[News] Fidel - Not a word about the Blockade

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Tue Apr 14 11:14:31 EDT 2009

Reflections by comrade Fidel


The U.S. administration announced through CNN 
that Obama would be visiting Mexico this week, in 
the first part of a trip that will take him to 
Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, where he will 
be within four days taking part in the Summit of 
the Americas. He has announced the relief of some 
hateful restrictions imposed by Bush to Cubans 
living in the United States regarding their 
visits to relatives in Cuba. When questions were 
raised on whether such prerogatives extended to 
other American citizens the response was that the latter were not authorized.

But not a word was said about the harshest of 
measures: the blockade. This is the way a truly 
genocidal measure is piously called, one whose 
damage cannot be calculated only on the basis of 
its economic effects, for it constantly takes 
human lives and brings painful suffering to our people.

Numerous diagnostic equipment and crucial 
medicines --made in Europe, Japan or any other 
country-- are not available to our patients if 
they carry U.S. components or software.

The U.S. companies producing goods or offering 
services anywhere in the world should apply these 
restrictions to Cuba, since they are extraterritorial measures.

An influential Republican Senator, Richard Lugar, 
and some others from his same party in Congress, 
as well as a significant number of his Democratic 
peers, favor the removal of the blockade. The 
conditions exist for Obama to use his talents in 
a constructive policy that could put an end to 
the one that has failed for almost half a century.

On the other hand, our country, which has 
resisted and is willing to resist whatever it 
takes, neither blames Obama for the atrocities of 
other U.S. administrations nor doubts his 
sincerity and his wishes to change the United 
States policy and image. We understand that he 
waged a very difficult battle to be elected, despite centuries-old prejudices.

Taking note of this reality, the President of the 
State Council of Cuba has expressed his 
willingness to have a dialogue with Obama and to 
normalize relations with the United States, on 
the basis of the strictest respect for the sovereignty of our country.

At 2:30 p.m., the head of the Interests Section 
of Cuba in Washington, Jorge Bolaños, was 
summoned to the State Department by Deputy 
Secretary of State Thomas Shannon. He did not say 
anything different from what had been indicated by the CNN.

At 3:15 p.m. a lengthy press conference started. 
The substance of what was said there is reflected 
in the words of Dan Restrepo, Presidential Adviser for Latin America.

He said that today President Obama had instructed 
to take certain measures, certain steps, to reach 
out to the Cuban people in support of their 
wishes to live with respect for human rights and 
to determine their own destiny and that of the country.

He added that the president had instructed the 
secretaries of State, Commerce and Treasury to 
undertake the necessary actions to remove all 
restrictions preventing persons to visit their 
relatives in the Island and sending remittances. 
He also said that the president had issued 
instructions for steps to be taken allowing the 
free flow of information in Cuba, and between 
those living in Cuba and the rest of the world, 
and to facilitate delivering humanitarian 
resources directly to the Cuban people.

He also said that with these measures, aimed at 
closing the gap between divided Cuban families 
and promoting the free flow of information and 
humanitarian assistance to the Cuban people, 
President Obama was making an effort to fulfill 
the objectives he set out during his campaign and after taking on his position.

Finally, he indicated that all those who believe 
in the basic democratic values hope for a Cuba 
where the human, political, economic and basic 
rights of the entire people are respected. And he 
added that President Obama feels that these 
measures will help to make this objective a 
reality. The president, he said, encourages 
everyone who shares these wishes to continue to 
decidedly support the Cuban people.

At the end of the press conference, the adviser 
candidly confessed that ‘all of this is for Cuba’s freedom.’

Cuba does not applaud the ill-named Summits of 
the Americas, where our nations do not debate on 
equal footing. If they were of any use, it would 
be to make critical analyses of policies that 
divide our peoples, plunder our resources and hinder our development.

Now, the only thing left is for Obama to try to 
persuade all of the Latin American presidents 
attending the conference that the blockade is harmless.

Cuba has resisted and it will continue to resist; 
it will never beg for alms. It will go on forward 
holding its head up high and cooperating with the 
fraternal peoples of Latin America and the 
Caribbean; with or without Summits of the 
Americas; whether or not the president of the 
United States is Obama, a man or a woman, a black or a white citizen.

Fidel Castro Ruz
April 13, 2009
6:12 p.m.

publicrel at cubanmission.com

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San Francisco, CA 94110

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