“Cuba condemns all forms of terrorism” stated Kenia Serrano Puig, president of the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP), speaking to Granma International, in reference to activities taking place in the months of September and October as part of the “We Remember. Solidarity against the blockade and terrorism” campaign.
Serrano Puig, also a deputy to the National Assembly of People’s Power, added that the initiative emerged from the experiences accumulated by movements working in solidarity with Cuba over many years, struggling to secure the release of the Cuban Five (imprisoned in the U.S. for more than a decade for fighting against terrorist groups based in South Florida) and that such organizations are currently supporting the Revolution in its efforts to contribute toward world peace.
“We are confirming that we continue to struggle and that we will not demobilize. We will continue to work to resolve many causes calling for justice and in favor of the oppressed of the world. At the heart of this struggle is the example of Cuba, with its unwavering resistance to maintain national sovereignty in a living social project, being perfected with the cohesive participation of the people in the process of the updating of our economic model, in order to achieve greater socialism,” stated Serrano Puig.
“Through these activities we condemn the genocidal economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States since 1962, as well as acts of sabotage and murders orchestrated by the Cuban-American mafia to destroy the Revolution,” noted the Cuban deputy, who also denounced current destabilization attempts to overthrow constitutional governments in Venezuela, Bolivia and El Salvador.
Meanwhile, she also expressed solidarity with the people of Brazil, recent victims of a parliamentary coup staged against President Dilma Rousseff, a maneuver previously applied against Fernado Lugo in Paraguay and Manuel Zelaya in Honduras.
“We will not forget and we will continue to fight because we will triumph,” stated Serrano Puig, who also highlighted the various historic dates which will be commemorated during the campaign, set to end on October 27 with the UN General Assembly vote on the resolution presented by the Cuban Foreign Ministry, demanding the full and definitive lifting of the economic blockade against the island.
She went on to note that activities will commence with a commemorative act in remembrance of the young Italian, Fabio Di Celmo, who was murdered by a bomb placed by a terrorist working for the Miami-based anti-Cuban mafia on September 2, 1997, in Havana’s Copacabana Hotel.
The anniversary of the fascist coup in Chile on September 11, 1973, and death of President Salvador Allende, will also be commemorated.
Serrano Puig went on to note that a panel discussion and twitter campaign to boost support for an end to annexationist and extraterritorial policies imposed by the U.S. on Cuba, which cause harm to the people of the island and damages to the country’s economy, valued at an estimated 753,688,000,000 dollars over the last 50 years, took place on September 17.
Children use art to denounce war and promote world peace. Photo: (cortesía ICAP), Karoly Emerson
She also highlighted that similar actions are held on the 17th of every month in fulfillment of the agreements emerging from the People’s Summit held in Panama in April, 2015, during which it was decided to celebrate the release of the Cuban Five, the result of international solidarity efforts, every month on this date.
Panel members denounced the crimes and extremist actions organized from the U.S. which have cost over 5,000 Cuban lives, a prime example of which was the Cubana de Aviación plane which was bombed mid-flight by terrorists on October 6, 1976, costing the lives of all 73 people onboard.
Camilo Rojo, son of one of the members of the cabin crew aboard that plane and a member of the Committee of Families of the Victims of Terrorism against Cuba condemned the over 300 acts of violence carried out in his homeland and perpetrated by the anti-Cuban mafia based in South Florida, specifically the known murderers Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada Carriles. “These actions are not history, but rather events pending justice,” he noted, while also calling on activists to continue mobilizing.
In this sense, Fernando González, one of the Cuban Five, explained the work he and his compatriots: Gerardo Hernández, Ramón Labaniño, Antonio Guerrero and René González; undertook in their attempts to infiltrate anti-Cuban counter-revolutionary organizations in Miami.
He also described his experience living with cellmate Oscar López Rivera, Puerto Rican patriot sentenced to over 60 years in prison for his efforts to secure his country’s independence.
Meanwhile, Cuban journalist Arleen Rodríguez Derivet emphasized the actions carried out by thousands of groups and activists, for over 16 years, in the struggle to see the Cuban Five released and in support of the Cuban Revolution, citing the example of the late Jean Guy Allard from Canada, a contributor to Granma International and faithful defender of the island’s social project.
Panelist Graciela Ramírez Cruz from Argentina, representing the International Committee for Justice, Peace and Dignity of the Peoples, explained how Operation Condor, implemented by military dictatorships across the region during the 1970s, is experiencing a resurgence, citing parliamentary coups staged against Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, Fernado Lugo in Paraguay, and Manuel Zelaya in Honduras, as well as violent actions carried out against the governments of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela and Evo Morales in Bolivia.
The event was marked by the participation of university students, young people and children involved in community projects, all of whom posted messages on social media, joining together to condemn the U.S. economic blockade of Cuba and call for a world of justice and social emancipation.
SOLIDARITY WITH A BROTHER
A central theme of activities taking place during the campaign is the Puerto Rican independence struggle, being promoted through a Cuba-based project sponsored by a Puerto Rican delegation which organizes exchanges with residents from the provinces of Pinar del Río, Havana, Matanzas and Santa Clara, and explains the reasons behind the struggle to secure independence for the U.S. neocolonial state.
This, according to Puerto Rican University professor Julio A. Muriente Pérez, co-president of the Hostosiano National Independence Movement, who noted that every visit made by himself or one of his compatriots to Cuba represents a flagrant challenge to the restrictions imposed under the unjust and immoral U.S. blockade.
“We are undertaking the struggle against the blockade, because we don’t want to veto our right to maintain relations with the Cuban people. Puerto Ricans and Cubans have a broad, loving, intimate history, one I would call organic, which suggests a relationship which goes beyond mere diplomatic ties. Here there is love between two peoples.
“Demanding the release of independence leader Oscar López Rivera is a key action in the delegation’s visit. We are attempting to strengthen the campaign in the final months of Barack Obama’s term in office to see if we can secure the release, once and for all, of a political prisoner who has spent over 35 years in jail. They (the U.S. government) are punishing my people for wanting sovereignty,” stated Muriente Pérez.
In this sense, he highlighted the failed economic model imposed on his country, currently experiencing a financial crisis, with a debt of over 72 billion dollars owed to U.S. private investors. Muriente Pérez warned that the Free Associated State of Puerto Rico lacks the necessary independence and authority to solve its fiscal problems, due in large part to a lack of profitable industries; noting that all Puerto Rico’s economic wealth is absorbed by U.S. transnationals.
He went on to emphasize that Washington’s solution to the crisis has been to create a “rescue bill” known as the “PROMESA” (promise) in the form of a financial oversight board composed of seven individuals unelected by the Puerto Rican people, with control over the island’s budget, laws, financial plans, and regulations and the power to make cuts in the public sector and as such increase poverty, exploitation and dependence.
In this regard, Elio Gámez, first vice president of ICAP, noted that this new series of events in solidarity with Puerto Rico represents the consolidation of the will of the Cuban people and government in support of just causes.