In the 92nd Anniversary of his Birth: Fidel, a World Paradigm

He is outstanding for his exemplary conduct and intelligence, firmness and dedication to work, his ethical, human and solidary behavior, his vision of the world.

That afternoon of August 13th, 2016 a collective question rose at Karl Marx Theater: Will the Commander in Chief arrive? It was his 90th birthday and the children company La Colmenita had organized a great party in his honor.

Only a few more minutes before the beginning of the when the entire audience began to chant watchwords about his figure. Maybe he thought - in the simplicity and modesty he always showed - that it would have been disrespectful not to thank a gesture like that to the young artists.

Accompanied by Raúl, president Maduro and his wife Cilia, Fidel appeared smiling, proud of that childhood for whose rights he had always fought.

Today, exactly after two years, and for many is still among us the undefeated Commander in Chief, the man who rallied multitudes seeking a dream, woke up the conscience of a people and led it to the final victory.

In Fidel are reunited the freedom ideas of the martyrs of the Homeland, from Varela, Luz y Caballero, Maceo, and Martí. In the lives of each of these men – as well as so many others who even gave up their lives – is the root and foundation of everything he did for a nation free and sovereign.

His personal example and intelligence, his determination and dedication to work, the ethics, human and solidary behavior, his vision of the world, made of him a world paradigm.

For those who dreamt a different Cuba after his decease, the current road and domestic development is the expression that when ideas and principles are fair, they last in time. Consequently the current historical continuity of the Revolution.

His long speeches are astonishing and later his deep reflections. The climate, the grounds, agriculture, health, education, culture, politics. What didn’t Fidel know about? His wisdom was, truly amazing and, at the same time, he knew that it was necessary to speak to the people, to explain and support any idea, regardless how insignificant it seemed.

For all that, a better date could not have been chosen to begin in Cuba the process of popular consultation for the Draft of the Constitution of the Republic, approved last July 21st and 22nd, during the First ordinary meeting of the National Assembly in its IX Legislature.

In the Main Report to the First Congress of the Party, which Fidel presented in his condition as first secretary of his Central Committee, as far back as year 1975, appeared essentials on the new Constitution, the one which was later approved in February 1976.

"Today we need a socialist Constitution that meets the characteristics of our society, with the social conscience, the ideological convictions and goals of our people. A Constitution that reflects the general laws of the society we build, the deep economic, social and political transformations done by the Revolution and the historical achievements conquered by our people. A Constitution in short that summarizes what we are today and that helps us reach what we want to be tomorrow."

The strength of such words leads us to ratify the foresight of his ideas, his experience and political commitment. On top of that idea we must place his concept of Revolution, a worthy legacy for the everyday life of all Cubans.

The idea "I am Fidel", was born in the heat of a collective feeling, he is present in each Cuban that admires his spotless behavior and personal example. The historical leader planted ideas and principles that right now have the duty and responsibility of pushing forward.

The President of the Councils of State and Secretaries, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, has inherited the ideas of Marti, and Fidel, revolutionary and patriot, and the Cubans who today trusts that he would know how to lead our nation explicitly, convinced of the legitimacy and fairness of the cause for which the youths of the Generation of the Centennial fought lead by Fidel.

“We will be faithful to Fidel Castro's legacy, historical leader of the Revolution, and also the example, value and teachings of Raúl Castro, current leader of the revolutionary process", highlighted Díaz-Canel during his first speech before the National Assembly of People’s Power, when assuming the presidency of the Republic in April this year.

August 13th the undefeated Commander in Chief won't be physically among us. For that reason our best homage - indeed - will be to participate and intervene with solid arguments in the scheduled meetings to carry out the popular consultation on the Draft of Cuba’s New Constitution, in an attempt to improve what has been achieved in all these years of Revolution, what was his greatest work.

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Shanghai Party chief meets Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel in Havana

Shanghai Party Secretary Li Qiang met Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel in Havana on Tuesday.

Li sent President Xi Jinping’s regards to Diaz-Canel and congratulated him on the newly-elected leadership of Cuba in April. Li said the same ideology binds China and Cuba closely together.

In the new era of Sino-Cuba relations, China will unfalteringly carry out win-win cooperation with Cuba and advance the Sino-Cuba relations, Li added.

Diaz-Canel said that Sino-Cuba relations have reached its historical best, and Cuba is working hard to further renew the model of its social and economic development. Cuba is willing to carry out overall cooperation with the Communist Party of China and learn the experience in developing socialism from China.

From July 14 to 17, Li headed a delegation to visit Cuba. During his visit, Li met Ulises Guilarte de Nacimiento, general secretary of Worker’ Central Union of Cuba, and Jose Ramon Balaguer, head of the International Relations Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba.

Li also attended the 24th Sao Paulo Forum and delivered a speech; visited Cuba’s Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology; and attended the Picture Exhibition of Shanghai’s 40-year Achievements of Opening-up and Reform with leaders of the Communist Party of Cuba.

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Cuban President Diaz-Canel Attends Sao Paulo Forum

The President of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel, is attending today in this capital the closing day of the 24th Meeting of the Sao Paulo Forum.

At the Convention Center, the leader participates in a plenary session dedicated to the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro, one of the promoters of the Forum which was created in 1990 to promote the unity of the progressive and leftist forces of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The heads of state of Venezuela, Nicolas Maduro, Bolivia, Evo Morales, and El Salvador, Salvador Sanchez Ceren, as well as personalities and representatives of political parties and organizations, are also at the meeting to honor Fidel Castro.

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More than 600 delegates from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Europe are participating in the twenty-fourth edition of the Sao Paulo Forum, which was held on the island after the meetings of 1993 and 2001.

The unity of the left and the progressive sectors centered the debates of the meeting in a context marked by the offensive of the regional right and the escalation of the hegemonic positions of the United States government.

The Sao Paulo Forum is expected to adopt here a declaration aimed at outlining strategies to relaunch the left and counter the onslaught of the defenders of neoliberalism.

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Cuban President Receives PM of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

The President of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel, received in Havana today the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves.

After the Protocolary Ceremony at the Palace of the Revolution, the two leaders held official talks.

Previously, Gonsalves, accompanied by the Cuba Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rogelio Sierra, honored the National Hero of Cuba, Jose Marti, at the base of the monument which bears his name.

The Prime Minister has visited Cuba several times, within the framework of good relations between the two member countries of the integrationist bloc Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America.

Gosalves became political leader of the Unity Labor Party on December 6, 1994.

He has been Prime Minister since 2001 and has been consecutively re-elected in the general elections of 2005, 2010 and 2015.

Comrade Ralph, as he is also known, has researched, written and published on the Caribbean, Africa, trade unionism, comparative political economy and general development issues.

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Cuban President congratulates new President of Mexico

The Cuban president, Miguel Diaz Canel, sent a congratulation message to the president-elect of Mexico Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.

Pedro Nunez Mosquera, Cuban ambassador to Mexico, reported the news in his Twitter account.

Diaz Canel joined other heads of state who congratulated the candidate of the coalition Juntos Haremos Historia. Lopez Obrador celebrated a resounding victory in his tenacity for the presidency.

Lopez Obrador’s first words, after the National Electoral Institute confirmed his irreversible superiority in the voting, were headed to the leaders and international organizations that congratulated him.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz / CubaSi Translation Staff

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Reply Message to Kim Jong Un from Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez

Kim Jong Un, chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, received a reply message from Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez, president of the Council of State and president of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Cuba, on June 28.

The message expressed sincere thanks to Kim Jong Un for expressing profound condolences and close solidarity in the period during which Cuba feels pain over the tragic passenger plane accident which occurred on May 18, on behalf of the people and government of Cuba and the bereaved families of the victims.

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Trump’s blockade is to provoke regime change – Cuban Ambassador

Cuba’s National Assembly elected Miguel Diaz-Canel as the country’s President in April. Diaz-Canel followed Raul Castro who served two consecutive terms from 2008 when the health of his brother Fidel was in decline. Fidel Castro, who led the 1959 revolution that overthrew Fulgencio Batista’s dictatorship and ruled the country since died in 2016. The Daily Mirror talked to Cuba’s Ambassador in Colombo, Elena Ramos Rodriguez, on what may be expected from the new leader from a post-revolution generation, US President Donald Trump’s hardened policy towards Cuba, its effects on the Cuban people and Cuba’s response to the intensified economic blockade imposed by the US government.   

 
Cuba’s new President Miguel Diaz-Canel was born a year after the 1959 revolution, representing a relatively younger generation of politicians. Does this generational shift point to a change in Cuba’s style of government in years ahead?

I want to highlight the significance of the last session of the Cuban parliament, on April 18-19 when Mario Miguel Diaz-Canel Bermudez was elected the new President of the Council of State and President of the Council of Ministers. I think the new leader will continue the revolutionary process, will continue the development of our country, the development of our Socialism. Cuban people expresstheir support for this electoral process. The people elect the members of Parliament, the Parliament elects the Council of State, and the Council of State elects the president. This process comes with the support of the people because a majority - 85.65% attended the polls to elect their representation in parliament, from each municipality. Voting is voluntary … if you vote it means you support (the process).   


Diaz-Canel’s predecessor Raul Castro had started introducing certain changes- reducing the size of the state sector, encouraging more private enterprise, loosening some controls etc. with benefit to the economy. Will the new President continue on this trajectory?

Yes. The Cuban government and people are all working on updating the Cuban economic model. It is a complex process. It’s changing not because of pressure from outside but for Cuban society, to establish the economic and social guidance. It is a broad process, with many meetings with people in their workplaces, residential places etc. In Cuba, the programme does not change with each president. The guidelines are adopted with the opinion of all the population – in different ways they participate in the process.   

"The Parliament elects the Council of State, and the Council of State elects the president. This process comes with the support of the people because a majority - 85.65% attended the polls to elect their representation in parliament, from each municipality  "

Former US President Barack Obama had started a process of normalization of Cuba-US relations, signalled by re-opening diplomatic missions in the two countries. Under Trump, this process is being reversed, and the economic blockade is being intensified. What will Cuba’s strategy be, to cope with this situation?

I think Obama’s years demonstrated that Cuba and the US can live and co-exist in a civilized way. Interactions between both sides show that Cuba and the US can exist, respecting our differences and cooperating, for the benefit of both countries and peoples, at the same time. Wherever there is an opportunity, we can cooperate.   

Opportunity such as …?

To stop drug trafficking, terrorism, illegal immigration. Intelligence is not the interest of one country – it’s for both countries. We share maritime borders. We have to cooperate for example in maritime rescue, to save people. Or to avoid contamination of our maritime waters. Cuba wants to continue negotiating with the US government, but on conditions of equality and respect for our sovereignty. Cuba will not resign any of its principles. Principles are non-negotiable.   


But the fact is that you have a US President whose attitude is belligerent. How will you face this situation?

We have to face the new measures. In November last year the US Departments of State, Treasury and Commerce issued new provisions and regulations to implement and strengthen the blockade against Cuba - a week after the Nov. 1stvote in the UN General Assembly on the necessity to lift the blockade. These measures were in a new executive order of the President called “National Security Presidential Memorandum on Strengthening the Policy of the US towards Cuba.” They restrict travel of American citizens to Cuba, restrict commerce between the two countries. During Obama’s time it was more flexible on some issues, but the blockade was still there, especially in the financial/ banking sector.   

In 2016 the US abstention (during the UN vote on lifting the blockade) was a hopeful moment. These measures confirm the regress of bilateral relations as a result of the decisions of the government of Donald Trump. It is also important to say, these measures ignore US public opinion of about 75% which is a great majority, and the international community, and of the Cuban immigrants in the US. The majority of Cuban immigrants want normal relations. Only a small group in Florida want to continue the blockade. This transformation ignores the majority of the international community. On Nov. 1st 2017 for the 26th consecutive occasion, the resolution on “The necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the USA on Cuba” was approved by the General Assembly of the UN, with 191 votes in favour and two against: the US and Israel, confirming once again the absolute international rejection of this policy. Cuba will continue to present the resolution as long as the embargo is in place. Unfortunately the resolution is not binding. But it’s a good step to demonstrate that the international community supports Cuba.   

"MediCuba, the company that imports and exports medical products, received a communication from the supplier Lindmed Trade of Spain, saying it could not supply the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin Lactate because the manufacturer Claris Otsuka refused to sell the goods because Cuba was subject to sanctions imposed by the US"


The UN Secretary General in July last year presented a report, at the request of the members of the General Assembly, on the implementation of this resolution. Cuba said “the accumulated losses caused by the embargo during nearly six decades it has been in place amount to US$ 822 billion.” Can you give an example of how this translates into deprivation in the day to day lives of the Cuban people?

The blockade affects all fields – business, health, education, agriculture. To give an example – in March 2017, MediCuba, the company that imports and exports medical products, received a communication from the supplier Lindmed Trade of Spain, saying it could not supply the antibiotic Ciprofloxacin Lactate because the manufacturer Claris Otsuka refused to sell the goods because Cuba was subject to sanctions imposed by the US.  

Ciprofloxacin Lactate is a broad spectrum antibiotic used for adults and children in the treatment of respiratory ailments. Also for skin, soft tissue, bones and joints affected by bacteria. This is an antibiotic used in all hospitals. This affects the health of our people not because the government doesn’t give the resources but because we cannot buy from the supplier.   



  • I think the new leader will continue the revolutionary process, will continue the development of our country, the development of our Socialism

  • The ending of the embargo was approved by the the UN, with 191 votes in favour and two against

  • Cuba produces nickel. The company was unable to export 3,500 tons of it, produced in 2016 because they could not find a bank...

  • The blockade is the main obstacle to the development of our country.

  • The US wants to provoke a change of regime, by provoking anger of the people through shortages, by depriving them of food, medication.  

  • Cuba appreciates support provided by Sri Lanka in its fight against the US embargo.

  • Our policy is to give what we have. Others give what they don’t use. Fifty-five per cent of state resources is allocated for budgeted activity


Could you briefly explain the extra-territorial aspect of the embargo, how third parties – other states - are punished for having transactions with Cuba? An example?

The case I just mentioned is also a good example of the extra-territorial impact. The supplier, the Spanish company cannot trade with Cuba. They too are affected. Legally they should be able to trade with Cuba. Also, many other companies have been sanctioned, fined, for doing business with Cuba.   

To give another example, Cuba produces nickel. The company was unable to export 3,500 tons of nickel sulphide produced in 2016 because they could not find a bank that would open a Letter of Credit. The loss to the Cuban economy was $23,600,000.   

In June 2016 the Netherlands mail and parcels company TNT returned to the Consulate General of Cuba in Madrid, two postal consignments addressed to the embassies of Cuba in China and Indonesia containing passports of Cubans living abroad. The company claimed that it had returned the consignments owing to corporate instructions related to the US embargo.   


The rest of the world supports Cuba on the need to end the embargo, which is in violation of the UN Charter and international law. Can you explain briefly, what is the problem the US has with Cuba?

The blockade is the main obstacle to the development of our country. The US wants to provoke a change of regime, by provoking anger of the people through shortages, by depriving them of food, medication etc. They want a regime change favourable to the US. It didn’t happen because the Cuban people stayed brave. This policy satisfies only the interests of a small minority of the American and Cuban-American extreme right-wing of South Florida, whose interest is to reverse the process of normalization of bilateral relations. It is a violation of human rights in general. We have a good economy but it would be better if we didn’t have the blockade. Tourism is greatly affected. People like to visit Cuba, last year we had four million visitors. Imagine if there was no blockade! American citizens are not allowed to travel to Cuba as tourists, it’s prohibited. They need a special licence from the Treasury.   

"I think Obama’s years demonstrated that Cuba and the US can live and co-exist in a civilized way. Interactions between both sides show that Cuba and the US can exist, respecting our differences and cooperating, for the benefit of both countries and peoples, at the same time. Wherever there is an opportunity, we can cooperate"


Cuba sends its professionals like goodwill ambassadors to all parts of the world – doctors, teachers, artists, agriculture experts - demonstrating the high level of culture and education it has achieved for its people, in spite of the problems caused by its big neighbour. What is the secret of this achievement?

Our policy is ‘internationalist.’ One of the main principles in our relations with other countries is that we share what we have. If we can provide doctors, we do that. Our policy is to give what we have. Others give what they don’t use. Fifty-five per cent of state resources is allocated for budgeted activity such as education, public health, social security, pensions. That’s why there is a high standard. We believe you must support everybody. You cannot have homeless people. A mother who cannot work because her child has a disability will be provided with a government pension. It is a policy that demonstrates that even a poor nation that has not too many resources - if it uses resources for the welfare of the people - can grow its human capital, and improve living standards of the people, despite major challenges it faces. This is, maybe, our ‘secret!’   


Sri Lanka was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with Cuba after the revolution and (in the words of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe in his condolence message on the death of Fidel Castro) “Cuba has been a great friend Sri Lanka could count on.” How can the Cuba-Sri Lanka relationship be taken forward?

A. Sri Lanka and Cuba have historic bonds of friendship and cooperation. Sri Lanka established diplomatic relations in 1959 after the triumph of the revolution, at the very beginning. The first step was the visit of Che Guevara to Sri Lanka. Sri Lanka and Cuba both entered the Non Aligned Movement (NAM) in the same year, 1961. Cuba received the presidency of NAM from Sri Lanka in 1979. We have a long history of cooperation in sports, education, health, agriculture. At this moment we are working on areas of pharmaceuticals and biotechnology. In June, a delegation from Sri Lanka visited Cuba to follow up on implementation of an MoU between the ministries of Science and Technology of the two countries. Last year a Cuban expert visited Sri Lanka to share expertise on the control of dengue. We are also working on registering in Sri Lanka a Cuban product for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. It has an efficiency of over 80%, many people have saved their legs, avoiding amputation. Cuba sincerely appreciates the support provided by Sri Lanka in its fight against the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States against Cuba for almost 60 years. On Nov. 1, once again Sri Lanka voted in favour of the Cuban revolution against the blockade in the General Assembly of the United Nations.  

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Cuban President pays tribute to Simon Bolivar

Cuba´s president Miguel Diaz-Canel paid tribute in Caracas to Simon Bolivar as part of his official visit to Venezuela.

Accompanied by Tareck El Aissami, Venezuelan executive vice president, Diaz-Canel laid a wreath before the sarcophagus that keeps Bolivar´s mortal remains, in the National Pantheon, where he also signed the visitors' book.

Previously, upon arrival at Simon Bolivar International Airport, the Cuban leader sent a message of solidarity to the people and government of Venezuela.

I bring a fraternal and supportive message from the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba, Army General Raul Castro, and from the Cuban people for the Venezuelan government and people, President Nicolas Maduro and for the civic-military union, Diaz-Canel said.

According to Prensa Latina news agency, the head of state reiterated the recognition and congratulations to his Venezuelan counterpart for the overwhelming success achieved with the victory in the May 20 elections.

Diaz-Canel will have a broad agenda that includes a meeting with Maduro at the Miraflores palace, will go to the Montaña Barracks, in Caracas, where are kept the remains of Hugo Chavez, leader of the Bolivarian Revolution, and will also pay a visit to a comprehensive health center, also in the capital of the South American nation.

The Cuban delegation is also made up by Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez; Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Rogelio Sierra; the ambassador in that country, Rogelio Polanco; and the director for South America department at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pedro Pablo Prada.

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