Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Havana, COCQ, in Spanish to Cuba, Oct. 27, 1959, 0008 GMT--E

(Speech by Premier Fidel Castro at mass rally in Havana)

(Summary)  Workers, farmers, and students, Cubans, all!  You and I have a
lot to talk about. Important questions are to be taken up at today's mass
meeting.  This should not only be a moment of enthusiasm; above all it
should be a moment of meditation because the people must seek out the
causes of their problems.  It is not enough to know "what"; the people must
also know "why."

I have not come to make a speech, I have come to talk to the people,
because never before has it been so necessary for there to be the most
absolute understanding between the people and us.  After all, we here in
this palace, in the cabinet, and in the government positions are nothing
more than men of the people who are simply carrying out the will of the
people, executing the desires of the people and satisfying the people's
aspirations.  Never has it been so necessary for you and us to be one.
For, if they want a fight, we will give them one.  If we are attacked they
will find us as a single army.

The deserters do not matter. The cowards do not matter.  After all, we have
just finished a war and we know that there are cowards and deserters in a
war.  They do not count because they are the minority.  We know we have
people who will not be cowards.  There is only one formula for winning;
there is only one formula for advancing, only one way of attaining victory
and that is through courage.  We know that the people are prepared to die
together with the revolutionary government and the people know that we
shall emerge from this struggle with victory or with death.  The people
know perfectly well that the men who today hold the reins of government are
men who are prepared to die with the people.

But it is necessary to know the "why" of things.  Why are we being
attacked?  Why are we meeting here again?  Why are there traitors?  Why do
they want the revolution to fail?  What is the revolution accused of?  Why
is it being accused of certain things?  What is the reason for these
maneuvers?  How are the people to face these threats?  What measures have
been taken and will be taken to defend the revolution?

Before continuing I would first like to read a few news items.  [Unreadable
text] UPI 3:38 p.m.: "Miami customs officials are investigating the report
that six or seven planes are flying from the Miami area to Havana to drop
counterrevolutionary leaflets on the meeting in support of Castro in
Havana.  Customs official Joseph Fortier said that he had information that
these flight were being made. Although we do not know how successful they
have been, we are trying to find the author of these possible flights.
Fortier also said that he had sent agents to several airports in southern
Florida.  According to reports, the planes which participated in the
alleged flight to Havana had been rented or were privately owned planes."

I am reading this simply because I know that the people are not afraid.  I
do not know who is dropping the bombs.  I do not think that it is anyone
who really wants to help the meeting.  We are not used to dropping bombs at
public ceremonies. This reminds us a little of past politics.  Moreover, it
is really stupid the drop bombs on a sovereign people.

Here on the platform we have just received the following communication from
the headquarters of the rebel army regiment in Pinar del Rio Province.  The
report says that a small plane flew over the city and fired some rifles and
dropped an incendiary bomb on the Niagara sugar mill, burning a house
between the post office and the garrison. This was a 6:30 p.m.  It also
dropped leaflets.

This means that the Miami authorities themselves admit that six or seven
planes left this larea for Cuba and that the results of the flights are not
yet known.  Well, we can give you this first result, and ask you to be kind
enough to send us a war communique on the courageous air excursions against
the people of Cuba.

This is the limit, this is the limit, and we do not know whether it is due
to cynicism or helplessness; we do not know whether it is due to
shamelessness or absolute carelessness toward the people of the United
States that the authorities issue reports on the fifth air excursion over
Cuban territory. How is it possible that the authorities of such a powerful
country with such immense economic and military resources, with radar
systems which are said to be able to intercept guided missiles, should
confess to the world their inability to prevent some small planes from
leaving their country to bomb a defenseless country like Cuba?

I would ask myself whether the U.S. authorities would be so careless as to
permit Russian immigrants to carry out bombing excursions over Russian
cities and villages from Alaska.  I wonder whether they would be so
careless as to allow this act of hostility from their country, this act of
aggression; and then I wonder how it is possible that the U.S. authorities
should be so negligent as to permit these excursions against a country of
the same American continent, to permit this same act of aggression against
these attacks, against a small country which has no military power; and I
wonder whether the cause for the carelessness is due to the fact that we
are a weak country and the authorities of the powerful nations are cautious
not to permit attacks on other powerful nations, but allow them against
countries like ours.  I cannot find any explanation other than that Cuba is
a small country, a country unable to defend itself from these attacks, a
country without power in the world.  I do not believe there is any other
explanation because if the nations act honestly they should be more
concerned with not permitting their territory to be used as a base for
attacks upon a small country from a powerful country.

Who is attacking us from there and why are they attacking us?  When I
meditate upon these problems I cannot but remember the early days of the
revolution, the first days of victory.  I cannot forget those extremely
happy days of our people.  The people were happy because the war was over,
because no more blood was being shed.  The assassinations and attacks were
not to be repeated, the people were happy because there was peace.  They
were happy because there was peace.  They were happy because it never
occurred to any patriot that one day the same criminals, the same pitiless
hordes which fled like cowards, would return and try to sow terror among
our people again.  I thought the people would never have to suffer again
from the terror of those criminals who were driven from power in January.

Why are they attacking us?  Why this impudence from the criminals:  Why
this tolerance by the U.S. authorities?  On another occasion we said so, on
an occasion like this when the entire nation united to defend the nation
against the campaign of slander.  First came the slander campaigns and we
did not see the necessity of gathering the people to deny it.  On that
occasion I said that they were preparing the ground to attack us later.
Ten months have not passed and we have had to gather the people, no longer
to fight against slander, but to fight with the lives of our citizens, to
fight with the lives of our sons, our brothers, our mothers.  We are
gathered here for material reasons because when a nation sees its territory
being attacked during peace time from foreign bases, the only thing the
nation can do is to mobilize itself to proclaim its protest to the world.

We have no planes, we have no radar or antiaircraft guns, but we have
people and only people.  With the people alone the Cuban nation is
mobilizing itself in defense of the revolution and the integrity of its
citizenry, and security of its sons.  We have mobilized what we have; we
have mobilized the Cuban people. We have gathered together one million
Cubans in only three days of preparation.

Why are we being attacked?  Why are no planes leaving Florida to attack
Trujillo's dictatorship?  Why are no planes leaving the United States to
attack Somoza's dictatorship.  For that matter, no one should be making
attacks on anyone from the United States. But we wonder why Cuba has been

There are immigrants from everywhere in the United States, including Puerto
Rico, which also has the right to be counted among the free nations of the
world.  And yet despite this Cuba is the only country which is being
attacked by emigre planes.  Why Cuba?  If there is one country the United
States should treat carefully, that country is Cuba.  Cuba has just
suffered a two-year war during which its cities and fields were bombed with
American-made bombs, planes, and napalm.  Thousands of citizens were killed
by weapons which came from the United States.

The least which we could expect after we destroyed the mercenary army, and
after we freed our people from the tyranny, is that our people not continue
to be bombed from bases on U.S. territory.  What is one to think of such
conduct, or of such negligence, by the authorities of a country which
maintains a naval base right here in the heart of our territory to protect
its citizens from any possible attack?

How is it possible that, in exchange for a base in Cuban territory for the
greater security of the American people, we should be subjected to attacks
from war criminals--attacks which come from bases on American territory?
How is it possible that, in exchange for the risk we run because of the
presence of that naval base on our territory, the huts of our peasants and
our sugar mills and our people are exposed to the incendiary bombs dropped
by planes coming from American territory?

What would the public opinion of the United States say?  In the name of the
Cuban people I appeal to the public opinion of the United States, for I
cannot conceive that the American people would ever tolerate such
negligence and irresponsibility by authorities of that country.  I wonder
what the people of the United States would say if light planes from Canada
or from any other nearby country dropped incendiary bombs on American
factories and houses.  I wonder what the American people would say if
planes from Canada, penetrated the air space over the American capital and,
as a consequence, filled the hospitals with shrapnel victims?  The people
of the United States ill remember the treacherous attack on Pearl Harbor
which caused so much anger.

I am sure that the U.S. people cannot accept the explanation on that the
authorities are unable to stop those flights, because then the U.S. people
would have to ask themselves this question and come to this conclusion:
Either the authorities are accomplices or they are (word indistinct) with
the people; or else the American people are being deceived or are
defenseless because the authorities of that country cannot even prevent
light planes from attacking Cuba.  How can the U.S. authorities tell the
American people that they are being protected against guided missiles when
they cannot stop light planes from going and coming at will to and from
American territory?

Another question which we must ask:  What is the point of those bombings?
What do they hope to achieve?  Do they think they are going to frighten the
people?  What is the purpose of frightening the people?  It is either an
unheard of act of cruelty or an act of unprecedented sadism to punish all
people by causing fear among them at any hour of the day or night.  Or is
it another goal that they are striving for, the one we all suspect:  For
the people of Cuba to show cowardice and once again permit the return of
Masferrer, Pilar Garcia, and Ventura?  Are they planning to force the
people to renounce their revolution by bombs and to force them to surrender
the government to mercenary and reactionary bands?

They are threatening the Cuban people, on the one hand, with economic
strangulation by canceling the sugar quota, and on the other hand by
submitting them to terror. They want to force the Cuban people renounce
their magnificent revolutionary process and its aspirations of bringing
justice to Cuba.  What are the motives for attacking Cuba?  What have we
done to be attacked?  What crime has Cuba committed?  What has the
revolutionary government of Cuba done to deserve these attacks?  This is
what the people should ask themselves.  Both aggression from foreign
territory and domestic treason have one explanation. This is simply a case
in which a revolutionary process is damaging powerful interests which
refuse to accept it peacefully.

What has the revolutionary government done?  The only thing of which the
revolutionary government can be accused is of having promulgated
revolutionary laws, of having taken revolutionary measures.  We can expose
our conduct for everyone to see.  We can show what we have done to the
people because the people are with us.  The people are not with us for
purely sentimental reasons.  The people are with the revolutionary
government because we have promulgated revolutionary laws. Why are the
farmers and workers and the great majority of people with the revolutionary
government?  Why do they defend the revolutionary government?  Simply
because we have been defending the people.

We are going to reply to the slanders of the revolution once and for all.
We are accused of being communists simply because they do not have the
courage to tell us that they are against the revolutionary laws.  And as
they cannot say anything against the revolutionary government, and as they
cannot accuse us of anything, they seize upon the same pretext they have
been using for 50 years.

We must analyze what the revolutionary government has done, and we must ask
the people if they agree with what the revolutionary government has done.
I ask the people if they are satisfied that we have established the most
honest administration ever known to Cuba. I ask the people if they are
satisfied that the revolutionary government has put a definite end to
smuggling.  I ask the people if they are satisfied that the revolutionary
government has put an end to sinecures in public administration.  I ask the
people if they agree with the revolutionary government's having shot the
war criminals.  I ask the people if they are satisfied that the
revolutionary government revised and annulled the concession made by the
tyrannical government to the telephone companies.  (Castro continues with a
long list of government achievements--Ed.)

For the first time in Cuban history a revolutionary government has assumed
power which is destroying all special privileges and injustices and has
insisted in redeeming the people from evils that in some cases have existed
for more than four centuries.  The revolutionary government is trying to
build what has not been built in 50 years.  It is trying to build schools
and aqueducts, to pave streets.

What have the Cuban Government or people done?  Cuban interests must be
defended both in and out of Cuba.  And I could ask the people if they do
not agree with the government's opening up formerly exclusive breaches for
the common use of all Cubans, regardless of their color. And thus we could
continue to ask what the Cuban Government has done that has not been for
the benefit of the people.

But now one fact became evident.  If we grow rice, we damage foreign
interests.  If we produce fat, we damage foreign interests.  If we produce
cotton, we damage foreign interests.  If we reduce electricity rates, we
damage foreign interests.  If we carry out our Agrarian reform, we damage
foreign interests.  If we promulgate a law regarding oil, we damage foreign
interests.  If we build a merchant marine, we damage foreign interests.

If we find new markets for our country, we damage foreign interests.  If we
want to sell as much as we buy, we damage foreign interests.  That is why
we have promulgated revolutionary laws that damage national and foreign
interests.  That is why they attack us.  That is why they call us
communists.  That is why they conjure up all possible pretexts to justify
attacking our country.

Is it possible that the agrarian reform is not truly Cuban?  Is it possible
that the lowering of rental rates is not beneficial?  Is it possible that
the reduction of electricity rates does not benefit the people?  Is it
possible that the reduction of telephone rates is not in the best interests
of Cuba?  Is it possible that the building of a merchant marine, the
planting of rice, the production of cotton, and the production of fat is
not for the benefit of Cuba?  Is it not to Cuba's benefit to protect our
foreign currency?  Is it not to Cuba's benefit to build 10,000
schools--twice as many as were built during the preceding 50 years?

Why, then, do they accuse us?  What can they accuse us of besides having
introduced measures beneficial to Cuba?  What do the criminals and traitors
accuse of is if not of having introduced measures beneficial to Cuba?
Those who do not benefit Cuba are the foreign monopolies, the electric
company, the telephone company, the United Fruit Company, the ships that
transport our products.  The greater part of the rice and fat which we
consume are Cuban products nor are the textiles and manufactured goods
which are used.  The companies which exploit our mines and which have
obtained privileged concessions are not Cuban nor are those interests which
obtained concessions in the greater part of those areas likely to contain

The bombs used to murder our farmers during the war were not Cuban.  The
weapons used to kill 20,000 of our compatriots were not Cuban, nor were the
instructors of the mercenary army which the Cuban revolution destroyed.
The bases from which we are attacked and the planes and incendiary bombs
used to attack a friendly country in peace times are not Cuban.  That
campaign of calumny waged against us it not Cuban, nor are those defamatory
magazines and slanderous international news agencies. And this is the
truth--this is the truth which the brazen and cynical refuse to reveal.
They refuse to admit that they are launching their poisonous campaign
against our revolution so as to unite all the large national and
international interests which are inimical to the fatherland around the
same banner.

What does the reaction want?  Does it want for us to train the farmers and
workers?  No. Take, for example, any spokesman of the reaction--for
example, this spokesman who claims to represent the Autentico
(abstencionists Party--which is false because the true representative of
the Autentico (abstencionistsa) Party is Dr. Carlos Prio Socarras, who is
here among us.  This group, which was attracted by the siren songs of
DIARIO DE LA MARINA and AVANCE, stands behind the traitor Huber Matos and
is accusing the revolutionary government of being communist.  It also
maintains that the revolution does not have to arm the farmers and the
workers to defend itself from its enemies.  All it needs is the valor of
its army, especially if it has the moral support of the entire people and
the entire country.

It is well to warn the real Autenticos not to let themselves be led astray
by this group of unwise people, who are echoing the intrigues of DIARIO DE
LA MARINA, AVANCE, and the spokesmen of reaction and who are already
presenting the very arguments of Trujillo, the White Rose, and the
international monopolies. This group has issued a small newspaper, which is
being financed by the landholders.

I told you a while ago that we must medidate, that we must analyze the
facts, that we must know why they oppose our training the farmers and the
workers.  The answer is very simple:  Because they want a traditional army.
They want a professional army, as we had before.  They shelter the hope
that such an army may some day be the instrument of reaction.  They hope
that they can find someone ambitious, some [Unreadable text] traitor like
the one who has just appeared on the scene.  They hope that, having a
professional army, they may some day corrupt the officers; they may some
day corrupt soldiers; and the armed forces of the republic may some day be
the great factors on which the fate of the country may depend.

All the powerful interests of the past, including foreign interests, had a
potent tool in the armed forces.  It also happened to be the worst interest
Cuba had, from the national point of view, especially when we recall that
the Cuban army had foreign trainers.  Since they know that the people
constitute a tremendous revolutionary force and since they know that a
trained people are a people ready to fight in defense of their conquests,
these gentlemen are allergic to anything that implies the training of
workers and farmers.

We, on the other hand, believe that the best allies of the soldiers are the
farmers and the workers, that the army's best ally is the people. We also
believe that the army's most valiant soldiers are the farmers. The small
group of officers which supported the traitor Huber Matos did not belong to
this class. It was not the type of farmer, soldier, and officer, who
compose the elite, the flower, the most warlike, the most valiant, and the
firmest of the rebel army."

The farmer soldiers are the ones who are protecting the cities from any air
attack with their rifles.  The farmer soldiers are those who fought in the
Sierra Maestra. These are the soldiers who, at one time, formed the first
columns which fought on the various battlefields.  These indeed, are
revolutionary soldiers.

What reaction wants is a disarmed people and an army that can be corrupted
so that some day it can (destroy?) our revolution and force our country to
withdraw.  This is the serious part of the Huber Matos treason:  It was the
first attempt to use soldiers against the revolution and against the choice
of the Cuban people.  It was the first attempt to corrupt officers in order
to use them against the people, against the interests of the people, and
against the Cuban revolution. This is why reaction does not want the
farmers and the workers trained. They have always the hope that if a
professional army (is?) the strength of a country, they can some day
corrupt someone and find a tool that will wage a coup d'etat like the Mar.
10 coup."

We oppose our revolutionary concept of defending the nation with people and
with the efforts of the people to the concept of a professional army and
the defense of the nation by a professional army.

What is the first thing traitors do?  They repeat the slogan used by
Trujillo, the White Rose, the war criminals, and the international
monopolies which are Cuba's enemies:  They accuse the Cuban Government of
being communist. Above all they tell Trujillo, the war criminals, the large
foreign monopolies, the White Rose:  You were right.  They tell those who
bomb our territory:  You were right.  The first thing they do is to raise
the banner of the war criminals, the Trujillistas, and the White Rose.
What is their aim?  It is to divide, confuse, and weaken the people.  They
are traitors because they want to weaken the people when they should be
most united.  They are traitors who want to confuse the people when they
should see most clearly where their own interests lie, and where those of
the enemies of the people lie.

Those who adopt the slogans of the Trujillos, the war criminals, and the
international interests are traitors.  The guilty are not only those who
launched the attacks, but also those who incited them from within
Cuba, those like Pepin Ribero, the DIARIO DE LA MARINA, the the paper
AVANCE, who have been inspiring terrorism, instigating the criminal a had
of the counterrevolutionaries. The guilty ones are not only those who drop
the bombs, but also those who encourage them.

Why does this happen?  Because we have promulgated measures and
revolutionary laws.  It is not against me, or against the President of the
Republic; it is not against Raul, or against Che, or against Camilo, or
Almeira, or anyone else.  They are against the revolutionary laws.  Had we
not promulgated any revolutionary laws they would be giving us the highest
praise.  I have shown that the measures taken are to benefit Cubans. Those
who oppose our revolutionary laws are not Cubans.

When I see my comrades I recall those first days of the revolution in the
Sierra Mestra.  And I recall those difficult days.  I recall those days
when we are hungry and cold, without a house for protection from the rain,
without whose, with only a few bullets, and were being persecuted by
thousands of soldiers.  I remember those days when the revolution could
have been conquered because of our weakness. There were so few of us.  I
remember that, with out faith in a noble cause, we continued to fight
although we were so few.

As I look upon the million patriots before me, I am convinced that the
revolution is stronger than ever and that the danger plunged into it, far
from weakening it, has strengthened it.  The importance of these traitors
is that behind them stand the reactionaries, the Cuban reactionary press,
and the press of the international oligarchy. The resources of the
counterrevolution stand behind them. They are miserable instruments for the
counterrevolutionaries and reactionaries.

This is a fight of interests:  Of the big interests against the interests
of the Cuban people.  For this reason the reactionaries do not applause Che
Camilo, or Raul, or Almeira. They applaud the traitors.  They do not
applaud the loyal men. The reactionaries applaud men who surrender, who are
cowards, who sell themselves.

Do they think that they are going to frighten us?  Do they not understand
that we are so convinced of the justice of the measures we are taking, so
firmly sure that our aim is to serve our people, that they can stop us only
by killing us?

There is a connection between those who bombed Havana and those who
betrayed us at Camaguey.  Both printed letters in newspapers before they
deserted and both had the same argument to offer.  The counterrevolutionary
press printed Diaz Lanz' arguments accusing us of being communists; it also
printed Hubert Matos' arguments accusing us of being communists. The first
plan culminated with the bombing of Havana; the second plan would have
culminated in a river of blood on our soil.  The position of Diaz Lanz and
of Hubert Matos was equally slanderous and equally traitorous.  (People
shout "traitor, traitor!")

When we took over the country, we found 70 million in the banks. Now that
we are making an extraordinary effort, when the school children give up
their little pennies to help strengthen our economy, when the entire nation
is striving, when the construction workers are working 9 and 10 hours
daily, when the workers give up part of their income toward the
industralization of the country, what happens?  On the one hand, we get
cables saying that they are going to drop part of our sugar quota and, on
the other, Diaz Lanz plans his bombings and Huber Matos interrupts the ASTA
meeting to present his illogical and criminal plan.  (People shout
"traitor, traitor!")

This is how they want to destroy the revolution, by means of economic
threats, by the destruction of our plans for progress, and through terror.
Is it just that all the efforts that our people are making now, all their
sacrifices and all the progress which we are making be destroyed for us in
one minute by miserable traitors who, by means of economic strangulation,
treason, and terror want to make our fatherland disappear?  But I ask
myself: Where they are going?  What are they trying to bring about?  I
suppose the war criminals, the traitors and foreign monopolics believe that
the revolution won't defend itself.  They do not understand that the last
(word indistinct) will be behind us.  They do not understand that this
people can do (word indistinct) because the people have a clear conscience.

The people learn more every day and are more alert with each passing day.
Why do they come here in light planes?  Why do they conspire?  Why do they
throw bombs?  Why do they desire to carry out their antirevolutionary
campaigns without fear of punishment?  Because they know that there is no
danger.  They know they can (confide?) in the respect and the generosity
that the revolutionary government has shown.  They know they run no risk,
in conspiring.  They know that our (people?) carry out a revolution in a
very generous way.

For this reason they shoot at the people and come from Santo Domingo and
land in Trinidad.  They injured 47 victims in our defenseless city because
the revolutionary tribunals are closed.  They have abused the generosity of
the revolution.  They are ready to machinegun, bomb, and liquidate the
people, and every day they are more audacious.  In the newspapers they
write that the Prime Minister is a criminal.  They write what has never
been published against the tryanny. Thus (it injures?) greater economy,
promotes division, encourages the wretches that forsake the cause of their
people to serve the enemies of their people.  They knew of our interest in
developing the country's economy.  They see how we are endeavoring to find
work for our countrymen.  They know the efforts are making to industrialize
Cuba, without any other help other than the resources of our own people.

They know we are waging a heroic struggle against the large foreign
interests and they don't want us to win that struggle.  They want to
destroy the revolution by terror because they see that the revolution is a
product of the people.  We only express the will of the people.  It has
become necessary to defend the revolution. The need arises to defend the
revolution and the people have the floor.  (Shouts)  In the presence of my
compatriots gathered here I say that I am going to consult the people about
the restoration of the revolutionary courts.  (Applause and shouts)  Let
the citizens decide on this question and those who agree on the restoration
of the revolutionary courts raise their hands. (Shouts)

Since it is necessary to defend the fatherland from aggression, since it is
necessary to defend the fatherland from air attacks coming from foreign
soil, since it is necessary to defend the fatherland from treason, tomorrow
a cabinet meeting will be held to discuss and decree the law that will
restore the revolutionary courts for the time deemed necessary.  (Shouts)
Even though the courts will be the ones which finally decide, in accordance
with the law, what the penalty of each guilty person will be, I wish to
hear the people's opinion.  Let those who think that those who threaten our
country deserve to be so shot raise their hands.  (Long shouts and cries of
"traitor, traitor!")  Let those who think that those who fly planes over
our land and who bomb our people deserve the death penalty, raise their
hands.  (Shouts and cries)  Finally, let those who think that traits like
Hubert Matos deserve the death penalty raise their hands. (Shouts and

Everyone knows what efforts we made to put an end to the revolutionary
courts.  Everyone knows how distressed we were by the campaign against our
country as a result of our punishment of criminals. Everyone knows what
efforts we have made to increase tourism and to develop this branch of the
country's economy.  Everyone knows of the efforts we have made to carry on
our revolution with the maximum generosity, tolerance, and kindness.
Everyone knows who difficult it is for us to give the newspapers,
magazines, and press agents that attack us another opportunity to present
us to the world as cruel and hard-hearted people.  Everyone knows what we
are sacrificing.  Yet, since we must defend our country from aggression,
since we are being bombed, since they want to overthrow us with terror and
hunger, we have no other alternative but to defend our country.

We shall bring culture to the ignorant, bread to the hungry, tranquility
and happiness in the satisfaction of man's most elementary needs.  While
others speak of democracy and freedom, they forget that where there is
ignorance and hunger there can be no talk of democracy, and only talk of
oppression.  This is because the people have lived under the oppression of
the great estate owners.  The first right of man is the right to live, to
earn bread for his children, to have culture.  Children die without medical
aid.  They had no rights.  Women die prematurely.  They had no rights.
Entire families starve.  Man has a right to live.

Houses have been burned and we are not prepared to allow such terrorism to
go unpunished.  We must defend the territory.  We must tell the world that
the Cuban people are prepared to defend themselves; that the Cuban people
are prepared to die fighting: that the reaction, the counterrevolutionary,
and invaders, whether few or many, are going to meet a nation which is
proud of being able to proclaim that it does not wish to harm any other
nation, and only hopes to live from its work, from the fruits of its
intelligence, and from the results of its efforts.

However, to defend this desire and right the Cuban people are prepared to
fight; men and women, children and old people are prepared to fight because
our cause is just.  We do not fear the measures being prepared against us,
and we are not afraid of the measures which we will have to take to fight
those who want to destroy us. Today Cuba has the world's admiration. Cuba
represents the desire of the people. Cuba will not abandon its place among
the nation as of America and the world.  Cuba will never betray anyone.  It
has won its glory and prestige in defense of its legitimate rights.

We have a revolution because we have people like the Cubans.  Without such
people we could not carry out a revolution like this one.  The
faint-hearted are not important.  When did the faint-hearted ever matter in
the history of nations?  The hesitant are of no importance.  The cowards
are of no importance.  When did they ever matter in the history of nations?
The revolution cannot be held up by anyone or anything.  The entire nation
stands like a single army above the miserable cowards who are trying to
confuse it, above the wicked who are trying to divide it or weaken it, and
above ignorant who are incapable of feeling this emotion.

Cuba is a nation which is aware that its fate is at stake; it is a nation
aware that its existence is at stake; it is a nation aware that it is
engaged in a battle to liberate itself from the yoke that enclaves it
politically and economically; it is a nation ready to wage the battles
which began in the last century; it is a nation which is very much
convinced that is cause is just; it is a nation that is being served by its
leaders today as never before; it is nation convinced that there will be no
turning back.  Our nation will move forward in victory because I firmly
believe that such a people as ours deserves respect.  We care about nothing
now, neither about the burdens nor about life itself.  We care only for the
fate of the nation. (Applause and long cries)  We are aware of our duties
at this time and we assure the Cubans that we shall know how to fulfill our
duty.  We can assure the Cubans that the nation will march forward and that
it will overcome all obstacles because a people ready to fight for their
right, a people ready to die, merits respect.

Those who preach fear our worst enemies.  Away with the cowards; away with
the faint-hearted; away with those who hold personal ambition above duty;
away with those who in fair days joined the chariot of victory and who
abandoned it on difficult days.  Let the brave, let those who are ready to
give their all, remain with us.  Let those who do not believe in the people
go away.  Let those who do not believe in the revolution go away.  We
believe in the people and we know that the people believe in us.

This demonstration has been more impressive that the one we had eight
months ago. After 10 months, the revolution has more support from the
people.  This is because it has known how to keep its word with the people.
Those who thought that the revolution would shirk its duty have been wrong.
What must be stressed here is that the revolution is marching forward.

What encourages us is the fact that we have a people ready to make the
necessary sacrifices.  The more they attack us, the more we defend
ourselves, to our last drop of blood.  (Applause)  Cuba will never give up.
Every house will become a fortress.  We shall fight frontline and rearguard
action.  We shall use every type of weapon.  If we cannot buy planes, we
shall fight on land when the time comes to fight on land.  If they are
determined to keep dropping bombs, we shall construct all the underground
shelters that may be necessary.  We shall start training our farmers and
workers immediately.  Let the revolutionary courts be setup again and let
the pilots who may be forced down here know that a firing squad awaits
them.  (Applause and shouting)  If England will not sell us planes, we
shall buy them wherever we can.  If there is no money to buy fighter
planes, the people will buy these planes.

Right now, Comrade Almeida, I give you [Unreadable text] by the President
of the Republic and by the Prime Minister to contribute toward the purchase
of planes.  (Applause, cheers)  I have just received a report that a bomb
was thrown at the plant where the paper REVOLUCION is printed.  Three were
wounded.  (Cries)

In conclusion, I will say that the land reform goes on. (Applause)  Now it
ill go on more than ever.  (Applause)  The oil law goes on, the mining law
goes on.  The revolutionary measures taken in the interest of Cuba go on.
The education reform goes on.  (Applause and shouts)  The revolutionary
courts go on.  (Applause)  Those are the reasons we are slandered.  Let
them.  These are the reasons they accuse us; let them.  These are the
reasons they attack us; let them.  We shall fight against those who dare to
destroy the revolution. We make this pledge:  Either Cuba triumphs, or we
all die.

Other Speeches

(Editor's Note--E)  David Salvador, leader of the Cuban Confederation of
Labor--CTC--was the first speaker at the mass rally in front of Havana's
presidential palace.  Beginning at 2220 GMT Oct. 26, Salvador said that the
CTC had convened the meeting as a protest by the Cuban people against the
attacks penetrated against Havana by the traitors Batista and Diaz Lanz,
the dictatorships of American headed by Trujillo, and U.S. capitalist
circles.  He called on the people to let the revolutionary government know
that they were ready to fight to the last drop of blood to defend the free
banner raised on Jan. 1, 1959, and to give up a day's wages to help the
government buy the planes and guns needed to defend our capital.

Salvador was followed by President Dorticos, who expressed his emotion at
the sight of the huge turnout and explained the motives behind the meeting.
These, he said, were to express the people's absolute identification with
the government, their denunciation of the traitors who were trying to
frustrate the fork of the government, and their condemnation of any
counterrevolutionary acts, such as air attacks, regardless of where they
originate. He went on to assert that threats and attacks would not retard
the work of the government because the people would condemn such attacks
with arms if necessary.

The next speaker was student leader Rolano Cubela, who pledged the support
of the Federation of University Students to the regime and announced that
the students would be organized into brigades.  He was followed by army
commander Camilo Cienfuegos and air force chief Juan Almeira, who announced
the solidarity of their branches of the armed forced with the Castro

Ernesto "Che" Guevara, who spoke next, asserted that the Cubans know how to
choose the road of blood, sacrifice, and glory and that they would take
another step forward in the battle to escape from colonial chains.  He also
spoke of Huber Matos, whom he described as having taken up the road of
treason, and dismissed the fears of Matos' wife that her husband would be
killed in prison by announcing that the rebel army had never killed anyone

Guevara was followed by Raul Castro, who compared recent events in Cuba
with past events in Guatemala.  Raul Castro declared:  There they used
planes to frighten the people; here they have used planes again with the
same intent.  Guatemala suffered from treachery in the army along with the
plane attacks; here we do not have a professional army that could be
brought because the people are the army.  They could only subvert a traitor
who came to the front only six months before the end of the war.

In an apparent reference to Diaz Lanz, Raul Castro described him as the
little traitor who whispers in the ears of American Senators and now bombs
the Cuban people with planes that belong to the Cuban people.  In
conclusion, Raul Castro called on the rally to give a united vote of
confidence in Fidel.  Fidel Castro spoke next.

WOMEN'S CONFERENCE--The Cuban delegation to the forthcoming Latin American
women's congress in Santiago, Chile, will take thousands of samples of
Cuban products.  The delegation will take 5,000 busts of Fidel Castro,
according to a Havana report.  (San Jose, Radio Reloj, Oct. 26, 1959, 1730

MATOS' SITUATION--In a press interview held in Havana, the wife of Maj.
Hubert Matos declared, after visiting her husband, that he and the members
of his former staff in Camaguey were being held "virtually naked and
without nourishment" in the La Cabana fortress of Havana.  (Managua, Radio
Mundial, Oct. 26, 1959, 1300 GMT--P)