[Marxism] speech by Raul Castro at ALBA summit

Fred Fuentes fred.fuentes at gmail.com
Mon Apr 20 22:22:20 MDT 2009

Cuba reaffirms vocation of solidarity with the people of the Americas
• Speech by President Raúl Castro Ruz, in the public segment of the
5th Extraordinary ALBA Summit, Cumaná, Venezuela, April 16, 2009

Compañero Chávez;

Dear Presidents and heads of delegations from sister ALBA nations;

Distinguished guests

The economic and social crisis now is global in nature and is not only
limited to the financial sector. It’s a world disaster with profound
structural roots. It includes a sharp fall in stock market value and
productive activity; the freezing of and higher cost of credit and the
economic recession in the principal powers of the First World. It is
accompanied by the withdrawal of world trade and an increase in
unemployment and poverty. It is affecting and will considerably damage
the lives and well-being of billions of human beings. The countries of
the South with be, as always, the ones that suffer the most.

These are the consequences of irresponsible practices tied to
deregulation, financial speculation, and the imposition of
neoliberalism. Also present is the United States’ abusive use of the
privileges bestowed on them in the current international economic
order which allows them to finance a culture of war and unbridled
consumerism, unsustainable no matter how you look at it, by printing
money without backing.

But deep down, the crisis is a foreseeable result of the capitalist
system of production and distribution. The neoliberal policies of the
last three decades have increased its magnitude for the worse. In the
search for solutions, those who are primarily responsible end up
concentrating power and wealth even further, while the poorest and
most exploited assume the majority of the costs.

The response cannot be a solution negotiated behind the back of the
United Nations by the Presidents of the most powerful countries.

The crisis will not be resolved with either administrative or
technical measures because they are by nature structural, have
systematic reach and increasingly affect the economy of the globalized
and interdependent planet. The role and the functions of financial
institutions like the International Monetary Fund, whose disastrous
policies have decisively contributed to the origin and reach of the
current crisis, should be strengthened even less.

Nor does the G-20’s solution resolve the inequality, injustices, and
unsustainability of the capitalist system. It is the same rhetoric of
those solemn declarations by the Northern countries that they will not
apply protectionist measures and that they will not allocate new aid,
which does not change the foundations of the underdevelopment that
condemns us.

The World Bank – which is not exactly a defender of socialist
principals – already spoke about this six months ago at the previous
G-20 meeting in Washington. It counted 73 protectionist actions
applied by members of the G-20 itself. An increase in the Official
Development Assistance has also not been visible.

Dear colleagues

The ALBA countries have the privilege of having a modest plan for
integration, constructed on the foundations and principles of
equality, whose very nature doesn’t allow for the practices that
started this crisis. Our countries do not have the capacity, by
ourselves, to structurally transform the international economic order,
but we do have the power to establish new foundations and construct
our own economic relations.

Our most important programs are not subject to the whims of financial
speculation or the uncontrolled fluctuation of markets. The damage
that we are suffering is undeniable. This is a crisis that nobody can
escape from but today we have the instruments to partly counteract its

In these efforts, the work that we have been carrying out in ALBA
member countries and Ecuador (since November, 2008) is particularly
significant; in order to create the Unique Regional Compensation
Payment System (SUCRE) that will be a fundamental factor for boosting
the trade and economic integration between us.

Today we can verify the advances achieved in the development of this
initiative that is a first step toward the goal of having a common

Cuba reaffirms the vocation of solidarity that has characterized its
links with the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean. The crisis
presents us with enormous challenges, of incalculable and
unpredictable dimensions. We have no other option than to unite with
each other to face it.

Thank you very much.

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