Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana International Service in Spanish 0215 GMT 2 May 1961--E

(Live speech by Fidel Castro at Havana May Day celebrations)

(Summary) Distinguished visitors from Latin American and the entire world,
combatants of the armed forces of the people, workers: We have had 14 and a
half hours of parading. (Chanting) I think that only a people imbued with
infinite enthusiasm is capable of enduring such tests. Nevertheless, I will
try to be as brief as possible (Chanting)

We are very happy over this attitude by the people. I believe that today we
should outline the course to follow, analyze a little what we have done up
to now, and see at what point in our history we are, and what we have
ahead. We have all had a chance to see the parade. maybe we who are on this
platform could appreciate it better than you in the square, maybe still
better than those who have paraded. this May Day tells a lot, it tells a
lot about what the revolution has been so far, what it has achieved so far;
but maybe it does not tell us as much as it tells our visitors.

We have been witnesses, all of us Cubans, of every step taken by the
revolution, so maybe we cannot realize how much we have advanced as fully
as can be understood by visitors, particularly those visitors from Latin
America, where today they are still living in a world very similar to the
one we lived in yesterday. It is as if they were suddenly transported from
the past to the present of our revolution, with all its extraordinary
progress as compared to the past. We do not intend tonight to stress the
merit of what we have done. We merely want to locate ourselves at the point
where we are at the present.

We had a chance today to see genuine results of the revolution on this May
Day, so different from the May Days of the past. Formerly that date was the
occasion for each sector of labor to set forth its demands, its aspirations
for improvement, to men who were deaf to the working class interests, men
who could not even accede to those basic demands because they did not
govern for the people, for the workers, for the peasants, or for the
humble; they governed solely for the privileged, the dominant economic
interests. Doing anything for the people would have meant harming the
interests that they represented, and so they could not accede to any just
demand from the people. The May Day parades of those days marked the
complaints and protest of the workers.

How different today's parade has been! How different even from the first
parades after the revolution triumphed. Today's parade shows us how much we
have advanced. The workers (Light applause) now do not have to submit
themselves to those trials; the workers now do not have to implore deaf
executives; the workers now are not subject to the domination of any
exploiting class; the workers no longer live in a country run by men
serving exploiting interests. The workers know now that everything the
revolution does, everything the government does or can do, has one goal:
helping the workers, helping the people. (Applause)

Otherwise, there would be no explanation for the spontaneous sentiment of
support for the Revolutionary Government, that overflowing good will that
every man and woman has expressed today. (Applause)

Fruits of the revolution are seen everywhere. The first to parade today
were the children of the Camilo Cienfuegos school center. We saw the
Pioneers parade by with the smile of hope, confidence, and affection. We
saw the young rebels parade by. We saw the women of the federation go by.
We saw children from numberless schools created by the revolution parade.
We saw 1,000 students from the 600 sugar-cane cooperatives who are studying
artificial insemination here in the capital. We saw young people, humble
people, parade with their uniforms of the school center where they are
learning to be diplomatic representatives of the future.

We saw the pupils of the schools for young peasants of the Zapata swamps
parade by, the swamps that the mercenaries chose for their attack. We saw
thousands and thousands of peasants who are studying in the capital and who
come from distant mountain areas or from cane cooperatives or from people's
farms parade. We saw the young girls studying for children's club work. And
here everyone of these groups staged scenes that are worthy of praise. And
we saw also what is going into the rural areas. The volunteer teachers
paraded and also representatives of the 100,000 young people on their way
to the interior to wipe out illiteracy. Where does this strength come from?
It comes from the people, and it is devoted to the people in return.

These young people are truly children of the people. When we saw them today
writing "Long Live Our Socialist Revolution" with their formations we
though how hard it would have been to have all this without a revolution;
how hard for any of these children from the mountains to have paraded here
today, or any of these young people from the rural areas to have a chance
to get to know the capital, or to study in any of these schools, or to
parade with the joy and pride shown here today, or to march with the faith
in the future shown today, because schools, university professions, art,
culture, and honors were never for the children of poor families, in town
or in the country. They were never for the peasant of the remote rural
areas; they were never for the poor young fellow, black or white, or our
countryside and cities.

Art, culture, university professions, opportunities, honors, elegant
clothes were only the privilege of a small minority, a minority represented
today with that grace and humor shown by some worker federations in their
imitations of the rich. It is astounding to think that today more than
20,000 athletes paraded. if one remembers that we are just beginning. And
this, without touching on the most marvelous thing we had a chance to see
today, that is, this armed nation, this united people, which came to attend
these ceremonies.

How would it have been possible without a revolution? How can one compare
this present with the past? How can one avoid emotion on seeing endless
lines of workers, athletes, and militiamen parade by. At times all went to
intermingled. After all, workers, athletes, and soldiers are the same
thing. Anybody could understand why our people must emerge victorious in
any battle. We noted the many women in the ranks of the federations. The
men were in the artillery units, mortar units, ack-ack units, or militia
battalions. The women were the wives and sisters and sweethearts of the
militiamen who marched by later in the battalions and those young men of
the basic secondary schools, the Pioneers who paraded by were their sons.

And so one can see today the unity of the humble people who are fighting
for the poor. Workers of every profession; manual laborers and intellectual
workers; all were marching together, the writer, artist, actor, announcer,
doctor, nurse, clinical employer. Marching together in great numbers under
the flag of the national education workers union were the teachers,
employees of the Education Ministry. (Applause).

Today we have had a chance to see everything worthwhile in our country,
everything produced in our country. We have understood better than ever
that there are two classes of citizens, or rather there were two classes of
citizens; the citizens who worked, produced, and created and the citizens
who lived without working or producing. These latter were parasites.

In this young, fervent nation, who did not parade today, who could not
parade here today? The parasites! Today the working people paraded,
everybody who produces with his hands or his brain. I do not mean that
workers who did not have a chance to parade were parasites, because they
had to take care of their children, or were ill, or even just did not want
to parade today. I am speaking only of those who were not represented here
because they could not be represented by those who produce.

This is the people, the true people. He who lives as a parasite does not
belong to the people. Only the invalid, the sick, the old, the children are
entitled to live without working and are entitled to have us work for them
and to care for them, and from the work of everyone they can be benefited.
For the children, the old, the invalid, and the sick, we have the duty to
work, all of us. (Applause) What no moral law will be able to justify ever
is for the people to work for the parasites. (Applause)

Those who paraded today were the working people who will never resign
themselves to work for the parasites. (Applause) In this manner our
national community has understood what the revolution is, and has
understood clearly what the meaning of a revolution is in which a nation
gets rid of parasites from the outside and those inside. (Applause) We
remember that because of the nationalization of the largest industries of
the nation, and just before the U.S. factories were nationalized, some
asked: Was not this factory a Cuban factory? Why should a Cuban factory be
nationalized? Well, such a factory did not belong to the people, it
belonged to some man. Now they belong to the nation. (Applause)

New Concept of Motherland

It was the custom to talk about the motherland; there were some who had a
wrong idea of the motherland. There was the motherland of the privileged
ones, of a man who has a large house, while the others live in hovels. What
motherland did you have in mind, sir? A motherland where a small group
lives from the work of others? A motherland of the barefoot child who is
asking for alms on the street? What kind of motherland is this? A
motherland which belonged to a small minority? Or the motherland of today?
The motherland of today where we have won the right to direct our destiny,
where we have learned to decide our destiny, a motherland which will be,
now and forever--as Marti wanted it--for the well-being of everyone and not
a motherland for few!

The motherland will be a place where such injustices will be eliminated,
now we can have the real concept of motherland. We are willing to die for a
motherland and which belongs to all Cubans. (Applause) That is why the
exploiting classes could not have the real concept of motherland. For them,
the motherland was a privilege by which they took advantage of the work of
others. That is why when a Yankee monopolist (shouts of "Out!") when a
leader, or a member of the U.s. ruling circles, talks about the motherland,
they refer to the motherland of monopolies, of the large banking
monopolies. And when they talk about the motherland, they are thinking
about sending the Negroes of the South, the workers, to be killed to defend
the motherland of monopolies. (Applause)

What kind of morality and what reason and what right do they have to make a
Negro die to defend the monopolies, the factories, and the mines of the
dominating classes? What right have they to send the Puerto Rican of Latin
blood, of Latin tradition, to the battlefields to defend the policy of
large capitalists and monopolies? This concept of motherland and this
danger to their security to which they refer is the danger of the
monopolies. You can understand what concept they have of morality, law, and
rights, to send the Negroes of the South and the Puerto Ricans to the
battlefields to fight for them. This is their concept of motherland. That
is why the people receive the real concept of motherland only when the
interests of the privileged classes are liquidated, and when a nation with
its wealth becomes a nation for everyone, the wealth for everyone, and
opportunity and happiness for everybody.

This happiness now belongs to those youths who paraded, and the families
who know that their children can have a school, receive scholarships, and
go to the best universities abroad, a privilege enjoyed only by the richest
families. And today any family, regardless of how poor, has the opportunity
to send its children to schools in the nation and abroad. Any family knows
that thanks to the revolution its children have all the opportunities which
formerly belonged only to the rich. A nation which works for itself,
whether it be in defense of or in achieving wealth can achieve what the
minorities cannot. (Applause)

The revolution can win the people with its fervor and enthusiasm. The
revolution can utilize all intelligence and creative spirit and take
everyone toward a path of well-being and progress. The people who spent 15
hours here today are the same people who formerly could not spend even one
hour at a public rally, or who were paid or forced to go to a public rally.
These enthusiastic people are the discouraged people of yesterday. The
difference is that yesterday they worked for others and today they work for
themselves. (Applause)

Fight Against Imperialism

Think of the men who died in recent battles and decide whether a single
drop of blood was worth being lost to defend the past. Consider that these
workers and youths, the children of workers, fell 10 or 12 days ago to
defend what we have seen today. They fell to defend this enthusiasm, this
hope, and this joy of today. That is why when today we saw a happy face or
a smile full of hope, we though that each smile of today was flower over
the grave of the fallen hero.

It was like giving thanks to those who gave their lives in the battle
against imperialism. Without them we would not have had the May Day parade.
We would not have been able to see what passed in front of us today. What
would have happened to our antiaircraft batteries, what would have happened
to our cannons and our soldiers who marched here? What would have happened
to our workers, wives, sisters, and factories? What would have happened if
imperialism had established even a single beachhead on our territory? What
would have happened if the imperialists succeeded in taking one part of our
territory, and from there, with Yankee bombs, machineguns, and planes,
would have launched an armed attack against us.

Let us not talk about what would have happened if the imperialist had won.
There is no sadder picture than a defeated revolution. The uprising of
slaves in Rome and their defeat should give us an idea of what a defeated
revolution is. The commune of Paris should give us an idea of what a
defeated revolution is. History tells us that a defeated revolution must
pay the victors in blood. The victors not only collect the past debts but
also try to collect future debts. But under certain circumstances, it is
impossible to crush a revolution.

It has never happened in history that a revolutionary people who have
really taken over power have been defeated. What would have happened this
May Day if imperialism had won its game? That is why we were thinking of
all we owed those who fell. That is why we were thinking that every smile
today was like a tribute to those who made possible this hopeful day. The
blood that was shed was the blood of workers and peasants, the blood of
humble sons of the people, not blood of land- owners, millionaires,
thieves, criminals, or exploiters. The blood shed was the blood of the
exploited of yesterday, the free men of today. The blood shed was humble,
honest, working, creative blood--the blood of patriots not the blood of
mercenaries. It was the blood of militiamen who voluntarily came to defend
the revolution. It was spontaneously offered blood to defend an ideal.

This ideal was not the ideal with which the Yankees inclucated their
mercenaries. It was not an ideal of parrots. It was not an ideal of the
tongue, but of the heart. It was not an ideal of those who came to recover
their lost wealth. It was not the ideal of those who always lived at the
expense of others. It was not the ideal of those who sell their soul for
the gold of a powerful empire.

It was the ideal of the peasant who does not want to lose his land, the
Negro who does not want discrimination, the humble, those who never lived
from the sweat of others, and of those who never robbed from others, an
ideal that a poor man of the people can feel.

The revolution is all for him because he was mistreated and humilated. He
defends the revolution because the revolution is his life. Before
sacrificing this he prefers to lose his life. He knows that he may fall,
but never in vain, and that the cause for which he falls will serve for
millions of his brothers.

Humble, honest blood was shed by the fatherland in the struggle against the
mercenaires of imperialism. But what blood, what men did imperialism send
here to establish that beachhead, to bleed our revolution dry, to destroy
our achievements, to burn our cane? It was to be a war of destruction.

U.S. Planned Aggression

We can tell the people right here that at the same instant that three of
our airports were being bombed, the Yankee agencies were telling the world
that our airports had been attached by planes from our own airforce. They
coldbloodedly bombed our nation and told the world that the bombing was
done by Cuban pilots with Cuban planes. This was done with planes on which
they painted our insignia.

If nothing else, this deed should be enough to demonstrate how miserable
are the actions of imperialism. It should be enough for us to realize what
Yankee imperialism really is and what its press and its government is. It
is possible that millions have heard only the report that Cuban planes
piloted by defectors had attached our airports. This was planned, because
the imperialist studied the plan to bomb and the way to deceive the entire
world. This should serve to keep us alert and to understand that the
imperialist are capable of the most monstrous lies to cover the most
monstrous deeds.

U.S. leaders publicly confessed their participation--without any
explanation which they owe the world for the statements made by Kennedy
that they would never would participate in aggression--and save us the
effort of finding proof. Who were those who fought against those workers
and peasants? We will explain.

Privileged Class Mercenaries

Of the first mercenaries captured, we can say that, without counting ships'
crews, there were nearly 1,000 prisoners. Among that thousand we have the
following: About 800 came from well-to-do families. They had a total of
27,556 caballerias of land, 9,666 houses, 70 industries, 10 sugar centrals,
2 banks, and 5 mines. So 800 out of 1,000 had all that. Moreover, many
belonged to exclusive clubs and many were former soldiers for Batista.

Remember, during the prisoner interrogation that I asked who was a cane
cutter and only one said that he had cut cane once. That is the social
composition of the invaders.

We are sure that if we ask all those here how many owned sugar centrals,
there would not be even one. If we asked the combatants who died, members
of the milita or soldiers of the revolutionary army, if we compared the
wealth of those who fell, surely there would be no land, no banks, no sugar
centrals, or the like listed. And some of the shameless invaders said that
they came to fight for ideals!

The invaders came to fight for free enterprise! Imagine, at this time for
an idiot to come here to say that he fought for free enterprise! As if this
people did not know what free enterprise is! It was slums, unemployment,
begging. One hundred thousand families working the land to turn over 25
percent of their production to shareholders who never say that land. How
can they come to speak about free enterprise to a country where there was
unemployment, illiteracy and where one had to beg to get into a hospital?
the people knew that free enterprise was social clubs, and bathing in mud
for the children because the beaches were fenced. The beaches were for the
wealthy. One could never dream of going to Varadero, for that was for a few
wealthy families. One could never dream of have a son study law. That was
only for the privileged. A worker's son could never dream that his son
might become a teacher or lawyer. Ninety percent of the sons of workers, or
at least 75 percent of those who lived in places were there were no
secondary schools had no chance to send their children to study. Not even
in a dream could the daughters of the peasants dance here or parade here.

How can one of those who never knew labor say that he came to shed the
people's blood to defend free enterprise? (Chanting, applause) And they did
not stop at their fathers' mention of free enterprise; they included United
Fruit and the electrical company. Those were not free enterprises; they
were monopolies. So when they came here they were not fighting for free
enterprise; they came for the monopolies, for monopolies do not want free
enterprise. They were defending the monopolistic interests of the Yankees
here and abroad. How can they tell the Cuban people that they were coming
to defend free enterprise?

They also say that they came to defend the 1940 constitution. How curious!
That constitution was being torn into bits with the complicity of the U.S.
Embassy, the reactionary church, and the politicians. So it is cynical for
this group of privileged and Batista-type tyrants, criminals, and torturers
to tell the people that they were coming to defend the constitution of
1940, which has been advanced by the Revolutionary Government.

Who represented you in the congress? The corrupt politicians, the rich, the
big landholders. There was only a handful of workers in congress. They were
always in the minority. The means of disseminating ideas were all in the
hands of the rich. It was hard to learn about the horrible conditions
because of that. The death of thousands of children for lack of medicine
and doctors did not bother the free enterprise men. There was never an
agrarian reform law because congress was in the hands of the rich. Even
though the constitution said the land must be returned to the Cubans, and
even though in 1959 the 1940 constitution had been in effect 19 years, no
law took land from the Yankee monopolies, which had huge expanses.

Up to 200,000 hectares were held by some foreign monopolies. The
constitution which said that land must be returned to the Cubans and the
law setting a limit on landholdings were never enforced. There were
teachers without employment, while children lacked schooling.

The Batista group took over through a coup sponsored by imperialism and the
exploiting class; they needed such a man as Batista, so that the rural
guard would serve the landowners against the peasants. (Applause) It did
not matter to them that the nation was being plundered. The landowners did
not give anybody modern weapons to fight that regime; they gave arms to
that bloody regime itself, not caring about how it violated the
constitution. The Yankees did not give arms to anybody to fight Batista.
None of the fine little gentlemen fought, because they still had their
Cadillacs; they had a regime that guaranteed their frivolous life. They
cared nothing about politics, for they had a very good life. Now that their
privileges have ended, they found a Yankee government willing to give them
arms to come here and shed the blood of workers and peasants. (Applause)

Those gentlemen spoke of elections. What elections did they want? The ones
of the corrupt politicians who bought votes? Those elections in which a
poor person had to turn over his ballot in return for work? Those fake
elections that were just a means for the exploiting class to stay in power?
Those elections which were not a military coup? There are many
pseudo-democracies in Latin America; what laws have they passed for the
peasants? Where is nationalization of industry? Where is their agarian
reform? (Applause)

A revolution expressing the will of the people is an election everyday, not
every four years; it is a constant meeting with the people, like this
meeting. The old politicians could never have gathered as many votes as
there are people here tonight to support the revolution. Revolution means a
thorough change.

What do they want? Elections with pictures on the posts. The revolution has
changed the conception of pseudo-democracy for direct government by the

No Time for Elections

There had to be a period for abolition of the privileges. Do the people
have time now for elections? No! What were the political parties? Just an
expression of class interests. Here there is just one class, the humble;
that class is in power, and so it is not interested in the ambition of an
exploiting minority to get back in power. Those people would have no chance
at all in an election. The revolution has no time to waste in such
foolishness. There is no chance for the exploiting class to regain power.
The revolution and the people know that the revolution expressed their
will; the revolution does not come to power with Yankee arms. It comes to
power through the will of the people fighting against arms of all kinds,
Yankee arms.

The revolution keeps in power through the people. What are the people
interested in? In having the revolution go ahead without losing a minute.
(Applause) Can any government in America claim to have more popular support
than this one? Why should democracy be the pedantic, false democracy of the
others, rather than this direct expression of the will of the people? The
people go to die fighting instead of going to a poll to scratch names on
paper. The revolution has given every citizen a weapon, a weapon to every
man who wanted to enter the militia. So some fool comes along to ask if,
since we have a majority why don't we hold elections? Because the people do
not care to please fools and fine little gentlemen! The people are
interested in moving forward.

They have no time to waste. The people must spend tremendous amounts of
energy in preparing to meet aggression, when everybody knows we want to be
building schools, houses, and factories. We are not warlike. The Yankees
spend half of their budget on armaments; we are not warlike. We are obliged
to spend that energy, because of the imperialists. We have no expansionist
ambitions. We do not want to exploit any worker of another county. We are
not interested in aggressive plans; we have been forced to have tanks,
planes, machineguns, and a military force to defend ourselves.

The recent invasion shows how right we were to arm. At Playa Girom, they
came to kill peasants and workers. Imperialism forced us to arm for
defense. We have been forced to put energy and material and resources into
that, although we would prefer to put them into more schools, so that in
future parades there can be more athletes and school children. If our
people were not armed, they could not crush mercenaries coming with modern

The imperialists would have hurled themselves on us long ago if we had not
been armed. But we prefer to die rather than surrender the country we have
now. They know that. They know they will meet resistance, and so the
aggressive circles of imperialism have to stop and think.

So we are forced, by the threat of aggression to proclaim to the four
corners of the world: All the peoples of American should rise in
indignation after the statement that a country can intervene in another
just because the first is strong. Such a policy would mean that the
powerful neighbor takes the right to intervene to keep a people from
governing themselves according to their own choice. It is inconceivable
that there should be such miserable governments; after the aggression that
killed peasants and workers, it is inconceivable that they have even begun
a policy of breaking with Cuba, instead of breaking with Somoza, Guatemala,
or the government in Washington that pays for planes, tanks, and arms to
come her and kill peasants.

The Costa Rican government has said that, if mercenaries are executed, it
will break with us. It has no reason at all for a break, so it seeks some
pretext, and hits on the idea of "if there are executions." That
government, in insolent intervention, stated its disposal to break with us
if any of the mercenaries are executed. It does not break with Kennedy who
organized the expedition, or with Guatemala, or Nicaragua. We did not break
with it; we merely answered the note.

Those who promote the policy of isolating Cuba at the orders of imperialism
are miserable traitors to the interests and feelings of America. (Applause)
These facts show us the rotten politics that prevail in many Latin American
countries, and how the Cuban revolution has turned those corrupt forms
upside down to establish new forms in this country.

New Socialist Constitution

"To those who talk to us about the 1940 constitution, we say that the 1940
constitution is already too outdated and old for us. We have advanced too
far for that short section of the 1940 constitution that was good for its
time but which was never carried out. That constitution has been left
behind by this revolution, which, as we have said, is a socialist
revolution. We must talk of a new constitution, yes, a new constitution,
but not a bourgeois constitution, not a constitution corresponding to the
domination of certain classes by exploiting classes, but a constitution
corresponding to a new social system without the exploitation of many by
man. That new social system is called socialism, and this constitution will
therefore be a socialist constitution.

Kennedy's Protests

"If Mr. Kennedy does not like socialism, well we do not like imperialism!
We do not like capitalism! We have as much right to protest over the
existence of an imperialist-capitalist regime 90 miles from our coast as he
feels he has to protect over the existence of a socialist regime 90 miles
from his coast. Now then, we would not think of protesting over that,
because that is the business of the people of the United States. It would
be absurd for us to try to tell the people of the United States what system
of government they must have, for in that case we would be considering that
the United States is not a sovereign nation and that we have rights over
the domestic life of the United States."

"Rights do not come from size. Right does not come from one country being
bigger than another. That does not matter. we have only limited territory,
a small nation, but our right is as respectable as that of any country,
regardless of its size. It does not occur to us to tell the people of the
United States what system of government they must have. Therefore it is
absurd for Mr. Kennedy to take it into his head to tell us what kind of
government he wants us to have here. That is absurd. It occurs to Mr.
Kennedy to do that only because he does not have a clear concept of
international law or sovereignty. Who had those notions before Kennedy?
Hitler and Mussolini!"

They spoke the same language of force; it is the fascist language. We heard
it in the years before Germany's attack on Czechoslovakia. Hitler split it
up because it was governed by a reactionary government. The bourgeoisie,
reactionary and profascist, afraid of the advance of a socialist system,
preferred even domination by Hitler. We heard that language on the eve of
the invasion of Denmark, Belgium, Poland, and so forth. It is the right of
might. This is the only right Kennedy advances in claiming the right to
interfere in our country.

This is a socialist regime, yes! Yes, this is a socialist regime. It is
here, but the fault is not ours, the blame belongs to Columbus, the English
colonizers, the Spanish colonizers. The people of the U.S. will someday get

No Threat to U.S.

"The U.S. Government says that a socialist regime here threatens U.S.
security. But what threatens the security of the North American people is
the aggressive policy of the warmongers of the United States. What
threatens the security of the North American family and people is the
violence, that aggressive policy, that policy that ignores the sovereignty
and the rights of other peoples. The one who is threatening the security of
the United States is Kennedy, with that aggressive policy. That aggressive
policy can give rise to a world war; and that world war can cost the lives
of tens of millions of North Americans. Therefore, the one who threatens
the security of the United States is not the Cuban Revolutionary Government
but the aggressor and aggressive government of the United States.

"We do not endanger the security of a single North American. We do not
endanger the life or security of a single North American family. We, making
cooperatives, agrarian reform, people's ranches, houses, schools, literacy
campaigns, and sending thousands and thousands of teachers to the interior,
building hospitals, sending doctors, giving scholarships, building
factories, increasing the productive capacity of our country, creating
public beaches, converting fortresses into schools, and give the people the
right to a better future--we do not endanger a single U.S. family or a
single U.S. citizen.

"The ones who endangers the lives of millions of families, of tens of
millions of North American are those who are playing with atomic war. It is
those who, as General Cardenas said, are playing with the possibility of
New York becoming a Hiroshima. The ones who are playing with atomic war,
with their aggressive war, with their policy that violated the rights of
people are the ones who are endangering the security of the North American
nation, the security of the lives of unknown millions of North Americans."

What do the monopolists fear? Why do they say that they are not secure with
the socialist revolution nearby. They are, as Khrushchev says, proving that
they know their system is inferior. They do not even believe in their own
system. Why don't they leave us alone when all our government wants is

U.S. Refusal to Negotiate

Recently, our government issued a statement that we were willing to
negotiate. Why? Because we are afraid? No! We are convinced that they fear
the revolution more than we fear them. They have a mentality that does not
permit them to sleep when they know that there is a revolution nearby.

Fear? No one has fear here. The people who struggle for their liberty are
never frightened. The frightened ones are the wealthy. The ones who have
been wealthy. We are not interested in having imperialism commit suicide at
our expense. They do not care about the death of Negroes, Puerto Ricans, or
Americans. But we do care about every Cuban life. We are interested in

We are ready to negotiate. They say that economic conditions can be
discussed, but no communism. Well, where did they get the idea we would
discuss that? We would discuss economic problems. But we are not even ready
to admit that these talks so much as brush a petal of a rose here. The
Cuban people are capable of establishing the regime they want there. We
have never been thought of the possibility of discussing our regime. We
will discuss only things that will not effect our sovereignty. We do want
to negotiate on behalf of peace.

Those who do not worry about taking American people to war are being led by
emotions. We have no fear. If they think so, let them get over that idea.
No Cuban is afraid. If they think we will discuss internal politics, let
them forget that, for one one will do that here. Let them discuss all
topics they want to discuss. We discussed things with invaders, did we not?
Well, we will debate with anyone. We are willing to talk. We are willing to
debate. But does that mean we are aching to negotiate? Of course not. We
are just taking a sensible step. Does that mean the revolution will slow
down? Of course not! We will continue, picking up speed as we can.

Kill Foreign Invaders

If they want to say that that they do not care about the sovereignty of
countries, let them. But we are ready to defend as well as to negotiate. We
are ready to fire a million shots at the first Yankee parachutist that
tries to land here. From the first moment they land on our soil they can be
sure that they have begun the most difficult war they ever heard of. That
war would be the beginning of the end for imperialism. With the same
willingness to negotiate, we will fight. Even the Pioneers will fight. Each
man, woman, and child has one duty in case of foreign attack--kill! If we
were attacked by foreigners there would be no prisoners. The invading
foreigners must know they must kill us all! While one lives, he has an
enemy! Death struggle! There is no middle ground! It would be a war without

If the invaders land on Cuban soil we will not want our lives. We will
fight to the last man against whoever sets foot on our land. All men and
women must know their duty. this duty will be fulfilled in simple and
natural manner as peoples fight in a righteous war.

It is a crime that our people are not left in peace to complete our work of
justice for those who once lived in humiliation and misery. It is too bad
that illegitimate interests have determined to harm our country. While they
tried to cut off our supplies, they were supplying mercenaries with weapons
to invade our country and shed the people's blood. And in this shameful
task, who participated?

I have already told you of the social composition. Well, the priests were
not missing either. Three of them came. None were Cubans, they were
Spanish. You remember that when we asked them they said they came on a
purely spiritual mission. They said they came on a Christian mission. But
reviewing their books we find this: An appeal to the people by Ismael de
Lugo: Attention Cuban Catholics: Liberating forces have landed on Cuban
beaches. We come in the name of God--as if Calvino came in the name of
God--justice, and democracy to reestablish trampled freedom; this must be a
lie. We come because of love, not hate. We come with thousands of Cubans,
all of whom are Catholics and Christians-- what a lie--their spirit is the
spirit of the crusades. (Editor's Notes: Castro continues reading the
message allegedly written by Father de Lugo.)

And that gentlemen is not even a Cuban; he is a Falangist Spaniard. He
could have saved all those appeals and warlike energy by fighting against
the Moorish guard of Franco. Why should he come here with three other
Falangist Spanish priests instead of going to Spain to fight for freedom
against Franco, who has been oppressing Spanish people for 20 odd years and
who has sold out to Yankee imperialism? The Yankees are not fighting for
freedom in Spain, or Nicaragua, or Guatemala. They are great friends of
Franco. And these Falangist priests came here, when it is in Spain they
should fight for freedom fro peasants and workers. That Falangist priest
comes here instead to preach against workers and peasants who have thrown
off exploitation. And there were three, not just one; and the fourth, in
the Escambray, is a Spanish priest too.

Foreign Priests To Be Expelled

"We are going to announce here to the people that in the next few days the
Revolutionary Government will pass a law declaring void any permit to
remain in Cuba held by any foreign priest in our country. And this law will
have only one exception; do you know for whom? A foreign priest can remain
with special permission, provided the government approves, if he has not
been combatting the Cuban revolution; that is, if he has not displayed an
attitude opposed to the revolution; that is, there will be exceptions if a
priest has been honest, has not been combatting the revolution, has not
been carrying out counterrevolutionary activities. He can request
permission, and the government can grant it if it deems proper, because
there are some foreign priests, by way of exception, that have not taken a
stand against the revolution, although the general rule has been otherwise.

"Of course, they will say we are impious, enemies of religion. Can they say
that after a leader of the ecclesiastic service, while proclaiming that he
is coming to give spiritual service, also signs a manifesto like this
one--of this political nature? Can the revolution go on allowing these acts
to go on with impunity?

And let these gentlemen come to bring hell here, to bring hell on earth
here, with their war criminals, their Calvinos, their Soler Puigs, their
big landowners, and their privileged sons, to bring hell on earth here to
the peasants and workers? Can we let the Spanish Falange go on promoting
bloodshed and conspiracy here through its priests? No, we are not disposed
to allow it. The Falangist priests know now, they can begin packing."

They have been waging counterrevolutionary activities in the schools, too,
poisoning the minds of pupils. They have found fertile soil in schools
usually attended by children of the rich. There they have been promoting
counterrevolutionary poison in the minds of the young. They have been
forming terrorist minds. They have been teaching hatred for the country.
Why should the revolution stand for that? We would be guilty if we let that
go on.

Nationalization of Private Schools

"We announce here that in the next few days the Revolutionary Government
will pass a law nationalizing the private schools. This law cannot be a law
for one sector; it will be general. That means the private schools will be
nationalized; of course, not a little school where one teacher gives
classes, but private schools with several teachers."

Directors of private schools have displayed different types of conduct.
Many private school directors have not been instilling counterrevolutionary
poison. The revolution feels it is its duty to organize and establish the
principle of free education for all citizens. The people feel they have the
duty of training future generations in a spirit of love for the country,
for justice, for the revolution.

"What shall be done in the case of private schools that have not displayed
counterrevolutionary conduce? The Revolutionary Government will indemnify
those directors or owners of schools whose attitude has not been
counterrevolutionary, whose attitude has been favorable to the revolution;
and the revolution will not indemnify any school whose directors have been
waging a counterrevolutionary campaign, who have been against the
revolution. That is, there will be indemnity for those schools that have
displayed a patriotic, decent attitude toward the revolution. They will be
indemnified, and their directors will be invited to work with the
Revolutionary Government in directing that school or another school. That
is to say, these directors will be called on to help in the field of
education, besides being indemnified.

The teachers and employees of all these schools, of a lay nature, will be
given work. That is, the employees and teachers of these schools will have
their work guaranteed. The pupils of these schools can go on attending
them, the educational standards will be kept up and even improved, and
furthermore they will have to pay absolutely nothing to attend these

Religion Not Restricted

"Villanueva is included in this nationalization, of course. They will say
this impious government opposes religious instruction. No sir. What we
oppose are those shameless acts they have been committing, and this crime
against our country. The can teach religion, yes; in the churches they can
teach religion."

Religion is one thing, politics another. If those gentlemen were not
against the political interests of the people, we would not care at all
about their pastorals, their discussions of religious matters. The churches
can remain open; religion can be taught there. Would it not be much better
if they had stuck to their religious teaching? Would it not be much better
to have peace? They can have peace, within strict limits of the respect due
the revolutionary people and government. But they cannot make war on the
people in the service of the exploiters. That has nothing to do with
religion; it has to do with blood, with gold, with material interests. They
can have the consideration of the people, in the limits of that mutual
respect for rights.

Christianity arose as a religion of the poor, the slaves, and the oppressed
of Rome--the religion that flourished in the catacombs. It was the religion
of the poor, and it obtained the respect of the laws. It coexisted with the
Roman Empire. Then came feudalism. That church coexisted with feudalism,
later with absolute monarchies, later with bourgeois republics. Here the
bourgeois republic disappears; why should not that same church coexist with
a system of social justice that is far superior to those previous forms of
government? This system is much more like Christianity than Yankee
imperialism or bourgeois republics, or the Roman Empire. We believe
coexistence is perfectly possible. The revolution does not oppose religion.
They have used religion as a pretext to combat the poor. They forget what
Christ said about it being easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a
needle than for a rich man to get into heaven.

Small Business man Protected

Those are the facts. We have spoken, as always, clearly. It means only that
we are prepared to defend the revolution and continue forward, convinced of
the justice of our cause.

We have spoken of our socialist revolution. It does not mean the little
businessman or little industrialist need worry. Mines, fuel, banking, sugar
mills, export and import trade--the bulk of the economy-- is in the hands
of the people. That way the people can develop our economy. The little
industralist and little businessman can coesxist with the revolution. The
revolution has always cared for the interests of the small owners.

Urban reform is a proof. This month all little landlords will be collecting
around 105,000 pesos. Formerly if the tenant did not pay his rent the
landlord did not collect; now a fund has been established to insure that
the little landlord will be paid. The revolution will have some 80 million
pesos a year for construction from the urban reform. And when rental is the
only income of these landlords, the revolution has ruled that after the
house is all paid for, the landlord will receive a pension. A socialist
revolution does not mean that interests of certain sectors are eliminated
without consideration. The interests of the big landholders, bankers, and
industrialists were eliminated. No social interest of the lesser levels of
society is to be condemned. The revolution will adhere to its word: No
middle interest will be affected without due consideration.

Little businessmen industrialists have credit today. The revolution has no
interest in nationalizing them. The revolution has enough to do with
developing the sources of wealth it now has at its disposal. The revolution
feels that there can be collaboration from the little businessman and
little industrialist. It believes that their interest can coincide with
those of the revolution. Counterrevolutionaries have claimed that
barbershops would be nationalized, even food stands. The revolution does
not aim at those. The solution of those problems will be the result of a
long evolution. There are some problems; sometimes tomatoes and pineapples
are sold in the city at far higher prices than in the country. There is
still a small plague of middlemen. The revolution still has measures to
take to do away with the middleman abuse, to improve consumption for the
people. But I do not want anybody to be confused. I want everybody to know
what to expect.

Call for Collaboration

Basically, the revolution has already passed its measures. Nobody need
worry. Why not join in this enthusiasm, in this prowess? Why are there
still Cubans bothered by this happiness? I asked myself that while watching
the parade. Why are some Cubans so incapable of understanding that his
happiness can also be theirs? Why do they no adapt to the revolution? Why
not see their children in the schools here also? Some people cannot adopt,
but the future society will be better than the old one.

This is the hour in which we, far from using the moment against those who
do not understand, should ask them if the time has not come for them to
join us. The revolution found it necessary to be detained. Perhaps they
have. The revolution does not want to use its force against a minority. The
revolution wants all Cubans to understand. We do not want all this
happiness and emotion all to ourselves. It is the glory of the people.

We say this to those who have lied in the past and have not understood. We
frankly say that our revolution should not be lessened by severe sanctions
against all the mercenaries. It might serve as a weapon for our enemies. We
say this because we tell the people all that will benefit the revolution.
We have had a moral victory and it will be greater if we do not besmirch
our victory.

The lives lost hurt us as much as they do others. But we must overcome that
and speak for our prestige and our cause. What is before us? The risks of
imperialist aggression! Big tasks! We have reached a point in which we
should realize that the time has come to make the greatest effort. The
coming months are very important. They will be months in which we must make
greater efforts in all fields. We all have the duty to do the utmost. no
one has a right to rest. With what we have seen today we must learn that
with efforts and courage we can harvest wonderful fruit. And today's fruits
are nothing compared to what can be done if we apply ourselves to the

Before concluding, I want to recall what I said during the Moncada trial.
Here is a paragraph: "The country cannot remain on its knees imploring
miracles from the golden calf. No social problem is resolved
spontaneously." At that time we expressed our views. The revolution has
followed the revolutionary ideas of those who had an important role in this

That is why when one million Cubans met to proclaim the Havana Declaration,
the document expressed the essence of our revolution, our socialist
revolution. It said that it condemned landed estates, starvation wages,
illiteracy, absence of teachers, doctors, and hospitals, discrimination,
exploitation of women, oligarchies that hold our countries back,
governments that ignore the will of their people by obeying U.S. orders,
monopoly of news by Yankee agencies, laws that prevent the masses from
organizing, and imperialist monopolies which exploit our wealth. The
general assembly of the people condemns exploitation of man by man. The
general assembly proclaims the following: The right to work education, the
dignity of man, civil rights for women, secure old age, artistic freedom,
nationalization of monopolies, and the like. This is the program of our
socialist revolution.

Long live the Cuban working class! Long live the Latin American sister
nations! Long live the nation! Fatherland or death! We shall win!