Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana, FIEL Network, in Spanish, Mar. 25, 1961, 2310 GMT--E/F

(Speech by Prime Minister Fidel Castro at banquet honoring chief editor
Carlos Franqui and REVOLUTION, awarded the international journalists
association prize)

(Summary) I am honored to pay tribute to REVOLUTION today.  Before our
victory, we were surrounded by prejudices and lies.  Ideas were fashioned
by those who had a virtual monopoly of the means of dissemination, and by
those who ruled in the universities and schools and in the press, radio,
and television.  For this reason, our revolution had a great task to
accomplish.  For this reason, our revolution had a great task to
accomplish.  It had to awaken the national conscience, open eyes, uncover
the truth, and make it possible for the people to discover the truth by
themselves.  Those were the days when the weapons of information were
concentrated in the hands of the worst reactionaries.

We could not achieve from the very first day what we have accomplished in
two years.  It was necessary to proceed cautiously.  For this reason, we
always appealed for the support of the people, to the trust of the workers
and farmers.  The agrarian law was not enacted on the first day.  It took
several months to be completed, and only after an intensive campaign to
make sure that the people would understand it.  During those days, a few
impatient farmers wanted to invade some of the large estates.  It was then
necessary to appeal to the trust and the faith of the people so that they
would understand the need for waiting.

The establishment of new and advanced methods of production has made it
possible for our country to resist the ferocious attacks of the
imperialists.  We used to talk to the representatives of the professionals,
industry, trade, and labor with the aim of awakening their patriotism.  We
never offered them anything that them revolution was not willing to not
grant.  From the very start, we always talked with the utmost frankness.
Did we lie to them?  No.  Have we done anything different from what we had
promised?  No.

The revolution advanced rapidly.  But the revolution by itself cannot
control its own tempo.  The pace of a revolution can often be affected by
the actions of those who oppose revolution.  Those who complain are largely
to blame for the slowness of the pace.  The revolution had had to take
firm, rapid steps, in part forced to do this by the actions of those who
wanted to destroy it.  There are still many industrialists and businessmen
who have their businesses here.  Their sectors might have analyzed the
revolution propaganda, and helped the revolution more.  We said from the
start what interests we would affect.

The revolution has fulfilled the promises it made to the people.  There is
hardly any revolutionary law that is not an expression of what we promised
the people from the very beginning of the battle against the Batista
tyranny.  Everything done up to now has been an expression of what was
promised to the people.  It was natural that some economic sectors of the
union should feel these promises were nothing but words, so they let
themselves harbor the illusion that there would be no agrarian reform or
urban reform.  That did not mean the revolution would stop.

Example for America

A revolutionary process is a great effort to move forward.  It is a leap
forward in the history of peoples.  The leap must be as great as possible.
A revolutionary process tries to achieve the greatest progress, the
greatest justice possible for the people.  Setting limits would be
betraying the revolution.  Setting limits to a people's leap forward in
history would be betraying that people.  In this hemisphere, this is the
country privileged to have made the first real social revolution.  The
further this revolution goes, the more it can set an example for our sister
nations, then the more we can feel proud of the privilege of carrying out
this revolution.

There are efforts that seem useless, and yet are not.  Were the words we
spoke to those sectors useless?  No.  Some understood our words.  Another
considerable group did not and could not.  But at least the people
understood.  It was as if we had told them that a thorough revolution was
being waged here; that it was forward over all obstacles.  It was as if we
had said that, in view of this, those sectors whose interests would be
sacrificed had two choices: accept that revolutionary reality and adapt to
it and help the country, or oppose it.

All Cubans were invited to take part.  Those who did not join did so
because they did not want to.  They lacked faith, or they thought
themselves stronger than anybody else, or they counted on the powerful
neighbor to halt the revolution, or because they believed and still believe
that the revolution is impossible in the economic and geographical
situation of our country.  They had those two choices.

It would have been better for them to help the revolution, for thereby
their sacrifice would have been more tolerable, and the revolutionary birth
would have been less painful.  We do not have to lament the problems and
misfortunes of those sectors.  If they went against the revolution, the
fault is their own; they had the chance to choose.  But it cannot be said
that the revolution was not generous, that it did not extend a broad
invitation to all Cubans equally.  How many proofs there are of this!

Today we remember some of those who were government officials in those
times.  Certain social sectors here had their wise men, their intelligent
men.  Those were the days when the people still believed in the
intelligentsia.  The intelligentsia that were in the government in the
early months did not have the political guidance of the revolution, but
they were with it, and today they are not; today they are over there.
Those sectors and the intelligentsia understood.  I spoke clearly to them.
I felt much better when meeting with workers and peasants, but when I asked
to meet with representatives of the big economic sectors I attended.  I
always had something to say to them.  I always had an invitation for them
to join the revolution.  Those invitations were not useless, for they help
to understand.  It helps the people to understand that those who oppose the
revolution have no moral cause, because the revolution did not shut the
door on anybody.

Let those gentlemen remember that at one time they had access to
fundamental positions in the government.  They had not helped the
revolution, they had not fought, they had not suffered, they had not forged
the victory; and yet in the hour of triumph they had positions here which
they did not really deserve.  It is well to remember that, so we will not
lose sight of the kind of people they are, and so we can understand that
those who have left to become traitors did so because they wanted to.
Those who turned against the revolution after its victory are with the
Batista men today.  The revolution did not shut the door on any of them.
This gives us the right to fight them to the end.

The revolution showed no sectarianism.  Had it done so, Lopez Fresquet,
Justo Carrillo, and others like them would never have come into the
government.  We knew they were men of conservative mentality, but the
government of the republic, in the first days after victory, was not in the
hands of revolutionaries.  The government itself was not in the hands of
the men who had spent years fighting, who had spent time in prison, who had
fought in the mountains, who had lighted the revolutionary spark.  The
fundamental posts were in the hands of men who had in their hands the
making and unmaking of reputations because they had publicity organs in
their hands and economic resources.  They did not praise an honest peasant
or labor leader, an honest revolutionary leader, a progressive writer, or a
leftist writer or intellectual.

The true values of Cuban intellectuality were banned.  A number of
gentlemen who were merely servants of the dominant class rose to the
heights of intellectual reputation.  Those gentlemen always looked on us
with a feeling of superiority; they looked on us as brash boys who had
waged the war against the tyranny, but considered that the time had come
for the "intellects," and they thought that meant them.  We never trusted
them, but it was necessary for the people to learn who those people were.

They had not had the ability to lead the people to freedom, and therefore
they were not capable of leading people during revolutionary change.  Who
would imagine these people facing the fight that our people are waging
against the powerful empire to the north?  Those gentlemen would have
handed this country to foreign interests; they would have sold themselves
to the imperialists, but would never fight the imperialists.  And so what
was to happen happened: the desertion of all these gentlemen; the betrayal
of the country; the passing of enemy ranks.

If they chose the road to desertion, they have no right to ask clemency on
the day they have to meet justice.  We have no reason to be indulgent with
them.  If it were to happen that some day they dare set foot on our soil,
then we all should have the right to treat them meanly.  The revolution has
a right to defend itself against the counterrevolutionaries.  The
revolution was no one's monopoly: Everyone who felt he was a revolutionary
could belong to it.  Not a single rascal or opportunist failed to feign
that he was on the side of the revolution after it triumphed.  We knew them
well and so did the people.  Because we knew that the revolution had deep
roots in the people and because we knew about those supposed
revolutionaries to remain calm.  Many believed then that the fight had
ended because the revolution had triumphed.  No more wrongly thought that
the fight was over.  As we have said on many occasions, the fight was just

We know the circumstances under which the fight goes on once it has
started.  We know by experience what a revolution means.  Who does not
remember the days when we fought clandestinely?  Who does not remember the
difficulties we had in getting money to purchase weapons?  Who does not
remember the skepticism prevailing among many of the people then?  January
1 found many people turning into revolutionaries because the last shot had
been fired.  Who does not remember those opportunists?  Some looked at them
with scorn and others, and we among them, with pity.  Many thought we were
wrong.  Time and events have proved that we were right.  Even those who
climbed on the victory wagon proved us right, for their action showed that
they thought that we were in the right.

Treason or Loyalty

For along time in our country one could claim he was mistaken about his
actions.  Some believed that the Cuban problems could be solved through
elections.  But the decisive moment came when the word "error" disappeared
from our political dictionary.  There came a precise and concrete time when
it was necessary to choose between treason and loyalty; the right and wrong
road; there was no middle of the road.  One could choose only between the
two extremes: either with the revolution and the country and people, or
against them all.  That moment was to come and those who have chosen the
road of treason do not even have the consolation of saying, "I am here
because they expelled me and I had no opportunity to defend our country."

Those who desert the country now are taking sides between Cuba and its
enemies; they are choosing between the decision to defend the country with
their lives, and those who propose the cause bloodshed and destroy our
fatherland and country.  A sad choice for the hesitant and the traitors.
They must choose between continuing to be sons of this country and giving
up this right forever.  This is a fight between Cubans and the enemies of
the rights of Cubans.  It is a fight for a free and sovereign country.
(Loud applause) This is a fight between those who believer that we can be
masters of what is ours.  It is a fight between those who wish to murder
our people and those who want our people to live on, who want their
progress and well being.  It is a fight between those who follow the orders
of foreign police and those who uphold their country.

Those who once coined for themselves the title of "intelligent" and
"intellectuals," today are serving the orders of the brutal and bloody
northerners.  (Applause) If to be a follower of Batista was a crime, how
much worse is it to become a follower of Allen Dulles and the Yankee
generals.  If it was a crime to kill for Batista, it is much more so to get
money from the Yankee State Department, FBI, and CIA.  This is evident to
all.  All one has to do is to go to the Civic Plaza in order to see
machineguns, parachutes, and so forth, which have been dropped in our
country by the imperialists.

U.S. Intervention

How they trample on the rights of a country; how they violate international
law; how they mock all international rules, in order to bring deadly
weapons, explosives, live phosphorous, and all the means of destroying
industries, wealth, and above all, lives!  If all the proof we have is not
enough, let us remember that when the refineries, companies and industries
belonged to foreigners not a single bomb went off, not a single act of
sabotage affected them.  Now that the profits of these plants do not go to
foreign banks, but are invested in hospitals, schools, books, tractors,
new industries to provide jobs to black and white alike without
discrimination, to give a job to any Cuban who needs it, now that these
profits do not go to Yankee millionaires, now that everything the worker
produces is for his own country--now they want to destroy these industries
that today belong to the people.  They even shelled one of those
enterprises, something that was never done when they belonged to the North

That alone is enough to show the spirit that encourages the
counter-revolutionaries, the spirit of service to foreign interests, the
spirit of treason.  It shows what awaits the worker, the peasant, the
Negro, the woman here who has won rights under the revolution, what awaits
the humble people, the revolutionary intellectual, if those gentlemen were
ever again to dominate this soil--and I say soil, for they could never
succeed again in dominating the people, for there would be no people left
here to resign themselves to such a misfortune.  There would be just the
soil of our country, drenched in blood.

The mercenaries, the foreign millionaires, the cynical government that
encourages them, the thugs of the FBI, the Pentagon bandits, the State
Department pirates--none has a right to give our country such a future.
None has a right to cut short the future our country is forging for itself.
None has a right to cut off the hopes of the humble people here who hare
fighting for a future different from their past.  None has a right to
destroy the light we hare holding aloft for the minds that lacked teachers
and schools.  They have no right to destroy the happiness, the place of
honor our country holds today.  They have no right to destroy the freedom
and security; they have no right to snatch the bread from the mouths that
have what they never had before.  They have no right to take away the bread
from the hundreds of thousands of Cubans who have jobs today, or the roofs
they have today, or the land the peasants have today, or the schools the
children have today, or to take away from the people the weapons they have
today for their own defense.

Freedom and rights are not guaranteed by corrupt institutions or venal
judges; they are guaranteed by the people having weapons in their hands.
Speaking of taking away weapons from peasants, workers, students, Negroes,
women--to make them slaves of foreign millionaires again so all our wealth
would again go to foreign hands--that is what it means to take away their
weapons.  To carry out such a program, they would find no people.  It is
too bad they are too stupid to understand this.  The lives and wealth they
destroy will never attain their goals.  It is a useless attempt.  It is a
risk they impose on our country and on the world in a useless attempt to
turn back history and prevent the progress of mankind and keep colonies
from gaining freedom; a useless effort to go on plundering nations.  Who
cannot understand today that the imperialists are gangsters and pirates,
international gangsters, common pirates of contemporary times, who do not
respect lives or wealth or rights, or the sovereignty of nations.

It is not only here that they conduct themselves as gangsters and pirates.
In the last few months, the world has been able to learn a great deal about
the imperialists.  Lumumba's blood is still fresh; he was shamefully
murdered, along with the chief figures of that African people, who trusted
the United Nations.  And now military forces are being mobilized in the
direction of Laos.  Arms were sent to the counter-revolutionaries there,
and now that mercenaries are being defeated, forces are being mobilized
thousands of miles distant, endangering world peace.  If they do not
respect the people of Laos or the Congo, what can we expect only 90 miles
away from the imperialist homeland?

Imperialism drenched Korea with blood.  Like all imperialists, they act
like bandits.  We must realize this full well; they do not respect any law;
they respect no people anywhere on earth.  Yankee arms are killing the
children in that Asian country, arms from Yankees or their allies kill in
the heart of Africa; Yankee arms and explosives are trying to destroy Cuban
wealth and lives.  We have learned that fully, and so has the world.  In
view of this, the only thing possible is the mobilization of the peoples.
Mankind, threatened by gangsteers, by international murderers, is
mobilizing in Asia, in Africa and in America.

As proof that gangster tactics cannot make way are the statements by Lazaro
Cardenas made public today.  He is a man of extraordinary prestige in
Mexico and America; he is the leader of the Mexican peasants and workers,
the men and women of the people; he is also the leader of the Mexican
soldiers; he is a man of incalculable prestige in Mexico, for his
experience and respect for institutions.

Lazaro Cardenas, replying to Kennedy's speech on the "Alliance for
Progress," said that Kennedy had quoted Juarez, as saying that the future
of America depends on democracy, but that Kennedy forgot to say that Juarez
had said that peace results from respecting the rights of others, and that
the United States had taken away half of Mexican territory--but Kennedy
said nothing about that.

Danger of Hemispheric War

Thus, through one of its most distinguished sons, the Mexican people have
expressed their feelings.  He said also the Mexican peasants were ready to
take to the mountains to defend the Cuban revolution if it was attacked by
imperialism.  And if our country is attacked by imperialisms, not only will
Mexican peasants march to the mountains, but peasants and workers from many
other American countries will march to war against imperialism.  The Cuban
revolution will be defended by workers and peasants students and patriots
of all America, with their lives.  And as soon as the imperialists attack
our country, no official or monopolist or agent of the Yankees will be able
to feel safe anywhere in America.  Maybe the imperialists hope to start a
local war in Cuba, failing to understand that what they may start is a war
throughout America.

That is the resistance the imperialists will find here in our country, the
resistance they will find from our people, which will serve to promote a
hemisphere-wide revolution; the heroic resistance any aggression finds here
aggression by mercenaries or marines--after all that is the
same--aggression with puppet government or without, with one foot on our
soil or both.  We would like to know just where on our solid they are going
to set up that government, and whether it can stand the hail of fire that
will meet it.  Whether or not it comes supported by Yankee planes or
ships, anything crossing our jurisdictional line will be met with a hail of
fire.  If it begins playing at local war, imperialism may meet with
hemispheric war, if not its total destruction.  It is a bad thing to play
at local wars.  It is bad to take too many chances, because some day it may
not work out.  The imperialists are playing the role of international
gangsters in every part of the world, and the world knows it.

Pardo Llada Defection

That miserable little traitor who went over to the enemies a few days ago
is an indication of the hopes the enemies have in Cuba.  In talks with a
member of certain embassy, he said that what happened in Spain, was going
to happen here.  In Spain there was an army armed to teeth, led by
reactionary generals.  Spaniards without arms had to fight against German
and Italian tanks during the days of the republic.  Revolution could not be
waged in Spain, but we have waged it in Cuba.

There is a great difference between us and Spain: we have land reform here;
we have cultivated large tracts of virgin lands and have constructed a new
military apparatus.  The conditions prevailing in Spain do not prevail

Those who betrayed Spain were a little bolder than these gentlemen, who are
known to us.  These gentlemen did not lift a finger against Batista.  They
did not dare fire a shot against a Batista soldier.  Then how are they
going to come here and face armed people?  We fought against an enemy they
could not defeat.  They never did or could do anything against it, they are
going to do even less against us.  We have armed people; those who waged
the war of independence.  We know how to fight against superior forces.  We
are used to it, they are not.  The most they did was to beg arms and money
from the United States.  These are the gentlemen who are going to come here
and wage a revolution.  They are going to overthrow the armed people and
those who overthrew these people?  What are their plans?  The mercenary
government will not last 24 hours, perhaps a little longer.

We will shoot anybody who comes near our shores.  We have no fear of the
imperialists.  We know that they are going to provoke us, but things are
going to be more serious here than in Laos, the Congo, and wherever they
have struck their nose.  We have much more arms than these people, more
than Sandino, and the Mexicans, and the Spaniards who come here.  A people
ruled by oligarchy are not the same as people in revolution and the
masters of their own fate.

That is how things stand.  Those who came running to our side on January 2
are not abandoning the train.  Since the train is running at full speed,
they run the risk of being killed.  They have no personal dignity, no love
of family and country.  Have they not thought about the power of the
enemies of our land?  Have they not thought that the State Department, the
CIA, and so forth, are making plans for them?  The revolution has swept
immorality and injustices away and has made people moral, virtuous, and
free.  It is so much different from yesterday, when the atmosphere was like
poison gas.  Are they not moved by the army of teachers, the many schools
built, the greatness of our country, the achievements of the revolution
that surprises many of our visitors?  Amid aggression, economic blockade,
and sacrifices, our people are fighting back valiantly.  Can they not
understand this?

Was the departure of this gentleman (Pardo Llada--Ed.) a surprise to
anyone?  (Crowd shouts: "No") He had been erratic; everybody knows he was
erratic.  This gentleman is a good thermometer.  When he arrived in the
Sierra Maestra, no one wanted to receive him, no one stretched out a hand
to him.  He had such hostile mien that once when Franqui went to the Sierra
and I asked him to give me his camera, he told me he would if I would send
Pardo away.  Pardo received a cold reception.  I was the only person who
received him courteously.  It was a disagreeable situation, at any rate.

If he hears our words, wherever he may be, he should remember we were the
only ones to welcome him when every one rejected him.  He himself
acknowledged it several times.  He asked us if there was something he could
do for us--talk on the radio?  No, we told him.  He came to us when he had
no other place to go.  He found refuge in the limitless generosity of our
revolution.  He marched with the revolutionary forces and witnessed th
final epic days of the war.  He was to write later on of those days and
boast that the people had received his words warmly.  He went back on the
radio, and he had full facilities for speaking.  When many would not
forgive him for his past, he received from us only encouragement,
friendship, and good fellowship.  Many refused to believe in him.

The enemies of the revolution tried to compare him with Otto Meruelos.
Otto Meruelos was paid; we did not pay him.  Meruelos defended a bad cause
while he was defending a just cause.  Pardo must not be compared with
Meruelos.  Meruelos defended a bad cause, but he stuck to it to the end
and took the consequences for his loyalty to it.  And this other fellow has
been unable to stick to a good cause to the end.  I am sure that out of
sheer disloyalty, he could not have defended even a bad cause to the end.
We know him well and we know he will come to no good end.  He never had the
courage to attack Batista while he spoke for CMQ, Chibas attacked Batista
systematically, inflexibly.  He was alert; he would have warned that
Batista was preparing a coup.  But this fellow said not a word; and he
never attacked Masferrer.

We did not expect him to make such a big decision as this one.  He often
made mistakes in little things; he lacked courage to attack enemies.  Where
did he get the courage to take the step he has now taken, forgetting his
obligations to the revolution, even though it was just a simple debt of
gratitude?  The worst of all is the way he carried out his treachery, worse
than any of his predecessors, in such a small, cowardly way.  Think of the
humiliation he has inflicted on his own family.  Since we are obliged to
unmask a Judas such as he, a traitor to his country and friends, at least
we want to say we are sorry for his wife, mother, and child, whom he
deceived along with us.  He sold himself for the gold of our enemies.

How could anybody who until just a few days ago was aiming the worst
epithets at traitors and deserters be capable himself of doing exactly the
same as they, or worse?  The best description of his conduct comes from his
own editorials.  What he said applies to him.  He wrote them without any
pay from us; what he writes from now on will be paid for by the
imperialists.  What is valid is what he wrote without pay, here under the
revolution.  More than indignation, he arouses contempt.  And actually,
after a meal, we should not have mentioned his name.  But it was necessary
to devote a few words to him.  He has written his own condemnation.

Where is he going?  To Spain.  Who will take care of him?  The FBI.  And it
does not matter what he wrote about the FBI.  All he said about imperialism
does not matter.  All he said about traitors does not matter.  We do not
buy traitors and deserters.  Who buys that kind of goods?  Imperialism.
Imperialism trafficks in that kind of merchandise.  We would not buy a
thug, but imperialism buys him to write against the revolution.
Imperialism deals in that kind of individual.  It takes people with corrupt
minds and puts them to work for it.  The revolution does not buy people
like that.  Those who are with the revolution defend it for pure motives,
disinterestedly.  They are the soldiers of a just cause.

Imperialism buys any traitors, any thug.  Where are Masferrer, Ventura, the
big thieves, the big murderers, the deserters, the traitors, the corrupt
policians, the snakes, the informers?  Who pays them?  Imperialism.  It has
taken up all the trash there was in Cuba.  It has formed a trash
government.  All the crooked politicians are over there.  What does
imperialism care about their morals?  The Yankee press speaks brazenly of
camps to train mercenaries.  Who would ever have said they would all be
over there together, under the protective cloak, sheltered under the wings
of the Yankee buzzard.  All together: Politicians, war criminals, the big
brains--and talking about government.  They intend to form the government
over here.  That is the kind of people who have hired themselves to
imperialism.  They are not worth worrying about.  They are not the problem,
rather it is those who are behind them.

However, they must feel somewhat ill at ease and unhappy.  Imagine leaving
your own country, the true comradeship of the workers and peasants and the
revolutionary organizations, and swapping it for what they have over
there.  And just think: that gentleman could have been here today, in this
atmosphere of decent, revolutionary people.  But imagine a banquet over
there, its atmosphere; how much trash there must be; for the informers, and
so forth, with Pepinillo, Goar Mestre, Zayas, Conte Aguero, and Pardo
Llado; with Diaz Lanz, the embezzlers, and Jules D Dubois.  What will Pardo
Llada say now about his hairy-eared friend?  What a mess, gentlemen.

Imagine him in Spain, eating with the Marquis de Lojendio.  Of course,
Spain is just a stepping stone; after that it will be New York.  And of
course, the festivities will have nothing Cuban about them; somebody will
be playing rock and roll.  Here the honest, enthusiastic people get
together.  How said it must be to exchange so much for so little.  Can
there be enough money in the world to make up for it?  Changing the
applause of the people for the contemptible laughter of the people!  It is
shameful, for him, to have to think of the baseness and treason he has
committed against the people.

These little traitors do not affect the course of things; they are simply a
barometer indicating that the cowards are out in the open.  What is he
going to do?  One thing is sure:  This gentleman and those like him must
not forget that they will never return to this country.  Our country opened
its arms to him in spite of his mistakes, but after such action he must
know he can never return.  This will be the worse punishment for him.  The
revolution will not be destroyed.

We know it is a real revolution and we know we are engaged in a tough fight
against an empire and those who are sold to that empire.  We have a tough
fight ahead of us but we are going to win it.  Do not let Yankee help to
these people worry you.  We know what it is all about.  We know we are
going to have to fight.  But people never feel as well as when they are
getting ready to fight their enemies.  It will be a better moment than
January 1.  Now we have the revolutionary forces minus the traitors and the
cowards.  The atmosphere is better.  The time is better.

As a matter of fact, our revolution has been easy: look at the French
revolution, when Paris was defending itself from several foreign armies.
How the people suffered.  Read the story of the Russian revolution and you
will see that 14 armies invaded it.  The country had no coal, no food.
Yet this country is leading the world in science and technology today.
(Applause)  These great people have been able to conquer space and to send
rockets into space.  They can even send them to other planets.  In a few
years this great country will surpass the economic and industrial
capacity of the United States, despite the fact that its land was
destroyed by the Nazis.  To do this, sacrifices were necessary.

We, on the other hand, have never lacked anything.  The guajiros waste
nothing.  We in the city waste money.  If the guajiros lack automobiles and
have no electricity, it is because in the past only the city people
controlled the economy.  The housing situation was bad and we are trying to
solve the problem.  We shall keep building homes in cities and rural areas.
Soon there will be plenty of homes, recreation, and goods for everyone.

We are under economic blockade and it was intended to bring scarcity and
disappointment to the people.  They cut the sugar quota, cut this and that
to produce discontent.  It is not going to work because it will only
irritate the people and make them hate the imperialists.  Their political
objective is clear, but they are not up against a vacillating, soft people.
We have gained the enmity of the imperialists because we have taken
everything that was ours away from them.

Role of Press

The people must be prepared for them.  If effort is needed, we shall do our
share and lead the way for the people.  We will also make sacrifices along
with the people.  Newspapermen have a great task ahead: They must orient
the people, inform them.  The role of the press, radio, and television is
fundamental.  Has it done its task well?  Yes, it has, but it must do even
better.  Not everyone has done his duty.  This includes even government
people.  We must not rest on our laurels.  We are still fighting the
imperialists.  We must redouble our energy.

When we were in the Sierra and an enemy approached, we redoubled our
efforts, even tripled them, to face the fight ahead.  We must do the same
thing now with the approach of the imperialist offensive.  We must redouble
our efforts in every phase of life.  In every organization, civil and
military.  There must be more efficiency.  Everyone must understand that
the fundamental aim is to fight against the imperialist enemy facing us.
We must do our work better, no matter where it is, in the plant, on the
farm, in the press or in an armed unit.  This is especially directed at the
comrades of the press.  Information material must be coordinated better.
The quality of newspapers must be improved.  We must coordinate the news
among all papers and orient public opinion jointly.

There are times when we must warn the press not to publish certain news
that may help the enemy.  Well, they must always remember that the
revolution comes before the newspaper.  The interests of the papers must
be linked to those of revolution.  There must be coordination; the campaign
for its success depends on our effort.  News that helps the country and the
people in general must have preference in printing.  The reasons, justice,
the cause of the revolution must be printed.  The enemies of revolution
must be revealed to the people.  The formidable press service must form a
strong revolutionary conscience.  We must divulge the work of the
revolution but let us do it seriously; let us be specific and correct in
our information.

We must have educational programs for our children; we must convert
television more and more into an organ of culture, information, and
education.  All these media and resources must be used to improve the
people morally and materially.

We must strive constantly to improve our children, the workers, all the
people, to form their revolutionary spirit.  We must achieve greater
coordination between government organs and media of dissemination.  We
must realize that the press must serve the revolution.  Literacy will mean
greater circulation for all newspapers.  There must be mutual aid among all
newspapers, to raise the quality of all.  The press will be more and more

The newsmen as a class have stuck with the revolution.  We have work for
them.  We are going to try to improve the quality of every article and
item.  We will also try to save paper, and provide a light paper for the
people, with little advertising, and solid contents.  What we say on paper
we can use to help newsmen.  I think that is fair.  That is a great future
for newsmen.  There is a great future for the intellectuals, for the
artists on television, radio, and in the cinema industry.  Less advertising
on television, and more programming.  The problems of the press, radio, and
television can be discussed at meetings of all interested groups.

There is no problem between the revolution and the loyal men and women.
The revolution has had problems only with miserable individuals, who were
born for another period, not for this era of hope and struggle.  If we lose
the chance we have now, what beacon would again be lighted in this
country?  This is the time for cultivating all minds, for discovering all
the light that can be provided by the mind of each individual.

Today we live to be something big, not just for ourselves, but for America.
Ahead of us we have a whole continent that is awakening and rising.  And
some men desert now, when the flame of revolution is beginning to burn in
America.  We are the banner of the redemption of man; we are defending it
here, and for 200 million Latin Americans.  Is that not a cause worth
defending?  This is the hour for those who have longed for such a time for
Cuba and America.  It is not the hour for those who hesitate or fear.  The
proper spirit for this hour must be forged.  All our forces must be put to
work, so we will be prepared to fight victoriously against the imperialist
giant, a battle that our people will undoubtedly win, for the imperialist
giant has to face a greater giant: the giant of peoples tired of
exploitation and oppression, the giant represented by the sister nations of
Latin America, the giant of Asia, Africa, and America; the giant that is
stronger than imperialism: the colonized, exploited peoples.

Let us be on guard, as becomes the troops of the first trench of the world
in the battle against imperialism.  Let us fortify our trench, so the
battle does not catch us unprepared.  Let us make an effort to justly earn
the prestige we have won in the world.  We cannot fail our slogan; we will
fulfill it: Fatherland or death; We will conquer!