Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana, Radio Centro, in Spanish to Cuba, May 1, 1960, 2210 GMT--E

(Editorial report)  Fidel Castro began his May Day speech with a long
salute all those represented at the festivities, the workers, peasants,
students, professionals, the youth, and the militiamen of Cuba.  Castro
pointed out that May Day belonged to Cubans because they were the workers
and the revolutionaries of the nation.  Castro said he was particularly
gratified to see the Cuban people in such large numbers and added that the
success of May Day festivities shows that the great majority of the Cuban
people stand behind the revolution.

Castro next praises the militiamen for their great progress in preparing
themselves to defend the nation.  "Six months ago the workers did not know
how to march, we did not have a single militia company organized to defend
the revolution in case of aggression," Castro said.  "Our people are not a
military people, and our people will never be a militarist nation," but in
the last six months we have "organized and instructed over 1,000 companies
of workers, students, and peasant militiamen" because "we had to prove to
those who under-estimated our nation" that "we were not incapable of
organizing ourselves," and that "we were not incapable of defending

Castro then put the rehtorical question:  "What has turned us into a
Sparton nation?"  Castro said that every citizen had sufficient, moral and
human sensitivity, a feeling for justice, and a love of country which made
him desire to join a militia so as to defend the nation.  Castro lauded the
people for what he called their "feverish efforts" to prepare the nation to
defend itself.  He then said that all the sacrifices by the people are
necessary because of the "reality of the danger to the country."  Castro
emphasized that he was not "exaggerating or lying" to the people and that
the revolution had "never lied to the people."  Castro then drew attention
to the "interminable number" marching for seven consecutive hours and said
this spectacle gives the world the chance to see "the tremendous poor" and
the "invincible strength of the people."  Castro then said that this was a
different Cuban people from that of a few years ago which was force to
suffer through "exploitation, pillage, and theft" under the "plague of
politicians" which preceded the revolution.  Castro said these politicians
were kept in office "with the aid of alien interests," and that with the
advent of the revolution it was no longer possible for minority groups to
exploit the people and that in this situation we find the reality of the
danger to the nation.

Castro then said that the people were kept disorganized by the minority
group in power by setting one faction against another, the soldiers were
set against the peasants, and the interests of the peasants were pitted
against those of the worker.  Corrupt minorities have been gone so far as
to "pit one sister nation against another," Castro said.  It was in this
way that the state machinery with its rigid reactionary institutions
crushed all hope and destroyed all chance for progress, Castro added.  In
this manner the "instruments for disseminating ideas and information--the
movies, most of the press, and the schools--were in the service of a policy
of subjugation and a weakening of the people."

For the people who lived under the old regime, May Day was a day to present
demands.  Today workers did not present a single demand.  On former May
Days the workers could hardly carry the numerous posters with demands.
Castro said under the old system the workers and the peasants worked for
the minorities, but no one gave the people anything.  The minorities
created a democracy where the rights of the workers and the peasants did
not count, and the rights of the majority did not exist politically.
Children did not have the right to do to school, were not assured medical
care, and often did not have even a piece of bread.  Castro said the rulers
had created a democracy and despite the tremendous force and sacrifices of
the people, they had created a democracy in which the majority did not
govern and did not count for anything.  But in a real democracy, the
majority counts for something, in a real democracy the interests of the
majority are protected, and man has the right to bread, to work and to
culture.  This is democracy and this is the democracy of the Cuban
revolution, Castro said.

At this point gathered masses broke out into loud and long cheering.
Shouts of Fidel, Fidel, Fidel, and what seemed to be revolutionary slogans
continued for approximately minutes.  Following this Fidel resumed

The democracy of the revolution is that in which a "worker cannot be thrown
out to go hungry," Castro continued.  In our democracy a poor student gets
the chance to go the university if he is intelligent, old people are
assured proper care, and the Cuban Negro is guaranteed the right to work
and nobody is able to take this right away through stupid prejudice.  In
our democracy everyone is prepared to defend the nation.  In this democracy
we give arms to all, the peasant and workers, the student, women, Negroes,
and the poor citizens as they are all willing to defend our just case.
This could never be done in a pseudo democracy.  We would like to know what
would happen if Negroes in the southern United States were given arms?
What an exploiting oligarchy may never do, or a military state or a
minority government may never do; namely, give a rifle to each worker,
peasant, student, young man, and poor citizen, we in our democracy can do.

Castro continued that the rights of others in a democracy also count but
added that the rights of the majority must prevail over those of the
minority.  The democracy of the revolution has been a democracy of the
majority.  A close unity has been developed between the people and the
revolutionary government, and it is this direct type of democracy which is
the revolutionary process.  Ours is not a government of ambition or
pleasure, but a government of duty.  We are all sacrificing and yet our
enemies vilify us and demand elections.

At this point the crowd broke in to shouts of "No, Fidel!  This should was
followed by a chant which was unintelligible.  The changing lasted for
about five minutes.  Fidel then said:  "Yes, these enemies demand
elections," and the people began once again to shout "No, no, no, Fidel."
The second outburst lasted about two minutes.  Finally Fidel continued.

One Latin American leader recently said that "only those leaders who are
the product of a valid election should be allowed in the OAS."  Here the
people call out an unintelligible chant for about one minute.  Castro then
continued:  Is it possible that a revolution such as Cuba's could come to
power behind the peoples' back?  Is it possible that a true revolution such
as Cuba's could exists against the will of the people?  Is the only way of
getting into power found in the procedures used so often to falsify the
will of the people, bringing the inept, and those who are not must suited
and honest to power?

Is it possible that after so many fraudulent elections, and the repeated
policy of betrayal and corruption, that the people could believe that the
only democratic procedure is elections?  It is not only with a pencil
marking a ballot, but also with blood that a people can take part in a
patriotic life.  Fighting without weapons against a professional army,
instructed and equipped by a powerful foreign country, the people broke
their chains and with the chains they broke the privileges, the injustices,
the abuse, and the crimes in our country.  They started at the same time a
new stage of progress and the inept fell by the wayside.  They began the
revolution of merit and ability, and not ambition, Castro said.

What is the chief task we Cubans are facing at this time?  Our country is
faced with aggression.  What has the revolution done if not good for its
people and justice for its people?  What has the revolution done if not
defend the interests of the great majority of our people?  Where is the
crime of doing good for the people?  Where is there a crime in fighting for
the people?  What crime is it to see that the peasants have land and to
give them land?  How can one fighting for the people, seeing what the
revolution has done for the people, and seeing this crowd here, a group
made of flesh and blood, men and women who are here of their own free will,
and at their own expense, doubt that this gigantic crowd is the great proof
that the revolution has fought for the people.

Castro here speaks at great length about the accomplishments of the
revolution during its first 16 months of power.  He mentions government
construction of educational facilities, the opening of all beaches which
were formerly exclusively for the small minority groups, new government
employment for more than 100,000, creation of cooperatives, turning people
into land owners who previously paid rent through land grants, suppression
of luxury to satisfy essential necessities of the poorest people, and
generally depicts how the "revolutionary government without economic
resources, with a country ruined by plunder, without borrowing from anyone,
without begging a single cent from the former master of our country, has
carried out a creative policy, a fruitful policy, and it has already had
great results in only 16 months.  Castro points out that the reserves of
the country are almost 150 million pesos and can be counted for the
industrialization of the country.

Castro adds that the "government of a small nation has had to do this
gigantic work while under constant threats, and slander campaigns preparing
for an armed attack on Cuba."  Here the crowd shouts:  "Let them come."
Castro then adds that the government has had to work under pressure from
international maneuvers, has had to watch planes coming from Florida to
burn its sugarcane fields, has received diplomatic notes from a powerful
nation which has seen its economic plans threatened, and at all times the
government must suffer under the most stubborn and pitiless slander
campaign ever suffered by any government on this continent.  Castro says
"the government is involved in a superhuman task of solving many problems
received as an inheritance from a foreign economic domination of 50 years;
and in addition to this task Havana has been bombed and the sugarfields are
still being bombed; and a ship with weapons for defense has exploded and
caused the lives of 60 Cubans."  Castro says gambling, fraud, smuggling,
and the bottle have been done away with by this government.

"This government is carrying out such a just and positive operation, so
beneficial to the people that this government is being isolated, and
threatened with destruction and death."  Castro asks why thousands upon
thousands of plots by reactionary press and reactionary news agencies have
been carried out.  He says that in this country hundreds have suffered and
asks why the press did not worry when the young people were being massacred
on the streets and tortured, and when there were so many abuses.  Castro
says "the press did not write a thing about Cuba then and today war
criminals are called before the U.S. Senate to discuss Cuban problems."
Castro says everyone knows no one is being murdered, no one is tortured,
and that the Cuban police stations are models of good conduct and no one is
mistreated.  However, Castro adds, "we read cables from Washington saying
that mothers of war criminals are reporting to the peace committee of
torture in Cuba about members of their family."

Today when everyone knows that we are men of a different type than those
base men of the past, today when the criminals of yesterday are paying for
their crimes, an inter-American committee listens to the accusations of
torture by the revolutionary government against the war criminals.  Why is
this slander allowed?  Why is this cynical action carried out, Castro asks.
Simply to discredit the revolution before the world, to paint it to the
world as a group of torturers, to sow doubts in the minds of the rest of
the American nations; and to prepare the conditions for aggression, Castro
answers.  Now the assassins of yesterday are received in the U.S. Senate to
report on Cuban affairs, Castro says, and continues that "even stranger
things are going on."

"Without the slightest problem, the slightest difficulty, one day the
President of Guatemala called for his ambassador and without the slightest
incident he broke off diplomatic relations with Cuba and said that in the
Sierra Maestra troops were being trained to invade Guatemala," Castro said.
"This was an unfounded charge, absurd."  It has no logical explanation,
except that we knew "the U.S. State Department was preparing aggression
against Cuba through the Guatemalan Government."  Perhaps seldom has a
maneuver such as this been carried on so cold-bloodedly, for there was not
even the slightest incident, the slightest pretext.  The ambassador, when
recalled, thanked us for the attention he had always received in Cuba.  The
charge about troops being trained in Sierra Maestra to attack Guatemala is
not believed by anybody.  It is an attempt to give Cuba the name of an
aggressor nation in the OAS so that intervention can be prepared, Castro

It is known the revolution is stronger every day, better organized, and
they know they cannot defeat the tremendous revolutionary and social forces
supporting the revolution.  They know they cannot organize a
counterrevolution here.  And so they want to destroy the revolution by
means of international maneuver.

What a coincidence that this withdrawal of the Guatemalan ambassador and
these statements by the Guatemalan President came exactly during the same
week when 10,000 caballerias owned by the United Fruit Company were passed
to INRA to be given to peasants.  What a coincidence!  And what a
coincidence that it was Guatemala, where United Fruit is the all-powerful
institution, that this maneuver originated.  In Guatemala United Fruit
organized and inspired the aggression against that country's democratic
government.  What a coincidence that the maneuver came from Guatemala,
where nobody can govern without United Fruit support.  What a coincidence!
And what a coincidence that we, for every just measure we put into effect
for the people, must warn them against these maneuvers.  What a coincidence
that simultaneously there came out a series of reports saying that pirate
ships in the Caribbean were preparing to attack any ship taking weapons to
Cuba, Castro added.

In past months we have received cables about paratroop maneuvers and
landing maneuvers against guerrillas in this area of the Caribbean.  It
seems logical to believe all these threats.  It means they want to reduce
us to absolute impotence. That is reality.  What do they want to hit in our
revolution?  They want to destroy the example it sets.  Why?  Because we
are of some danger to another country, or want to exploit another country,
or want to meddle in foreign matters?  No.  They want to destroy the Cuban
revolution so it will not be imitated by other Latin American countries.
Everybody knows that.  They want to destroy our revolution at all costs.
They have condemned our revolution to death, so that the peasants of Latin
America, the workers, the students, the intellectuals, will not follow
Cuba's example and carry out agrarian reform in all those countries.  They
want to destroy our revolution to allow them to continue exploiting the
other Latin American nations.  They want to destroy us because we wanted
economic freedom, justice, sovereignty, and because we have cared for the
poor, the unemployed, the sick who had no doctor, and the student who was
without books or money to buy them, Castro said.

Because our people want progress, they want to destroy us.  Our people want
to live happily and at peace on our own land.  They want to destroy us,
because we were unfortunate enough to have foreign hands get control of our
land, our natural resources, our public services, our economy, our
politics, and because the present generation is undertaking the mission of
delivering our country.  Because we want to map our own course and forge
our own future, without harming any other nation, they want to destroy us.
We can never agree with the idea of a country being exploited by another or
by an oligarchy.  We want to build a new country, achieve happiness for the
people.  And logically we also want peace and friendship with all nations.
We are all engaged in a gigantic task.  What we want is to see our projects
converted into reality some day.  We want to see our projects converted
into reality some day.  We want to see every family with housing.  We want
to see every sick person have medical care.  We want to see everybody able
to read and write.  We want to see this country great one day, with dreams
made reality.  So we cannot be guilty of provocation.  Only those who do
not want us to carry out this task can be guilty of provocations.  It is
absurd to try to blame us, when we are constantly thinking of the work
being done, of the future, of the creative work of this revolution, Castro

The battle against poverty, hunger, and sorrow is being waged today, and we
want to win it.  The provocations come from those who cannot resign
themselves to losing privileges and seeing an end to their exploitation of
others, who cannot make up their minds to leave people alone.  That is what
is happening in Cuba.  That is why we must become a Spartan nation.

We must either bow or prepare to meet any aggression.  And we will never be
a nation that agrees to receive the yoke again.  We must of necessity
choose the path of honor, the only way to the future.  We prefer freedom
with all its risks.  The peasants who marched today, the workers brigades,
the students, all the people, are not people to bear a yoke.  We are doing
the only right, dignified thing.  We are taking the road of a nation that
is determined to be free.  We are taking the road that was shown us by our
founding fathers, and our dead.  We have done our duty.  We have remained
true to our fallen comrades.  We are doing a revolutionary work.  Every
school bears the name of a fallen comrade.  Every new town bears the name
of a fallen comrade.

We have not carved their names in cold marble of a statute, we perpetuate
their memory in something living, in a revolutionary work.  a school where
many children study is a worthy monument to fallen comrade; the same goes
for a cooperation that provides living for peasants.  The projects we carry
out bear the names of our dead, so their names will last forever among our
people.  Our revolutionary work is closely linked to the affection we feel
for our fallen comrades.  The schools cannot be changed back into
fortresses, or the land taken away from the peasants again, unless we are
wiped off the face of the earth.  What does it matter to die doing your
duty, when death is the seed of a fruitful work?  It is sad to die if life
is not converted into something.

That is the road and the example we want for future generations, those
generations that will be better than this one but will never have the merit
of this generation which has the great task entrusted to it.  Spirit of
sacrifice has been our motto for this generation, so as to leave a better
world for those who follow.  If we confront sacrifices, it is gladly, for
that will be the greatness of this generation of Cubans.  This is what is
meant by "fatherland or death":  To take our country from us they will
first have to take our life; we are determined to have our country and pass
it on in worthy form to coming generations.  This is the way we feel.

We are a small nation.  We will never attack anybody.  No, we will never
attack anybody, and those persons who think we are planning aggressions,
those who spread the report abroad that we are going to attack, and that
we are going to attack the Caimanera naval base, we tell them not to harbor
any illusions, for we can give warning against a sort of Maine, and it is
our duty to warn them to be very careful with "self-aggressions" because
nobody will be fooled because we state here that the revolutionary
government will never commit an aggression of that nature, and that in the
name of the revolutionary government, aware that its detractors and those
who have an interest in destroying it might in their hysteria go to the
point of framing a self-aggression, we can give assurances that such an
aggression will never come from us.

That is to say that we are going to clarify things thoroughly.  Do not let
war criminals who are being armed over there, or mercenary elements, be
used to organize a self-aggression to justify an armed attack on our
country, Castro warned, and added, it is our duty, partly because of
historical experience and partly because we know of certain treacherous
methods of international politics, to give advance warning to those who are
crazy hunting for excuses to make an armed attack on our country, to the
effect that we will not give them these excuses, and we warn the world
against any framed-up excuse to justify an aggression against Cuba.

We have always said that we will never commit an act of aggression against
anyone, but at the same time we are ready to defend our rights and our
country at any price.  We have always said that from Cuba no one should
ever expect an aggression.  But with the same firmness with which we
proclaim that policy, we also proclaim that any aggression against our
country will have to face a war to the death, Castro warned.

Any attack against our country will have to face the most decided
resistance that has ever been found by any aggressor army.  We know that
Cuban people very well and we know that any aggression against our country
will end in defeat.  The aggressor will be defeated not only by the
resistance in Cuba, but also by the resistance he will find in all America,
and by the resistance he will find throughout the world.  This is so
because a revolution such as ours, which has the formidable support of the
people, which defends such a just cause, and which has the solidarity of
the conscientious people of the hemisphere, cannot be destroyed.

The most sensible thing, the most intelligent thing they can do, those who
do not like our revolution, is to reconcile themselves to it.

Realities do not arise in the world through the whim, of anyone, and
revolutions that are realities do not arise through the will of anyone.
Revolutions are remedies, sour, yes, but sometimes the only remedies to
correct evils.  The Cuban revolution is a reality in the world, and in the
history of the world, just as the men who are ready to fight for it in Cuba
and abroad are a reality.  And if our country is attacked by any power
under whatever pretext, aggression against our country will provide a war
not only against our people, but also against every Cuban in every part of
the world wherever they may be.  We express this decision to fight with the
same firmness that we desire our dreams to become reality, Castro said,
adding that "never through our provocation will any war arise."

Castro added that Cubans must remain always on the alert, saying that it
is the price Cuba must pay.  "Always alert against any aggression.  Always
alert, each soldier of the rebel army and militiamen, peasants, workers,
students, youths, each man and each woman, every old person and every boy,
always alert.  Always alert under any circumstance, always with a firm
spirit," Castro urged.

"Always alert," he continued, and ready to fight, happen what may, fall who
may; always alert and ready to fight no matter what, doe who may.  Our
revolution should not be weak because one or two lives are lost.  If one
leader falls, the duty is to put another leader in his place without
discussion.  If one leader falls, another should be put in his place, let
that leader be who he may.

"If the Prime Minister is missing at any time," if the enemies of the
revolution undertake an aggression, "what I want to say is that...."
(Castro is interrupted here with boos from the crowd.  He continues when
the crowd settles down):  "At that time I propose Raul for Prime Minister."
This is the only realistic way to know that you will have immediately a
substitute Prime Minister."

(this announcement is followed by commotion and shouts lasting about one
minute.)  If both are missing, the President of the Republic meets with
his cabinet and appoints another Prime Minister, for we here must be
prepared for any contingency.  All contingencies should be foreseen.  And
people should know what to do.

Castro also expressed faith in the destiny of the country, and in the
solidarity of the brother nations and the other nations of the world.
Castro told the people they must tell the brother nations that this nation
is another Sparta.  "We must tell them that we are Spartans ready to die.
If this is what they expect from us, we will know how to respond the
support and solidarity they have offered," Castro advised.

Castro closed his speech by saying:  "Let us raise our Cuban flags, pour
rifles, and our machetes to swear that we will fulfill our goal of
fatherland or death."  The station announcer then reported that the May Day
festivities were at an end, and the national anthem was played.