Beginning today and through the 18th, we will conduct the Strategic Exercise Bastion 2016, which will culminate with the National Defense Days, Saturday the 19th and Sunday, November 20.
In accordance with our doctrine of “War by the Entire People,” its fundamental objective is to increase the degree of preparation and cohesion of our leadership bodies and commands at all levels, with troops, the economy, and the population.
On this occasion, the exercise will be conducted almost a month and a half after Hurricane Matthew caused significant damage in the province of Guantánamo, which motivated my decision to exempt leadership bodies and commands there, so that they can concentrate efforts on the recovery stage.
One necessity which we cannot disregard is assuring that these activities are conducted with the greatest efficiency and rationality – guided by the principle that the revolutionary watch is never neglected and in the interest of continuing to strengthen our defensive capacity.
I ORDER: INITIATE THE STRATEGIC EXERCISE BASTION 2016
Nothing is more important in the defense of the homeland than preparation. It is synonymous with avoiding war, which will be evident across the entire national territory – except Guantánamo – beginning today through Friday the 18th, with the realization of the Strategic Exercise Bastion 2016.
Bastion reflects the legacy of our richest traditions of struggle and the study of Cuban military arts; it bears all the spirit of resistance, heroism, and rebellion, since the independence wars of the 19th century. Based as well as on unwavering confidence in victory, which was evidenced during the final stage of the struggle for our definitive independence led by Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz, and of which Cuban men and women have been the protagonists for more than 50 victorious years.
Participating in Bastión 2016 are leadership bodies, and commands, coordinated by different levels of the Party, the government, central state administrative bodies, enterprises, and units of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, the Ministry of the Interior, and the population.
The exercise will allow us to consolidate the concept of “War by the Entire People,” and at the same time will reflect a step up in efforts to strengthen the homeland’s military invulnerability. It will demonstrate the efficiency, condition, and modernization of combat techniques, and is an inseparable part of the ‘Cuba is ours’ campaign, which is mobilizing the country and the world against the U.S. economic, commercial, and financial blockade of our country.
It will also allow for the appreciation of what has been accomplished and some fine-tuning in terms of the country’s defense leadership, regarding both the armed and unarmed struggle. During Bastion 2016, some of the actions will be directed and conducted by young officers of the FAR.
Following the conclusion of the exercise, the 19 and 20th, the National Defense Days will be held, during which there will be maneuvers and tactical exercises with troops.