Friday, March 23, 2007

President Castro, August 2, 1980, on Cuban-Mexican Friendship

In the first place, I want to thank you all for devoting this beautiful
Saturday afternoon to the solidarity and friendship between Mexico and
Cuba. President Jose Lopez Portillo and the Mexican delegation
mere the object of what we would call an enthusiastic, joyful, glorious
welcome in our capital. Why? As someone has said, because they
deserve it. The people of Mexico deserve it and their president
deserves it. As regards Mexico, there is a tradition of history
and friendship unparalleled in Latin America. [applause]

Our struggles have been closely linked to the struggles and the history of
Mexico. During the independence wars, Cuban patriots had a friend in the
Mexican people and a home in the neighbor country. Our national hero, Jose
Marti, lived there for a time. His revolutionary and American
vision was enriched there. Marti dearly loved Mexico, a love that he took
with him to the grave.

After the establishment of the mediatized republic, Cuban revolutionary
generations also had close ties with Mexico. We can recall, among others,
Mella, who, when he could not remain in our fatherland, went to Mexico.
Let us recall our own generation which also found hospitality
and asylun there. Mexican policy and the sympathies of Latin American
nations toward Mexico became such a tradition that from early times to the
present there has hardly been any Latin American revolutionary who has not
felt it practically his right to receive Mexican hospitality,
because they see it as the common heritage of the progressive and
revolutionary movement. They see it practically as a right.

Where could we have been able to organize if Mexico had not existed? We
organized there. We set out from there.

But our strong feelings of friendship and affection for Mexico are not only
based on past history but also on present history. Following the
triumph of the revolution, in those difficult years, in those first days of
happiness, who could forget that one of our first illustrious visitors was
Gen Lazaro Cardenas? We also recall that right during the
mercenary invasion of Giron in 1961, Lazaro Cardenas volunteered to come
and fight alongside our people.

In the difficult early days when the whole imperialist conspiracy against
Cuba came into being, the attempt to isolate Cuba--and not only to isolate
it but to destroy the revolution--Mexico was the only state that did not
break relations with Cuba and it strongly opposed all aggressive
accords against Cuba. And for many years, the only country in this
hemisphere--or at least the only country in Latin America and the
Caribbean, since we have to include Canada among the countries that did not
break relations with us--I repeat, the only country in our area that we
Cubans could visit was Mexico in the most difficult days of
isolation and blockade. Things change and they will keep changing, but we
can never forget Mexico's attitude.


This is part of a foreign policy simulation. The events described may not actually be happening.