Rock around the Blockade, a campaign in solidarity with socialist Cuba founded by the Revolutionary Communist Group, sends its deepest condolences to the Cuban people following the death of Ricardo Alarcón de Quesada at the age of 85, who headed Cuba’s US policy from 1962, serving as Cuba’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York on and off over 30 years, then Minister of Foreign Relations (1992 to 1993) and President of the National Assembly for two decades (1993 to 2013).
Today, while around the world workers demand rights that are denied to them by capitalist states and corporations, Cubans celebrate international workers day. The socialist state is managed by and for the workers of Cuba, and for millions of people around the world who have benefited from Cuban military and medical internationalism and development assistance. Cuba has survived 60 years of the US blockade, military attacks, terrorism, sabotage, political machinations, regime change funding and a (social) media war. Alarcón played a leading role in Cuba’s resistance, being key to their capacity to endure the United States’ policy of hostility and aggression. He led Cuba’s team in secret and open talks with US representatives for decades. He was vital in Cuba’s campaigns for the return of Elian Gonzalez from the clutches of the right-wing Miami exile community, and the Cuban Five from US prisons, and in challenging the Helms-Burton Act of 1996 and President Bush’s Plan for a Free Cuba in 2004 and 2006.
Alarcón greets Elian and Juan Miguel Gonzalez, at the Celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Moncada assault.
Alarcón's historical knowledge was matched by this theoretical and political expertise. His contribution to the Cuban Revolution, both foreign policy and domestic politics, was vital and many tributes and recollections will follow.