Version of the text of the Proclamation issued by Cuban President Fidel Castro to the Cuban people and which was read on Cuban television at 9:15 p.m., Monday, July 31, 2006:

Due to the enormous efforts made to visit the Argentinean city of Cordoba, participate in the MERCOSUR meeting, in the closing of the People’s Summit in the historic University of Cordoba and the visit to Altagracia, the city where Che lived during his childhood and together with that my participation in the commemoration of the 53rd anniversary of the assault on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes barracks on July 26, 1953, in the provinces of Granma and Holguin, days and nights of continuous work with practically no sleep, my health, which has resisted all tests, was subjected to extreme stress and broke down.

This provoked a severe intestinal crisis with sustained bleeding which obliged me to undergo complicated surgery. All the details of this health accident are found in the x-rays, endoscopes and filmed materials. The operation obliged me to rest for several weeks, away from my responsibilities and tasks.

Since our country is threatened in such circumstances by the government of the United States, I have made the following decisions:

1. I temporarily delegate my responsibilities as First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Cuban Communist Party to Second Secretary Compañero Raúl Castro Ruz.

2. I temporarily delegate my responsibilities as Commander in Chief of the heroic Revolutionary Armed Forces to the aforementioned Compañero, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz.

3. I temporarily delegate my responsibilities as President of the Council of State and the Government of the Republic of Cuba, to the First Vice President, Compañero Raúl Castro Ruz.

4. I temporarily delegate my functions as principal promoter of the National and International Public Health Program to Political Bureau Member and Public Health Minister, Compañero José Ramón Balaguer Cabrera.

5. I temporarily delegate my responsibilities as the principal promoter of the National and International Program of Education to Companero José Ramón Machado Ventura and Esteban Lazo Hernández, members of the Political Bureau.

6. I temporarily delegate my responsibilities as the main promoter of the National Program of the Energy Revolution in Cuba and collaboration with other countries in this area to Companero Carlos Lage Dávila, Member of the Political Bureau and Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers.

The funds related to these three programs — Health, Education and Energy — should continue being carried out and prioritized, as I have personally been doing, by Companeros Carlos Lage Dávila, Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers, and Felipe Perez Roque, Minister of Foreign Relations, who have accompanied me in these endeavors and should form a commission to continue the work.

Our glorious Communist Party, supported by the mass organizations and all the people, has the mission of assuming the task set forward in this Proclamation.

The Summit of the Movement of Non-Aligned Nations, which will take place between September 11th and 16th, should receive the highest attention of the State and the Cuban nation, and to celebrated with the highest splendor on the dates scheduled.

The 80th anniversary of my birthday, for which thousands of personalities have agreed to celebrate on August 13th, should be postponed until the 2nd of December this year — the 50th anniversary of the Landing of the Granma.

I call on the Central Committee of the Party and the National Assembly of People’s Power to give their strongest support to this Proclamation.

I don’t have the slightest doubt that our people and our Revolution will struggle until the last drop of blood to defend these and other ideas and measures that are necessary to safeguard our historic process.

Imperialism will never smash Cuba. The Battle of Ideas will continue forward.

Long Live the Homeland! Long Live the Revolution! Long Live Socialism! Ever Onward to Victory!

Fidel Castro Ruz Commander in Chief 
First Secretary of the Party and President of the Councils of State and Ministers of the Republic of Cuba 
July 31, 2006 6:22 p.m.
(English Version of the text by Radio Havana Cuba)