Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Radio and Television Network in Spanish 0308 GMT 20, April 1963--F/E

(Broadcast by Premier Fidel Castro on the occasion of the second
anniversary of the Playa Giron invasion from Havana's Chaplin Theater)

(Text) Relatives of the heroic dead of Giron, (applause) comrades of the
party and of the revolutionary armed forces: Today we commemorate the
second anniversary of the victory of Playa Giron. (Applause) This date will
always be of great importance in the history of our revolution. It was for
our fatherland and our revolution a decisive battle. It has not been the
only decisive battle of the revolution, perhaps it may not be the the last
although I hope it will be the last one. This was the last of a series of
battles for our country which were waged in the struggle of this
revolutionary process. If the battles in the struggle against tyranny made
the conquest of revolutionary power possible and changed the course of our
country's history, the battle of Playa Giron prevented the history of our
country form turning backward and it saved the revolution.

Nonetheless, that victory was not a casual event. It was not a matter of
luck being with us. It was not a question of luck. The victory was forged
before the battle and for all of us, above all the comrades of the
revolutionary armed forces, (applause) it is an important lesson, The fast
that the battle was liquidated in 72 hours could perhaps lead one to the
mistake of thinking that the danger was not great. The victory was sudden
but the danger to our country was great. Those who organized that
enterprise are not a foolish. Those who organized that enterprise are not
stupid when it comes to military affairs. On political affairs, yes, social
matters, yes. But on military questions, they are not untutored.

It is just that the fortune of nations and the destiny of the peoples are
not simply a matter of military technique. It is of course clear that the
policy of the attackers was first to destroy the revolution. The plans for
the destruction of the revolution were not begun to be carried out from
that day by them, but much earlier. The effort to create the conditions
between scarcely after the triumph of the revolution over the Batista
tyranny. We know that it was exactly after the proclamation of the agrarian
reform law. From that moment they began to prepare their forces, their
military force.

From the beginning they tried to created the political conditions and
naturally that military attack was preceded by a number of economic
aggressions, an enormous propaganda campaign against the revolution
throughout the whole world, and a policy which tended to divide and weaken
the forces of the revolution. They also tried to do everything possible so
that our revolution could not arm itself, Most of you recall that after the
victory of the revolution we found ourselves with a few tanks--some of them
were Shermans, antiquated, others were English Comets; and we have not yet
found out why Sr. Batista did not even bring them out to fight, since those
tanks were found in the old Columbia, camp, today Ciudad
Libertud--(applause) and I recall there were also some tankettes and some
very light tanks, which today appear to be toys, called General Stuarts.
All enormous variety of weapons of various types, and also some airplanes
of various types, but as you know all that equipment needs constant
repairs. It needs repair parts, especially when completely new personnel
must be trained, because when the revolution triumphed we did not have one
single tanker, we did not have a single artilleryman, and as for military
pilots we had only some comrades who because they joined the revolutionary
struggle found themselves prisoners on the Isle of Pines. Of course we had
no technicians, and since we had to teach our personnel, personnel which in
many cases had never even seen a tank, those tanks were rapidly wearing
out, that equipment after a few months passed was practically--or would
have been practically--unserviceable.

Our enemies were already beginning to prepare that expedition and we
decided to begin to acquire some weapons which were the first weapons
acquired in Europe, bought from a Belgian factory,. Our enemies began to
exert pressure to present our arming. On the one hand they prepared their
expedition and on the other hand they tried to prevent us from acquiring
arms. Because the arms factory at the beginning resisted their pressure
they resorted to sabotage. That was the way a ship exploded at our docks at
the moment when unloading operations were beginning.

After that we have unloaded no one knows how many hundreds of ships in our
country and what a coincidence (applause)--what a coincidence--that not one
of those ships has exploded. That one ship exploded. It was a ship that
came from a Western European country where the CIA agents work freely. When
all investigations and deductions indicated that there had been a criminal
act of sabotage, the imperialist denied it because--as you will recall--to
see if there existed the possibility of accidental explosion, several of
those crates were even dropped from an airplane. It was impossible for them
to explode, but it was nothing unusual that they denied it.

Afterward we all have had the opportunity to know how cynical our enemies
are, and there are things that teach, and deeds teach more than words and
more than speeches.

Thus it was when our people awoke one dawn under attack at various points
by planes that bore Cuban markings, an unusual, piratical, and contemptible
act, as well as being cowardly and treacherous (applause), and we have seen
what our enemies did, what they made public, what came out in the
newspapers of the world. What did they publish? Perchance the Yankee planes
equipped by them and organized by them, from Central American bases, had
attacked Cuba? No! When we charged that Yankee planes attacked Cuba they
said it was untrue and that the planes were Cuban planes that had rebelled.

When during those same days we said that a North American flier had been
identified in one of the downed planes, they said it was untrue. The denied
it to his own family, and the body remained for a long time, embalmed,
waiting to be claimed. Now, after almost two years, it is known that nearly
20 North American fliers took part in those attacks. At that time they
denied it.

Anybody who wants to get a true idea of how far the lack of scruples and
the lack of the morality and truth of our enemies goes need only read the
international dispatches concerning the first day of the invasion, what
they published throughout the world--that Santiago de Cuba was already in
the hands of the invaders, that they had reached Matanzas, that the Isle of
Pines had been liberated and all the prisoners along with it, that the
"port" of Bayamo had been taken, that all of us were of course in
embassies. These things are illustrative and informative. Therefore, it
would not be at all strange if some day it is learned how they carried out
the sabotage of the Coubre. (Applause) That cowardly criminal act took the
lives of countless comrades of the army and an equal number of workers, a
holocaust of lives that in no way makes the hand of the criminals quiver.
They did not even care about the nationality of the ship, which was French;
must less did they mind murdering a few French workers.

The imperialists have never been morally bothered by murdering workers. But
their policy was to keep us from arming! While there were preparing their
expedition, we had to arm, because one thing that characterizes the
revolution is that the revolution has never failed to do what is necessary,
it has never failed to adopt whatever measures are necessary to preserve
the country and the interests of our people. And so, the socialist
countries alone (applause) displayed friendly conduct when all the
capitalist countries, pressured by the United States, refused to sell us
arms, the socialist countries were willing to sell us arms (applause)
something more than sell to us, to let us have arms on credit (applause).
In this way we obtained the first procurements of arms from the socialist

It is clear of course that it would have been easy for the
imperialists--and I say easy, from a certain viewpoint--it would have been
easy for the imperialists to establish a beachhead in our country if we had
not any artillery or tanks; not to dominate this country, which is not the
same thing. To present this, we do not need either tanks or artillery.
(Applause) It was one thing to establish a beachhead and another thing to
dominate the nation, even though we only had rifles. We know that can be
done with rifles. (Applause) Even the rifles the former army had would have
been more than enough to have kept up the fight against the invaders of 50
years. (Applause)

Of course, they had their calculations, their plans; to establish a
beachhead and wage a ware of attrition against the nation. If we have not
had any artillery or tanks, they, by taking a sector to which one could
only go by three roads, separated from the rest of the territory by a wide
swamp, a wide and virtually impassable swamp, this attack, supported by a
score of aircraft, half a dozen tanks, 1,500 men with the most modern
equipment could have been able to establish a beachhead, and after the
beachhead the rest was still to come--a government would go in--they
already had it in a plane, all wrapped up and all because those gentlemen
traveled well-wrapped-up like parcel post, with an invoice and everything
attached, reading "Made in the USA."

Behind the government established in that beachhead was the support of
other reactionary governments, and above all the support of
imperialism--the recognition of the support. Its plan was based on the
assumption that we were not going to have the equipment to repel that type
of operation. But the equipment began to arrive some months before the
invasion. Nonetheless, another problem had to be resolved. We did not have
any tank troops. We did not have any artillerymen., What were we to do?

The first technicians who arrived, a very small group, began to train a
batter of each weapon. A battery of 55 (millimeter?) antitank cannon,
another of 76, another of 85, another of 120 mortars, and another battery
of 122 howitzers. Total: five batteries

It was assumed that the first batteries would require months. We were able
to see the progressive preparations by the enemy. if we have waited months,
we would have had five batteries by that date. We had very few technicians.
They could not train more artillerymen. What were we to do? We mobilized
the militiamen. We asked them who wanted to be artillerymen, within certain
age requirements. We also had a large group of antiaircraft weapons, but we
did not have personnel.

The youngest were assigned to antiaircraft weapons, the rest assigned to
howitzers, mortars, and antitank cannon. Thousands and thousands of youths
responded to the call. How were we to train them? We assembled them in
Ciudad Libertad, in Granma, in La Cabana, in Baracoa. Then we assigned to
each group one of the batteries being trained by the Czechoslovak
technicians. We asked the comrades: What you learn in the morning, teach to
the rest in the afternoon. (Applause)

And that is how massive instruction began. The technicians cooperated
extraordinarily and in a few days everything was organized, because it was
the end of 1960, only three months before the invasion. We already had may
pieces, but we had no artillerymen, and in that way artillerymen were
trained. The tankers were also trained that way, with those methods with
all urgency, and I recall perfectly that the battery of 122 howitzers and
of cannon of that caliber, was organized two weeks before the invasion. It
was ready. (Applause)

The enemy made plans to attach us--unarmed--but we overcame that obstacle
and obtained weapons. When the army8 found out we had weapons, the
calculated that we would not have the time to train the personnel but
nevertheless the personnel were trained in a few weeks and when the
invaders arrived they found more than 100 batteries of cannon (applause)
with trained personnel.

Something similar happened with the air force. It was evident to us that
even while they thought we had very few airplanes and fewer pilots than
planes, because at that time, comrades, we did not have pilots, only seven
pilots on th 17th, the day of the invasion, because one had been killed on
the 15th. Although they knew of those disadvantages they tried to destroy
those airplanes. Why? In order to have complete domination of the air, and
under those consideration, with complete domination of the air, with a
force of one brigade and the weapons they had, against an enemy which
supposedly had not been able to mobilize tanks or artillery, they planned
to occupy a portion of national territory as a beachhead to launch all the
resources of imperialism afterward together with those of their accomplices
on the continent. That plan would have been possible.

But what happened with the air force? Our military command guessed the
intentions of the enemy. It scattered the airplanes. It gave them
antiaircraft protection and when the attack came, they barely destroyed two
or three machines.

And those machines remaining were used to maximum advantage, because take
into account that half the enemy fleet was sunk--its simply of fuel for the
airfield--and one of the battalions was put out of action when the Houton
was attacked by one of our combat airplanes. (applause)

Of course the efforts and energy of our men was increased and the effort
made by the small number of pilots, which was later reduced even more--to
five--was in reality extraordinary. (Applause) That is why I said to you
that coincidence had nothing to do with it, but that it was the will and
the spirit of our people and our revolution which made the victory
possible. They are still debating what happened. There still appear in the
Yankee newspapers and magazines articles asking what happened. How could it
have been possible? How could their best generals, their best politicians,
their best strategists, their best intelligence services, been mistaken?
Because in addition to believing themselves infallible and invincible, they
fond it hard to believe that they had made a mistake.

And the "what happened?" for us is very clear. They are still saying that
it was because they did not attack on the 17th at dawn. Good, but if they
had made it on the 17th at dawn all our airplanes were in the air and
loaded with bombs. (Applause) Thus is they had launched that attack, which
they said they suspended, they would not have done anything. And then they
say that it the American air force that was on a nearby aircraft carrier
had supported the attack, they would have attained a victory. It was lucky
for the pilots of the airplanes of that aircraft carrier that they were not
sent to fight because we could have mobilized hundreds and hundreds of
antiaircraft pieces. (Applause)

And even though not all were mobilized, but only a part of them, they would
have been more than enough to support our infantry, our tanks, and our
artillery. The Yankee planes were flying very high there; if they had
dropped down to attack many of those planes would have been shot down, and
they would not have decided the outcome of the battle, because as early as
the 17th, long before they knew they had failed, we already had a beachhead
beyond, and we already had several battalions advancing along every trail
to cut off all communication routes between them; and in that way, the
would have been unable to maintain the beachhead with 100 or 1,000 planes.
(Applause) That is to say, the matter was already beyond remedy for them.

Whole companies of bazookas were already placed in position to lay ambush
along the roads between Playa Giron and Playa Larga, between Playa Giron
and Cayo Ramona, so that by day or night, any time they might have tried to
carry our a movement they would have fallen into deadly ambushes. And they
could in no wise have prevented that with support from the carrier planes.

It may be they would have lasted a little longer because they did not hold
out 72 hours. They were out of action after 60-odd hours. And I would say
they had a little luck--they were on the point of being liquidated earlier.
But they could not have won by any manner of means.

And so, they can very well entertain themselves 10 years more inquiring
into what happened, for in reality our enemies will have to spend their
whole lives asking themselves: "What happened?" about everything,
(applause) for it is possible that Sr. Batista, one of the various
governing figures that the imperialists had to defend their interest, may
still be in Funchal wondering: "What happened?" and the imperialists are
going to spend their whole life wondering, "What happened?"

And the more they try to keep our country from its just destiny, the will
have to repeat to themselves ceaselessly: "What happened?" because all
plans, every one, have been turning out badly for them, badly, badly. Thus
they could ask themselves what happened to the counterrevolution, and what
happened to all their plans? And it is so true that they are asking
themselves these questions, and that second anniversary has coincided with
the crisis and general chaos of the counterrevolution, (applause) and a
regular dogfight among them. And in a few days they will be asking
themselves: "What happened?"

The true historic fact is that our country, our people, our revolution have
been winning, and the imperialists have been getting defeated (applause) on
each and every front where they have attacked us, because they thought that
when they took away our oil and our sugar quota, when they established an
embargo, they would ruin us and bring us to terms by hunger.

They thought that when they established a series of restrictive measures to
keep ships from coming to Cuba they would ruin us by hunger. And what
happened? Now we read the dispatches, and they say they are very much
worried because more and more ships are coming. What happened? (Applause)

That is why I told you that the victory that we commemorate today was
forged before the victory, much before. And that is something that should
teach us, because victories are not forges at the moment of battle, but
much before the battle and on that occasion our country saved itself from
difficult hours because if the enemy had established a beachhead there with
a provisional government, how many scored of thousands or hundred of
thousands of lives would that have cost? The casualties cannot be
calculated because they would have had incessant support and unceasing
supply of weapons and in the same way they used Yankee pilots even though
they have been denying it for almost two years and finally acknowledge it
today, they would have used Yankee fliers too. They would have been
attacking our highways, our communications lines, they would have paralyzed
the economic life of our country.

All the plans of the revolution would have suffered in an extraordinary
manner and the number of victims of that type of criminal and shameless war
which they tried to implant here would have been incalculable. That is why
we must never forget their intentions. It is clear that they told the
mercenaries that the militia, the army, and everybody would join them, that
they were the liberators. They told then that, but the chiefs did not
believe it because in a swamp where it was very difficult to reach them,
they would have landed on firm ground if everybody was going to join them.
They landed at a place where it was very difficult to reach them because
they knew that the people that would come there were not exactly coming
there to join them, but people who were coming to destroy them.

One thing was that they told the mercenaries, who they certainly made
believe were coming on a military recreation trip--and those characters
could already see themselves parading through the streets of Havana. It is
possible that they could even have imagined themselves in a parade through
the Civic Plaza, all those worms with their camouflage or worm uniforms.
They imagined that, but those who prepared the plan did not believe that
because they had the plan of a war of attrition against the revolution, to
prevent the people from progressing and prevent the people from progressing
and prevent them from advancing, to make rivers of blood flow, those were
the intentions of our enemies.

With respect to what they told the worms--some day even comedies may be
written about it--not yet, because these incidents are too recent, but some
day even comedies--but they even made those characters, those ridiculous
fellows believe that they would find the militia and the soldiers awaiting
them as liberators.

Of course a worm can be told a story like that because a worm is a
subjectivistic character, ignorant, without any idea of the laws of history
and social realities. He can as easily be made to believe in Satan as in
the fact that he is a liberator, but one has to come out of a showoff club
such as those that the revolution nationalized to even believe such

One must be ignorant and not note the position one occupies within a
society where one was superprivileged against the superexploited. One has
only to read the papers, the names, the lists (shouting--applause) here
because the revolution speaks with the truth in hand, and we can speak with
truth at hand because we know what the great truth of capitalist society
was, divided into the exploiters and the exploited, parasites who did not
work and the great mass sacrificed to those privileges, because we know the
great truth that capitalist society is a society divided into classes, the
exploiters and the exploited.

The worms do not know this because they think that a society is something
divided into unhappy people destined always to be unhappy, and privileged
people, intelligent people, fortunate people, destined to live well without
caring a whit how many to to bed hungry, how many are illiterate, how many
are dying without a doctor (applause). And those gentlemen or aristocratic
clubs, where only they--and not only the rich, because they not only
discriminated against men because of their wealth but also because of the
color of their skin, and that is why they thought it was intolerable that a
black child bathed at one of their beached--only people from that world of
ignorance, but naturally from a selfish ignorance of those who ignore that
which is not pleasing--could believe such nonsense.

These days we many times have had the opportunity to see the beloved faces
of many comrades who fell then. The newspapers have published them and the
committee of revolutionary orientation has published a pamphlet with their
photographs and their names, their age, place of work, birthplace, and thus
we see, and I am going to mention only some of the cases . . . .

(Editor's Note: Castro devoted about 12 minutes to reading the names of
persons who feel at Playa Giron and their military organizations.

And here according to data give us by the information section of the army,
although not complete, was the enemy: Latifundists, 100 of them with 16,322
caballerias of land; owners of medium-sized properties, 24; landlords with
thousands of houses, 67; businessmen, 112; industrialists, 35; former
military personnel of the tyranny, 194; wealthy persons, 179; highly paid
employees, 89; employees, 236; trash, 112.

(Editor's Note: Castro devotes about 5 minutes to enumerating the many
businesses owned by members of the invading forces.)

These are the ones who came representing the others who were the owners of
all the other things, because these invading mercenaries really represented
their class. Why did we not see any of those characters in the Sierra
Maestra fighting against the bloody tyranny?

How is it that none of them was moved by barbaric murders like those of
"Bloody Christmas": or Oro Belliza, where in a single day more than 40
peasants were murdered? Why were none of them moved when the streets and
the highways of our country were covered every morning with the bodies of
young men riddled with bullets? At times of terror, torture, and crime they
were not around. It was then that these rebel soldiers, farmers, and the
most humble people of the country, rose up in arms and fought the
murderers. But they joined the assassins. It was not in vain that nearly
200 former military men, and among them characters like Caldino, gathered
to wage war on humble men of the country.

What more proof is needed, what better history lesson, what better
verification of the Marxist theory, of the class struggle (applause). Maybe
they believed that the soldiers of innumerable battles, the agricultural
workers, the workers and the proletarians, were going to receive these
enslavers, these discriminators, these exploiters, and these miserable
parasites as liberators. The belief had been wrong for years. (Applause) IN
the true life one can see what each defends, why they died, why them same
to fight, and what our people defended, and why our men died. Because on
the other side all the thieves, the myrmidons, the corrupt people, those
given to vice, and the exploiters gathered and came here to murder humble
men, women, and children.

What would have happened to this country had it fallen in those people's
hand. With what acts and hatred would they have taken revenge, because we
know them well. How different are they from the revolutionaries. We know
what fate awaited our wounded men and prisoners who fell into their hands.
What a difference between them and the revolution which crushes them like
cockroaches and which, after they surrendered, did not murder them and took
care of their wounded (applause). What a difference! And this is logical
because the sad missions of murdering we leave to them. Because we
revolutionaries know how to keep our heads, be courageous, and do what we
did--force the imperialists to pay an indemnity for damages they caused and
see them humbled--as shown in that documentary film today--and see planes
loaded with medicine and baby food coming from the country where they began
their criminal assault. (Applause) This culminates the victory of the

What is our enemies' situation now? What are they thinking? What are they
doing? What is happening two years after the Playa Giron battle? They are
practically liquidated. Today we have the very important and useful
testimony of our enemies.

As they have ended up in a dogfight we have been able to have the testimony
of the principal instrument of the imperialists, the man who headed the
counterrevolutionary organizations and who is the last few days resigned,
releasing certain details which are very interesting because today once
more, before the whole world, it has been shown that we were right. The
whole world can see that we were doing the right thing when we prepared
ourselves to resist new aggressions from imperialism.

The letter of resignation of the counterrevolutionary leader, Miro Cardona,
contains certain details like these, in which the plans of our country's
enemies are revealed. He mentions two important dates--20 April and 4 May
1961. This many says in the letter--we do not say it because they always
end up by saying that what we had already said, what we had denounced--he
says "on 20 April 1961, the honorable President Kennedy, who as the
exemplary executive had assumed all the responsibility for the disastrous
experiment"--he is referring to this experiment--"also announced his
decision not to abandon Cuba and announced to the hemisphere that if the
other Latin American nations did not do their duty, the United States would
act in accordance with its obligations under the inter-American agreements
and treaties. Fourteen days later, on 4 May, after my return from a trip to
Nicaragua, Gautemala, and Vieques Island at his suggestion, accompanied by
(Museo?) and Varona, in a search of survivors, President Kennedy, in an
interview, planned with me the immediate future of Cuba."

See what a treacherous thing--this man planning with the president of an
enemy power the future of Cuba. "He offered his cooperation and absolute
support. We also requested support for the clandestine forces in Cuba."
That is an admission on their part of U.S. interference in the internal
affairs of Cuba and of the subversion--as if further proof were needed.

"The first recruiting program for Cuban volunteers in several U.S. military
units was planned as a training program of short duration. Later on these
volunteers would be grouped with their own officers in a military corps
whenever we though opportune." Another denunciation! This revealed that
they were again training mercenary forced for an attack. "In his name I
invited the officials of Cuba's armed forces"-- former military officers
who formed Batista's army--"to take special courses in several schools in
the United States. They were assigned to develop a battle in (name
indistinct) island." Other things were decided that it is not necessary to
mention at this time.

And Mr. Miro Cardona continues by saying: "The period from May to October
1961 had its difficult moments. By 31 October of that year all our
differences had been overcome and the agreements were grouped in a treaty
which history will record at the proper time." It will record it (as
infamous?). So they talk of having signed an agreement with them on 31
October for the invasion of Cuba.

Later on this man says: "Interview of 10 April 1963"--remember the date,
because it is very important--"after meeting briefly with Attorney General
Robert Kennedy, he invited me to go with him to the President's house. I
went as I had done before with Dr. Ernesto de Aragon and Richard N. Goodwin
(several words indistinct). The interview with the President lasted an
hour. It was a satisfactory meeting. At the meeting I analyzed the internal
crisis of Cuba, the crisis in the hemisphere, the crisis of discontent
among the exiles, and the council's (stormy") position. The meeting was not
impersonal. Conversation was lively, and Mr. Kennedy assured me that the
problem was essentially military and required six divisions"--and that was
sometime ago--"the council was supposed to contribute the greatest possible
number of soldiers, and it was agreed that the United States should not
adopt a unilateral position because this would provoke strong criticism in
the hemisphere."

He says: "The Honorable President right there issued orders that immediate
measures to taken for a mass recruiting drive, eliminating as many
requirements as possible. The meeting, as was natural, also covered other
aspects which I will not reveal." Later on he says: "General Lansdale came
to Miami to discuss with me certain aspects of the military problem which
were not easy to solve and involved inevitable delays." That is to say that
this man, the leader of the counterrevolutionaries publicly announced that
there was a pact between then and the U.S. Government to launch an invasion
of Cuba and that those Cubans undergoing training in the U.S. armed forces
would be grouped at a specific moment to become part of the attack force.
In addition, he says that the attack was to be launched by mercenary forces
and U.S. soldiers. On what month did the last interview take place, the one
during which the plans were approved? On 10 April 1962. But here again the
imperialists will have to ask themselves. What happened?

And what happened? The Government of Cuba and the Soviet Government
(applause) were aware of these aggressive plans against Cuba, and therefore
in June, that is two months after this last interview, talks were started
among the representatives of the Soviet Government and the Cuban Government
concerning this situation and the measures to be taken. The measures which
were taken, the steps that were taken, in the face of the certainty of
aggression against our country were steps related to the strengthening of
our armed forces and the sending of the strategic missiles to our country.
(Applause) Now the world will know who was responsible for the Caribbean
crisis. Now the world can know who was to blame, who the aggressors were,
what intentions and plans they had. The whole world will have to admit that
Cuba acted in lawful defense, that the measures taken by the Cuban
Government jointly with the Soviet Government were just and necessary to
apply to brake to warring and aggressive adventures.

When the missiles were installed here it was no longer a problem of 6 of 7
divisions; it was not a problem of divisions but a problem of having to
confront the risk of thermonuclear war. Not many months have passed--only
seven--since the crisis and here is the proof that Cuba was right. There is
the proof presented by none other than the leader of the counterrevolution,
who was responsible for the crisis and who is to blame for having brought
the world at the bring of war. Not must time has passed. And once again
reason prevails on our side.

Naturally they are trying now by all means to deny these statements. The
U.S. Government denies them and says that it is not true that a treaty was
made. Some counterrevolutionaries are denying these statements because they
unmask them before the world. But they were not written by a friend of the
Cuban revolution; they were written by an enemy. They were written by the
leader of our enemies. We have no reason to doubt them. Besides, the facts
he reveals are plain to see.

It is logical that this problem will now turn into a great muddle for the
U.S. Government. It is logical because those who practice a policy of
aggression and of violation of international laws, those who practice a
policy without morals and without principles, have necessarily fallen into
this abyss of discredit and into these difficulties which cannot be
overcome because this is the way Cuba has been showing in each case that it
is right, and Cuba has been winning. And they have been failing and their
policy has been unmasked more and more.

This Mr. Cardona, whom we know too well, apparently has taken the comedy
seriously--the parody staged by the imperialists. He has taken it so
seriously that now be becomes insolent with the imperialists. When did this
problem arise? When the Cuban problem was not longer one of so many
divisions but one in which an attack on Cuba would unleash a world war--and
that is something else. it is not the same for the imperialists to give
without receiving as it is for them to receive what they have coming to
them for trying to give.

The problems of Cuba are now very delicate and very complex and cannot be
managed from the standpoint of the imperialists in accordance with the
whims of these people. The Cuban problem is related with peace or way, and
the imperialists have understood that fact and the dangers posed by an
attack on Cuba. This situation, naturally, seems unbearable to the

It is with good reason that a U.S. Senator, who is the chairman of the
Foreign Relations Committee, apparently lost his patience and decided to
tell four true facts to this man and to the counterrevolutionaries. He said
one thing that is the truth--a surprisingly large number of these people
are oligarchs, Bastitianos, and fascists. At the same time he said that
this man, Miro Cardona, does not content himself with anything less than a
war in which the United States would be involved and not a local war but
world war.

In view of this new situation created--and it was created by the measures
adopted, by the measures adopted between Cuba and the Soviet Union--this
new situation forces the U.S. Government to put a stop to these
counterrevolutionaries, because it finds itself facing a new and more
difficult situation. Now the imperialists are getting what they had coming
to them. The difficulties in which Mr. Khrushchev--how could I confuse
them--I mean Mr. Kennedy. What beings with K? The difficulties--this
happens to me for reading so many UPI dispatches. I am always reading so
many dispatches with Khrushchev's name. Mr. Kennedy deserves the
difficulties in which he finds himself. He more than deserves them. Who get
him into these difficulties? A Miro Carona, because the policy of
aggression against Cuba had meant a policy of disaster for Kennedy. Who can
a Miro blackmail? A Kennedy? And why? Because he has created the

It is proverbial here among the comrades of the council of ministers that
Mr. Miro could not blackmail even Mr. Urrutia. Because of the first days of
the government, this Mr. Miro, who likes to be spectacular, presented his
resignation to Mr. Urrutia. Urrutia said: Sure, fine, give me the
resignation. We had just created this post for you, and now we will
eliminate it. The man left insulted saying: They have accepted the
resignation. He could not blackmail Urrutia. Now he tried to blackmail
Kennedy because Kennedy created the conditions and gave him the weapons.

We know this Mr. Miro Cardona rather well. He was the lawyer of Casillas,
who killed Jesus Menendez. He was Grau's lawyer in the case number 82--I
think it was 82; maybe someone remembers. But as he was a well-known
criminal lawyer and a university professor., he held certain posts in the
college of lawyers, and as he was an ambitious man, he was involved in some
rather lucrative activities. At the end of the revolution Mr. Urrutia
appointed him premier.

Later on he thought it would be convenient to resign. Later on--and here is
another interesting story--Mr. Urrutia took the path of reaction and
betrayal of the revolution, the path of divisionism, threatening to create
a problem for the revolution. Mr. Miro Cardona agreed with us that Mr.
Urrutia was incompetent and an imbecile, and that we had to find a solution
to that situation. Then he said that he was willing to accept the post of
president of the republic. (Yells and applause) It should be known that in
the first days after the crisis with Urrutia arose, Miro Cardona was
waiting in his house to be appointed president. How surprised he was to
learn that no one had appointed him president, and that the council of
ministers had selected a real president for our country. (Long applause)

I haven't the slightest doubt that if this man had been selected president
he would have enchanted his life and would even have declared himself a
communist. We know him well. He was always plotting, and because we was so
disillusioned over not being appointed president, he decided to desert and
go to live in the United States where we are appointed president of the
counterrevolutionary council. (Applause)

At the beginning of the revolution this man--whose father was a fighter in
the Mambi army, a great soldier, a great patriot, and a very progressive
man, who could be considered one of the most advanced men in the Mambi
army, and an assistant to Maceo, qualities which of course his son and
grandson, who was one of the Giron prisoners, have not inherited-- this
man, due to this association which he had with one of Maceo's assistants
preserved Maceo's machete. During the first days of the revolution, one day
be came to us and gave us Maceo's machete. Naturally we were greatly moved
to receive this memento and we have preserved it with great devotion.

One day recently while examining this machete I said to myself: How
fortunate that at the beginning of the revolution circumstances arose
through which this man thought of giving me this machete because otherwise
he would have given it to Kennedy (applause) and Maceo's machete would at
this moment be in Kennedy's hand. But fortunately the machete remained here
and naturally it will be placed in the museum of the history of our
homeland. That is what this man is like, and that is how all of them are.

After the total collapse and failure of the imperialist policy against
Cuba, he decided to stage a "show" and resigned. Unsurprisingly he drafted
this document as an act of blackmail against the U.S. Government. It was
logical that these men would not try to blackmail the U. S. Government
because the U.S. Government created the conditions and opportunities for

What are the others doing--the so-called leaders of counterrevolution? They
are pushing. This one fell, and now they are pushing. Even Sanchez Jaran,
of whom we have not heard for more than a year, has made a statement in
support of Kennedy. I think he is right and that Kennedy should handle this
situation carefully because it involves the danger of war. And a so-called
Coly--I do not know (who he is--Ed.)-- has made another statement saying
that Kennedy must be supported. And Mr. (Garzaran?), who also aspires to
the presidency because he is the senior magistrate under the bourgeois
constitution of 1940, says that Kennedy is right; and not Tony Varona is
also supporting Kennedy.

They are all pushing each other to see what they can get from the leftovers
of the one who until yesterday was their chief. What morality these people
have! What lack of modesty. It is possible that Mr. Kennedy may not know
what to do with Varona or (Garzaran?) or Coly or Aureliano or anyone,. This
is the greatest mess he has gotten himself into in his political career.
His enemies accuse him of not having a policy on Cuba, and we said here
recently that that policy does not exist; it does not exist nor can it
exist. How could it exist? A policy of war would be the destruction of

Kennedy is being accused of not having a policy on Cuba and, as it happens,
all his policies have failed because they had to fail. The other policy,
the war policy, is very dangerous for him. This is the situation. Who has
looked for these problems. He himself. Kennedy's aggressive policy against
Cuba and against the Cuban revolution is what has caused him difficulties
and headaches because it has been without doubt a stupid policy, not the
policy of mature politician, but of novice in the business of politics.

Within imperialist circles there are naturally specific interests of one
group or another. In the end, this policy of aggression turned against him.
What failures has it originated? In the first place, there was the Bay of
Pigs invasion, one of the sorriest episodes for any U.S. president and for
the United States itself. It was a discredit to him and to the United
States after Kennedy took over the presidency and there was a change of
administration from Republicans to Democrats. You must remember that we
were mobilized in those days, awaiting an invasion. When Mr. Kennedy took
over the presidency, we demobilized the battalions we had guarding the
coasts awaiting the policy this man was going to follow, and we even
declared that Cuba's government was hoping that the Eisenhower
administration's policy of aggression would be abandoned.

What did Kennedy do? He followed the same policy. He did not have the
ability to make the previous administration responsible for the policy it
had followed and to follow a less stupid policy against Cuba. he did not do
that. He redoubles the efforts that the Eisenhower administration had been
making. Under his administration, great efforts were made to organize the
counterrevolutionary bands, sabotage, and, finally, the invasion. When the
invasion was launched, what did he do? He did not change his path. He
continued on the path of aggression as shown by the statements made by Miro
Cardona. And what a mess he got into because be brought the world to the
brink of thermonuclear war. He also placed the very existence of the United
States in jeopardy as a consequence of that aggressive policy against Cuba.

The crisis was solved, and today the Cuban problem is the problem most used
by his political opponents to attack him. They demand that he take more
drastic measures, that is, measures which would lead to a war, measures
which he cannot take without exposing himself to tremendous dangers. Why?
Who gave weapons to the internal enemies? He himself is his policy of
aggression against Cuba. who gave the counterrevolutionaries the arms? He
himself. Because he is a victim of the blackmail of the Miro Cardonas and
company. He is to blame. (Applause)

It at certain moments his administration had taken some steps which cold be
considered wise, these were the steps he took to put an end to the
uncontrolled pirate raids of the counterrevolutionaries. At least; with
these measures the risk of a conflict is reduced. And of course he is
receiving his due. Now a shameless, mediocre, immoral, greedy, and corrupt
man, Miro, is blackmailing him and making accusations against him and
publishing them in the U.S. press, because Miro Cardona is now playing into
the hands of Kennedy's political opponents--those who accuse Kennedy of not
taking more drastic measures. That policy of aggression has sunk the
president U.S. administration into discredit, reversals, and embarrassing

What would prevent all this discredit? Simply his abandonment of the
aggressive policy against Cuba. The facts have shown the failure of that
policy. The imperialists have failed in their aggressions against Cuba. In
the present situation and under present conditions, the only sensible and
wise alternative open to them is the abandonment of that aggressive policy.
The counterrevolutionaries accuse Kennedy of wanting to coexist the Cuba
and of peaceful coexistence with Cuba.

The counterrevolutionaries have reached the conclusion that the aggressive
policy has failed and that the imperialists are in a difficult situation;
that U.S. aggressive policy against Cuba has collapsed. As they sense this,
they start to say the United States want to coexist with Cuba. We have been
the victims. We have been the ones who have suffered. It is possible that
the counterrevolutionaries will now say that the Cuban revolution is
interested in coexisting.

The Cuban revolution stands for peace. What the Cuban revolution has done
is to defend itself. We do not stand for war. Not the Cuban revolution has
defeated the imperialists' aggressive policy, has caused its collapse
(applause), and has discredited it. Our policy has triumphed, and their
policy has failed. Their policy has placed them in a situation of
international scandal, of discredit--very harmful for the United States. We
are not staging campaigns for coexistence here. We do not want war. We want
peace. We are not an obstacle to peace. This had never depended upon us.
What we have done is to defend ourselves and to learn how to defend
ourselves, and to defend ourselves successfully. They have failed.

Therefore, they have no other alternative but to renounce the policy of
aggression against us. Will they renounce it? We do not know. Will they
continue in their stupid and erroneous course as they have done until now?
We do not know.

Our stand is this: If they follow a peaceful policy, we will follow a
peaceful policy. If they continue with a policy of aggression, we will
continue to defend ourselves with all the means, with all the weapons.
(Applause) And we will continue fighting with all vigor, and we will
continue to hand them reversals. The present correlation of forces in the
world, the state of our relations with the socialist camp, and the
discredit of the aggressive policy against Cuba, on the other hand, places
us in better position than ever before to continue waging this battle
successfully. (Applause)

For four and a half years of hostility against our country--four and a half
years--we have been forced to devote our energies and resources to the
flight for survival of the revolution, in the defense of the country. For
four years and a half, we have had to defend ourselves against the economic
blockade and aggressions of a powerful country. We have been victorious,
thanks to the efforts of our people and the solidarity of the socialist
camp (applause): This, for us, must be reason for pride. (Applause)

We cannot rest on our laurels; the enemy will not easily give up his
aggressive plans. The enemy will not resign himself, and he will use new
means, new tactics, and new plans. Recently they have been emphasizing the
need to murder the leaders of the revolution. They are now emphasizing the
need to practice sedition, to buy, to bridge, t probe the tanks of the
revolution to see if they can find weak and traitorous elements. They speak
of money, and they speak of investing a lot of money; they speak of
bribing, and they speak of buying.

This reminds one of the first days in the Sierra Maestra. After fighting us
for one year, Batista's soldiers could not liquidate us. They then thought
up a plan, and they scattered a series of leaflets all over the Sierra
Maestra, offering rewards for our heads. They were offering 100,000 pesos
for my head. I often saw those leaflets. They were offering hundreds of
thousands of dollars for the heads of some of the other comrades. They
offered rewards to anyone who would deliver them dead or alive, or who
would furnish information which would permit the army to liquidate them.

Not a single peasant gave information; not a single person lent himself to
treason; no one took bribes. The moths ate the thousands of leaflets which
were spread over the mountains in such a ridiculous and desperate attempt.
One thing the imperialists do not know, and they will learn it: The
tremendous difference between a revolutionary and mercenary. They solved
their problem with the professional armies, with the military castes. They
maintained their homogeneity by bribing some generals, by supporting them
and in this way they established military tyrannies in America.

What was the indispensable and basic fact for the development of the
revolution? The disintegration of the military caste army at the service of
exploiters and of the privileged, and its replacement by an armed force
composed of the people and indissolubly united with the people. (applause);
by an armed force formed by proletarians and peasants. An armed people,
because here, with or without uniform, every revolutionary is a soldier of
the country. With uniform or without uniform, every revolutionary is a
worker of the country. (Applause)

The revolution has created combat forces of a new type, completely new,
indissolubly united with the people of revolution, as a single unit.
Apparently the imperialists do not understand this. Apparently the
imperialists do not see this. (Applause) Besides, the armed forces of the
revolution are forces whose roots are in history and whose training took
place in battle.

In the spirit of these armed forces, in the spirit of all of us, is the
history which we have forged together since we started with a few rifles,
with fewer than 10 men, facing powerful forces. These armed forces came
from the people, from the closest ranks of the people, from sacrifice upon
sacrifice, from battle to battle, from victory to victory.

We have come to be what the revolution is: A historical event on this
continent, a fact that inspired the admiration and respect in all corners
of the world, a force that has not been defeated by the imperialists whom
we have dealt numerous defeats. Today, we have many things that we did not
have before: discipline, knowledge, the latest equipment to defend our
country, study which has been the road to improvement of so many
comrades--many of whom did not even know how to read or write.

Although some months before the battle of Giron we only had seven pilots or
artillerymen or tankmen, today we have more than enough technical personnel
who have acquired enormous knowledge, who continue learning, and who are
perfectly in condition to oppose any attack. If something similar to the
Giron episode were repeated, how long would it last today? How many hours
could it resist the attack of our forces, with the discipline, the ability,
and the equipment we have today?

The enemy knows that. That is why his hopes are increasingly in vain.,
Comrades, not only are the people and the revolution armed force the same
thing, they are also the same idea. People and armed forces, in addition to
each soldier being a worker and each worker a soldier, represent the idea,
the ideology, the revolutionary principles we defend. And we will all be
linked by an organized force, which is our party, our United Party of the
Socialist Revolution. (Applause)

And just as we have been organizing the revolutionary cells in each work
center, we will organize the revolutionary cells in every combat unit,
(applause) members of the party (applause), always selecting the most
devoted, the most sacrificing comrades, the exemplary comrades, the best
combatants of the country. We will in this way organize the vanguard of the
revolution, the Marxism-Leninist party of the socialist revolution.
(Applause) And each revolutionary militant will not only have many cannon
shells and many machinegun bullets and much combat equipment, not only will
he have much military munitions, supplies of war, but he will also have
ideological ammunition.

Military instruction will advance in parallel with political instruction.
We have all learned what can be achieved with study. We have all seen how
much our men have improved, how much they have learned, how much they have
developed, and how much they still have ahead. There is much still ahead.
Tonight, we were moved while listening to the patriotic sons, the symphony
dedicated to our fallen heroes. The innermost fibers of each of us vibrated
on recalling and seeing the scenes of those days. We felt infinite
gratitude and love for our comrades, as well as deep and legitimate price
in our forces, our victories; seeing a people such as this united, seeing
the revolution more united than ever, more organized than ever; forming an
impressive social, political, and revolutionary force which is the
patrimony of each of the good and worthy citizens of this country.

Nevertheless, when this is seen within 20 or 30 years, the emotion of
future generations will be incomparably greater, and even the photographs
of these functions, the memories of these functions, the presence of each
of you will be cause for emotion and admiration for the coming generations.
It has fallen to us to live at this time, to be the vanguard of the
fatherland at this time, the creative force of the fatherland; to be an
advancing revolution, which had changed everything, which broke down the
walls of the past. The apparently unbreachable castles of the past were
demolished. By whom? By the powerful? No! By the professional generals? No!
By the millionaires? No! By the most humble men and women of the people, by
the most forgotten men and women of the people, by the exploited men and
women of the people, of the pure people.

As I told the air force comrades, from the ranks of hunger, from the ranks
of the laid-off season, from the ranks of the exploited, from those who
were discriminated against has emerged the force that changed the course of
history of our country. The revolution that has moved an entire continent,
the struggle, the movement that checked the most powerful bourgeois empire
in the world, the example and the encouragement, the future, which is in
our hands.

Families have fathered here who have borne the pain with dignity--which
does not make it less profound--the pain of the fallen souls, combatants of
the revolution. They are soldiers of the fatherland, militants of the
party, courageous men and women, men and women who have been tested by pain
and sacrifice. We have the right to know that the future is in our hands.
We have always been men of faith in the future, of faith in the masses, of
faith in the people.

Those who lived the difficult days of the Sierra Maestra, when neither salt
nor sugar nor clothes nor shoes arrived; when nothing arrived and we were
surrounded by battalions of soldiers determined to liquidate us; we who
have experienced those days with that faith, we who never were discouraged
and who know how to eat once a day when we could eat, or not eat at all,
and we who know what it was to get wet in a trench, without smoking and
without blankets, and we who marched barefoot through the mountains without
becoming discouraged--those who have experienced the difficult tests which
the revolution imposed on us for one cause or another, in combat, work, and
pain, we know that the future is in our hands and that we have the right to
attain it, that we have the right to create it.

It depends on no one but ourselves. It is true that we have received
extraordinary aid, which has been of extraordinary value to us at this
time. It is true that we have received much from outside, but is is also
true that we must contribute our best. We are no longer novice
revolutionaries. We already have the obligation of being experienced and
responsible revolutionaries.

The hard struggle of the revolution has been tempering all of us and it is
time that our revolutionary people, our masses, and each of the men and
women of the people understand their responsibilities and understand
realities. We have great tasks ahead of us. It is true that we have been
forced to defend ourselves as a basic matter.

But we have ahead of us the task of the economic development of the
country, the task of producing and creating goods, of advancing our economy
at an accelerated rate. And for this, we must utilize all the favorable
circumstances we now have and march ahead with the efforts of everyone in
production as we have done in defense. In that way, if we must produce
sugar, we will produce sugar--the millions of tons of sugar we may be able
to produce by utilizing our possibilities to the maximum and giving impetus
to the economic development of the nation.

Revolutionaries must fight on all fronts and properly attend to each of our
obligations. The need to defend ourselves has forced us to employ large
contingents of vigorous arms to take up weapons. There are not enough
workers. Machines must be developed. We must mechanize and rationalize
production. That is why we speak of this today, because at times we have
been more enthusiastic in taking up arms than we have been in taking up the
instrument of work. We have been, as a people, as heroic as necessary in
combat, but we have not even approached similar levels of heroism in the
field of production.

On a day like today, when we are reviewing history and commemorating our
fallen, we think of all the causes for which they fought and fell. They did
so not only to keep the flag of the nation flying high and the revolution
firm and invincible, but they also fell for the future of the people, for
the happiness of the people, so what the people would have the right to
construct that future themselves. We are soldiers because we have had to be
soldiers to defend the right to be peaceful creators of our own future.
That is why we have had to be soldiers. That is why the people have had to
learn to bear arms.

But that is not an objective, that is a means to obtain an end. it is true
that other peoples have spent dozens and dozens of years defending the
revolution with weapons in hand, like the Soviet people, who for nearly 50
years have had to be on guard and alert against the (word indistinct) of
the reactionaries and the imperialists powers. Something similar has
happened to us. We have had to be alert and on guard against the
imperialists who are 90 miles from our shores, against reaction, against
the counterrevolution.

There is no doubt that we have advanced much. There is no doubt that these
years have served to demonstrate the capacity of the Cuban, his creative
spirit, the learning ability of our people, their discipline, their
organizing abilities. And our armed forces are the proof of this. The party
we are organizing is proof of this. But this same spirit must be taken to
all parts. This same spirit must be taken to all parts. This same spirit
must be taken to all fronts so that the victory of the revolution can be
complete. The victories of the revolutions are not restricted to the
battlefields. The victories of the revolutions must also be won in the
fields of work and the economy.

Let all the sacrifices we have made, all the men who had died since this
struggle began, all men who have sacrificed themselves throughout our
history, serve to have their memory force us to make greater efforts, to do
our duty wherever we are, on all fronts, so that we can obtain the maximum
advantage to the country from the sacrifices they have made.

Today, 19 November, is fundamentally--that is, April, I do not know why
November came out there--19 April, the day is the least important. The
significance of the day will never be forgotten by us. It is a day,
fundamentally, for gathering the comrades of the revolutionary armed
forces, and that is why we have seen those comrades fill a large part of
the theater. But it is not a day for the comrades of the armed forces
along; it belongs to all the people.

This day has been marked in many parts of the world, where they have
jubilantly commemorated the victory of our people. It is also a day that is
profoundly emotional for the families of our fallen, for all our
revolutionary comrades, for all the people.

That is why there are present comrades from all the branches, the relatives
of our comrades, the mothers we have applauded here, the sons (applause)
whom we have commemorated like brothers, the comrades from the
revolutionary cells. And so, for us, this profoundly human function is like
a symbol of our revolution and of our people, of the brotherhood, of the
unity of the revolutionary spirit of our people, the invincible spirit of
our country--a symbol; that is how we shall always remember it.

We who are here deeply love the revolution and have experienced different
moments, difficult moments, critical moments. To our mind come those days
in which all the people, with impressive serenity, prepared to resist the
enemy attack in the month of October, prepared to fight, and prepared to
die. This people has a history. It is writing a great and beautiful
history. It united us all. It makes us all brothers in a single feeling, in
a single ideal, in the veneration of those who have fought and those who
have fallen.

That is good, that is encouraging, that is the strength of the revolution.
Every mother knows that in every soldier of the country she has a son, and
every soldier of the fatherland knows that in each mother of a dead comrade
he has a mother. And so the mothers of our heroes can say, as Cespedes
said, all Cubans are their sons. They can also say, as Mariana Grajales
said to her youngest sons, amid the pain: Kneel down so you can also give
your life for the country if necessary.

The revolution has taught us that; not the selfishness that separates, but
the solidarity that unites, the love that unites. Let each one's paid by
the pain of all, and the pain of all be the pain of each. Brothers all!
Mothers all! Sons all! Let this be the best tribute with which, together
with the commemoration of the fallen on this impressive list of men, of
Cubans, of humble children of the people, we can redouble our faith in the
future, our faith in the fatherland, our faith in the revolution. What we
have done must have taught us that nothing is impossible because what
seemed impossible yesterday has been possible today! That is why nothing
will seem impossible tomorrow! Fatherland or death, we will win!