‘No One is Going to Spoil the Party!’ Warns Diaz-Canel

Flanked by Raul Castro and the dome of power in Cuba

Raul Castro greets Miguel Diaz-Canel on October 28th in the National Assembly. Photo: Cubadebate

By 14ymedio

HAVANA TIMES – “We are already vaccinated against covid-19, and against fear, we have always been. We have a Homeland and we defend life.  And we continue to homeland or death,” Miguel Díaz-Canel claimed a week ago Thursday at the closing of the Seventh Ordinary Period of sessions of the National Assembly. “We will win!” he shouted, accompanying the deputies who responded to the slogan. And his voice broke. A coincidence, no doubt, but one that is still symbolic of the complex moment that the Cuban regime is experiencing.

The president had just closed a speech with a “No one is going to spoil the party,” a speech in which he reviewed only some of the serious problems that plague the country, starting with the energy crisis, the Ordering Task*, the covid-19 pandemic, the falling GDP and hyperinflation.

Even so, Díaz-Canel, surrounded by the dome of power and in the presence of former president Raúl Castro, considered that there is much to celebrate thanks to the improvement of the covid-19 data, which allows this coming November 15 to be a day the country reactivates on several fronts, including the reopening of borders – and, therefore, tourism – and the general resumption of the face-to-face school year.

In addition, just one day later, on November 16, 502 years have passed since the founding of the Cuban capital, another reason for celebration, which will be held the day before, on the exact day that the opposition has called for a peaceful march throughout the country.

In his speech, the president did not deviate one iota from the argument that the ruling party maintains in recent days and there were few or no surprises, since he made a compendium in which nothing was missing from what has already been read and heard. Much of his time was devoted to talking about the “destabilization plans of the United States.”

“The enemy’s formula has been to bet that our great material difficulties weaken the forces of the people and that the people get on their knees in front of them,” he warned. Although Díaz-Canel wanted to make it clear that “war actions, invasion and occupation are not ruled out against a socialist project like the Cuban one,” he stressed that the initial strategy is usually different: “demoralization and surrender.”

The president described as “opportunism of the adversary” the demonstrations of July 11 to which, without mentioning, he clearly referred when he regretted that “a climate favorable to irritation and discontent was created just in the months in which the pandemic escalated in the country, electricity cuts became frequent and the services on offer contracted.”

The president also emphasized the accusations against the US Embassy in Havana, against which he presented its Cuban counterpart in Washington as a haven of peace and diplomacy. Meanwhile, he accused, “US diplomatic officials meet with the counterrevolutionary leaders, provide them with guidance, logistical support and directly or indirectly provide financing.”

Díaz-Canel said that in the face of permanent harassment from the United States, the Cuban people are called to resist in a heroic way, as they have done in the pandemic, basically through management with their universal and free health system — something not as exceptional as the authorities usually advertise — and creating their own vaccines.

“Our development and the well-being of the people will have to depend on the effort we make, aware that the cruel policy of the United States will persist, as long as the criminal desire to take over Cuba’s destiny persists in that country. Socialism is not to blame for our problems. It is the only explanation for how that we have survived this fierce and genocidal siege without giving up on our own self-development,” he shouted.

The president’s speech also made reference to the laws unanimously approved this Thursday, the future Family Code, the State budget for 2022 and the importance of strengthening socialism. “Socialist democracy requires innovation, permanently changing the forms of democratic participation,” he said, calling on the population to get involved and participate.

Díaz-Canel still had room to proclaim the defense of human rights that, in his opinion, is constant in Cuba; and argued that the only limit to rights is in the Constitution, another clear reference to the opposition and the Civic March for the Change of 15 November, whose organizers consider it protected by the Constitution.

“The Law of Laws cannot be interpreted for convenience. Much less in the interest of those who are the first to not respect it. Rights are not unlimited. Their limits are in the Constitution,” he argued.

But Archipiélago, the platform that is calling for the march, does not back down nor plan to enter the game of the use of violence. On the contrary, the group published a statement yesterday on its social networks in which they asked for understanding with their demands and that they be brave by rejecting the call for the use of force made by the Government.

“We appeal to your consciences, if you are planning to throw a stick at a protester, please look at your children and think of the youth of 15N, at their parents. What do you solve by hitting a citizen? Hitting does not serve to kill ideas. If you do not agree with our way of thinking, then tell us in frank conversation from mutual respect. Do not let yourself be carried away by hatred,” they urge.

The statement also requests understanding from relatives who do not support the march for those close to them who do. “What we want is a better country; if the way things have been done to date has not worked, it is time to think about changes. Thinking like this does not make us bad, nor ’worms’, nor criminals. It makes us different.”


*Translator’s note: Tarea ordenamiento = the [so-called] ‘Ordering Task’ which is a collection of measures that includes eliminating the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC), leaving the Cuban peso as the only national currency, raising prices, raising salaries (but not as much as prices), opening stores that take payment only in hard currency which must be in the form of specially issued pre-paid debit cards, and others. 

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.

14 thoughts on “‘No One is Going to Spoil the Party!’ Warns Diaz-Canel

  • Yes Anti, and Americans are quite lucky that they live in an imperialist superpower, and not a tiny 3rd world island subject to a 60 year old embargo – get it ?

  • Yes Dan, there are many people in your capitalist country far worse off than you. You observe from your window with plenty of warmth no doubt. In Cuba, with your home, office (both owned or rented) and I imagine auto, you would be most likely in the top 5% of wealthy. Carlyle refers to YOU not the less fortunate in the park. Cubans both supporters and detractors of the government/system are very lucky they don’t have freezing winters.

  • “Lounging in the comfort of Capitalism ?” I know a hell of alot of people living in my Capitalist country, who ain’t never had time to do no lounging because they have to constantly bust their butts to try to keep a roof over their heads. And comfort ? My office is across from a park, where I see daily about 5 or 6 people sleeping on benches. Nice and comfy. Sounds to me like the comment of some soft-handed, privileged dude who has never had to worry about rent and car repair bills and who is hopelessly out of touch with the plight of most of us.

  • So easy for Chas to support Diaz-Canel’s determination to continue the repression of Cubans, while he himself lounges in the comfort of capitalism.

    Chas is however open in his support for tyranny, unlike some others who prevaricate and pose as being balanced in their views, but strongly oppose alternatives that would imply the adoption of freedom for Cubans.

  • A great speech by the president. He’s going to hang tough. He’s not afraid of the Americanos. I think he has a little of Fidel’s spirit.

  • Nick bought the Cuban regimen narrative that the USA wants to annex the island of Cuba to its empire. An island in ruins and with a majority of its population without work ethics due to poor incentive to live in a hopeless society. Nick USA is not interested even in Puerto Rico the people in Puerto Rico had twice the opportunity in a referendum to be independent and overwhelmingly The ppl decided to be part of the USA territories. The Chinese and Russians are the ones with their eyes in Latino America. So stop crying wolf and be a little honest for once admit you support the Cuban dictatorship. And yes nick there is good Socialism in the Scandinavian countries and horrible “socialism” of latinoamerica military barracks. And YES i love capitalism because until now nobody has come out with anything better. Love consumer society. Have a great life in your hypocritical “ambiguity”

  • Wrong yet again Mr MacD……
    To describe the debate in the USA on what constitutes freedom is not an attack or a denigration.
    I have described Mr MacD as an arch-conservative. At no point have I described him as far right.
    Mr MacD is embroiled in good vs evil stories. I do not agree with this way of looking at the world or depicting what is the current state of affairs in Cuba.
    Because I disagree with this narrow and blunt viewpoint, he tries to label me as ‘pro regime’ or a supporter of Communism. Same old slurs.

  • “No one is going to spoil the party,”
    Communism and tyranny forever says Díaz-Canel. No opposition, no elections, no freedom.

    Bunch of criminals. It doesn’t look good.

    Sad state Cuba.

  • Once again Nick subjects readers to his literary gymnastics. He tries to pretend that he isn’t in favour of Communism, because some undefined change is required in Cuba, but supports the Communist regime by opposing the US, which incidentally he claims to be one of his favorite countries.
    His usual – I almost wrote invariable – tactic is to find reason to attack and denigrate the US, rather than criticize the Cuban regime. Doing so, may draw some approval from Dan, Curt and dani, but not those who are concerned about the future of the people of Cuba. There are many of us who oppose any future role for the US in Cuba, its awful history in the country is well known and generally deplored.
    As far as I personally am concerned, he describes me as of the far right, but does not respond to my oft repeated detestation of totalitarian rule whether it be fascist or communist, being all too willing to criticize fascism, but not to similarly criticize communism. It is an illustration of trying to have ones cake and eat it. The problem that I and others on these pages pose for Nick, is that we favour the people of Cuba being permitted open free elections along with freedom of speech, movement and expression of individuality.

  • A mixed trio of comments from the unashamedly pro capitalist camp. But this trio of commentators are clearly at cross purposes.

    Mr MacD from his arch conservative perspective seems to think that there is a good socialism and a bad socialism but paradoxically a glorious all-perfect capitalism.

    Paul seems to think that socialism and communism are one and the same but appears oblivious to the existence of China.

    Olga shouts about FREEDOM. There is a far more valid debate in the country of her residence than in the country of her birth on the concept of ‘freedom’.
    In the country of her residence these freedom questions are actually acute matters of life and death (freedom to carry weapons, freedom to make millions from the sale of weapons, freedom to financially milk the healthcare industry to the detriment of the life expectancy of the poor, freedom to operate torture centres on occupied territories, freedom to sell arms to corrupt authoritarian regimes, freedom to carry out the death penalty on the mentally ill, freedom to have personal control over what goes on in one’s own womb, freedom to invade and subsequently surrender ignominiously to countries half way round the other side of the world etc etc……………………………ad infinitum).

    From my own point of view I would say, as I always do, that Cuba needs changes.
    Whatever form these changes take, I hope that they are for the betterment of Cuban people who reside in Cuba. Not for the disturbingly right wing, anti-democratic Cuban-American fraternity who constantly bleat their sad little grievances from the other side of the Florida Straits whilst voting in their droves for the anti-democratic orange faced trump.
    I hope that Cuba retains its hard won sovereignty and that the USA does not reassert it’s malign and disrespectful control.
    I hope that changes for the better can be achieved without violence on the streets or blood spilled. Despite it’s obvious current problems, Cuba is a largely peaceful country in an malevolent and often violent world.
    Being an island in the hurricane zone of the Caribbean, by far the most important protestations occurring right now are those on the other side of the Atlantic in the historic, incomparable and formerly imperialistically-rich City of Glasgow.

  • Most Cubans are fed up with being sick and tired, of being sick and tired, and that has begun to trump their fear of their own government. Unless the general economic situation improves dramatically, and fast, which is only thing that will calm these troubled waters, I don’t see how this ends well. But the major problem is that the army will never give up its economic control, which is the main reason why this government can never change. The insatiable love of money is the real root that perpetuates all this social suffering; because that inevitably translates into an ideological and equally insatiable love of political power, which necessarily has to control all of a nation’s economic life, either directly and openly, or slightly disguised (as in communist China). And why? Because, whether they be socialists indeed, or in name only, permanent political power is the only way they can continue to get money.

  • Forget about hunger. It’s about freedom freedom speech, to choose where you want to live or go what to see and what to read and write. FREEDOM the most valuable thing in life is freedom. 62 years of ineptitude from an incompetent regime is enough.
    Basta of obsolete slogans, intimidation, and misery.

  • The party is deluded, living in the past with no plans for the future. While their people suffer with hunger and sickness the party members still live in luxury, is this socialism ?? As for the people who wish to March for change, part of socialism is you are not allowed to think for yourself and you will be ruled by fear and an iron fist by your ruling government. Only two communist countries are left in this world and both are coming to the end of their days. The sooner the better for the citizens of these countries, Cuba and North Korea.

  • Amazing the difference of meaning between “Socialist democracy” which for Diaz-Canel actually means communism, and democratic socialism which supports multi-party elections.

    Hence the expression double-speak !

    However, Diaz-Canel was correct about his rule in Cuba, when he said: “Rights are not unlimited”. In short, repression is the system !

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