Jose Ramon Machado Ventura
SANTA CLARA, Cuba - Cuba will make reforms at its own pace, proceeding "step by step," without yielding to pressures from anyone, Jose Ramon Machado Ventura said Monday on Revolution Day.
Machado Ventura, 79, gave the main speech during the event in Santa Clara in central Cuba. President Raul Castro attended but did not speak.
Fidel Castro, who has made six public appearances in recent weeks, did not attend, despite some speculation that he might show up.
Machado Ventura is first vice president of the Council of State in Cuba. He was among those rebels who joined Fidel Castro in the Sierra Maestra during the early days of the Cuban Revolution in the 1950s.
He said Cuba would fight to maintain its socialist system and would not allow any foreign powers or groups to impose conditions on the country.
He also said the government would seek solutions to economic problems only after careful study.
"We will not act with populist solutions," he said.