Army General Raul Castro delivers the main report to the 8th Congress of the Cuban Communist Party, this April 16, 2021.

The First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party's Central Committee, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, denounced the intensification of the U.S. blockade against Cuba, which continues its fierce financial persecution and the consequent damage to the standard of living of the Cuban people.

Havana, Cuba.- In presenting the main report to the 8th Congress of the political organization on Friday, the Party leader said the international scenario was marked by an increase in the aggressiveness of the United States government, a threat to the survival of the human species.

Raúl emphasized it is a challenge associated with the imperialist conception with which the U.S. has tried to subjugate the region since the times of Bolivar.

The Army General noted the escalation against Cuba in recent years. In addition to the COVID-19 crisis, Washington has intensified its economic measures and the financial persecution against the island.

"The objective is to extend the economic siege to sabotage the business system, hinder the process of updating the economy, breaking the performance of the state, imposing informality, the atomization of economic activity and encouraging chaos, with the declared goal of strangling the country and provoke a social outburst," he said.

In another moment of the main report, the First Secretary referred to the immoral campaign unleashed against Cuba's international medical cooperation. That cooperation, he said, has no comparison in the world, and it is based on the notion that Cubans share what they have and not what we have to spare. He said that the island would keep this solidarity effort.

"The U.S. attack is aimed at discrediting such a noble and recognized work and depriving Cuba of the fair, honest and legitimate income, resulting from the efforts of thousands of specialists ethical and professionally trained on the island."

Raúl ratified that the Cuban government did not see the U.S. people as an enemy and expressed the willingness to develop a beneficial relationship for both countries and the region.

"I ratify from this Party Congress, the willingness to develop a respectful dialogue and to build a new type of relations with the United States, without this meaning that to achieve this, Cuba should renounce the principles of the Revolution and socialism, make concessions inherent to its sovereignty and independence, yield in the defense of its ideals, or the exercise of its foreign policy."

Raúl Castro stressed Cuba has the duty to remain alert, assume with responsibility the teachings of history, and protect its sovereign right to exist for which ao many generations of Cubans have sacrificed.

In closing, Raúl expressed his satisfaction at handing over the country's leadership to a group of leaders prepared and committed to ethics, the values of culture, and the nation, knowing that they represent the continuity of the Revolution.

"As far as I am concerned, I conclude my task as first Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba with the satisfaction of having fulfilled my duties and with confidence in the future of the homeland."

He stressed that he would remain within the party ranks and file as one more revolutionary fighter, ready to make his modest contribution until the end of his life.

¨Let no one doubt it: as long as I live, I will be ready with my foot in the stirrup to defend the homeland, the Revolution, and socialism," he concluded. (RHC)