Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana in Spanish to the Americas 2023 GMT 26 July 1962--E

(Live speech by Premier Fidel Castro in Santiago de Cuba)

(Summary) Members of the diplomatic corps, friendly delegates visiting us,
workers, peasants, students, all the citizens: On a day like this one is
this city of Santiago de Cuba, nine years ago were heard the first shots of
the battle against the reactionary and military government of Fulgencio
Batista. That government fully represented the political system of
corruption and exploitation which had existed in our country ever since the
United States intervened in our country following our independence.

The workers and peasants are most moved by today's commemorations because
Oriente Province has been the site of the most important events in Cuba's
history, from the battle cry of Yara to the battles of the revolution. The
problem of those who organized today's ceremonies was not how to get the
people to come, but rather how to find sufficient transportation to get
them here. Many were disappointed because they could not attend the
ceremonies. Before the revolution the politicians had to bribe the people
with money and rum to get them to attend such meetings, but the revolution
even has to prohibit the sale of rum on 26 July.

The revolution and the people are one. The past is too recent for any of us
to have forgotten it, and in their blind hatred for the revolution the
counterrevolutionaries, the reactionaries, and the imperialists will never
be able to understand this. Those who exploited the country could never
conceive of any progress without them. Yet the country is progressing and
overcoming obstacles.

Here on this square are a people who know their past, who used to go seven
and eight months a year without jobs, who had to knock on the doors of the
politicians in order to obtain jobs. Today the peasants gathered here own
the land they tilled in the past either for food or for 50 cents or a peso.
The people gathered here today had no hope for their children or their
families yesterday. They were subjected to discrimination, starvation,
humiliation, abuse, the machete plan, theft, and lies. There were no
teachers, no doctors, no hospitals. The poor had no hope of studying,
getting medical assistance or work. To the people the revolution mainly
signifies the end of humiliation and hopelessness. It means hope for the
future. Health, education, and the future are assured. A man knows that his
children can become anything they want to become.

The bourgeois politicians used to say that theft had to be eradicated, that
industry had to be developed, that a merchant marine had to be established,
that gambling had to be abolished, and so forth. All of this is what the
revolution is doing. Where are those politicians today?

When the crime, the vice, the lies ended in Cuba, they left. How long it
has been since we heard their names. Nevertheless those politicians think
they will return to the country, that they will return to govern our
country. They are no longer the enemies of the Batista clique. They never
really were. It was just a matter of who would be a representative,
legislator. But now they have reached an agreement with the Batista
politicians; they have joined the murderers and they believe the past will
return. What do you think?

(Editor's Note: At this point Castro asks the people if they would like or
permit the return of the "crimes, lies, and vice" that existed prior to the
triumph of the revolution. The crowd gives a negative response. After an
interruption caused by a commotion in the crowd, Castro restores order and
resumes his speech.)

Do you think all this will return? (People shout: No!) Those men do not
understand that the revolution will not retreat. They will find that the
people will not accept them. All that dirt has been swept out forever. It
will never return because it is against our interests and our will.
Moreover, how can they return? Are we bound hand and foot? Are we disarmed?
Can they disarm us? How? Nine years ago today they had everything: any
army, the money of the entire country, the factories, the banks, the lands.
The people had nothing with which to fight. Nine years ago we attacked that
barracks--which is today a school--with a handful of men who were poorly
armed and had no military training. Six years ago we were a small handful
again when we organized the guerrilla action in the mountains. They ad
tanks, planes, the wealth of the country, and U.S. help. They were
defeated! Batista boarded a plane and left the country along with his

Now the supporters of Batista have joined others, thinking they will return
to the country. They have forgotten history! They have forgotten that the
power lies with the ones who fought for power, the same ones who caused
them to flee from the country on 31 December. The people have all types of
modern weapons with which to defend themselves and to fight.

So how can they return? The North Americans think that they will impose
those people on our country again. They think that discrimination and
humiliation will return. Are they so mad they can imagine they will return
to our country? That happens to all exploiting classes who have been
defeated. Their class hatred blinds them to reality, and, with the support
of the imperialists, they come to think they can return. It is late, too
late. It has always been too late, right from the very first day. Now it is
later than ever.

You have heard of the prowess of our Mambises in Oriente. You know the
history of the Yankee intervention when the Spaniards were almost beaten.
They came as if to pick the fruit on the lower branches of the tree. They
did not blockade the thieves, the discriminators. No! For those they had
aid. They aided the people who betrayed our fatherland. They exploited the
country for the benefit of the monopolies. That is why the imperialist
never blockaded Prio, Batista, and the rest. They have undertaken a
blockade only against the power of the people. They do not want power in
the hands of the people in Cuba. This the Yankee monopolies hate and they
lose sleep over it.

The imperialists took away our sugar quota, our oil supplies; they placed a
ban on the exportation of spare parts. They organized bands of criminals to
murder teachers, children, and old people. These bands kill men of the
people, humble people, like teachers, fisherman, humble militiamen, and
solders, who, unlike the soldiers of Batista, build schools, cut cane, and
are exemplary citizens. And these bands of criminals torture as they did
before, as they did the fisherman. The ones who used to torture and murder
in this country before the revolution are now at the naval base. They are
the same ones who do the killing today.

When the El Encanto belonged to a millionaire, unlike now, they did not
burn it. When the electric company was a North American firm, they took
good care of it. Today, it belongs to the people and they want to destroy
it. They did not burn the cane before it belonged to the people. Are they
frightening the people? (Crowd shouts: No!) They intend to bring back the
robbers by using those tactics.

They made a mistake once at Playa Giron. They though they would take a
piece of Cuban soil from which to bomb the country. They arrived. And they
stayed! They have made one mistake already. (Applause)

How must we act against those deeds? How must we act in view of that
reality? We have met here to pay tribute to all who have fallen, from the
very first to the last militiaman killed by the imperialists. (Crowd
chants: Fidel, Fidel!) We have met here to fulfill a debt of gratitude and
also to learn what we must do at this moment, what our attitude must be.
The men and women of the people have met here, the people who are masters
of their own fate; the fate of future generations.

The people of Oriente have gathered here, the people of Oriente Province
who have always been present in all our struggles for liberation. These
people have contributed many heroes to the struggle, and they meet here to
mark the anniversary of a revolution that is still struggling--one that has
not ended but has just begun. The people of Oriente have gathered here to
raise their guard, to join the vanguard against the enemies of the
revolution. The people have gathered here today to decide what to do to
counter the dangers that hover over the fatherland.

You know what the revolution is. It is a no secret or mystery. Everyone
must know how to meet the difficulties and our enemies. The people are not
deceived by false statements. They understand the true significance of each
word. When the ruled in Cuba the bourgeois spoke of freedom, but what
freedom? The freedom to kill peasants and workers by starvation: But of
what freedom could the beggar, the illiterate, the unemployed speak? The
people have learned many things. We have learned much too, but we have much
yet to learn.

I am going to ask some questions, and i want you to reply honestly. "How
many of you knew what a revolution meant four years ago? Those who did not
know raise their hands. (A pause--Ed.) Everyone. Now those who know what
the revolution is at present? (A pause--Ed.) In other words, we wanted the
revolution but we did not quite know what it was. Isn't that it had to be
eliminated, but we did not know how." Do no think that it was only the
people. "It was like that for all, including ourselves. We had an idea, but
we did not have the experience we have today. When we attacked the Moncada
garrison most of the comrades were between 20 and 30 years old. Some of us
went to jail. Some were assassinated. Very few were able to escape. Later
we resumed the battle. We spent 25 months in the Sierra Maestra, and when
we came to power most of us were still young men, 30 years old on the
average, and some were even young."

The people had experience in fighting, but none in government. "In 25
months in the hills we had learned how to fight soldiers, to set ambushes,
how to move up troops. We had learned to wage war, but afterwards a very
difficult problem arose--how to rule the country. There was no
organization. There was little experience. We had to begin by using the old
administrative apparatus to do everything."

"However, you will remember that we never said we knew how. We said that we
were just as we had landed from the Granma. Do you remember that? We never
deceived the people. None of us told the people we were great statesmen,
great rulers. We said that we knew nothing, but that we would learn. We did
not know much but our intentions were good.

We did not know much, but we wanted to work for the people. We did not know
much but we wanted to do our duty by the people, to be loyal to the people,
faithful to the people. We have done that. We have been steadfast, we have
been faithful, we have been loyal to the people. We have worked for the
people. We did not have much experience but we did have a great desire to
help the people."

"Today we cannot say that we know a great deal, but we know more than we
did. Just as you did not know what revolution meant, many of you did not
know what socialism meant, and so you were afraid of the word." When a
starving peasant was asked if he agreed with an agrarian reform based on
confiscating land from the big landowner, with American-owned land being
returned to the nation, with rents being lowered, schools opened, with
banks being owned by the state rather than by private persons, that there
be a people's army. He replied, yes! But when he was asked if the agreed
with socialism he replied, no! He was afraid of the word. He agreed with
eradication of discrimination and he wanted the beaches to be turned over
to the people. He agreed with everything socialism stood for, but when
asked if he agreed with socialism he said, no!

The people were frightened by words. The people, the man in the street had
been kept in ignorance, illiteracy. They read nothing but the bourgeois
newspapers and magazines. They heard nothing on the radio but what the
bourgeoisie said, and the bourgeoisie made the people fear socialism. "Now,
you say, we understand the revolution better. Now we know what socialism
is. What is the first thing socialism preaches? He who does not work does
not eat.

"Who is afraid of work? Is the peasant afraid of work? He cannot fear work
because that is all he has ever done in his life. Can the worker be afraid
of work? No. Why? Because all he has done in his life is work. Who is
afraid of work? The exploiter is, because his shirt never got sweat on it.
He only did the accounts and collected. He lived without work, on the sweat
of others. To speak of work to that gentleman is to speak of the worst

"Socialism establishes that no one should live from the work of others. Is
any peasant or worker unhappy over the rights of the exploiter being done
away with? Is he sorry that the palaces have been done away with?" Who is
worried about this? The lazy people, the parasites, the drones! You
peasants know what a drone is. He east in the beehive and does not produce

"Now, the people know that socialism means that resources should not be
wasted, that money should not be thrown away, that people should not go
abroad, that the economy should be organized and planned, that all the
money formerly wasted on travel and luxuries should be invested in plants,
in means of production to raise the living standard of the entire nation,
to raise the people's living standards and their technical training. Who
does not understand this? The people understand this and the people agree.

"Now, the counterrevolutionaries say to the peasants: This is socialism and
we are going to socialize the land. We tell the small farmer quite clearly
not to believe these stories. This is socialism, but just because it is
socialism we are not going to socialize your parcel of land. Why? Because
you, peasant, are an ally of the working class. Because you, small peasant,
do not exploit anyone. Because you, small peasant, work with your family,
and produce. The working class is not taking away your land. On the
contrary, the working class will give you credit, will send you teachers
and doctors, will construct roads for you, educate your children, buy your
products, give you good prices, and will try to supply you with everything
you need in the country. This is what the workers say to the peasant. What
do the landowners fear? That he who does not exploit anyone, he who works,
the peasant, will get the assistance of the working class.

"Also, right now there is no one in the mountains to harvest the coffee.
Why? Because there is no slack season. Since there is no slack season there
are not enough of those people who used to collect coffee in the slack
season, because they are working in the cooperatives and on the state
farms. However, the working class is mobilizing the students and is sending
them to the peasants. Last year it mobilized them to teach reading and
writing. This year they will be mobilized to harvest coffee (several words
indistinct). So, this year they will be mobilized to help the small farmers
collected their coffee.

"When we visited the Sierra Maestra we noted the scarcity of clothing,
shoes, and some other articles. Immediately, the revolutionary government
took the proper measures to send clothing and shoes to the country, the
mountains. We have already been informed by the volunteer teachers that
these articles which were lacking have arrived in the mountains. Such is
the relationship between the workers and peasants. That is why the peasants
are such good allies of the workers. That is why the peasants of the
Oriente mountains have contributed more than (a thousand?) rebel soldiers
who left the mountains. There are 35,000 militiamen who have come from our
mountains. These peasants have been in the Escambray and all over the
island fighting side by side with the workers, defending the workers.

"Therefore, these peasants of the mountains are the best allies of the
working class. Therefore, we speak of the peasant-worker alliance. The
peasants try to produce foodstuffs, coffee, and articles which help the
economy, and in turn the workers help them. The workers defend them, and
they defend the workers.

"The peasants need not fear. The small farmer never need fear any measure
taken by the workers, because the workers respect the will of the small
farmer. He can do as he likes. If he wants to join with others he can do
so. If he does not want to, then he doesn't have to. The revolution
respects this right of the small farmers.

"Now it is difficult to deceive a 'guajiro' in the Sierra Maestra, or in
Baracoa, or on the second front. This 'guajiro' was in contact with the
rebel troops during the war. Therefore, the 'guajiro' together with the
working class form in this province an insurmountable bastion of the
revolution. The counterrevolutionaries and the imperialists of the
Guantanamo base have on several occasions sought to organize guerrilla
fighting in Oriente, but they were not able to do so. Why? There are no
friends awaiting them in the mountains. This is not counting the lowlands,
of course (words indistinct) the same 'guajiros' who are up there. We have
seen the military organization of the peasants. They have a fantastic
military organization. I can assure you that anyone landing there and
(trying to penetrate?) the Sierra Maestra will never succeed. Moreover,
those peasants are a formidable infantry. They can walk further than any of
us who walking the city. While we stop to rest they walk a few more
kilometers. They are a formidable infantry.

"That is why the workers must keep this alliance between the workers and
peasants steadfast. Of course, the workers are making the greatest effort
to help the peasants acquire education, medicine, food supplies, credits,
and jobs, and to make it possible for them to buy goods at fair prices.
This alliance rests on a very solid basis. Socialism does not mean
socializing the small farmer. This small farmer is free to join or not. He
can do what he want to do. He is a worker who works with his family and
does not exploit anyone.

"Now socialism says that the speculator must not exist. Socialism says that
he who wants to make money without working has no right to live from the
work of others, that the exploiter must not exist. There are a lot of
people who do not want to soil their shirts."

There are city bourgeois and rural bourgeois. These people are friends. A
bourgeois shoe store owner keeps his shoes for a bourgeois. The clothing
reaching the shop of a bourgeois goes to his bourgeois friends.

The same thing happened to food. Before ration cards existed in Havana the
bourgeois helped each other. We had to organize rationing so that those
with money could not corner everything. It was another matter when the
workers had no money, but today at least one member of every family has a

"What we did with the food has to be done with other products, with
priority going to those who work. Who should receive preference in the
purchase of clothing and shoes? Those who work! Right now the revolutionary
government is distributing 5,000 refrigerators. They were not put up for
sale in the stores. Do you know why? Because the man with money would buy
the refrigerators and the worker would probably not be able to buy any. So
what was done? The 5,000 refrigerators were distributed through the unions
among the workers. Otherwise the bourgeois would be buying the
refrigerators. There are 5,000. If only we had 100,000, but there were only
5,000. If any were left over--but none are left--when another 5,000 come we
shall sell them to the workers again--to the organized workers and to the
poor peasants. Listing carefully: Preference goes to the organized workers
and the poor peasants, that is, to the workers and the small farmers. Who
is against this? Who agrees with it? We all agree, is that not so? Those
who agree, raise your hands. (Short pause--Ed.) That means there are no
bourgeois here. Good!

"This means that we must organize things in our country so that more of the
profits will be for those who work and less for those who do not work.
Perhaps next year we will say that in order to go to the (beach?) a person
will have to be a worker, or a poor peasant, or a small farmer. It may be
that we shall gradually organize all these centers. For whom should they
be? For those who work, for those who work for society. Anyone who wants to
work for himself, who does not want to do anything for society, who is
ambitious and an egoist, let him go where he wants. But when it comes to a
tourist center and the good beaches, the best things will go to the
workers. I shall explain why. Because the people have more than enough
money to buy everything we can produce at this moment. Hundreds of
thousands of persons began to work, and the industries we had were not
sufficient to meet the present demand. Our economy will continue to
develop. By the end of next year the refrigerator, radio, and kitchen
accessories plant will be finished, we will have our first factory capable
of producing these finished articles. To whom will we give them? To the
workers. Since we know that the people have money, we must distribute
things so that the social benefits increase for those who work. That is

"Now, the problem is that you understand these things. These things are for
the good of those who work. Our society must become more a society of the
workers and for the workers, and less a society of the parasites and for
the parasites. Who is against this, gentlemen? Just the parasites. Who is
against justice? The parasites and those who live in idleness. We need not
fear this. There are persons who yearn for the American companies. Of
course, when the American companies arrived they granted them certain
privileges, certain favors.

"Yesterday we were visiting a museum in (Granpie?) It belonged at one time
to the big French coffee growers. Among the things exhibited were the leg
irons with which they fettered their slaves. It is very moving to think of
those men bound by those chains. We remember the following: When Haiti got
its freedom at the time of the uprising of the Haitian slaves, many of
those gentlemen fled from Haiti. Some of them brought their slaves. Some
slaves came with those gentlemen preferring to remain slaves although the
slaves in their country had freed themselves. They arrived as slaves with
their masters and still wore the leg irons.

"I said to someone that they were like certain employees of the telephone
company. For example, there are some aristocratic-type employees in several
of these companies who have the same mentality as those slaves who went
with their masters and their chains. They continue to long for the Yankee
chief who spoke to them in (harsh?) English. They were only too happy when
he greeted him. This demonstrates that there is a type of person who did
some easy work for the monopolies. It was not like cutting cane, you know.
It was not like working in a stone quarry or on some public works project.
No. It was much easier work. Of course certain types of work were
privileged work if compared to the work of a laborer. Although the sugar
worker supported the sugar industry and the sugar industry in turn
supported all the lazy people and all the rich people, the sugar worker
still earned practically nothing doing the hardest work. There were other
people whom the companies tried to win over. There are still such people.

"The following attitude should be adopted toward these people: Try to
convince them of their error. If they are confused, explain things to them.
If they turn against the revolution, then be firm with them. If they start
talking (nonsense?), then they must be stopped forcefully and unmasked. The
great revolutionary mass of workers and peasants have nothing to fear from
these people. The great revolutionary masses have nothing to fear from
anyone. They faced the army which was said to be invincible and they
liquidated it. They faced imperialism and here we are."

Therefore, the few who are confused, the few who are nostalgic for the
Yankee chiefs and Yankee masters must be told of the past here, of the
situation which existed in the country, of the ignorance, and of the entire
situation that existed. They must be told what the revolution did. Perhaps
many revolutionaries did things wrong. As I have already said, when we came
to power no one knew anything. Many persons had to do things they did not
know about. Of course, as time passes this excuse is no longer valid. The
revolution fights against everything that is done wrong. No one need
believe that the revolution is just standing idly by. We are working
tirelessly to correct all defects, to over come all difficulties.

We are not magicians, we are men. Let everyone do his part. Remember how
people were pushing and shoving before? We did not want that. See how the
people are now paying more attention, demonstrating more discipline?

"That is to say, we struggle against difficulties and things that are done
badly, but what we must not let the counterrevolutionary do is to go into
the street. The street is now and will always be for the revolutionary
people. The street belongs to us and we have the word." When a worm speaks,
we must stop him by telling him a few truths rapidly. (Crowd shouts--Ed.)
No, there is no need for execution. No, that worm is a demoralizing

"Of course, there are people who wake up angry, in band humor and say
anything. Do not confuse them with a worm. The man who is angry at any
given moment--since anyone gets angry--is not a worm. The worm can be
identified by type, dress, the face he makes, the eyes he makes, by the
hatred he breathes. (Crowd commotion--Ed.) What? Well those who burn cane
are another matter. (Sentence indistinct) But notice one thing: The hatred
he spews forth. Have you ever seen the eyes of one of those who lost his
sinecure? Have you seen the hatred he feels when he sees a Negro pass by,
or a worker, or a peasant? He hatred and scorn they feel, (few words
indistinct)? the people must know how to distinguish the type who
occasionally can express noncomformity. but the criticism must be made in
the work centers, in the assemblies, in the sections, the mass
organizations, (few words indistinct) in the revolutionary cells, in the
classrooms. That is where we must discuss (few words indistinct), because
the revolution is the work of all the people, and the revolution has
defects like a child has defects. We want the revolution to be perfect, but
the criticism made by revolutionaries is one thing, and that made by its
enemies another. We do not accept it from enemies.

"Criticism must come from the revolutionaries in order to improve it,
because the counterrevolutionaries criticize in order to destroy. The
revolutionaries criticize in order to improve and to solve problems. (Crowd
shouts: Fidel, Fidel!--Ed.)

"Wait a minute, wait. (Commotion continued--Ed.) Criticism must be made in
the work centers, in meetings of the organizations, but the revolutionary
papers must also criticize. And no administrators must be angry about
criticism of himself. He has the right to reply, to clarify or explain
anything, any problem. But that is criticism made in the revolutionary
organizations, by revolutionaries and among revolutionaries. Not the
counterrevolutionaries, because what they want is to destroy, not to help.
They criticize in order to destroy, to sow pessimism and discouragement.

"A revolutionary, a man of the people, a worker, a peasant must never
permit himself to be demoralized by a counterrevolutionary, by a lie, by an
intrigue. He must never be silent toward a counterrevolutionary because
that is like those who during war abandon position when there is danger and
flee, trying to make the other flee. The workers and peasants must have the
morale of workers and peasants. The bourgeoisie think that workers and
peasants are ignorant and that they believe any story. Well, the workers
and peasants have learned too much to believe the stories of the
bourgeoisie. There must be faith in the revolution, faith in the people, in
the masses. It must be known that despite all difficulties, all the
inconveniencies, and all the things that may be done badly--because we have
no truce against things that are done badly, we must struggle against them
constantly--everything will function better each time. Anyone of you
understands that wherever there is a bad administrator--and there are in
many places--that was inevitable.

"Within a few years we will have thousands of administrators prepared by
revolutionary schools--they will know how to deal with problems, how to
treat the workers--thousands of administrators from the working class, so
all those problems will be overcome. But the mind of the worker and the
peasant must be alerted to the enemies of the class and to the agents of
imperialism. They must be firm and alert because the enemies want the past.
War against those who want the past; war against all those who want to
retreat back down the path of history; war against all those who want to
return to slavery!

"Well, speaking of leg irons, yesterday I was thinking that when the
freedom of slaves was being preached here, the bourgeoisie said 'no, that
cannot be, the country will be ruined.' Then they spoke of black terror. In
order to frighten they would say 'free the slaves? No, because that would
create black terror.' Today they speak of Red terror. In the past they
spoke with fear of Negroes in order to oppose the freedom of men. Today,
they sow fear of socialism and communism. Why? To oppose the freedom of the
slaves. Those who had leg irons on their legs were slaves, but there were
some who did not and they were slaves also. They were no different from the
peasant who paid 50 percent of what he produced or a worker who earned 50
cents or a peso working for the latifundists. So, when we speak of the
emancipation of the slaves, and of justice, they try to sow fear.

"There are some people who doubtlessly, were so corrupt that they preferred
that regime of slavery. They preferred capitalism. Some people did not have
enough to die and they preferred capitalism, because they were completely
degraded. They were like that tame dog that was booted out of the house yet
continued to lick the boots. (Crowd in uproared--Ed.) The man of dignity,
the worker and the peasant, does not have the spirit of a tame dog. Those
who defend capitalism and the imperialists, they have the spirit of a tamed
dog. (Crowd shouts something--Ed.) You have to pay attention here and not
be distracted, that is what is happening. Everything in its place? Good,
listen to this so that later the counterrevolutionaries will not tear our
hair over this.

"That is why study circles must be organized, schools must be organized.
All revolutionary instruction schools must be used. We must arm ourselves,
as Raul said, with ammunition for the mind; we must learn, study, read the
papers, the revolutionary press, the revolutionary magazine, follow the
revolutionary programs, and learn so that we can dispute with our enemies.
We must know how to argue with the parasites, the worms, the tame
counterrevolutionary dogs, the selfish."

Is that the only duty of the revolutionary? No! What is the principal duty
of the revolutionaries if we want a better future for our families? What
must we do? Wait till it is produced for us? We must produce it. To have
greater production we need two things: instruments for work and
technicians. Fertilized lands produce more than unfertilized lands. Work is
the source of all wealth, but work will be less difficult in the same
measure that we have machinery. What is necessary for this is
industrialization, mechanization, and study. One machine will cut the cane
of 30 workers. The more mechanized, the fewer the hours of work. But if we
want more products, we must produce them. We must not think of what is
scarce, but rather we must thing that what is scarce would not be if we
work harder. Work is an honorable thing. The bread that is eaten is not
tasty if it is not earned by work. Work is what distinguishes men from
animals. Animals live from what nature supplies, but man exploits nature,
uses nature, and dominates nature.

Our revolution will enable our people to have all their needs satisfied.
Never forget that only work will lead to the fulfillment of our needs. That
is why we must have a worthy, revolutionary attitude toward work. We must
struggle against all forms of laziness and absenteeism. We must work! We
must struggle against bureaucracy, and it is the duty of the masses to
struggle so that work is done. Our people will have everything they can
produce and that for which it can be exchanged. But let no one think that
abundance can come over night. Does anyone believe this? (Crowd answers:
No!) That takes time. It requires work and effort. Let us all work. That
will permit us to overcome the shortages of today and attain the abundance
of tomorrow. The most we can do today is to distribute what we have.

"And I want to say this: We are receiving great help from abroad,
extraordinary help from abroad, (Applause) Not only are we consuming and
investing what we produce, but we are also consuming and investing what the
socialist countries are sending from abroad, the countries that are friends
of our revolution. (Applause) The aid we are receiving is extraordinary. It
is good we are receiving this aid. We are not going to hope that we can ask
other people to send us the products of their labors all our lives. We
would turn into a parasitic people. It is good that they help us today; it
is correct that they help us today. But we must create or own wealth,
elevating our productive capacity, so that, one day, everything we may need
we can be able to produce or exchange for the articles we produce.

You know who tries to sow demoralization among the people: the rural
bourgeoise. We must strengthen the spirit of the revolution. Our people
will be better off more prepared. (crowd commotion--Ed.) It is very hot,
for you and everyone else.

"I want to say one thing, comrades. The revolutionary struggle has not
ended yet, not at all. The revolutionary struggle is beginning. Do you
understand? You say that you understand more now. Well, within four years
you will understand even more. We still lack much in training, in
discipline, in organization for our country to be stronger, more capable
and our people to overcome difficulties. In the measure that the remaining
exploiters disappear, in the same measure will the revolution be
strengthened." (Crowd very noise--Ed.)

We were saying that we are beginning. Today we are marking the anniversary
of 26 July. The battle began that day, but it ended 5 years, 5 months, and
5 days later. That was when we assumed power. Once the people had power, a
more difficult struggle began--the struggle against imperialism. That is
the struggle we are just beginning.

"It is necessary that we understand this, that we understand this struggle
is beginning, that our revolution still has many dangers ahead--not
dangers, battles. It is necessary that we understand that the imperialist
threats continue against our country, that the threats of imperialist
aggression are still great for our country. The imperialists have used many
tactics: They used sabotage, the organization of counterrevolutionary
bands, the invasion by mercenaries, the economic blockade. They though they
would defeat us through hunger. Well, in the measure that the imperialists
become convinced that the blockade will fail, that the revolution will
resist, and as the arms race of the imperialist develops, in the measure
that the situation of imperialism becomes more desperate, the threat of
direct aggression against our country by Yankee imperialism rises.

"We must now lower our guard. We must not ignore our defense. On the
contrary, we must strengthen our defenses, our combat elements against
imperialism. Our country no longer runs any risk of mercenary invasion.
That is to say, the mercenaries no longer constitute any danger because
with the armaments we now have and the combat forces we now have, any
invasion by mercenaries will be swept away. (Applause)

"The Yankee imperialists are far from having resigned themselves to our
revolution. The Yankee imperialists continue to plan attacks against our
country. Therefore, the danger of direct invasion--the only danger to our
country--is the danger of direct invasion by Yankee armed forces. And we
must prepare for that threat. Against that threat we must organize our
defenses. Against that danger we must also take the necessary measures. The
imperialists are arming to the teeth. Listen comrades, let that little
plane alone, it is not the only one we have, not at all. (Noise of plain is
heard, then crowd commotion and applause--Ed.) We have that little plane,
and so forth, and so forth, and so forth. (Applause)

"We must be alert and not rest on our laurels. We must nor lower our guard.
We must understand that the imperialists . . . . (Editor's Note: Castro
does not finish his sentence as crowed apparently is distracted by plane
flying overhead. Crowd applauds and shots 'venceremos' in unison.) that is
nothing, comrades. That is nothing. That is only the preamble.

"Well, I was saying that we must not forget the dangers that we still face.
We must not be frightened by those dangers. Yet what danger would a direct
invasion mean for our revolution? We must prepare ourselves for that direct
invasion. We must organize the necessary defense in order to repel a direct
invasions by the imperialists. When we can say that our revolution is in a
position to repell a direct invasion, then the last danger hanging over the
revolution will have disappeared. In the meantime, the revolution must take
steps to increase the effectiveness of the fight and the reply to any
direct attack on the part of the Yankee imperialists.

"The fact is that Kennedy has the idea, Mr. Kennedy intends to attack our
country. Mr. Kennedy and the U.S. Government have positively refused to
give any assurances whatsoever with regard to their plans for our country.
At no time have they given any assurances that our country will not be the
victim of an aggression. You yourselves have seen now they hold the Yankee
base because they seized this base and now hold it against the will of our
people. It is a piece of our land which they hold by force.

"Of course, we are not going to take this base away from them by the use of
force. We do not want to do what they want us to do. That would be a good
pretext for them. The fact is that this base is being held against the will
of the Cuban people and that it is a piece of our territory, of the
national territory of Cuba that the Yankee imperialists hold against our
will. They have used the base as a center of corruption. They have used the
base to conspire against us. They have used the base to shelter criminals,
to prepare gangs of counterrevolutionaries, and to murder Cubans. They
murdered a worker there a short time ago. Now they state that their
investigation has shed no light on the murder. The murdered man was a
humble fisherman who was murdered in a cruel and inhuman fashion.

"They hold that piece of our land and use it but we have not renounced our
right to it. We are not going to take that base away from them by force but
we shall never give up that piece of land. We shall keep claiming it until
it is returned to our country. Moreover, the base is a dagger in the heart
of Cuban soil. It is a base in which provocations occur daily. It is a base
from which they fire toward our soil. It is a base in which drunken
soldiers shoot at our lines. There is a film showing a completely drunken
U.S. soldier throwing stones. They hurl small bombs and they shoot. What
can be expected from the type of inhabitants they have there? Mercenary
soldiers work at the base. Many of them are inveterate drunkards. And the
provocations they commit against our soldiers and our land!

"Yet, in the face of all these provocations, our soldiers have been ordered
not to shoot but to endure firmly. As a matter of fact, they show a
superiority, higher morals, and higher discipline than the soldiers of
imperialism. Our boys there are serious, firm, disciplined, and they will
not be coaxed by any provocative act. (Applause)

Yet we know that the imperialists, the U.S. Government, have not ceased
planning aggression against our country. We also know that the arms race of
the imperialists increases, that their situation becomes ever more
desperate. that their Alliance for Progress keeps failing.

"You must remember those rulers who broke with us; you must remember
Frondizi who was kicked out by the officers, at the insistence of the
pentagon's military mission. You must remember Mr. Prado, who was also
kicked out by his offices. You must remember those governments without
decorum and shame, those docile servants of imperialism who were overthrown
by coups d'etat, which mean an even more reactionary spirit. Yet all this
is spoiling the hope that imperialism placed in its comical Alliance for

"To the extent that the Alliance for Progress fails, to the extent that
imperialism receives blows from every side, to that same extent that danger
of an aggressive blow against our fatherland increases. When they become
convinced that the blockade has failed, when they realize that the steps
the revolutionary government is taking to increase production--especially
that which concerns agriculture--have had their first results, the danger
of an armed attack against our country on the part of the imperialism will
increase. For that reason, we must be alert. We must not rest on our
laurels. We must be aware of that danger.

"We must not forget that at Giron, on the eve of Giron, they denied they
had any plans against us, and they tried to take us by surprise. We warned
of the danger; we were not taking by surprise; we were ready; we defeated
them. We must be aware that in the measure that Yankee imperialism's
efforts against our revolution fail, that all its plans fail, that its
mercenary bands are annihilated, that the saboteurs are destroyed, and that
the counterrevolutionaries are smashed, in that same measure the danger of
an attack increases. yet they will be mistaken once again, because once
again the Cubans will be on the alert. Once more the Cubans will take the
necessary steps. Once more they will strengthen their military defense as
is necessary in order to be in a position to reject any imperialist attack.
When we shall be in a position to say that a direct imperialist attack
would be shattered by our defense, then the greatest risk to our country
will have disappeared.

"It is evident that our country runs the same risk as progressive humanity.
Any war that the imperialists may unleash against the progressive nations
will also be unleashed against us. Any war that the imperialists may
unleash, any world war, will also be unleased against us. The world is
getting smaller.

The fates of the people, of the various people of the world, is drawing
closer and closer. The peoples are drawing closer to each other. Theirs is
a common enemy. Progressive humanity, the humanity fighting for socialism
or for national independence and peace have their common enemy in the
warmongering Yankees. The Yankee warmongers threaten humanity.

"The Soviet Union has had to get ready. (Applause) The Soviet Union has had
to invest enormous amounts in its preparation for defense in the face of
danger of an imperialist attack, in the face of the danger that neofascism,
as incarnated by Yankee imperialism, may repeat the same feat of German
Nazism. The Soviet Union and the entire socialist camp are forced to invest
vast resources and energy in the face of the danger of an imperialist

"The socialist countries want peace. Socialism is fighting for peace.
Socialism needs peace. Imperialism, on the other hand, has promoted wars of
extermination. The imperialist monopolies need war to carry on their
business, to make profits. The warmongering monopolies need the threat of
war; they are a menace to humanity. Any danger run by progressive humanity
today is also run by us. Any war that the imperialists may unleash against
the socialist camp would also be unleashed against us. This is the reason
we must prepare ourselves, not only because we know that imperialism
threatens us, not only because Mr. Kennedy, who is a stubborn gentleman,
intends to attack our country--and this we know--but also because the
world lives under the danger of the imperialist aggression. The progressive
nations lie under the danger of war, threatened by the imperialists, and we
know that any war the imperialists may unleash against progressive humanity
will also be unleashed against us.

"However, we must face reality resolutely and bravely. We must face the
danger resolutely and bravely. We do not want an aggression. We do not want
a war. We want peace! We want friendship with all people! (Applause) This
is our foreign policy. However, we are not to blame for the necessity they
impose on us, for the danger with which the imperialists threaten us. For
this reason, we must be able to look this danger in the face. Our people
must get ready for any contingency, for any attack, so that we shall be
able to say: 'The Yankee imperialists will never be able to take this
island.'" (Applause, shouts)

Nothing is too difficult or impossible for our people. Our people were the
last to get rid of Spanish imperialism and the first to get rid of Yankee
imperialism. We are the first socialist country of Latin America and the
first country to get rid of Yankee imperialism.

There are risks involved, but we shall be able to face them. If we have to
make sacrifices, we shall do so, for our people are strong. Only the
parasites and the bourgeoisie are weak and they are trying to infect us
with their weakness. We must tell these people that if they cannot become
infected with our protelerian valor, spirit, and dignity they cannot infect
us with their cowardice, lack of spirit, and moral rottenness.

Our people are forging ahead. They are firm, they are discipline. They are
brave. the imperialists have found their match in our people, here, in
Latin America. They used to scorn us and it turned out that we were much
better than they though we were.

"As a matter of fact, only great people, only people aware of themselves,
only brave people can move forward and write the page in history that we
are writing today. We shall never give up writing this page; we shall
continue to write it. The Cubans will continue to write this page.
(Applause) The Cubans will not take a step backward. (Shouts of 'no' and
'never' from crowed--Ed.) The Cubans can continue to be proud of calling
themselves Cubans."

"Some Cubans were only born here by accident. They though they were the
masters here. Today they oppose their country and the glorious flag of
their country. These people are traitors because, in the fight between our
fatherland and the enemy, they side with the enemy. Certainly, they are not
Cubans. No one admires them. No one admires those who went to Miami. The
true Cubans, the respected Cubans are those who work here. We can tell the
people of Latin American and the world, through their representatives here
today, that Cuba will remain victorious. (Applause) Cuba will not be
crushed. Cuba will not be conquered. This is the same faith that
accompanied us since the beginning of the battle when we were few, and it
accompanies us even more today, because of a more profound reason.

"On that evening, following the attack, only a small group of men was left,
a scattered group. Today, nine years later, this afternoon, hundreds of
thousands of Cubans are gathered here defending the same flag and the same
cause and brandishing the same weapons. We have grown. We constitute
hundreds of thousands--we constitute million. We are not only Cubans but
also Latin Americans. We are not only Latin Americans, but also part of
progressive humanity. We are socialists; we are Marxist-Leninists.

"We are Marxist-Leninists and Marxism-Lennism is the doctrine that guides a
billion human beings, a billion workers and peasants like you. That is why
a worker shouts here: 'Long live worker-peasant unity. Long live
proletarian internationalism. (Applause) 'Long live the Revolution of the
workers and the peasants. (Applause) The strength of the peasants and
workers--the forces of the powerful proletarian movement of the entire
world--is part of our strength and it is a force on which our people can
count. (Applause)

"That is why more than ever we have faith in victory. Let the cowards stay
there. If they were born with enough intelligence to live in a country like
this and to be members of a race like this at a time like this, (applause,
chanting) let those who lack nerve stay there. We are proud of having been
born in this era, proud of belonging to a people like this, of having
undertaken a revolution like this one, (applause) and of living in an hour
of humanity like this one. It is true that we are experiencing an hour that
is full of risks because all progressive mankind is running the risk of
imperialist aggression. However, we are also experiencing the most
brilliant hour of mankind, the hour when the humble men of the people have
attained the highest (award?) in the history of mankind, the hour in which
they see the disappearance of the empire of privilege and exploitation, the
hour of the world in which the bouregois empire is sinking.

"It has fallen to us to live during that time, the time of the
proletarians, the hour of the peasants, the hour of the exploited, the hour
of freedom, the hour of justice, (applause) the hour of the creation. And
this revolution is part of this hour. This people are part of this hour. An
act like this can only be part of an hour like this, a revolution of the
masses like this one, a proletarian revolution like this one. (Applause) We
are a people that have bettered themselves, a people that have grown, a
people that have won prestige, glory, and legitimate hope because we know
that we are preparing for the future, that we are struggling for the
future, that we can smile at the future, full of faith in tomorrow without
fear of the present or of anything.

"Fear is felt by those who see in the future (crowd interrupts shouting,
No!) No, I did not ask if you were frightened. I know that you are not
afraid. Fear is felt by those who see their defeat in the future, their
end, the dissolution of their privileges. Those who see their triumph in
the future, their happiness, do not fear the future or the present, or
anything. They fear no one and nothing because the past is death and the
future is life. That is why we are willing to exchange our lives for that
future. That is why we prefer physical death to the moral death of the
past. (Applause)

"We resolutely face up to all the dangers. That is what we think about. We
do not think of the destiny of any one of us, but of the destiny of the
entire people. Our life (words indistinct) is not our life; our life is the
people. We all live among the people. (Applause) Among this people live
those who fell, those who are buried in the (name indistinct) cemetery and
who fell on 26 July. (Applause)

"Among these people live those who fell in the mountains, all the martyrs,
all the fighters because they died for the people. They died thinking about
the people, and they died with satisfaction. They died with pride. They
forged the future of the fatherland They forged the greatness and the
indomitable spirit of our people. They made this revolution possible.

"Let us be aware of the hour, of its dangers and of our tasks. Let us
organize and, above all, let us organize the vanguard--the revolutionary
vanguard--with the best, the hardest workers, the most devoted, the most
sacrificed. These great people need a magnificent vanguard composed of the
best among the people on all levels. Let us organize the United Party of
the Socialist Revolution of Cuba, (applause) the vanguard of our workers
and peasants. Let us strengthen our mass organizations, our labor unions,
our federation of women, our union of communist youths, our Committees for
the Defense of the Revolution, our student associations, our peasant
associations, our cultural and athletic organizations. Let us elevate the
combative, technical, and disciplinary capacity of our glorious
revolutionary armed forces. Let us struggle against our defects, our
mistakes, our weaknesses. Let us struggle against all the weaknesses in the
ranks of the revolution. Let us struggle against the bourgeois spirit,
against bourgeois cowardice and weakness. (Applause) Let us strengthen our
proletarian spirit. Let us do our duty at work. Let us know how to work
more than we talk. Let us work instead of wasting time complaining, because
working and producing will soon make the principal causes of our complaints

"We must work against scarcity. We must produce. We must have greater
agricultural production, greater industrial production. Let us do battle
against our deficiencies. In production let us extract from our rich land
all it can produce in order to satisfy our needs. Let us study. Let us
improve ourselves. The young people should be steadfast. The students must
study and make an effort because the country needs them. The country needs
tens of thousands of engineers, doctors, professors, teachers. All must
make an effort, young people and old, men and women, all the peoples. When
the people are masters of their fate this happens. When the people are
aware of their history this happens. They become a single force. They
become a single arm, a single embrace, a single thought."

The spirit of egoism and individualism is in the past. One man alone is not
strong. Only society and the people have strength. The peasant knows this.
When he has a heavy load to carry and cannot carry it alone, he calls upon
several peasants to carry it. This also what the revolution does. No one
can stand alone. However, united we shall be able to do anything we want.
United we shall build the future because the strength of us all lies in the
combined strength of each of us--white and black, young and old, men and
women. In the city and in the country we shall go forward united. We shall
carry the cause to the end.

We shall advance with our faith in the people and in the future, a
never-ending faith. For our comrades of the Moncada Garrison, of the
Granma, of the Sierra, for our comrades in the struggle against
imperialism, it is encouraging, stimulating, and satisfying to see this
spirit in Oriente Province. It tells us that the revolution was born here
and that here it has its greatest defenders.

"This faith, this spirit of enthusiasm which exists in Oriente is truly
contagious. Keep it. Realize that the bourgeois and the small bourgeois, or
those with small bourgeois mind will later attempt to counteract the effect
of this day of revolutionary enthusiasm and fervor. I already know what
they will begin to say. they will again complain about the difficulties.
They will say that things have been better during the past few days but
that later they will be worse. I would like to explain, therefore, that the
supply board doubled the supplies allotted Santiago de Cuba for five days
in view of the presence of thousands upon thousands of persons. An
extraordinary effort was made so that the Santiago families could put up
and feed the persons who came to attend these ceremonies. Food supplies
were doubled for five days. The supplies will continue to be increased.
Great efforts are being made. This is an argument which is used by the
bourgeois. Of course they do not agree to an equitable distribution of
goods and food supplies. Be strong and firm against the fifth column which
wants to destroy the people's fighting morale, against those cowards who
want to raise a white flag before the imperialists. Be strong and firm
against the class enemies!

"What a great satisfaction and what emotion we feel today on 26 July to
think that in such a dignified way our people are paying homage to the
martyrs of the revolution, to the men who fell. What better price, what
better reply, what better fruit than this nation. This nation today could
only have been forged as it was forged, by sacrifice, sorrow, and blood. It
was forged and it is present here, indestructible and invincible.

Workers, peasants, students: In memory of our dead let us swear loyalty to
the nation. Let us swear loyalty to the revolution. Let us swear to be
steadfast revolutionaries. Let us swear to strengthen our proletarian
spirit. Let us swear to temper our soul for the difficult hours. Let us
swear to defend Cuba. Let us, like Maceo, swear that anyone who attempts to
take Cuba will bite the dust of its soil (mixed?) with blood. Workers,
peasants, students, men and women of the nation: be firm. March forward.
Let us tell our fallen heroes today: Fatherland or Death; We Will Win."