There has been no change in U.S. policy on Cuba

IN opening the conference of Cubans Resident Abroad against the Blockade and in Defense of National Sovereignty this Wednesday, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parilla, noted that “we all share the pride of being the sons and daughters of rebel Cuba, marked since the birth of the nation by the dilemma of annexation and independence.”


José Martí understood in Bayamo that “the intention of the United States is to seize Cuba,” the foreign minister affirmed at the meeting in Havana’s International Conference Center.

He noted that Martí died in battle having already written: “I am in danger every day of giving my life for my country and my duty – since I understand and have the spirit to carry it out – in order to prevent, by the timely independence of Cuba, the United States from extending his hold across the Antilles and falling with all the greater force on the lands of Our America.”

Rodríguez Parrilla noted that Cuban émigrés are suffering from the use of U.S. migration policy as a weapon against Cuba in order to create pretexts for aggression, internal destabilization and subversion.

The Cuban Adjustment Act and the “wet-foot/dry-foot” policy are an incitement to illegal emigration and have cost many lives. That is an attempt to convert emigrants into political refugees feeling in search of freedom, he commented.

And he added, “The Revolution has also had to defend itself on the migration issue, but has never renounced the natural relationship with Cubans resident abroad and the will of the Cuban government to advance toward the full normalization of relations with the émigré community remains constant.”

In that context he confirmed that “our intention to facilitate ever-increasing contact between Cubans resident abroad and their families in Cuba is also constant.”

The Cuban foreign minister stressed that, more than 30 years since the Dialogue of ‘78,” “we pay tribute to those who initiated it, and in particular, to its martyrs, Carlos Muñiz and Eulalio Negrín.

“We recall among ourselves Lourdes Casals, Luis Miranda, Walfrido Moreno, Reinaldo Cué and others who dedicated their lives to this noble and patriotic cause,” he said, adding that that is why “this meeting against the blockade and in defense of national sovereignty is so important; it is the only way to pursue healthy and entirely normal relations between the homeland and the émigrés.”

Rodríguez Parrilla stated that “the economic, commercial and financial blockade has been interposed between us and remains intact. There has been no change in the policy of the United States on Cuba.”

Obama, he added, has not utilized the real prerogatives that the president of the United States has to make practical changes in relations with Cuba, in the implementation of the blockade and in the travel ban imposed on Americans via the use of his executive faculties, without going through Congress.

He emphasized that, in line with Cuba’s position, open to dialogue on all matters and to negotiating all bilateral problems on the basis of respect and sovereignty equality, without detriment to our independence and self-determination, Cuba immediately agreed to reestablish the migratory talks interrupted by the Bush administration.

He recalled that the Cuban government has put before the U.S. government the essential issues that it considers necessary to reach eventual dialogue directed at improving relations: the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade; the removal of Cuba from the spurious list of countries sponsoring terrorism; the repeal of the Cuban Adjustment Act and the “wet-foot/dry-foot” policy; compensation for economic and human damage; the return of the territory occupied by the Guantánamo Naval Base; an end to radio and television aggression from the United States; and the end of funding for internal subversion.

He observed that one essential issue on that agenda is the liberation of the five Cuban anti-terrorists, unjustly incarcerated in U.S. jails for 11 years. President Obama has the constitutional prerogative to release them, as an act of justice and his government’s commitment to confronting terrorism.

He also stated, “We have proposed to the United States, moreover, to begin talks to establish cooperation in confronting drug trafficking, terrorism and human trafficking, protecting the environment and confronting natural disasters.

“We have not as yet received any response to our agenda proposals,” Rodríguez Parrilla said, pointing out that the U.S. blockade of Cuba is an act of unilateral aggression, which must be ended unilaterally.

He emphasized that thefacts demonstrate that the United States is not renouncing its intention to destroy the Revolution through subversion.

He said that last April it persisted in including Cuba on the spurious list of countries sponsoring terrorism and, very recently, on that pretext, decided to subject travelers from Cuba to humiliating and discriminatory measures which will particularly affect the direct charter flights between the two countries and will be directed at Cubans resident in that country.

In reference to the Bush Plan he noted that all that is left of it is a memory of failures. However, the power and influence exerted by a powerful minority, allied to the historic enemies of Cuban independence and which has turned anti-Cuba policies into a profitable business, remains an important factor.

He recalled that it was that minority who opposed, in a barbaric and fascist way, the Concert for Peace, the visit of the New York Philharmonic to Havana, and the restoration of academic, cultural, scientific, sports and commercial exchange and all civilized contact between Cuba and the United States.

“But it is becoming more and more difficult to silence the change that is taking place in the majority of Cubans resident in the United States, who now desire a very different relationship with the homeland,” he added.

The minister observed how, as opposed to what has happened in certain countries where $12 trillion is being directed to saving the major banks, in Cuba all aid has been directed to the weakest. Nobody has lost their home, nobody had to halt medical treatment or postpone operations because of lack of money to pay for them; nobody has had to take their children out of school or college. That reality, now commonplace for Cubans, constitutes a solid achievement.

He affirmed that the growth in strength and organization of Cubans living abroad who defend their homeland, in more than an isolated or sporadic manner, has contributed to this process. Two years ago there were actions against the blockade by Cubans living in 40 countries. Today, 106 organizations in 61 countries are leading efforts to defend their blockaded and attacked

country.

He informed the conference that “We shall be paying tribute to José Martí on the anniversary of his birth. We carry his doctrine in our souls. Neither will we forget that he died in combat in a necessary war and that he was the intellectual author of the assault on the Moncada Garrison. We feel him among us like in Tampa and Key West, and we will persist with his ideals and in his struggles.

Finally, the Cuban foreign minister noted that: “Together, we will attain victory, as Martí wished, “with all and for the good of all.”

“Long live free, independent and sovereign Cuba.”

(Translated by Granma International )

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