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Statement by Piero Gleijeses read at March 26, 2017 Closing Plenary Session of the National conference for the Full Normalization of US-Cuban Relations Fidel Castro and Africa.

I do not know of any other country, in modern times, for which idealism has been such a key component of its foreign policy as for Fidel Castro’s Cuba. Was it worth it? In terms of Cuba’s narrow interests, certainly not. Cuba drew no tangible benefits from its presence in Africa. If, however, one believes that countries have a duty to help other countries – and internationalism is at the core of the Cuban revolution – then the answer is emphatically yes, it was worth it. Any fair assessment of Cuba’s foreign policy must recognize its role in changing the course of southern African history despite Washington’s best efforts to stop it. There is no other instance in modern history in which a small underdeveloped country has shaped the course of events in a distant region – humiliating one superpower and repeatedly defying another. The cold war framed three decades of Castro’s revolutionary zeal, but Castro’s vision was always larger than it. For him, the battle against imperialism -- his life’s raison d ’être -- was more than the struggle against the United States: it was the war against despair and oppression. in the Third World. In this war Castro’s battalions have included the tens of thousands of Cuban doctors and other aid workers who have labored, and labor, in some of the poorest regions of the world, at no cost or at very little cost to the host country. And they have included the thousands of underprivileged youths from Latin America and Africa who studied in Cuba, all expenses paid, and now attend, as Cuba’s guests, the Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina, a few miles west of Havana. In this war against “imperialism” Castro has achieved impressive victories. In July 1991, Nelson Mandela visited Havana and voiced the epitaph to the story of Cuba’s aid to Africa during the Cold War. His words set off ‘a gusher’ of criticism in the United States. “We come here with a sense of the great debt that is owed the people of Cuba,” Mandela said. “What other country can point to a record of greater selflessness than Cuba has displayed in its relations to Africa?”

International US-Cuba Normalization Conference
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Stop The Illegal Blockade Against Cuba

The International US-Cuba Normalization Conference Coalition is broad-based united effort. We have gained over 2 years more than 5,000 members and contacts, affiliated organizations, and local groups and activists. Together we work against US anti-Cuba sanctions and bellicosity on all fronts : Street actions and protests, passing local Resolutions and legislative outreach, organizing solidarity brigades, specialist tours, and people-to-people exchanges. We work to build links and better understanding between US and Cuba! For US-Cuba Normalization!


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The International US-Cuba Normalization Conference Coalition brought together many dozens of organizations across North America and worldwide to organize an International Conference to fight the US economic and political war against Cuba.

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