Havana. October 24, 2007
REPLYING to three spurious initiatives for Cuba proposed by George Bush in Washington on October 24, Cuban Foreign Minister Felipe Pérez Roque set out 12 points “covering what the U.S. president should propose as aid” to the island.
He warned that time is running out for the U.S. president but that does not make him less dangerous.
The Cuban foreign minister convened the national and accredited international press here “to respond in the name of the government and people of Cuba to the statements made by President Bush.”
In a speech lasting a little over one hour, Felipe Pérez Roque stated that Cuba considers that the words of the U.S. president herald “an unprecedented escalation in the anti-Cuba policy” of more blockade, more subversion, and more attempts at isolation.
He noted that the policy in force within the Bush regime is a change of regime in Cuba “including via the use of force,” which the U.S. leader calls “accelerating the process of transition” and Fidel describes as “the re-conquest of Cuba by force.”
The foreign minister analyzed the “threatening and arrogant language” of the speech in the White House and the significant change of words and concepts.
“In January 2004,” he stated, “Bush talked of ‘working toward a rapid and peaceful transition to democracy;’ in May it was ‘speeding up the day that Cuba would become a free country;’ and, in October, ‘the Cuban people should be freed.’
“Three years later, last June,” the minister noted, “Bush advocated ‘heavy pressure for the freedom of Cuba;’ and now he is saying in this speech; ‘the word in order in our future dealings with Cuba is not stability, it is freedom.’
“Cuba understands these words as an irresponsible act that reflects the level of frustration and calls for violence to defeat the Revolution.”
Pérez Roque noted the fact that “Bush is leaving open the option of a hypothetical and fantasy internal uprising that everybody knows is politically impossible because the Revolution has the support of the people,” but also leaves open the possibility of an external aggression.
“Time is running out for Bush but that does not make him any less dangerous,” the minister warned, adding that in his Washington speech he made “a vain and ridiculous attempt to recruit” our Armed Forces and the Ministry of the Interior, whose lives he would spare if they betrayed the Revolution.
“I have a message for you, you are raving, you are talking to an army of liberation” and to security combatants who have prevented more than 600 assassination attempts on Fidel. You are mistaken, you do not know this people, who are not in the category of the mercenaries whom you pay here.”
“Cuba’s reaction is one of indignation, but of absolute serenity and confidence in our strength. The word in order here is courage.
The foreign minister also commented on Bush’s three new initiatives for Cuba, evidence, he said, of that there is almost nothing left to try out against the island.
He referred to Bush’s disposition to consider granting licenses to non-governmental organizations and religious groups to supply computers to young Cubans and access to the Internet.
“A ridiculous announcement that would be laughable if it was not inserted into this intensification of the anti-Cuba policy. In a country that, despite the blockade, has more than 500,000 computers installed; which, next year is to install another 150,000; and, from 2008 can assemble 120,000 per year. Where 600 Youth Computer Clubs are operating that give free access to the Internet to more than two million Cubans every year.”
Felipe Pérez Roque continued: “Moreover, he is inviting young Cubans, the sons and daughters of his mercenaries in Cuba, to join a 3-year grant program implemented for Latin America. “This, for a country with 65 universities where 730,000 young Cubans are currently studying and which, in addition, has 30,000 scholarship students from 120 countries.”
Lastly, Bush proposed the creation of an International Fund for the Freedom of Cuba, with the aim of other countries contributing money to defeat the Revolution,” the foreign minister noted.
“Mr. President made a desperate call on other countries to join the blockade,” Pérez Roque highlighted, “evidence of his isolation, that he has no support in the world. “He might be the most powerful person, but he is not the most respected one. The international community does not go along with his policy and today, rejection of the genocidal blockade is almost universal.”
After commenting on the “initiatives,” the foreign minister listed the 12 points that “the U.S. president should propose as aid” to the island:
1. Respect for Cubans’ right to their independence and sovereignty.
2. An immediate end to the policy of aggression and threat.
3. An end to intervention in Cuba’s internal affairs and attempts to manufacture an internal opposition.
4. An end to subversive acts against Cuba and the dismantling of the radio and television that offend the name of the national hero (José Martí).
5. The immediate lifting of the blockade.
6. The elimination of the ban on travel to Cuba by U.S. citizens and family visits by Cubans living there.
7. An end to the stimulation of illegal emigration from Cuba. The repeal of the Cuban Adjustment Act and the fulfillment of the Migratory Agreements.
8. An end to the aggressive disinformation campaigns.
9. The release of the five anti-terrorist fighters, political prisoners in U.S. jails.
10. The extradition of the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles to Venezuela or his trial in the United States.
11. The immediate closure of the torture center he created on the Guantánamo Naval Base.
12. The cessation of pressure on the international community to support his anti-Cuba policy.
Pérez Roque reiterated that Bush will not succeed in his designs against Cuba. “There is no human or natural force in the world capable of making the Cubans desist from their dreams of justice, freedom and independence. We are a victorious Revolution and we have won the respect of everybody.”
Almost at the end of his speech, the Cuban foreign minister recalled that on the 45th anniversary of the October (Missile) Crisis: “The Cuban people have the same serenity, the same integrity, the same sentiment of national unity and patriotic pride as in those luminous and sad days – as Che called them – when the Cuban people were even prepared to confront a nuclear holocaust before renouncing their principles and their sovereignty.”