VIII Continental Gathering in Solidarity with Cuba: Final Declaration and Action Plan


Links International Journal of Socialist Renewal reposted from Tortilla Con Sal -- With the participation of 370 delegates from 25 countries, including the United States, Canada and Quebec, the VIII Continental Conference in Solidarity with Cuba took place in the Dominican Republic from July 28-30, 2016. This Continental Conference takes place every two year in a Latin America or Caribbean country and the goal of the participants is to share information and learn from each other's experiences to plan for future actions in support of the Cuban revolution. This year the gathering was dedicated to the 90th birthday of the beloved leader of the historic Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz and the 62nd birthday of Commander Hugo Chávez Frías. The gathering was organized jointly by the Dominican Campaign of Solidarity with Cuba, the Puerto Rico Committee of Solidarity with Cuba and the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples (ICAP). It was announced that the next gathering will take place in Managua, Nicaragua in 2018. Following is the Final Declaration and the Action Plan.

Declaration of Santo Domingo

Called by the noble ideals of friendship and solidarity that unite the peoples of our America, the 8th Continental Meeting of Solidarity with Cuba took place from July 28-30, 2016 in the city of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Present were 370 delegates from 25 countries representing political, social, youth, religious and labor organizations, along with others. The event was dedicated to the 90th birthday of the historic leader of the Cuban revolution, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz and the undying memory of the Supreme Commander of the Bolivarian Revolution, Hugo Rafael Chavez Frias on the 62th anniversary of his birth. In the current context in which the imperialist counter-offensive are lashing out vigorously to remove the progressive, revolutionary and integrationist processes in the region, the peoples of the continent at this historical occasion DECLARE: 1) Our fervent greetings to the Cuban Five Heroes who are examples of dignity, patriotism and firmness and are now free in their homeland after having served long and unjust sentences in prisons of the Empire. 2) 19 months ago, on December 17, 2014, a new stage of relations between the Governments of Cuba and the United States began after more than 55 years of confrontation and aggression by various U.S. administrations that never accepted the fact that there was a socialist revolution less than 90 miles from its shores. We support the process of restoration of diplomatic relations between the two Governments, while we affirm our confidence in Cuba's ability to maintain its dignity and we are convinced that it will not yield any of its principles and ethical values when it comes to the peoples of the world. 3) To demand the immediate lifting of the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed on Cuba by the United States. It is this reality that constitutes the main obstacle to the full development of this Caribbean nation. The United States must meet the demands of the international community, which has been calling for the end of this policy on 24 different occasions in the United Nations. The United States government must listen to a growing majority of public opinion that favors the lifting of the blockade and travel restrictions. 4) To demand the immediate return to Cuba of the territory illegally occupied by the Naval Base at Guantanamo, which the U.S. Government has maintained for more than a hundred years ago against the wishes of the Government and the people of Cuba. The prison torture center at Guantanamo where detainees are subjected to cruel and degrading treatment in open violation of International Humanitarian Law must close. 5) To claim the end of illegal transmissions of radio and television which misrepresent and lies about Cuban reality and violate the rules of the International Telecommunications Union. 6) To demand the end of subversive and destabilizing programs against the island and respect for its sovereignty, self-determination and independence. 7) To reject the exclusive migration policy for Cubans that encourages disorderly and dangerous emigration. Put an end to programs of "brain drain" that encourages the defection of Cuban professionals serving missions in other countries. 8) To demand that the Government of the United States pay compensation to the Cuban people for the human and economic damage caused by the criminal practice of the blockade and aggression against Cuba. 9) To ratify our unrestricted support to the updating process of the Cuban economic model that inevitably will lead to the strengthening of its Socialist system. 10) To reiterate our unconditional and permanent support to the Bolivarian Revolution initiated by the Supreme Commander, Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías and led today by President Nicolas Maduro, against the continuous aggression from the servile right allied with imperialism. We demand the U.S. Government immediately repeal its Interventionist Decree that Venezuela is somehow a threat to the U.S. At the same time we offer our solidarity to the progressive processes in Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua and El Salvador, as well as to the popular movements in Brazil that faces the parliamentary judicial coup against President Dilma Rousseff, and to those in Argentina who are mobilized against the return of the most brutal form of neoliberalism. 11) To support the right of the people of Puerto Rico in their struggle for independence and self-determination, the return of the Malvinas (Falkland Islands) to Argentina; as well as recognizing the right of all the overseas territories in regaining their sovereignty and independence. 12) To demand freedom for Oscar López Rivera, who has been in U.S prisons for more than 35 years, and all political prisoners who have had unfair convictions in different countries of the world. 13) To support the struggles of social movements in the United States that are confronting police brutality against African-Americans, minorities, immigrants and LGBT communities and all kinds of religious discrimination. 14) To support the right of the Haitian people in their struggle for the departure of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in its territory. 15) To demand the cessation of the policy of extermination of the Zionist regime of Israel against the Palestinian people and strongly support Palestine’s right to build its sovereign State with its capital being in Jerusalem. 16) To respect the reproductive right of women in an atmosphere of fairness and equality and young peoples’ access to free and quality education, political training, opportunities for well-paid jobs and their full participation in decision-making as leaders of their respective societies. 17) To recognize and defend the rights of indigenous peoples, while respecting their cultures, traditions and ancestral customs. 18) To salute with deep gratitude the unconditional solidarity of the people and government of Cuba for all their contributions, support and commitment in the pursuit of peace in Colombia and the historical longing of its people and all peace-loving peoples. 19) To support the Declaration issued at the II Summit of the CELAC held at Havana, which proclaimed Latin America and the Caribbean as a Zone of Peace, as well as our unconditional support to the mechanisms of integration such as the ALBA, MERCOSUR, CELAC, UNASUR and the progressive processes of the region that care to recover its natural resources, redistribute wealth, and to confront poverty, illiteracy, corruption and pollution of the environment, leaving behind centuries of plundering and neoliberalism. 20) To strongly support all efforts for unity and integration of our nations to reach our Big Homeland that stretches from the Rio Grande to Patagonia that our Heroes fought for. We are grateful to the Dominican people for their hospitality and overflowing solidarity with Cuba and with all the peoples of the continent. We especially thank the Organizing Committee of this gathering, Dominicans and Puerto Ricans, who co-sponsored for the first time in the history of the Solidarity Movement with Cuba an event of this nature. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on the 30 of July, 2016.

Action plan

1. Multiply the actions against the economic, commercial and financial blockade of the United States against Cuba: a) To organize simultaneous actions in each country the 17th of each month that have greater media impact, as was agreed at the Summit of the Peoples in Panama. b) To encourage the organizing of protests at U.S. diplomatic and consular offices in our countries. c) To contact parliamentarians to intercede with their U.S. congressional counterparts. d) To send messages, letters and to call the White House and the Congress demanding the end of the cruel and genocidal policy towards Cuba. e) To multiply the use of social networks, websites, radio and TV programs and community press to denounce the effects of the blockade, the illegal occupation of the naval base at Guantanamo and political subversion against the island. 2. To demand the return to Cuba of the territory illegally occupied by the Naval Base of the United States in Guantánamo. a) To organize in our countries the screenings of the documentary "All Guantanamo is Ours" taking advantage that it is subtitled in different languages. b) To spread the word and to participate in the international seminar on the abolition of the military bases and for peace that will take place in Cuba at the beginning of the month of May 2017. 3. To support with simultaneous actions the Third Days of Action Against the Blockade to be held in Washington DC in the month of August, 2017 4. To promote and encourage the participation in events organized in Cuba by ICAP a) South American Brigade of volunteer work and solidarity with Cuba/ January 2017 b) May 1st International Brigade, May 2017 c) Puerto Rico Juan Rius Rivera Brigade, July 2017 d) Venceremos Brigade from the United States, July 2017 e) Latin America and Caribbean Brigade, August 2017 f) International Brigade Ernesto Che Guevara on the 50th anniversary of his death, October 2017 5. To work towards strengthening the structure and unity of the Continental Movement of Solidarity with Cuba, by bringing in more people to participate in activities in solidarity with Cuba. 6. To reinforce the use of radio, television, print media and social networks, like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogs and others, to inform the truth about Cuba as a way to counter the corporate media campaign of disinformation regarding Cuba. a) To encourage the screening of the documentary "The Power of the Weak" that shows the work of the revolution with people with special needs. b) To promote the spots about the blockade done by IFCO/Pastors for Peace 7. To organize activities that correspond with historic dates that Cuba commemorates a) To organize screening of documentaries, and photo exhibits about Fidel on the occasion of his 90th birthday. 8. To promote actions in support of other causes a) To organize actions to demand the repeal of the interventionist executive order of President Obama that states that Venezuela is "an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States." b) To organize events that raises the importance of regional integration of Latin America and the defense of the progressive Governments of Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Nicaragua; as well as supporting the popular movements in Brazil and Argentina. c) To organize marches, caravans and other events demanding the freedom of our political prisoners. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on July 30, 2016