A defiant Cuban Defense Minister Raul Castro declared that Cubans will form a ‘monolithic block’ against efforts to bring U.S.-style political and social change to Cuba.
Posted on Sun, Mar. 13, 2005
BY VANESSA ARRINGTON
HAVANA - Demonstrating communist Cuba’s defiance of societal divisions as it takes back state control, Defense Minister Raul Castro said in remarks published Saturday that Cubans form a ‘‘monolithic block’’ that will resist attempts to push the island toward political and economic change.
Castro, who is the designated successor to his brother, President Fidel Castro, spoke Friday at a ceremony in eastern Cuba to pay homage to combatants of Frank Pais Eastern Front II who died in the Cuban revolution.
‘In these times of growing threats and aggressive charlatanry about `transitions’ and the ‘restoration of capitalism,’ it is opportune to remind those staying up all night [plotting] that the people, the army, and the party form an invincible monolithic block,’’ Castro said in remarks published in Granma, the Communist Party’s daily newspaper.
That unity is what has protected the island from decades of aggressions by the United States, ‘‘the mightiest imperialist power,’’ he said.
‘‘Our people have shown they know how to confront and defeat powerful enemies,’’ he added.
The United States has a long-standing trade embargo against Cuba that has been repeatedly tightened by the administration of President Bush in attempts to squeeze the island’s economy and push out Fidel Castro.
Washington also has a blueprint that outlines the role the United States could play in a transitional, post-Castro Cuba. Dissidents on the island are working on projects as well to prompt political and economic change on the island.
The defense minister defended Cuba’s current system and said there was no reason for change. ‘‘Our socialism is infinitely more democratic, just, equitable, humane and supportive than the fierce imperialism planted in the brutal and scrambled North, more dangerous now than ever,’’ Castro said.
He accused the Bush administration of using money, war and falsehoods in a quest to ``take possession of the world.’‘
Castro’s remarks come as Cuba is reasserting state control over the nation’s economy with moves including last fall’s elimination of the U.S. dollar from circulation and tighter limits on private sector workers.