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The truth and example of Cuba will prevail

Cuba niñosThe more resolutely the Cuban people demonstrate their refusal to retreat in the face of hostility and the tightening of the blockade, our enemies’ campaigns grow increasingly more crude and shameless. They now presume to attack Cuba raising banners, incredibly, in defense of the poorest members of the population, in particular Blacks and those of mixed race.

Today the Revolution continues to be, as Fidel said on April 16, 1961, on the eve of the Playa Girón invasion (on the Bay of Pigs), “the socialist and democratic Revolution of the humble, with the humble and for the humble.” This is its indisputable essence.

With the awarding of land to campesinos, with tens of thousands of scholarships granted to their children and the extension of education to all corners of the country, with the creation of a universal and free health care system that has achieved statistics similar and some even better than those of the developed world, with the massive training of professionals in all branches of knowledge, it can be said that few countries in the world have done as much as the attacked and slandered Cuba for those Martí called “the poor of the earth.”

At the same time, in the midst of the reinforced blockade and such complex processes as the updating of our economic and social model, every measure adopted has been carefully studied to evaluate and foresee its possible effects on the vulnerable population. As Raúl has repeatedly stated, “No one will be left unprotected.” Nothing could be more alien to the Cuban Revolution than the usual “neoliberal packages” with their tragic consequences.

Cuba’s response to the pandemic has made evident the constant concern of the Party and the government, at all levels, for the health and life of each and every one of our citizens, with no distinction whatsoever. This visibly differentiates us from other rich and powerful countries, including the United States, where COVID-19 has disproportionately hurt the marginalized, Afro-descendants, Latinos, indigenous peoples, immigrants and persons living on the street.

The practice of solidarity toward those who need it most has not been limited to our borders. Africa, a brutally plundered continent, victim of racism in its most monstrous form, attacked for centuries by slave traders, colonialists and imperialists, received from the first years of the triumphant Revolution the fraternal help of Cuban doctors, teachers and soldiers.

Nelson Mandela, during his visit to our country on July 26, 1991, stated these unforgettable words:

“Africa owes a great debt to Cuba…What other country has shown a history of greater disinterest than Cuba has exhibited in its relations with Africa? …We in Africa are accustomed to being victims of other countries that want to splinter our territory and undermine our sovereignty. In the history of Africa there is no other case of a people that has risen up in our defense.”

With what moral authority does the United States presume to accuse the Revolution of racism? How can Cuba be judged under this pretext by the government of a country where hatred and racist crimes are common, where systemic racism exists?

They seek to compare racial prejudice, which we continue to debate in Cuba, with the violence of such phenomena in the United States and Europe, aggravated today by the growth of neo-fascist tendencies.

Aware that every vestige of this evil must be eradicated from our society, and inspired by discussions held in the Union of Cuban Writers and Artists (Uneac) and, especially, its Aponte Commission, in November 2019, the Council of Ministers approved the National Program against racism and racial discrimination, to periodically analyze these issues, with the participation of ministries and civil society organizations, in an effort to perfect our socialism and make it more democratic and inclusive.

Another topic raised in anti-Cuban campaigns is associated with freedom of creation in the field of culture.

The cultural work of the Revolution is a source of pride for our entire people. Fidel held the conviction, like Martí, that “without culture there is no possible freedom,” and that art and literature better the people’s quality of life.

In 1961, the first schools for art instructors were established and the foundations laid for our system of artistic education. The children of campesinos, of workers, of those who cut cane only three or four months of the year, of those who barely earned enough to survive in miserable conditions, were also granted scholarships to study art. Many of the principal creators who have emerged from these programs came from the poorest social classes and the most remote regions of Cuban territory.

Cultural institutions, guided by Advisory Councils which include members of the country’s intellectual and artistic vanguard, representatives of Uneac and the Hermanos Saíz Association of young creators, implement a cultural policy free of dogmas and sectarianism. The caricature of the “dissident artist” confronting bureaucratic entities conceived for censorship is a crude propagandistic fabrication.

There is no mention, of course, of market censorship of creators around the world. The pandemic itself has left unprotected many artists who depended on their performances for a livelihood. It has exposed the impact of ignoring the need for public policies to preserve valuable artistic expressions, unable to survive where art is treated as mere merchandise. Neoliberalism is anti-cultural by definition.

Nor does the United States – the largest producer of junk culture on the planet – have the moral authority to judge Cuba in this field.

Culture in Cuba has always been linked to the Revolution, to the ideals of humanism and emancipation. Céspedes and many other pro-independence leaders who led the heroic insurrection that began October 10, 1868 were intellectuals. Martínez Villena, Pablo de la Torriente Brau, Raúl Roa, Marinello, Carlos Rafael Rodríguez, among many others, are part of a long tradition that inseparably fuses creative thought and revolutionary practice. Martí and Fidel are crowning examples of this history.

Our authentic intellectuals and artists reject the manipulations of the subversive apparatus financed by imperialism and the shameful actions of mercenaries who attempt to sully the transparent, productive relationships shared by institutions and creators in Cuba.

Human rights, freedom, democracy, culture, dignity, are concepts that belong to us. Our enemies have always attempted to appropriate them to use them against Cuba. It is disgraceful that the principal violators of these principles presume to judge us on the basis of a torrent of lies.

But the truth and the example of Cuba will prevail, as has been the case with the admirable work of our internationalist doctors, in spite of the slanderous media campaign unleashed against them.

As Fidel emphasized at the closing of the University Student Federation’s Fifth Congress, March 25, 1995:

“…There has never been a more humane revolution, or a more pure revolution than the Cuban Revolution. Our enemies have not been able to destroy this truth, in spite of their colossal, enormous publicity apparatus.”

And three years later, on August 1, 1998, at the inauguration of the Monument to the victims of Barbados, he would insist:

“What those who, intoxicated by their impunity and ephemeral power, commit great crimes against peoples can never imagine is that the truth, sooner or later, always prevails.”

(Taken from Granma)

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