Unending Reverence to the Heroes of Moncada;
Unflinching Support for Cuba’s Resolve to Resist the Blockade
The assault of 120 young Cubans against the island’s second biggest military fortress marking the start of the people’s rebellion against the Batista dictatorship happened 70 years ago on July 26. The heroism, however, of those inexperienced youth who were faced with utmost brutality of the state continues to reverberate among the people of Cuba, other parts of Hispano America and the whole world after decades of US’s cruel economic, commercial, and financial blockade aimed at pushing Cuba to its knees.
The Philippines-Cuba Cultural and Friendship Association (PhilCuba) and Philippine sympathizers of the Cuban people in struggle steadfastly salute the heroes of Moncada and unflinchingly support the call to end the economic sanctions against the island-state and remove Cuba from US’s list of states harboring terrorism.
A hundred and twenty young idealist Cubans, led by Fidel Castro, stormed the military barracks in Santiago in the province of Oriente to steer the soldiers and the people to rebel against the dictator Fulgencio Batista and establish a democratic and just social system. The events of this day that included the attempt to take the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes army garrison in Bayamo by a smaller number of persons and prevent a counter attack, resulted in the deaths of some of Fidel's comrades and the incarceration and trial of some, most notably of Fidel himself. The enigmatic young lawyer defended the Moncada rebellion in a speech that came to be called “History will absolve me.” This speech was printed and distributed widely, though clandestinely, in the entire country. The pressure for Batista to release Fidel and his comrades from prison mounted. After their release, Fidel and his comrades in the now named July 26 Movement, planned their moves better, established themselves in the Sierra Maestra Mountains from where they fought and rallied the Cuban people against the Batista dictatorship. On the 1st of January 1959, the revolution that the Moncada Attack commenced, triumphed.
Today, as the Cuban people fight US sanctions that have gotten crueler even during the Covid 19 pandemic, the lesson of Moncada that they should dare resist an unjust rule or dictate is one source of strength.
Despite its economic difficulties, Cuba has shown the world how the people benefit from a system which considers the welfare of the people its primary concern. It guarantees free education from preschool to tertiary, to the entire population. It continuously trains medical and health professionals and improves its health system that caters to the entire population all throughout their lives. It has a very low infant mortality rate, even lower than those in some rich countries.
Cuba has been collaborating with many countries especially in combating epidemics and in facing disasters. In the last six decades, more than 605,698 health professionals have served in 165 countries on five continents. Since Cuba’s Henry Reeve Medical Contingent was organized in 2005, 88 brigades have been sent to 56 countries with 13,467 collaborators, three brigades faced Ebola in West Africa with 265 collaborators and 58 brigades faced COVID-19 in 42 countries. It has trained thousands of medical doctors worldwide. It has advanced in biotechnology and pharmaceutical development.
Cuba has much to contribute for peoples’ development around the world but instead of supporting Cuba’s efforts, the US is tightening the sanctions, making it almost impossible for Cuba to procure primary materials for its pharmaceuticals, to sell its products, especially the medicines and inventions in biotechnology, and even to allow people to freely travel to Cuba to conduct business. President Trump’s decision towards the end of his term to include Cuba again in the list of countries supporting terrorism further strangulates Cuba. Very recently, the Biden Administration announced Its campaign against medical collaboration with Cuba and it allocated a million dollars for this.
PhilCuba calls on the Marcos government to resist pressures of the US to take its side on Cuba, instead, see how the Philippines and Cuba could learn from, and help, each other. We call on governments and peoples to make a stand against unilateral sanctions.
Stop the economic and political strangulation of Cuba!
Let Cuba thrive in the community of peoples, nations, and states!