Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cuba & Venezuela

No one can halt the triumphant advance of
Cuba and Venezuela

Granma Internacional
BY César Lopez Gil

Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez Frías said today that the revolutions in Cuba and his country are successfully moving forward and affirmed that this triumphant advance will not be halted by Yankee imperialism.

The Cuban Revolution will soon be celebrating its 50th anniversary and the Bolivarian its 10th and, whatever the initiatives of U.S. imperialism may be, we will continue to defeat them, declared the president on his arrival in this capital for a working visit with the Cuban government.

Chávez spoke at length with journalists after being received by Carlos Lage, vice president of the Council of State and secretary of the executive committee of the Council of Ministers, and by Felipe Pérez Roque, minister for foreign relations.

“How wonderful to be in Havana!” were his first words on arriving at the José Martí International Airport, after which he recalled that on a day such as this in 1954, violence consumed the Guatemala of President Jacobo Arbenz.

Dressed in an olive green jacket, black trousers and red T-shirt, the Bolivarian leader specified that Ernesto Che Guevara had been there at the time, while Fidel Castro was imprisoned for the events at the Moncada garrison and he (Chávez) was about to be born.

The revolutions in Latin America have been thus, they have been one and the same, started by Simón Bolívar and José Martí, and continuing with Fidel and Che, he said.

Fidel is the father of all Latin American revolutionaries, he affirmed.

Chávez commented that his second trip to Cuba this year is for the purpose of reviewing the state of bilateral relations with Raúl, Fidel and the executive of the Cuban government, as well as discussing the current world situation.

“Some days ago, I received a note from Fidel in which he referred to the worsening of the energy, food and financial crisis throughout the world,” Chávez said, “as well as the increase of poverty, famine and other critical situations caused by climate change and other threats.

“Fidel calls this situation the mother of all crisis and, in short, is a crisis of ideas, of governments, of the model, of capitalism in general; we’re going to discuss all of this,” stated the president.

He remarked that the situation in Latin America and the Caribbean will be the object of special attention and, particularly, a revision of the joint ventures and relationships established within the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), of which both Cuba and Venezuela are founding members.

Other issues to be discussed are the refineries, food production, sciences, biotechnology, medicine and other matters in which we are advancing, he stated.

“One very important subject is the Bank of ALBA and how all the money we are making available can be used for the benefit of our peoples and others in Latin America,” he commented.

Likewise, he did not rule out the possibility of new areas of integration, principally in the production of foodstuffs, as well as other initiatives in the sphere of politics, social issues and the energy sector.

There is a permanent initiative, a revolution always implies new initiatives, a revolution is creativity, declared Chávez and went on to mention a new mission that has been created in his country – Boys and Girls in the Barrio – which was launched last Sunday during his “Aló Presidente” program. Asked by journalists about the possibility of a U.S. base being installed in Colombia, Chávez declared that the administration in Washington has an imperialist strategy that continues to threaten the peoples of the continent.

He explained that there are right now aircraft, ships and troops at a base in Curacao, as well as at the Manta base within Ecuadorian territory, but that whatever actions the U.S. takes, it will be defeated.

“We will celebrate 50 years of the Cuban revolution with life, with victory, growth and expansion of this process,” he asserted.

The Venezuelan president related how this past Sunday evening he met with a group of Cuban doctors for Fathers’ Day and how he recalled the difficult times experienced by the Cuban people during the so-called Special Period.

It was a heroic resistance, he said, recalling what he saw in 1994, during his first visit to Havana. One has to know in order to value, he asserted.

After having experienced this difficult stage, Cuba is experiencing a marked expansion, politically, economically and socially, the leader said.

Fidel is alive and kicking, breaking new trails from his post as a soldier of ideas, Raúl is here, holding the reins and the Cuban people, working, creating, in order to move forward, Chávez emphasized.

He spoke of the visit he made to Santiago de Cuba this past December and how, upon seeing the sea of people who came out to greet him and Raúl, he had said, “Now, more than ever, this Revolution is alive.”

He likewise commented that the Bolivarian revolution has its “flags waving and drums beating” after having suffered the coup d’état, sabotage of the oil industry and other acts of aggression and attacks by the imperialists and their oligarchic lackeys.

He assured reporters that in the regional elections scheduled for this coming November, the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV) will deal its opponents a resounding defeat and that recent polls indicate that this political organization enjoys the support of more than 40% of voters.

It is impressive that such a recently formed party could garner this kind of support, the Bolivarian leader pointed out.

Chávez said that the Venezuelan people appreciate and benefit from the achievements won through the revolutionary process, in all sectors and spheres of the economy and society, offering sports as an example, with more than 100 Venezuelan athletes set to participate in the Beijing Olympic Games. Despite the country’s wealth, under past governments, 20, 30 or 40 would go. Now, the president indicated, there are 105.

All of this, he said, came as a result of the Venezuelan people’s efforts, the priority given to sports by the government, the investment of human capital, the development of strategic plans and, especially, the generous support of hundreds of Cuban coaches.

Chávez asked reporters where the Bolivarian revolution would be without the Cuban revolution and stated that the struggle in his country had benefited from the experience, the generosity and the spirit offered by Fidel and the Cuban people.

The president said that the Bolivarian revolution is growing stronger, in its political, economic and social structure, as well as in its ideas and the unity of its supporters. He emphasized that the army and other branches of the armed forces had recently conducted military maneuvers with excellent results.

Concluding his comments, Chávez said that he would give Fidel a special greeting on behalf of his people. (AIN)

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