(CNSNews.com) - Cuban leader Fidel Castro ended an international "world solidarity" conference Wednesday, thanking participants from more than 100 countries for their support, which, he said, helped Cuba survive the collapse of European communism and the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Radio Havana Wednesday reported that more than 4,000 solidarity "activists" from close to 120 countries, including the United States, gathered in Havana for the meeting of the Second World Solidarity with Cuba Conference.
In a five-hour speech that lasted into the wee hours of Wednesday morning, Castro said he is proud that Cuba has remained communist. He believes that has enhanced and elevated the enthusiasm and confidence of those who continued to support Cuba during what Castro called "difficult times" - when many people thought Cuba would capitulate.
He also noted "those in western nations who tried to advise Cuba concerning what it should do to survive are the same who advised the Soviet Union before its disintegration."
Before Castro spoke, the conference issued a declaration saying that Cuba is "the victim of a cruel and undeclared war by Washington and that the U.S. blockade of Cuba lacks political, historical or moral justification."
According to Radio Havana, conference participants said that they had found in Cuba, "a society of peace and respect for fundamental human rights, which is very different from the distorted...image of the island promoted by the 'enemies' of the Cuban revolution."
The conference also declared that 2001 will be the "Year of International Solidarity Against the (US) Blockade and the U.S. Cuban Adjustment Act."
The Cuban Adjustment Act allows those Cubans who reached American shores to be granted citizenship in the U.S.