People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)

Vol. XXX

No. 32

August 06, 2006

US Imperialism, Hands Off Cuba!

Cuban National Day Observed


Prakash Karat addressing the meeting in Delhi on July 26, 2006


CUBAN National Day was observed in the country by the Cuban Solidarity Committee India on July 26, 2006 through holding of various meetings. In New Delhi, CPI(M) general secretary Prakash Karat addressed a gathering, which also included Cuban embassy officials, on this occasion. Karat said that Cubans always had a special place in the hearts of Indian people despite the vast geographical distance between the two countries. He said Indian people are bonded by solidarity with the fighting spirit of the Cubans. Karat wished to convey the solidarity and warm greetings on behalf of India to Cuban president Fidel Castro at the time of his birthday celebrations to which he and CPI general secretary A B Bardhan had been invited.  


Karat lauded the services rendered by Cuban people in the field of health and education through out the Latin American countries. He also greeted the people across the Asia Pacific who are all observing Cuban National Day. He told the gathering that Cuban National Day was getting more and more popular day by day across the world. He also informed that Asia Pacific Conference in Solidarity with Cuba which was held last year at Chennai had decided to observe Cuban National Day through out Asia Pacific in a big way. Karat denounced Israel for its brutal aggression on Lebanon, particularly the intentional manner it was targeting civilians. He highlighted the role of US imperialism in aiding such attacks in the name of fighting against terrorism.  


Cuban ambassador to India, Miyarka, inaugurated the celebrations. A B Bardhan also spoke while CPI(M) MP and president of Cuban Solidarity Committee, A Vijaya Raghavan invited the dignitaries on to the dais. (INN)




BENGAL and Kolkata have always had a special place for the island nation of socialist Cuba. From the very early 1960’s, the people here have expressed their intense solidarity for the Cuban Revolution and for the brave manner in which the people of Cuba solidly united under the leadership of the Cuban Communist Party and Dr Fidel Castro Ruz, el commandante, have been able to stave off attacks and designs of US imperialism. 


The tune and words of the Cuban national song, Guantanamera in original and in translation are a familiar and popular refrain among the mass singers of Bengal. When the Cuban people entered a special period in their history of struggles and movements, Bengal and Kolkata stood solidly by the Cubanos and Cubanas with help especially in terms of food items and medicines. 


July 26 is an important date in the history of Cuba, of Latin America, and of the Third World, in particular. On that day, back in 1953 Fidel and his handful of dedicated combatants, among them Che Guevara, attacked the Moncada Garrison, an important bastion of the dictator Fulgencio Batista. 


The attack was not a complete success, but the fuse has been lit for an explosive change that was to follow at the end of the decade. Biman Basu, Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M) addressing a mass convention organised in Kolkata at a completely packed Calcutta University auditorium in late in the evening of July 26 pointed out to say that the speech that Fidel gave, known popularly as the ‘History Will Absolve Me’ address, was a harbinger of change. 


In January of 1959 Batista was defeated and a new age began in Cuba as the Granma ship-borne revolutionaries swept away the reactionary ancien régime as weeds in Caribbean Sea. 


The convention organised under the aegis of the Bengal Left Front began appropriately enough with mass songs of Victor Zarra and Pete Seeger, translated into Bengali and sung with gusto by members of the IPTA led by Dr Kankan Bhattacharya. Mass conventions were held all over the state in expression of solidarity with Cuba on this day. 


Biman Basu put in a thumbnail sketch of the history of the emerald isle called Cuba and narrated how after the Cuban Revolution, land concentrations were broken up, industry started to flourish, and food security, social security and job security was looked after in an organised manner. 


Biman Basu sketched in Cuba’s good and great progress in all the social sectors and the rapid pace of development that Cuba started to witness. He pointed out that in the wake of debacle of socialism in the USSR and the Eastern European bloc countries, Cuba started to face special difficulties, and the Cuban people responded to Fidel’s call for entering a special period of history and promised to struggle to develop socialism all the while. 




The CPI (M) leader marked out the important signposts of the kind of covert and overt attacks that the US imperialists had organised against Cuba with the Miami-based terroristas led by evil men like Mas Canosa and Luis Posada Carriles. 


The speaker mentioned the Bay of Pigs invasion, and the restrictive torment put on Cuba by the Torricelli Act and the Helms-Burton Act. He also analysed the massive and courageous response of the Cubans to the imposition of restrictions and sanctions and said how socialist Cuba has continued to flourish regardless. He pointed to the increasing international support for Cuba against US policies, even at the level of the UN.  


Biman Basu concluded by noting that the important task of today was to express every kind of solidarity with Cuba at a time when a regime change was talked about by the US administration. The slogans of the day are Viva Cuba! US imperialism, hands off Cuba! 


In his important address, Abelardo Russell Cueto Sosa, political counsellor of the Cuban Embassy in India who spoke in English, and apologised for his inability to speak in Bengali, said that Cuba ‘has long been a victim of the hostility of an evil empire that is always loathe to loose of its neo-colonies in a strategic region of central America.’ 


Cuba said Cueto Sosa suffered from a criminal bloqueo and that the act of blockade proceeded to deprive Cubans of food, medicines, and essential supplies. Children died in their thousand s before the eyes of their mothers. Cuban embassies were attacked; Cuban citizens were assassinated, and a Cuban airliner blown up. 


The Cuban nation under Fidel’s leadership continues to fight the enemy, the US imperialism, and its lackeys and is never the worse for the attacks the Cuban people have had to with stand. Cubans have stridden ahead as the international solidarity had grown across the globe.  




The Cubans, declared Cueto Sosa with pride in his voice, ‘are not alone in their fight and we are proud of the way the people of India have steadfastly expressed solidarity with the Cuban people’s struggles.’ Cuba, Sosa concluded, celebrated July 26 as ‘a day of celebration and joy in our history and we are convinced, now more than ever, that the evil empire shall never be able to defeat Cuba.’ 


Sosa offered a piece of advice to the United States administration. He said that the US imperialists should use at least a part of the massive spending they make to fabricate weapons to feed their own people, look after their social security, and extend them medical care. Sosa concluded with the rousing slogans: Patria O Muerte, and Venceremos! 


Central committee member of the CPI(M) Shyamal Chakraborty spoke about the heroic struggle that the Cuban people could put up against US imperialist depredations. Identifying Fidel as the brave leader of the Third World in leading a battle against neo-liberalism and imperialist globalisation, Chakraborty described Cuba as an inspiration to the struggling people of the world. Chakraborty noted the role played by Fidel in facilitating the ALBA or the Bolivarian Alternative as an instrument to fight imperialist globalisation.  




Chakraborty mentioned in outline the plan of action that the US administration had recently cooked up to bring about a regime change in Cuba, and the plan included military intervention, massive killing operations, and the propping up of a puppet regime in Cuba making it ‘democratic in the US way. The plan has recently been exposed by Cuba before the world.  The plan includes such nefarious chapters as: 

m Denying revenue to the Cuban government

m Empowering the American-Cuban People

m Regime change 

m Blocking information

m Occupying various institutions 

m Supporting a new military and bureaucratic set up

m Setting up a market economy 


In the circumstances, concluded Shyamal Chakraborty, Cuba needed the support and solidarity of all the freedom-loving people of the world and Bengal and Kolkata would always be in the forefront of the Cuban solidarity movement as in the past. 


Other speakers at the convention that passed a unanimous resolution in solidarity with the people of Cuba, included: Himangsu Das (CPI), Mihir Banerjee (RSP), Moni Pal (SP), Pratim Chatterjee (FB-M), Mihir Byne (RCPI), Ratanlal Agarwal (DSP), and Sunil Chaudhuri (Biplabi Bangla Congress).


(B Prasant)