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    Díaz-Canel in the National Assembly: We chose the most difficult path, the most dignified

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    Díaz-Canel in the National Assembly: We chose the most difficult path, the most dignified

    Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez recalled this Saturday that 70 years ago a representation of the best of Cuban youth assaulted the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes barracks. "As martyrs or as heroes, without themselves knowing it, they were going to enter history," he said.

    “Two of those boys accompanied us in this session, Army General Raúl Castro, leader of the Revolution, and Commander Ramiro Valdés Menéndez. To them, first, I want to dedicate my words.

    "This is not just about an act of historical justice, but about two men who continue to assault fortresses every day with their foot in the stirrup of difficulties and the rifle pointing towards errors," said the president when speaking before the plenary session of the National Assembly.

    He considered that the recent period of the Assembly "has been good", including the call by Lazo and other deputies to give their names and surnames, causes and possible solutions to our problems, "those that do not have to do directly with the blockade or that reinforce the omnipresent blockade due to inaction, apathy, insensitivity, incapacity or simple fatigue and lack of faith that it will be possible to overcome the difficulties".

    “The problems of our difficult daily life have been addressed with a sense of urgency and without prejudice, such as food production, electricity generation, water availability, crime, growing inflation, abusive prices.

    "We have done so without abandoning pending and strategic issues such as the State's policy for the care of children, adolescents and youth and the Military Penal Code Law."

    He stressed that the link of the deputies with the population has been verified in recent months.

    “These months of exchanges with the people on the street, in the neighborhoods, have been proof of what it means to work with one ear glued to the ground. An assembly in permanent session disconnected from the people that elected it can never be called an assembly of popular power.

    “We can never forget that the enemies of the Cuban nation are betting on fracturing national unity, on separating the people and their government, on making us get tired of insisting, on giving up, on believing that the path of surrender is preferable to resisting. But the option to surrender was erased from the DNA of Cubans.

    “And I do not say it on a whim or because we like the sacrifice, or we create a chosen nation for ourselves. It is enough to look at those who surrendered or were subjugated by a superior power, apparently invincible: they lost the nation, the ideal and the destiny of their countries.

    "I cannot imagine Cuba without the moral strength of its party and without the organization, planning, and permanent concern of a government whose main mission is to guarantee health, education, food, and public services, some free of charge and others at the lowest possible cost.

    "All this – he stressed – under the terrible conditions of a reinforced blockade and the inclusion of Cuba in the infamous list of countries that sponsor terrorism, which seeks to boycott any possibility of economic recovery, closing all access to possible income and financing opportunities.

    “This policy is very perverse, which is not limited to the economic and financial space. It is known that Cuba's greatest strength is in its people and in its emblematic resistance. That is why they also attack us by sowing matrices of ungovernability, a failed State and citizen insecurity”.

    The plan –continued the Cuban president in his speech before the deputies– “is to discredit national unity. Some contribute to this purpose, from the most extreme positions, from the right, calling for the privatization of everything and the change of the system, and also from a supposed left demonizing any space for the market”.

    He warned that “extremes meet and there are more positions: lapidary criticism of the term socialism and of any attempt at a solution and of making a government effort. Some are tired of talking about the blockade. Others invent theories to the theory, as if the classics had denied the dialectic.

    "They forget that their important theoretical contribution did not conceive of socialist construction in a small nation, blocked for more than 60 years and a neighbor of the largest empire, which is also their enemy."

    He added that this gigantic external factor gravitating against the development of the country “coincides in time with this trend towards the deepening of neoliberal capitalism that has pushed humanity to the greatest degrees of inequality and social exclusion ever known. Meanwhile, Cuba went and goes against the current after a project of social justice”

    The most comfortable thing – Díaz-Canel continued – would have been to abandon the battle, join the global current, renounce that project and save whoever can. "But we chose the most difficult path, the most dignified."

    In this scenario, the president called to avoid confusion. “Social justice does not mean, nor can it be reduced, to welfare or egalitarianism. It is to distribute the wealth created by everyone among everyone, but in a differentiated way, so that those who contribute the most earn more, and those who are unable to contribute are basically assisted”.

    To do this, he stressed, first it is necessary to create that wealth, "and in this task we are still far from approving".

    The president reaffirmed that the economic and commercial war of the United States against Cuba, particularly its extraterritoriality, together with the world economic crisis, the slow recovery from the pandemic and the effect of armed conflicts, continue to be obstacles to the strategy of reviving the economy in the short, medium and long terms.

    Despite these obstacles, the report on the economy and the liquidation of the budget for the first half of the year show that the implementation measures, without yet reaching the expected results, indicate a very slight tendency towards recovery.

    “Each measure has risks in its implementation. That is why we insist that its implementation always take into account the treatment to be given to people and families in vulnerable situations, to avoid negative impacts on them”.

    Regarding the national electric power system, he said that even when it does not work in optimal conditions, it has been recovering as part of the strategy drawn up by the country.

    In line with what was exposed to the deputies by the Minister of Energy and Mines, he pointed out that the situation in the current month of July is much more favorable than in 2022 despite the increase in demand. "Several thermal plants and distributed generation engines have been maintained, which has allowed capacities to be recovered and to reach this date in better conditions."

    "The promised word was fulfilled," he said, adding that work continues towards long-term energy recovery.

    According the recovery of the tourism industry, affected by the inclusion of Cuba in the list of countries that sponsor terrorism and other problems related to logistics, fuel and energy, he said that we have not exceeded the 3.5 million visitors projected for the year.

    "We need a growth rate that exceeds all growth indicators for 2021 and 2022," he said.

    Later, he highlighted that the rescue of the intervention and expansion of the exchange market has begun, which has allowed channeling more than 110 million dollars to the business system, with repercussions on the national economy and the production of goods and services. Food production programs (rice, beans, eggs, pork), the manufacturing industry and other sectors stand out.

    "This is still insufficient," he acknowledged.

    Regarding foreign investment, he commented that as a result of the official visits in recent months, mutual investment bases, projects and programs were established in sectors such as energy, agriculture, including the sugarcane industry, taking government and business steps for their materialization in the second semester.

    “This makes it possible to create the conditions for the recovery of industrial and research capacity, with a favorable impact on energy recovery and the export of oil derivatives.

    "Mechanisms and work systems have been implemented to recover income from remittances and other services associated with the collection of foreign currency, opening new channels and diversifying existing ones, including those that use cryptocurrencies in compliance with current legislation."

    Likewise, he said, measures and incentives are adopted to promote the use of electronic payment channels, as a faster way, through the chaining of productive sectors for the creation of new products and services, in a safe and simple way when making collections and payments without the use of cash.

    Regarding this practice, he stressed that it favors fiscal discipline and the bankarization of the economic ones.

    He also reported that a group made up of experts from different disciplines has worked on the design of measures that will allow progress in macroeconomic stabilization during the second half of this year and the first half of 2024.

    “This program should allow us to progressively correct macroeconomic imbalances,” he said, adding that proposals are being studied to continue improving the foreign currency allocation mechanism based on the country's development needs.

    Given the current uncertainty in the world economy, Díaz-Canel affirmed that the Cuban economy will have to face an essential structural transformation program, accompanied by a macroeconomic transformation program in the next three years.

    “After a debate as intense as the one developed in Parliament, on the production and commercialization of food and on abusive and speculative prices and the harmful impact on the population's standard of living, I insist on the correct implementation of the approved measures and on taking advantage of the options offered by municipal autonomy and the necessary strengthening of the socialist state company.

    “Some local solutions could lead us to the path of national solutions. To the extent that the delegates, the presidents of the popular councils, the government authorities of the municipality and the people have information to confront the speculators, we are going to push prices down. But we must, above all, dedicate ourselves to creating wealth," he added.

    He maintained that “the will to improve society, aware that the prosperity and greater social justice for which we fight would be impossible in a society emptied of values, drives us to continue fighting the manifestations of crime, social indiscipline and corruption.

    “These negative manifestations attempt against the most sacred of the process of socialist construction, while deepening social inequalities and undermining citizen security. We must adequately confront the illegal currency market, speculation, corruption, laziness, bureaucracy, lies, vulgarity, indiscipline, and antisocial behavior.

    "To achieve this, it will be essential to demand clean and responsible behavior from the representatives of state institutions, society and Cuban families," the president said before the plenary session of Parliament.

    He emphasized that all actors in the economy must act in accordance with the law and regulations established locally or nationally. “Without stigmatization and absurd generalizations, which end up being as harmful as the problems they are intended to solve. Everyone is necessary and we must defend their participation in the country's economy, but without forgetting that this defense requires respect for dignity."

    Referring to this first ordinary session of the tenth legislature, he recalled that it had among its powers the approval of the new Military Penal Code, which is in accordance with the Magna Carta and is relevant for strengthening order and discipline in the country's armed institutions.

    "This is an essential element for the fulfillment of its missions, in order to maintain and protect the independence and sovereignty of the State, its territorial integrity and its security and peace."

    According the text of the law, which incorporates principles, concepts, a sanctioning framework and punitive alternatives, he considered that "it is adjusted to the socioeconomic conditions of the country and the characteristics of our armed institutions."

    In addition, it "precisely defines those conducts that, due to their social harmfulness, should be considered criminal and grants powers to military commanders so that, in the event of certain events, they apply disciplinary measures."

    Regarding the work sessions of the ANPP, he ratified the fundamental role they play as an auxiliary body of the Assembly for the fulfillment of its powers and stressed that the most current issues and impact on the neighborhoods, the streets and daily life were debated in the work commissions.

    "The link of the deputies with the base in the different territories, for the verification and verification of laws, policies and programs selected for analysis, has favored the most in-depth and objective discussions," he stressed.

    As another positive result, he mentioned the possibility of making suggestions and proposals, enriched by the exchanges with the population.

    "The agreements of these meetings must constitute premises for the work of the different bodies and agencies in favor of the transformation and solution of the problems discussed," he said.

    He also highlighted the debates and the approval of the policy for the care of children, adolescents and youth, “as part of the desire to strengthen the rights of the youngest population, since it supports their aspirations and dreams. Its gradual implementation, in the midst of the current economic situation, will demand the greatest understanding of the population and will require the widest dissemination and debate.

    This policy –he pointed out– has its origin in the extensive debates held by young people and representatives of the academic sector. It also responds to "the concern of our compatriots about the growing exodus of young people and the need to guarantee that they can develop their life project in the country, with active participation in the nation's destinations."

    Likewise, he pointed out that "it reaffirms the will to develop a government management through public policies and that the process of creating regulations is increasingly participatory and democratic."Regarding the results of the intense international activity in recent months, he explained that the Cuban presidency of the Group of 77+China "demands an extraordinary diplomatic effort that honors us as a nation."

    "Since the Cuban presidency, events in the areas of education, culture, tourism and the environment have been successfully developed that have managed to encourage debate and contribute to the defense of the interests of developing countries."

    On September 16, Cuba will host the Summit of Heads of State and Government under the theme "Current challenges of development, role of science, technology and innovation.

    "It is a question, Díaz-Canel maintained, of a necessary effort in the effort to strengthen the Group of 77 and the use of such important tools for development.

    He affirmed that Cuba's firm position in favor of peace in Colombia has been supported with facts, and that the celebration in our country of the third cycle of the peace talks between the Colombian Government and the ELN was a historic moment.

    “The international cooperation that Cuba provides continues to develop as an emblematic characteristic of foreign policy. It is a legitimate and altruistic activity that we maintain despite the dirty campaign of the United States to denigrate that effort and deprive hundreds of thousands of people of the quality medical services that characterize Cuban professionals.

    All the events in which we participate – continued the Cuban president – ​​“are consultation mechanisms in which Cuba has a history of active and constructive contribution, as a form of our foreign policy.

    "In addition to complying with government commitments, we had the opportunity to meet with Cubans living in those countries and with friends of Cuba in meetings characterized by expressions of friendship, solidarity and support for the Revolution."

    He added that, “as a nation, we have the privilege of having groups of Cubans in different countries that maintain an active behavior in support of the homeland, in addition to having groups of people of different nationalities who are very committed to solidarity with Cuba.

    "It is a reality that makes us proud as Cubans and that is explained by the prestige of the Revolution, its work of justice and its solidarity and internationalist trajectory," he stressed.

    He also pointed out that the participation in different international events and the reception of numerous visits by foreign personalities from all continents "demonstrate the commitment to continue expanding bilateral ties and cooperation with numerous countries throughout the region, as well as opening possibilities for diverse exchanges and promoting entrepreneurship. This has the objective of fulfilling the strategic task of breaking the economic siege to which imperialism wishes to condemn us”.

    He recalled that in the face of United States aggressions, Cuba wins every year in the United Nations votes and is supported by the pronouncements of regional organizations such as Celac, Caricom, the African Union and the European Union.

    “It is the Empire that is isolated and discredited for its criminal politics, for its contempt for the will of the international community and for its unscrupulous willingness to use threats and coercion against many governments and against its own citizens.

    "Our duty is to continue denouncing this ruthless policy and progress in the creative effort to recover the economy and put it on a sustainable path despite the blockade."

    Later, the Cuban president recounted that on international tours he found respect, admiration and gratitude to the Cuban people and our history.

    “We confirm the value of consistency, dignity, defending principles and not giving in to pressure.

    “Cuba is not alone in this fight and we have verified it. We are not the only ones punished in defending our sovereignty, our independence and multilateralism”, he stated.

    He considered that this first session of the tenth legislature will be remembered for the complexity of the moment that Cuba is experiencing, the issues discussed and the way in which they were discussed.

    “Here our problems were more visible. And more visible, too, the effort to reach the horizon of solutions”, he concluded.