Speech presented by José Ramón Machado Ventura, second secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba’s Central Committee, and a vice president of the Councils of State and Ministers, during the commemoration of the 62nd anniversary of the July 26, 1953, assaults on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Garrisons, held at the July 26 Educational Complex, in Santiago de Cuba, July 26, 2015, Year 57 of the Revolution
Author: Granma | email@example.com
july 28, 2015 13:07:07
(Council of State transcript, translated by Granma International)
Compañeros of Moncada and the Granma yacht expedition
People of Santiago;
Photo: Jose M. Correa
On a day like today, our first thoughts are with the historical leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz (applause), whose life and revolutionary work are closely linked to this heroic city.
We commemorate the 62nd anniversary of the assault on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Garrisons when our beloved Santiago de Cuba is celebrating its 500th anniversary. This heroic city, the setting of a long and turbulent history, brings together each and every one of us born in Santiago, or in any other corner of our homeland, to celebrate and reflect.
The words of compañero Eusebio Leal at the Solemn Assembly of People’s Power of this city yesterday, regarding the five centuries of Santiago de Cuba, exempt me from providing historical details.
However, I can not help but express how much emotion I feel on evoking that in these places the indigenous peoples of Cuba fought the Spanish conquistadors and that, very early on, Africans mounted slave rebellions in the cooper mines of Santiago del Prado. It is therefore no accident that one of the municipalities of this province is called Guamá and that in El Cobre stands the Monument to the Rebel Slave. Indigenous and Africans began in these eastern lands the traditions of rebellion that were embraced and duplicated by the Liberation Army, and later the Rebel Army.
Nor can I fail to recall that this city was the birthplace of many of the protagonists of our history; here lie the glorious remains of Mariana Grajales, mother of the Maceos; of Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, the Father of the Homeland; of José Martí, the intellectual author of the actions of July 26, 1953; a large number of participants in the assault on the Moncada Garrison and the uprising of November 30; of Frank País and a pleiad of men and women of different generations who gave their lives for the freedom and independence of Cuba, to defend her sovereignty and to generously contribute to the emancipation of other sister nations. Patriots and internationalists lie united in Santa Ifigenia.
Santiago de Cuba province is linked to the memory of the dignified Protest of Baraguá and the place from which the invading contingent commanded by Major General Antonio Maceo departed, to take the war to the edges of Pinar del Río.
Here resided part of the Frank País Second Eastern Front and the Dr. Mario Muñoz Third Front, just as it has been a forge and source of countless revolutionary acts.
Historical memory should not be forgotten, in it, in the words of Fidel, is the mainstay of our values, of our ideology and our consciousness. Let us work so that current and future generations of Cubans keep the glorious and worthy legacy of the founding fathers of the homeland alive forever, they are paradigms of the nation.
Those who experienced and saw this city the day after Hurricane Sandy and see it today, have to repeat the words expressed by compañero Raúl in the conclusions of the last session of the National Assembly and I quote, “Nothing is impossible for a united people, like ours.” End of quote.
The willpower, the energy, the aptitude and skill of the people of Santiago and their leaders to deal with the devastation of Santiago de Cuba, are only possible in a Revolution like ours and on this island that has friends all over the world, such as Venezuela and Ecuador, like many other countries who with their solidarity and selfless assistance contributed to the extraordinary restoration of this city. (Applause) On behalf of Cubans, we reiterate to all our eternal gratitude for this noble gesture.
We are surely expressing the feelings of our people when we convey, in their name, and in that of the Party leadership and especially that of Fidel and Raúl, our warmest congratulations to Santiago’s men and women, the leaders of the Party, government, the province’s mass and social organizations, led by compañero Lázaro Expósito (applause), whose devotion to the mission given him, and his contribution to the accomplishments achieved, deserve recognition.
Without losing its hospitality, Santiago has shown that it continues to be rebellious and heroic. (Applause) It should be added that neither has it renounced being – as Raúl called for and compañero Lázaro just indicated in his remarks – an increasingly beautiful, hygienic, ordered and disciplined city. (Applause)
Concluded just 10 days ago were the National Assembly of People’s Power Eight Legislature’s fifth period of ordinary sessions, and the Party Central Committee’s 11th Plenum. Debated in these meetings were the cardinal points of our work, the problems and the difficulties we face with the expressed intention of resolving them.
In his remarks to the National Assembly of People’s Power, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz presented a brief review of our Revolution’s foreign policy during the current year. To this I must only add that, this past July 20, with the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States, the first phase of the process initiated December 17 of last year was concluded. A long, complex path toward normalization of our bilateral relations now begins, which includes among other elements, the end of the blockade and the return of the Guantánamo Naval Base. (Applause)
Just a few days ago, the 10th Congress of the Young Communist League concluded; shared were experiences, methods and ways of working, which will no doubt improve the efforts of this organization, and give it a greater role in the principal tasks being undertaken by our Revolution.
We are only nine months away from the 7th Party Congress, an event which will allow us to review the implementation of the Economic and Social Policy Guidelines and the First Party Conference’s objectives, and project work directed toward continuing the construction of our prosperous and sustainable socialism.
Compañeras and compañeros:
July 26 has become a historic date in the annals of the long, heroic struggle of our homeland for its freedom. It is historic not only because of the events which occurred that day, but also because these actions were not in vain. The seeds sown by those who fell to see Cuba free have borne fruit: this invincible Revolution.
Therefore, Cubans of all generations, before the memory of our dead, let us always be true to the homeland and the Revolution! (Applause)
May this 500th anniversary and this July 26 serve as reaffirmations of the spirit which led the first combatants, commanded by compañero Fidel, to assault this fortress, today a school, as a ratification of the emancipatory will which has accompanied all combatants and the people over these 62 years.
Eternal glory to the heroes and martyrs of July 26! (Shouts of Gloria!)
Long live the Revolution! (Shouts of Viva!)
Long live Fidel! (Shouts of Viva!)
Long live Raúl! (Shouts of Viva!)
Long live free Cuba! (Shouts of Viva!)
¡Venceremos! (Shouts of Venceremos!)