Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana in English to North America 0300 GMT 30 September 1962--E

(Text) Havana--The celebration of the second anniversary of the Committees
to Defend the Revolution (CDR) closed with a mass rally at the Jose Marti
Plaza de la Revolucion. These committees were established on 28 September
1960 at the suggestion of Premier Fidel Castro. Thousands of people
gathered at the square last night while people all over the republic were
following the meeting by television and radio. The meeting opened with the
arrival of 100 (new?) students from the fishing school of Playa Giron, who
began a marathon relay from the school on Thursday. One of the students
handed the Premier the document setting up 110 new defense committees on
Playa Giron.

The opening speech was made by the general coordinator of the Committee to
Defend the Revolution, Jose Mateo, who explained that the objective of the
organization is patriotic vigilance. For us, he said, it is a matter of
great pride to be hated by the enemies of the fatherland. Mateo informed
his audience that more than 258,000 citizens have asked to join the Defense
Committees in recent weeks.

Fidel Castro Speech

Havana in Spanish to the Americas 0329 GMT 29 September 1962--E

(Summary) Comrades on the rostrum, comrades of the Defense Committees: We
arrive at this second anniversary with a powerful organization of the
masses worthy of the hope the revolution has placed in it. The rapid
development of an organization of this type is eloquent proof of the
revolutionary power of the masses, of the ability of the people to organize
themselves. The Committees for the Defense of the Revolution have become an
important force of the revolution commanding the respect of our enemies.

The Defense Committees have also become a new institution, a contribution
of the Cuban revolution to the rich experiences of mankind. The success of
the Defense Committees has caused other peoples to become interested in the
characteristics and the operation of an organization of this type, and it
would not be surprising if other countries also create organizations of
this type. On the second anniversary we can say that the Defense Committees
have accomplished much more than they were originally intended to
accomplish. They have not only defended the revolution, but they have also
become the instruments for other social functions and tasks--in the fields
of education, public health, housing census, and so forth.

The enthusiasm of the members of the Defense Committees is proverbial. Any
tasks assigned to them is accomplished quickly and its success can be
assured. But what makes this organization so important is that it is formed
from among the masses. As it has developed, it has expanded and found
leadership from among the masses. That is why it can be expected that this
organization can render even more useful services. "That is why the
political organization of the revolution, as well as the revolutionary
government, has interested itself in the formation of cadres for this mass
organization. The first school--which ha 215 students--for cells of the
Committees for the Defense of the Revolution has already been organized.
(Applause) This means that the organization is promoting tested and capable
cadres, which will improve extraordinarily its structure and usefulness. As
soon as this course is ended, another class will be held in that school. We
have no doubt that in coming months this effort will be felt, and the
effectiveness of that organization will be greater."

This, together with the efforts of the other mass organizations, the
growing political organization of youth, and the progress of the task of
forming the United Party of the Revolution, means that on entering the
fifth anniversary--that is 1 January 1963--the revolution will be in a
better position that this year. We will have a strong and well-organized
party. (Applause) It will be supported by a group of mass organizations
that represent the vast majority of our people.

Not only will these things be in our favor, but the 1963 economic plan,
based on the experiences of this year, will be a more complete plan. We
also expect that by 1963 work norms will be established as well as the
methods for control of economic production. Added together this means that
our country will enter the fifth anniversary in better condition than any
previous year.

The revolution has done many things in these four years despite adverse
circumstances and constant aggressions. But our people can still do much
more. Our people are beginning to have experience. At first we had
enthusiasm and dynamism, but that is not everything. Problems are not
resolved spontaneously. Problems must be solved. If we add experience to
our enthusiasm and dynamism, the advances of the revolution will be more
solid and more rapid. A more experienced and organized people can march
more firmly and rapidly. The fifth year of the revolution should be
characterized by that. The fifth year of the revolution should be a leap
forward of the revolution. This is a matter of deeds. Deeds must respond to
our aspirations and we are certain that deeds will respond. (Applause)

"From the viewpoint of our economic difficulties we have been going through
and are leaving behind the hardest stages." This does not mean that our
difficulties will suddenly disappear, but we can say that from now on our
economic difficulties will be less and that our country is beginning an
ascending process in its economy. (Applause) It does not mean we will have
everything we need right away, but that day by day we will have more of
what we need. (Applause)

The fact that our country has come through these difficult times
victoriously speaks well for our people and the international solidarity of
the peoples (applause). The revolution does not mean an increase of luxury
and minority privileges. The revolution must work for the masses.
Improvement must be for the masses.

"This does not mean that in the years ahead in our country we will have
more autos; what our country will have in the years ahead will be much more
farm machinery (applause), much more construction equipment (applause),
many more trucks (applause), many more fishing craft (applause), many more
merchant ships (applause), because what our people need today are not
luxury items, not articles for minorities (applause), what our country
needs is tools with which to work (applause), many more factories
(applause), because these work tools are the only things that can guarantee
progress, not for a minority, but progress for the masses (applause)."

When the work of a nation is at the service of a minority, the latter can
see a rapid development of its prosperity. But when the human resources and
tools of a nation work for the nation as a whole, and when available goods
are distributed for everybody (applause), when progress is for all, then
the peak will be reached step by step but all will enjoy its benefits. The
society we knew before was one in which the people worked for the few.
Those few had everything. A member of that minority would not feel today
the way a peasant does, the peasant who was barefoot, illiterate, without
even a lamp in his house, without a doctor or roads; or the worker, with a
big family who lived in a slum and who today can live in an apartment with
three or four rooms for which he pays very little.

The people who had nothing and today have something and know they will have
more every day see things quite differently from the minority. (Applause)
The revolution is waged for them. This majority has had indestructible
faith in the revolution. (Applause) This majority has gone through the
difficult trials of the revolution. (Applause) This majority never got
discouraged. It stood firm. (Applause) The minority weakened and to a great
extent fled. There were some who faltered in their faith and lost their
courage. The future will never belong to them. (Applause) They do not count
in history. (Applause) Victory will always belong to the masses. (Applause)

We have proof of our successes. After the cowardly attack in April of last
year the imperialists pinned all their hopes on the economic blockade. Our
people found themselves faced with brutal economic measures. The enemy
pinned all his hopes on having hunger and illness and want to take over our
country and drive our people to turn, not against the aggressors, but
against those who are fighting for the people's future (applause), against
a revolution that has been carried out with the blood of the nation's best
sons. By using this inhuman strategy against a nation whose only crime was
to want justice (applause), progress, the determination of our own
destinies, an end to poverty, vice, lack of culture, and inhuman
exploitation, and end to the repugnant society of privilege (applause), the
imperialists thought to succeed.

Almost a year and a half has gone by since that criminal invasion, and yet
the economic siege, the strategy of hunger, was giving no results. And so
the enemies of our people began to grow desperate.

When their efforts to destroy our revolution by starving it and through an
economic blockade failed, the danger of an armed attack surged again.
"However, inasmuch as the armed attack could not be an attack by
mercenaries, and inasmuch as the capacity of our people to fight had grown
so that any invasion by mercenaries would have been swept away in a matter
of minutes (applause), the danger was no longer from mercenary invasions,
but from direct attack.

"The imperialists progressively despaired more and more before the failure
of their strategy to starve our nation. Following their strategy of
subversion and indirect attack which they had employed, the danger of
direct attack became real. Since all the previous measures had failed, they
had the only and desperate alternative to attack us directly." In the face
of this, what did the imperialists expect? Did they want us to stand with
our arms crossed? Did they expect us to be like meek lambs? (Crowd shouts
"No, No!") It is a known fact that the imperialists tried from the outset
to prevent us from arming ourselves. Virtually everyone knows that while
the imperialists prepared their mercenaries in Guatemala, they blew up the
steamship La Coubre so we could not receive arms, killing 80 workers and
soldiers there. (Applause)

It is logical to expect that those who are thinking about attacking a
country do not wish the intended victim to arm itself. Why have I said that
our foes with their words and actions are recognizing and acknowledging our
successes? I said that because if the imperialists ever believed that the
revolution could be starved to death, or that the revolution would fail, or
sink before the obstacles, they would not be talking about invasion so much
or be proclaiming their intentions of war. When they urge and demand that
we be attacked and invaded, they are recognizing that the revolution is
forging ahead, that it triumphs (applause), and progresses. If they
believed that the revolution was going to fail in the face of their
economic aggression, why should they be bothering to prepare soldiers and
warships, or talk of a naval blockade?

"The tremendous din they have created and the hysteria that has unleashed
itself among the U.S. circles show better than anything else that they no
longer believe it. (Applause) It is obvious that they were becoming aware
of this. It is obvious that this reality had a powerful impact upon them.
That situation brought us closer to the danger that in a desperate
effort--once their subversion campaigns, their indirect attacks, and their
economic aggressions had failed--they would commit the blunder of military
invading our country."

Apparently, the imperialists, who employ a logic all their own, thought
that in the face of their aggressive intentions, our duty was to lower our
guard and disarm ourselves. What are the imperialists so angry about? They
are indignant because our people are getting armed and adopting all
measures to defend their security. (Applause) I do not believe it is worth
talking about logic or reason. Anyone can see that the actions of the
imperialists follow no logic, reason, or law.

They speak of their security. Is it possible that the United States should
talk about our country in connection with its own security? Is it not a
shame that those senators and governors of a powerful country, which keeps
military forces in many areas of the world and spends 55 billion dollars in
arms, should say that our country constitutes a danger to its security?
Furthermore, do they think our country should be attacked for that
reason--because we arm ourselves to protect our own security? (Applause)

Why do they protest? Only a country preparing to attack protests that
another country is arming to defend itself. (Applause) They protect because
we are ready to defend ourselves. "Aside from the fact that the most
elemental right granted to any country is the right to adopt all measures
necessary to preserve its integrity, who are the imperialists to say
whether we have or have not the right to arm ourselves? (Applause)

"Who are the imperialists to decide on this, our own matter? Have not the
imperialists realized that Cuba does not form part of the United States?
(Applause) And that in this country their laws are worthless and their
agreements are not valid? Since when can the Senate, the Congress, or the
government of a country tell a free and sovereign country what it should or
should not do? (Applause) What right does an aggressor country have to
decide on the measures that an attacked country should take to defend
itself from the aggressor?

"Undoubtedly, the world contained in the minds of Yankee senators or
representatives is not a round world. It is a funnel-shaped world,
(laughter) the wide part is theirs and the narrow end belong to the rest.
(Applause) Could it possibly be a lack of culture, ignorance, and
irresponsibility--because those men, in addition to being reactionaries,
imperialists, warmongers, (userers?), and traffickers in death (applause)
are also irresponsible--arch-irresponsibles. (Laughter)

"It is obvious that the forthcoming elections in the United States have
brought politics to bear. What do the politicians do? They try to drum up
hatred and hysteria and to push the country into an aggression so they can
reap political dividends.

"They try to outdo each others' parties. This produces a real competition
for irresponsibility in the House and the Senate. They compete to see who
can shout the loudest, who can be more hysterical, or who can act more like
a bear with respect to the Cuban revolution. (Applause) They are largely
affected by the fact that they are having elections in November. They care
little to play with what they are playing. They do not care if they play
with world peace or the destinies of their people. Therefore they play war.
They dance to the very brink of war, the brink of a precipice. It would not
matter if they were the ones teetering at the brink (laughter), but the
trouble is that they drag their own country along with them.

"Do we constitute a danger to the security of the United States? No, that
is so ridiculous, it is not worth talking about. Those who constitute a
danger to the security of the United States are those men who are promoting
war, those who promote hysteria against Cuba (applause), and those who want
to push that country's government to a war adventure. It is those people
who really constitute a danger to the security of the United States. The
danger stems from their own policy, their aggressions, misdeeds, and
aggressive intentions. Therein lies the real danger, the only danger that
exists for the security of the United States The rest is nonsense,
ignorance, and irresponsibility, pure and simple."

We, as conscientious men, people, could never desire war. As a people who
devote their energies to their destiny and their future, we need peace, so
that our energies and our time can be devoted to our work, production,
studies, and progress.

Moreover, we, not only in our own interests but also in the interest of
mankind, can never be the cause of any war. We will never attack anyone.
(Applause) That is logical. Anyone can understand that. Anyone can also
understand what the rights of our country are. Our rights are the same as
those of any other country. The rights of our country cannot be less than
the rights of the United States. If it thinks it has more rights, it is
because it feels it has the right of force. Everything they do demonstrates
that the mentality of the leaders of the United States is inspired by
force. They have unmasked themselves.

"What have they done amid the hysteria and the babble of these last
weeks?--A series of harbrained measures, a series of statements that
constitute a real marathon of irresponsibility: pressures on many countries
so that their ships do not carry goods to Cuba. What merit, what glory,
what honor for a big country, for a powerful country to be going through
the world from government to government demanding that the business
companies do no business, interfering with a right and interests of

"It is in the interest of mankind to maintain trade relations between
peoples. It is in the interest of mankind to have commercial traffic. It is
in the interest of all nations to trade. Many countries have in the
merchant marine one of their principal sources of income.

"So the representatives of the Yankee government roam the world pressuring
the companies not to bring food to Cuba. How much glory they will gain from
these actions! How much prestige! Furthermore, they have called the Latin
American foreign ministers to a closed-door meeting in the State
Department. In secret meetings they have unmasked themselves. In the House
and Senate they have approved a joint aggressive, cynical, and
interventionist resolution, in which, among other things, they say openly
and brazenly that they will help the counterrevolutionaries. Of course,
that is not new. That is what they were doing; that is what we were saying.
And they said no, that that was a calumny of our part. What have they done
is to say, in a brazen and cynical manner, what they have been doing all
along. (Applause) That is what they have done.

"Of course, all that, that is everything, is surrounded by an atmosphere of
mental unbalance, petty politics, irresponsibility, and ignorance. These
men do not know the world they live in or the time in which they live. Some
of those men think they are living in a period 80 years ago, 60 years ago.
They have not even realized the years that have passed and the changes that
have taken place in the world. They think they are living in the beginning
of this century, when the great growth of imperialism was beginning: The
era in which they landed their marines, their soldiers, in any Central
American country or any Caribbean island, without any consequences.

"Do they dream, those delirious gentlemen, that they are living in the era
of the Spanish colony? Do they imagine those times? Do they long for those
times in which they could do an undo, those times in which, treacherously,
they took away the sovereignty of our country-- the fruit of 30 years of
heroic struggle; those times in which they humiliated our glorious mambisi
generals; in which they imposed the Platt Amendment on us? Do they long for
those times in which the word of the ambassador made the politicians and
governors tremble? (Applause) Before,the Yankee ambassador spoke and the
politicians trembled.

"The ambassador is gone; he was taken away. He was useless because he did
not give orders. But now all the senators, all the representatives, and all
the generals speak at once and no one trembles, no one is frightened by
that. For us, those gentlemen are clearly in the wrong. Our historic moral
and legal justification is so clear that the agreements, the words, and the
threats of those gentlemen mean nothing to us.

"Those gentlemen are a type of plague, a kind of illness. Imperialism is
the illness of the world today."

The danger represented by the warlike policy of the imperialists
constitutes the most serious problem for all peoples. There are all kinds
of plagues in the world, but mankind is not cowed. It would be a shame if
the policy of those gentlemen led mankind into another war. It would be
regrettable for mankind and for the people of the United States themselves.

"Those irresponsible and thoughtless mean who do not understand the era the
world is living in and who have such outdated views of international law
constitute a threat to humanity and for the very people of the United
States who could be victims of that stupid irresponsible policy.

"As for us, a view of that danger which threatens mankind, what should our
position be? Naturally, our position is not to promote incidents; it is not
to throw wood on the fire. That is not our position. Our position is simply
to live in peace, to live in peace with all nations, and to work for the
progress of our country. (Applause) But how absurd is the policy of those
gentlemen! At the very moment that our country signs a trade agreement, an
agreement for cooperation with the Soviet Union to develop our fishing
fleet (applause), those gentlemen pull their hair. And when our people are
already practically eating the production of those agreements, that is,
when our country begins to eat more fish, the imperialists become more
hysterical and they begin or continue their agitation in their
irresponsibility and their hysteria.

"They are even frightened by fishing vessles. They are really living in a
state of hysteria and fear, intoxicated by their reactionary views and
desperate in the face of the people who are awakening and who are not
resigned to being slaves. They constitute a danger, a center of risk for
mankind. What must our position be? Very calm, but very firm. (Applause)

"Lower our guard? No! Raise our guard? Yes! Disarm ourselves? Arm ourselves
more! Fold our arms? Take all the measures necessary to stop the
imperialists, to contain the imperialist attack (The crowd replies 'yes' or
`no' to each question--Ed.) If the imperialists think that their threats
make an impression, we will simply tell them: `Gentlemen, stop sleeping on
that side. Wake up from your dreams. You are wasting your time. In
threatening us you only make us more alert (applause) and make us take more
measures. When you threaten us, what you do is to justify us and make us

Do they think they will find a cowed people? No! If they are frightened, if
they see ghosts, we are not and we do not. (Applause) What they will find
are people determined to defend themselves. People with their guard up.
Against the concept of right based on force, we have the concept of right
based on justice and dignity. (Applause) Against the aggressive designs of
our enemies, we have the firm decision to defend ourselves. This people
will not permit their hard-earned sovereignty and freedom to be taken away.

This people, enamored with the future, will not renounce that future. All
the worthy men and women of our country would first renounce their lives a
thousand times rather than their dignity. (Applause)

"They would give their life a thousand times over rather than give up our
country's freedom. (Applause) They would give up life rather than the right
to hold their head high. (Applause) They would give up life a thousand
times over than resign themselves to living enslaved, and they would prefer
death a thousand times rather than the life of wretched slaves. (Applause,
shouts) That is the way we feel; that is what we proclaim. Did our
forefather heroes last century write in the national anthem that to live in
chains was to live in shame and injury together, and that to die for the
fatherland is to live? (Applause)

"This fatherland of ours, yes, ours, we are determined to defend with our
blood, with our life. (Applause, chanting) We are prepared to defend it to
the last gasp. We, the people, and together with the people, the
revolutionary government, are prepared to defend it, cost what it may.
(Applause) And we will all face whatever risks are necessary, aware that we
have right on our side, and conscious of the honor that attends us, because
a Yankee soldier who dies invading this land will die as a criminal, as an
invader, as a trampler on the rights of a nation, while a Cuban who falls
will die as a patriot, a hero defending his country. (Applause, shouts)

A Yankee who dies invading this country will die as a pirate in the eyes of
the world, he will die as an outlaw. A Cuban who dies defending his country
will in the eyes of the world die with a halo of glory, accompanied by the
(word indistinct) and the sympathy of all peoples of the world. (Applause)
"And if they come, and if they come, many Yankees will die, because they
are not going to catch us with our guard down, they are not going to
surprise us disarmed, they are not going to surprise us off guard. Tomorrow
we will reply to their resolution, and the revolutionary government will
give a fitting reply to the cynical resolution of the government of the
United States. (Shouts and chanting for three minutes--Ed.)

"If the imperialists attack they will find every rifle, every cannon, every
antiaircraft gun, and every tank ready to meet the attack, (cheers) and in
every corner of the land, the mean and women of our people will rise
against the aggressors and they will fight to exterminate the aggressors.
(Applause) For the invaders of our Cuban fatherland there will be no peace
or truce, because the mind of every man, every woman, every youth, and
every old man will be filled with the duty, the sole duty of exterminating
the aggressors. (Applause).

"If the imperialists attack, if the imperialists attack, we Cubans will do
our duty. If it is our lot to be victims of aggression, we will know how to
be equal to the hour and write the page of history that corresponds to us.
We Cubans will do our part, and we know that the forces which defend peace,
the forces which today are resisting and checking the madness, the mad
warmongering ventures, will be with us. (Applause)

"If the imperialists think the Soviet Government's warning are mere words
(applause), if the imperialists do not believe--and I hope they do
believe--if the imperialists underestimate the Soviet Union's solidarity
with Cuba, if they make a mistake--and I hope they do not make a
mistake--if they do not believe, if they do not know, we do know how far
that solidarity goes. (Applause) Fatherland or Death, We Will Win!"