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50th Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution

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Message of the Cuban Ambassador to St. Vincent and the Grenadines on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution

by Olga Chamero Trias

The first of January of 1959, a triumphant Revolution took power in the major of the Antilles Islands, in Cuba. An autochthonous Revolution, fruits of the struggles of the whole Nation since the earlier Wars of Independence from Spain. The victory of the Cuban Revolution finally allowed our people to have a real independent country, after more than five Decades of being formally independent, in reality, a Neo Colony of the United States.{{more}}

The 8th of January, after 24 months of fighting in the Sierra Maestra Mountains, the Rebel Army, led by Fidel Castro Ruz, entered Havana City, surrounded by many other heroes, such as Commanders Camilo Cienfuegos and Ernesto Che Guevara. On that occasion, our leader Fidel Castro said in his first speech to the Nation “The real war against backwardness and for the developing of our country, starts today…”.

Cuba, before the Revolution, showed enormous disparities, which explained the necessity for such a radical transformation. Seventy five per cent of the richest lands were in the hands of only eight percent of the population. Unemployment was 25%, and 20%, and the richer segment of the country received 58% percent of the National Income, while 20% of the rest of the population got only 2%. Illiteracy was rampant, as well as landlessness, racial discrimination, prostitution, corruption, amongst many more diseases, characteristic of a dependent society. The American Mafia felt really at home in Cuba, already controlling important aspects of our economy, which reported them huge benefits. Meanwhile, the crimes of Dictator Fulgencio Batista coasted the nation more than 20 thousand of its youngest and best lives.

The attack on Moncada Barrack in 1953 was the beginning of the end for such a regime. The Generation of the Centenary, self named like that to honor the birth of our National Hero, Jose Marti, decided to continue his struggle by starting a new war, this time to achieve real independence.

Recently, leaders of Caribbean countries meeting in Santiago de Cuba on the 8th December 2008, on the occasion of the 3rd Cuba Caricom Summit visited his Monument and paid tribute to our National Hero, the intellectual author of the attack to the Moncada Barracks, as our leader Fidel Castro said in his self defense speech, later know as History will absolve me.

The survival of the Cuban Revolution had not been easy. Just 90 miles from a very powerful nation, historically confronted with it, the Cuban Revolution has had to make a profound transformation, politically, social and economically. This Revolution had been done in spite of an economic Blockade imposed on us since 1962, which has lasted now almost 50 years, accompany by military and political aggressions, such as the Invasion of the Bay of Pigs in 1961, and a year later, an almost Nuclear confrontation, during the so called October Crisis.

The successes of the Cuban Revolution in changing its internal reality are well known. Our country exhibits today indexes in fundamental sectors like Public Health, Education, Social Security and many other areas, compared with those of developed countries. The advances of Cuba in important areas of development had been recognized by the international organizations related to the system of the United Nations.

But, Internationalism had been the seal of the Cuban Revolution. Whatever we had achieved for the benefit of our people, we had been ready to share with our brothers and sisters the world over. Cuba had also modestly participated in the fight for independence of other countries, such as Angola, contributing together with our African brothers, to the defeat of the hated South African Regimen of Apartheid. Since 1963, Cuba had been cooperating with other countries. Three hundred thousand Cubans have contributed to the development of Third World countries, especially in the field of Health and Education. Even today, Operation Vision Now has contributed to restore the sight of more than a million people in Latin America and the Caribbean, while the Cuban Method of Alphabetization known as Yes, I can, is applied in more than 30 countries, and recognized by UNESCO as a valid method of eradicating illiteracy.

In Cuba, today, twenty seven thousand youngsters from 35 countries study to get their University Education. From 1961 till today, the Cuban educational system has graduated ninety seven thousand foreign students, including orphans from Civil Wars in African countries.

But all these national and international efforts of the Cuban Revolution would not have been possible without the international solidarity it had received. The defense of Cuba and its right to self determination has been the center of the struggle for five decades, of the progressives and revolutionary forces the world over. Our friends are everywhere, including the United States, where our Revolution has always counted with the support of the more advanced and honest sectors of the American society. Cuba would not have been able to celebrate its 50th anniversary if it were not for the permanent international struggle of those honest sectors which have always accompanied us.

That is why, in a day like today, in the name of the Cuban people and of the Revolutionary Government, I would like to thank all these friends, particularly those in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, who believed in the right of a small country like Cuba to construct a better society, to share with others our modest achievements, and to believe and defend the dream that, A BETTER WORLD IS POSSIBLE.