Diaz-Canel: It is enthusiastic and emotional that the left forces in Latin America honor our common history of struggles

Diaz-Canel: It is enthusiastic and emotional that the left forces in Latin America honor our common history of struggles

Message from the President of the Republic of Cuba at the International Ceremony of homage to the fiftieth anniversary of the People´s Unity of Chile.

Dear Monica Valente, dear colleagues, and brothers of the Sao Paulo Forum:

It is exciting and emotional that, in this year full of challenges for the survival of all, the left forces of Latin America honor our common history of struggles, by deciding to celebrate the 50 years of the People´s Unity of Chile.

The mythical People´s Unity of Chile not only brought the socialist Salvador Allende to power, thus opening a path of hope for the first socialist government through the electoral channels.

They did it in such a creative, enthusiastic and really popular way that we can still feel the joy of their songs in the midst of the deep struggle of the whole of society to transform itself, by transforming everything.

That was such an exciting and contagious process that its powerful external adversaries, in sad alliance with the internal ones, riddled him with bullets when it was just a promise of three years of government.

In the few more than a thousand days that it lasted in power, the People´s Unity managed to radically transform that country, by claiming the historical aspirations of the Chilean people such as the nationalization of the copper industry, the expropriation of large estates, and the expansion of the coverage of the education and the health services for everyone.

In short, it dared to touch the interests of the great national and transnational capital with the sole purpose of putting it in the hands of its legitimate owners while giving the people the rights that until then, had been hidden from them.

Like Arbenz's Agrarian Reform and that of the Cuban Revolution, like our nationalizations and our sovereign decisions, the conquests of the Chilean left wing were put under siege and its economy was blocked. An unprecedented media war was unleashed against the experience, and the empire led the overthrow operations in its worst style.

The Chile people entered the dark night of fascism, which extended its claws through the Southern Cone, under the protection of the Operation Condor, that is, the transnational terrorism. The military coup imported Yankee schools and the Yankee methods to fulfill the mandate of the North.

The Neoliberalism began to impose itself as the magic formula for the development. But no lie lasts too long. The Chilean model of the Chicago Boys, sold as successful, has ended up being as despised by its people as the coup management of Augusto Pinochet. And the revolutionary process of the 1970´s remained within the Latin American history with its painful, but inescapable lessons for the future revolutionary processes in our region. No social fighter, no leftist politician, could face their battles today bypassing that process.

The methods of building the unity of diverse forces are as instructive as those implanted by its enemies to crush it, from the media war to the current fascism.

It is a duty and an opportunity to stop, even for a few minutes and from the distance, on what that government meant, what the People´s Unity meant, what the articulation of the left forces around a socialist ideal meant and by what means and the methods by which the imperialism managed to break it, imposing by blood and fire an economic model that excludes the majorities while represses them even in their so-called democratic periods.

Fifty years after the historic triumph of the People´s Unity, and also in memory and honor of the exemplary resistance to the fascist coup against Salvador Allende in 1973, I want to share with you a personal experience closely linked to the event we commemorate today.

In January of 2013, when accompanying Army General Raul Castro Ruz, to the First Summit of the CELAC, which took place in Santiago de Chile, we visited the Palacio de La Moneda, where Salvador Allende, the central figure of the People´s Unity, who heroically fell and today we celebrate. Right there, the delegation received a call from Cuba. It was Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, who, knowing where we were there, told us: "There is a spirit there, find it."

That invitation, coming from a Marxist like Fidel Castro, was totally devoid of mysticism. He was, without a doubt, calling us to review a history that still has much to teach us. May this half century of the People´s Unity serve as a spur to find it.