There is an inexplicable magic in children. They mysteriously capture everything that surrounds them with their emotions and feelings, coloring the world and its people.
Their smiles warm our souls; but we cannot bear to see a hint of pain or sadness cross their faces.
This is why there are few things in the world as sacred as the duty to protect those smiles.
There are many well intentioned efforts being made around the world to protect the "hope" of the world. Among these, deserving of special mention are those of Cuba, where we tirelessly struggle to make ours a safer, more just planet, with equal rights and opportunities for all children.
Those of us who have had the good fortune to grow up under the protection of the Revolution can attest to how much vigilance, concern and meticulous care this society gives our children.
Perhaps the hard times we experienced during the pandemic are the most recent example of this truth. The titanic efforts of our state and institutions allowed not only that every infected Cuban child received the most careful attention, but also that this brutally blockaded nation - besieged by hate campaigns and constant attempts to discredit our government – became the first in the world to vaccinate its pediatric population over two years of age.
A country that today is preparing a new Family Code to expand the scope of children’s rights and the responsibility of family members and society to them.
There is much we can celebrate with pride here today, International Children's Day. But for the record, even if ours are not among the millions of children suffering, we will never cease in our struggle to make sure, through example and commitment, that they continue to smile.