Solidarity Message to the XVII European Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba
18th – 20th November 2016
First of all, we would like to extend our warmest greetings to the members of the Swedish-Cuban Association, which hosts this valuable meeting in Stockholm, and salute the esteemed Cuban delegation and all dear friends of Cuba coming from more than 30 countries to strengthen international solidarity with the island.
Due to the emergency state conditions that our country has been undergoing since last summer, unfortunately we are not able to join you physically in Stockholm. Nevertheless, we will be following the discussions and activities planned under the framework of the meeting, which we strongly believe that will result in fruitful outcomes.
We would like to take this message as an opportunity to provide an update on our experience in Turkey and share our perspective on the main topics of solidarity with Cuba:
- The recent reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the USA is, above all, a conquest of the Cuban people.
The Cuban people have all the political, economic, cultural and historical legitimacy to seek equal relations, based on mutual respect, with the USA like with any other country in the world. Yet, our experience in Turkey shows that the mainstream media tends to picture the process rather as a maneuver of the USA to trigger fundamental changes in Cuba. No matter what kind of explicit or hidden agenda the US imperialism may have, this is an outrageous and disrespectful underestimation of the sovereign will of the Cuban people.
We strongly believe that the international solidarity movement has a duty to make ceaseless efforts to explain the legitimate motives of the Cuban people and underline the principled stance of the Cuban government to confront any media manipulation suggesting that the Cuban socialism is ‘giving up’.
- The US abstention during the last UN vote on the necessity to end blockade is a historical victory for the Cuban people.
On October 26th, the Cuban people undersigned a new victory with the US and Israelite abstention along with the unanimous vote of the rest of the countries for the elimination of the economic, commercial and financial blockage against Cuba.
However, as also pointed out in the 2016 Blockade Report of the Cuban Ministry of Foreign Affairs, this genocidal policy is still there in full force and effect, with severe extraterritorial repercussions. A latest example from Turkey is that when the Cuban Embassy in Turkey attempted to transfer money to Cuba, on October 12th, as an act of solidarity with the Cuban citizens that suffered from the hurricane Matthew, the request of transfer was rejected by Turkish banks due to the regulations of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) of the US Treasury.
As any other solidarity organization would also recognize, there is a strong public opinion to the effect that the blockage has already or almost ended after the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the USA, which leads to increased apathy or skepticism with respect to the issue. Our Association considers that, as the international solidarity movement, we should be alert on the problem and develop further means to present a comprehensive and convincing picture of the reality. We believe that this also requires a profound and diligent reflection on how to give an account of the ongoing process of complex relations between Cuba and the USA.
- Guantanamo still continues to be a Cuban territory under US occupation.
Guantanamo is a Cuban national territory that is kept under occupation against the sovereign will of the Cuban people. This fact continues to escape not only from the mainstream media coverage but also from the most ‘courageous’ news on the scandalous nature of the US military base as a center of torture. Such negligence is not a simple consequence of malicious intentions of the mass media; it is also facilitated by the increased ‘normalization’ of interventionist policies in the international arena. We have a strong conviction that the notion of national sovereignty should be further emphasized as a sine qua non principle in our struggle for the immediate and unconditional return of the occupied Guantanamo territory to Cuba.
- Recent adverse developments in Latin America, including the usurpation of political power by pro-US right-wing forces in Argentina and Brazil through dubious election results or “constitutional” coup d’état and escalation of attacks to the progressive governments of Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador, indicate a new US intervention towards the continent.
We express our firm solidarity with the peoples of Latin America and reiterate our belief that US imperialism will eventually fail to jeopardize the historical dream of unity among the peoples of the continent and the peaceful future of the Latin American countries, including Cuba.
- “Another world is possible”
We deeply believe that another world is possible and the Cuban example is a unique source of inspiration for any struggle to that end. That is why it is of paramount importance to continue to disseminate information on the historical and current achievements of the Cuban society. We are convinced that such dissemination should not confine itself to ‘end-products’ but also focus on the fundamental mechanisms underlying the conquests of the Cuban people, such as the role of the planned economy in assurance of a decent life to whole population and the socialist democracy based on collective and organized will of the Cuban people.
We wish all the success to the work undertaken in the XVII European Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba.
Long live Cuba!
Long live international solidarity!
José Martí Cuba-Turkey Friendship Association