by Yamilka Alvarez Ramos
Agencia Cuba de Noticias. Translated by Merriam Ansara
Guantanamo, May 5 (ACN) Calla Walsh, the youngest delegate of the VII International Seminar for Peace and for the Abolition of Foreign Military Bases that is in session until today in Guantanamo, vehemently affirms that coming to Cuba has been a tremendous experience.
Coming from Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the United States, the 17-year-old political activist was interviewed by the Cuban News Agency covering the movement in solidarity with the Antilles Nation.
“I am here because I am a fighter against imperialism, especially against that of the United States, I have seen its actions and I have also seen the European Union and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) deploy violence throughout the world,” she said .
She stated that she traveled to Cuba motivated to visit Guantánamo because of the impact of the naval base, which has been occupied for more than 100 years to the detriment not only of the environment, but also of the island’s economy and and should to return to its country and because she wants to inform people, tell them what she has seen and demand that this occupation cease.
“In the United States we hear a lot of propaganda against Cuba, they tell us that it is bad, that it is a terrorist country and if more of us could come and see with our own eyes, we would realize that in reality both peoples are on the same side, and that united we could fight and raise our voices to oppose that ruling class,” she stressed.
The activist recognized how Cuban society values its young people, involves them in culture, in community work, in a way that she has never experienced in her country.
“I have met young people who are very active in the campaigns to fight COVID-19, and this is the opposite of other governments that only push young people aside,” she emphasized.
“Despite the hostility of the United States policy, that does not mean that the youth of both countries do not have things in common, we could unite, work together on what is important to us.”
Regarding the experiences recounted by delegates from Latin America and the Caribbean, on whose territories the United States and the United Kingdom have almost 80 bases, Walsh declared that it is very impressive to hear these experiences first-hand and appreciate how the power of US imperialism has been deployed in this region with invasions and interference.
She regretted that many American citizens cannot hear these arguments, which is a shame, because imperialism also affects them, since the millions that are spent on this military deployment, which comes from taxpayers’ taxes, is money that could be used, for example, in health.
“Many young people in the United States have political and innovative ideas and when they want to get involved or take sides in their country, they only find imperialist spaces,” she said.
“In my case, I have worked on political issues and when I began to learn about Cuba and wanted to assert them, I found a blockade around that issue. It does not matter if the candidate is a Democrat or a Republican, there is always a kind of blockade regarding Cuba and I think that Solidarity is the way to open doors.”