First of all, we would like to express our gratitude to the Portuguese Communist Party for hosting the organization and holding the 15th International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties, which has meant an additional effort in its daily work amidst the difficult conditions imposed by the just struggle for the peoples and workers´ rights as a result of the deepening of the capitalist crisis that affects them. We would like to express to you our acknowledgement and our solidarity support.
This event takes place in the context of the centenary of the birth of the historical leader of the Portuguese Communist Party, comrade Alvaro Cunhal, an impeccable and principled communist, a champion of the national interests and the Portuguese workers´ rights and a true friend of the Cuban Revolution. To him, our eternal homage.
We hope that this meeting will be a fruitful space of reflection and debate on key issues that will allow us to coordinate our efforts to find alternatives, so that our parties contribute resolutely to face and transform the realities of our peoples.
The Communist Party of Cuba considers that, at a time of a difficult and complex international situation, characterized by the economic, financial and global crisis of capitalism, the destabilization of the international order, and the aggressive policy of the U.S. imperialism and NATO, which has led to wars and conflicts for a new sharing of the wealth, it is more necessary than ever the exchange and cooperation, in the first place, among the communist and workers parties, and also with the political forces, social movements and left and progressive parties.
We, communists, should have the necessary ability to face the imperialist offensive at world level and take advantage of everything that unites us to advance swiftly and firmly in identifying our true main enemies and the common objectives to be pursued, as well as to establish strategies and alliances which allow us to rally the big dissatisfied masses and to lead them in the struggle against imperialism. It has been shown that with political will, big obstacles can be overcome and important transformations can be made.
In the Latin-American and Caribbean context, the Sao Paulo Forum is a privileged space of unity of the left and progressive forces, different among them but united in the undertaking of building societies with more social justice. This experience can be encouraging and useful for our communist and workers´ movement.
Today our country is facing a far-reaching process for the continuity of the Revolution. The 6th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, held on April 2011, and the First National Party Conference, held on January 2012, gave continuity and, at the same time, a transforming boost to Cuban socialism.
The commitment to build a prosperous and sustainable socialism, where social ownership over the main means of production and the need of development will prevail as the basis for achieving a state of wellbeing and prosperity, is one of the postulates of the conceptualization process of the social and economic model that signals the present and future direction of Cuba.
It is about managing the economy with formulas which develop the productive forces and where planning is the main tool in the search of the macroeconomic balance, and the socialist state enterprise is the essence of the Cuban economic model and, thus, there are plans to adjust its norms of operation, giving it more freedom and autonomy.
The increase of the domestic economic efficiency implies, above all, an increase of the work productivity, and it is in this context where the reorientation of the work force in the state sector plays a role by widening the possibilities in the non-state and cooperative sectors and welcoming other economic components.
For Cuba, only socialism is a condition for development. Therefore, it will continue to preserve the main social gains that made the Cuban model a reference for many in the world.
We are making the changes without copying from others, but we do take into account the positive experiences from other models, mainly considering our own experiences and cultural-historical conditions, as well as the situation of a small and underdeveloped country of 11.2 million people which, in spite of having few natural resources and being subjected for more than half a century to the tightest and most brutal economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States, does not cease in its efforts to favor a better life for the people.
Likewise, the Latin-American and the Caribbean region is experiencing today a unique time in its history of struggle against neo-liberalism. It is facing a counteroffensive of the Empire and the right in the region, aimed at defeating the progressive and left processes and undermining the integrationist effort expressed at the Community of Latin-American and Caribbean States (CELAC), an organization which is set to promote regional integration and consolidate a space of coordination without the United States, a relevant event for the progressive forces.
The recent setting up of the Pacific Alliance is actually a redesign of the Free Trade Agreement for America, since it promotes a big area of free trade in Latin American and the Caribbean to facilitate a bigger penetration and control of the big trans-nationals, especially those from the United States, bringing about a bigger loss of sovereignty. It is a tool to reverse the process of change in this part of the world, and it is depicted with a face of noble objectives, something we have to warn about.
A clear example of the deployment of this counteroffensive is Venezuela, where a big scale destabilizing plot, exacerbated after the physical disappearance of President Hugo Chávez Frías, is betting on the disaster of the Bolivarian Revolution. Its strategic objective is not limited to the failure of Nicolas Maduro’s legitimate government, but it is also aimed against the left and progressive processes in the region, using modern technologies of communication to carry out all types of manipulative, diversionist and slandering campaigns. On the face of this, we should be alert in order not to be confused.
Finally, I take up this opportunity to express our gratitude to the communist and workers´ parties here for their militant solidarity with our struggle against the blockade, which has been tightened at present in a clear disregard of the claim made by the overwhelming majority of the international public opinion. Just a week ago, for twenty one times in row, Cuba achieved a convincing condemnation of the economic aggression after the voting at the General Assembly of the United Nations, in which the United States was let practically alone with Israel.
We reiterate that Cuba will continue struggling to improve its socialism; it will continue demanding the lifting of the blockade and the end of the hostility and subversion against its Revolution; and it will continue struggling for the return of the Five Cubans unjustly incarcerated in U.S. jails. And, in those endeavors, we count on our right and your solidarity.
Thank you very much.