Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Source: Revolucion, Havana, 28 July 1961.

We carry below the full text of the speech delivered by the Prime
Minister, Doctor Fidel Castro, at the great popular gathering held in Jose
Marti Revolution Square to commemorate the eighth anniversary of the events
of 26 July.

To the accompaniment of loud acclamation from those present, who
chanted various revolutionary slogans, Comandante Fidel Castro approached
the microphones and had to wait several minutes before being able to speak,
due to the cheers of the people. The Prime Minister spoke as follows:

Commander Gagarin (applause), First Cosmonaut of the world and
Hero of the Soviet Union (applause),

Heads of the special diplomatic missions present here with us
today (applause),

Special ambassadors (applause),

Members of the diplomatic corps (applause),

Workers, peasants and students of Latin America and other
countries of the world with us here today (applause),

People of Cuba (applause):

It does great honor to all of us that the Soviet Union has sent
the man who has just made the first flight in space (applause) to be with
us this afternoon. He has been decorated for this, in his own country, with
the Hero of the Soviet Union medal (applause). And this show the great
friendship of that people toward us (applause).

We recall clearly that it was at that same time, when the Soviet
Union was covering itself with glory and prestige by launching the first
man into space, that the government of the United States launched against
our people its criminal invasion. We had occasion to contrast the two
deeds: that promoting science and advancing the progress of mankind and
peace, and the cowardly and unscrupulous mercenary invasion, which the
imperial- ists, inspired by the desire to recover their privileges and
their monopolies, launched against our country.

Because of this, because the two events are clear in our mind, and
because in those same days of our people, in an act of great heroism,
defeated the invading mercenaries and since the revolutionary government
has established the National Order of the Bay of Pigs for presentation to
all those men who have accomplished extraordinary facts promoting peace and
science and contributing to the advance of mankind, or in the struggle
against colonialism and imperialism, nothing could be more proper than to
present the first Order of the Bay of Pigs to the first world cosmonaut,
Commander Yuri Gagarin (applause). Thus, the recollections of these two
deeds, which occurred at almost the same time, these two heroic actions,
these two great victories for world peace, will always be linked

But not only is a hero of the Soviet Union visiting us today, for
another great man of the Soviet world, who has twice received the Hero of
the Union Medal for his deeds at the North Pole, and who has also achieved
rank of General of the Soviet Air Force, has accompanied Commander Gagarin
here. He is General Kamnin (applause). Other countries such as the Korean
People's Republic (the United Arab Republic), and the Republic of Guinea
(applause) have also sent special missions to us for the 26 July
celebration. And other countries, such as India, Finland, China and Lebanon
have sent us special ambassadors (applause). A large number of other
countries have delegated their ambassadors as official representatives at
the 26 July ceremonies (applause). Many Latin American brothers, the always
enthusiastic leaders, peasants, workers and students of Latin America have
also come to see with their own eyes if what is said about our revolution
is the truth or a lie (applause), if what those who defend it say is true,
and whether or not that which those who combat it say is a lie.

Because obviously, much is said about our revolution, good and
evil. Everyone knows who speaks well of it and who speaks evil. Everyone
knows who defends it and who combats it. And it is not precisely the
largest estate owners or the presidents of monopolies or the editors of the
mercenary and yellow press who make up the legions of the defenders of the
Cuban revolution.

It is possible that the systematic lies and slander find some
among the men of the people who can be made victims of confusion. It is
possible that they can recruit some misguided minds among the people to
oppose our revolution. But what is certain is that they will never win the
heart of any true worker, any true peasant, any true intellectual, any true
revolutionary (applause)! And the best and most honest elements in each
brotherly Latin American people defend our revolution. The men and women
who are capable of thinking for themselves and who have a clear and real
and true idea of the problems of our continent defend the revolution.

These people will never play their game or echo the slanders they
write about us, the lies the imperialist news agencies and their
accomplices, the reactionaries, all over the continent, repeat about us.
Because the things said against our revolution are discredited of
themselves. One need only realize that those who write against us and who
lie about us are the exploiters of the American continent. Those who write
and tell lies about us are the freebooters and the pirates of this
continent. (shouts), those who write and tell lies about us are those who
have seized the natural wealth and riches of our peoples, who are making
profits and getting rich at the expense of the sweat and the blood of tens
and dozens of millions of Latin American brothers.

And if those who write and lie and act against the Cuban
revolution are such people, this only means that the imperialists and their
servants and lackeys are profoundly grieved by what the Cuban revolution
has done to promote justice, what the Cuban revolution has done to benefit
the poor, the exploited, and those against whom there was discrimination

If the exploiters attack us, if the freebooters combat us, if the
thieves slander us, if those who discriminate hate us, it is simply because
we are the friends of those who were ex- ploited and subject to
discrimination (applause) and this defines our revolution, because we
regard the attacks the imperialists have made against us as a real honor.
We are proud of the hatred of the discriminators and the exploiters for us.
Because the imperialists have defended and are defending all the bandits in
the world, all the exploiters and the criminals in the world (shouts of
"out"). The imperialists have defended and are defending all the
reactionaries and all the miserable despots in the world.

The imperialists are the defenders and the protectors and the
generous friends of any traitor, any mercenary and any enemy of the peoples
of the world -- anyone who discriminates, who colonizes, and they are the
friends of the whole policy of oppression and exploitation which exists on
every continent of the world.

And those who defend the exploiters, the despots, discrimination,
colonialism, all the evils which exist in the world -- it is they who
combat us.

Thus, this policy collapses, that is to say, this campaign of lies
and slander against the revolution destroys itself, because the support and
the sympathy of the peoples of Latin America with our revolution, above all
the campaigns they have waged, above and beyond the systematic, daily lies
they write about our revolution, above the established interests and the
allies of the imperialists on this continent -- this support and this
spontaneous sympathy with our revolution, which the slanders and the lies
have not been able to destroy, are the proof that the Cuban revolution can
defend itself. (applause).

For this reason, our first words today are words of thanks for the
honors accorded us on this 26 July, the honor rendered to us by the
visitors who have come to see for themselves what is happening in Cuba.

As you know, the government of the United States, that country
which calls itself the "leader of the free world" (shouts and whistles),
the country which calls itself the archetype of a democratic country --
even if the Negroes in the south do not claim this (applause), has
prohibited its citizens to visit Cuba, and a large group of US students
which proposed to visit our country was warned that this would entail a
fine of 5,000 pesos and 5 years in prison.

In other words, the "great country which is the leader of the
world and the archetype of democracy" does not want to allow its students
to visit Cuba. It does not want to permit American citizens to come to see
for themselves what is happening in Cuba, and it has made it illegal to
visit our country.

Our attitude is different. Our attitude is truly that of the
governments and peoples who really believe in their cause, who really
believe in what they are defending, and thus we have not forbidden American
citizens to visit Cuba. For this reason, we want them to visit Cuba and we
want many visitors to come from Latin America and everywhere in the world
(applause), because we have nothing to hide from the world. Indeed,
modestly, we would like to show the world what we have done in two and a
half years of revolution, and moreover, we can also explain why we have not
been able to do more. And we want to do this in order to explain to the
world how we have done what we have in an atmosphere of such aggression,
hindered by so many hostile actions, and so many threats on the part of the

Nor had we forbidden Cubans to go to the United States. We are not
forbidding anyone who wants to experience these "marvels" in the United
States (shouts and whistles). The airlines are operating between Cuba and
the United States and the revolutionary government is authorizing those who
want to go to the United States and even those who want to stay there
(shouts). We are not creating obstacles of any nature.

In other words, unlike what they are doing, prohibiting travel
from the United States to Cuba, prohibiting US visitors from coming to
Cuba, we are neither forbidding visits nor forbidding our people to go and
if they want to remain in the United States (applause). Nor are we thinking
of doing so.

It is good to clarify these revolutionary viewpoints just now,
during these 26 July celebrations, about which the imperialists news
agencies, the imperialist and reactionary press and the enemies of the
revolution have been circulating all kinds of rumors. "Prepare for 26
July." "Buy your tickets before 26 July." "On 26 July, it will be all

What was going to be proved on 26 July? What was to be decided on
that date? (Shouts).

Well, then, who is concerned about these rumors? Who is spreading
these rumors? Who is repeating these rumors? (Shouts).

In fact, have the people of Cuba ever lost anything on a 26 July?
(Shouts of "no"). Has any humble citizen of the people, any worker, any
peasant, any student, any humble family of the people ever left anything on
26 July? (Shouts of "no"). Has any exploited Cuban, any Cuban subject to
discrimination, any abandoned Cuban ever lost anything on a 26 July?
(Shouts of "no"). Or on 1 May? (Shouts of "no"). Or on 1 January? (Shouts
of "no"). The people have always gained by the revolutionary laws (shouts
of "yes"). They cannot tell the people (shouts of "Fidel, Fidel" and "we
will conquer!"), they cannot tell the people tales of any kind. They cannot
influence the people with rumors of any kind because the people know that
their revolutionary government will never take any steps against them, it
will never go against their interests. (Applause and shouts of "Cuba, yes,
Yankees, no!").

And it is for this reason that the people are here, joyfully
celebrating the 26 July holiday (applause and shouts of "we will
triumph!"). They are here as they have always been here when summoned to
the Revolution Square, because the people never fail. One need only look
around from this place where we are and from which we have viewed other
gatherings to see that on this 26 July, that is to say, the third to be
celebrated since the triumph of the revolution, there are still more people
than gathered here on the first 26 July (applause and shouts of "left,

And this is true despite the fact that this mobilization has not
been a national one as was the first, on 26 July 1959, because on that
occasion the peasants from all the corners of the country were mobilized,
and we have not done that this time. And there have also been two other
great gatherings today in Santiago de Cuba and Camaguey (applause).

The people have come to give their answer to the plotters. The
people have come to give their answer to the reactionaries and the
imperialists. The people have come to say to them "we are here, do not
forget that we are here, do not forget that we exist" (applause).

And the men and women of the people have not come here to eat and
drink, to stroll and to amuse themselves, as they came to the fiestas in
the past. No, the people have come here today to say "present" as always
(applause). The people have come here today to show that their
revolutionary spirit has grown, to show that their revolutionary conviction
is firmer than ever. The people have come here to say that after two and a
half years of revolution, they want to continue with the revolution and to
continue promoting the revolution (extended ovation).

Obviously, the reactionaries are incapable ever of rallying a
fifth of the men and the women gathered here today. And this is natural,
because the exploiters cannot rally the people anywhere. The exploiters can
rally exploiting gangs, but the defenders of exploitation can never rally
the exploited, they can never rally those against whom they discriminate,
they can never rally the people in any real sense.

But a revolution can rally the people. And the people are here. It
is not the great estate owners who are here, not the exploiters, not the
representatives of the monopolies, the hired ruffians, the speculators, the
thieves. It is the people who are here, because only a just revolution and
only a just government can rally the people (applause). Only when the
people count, only when the people matter, only when the people decide can
the people be rallied.

Obviously, the reactionaries, the imperialists, say that they are
the great democrats. But it is we who can count those here and demonstrate
the extraordinary support of the people for the revolution. It is we who
can count the hearts and the souls and the minds supporting and advancing
with the revolution. (Applause and shouts of "Fatherland or death").

For the representatives of the oligarchy and the exploiters this
is democracy. For them, democracy is petty politicking. Democracy is this
cloak under which they can feel the most evil exploitation of man by man.
For them, democracy is this system under which only the privileged
minorities count, only the gangs which monopolize the resources and the
wealth of the nation count. For them, what we have here is not democracy.

It is clear that for them this is not democracy because they do
not know what democracy is (applause). For them what we had before was
democracy. And who is it who objected to what we had before? Who has
forgotten what existed before? No government could rally a tenth of the
people gathered here. In the past, to rally the people, they had to force
government employees to come, they had to pay money, they had to recruit
the hungry people and even despite these maneuvers, even with the rum they
distributed at public gatherings, they could not rally the people.

Corrupt politicians, misappropriators of funds and exploiters
decided on problems of the country. The people counted for nothing. What we
had in the past is what the imperialists call democracy, this petty
politicking which serves to conceal exploitation, to frustrate the will and
oppose the interests of the people -- this is what they called "democracy."

Obviously, this was the democracy of the monopolies, of the great
estates owners, of the US companies, of the exploiters. What we have,
obviously, is not the democracy of the exploiters. Do the exploiters have
rights in Cuba? No (shouts of "no"). Do the foreign monopolies have rights
in Cuba? (Shouts of "no). And the estate owners? (Shouts of "no"). No, and
do they have a right to govern the country? (Shouts of "no"). Do they have
a right to make the laws of the republic? (Shouts of "no"). No, the
exploiters have no rights, because the right to exploit is not a right but
simply an intolerable privilege which mankind has had to put up with,
because privileges and yokes are accepted by people while they cannot get
rid of them, but when they can, as our people have been able, the
privileges of the exploiters cease.

And it was the exploiters who governed our country. The exploiters
no longer govern it today. Those who enjoyed the great privileges have been
"called to account," as the people say. The supposed rights of the
exploiters have disappeared in our country. Thus, this is not a democracy
of the exploiters, estate owners and monopolies. The democracy the
imperialists want is democracy wherein the people have no rights, wherein
the people are miserably deceived, and wherein the exploiters and the
privileged govern and decide all the problems. This democracy of the
monopolies, the discriminators, the exploiters, is the democracy of which
the imperialists speak.

Now we are speaking of another democracy, the democracy of the
people, of the workers, of the peasants, of the humble men and women
(applause), the democracy of the majority of the nation, of those who were
exploited, of those who had no rights in the past. And this is the true
democracy, the revolutionary democracy of the people, the democracy of the
humble, by the humble and for the humble (applause).

It is for this reason that the people are not concerned about
rumors. Who is concerned about the rumors? We are not (applause and shouts
of "Fidel! Fidel!" and "unity! unity!").

The Yankee news agencies have been engaging in a whole series of
speculations about this 26 July holiday for days now. Today, we were
supposed to issue certain statements, to announce the integration of the
revolutionary forces, to make this or that pronouncement. Naturally, the
speculations of the imperialist agencies were dictated by certain maneuvers
and plans of a political nature.

Revolutionary integration is a process which has been occurring
for some time, at the base, among the people. Since the early months of the
revolution, when the revolutionary forces were made up of a heterogeneous
complex, of many organizations, we have progressed to a stage at which the
people, increasingly united, are moving steadily toward homogeneous
integration in a single revolutionary organization (applause). Because
obviously, this is the result of the increasingly greater unity of the
people in the revolution. The fact is that the revolution has served to
unite all the people, to unite all the people with it, to unite all the
people in the hopes of justice and in the successes achieved to date. It is
clear that the greatest enemy of any revolution is division, and that the
best ally of the enemies of the people is divisionism. A people must
advance united, a people desiring to establish a true regime of justice
must advance together, as a single people. In the unity of this people lies
strength, in the unity of this people lies its invincibility, and the
history of this revolution proves that a united people is invincible. The
history of this revolution proves that in unity there is strength
(applause)! The history of this revolution shows that the worst threat to
the success of a revolution and a people is divisionism.

It is for this reason that the imperialists are concerned about
popular unity. They are concerned, because the Cuban people are united, and
they are concerned because the revolutionary organizations are joining
together in a single revolutionary organization (extensive applause). Will
it be the only organization? No, it will be the only organization of
revolutionaries! The counterrevolutionaries have their organizations, their
innumerable organizations. I believe that there are 180
counterrevolutionary organizations (laughter). And also the
counterrevolutionaries have the Central Intelligence Agency, which is yet
another counterrevolutionary organization. The revolutionaries, on the
other hand, have a single organization, and the counterrevolutionaries will
continue to have hundreds (applause).

This is what the integration of the revolutionary organization
means. But did we plan to announce this integration today? No, it has been
happening, at the base, for months. The process of integration still has
not ended, it is still in the process of occurring, and at a given moment
this process of uniting all the revolutionaries in a single revolutionary
organization will be completed (extensive applause). This will be the
representative organization of the revolutionary people of Cuba. This
organization will be the product of the unification of all the
revolutionary organizations.

Obviously, the imperialists are concerned about this. What do they
want? That there be various revolutionary organizations, and also that they
disagree among themselves, that these revolutionary organizations fight
each other such as to weaken the revolution. But what do the people want?
The people want strength in the revolution. The people want their
revolution to be strong and to be able to defend itself against the attacks
of its enemies. Therefore, the people want the revolutionaries to unite.
Therefore, the people want a single revolutionary organization to be the
organization of all the revolutionaries (applause and shouts of "unity!

Naturally, nothing the revolution does suits the imperialists. The
imperialists have to combat what the revolution does. What would suit the
imperialists? If the revolution did things badly, if it was divided, if it
weakened, if it lacked discipline, lacked organization, and this is
precisely what we revolutionaries are not going to do. We want to
strengthen the revolution in its ideology, in its organization and in its
discipline, because we know that this will make the revolution ever more
invincible and it will make the imperialists and reactionaries ever more
powerless against the revolution. But there is no need to wait for a
certain date to declare the revolutionary forces united. When this process
of integration has concluded, when that moment arrives, we will simply
explain and tell the people that the process of unification has been

It was said that on 26 July we will go to make some statement or
other. This is simple stupidity. The revolution does not have to wait for a
date. The revolution must do everything in its own proper time (applause).

We have said that the revolution is socialist (extensive
applause). What does it mean to say that the revolution is socialist? Does
it mean that everything here is socialized? No. Does it mean that
everything here will be socialized in the ceremonies today? No, because the
revolution is a process, nor can socialism be achieved by decree. Socialism
is an economic and social system which is achieved by means of a process.
It is not achieved by decree. It is possible to nationalize the sugar mills
by decree, to nationalize the banks, the great industries, to implement a
whole series of measures, but one does not achieve a full social and
economic regime by decree. Among other things, the revolution is a process
of educating the people, a process of developing revolutionary awareness.

The statement that the revolution is socialist means that the
revolution is advancing toward a socialist economic and social regime,
without the exploitation of man by man. And in a national general assembly,
in a gathering of this vast size, the Havana Declaration was approved. The
people of Cuba approved the Havana Declaration, in which all the basic
points are the basic points of socialism (applause).

And, among other things, when the Havana Declaration condemned the
exploitation of man by man, and condemned colonialism, and imperialism, and
the exploitation of a people by the monopolistic enterprises of another
country -- when it condemned the large estate ownership, and when it set
forth the right of man to the fruits of his labor, when it set forth the
right of young people to education, when it set forth the right of the
peasants to the land, it was simply putting many of the things which the
revolution had done into a statement of principle, and at the same time, it
was concretely expressing the aspirations of the Cuban revolution.

But it is necessary to understand this clearly. It is necessary
not only that the revolutionary leaders understand it, for the people must,
too. The most important thing of all is for the people to understand. The
most important thing of all is for the people to know. A revolutionary
undertaking is not the work of revolutionary leaders, it is the work of a
whole people, it is the work and the task of the masses of the people. And
the people must understand that the revolution is a process which sets
itself certain goals, and these goals are not achieved by decree. These
goals are not achieved overnight.

The people must understand socialism, they must know what
socialism is, and the people must know how to achieve socialism, a society
in which the exploitation of man will have disappeared completely and
wherein, with the disappearance of the exploitation of one class by
another, we will achieve a regime of true justice and true equality among
men, without exploiter and exploited classes (applause).

But it is necessary, it is essential that the people know what
socialism is, what socialism consists of and how such a society is
achieved. They must understand that such a society is not achieved
overnight, nor is a month nor in two years, and that this more just society
cannot be achieved unless it is on the basis of work and the economic
development of the nation, the development of our wealth, because it is
impossible to establish this more just society without an extraordinary
increase in the production of goods which will permit all citizens of the
country to satisfy all their needs.

We will not achieve this more just society with great dreams, with
great ideas, with great intentions and great desires. It must be achieved
through a process and through great effort. Does this mean that we must
impose socialism by force? No. Has the revolutionary government imposed
socialism by force, or is socialism a consequence of the revolution of the
people which seeks justice? (Shouts of "Yes" and applause).

In other words, it is the result of the conviction of the people,
it is the consequence of the persuasion of the people, it is the result of
the education of the people. This means that we should not impose other
ideas by force either; rather, we must win over those who do not understand
our ideas, win them by persuasion and by reason. This means that in this
process we must promote the self-education of the people, and we must hope
that every humble man, every exploited man, every honorable man will
understand and support our ideas. It is necessary, moreover, for the people
to understand that this is not an easy task. Why do the
counterrevolutionaries propagate lies for their own purposes? Why do the
counterrevolutionaries make an effort to spread so many lies? They do this
in order to win over to their side certain sectors of the people whom it is
possible to arouse through fear and through rumors. The counterrevolution
does not spread lies to win over the workers, those who were exploited in
the past. It does this to win over certain social classes, certain social
sectors of the middle class and the petit bourgeoisie, in order to persuade
them to combat the workers and the peasants.

The counterrevolutionaries are trying to isolate the workers'
class and the peasant class. The counterrevolutionaries are trying to cut
the workers off, to cut the peasants off, and if possible, to divide the
workers and the peasants and also to see all the middle strata of the
population against this workers' and peasants' class, so that they will
serve the interests of the greater exploiters who want to gain control of
the government of the nation again.

This means that it must be understood clearly that the revolution
which represents the basic interests of the workers' class and the
peasantry is a process, and that in this process it is necessary to try to
win over the largest possible number of the elements in the middle
population sectors. In other words, these elements should not be thrown
into the arms of the counterrevolutionaries and the reactionaries, but they
should be won over and enlisted in the revolution (applause).

This is the only intelligent and proper strategy for the workers'
class and the peasantry, it is the only correct and intelligent strategy
for the revolution.

This means that the revolution should deal in a special way with
these sectors, not in the same way as it deals with the great monopolies,
that is to say, the great estate owners, the great industrialists and the
upper commercial and financial bourgeoisie.

The treatment of the sectors should be proper, polite and
intelligent, in order to win them over to the revolution.

We must take into account that there is a large sector of the
population in small trade and small industry, people working for
themselves, in their own workshops, and this is a large sector. In other
words, the small industrial and small trade sectors remain. And the
revolution should pursue an intelligent and correct policy with these
population sectors.

There have been those who have asked us: "Well, when are we going
to seize all the small businesses?" And then, we realized that these people
were very possibly speaking in good faith, possibly they believed that this
is the most revolution- ary thing, and failed to realize that this would be
precisely the most counterrevolutionary action, the most negative thing we
could do (applause). Why? Because it would make into enemies of the
revolution sectors which the revolution should enlist, and which the
revolution should have and keep on its side, until they have been
assimilated by the revolution.

Why would this policy be counterrevolutionary? Because it would
create more enemies for the revolution, it would divide the domestic front,
because it ignores the fact that our basic battle is against the great
imperialist interests, the great monopolistic interests which want to crush
the revolution, and the revolution must offer a solid domestic front for
struggle against these interests (applause).

Why are we speaking of this problem? Because it is a problem which
not only the leaders need to know, for the masses must know. This must also
be a mass policy, since the leaders of a revolution can do nothing if the
ideas of the revolution do not become the thinking of the great
revolutionary masses, and since the revolutionary masses everywhere must
implement the slogans of the revolution (applause).

There are large numbers of small businesses, and an infinity of
little stalls and small workshops, large numbers of people working for
themselves, and the counterrevolutionaries are trying to frighten these
sectors of the people. Obviously, the revolution is not sufficiently
developed, does not have sufficient personnel to render all these services
which in many cases small businesses and small industries render, but the
counterrevolutionaries want to frighten these families, and naturally,
since the revolution applied confiscation measures against the large
owners, against the big business men, the counterrevolutionaries are trying
to make these sectors of the people believe that their businesses will be
confiscated too and that they, too, will be left without goods or

It is essential that the people understand, that all these
revolutionary sectors understand, that socialism is the aspiration toward a
more just society, without exploiters and exploited, but socialism is not
an exclusivistic society. Socialism does not seek to let some live while
hindering others (applause). Socialism is the desire to have every man and
woman have the opportunity to live decently, and therefore, all of the
honorable men and women in a country come within the socialist framework
(applause) and all the honorable men and women of the country can aid in
bringing socialism about.

It is logical that if a family which has a small business as its
means of livelihood is threatened with losing what it has, and finding
itself hungry in the streets, logically any head of a family to whom the
picture of his wife and children without the bread he can provide them is
painted -- that man is filled with terror of the revolution, that man is
full of fear of the revolution, and that man can be won over by the
counterrevolutionaries. Because no man can claim the right to exploit other
men, but any man can indeed say: "What I want is to have an opportunity to
live, too. I have lived under a capitalist regime, and under that regime I
adapted to certain conditions. What I want is to adapt myself to the
conditions of socialism too, and to live honorably under socialism." We
must prevent any citizen from being led to believe that he will be left in
the street without a livelihood (applause). We must see that no family can
say or harbors the fear that it will be left overnight without its means of

Capitalism was characterized by cruelty. The fate of any given man
or woman of the people who might be out in the street without work, without
a means of livelihood, without a home and hungry did not matter to the
capitalists. Capitalism was cruel to the citizens of the country and
uninterested in the fate of any given citizen. Socialism can never operate
with the methods characteristic of capitalism. Socialism is interested in
the fate of each man and woman in the country, it is interested in bread
and work for each man and woman in the country (applause)!

And for this reason, we can calmly allow those who want to go to
do so, but we can only do this if we truly establish in our country
absolutely just conditions, such that if someone goes it is because he
wants to, and not because he is not given the opportunity to live here and
to work, but because he does not want to live honorably, and wants to go
because he does not want to earn his bread working honorably (applause), so
that those who go will do so simply because they do not choose to profit
from the opportunity offered them by the father- land. And if such people
want to go, let them go (applause)!

Naturally the revolution does not come about in an easy way. The
revolution is not something which develops simply and without problems. In
some cases, the laws of the revolution are very hard on some people. There
have been such cases, and moreover, we must even admit that sometimes we,
involved in the revolutionary battle, have not had time to consider these

When the laws nationalizing all the US monopolies were implemented
-- and rightly, because all these monopolies were multimillionaires, all of
them had great investments and capital in the United States -- we certainly
did not have to concern ourselves in any way about the nationalization of
these great monopolies. When the revolution implemented another law, the
urban reform law, it affected tens of thousands of people. However, this
law was very well implemented, because the case of all those families
living on the income from a house were taken into account, and these
families continued to receive income. Urban reform continued to provide
them with what they had earned, that is to say, this was a law which did
not leave any family, any old person who was dependent on an income of 60
or 70 pesos from a house, hungry.

When we undertook agrarian reform, however, our law was defective
in that it did not take into account the situation of the very humble
families who had, who lived off the rest of the land, that is to say, those
who were not large estate owners. In this sense, the agrarian law was not
as just and perfect a law, that is to say, it was just in its principles
but in its mechanism and its implementation it was not as just as the urban
reform law, because it did not provide for these cases.

For example, the agrarian reform law left the large estate owners
a part of the land. The law nationalizing the major industries left nothing
to any of those owners of major industries. Naturally, the reaction of all
the great industrialists to a loss such as this is to leave the country,
even if they are given an opportunity to work, even though the government
gives them a chance to earn a living honorably, they go, and this is what
has happened. But in exceptional cases it did happen that there were
families who on losing their industries were left "homeless in the street,"
without a cent. Naturally, this is not ideal. We recall that we once said
that if any of these families was left without any resources, we would be
prepared to provide them with pensions or some aid.

We believe that it will be just in the cases of these families of
a certain age, people who can no longer work at anything else and whose
goods have all been nationalized, if they want to remain here and since
they can no longer live like millionaires or exploit anyone, for the
revolutionary govern- ment to be prepared to give them pensions, if their
aids and conditions so require (applause), that is to say, if they are no
longer able, because of age, to do other work.

What does this mean? That the revolution must try to act in such a
way that no one can object to its actions, such that its actions cannot be
represented as acts of cruelty, and such that no one can cite the case of
an unhappy "Mr. So and So" left hungry, without a single cent. The
revolution must simply say: "No, even you, a great exploiter, even you, a
great industrial magnate, will be prevented now from exploiting anyone. Now
you can no longer exploit the labor of hundreds of workers. Now you can no
longer exploit anyone. But the revolutionary government cannot leave you
and your family hungry in the street. The revolutionary government even has
a solution for you, if you are to too old and cannot work, but you should
not be afraid of the revolution."

Naturally, such cases are the exception with the great industrial
magnates. They are exception. The majority have departed, the majority
could not adapt themselves. Now then, there remains a large sector which is
not that of the great magnates, nor is it such a small sector as that of
the great magnates. With regard to this population group, the revolution
should make an effort to pursue a correct and wide policy.

Does this mean that private enterprise will always continue to
exist? No, it will not. It will disappear with the revolution (applause).
Will the businesses employing workers always exist? No. We should begin by
saying that neither free enterprise nor these businesses will continue to
exist forever, and that by the end of the revolutionary process these types
of business will have disappeared (applause).

This is something which those involved themselves should know.
What we want to say is that these businesses cannot and should not
disappear overnight. What we want to say is that we must now allow the
sector of the population which makes a living from these small businesses
to fear hunger. They must cease to fear that they will be deprived of their
means of livelihood suddenly and without compensation and without any
chance to earn a livelihood in the country. Because there are many small
business men who are not worried about the fact that free enterprise may
disappear in five, ten or fifteen years. This does not concern them. Nor
are the small industrialists concerned that this type of business will
disappear. What will be seized, they will be put in into the streets and
will find themselves poor and homeless. That is to say, without work,
without a business, without money, without food.

And the counterrevolutionaries are trying to exploit this. What is
the idea which the revolutionary government should put across to all of
these elements? Well, it is the following: your business will not last
forever. Your industry will not last forever. All of this will disappear to
the extent to which the revolution develops, because the very development
of the revolution will require such manpower for more remunerative jobs
that no one will be able to find individual prepared to work under a system
of craft enterprise which cannot possibly pay them the wages that a great
industrial or trade enterprise pays.

This means that this entire system of business will gradually
disappear as a result of the revolutionary process. But what we must assure
these population sectors of is the fact that as certainly as their
businesses will disappear over a period of years -- not months, but over a
period of some years -- while this type of business and this mode of live
will disappear, we must also assure them that they will not be left in the
street without income, without work, and without means of earning a living
decently, without income.

This is the idea which the revolutionaries, the workers, the
peasants, the students must put across to the elements, because we are not
an immature people. We must act like revolutionaries who know what they are
doing, like revolutionaries who know how to analyze the various social
classes and who know how to apply the policy which is suited to the various
social strata in this process leading to the disappearance of the
exploitation of man by man and the disappearance of the exploiter and
exploited classes (applause).

We must take care with the mania to confiscate (laughter). Those
afflicted with it would treat the owner of an estate of one thousand
caballerias the same as the owner of a fried potato stall (laughter). They
believe that this is a form of promoting the revolution, persecuting
everyone. Thus, they would leave the owner of a pushcart or a little shop
without the means of earning a living, and this would not be an intelligent
policy. This policy would go against the revolution, because it would
create fear of it and lack of confidence in revolutionary sectors which can
be our allies, which are capable of understanding that the revolution is
just, that all that the revolution does it just, although they cannot
understand being suddenly put out in the street to suffer hunger.

And here lies the problem: we must now allow the
counterrevolutionaries to enlist in their ranks the population strata which
can be enlisted in the ranks of the revolution. We believe that it is very
important to take this occasion to set forth these ideas and define these
criteria to the people of Cuba, because this is not only the task of the
leading cadres of the revolution, but is also the task of the masses of the
revolution, and it is necessary that the masses of the revolution
understand and apply these ideas, and no opportunity could be better than
that at this most formidable and revolutionary gathering (applause).

With this policy, the revolution will become stronger and more
invincible every day. The revolution, naturally, is not a simple process,
not an easy one. Revolution is a very difficult process, because a
revolution develops out of an exploiting social regime, a chaotic social
regime, in which a thousand interests are interlinked and united, and
wherein the system of privileges then even come to include large sectors.
The privileges and the benefits of such a regime even extend to broad
sectors of the population, and for this reason it is not easy to undertake
a revolution. If revolutions were easy there would already have been a
revolution and all of the problems in all of the parts of the world would
already have been resolved. But undertaking the revolution is a difficult
task, a task which calls for great patience and for moving wisely and

We have wanted to take this opportunity to discuss these subjects.
Nothing will end on 26 July. I imaging that the counterrevolutionaries have
suffered a great disappointment (applause), because it has been
demonstrated here once again that they are deceivers and sowers of false
rumors. They will have to suffer the disappointment of this vast gathering

It seems that my throat will not let me go on much longer. I have
already told Commander Gagarin that while I delivered my address he could
circle the earth twice (laughter and shouts of "Fidel"). He says that so
far he could only have traveled one and a half times around the earth. This
means that I have half a revolution left (laughter) before I complete my
speech, but my throat does not want to help me much today (shouts of

However, without making too much effort we are going to speak of
some things which we should discuss today (shouts from the audience begging
Fidel to rest).

Well, you will let me finish. Do not believe that I do
not want to talk. The fact is that I have been trying -- it
is some times since i have spoken and I have lost the habit of

On this 26 July, we must know where we are. In brief, I can say to
you that the revolution in these two years and seven months has achieved
extraordinary successes, truly impressive ones, in almost all sectors.

(The audience began to chant revolutionary slogans.)

The counterrevolutionaries have been nurturing illusions. Do you
know what kind of illusions the counterrevolutionaries have harbored? Well,
they say that there will be hunger (laughter). Why do we laugh at what the
counterrevolutionaries say? Obviously, the whole policy of the
counterrevolutionaries and the imperialists -- my voice is coming back now
(applause) -- their whole policy involves trying to create difficulties of
an economic nature for us, to see if they can create discontent, among the
people. In other words, they believed that we were a masochistic people or
something like that, in other words, that they would be mistreated and
attacked from every side, and that when they suffered the consequences of
these attacks they would beg the imperialists for pardon, that they would
be brought to their knees before the imperialists.

We have known from the very first that they were mistaken, and
that the results they would achieve with all of their attacks would be
precisely the opposite. When they tried to deprive us of oil, when they
suspended our sugar quota, after they had created for our country an
economy based on the single sugar crop, after they placed an embargo on
replacement parts and raw materials, both for industry and agricultural
machinery, and after they tired of making all of these aggressive attacks
upon us, and planning sabotage and terrorism and threatening and forcing us
to expend great energy on military defense, and attacking our country --
after they did all this, they found after two and a half years that the
expected results had not come about anywhere.

The last thing they did was precisely to place an embargo on fats
shipped to our country. Also, there is the fact that since the triumph of
the revolution, the people have in their pockets five hundred million more
annually to spend than they had at the time of the triumph of the
revolution (applause). In other words, our people have five hundred million
more to spend. Many large families, in which only one members works, now
have five, six, and sometimes even more employed. The income of such
families has increased extraordinarily as a result of the increased job
opportunities, as a result of the lowering of rents, and as a result of the
increase in salaries in many cases.

And this is particularly the case in the rural sector, where a
half of our population lives, where unemployment was the worst and where
the employment situation today is the best. During the last harvest, they
had a chance to see this in the fact that the first time in the history of
our country there was not enough manpower to carry out the cane harvesting
work, because a large part of the peasant population was working in other
agricultural areas, and it was necessary to mobilize tends of thousands of
men and women from the cities to complete the harvest tasks. A simple
calculation suffices to show what 500 million pesos more in the hands of
the people means. It means a greater demand for all articles. And
obviously, there are items the production of which can increase
indefinitely, such as tobacco and sugar, but there are others, of course,
which have suffered from the weight of thee exceptional increase in demand.

What illusions the counterrevolutionaries created for themselves
in thinking that we may be plagued by famine! It suffices to examine the
per capita consumption of rice, which has increased from 100 pounds per
person to 130. These 30 pounds are those being consumed by families which
did not in the past consume even a hundred, even 50, even 40 pounds of
rice, while there were those here who consumed probably 200 pounds per year

There has been a great increase in the purchasing capacity of the
people. The people have 500 million pesos more in hand. What does this
mean? That we must also make a great effort in production so that the
people will be able to count on all the articles they want to buy as a
result of this increase of 500 million pesos a year in their income.

Fruit, for example, of which there was a surplus in the part, in
sometimes in short supply as a result of this increase in demand. The city
of Havana, for example, is consuming 800,000 oranges a day, and yet this
quantity is not equal to the demand, the consumer capacity of the
purchasing power of the people today.

Naturally, the revolution is planting millions and millions of
fruit trees, in a plan of proportions such as never existed in any other
country in the world. This year and last, millions of fruit trees were
planted, and the plan for the coming year calls for the planting of 75
million fruit trees more, including 20 million citrus fruit trees

The revolution, the revolutionary government, is carrying forward
its plans for industrialization and its agricultural plans. In connection
with the fats problem, even the satisfaction of the extraordinary increase
in the demand for meat, all of these problems of agricultural supply, the
small shortages which are occurring as a result of this increase in
consumption, will be resolved entirely by the revolution within a few
months. Even, though this will be the last to be resolved, the problem of
fats will be settled within 18 months. We will arrange for the production
of all of the fats the country needs (applause).

This means that we have no reason to concern ourselves about the
future since today all the tools of production are in the hands of the
people. Hunger did indeed exist, that is to say, there were shortages, a
lack of resources and income on the part of the people, when the means of
production were in the hands of the foreign monopolies. But today, now that
the people are the owners of the tools of production, now that the people
are the owners of the best land, now that the people are the owners of the
best and biggest industries, now that the people can product through their
own work (applause).

Today, now that the people own industry and the lands, the people
through their work can produce in their own industries and on their own
land, and the future of our country cannot fail to be a happy one! The
people will have all they want, because the people today are the masters of
the best lands and, basically, of industry, and they will have everything
they want to produce through their work, everything they want to produce
through their efforts (extensive applause).

What prevents the people from producing what they want, producing
as much wealth and as much goods as they want, since today the peoples own
the land and the industry? If the people are the owners of the natural
resources now, it suffices for the people to want something, and the people
can produce it. The people need only want it, and they can do what is
necessary (applause). What the people need is time. The people need time
and nothing more to resolve all their problems, because now the people have
in their hand what they need to do this precisely. And that the people can
do what they want is demonstrated by the experience of these years, it is
proved by the campaign to eliminate illiteracy which we are carrying out

I would like, for example, to see the hands of all those who have
a brother or a son teaching reading and writing or learning to teach in the
brigades (the majority of those present raised their hands). There are
94,000 young people in the Conrado Benitez Brigades, 94,000 young people
teaching reading and writing (applause)! And by the middle of the month of
August there will be a total of 104,000 brigade members teaching reading
and writing throughout the country (applause). They are your sons and
brothers who are carrying out a truly historic mission, a task which has
become a crown of glory and the highest honor for our youth, who through it
see a great opportunity to serve their fatherland and the revolution. As a
result of it, illiteracy will be eliminated in our county in a single year
(applause and shouts of "we will triumph! we will triumph!").

And is it not perhaps an extraordinary thing, an incredible thing,
to teach more than a million to read and write in a single year? Is this
not truly an accomplishment on the part of our young people? There are more
than a hundred thousand young people who have gone to the rural sector, and
to the most distant parts of the country. There they have stayed for months
and they are ready to remain several months more, improving the life of the
peasants and teaching. And the people which can do this can accomplish any
tasks set for us, because there is no doubt that if there is something of
which the Cuban revolution can be eternally proud, it is this effort it is
making to benefit the illiterate and the ignorant. One of the greatest
triumphs of this revolution will be to show the world, to show our brothers
in Latin America, that illiteracy can be eliminated in a year when there is
a revolution (applause) or when the people are prepared to support the just
policy, and when there is a just policy for the peoples.

The fact is that all the vast mass of young people has united in
the tasks of the revolution. The vast mass of the young people here in our
country have no problems with the revolution, no problems with the
political regime. This mass of young people knows it is the heir to the
benefits and the tasks of the revolution, the heir to the work that the
revolution leaves it. This mass of youth has joined in as of now to play
its role. And the very fact that our country at this time has more than a
hundred thousand young people who have already passed the sixth grade or
are in the sixth grade and who are gaining all of this experience which
this work of teaching people to read and write means is truly impressive.
People which can achieve this goal in a single year can resolve any problem
with which it is confronted.

And just today you will have seen the stadium, that is to say, the
gallery which has been built at the back of this Revolution Square. Well,
then, this gallery has been filled solely by the young workers and peasants
who, coming from various parts of the island, have received scholarships
from the revolutionary government. (applause).

Oh, we have advanced, we have advanced. Neither on the first 26
July holiday nor on the second could we build such a gigantic gallery as
this, and yet large as it is, it will not seat all the humble young men and
women of our people who today, thanks to the revolution, are studying in
various schools (applause)!

Thus, the revolution today can gather the fruits of its labor,
because we can gather together here the militia battalions, those
battalions which made a mockery of the reactionary bands and which later
had an opportunity to demonstrate their courage and their heroism in the
battles in the Zapata Swamp (extensive applause)!

Today the revolution can rally its battalions of veterans. Today
the revolution can rally tens and tens of thousands of sons and daughters
of the workers and peasants who are studying in the capital of the
republic. Today the revolution can rally its Committees for the Defense of
the Revolution (applause). Today it can rally its cadres of integrated
revolutionaries, its workers' trade unions, its associations of young
people, of women. In other words, the revolution today can rally an
organized people (applause), because when the revolution came to power the
past were not organized, the social organization of the people was entirely
consistent with the circumstances of life in the past in our country.

The revolution has organized the people. In the first year, and
even in the second, the imperialists had to deal with a people who were not
organized. But this people now, after two years and seven months of
revolution, are a people with a vastly higher degree of revolutionary
awareness than they had then, a much higher degree of political education
than they had then (applause). And, in particular, this is an organized
people. A people organized through their trade unions, through their
Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (applause), through their
militia battalions (applause), through their Young Rebels Associations
(applause), through the Women's Federation (applause). Even the children
are organizing in the associations of Rebel Pioneers (applause)! The people
are being organized through their sports associations, their cultural
associations, their agricultural cooperatives, their peasant associations,
the reading and writing legions, the battalions of volunteer workers
(applause), the professional schools, in which the intellectual workers are
grouped. And they are bound together and oriented by the cadres of the
integrated revolutionary organizations, which are advancing toward the
formation of the United Party of the Socialist Revolution of Cuba
(ovation), with groups of persons joining hands and dancing and shouting,
"Fidel, Fidel," until quieted by the playing of the national anthem).

Now the people are organized. Each man and woman here now belongs
to some revolutionary organization. For example, will all those who belong
to the militia raise their hands (many in the audience raised their hands).
Now, will all those belonging to the trade unions raise their hands (many
in the audience raised their hands). Now, those who belong to the women's
federation (many of those present raised their hands). Will all those who
belong to the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution raise their
hands (many in the audience raised their hands). And now, will all those
who support the union of all revolutionaries in the United Party of
Socialist Revolution of Cuba raise their hands (all those present,
including Doctor Castro, raised their hands, shouting "unity, unity").

The imperialists and the reactionaries are not confronted today
with a disorganized people lacking organization. The imperialists and the
counterrevolutionaries, the saboteurs and the terrorists are not faced now
with a people without organization. The revolution has not only maintained
and increased its extraordinary warm popular support, but it has organized
its revolutionary forces. The terrorists, counterrevolutionaries,
saboteurs, reactionaries and imperialists (shouts) now have to deal with
the organized people. And the reactionaries, the counterrevolutionaries and
the imperialists no longer have in Cuba the resources they had in other
days, because now those aristocratic quarters in which they plotted, where
they hid the counterrevolutionaries and the terrorists, which produced the
finest flower of the exploiter class, -- these sectors are the residence of
these tends of thousands of scholarship students. (applause). And those who
will live there at the beginning of the next school year will be those who
hold scholarships in pre-university and basic secondary courses, in the
technological schools, the revolutionary training schools, the university
schools. What was the stronghold of the reactionaries yesterday is today
occupied by the sons and daughters of the workers and the peasants

Therefore, the circle is tightening increasingly around the
reactionaries. Their path is becoming increasingly difficult every day. The
reactionaries and the counterrevolutionaries will not raise their heads,
no, because as they say, there are many committees for the defense of the
revolution, there are many militia battalions, there are many trade unions,
many young people's associations and associations of women or students or
sportsmen or revolutionary cadres. No, because there are many militia
battalions and many committees for the defense of the revolution and many
associations of women, many revolutionary schools, and many scholarship
student centers, many cooperatives, many people's farms, many peasant
associations, many pioneer groups and many revolutionary cadres, simply
because the people support the revolution (applause), and the
counterrevolutionaries will not raise their heads, because the people are
against them, because they have no popular support. Their strongholds are
the shrines of the privileged, the exploiters, the worms, the parasites,
the traitors, those who are confused, those who will sell out their
country, those who lick the boots of the imperialists, the enemies of the
worker, the peasant, the student, the enemies of our youth, of our society,
or our nationality, of our future, of our progress.

Because they want to return here to bring back miserable
exploitation. They want to come back here to turn our new industries over
to the foreign monopolies again. They want to come back here to turn over
the lands which we have given to the peasants and the lands which we have
given to the cooperative members to the foreign companies again. They want
to come back here to take orders from a foreign master. They want to hitch
our republic to the yoke of exploitation, corruption, abuse, injustice,
ignorance and plunder, because they want to go back to the past, they want
to put out the light of the future which has already been lit on the
horizon of the fatherland and for this reason the people are against them.

Our workers, our peasants, our legions of students, our young
people, our women, our sportsmen, our militiamen, our soldiers, our people
are against them. Our entire people will always be against them, against
the exploiters, against the parasites. And not only will the hundreds of
thousands of militiamen be against them, but the hundreds of thousands of
teachers in the army against illiteracy, in the juvenile brigades, and in
the units educating the people will be against them, too (applause). And
the million and a quarter Cubans who are learning to read and write this
year will be against them (applause).

Because it has been the revolution which has remembered them. It
is the revolution which has given them titles of ownership to the land. It
is the revolution which freed them from the rents they pay -- often more
than in feudal times, 50% of what they produced. It was the revolution
which gave them roads, doctors, teachers and a sense of dignity. It was the
revolution which gave them guns, too, so that they could defend their land,
their revolution and their fatherland (applause).

And for this reason, the people will always be against them, the
vast majority of the people, one hundred percent of the people, because
those who are parasites, those who are exploiters, those who are
mercenaries in the service of foreigners can call themselves neither sons
nor citizens of this people.

For this reason, all of the honorable men and women will be
against them, whether they be exploiters, or gangsters, or petit
politicians, or traitors, or those who sell out their country, those who
are the enemies of our country's advance, the ruffians of yesterday, the
rascals and petit politicians and the middle men and the exploiting cliques
of yesterday -- the people will always be against them, because the people
are not here thanks to some passing enthusiasm, the people are not here for
revelry. For two years and seven months, day after day, the people have
been answering present, with increasing firmness, increasing fervor,
increasing enthusiasm and faith, in the roll call of the ranks of the
revolution. (applause).

And this same people which paraded on 1 May, as soldiers and
workers, has paraded today in an impressive sports display in this very
square. And this spectacle of thousands and thousands of young people here
is an unforgettable one for us, showing all of the potential of our
country, all of the capabilities of our people, who are learning to achieve
these collective triumphs of 5,000 athletes in a gymnastic tableau,
hundreds of couples interpreting a national or foreign dance, 70,000
athletes parading here yesterday.

It was only three or four months ago that the INDER [Instituto
Nacional de Deportes, Educacion Fisica, y Recreacion -- National Institute
for Sports, Physical Education and Recreation] was organized. And if this
has been achieved in such a short time, the athletic performance next year
will not be like the first one, nor like that of yesterday, but vastly
better, covering the entire square, and every year on 25 July such an event
will be held. This will be the date for the sports parades (applause). And
also on 2 January there will be a military parade (applause), on 1 May, a
worker's parade (applause), on 25 July, an athletes' parade (applause), and
on 26 July, a gathering like this one today (applause).

And thus the people are advancing, and thus, as we approach three
years of revolution, everything is going much better than at the beginning.
The organization of the people, along with the organization of the
revolutionary leadership and the revolutionary government, is developing
well, and the organization of the state, the organization of the public
administration, the organization of our agriculture and our industry, is
vastly improved.

The first four year plan, with an investment of a billion pesos in
industrial development, along with the development of our agriculture, in
only four years, is soon to be undertaken (applause). Some 40,000 students
with revolutionary government scholarships will begin to study during the
next school year. The 104,000 brigade members will return to their classes,
their educational centers, their higher and technological schools.
University reform has been carried forward and thousands of students are
now being trained for technical careers in our country. Thousands of
technicians are also studying and training this year in the universities in
friendly socialist countries (applause).

Heavy industry will be developed, and on the basis of that heavy
industry we will be able to develop all of the other industries needed for
the satisfaction of all our needs. Despite the large number of attacks upon
us by the imperialists, they have not even succeeded in imposing serious
privation upon us. They have not even succeeded in imposing great
sacrifices upon us. They have failed and they will continue to fail in
their plans to harass us with hunger, their plans to destroy the revolution
by economic aggression, as they always failed in their plans to destroy us
militarily, too.

And what a formidable future looms for our fatherland! We will no
longer be an exploited people, no longer a people with a vast majority
exploited by an egotistical and insatiable minority, no longer a people of
great hungry majorities, great majorities subject to discrimination and
humiliation, great ignorant masses, great unshod masses, great landless
masses, great jobless masses. Now we will be a united people, a people with
a single, unique majority, the majority of all the people. All of the
people will have bread, and work, and education, and culture. All the
people will have access to the institutes, to the universities. All the
people will be masters of their factories, of their land, of their social
circles. All of the children will be organized, all of the young people
will be organized, all of the women will be organized, all of the workers
and the militia men will be organized. All of the people will be soldiers,
all combatants, all defendants of the fatherland! (Applause and shouts of
"unity, unity!").

Because this is now the fatherland of all, because the land is now
the land of the fatherland, because industries are now the industries of
the fatherland, and because the fruits of the labor of the people are now
the fruits for the people, for their sons, for their children, for their
wives (applause).

And this is the future we have ahead, a promising future, a
brilliant future, a happy future, full of triumph for all the people,
opportunities for all the men and women of the people, triumphs in the
cultural, economic and sports sectors.

There will be collective triumphs, not individual triumphs, but
triumphs of the collective. These will be triumphs of the entire people,
and there are no true triumphs which are not collective. The victory of a
battalion is to that of the commander who leads it, but of all the soldiers
who make it up (applause).

Yesterday we saw an impressive spectacle in which thousands of
athletes formed a word, writing a thought on the hot pavement of our
revolutionary square. National and foreign dances can not be interpreted by
a single man. They are spectacles which eloquently reflect the great
collective triumphs, the great victories in which hundreds of men,
thousands of men or an entire people participate.

And this parade yesterday was marvelous and instructive, because
it teaches us what collectives can do. Only organized groups, societies and
peoples can achieve such great successes in the field of sports or arts or
education or culture or economics or any other sector, because only an
organized people can achieve such great things. And as we need triumphs in
sports, in culture, in economics and in art, in the defense of the
revolution, these will be the triumphs of a collective for the collective.

Because in the past the reactionary classes organized the
collective to suit their interests and to defend their interests. They
organized a professional army. They trained it well. They educated its
officers in reactionary schools. They made the soldiers into helmeted
enemies of the people, into mercenaries, and here we had an armed force
defending its privileges against the people. But the revolution, no -- the
revolution has converted the entire people into an army. It has given the
militiamen and the soldiers the mentality of true revolutionaries, servants
of the cause, servants of the nation, servants of their people, and it has
armed all these people so that the entire people will be a single force.
Because there must be a single interest, not group interests, not class
interests, not private interests. There must be an interest above all the
others, and this is the collective interest, the interest of all, the
interest which embraces the rights and the aspirations of each of us

And it is only this force which can provide bread for all,
education for all, work for all, homes for all, books for all, clothing for
all, shoes for all, medicines for all, happiness for all, joy for all,
well-being for all (applause).

For this reason, we proclaim the right of all to work, the right
of all to education. Indeed, we point to this figure -- 1,250,000
illiterates, at least. This figures alone more than suffices to justify the
revolution. Our of 6 million Cubans, a million and a quarter never had a
teacher, never had a pencil in their hands, never had a book, and it is
these people the revolution is teaching.

Because the revolution believes that this is a crime, that each
individual who was left unable to learn even to write his own name
represented a crime, as did each child who died without a doctor, without
medicine, each child, each man or woman who went without shoes, each home
without bread, each young person without education, each head of a family
without work, each Negro without rights (applause and shouts of "Fidel").
The revolution believes that this was a crime. And the great justification
for the revolution is the struggle against these injustices, against these
crimes, to give to the men who had nothing, everything, and everything for
a man is bread, bread to nourish him and bread to nourish his mind --

Everything for man is his right to health, to culture, to work, to
a roof, to respect, to an opportunity to grow and to be educated, to be
useful, to help others with his work and also to receive the help of the
work of others.

Everything for man is bread, culture, a home, work, happiness,
respect. And these things are for all, who in the past has only some of
them, and who lacked bread, or books, or shoes, or health, or work, or a
roof, which was the case with the vast majority of our people.

This is what the revolution is trying to provide and will provide
to each Cuban, to the extent that our people become masters of their fate,
to the extent that our people become owners of their own wealth, their
natural resources, their land, their factories. And all people can truly
say for the first time in their history: "The future is in our hands,
because the land is ours, the mines are ours, the schools are ours, the
factories are ours, and universities are ours, the regime is ours, the
weapons are ours, the fatherland is ours" (applause). This they could not
say in the past.

"And our enemies will be those who do not want the factories to be
ours, the mines to be ours, the land to be ours, the hospitals to be ours,
the bathhouses and the recreation centers to be ours, the schools to be
ours, the industries to be ours, the finances to be ours, the roofs to be
ours, the pieces of land we work independently, as independent peasants or
cooperatives, to be ours (applause). The future is ours, the guns and the
tanks and the planes and the weapons are ours, not to attack anyone, not to
take anything from anyone, but to defend that is ours, to defend it against
those who want to take it from us (applause and shouts), to defend the
revolution against necessary traitors, mercenary invaders, the imperialists
warmongers, the exploiter monopolies."

Yes, and we must always bear in mind that they want to destroy
this hope, this future which lies ahead of us, they want to put out this
light we glimpse. Who does? The bandits, the freebooters, the attackers of
peoples, those who deal and profit from the sweat of the blood of the
American Indian, the African Negro, the peoples of Asia, Latin America,
Spain and Africa (applause).

Those who profit from and trade in sweat and blood, that is to
say, in the labor of the workers on all the continents of the world, those
who trade in blood, those who traffic in the millions of bodies resulting
from wars, the dealers in destruction and death -- these, these are the
people who do not want the peoples to have everything. In other words, they
do not want the peoples to have culture, bread, work, homes, hospitals,
rights, opportunities, happiness. They want to destroy the fruits of the
labor of the Soviet people, the Chinese people, the Korean people, all of
the socialist peoples (applause).

They want to prevent colonialism from disappearing from the face
of the earth. They want to prevent imperialism from disappearing,
exploitation from disappearing. They do not want our people to have bread,
homes, health, work and happiness.

And it is for this reason that we have had so often to take up
arms. It is for this reason we must be always alert. Because they will not
pardon us, the imperialists do not want to pardon us for our successes. And
the more they see the people united, the people organized, the revolution
advancing and progressing, the more angry the happiness and the hope of the
people makes them, the more radical the growing strength of the revolution
renders them, the fuller of fury they become because of the sympathy in
Latin America for the revolution, the resistance they encounter not only
from the peoples, but also from the governments, because except for the
governments which have broken off relations with us, yielding in cowardly
and servile fashion to the imperialists who are killing their peoples with
hunger, many American governments have resisted the imperialist pressures,
the extortionist plans, and have maintained diplomatic relations with the
Cuban revolutionary government.

But also, not only many governments, but all the peoples without
exception, despite all of the campaigns and all of the efforts of the
imperialists, have remained faithful to the revolution. This was
demonstrated to Stevenson, fully demonstrated, and it was communicated to
Kennedy (shouts of "out!"), and the imperialists have found this out.

And as this becomes a reality, the hatred of the imperialists
grows, and not a day passes but that an irrational, alcoholic member of the
United States Senate, or a mercenary editor sold out to the imperialists,
does not launch the worst threats against our revolution or demand that we
be invaded. Not a day passes but that someone demands military
intervention, and every day their hysteria against us is more pronounced.
And as the warmongers gain ground in the United States, as the
international crisis becomes more acute as a result of these bellicose and
warlike plans, as a result of the refusal of the United States government
to propose plans for the solution of the various points of crisis
throughout the world, the danger to us will become ever more threatening,
on any pretext.

You know, for example, that on innumerable occasions Cuban planes
have been hijacked in full flight by traitors and have landed in the United
States, at the risk of the lives of our passengers. You know that recently
a number of Cuban planes, ten in all, which were hijacked in flight, were
confiscated in the United States. Well, then, on 1 May, a US plane was
hijacked by one of the passengers and landed in Rancho Boyeros. The
revolutionary government, in its readiness to give proof of its peaceful
intentions, in its desire to avoid pretext and excuses for acts committed
against us, proceeded to return that plane with all of its passengers on 1

Not a week had passed before they took one of our planes, and
immediately confiscated it in the United States. Numerous other planes have
been confiscated. Well, then, on the 24th, a passenger also hijacked a
plane belonging to a US line in the air, and it landed here (shouts). Now,
then, has the revolutionary government an obligation to return this plane?
(Shouts of "no!"). Ten Cuban planes have been confiscated, and yet we have
returned a plane. Therefore, by virtue of what principle are we obliged to
return the planes while they have the right to confiscate the planes
hijacked in the air by traitors to our fatherland? What principles of
equity prevails? What principle of equality? Why should we be obliged to
tolerate their confiscation of our planes when someone hijacks them in the
air, while on the other hand, calmly and courteously returning to them
their planes when they have a similar problem?

Well, then, the revolutionary government has not decided anything
about the plane, but had turned it over to the pilots. And immediately, the
threats began, immediately the alcoholics and evil-minded reactionaries in
the Senate -- yes, alcoholics, yes, brutish imperialists, indeed, brutish
beasts, because they merit no better name (applause), Smathers and company,
a company by the fumes of the whiskey they had been drinking up until the
moment they seated themselves in the Senate Chamber, got up to ask for the
recovery of the plane by force, an invasion of our country by the Marines,
a military expedition against us, more bloodshed directed against Cuba, a
military attack upon Cuba. Immediately, the mercenary editors began to
print similar exhortations, issuing us an ultimatum demanding the return of
the plane.

Thus, we are supposed to tolerate their confiscation of our
planes, remaining silent while we are robbed with the complicity of the US
authorities, but when they have a problem, and we return a plane to them,
they retaliate by confiscating ours. And what if another plane comes, if it
is hijacked -- we do not give orders for planes to be hijacked, because we
are not accustomed to engaging in these acts of piracy, which are
characteristic only of the imperialists, of the freebooters, we have no
need to order the theft of planes. A passenger hijacked on of his own
account. We returned the plane, and what better proof could there be?
Another US plane was hijacked and landed here. We have sent the passengers
back, but as they have confiscated ten of our planes, let them not expect
us to be in a hurry to return their to them (applause)!

Thus, we do not hijack planes and we do not order this to be done.
We have never ordered the hijacking of planes or ships, first because this
is against our principles, and second because this would merely serve to
provide the imperialists with a pretext for aggression and propaganda
against us. But if someone steals a plane there and comes here, what do
they expect? They have murdered Cubans here. There have been shootings in
planes, people have been taken dying to the hospitals. They have murdered
soldiers here before stealing boats. They welcome the murdered soldiers
here before stealing boats. They welcome the murderers as heroes, arm them
and send them on their mercenary expeditions. If they hijack something
there, in violation of the law, and come here after having committee the
crime, let them not indeed expect that we, too, will return the property to
those who committed the crime, because they have grown tired of aiding the
criminals there.

The conditions, therefore, must be equal. The fact that the Yankee
empire is large and that we are a small country does not give anyone the
right to this kind of unequal law, in accordance with which we would have
to tolerate all their evil deeds, and on top of this return the criminals
and the planes to them (applause).

The position of the Cuban government is this. The Cuban government
is ready to return the plane if in turn the US government will promise that
any plane hijacked in the future and taken to US territory will be
returned. This means that they must match our readiness to return the plane
with readiness on their part to return our planes if they are hijacked and
taken there.

The Cuban state is not to blame if the Yankee plane is stolen. Now
the Cuban state has no obligation to return these planes if the US
government does not return the planes stolen from Cuba (applause).

We never steal planes, we never hijack planes. The Cuban
government will never pay anyone or subsidize anyone or induce anyone to
steal planes, but while they maintain a policy of piracy against us they
cannot ask us to return their planes. Are the Senators threatening us? Are
the warmongers threatening us? Are the alcoholics and the Senators and the
newspaper editors threatening us? Well, then, in the face of their threats,
we remain as calm and as unconcerned as all of their hysterical and
cowardly shouting of threats against our country leaves us (applause).

Let the problem be taken to any international organ, to the United
Nations. Let the situation be discussed in law, their position and ours. If
we have had to support their attacks in silence, and if in addition they
steal planes, planes which they give to mercenaries to bomb, to kill women
and children here, to kill the sons of our fatherland here -- they have
done many worse things than this, and the Cuban people have had to tolerate
them. And when someone, in violation of their laws, commits a crime and
steals a plane from them, then they cannot ask us to act other than the way
they act toward us. We will maintain the same standards from them as they
do for us (applause)!

If they want to attack us or invade us, they do not need so many
pretexts. Let them attack us when they want. Let them invade us when they
want. If it is our fate to have to tolerate a blow, what can we do? If it
is our fate to suffer bloodshed here at the hands of the imperialists, all
we can do is to try to ensure that they shed more blood than we and that
they pay dear (applause). If our fate is in imperialist aggression, we will
meet our fate calmly, but the blame is not ours.

And as we cannot surrender and we cannot retreat, as we cannot
kneel to the imperialists, we can only stand firm, stand adamant (extensive
applause and shouts of "we will triumph!"). The imperialists have already
taught the world to resign itself to living in the midst of the risks they
represent to the world, and all the risks to peace they represent. This
system, the hysteria and the evil intent, the alcoholics now directing this
system, their evil deeds, their threats to the world are the affliction of
mankind, and some peoples have had to pay dear in blood and in sacrifice
for their attacks.

If this is our destiny, we accept it, we will adapt to it, and we
will simply continue working and creating and struggling, without worrying
about what may happen and when it may happen. What we must do, each one of
us, is to prepare ourselves better every day in order to make the aggressor
pay dear, to make the aggressor pay a high price for any attack, at any
time, on any pretext, against us, whenever it may come. It is our
misfortune that we have the imperialists 90 miles from our coastline!

And this must always be our position. We must not be affected by
the hysterical shouting of the warmongers. We must not be frightened by the
threats of the alcoholic centers. We must not be concerned and we must now
lose our calm. We must continue our work. I say alcoholic not with the
intent to offend but those who read the things these gentlemen say will
realize that they were probably drunk when they said them. And this is the

They are not only going to have the problem with Cuba, but with
the opinion of other peoples, too, with the dignity of the peoples and the
governments of Latin America which have defended the principle of
self-determination, defended it as a right which is very important to them.
Why? Ah! Because if the self-determination of Cuba is not safeguarded, no
Latin American government can then maintain an independent policy, no Latin
American government will have the right to trade with all the countries of
the world, no Latin American government will have the right or will be able
later to hope to have its own policy, because the destruction of the right
of self-determination for Cuba would mean the disappearance of this right
for all the peoples and all the governments of Latin America.

Thus, it is, then, that we must accustom ourselves to listening to
threats, and to living always in the midst of these dangers. In any case,
this is not the only danger which threatens the world. There are serious
problems, serious tensions, caused by the warmongers who are constantly
pushing the world to the brink of the catastrophe of world war. The world
must calm its nerves. The people must calm their nerves, so that they will
be of steel and so that the people can withstand all the contingencies and
the risks which the backward, reactionary, exploiting and warmongering
forces of the world will create for mankind with nerves of steel.

Thus, we must continue to awaken the awareness of the peoples in
favor of peace, the universal desire for peace. The peoples have much to
lose in wars. The imperialists have everything to lose, but the peoples
have much to lose, and therefore the people must interest themselves in
peace. The peoples must mobilize the universal awareness in favor of peace,
in order to block the maneuvers of the imperialists, so that the
imperialists cannot continue advancing along the path toward war and cannot
force mankind to pay the price which would have to be paid for the
extermination of the imperialists.

We are certain that if the imperialists launch a war, they will be
defeated. We are certain that the imperialists will be exterminated. But
the cruel, the harsh, the terrible thing is to think of the price which the
peoples would have to pay. Thus, universal awareness must be mobilized to
counteract the risks of war and the threat which the imperialists represent
to us and to the world in effective fashion.

Certainly we Cubans are exposed to the problems which world crisis
involves, but we are also exposed to the direct and indirect attacks
organized against us by the imperialist government of the United States.
For this reason we, the Cubans, must have nerves of steel, more than
anyone, and we Cubans will have these nerves of steel, we need now

Eight years ago, on a day like today, that episode we are
commemorating, the attack on the Moncada Barracks, occurred. That battle
meant a reverse for us. It was not a victory of weapons, but it was a moral
victory, a triumph of dignity. The sethack was not important, what the
revolution had to tolerate in its long advance was not only a sethack. The
liberating revolution had suffered other reverses in the preceding century.
It had suffered a great sethack at the end of its heroic struggle for
independence, with the US intervention. The revolution had suffered
sethacks, the liberation had suffered reverses. And that on 26 July was but
another skirmish in the long struggle through which our country had to pass
to achieve its freedom.

But the sethacks were not important. That reverse, which made the
military clique and its imperialist masters believe it had guaranteed
forever the continuation of its privileges and its interests was just the
beginning of the battle. Eight years is not long. But from that spark to
the present day, in a period of eight years, something has happened. The
people have won political power. The people destroyed the military clique.
The people freed themselves from the imperialist monopolies. The people,
with power in their own hands, began to resolve the most urgent and
pressing problems, and they have established their conditions for the new
steps forward and they are taking those steps.

The reactionaries, the counterrevolutionaries and the imperialists
should study the history of our revolution. They should study the history
of the revolutionary combatants. And it is worthwhile for them to remember
that revolution began without weapons, without resources, that the
revolution developed out of nothing and that this revolution was advancing
with each reverse. This revolution, that is to say, the revolutionary
concept, the revolution goal, was developing and growing and winning the
support of the masses, and it has come to be what it is today.

Thus, the revolutionary regime is not a thing which has been
imposed. The revolutionary regime is not a produce of an adventuristic
coup, of a mutiny. The revolutionary regime is the product of a long
process of struggle, the culmination of a great desire of all of our
people, who began to struggle in the past century without ever having truly
achieved this revolutionary regime.

And the last battles in this long struggle were waged by this
generation. The last battles were fought by this generation, beginning
eights years ago on a 26 July. Fighting, bleeding, struggling and making
sacrifices, the people won power, after paying the very high price of their
finest sons. And the revolutionary people in power have organized. The
revolutionary people in power have realized the hopes of the nation.

The revolutionary people have achieved their goals and are
advancing toward new stages of progress and justice. Thus, the
revolutionary regime is solid. Thus, the reactionaries, the adventurers,
the terrorists, the saboteurs in th service of the enemy can never wrest
power from the revolutionary people (applause). For this reason, the
counterrevolutionaries were defeated in the Escambray, they were defeated
at the Bay of Pigs, and they will be defeated wherever they raise their
heads (applause)!

The revolution has been generous. The revolution has been more
magnanimous than could be expected. It has been perhaps more generous than
even its enemies hoped. The revolution knows that it has the right to
defend itself. The revolution knows that it is a life or death struggle,
and once more we repeat that it is a life or death struggle which can only
end in the death and destruction of the revolution or the death and total
destruction of the counterrevolution (applause).

But this generosity of the revolution gives us a greater right and
more moral authority still to combat the counterrevolutionaries, the
traitors. And in particular, all the magnanimity and generosity the
revolution has shown, and which it does not regret, gives the revolution
the right to be more harsh and gives the revolution the right to be more
inflexible if the mercenary agents of the counterrevolutionaries sold out
to the imperialists, their terrorists, their saboteurs, their mercenaries
do not heed our warnings. If the mercenaries, the saboteurs, the
territories, the counterrevolutionaries sold out to the imperialists do not
heed us, let them not to expect the magnanimity and the generosity of the
revolution to continue forever. The revolution, with the right it enjoys
because it has been magnanimous and generous will be able to deal firmly,
increasingly firmly, with the enemy, because to the extent that the people
gain in revolutionary awareness, to the extent that the people acquire a
more precise idea of the justice of the cause they defend, the greater
their repugnance, the greater their hatred and their disgust for the
counterrevolutionaries become.

And thus, the traitors, the saboteurs and the terrorists, should
not expect magnanimity from the revolution as it advances. Even in the
implementation of its laws ordering harsh sanctions for a whole series of
crimes, the revolution has been mild. But this has not been because of the
hypocritical and shameful shouting of the imperialist masters and those who
gave the terrorists and the saboteurs, who organize campaigns soliciting
pity, soliciting commiseration with those who had no pity or sympathy at
the time they committed the worst of crimes against the country and against
the people. It is not because of them, but because of a matter of
principle, a question of magnanimity and generosity born of our desire to
advance without having to be harsh. And the revolution has not wanted to be
harsh, even when its enemies have tried to force the revolution into the
realm of the drastic, even in the midst of aggression, even in the midst of
the waves of sabotage organized by the Central Intelligence Agency, the
revolution has not been severe. But once again we want to state here that
the revolution -- and let the worms, the parasites be warned -- the
revolution will not be tolerant of the traitors, the agents of the
imperialists. The revolution will not be tolerant of those who want to
destroy the lives of the revolutionaries or the wealth of our people.

It is good that we should warn them of this, so that the
counterrevolutionaries will not congratulate themselves, so that they will
know what awaits them, so that they will know what will happen when, as a
result of the continuation of the plans of the imperialists and the Central
Intelligence Agency in our country in their attempts to promote terrorism,
sabotage, and the organization of counterrevolutionary bands, they are
confronted with the most severe, the harshest application of the laws by
the revolutionary courts when their anti-patriotic campaigns are at their
peak (applause).

In other words, the revolution has been magnanimous, it has been
generous, but it has not abandoned nor will it abandon punishment. The
revolution has an obligation to be much more harsh with its enemies when
they repeat their crimes (applause).

We turn our thoughts to all of those who have made these triumphs
of the people possible. We turn our thoughts to the comrades who fell on
this day, and to the memory of those heroic comrades, we joint that of all
those who have fallen throughout this long struggle prior to the conquest
of power, and even since that conquest. We turn our thoughts to the heroic
combatants who fell at the Bay of Pigs. We turn our thoughts toward those
martyrs of the fatherland joined in sacrifice and joined also in triumph in
our memory, and in the fruits they have won for us and in glory.

Eternal glory to all those who fell in the revolution (applause)!

Eternal glory to those who made possible this just revolution,
this free fatherland and this heroic, enthusiastic and happy people

Fatherland or death! We will triumph (ovation)!