Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC
Fidel Castro


with the people

of Cuba

This publication has been
approved by Dr. Fidel Castro.

Translation of an address
by the Prime Minister of Cuba Dr. Fidel Castro,
to the people of Cuba,
at a loyalty rally, October 26, 1959

Workers, farmers, students, all Cubans:

We have a lot to talk over with you.  In this great rally today there
are important matters to be dealt with.  This is or should be more than
just a moment of enthusiasm.  It should be above all a time of meditation.

Every nation must search for the source of its problems.  It is not
enough to know the facts.  It is necessary for the people to know the
factors behind the facts.  The support of the people gratifies us.  There
extraordinary enthusiasm gives us satisfaction.  But, above all it
interests us that the people should meditate.  It interests us that the
people should think because the people should find an explanation for the
problems with which they are confronted.

I am not here to make a speech.  I am here to reason with the people.
I am here to converse with the people.  Never has there been a time when it
was more necessary that there should be the most complete understanding
between the people and us.  After all, those of us who make up the Council
of Ministers and occupy the key positions of the government are merely men
of the people.  We are simply carrying out the will of the people and
fulfilling the desires of the people.  Never has there been a time when it
was more necessary that the Cuban people and we, the revolutionary leaders,
should think and act as one.  If our enemies engage us in battle we will
give them battle.  If they attack us they will find all of Cuba to be one
great army.

We are not dismayed by deserters and cowards.  After all we have just
been through a war.  In the war we learned that some men desert and some
men turn cowards; but they do not matter because they are the minority.  We
know that we have with us the people of Cuba and the people are not going
to become cowardly.  There is only one way for our people to obtain victory
and make progress--through courage.  We know that the people will not
become cowardly.  We know that the people are willing to die alongside
their revolutionary government.  The people know that we can end this
struggle only by winning or by dying in the attempt.  The people know
perfectly well that the men who today have the reins of the government in
their hands, these rebels who have appeared today on this platform, are men
who are willing to die alongside the people.

When the people of a nation are courageous and willing to face death,
when their leaders are willing to die with them, that nation is invincible;
that nation cannot be overcome by anything or anybody.

*     *

These are the questions we should ask ourselves:  Why are we being
attached?  Why have we had to meet here together again?  Why are there
traitors?  Why is there an attempt to make the revolution fail?  What
accusations are being made against the Revolution?  Why are certain charges
made against us?  What ends are being sought?  How should the people
contend with these maneuvers and motives?  How can the success of the
Revolution be assured?  What measures have we taken and what measures are
we willing to take in order to defend the Revolution?

Before going further I want to defend the Revolution?

"UPI 3:38 p.m. Officials of the customs of Miami are investigating the
news that six or seven airplanes are in flight from the Miami area toward
Havana to drop counterrevolutionary leaflets over the rally in support of
Castro being carried out in Havana.  Customs official Joseph Portier said
that he had information that these flight were being made but he did not
know what success they may have had.

"`We are trying to place agents in these possible flights,' Portier
said.  He also said that he had sent agents to various airports of the
meridional region of Florida and that some of the airplanes that took part
in the alleged flight to Havana were rented and others were private

I read this bulletin for the simple reason that I know that the people
are not afraid.

But at the same time while we have been here on this platform we have
received the following communication from the head of the regiment of the
Rebel Army in the Province of Pinar del Rio:  "Be advised that an avionette
has flown over the city and [from it] were thrown hand made grenades as
well as an incendiary bomb at the Niagara Sugar Mill.  A house was set on
fire between the post office and the Army garrison.  It was at six thirty
in the evening.  They also dropped pamphlets."

That is to say, the very authorities of Miami recognized that six or
seven airplanes left from that area en route to Cuba and that they were
still waiting for the results of the flights.

Very well.  Now we can give the first report of the results.  And we
beg them, if they will be so kind, to go ahead and send along the official
war communique letting us know the pilots' tally of this daring sortie
against the people of Cuba.

*     *

This is the limit.  We cannot be sure whether it is shamelessness or
whether is it complete impotence on the part of the United States that the
authorities should report news of the fifth aerial bombing mission over our
territory.  How is it possible that the authorities of a nation so
powerful, with so many economic and military resources, with radar systems
which are said to be able to intercept even guided missiles, should admit
before the world that they are unable to prevent aircraft from leaving
their territory in order to bomb a defenseless country like Cuba?

I wonder--and this is a question we should all ask ourselves in order
to find an explanation for what is happening... I wonder if the authorities
of the United States would be so negligent as to permit Russian emigrants
from Alaska to carry out bombing raids over cities and villages of Russian
territory.  I ask myself if they would be so careless as to permit that act
of aggression from their territory.

Next I ask myself how it is possible then that the authorities of the
United States should be so careless that on the other hand they do permit
these aerial attacks against a country of their own Continent--permit this
aggression against a small and weak country that has no resources to defend
itself from those attacks, and has no military power.  I ask myself if the
cause for this neglect is that we are a weak nation.  Are the authorities
of the powerful nations careful not to permit acts of aggression against
other powerful nations, and yet do they on the other hand permit these acts
against nations like us?  I can see no other explanation.

I cannot conceive of any explanation other than the fact that Cuba is a
small nation unable to defend itself from those attacks, a country that is
not a world power.  I am unable to find--and I do not believe that there
is--any other explanation, because the honorable attitude for powerful
nations would be to make certain to prevent their territory from serving as
a base for aggression against a smaller country... as well as to prevent
raids against a powerful country.

*     *

Who are those who attack us from the United States and why do they
attack us?  When I contemplate these problems I cannot avoid remembering
the first days after we won the war.  I cannot avoid remembering the
overwhelming joy of our people, the infinite happiness of the Cuban people.
I remember they were happy because the war was over and because no more
blood was going to be spilled, because no more homes and no more villages
wee going to be burned, because the murderous bombings were not going to be
repeated again.  Our people were happy because they had obtained peace.
Our people were happy because none of them could ever suspect that some day
from foreign territory, the criminals, the same merciless hordes
who cowardly fled the first of January, would return with their
inconceivably inhuman methods to spread terror among our people.

It is painful to remember those days because they remind us of a happy
people who believed that never again would they have to suffer terror at
the hands of that group of criminals that we had finally driven out of

*     *

But why do they attack us?  And what is the reason for the tolerance of
the American authorities?  On another occasion like this when all the
people were assembled here to defend our country from an organized campaign
of libel and slander I said that our enemies were using defamation in the
press in order to lay the way for acts of aggression against us.

The months have not yet passed by and we have had to call the people
together again.  This time not just to defend ourselves from slander, but
to struggle for the very survival of our citizens, and in defense of the
safety of our children.

What we can depend upon we have mobilized.  We have mobilized the Cuban
people. We have gathered a million Cubans together on three days' notice,
to proclaim before all the nations of the world, our protest against the
acts of barbarity which, in one afternoon and in the course of just a few
minutes, produced 47 victims among our unwarned and defenseless civilians.
But why are we attacked?  Why don't airplanes fly out of Florida to attack
the dictatorship of Trujillo?  Why don't airplanes leave the United States
to attack the dictatorship of Somoza? Of course, airplanes should not leave
the United States to bomb us here nor bomb anybody, anywhere! They should
not go to Santo Domingo nor to Nicaragua. They should not go anywhere. But
what we must ask ourselves is: Why precisely is Cuba chosen?

After all, there are emigrants of all nationalities in the United
States--even many emigrants from our sister nation Puerto Rico, that has
the right to aspire to be one more independent nation in Latin America.
And, nevertheless, although there are many emigrants from many nations,
Cuba just happens to be the one country to which airplanes depart with
emigrants abroad to attack a civil population.

Why precisely Cuba?  If there is one country with which the United
States should be more careful, if there is one country about which the
United States should be concerned that these incidents should not occur,
this country is Cuba.  Cuba has just been through a two years was during
which airplanes of American origin were used to drop on Cuban cities and on
the Cuban countryside rocket projectiles and incendiary bombs also of
American manufacture.  Thousands of our people were murdered with weapons
of American manufacture.  The least we could expect after having destroyed
Batista's mercenary army, after we liberated our people from tyranny, the
least that we could expect is that our people should not continue to be
bombed from bases located in the territory of the United States.

What can we think of such negligence on the part of the authorities of
a country which right here, in the heart of our country, maintains a naval
base to protect its citizens from an attack of any kind?

How is it possible that the return [for the use of Guantanamo as a
naval base the American Government does not prevent] bases located in the
United States [from being used to subject us] to attacks carried out by our
war criminals who are harbored in the United States? How is it possible
that in return for the risks we run with the presence of that military base
(*) in our country, the cottages of our farmers, our sugar mills, and our
civil population are exposed to incendiary bombs and to machine-gunning
from airplanes that come here from the United States?

*     *

What would be the reaction of the American public if the American
public were aware of all this?  In the name of the people of Cuba I appeal
to the public opinion of the United States.  I do not conceive nor believe
that the people of the United States could approve of such irresponsibility
on the part of the authorities of their country.

I ask myself what would happen, what would the people of the United
States say if planes departing from Canada or any other country should drop
incendiary bombs on American factories and houses and then make a raid on
the capital of the United States, with the result that city hospitals would
be crowded with men, children and old people, wounded by machineguns.

The people of the United States still have fresh in their memory the
treacherous surprise attack on Pearl Harbor.  I am sure that under no
circumstances would the American people, who experienced such profound
indignation over Pearl Harbor, approve these aerial attacks [on Cuba] nor
would they by any means accept the explanation that the authorities are
unable to prevent these flights.  As I said a few days ago, the people of
the United States would have to come to the conclusion that either their
authorities are accomplices to the raids on Cuba or the American nation has
been deceived by its authorities, and is defenseless.  How is it possible
that the American people can be told that they are safe even from guided
missiles if the government is not even capable of preventing small aircraft
from taking off and landing as they please from their territory?

(*)  Guantanamo Naval Base.

*     *

Another question that we must ask ourselves is:  What do our enemies
expect to accomplish with these bombings?  Do they simply want to make us
live in a constant state of fear never knowing at what hour of the day they
can scatter death and destruction among us?  This in itself would be sadism
and vengeance (characteristic of our war criminals).  But what we all
suspect is even worse: that by using surprise bombings they think they can
finally bring about such a state of fear and cowardice among our people
that we might abandon our Revolution and--by turning the government over to
mercenaries and reactionaries--deliver Cuba back into the hands of the
Masferrers, the Pilar Garcias, the Venturas, the Carratalas.

On one hand, Cuba is being threatened by economic strangulation, that
is to say, the loss of the sugar quota which provides our principal
income.  On the other hand, we are being subjected to aerial attacks that
have the objective of terrorizing us so that we will renounce our
magnificent revolutionary reform program and give up our hope of creating
social justice here in our island.  What has the Revolutionary Government
of Cuba done to deserve this aggression against us?  Our internal problems
and our international problems simply result from opposition to the
Revolution itself.  It is our process of revolutionary reform that has
caused aggressions from outside Cuba as well as treason inside Cuba.

*     *

What has the Revolutionary Government done?  The only accusation that
can be made against the revolutionary Government is that we have given our
people reform laws.  Everything we have done can be reviewed with pride by
our people.  Why are the people of Cuba with us?  Not just for purely
sentimental reasons.  The people support the Revolutionary Government
because we have passed revolutionary reform laws.

Why do the farmers support the Revolutionary Government?

Why do the workers support the Revolutionary Government?

Why do the immense majority of the people support the Revolutionary

Who do the people defend the Revolutionary Government?

Simply because we have been defending the people, because we have been
carrying out reforms in Cuba.

Here in public we are going to give our answer once and for all to
those who slander and belittle the revolution.  They will finally have to
remove their masks; they will have to admit that the accusations they make
--that we are communists-- can be attributed exclusively to the fact that
they have not dared to admit that they are against our reform program.
Since there are no just complaints or accusations that can be made against
our government, our enemies resort to that old bugaboo that they have been
using for the last 50 years.  They label us falsely as best suits their
schemes to commit aggression against us, and thus they proceed, aided and
abetted by foreign interests that are our enemies.

What we must analyze is what the Revolutionary Government has done and
what we must ask is whether the people of Cuba are in agreement with that
the Revolutionary Government has been doing.

Do you approve of our having given you honest administration of public
funds for the first time in the history of Cuba?

Do you approve of our having put an end to smuggling?

Do you approve of our having abolished the practice of payroll padding
in the offices of the government?

Do you approve of our having eradicated gambling from the daily life of
our average citizen?

Do you approve of our having tried and executed guilty war criminals by
firing squads?

Do you approve of our having recovered property that was embezzled
during the dictatorship?

Do you approve of our having converted the headquarters of the old
Political Police into a children's playground and of our having changed the
old Army headquarters into a scholastic center that the children of Cuba so

Do you approve of our having converted army regimental headquarters
into other schools?

Do you approve of our having cancelled the dishonest concession that
the dictatorship gave to the Telephone Company?

Do you approve of our having put the price of medicine within the reach
of the people?

Do you approve of our having created ten thousands more jobs for
teachers out in the rural areas?

Do you approve of our having founded the National Institute of Savings
and Housing which has already built 10,000 homes?

Do you approve of our having provided a Social Security Bank?

Do you approve of our having taken steps to develop the tourist
industry on a large scale as an important source of income for our country?

Do you approve of our having returned to the workers their union rights
and all the other benefits that were taken away from them during the

Do you approve of our having reduced the rents so that every family
could have a place of their own?

Do you agree that it was right for us to give boats to the fishermen so
they could keep the profits from their own work and stop being exploited?

Do you approve of the consumers' cooperatives that we have organized in
the country to prevent the farmers from being charged the double prices
they have always been charged?

*     *

Are you in favor of the Land Reform?

Do you approved of our having given land to the farmers?

Do you agree that it is right that the farmers who produce charcoal, in
Cienaga de Zapata, Peninsula de Guanachahabibes, Belice, Yateras and many
other parts of Cuba should have cooperatives where they can sell their
charcoal, rather than being exploited as they always have been?

Do you approve of our having built decent housing for the farmers and
of our having constructed highways and schools from one end of the island
to the other?

Were you in favor of the old system of rural police at the service of
the big landlords and the monopolies?

Or are you in favor of the soldiers of the Revolutionary Army who are
today the allies and friends of the farmers?  The Rebel Army does not
commit injustices.  The Rebel Army works exclusively in behalf of the

Do you approve of our having helped the farmers go back to the rural
areas that had become abandoned as a result of the greed and selfishness of
the big landlords?

Do you agree that it was right for us to protect our monetary reserves
in order to make funds available to industrialize the country?

Do you agree that we are right in insisting that the country import
tractors now instead of Cadillacs?  Do you agree with us that it is right
for us to plant as much rice as we can instead of importing it?  and
produce as much lard as we can instead of importing it?  and produce all
the cotton we can instead of importing it?  all the foodstuffs we can
instead of importing them?  and in this way provide jobs for more than half
a million of our fellow Cubans who are unemployed?

Do you approve of our plans to industrialize the country?

Then, I ask:  has the Revolutionary Government done anything that the
people do not approve?  What has the Revolutionary Government done except
defend the interests of the people?  What have we done except sacrifice
ourselves for our country?

In four centuries of Cuban history never has there been such an
altruistic movement.

*     *

In the 1500's the Indians of this island were persecuted and
slaughtered by the Spanish conquistadores.  For over three hundred years
during the colonial period there was slavery in Cuba and human beings were
bought and sold like animals.  Our own seven year struggle against tyranny
cost 20,000 lives, while thousands of homes were destroyed by fire thanks
to selfishness, greed and vested interests.

At long last the destiny of Cuba is being shaped by a revolutionary
movement which is fighting against inequality and injustice--a
revolutionary government which is determined to redeem our people and to
destroy evils which, in some instances, have been in existence for more
than four hundred years.  The Revolutionary Government of Cuba has begun to
build what has not been built during the 50 years that this country has
been a republic--streets, water works, schools, hospitals, and industries.

What have the people of Cuba and its Revolutionary Government done
except defend Cuban interests in Cuba and abroad?  I ask myself and ask you
if the worthy and courageous position taken by the people of Cuba in the
international organizations is or is not correct?

I could go on asking whether or not you approve of our having given the
common people the right to use those beaches which used to belong only to a
small privileged group, so that now with all stupid prejudices abolished
all Cubans can go to the beaches, whatever color their skin may be.

I ask you whether or not you approve of our having given all Cubans,
whatever color their skin may be, an equal opportunity to work.

We could go on indefinitely asking what has the Revolutionary
Government done that is not for the benefit of the people.

*     *

The problem is:  if we plant rice, we interfere with foreign interests;
if we produce lard, we interfere with foreign interests; if we produce
cotton, we interfere with foreign interests, if we cut down the electric
tariffs, we interfere with foreign interests; if we make a Petroleum Law,
like the one which is about to be decreed, we interfere with foreign
interests; if we carry out a Land Reform, we interfere with foreign
interests; if we make a Mining Law, like the one which is about to be
announced, we interfere with foreign interests; if we create a Merchant
Marine, we interfere with foreign interests.  If we try to find new markets
for our country, we interfere with foreign interests.  If we attempt to
sell at least as much as we buy, we interfere with foreign interests.

Because our Revolutionary Laws have an adverse effect on privileged
classes inside Cuba and outside Cuba, they attack us and attack us and call
us Communists.  They accuse us, trying to find some pretext to justify
aggression against our country.

By any change is the Land Reform Law not [good for] Cubans?

By any change is the reduction of excessive electricity rates not [good
for] Cubans?

By any change is the reduction of excessive telephone rates not [good
for] Cubans?

Is it by any change not [good for] Cuba that we make an effort to
create a Merchant Marine?

Is it by any change not [good for] Cuba to plant rice and cotton and to
produce lard in our country?

Is it by any change not [good for] Cuba to build houses for our
workers, our farmers, and the Cuban families in general?

Is it by any change not [good for] Cuba to reduce the price of
medicines, many of which come from foreign laboratories?

Is it or is it not [good for] Cuba to defend our monetary reserves?

Is it or is it not [good for] Cuba to buy tractors instead of

Is it or is it not [good for] Cuba to provide ten thousand
schools--which is twice the number that had been provided in the fifty
years that Cuba has been a Republic?

Is it or is it not [good for] Cuba to convert our fortresses into
scholastic centers?

Is it or is it not [good for] Cuba to give boats to our fishermen?

To give equipment to our farmers?

To give our workers what is due them?

Is it or is it not [good for] Cuba to proclaim it the duty of Cubans to
consume Cuban products?

*     *

Is it or is it not [good for] Cuba to protect our national industries?

Are the measures adopted by the Revolutionary Government not Cuban, or
are they the very essence of Cubanism?

Then, what do those wretched conspirators charge us with?

Of what can those criminals, those false and shameless men [like Diaz
Lanz and Huber Matos] accuse us, except of having undertaken measures for
the benefit of Cuba?

What do not [serve the interest of] Cuba are the foreign monopolies.

What does not [serve the interests of] Cuba is the Electric Company.

What does not [serve the interests of] Cuba is the Telephone Company.

Nor does the United Fruit Company.  Nor does the Atlantic and Gulf
Company.  Nor do the contracts to foreign shipping companies that carry
cargo into and out of our ports.

The greater part of the rice we consume, the greater part of the lard
we consume, the greater part of the textile products we use, the greater
part of the manufactured items we use give profit to others not to Cuba.

Those trusts which operate our mines and which have obtained unfair
concessions here [give profits to others], not to Cuba.  Those companies
which were handed over the concessions to exploit most of our land with
possible oil wealth [would give profit to others] not to Cuba.

The bombs which killed our farmers during the war were [manufactured
elsewhere], not in Cuba.  The arms and ammunition with which 20,000 of our
countrymen were killed were [manufactured elsewhere], not in Cuba, and were
not [good for] Cuba.

The men who trained the mercenary army destroyed by our Revolution,
were not Cuban and were not [good for] Cuba.

The campaign of lies and slander being carried out against us does not
[originate in] Cuba and is not [good for] Cuba.  Those magazines which seek
to degrade our people, those internacional news agencies which write about
non-existent horrors in our country, are not Cuban and are not [good for]
Cuba.  This is the truth, this is the truth which must be told to the
people.  This is the truth which the false and shameless refuse to admit.
They refuse to admit that they are spreading their poison in a campaign
against our Revolution simply because we have taken measures for the good
of Cuba.  All the great vested interests, both national and international
all the enemies of our country have banded together under the same pirates'
flag and screaming the same battlecry.

*     *

Do the reactionaries by any chance want us to give military training to
the farmers and the workers?  No, certainly not.  You have probably noticed
the attitude of the mouthpieces of the reactionaries such as this new
mouthpiece which pretends to represent the Autentico Abstencionista party,
which indeed it does not represent, because the real representative of the
Partido Autentico Abstencionista is Dr. Carlos Prio Socarras and he is here
with us.

Those who publish this new newspaper have allowed themselves to be
seduced by the siren song of Diario de la Marina and Avance. And what has
this new newspaper done? One of the first things is to join forces with the
traitor Huber Matos. In the second place, it tries to make the same
insinuations accusing the Revolutionary Government of being Communist. In
the third place it prints: "The Revolution, in order to defend itself from
its enemies, does not need to arm the workers and the farmers, especially
when the proven courage and skill of the Rebel Army is taken into account
and inasmuch as the Revolutionary Government has the moral support of all
the people and of all the country." And a few lines further along they
print: "If the above is not taken into consideration in a democracy, it
would be necessary to continue using the tactic of calling rallies of the
masses--a tactic so risky and so tedious for the country when peace and
order are more important".

Peace in the face of criminal bombing and machine-gunning of our

*     *

It is good to be aware of their attitude in order that the real
Autenticos, those who used to constitute the strength of the Autentico
Party, may never allow themselves to fall under the influence of those
gullible individuals who have been misled by the schemes of La Marina and
Avance, gullible individuals who have allowed themselves to be pushed along
by the mouthpieces of the reactionaries and the counterrevolutionaries and
who are now parroting the same arguments as Trujillo, the Rosa Blanca and
the international monopolies that are working against Cuba.  As I said
before, the people should not allow themselves to be confused.  It is money
of the robber barons that has brought out this new sheet.

I said that we should carefully contemplate the whys and wherefores of
the attacks against us.  Why is there such opposition to our training the
workers and the farmers?  It is very simple.  The reactionaries would like
for us to have an army such as they supported in what they would call the
"good old days".  They would like a professional army, such as Cuba used to
have.  That would be their only hope because such an army down through the
years might come to be an instrument of the reactionaries.  They have hopes
of being able to find somebody greedy for power, some traitor like the one
we have just discovered.  They have the hope that in a career army they
might some day be able to corrupt soldiers and officers, and they have the
hope that in the moment least suspected the armed forces of the Republic
might determine the fate of our country, because they remember that the big
trusts, the vested interests, the robber barons and other power groups and
cliques affected by the revolution, all those selfish minorities, are
accustomed to using the army as their tool.  The army was the instrument of
the foreign interests and of the worst elements in our own country.  It was
no accident that the army of Cuba had foreign instructors.

*     *

Since they know that a tremendous revolutionary force resides in the
people, since they know that civilians with military training could defend
all they have won for themselves, the old privileged classes are allergic
to everything that is implied by the military training of workers and

On the other hand, we believe that the best allies of the soldiers are
the farmers and the workers.  In our opinion the best ally of the army is
the average citizen.  The best troops of the rebel army are the farmers.

The officers' clique that supported the traitor Huber Matos were not
the kind of soldiers and officers of rural origin who are the pride of the
Rebel Army.  Huber Matos' accomplices did not belong to the most
invincible, to the most courageous, nor to the most steadfast of the Rebel

(*)  Huber Matos.

The fine soldiers who have gone with their rifles and machine guns up
to rooftops to improvise anti-aircraft defense of their fellow citizens are
soldiers from the Sierra Maestra.  They are the "guajiros" from the Sierra
Maestra who used to make up the front lines.  Those soldiers are true

Why?  Because they themselves used to live in the country.  They were
born in the country and they grew up in the country.  They have seen the
rural police wield the butts of their rifles and the backs of their
machetes in the interest of the mighty landlords.

In the rural parts of Cuba these rebel soldiers have been the hopeless
poverty of our farmers.  They have seen the horrible spectacle of barefoot,
diseased children.  In the countrysides of Cuba these guajiro soldiers were
acquainted with all the innate goodness and all the heroism of the
underprivileged farmers.  Nobody will be able to use these rebel soldiers
either against the rural population, nor against the civil population in
general, because these soldiers do truly understand the spirit of the

It has been their lot to live through and suffer under the
conditions that made this revolution necessary.  They gave an example to
all the farmers of the country and they led the nation to victory.  Workers
and others citizens of Havana, the riffles that protect you are the rifles
of the guajiro soldiers from the Sierra Maestra.

*     *

And workers, students, farmers, and all the rest of you Cubans with
patriotism and love for your country, if the time should come to give
battle to defend our rights as Cubans, and to defend the sovereignty of the
Cuban nation, you may be sure that those soldiers who are here in Havana
protecting you and all the rest of our Rebel Army would want to have you
shoulder to shoulder alongside them.

The reactionaries do not want this.  What the reactionaries would like
is an unarmed civil population and an army which is corruptible and that
some day may be able to put a brake on the revolution and make our country
backslide.  This is why the betrayal of Huber Matos is such a serious
matter.  It was the first attempt to utilize members of the Rebel Army
against the revolution; it was the first attempt to corrupt officers, to
use them against the people, against the interests of the people, against
the Cuban revolution.  Of course the reactinaries do not want the workers
and farmers to be given military training.  Because they always have the
hope that if the country's only defense is a professional army, they might
some day be able to win over some officers.  They might be able some day to
corrupt a professional army and once again have an instrument with which to
perpetrate another coup d'etat, like the 10th of March.

But there will never again be a 10th of March in our country.  The
concept of the professional army as the only defense of a country is
diametrically opposed to our revolutionary concept that the nation should
be safeguarded by the people, with all the strength of the people and all
their love for their country.

*     *

What do the traitors do?  What is the first thing that they do?  Repeat
the same battlecry as Trujillo, repeat the same battlecry as the Rosa
Blanca.  Repeat the same battlecry as the criminals of war.  Repeat the
same battlecry as the international monopolies that are enemies of Cuba.
They are accuse the Revolutionary Government of being Communist.

What the traitors do first of all is to say "Trujillo, you were right!"
That is to say to the war criminals, "you were right".  That is to say to
the big foreign trusts, "you were right".  That is to say to the Rosa
Blanca, "you were right".  That is to say to those who are bombing our
territory, "you were right".

The first that they do is to hoist up the same pirates' flag as the war
criminals, as the Trujillistas, and the Rosa Blanca.  And still they object
when we call them traitors!

What ends do they pursue with all this?  The purpose of dividing the
people, of confusing the people, of weakening the nation.  Traitors that
they are, they want to confuse the people when it is most important for the
people to think clearly, and to be aware of what are Cuba's best interests,
and of what are the interests of our enemies, of those who cannot share the
feelings of our people.  Traitors that they are, they take up the standard
of the Trujillos, of the war criminals and of the international vested
interests who are enemies of Cuba.

All those that join forces with the traitors are traitors.  And all
those who at this moment have the gall to preach disunity of the people,
are traitors!  All they would accomplish if they could weaken the nation
would be to make the powerful enemies of our Revolution feel encouraged to
attack us.  I say that those who are to be blamed for the bombs are not
only those who drop them, but those who right here [in Cuba] inspire the
attacks, those who--like Pepin Rivero, of the Diario de la Marina and
especially those at Avance--, have been encouraging the
counterrevolutionaries.  Treason is committed by all those who join forces
with the traitors.  Why do they do it?  Because they oppose our
revolutionary reforms.

It is not me whom they oppose.  It is not the president of the Republic
whom they oppose.  It is not Raul, Che, Camilo, Almeida, Efigenio
Ameijeiras whom they oppose.  We are the targets but it is the
revolutionary reform program that they oppose.

If we had not passed revolutionary laws, they would dedicate the
greatest praise to us.  Their attack is against the revolution and the
revolutionary laws.  It is because of the reform program that they accuse

I have shown that the laws that are being carried out are truly Cuban
and are of benefit to Cubans.  What are not Cuban are the selfish interests
which oppose the revolutionary laws.  Moreover, who are carrying forward
this revolution?  Who are the men together with me on this platform?  While
I listened to the words of our revolutionary leaders on this platform, when
I heard Major Camilo Cienfeugos, Major Guevara, Major Raul Castro, and
Major Almeida, and when I heard our other fellow veterans of the rebel army
like Universo Sanchez, Efigenio Ameijeiras and others, I remembered the
early fighting phase of the revolution in the Sierra Maestra.

*     *

I remembered those days of tremendous difficulty, of untold hardships,
when such a small group remained steadfast.  I was reminded of those days
of hunger and cold when we had no coats to shield us from the rain, and no
blankets in which to wrap ourselves, to escape from the dampness and the
cold of the mountains, those days when we hardly had shoes on our feet and
only a few bullets for our rifles, while we were pursued by droves of
soldiers.  I remember those first days when the Revolution was thwarted and
we were overcome because we were so few.  I remember those days in which,
with the absolute faith of men who have dedicated themselves to a great and
good cause, we persevered, we continued our struggle without becoming
demoralized although we were so few in number; here on this platform I have
been reminded of those days because I saw here those men who were pillars
of strength in the truly difficult, the truly bitter hours.  I looked back
on all that epic that those faithful revolutionaries wrote.  I looked back
on it from the first days of Moncada to the invasion, in which two columns
under the command of two of the majors who have just spoken to you here,
crossed the plans of Camaguey to take help to the fellow rebels who were
fighting there, and wrote one of the most glorious pages of military
history.  That feat would have to be compared with the great feats of the
great generals of history.  And they are not generals; they are only
majors.  We have abolished the rank of generals and colonels that used to
be a curse to Cuba.

(*)  Twelve who survived the "Gramma" landing, Dec., 1956.

When I listened to our faithful revolutionaries here, I said to myself:
"Where are the twelve?"  Of the twelve, several fell in battle, the others
are here.  The Revolution has had no deserters among the real
revolutionaries.  Huber Matos, who betrayed us at the approach of the
climax of the ASTA Convention, in the midst of the extraordinary effort
that we had put forth, is one of the latecomers.  Huber Matos is one of
those who came into the war, not for the sake of this country, but for his
own ulterior motives.  He is one of those who went to war not to make his
country great but to gain notice for himself.  We cannot say that a
revolutionary deserted, when he deserted.  The day that would be sad would
be the day that some of those who were the heart of the Revolution should
fail us--the day that one of those who came with us in the "Gramma" should
fail us, or the day that there would be a deserter among those who shared
all our reverses with us and who have come this far without hesitation.

*     *

Furthermore, when I see the other officers of the Rebel Army, the other
leaders of the revolutionary organizations, for example, the leaders of the
University Students League, I feel assured that the revolution is stronger
than ever and more united than ever.  On what side do we always find the
good soldiers?  Where will the good revolutionaries always be?  On the side
of the people.

When I see a million ardent fellow citizens here, I realize that the
revolution is stronger than ever, and that the stab in the back just
received, far from weakening the revolution, has strengthened it.

These traitors assume importance only because they have behind them all
the resources of the reactionaries, all the reactionary press here in Cuba
and all the press of the international oligarchy.  All the resources of the
counterrevolution are behind them.  They are no more than peons of the
counterrevolution, miserable instruments whose statements are given space
only in the newspapers that are mouthpieces of the counterrevolution,
mouthpieces of the reactionaries.

This is not a struggle between individuals.  It is a struggle of vested
interests, of big trusts against the interests of the Cuban people.  That
is why the reactionaries do not praise Cuba.

Naturally, the reactionaries do not praise Camilo.  The reactionaries
do praise the traitors.  The reactionaries do not praise Almeida.  The
reactionaries do not praise loyal men.  The reactionaries praise the
traitors.  The reactionaries do not praise the men of ideals.  With loyal
men, with men of ideals, they can accomplish nothing.  The reactionaries
glorify the great traitors.

*     *

The reactionaries do not praise steadfast men.  They praise men who
surrender, men who give up, men who become cowardly, men who sell out.
Some men sell out for money, others for adulation; still others for
both money and adulation.

But in what company do we find those who so perversely, so shamelessly,
accuse the government of being Communist?  What do they do but repeat the
same battlecry as the Trujillos, the Rosa Blanca, and the other enemies of
our country?

Do they think that they are going to intimidate us, or do they fail to
understand how convinced we are of the justice of the measures that we are

Do they fail to understand that we are so firmly convinced that we are
serving our people, that only be depriving us of life itself --and not even
then-- will they ever be able to suppress our ideals?

*     *

The reactionaries--those who bomb Cuba, those who drop bombs with the
same pretext that the traitors repeat today--are lusting after sensation.
What they want is a sensational counterrevolutionary show.  What they want
are traitors to make the worst charges against the Government so that these
charges may be printed in the headlines of their newspaper in order to
spread confusion, in order to weaken the Revolution.

No, they don't write a word against the bombs, or if they do they use
on what they write the lukewarm touch [characteristic] of those who file
reports to satisfy appearances and to disguise their position.  The
position of those who bomb us in Havana cannot be disassociated from the
position of those who betrayed us in Camaguey.  When the former deserted,
they first wrote a letter for publication in the newspaper; when the latter
deserted they also wrote a letter for publication and used the same
arguments that were used by traitor Diaz Lanz.

The counterrevolutionary press printed Diaz Lanz's statements accusing
us as Communists and printed all of Huber Matos's statements accusing us as
Communists.  The end result of that plot was the dropping of bombs and
would have been the releasing of rivers of blood on Cuban soil.

This betrayal and the libel by Huber Matos is as ignominous as that of
Diaz Lanz, and the worst is the moment that he chose.  He did the same in
the Sierra Maestra; when the troops were already on the march and he knew
that our interest in the offensive would make me restrain myself, he sent
his insolent letter to me.  And now, in the middle of the ASTA Convention,
when he knew the extraordinary interest of all Cuba in making a success of
the visit of those tourist agents, he thought that we would restrain
ourselves this time too; so he took the first steps with his plot.  But
those plans were wrecked with the help of the people, [of Camaguey] not the
rabble as the reactionaires call the people.

*     *

When we began to govern Cuba, there were only seventy million dollars
in monetary reserves in the banks.  Now that we are making an extraordinary
effort, when even the school children contribute their pennies to build up
the economy, when the entire nation is making an effort, when all the
construction workers labor nine and ten hours, when all the workers are
giving us a percentage of their income for the industrialization of our
country, at the very time that international cables are arriving with
predictions that part of our sugar quota is going to be taken away.  Diaz
Lanz plans his aerial attacks and Huber Matos interrupts the ASTA
Convention with his treacherous and criminal plan.

These are the ways they try to block the Revolution's progress they
ways they try to destroy the Revolution.  By using economical threats and
by thwarting our plans for developing our country.  That is why when our
people make such great sacrifices to gain one inch or one foot, it is
unfair that these wretched conspirators destroy in minutes all that we have
accomplished with such difficulty.  What these miserable traitors want to
do is to strangle the economy of Cuba, and spread terror among us until
they succeed in making our nation fail.

But I ask myself:  What are they trying to do?  Do they suppose that
the revolution is not going to be defended?  Do the Trujillos, the war
criminals, the traitors, the foreign monopolies and the enemies of Cuba,
believe that the revolution is not going to defend itself?  Don't they
understand we have the support of every farmer in Cuba?  Don't they
understand that we have the support of every worker in Cuba?  Don't they
understand that nobody is going to make the people of Cuba fall back?  The
people know very well who are their friends and who are their enemies.
Don't the conspirators understand that the people of Cuba cannot even be
confused?  Every day the people know more and every day they are wider

Why do the conspirators get together and plot?  Why do they drop bombs?
Why do they plant hand-made bombs?  Why do they openly elaborate their
counterrevolutionary campaigns?  Simply because they know they are running
no risk.  They know that now, because of the respect and generosity shown
by the Revolutionary Government, it is not dangerous to conspire.  They
know of our efforts to carry out our Revolution with complete kindness:
they know of our efforts to carry out our Revolution without using "strong
rule" tactics against the enemies of the Revolution.

This has encouraged them.  They know they are taking no risks.  That is
why they conspire.  That is why they come from Santo Domingo and land in
Trinidad.  That is why our troops find certain uprisings led by men who are
not Cuban.  That is why our enemies drop bombs, that is why they cause 47
victims in our defenseless country--because they think that our people are
defenseless, because we discontinued the trials by Revolutionary courts.
That is, they take unscrupulous advantage of the generosity of our
Revolution.  Little does it matter to them that 90% of all Cubans support
the Revolution.  They are ready to machine--gun the people, and bomb the
people--to destroy the people [if necessary and if possible].

*     *

And every day they have more gall.  Every day they are more insolent.
On the very front pages of the newspapers, they hide behind a woman's
petticoats to write more or less that the Prime Minister is a criminal.
What they never dared to publish against the dictator, what they never
published against the government during the tyranny, they write against a
man whose army was the first in the world ever to conduct a war without
allowing a single prisoner of war to be killed, the first army in the world
never to leave a single wounded enemy soldier on the battlefield, the first
blockaded army--surrounded and blockaded for two years--to deprive their
own soldiers of medicines in order to share their medicines with the enemy

So every day with more nerve, with more gall, the reactionaries
contrive to create confusion, to instigate treason, to whitewash the
traitors and to aid and abet the unworthy men who abandon the cause of
their people to serve the enemies of their people.

They so dare because they know how great an interest we have in
bringing the affairs of the nation back to normal.  They know of our
interest in developing the economy of our country.  They see that we are
striving desperately to find work for our people, to industrialize our
country, with no assistance other than that of our own people.  They see us
struggling heroically against giant foreign interests and they do not want
us to win the battle.

They do not want us to be able to concentrate all our energy on the
revolutionary reform program.  They want to destroy the revolution with
their terrorism and by means of economic strangulation.  But the revolution
is not just mine; the revolution belongs to the people and we are doing
nothing but carry out the will of the people.

*     *

Now that is has become imperative, now that is has become a duty, to
defend the revolution, it is the people who will have the last word.  Now,
with all our countrymen gathered together here, I an going to ask the
people whether we should resume trials by the revolutionary courts... I
want the people to express their opinion and to decide this matter.  Those
who are in favor of reestablishing the revolutionary courts should raise
their hands.

Since it is necessary for us to defend our country against aggression,
since it is necessary to defend our country from aerial attacks from
foreign bases, since it is necessary to defend our country against treason,
the Council of Ministers will meet tomorrow to discuss and approve the law
re-establishing war tribunals for as long as they are necessary.  And even
though the courts will be the ones to decide according to law the sentence
of each of the guilty, I want the opinion of the people.  Please raise your
hands those who think that the invaders of our country deserve to face the
firing squad...  Raise your hands, those who believe that the terrorists
deserve to face the firing squad...  Raise your hands, those who believe
that pilots who fly over our territory and drop bombs on our people deserve
to be condemned to death...  And please raise your hands those who believe
that traitors like Huber Matos deserve finally to face the firing squad.

*     *

Everybody knows that we did our best to put an end to the war

Everybody knows the grief we were caused by the defamatory campaign
made against our country while we were punishing the guilty.

Everybody knows the efforts we have made to increase the tourist trade
to develop the source of income for the country as part of the peaceful
development of Cuba's wealth to feed the Cubans, to give them jobs.

Everybody knows what a great effort we are making to carry our
revolution forward, with the maximum of generosity, with the maximum of
tolerance, with the maximum of good will.

Everybody knows how we dislike having to give again to the gang of base
individuals who try to belittle us, to the international wire services, and
to certain magazines and newspapers who slander us, another opportunity to
present us before the world as callous and cruel.

Everybody knows how much we sacrifice by re-establishing war tribunals
and even the harm that will result to our economy, especially after that
wonderful convention of the American Society of Travel Agents here.  After
thousands of our people worked so hard to make the convention a success,
all the benefit we expected from it becomes no more than a vanishing
illusion thanks to the traitors, the criminals of war, and the other
enemies of Cuba.

Everybody knows how hard and difficult it is for us to make this
decision.  But since we must defend our country from aggression, since we
are being bombed, since our enemies want to defeat us by terror and hunger,
we have no other alternative but to defend our country.  We are men who do
our duty.

Cuba must, first of all, survive as a nation and defend her sovereignty
as a nation.  To survive is the matter of most urgency and must take
precedence even over our most worthy illusions, even over our fondest

*     *

We have always envisioned a future in which we can bring about an era
of peace and happiness.  We have always dreamed of alleviating the pain and
misery of the forgotten, of educating the uneducated, of feeding the
hungry.  We have always looked forward to providing the essentials of life
to those who have always been the forgotten ones here in Cuba, those whom
we remembered, when nobody else remembered them.  While others spoke of
democracy and of freedom they forgot that where there is ignorance, where
there is hunger, and where there is despair, one should speak not of
democracy but of oppression.

Many Cubans have been held all their lives under the oppression of the
big monopolies and robber barons.  The first right of man is the right to
life itself, the first right of man is the right to bread for himself and
his children, the first right of man is to live by the sweat of his own
brow; and all men are entitled to be given an education.

Here the children of rural families died for lack of medical
assistance; these children had no rights.  Women became old before their
time and died prematurely; these women had no rights.  Entire families
fainting from hunger had no rights.  These Cubans were denied the right
to life itself.

*     *

The men who deceived our people by making false use of abstract ideas
always ignored those who make up the majority of our people, those for whom
no one ever did anything, for whom no one ever fought, those whom we set
out to redeem without taking the essentials of life from anybody else,
those whom we are going to redeem by developing the wealth and resources of
our own country.

It is our dearest wish to bring relief to these people.  We have
dreamed and we will continue to dream of a revolution in which the will of
the majority of the people may prevail over the selfish minorities.

Greed on the part of the selfish minorities is what makes them unable
to adapt themselves to the revolution which is a reality in Cuba today.  We
have dreamed that the great majority who support us would be respected by
the minority.  Instead, we have harvested counterrevolutionary campaigns,
mercenary invasions, uprisings led by foreigners, aerial attacks from bases
in foreign countries, and unscrupulous opposition by newspapermen who
misuse freedom of the press to whitewash traitors in a concerted scheme of
sabotage against us.

As a consequence we have harvested the bombing of sugar mills and the
destruction of homes in the country and 47 victims in the capital.

But we are not willing to permit terror to take over the country.  With
Santo Domingo on one side and Florida on the other side, we are not willing
to sit idly by while every mother, every son, and every wife, from one end
of the island to the other, lives as I saw families live in the Sierra
Maestra--with a veritable psychosis about airplanes, in a state of terror
from bullets and bombings.

We must defend our country.  Since we must defend our people, since we
must defend our school children--the same children that I saw parading and
singing on their way to this impressive concentration--since we must defend
them; since we have been harvesting only evil; and since our enemies have
become so audacious, it is good for us to let the world know that the Cuban
people have decided to defend themselves.

Before the Cuban people are anihilated, the Cuban people are ready to
anihilate as many enemies as are sent against them.  Before allowing
themselves to be murdered, the Cuban people are ready to die fighting.

The reactionaries, the invaders, and the counterrevolutionaries, both
inside Cuba and outside Cuba, whether numerous or few, will find a nation
that is proud to declare that we do not wish to do harm to anyone; that we
do not wish to jeopardize any other people in any part of the world; that
we wish only to live by our own labor; we wish only to live from the fruits
of our own intelligence and wish only to live by the work of our own hands,
but in order to defend our aspirations; in order to fulfill our destiny in
this world; in order to defend rights that are the inalienable rights of
any people of the world, big or small, today, yesterday or tomorrow, in
order to defend our honest aspirations, the Cuban people are ready to

Men, women, children, even the aged, we are all ready to fight.  Ours
is a just cause, we do not wish harm to anyone, and no one has the right to
do us harm.  Today we proclaim that we do not fear anything or anyone, that
we do not fear the measures taken against us, and that we are not afraid to
take all the measures we may have to take against those who wish to destroy

Today Cuba has attracted the attention of the whole world.  Cuba has
won admiration all over the world and we are not going to lose or abandon
the respected position we occupy among the peoples of Latin America and the
other people of the world.

Cuba is not going to be unworthy of the glory and prestige we have
gained by defending our legitimate rights.

*     *

Our revolution has been a success because of the kind of people you
are.  Otherwise, we could not carry out this kind of revolution.  Those who
have never studied history, and those who forget the history of other
nations, those who have never read the chronicles of mankind, from the
times of Greece to the present day, are the only ones who can fail to
understand what a revolution is, and are the only ones who can be unaware
that anybody who attempts to block a revolution will be crushed under the
people's advance.

Only those who are ignorant of history fail to understand that the
hesitant and the cowardly are carried along by the people.  Cuba is the
scene of one of the most interesting and extraordinary revolutionary
processes ever known, if we take into account the obstacles that must be
overcome, if we take into account the powerful resources that are being
used to crush our revolution.

The people of Cuba have a mission to fulfill and we will fulfill it,
because the people of Cuba are the kind with whom a revolution like this
can be carried out.

Those who lack the courage of their convictions are not important. When
have they been important in the history of a nation?

Those who hesitate do not matter.  When have they mattered in the
history of a people?

The cowards do not matter.  When have the cowards mattered in the
history of a people?

When we were only twelve men, what did it matter that some hesitated
and some lacked the courage of their convictions?  Did they prevent the
revolution from attaining an extraordinary victory?  Twelve men finally
succeeded in bringing the rest of the nation into the struggle.

Today Cuba is holding her head high.  Today Cuba fears no obstacle.
This entire revolutionary nation is now on her feet and must not fear
anything or anyone.  The whole nation holds her head high like one great
united army above those contemptible men who try to create confusion, above
those unscrupulous ones who try to divide Cuba and weaken Cuba.  Men of no
feeling, they are unable to share in this hour of illusion the emotion or
the spirit [that has been aroused] in Cuba after four centuries of
struggling for justice.

*     *

High above those who try to weaken it, the Nation stands united and
disciplined like a single army.  The people of Cuba are proud as a people.
The nation is proud of its destiny.  The people of Cuba are thinking as a
nation for the first time, and united in a great cause.  Those who are
against Cuba are all those who are unable to understand this great cause
that has been undertaken by our nation, by our guajiro soldiers, by our
farmers--who constitute one half of our social group.

Cuban workers, Cuban students, professional men and women of Cuba, and
all other worthy Cubans of all walks of life, are aware that the fate of
our nation is at stake.  Our every survival as a nation is at stake.

In order to attain peace and happiness, and well aware that our nation
is involved in a heroic struggle that can free us from the bonds of
economic and political slavery, the people of Cuba are determined to win
these final battles in the struggle that began in the past century.

The nation is convinced as it has never before been convinced that it
is upholding a just and good cause.  The nation is convinced of our
loyalty, the nation is convinced that from this struggle there can be no
retreat for us and we shall not retreat.

The nation knows that we will not give up the fight until our bodies
are laid to rest.  The nation is conscious of its destiny, certain of its
rights, proud of its History.  When I see the emotion that shows on the
face of all our people, I can have no doubt that Cuba will emerge
victorious, because I firmly believe that a nation such as ours has become
must be respected.

Nothing can dismay us now; we will not let accusations stop us; we are
not concerned for our own lives; we care only about the destiny of our

The trust and faith placed in us by the people will not be betrayed,
will not have been in vain.  We are very conscious of our duty at this
hour, and we can assure that we will do our duty.  And just as, in the
past, we assured you that the victory would be ours, we assure you now that
if, as a nation, we can go ahead as we have begun, we will overcome our
obstacles, because when the people of a nation are willing to fight for
their rights, are ready to die, they must be respected.

*     *

Those who preach fear are our worst enemies, those who preach fear are
preaching our destruction, those who preach fear preach the extermination
of our people.

Get thee behind us! we say to the cowards.

Get thee behind us! we say to the fainthearted.

Get thee behind us! we say to all those who are trying to further their
own petty ambitions in this, Cuba's finest hour.

Get thee behind us! we say to all those who board the victory train
when all goes well and abandon it at the first sign of trouble.

Those who have courage, we invite to stay with us.  Those who have
faith, we invite to stay with us.  Those who are ready to give all they
have, we invite to stay with us.

Anyone who lacks courage, anyone who has doubts, should lose no time in
leaving the ship.

Let the cowardly recant, let those who have no faith recant.

Those who have a sense of duty do not fail in it.

Those who have a fighting spirit do not renounce it.

Those who do not feel able to play a role in this unique moment in our
history, should go their way.

Those who do not believe in the Revolution should go their way.

We believe in the people and we know that the people will [justify our
belief, in them].

Any government true to the people, will find the people true to the
leaders of that government.  It is not without meaning that this rally is
bigger than the one we held 8 months ago.  It is not without meaning that
after 10 months of Revolutionary Government the people of Cuba give even
greater support to the revolution.

The reason is simply that the Revolutionary Government has been true to
the people.  To all those who said that the Revolutionary Government was
going to grow weak and lose favor we say:  Look at the people, and you will
see that only the men who betray the people lose their strength; the men
who remain loyal to the people never lose the people's favor.

*     *

What we want to point out is the progress of the revolution.

What we want to point out is that every day we are given more

What must not be overlooked is that soldiers are building highways and
schools, that teachers are working for half salary, that workers are
voluntarily increasing their working-day to help the government, that
citizens are collecting dollars, that children are collecting pennies, that
workmen are working on Sundays to contribute their labor as a donation to
the resources of the revolution.

The wonderful spirit of self-abnegation on the part of the people, the
stirring of the conscience of the people, the willingness to sacrifice
whatever is necessary, the conviction that their destiny can be won by
sacrifices, the certain knowledge that they themselves--and only they--can
guarantee a better future and that they must rely on themselves, and the
realization that heroic peoples are the only ones who have the right to be
free, to be happy and to be independent:  All this is what encourages us.

It is heartening for us to see that our people are ready to make
whatever sacrifice necessary, that they have the courage to cope with any
risk that arises, and have courage enough to let our enemies know that if
they come, that if they drop bombs, and if they fire their guns at us in
attacks upon us, the nation will be defended as long as a drop of blood
remains in any of our people.

Cuba will never surrender, every house will be a fortress; we will
fight on every terrain necessary and with all kinds of weapons, and those
who plot to take over Cuba will--as Maceo used to say--find only dust mixed
with blood.

*     *

So, if we cannot buy planes, we will fight on the ground when the fight
comes down to the ground.  If they persist in dropping bombs, we will build
underground shelters and tunnels.  The people are in a fighting mood, and
we shall immediately begin training the farmers and the workers and the
students.  The tribunals of war and the Revolutionary military courts will
be re-established and the pilots who land on Cuban territory will
inexorably go before the firing squad.  We will defend our country by
fighting on every terrain necessary, and if England does not sell us the
planes, we will buy them where they will sell them to us.  If there is no
money [in the treasury] to buy combat planes, the people will [give the
money to] buy planes.

And right here, right here, my friend Almeida, I give you the pay
checks of the President of Cuba and of the Prime Minister, as a
contribution to buy planes.

In closing, I want only to say:

The Land Reform is here to stay.

The Petroleum Law is here to stay.

The Mining Law is here to stay.

The Revolutionary measures taken to defend Cuba are here to stay.

The Education Reform is here to stay.

The Reform of the University and all our reforms are here to stay.

If anybody wants to criticize us for this, let them criticize us.

If they accuse us, [for this] let them accuse us; if they attack us,
[for this] let them attack us.

We shall fight those who dare plan the destruction of the revolution.
And we take an oath in the name of the people of Cuba --that is, in the
name of you and us-- that either Cuba will triumph or we shall all die
[striving toward that triumph].

Now, more than ever, we take for our own the words of our national
anthem:  "Hasten to the fight Cubans, the country is proudly watching:  do
not fear a glorious death.  To die for your country is to live on".