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50th anniversary of the landing of the Granma yacht

IN remarks at the official political ceremony for the 50th anniversary of the landing of the Granma yacht, Minister of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and General of the Army Raúl Castro Ruz said that Cuba is increasing its combat capacity and modernizing its combat equipment to guarantee the countrys defense.

Cuba is disposed to patiently wait for "common sense" to prevail in Washington with respect to its relations with the island nation; independently of that, however, "we will continue to consolidate the military invulnerability of the nation based on the strategic concept of the War of the Entire People," he said.

Raúl affirmed that Cuba is willing to resolve its differences with the U.S. government at the negotiating table, "as long as they accept our condition of being a country that will not tolerate shadows over its independence." He added that they must be relations based on equality, reciprocity, non-intervention and mutual respect.

The minister ratified Cubas position against war as a means of resolving conflicts, but made it clear that the countrys regular and reserve troops, its Brigades of Production and Defense, and its Party and government structures are increasing their combat preparation and capacity.

At the same time, he affirmed, its combat and communications equipment is being modernized to increase their operational functionality.

The Rebel Army was the soul of the Revolution, the element of cohesion among the countrys progressive forces at a time when the Communist Party had not yet been created, Raúl said, referring to Fidels remarks during the central report to the First Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba. Since then and still today, military and civilian troops have been fused together to form the armed people.

"It is appropriate to ratify the monolithic unity of the people, the Army and the Party," Raúl said. That unity has been "our main strategic weapon" for resisting and defeating imperialist aggression, he said.

Cuba has shown the great maturity and unity of its people over the last four months, he said, and has won extremely high prestige, as was demonstrated by the successful Summit of Heads of State and Government of the Non-Aligned Movement, held in Havana in September, and the recent overwhelming vote against the U.S. blockade in the UN General Assembly.

Raúl expressed thanks for the solidarity offered to Cuba by all of its friends, and noted the tributes paid to the Cuban president by the Guayasamín Foundation and more than 1,000 prominent individuals from all over the world who came to Havana to celebrate the 80th birthday of the leader of the Revolution.

He also remarked on the heightened consciousness prevailing at this time in Latin America, where the failure of neoliberal economic policies has been demonstrated.

"The revolutionary movements are becoming stronger despite Washingtons blackmail," Raúl said. "New and experienced leaders are taking over the leadership of their nations," and the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) is appearing as a true alternative of liberation for the peoples of Latin America.

"We will preserve at whatever cost necessary the freedom of the Cuban people and the independence and sovereignty of the Homeland," he concluded.

Source: Granma Internacional

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