A packed auditorium at the headquarters of the Society for Ethical Culture in New York welcomed Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel and Venezuelan Foreign Minister Yván Gil on Saturday night, in an emotional meeting that brought together more of 1,000 persons under the name Voices of Dignity.
The event, as part of the Cuban President’s collateral agenda during the 78th United Nations General Assembly, was the precise occasion to express gratitude for the multiple expressions of support since Díaz-Canel arrived in New York.
The Cuban head of State was preceded on the podium by the activist and co-director of The People’s Forum, Manolo de los Santos; journalist and historian Vijay Prashad; a doctor who graduated in Cuba , Samira Addrey, and Foreign Minister Gil, who pointed out that the world’s heartbeats are in revolutionary processes like those taking place in Cuba and Venezuela.
“May I ask you a question? After everything that has been said here, after all the feelings that have been expressed here… do I need to speak?” And the unanimous answer was “yes.”
That is why, Díaz-Canel pointed out that when he sees “these demonstrations of solidarity, this effort on your part to support us, one also feels an enormous commitment.”
We know that we are not fighting only for Venezuela, we are not fighting only for Cuba, we are not fighting only for the countries of the South, but that you and all of us are fighting for a better world that is possible, he added.
In a venue overflowing with good energy, the Cuban president recalled the imprint of leaders Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez, as well as the history of support from the worthy voices of the US people who have maintained the unwavering demand during these years for the lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the United States on Cuba.
The Cuban head of State referred in this context to how amid a tightened blockade, young Cuban scientists created the vaccines that saved lives during the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The creative resistance of the Cuban people has shown that imperialism does not have the capacity to bend our will or break our people’s commitment to the Revolution and socialism,” Díaz-Canel pointed out.
Amid slogans, applause, cheers to Cuba, Venezuela and free Puerto Rico, the head of State said, “We demand solidarity and not selfishness, cooperation and not rivalries, decent work and not exploitation, harmony, respect and tolerance and not racism or discrimination of any kind.”
People have the right to determine their destiny without foreign interference or impositions, he stated.
“Receive a fraternal and supportive hug from the people of Cuba, receive a message of friendship for the North American people, and also for all the peoples represented by you here,” he added, emphasizing the firm belief in Fidel’s teaching, “that there is no force capable of defeating the force of truth and ideas.”
President Díaz-Canel reiterated the commitment to continue “fighting with you for Cuba, fighting for socialism, fighting for social justice, fighting to conquer a better world, and we will achieve it and win.”
The impressive day that, as he expressed, was his “last night in New York during this visit,” had two excellent cultural moments: the performances by singer Linqua Franqa, a performer of a genre with roots here, hip hop, and the Laureate pianist of Cuban origin, winner of several Granmy awards, Arturo O’Farril.
“We feel very excited and moved,” said the musician, in reference to his presence in this event of solidarity, “from you, the worthy voices of the United States, the worthy voices of the North American people, giving enormous support to Cuba and Venezuela, to our sister revolutions, saying No to sanctions and blockades.”
This week, the Cuban President met with representatives of sectors such as science, culture, public health care, business people and Cuban emigrants, along with his participation in the High-Level Week of the UN General Assembly, where he raised his voice for his country and the G77+China group.