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May 2003 • Vol 3, No. 5 •

Cuban Unions Defend Their Revolution

Statement by National Committee Central de Trabajadores de Cuba

For more than 40 years, the Cuban Revolution has been the object of every kind of aggression by the greatest military, political, and economic power: the United States of America.

Ever since the triumph of the Revolution, successive North American governments have launched military invasions, biological and bacteriological warfare, and terrorist attacks against our country. They have planned attempts against the principal leaders of the country and organized bands and counterrevolutionary groups in Cuba—and from abroad. They have transmitted thousands of hours of radio and television broadcasts to promote destabilizing acts and carried out the longest most genocidal economic blockade in history—all for the stated purpose of destroying the Revolution and re-imposing capitalism in our country.

The Cuban people, the principal proponents of the Cuban Revolution, have had to pay with the loss of thousands of their children, for defending the right to build and defend the economic, political, and social system we want for Cubans, as well as defending all rights established by international conventions.

Only the unbreakable unity of the immense majority of Cubans—the workers, campesinos, students, intellectuals, and artists—in support of the historical leadership of the Revolution has made possible the defense of socialism and of our independence and sovereignty.

As the West celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War along with the disappearance of the USSR and European socialism, few noticed the enormous dangers for a unipolar world living under the designs of the United States.

Events of recent years have increasingly shown that the Empire has consolidated its enormous power and that it intends to subject the whole world to rules imposed by Washington.

The absolute domination over all international financial institutions, the acceleration of the merciless imposition of neoliberal globalization, the disregard for and destruction of the United Nations, the criminal backing of Israel and its policy of annihilating the Palestinian people, the genocidal wars against Yugoslavia—all supported by some important European trade unions—against Afghanistan and then against Iraq, expose the true nature of the Empire and of those submissive and obedient people who have gone along with the master in its misdeeds throughout the world. With a group of hawks installed in the White House ready to carry out a policy of subjugating the world no matter what the consequence, the Cuban Revolution has no choice but to defend itself.

The Cuban people cannot forget that the current president of the United States, George W. Bush, occupies the White House thanks to the colossal fraud orchestrated in Florida with the connivance of the Cuban-American mafia there, and Mr. Bush owes favors to it that he has to pay for his present and expected future term.

The tragic and sad events of Sept. 11, which cost the lives of thousands of innocent people, have been used in the name of the war against terrorism, to subjugate other nations and to apply new and sophisticated McCarthyite policies against these same North American people.

In recent years, Cubans have seen how plans to destabilize the Revolution have grown: re-enforcement of the genocidal blockade; greater collective violations of human rights of all the people; and the maintenance of the criminal Cuban Adjustment Law to promote illegal emigration to the United States and stimulate the hijacking by force of boats and airplanes, risking the lives of hundreds of people including women and children. Once they reach North American territory, the perpetrators of these terrorist acts are received as heroes and given total immunity.

Cubans have also seen the blatant support for terrorist acts organized in Miami against Cuba; the fake trials and harsh sentences handed out against the five Cuban youths subjected to cruel and brutal punishment; the creation, financing, and logistical support for supposed political, trade union, and human rights organizations in our country that exist only in the sick imaginations—along with the ghost of counterrevolution—of those who are submissive to the Empire.

The recent events are the result of an intense and aggressive campaign by the United States government determined to undermine the support of our people for the Revolution and to prepare conditions for acts of greater scope. This is the only explanation for the frenetic, conspiratorial activity by the chief of the United States Interests Section in Havana and the enormous irresponsibility with which the current North American administration is promoting and stimulating violations of the migratory accords signed by both countries.

Anyone who has closely followed the history of the Revolution knows that this is the only country in our hemisphere where, for more than four decades, there has not been a single case of torture, disappearance, or assassination.

Though it did not wish to, the Cuban Revolution has no alternative but to adopt strong measures; to enforce laws guaranteeing the independence, sovereignty, and security of our people. In any country in the world, those who serve a foreign power against the interests of their own country are considered traitors. The seriousness of those acts is greater if they are carried out under the conditions in a country permanently threatened and assaulted.

We Cuban workers, who have dedicated our lives to the defense of the Revolution by making a reality our dearest dreams of liberty and social justice, know that what is at stake is our own existence as a nation truly free and independent; that those who conspire with the government that has committed all its power to destroy the Revolution, can be treated only as common mercenaries paid by the Empire.

The great campaign that the media—the majority of them at the service of the powerful—have unleashed regarding Cuba’s actions lays bare the insane attempt to condemn and discredit our nation. As has been shown in the trials, all of the accused had lawyers, and all the lawyers had the opportunity to contact the defendants with the indispensable procedural guarantees

In every case, the trials were carried out in accordance with the laws of our country, laws very similar or equal to the laws that exist in many countries of the world. No one has been punished for their dissent but rather for the crime of treason against their own people.

As the dates of the arrests show, it is false and detestably ill-intentioned to say that Cuba acted against these people after the beginning of the criminal war against Iraq to escape publicity and international condemnation. Those who claim this do not know that our country assumes, as it has always assumed, complete responsibility for its actions and that when it acts upon the basis of principle it has to answer only to those principles.

One should not forget that the government’s actions occurred while the European Union was considering Cuba’s entrance into the Cotonou Agreement and while the United States was preparing the traditional anti-Cuban farce in Geneva, which only serves its interest in perpetuating the criminal blockade against Cuba. Those who know us understand well that Cuba has never acted out of political opportunism.

It is also false that among those punished are trade union officials. The more than half-million Cuban union leaders who, representing 3.5 million affiliated workers, act always in defense of workers’ rights, today more than ever are part of that band that, as Jose Marti said, “loves and organizes”against those who “hate and destroy.”

Workers of the world know, although some leaders might forget, that unions only have the right to exist where they are elected by the workers and have their support as opposed to those who attempt to set up unions at nighttime get-togethers under the protection of powerful masters and with a few followers always ready to go along.

Similarly, those who in any country struggle honestly against terrorism ought to know that there is no such thing as good terrorism and bad terrorism. Any kind of terrorism is incompatible with human ethical values. Those who blew up the twin towers in New York are no more or less guilty of terrorism than those who act from Miami to blow up Cuban airliners in full flight, as happened with a Cuban airliner with 76 passengers aboard over the waters of Barbados. Also terrorists are those who organize and carry out bomb attacks in Cuban hotels, restaurants, and monuments, or those who, aided by complicit politicians in the United States, hijack planes and boats and are willing in fact to blow them up and place the lives of hundreds of innocent people in imminent danger.

For their struggle against terrorism, five brave Cuban youths are now in United States prisons, serving long sentences, even life sentences, suffering long periods of solitary confinement without legal assistance for the act of infiltrating terrorist groups at work in that country and alerting the governments of both countries about those actions. They did not put anyone’s life in danger or use force in their heroic work at the service of their people. They are simply innocent of all charges against them, but the full weight of the visceral hatred of the Revolution’s enemies came down against them.

Many people and organization from all over the world have raised their voices in solidarity with our five fellow citizens. Nevertheless, others have preferred to keep quiet about similar crimes. Some can argue lack of information, and they are right. The great communications media are not interested in bringing to light such a flagrant example of human rights violations. Nevertheless, all of them place themselves at the service of the worst interests in order to deceive, to distort the truth, to defame and stain the human accomplishments of this small country, which, despite the criminal war that has lasted more than 40 years, is still on its feet and struggling, not only for its right to build it own future, but also for the right of all peoples of the world to have full enjoyment of civil and political rights, the right to nutrition, health and education for everyone, in short, the right to a proper and dignified life for the millions of human beings who are excluded from all rights, who live today in dehumanizing condition in many parts of the world.

April 18, 2003

National Committee






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