Our decision to construct socialism will never waver

July 26th Combatants;
Ciego de Avila compatriots and all of Cuba:

Our first thoughts today, 58 years after the heroic deeds of July 26, 1953, go to those who, on that glorious day, gave their lives, many in the hours following the attacks, as victims of the cowardly and brutal repression unleashed by the Batista dictatorship.

We offer our gratitude to all of the participants in the heroic actions and to our combative people, whose unremitting determination to struggle continues to guarantee our freedom and the right to determine our own destiny conquered January 1, 1959.

We are celebrating the national commemorative event on this Day of Rebellion for the third time in the province of Ciego de Avila. The first was in 1980, shortly after the political and administrative division which gave rise to the current organization of the area. The second, more than 20 years later, was in 2002. Now, in well deserved recognition of the progress made in many sectors, Ciego de Avila has once again won the honor of hosting this event.

This is the land of mambises such as the Gómez Cardoso brothers and Colonel Simón Reyes, of principled workers’ leaders such as Tomás Grant and Enrique Varona, of young revolutionaries like Raúl Cervantes, Ricardo Pérez Alemán, Pedro Martínez Brito and Roberto Rodríguez, “El Vaquerito”, all honorable and glorious representatives of the province and an inspiration to subsequent generations.

Abounding in Ciego de Avila as well, are examples of how to work and overcome the challenges the country is facing today, in particular in the economic arena, during an adverse international conjuncture. The accomplishments made over the last few years, principally in agriculture, without ignoring those made in other sectors, played a major role in the Political Bureau’s decision to award the honor of hosting this event to the province.

I will fulfill the gratifying obligation to relay congratulations from Fidel, Raúl and all of our people to the workers, campesinos, combatants, students, homemakers, retirees, and all residents of Ciego de Avila, who have made possible the province’s advances.

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Raul Castro speech in the Cuban National Assembly

Written by Raúl Castro

Saturday, 18 December 2010 22:03

Comrades all:

We have been meeting for several days now discussing extremely important matters for the future of the nation. This time, in addition to our customary work in commissions, the deputies have met in plenary with the purpose of analyzing the details of the current economic situation, as well as the budgetary proposals and the economic plan for the year 2011.

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Socialism is the only guarantee of our liberty and independence

• Speech by Army General and President of the Councils of State and Ministers Raúl Castro Ruz, presented during the closing of the 7th Legislature of the National Assembly of People’s Power 6th Ordinary Period of Sessions, within the Convention Palace on December 18, 2010, 52nd Year of the Revolution

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The Economic Battle is Now the Main Task

Today, more than ever before, the economic battle is the main task and the focus of the ideological work of the cadres, because it is on this work that the sustainability and the preservation of our social system rest.

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Raúl Castro Ruz presides over 50th anniversary of the Federation of Cuban Women

Yenia Matos Henríquez

PRESIDENT Raúl Castro Ruz headed up the official cultural gala yesterday, August 23, for the 50th Anniversary of the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC), where the role of women in the creative work of the Revolution was recognized.

At the event, José Ramón Machado Ventura, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party and first vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers, emphasized women’s participation in the economic, social and political sectors as well as those of a scientific, cultural and sporting nature.

Machado Ventura recalled the discrimination that women suffered before the revolutionary triumph, and said that because of that situation, necessary changes were put in place to enable their total equality and integration, which constitutes a task of the whole society, of institutions and of organizations. The atmosphere of equality and respect created by the Revolution, allowed women to develop their potential as human beings and, in this way, to achieve their position of dignity in society, he emphasized.

In order to achieve this objective, a half century ago today, the Federation of Cuban Women was founded in which Vilma Espín Guillois, who faithfully and creatively developed Fidel’s ideas concerning social justice and gender equality, played a decisive leadership role, Machado Ventura affirmed.

The first vice president of the Council of State and of Ministers pointed out that more than 4,237,383 federation members currently belong to the FMC, the largest membership in its history.

He also highlighted the hard battle that took place in the 80s to enable a half million women to complete the sixth and ninth grade levels of education, the result of 330,000 housewives taking adult classes, and 140,000 studying in Worker-Campesino Faculties.

Women currently constitute 46.7% of the workforce in the civil state sector, while 65.1% are technical and professional staff: they are teachers, doctors, nurses, researchers, scientists, architects, engineers and technicians, he noted.

He also referred to the definition given by Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz, when he stated: “It is also the duty of the Federation to be alert to all questions that concern women, in which they are interested, and to defend those interests in the heart of the Party, in the heart of the state.”

He recalled that the principal mission of federation members is to defend the Revolution in all fields, even more so when our historic enemy is maintaining its tendency to promote political disconnection, frivolity and a lack of interest, particularly among youth and women.

He also acknowledged the FMC’s contribution to developing an internationalist spirit in Cuban woman, which has made it possible for them to bring health, education and hope to those in greatest need. One example of this is to be found in the medical brigades in countries like Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador and Nicaragua, where they have undertaken an important groundbreaking psycho-social and clinical-genetic research study.

“The role played by the FMC has allowed the expression in many different forms of our support for just causes and, moreover, to reveal our realities, condemn campaigns against the Revolution and contribute to the growth of solidarity toward Cuba, her women and all of her people,” he affirmed.

At the beginning of the celebration, Yolanda Ferrer, general secretary of the FMC, read the pledge of federation members on the occasion of their 50th anniversary and stated: “We are aware of the insufficiencies and deficiencies which we need to eliminate, the directional change which we need to make at the grassroots level with innovative, efficient and attractive ways of working that would make the organization’s labors more effective everywhere, in line with the times in which we are living.”

Ferrer Gómez also referred to the revolutionary thought of Vilma Espín Guillois, whose example, daring, creative and consistent political strategy, constitute a guide for Cuban FMC members. “We will forever to be faithful to her legacy in order for it to live on eternally in the new generations who will continue her work,” she highlighted.

Likewise, she emphasized the commitment to Fidel and Raúl to make the FMC’s political and ideological work broader and deeper every day. “We know that the changes that we have to make are complex and difficult, but when we Cuban women embrace a cause and make it ours, nothing and nobody can make us turn back.”

At the event, attended by a representation of our most distinguished federation members, messages of greeting from Gerardo Hernández and Antonio Guerrero, on behalf of the five Cuban heroes were read out.

Yolanda Ferrer also presented Raúl with a picture containing the complete text of the pledge of commitment on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the FMC.

Similarly, at the beginning of the gala, the documentary “Sentirse Mujer,” (“Feeling Oneself a Woman”), by producer and journalist Eva Maura Díaz was screened, and in which the work of women and their social involvement were the central themes.

The evening ended with an excellent performance by the Camerata Romeu which, conducted by Zenaida Castro Romeu, delighted everyone with music by Cuban composers such as Ernesto Lecuona’s La comparsa; Almendra, by Abelardo Valdés; La bella cubana, by José White; and Camerata en Guaguancó, a piece by Guido López Gavilán.

Leading figures of the Communist Party, government and political and mass organizations also took part in the event, which was also attended by family members of our five compatriots incarcerated in U.S. jails.

Translated by Granma International

Venezuela commemorates bicentenary of the independence struggle with patriotic event

• Raúl attends 9th ALBA Summit and commemorative events in Caracas
Jorge Martín Blandino
CARACAS, April 19.—The 9th Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA), which ended last night in a Teresa Carreño Theater filled with thousands of Venezuelans, was an excellent culmination of the celebrations for the bicentenary of the beginning of the independence struggle in this country. It was a beautiful event that had this capital vibrating with patriotic fervor, solidarity and overwhelming demonstrations of support for the Bolivarian Revolution.

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The two centuries of common history have taught us that we have only one alternative: to unite, fight, and overcome

• Speech given by Raúl Castro Ruz, president of the Councils of State and Ministers, at the 9th ALBA-TCP Summit, in the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, April 19, 2010, “52nd Year of the Revolution.” 
(Typescript version, Council of State)

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