Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana in Spanish to the Americas 0039 GMT 10 October 1962--E

(Fidel Castro speech at the Presidential Palace to welcome President
Osvaldo Dorticos on his return from the U.N. General Assembly)

(Text) "Comrades: (Applause) They can hear it there, too. (Applause) Once
again we are gathered here in order to receive in a manner he deserves, the
man who has just waged an honorable battle in defense of our country, our
President, Osvaldo Dorticos.

His was not an easy task. The very fact that the United Nations . . .
(crowd shouts). . . . It is not the United Nations we must criticize. What
we should criticize is the policy of the United States and of the
imperialists within the United Nations. It is not the organization our
people condemn but rather the methods introduced in it by the Yankee
imperialists, the policy of blackmail as demonstrated yesterday and watched
by the entire nation of Cuba on television as it was what the U.S. delegate
did when the assembly applauded.

At that moment, Mr. Stevenson looked like a bulldog rather than a
diplomatic representative, watching, watching openly, observing, and noting
which delegations applauded the Cuban President. Not only was our President
applauded by friendly delegations, delegations from countries which have
assisted and defended us, but the truths expressed by our President were
also applauded by many countries which are the allies of the United States.

This is precisely what worried Stevenson: who applauded. Apparently he was
checking the delegations. This is the essence of the policy of pressure and
blackmail which the U.S. Government employs in the United Nations, as were
the provocations to which our President was constantly subjected during the
days he spent in the United States, as was the provocation which the U.S.
government tried to create right there in the assembly using those elements
who cannot be referred to as Cubans, those wretched traitors who are
unworthy or bearing such a glorious name as is that of a Cuban today.

There one could see the crocodile tears, the hysterical shouts of
yesterday's privileged people, of the exploiters, the henchmen, and of the
assassins who, with their entire court of corrupt men, with all the debased
elements, went over there, to the society where they can find better
shelter, to the corrupt society where they can live because they are the
excrement of the capitalist society. Our land will never be of the future
capitalist society, of an egoist society, of a corrupt society, filled with
vices which have been abolished in our land. Therefore, by changing the
social regime in our country, another type of man and another type of woman
will be produced, those who will be able to call themselves Cubans with
legitimate pride.

If the name of Cuba represents an honor today it is because of the
revolution which the Cubans are carrying out, and those who disown this
revolution cannot hope to receive the honor, the gratitude, and the pride
of calling themselves Cubans. However, this contaminated atmosphere of
provocation and insults is what surrounds every representative of the Cuban
revolution when he goes to the United Nations. For some time now that
organization has been operating in a country which is neither capable of
having, nor wants to have, nor is worthy of having the people's assembly
operate there as it should.

Nevertheless, this did not frighten our country's delegation. Our President
could go there as he did go there carrying his head high, challenging the
hostility and provocation of the imperialists, challenging their insults,
challenging their rudeness, because he had moral strength and enough truths
to tell and could place the Yankee imperialist in the docket, as he did.

How did the Yankee delegate appear when our President was speaking? He
looked like a criminal. That was the role which he truly represented in
yesterday's historic session. It need not be said that the name of the U.S.
delegate is highly discredited in the United Nations, because it was
precisely that gentlemen who several hours prior to the imperialist
aggression upon our country said that his country harbored no aggressive
intentions against Cuba. It was that same gentlemen who on the day of the
bombing of our bases by military planes on 15 April declared that the
planes bore Cuban insignia and who said that there had been a rebellion of
the Cuban air force.

Apparently he considered that before the fait accompli, before the success
they hoped to have, their lies would be forgotten, and he did not hesitate
to adopt this cynical position. However, the facts did not turn out as they
expected and their lies were demonstrated when, several days later, the
President of the United States himself announced his responsibility for the
events, denying, or rather contradicting completely, all earlier
statements, including the statements which his delegates made in the United
Nations. Had the gentlemen had one iota of shame and decency, he would have
resigned as U.S. delegate to the United Nations.

For those who once may have believed that this Mr. Stevenson was a
liberal-- or rather progressive because liberal is tantamount to
revolutionary in the United States--for those who thought that this
gentleman belonged to the liberal political groups, he turned out to be a
complete fraud, a total deceit, because he demonstrated that he was a low
politician, as cynical and as shameless as the other members of the Yankee
ruling clique.

It was logical that when our President stood up there and denounced those
things, he (Stevenson--Ed.) had to remain silent. It was logical that
before the crushing truth, the overwhelming force of the arguments of the
Cuban representation, there was no possible answer. Yesterday there was
demonstrated the growing discredit of imperialism and its lack of prestige,
its policy without principles, its desperate situation, its demoralization
before world public opinion, and its weak position with respect to our
country: To the appeals by our President in favor of peace, in favor of
diplomatic solutions to problems, in favor of discussion, they could not
make an answer and they could not answer, because to answer to the Cuban
proposals, it would have been necessary for them to give up the idea--the
idea which has been the essential idea of Yankee policy from the first day
that our people freed themselves--the idea of destroying the revolution. To
have been able to answer the proposals by Cuba, they would have had to give
up the idea they have had in their minds four years.

The word of Cuba could not have been more clear, more diaphanous, or more
convincing than the sincerity of Cuba and the policy of Cuba. The two
policies were placed in contrast there: First the undeniable fact of who it
is who has been the aggressor, who it is who has tried to intervene in the
internal affairs of other countries, who has tried to overthrow
governments, who has perpetrated aggressions. On the other hand, who wants
the peaceful solution to problems, and who does not want it? Who has a
policy of peace and who has a policy of aggression?

The Government of the United States could not even answer these proposals
and in reality was left before the entire world without arguments because
if they say that Cuba constitutes a danger for their security and that Cuba
has a provocative policy, and Cuba says that it wants to discuss and asks
them to discuss problems through diplomatic means, why do they say no? How
can they then say that Cuba is a matter of concern? If there is any truth
in that statement, then why do they not make the slightest effort to rid
themselves of that concern? Why do they not want to talk? Why do they not
want to discuss? How can they then continue to try to confuse and deceive
the world? How ridiculous they are. Do you know what they say--and what was
later affirmed by the U.S. delegation--that the arms we are bringing here
are to defend ourselves from the people? (Shouting, whistling)

This gentleman, speaking in the name of the United States, has such
barefaced affrontery that he dares to say such a thing. That is to say we
do not arm ourselves because of the danger of Yankee aggressions; that the
arms we have acquired and the measures we have taken--and we have taken
some measures, some very good measures for such (applause)-- and it has the
imperialists very worked, as if the fundamental reason for these measures
was not the incessant aggressions and the incessant threats, the incessant
policy of hostility and subversion against our country by Yankee

It is possible that not even when drunk could they themselves believe such
an argument. Why have they not been able to crush the revolution? Because
they have had to face the people. (Applause) Who has the weapons? It is
perhaps a force of mercenaries? (Shouting) Is it perhaps something which is
not essentially united with the people and is confused with the people? Is
it perhaps the soldiers of yesterday? (Shouting) Who has those weapons? Who
guards these events? (Cheers) Who defends the revolution? And that is why;
because the people have the arms, not a professional or mercenary army, not
an army in the style of Argentina and Peru, (applause) which the Yankees
maneuver at will and which they use to change governments. It is for that
very reason, because it is the armed people--and it is not the same
handling generals as it is handling people. (Applause)

The imperialists have broken their fangs against the Cuban revolution. All
the subversive plans failed. The indirect aggression failed. Then they
began to think of direct aggression. But then we also began to think of
other measures in view of direct aggression.

The people knew that we, the revolutionary leaders, were not going to
remain idle; the people knew that the men who direct the revolution were
not going to retreat; the people knew that the men who have in their hands
the leadership of the country are men of "fatherland or death," (prolonged
applause). The revolution triumphed and the revolution came into power, not
by virtue of a coup by generals; not be virtue of an early morning attack;
not by virtue of corrupt and political elections. The revolution came into
power fighting. The revolution came into power by vanquishing innumerable
obstacles. The revolution came into power defying enormous powers. The
revolution developed from the minute resources which it had in its
difficult days to what it is today by fighting and not be vacillating or
holding back when faced with difficulties; not by holding back against the
power of the enemy.

The revolution has been a process which rose and grew fighting against the
power of its enemies, and the power of its enemies in weapons and military
might was infinitely superior to the power of the revolution. Nevertheless,
that was not an obstacle and the revolution continued to advance until it
is what it is today. We have many weapons. Yes, (applause) many weapons,
many and powerful weapons! (Applause) But one day we had only seven
weapons. When we met to take stock, when we met to take stock of what we
had left when we prepared to reinitiate the fight in the Sierra Maestra
(applause)--one day we had seven weapons. And nevertheless if today the
revolution is a reality, as horrible for our enemies as it is beautiful for
our people, for the humbler men and women of the fatherland, (applause) if
the revolution is today a worry for the imperialists--it is because those
seven rifles did not yield, did not surrender; it was because those seven
rifles continued to advance and fight.

How could the imperialists think that today when we are no longer seven
rifles, how could the imperialists think that after our people had
pulverized their invasion of mercenaries in less than 72 hours, how could
the imperialists think that after four years of abnegated and heroic
revolution (applause), our people would become discouraged in the face of
danger; our people would hold back. How could the imperialists think of
aspire to believe that in the face of the threat which hovered over the
fatherland and over our people, our attitude would be to bend our necks
under the criminal axe of the Yankee imperialists? How could they figure
that that would be our attitude and not the attitude which would be
compatible with the history of this revolution and of the men at the head
of it? What is the only attitude? The attitude of saying "never" to the
thought that the enemy could defeat us, the attitude of never accepting the
possibility that the enemy could defeat us; the attitude we have adopted; I
repeat it, the attitude, which is compatible with this revolution, of
taking the measures which circumstances warrant, to take the steps which
circumstances warrant, to put a stop to imperialist aggression, to hold
back the murderous hands of imperialism. That is what we have done.

That is why the imperialists rage today. Why do they rage? Because things
are more serious; because it is no longer a matter of sending their little
airplanes over in the mornings to calmly drop bombs on our people; because
things are no longer as simple as bringing invasions of mercenaries
convoyed by their warships; because things are not as simple as dropping a
hundred bombs on our people and then saying that they were Cuban air force
planes as they so cynically, so freely have done; and because an aggression
against our country would no longer be an unpunished aggression.

A crime against our country would no longer be an unpunished crime
(applause) and the situation is this: An aggression would not go
unpunished. A crime against Cuban would not go unpunished. How things have
changed! (Applause) How different things are! How different than that of
Giron. How different, what a different situation between being able to
commit an aggression, a crime, a pirate and cowardly attack against a small
people with impunity, and now. How different, it is for than that we have
taken the steps we have. It is for that that we have received the arms we
have received and the technicians we have received. (Applause) For that,
Mr. Kennedy, for that Mr. Stevenson--not, as you say, to defend ourselves
from the people, but to allow the people to defend themselves (applause)
and to defend themselves from their only enemies: You.

As for the rest, how ridiculous, how senseless, how irresponsible, how
mistaken. It is time that you opened your eyes. It is time that you began
to awaken and see the realities of the world of today, the reality of the
countries and awaken and hold back the hand of those who at will formed
their policy, their systems, and the lives of the people. This is a result
of the change in the world. We are no longer in the year 1898. We are no
longer in those years when Calixto Garcia was prevented from entering
Santiago, Cuba. We are not in the years in which they could shatter the
aspirations of our people, rule our country as invaders for two years, and
leaving, leave behind them a Platt Amendment. We are not in those times. We
live in very different times. We live in more promising time for the
people. Fortunately for humanity we do not live in those times in which the
imperial armies landed on any shore of America or in the continents of Asia
or Africa to massacre natives and impose their law.

No matter how much it worries the reactionaries and exploiters, and how
much it hurts them and robs them of sleep, we do not live in those times.

History has followed its inexorable course and has marked the end of that
ignominious phase for humanity--a phase which had no guarantees for the
people, for the small countries, for militarily weak nations who were at
the mercy of force, and whose rights, independence, and destinies were at
the mercy of the strength of the powerful empires. Fortunately for humanity
those times are past and here (applause) in our own country we have the
best proof that those times have passed.

In those times they could have attempted to invade, in those times they
could have tried to land their marines, and they would have forced us, not
to surrender, but rather into an immense conflagration. But those times
have passed. Today, they will not be able to do that with impunity.

They could try it! They could try it, but they could not try it with
impunity. (Applause) They could begin it, but they would not be able to end
it. (Applause) They could begin, but their beginning would be their own
finish. (Applause) A bitter end, naturally, for imperialism, which nobody
wants because nobody--no sensible person, no responsible person--wants that
suicide by imperialism, that holocaust of humanity, at the immense price,
the immense sacrifices that it would mean for the world.

But it is not the same as when the imperialists could do these things with
impunity, and now, when they risk being destroyed--a destruction that
nobody wants, a solution that nobody wants. But the peoples, all the free
peoples--those truly free--all the peoples anxious to live in a peaceful
world, in a world of justice, in a world of respect for the sovereign
rights of nations and states, have the need of always being prepared to
defend those rights and to defend them at any price.

They have to defend peace because peace is an interest of all humanity. The
right to live in peace, the desire to live in peace, is the wish of all
humanity. Humanity knows that it would be affected without exception by the
consequences of a war. All humanity knows it. All humanity would be
affected, and that is why peace is the great desire of humanity.

However, to defend it, to curb the warmongers, the blackmailers, the
traffickers in war, the exploiters, the pirates, those who wish to maintain
the peoples subjected and exploited, those who do not care if they unleash
wars, like the war of Korea, those who do not care about the millions of
victims, those who did not care how many scores of hundreds of thousands of
lives would have been lost in Cuba if the imperialists had been able to
establish a beachhead when they invaded us--because that strategy as you
recall was the strategy of a war of attrition to bomb us from there
everyday and every night and this would have meant immense losses in wealth
and life for our nation--those who do not hold back under these
considerations, those who want to destroy peoples must be cured with an
attitude which is that attitude of the people firmly determined to defend
peace, to defend the sovereignty of the people, to defend the rights of the

In the world in which we live, in this hour which we live, we are defenders
of the peace. We are at the side of those who defend peace. (Applause) We
are defenders of the sovereignty of peoples. We are defenders of the rights
of humanity, and those who defend those rights are our brothers. Those who
defend those rights are our comrades. (Applause) Those who defend those
rights are like us, and all of us are running the same risks, the same
dangers from the warmongers, from the enemies of peace.

Our revolution, in development, has won that right for itself. It won for
itself that solidarity. Our people with their determination, our people
with their heroism won for themselves that support of the forces which
defend peace (applause); that support we receive from the socialist camp;
that special support which we receive from the Soviet Union (applause);
that support we will not renounce, because that firm support is today a
curb on the imperialists. That firm support is a barrier against the
criminals. It is the preservation of peace, the saving of human lives
(applause) because we know that a Yankee invasion would force our people to
immense sacrifices. Rivers of blood would be spilled, and although we are
prepared for the necessary sacrifices, although we are prepared to pay the
price which it may be necessary to pay for our freedom, our sovereignty,
and our rights (applause) we will not renounce the support which could mean
the prevention of those rivers of blood (applause) and would prevent the
imperialists from launching themselves into this venture.

And what did Stevenson say? What was his reply to the proposals by our
President? That if we wanted negotiations, we should begin by breaking the
ties with the Soviet Union. (Commotion) What do you think of that?
(Applause, yells) Never! How can be break our ties with our friends? (About
10 minutes of prolonged applause--Ed.) To break with our friends to remain
at the mercy of our enemies?

There you see what kind of friendship is possible with the imperialists,
who propose that to be their friends we cannot be friends with anybody
else. How vain! How presumptuous! How conceited! To break no less with
those who have so loyally helped us (applause) with those who in each case
of Yankee aggression responded with an act of friendship towards us
(applause); with the country which from thousands of miles away has been
sending us oil for factories to operate and for our transportation, whose
ships cross the oceans bringing us products; with the country which has
given us such warm and generous help in these difficult years (applause) in
spite of the distance involved; with the country which together with the
other countries of the socialist camp sent us the arms with which we
defeated the criminal invaders; with the country which in a more than clear
manner has warned the imperialists that an aggression against our country
would mean the beginning of a world war. (Applause)

To break with the Soviet people, those generous people, those sane people,
those people full of affection for our fatherland and our people, who in
defense of our revolution run the risks which their warnings implies, which
their position implies; that generous country which has helped us in such a
manner, has helped us with such extraordinary generosity and solidarity.
Are we going to break with those people (applause) to become friends of
those who have attacked us, who suppressed our markets, who have
incessantly threatened us, who blew up the ship La Coubre murdering scores
of workers and soldiers, who burned our canefields, who have tried to
subdue us through hunger, who after imposing a blockage on us today are
pressuring many countries to prevent their ships from transporting
merchandise to Cuba?

How conceited they are, how foolish, how vain. We have a very high and
profound feeling of gratitude, of human solidarity, of brotherhood. And the
Soviet people are and always will be a friend and a brother of our people
because the workers and peasants of that country who rule the Soviet state
threw out as we did one day, princes, counts, marquis, and all types of
privileged characters, imperialists and exploiters; like us they suffered
imperialist aggression; like us they suffered a blockade because the
imperialists tried to make the Soviet people surrender. (Applause)

The imperialists tried to destroy the Soviet revolution through hunger. The
imperialists tried to destroy the Soviet revolution with hunger and by
force of arms. They failed. Who can better understand than those great
people what the claws of imperialism are? What the assassin's dagger is? It
was the same imperialism which in its fascist form murdered more than 10
million Soviet citizens.

Who can better understand than those great people what our revolution is?
Those people also remember their days of struggle, their difficult days
when the imperialists endeavored to crush them as today the Yankee
imperialists endeavors to crush us. Who can better understand us and help
us than that state of workers and peasants without bourgeois, without
exploiters. (Applause) The imperialists will renounce their empires and the
exploiters their exploitation before we will renounce the friendship and
brotherhood of the Soviet people! (Applause)

That conceited and haughty language was the reply to the honorable and
eloquent words of our President. (Applause) The madness of the imperialists
reaches such a degree that they see phantoms everywhere. There are things
of course which are not phantoms. That we all know. If they become
frightened, they have reason to be, but to be frightened by a fishing port
is laughable; what that woman is saying--(A women is heard shouting--Ed.)
is that they are "allergic to herring and cod." (laughter)

Among the arguments of the imperialists they state that they are far from
the coasts of Cuba. Well that is why we want big boats, to be able to go
where they are. This type of agreement causes rage in the imperialists.
Why? Because the capitalist world never knew an agreement of that type.
Here, for example, came the Government of the United States and established
a nickel industry. That industry was the property of the Government of the
United States and they exploited it until the coming of the revolution,
which nationalized this industry. The imperialist companies came here, they
built factories, and they began to exploit our workers. Some of them, like
the electricity and telephone, stayed here more than 40 years. They got
back their investment and several times the amount of their investment.

That is what is offered by the imperialists to follow the example of that
type of an agreement. What are the facts in this case? We are going to have
many factories, including a great steel industry. How are we going to get
them? With credits given us by the Soviet Union (applause), with
technicians, with plans and techniques made available to us by the Soviet
Union. Industry is ours. The product of our labor is ours. Will we be able
to pay for it? Yes, with part of the profits which this industry means for
the people of Cuba.

How different! In this case a fishing port is going to be built. The
project is furnished by the Russians. The machinery is furnished by the
Russians, and the cost of the cement and lumber with which to build it will
be given us in the form of an equivalent credit by the Russians. (Applause)

Those who are going to work in this port on its refrigeration and
processing equipment and in its repair shops are Cubans who will be trained
in the Soviet Union by the Russians. (Applause) The port is ours. It
belongs to Cuba. It will be administered by Cuba. (Applause) And if this is
not enough, the Soviet ships which will receive the services of that port
to transfer fish to the mother ships, or repair their ships, or refuel,
will bring us 2,000 tons of fish this year and 15,000 tons of fish in 1963.

There is something more. The Soviet Union has developed a fishing industry
which has far surpassed the Yankee fishing industry. The Soviet Union is
already producing almost 5 million tons of fish (applause), and it
continues to develop its industry, its fishing industry, and it gives us
the opportunity to train the future sailors of our merchant fleet in the
Soviet merchant fishing fleet. They made available to us the techniques of
manufacturing products. It is clear that this type of agreement must cause
the imperialists to rage.

In addition, the imperialists pressure everybody to keep them from bringing
us merchandise. The Russians deliver to us part of the catch of their
fishing fleet to help feed our people. (Applause) It is logical that these
things make the imperialists rage. The fishing port has been converted into
another argument for warlike agitation against us.

Now we are no longer living in the era of the shark and the sardines.
Before, they used to say that the shark devoured the sardines. Now it is
the shark who is afraid of herrings! (Applause) It is a scared shark! In
addition, it is a shark which fears being caught itself. (Applause) How
different. Right? Now the shark says that the sardines want to devour him.
That is the story. It is clear that we are not a shark but neither are we
little sardines. (Applause) To such a degree of absurdity has imperialism
fallen with these things, and such discredit, discredit. The little credit
they had left.

Yesterday, that is what happened there in the United Nations. The Voice of
Cuba, the truth of Cuba was made felt and made felt deeply. (Applause) And
all the Cubans, all of us Cubans fell proud of that truth. (Applause) Ah!
Ah! The imperialists had never head a free government of Latin America say
those things to them. Never before had the representatives of more than 100
countries told them the truth in that fashion. That is why they rage and
that is why they are fit to bite, or at least they bark. And how are the
people here? Firm, working. Working seriously to produce and to win their
battle for happiness. How are the people? More determined than ever.
Stronger than ever. More certain than ever.

Why are the people here today--this huge crowd which does not fit into this
avenue? Why did they come? To support that truth; to give testimony of
their warmth toward the spokesman of that truth. (Applause) To support the
revolution; to support the pronouncements of the revolutionary government;
(applause) to support the pronouncements of the revolutionary government
has taken to strengthen the revolution; to strengthen the defense of the
fatherland. (Applause) They came to support the measures taken by the
revolutionary government. They came to hail the support of the Soviet
Union. (Applause) They came to say "yes"--that they accept the weapons sent
us by the Soviet Union. (Applause)

That is what the people have come to say here; to express their
satisfaction because the security of the fatherland has been increased; for
the fact that the fatherland will not be helpless; (applause) for the fact
that the fatherland will be strong; for the fact that the fatherland with
the help and the support of its socialist brothers can reply to the
imperialist attack! (Applause)

(They have come here--Ed.) to say to the counterrevolutionary: "Goodby to
the hopes for a Yankee invasion"--because the counterrevolutionaries know
that they cannot even show their noses here. The counterrevolutionaries
would not last as long as a sugar plum at the school house door.
Nevertheless what did the counterrevolutionaries wait for--the misguided
ones, the plantation owners, the monopolistic companies? They waited for
the Yankees to come (whistling, yelling), for the marines to come. They
wanted to recover their plantations, their palaces, their bank accounts,
their factories, their servants, their brothers, their gambling dens, even
if it meant recovering them over a pool of blood. (Applause) What did these
thugs wait for? To see themselves here again in a patrol car with a
machinegun in hand looking at the few left here with evil visage, abusing
everybody, taking graft from everybody, doing business with all the
gambling devices that existed here, exploiting gambling.

The politicians with their hats, their big cigars, their cashmeres, and
their (word indistinct) riding in Cadillacs, and the people humiliated,
discriminated against, without work, without culture. The people were
miserably exploited; the human being was reduced to a cipher compared to
the privileged and the powerful.

What right could they have? What right could they have against the work of
the revolution? What right against a revolution which has brought about so
much justice; against a revolution which has worked and fought so much for
its people? What right could they have against our 1 million illiterate
Cubans, against the hundreds of thousands of children who today have
schools? What right could they have against every man or woman who today
has a job, who today has a post of honor in the heart of the fatherland?
What right can they argue? What right can the criminals have--the
exploiters, the discriminators, the privileged? What right can they have to
prevent these people from working for their happiness, to prevent these
people from working for a better future, to prevent these people from
working for tomorrow, for the future, for the future of their children.

Yesterday we were touring the interior of the island and we saw an
impressive sight--the people dedicated to work. Men and women equally
developing the wealth of our fields, enormous plantings of fruit trees, a
million pines planted by the revolution which invaded wilds which were
sterile in past years. And in areas where before not even palmettos grew,
the fruit trees grew large--an eloquent lesson in what human labor can do.
We contemplated those places where only three years ago the most frightful
poverty reigned. Sterile fields are today converted into sources of wealth.
A promise of tomorrow are these millions and millions, hundreds of millions
of lumber trees which we have planted; the millions of fruit trees we have
planted--trees which we can see grow everywhere.

We thought of how much wealth, what gigantic wealth the people are
creating? How extraordinary the future of our people will be! How many
resources the coming generations will have because of this work, this
effort--wealth which one can see grow, a promise which is beginning to be a
reality. Seeing these people work, people who yesterday did not work, we
thought: "How much more our production will increase when entire masses are
incorporated into production." Hundreds more people wrest wealth from
nature. What right has anybody to try to prevent that?

What right can those who for 50 years destroyed the wealth of our country
have? They razed our forests and converted large regions of the country
into sterile areas. What right can they have to prevent us from rebuilding
in a few years what they destroyed? We will once more have what they caused
to disappear. They did not even leave us enough citrus trees to give
oranges to the sick. What will our people have tomorrow? Millions and
millions of those trees and millions of many other types of trees. Thus in
all areas, what did they leave use? In industry nothing. We imported raw
materials. Practically nothing was produced here.

Certainly! That is why they attached so much importance to the blockade.
How much attention did they pay to the conservation of our hydraulic
resources? They paid no attention at all to that. Our hydraulic resources
diminished. (phrase indistinct) Not one single hydraulic system was
created. What did we possess to export our products? We did not have a
merchant fleet. We had nothing but barges for our fishing fleet--barges
which could scarcely sail away from shore.

What did they leave behind in the field of education? They left nothing but
illiterates. What did they leave us in the field of morality? They left
nothing but rampant vice and gambling, crime, disrespect for the law,
abuse, inequality, discrimination. They left behind nothing but material
and moral poverty.

We have liberated ourselves from these chains with which we were bound.
(Applause) And we have been sweeping away the evil which they left us with
sacrifice. We know this. However, no historic work is done without
sacrifice. Freedom and happiness are not attained without sacrifice. Those
who have no character or spirit of sacrifice will not have a right to
happiness. They will have no right to freedom. These are the things that
move us and these are the truths that impel us, that have enabled us to
conquer, that have united us, that have made us strong and filled us with
hope for tomorrow. These are the things that give us the assurance of a
brilliant future for which we have chosen the motto: "Fatherland or Death,
We Will Win!"