August 11, 2019

Ninth Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Solidarity With Cuba

Nitheesh Narayanan

THE ninth Asia-Pacific Regional Conference in Solidarity with Cuba, was held in Kathmandu, Nepal on July 26-28, 2019. 154 delegates, including the 35 delegates from India, from 15 countries representing different progressive forces in the region gathered together in solidarity with Cuba while the world is preparing to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the heroic Cuban revolution. The ideas and the socialist, humanitarian initiatives of Cuban revolution and the world order it fought to achieve, both inside Cuba and at the international level, were emphasised throughout the conference.

Pushpa Kumar Dahal ‘Prachanda’, chairman of Nepal Communist Party and the former prime minister of the country inaugurated the conference. In his speech, Prachanda highlighted the contributions of Cuba for the cause of progressive ideals and building of socialism.

Fernando Gonzalez Llort, president of ICAP and one of the Cuban five who was heading the Cuban delegation explained the brutal economic blockade unleashed by the US on Cuba and the hardships it is causing. He elucidated how the US government's offensive against Cuba is intensifying. He hoped that the progressive forces across the globe would join the resistance against the US onslaught. He reiterated that Cuba will continue fighting till the defeat of imperialism. Iraklis Tsavadaridis, executive secretary of world peace council, stated that the example of Cuba shows that revolutions are possible if people rise in unison against the capitalist system.

Leaders of each participating delegation addressed the conference in the first session. Nilotpal Basu, coordinator of the National Committee for Solidarity with Cuba, spoke on behalf of Indian delegation. He pointed out that campaigns in solidarity with Cuba are not merely an act of expressing camaraderie, but an opportunity to sensitise our own Indian people on the importance of fighting imperialism.

Two parallel sessions were held on the first day of the conference around the topics of ‘Intensification of solidarity with Cuba through regional and national media: working experiences with social networks’ and ‘The resilience of the Cuban people after 60 years of revolution: Time to stop the blockade’. Delegates from India actively participated in both the sessions and contributed immensely to the discussions.

Aleida Guevara, daughter of revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara also participated in the conference. Homage was paid to Che Guevara and 60 years of his visit to different countries in Asia. Making a presentation with the photos captured during Che’s visits, many of which Che himself took, Aleida described how he was a true internationalist who lived for the betterment of the whole humanity.

The commission report on media and social networking sites insisted that one of the core ideas of Cuban socialist experiment, the battle of ideas, should be taken forward to counter the large scale of misinformation spreading around the world against Cuba. The reports which also contributed in the making of the final declaration of the conference emphasised on continuing the solidarity work by involving the younger generations.

The final declaration of the ninth Asia Pacific regional conference in solidarity with Cuba was adopted on the second day, prior to the concluding session (Full text given separately).

The closing remarks were delivered by Madhav Kumar Nepal, senior leader of Nepal Communist Party and the former prime minister of the country.


Final Declaration

We, delegates from Australia, Kingdom of Cambodia, Cuba, People’s Republic of China, India, Democratic People’s Republic  of Korea, Republic of Korea, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, Japan, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, United States of America and the Socialist Republic of Vietnam gathered here in Kathmandu on the occasion of the IX Asia Pacific Regional Conference in Solidarity with Cuba hosted by the Nepal Organizing Committee and the Cuban Institute of Friendship with the Peoples declare as follows:

Contemporary imperialism is as much symptomatic of the history of its existence. Extraterritorial intervention is the very logic of its existence. Today it leaves no aspect of human life and nature unaffected from its effort to establish hegemony. Cuba is the focus of its assault, as the Cuban people stand in the forefront of the struggle in its opposition. Solidarity with Cuba is therefore, part of our own struggle against imperialism.

  1. We celebrate the 66th anniversary of the assault on the Moncada barracks by revolutionary people led by Fidel Castro, who later became Commander in Chief, as it was the action that ignited the engine of the Revolution in Cuba, and we pay homage to Commander Ernesto Che Guevara on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of his first visit to this region. We express our commitment to their ideals of justice.
  2. We congratulate the Cuban people and the new leaders of the Revolution for the national referendum undergone that approved the updated Constitution preserving their socialist ideas. At the same time we reiterate our support to Cuba in the process of updating their economic model aimed at developing the country by guaranteeing the social achievements of the Revolution.
  3. We express our complete support for, and solidarity with, the heroic government and people of Cuba who have weathered many acts of aggression from successive US administrations for almost six decades now.
  4. We, representing the wide, multicultural and multi-tendency movement of solidarity with Cuba in the Asia-Pacific region, are aware that defending socialist Cuba is a most important part of keeping alive the hopes and dreams of building a truly humane world – with freedom and resources in the hands of the people. 
  5. We are well aware that the movement of solidarity with Cuba is an integral part of peoples’ struggle against US imperialism and its allies that threaten peace and stability in the world including Asia-Pacific region. This situation demands the united efforts of all nations – through dialogue and peaceful means – to realize the issue of the denuclearisation and reunification of Korean Peninsula and withdrawal of all sanctions.
  1. We thank the Cuban people for their selfless solidarity with many peoples in our region and continued assistance in education, health and sport.
  2. We denounce the hostile and aggressive policies of the US. We demand the end of the unjust, illegal and criminal blockade imposed on Cuba for more than 60 years causing damages to their population and affecting the interests and relations of Cuba with third world countries.
  3. We oppose the implementation of Title III of the Helms Burton Act as it violates international law and is aimed to asphyxiate the Cuban economy.
  4. We recognize as a principle the right of Cuba, as well as other peoples in the world that are suffering from the attacks by US imperialism to be independent, sovereign, and keep self determination
  5. We demand the return to Cuban sovereignty of the 117-square-kilometer territory of the Guantanamo Naval Base, located in the eastern part of Cuba and illegally occupied by the USA. We call for an end to “regime change” and other subversive programs against Cuba.
  6. We express our solidarity with the Latin American and Middle East countries, especially Venezuela and Palestine that are subjected to an intensification of the right-wing and imperialist forces in order to stop the advances achieved by the progressive countries.
  7. We condemn the use of the mass media to portray the Cuban revolutionary process with a negative image. For this reason, we reaffirm our unequivocal commitment to promote awareness of the Cuban reality and the work of the Cuban government and people, by all possible means.
  8. We, the solidarity movement and friends of Cuba, seriously commit ourselves on giving all possible an effective media coverage via all communication, both print and electronic. We must urgently and resolutely establish an alternative media since Cuba is marching ahead fearlessly and forcefully countering American and Western-powered media which depicts a picture in favour of imperialist and hegemonic agendas.
  9. We are committed to continue working for the widening and strengthening of the movement of solidarity with Cuba by involving the younger generations in each of our countries, fighting for truth and keeping unity as the most important value of our actions.

We would like to salute the 5th year of the release of the Cuban Five and thank the participation of one of them in this meeting, comrade Fernando Gonzalez Llort, Hero of the Republic of Cuba and current President of ICAP.

We express our congratulations and thanks to the Nepal Organizing Committee, for their successful organisation and hosting of this 9th Asia-Pacific Regional Conference of Solidarity with Cuba.

We express our appreciation to the Nepal authorities for their support and participation in the conference.