The remarks below by Mary-Alice Waters, on behalf of the Socialist Workers Party, were made at a Nov. 10 meeting of opponents of the U.S. government embargo of Cuba held at the Cuban Mission to the United Nations in New York City. Pedro Pedroso, Cuba’s ambassador to the U.N., addressed the event, followed by Waters and several other participants.
First of all, I’d like to thank Ambassador Pedroso, Ambassador [Yuri] Gala, and all the compañeros here at the Cuban Mission to the United Nations.
To thank you for this opportunity to share our determination to stand together in face of this phase of Washington’s more than six-decade-long, unremitting drive to crush Cuba’s socialist revolution. An attempt that has failed miserably in face of Cuba’s popular mass refusal to put its sovereign future in the hands of the Yankee imperialists.
Through you, we especially want to thank the Cuban people for their strength. They have once again confronted unprecedented challenges, with the devastating costs — both human and financial — of the COVID pandemic these last two years, on top of the draconian new economic and financial squeeze applied by the strongest imperialist power in the world. These measures prolong and intensify Washington’s unrelenting attempt to literally choke off all sources of revenue, all access to capitalism’s international banking system, all avenues to secure raw materials, all exports. They prolong and intensify U.S. capital’s determination to impose sanctions against any country or institution, anywhere in the world, that violates the terms dictated by Washington.
In the face of all that and more, what the people of Cuba have accomplished in combating the pandemic stands as a mighty example of the strengths of Cuba’s socialist revolution. Cuba has been the only country to send significant medical assistance to others around the world. The rapid development and production of three highly effective vaccines (with two more in development) — which the bourgeois media tries to belittle as “homegrown” — has now made possible the vaccination of the entire population, including children as young as 2 years old, something no other country has even begun. And now students are returning to schools. Workers are returning to factories and offices. Cuba’s borders are reopening.
We want to say to you that it is the strength of the Cuban people, and above all Cuban workers and farmers who are the heart and soul of the socialist revolution, who give strength to revolutionary working people in the U.S., as well. Who help us see the way forward.
For all that we thank you.
But we in the United States must never forget that our responsibilities are right here. It is we above all who must educate and organize against the policies of the U.S. government — the bipartisan policies of the U.S. ruling families carried out by Democratic and Republican administrations alike. It is our responsibility to denounce and expose the new, escalating level of aggression being organized by the liberal Democratic administration in office today. To condemn the provocation that is planned for Nov. 15 as an excuse to further tighten the chokehold on the Cuban people.
We all know the reason for the continuity of Washington’s policies over 60 years and counting. It is fear of Cuban working people, fear of their socialist revolution, and, above all, fear of the example they set for working people around the globe.
That is why we too will be in the streets together with others on Nov. 15 making our voices heard.
We all look forward to the day — and hope it is coming soon — that we can join with millions of Cubans across the island as they pour into the streets in their organized and disciplined masses, as they do each year on May Day, to proclaim to the world that this is their revolution, with all its unfinished tasks as well as all its glories.
They will show the world that they are the vast majority of Cubans, and that those in Cuba who are instigating the provocation of Nov. 15 represent little else but their masters and mentors in Washington.