Greetings to our comrades of the Communist Party of Greece, who once again are our hosts. We reaffirm to them our solidarity and our acknowledgement of their great efforts in the initiative and organization of this important event.
A greeting to all communist and workers’ parties who continue the struggle for a better, more just and more human world.
During all these difficult and complicated years, our parties have faced the attempts of imperialism and international reactionaries to establish a world dictatorship, based on neo-liberal globalization principles.
Today it is more essential than ever to see a union of revolutionary and left wing forces so that they may analyze the current world situation and propose concrete actions.
After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the pipe dreams of those who proclaimed the final victory of capitalism and the end of history have collided and shattered with the failure of the system and its neo-liberal model. Instead of being blessed with the promised well-being, humanity now faces enormous injustice, abysmal inequalities, new wars and conflicts, a path that can only lead to a global holocaust.
As Comrade Fidel expressed in his message at the II Southern Summit:
“NEVER BEFORE HAS THE WORLD SUFFERED FROM SUCH INEQUALITY, AND NEVER HAS THIS INEQUALITY BEEN SO PROFOUND.
IN CURRENT WORLD ECONOMY, OUR COUNTRIES ARE INCLUDED FOR EXPLOITATION AND EXCLUDED FROM DEVELOPMENT.
SUCH A STATE OF AFFAIRS PREVENTS THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE SOUTH NATIONS IN ORDER TO SUPPORT THE RAMPANT CONSUMERISM OF THE NORTH, ENVIRONMENTAL AGRESSION AND THE ACCELERATED DEPLETION OF OUR PLANET’S NATURAL RESOURCES. THE OVERWHELMING WEALTH OF THE NORTH IS THE RESULT OF THE SAVAGE COLONIAL AND NEO-COLONIAL EXPLOITATION OF THE SOUTH.”
This meeting takes place during an extremely complex international situation, at a time when we are not only bombarded with menacing and arrogant language, but also with weapons and bombs. It is war that becomes the functional essential element within this imperialist domination. For the USA, the conservation of its hegemony is a crucial condition in its concept of national security.
The Bush administration is involved in the build-up of a brutal war of conquest in Iraq, it pursues a frenetic arms race and it murders the environment of the planet, while humanity’s great problems continue becoming more serious.
Today, a tiny minority lives in opulence and extravagance while in the world there are 852 million starving persons, aljost a thousand million illiterate adults, more than 1,200 million living in poverty, 40 million infected by or suffering from AIDS jost of which having no resources for life-saving treatment, and, the jost horrific, 12 million children under the age of 5 who die annually due to curable or preventable diseases.
In 1960, the richest countries had 37 times the income of the poorest countries. Today that statistic is at 74 times.
The three wealthiest individuals in the world hold shares that are greater in value than the GDP of 48 of the poorest countries.
Poverty and inequality are not a privilege of the immense majority of humanity living in the poor nations. Even in those exclusive and excluding wealthy countries, misery and conflict is on the rise, as we have seen in New Orleans and just a few days ago in France.
Such is the inequality, injustice, poverty and death, which is being forced on humanity at the point of a gun.
In the case of Latin America and the Caribbean, domination of our economies makes up a fundamental factor in the maintaining of U.S. hegemony. To achieve this, the FTAA (ALCA) has become one of their instruments.
This framework includes the imposition of the idea that improvement and advancement can only be achieved by US domination and by the application of the neo-liberal model.
The consequences of these unnatural neo-liberal policies have only engendered more poverty, more inequality and a deepening crisis.
Our continent is the jost unequal in our planet. The poverty affecting 222 million people on our continent was noted in the recent minutes of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Commission (CEPAL), dealing with the UN’s millennium achievements.
It has been predicted that in Latin America, the current year will be characterized by the stagnation of employment and social coverage, with 44% of the total population living below the poverty line and 22 million children engaged in any type of subsistence activity.
Domination and the model imposed upon our continent have lead to an unprecedented crisis. We only need to mention the yoke of the foreign debt. In the past 20 years, the peoples of Latin America have paid 6 times the value of their foreign debt and today they owe three times the original amount of two decades ago.
As a response to this deepening crisis, Latin America is in the midst of a new period of struggle. Popular Latin American movements have enjoyed several significant successes.
The recent failure of the Bush administration during the Summit of the Americas in Mar del Plata, where the FTAA (ALCA) was defeated, is a clear example of the changes that are taking place in our continent and of the growth of progressive and revolutionary movements, whose ability for exerting pressure and influence cannot be ignored by the governments and played an important role in the results of this Summit.
On the other hand, the Summit of the Peoples, the March of Protest and the rally, that had a mass participation in Mar del Plata, were a clear example of Latin American peoples’ rejection of Bush Administration, US imperialism and the neo-liberal model.
The Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela is a fundamental factor in this new movement.
The Venezuelan government, lead by President Chavez, has succeeded in consolidating and advancing the revolution in spite of US aggressions, an attempted coup d’état, an oil strike, a boycott of many of the companies active in that country, a ferocious media campaign abounding in lies and fabrications, and even terrorist and criminal activities.
It is impossible to make a brief summary of the achievements of the Bolivarian Revolution. Let us just point out that Venezuela has eradicated illiteracy with its programme of teaching a million and a half Venezuelans to read and write; a free-of-cost medical care programme is being offered to 17 million people who never before had even seen a doctor; more than 100,000 patients have been operated on for eye diseases, totally without cost to them; 400,000 young people have been able to enter university and 600,000 people have entered secondary education level schools.
A chain of popular stores or markets has been created so that 12 million Venezuelans can buy basic food products at much more accessible prices.
For this reason and because it is a government of the people, President Chavez and the Revolution have undeniably won 10 successive elections and are sure to win again in the legislative elections to be held on December 4th.
Thanks to Venezuelan support, new projects of integration in Latin America and the Caribbean are being born with the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), such as Petrosur, Telesur and Petrocaribe.
President Hugo Chavez launched the Framework Document of the Caribbean Energy Agreement. It was signed in Venezuela by the representatives of a dozen Caribbean nations, creating Petrocaribe which will not only include the supplying of fuel, but also technical collaboration, storage and the social implementation of the funds which will result.
Moreover, in partnership with our Venezuelan comrades, and as part of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas, Cuba and Venezuela have set themselves the goal that, in the next ten years, they will treat and operate on 6 million patients needing ophthalmologic care from Latin America and the Caribbean, and will educate 200 thousand medical doctors in the region who will be able to offer medical care to the great majorities who were previously excluded and marginalized.
We are convinced that this is the path and that our countries have no alternative other than economic integration.
In Latin America, during the past few decades, we have accumulated both positive and negative experiences in the struggle for a better world.
Everything that has been achieved confirms the value of social revolution as a historical alternative, beyond any fatalism, framework or prescription.
Likewise, the same crisis may imply different paths and several options for different countries, but we all agree on the overwhelming necessity to produce a change and to achieve a better future.
Progressive and left-wing parties have gained important victories and electoral advances on our continent in the last few years.
Communist parties are participants in left-wing coalitions and even hold government positions, as is the case with our comrades in the Communist Party of Brazil.
In just a few more days, an important electoral battle will be waged in Bolivia. The Movement Towards Socialism, headed by Evo Morales, leads all surveys with its nationalist and anti-imperialist campaign, in spite of a ferocious opposition by the Bolivian oligarchy and the Bush administration.
In Chile, the comrades of the Communist Party are developing an enormous and creative effort to consolidate and expand the advance of the Popular Coalition of “Juntos Podejos Más” (Together We Can Achieve More) in the immediate electoral process.
Next year, presidential elections will be held in Mexico, Brazil and Nicaragua where parties and left-wing coalitions will be able to achieve new victories.
In the Caribbean, notwithstanding the difficult circumstances that those nations have to face, integration projects are being developed and many of the governments of the region — formed by parties of different ideological and political orientation — are maintaining their progressive stances.
In the case of our continent, we have witnessed the emergence and development of new organizations and groups comprising social and indigenous movements that share many of our objectives and we must be able to achieve a common effort with them.
In Latin America, as in the rest of the world, the subject of unified strength and of revolutionary sectors, left-wing and progressive, is decisive. Division is our great Achilles Heel and it constitutes a weakness that is used to the advantage of right-wing imperialist forces.
We believe that communist parties have an important role to play in this essential unity.
For all of these reasons, we would like to propose an intensification of our support and solidarity with communist parties and all revolutionary and progressive organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean, including a greater effort to increase the participation of brotherly parties in future meetings with communist and workers’ parties.
There is not enough time to speak of all the tasks and initiatives that we are carrying out in Cuba in the construction of socialism.
But, we do wish to reaffirm that our objective of working to attain a new society based on human solidarity, not on egoism and material gain, is as firm as ever.
We are advancing on this path, in spite of confronting a complex international situation and an unprecedented escalation of the aggressions and the ferocious economic war waged by the US Government, which has cost our country a total of $ 82 billion dollars and that was aljost unanimously rejected by the international community some days ago at the UN General Assembly, when 182 nations voted against the blockade.
The Bush administration has intensified its aggressions to unprecedented limits, including growing threats of a military aggression. An example of this hostility is the fact that Cuba is included in the list of the 25 countries that, according to the USA, must be the targets of a future military intervention, supposedly because of "high levels of instability and risk."
However, despite the intensification of the aggressions, we have increased the battle of ideas, the struggle for the political education of the Cuban people and the enrichment of their universal culture.
In spite of the blockade, the worst drought in 100 years and six hurricanes in 4 years, Cuba today continues in her struggle to improve the people’s standard of living, especially in the economically disadvantaged sectors, primarily the senior citizens and retirees.
Just this year, the minimum pension and salaries were doubled. This, together with other salary hikes, has improved the lives of 4 million Cubans.
Last year we reached a 5% increase in the economy and we are showing a 7.3% increase in the first semester of this year.
We have made important advances in education, public health, social security, culture, sport and science, which compare favourably to the levels attained in more developed countries; however, we are convinced that there is much left to do.
And it is even more important our firm will to continue our modest contributions to the well-being of other countries, as it is evidenced by the presence of more than 24,000 Cuban doctors and other health care workers in 67 countries, and the educational opportunities offered to 20,761 young people from more than 100 countries who are studying in Cuba, 16,153 of them are studying medicine. We have also supported the program for the free ophthalmologic surgery and treatment in Cuba of patients from [text missing] countries.
The struggle against terrorism gave rise to the "International Meeting Against Terrorism and for Truth and Justice" held last June in Cuba. In that event, we discussed at length the urgent and immediate task of uncovering the criminal plot that links the ultra-conservative power of the United States with the fascist elements in Latin America and the anti-Cuban mafia in southern Florida.
Much undeniable evidence of this deadly relationship has surfaced since then. Among other facts, we know that the four main perpetrators of the 1976 attack on the Cubana flight in Barbados, which took the lives of 73 innocent persons, are on the payroll of the US secret services.
One of those terrorists, the self-confessed murderer Luis Posada Carriles, has been unmasked to be a CIA agent from 1960, specialized in explosives and acts of sabotage. This is one of the main reasons why the Bush administration today, in violation of international law and US legislation itself, is opposing his extradition to Venezuela, thus rejecting the just demands presented by the political and judicial authorities of this country.
The murky criminal history of this mercenary, trained by the CIA and historically associated with the Bush family, has helped shed light on the sinister role played by various US administrations in their acts of state terrorism against the peoples of our hemisphere and other areas. The White House and its special services have shared this role, repeatedly, with the terrorist groups in Miami.
These administrations are responsible for the criminal terrorism that murdered hundreds of thousands of Latin Americans under the Operation Condor in South America and under the “dirty wars” and extermination campaigns carried out in Central America.
All this happens while the Bush administration keeps five Cuban patriots hijacked in the US territory, precisely because they were fighting against terrorism.
As further evidence of the colossal injustice against the Cuban Five, on May 27th this year, the Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions of the UN Human Rights Commission determined that the imprisonment of the Five is arbitrary and illegal and it urged the US government to release them.
On August 9, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta issued the unanimous ruling of three judges to annul the false trial held in Miami against the Cuban Five. This would imply their immediate release, but they are still hijacked as they await some fresh legal manoeuvres on the part of the US government, therefore, now it is more necessary than ever to intensify the efforts to attain their immediate release.
We must assimilate all the experiences of the past but, without a doubt, we must move on to an offensive position in politics and ideology.
We, the Communist and workers’ parties, are heirs to a beautiful and heroic legacy.
We have always stood shoulder to shoulder with the humble, the exploited and the discriminated of this world. We have always struggled for a better world.
Communists played a leading role in the defeat of fascism and in the fight against colonialism and, as a result, aljost 100 nations in the Third World attained their independence.
On the other hand, capitalism and imperialism have been and are the ones that continue to massacre humanity.
Who is lying to unleash new wars of conquest that murder tens of thousands of people, including their own? Who is continuing to develop an economic system that is destroying our planet’s environment? Who is torturing and keeping thousands of prisoners, deprived of any rights, in illegal prisons? Who is seeking to impose an economic model that will maintain and increase poverty, injustice, discrimination, inequality and exclusion?
The answer is short and simple: Imperialism and the capitalist system and we are all struggling to defeat them.
Due to the power of our ideas, we are firmly convinced that a better world is possible, a world that will not be ruled by pre-emptive and unilateral wars, a world that will not be based on injustice, arrogance, egoism, avarice, discrimination or brutal strength.
We believe in human beings. We are convinced that solidarity among peoples is more important than materialistic interest.
We are optimistic because we are communists and revolutionaries and we are confident in the struggle of the peoples to create a world where everyone has equal rights, a world of solidarity, justice and peace.
As Comrade Fidel expressed on December 14, 2004:
“TODAY THE WORLD IS GOING THROUGH A CRISIS THAT IS NOT AND CANNOT BE THE CRISIS OF A COUNTRY, OF A SUBCONTINENT OR OF A CONTINENT; IT IS A GLOBAL CRISIS. THUS, THAT IMPERIAL SYSTEM AND THE ECONOMIC ORDER THAT IT HAS IMPOSED ON THE WORLD ARE UNSUSTAINABLE. THE PEOPLES DETERMINED TO STRUGGLE, NOT ONLY FOR THEIR INDEPENDENCE, BUT ALSO FOR THEIR SURVIVAL, CAN NEVER BE DEFEATED….”