interpretation is that a civil war was called.
We can take apart the so-called fake news, expose the lies, show how a completely false reality of Cuba was fabricated on virtual platforms, but they have already caused immeasurable damage to the national soul, which has among its most sacred values citizen tranquility, coexistence, solidarity and unity.
We are under fire from sophisticated cyber-warfare that includes cyber-terrorism and media terrorism in its aggressive toolkit.
The denunciations made by Cuba’s Foreign Minister last Tuesday (July 13) have not been answered. There has not been even an attempted response by authorities of the Republican government in Florida, regarding funds allocated to these projects, with which they intend to attack our country and, at the same time, disarm us of any possible means of defense.
Not only the Foreign Ministry, but also the websites of the Presidency, the popular news and analysis portal covering Cuba’s reality Cubadebate, Granma, Juventud Rebelde and practically all Cuban public media are suffering intermittent attacks with denial of services in the midst of an atrocious campaign to demonize the government.
They are trying to silence any alternative to the anti-Cuban narrative that today is displayed on alarmist front pages. Friends of Cuba, who know and suffer the manipulation and the silence, are unable to access Cuban media and have sent us reports of access denial.
Taking the lies to new heights, false images are used, already well-documented by our journalists, inciting and glorifying contempt of authority and destruction of property, encouraging assaults and threatening harassment of citizens and families.
Right now, what the world is seeing of Cuba is a lie: an entire people rising up against the government and a government repressing its people.
It is not strange that, under such a media barrage, some doubt and make statements assuming division that does not exist.
I do not judge, I do not condemn. I understand that the adversary’s weapons are overwhelming. But on the side of the people, with the people and for the people, the Revolution continues to stand! (Applause and exclamations of: Long live the Revolution! Long live Diaz-Canel! Long live the people! Down with the Yankees! Down with the blockade!)
Not with statements, but with deeds. As the #SOSMatanzas hashtag was fading in cyberspace, the promoters of a humanitarian intervention were nowhere to be seen, on the side of Matanzas and all of Cuba. The same noble, solid people were still present, suffering the consequences of the blockade, and the Cuban government was there.
Hospital children’s ward attacked
Who was not shocked to learn that vandals of the worst kind had stoned the children’s ward of the Cárdenas hospital, forcing children and mothers to seek refuge in the bathrooms or under beds at the institution?
Over the days to come, many personal stories must be told about the popular reaction to the attacks and harassment; about how much the forces of order were obliged to restrain themselves, given the care required of them to avoid excesses. But make no mistake: the majority of the people, the same people exhausted and irritated by the shortages, who demand better government management, also demand an end to violence. (Applause and exclamations of: Long live our doctors!)
No lie has emerged by chance or because of a mistake. Everything is coldly calculated according to the unconventional warfare manual. The indecent representative of the Organization of American States (OAS), the Ministry of Colonies, which we are honored to not be a part of, has already spoken.
We are not speculating. Some speak so that others may issue statements later. There it is, lying in wait, the hard right wing of the U.S. Congress, sharpening its teeth and demanding that its political adversaries in the current administration take action against Cuba, convene the United Nations Security Council, warning that any attempt of massive emigration to its shores constitutes a hostile act and a threat to the sacrosanct National Security of the empire.
None of this is new. They have tried it before. It is their way of putting the adversary administration against the ropes, and attempting to force them to achieve the never-met objective of wiping off the map the bad example of this small Island, determined to remain sovereign and independent, when so many others bow down to their orders. (Applause and exclamations of: Let those born and those to be born know, we were born to win and not to be defeated!)
Almost along with our mother’s milk, our parents instilled in us Marti’s alert: “Men go in two camps: those who love and create, and those who hate and destroy,” the Apostle told us.
Cuba will continue creating! Cuba is doing so right now, with the first two vaccines in Latin America: Abdala and Soberana. (Applause and exclamations of: Long live Cuban medicine! Viva!”) She is doing so with another piece of news that the malicious want to hide: the one-hundred-percent efficacy in preventing serious symptoms or death, shown in the third phase of Abdala’s clinical trials. (Applause and exclamations of: Viva!)
When a people has come so far in the realization of its dreams and in the conquest of rights, which for half the planet are only a pipedream, neither violence nor fear can stop them.
None of this that we denounce today excuses us from the obligation to conduct self-criticism, complete pending rectifications, reconsider thoroughly our methods and styles of work that clash with the will to serve the people, due to the bureaucracy, the obstacles and the insensitivity of some that is so damaging.
Today I come to reiterate the commitment to work for and demand the fulfillment of the program we have given ourselves as a government and as a people, reviewed in light of possible mistakes committed during these years of intense pressure, particularly the last two.
Denounce blockade, aggression and terror
We are not gathering here this morning on a capricious whim, in the midst of a complex epidemiological situation. Respecting sanitary measures and physical distancing as much as possible, we have called you here to denounce once again the blockade, the aggression and the terror. We could not delay this meeting; the enemy has once again launched an all-out attack to destroy the sacred unity and tranquility of our citizens.
We reaffirm that Cuba belongs to all! (Applause and exclamations of: Long live Cuba! Long live Cubans!” Long live unity! Long live Raúl! Long live Díaz-Canel!) We will triumph!
I am sharing with you sentiments and reflections, emotions, disposition and convictions. (Applause and exclamations of: (Ready) for whatever, Díaz-Canel, for whatever!)
We can only have more if we create more. We will achieve what we set out to do by pushing the work forward together. We have the immense example of Cuban science, which proposed and achieved in record time, and with hardly any resources, two vaccines and other candidate vaccines that allow us to face the future with hopes that other peoples do not have.
If we have been able to do something so huge and difficult, what can we not do in other areas?
And, above all, how much more can we do if we articulate pending dialogues, recover social work, promote greater attention to vulnerable sectors, to neighborhoods, supported by the experience of the work bequeathed to us by the Comandante en Jefe, in years as challenging as these; this is what Gerardo called for.
The Cuban Revolution erased forever the seeds of evil, hatred, dishonor and crime. It is important, therefore, that we seek the deep causes of the violence that is boiling below the surface, given the unmet needs, and complete the pending task of ensuring that the gene of the brave, the honest, the just, the honorable, the joyful children of this Cuban land prevails in Cuba’s heritage (Applause and exclamations of: Down with the blockade! Down with imperialist aggression!)
“Only love turns mud into a miracle / Only love illuminates that which endures,” we have sung a thousand times with Silvio, evoking Martí.
We are going to put heart into the common work, a heart as big as our difficulties! Together we can! (Applause and exclamations of: Together we can, together we can, together we can, together we can!)
Long live sovereign, independent and socialist Cuba! (Exclamations of: Viva!)
Cuba of love, Cuba of peace, Cuba of unity, Cuba of solidarity! (Exclamations of: Viva!) Cuba for all Cubans, who, wherever they are, work to see her advance on our own legs, with our own arms. Toward a destiny of prosperity, which is possible! (Exclamations of: Viva!)
Put some heart into Cuba! Heart to the homeland, to the Revolution, to socialism!
We will win! (Exclamations of: We will win, we will win, we will win! Together we can, together we can!)