Dear friends, sisters and brothers in the struggle,
We are deeply honored with your presence at this tribute to the 64th anniversary of the assaults to the “Moncada” and the “Carlos Manuel de Céspedes” Garrisons, in Santiago de Cuba and Bayamo.
We are here today to pay tribute to those who gave their lives during this heroic deed, to those that could see the fruit of the sacrifice of that day and also to the combatants who still continue to guide us by their example.
On July 26, 1953, the life of the Cubans changed forever with those revolutionary actions, which meant the beginning of the last and decisive stage of the long struggle for our full liberation, to conquer our total sovereignty and independence.
As you all know, since March 10, 1952, Cuba was ruled by Dictator Fulgencio Batista, who came to power in conspiracy with the United States through a coup d’état, establishing a bloody tyranny, characterized by a systematic policy of fierce repression, murder, torture and absolute dispossession of the most basic rights of the Cuban people.
During that stage, submission to the White House and to the Yankee Embassy in Havana was also deepened. Besides, the economic domination by large imperial transnational corporations and political-administrative corruption rose to levels still higher than those known during the previous governments.
Amid the profound general repudiation of the Batista's return to power and the social discontent from the prevailing regime of exploitation, poverty and helplessness of the dispossessed masses, a group of Orthodox youngsters led by Fidel Castro -the Generation of the Centenary- showed that the Apostle José Martí would not die in the year of his centenary, and began the armed struggle, the first step to achieve the definitive independence of Cuba.
Their objective was neither a desire for glory nor prestige or personal ambitions; it was to begin the great work of the Revolution in our country as well as to undertake the future “Program of the Moncada”.
The actions of July 26, despite a military defeat, became the small engine that was needed to help start the big engine of the people’s revolution, which would not culminate until the Triumph of the Revolution, on January 1, 1959, five years, five months and five days after the “Moncada” deed.
Friends, Brothers and Sisters,
This commemoration invites us to reflect on what Cuba was before 1959, on the present and, above all, the future of our struggle.
We face today an international situation characterized by growing threats to international peace and security, intervention wars, dangers to the survival of the humankind and an unjust international economic order.
The scenario in our continent has become increasingly complex, after the arrival of the oligarchy into power in some countries and the offensive of imperialism to hit the progressive and revolutionary forces in Latin America.
In that context, we once again express our solidarity with the Bolivarian and Chavista Revolution, with the civic-military union of the Venezuelan people and with the government headed by the constitutional president Nicolás Maduro Moros.
We ratify our commitment to continue supporting the defense of Venezuela and the dignified, courageous, and constructive position of President Maduro.
We will never leave Evo Morales alone, a true leader of Bolivia and of all native peoples. We will continue to support Commander Daniel Ortega and the Sandinist Revolution. We congratulate Lenin Moreno for his electoral victory in Ecuador, which will continue to deepen the Citizen Revolution. We denounce the coup maneuvers against Lula in Brazil. Lula, Dilma Rousseff, the Workers’ Party and the Brazilian people will always have the solidarity of Cuba.
Dear Friends, Brothers and Sisters,
On June 16, US President Donald Trump announced his government's policy towards Cuba, marked by the tightening of the blockade and returning to the obsolete discourse of confrontation used in the past against our country, in a clear ignorance of the history of Cuba and the determination of Cubans to remain free, independent and sovereign.
One of the greatest lessons that Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro left us is the revolutionary intransigence and permanent faith in victory. For true revolutionaries and real revolutions there are no easy situations; if not, there would not have been a July 26th, a December 2nd, a January 1st and many other significant events in our history.
Cuba will never give up an inch or will make any concessions inherent to its sovereignty and independence. We will never negotiate our principles or accept any kind of conditions, as we have never done in the history of the Revolution. We have expressed our willingness to continue negotiating pending bilateral issues with the United States, but respecting our differences and on the basis of equality and respect for the sovereignty and independence of our country.
We will continue advancing towards the construction of our socialism and the implementation of the updated Guidelines of the Economic and Social Policy of the Party and the Revolution. With these Guidelines, we reaffirm the continuity of the Revolution and its achievements and the socialist character of the Cuban Revolution.
As our President Raúl Castro recently expressed, and I quote: “when celebrating National Rebellion Day, for the first time without the physical presence of the Commander-in-Chief of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, let us propose to face the new challenges under the guidance of his example, revolutionary intransigence and permanent faith in victory.” (end of quote)
It is our duty and our responsibility with Fidel, with Raúl and with you brothers and sisters, not to cease in the struggle, like the Moncada attackers, to build a better homeland, to achieve the Jose Marti's supreme dream, to show all our brothers and sisters around the world that the Cuban people will win.
Eternal Glory to the martyrs of July 26!
Long live Fidel!
Long live Raúl!
¡Patria o Muerte, Venceremos!