Cuban Revolution at 65: Still fighting “for ourselves and for the rest of the world”

To mark the 65th anniversary of the Cuban Revolution, People’s Voice editor Dave McKee spoke with Cuban Ambassador to Canada Hector Igarza. They discussed the ongoing US blockade, the role of Cuba in the world today, the new Family Code and the US presidential election later this year. This is an excerpt from the interview.  

PV: The 65th anniversary of Cuban Revolution is an enormously significant event which was celebrated by people all over the world. How was it marked in Cuba?  

HI: The anniversary of the Triumph of the Revolution has been kind of mixed. In Cuba we celebrated 65 years since the end of the Batista dictatorship which was supported by the United States. Following the Cuban revolution against Spain in the 19th century, the US came in a very opportunistic way and adopted control of the government. And it pressured the government into adding the Platt Amendment to the Cuban constitution, which gave the US the right to intervene in Cuba whenever it decided.

This was the birth of the conflict over the military base at Guantánamo. An agreement signed during those years of puppet government gave the US that base forever – there is no date to end it. So, one of our struggles is to recover our territory where that military base is.

So, on one hand, the 65th anniversary is a celebration of the revolutionary government which gave light to our people’s many years of darkness. And on the other hand, we are marking 65 years of the difficulties imposed by the blockade and other measures. These measures were increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, which in itself had a huge impact on Cuba’s main source of income, tourism.

Sixty-five years of the Revolution means sixty-five of fighting. Since 1962, when the blockade was officially imposed, we have been fighting against this discriminatory measure which affects people in all sectors of society.

But we have to say that, in spite of all this difficulty, our people keep fighting and keeping our head up. We are not depressed – we know that only the struggle can save us. And in that, we know we can count on solidarity from all over the world.

Cuba is still the light of revolution in Latin America. If Cuba fails, Latin America will also fail, Africa will fail, the Middle East will fail and Europe, the US and Canada will fail. So, it is the responsibility of Cuba to keep fighting for ourselves and for the rest of the world – and this is what we are doing.

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