HAVANA – Former Cuban president and leader of the island’s Communist Party Raul Castro urged the nation on Tuesday to strengthen its defenses and prepare “for the worst scenarios” vis-a-vis the United States, the government of which he accused of having resumed the policy of “confrontation.”
In a speech in the eastern city of Santiago de Cuba on the 60th anniversary of the 1959 Cuban Revolution, the 87-year-old leader said that it is the duty of all Cubans to prepare themselves “meticulously for all scenarios, including the worst ... (and) not to leave room for uncertainty and improvisation.”
“We will continue prioritizing the work of preparing (our) defense” with the aim of “preserving sovereignty and peace,” said Castro, who served as Cuba’s president from February 2008 until last April, when he handed over the office to his chosen successor, Miguel Diaz-Canel.
Castro also expressed his “certainty” that the new Cuban Constitution that will be submitted to a popular referendum on Feb. 24 will receive “majority support” as the public demonstrates its backing for the “Revolution and socialism.”
Cuba’s National Assembly on Dec. 22 unanimously approved the new charter, which will replace the one in force since 1976 and will ratify the island’s choice of communism as its governing model while simultaneously recognizing private property and foreign investment as necessary.
Castro headed the Constitutional Commission that prepared the document and said that the text of the document will begin to be distributed to the public for their perusal and comments “in a few days.”