CARACAS, Venezuela.— The President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, was on Venezuelan soil, July 28, for less than nine hours, during which the epicenter of solidarity, integration, and anti-imperialism of the people was once again in the city of Caracas, where the XXV edition of the Sao Paulo Forum was held over four days.
Greeted with shouts of “Cuba sí, Yankees no” and “Fidel, Fidel, what does Fidel have that the imperialists can’t get to him?” Díaz-Canel began his remarks to representatives of the more than 124 political parties and left movements present. His first words were for Comandante Hugo Chávez Frías, “Cuba’s best friend, son of the Americas who turns 65 today in eternity,” who Fidel loved as a son and placed next to Bolívar and Martí in the battle for the Greater Homeland.
He continued with a profound speech, full of symbolism, denouncing the innumerable malicious actions taken by neoliberal powers. But even this evil is dwarfed – Díaz-Canel insisted – when Our America meets, that is, the diverse, plural, and supportive world of progressive partisan leaders of Latin American and Caribbean, social activists who decided in the dark 1990s to build this unitary organization of the left, today alive and active.
A speech in which the Cuban head of state constantly evoked the ideas of Bolívar and Martí, from whom, he stated, Fidel and Chavez nourished the ideology of our revolutions, adding “Unity and integration were their great obsessions and must also be ours.”
“I know that these are also the obsessions of the Sao Paulo Forum, born of the need for unity and articulation of political parties and popular movements of the left in our region, to confront imperialism and the neoliberal right,” he said.
Díaz-Canel’s words turned again and again to history and its coincidences; to the transcendence of how much has been done in pursuit of integration and unity among our peoples; to the urgent need to further strengthen what unites us within our diversity.
“The São Paulo Forum summons us during an extremely challenging July and here we are, to accompany the heroic Venezuelan resistance and demand an end to the brutal siege that has been imposed on the country. Venezuela is today the anti-imperialist struggle’s primary trench,” he stated, and the audience applauded.
Called upon to play a more leading role in today’s complex political situation, the Sao Paulo Forum faces great challenges, and has much to learn and do for the benefit of our peoples. Because precisely to give hope – recalled the Cuban President – the group was founded by Fidel and Lula, as a valuable instrument for concerted action within diversity.
“Let us not forget for a moment that we are in besieged Caracas,” he said, reaffirming before the world Cuba’s support and solidarity with “legitimate President Nicolás Maduro Moros and the military-civic union that has defeated the worst plans of the enemy so many times.” This is support for the ideals of a people, their fortitude as a nation of Our America.
Imperialism proposes that we betray Venezuela, showing shameless cynicism they resort to blackmail, he said.
“Ignorant of history and the Cuban Revolution’s foreign policy principles, they propose to negotiate a possible reconciliation with us, in exchange for abandoning the course chosen and defended by our people. They suggest betraying friends, throwing 60 years of dignity into the trash bin.
“No, imperialist gentlemen, we do not understand each other,” he insisted.
There could be no better tribute to Chavez than this meeting, where unity was palpable, the great legacy that our heroes bequeathed to us.
The challenge of this event – Díaz-Canel noted – is to finally make a reality of this beautiful alliance of forces. Our America and its people need this; the left of the world demands it.
VENEZUELA IS NOT ALONE
The call for unity was also present in the words of President Maduro, who insisted that unity must become the word of order for our peoples, because only united will we have the strength to win our definitive independence.
With similar emphasis, he denounced the media campaign against Venezuela and its government, recalling that the Bolivarian Revolution emerged as an autochthonous response to the crisis of the imperialist model that had been imposed on the country.
Constant lies and manipulations are wielded against our people – he said – but the people of Venezuela are a courageous people with a democratic culture, with rebel values.
He called for continuous efforts to consolidate unity of the left, which can allow for a great movement for the unification of popular forces.
“Thank you for coming to Venezuela to defend the truth,” he told those present.
Whatever they do, whatever they say, the Bolivarian Revolution will continue to stand firm, Maduro insisted.
What better culmination to close the event, called upon to set the course for the Sao Paulo Forum, a mechanism of integration and struggle for our peoples, and why not, our hopes.