Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Speech at 7 May Meeting

Moscow Domestic Service in Russian 0600 GMT 8 May 1963--L

(Fidel Castro's speech at a meeting in Volgograd, published in 8 May

(Text) Dear and beloved comrades, the inhabitants of Volgograd: (Applause)
You have received us with exceptional warmth by organizing such a wonderful
meeting, so full of love toward us. Your comrades, who spoke here,
mentioned the affection of the Soviet people and of those sympathies which
they have toward Cubans. But perhaps our small merit does not deserve such
honor as you are showing to us. We should be the ones to express the
feelings of all mankind, which is filled with admiration toward your

This morning, when our delegation placed a wreath in the square of the
fallen fighters who lost their lives in the immortal battle that took place
here, we began to think how much humanity has to thank those people who
gave their lives here in the battles for the motherland. How much good they
have done for mankind! At that solemn moment, we remembered all those
fighters who gave their lives in different corners of the world for
progress and for the cause of the working class. The memory of the glorious
fighters who fell in Volgograd reminds us of our own victims in the years
of the struggle for the freedom of our motherland, in the struggle against
imperialism, and our fallen comrades in the battle of Playa Giron. The
glorious fighters of Volgograd remind us of the working class, the
revolutionary vanguard of Latin America, who are struggling heroically and
who are victims of persecution and cruel repression. They remind us of the
hero-communist, Julian Grimau, murdered by Francoites.

How many people have given their lives, how many people have fallen for the
sake of the progress of mankind! Among those fallen, the heroic defenders
of Volgograd will always occupy an honored and glorious place. (Applause)
It is not only that they withstood the onslaught of the fascist hordes; it
is not only that they influenced in the most decisive manner the outcome of
World War II and made the decisive contribution to the victory over
fascism; they also bequeathed to humanity an immortal example. (Applause)
History must provide a place forever in all the history texthooks for
Volgograd, a heroic city; for it is an example of heroism, an example of
patriotism, and example of steadfastness, perseverance, and will. History
must remember forever this great example of your city's heroism. (Applause)

Your example will always be the symbol for patriot-fighters in all corners
of the world. And we Cubans, when we find ourselves in difficult and
dangerous situation, when we feel the threat of aggression, when we think
that a stronger force of the enemy may attack us, we always say: We shall
defend every town, every street, every district, every house, every
building, as did the heroic defenders of Volgograd. (Applause)

In the most dangerous movement of our motherland, your example gave us
strength, served as a support for us, and raised our spirits. (Applause)
And if our admiration is great for what you have done for the sake of the
defense of your socialist motherland, if our admiration is also great for
what you have done for the sake of peace, then it is impossible to express
our admiration at what you have done in order to raise your city from ruins
and ashes. Soviet workers, led by the glorious Communist Party, have not
only found energy and strength to rout aggressors but also found strength
to restore everything that was made by their hands and to multiply this
many times.

This is not proof of the superiority of socialism and the great strength of
the ideas of Marx, Engels, and Lenin? (Stormy applause) Is this not proof
of what the working class can do for mankind and what the Communist Party
signifies--the vanguard, organizer and leader of the revolution? (Stormy

Reactionaries of all types and imperialists, even now, 45 years after the
revolution, are continuing to use the filthy weapons of lies and slander
against the Soviet Union. They are trying to hide your victories and
achievements. They are trying to conceal from the eyes and ears of other
peoples all that has been done by you and what an be done. How wonderful it
would be if the workers of the capitalist countries could see what we have
seen and could feel what we feel with our hearts, to see your life, your
rapid growth, your strength, and the spirit of the people. (Applause)

No country suffered such losses as the Soviet Union and made so many
sacrifices as the Soviet Union. Not one of them has seen such destruction
as the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union, which had to build its national
economy all alone, commencing from a most poorly developed economy ruined
by the imperialist war and subjected to attacks by aggressors from all
sides, isolated and cut off for decades from the whole world, and which in
the last war lost millions of lives and tremendous wealth, once again rose
in the most difficult conditions and has since confidently marched forward,
conducting its affairs successfully as never before.

The things you do and what we have seen in your city are beyond the
capability of anything in capitalist society. In the city, which extends 75
kilometers along the Volga, excellent streets have been built and parks are
laid out. You have built a gigantic hydropower station, which is fully
automatic. I was told by the director of the hydropower station that, in
order to serve other power stations of 2.5 million-kilowatt capacity, a
thousand workers would have been required. But at your hydropower station
only 14 people work per shift.

What does automation signify for the capitalist world. Unemployment,
difficulties and sacrifices for the workers, hunger and lack of confidence
in tomorrow! And what does it signify in the socialist world? It means a
more rapid economic development, growth in labor productivity, improvement
in the welfare of the people, and triumph and well-being for everybody and
for each individual citizen of the city. The reason is that these machines
are not serving the purpose of enriching exploiters, as is the case in the
capitalist world.

All this could be read in books, newspapers, and periodicals, but this is
not the same as seeing these things with your own eyes, seeing a society
without exploiters and exploited, seeing the working people who are fully
engaged in creative toil, who are laying the foundations of the most just

The great Soviet people, led by the party founded by the immortal Lenin,
have opened the way to all peoples for a better life. (Stormy applause) And
for us Cubans, this is greatly significant; it is greatly significant for
the solidarity and the aid from the Soviet people.

We inherited a poor country without industry. Capitalists, like birds of
prey, took from our country the riches crated by the people. American
imperialists have exploited the Cuban people for 50 years, they pillaged us
and drove us into poverty, and after this they blockaded Cuba, began to
create all sorts of difficulties for us, and threatened us. The great
lesson for the whole world was the fact that a country which is situated
far away from the island where our revolution was accomplished was the
first to be in solidarity with us and helped us withstand the attacks and
the blockades of the imperialists. This is a great lesson and a great
truth. (Stormy applause)

Then Fidel Castro said (as heard):

So you may appreciate what paupers we were and how poor our country was, it
will suffice to recall the your hydropower station alone produces five
times more power than all the power facilities set up in Cuba. And the time
has now come when we must rebuild everything and develop our economy.

We know that we are marching on the right path. Our one and only path which
could lead our people to happiness is illuminated by your example. We shall
try, dear comrades of Volgograd, to bring to our people everything that we
felt here. I say that we shall do our best, because I know that there are
no words capable of conveying to them what we have seen here. (Applause)

From the first first day of our stay in the Soviet country, we have heard
from the Soviet people, from leaders of the Communist Party, from its
Central Committee, and from the first secretary of the Central Committee,
dear comrades, Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev, wonderful and friendly words
addressed to us. (Stormy applause)

Someone said here that today will be a historic day. I fully agree with
him. This will be a historic one, because this is a great day in the
history of our friendship, in the history of magnanimity, in the history of
solidarity which you are expressing to us. (Stormy applause)

Thank you very much, dear comrades of Volgograd. (Stormy applause).

Let our friendship live forever; let the example of the heroic defenders of
this city, the example of your motherland, live forever. May the people of
Volgograd continue to show their example so that the working class in all
corners of the world may gain victories. (Stormy applause)

Long live friendship and solidarity among all the peoples of the world!
(Stormy applause) Long live the heroic and immortal city of Volgograd!
(Stormy applause) Fatherland or death! We will win! (Stormy applause)