Announcement from the President to the Cuban People
Due to the enormous effort made to visit the Argentine city of Córdoba, participate in the MERCOSUR meeting, in the closing session of the Summit of the Peoples in the historical University of Córdoba and the visit to Altagracia, the city where Che lived as a child, and in addition to that immediately attending the commemoration of the 53rd anniversary of the assault on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes garrisons on July 26, 1953 in the provinces of Granma and Holguín, compounded by days and nights of continuous work with barely any sleep have all resulted in my health, which has stood up to every test, being subjected to extreme stress and breaking down. This provoked an acute intestinal crisis with sustained bleeding which obliged me to undergo a complicated surgical operation. All the details of this health accident are confirmed by X-rays, endoscopies and filmed material. The operation has obliged me to take various weeks of rest, at a remove from my responsibilities and duties.
Given that our country is threatened in circumstances like this by the government of the United States, I have taken the following decision:
1) I provisionally delegate my functions as first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba to the second secretary, comrade Raúl Castro Ruz.
2) I provisionally delegate my functions as Commander in Chief of the Revolutionary Armed Forces to the abovementioned comrade, General of the Army Raúl Castro Ruz.
3) I provisionally delegate my functions as president of the Council of State and the government of the Republic of Cuba to the first vice president, comrade Raúl Castro Ruz.
4) I provisionally delegate my functions as the principal instigator of the National and International Public Health Program to member of the Political Bureau and Minister of Public Health, comrade José Ramón Balaguer Cabrera.
5) I provisionally delegate my functions as the principal instigator of the National and International Education Program to comrades José Ramón Machado Ventura and Esteban Lazo Hernández, members of the Political Bureau.
6) I provisionally delegate my functions as the principal instigator of the National Program of the Energy Revolution in Cuba and cooperation with other countries in this sphere to comrade Carlos Lage Dávila, member of the Political Bureau and secretary of the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers.
The funds corresponding to these three programs: Health, Education and Energy, should continue being managed and prioritized, as I have been doing personally, by comrades Carlos Lage Dávila, secretary of the Executive Committee of the Council of Ministers; Francisco Soberón Valdés, minister president of the Central Bank of Cuba; and Felipe Pérez Roque, minister of foreign affairs, who have accompanied me in these matters and who should constitute a committee for that objective.
Our glorious Communist Party, supported by the mass organizations and all the people, has the mission of assuming the task entrusted in this announcement.
The Summit of the Non-Aligned Movement, scheduled for September 11-16, should receive the greatest attention of the Cuban state and nation to take place with the maximum brilliance on the agreed date. I would ask everyone to postpone the anniversary of my 80th birthday, which thousands of personalities so generously agreed to celebrate on August 13, to December 2 of this year, the 50th anniversary of the Granma Landing.
I ask the Central Committee of the Party and the National Assembly of People's Power to give their firmest support to this announcement.
I do not harbor the slightest doubt that our people and our Revolution will fight until the last drop of blood to defend these and other ideas and measures that are necessary for safeguarding this historical process.
Imperialism will never be able to crush Cuba.
The Battle of Ideas will continue advancing.
¡Viva la Patria!
¡Viva la Revolución!
¡Viva el Socialismo!
¡Hasta la Victoria Siempre!
Fidel Castro Ruz
Commander in Chief
First Secretary of the Party and
President of the Councils of State and Ministers of the Republic of Cuba.
July 31, 2006, 6:22 p.m.