By Fermín Gabriel Quiñones Sánchez, Ambassador of Cuba to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
For the Cuban people, each January 1st marks a new anniversary of the Triumph of the Revolution, the same that in 1959 was lead by Fidel Castro and defeated one of the bloodiest dictatorships of Latin America: Fulgencio Batista´s. That was the day in which the Cubans, for the first time, began to rule its own destiny after almost a century of struggles for its independence.
Loyal to the their National Hero José Martí, we have created a sovereign anti-discriminatory project of political, economic and social system, based in the respect of all the rights of human being; developing capacities and potentialities of the population just to build a prosperous and sustainable society. Free and universal medical services and total access to education were at last and for the first time in our history, available for everyone.
The Cuban Revolution has a huge meaning not only for Cuba, but also for millions of people all over the world. Friendship, solidarity and promotion of peace have marked 56 years of truly independence. In the foreign arena, Cuba started to play an active role by condemning all interventionist and discriminatory political manner in international relations, as well as the threat or the use of force, unilateral coercive measures, aggression and all forms of terrorism; including State terrorism. In fact, the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba condemns any type of discrimination for reasons of race, creed or opinion.
Thanks to the Cuban social project, our people learned the meaning of the word solidarity and from the very beginning it started to share everything with the poorest nations of the world. We have offered medical scholarships and educational support to Latin Americans, Africans and Asians. Nowadays thousands of Cuban medical professionals are working in several places of the world. Our doctors have been always ready to help in case of natural disasters or epidemics, no matter how far the affected place is. They were the first to arrive in Africa to fight Ebola.
Cuba has resisted for more than 50 years the blockade that the United States of America imposed us in 1962. Every year at the General Assembly of United Nations the overwhelming majority of the countries of the world votes in favor of the draft resolution presented by Cuba entitled “Necessity of Ending the Economic, Commercial, and Financial Blockade Imposed by the United States of America against Cuba.” Since its very conception, the blockade has been and it is a flagrant violation of international law and is contrary to the principles and purposes of the Charter of the United Nations and constitutes a violation of the right to peace, development and security of a sovereign State.
The blockade has been the main obstacle for the Cuban economic and social development and the largest barrier for expanding Cuba’s commercial ties with the rest of the world, and has become a serious restraint for the international cooperation that the country both provides and receives.
Cuba counts with the support and recognition of the international community. It has diplomatic relations with 190 countries, orders and institutions. As member of the Latin American and Caribbean States Community we will continue to play a key role in promoting the broadest cooperation and integration among its members.
They are many to celebrate each anniversary of the Cuban Revolution and it is as a new step towards a better, sustainable and peaceful world, because we believe that a different world is possible and we try to build it every day.