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One year later, we are still alive and intent on winning

canell“Be strong, Cuba, we will live and we will win.” These were the words of President of the Republic Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, on March 20, 2020. Only nine days had passed since the diagnosis in Cuba of the first cases of COVID-19, but, knowing the strengths of our people, the constancy and resistance that are traditions on this island, there was no doubt about our ability to face the immense challenge that the pandemic would bring.

One year later, here we are, with a wealth of experience gained, an unparalleled history of solidarity in confronting the health catastrophe around the world, five candidate vaccines of our own, and a people, a Party and a government, united in our determination to achieve a supreme objective: guarantee life.

In the President’s voice: One year battling death

During the first calendar year of the COVID-19 struggle, which was not the only obstacle faced by our noble people last year, every national and international event attended by our leaders provided an opportunity for reflection, necessary condemnations and sincere calls for unity and cooperation. The voice of the Cuban President offers irrefutable evidence.

Multilateralism and cooperation: Cuba’s position

• United against COVID-19 Virtual Summit, May 4, 2020

COVID-19 has proven to be a global challenge. It does not distinguish between borders, ideologies or levels of development. Hence, the response must also be global and united, regardless of political differences.

The pandemic has demonstrated the fragility of a fragmented, exclusionary world. Not even the most fortunate and powerful can survive in the absence of those whose work creates and sustains wealth.

• High Level Virtual Conference: ALBA-TCP Post-Pandemic Economy, June 10, 2020

Incredibly, the overdeveloped world (…) has shown itself incapable of using its enormous resources to mount a global front against a pandemic that can only be confronted with two forces within everyone’s reach: cooperation and solidarity.

Cuba saves itself and contributes to the salvation of other nations following this philosophy.

• General Debate during the 75th Regular Session of the United Nations General Assembly, September 22, 2020.

Doctors, not bombs, once proclaimed the historic leader of the Cuban Revolution and main promoter of the development of sciences in Cuba, Comandante en jefe Fidel Castro Ruz. This is our maxim: saving lives and sharing what we are and what we have at the cost of any sacrifice.

• VII Caricom-Cuba Virtual Summit, December 8, 2020

Let us defend solidarity and cooperation as indispensable forces to face together the great challenges and threats that beset us. I’ll repeat the words of Army General Raúl Castro Ruz at the previous meeting in Antigua and Barbuda, reaffirming, “The Caribbean will always be able to count on Cuba. As it has been and as it will be!”

Cuba’s army of white lab coats embraces the world

Messages from the Cuban President welcoming medical brigades upon their return after battling the pandemic in other regions of the planet:

• The example that you have set with your altruism, with your dedication, with your solidary conduct in opposition to neoliberal self-interest, is one of the best ways in which we are defeating the perverse efforts of the empire to discredit the solidarity and exemplary work of Cuban medical brigades.

You represent victory of life over death, of solidarity over selfishness, of the socialist ideal over the myth of the market.

One people, one government, one party equal victory

• Closing of the V Ordinary Period of Sessions of the National Assembly of People’s Power IX Legislature, October 28, 2020.

There has been no respite in this asymmetrical and multidimensional war (…) But those of us who stand on the side of the nonconformists and optimists, like Fidel and Raúl, learned with them and their comrades in struggle that all challenges can be overcome. Cubans are proving, once again, that it can be done.

Today we see that, despite the damage caused, the severe impact on our limited resources, COVID-19 forced us to surpass ourselves on all orders. It was either surrender or rise beyond our strength. And we took the leap.

• Council of Ministers meeting, at the Palace of the Revolution, July 16, 2020.

We must position ourselves on a battlefield where the enemy strategy is proving to be attacking us on several fronts and shooting from all possible flanks.

The people, of which all of us are a part, know how to distinguish the legitimate from the false when they actively participate in what we do to defend and strengthen the nation in the face of the prevailing difficult situation, aggravated by the imperial threat.

• Closing of the VI Ordinary Period of Sessions of the National Assembly of People’s Power IX Legislature, December 17, 2020

They insisted on trying to kill us; but we insisted on living and winning. Cuba Viva (alive) rose above our own possibilities..

In science and medicine, records were set in terms of dedication and both personal and collective sacrifice, which allowed the country to very quickly place itself among those that had gained control of the pandemic.

Over these months of pandemic, we have witnessed heroic feats on a daily basis by persons of all ages and trades, men and women, young and old.

Sooner or later, the story of this ill-fated pandemic and its global impact will be written. If told honestly, it will be impossible to ignore Cuba’s role and the thousands of Cubans who voluntarily traveled to other lands to face the danger. Step forward, 2021! Cuba awaits you, alive and strengthened in the battles of the year that is ending. The sons and daughters of the Centenary Generation, with our people, have the duty, the commitment and the honor of giving continuity to the history that has brought us thus far. And our maxim continues to be: Homeland or death! We will triumph!

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