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    Speech by Díaz-Canel before civil society excluded from the IX Summit of the Americas

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    Palabras de Díaz-Canel ante la sociedad civil excluida de la IX Cumbre de las Américas

    Remarks by the First Secretary of the Party and President of the Republic of Cuba, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, before the civil society excluded from the IX Summit of the Americas

    Companions, companions:
    Let me start with words that are over a century old.
    “When a strong people wants to give battle to another, it compels the alliance and the service to those who need it. The first thing that a people does to get to dominate another, is to separate it from the other peoples.
    José Martí left it written, 130 years ago after attending the Monetary Conference, an interested invitation from the thriving United States to the young republics of Our America at that time.
    Accredited by the government of Uruguay, a country for which he had been consul general in New York since 1887, Martí, it seems, was almost excluded due to inexplicable delays and lying excuses from the State Department.
    That Conference failed and it is affirmed that the Cuban contributed decisively to it, who would later write a deep and devastating analysis, dictated by his conscience about the dangers to which Our America was exposed by accepting the monetary union.
    Straight on, without euphemisms of any kind, Martí defined in those lines the inability of the United States to understand its neighbors to the South. I quote:
    "They believe in the incontestable superiority of 'the Anglo-Saxon race against the Latin race.' They believe in the baseness of the black race, which they enslaved yesterday and harass today, and of the Indian, which they exterminate. They believe that the peoples of Latin America are made up mainly of Indians and blacks.
    “As long as the United States does not know more about Latin America and respects it more, —as with the incessant, urgent, multiple, sagacious explanation of our elements and resources, they could come to respect it—, can the United States invite Latin America to a sincere and useful union for Latin America? Is political and economic union with the United States convenient for Latin America? End of quote.
    Martí's questions contain the answers in themselves.
    Few texts are more visionary about the policy of the United States towards our lands in America, a policy that the excessive ambition of the empire has frozen in time, by refusing to listen to the voices that do not submit to it.
    Whoever doubts it, put those words in front of the exclusive conception of the IX Summit of the Americas and they will verify their absolute validity.
    The philosophical dogma that always accompanied this insatiable ambition is called Manifest Destiny, a deep-rooted conviction of a racist and supremacist nature, whose conceptual statement that served as context is the Monroe Doctrine.
    Without renouncing either of these two conceptions, the US government convened the IX Hemispheric Summit in the city of Los Angeles, with discriminatory participation and insufficient regional representation.
    In the case of Cuba, the exclusion was not only against the government, but also against representatives of civil society and social actors, including our youth. The United States is no longer satisfied with determining who and how the Cuban government should be. Now they intend to define who are the representatives of civil society, and which social actors are legitimate and which are not.
    Let me go back to the story, which always hides so many lessons:
    Between January and February 1928, Cuba was the venue for the Sixth Pan-American Conference, one of the bad seeds of the OAS and of the current summits of the Americas. The current president on the island was Gerardo Machado, a satrap with a sad memory who would be defeated by a popular uprising in 1933.
    There is no serious historian who ignores that the choice of Cuba as the venue for that conference responded to the subordinate situation that the island had with respect to the United States. We were a Yankee protectorate, so the invitations did not even come out of Havana. They were processed by the Cuban Chargé d'Affaires in Washington.
    Despite that subordination, Machado and his team adorned with fiery acts of genuflection, the then president of the United States, Calvin Coolidge, arrived on a warship and in the photos of the time he can be seen in the company of his wife, not with his pair from Cuba but several meters ahead.
    The order of the masters of the "backyard" to those responsible for Cuban politics was to avoid any uncomfortable discussion. The recent interventions in Haiti and Nicaragua had heated up the atmosphere and it was necessary to prevent the discussions from disturbing the imperial ears.
    They say that, on a previous trip to the United States, in order to obtain the seat, Machado had promised Coolidge to avoid any approach or complaint and to offer the most servile support to the Americans.
    It fell to the Cuban ambassador in Washington, the reprehensible honor of pleasing the powerful visitor with a praise of the intervention that still insults:
    “We cannot join the general chorus of non-intervention,” he said, “because the word ‘intervention’, in my country, has been a word of glory, it has been a word of honor, it has been a word of triumph; it has been a word of freedom; It has been independence.”
    The organizers of the 2022 Summit of the Americas would gladly invite a government like the one that received Coolidge, as they did 94 years ago with the undisputed dictator Gerardo Machado, defeated five years later by the Revolution of 33.
    That is the Cuba that disappeared forever from the map of political subordination with the 1959 Revolution.
    I refer you to the historic speech of the General of the Army and leader of the Cuban Revolution at the Summit of the Americas in Panama, in 2015. With all the time that they took from us in the use of the word in the previous Summits, Raúl left seated the principles that would guarantee a more fertile relationship between the two Americas.
    I quote: “Hemispheric relations, in my opinion, have to change profoundly, particularly in the political, economic and cultural spheres; so that, based on International Law and the exercise of self-determination and sovereign equality, they focus on the development of mutually beneficial links and cooperation to serve the interests of all our nations and the objectives that are proclaimed”. End of quote.
    Cuba changed, Our America changed, but the empire did not change.
    Regarding the exclusionary and discriminatory nature of the event that will take place between June 8 and 10 in Los Angeles, the revolutionary government has already made a firm statement.
    The repudiation that this opportunistic selectivity has provoked in most of the governments of the region is well known, as well as the clear and firm position assumed by several of them, together with the notable absences from the appointment as a rejection of exclusion.
    These confrontations between interventionist policies and sovereign policies also have precedents in history.
    In 1994, when the United States government convened the first of these summits and excluded Cuba, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz summed up the essence of imperial arrogance in one sentence: “How much cowardice, mediocrity and political misery really reflects such exclusion!” Fidel said.
    The US government at the time, in the euphoria of the supposed end of the Cold War, tried to use our most precious symbols to attract the peoples of Our America back to an already forgotten recolonization project: the FTAA.
    In addition, he dared to speak of the Summit of the Americas as "Simón Bolívar's dream come true." "All that was left was to say that it was also the realization of Martí's dreams," Fidel replied from a historic act in the Aula Magna of the University of Havana, in which he met for the first time with the young and already impressive Bolivarian politician. , Hugo Chavez.
    Barely 11 years later, in another historic act that exalted the Summit of the Peoples above that of the heads of state, with his famous cry: "FTAA, FTAA, fuck it..." in Mar del Plata, Hugo Chávez would give him an epitaph to the recolonization project of Our America. The dreams of Bolívar and Martí were coming true.
    Against this Latin America that calls things by their name and does not ask for permission to exercise their sovereign rights, the list of those excluded was drawn up.
    We are honored to head that list together with the leaders of Venezuela and Nicaragua and together with you, genuine representatives of our people. As we are honored by the gallant solidarity of Andrés Manuel López Obrador, Lucho Arce, Xiomara Castro, the Caribbean leaders who have emphatically rejected exclusions and others who will surely do so during the Summit itself.
    In a few hours, we will be able to confirm what will be achieved or what proposals will be made in Los Angeles, beyond the inaugural pageantry and the photo of the host President with those who attend. The publicity show aimed at the internal politics of the United States will not be able to hide the lack of real interest of that government in addressing the most serious and immediate problems of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Official documents and speeches by US politicians and government officials from recent years can be reviewed. The few references to our part of the world reflect the deep misunderstanding of the current realities of a region with its own identity, whose peoples have an accumulated desire for justice, suffer from underdevelopment and growing inequality, and can no longer stand the continuous theft of their natural wealth and the increased exploitation of their workers.
    Nor do they support the pressure and interference of the United States to force sovereign governments to adopt policies that benefit large transnational companies, to try to achieve obedience and punish when it is not achieved. They reject the role of the institutions created by the United States, such as the OAS and the rest of the instruments of hemispheric domination.
    None of the above appears on the agenda for the Los Angeles meeting.
    The issue of migratory movements in the region is closely related to development and, above all, underdevelopment. It has a close link with the global capitalist model and the advance of neoliberalism, whose economic policies generate greater marginalization, social instability, unemployment, lack of health services, unaffordable and insufficient education systems, and ruptures in the social fabric of communities.
    Growing segments of the population will continue to seek satisfaction for their needs and their dreams of prosperity in the advanced economies of the North. The current reality confirms the old idea that, if development does not start draining south at once, underdevelopment will advance northward at a faster rate.
    Repressive formulas, such as those sought in the document imposed by the United States for the meeting, are not the answer. They make it possible to temporarily mitigate uncontrolled migratory flows, but they do not solve the multiplicity of causes and conditions that cause irregular emigration.
    In the case of Cuba, the US government has applied a policy aimed at encouraging irregular emigration for four years. As a rule, it gives entry to those who arrive at its borders by irregular means, privileges them with the possibility of obtaining permanent residence by virtue of legal formulas established only for Cubans, closed the legal channels to emigrate and maintains a policy of economic war, aimed at depressing the standard of living of the population. It is what can be called a perfect recipe to promote irregular migration.
    However, no in-depth discussion of these issues is expected at the summit these days and, naturally, no effective result should be expected for a problem that will continue to weigh on our societies and on hemispheric relations.
    A productive discussion on technology transfer is also not expected, without which it is very difficult to expect a boost to the development of the region.
    The increase in connectivity and Internet access in all communities is positive. However, if this effort is limited to the promotion of captive markets for commercial advertising, and the orientation and encouragement of incessant consumption, its benefit for Latin America and the Caribbean is nil. Of course, the big commercial companies will win.
    If it is aimed at establishing technological platforms that help seed in communities, particularly in young people, the ideas generated in ideological laboratories in the United States to promote behaviors and worldviews that stimulate political apathy and social alienation; encourage selfishness, promote racism, narcissism and aggressiveness, the result will be extremely dangerous. It will also be so if it is intended to promote lies, banality, dishonest politicking, slander and information hired assassins.
    If what is sought is greater influence and more control over our societies through the monopoly in very few hands of information technology platforms, the obvious goal is the consolidation of hegemonic and imperialist domination with new methods.
    One of the most repeated topics of the representatives of the United States when promoting the summit these days is the supposed defense of democracy, which they misleadingly equate with the promotion of capitalism, as if it were the same thing, when in reality they are opposing concepts.
    Nothing in the past and recent history of the United States, nor in its current behavior in the hemisphere, suggests that democracy or respect for human rights are true priorities of its regional foreign policy. When they say so, they act dishonestly and they know it.
    Taking as a reference only the last 50 years, the absolute involvement and collusion of the United States with the bloodiest and most repressive regimes that this continent has known, with those that have most shamelessly practiced murder, disappearances, massacres, has been notorious. , torture and extrajudicial executions.
    It is an error and an unacceptable act of contempt to assume that our peoples have no memory.
    Nevertheless, more importantly, the United States government lacks the moral authority to speak of democracy, when it is unable to defend or promote it in its own territory and for its own citizens.
    It is not honest to speak of the defense of democratic principles when, by virtue of recent federal laws, the American political system allows unlimited financing of electoral campaigns and the management of politicians, buying them, or what is the same: buying rulers.
    It is not sincere to preach democracy in the region when legislation is increasing in numerous States of that country that restrict the right to vote and the possibility of exercising it, especially if the voter is of low income, belongs to one of the so-called ethnic minorities or lives in neighborhoods considered marginal.
    It is difficult to be a promoter of human rights on behalf of a government that is not capable of ensuring the right to essential health services in the richest and most powerful country on the planet; that it does not have, nor has it been proposed to have, the political and legal tools that prevent indiscriminate sales of war weapons to the population, with the consequent and growing cost in innocent lives, including children, for whom it becomes a danger to go to school.
    The promotion of democracy and human rights are just chimeras in a political system in which the interests of producers and marketers of weapons of war take precedence over the lives of children, the right to health and education.
    It is not honest to proclaim human rights when that government allows the growth of racism, together with the currents of intolerance and white supremacy; when the rates of police and judicial abuse against Afro-descendants continue to be the norm.
    Neither is it when the incarceration or detention of children and adolescents reaches unacceptably high figures. According to data from the American Civil Liberties Association, on any given day of the year at least 60,000 children and youth under the age of 18 are locked up or detained in jails or juvenile detention centers.
    According to the Prison Policy Initiative, many of them have not even committed crimes and thousands remain behind bars for non-criminal offenses. The United States is the only country in the hemisphere where people under the age of 18 are sentenced to life in prison without parole.
    With this deplorable track record, the US government dares to allege that the criteria for inviting and excluding countries from the hemisphere to the summit meeting were the standards of democracy and human rights. The pretext constitutes an insult to the intelligence and common sense of others.
    With the planned design and the documents prepared, it is already known that nothing will be discussed or approved at the meeting on economic and social inequality in the region; about marginalization, even within the United States itself. It is known that the growing problem of the judicialization of politics to sabotage the popular will and the elected governments with the support of the most humble sectors will not be addressed, nor will the corporate effort of the large transnationals to corrupt the governments of the region.
    The reasons why both the United States and Latin America are among the areas most affected by COVID-19 will not be delved into.
    None of the documents presented by the State Department proposed to advance with practical actions in the fight against racism, in favor of the rights of women and children, and to alleviate the uncertain situation of migrants.
    The problem of progressive climate change and natural disasters that threaten the countries of the region so much will be left without practical measures. Terrorism, including state terrorism and the manipulation of the issue for political ends are not items on the agenda. The Argentine right to the Malvinas will not be confirmed, nor will Puerto Rico's right to independence.
    In the documents to be approved there will be no pronouncement against unilateral coercive economic measures and their use against countries in the region as a weapon of political pressure.
    The unanimous demand of the region, with the almost absolute support of the international community, will not be ratified in them to put an end to the criminal economic blockade suffered by the Cuban people for 63 years.
    However, Cuba's voice and solidarity with Cuba cannot be silenced. We know that the rejection of the economic blockade will be heard there and that the United States government is clearly aware that this sentiment is shared from one end of this hemisphere to the other.
    For months, it has become clear that the opportunity to take advantage of the presence in Los Angeles of regional leaders to really discuss many problems that weigh on our societies will be lost. It could have been otherwise.
    The US government, with its enormous economic and technological power, with its great influence, could have made a transcendental contribution in that direction. It required, of course, a dose of humility, self-criticism, recognition of the scars that mark our history; a minimum of solidarity and less selfishness, and a sincere recognition that times have changed.
    Inter-American communication and interaction are necessary. There must be spaces for dialogue and cooperation between those of us who live south of the Rio Grande and the nations of the north. However, it has to be with respect. Benemérito de las Américas, Benito Juárez, expressed it with great synthesis in 1867 and I quote: "Among individuals, as among nations, respect for the rights of others is peace." End of quote.
    We, Latin Americans and Caribbeans, do not consider ourselves to be anyone's backyard or front yard. It is a notion that offends us and we reject it. By constituting the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States, CELAC, the countries of our region reaffirm the unrestricted attachment to the defense of sovereignty, independence and self-determination.
    By promoting the necessary regional unity and integration, we root the commitment to respect diversity among us. In this region, we share large and small countries; those who are rich in natural resources and those who lack them; those that export hydrocarbons or electrical energy and those that import it; the large food producers and those who need foreign trade to meet their needs. In addition, there are the small island countries that deserve preferential and differentiated treatment in the conduct of their international economic relations.
    In some cases, we have deep ideological differences, which has not prevented the development of relations, and even cooperation, both to resolve serious political conflicts, and to contribute to solving profound social problems and provide services to the most needy populations. In 2014, in Havana, we unanimously assumed the commitment to the Declaration of Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace.
    With this vast, rich and complex region, the United States could cooperate and join efforts to face the great challenges of today's world. But it has to be with absolute respect for sovereign equality.
    Times have changed and Our America does not accept the imposition of the interests of imperialism, just as it does not accept that we be used for the conflicts of the United States with whom it identifies as strategic rivals in other parts of the world.
    Our people have reason to wonder: Why do we pay attention to an event that aims to have results of little importance, with great absences among the attendees and from which the United States decided to exclude several countries in the region beforehand?
    The problem is that we cannot ignore an additional effort, albeit a failure, to reissue the Monroe Doctrine, nor can we fail to denounce the farce of once again convening the countries of the region for a show with a neo-colonial tint. The United States has the capacity to prevent the presence of Cuba in Los Angeles, but it does not have the power to silence our voice, nor to silence the truth.
    Our people have been aware of these issues. He is informed like few others and understands the current situation in the hemisphere. It is a participant in foreign policy and is the guarantor of national sovereignty and independence against the US hegemonic ambition. It also has an international solidarity vocation and a earned right to keep abreast of events in the region.
    There will also be a People's Summit in Los Angeles on June 8th, 9th and 10th. The information that arrives indicates that it will be a real scenario for debate and confrontation of ideas, with a broad agenda and attached to the most urgent concerns of the region as a whole, with the participation of social organizations, unions, youth groups, associations community and people with a deep social conscience in general.
    Everything announces that the true momentous political event will take place there and it is in that event that we lament the impossibility of having a significant face-to-face participation. We know that the contribution of the Cubans would have been an important contribution and it would also be an experience for you to listen to the problems and approaches of the thousands of very diverse participants who will attend the forum.
    At a time like the one that the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean are experiencing today, it is wise to return to José Martí. His imperishable essay entitled Our America has an astonishing validity. In it the apostle shaped teachings for all times. Marti said:
    “…the urgent duty of our America is to show itself as it is, one in soul and intent, swift winner of a suffocating past, stained only with the blood of fertilizer that starts the fight with the ruins on our hands, and that of the veins that our owners left stung. The disdain of the formidable neighbor, who does not know it, is the greatest danger of our America; and it is urgent, because the day of the visit is near, that the neighbor knows it, knows it soon, so that he does not disdain it”.
    Thank you very much
    (Cubaminrex - Presidency of Cuba)