Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Source:  Revolucion, Havana, 28 July 1961

The Prime Minister of the Revolutionary Government, Doctor Fidel Castro, in
a speech at the ceremony held at the Bay of Pigs to inaugurate the tourist
centers in the Cienaga de Zapata National Park and culminating three days
of festivities organized in connection with the eighth anniversary of the
glorious 26 July holiday, said, among other things: "This was a completely
isolated zone of the country, and in two years it has been transformed.
Three villages are under construction. Three recreation and rest centers
for the workers have been built. A reafforestation plan is being carried
out. Some hundred kilometers of highways and a hundred others of roadway
have been built. A part of the swamp has been drained. The Zapata Peninsula
National Park has been established. And the most interesting part of this
work, from the human point of view is that 80% of those who could not read
or write have learned to do so. This zone has won fist place in the
anti-illiteracy campaign and first place in the public health campaign. All
of the residents of the zone have been vaccinated."

The Prime Minister also spoke of the imperialist invasion in precisely this
zone, which was one of those in which the peasants and the charcoal makers
suffered most at the hands of the exploiters who got rich at their expense
and who lived in little palaces in Miramar, palaces which are now occupied
by the children of the peasants who are studying there. He congratulated
the workers, engineers and technicians who made possible the completion of
these projects, and in conclusion, he said that the ceremony was also a
warm tribute to the heroic members of the militia, the police and the rebel
army who defeated the enemy, battling courageously, as well as eternal
homage, represented by the monument built there, to the comrades who fell
in the battles against the invaders.

Shortly after 10 A.M., the highest leader of the revolution, Comandante
Fidel Castro, accompanied by government officials, arrived at Larga Beach
by car. He was hailed by the people who had gathered there. He inaugurated
the Larga Beach Tourist Center with three shelters, a club, 64 cabanas and
other premises for use by the local public health services, etc., as well
as various kilometers of highway. He personally congratulated the architect
Felix [last name illegible] and engineer Francisco Sanchez, who directed
the work.

Shortly thereafter Doctor Fidel Castro traveled to the Bay of Pigs, located
some 15 kilometers to the east, where another magnificent tourist center
including recreation centers for the workers, beaches, a club, cabanas, a
school, gardens, highways, etc., have been built.

Hundreds of Conrado Benitez Brigade members as well as members of the
public had gathered at the site, where a speakers' platform had been set up
for the Prime Minister's address. Other officials seated with them included
the Ministers of Public Health and Domestic Trade, Doctor Jose A. Machado
Ventura and Maximo Berman, Celia Sanchez, Waldo Medina, Doctor Jacobo
Arbenz, former President of Guatemala, Mario Diaz, director of the literacy
campaign, Comandante Raul M. Tomasevich, Anibal Escalante, Doctor Mario
Escalona, the parents of Comandante Camilo Cienfuegos and other government

There were also some 300 guests, members of commissions from friendly
countries who had attended the 26 July ceremonies, including
representatives of Guinea, the German Democratic Republic, Bulgaria,
Canada, Ecuador, Great Britain, Israel, the United Arab Republic, Rumania,
North Vietnam, Yugoslavia, North Korea, the Chinese People's Republic,
Brazil, Venezuela, Argentina and Mexico. The ceremonies at the Bay of Pigs
began with a grand parade, in which thousands of members of various
revolutionary groups took part. The parade was headed by a group of peasant
troubadors from various provinces wearing typical sombreros of palm straw,
short peasant jackets and red kerchiefs. The native singers, who improvised
revolutionary verses to the accompaniment of their trumpets, guitars,
gourds and Maracas, won a resounding ovation.

As the parade advanced, three planes flying in formation dropped flowers,
pencils attached to little parachutes, Conrado Benitez Brigade leaflets and
decorative pennants.

Then came a 73-piece Conrado Benitez literacy army rhythm band, followed by
thousands of brigade members carrying pencils and notebooks. The reading
and writing teachers performed a drill, spelling out "heroes of the Bay of
Pigs," and then hundreds of young girls, gazing skyward, formed the "V"
symbolizing the phrase "We will triumph" [in Spanish, "Venceremos"].

The brigade members sang the brigade song, moving their arms and legs in a
rhythmic gymnastic maneuver which won extensive applause.

The 26 July march was played while three large flags representing the
literacy army, public health and the National Institute for Agrarian Reform
were hoisted.

Next an immense Cuban flag, borne by young brigade members, was carried
past. It was followed by the flag of the Conrado Benitez Brigade and the
flag of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. Flowers, decorated all the
flag standards. Units with color guards, women's platoons, and groups of
Young Rebels and Pioneers completed the brilliant but brief parade.

Various letters written by the first Cienaga de Zapata citizens to learn to
read and write were presented to Comandante Fidel Castro. During the
ceremony, literacy certificates were presented to 1200 peasants from this

One of the letters said: "Fidel, as I am a poor peasant girl, I am writing
this to see if you can help me to continue studying, since my brother is in
Santa Clara. He was in prison under the tyranny. Thanks to you, I have
learned to read and write although in 21 years I had never been able to go
to school. Comrade Fidel, I am very happy. I do not know much, but I am
going to try to learn more."

Dulce Maria Hernandez, one of the 200 graduates of the Cienaga de Zapata
Training School, presented a decorated pitcher which she had made,
demonstrating what she had learned in three months of study, to Comandante
Fidel Castro.

When the certificates were presented to the graduates, an ovation was
accorded to Celia Sanchez, the main inspirer of this training center where
young Cubans had learned ceramics, hairdressing, mechanics, microwave
transmission, plumbing and other skills.

The Bay of Pigs carpentry workshop craftsmen presented a beautiful picture
made of various Cuban woods, showing Prime Minister Nikita Khrushchev and
Comandante Fidel Castro in their historic embrace at the UN. The frame was
made of majagua, ebony and other beautiful inlaid woods.

This tribute from the Cienaga de Zapata carpenters will be presented by
Major Yuri Gagarin to Premier Nikita Khrushchev, as a symbol of the
sympathy these Cubans feel for the Soviet leader.

When Comandante Fidel Castro was introduced, the audience gathered at the
Bay of Pigs broke out into extensive applause and cheers. All of the
foreign guests of the revolutionary government and the members of the
diplomatic corps rose to their feet to applaud the leader of the

Below we carry the full text of the address by Doctor Fidel Castro as
reported by the Typewritten Reports Office of the Revolutionary Government.

Members of the diplomatic corps, distinguished visitors present,
revolutionary comrades:

(The audience complained that the loudspeakers were not working.) Can't you
hear? In fact, this ceremony has been an excellent one up to this moment,
and it would be at the very least regrettable if I could not say a few
words to you because of the problem of the loudspeakers.

We have here among us more than 300 Latin American visitors, to whom it
might perhaps be interesting... You are more or less familiar with the
history of the Cienaga Swamp, but there are more than 300 Latin American
visitors who have done us the honor, at the cost of great effort, of being
with us here today. Some of them have come from countries as distant as
Argentina, the land of Che Guevara (applause), so that they have come a
great distance. Others have come from Brazil, which is also far off, from
Bolivia, from Peru, Uruguay, Chile, Venezuela, Colombia, and Ecuador. There
are also representatives from Paraguay, Central America and Mexico. They
have come and are with us here in this historic site, at the Bay of Pigs.

When we first came here, to this place where so many are gathered today, it
was a little difficult. This was in the early months of the revolution,
about two years ago.

And I do not know if you have forgotten the conditions which existed in
this region. This was a zone completely isolated from the rest of the
country. The peasants made their living making charcoal, which was sold
through middlemen.

How much was a sack of charcoal worth here? How much were they paid for a
sack of charcoal? Eight Reals, but also they had to pay a fee for the
stands from which they cut the charcoal. Communications were by water.
There were places in this Cienaga de Zapata zone from which it took
families three days to get out. Thus, in any case of sudden illness, it was
impossible to get help under these conditions. There were no schools, no
doctors, roads. This was a zone which was completely cut off.

In two years, this zone has been entirely transformed. Currently three
villages for the peasants of this region are under construction. Three
recreation and rest centers for the workers have been built. A
reafforestation plan of vast proportions is being carried out, and about
100 kilometers of paved highways and 100 kilometers more of roads have been
built. The draining of the swampy part has been planned. It is not true, as
the sign says, that 5,000 caballerias have been drained -- this was a
mistake made on the sign. There is a plan for the draining of 5,000
caballerias, but it has not been completed. This is a plan which we are
just beginning to carry out. Currently, there is a certain area which has
already been rained, where experiments have been made with crops. And
finally, the Zapata Peninsula National Park has been established.

It is interesting to note that all the investments which have been made in
this zone will be recovered, because this zone is rich in natural
resources. The investment will be-recovered through the exploitation of the
forests and also through the exploitation of the natural resources it
offers for recreation.

But the most interesting thing is the human aspect of the work which has
been done in this zone. As of today, 27 July, 80% of the illiterate people
on the Zapata Peninsula have learned to read and write (applause). In other
words, currently, the Zapata Peninsula stands first in Cuba, of the rural
zones, in the literacy campaign (applause).

Also, it also stands first in Cuba in the public health campaign. This is
the first Cuban territory to be completely vaccinated. As you have seen
from the figures, 15,000 have been vaccinated against typhoid, 12,000
against tetanus, 11,000 against tuberculosis and several thousand against
other diseases. In this zone, it was found that there was a total of 96
persons suffering from tuberculosis, already diagnosed or suspected. These
96 persons are now being cared for in the hospitals, and as they are
peasants, workers in the zone, heads of families, all of those who are
fathers and have children, or parents, or wives dependent on them are
receiving compensation, receiving aid, while they are recovering in
hospitals. Their families are receiving aid, which is being paid for by the
national park.

The national park is purchasing their charcoal and wood from the peasants.
They cut the wood and the charcoal on their own, they do not have to pay
fees, they do not have to pay anything whatsoever for cutting the wood.
They cut it, and then they sell both raw timber and charcoal to the
national park.

The national park takes charge of the maintenance of all the roads and
highways, and of reafforestation. Also, it has taken charge of the housing
construction plan being carried out throughout this region.

This is the part of our island which could be regarded as the most
abandoned of all, the most forgotten, the poorest. Here, currently a change
which has transformed it completely has been made. Family income is vastly
higher. Since work was begun in this region, thousands of workers have been
employed, have worked on the construction of the recreation centers, on the
roads and highways and currently there is also a large number of workers
employed in housing construction.

This is what has been done in Cienaga de Zapata.

I forgot to mention that the majority of the jobs in these recreation
centers, in the various installations in this zone, have been given to
young people from this very section. Here there were no plumbers, no
carpenters, no mechanics, no trained personnel to work in the restaurants
or the craft centers.

Very wisely, 200 young people were chosen from this region six months ago
to go and study in Havana. And, incidentally, they have today received the
certificates qualifying them for the work they will do here. They will have
jobs immediately on their own Zapata Peninsula. Thus, they have received
training and will immediately be offered jobs in which they will
demonstrate the knowledge they have acquired.

It was here precisely -- I can tell you that this is the worst ceremony in
which we have participated since the triumph of the revolution, due mainly
to this problem of the microphones. I know you cannot hear, but at least we
know that the television audience can hear, and there are hundreds of
thousands of persons who are listening to this ceremony, which will
certainly be the shortest of all as far I am concerned -- this was the
place the imperialists chose to attack our country. Possibly, nowhere has
so much been done in so short a time as in this region. At the time of the
invasion, in the month of April, there were hundreds of young brigade
members teaching the peasants of the zone to read and write. There were 200
young people studying in the capital of the republic. There were such sad
cases as that of the young man, for example, who was studying in the
capital and who received news that his parents had been killed in the
aerial attacks by the mercenaries.

It was this region, where such an extraordinary educational project was
being carried out, where such vast public health work was being done, and
where there was such impressive rehabilitation work, that the imperialists
chose as the point at which to attack our country. Naturally, wherever they
might have chosen to carry out their criminal attack, they would also have
found education work and the public health projects of the revolution. But
the fact is that they chose precisely what had been the poorest, most
forgotten, most isolated and most backward region in our country.

What did it matter to the Yankee imperialists that there were 400 young
people teaching the people to read and write here? What did it matter to
them that there were doctors vaccinating and carrying out a health campaign
which would save the lives of those children and those citizens who in
other days had died for lack of the most elementary medical aid? What did
they care about communications? What did they care about housing, or roads,
or the standard of living of the peasants and the charcoal cutters of this
region -- what did it matter to them, to those who said they were coming to
free this country, to liberate it (applause)?

These are the redeemers, the imperialist redeemers, the imperialist
liberators, the imperialist democrats. But when they were here governing
this country, there were the owners of the sugar mills, of the houses, of
the factories, of the land. It was they who collected cutting rights from
the peasants (applause and shouts of "Fidel, Fidel!"). These same people
were those who speculated with the sweat of the peasants and the charcoal
cutters, buying their charcoal at miserable prices and selling it at double
or triple the price in the cities. It was they who killed this region with
hunger, they who never were willing to send a teacher, they who never were
willing to send a doctor, they who never cared about the living conditions,
the naked children, the children without shoes, the dying children of this
zone (applause).

They lived in the palaces on Fifth Avenue and in the aristocratic quarters
of Havana. They lived in these same residences where young people,
including those from this Cienaga de Zapata region, have now been studying

What could they come and do for this people? What could they come and do
for these charcoal cutters and these peasants, those whom they kept in
hunger, in slavery, just as they kept the peasants of the Guanahacabibes
Peninsula, or the Sierra Maestra, or Baracoa, or the plains, or anywhere
else in the republic when they could collect 50% of the income from the
peasants, in many cases, in slavery? (Applause and shouts of "We will

And with them came the guardians of their privileges, that is to say, the
hired ruffians, the men of that army to whom they gave the task of keeping
the peasantry in terror, those whom they ordered to throw the peasants off
their land, those who were entrusted with forcing the peasants to pay the
rents these gentlemen demanded. And we should mention that among these
mercenaries who came, there was one who was precisely one of the biggest
owners in this Zapata Peninsula alone: a big one, he was, who in the past
had worked very hard but who nonetheless had collected thousands of pesos
from the charcoal workers here.

Here we have a typical example of the imperialist "liberators,"
"democrats," "redeemers." And these are the allies of the imperialists,
here just as in Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, Brazil -- everywhere in the
world. In other words, the allies of the imperialists, that is, the enemies
of the workers, the enemies of the peasants, the enemies of the students,
the enemies of the intellectuals, the enemies of an independent policy on
the part of the various nations, the enemies of a policy of peace, the
enemies of a policy of trade with all the peoples of the world, are
precisely these gentlemen such as those who came here to the Bay of Pigs.
This was an excellent demonstration.

And how nice! It was just here at the Bay of Pigs that they were going to
install themselves. They were going to use the airport which the revolution
built to bring the ringleaders of the counterrevolution here in plains. And
they were going to use these houses, the rest houses for the workers and
the peasants, to house these idlers and these lazy people who had never
worked in their lives (applause and shouts of "Fidel, Fidel!").

It was very painful to us to learn that the enemy had occupied Larga Beach
and the Bay of Pigs. It was very painful to us, after the long months of
work, after our constant concern with the progress of these works, it was
very painful to have to order our plains and our artillery to attack these
places where the enemies of the revolution and the fatherland had taken

However, when this painful moment came, the revolution could not hesitate.
It was necessary to dislodge them from their positions at all costs, and
even if it had been necessary to destroy these works entirely, and to build
them again, we would have suffered at having to do so, but we would have
done it. In any case, total destruction was not necessary, because the
mercenaries surrendered, for example, here at the Bay of Pigs, 66 hours
after landing, before the 10,000 bullets ready to be discharged at them on
the night of the 18th were fired (applause).

Long before the artillery barrage the mercenaries yielded to the thrust of
our combat units who were advancing from both sides. However, this place
and these buildings suffered considerable damage. But the workers set
themselves feverishly to repairing everything, and today we can inaugurate
the projects.

There are only two houses which remain as a reminder of that heroic deed by
our people and that heroic triumph of our combatants against the
imperialist mercenaries. All the rest has been repaired.

To this center, as to Larga Beach and to the Guama Center, physical and
intellectual workers, the most humble families of the people, the workers
who are members of the social circles, who by the simple fact of being
workers are members of the social circles and receive the benefits of
reductions based on their income, can come to spend their vacations.

There are shelters and some cabanas so organized that it will only be
necessary to pay one peso per person. In other words, they will be within
the reach of any family (applause). It will be possible for any family to
come and enjoy this rest and recreation center.

Today, also, Larga Beach has been inaugurated, and within two months we
will also inaugurate the Guama Center.

We want to congratulate the workers who took a part in the building of
these magnificent projects. We want to congratulate the brigade members who
have accomplished the feat of teaching 80% of the illiterates in the zone
to read and write by this 26 July holiday (applause). We want to
congratulate the doctors who have managed to make this region, which was in
the past the most backward and the most abandoned, the first territory to
have complete medical aid and to be completely vaccinated in out country
(applause). We want to congratulate the technicians, the engineers and the
comrades who have headed this construction, administrative, educational and
medical effort.

And finally, we want to render our homage here to the heroic comrade army,
the police, and the militia who, battling courageously, defeated the enemy
(applause). And we want to express our eternal thanks, our undying love for
the comrades who fell in the battles along the roads from Jaguey Grande to
Larga Beach, from Cobadonga to San Blas, from San Blas to Cayo Ramona, and
from Cayo Ramona and Larga Beach to the Bay of Pigs. In their memory a
great monument will be built at the entrance to this historic center, and
on it will be engraved for all eternity the names of those who fell.

But we want to honor not only the Cubans who fell fighting against the
imperialists here, but also the Latin Americans who have fallen in battle
against the reactionary police in other Latin American countries while
demonstrating their solidarity with Cuba (applause).

This Zapata Peninsula was the historic site on which the blood of Cubans
and that of other Latin Americans flowed together -- that of the Cubans
fighting here against the imperialist mercenaries, and that of the Latin
Americans demonstrating their solidarity with Cuba in hostile actions in
front of the embassies, consulates and imperialist businesses which exist
in each of their countries.

And this extraordinary manifestation of solidarity also contributed greatly
to the triumph, it helped to paralyze the aggressive hand of the
imperialists, and it contributed to the triumph of Cuba, showing the
imperialists that this was just a sample of what would happen in Latin
America if the imperialist criminals dared to send their hordes of invading
soldiers to Cuban territory (applause).

It was very heartening for all of us to hear the words of solidarity and
support voiced by our visitors. It was very moving and very encouraging for
us to see tears on the cheeks of Latin American women this morning, as they
watched the legions of comrades in the literacy brigades, the Conrado
Benitez literacy army, marching past (applause).

The fact is the same blood flows through our veins. Our bodies have
suffered similar wounds. Our spirits harbor the same sentiments of
patriotism, love of justice, love of progress and love of sovereignty and
independence for our peoples. This is the reason for the extraordinary
solidarity, the tremendous brotherhood.

We Cubans are making a great effort today, at this historic moment, a great
efforts such as they will make one day, sooner or later. It has been our
privilege to march in the vanguard. Our experience will help them greatly.
Our accomplishments will help them, as will our errors, because our
mistakes, too, will be useful to them, so that they can avoid the errors
that we have committed.

For this reason we feel, along with out gratitude toward them, the
satisfaction of knowing that what we are doing here we are doing for our
people and also in part for the other brotherly peoples of Latin America

We were to have the company at this ceremony today of Commander Yuri
Gagarin, first cosmonaut and hero of the Soviet Union (applause), but
because of an invitation he has received to visit Brazil, and because his
trip there is planned for tomorrow, the 28th, it was essential for him to
get some hours of rest, because he has had several exhausting days in
connection with the ceremonies, receptions, sports parades, gatherings,
etc. And in fact, he begged us to excuse him today, regretting
extraordinarily the fact that he must leave tomorrow, and that this
prevents his coming here. And of course, we are happy to do so, although it
is sad for all to have come with the hope of meeting him and to be deprived
of this opportunity (applause). However, since he is leaving to visit this
great brotherly people of Latin America in Brazil, where he has been
invited as a guest, we are happy to give up this opportunity to have seen
him here today, so that the brotherly people of Brazil will have an
opportunity to welcome him and render him the homage he deserves.

But as you know, he already wears the first Order of the Bay of Pigs
awarded by the revolutionary government in recognition of his great
accomplishments (applause). He wears on his breast a memento of the Bay of
Pigs, a piece of this peninsula, symbolized in metal, which in turn,
represents the historic battle in which many of you took part, and of the
results of which you are all the happy beneficiaries.

For this reason, although he could not be with us here at the Bay of Pigs,
he carries the name of this site with him, and he will always wear it on
his breast as a symbol of the love and the appreciation of our people

Now we must continue to advance. Many things remain to be done in this
region. To begin with, there are still 20% of the illiterates -- this is
the task of the literacy brigades. We still need to build some roads. We
must now put these centers into operation and try to see that they function
with the greatest efficiency, and that they render the best service to the
people this summer and also in the so-called winter months, because here in
fact there is no real winter. Because this beach has the advantage of being
on the south coast, it is not swept by the north winds, and when it is not
so pleasant to swim at a north coast beach, the people can nonetheless swim
here on this part of the southern coast, because there are no cold winds
here which blow from the north -- in fact, everything bad here comes from
the north (applause and shouts of "Fidel, Fidel!").

When the cold wind blows from the north, well, there is always a pleasant
climate here, This is a magnificent place for sports too, a magnificent
place for fishing. The water is very clean and very clear.

Thus, the people, beginning this very summer, will be able to enjoy all of
these recreation and rest centers.

We still have much housing to build, and above all, we must reafforest
thousands and thousands of caballerias with precious wood. As you know,
there is a forest militia of about a thousand men which is entirely engaged
in reafforestation.

The precious woods in this zone, which were cruelly destroyed, were even
used in many cases for fuel at the sugar mills which were near here, and
for railroad ties.

When our liberators, those liberators who came here to the Bay of Pigs,
were the owners of the sugar mills, they used the precious timber of this
region for fuel for the boilers, for the furnaces, or for railroad ties,
and often this very precious wood, for example, ebony, is found along the
railroad lines. And all of this forest must be rebuilt. All of this wealth
must be reestablished completely. And we believe that when all of this area
is planted, at the rate the comrades of the reafforestation brigade are
advancing, there will be some 10,000 caballerias of reafforested land in
this zone within a few years, with tens of thousands of precious trees. But
this means that there remains much for us to do (applause).

What we have achieved is a great deal, but this should, however, only serve
to encourage us, not to lead us to rest on our laurels, but to continue
working. And everyone must contribute to this work: the people here, those
of Covadonga, those of Jaguey, those of all these regions which do not have
a beach, which do not have an outlet on the sea, but which today have one
of the most beautiful and most extraordinary sites in our country to which
they can come on Saturdays and Sundays and to spend their vacations. That
is, on the weekends when they are not engaging in voluntary labor, because
we must share the voluntary labor, too (applause)!

Will all those who have done voluntary labor raise their hands (most of
those in the audience raised their hands). Good. Now will those who have
not yet done voluntary work raise their hands (no one raised his hand). I
ask all those who have not yet done voluntary work to raise their hands,
come on! Oh, but your are not being honest! Come one, one must be honest
with the revolution. Will all those who have not done voluntary work raise
their hands (a few raised their hands). No, no, this is still very few.
There are more here who have never done a single day of voluntary work
(shouts of "we can't hear," "repeat what you said"). I ask those who have
not done voluntary labor to raise their hands (no one raised his hand).
Good, now will all those who have done voluntary labor raise their hands
(most in the audience raised their hands).

Will those who have not raised their hands (Doctor Castro addressed himself
to an individual in the audience): listen, why have you kept quiet and not
raised your hand, either of you? Yes, you, too, There are many who do not
lie and say... There will be some who raised their hands but who have not
done this work, you know, but there are some more honest than they, those
who raised their hands without having done anything. There are some who
when we asked them to raise their hands will not do so, also. When we ask
those who have not done voluntary labor to raise their hands, they do not.
This shows a lack of revolutionary honesty.

If we truly want a fatherland, we must advance rapidly, if we want to
rebuild this country. If we want to crate a new fatherland, a great
fatherland, a rich fatherland, with advantages for all, because all of your
children will have the chance -- like these 200 -- to go and receive an
education, they will have a chance to work -- all those who want to do
something for their children, to do something for their country. This is
not the obligation of a few, but the duty of all. At this stage we must
make a maximum effort.

How do you think all this is built? How do you think all these roads were
built? How do your think these forests were replanted? Where do you think
that the wood for the tables and chairs and the furniture you are using
came from? From here. It came from the work of the people. The fact is only
work can create these marvels.

And it is very nice to travel along a road, it is very nice to come and
swim at a beach, it is very nice to come and stay at one of the shelters or
use one of these cabanas, but this takes work. Work is the only thing which
can create all of these marvels for the well-being and the enjoyment of

And for this reason the people in these years must contribute, as they are
contributing. Men and women of all ages are exerting effort to do
something, they are contributing their little grains of sand. In other
words, in these times we must make a greater effort, we must make a maximum
effort, but the day will come when the reverse will be true, when we will
be able to have all of these things with much less effort than we must
exert today.

And we are thinking also of the comrades who fell and who gave everything,
humble men of the people, workers and peasants, who had nothing to
contribute but their health and their lives, and who sacrificed these,
precisely, to the fatherland, so that we could have the satisfaction of
meeting here today. Because what would have happened if mercenaries had
been able to stay here? What would have happened to the public health
campaigns? What would have happened to the literacy campaigns? What would
have happened to the families of these children who are studying in the
capital? What would have happened to these workers? What would have
happened to all of you? What would have happened to your homes? What would
have happened to your families? How many thousands and thousands of Cubans
would have been dead, victims of the bombings and the attacks? And what
would have happened to your families and homes, if the imperialists had
sent their own planes, that is, if they had carried out that plan to attack
with the American air force itself? How much destruction would there have
been, how many lives sacrificed? And they were on the point of doing this,
but the triumph of the people was too overwhelming that they did not have
time to react. After 72 hours not a single mercenary was still fighting.
They did not have time to react.

And how calmly the monopolistic criminals planned their attack on a people,
a working people, a peaceful people. With what wrath, what hatred, what
shamelessness they prepare for and plan the bombings of our homes, our

These are the imperialists. And it is all so they can return here to
reestablish the masters who were owners of all these lands and collected
rents from you. It is also that they can reestablish the hired ruffians,
the large estate owners here in this country (shouts).

This is what is most painful, and for this reason, we must work hard in
order to triumph, for this reason we must struggle hard in order to win.
For this reason, we must be, not only in sports but in the revolution,
"Ready to Win," also ready to fight! For this reason, we must be prepared,
for this reason every militiaman must be well organized and well trained,
disciplined and skilled. And all those who are not militiamen must become
militiamen (applause)!

And those who are not militiamen must be members of the Committees for the
Defense of the Revolution, or the peasant associations, or of the voluntary
councils for the promotion of sports. Each must be one of these and do
something. We cannot simply "exist," without being anything or doing
anything (applause).

See how happy the members of the volunteer brigades are, because they are
doing something. It is necessary to be a young rebel, or a Pioneer, or a
member of the Conrado Benitez brigades, or a trade union, or a peasant
association, or the militia, or a cooperative, or a defense committee -- it
is necessary to be something.

I know that there are some Cubans who are everything -- they are militiamen
and trade union members and members of the committees for defense. One must
be something, because we must defend the revolution at some post

We cannot live in the hope that others will do things for us. Each must do
things for all.

Thus, each one of us must advance with this idea that we must belong to an
organization of the people and work in some organization of the people, and
all the people must be organized. All the people must be doing something,
something with a useful function. Because otherwise, we cannot have all
this. This does not result from such magic art, but from continuing to work
and to struggle. To have all this and to have a thousand things more than
this (applause).

Well, as I believe many of you would like to make use of today to swim in
the sea, I wish you a very good time (shouts of "No, no!" and "Go on, go

What kind of revolutionary awareness is there here? (Shouts of "good!"). We
must work on this, too, we must organize the revolutionary cadres and we
are going to organize the revolutionary cadres with more farseeing people,
more revolutionary people, more hardworking people, the best people in each
place, in order to organize the United Party of the Socialist Revolution
(shouts of "We are socialists moving ahead, let those who don't like it get
out instead!").

Fatherland or death! We will triumph!