BY JOAQUIN ORAMAS | Granma
ON behalf of the one million people gathered in Jose Martí Revolution Square on May Day, Cuban President Fidel Castro sent the following message to the world and to the U.S. people at the end of his speech in the central event marking International Workers’ Day, likewise celebrated in more than 200 Cuban cities, towns, villages and communities.
“We do not want Cuban or U.S. blood to be shed in a war, we do not want an incalculable number of lives of persons who could be friends lost in any battle. But never did a people have such sacred things to defend, or such profound convictions for which to fight.
“In any case, Cuba would prefer to vanish off the face of the Earth rather than renounce the noble and generous work for which many generations of Cubans have paid the elevated cost of the many lives of their finest sons and daughters. We are accompanied by the most profound conviction that ideas can do more than weapons, however sophisticated and powerful they might be.
“Let us say it like Che when he bade us farewell: ‘Ever onwards to victory.’” Fidel’s words were received with a lengthy ovation from the huge audience present, thus reiterating its support for the leader of the Revolution.
Students, trade union leaders and academics from Uruguay, Costa Rica, Spain, Argentina, the United States, Peru, Mexico, Germany and Cuba spoke at the rally.
Pedro Ross, general secretary of the Central Organization of Cuban Trade Unions, ratified the support of the more than 3.5 million members of this organization for the measures adopted by the revolutionary government in defense of its sovereignty and security in the face of U.S. government plans against the Cuban Revolution.
Uruguayan student Fernando Sosa Tais exposed the submissive policy of Jorge Battle, the Uruguayan president, in exchange for begged crumbs from the Bush regime. He affirmed that five children died of hunger in his country while that nation of three million inhabitants has more than 10 million heads of cattle.
Juan Jose Gerroti, Peruvian trade union leader, emphasized that it is precisely human rights that are respected in Cuba, and mentioned, among others, education, health, work, dignity and independence.
Mexican researcher and sociologist Pablo González Casanova read out a statement signed by 96 academics, artists, scientists from Latin America and other regions ratifying their support for Cuba and denouncing the generalized U.S. media campaign that is part of its preparation for an attack on the Caribbean island.
The declaration affirms that the aggression against Iraq has resulted in a breakdown of the international order and calls on the conscience of the world to avert a new outrage of the principles that govern us. “As opposed to this we put forward the universal principles of national sovereignty, respect for territorial integrity and the right to self-determination, all indispensable for the just coexistence of nations,” it adds.
On behalf of the Pastors for Peace, Reverend Lucius Walker affirmed that he had come to join his brothers and sisters in Cuba in the midst of the worst provocation in history by a U.S. administration. “But I come to state that you are loved, you are respected, you are appreciated and you are supported by part of the million of U.S. citizens who are opposed to the hostility, provocation and violation of diplomatic norms of the government of the United States.”
He continued: “Your U.S. friends are real friends, not just fair-weather friends. We have been with you in the past, we are with you in the present moment of crisis and aggression by our government and we shall be with you in the future, whatever the consequences might be.”
Cuban writer Miguel Barnet affirmed that in these times of military threat the unity of all Cubans of good will and genuine friends is essential. It is about closing ranks against the evil forces of fascism that are destroying human beings, oppressing them and alienating them, he warned, noting the deformation of information by the media at the service of the reaction. As one recent example he quoted Fidel’s exposes linking Jose María Aznar, the current Spanish prime minister, with NATO’s genocidal escalation against Yugoslavia, and that of the former prime minister of that country, Felipe González with the execution of ETA members. Surprisingly, these revelations have been silenced, while attacks on Cuba are escalating daily.
Hans Dieter Stefan, a German sociologist, speaking on behalf of the old Europe and all upstanding Europeans, stated that the neo-nazis will not pass, while Spanish trade union leader Antonio Area harshly criticized the Aznar regime for having acted as an accomplice to the Bush government’s aggression against Iraq (an action repudiated by 90% of the population of that nation), and which is now promoting the campaign against the Cuban Revolution.
Argentine Claudia Camba’s speech was likewise much applauded. She ratified the charges of an illegal trial meted out in the United States to the five Cuban heroes sentenced to lengthy prison terms there for defending the Cuban people and U.S. citizens from acts of terrorism committed by the Miami mafia.