Commenting on his first four months in office, Cuban President Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez stated in an exclusive interview with teleSUR that the U.S. blockade is considered one of the main obstacles for the island’s social and economic development.
“It has become even more difficult. There is also constant financial persecution because there are difficulties with the flow of money and investment, something intentional by the U.S. government — a blockade that is already 60 years old," he told teleSUR’s President Patricia Villegas. “It's a brutal practice — I would say that it is an inhumane practice — against a people, condemning them to die of hunger or to die of necessity.”
Responding to the recurrent criticism that the Cuban government was “obsessed” with the blockade, he said that the obsession was really Washington’s. “We want to live under normal conditions of a country. We are not a threat to anyone, and all we want is social justice and to build a better world.”
As for the policies implemented so far, Diaz-Canel highlighted that they were inspired by Raul Castro’s speech including “for the people, by the people” as a motto. In other words, “a government for the revolution.”
“We have enumerated the government's pillars of action. First, that our leaders have the capacity and right attitude to take responsbility for their actions to the people. Then, constant debate must be connected to a dialogue with the people, and be present in the places where the most complex issues are. Also, leaders must be able to use social communication tools.”
Regarding the media, he admitted there had been “cases of too much praise and hasn't reflected certain topics from the public agenda. We still have to find that connection between the public agenda and the media agenda.”
“I think it's necessary for the revolution to be able to communicate with the younger people in Cuban society,” he added, recalling his past as a youth leader and as a minister of higher education. “Fidel (Castro) strongly believed in (connecting with the youth), he went to universities when he wanted to discuss a problem,” he said, recalling famous encounters at the Cadenas Plaza at Havana University during the first years of the revolution.
In April, the Cuban National Assembly elected Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez, a 57-year-old Cuban born two years after the island’s socialist revolution, as the country's new head of the Council of State, and therefore president of the Caribbean country, succeeding Raul Castro.