We extend our solidarity to the Cuban people in this time of tragic loss and sadness after the huge fire that hit the Matanzas oil storage facility weeks ago. We also condole with the grief- stricken families of the 14 firefighters who perished in the line of duty.
On August 19, Cuba gave funeral honors and paid their last tribute to their fallen sons in front of thousands at the Firefighters Museum in said city’s main square. We join this attestation to the heroes’ bravery and ultimate sacrifice in protecting their community. We believe that the Cuban people will continue to remember them gratefully. We honor them and wish for Cuba’s quick recovery.
We express appreciation for the governments of Mexico and Venezuela that sent a combined 127-strong contingent of specialists who worked to contain the fire alongside the Cuban authorities and emergency corps; along with 45,000 liters of retardant foam, breathable air tanks, medical equipment and supplies. We also appreciate the government of Iran for dispatching its own experts; to Venezuela for pledging to help Cuba rebuild the lost depot; to Russia, Argentina, Chile, Nicaragua, the European Union and the United Nations for sending solidarity assistance.
The US government has also pledged to provide technical assistance, which Cuba welcomed. However, we call out the US for its lukewarm response to the incident in Matanzas. We highlight the fact that the most critical issue that demands resolution is to end the total blockade that they imposed on the Cuban people for 60 years now. This illegal, immoral, criminal blockade has made the lives of four generations of Cubans extremely difficult, has barred Cubans from accessing important medicines and medical instruments and had slowed Cuba’s development since 1962. It has been condemned by UN member-states nearly 30 times since the very first time Cuba filed its resolution demanding its lifting.
We call on the people of the United States and on other peoples and their governments in the international community to support Cuba by not allowing this blockade to continue further and to render it ineffectual through concerted counter-actions.
We honor every Cuban standing up against the continued interventionist, regime-change designs of the United States and their known allies. Let “Patria o Muerte, Venceremos!” continue to reverberate and to remain the battle cry and spirit in defense of the Cuban Revolution! (#)