Friday, April 29, 2011
I am a physicist and resent that not a single time he puts the blame where it belongs; Albert Einstein. His professor Herman Minkowski coined the term spacetime.
He prefers, room, or any such. One use he approves of, is in the Comic, Dan Dare, as it appears in Eagle, science fiction; that is.
Here is my 5 cent:
With Information Theory, a la Claude Shannon, we have entered a new Era. I feel that Information gives a deeper meaning to the SpaceTime of Einstein-Minkowski.
If Robert Fisk happens to come around here; all I can tell him is that I am working on it.
I won't translate the whole thing, but it basically says that ex-mayor Eduardo Cantoral should give back the money he stole.
If ever I go to Teopisca Chiapas, in Mexico; I should make it plain that I am not THAT Eduardo Cantoral.
“But, according to our modest capabilities, and in the framework of the national day which bring us together, the indigenous Zapatistas will march in silence in the city of San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas on May 7 to exercise our constitutional rights. After ending the march in silence, we will speak our words in Spanish and in our native languages, and after that we will return to our communities, villages and homes. In our silent march we will bring banners and signs with messages saying 'Stop Calderón’s war,' 'No more blood,' and 'We have had it up to here.'
“We ask that you convey these words to the family members of the 49 boys and girls who died and the 70 others who were injured in the tragedy at the ABC daycare center in Hermosillo, Sonora, to the dignified Madres de Ciudad Juárez, to the Baron and Reyes Salazar families from Chihuahua, to the family members and friends of the victims in this arrogant war, to the human rights defenders of citizens and immigrants, to all of those who come together for the National March for Justice and against Impunity. We are responding to your call to name innocent victims, and today we are naming the boys and girls who died at the ABC daycare center in Hermosillo, Sonora, who are still waiting for justice,”
Thursday, April 28, 2011
What I really think though, is that she is going through one of those phases too common nowadays. What was relevant is not anymore. She could just write the phrase she wants and a very simple script will give her all the information she wants.
Scholars though, will have to internalize the tsunami like change we are going through.
I love cursive.
In Damascus, the posters – in their tens of thousands around the streets – read: "Anxious or calm, you must obey the law." But pictures of President Bashar al-Assad and his father Hafez have been taken down, by the security police no less, in case they inflame Syrians.
There are thieves with steel-tipped rubber coshes on the Damascus airport road at night, and in the terminal the cops ask arriving passengers to declare iPods and laptops. In the village of Hala outside Deraa, Muslim inhabitants told their Christian neighbours to join the demonstrations against the regime – or leave.
Out of the darkness of Syria come such tales.
And they are true. Syrians arriving in Lebanon are bringing the most specific details of what is going on inside their country, of Fifth Brigade soldiers fighting the armed units of Maher Assad's Fourth Brigade outside Deraa, of random killings around Damascus by the ever-growing armed bands of Shabiha ("the mafia") from the Alawite mountains, of massive stocking up of food. One woman has just left her mother in the capital with 10 kilos of pasta, 10 kilos of rice, five kilos of sugar, box after box of drinking water.
In Deraa – surrounded, without electricity or water or supplies – the price of bread has risen 500 per cent and men are smuggling food into the city over the fields at night.
But it is the killings which terrify the people. Are they committed by the Shabiha from the port city of Lattakia – created by the Assad family in the 70s to control smuggling and protection rackets – or by the secret police to sow a fear that might break the uprising against Assad? Or by the murderers who thrive amid anarchy and lawlessness? Three men carrying sacks of vegetables outside Damascus at night were confronted by armed men last week. They refused to stop. So they were executed.
The Syrian government is appealing to the minorities – to the Christians and the Kurds – to stay loyal to the authorities; minorities have always been safe in Syria, and many have stayed away from protests against the regime. But in the village of Hala, Christian shops are shut as their owners contemplate what are clearly sectarian demands to join in the uprising against Assad. In an attempt to rid Syria of "foreign" influence, the ministry of education has ordered a number of schools to end all English teaching – even banning the names of schools in French and English from school uniforms. Even the kindergarten where the President's two young children are educated has been subject to the prohibitions.
There are bright lights, of course, not least among the brave men and women who are using the internet and Facebook to keep open the flow of information from Syria. The Independent can reveal that a system of committees has been set up across the cities of Syria, usually comprising only 10 or 12 friends who have known and trusted each other for years. Each of them enlists 10 of their own friends – and they persuade 10 more each – to furnish information and pictures. Many were put in touch with each other via the cyber kings of Beirut – many of them also Syrian – and thus "circles of trust" have spread at the cost of the secret police snooping that has been part of Syrian life for four decades.
Thus there now exist – in Damascus alone – "The Co-ordination of Douma", "The Co-ordination of al-Maydan" (in the centre of the city), "The Co-ordination of Daraya", "The Co-ordination of Harasta" and others. Some of them are trying to penetrate the mukhabarat secret police, to get the brutal cops to work for them on the grounds that – come the end of the Assad regime, if that end ever comes – they will be spared the trials and revenge punishments to come. One Beirut blogger says that several of the cops have already declared themselves for the uprising – but are unwilling to trust them in case it is a trap to discover the identity of those behind the committees.
Yet Syrians in Lebanon say that the Syrian security police – often appointed through graft rather than any technical or detective abilities – simply do not understand the technology that is being used against them. One Syrian security official sent three Facebook posts. The first said: "God, Syria and Bashar al-Assad or nothing." The second read: "It's the time to declare war for Allah." The third announced: "The legacy of God on earth is an Islamic Republic."
"The fool was obviously supporting Bashar – but then wanted to frighten people by suggesting Islamists would take over a post-Assad Syria," one of the Syrian bloggers in Beirut says. "But he didn't realise that we could tell at once that they all came from the same Facebook page!" The same man in Beirut found himself under interrogation by Syrian state security police several weeks ago. "He was a senior officer – but he didn't even know what Google was." Many of the Syrians sending information out of their country are anxious that exaggerations and rumours will damage the credibility of their reports. For this reason, they are trying to avoid dispatches which cannot be verified; that two Iranian snipers, for example, have arrived to help the security police; that one man was actually interrogated by two Iranians – a friend suspects that the cops were from the north and spoke in the Kurdish language, which the detainee misidentified as Iranian.
More serious – and true – is the report that Khaled Sid Mohand, an Algerian journalist working for France Culture and Le Monde, was arrested in Damascus on 9 April and has disappeared into a security prison. A released detainee says that he saw Mohand in Security Section 255 in Baghdad Street in the capital some days later. But this story may not be correct. Diplomats have been unable to see the missing journalist.
There are also reports that two young European women working for a Western embassy were arrested and gagged when they left a party at 3am several days ago, and only released several hours later after interrogation. "It means that there is no longer any immunity for foreigners," a Syrian citizen said yesterday. "We heard that a North American had also been taken from his home and questioned by armed men."
Especially intriguing – because there are many apparent witnesses of this episode – is a report that Syrian Fourth Brigade troops in Deraa dumped dozens of weapons in the main square of the city in front of the Omari mosque, telling civilians that they could take them to defend themselves. Suspecting that they were supposed to carry them in demonstrations and then be shot as "terrorists", the people took the weapons to the nearest military base and gave them back to the soldiers.
The rumours of army defections continue, however, including splits in the Fifth Brigade at Deraa, whose commander's name can now be confirmed as General Mohamed Saleh al-Rifai. According to Syrians arriving in Lebanon, the highways are used by hundreds of packed military trucks although the streets of most cities – including Damascus – are virtually empty at night. Shops are closing early, gunfire is often heard, checkpoints at night are often manned by armed men in civilian clothes. Darkness indeed.
Respect your neighbor; a principle as old as the Torah.
The Pharaohs are coming back, NYT.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Published: April 27, 2011
IN January 2004, Spec. Joseph M. Darby, a 24-year-old Army reservist in Iraq, discovered a set of photographs showing other members of his company torturing prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison. The discovery anguished him, and he struggled over how to respond. “I had the choice between what I knew was morally right, and my loyalty to other soldiers,” he recalled later. “I couldn’t have it both ways.”
So he copied the photographs onto a CD, sealed it in an envelope, and delivered the envelope and an anonymous letter to the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command. Three months later — seven years ago today — the photographs were published. Specialist Darby soon found himself the target of death threats, but he had no regrets. Testifying at a pretrial hearing for a fellow soldier, he said that the abuse “violated everything I personally believed in and all I’d been taught about the rules of war.”
He was not alone. Throughout the military, and throughout the government, brave men and women reported abuse, challenged interrogation directives that permitted abuse, and refused to participate in an interrogation and detention program that they believed to be unwise, unlawful and immoral. The Bush administration’s most senior officials expressly approved the torture of prisoners, but there was dissent in every agency, and at every level.
There are many things the Obama administration could do to repair some of the damage done by the last administration, but among the simplest and most urgent is this: It could recognize and honor the public servants who rejected torture.
In the thousands of pages that have been made public about the detention and interrogation program, we hear the voices of the prisoners who were tortured and the voices of those who inflicted their suffering. But we also hear the voices of the many Americans who said no.
Some of these voices belong to people whose names have been redacted from the public record. In Afghanistan, soldiers and contractors recoiled at interrogation techniques they witnessed. After seeing a prisoner beaten by a mysterious special forces team, one interpreter filed an official complaint. “I was very upset that such a thing could happen,” she wrote. “I take my responsibilities as an interrogator and as a human being very seriously.”
Similarly, after Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld told interrogators that they could hold Guantánamo prisoners in “stress positions,” barrage them with strobe lights and loud music, and hold them in freezing-cold cells, F.B.I. agents at the naval base refused to participate in the interrogations and complained to F.B.I. headquarters.
But some of the names we know. When Alberto J. Mora, the Navy’s general counsel, learned of the interrogation directive that Mr. Rumsfeld issued at Guantánamo, he campaigned to have it revoked, arguing that it was “unlawful and unworthy of the military services.” Guantánamo prosecutors resigned rather than present cases founded on coerced evidence. One, Lt. Col. Stuart Couch of the Marines, said the abuse violated basic religious precepts of human dignity. Another, Lt. Col. Darrel J. Vandeveld of the Army, filed an affidavit in support of the child prisoner he had been assigned to prosecute.
There were dissenters even within the C.I.A. Early in 2003, the agency’s inspector general, John L. Helgerson, began an investigation after agents in the field expressed concern that the agency’s secret-site interrogations “might involve violations of human rights.” Mr. Helgerson, a 30-year agency veteran, was himself a kind of dissenter: in 2004 he sent the agency a meticulously researched report documenting some of the abuses that had taken place in C.I.A.-run prisons, questioning the wisdom and legality of the policies that had led to those abuses, and characterizing some of the agency’s activities as inhumane. Without his investigation and report, the torture program might still be operating today.
Thus far, though, our official history has honored only those who approved torture, not those who rejected it. In December 2004, as the leadership of the C.I.A. was debating whether to destroy videotapes of prisoners being waterboarded in the agency’s secret prisons, President Bush bestowed the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, on George J. Tenet, the former C.I.A. director who had signed off on the torture sessions. In 2006, the Army major general who oversaw the torture of prisoners at Guantánamo was given the Distinguished Service Medal. One of the lawyers responsible for the Bush administration’s “torture memos” received awards from the Justice Department, the Defense Department and the National Security Agency.
President Obama has disavowed torture, but he has been unenthusiastic about examining the last administration’s interrogation policies. He has said the country should look to the future rather than the past. But averting our eyes from recent history means not only that we fail in our legal and moral duty to provide redress to victims of torture, but also that we betray the public servants who risked so much to reverse what they knew was a disastrous and shameful course.
Those who stayed true to our values and stood up against cruelty are worthy of a wide range of civilian and military commendations, up to and including the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Honoring them is a way of encouraging the best in our public servants, now and in the future. It is also a way of honoring the best in ourselves.
I am due in Mexico next Monday, May 5 is just around the corner, Cinco de Mayo. That day Mexico defeated France and became a country, sort of. Javier Sicilia, a Christian Mexican poet is calling for a three day march from Cuernavaca, where his son was killed by drug dealers, to Mexico City, to ask the Christian President Felipe de Jesus Calderon Hinojosa to stop this madness, this war on a noun, War on Drugs.
This war is paid with American tax dollars, and it has failed miserably.
I cannot help feeling that this is big. After Tunisia, Egypt, ..., is Mexico going to apocalyptic times?
Birthers have to find another entertainment now that Obama came clean. Maybe Americans can turn on their TVs for the Cinco de Mayo celebrations from Cuernavaca.
The end of the World as we know it.
organizing a silent march beginning in Cuernavaca on May 5. They will
trudge up the steep hill leading out of the City of Eternal Spring,
descend into the Valley of Mexico and wind up in the center of Mexico City
on May 8."
The dog ate my homework!
He claims the price of gas in the US is up because emerging markets are consuming more, and because of the conflicts in the Middle East.
From Krugman's blog:
"So Bernanke did get asked why, given low inflation and high unemployment, the Fed isn’t doing more. And his answer was disheartening.''
I was looking for a good picture of this beautiful writer, who happens to be Silvio Berlusconi's enemy, and ZAP, I was attacked. Look at the picture below where I caught the attack.
Watch her today in DN!
In Mexico we have a similar evil man, his name is Emilio Azcarraga Jean. He just put his step-mother Paula Cusi in jail.
This is wrong.
UPDATE: She was freed, Spanish [link], English [link].
''Mr. Azcarraga Milmo left Ms. Cuci a few years before his death, and took up with Adriana Abascal, a former Miss Mexico, but the two never divorced. Since then, Ms. Cusi has spent most of her time in Paris.''
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I admire this British citizen of the world.
Monday, April 25, 2011
I just deleted his blog, and problem solved.
I've had him there for some time. He must've done something recently.
I hope he gets back to me and explains.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
The US Government must have, and must have already used neuroscience for evil. Just saying; if somebody from the US Government is reading this, all I can say in my defense is that Laws of Nature are there for all to see.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Mardonio, Rosendo, Fidel, and Abraham Castro, were my granma's brothers.
The only one I met was Abraham, Mayor of Iguala, where now I teach.
We the descendants are not poor, but nothing close to the Gaddafis of Lybia!
What happened to revolution?
It seems very corrupt in the Middle East. I am still hopeful that the revolution in Havana turns out well, but you know? I am not sure. The Castros of Cuba seem to be getting ready to bring back the US mafia through their ''tourist'' industry. From Batista to Fidel. What a farce!
Friday, April 22, 2011
I hope society doesn't get this revolution so hyped up that people will be disappointed. The promises are big, and the financial support seems adequate.
The Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative and Fundación Slim Sign Agreement to Provide Funds and Monitoring & Evaluation
"A Ganar" Uses Soccer to Impact Youth Employment and Youth Engagement
New York, NY — The Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative (CGSGI) and Fundación Carlos Slim announced today the signing of an agreement with Partners of the Americas to provide funding and project support for the implementation of the A Ganar project, in the State of Chihuahua, Mexico. A Ganar — which means "to win" and "to earn" in Spanish — utilizes soccer and other team sports to help youth in Latin America, ages 16-24, re-enter the formal education system, and learn entrepreneurial skills necessary to enter the workforce in the future. Through the application of a four-phase integrated job-training program in which youth transform lessons and intellectual skills, developed through sport, into marketable job skills, A Ganar has already trained over 5,000 youth in nine Latin American and Caribbean countries. Of the youth that have participated, more than 70% have graduated from the program and the majority of the graduates have obtained formal employment, returned to school, or started their own business within a year.
The program in Chihuahua is expected to enroll 900 youth. CGSGI and Fundación Carlos Slim will provide funds and monitoring, as well as evaluation support to the program. Based on the success of the project in Chihuahua, the parties will consider expansion into other communities in Mexico.
"We are delighted to participate in a project that uses sports to encourage young people to seek better opportunities," said President Clinton. Carlos Slim added "We are pleased to participate in this program in Chihuahua which has been so successful in other communities throughout Latin America in facilitating jobs for young people."
The A Ganar Program run by Partners of the Americas has expanded into numerous countries with support of major donors including the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Nike Foundation. Partners of the Americas uses local operators to implement the program model. The operator in Chihuahua will be Fundación Comunitaria de la Frontera Norte, which in turn will engage various community-based organizations to reach and train youth.
About The Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative
Established in June 2007 by President Bill Clinton and philanthropist Frank Giustra, the Clinton Giustra Sustainable Growth Initiative (CGSGI) is an innovative partnership among the William J. Clinton Foundation, the private sector, governments, local communities, and other NGOs that seeks to narrow the wealth gap in the developing world by empowering the poor through effective, results-oriented economic and social development projects. CGSGI focuses on alleviating poverty through market-driven development that creates jobs and increases incomes, and by strengthening factors that enable economic growth such as health and education. CGSGI creates value by forging cross-sectoral partnerships, designing innovative programs and bringing them to scale, aligning stakeholders, and mainstreaming best practices. The Initiative is committed to assuring transparent and efficient use of resources, and integrating rigorous monitoring and evaluation into its projects.
About Fundación Carlos Slim
Fundación Carlos Slim has the mission to establish a range of non-lucrative projects in education, health, justice and personal and community development by contributing human and financial resources to equip society with the necessary tools to succeed professionally and socially. The Foundation was incorporated in 1986 as Asociación Carso A.C., changed its name in February 2006 to Fundación Carso, A.C. and in May 24, to Fundación Carlos Slim.
About Partners of the Americas
Founded in 1964, Partners of the Americas links U.S. states with Latin American and Caribbean countries in partnerships that use the energy and skills of citizen volunteers, their institutions and communities to address shared concerns of social, economic and cultural development. Its work covers areas as diverse as emergency preparedness, agriculture, cultural exchange, youth protection, youth development and local government strengthening. Partners is a private, nonprofit, non-partisan organization with international offices in Washington, D.C.
About Fundación Comunitaria de la Frontera Norte
Fundación Comunitaria de la Frontera Norte (FCFNAC) is a nonprofit, grant-making foundation; dedicated to alleviating the most critical community needs and improving the quality of life in the Chihuahua border region; through combined efforts and philanthropic resources.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Communist Party of Cuba this afternoon marks a date
of extraordinary significance in our history, the 50th
anniversary of the proclamation of the socialist
nature of our Revolution by its Commander in Chief,
Fidel Castro Ruz, on April 16, 1961, as we paid our
last respects to those killed the day before during
the bombings of the air bases. This action, which
was the prelude to the Playa Girón (Bay of Pigs)
mercenary invasion organized and funded by the
United States government, was part of its plans to
destroy the Revolution and restore its domination
over Cuba in league with the Organization of
American States (OAS).
On that occasion, Fidel said to the people already
armed and inflamed with passion: “This is what
they cannot forgive us…that we have made a Socialist
Revolution right under the nose of the
United States…” “Comrades, workers and farmers, this
is the Socialist and democratic Revolution of the
people, by the people and for the people. And for
this Revolution of the people, by the people and for
the people, we are willing to give our lives.”
The response to this appeal would not take long; in
the fight against the aggressor a few hours later,
the combatants of the Ejército Rebelde, police
agents and militiamen shed their blood, for the
first time, in defense of socialism and attained
victory in less than 72 hours under the personal
leadership of comrade Fidel.
The Military Parade that we watched this morning,
dedicated to the young generations, and particularly
the vigorous popular march that followed, are
eloquent proof of the fortitude of the Revolution to
follow the example of the heroic fighters of Playa
Next May 1st, on the occasion of the
International Workers Day, we will do likewise
throughout the country to show the unity of Cubans
in defense of their independence and national
sovereignty, which as proven by history, can only be
conquered through Socialism.
This Congress, the supreme body of the Party, as set
forth in article 20 of its Statutes, brings together
today one thousand delegates representing nearly 800
thousand party members affiliated to over 61
thousand party cells. But, this Congress really
started on November 9 last year, with the release of
the Draft Guidelines of the Economic and Social
Policy of the Party and the Revolution, a subject
that, as previously indicated, will be at the center
of the debates of this meeting that is regarded with
great expectations by our people.
As of that moment, numerous seminars were organized
to clarify and to delve into the content of the
Guidelines in order to adequately train the cadres
and officials who would lead the discussions of the
material by the party members, mass organizations
and the people in general.
The discussions extended for three months, from
December 1, 2010 to February 28 of this year, with
the participation of 8, 913,838 people in more than
163 thousand meetings held by the different
organizations in which over three million people
offered their contributions. I want to make clear
that, although it has not been accurately determined
yet, the total figure of participants includes tens
of thousands of members of the Party and the Young
Communist League who attended the meetings in their
respective cells but also those convened in their
work or study centers in addition to those of their
communities. This is also the case of non-party
members who took part in the meetings organized at
their work centers and later at their communities.
Even the National Assembly of People’s Power
dedicated nearly two work sessions in its latest
Ordinary Meeting held this past December to analyze
with the deputies the Draft Guidelines.
This process has exposed the capacity of the Party
to conduct a serious and transparent dialogue with
the people on any issue, regardless of how sensitive
it might be, especially as we try to create a
national consensus on the features that should
characterize the country’s Social and Economic
At the same time, the data collected from the
results of the discussions become a formidable
working tool for the government and Party leadership
at all levels, like a popular referendum given the
depth, scope and pace of the changes we must
In a truly extensive democratic exercise, the people
freely stated their views, clarified their doubts,
proposed amendments, expressed their
dissatisfactions and discrepancies, and suggested
that we work toward the solution of other problems
not included in the document.
Once again the unity and confidence of most Cubans
in the Party and the Revolution were put to the
test; a unity that far from denying the difference
of opinions is strengthened and consolidated by
them. Every opinion, without exception, was
incorporated to the analysis, which helped to
enhance the Draft submitted to the consideration of
the delegates to this Congress.
It would be fair to say that, in substance, the
Congress was already held in that excellent debate
with the people. Now, it is left to us as delegates
to engage in the final discussion of the Draft and
the election of the higher organs of party
The Economic Policy Commission of the 6th
Party Congress first entrusted with the elaboration
of the Draft Guidelines and then with the
organization of the discussions has focused on the
following five issues:
Reformulation of the guidelines bearing in
mind the opinions gathered.
Organization, orientation and control of
The thorough training of the cadres and
other participants for the implementation of some of
the measures already enforced.
Systematic oversight of the agencies and
institutions in charge of enforcing the decisions
stemming from the guidelines and evaluation of their
Leading the process of information to the
In compliance with the aforesaid, the Draft
Guidelines were reformulated and then submitted to
analysis by both the Political Bureau and the
Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers, on
March 19 and 20, respectively, with the
participation of the Secretariat of the Party’s
Central Committee and the top leaders of the Central
Trade Union (CTC), the Young Communist League (UJC)
and the other mass organizations, approved at that
level –also as a draft—and then delivered to you for
its examination during three days in every
provincial delegation to the Congress and for its
discussion at the five commissions of this party
meeting for its subsequent approval.
Next, I will offer some data to illustrate our
people on the results of the discussions of the
Draft Guidelines, even though detailed information
will be published later.
The original document contained 291 guidelines; 16
of them were moved to others; 94 preserved their
phrasing; 181 had their content modified; and, 36
new guidelines were incorporated for a grand total
of 311 guidelines in the current draft.
A simple arithmetic operation with these numbers
avows the quality of the consultation process as a
result of which approximately two thirds of the
guidelines –68% to be exact—was reformulated.
The principle that guided this process was that the
validity of a proposal would not depend on the
number of opinions expressed about it. This is shown
by the fact that several guidelines were either
modified or removed based on the opinion of only one
person or a small number of them.
It is also worth explaining that some opinions were
not included at this stage either because the issue
deserved a more exhaustive analysis for which the
necessary conditions did not exist or because they
openly contradicted the essence of socialism, as for
example 45 proposals advocating the concentration of
I mean that, although the prevailing tendency was a
general understanding of and support for the content
of the Guidelines, there was no unanimity; and that
is precisely what was needed for we really wanted
this to be a democratic and serious consultation
with the people.
For this reason, I can assure you that the
Guidelines are an expression of our people’s will,
contained in the policy of the Party, the Government
and the State, to update the Economic and Social
Model in order to secure the continuity and
irreversibility of Socialism as well as the economic
development of the country and the improvement of
the living standard of our people combined with the
indispensible formation of ethical and political
As expected, most of the proposals made during the
discussion of the Draft Guidelines were focused on
Chapter VI, “Social Policy” and Chapter II
“Macroeconomic Policies”; both accounted for 50.9%
of the total, followed, in descending order, by
Chapter XI, “Construction, Housing and Water
Resources Policy”; Chapter X, “Transportation
Policy”; and, Chapter I, “Economic Management
Model.” In fact, 75% of the opinions expressed
focused on these five chapters out of a total of
On the other hand, 67% of the proposals referred to
33 guidelines, that is, 11% of the total. In fact,
the highest number of proposals pertained to
guidelines number 162, dealing with the removal of
the ration book; 61 and 62, on the pricing policy;
262, on passengers’ transportation; 133, on
education; 54, related to the establishment of a
single currency; and, 143, on the quality of
Undoubtedly, the ration book and its removal spurred
most of the contributions of the participants in the
debates, and it is only natural. Two generations of
Cubans have spent their lives under this rationing
system that, despite its harmful egalitarian
quality, has for four decades ensured every citizen
access to basic food at highly subsidized derisory
This distribution mechanism introduced in times of
shortages during the 1960s, in the interest of
providing equal protection to our people from those
involved in speculation and hoarding with a
lucrative spirit, has become in the course of the
years an intolerable burden to the economy and
discouraged work, in addition to eliciting various
types of transgressions.
Since the ration book is designed to provide equal
coverage to 11 million Cubans, there are more than a
few examples of absurdities such as allocating a
quota of coffee to the newborn. The same happened
with cigarettes until September 2010 as they were
supplied to smokers and non-smokers alike thus
fostering the expansion of that unsafe habit in the
Regarding this sensitive issue, the span of opinions
is very broad, from those who suggest dismissing it
right away to others who categorically oppose its
removal and propose to ration everything, the
industrial goods included. Others are of the view
that in order to successfully prevent hoarding and
ensure everybody’s access to basic foods, it would
be necessary, in a first stage, to keep the products
rationed even if no longer subsidized. Quite a few
have recommended depriving of the ration book those
who neither study nor work or advised that the
people with higher incomes relinquish that system
Certainly, the use of the ration book to distribute
the basic foods, which was justified under concrete
historic circumstances, has remained with us for too
long even when it contradicts the substance of the
distribution principle that should characterize
Socialism, that is, “From each in accordance with
his ability and to each in accordance with his labor,”
and this situation should be resolved.
In this connection, it seems appropriate to recall
what comrade Fidel indicated in his Central Report
to the First Party Congress on December 17, 1975:
“There is no doubt that in the organization of our
economy we have erred on the side of idealism and
sometimes even ignored the reality of the objective
economic laws we should comply with.”
The problem we are facing has nothing to do with
concepts, but rather with how to do it, when to do
it, and at what pace. The removal of the ration book
is not an end in itself, and it should not be
perceived as an isolated decision but rather as one
of the first indispensible measures aimed at the
eradication of the deep distortions affecting the
operation of the economy and society as a whole.
No member of the leadership of this country in their
right mind would think of removing that system by
decree, all at once, before creating the proper
conditions to do so, which means undertaking other
transformations of the Economic Model with a view to
increasing labor efficiency and productivity in
order to guarantee stable levels of production and
supplies of basic goods and services accessible to
all citizens but no longer subsidized.
Of course, this issue is closely related to pricing
and to the establishment of a single currency, as
well as to wages and to the “reversed pyramid”
phenomenon which as spelled out at the Parliament
last December 18, is expressed in the mismatch
between salaries and the ranking or importance of
the work performed. These problems came up often in
the contributions made by the citizens.
In Cuba, under socialism, there will never be space
for “shock therapies” that go against the neediest,
who have traditionally been the staunchest
supporters of the Revolution; as opposed to the
packages of measures frequently applied on orders of
the International Monetary Fund and other
international economic organizations to the
detriment of the Third World peoples and, lately
enforced in the highly developed nations where
students’ and workers’ demonstrations are violently
The Revolution will not leave any Cuban helpless.
The social welfare system is being reorganized to
ensure a rational and deferential support to those
who really need it. Instead of massively subsidizing
products as we do now, we shall gradually provide
for those people lacking other support.
This principle is absolutely valid for the
restructuring of the work force, –an ongoing
process-- streamlining the bloated payrolls in the
public sector on the basis of a strict assessment of
the workers’ demonstrated capacity. This process
will continue slowly but uninterruptedly, its pace
determined by our capacity to create the necessary
conditions for its full implementation.
Other elements will have an impact on this process,
including the expansion and easing of labor in the
non-public sector. This modality of employment that
over 200 thousand Cubans have adopted from October
last year until today --twice as many as before--
make up an alternative endorsed by the current
legislation, therefore, it should enlist the
support, assistance and protection of the officials
at all levels while demanding strict adherence to
the ensuing obligations, including tax payment.
The growth of the non-public sector of the economy,
far from an alleged privatization of the social
property as some theoreticians would have us
believe, is to become an active element facilitating
the construction of socialism in Cuba since it will
allow the State to focus on rising the efficiency of
the basic means of production, which are the
property of the entire people, while relieving
itself from those management of activities that are
not strategic for the country.
This, on the other hand, will make it easier for the
State to continue ensuring healthcare and education
services free of charge and on equal footing to all
of the people and their adequate protection through
the Social Welfare System; the promotion of physical
education and sports; the defense of the national
identity; and, the preservation of the cultural
heritage, and the artistic, scientific and historic
wealth of the nation.
Then, the Socialist State will have more
possibilities to make a reality of the idea
expressed by Martí that can be found heading our
Constitution: “I want the first Law of our
Republic to be the Cubans’ cult of the full dignity
It is the responsibility of the State to defend
national independence and sovereignty, values in
which the Cubans take pride, and to continue
securing the public order and safety that make Cuba
one of the safest and most peaceful nations of the
world, without drug-trafficking or organized crime;
without beggars or child labor; without the mounted
police charging against workers, students and other
segments of the population; without extrajudicial
executions, clandestine jails or tortures, despite
the groundless smear campaigns constantly
orchestrated against us overlooking the fact that
such realities are, foremost, basic human rights
that most people on Earth can’t even aspire to.
Now, in order to guarantee all of these conquests of
Socialism, without renouncing their quality and
scope, the social programs should be characterized
by greater rationality so that better and
sustainable results can be obtained in the future
with lower spending and keeping the balance with the
general economic situation of the country.
As you can see in the Guidelines, these ideas do not
contradict the significance we attach to the
separate roles to be played in the economy by the
state institutions, on the one hand, and the
enterprises, on the other, an issue that for decades
has been fraught with confusion and improvisations
and that we are forced to resolve on a mid-term
basis in the context of the strengthening and
improvement of institutionalization.
A full understanding of these concepts will permit a
solid advance while avoiding backward steps in the
gradual decentralization of powers from the Central
to the local governments, and from the ministries
and other national agencies in favor of the
increasing autonomy of the socialist State-funded
The excessively centralized model characterizing our
economy at the moment shall move in an orderly
fashion, with discipline and the participation of
all workers, toward a decentralized system where
planning will prevail, as a socialist feature of
management, albeit without ignoring the current
market trends. This will contribute to the
flexibility and constant updating of the plan.
The lesson taught by practical experience is that an
excessive centralization inhibits the development of
initiatives in the society and in the entire
production line, where the cadres got used to having
everything decided “at the top” and thus ceased
feeling responsible for the outcome of the entities
Our entrepreneurs, with some exceptions, settled
themselves comfortably safe and quiet “to wait” and
developed an allergy to the risks involved in making
decisions, that is, in being right or wrong. This
mentality characterized by inertia should definitely
be removed to be able to cut the knots that grip the
development of the productive forces. This is a
pursuit of strategic significance, thus it is no
accident that it has been reflected one way or
another in the 24 guidelines contained in Chapter I,
“Economic Management Model.”
As far as this issue is concerned, we cannot indulge
in improvisations or act hastily. In order to
decentralize and change that mentality, it is
indispensible to elaborate a framework of
regulations clearly defining the powers of and
functions at every level, from the national to the
local, invariably accompanied by the corresponding
accounting, financial and management oversight.
Progress is already being made in that direction.
The studies began almost two years ago for improving
the operation as well as the structure and makeup of
the government at the different levels. These
resulted in the enforcement of the Council of
Ministers Regulation, the reorganization of the work
system with the State and Government cadres, the
introduction of a planning procedure for the most
important activities, the establishment of the
organizational bases to provide the Government with
an accurate and timely information system supported
by its own info-communications infrastructure, and
the creation of the provinces of Artemisa and
Mayabeque, on experimental basis and under a new
structural and functional concept.
To begin decentralizing powers, it will be necessary
for the cadres of the State and the companies to
redeem the obvious role of contracts in the economy,
as expressed in guideline number 10. This will also
help bring back order and discipline to making and
obtaining payments, a subject in which a good part
of our economy has been getting poor grades.
As a no less important byproduct, the appropriate
use of contracts as regulatory instruments of
relations among the various economic actors will
become an effective antidote against the extended
habit of “reunionism,” that is, calling an excessive
number of meetings and other collective functions,
often presided by senior officials and uselessly
attended by many others, only to enforce what the
parties involved recognized as rights and
obligations in the contract signed, and whose
fulfillment they have failed to demand from those
required to do so.
In this respect, it is worth emphasizing that 19
opinions, registered in 9 provinces, claimed for a
reduction in the number of meetings and their
duration to the minimum indispensible. This issue I
intend to take up again when dealing with the
functioning of the Party.
We are convinced that the mission ahead of us in
connection with this and other issues related to the
updating of the Economic Model is full of
complexities and interrelations that, one way or
another, touch on every aspect of the society as a
whole. Therefore, we are aware that it is not
something that can be solved overnight, not even in
one year, and that it will take at least five years
to implement it comprehensively and harmoniously.
And, when this is achieved, it will be necessary to
never stop and to continue working for its
improvement in order to successfully face the new
challenges brought up by development.
Metaphorically speaking, it might be said that every
now and then, as the scenario changes, the country
should make its own well-tailored suit.
We are not under the illusion that the Guidelines
and the measures conducive to the implementation of
the Economic Model will by themselves provide a
universal remedy to all our evils. It will be
required to simultaneously build a greater political
awareness and common sense, and to be more
intransigent with the lack of discipline and the
violations committed by all, but primarily by the
This became all too evident a few months back in the
flaws observed during the implementation of some
specific measures --neither complex nor of great
magnitude-- due to bureaucratic obstacles and the
lack of preparation of the local governments for the
expansion of self-employment.
It is worthwhile reiterating that our cadres must
get used to working with the guiding documents
issued by the institutions empowered to do so and
abandon the irresponsible habit of putting them on
ice. Life teaches that it is not enough to issue a
good regulation, whether a law or simply a
resolution. It is necessary to also train those in
charge of its implementation, to monitor them and to
check their practical knowledge of the issue. Let’s
not forget that the worst law is that which is not
enforced or respected.
The system of Party schools at the provincial and
national level, along with the unavoidable
reorientation of their syllabus, will play a
protagonist role in the preparation and continuous
recycling in these subjects of Party and government
cadres as well as the company executives with the
aid of the educational institutions specialized in
this area of knowledge and the valuable input of the
members of the National Association of Economists
and Accountants, as it was the case with the
discussion of the Guidelines.
At the same time, and with the purpose of
effectively arranging in order of importance the
introduction of the required changes, the Political
Bureau agreed to bring to the Congress the proposal
of establishing of a Standing Government Commission
for Implementation and Development, subordinated to
the President of the Council of State and Ministers
which, without affecting in any way the powers
invested in the corresponding Central Government
Organs, will be responsible for monitoring, checking
and coordinating the actions of everyone involved in
this activity, and for proposing the insertion of
new guidelines, something that will be indispensible
in the future.
In this token, we feel it is advisable to remember
the orientation included by comrade Fidel in his
Central Report to the First Party Congress, nearly
36 years ago, about the Economy Management System
that we intended to introduce back then and failed
due to our lack of systematization, control and
discipline. He said “…that the Party leaders but
foremost the State leaders turn its implementation
into a personal undertaking and a matter of honor as
they grow more aware of its crucial importance and
the need to make every effort to apply it
consistently, always under the leadership of the
National Commission created to that end…,” and
he concluded: “…to widely disseminate information
on the system, its principles and mechanisms through
a kind of literature within reach of the masses so
that the workers can master the issue. The success
of the system will largely depend on the workers
knowledge of the issue.”
I will not tire of repeating that in this Revolution
everything has been said. The best example of this
we have in Fidel’s ideas that Granma, the Official
Party organ, has been running in the past few years.
Whatever we approve in this Congress cannot suffer
the same fate as the previous agreements, most of
them forgotten and unfulfilled. Whatever it is that
we agree upon in this or future meetings must guide
the behavior and action of Party members and leaders
alike and its materialization must be ensured
through the corresponding legal instruments produced
by the National Assembly of People’s Power, the
State Council or the Government, in accordance with
their legislative powers and the Constitution.
It’s only fair to say very clearly, in order to
avoid misinterpretations, that the agreements
reached by congresses and other leading Party organs
do not become law in themselves. They are
orientations of a political and moral nature, and it
is incumbent on the Government, which is the body in
charge of management, to regulate their
This is why the Standing Commission for
Implementation and Development will include a
Judicial Subgroup made up by highly qualified
specialists who will coordinate with the
corresponding organs --with full respect for
institutionalization— the legal amendments required
to accompany the updating of the Economic and Social
Model, simplifying and harmonizing the content of
hundreds of ministerial resolutions, legislative
decrees and legislations, and subsequently
proposing, in due course, the introduction of the
relevant adjustments to the Constitution of the
Without waiting to have everything worked out,
progress has been made in the legal regulations
associated with the purchase and sale of housing and
cars, the modification of Legislative Decree No. 259
expanding the limits of fallow land to be awarded in
usufruct to those agricultural producers with
outstanding results and the granting of credits to
self-employed workers and to the population at
Likewise, we consider it advisable to propose to
this Congress that the first point of the agenda of
every plenary meeting of the next Central Committee,
to be held no less than twice a year, is a report on
the status of the implementation of the agreements
adopted in this Congress on the updating of the
Economic Model, and that the second point is an
analysis on the fulfillment of the economic plan, be
it from the first semester or from the running year.
We also recommend the National Assembly of People’s
Power to proceed in the same way during its ordinary
sessions with the purpose of strengthening its
protagonist role as the supreme organ of the State
Starting from the deep conviction that nothing that
we do is perfect and that even if it seems so today
it will not be tomorrow under new circumstances, the
higher organs of the Party and the State and
Government Powers should keep a systematic and close
oversight on this process and be ready to timely
introduce any adjustments called for to correct
It’s a question of being alert, with our feet and
ears to the ground, and when a practical problem
arise, whatever the area or the place, the cadres at
the different levels must act swiftly and
deliberately avoiding the old approach of leaving
its solution to time, since we have learned from
experience that the problems grow more complicated
as time goes by.
In the same token, we should cultivate and preserve
a fluid relationship with the masses, devoid of
formality, that would allow for an efficient
feed-back of their concerns and dissatisfactions so
that the masses can indicate the pace of the changes
to be introduced.
The attention paid to a recent misunderstanding on
the reorganization of some basic services shows that
when the Party and the Government, each in its own
role, with different methods and styles, act
promptly and harmoniously on the concerns of the
people providing clear and simple explanations, the
people support the measure and their confidence in
their leaders grows.
The Cuban media in its various formats should play a
decisive role in the pursuit of this goal with
clarifications and objective, continuous and
critical reports on the progress of the updating of
the Economic Model so that with profound and shrewd
articles and reports written in terms accessible to
all they can help building in our country a culture
about these topics.
In this area of work it is also necessary to
definitely banish the habit of describing the
national reality in pretentious high-flown language
or with excessive formality. Instead, written
materials and television and radio programs should
be produced that catch the attention of the audience
with their content and style while encouraging
public debate. But this demands from our journalists
to increase their knowledge and become better
professionals even if most of the time, despite the
agreements adopted by the Party on the information
policy, they cannot access the information timely
nor contact the cadres and experts involved with the
issues in question. The combination of these
elements explains the rather common dissemination of
boring, improvised or superficial reports.
Our media has an important contribution to make to
the promotion of the national culture and the
revival of the civic values of our society.
Another crucial issue very closely related to the
updating of the Economic and Social Model of the
country and that should help in its materialization
is the celebration of a National Party Conference.
This will reach conclusions on the modification of
the Party working methods and style with a view to
ensure, for today and for the future, the consistent
application of article 5 of the Constitution of the
Republic setting forth that the Party is the
organized vanguard of the Cuban nation and the top
leading force of the society and the State.
Initially, we had planned to call that Conference
for December 2011; however, given the complications
inherent to the last month of the year and the
advisability of having a prudent reserve of time to
adjust details, we are planning to hold that meeting
at the end of January 2012.
Last December 18, I explained to the Parliament that
due to the inefficiency of the Government Organs in
the discharge of their functions, the Party had
spent years involved in undertakings that were not
its responsibility, and compromised and limited its
We are convinced that the only thing that can make
the Revolution and Socialism fail in Cuba, risking
the future of our nation, is our inability to
overcome the mistakes we have been making for more
than five decades and the new ones we could make.
The first thing we should do to correct a mistake is
to consciously admit it in its full dimension but
the fact is that, although from the early years of
the Revolution Fidel made a clear distinction
between the roles of the Party and the State, we
were inconsistent in the follow-up of his
instructions and simply improvised under the
pressure of emergencies.
There can be no better example than what the leader
of the Revolution said as early as March 26, 1962,
by radio and television, explaining to the people
the methods and functioning of the Organizaciones
Revolucionarias Integradas (ORI), which preceded the
Party. He said: “…the Party leads, it leads
through the entire Party and it leads through the
public administration. An official must have
authority. A minister must have authority; a manager
must have authority and discuss as much as necessary
with the Advising Technical Council (today, the
Board of Directors), discuss with the working
masses, discuss with the Party cell, but it is the
manager who makes the decision, because it is his
responsibility…” This orientation dates back 49
There are very well defined concepts that, in
substance, remain completely valid regardless of the
time that has passed since Lenin formulated them,
almost 100 years ago, and they should be taken up
again, bearing in mind the characteristics and
experiences of our country.
In 1973, during the preparations of the First Party
Congress, it was defined that the Party must lead
and supervise with its own ways and means, which are
different from the ways, means and resources
available to the State for exercising its authority.
The Party’s guidelines, resolutions and provisions
are not legally binding for all citizens; it is the
Party members who should abide by them as their
conscience dictates since there is no apparatus to
force or coerce them into complying. This is a major
difference about the role and methods of the Party
and the State.
The fortitude of the Party basically lies in its
moral authority, its influence on the masses and the
trust of the people. The action of the Party is
based, above all, on the honesty of its motives and
the justice of its political line.
The fortitude of the State lies in its material
authority, which consists of the strength of the
institutions responsible for demanding from everyone
to comply with the legal regulations it enacts.
The damage caused by the confusion of these two
concepts is manifested, firstly, in the
deterioration of the Party’s political work and,
secondly, in the decline of the authority of the
State and the Government as the officials cease
feeling responsible for their decisions.
The idea is to forever relieve the Party of
activities completely alien to its nature as a
political organization; in short, to get rid of
managing activities and to have each one do what
they are meant to do.
These misconceptions are closely linked to the flaws
of the Party’s policy with the cadres, which will
also be analyzed by the abovementioned National
Conference. More than a few bitter lessons are the
legacy of the mistakes made in this area due to the
lack of rigorous criteria and vision which opened
the way to the hasty promotion of inexperienced and
immature cadres, pretending otherwise through
simulation and opportunism, attitudes fostered by
the wrong idea that an unspoken premise to occupy a
leading position was to be a member of the Party or
the Young Communist League.
We must decidedly abandon such practice and leave it
only for responsibilities in the political
organizations. Membership in a political
organization should not be a precondition for
holding a leading position with the State or the
Government. What the cadres need are adequate
training and the willingness to recognize as their
own the Party policy and program.
The true leaders do simply not crop up in schools or
from favoritism; they are forged at the grassroots
level, working in the profession they studied in
contact with the workers and rising gradually to
leadership by setting an example in terms of
sacrifices and results.
In this regard, I think that the Party leadership,
at all levels, should be self-critical and adopt the
necessary measures to prevent the reemergence of
such tendencies. This is also applicable to the lack
of systematic work and political will to secure the
promotion of women, black people and people of mixed
race, and youths to decision-making positions on the
basis of their merits and personal qualifications.
It’s really embarrassing that we have not solved
this problem in more than half a century. This shall
weight heavily on our consciences for many years
because we have simply been inconsistent with the
countless orientations given by Fidel from the early
days of the revolutionary victory and throughout the
years, and also because the solution to this
disproportion was contained in the agreements
adopted by the transcendental First Party Congress
and the four congresses that followed. Still, we
have failed to ensure its realization.
The solution of such issues that define the future
will never again be left to spontaneity but rather
to foresight and to the unwavering political
intention of preserving and perfecting socialism in
Although we kept on trying to promote young people
to senior positions, life proved that we did not
always make the best choice. Today, we are faced
with the consequences of not having a reserve of
well-trained replacements with sufficient experience
and maturity to undertake the new and complex
leadership responsibilities in the Party, the State
and the Government, a problem we should solve
gradually, in the course of five years, avoiding
hasty actions and improvisations but starting as
soon as the Congress is over.
This will advance further with the strengthening of
the democratic spirit and collective work of the
leading Party, State and Government organs as we
guarantee the systematic rejuvenation of all of the
Party and management positions, from the grassroots
to the comrades with the highest responsibilities,
including the current President of the Council of
State and Ministers and the First Secretary of the
Central Committee elected in this Congress.
In this regard, we have reached the conclusion that
it is advisable to recommend limiting the time of
service in high political and State positions to a
maximum of two five-year terms. This is possible and
necessary under the present circumstances, quite
different from those prevailing in the first decades
of the Revolution that was not yet consolidated when
it had already become the target of continuous
threats and aggressions.
The systematic strengthening of our institutions
will be both a premise and an indispensible
guarantee to prevent this cadre renovation policy
from ever jeopardizing the continuation of Socialism
The first step we are taking in this direction is
the substantial reduction of the list of leading
positions that required approval from the municipal,
provincial and national levels of the Party while
empowering senior leaders in the ministries and
companies to appoint, replace and apply disciplinary
measures to a large part of their subordinated
cadres with the assistance of the corresponding
Cadres Commissions, where the Party is represented
and has a voice but which are presided by the
manager who makes the final decision. The view of
the Party organization is appreciated but the single
determining element is the manager, and we should
preserve and enhance their authority in harmony with
As to the internal functioning of the Party, which
will also be examined at the National Conference, we
think it is worthwhile reflecting on the
self-defeating effects of old habits completely
alien to the Party’s vanguard role in our society.
These include the superficiality and excessive
formality characterizing the political-ideological
work; the use of obsolete methods and terminology
that ignore the instruction level of the Party
members; holding excessively long meetings and often
during working hours --which should be sacred,
especially for the communists-- sometimes with
inflexible agendas dictated by the higher level in
disregard of the context where the Party members
develop their activities; the frequent calls to
formal commemorations where still more formal
speeches are made; and, the organization of
voluntary works on holydays without a real content
or adequate coordination that cause spending and
have an upsetting and discouraging effect on our
These criteria also apply to emulation, a movement
that lost through the years its capacity to mobilize
the workers’ collectives and became an alternative
mechanism for distribution of moral and material
incentives not always justified with concrete
results, and in more than a few occasions gave rise
to fraudulent information.
Additionally, the Conference will analyze the
Party’s relations with the Young Communist League
and the mass organizations to break with routine and
schematic approaches and to allow each of them to
recover their raison d’être under the present
To sum up, comrades, the National Conference will
focus on enhancing the role of the Party as the main
advocate of the interests of the Cuban people.
The realization of this objective definitely
requires a change of mentality, avoiding formality
and fanfare both in ideas and in action; that is, to
do away with the resistance to change based on empty
dogma and slogans and reach for the core of things
as the children of La Colmenita Theater
Company brilliantly show in the playwright
It’s the only way in which the Communist Party of
Cuba can become, for all times, the worthy heir to
the authority and unlimited confidence of the people
in their Revolution and their only Commander in
Chief, comrade Fidel Castro Ruz, whose moral
contribution and undisputable leadership do not
depend on any position and that as a soldier of
ideas has not ceased to fight and help with his
enlightening Reflections and other actions
the revolutionary cause and the defense of Humanity
from menacing dangers.
With respect to the international situation, we
shall use a few minutes to assess the predicament of
the world at this point in time.
There is no end in sight to the global economic
crisis affecting every nation because it is a
systemic crisis. The powerful have directed their
remedies to protecting the institutions and
procedures that originated it and to depositing the
terrible burden of its consequences on the workers
of their own countries, and particularly of the
underdeveloped countries. Meanwhile, the climbing
prices of foods and oil are pushing hundreds of
millions of people into destitute poverty.
The effects of climate change are already
devastating and the lack of political will of the
industrial nations prevents the adoption of urgent
and indispensible action to avoid the catastrophe.
We live in a convulsive world where natural
disasters follow one another like the earthquakes in
Haiti, Chile and Japan while the United States wages
wars of conquest in Iraq and Afghanistan that have
taken the lives of more than one million civilians.
Popular movements in Arab nations are uprising
against corrupted and oppressive governments allied
with the United States and the European Union. The
unfortunate conflict in Libya, a nation subjected to
a brutal military intervention by NATO, has given
that organization a new pretext to go beyond its
originally defensive limits and expand worldwide the
threats and war actions undertaken to safeguard its
geostrategic interests and access to petroleum.
Likewise, imperialism and the domestic reactionary
forces connive to destabilize other countries while
Israel oppresses and massacres the Palestinian
people with complete impunity.
The United States and NATO include in their
doctrines the aggressive interventionism against the
Third World countries aimed at plundering their
resources. They also impose to the United Nations a
double standard and use the media consortia in an
increasingly coordinated way to conceal or distort
the events, as it befits the world power centers, in
a hypocritical mockery intended to deceive the
Despite its complex economic situation, our country
maintains its cooperation with 101 Third World
nations. In Haiti, after 12 years of intensive work
saving lives, the Cuban healthcare personnel have
been working with admirable generosity, since
January 2010, alongside collaborators from other
countries facing the situation created by the
earthquake and the cholera epidemic that ensued.
To the Bolivarian Revolution, and to comrade Hugo
Chávez Frías, we express our resolute solidarity and
commitment, conscious of the significance of the
process undertaken by the fraternal Venezuelan
people for Our America, in the Bicentennial of its
We also share the hopes of the transformation
movements in various Latin American countries,
headed by prestigious leaders who represent the
interests of the oppressed majorities.
We shall continue helping the integrationist
processes of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples
of Our America (ALBA), the South Union (UNASUR) and
the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States
(CLACS) currently involved in arrangements for the
celebration of its foundational summit on July this
year, in Caracas. The establishment of this entity
was the most extraordinary institutional event in
our hemisphere during the past century, since for
the first time all of the countries south of the Rio
Bravo were meeting on our own.
We are encouraged by this increasingly united and
independent Latin America and the Caribbean, whose
solidarity we appreciate.
We shall continue advocating International Law and
supporting the principle of sovereign equality among
the States as well as the right of the peoples to
self-determination. We reject the use of force and
aggression, the wars of conquest, the plundering of
the natural resources and the exploitation of man.
We condemn every form of terrorism, particularly
State terrorism. We shall defend peace and
development for all peoples and fight for the future
The US Administration has not changed its
traditional policy aimed at discrediting and ousting
the Revolution. On the contrary, it has continued to
fund projects designed to directly promote
subversion, foster destabilization and interfere in
our domestic affairs. The current administration has
taken some positive but extremely limited actions.
The US economic, commercial and financial blockade
against Cuba remains in force and intensifies under
the current administration, particularly with
respect to financial transactions. It ignores the
almost unanimous condemnation of the blockade by the
international community that for 19 consecutive
years has advocated its removal.
Although apparently, as evidenced in the recent
visit to the Palacio de La Moneda in Santiago de
Chile, the United States leaders do not like to
remember history when dealing with the present and
the future, it is worthwhile indicating that the
Cuba blockade is not something of the past.
Therefore, it is our obligation to recall the
content of a secret memorandum, declassified in
1991, where Deputy Undersecretary of State for Inter
American Affairs Lester D. Mallory wrote on April 6,
1960: “Most Cubans support Castro…There is no
effective political opposition (…) The only possible
way to make the government lose domestic support is
by provoking disappointment and discouragement
through economic dissatisfaction and hardships (…)
Every possible means should be immediately used to
weaken the economic life (…) denying Cuba funds and
supplies to reduce nominal and real salaries with
the objective of provoking hunger, desperation and
the overthrow of the government.”
Mark the date of the memorandum: April 6, 1960,
almost an exact year to the day of the Playa Girón
This memorandum was not an initiative of that
official. It was part of the policy aimed at
overthrowing the Revolution, like the “Covert Action
Program against the Castro Regime,” approved by
President Eisenhower on March 17, 1960, using all
the available means, from the creation of a unified
opposition, psychological warfare and covert
intelligence operations to the training in third
countries of paramilitary forces with the capacity
to invade the Island.
The United States fostered terrorism in the cities,
and that same year, before the Playa Girón attack,
promoted the establishment of counterrevolutionary
armed-gangs, supplied by air and sea, that robbed
and murdered peasants, workers and young teachers,
until they were finally annihilated in 1965.
In Cuba, we will never forget the 3,478 dead and
2,099 incapacitated by the policy of State
Half a century of hardships and suffering have gone
by in which our people have put up a resistance and
defended their Revolution, unwilling to surrender or
to besmirch the memory of the fallen in the past 150
years, from the onset of our struggles for
The US government has not ceased to give sanctuary
and to protect notorious terrorists while extending
the suffering and unfair incarceration of the heroic
Cuban Five antiterrorist fighters.
Its Cuba policy lacks credibility and moral basis.
In order to justify it, baseless pretexts are used,
which grow obsolete and then change depending on
The US government should not have doubts that the
Cuban Revolution will be stronger after this
Congress. If they want to cling on to their policy
of hostility, blockade and subversion we are
prepared to continue to face it.
We reiterate our willingness to engage in a dialogue
and to take on the challenge of having normal
relations with the United States as well as to
coexist in a civilized manner, our differences
notwithstanding, on the basis of mutual respect and
non-interference in the internal affairs.
At the same time, we will permanently give a
priority to defense, following Fidel’s instructions
as expressed in his Central Report to the First
Congress, when he said: “While imperialism
exists, the Party, the State and the people will pay
utmost attention to defense. The revolutionary guard
will never be careless. History teaches with too
much eloquence that those who forget this principle
do not survive the mistake.”
In the present scenario and predictable future, the
strategic conception of “the Popular War” remains
absolutely valid, thus it is constantly enriched and
improved. Its commanding and leadership system has
been reinforced and its capacity to react to various
exceptional situations has increased.
The defensive capacity of the country has reached a
higher dimension, both quantitatively and
qualitatively. Using our own available resources, we
have improved the technical condition and
maintenance as well as the preservation of the
armament and carried on the production effort and
especially the modernization of the military
technology taking into account its prohibitive world
market prices. In this area, it is fair to recognize
the contribution of scores of military and civilian
institutions, proof of the enormous scientific,
technological and productive potential created by
The degree of preparation of the national territory
as the theater of military operations has been
significantly boosted; the fundamental armament is
protected, the same as a substantial part of the
troops, the commanding organs and the people.
A communication infrastructure has been established
to ensure the steady functioning of the commanding
posts at all levels. All of the material reserves
have been raised with better distribution and
The Revolutionary Armed Forces, or put another way,
the people in uniform shall continue to constantly
improve and preserve the authority and prestige
earned with their discipline and order in the
defense of the people and of Socialism.
We shall now deal with another no less significant
issue of our times.
The Party must be convinced that beyond material
needs and cultural interests our people hold a
diversity of concepts and ideas about their own
Our National Hero José Martí, a man who synthesized
that convergence of spirituality and revolutionary
sentiments, wrote many pages about this subject.
Fidel addressed this topic quite early, in 1954,
when still in jail he evoked Renato Guitart, one of
the martyrs of the Moncada: “Physical life is
ephemeral; it inexorably passes; the same as many
and many generations of men have passed, as our own
lives will shortly pass. This truth should teach
every human being that the immortal values of the
spirit stand above them. What is the meaning of life
without the spirit? What is life then? How can death
take those that understand this and still generously
sacrifice their lives to good and justice!”
These values have always been present in his ideas,
and so he insisted on them in 1971, at a meeting
with catholic priests in Santiago de Chile: “I
tell you that there are ten thousand times more
coincidences of Christianity with Communism than
there might be with Capitalism.”
And, he returned to this idea as he addressed the
members of the Christian churches in Jamaica in
1977. He said: “We must work together so that
when the political idea succeeds the religious idea
is not separate and does not appear as the enemy of
changes. There are no contradictions between the
purposes of religion and the purposes of
The unity of the revolutionary doctrine and ideas
with regards to faith and its followers is rooted in
the basis of the nation, which in asserting its
secular nature promoted as an unwavering principle
the unity of the spirituality with the Homeland
bequeathed by Father Felix Varela and the teachings
of Luz y Caballero, who categorically said: “I
would chose to see the fall of not only the
institutions created by man –kings and emperors—but
even the stars from the firmament rather than see
falling from the human breast the sentiment of
justice; that sun of the moral world.”
In 1991, the 4th Party Congress agreed to
modify the interpretation of the statutes that
limited the admission to our organization of
revolutionaries with religious beliefs.
The justice of this decision has been confirmed by
the role of leaders and representatives of various
religious institutions in the different facets of
the national life, including the struggle for the
return to our Homeland of the child Elián, in which
the Cuba Council of Churches played a particularly
However, it is necessary to continue eradicating any
prejudice that prevents bringing all Cubans
together, like brothers and sisters, in virtue and
in the defense of our Revolution, be them believers
or not, members of Christian churches; including the
Catholic Church, the Russian and Greek Orthodox
Churches, the evangelicals and protestant churches;
the same as the Cuban religions originated in
Africa, the Spiritualist, Jewish, Islamic and
Buddhist communities, and fraternal associations,
among others. The Revolution has had gestures of
appreciation and concord with each of them.
The unforgettable Cintio Vitier, that great poet and
writer, who was a deputy to our National Assembly,
used the force of his pen and of his Christian and
deeply revolutionary ethic, so profoundly rooted in
Martí’s, to leave us warnings for the present and
the future that we should always remember.
Cintio wrote: “What is in danger, we know it, is
the nation itself. The nation is by now inseparable
from the Revolution that has been a part of it since
October 10, 1868, and it has no other alternative:
it is either independent or it is no more.
“If the Revolution were defeated, we would fall in
the historic vacuum that the enemy wants for us and
prepares for us, and that even the most basic people
perceive as an abyss.
“It is possible to arrive at defeat, we know,
through the intervention of the blockade, of
internal decay, and the temptations imposed by the
new hegemonic situation in the world.”
After stating that “We are at the most
challenging time of our history,” he admonished:
“Forced to fight the irrationality of the world
to which it fatally belongs; always threatened by
the sequels of dark age-old blights; implacably
harassed by the most powerful nation on Earth; and
also a victim of imported or indigenous blunders
that history shows have never gone unpunished, our
small island constricts and dilates, systole and
diastole, as a glimmering of hope to itself and to
Now, we should address the recently concluded
process of releasing counterrevolutionary prisoners,
those that in challenging and distressing times for
our Homeland have conspired against it at the
service of a foreign power.
By sovereign decision of our Government, they were
released before fully serving their sentences. We
could have done it directly and take credit for a
decision that we made conscious of the fortitude of
the Revolution. However, we did it in the framework
of a dialogue based on mutual respect, loyalty and
transparency with the senior leadership of the
Catholic Church, which contributed with its
humanitarian labors to the completion of this action
in harmony; in any case, the laurels correspond to
that religious institution.
The representatives of the Catholic Church expressed
their viewpoints, not always coincidental with ours,
but certainly constructive. This is at least our
perception after lengthy talks with Cardinal Jaime
Ortega and the Chairman of the Episcopalian
Conference Monsignor Dionisio García.
With this action, we have favored the consolidation
of the most precious legacy of our history and the
revolutionary process: the unity of our nation.
In the same token, we should mention the
contribution of the former minister of Foreign
Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, Miguel Angel
Moratinos, who facilitated the humanitarian efforts
of the Church so that those who wished to travel
abroad or accepted the idea could do so with their
families. Others decided to remain in Cuba.
We have patiently endured the implacable smear
campaigns on human rights, coordinated from the
United States and some countries of the European
Union that demand from us no less than unconditional
surrender and the immediate dismantling of our
socialist regime while encouraging, orienting and
assisting the domestic mercenaries to break the law.
In this regard, it is necessary to make clear that
we will never deny our people the right to defend
their Revolution. The defense of the independence,
of the conquests of Socialism and of our streets and
plazas will still be the first duty of every Cuban
Days and years of intensive work and great
responsibilities lie before us to preserve and
develop, on solid and sustainable basis, the
independent and socialist future of our Homeland.
So far, the Central Report to the 6th
Thank you, very much.