Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish 2123, GMT 18 May

(Live speech to the graduating class at the Matanzas Basic Officers School)

(Text) Comrades and invited guests: After a year of intense studies, 480
students are graduating today from the officers basic course. This
graduation, its solemnity, the the martial bearing of the graduates, is the
result of the development of this basic officers school. It did not develop
by accident or from nothing. It arose from necessity and it has been forged
by study, improvement and work.

This school was organized when our Revolutionary Armed Forces because of
the massive incorporation of the worker and peasant militias and with the
acquisition of modern military equipment, grew extraordinarily, while on
the other hand it lacked cadres. It developed from the necessity to
confront the aggressive plans of our enemies when in those days the
possibility of an armed attack against our country could already be seen,
when considerable quantities of weapons of various types needed crews, when
combat approached. That was, primarily, how the militia officers school was
born--from officers who had been selected from the various militia
battalions troughout the country.

At the beginning, the courses were less intensive. They were for only three
months at the beginning. Later, they began to increase in intensity as our
organization grew, as military tasks became more technical and more complex
and we had a larger number of officers with whom to extend the courses.
This school was born in difficult times and it has a beautiful tradition
resulting from the Playa Giron invasion.

When in the early morning of 17 April 1961 the first reports arrived that
enemy elements were landing in the zone of Playa Giron and Playa Larga,
some of the units that were immediately mobilized were the two
battalions--if I am not mistaken their total strength was the equivalent of
two battalions--(mumbles an aside to an aide and drops the sentence--ed.).
A type of a battalion was formed that we called a heavy battalions, with
mortars, machineguns, infantry weapons, which began the march into the
Zapata swamps. Early that morning, the enemy, by treacherous attack and
using planes, paratroopers, tanks, and landing equipment supplied by Yankee
imperialism, was trying to take all the entrances to the Zapata swamps. It
was necessary to guarantee for our armed forces one road of access from the
other side of the swamps and to attack the enemy immediately. That mission
fell to the students of the basic school at Matanzas, The battalion made up
of those comrades took the Juguey Grande-Playa Larga road and immediately
engaged the enemy forces in combat, despite the fact that the enemy at that
time had artillery, heavy mortars, and tanks, while our forces at that time
could only count on their infantry weapons.

The first combatants who fell gloriously and heroically on that morning
included students of the Matanzas basic school. We recall the occasion of
the graduation of that class and the pain we all felt over the absence of
those comrades who could not complete their training. It was on that
occasion that we uttered a sentence, which we have just read here in the
history of the school--that those comrades had not graduated from the
officers course, but that they had graduated as eternal heroes of the

Thus was formed the spirit and the tradition of this school. New classes
followed, new graduations. Today's class, it can be said, expresses all the
progress made by this school, the improvement made in this school, the
experience accumulated by its professors and directors. It also
demonstrates all the progress of our Revolutionary Armed Forces, Naturally,
today there are many military schools in operation in the country and much
has been learned in the country and outside of the country. It has been
precisely in schools that the technology and the combat ability of the
cadres of our revolutionary armed forces have been developed.

The men who today operate the military equipment of our armed forces came
from many schools. The revolution has made many schools, schools of all
types including military schools. And there is something we have learned
from this: it is that every time any plan or any purpose was organized
along with the schools, everything has gone well and an extraordinary
degree of progress has been attained. Every project, any plan that
originated along with the schools has been successful, and when some things
are not going so well, when some aspects of the many activities of our
country do not completely satisfy us, we immediately see that there is a
lack of experience, that there is a lack of knowledge, that there is a lack
of cadres, that is to say that schools have been lacking.

And if there have been created many schools of all types and for every
activity, experience shows us that they are still not enough and that it is
a magnificent system to found schools along with plans every time one wants
to do something in any field, every time something is to be developed.
Fortunately, schools have been abundant in our armed forces. The need to
defend ourselves, which was one of the basic needs of the country, made us
understand that need, and our schools functioned effectively, and they
functioned in time with the situation, because when it was necessary to
learn how to operate a weapon within 30 days, although normally a course
lasted for many months, the operation of that weapon was learned in 30
days. That was why, in every moment of danger, none of our weapons was left
in the arsenals, none of our weapons was left in the depots. That is why it
has been possible, each time that we find ourselves in danger, to have more
men than weapons and not even an old rifle is left in storage, because for
us all the weapons can serve for something. When we had no salt, when we
had no air force, artillery, tanks, or automatic weapons, we knew very well
what could be done with a bolt-action rifle with six little bullets. Many
battles were fought and won with those bolt-action rifles with six little
bullets or five little bullets. We learned the importance that all weapons
have in battle, and that is why we have never wasted a weapon. When we
receive new weapons, we grease the old ones and we also endeavor to have
them ready.

In the armed forces, the schools have played a very fundamental role, and
this graduation, as I said, is an expression of that reality. This could be
seen in the military bearing, discipline, correct training, perfection, and
even the elegance with which the units marched, which prompted me to say to
some comrades: "This army of ours no longer resembles our guerrilla army."
And it is because our guerrillas, our soldiers who once passed through here
also with that vanguard comrade, Camilo Cienfuegos, at the fore (applause)
forced a regiment to surrender here, a regiment that was here only

It was a lost war for them already, and our soldiers, our columns, passed
through here, along this highway, in trucks. Many of those who graduate
here today will recall that day and they can attest to all that they have
learned, how they have progressed and improved since that day. And it is
really a reason for satisfaction for all of us to be able to see that
progress, to see how our country has developed, and with it our armed
forces to the degree that our country has needed them--how they have been
improved technically and how they have been fulfilling their obligations.

Some other comrades (two words indistinct), here, joined the Revolutionary
Armed Forces later, but the history of our armed forces was not written
only in the mountains. It was born in the mountains, it sprang from a very
small group, a reduced group of men, who at a certain time were not 12, as
it was said, but seven armed men. Little by little, it began to grow,
slowly at first, at a more accelerated rate later. The tiny patrol became a
column, and the first column became many columns.

History, however, has not been written only in the mountains. There are
those who made history in the mountains and have continued making it
afterward. But in that column of the fatherland on the march, new men have
joined in succeeding years to swell and strengthen that column, and history
has been made after 1 January, also in battle against the reactionaries, in
battle against the agents of the imperialist enemy, in struggle against
aggression by the imperialists. The history of our armed forces has been
written in battles against the mercenary bands of the Escambray who
murdered peasants, who murdered teachers like Conrado Benitez, who murdered
even brigadiers who were teaching the peasants to read and write--as they
did Manuel Ascunce--in battles against those bands armed by the
imperialists and instigated by the landowners and the exploiters.

History was also written in the tenacity with which our men fought them and
annihilated them in the battles of Giron Beach, in the struggles against
all enemy actions, against their acts of sabotage, against their piratical
attacks. Thousands of men in thousands and thousands of places in the
country keep guard. They guard our coasts and our wealth, defend the
revolution. Many men have shed their blood in this struggle in each of the

We recall the day of Cubre explosion, when men of our armed forces were
killed. We recall the soldiers who died there and the soldiers who
died--also soldiers and police--during the second explosion while helping
their companions, the workers killed there, amounting to dozens and dozens
of victims, as a consequence of the cowardly and criminal act of sabotage
carried out like so many many others by the enemies of our people, of our
workers, of our peasants, by the enemies of our revolution.

We recall the days of the October crisis, with our men in battle positions
in the trenches, without hesitation and without fear, ready to face any
risk. Because of this, our force is growing, and it will continue growing.
New and more brave men will join our schools. The new generation of youth
will also be incorporated, those who are outstanding in our units, like the
men of our glorious frontier battalion opposing the enemy face to face,
from which we will select the best, the most outstanding, to enroll in our
military schools Just as the best men are selected from all units.

Our force has grown and developed here, and each day that passes, the
organization is larger, the discipline is greater, the knowledge is
greater, and the experience is superior, for in the present era, a military
career has a very much more distinctive meaning to revolutionaries than it
has to reactionaries, because those who defend a just and revolutionary
cause have a very different feeling from those who are educated and trained
to serve the oppressors, the exploiters.

A military career is becoming an increasingly complicated and difficult
technological field. It is not a static technology--more than a technology
one might say, a science--not a static science, but a dynamic science,
because tactics are continually changing and weapons are continually being
changed. It is continually necessary to adapt to new equipment, new
weapons; and it is necessary to know well what the weapons of the enemy
are, the enemy stactics, and the enemy's psychology, and to adapt oneself
to these tactics and this psychology, these weapons. This is because in
war, besides valor, intelligence always plays a decisive role. The
intelligent use of weapons, the intelligent management of men, are
fundamental in every war.

If we are attacked, we will not face an enemy who is unprepared, but an
enemy who is prepared; one who is constantly perfecting and modernizing his
weapons, one whom we neither underestimate nor overestimate. They
underestimated us. They underestimated our people. They underestimated our
revolution. They underestimated our army, and they believed that it was
nothing to land here and install their mercenary brigade, and after the
brigade, a government of puppets; and after the puppets, the miserable ones
of the OAS to sanction the crime. The illusion was short-lived. They
underestimated us. They underestimated our revolution and our people when
they believed that with their economic blockades, with their incessant
hostility, (placing?) against our small country the weight of their
political and economic power, the people of Cuba would bend--the people
whose independence was prevented, the people whose victory was denied them
after 30 years of struggle, the country in which they landed their marine
infantry and imposed their Pratt Amendment and their right to intervene,
their constitutional right to intervene. How can a country be called free
when its constitution establishes the right of a foreign power to

But the imperialists demonstrated that they did not need unconstitutional
clauses to intervene anywhere, and they also intervened in many other
countries without any kind of right and invoking any pretext, no matter how
cynical and brazen it might have been--always to protect the lives and
properties of their citizens with complete scorn for the Latin American
peoples, with complete scorn for all our countries.

They scorned us that way also, and they underestimated us and thought that
no revolution could raise its head--that is, no real revolution--and that
there would be nothing here but petty politics and the substitution of some
thieves for other thieves.

But revolution with agrarian reform; revolution with the nationalization of
the mines, the sugar centrals, the industry that was in foreign hands and
making our people work to enrich the foreigners--they never thought this
was possible. They never even imagined it. They thought that they would
crush us, that they would eradicate us, that they would defeat us with that
scorn of which they boast when they look to the south, toward the Latin
American countries.

Several years have already passed and, instead of a people on their knees,
they always find a stronger people, a people more prepared. They
underestimated us, they scorned us, and they were mistaken. We neither
underestimate nor overestimate the enemy. We also know his weak points, his
weak points against us. Above all, we know that in any adventure against
our fatherland there would be a factor they do not measure because they are
incapable of measuring it, because they feel too much scorn for moral norms
to be able to measure it the patriotism of a nation, the dignity of a
nation, the honor of a nation, the conviction of a nation that is defending
what belongs to it and what is its right. This factor would play a very
important role, but there would not be dignity alone, nor honor alone, nor
bravery alone. Together with all that, there would be much shrapnel and
much military technology and much intelligence, (applause) and they would
be made to pay a high price.

Above all, let them know what to count on. Above all, let them not make
mistakes. Above all, let them not think it is going to be a lark, for it is
becoming more difficult for them every day, and our weapons are more
protected every day, we are more prepared against surprise every day.
Moreover, it will be difficult for them to surprise us because we prefer to
commit the sin of excessive caution rather than to be careless. We will
never be careless in the defense of the revolution and the fatherland.

Recent events, such as the painful event taking place in the Dominican
Republic, tell us much. They teach us much because there we can see what
imperialism is when it is naked. There we are seeing what imperialism is
without any kind of disguise. Of course, the events in Santo Domingo do not
surprise us. But there were some idiots, some people who permitted
themselves to be deceived by the propaganda of the imperialists who painted
themselves as good. While they murder Vietnamese in Southeast Asia, while
they murder Congolese in Africa, while they murder Dominicans; while they
support and protect all the reactionaries of the world, all the exploiters,
all the fascists; while they strengthen and support the worst of mankind
throughout the world, they still tried to paint themselves as being good;
they still tried to paint themselves as being noble.

But we who know them so well--what could be strange to us about the lies
they began to tell about the events in Santo Domingo? We still recall well
that when we had been visited by the smoke of the bombs they dropped from
their planes--painted with Cuban insignia--on San Antonio de los Banos, on
the Ciudad Libertad airport, and on Santiago de Cuba, what did the
cynic--cynic?--worse than a cynic: the U.S. representative in the United
Nations is a poor devil because they make him play every kind of bad role.
If he had even an atom of honor, he would have ceased to be the U.S.
delegate. That gentleman was once even a U.S. presidential candidate, and
they have made him perform the most incredible roles.

While the smoke was still rising, he was already showing photographs of
planes with Cuban insignia, saying that they were planes that had deserted
from our air force. They calmly developed such an argument, such an
explanation to deceive the world, to dupe the world. They said that those
planes-pirate planes from foreign bases--were planes from our own armed
forces that had rebelled and dropped some bombs and landed in Miami. The
fact is that they were forced to land in Miami because they had not counted
on our antiaircraft and they had not counted on our artillerymen, who
filled the planes they did not down with holes and forced them to seek
refuge at the closest point, which was in Florida. Of course, that was not
in the plans, just as all the things that happened to them later were not
in the plans.

Why should the cynicism with which they have acted in Santo Domingo be
strange to us? Why should it be strange to us when we know that that is the
policy of the imperialists? Nevertheless, this does not make them stronger;
it makes them weaker. In reality, more than proof of power, that
unjustified, criminal, and stupid intervention is proof of fear, proof of
cowardice, proof of despair, for they saw an uprising of the people there
against their puppets, an uprising of military men and civilians. They saw
that they gave the people weapons, and they were filled with panic, terror.
They saw another Cuba emerging there in Santo Domingo. They did not even
have time to reason, analyze, or think, because they are now seeing ghosts
everywhere. They are seeing new Cubas everywhere, and that shows that they
no longer scorn Cuba. That shows that, after having scorned it so much,
there is a tiny little country in this continent that is no longer scorned
as much and inspires respect in them and--even more incredible--inspires
fear in them.

This is because Cuba has become something of a bogeyman to the
imperialists. Cuba has become something like a bogeyman for the Yankee
imperialists. Even in that struggle, which was not socialist and which
proposed the reestablishment of a deposed government, they saw the ghosts
of Cuba. Without thinking twice, they sent their ships, using the lie that
it was for the protection of lives and properties. They landed a few people
when the gorillas were attacked. They landed a battalion, but they thought
that a battalion would make everyone lie down there and that everyone was
going to be frightened.

But something new happened there, something which is new and which must
terrorize the imperialists: the peoples have lost their fear of the Yankee
imperialists (applause). That is new, and they did not count on that. They
thought that with one battalion as reinforcement there would not be another
shot heard. They landed the battalion and the shots continued to ring put,
and the constitutionalists continued to defeat the proimperialists. Then
they became even more frightened, and it was not one battalion there, but
two, three, a division--400, 1,000, 10,000, 30,000, 40,000 have landed. The
men landed and the crewmen of the ships total some 40,000. Of curse, we
should distinguish between being landed and being abandoned because the bay
they dare to land here, they will not only land, but they will also be
abandoned (applause). And it seems that they have been abandoned in Santo
Domingo, at least in the field of politics.

Really, that inglorious and unpremediated adventure was the product of fear
and the result of seeing ghosts, because the revolutionary wave that is
shaking the world--the revolutionary conscience of the peoples who are
aspiring to and fighting for their liberation on all the continents--has
frightened the "imperialists to such a degree and in such a way that they
are resorting to acts of true despair. It can be said that the landing of
marines in Santo Domingo has become a real political debacle.

But it is not we who say this. I have some dispatches here that I selected
at random--not at random, rather say that while reading some dispatches at
random, I selected some that express this. I am going to read you a
commentary written by a UPI commentator, and you all know what the UPI is,
that is--and it is very interesting and very revealing because it reveals
the intentions and the worries of the imperialists. The imperialists have
not only stuck their foot into it up to their hip in Santo
Domingo"discrediting their own instruments, their own colonial ministry,
the OAS, that docile and submissive organization that does nothing but
receive orders from Washington--but they have also abused it. They have
abused it to such an extent with the tip of their shoe that they have
created an unbearable situation for those gentlemen, a ridiculous situation
because, besides being an organization that does nothing but obey orders
from Washington, it is not even consulted when they are going to land their
marines there. They land them, and then later they call an OAS meeting to
say that they had to act rapidly and promptly, that there was no time to.
explain, and so forth.

And in passing they may take advantage of the meeting to do something that
they have had in mind for some time, that is the formation of a repressive
international force in this continent to intervene (several words
indistinct), because it is a little disagreeable, it is a little
scandalous, it is more difficult each time. And what do they want to do
now? They want to organize an international force with the gorillas to
intervene in any country of Latin America where they see the phantom of a
revolution, and revolution in Latin America is something more than a
phantom because they sometimes see phantoms where there are none, and they
saw a phantom in Santo Domingo.

However, it is a truth of history, an inflexible law of history, that all
peoples exploited by imperialism will liberate themselves from imperialism
and that the peoples of Latin America will liberate themselves also. Just
as those who fall in Asia for their liberation, and just as those who
remain unliberated in Africa will liberate themselves (applause) And this
of course is not a phantom; it is a reality. They want to organize their
international forces so that they can intervene, but by placing the OAS in
the fore.

Naturally, some governments are more brazen than others, and there are some
that are less brazen. Some of those governments cannot be called brazen,
but they are very few, very few. There are some governments, bourgeois
governments, capitalists, allies of the imperialists, who at least want to
have a little shame, and they want to have a little prestige with their own
people, a little bit of ethics. And when things such as Santo Domingo
happen, they embroil those governments in such fashion that some of them
resist. And clearly, they always have a certain number of votes. You know
how they obtained the 14 votes, although votes do not count. This business
of votes in the OAS is a fairy tale; what the United States says goes
there. Despite this, they found some resistance there from some governments
which had been placed in a very difficult position by this instance of

They obtained the 14 votes with the Dominican vote and, in addition, with
the vote of the United States--the government that had disappeared and had
been overthrown allied itself with the intervening government.

What did they get? They got the OAS to certify the intervention. It is
clear that the United States has committed a flagrant violation of
international law, of the OAS Charter itself, and of all the pacts it has
signed with its puppets. Nevertheless, after the crime was committed, they
aspired to and obtained, with the vote of other reactionary governments of
the Central American banana republics--the gorillas of Brazil, Paraguay,
and other reactionary governments, plus the vote of the overthrown
government of Santo Domingo--an agreement to create an international force.

However, even the creation of that force has created problems, because
there are many governments, such as that of Argentina, that do not know
what to do, that is between the sword and the wall, between the gorillas
and the people. In Argentina, the Chamber of Deputies condemned the Yankee
intervention in Santo Domingo and it has problems in sending soldiers, and
it is undecided whether to send them or not. The government of Venezuela is
undecided whether to send them or not because it is afraid to send soldiers
where the revolutionary spirit has penetrated into officer cadres and the
troops, as was the case of the revolutionary rebellions of Puerto Cabello
and Carupano. They are afraid that if they send soldiers they will become
contaminated with the revolutionary spirit of the Dominican people. They do
not know what to do.

One of the spokesman of reaction in Venezuela said: "Do not send troops
because they will act on the side of the communists. Do not send troops
because the Venezuelan army is not prepared for those missions." In other
words, they are afraid that the revolutionary infection of Santo Domingo
will spread and contaminate some of their troops. That is why the
government of the reactionary dictatorship of Honduras has sent troops;
some from Somoza in Nicaragua, some of Somoza's thugs; some policemen from
Costa Rica, which has committed the shameless act of sending a little troop
of some 20-odd men, a symbolic force, but the fact that there are only a
few does not remove the immortality from the action; and the gorillas of
Brazil say that they are going to send 800 men.

However, unusual things have happened. Those troops have already landed,
but the OAS has not yet formed a command for that multilateral force. Well,
then, they have landed them there, but not the multilateral command. There
are Hondurans and Costa Ricans there already, and am American colonel put
them in a Jeep and has them touring the safety zone because the Yankees
obviously need some Latin Americans there to smear with the blood of Santo
Domingo, to distribute the discredit over more than one government. The
catastrophe and their intentions are revealed in this development.

Here we have a commentator of the UPI who says the following--it is worth
reading because he says--this was on 15 May and things had not worsened as
they have since--"every day that passes, there is discouragement because
the almost fatal implications that the political crisis of the Dominican
Republic and the landing of U.S. military forces on that island have had
for the Organization of American States become more evident among Latin
American diplomatic circles. However, amid the legal ruins of the worst
catastrophe ever suffered by the OAS in all its history, as they say, some
hopes are beginning to appear that this conflict will serve in itself to
mold the organization into an American reality, from which it has generally
been very distant."

Among those ruins that are left of the OAS may be some that may serve for
the OAS to be am even better instrument for imperialist aggression--that
is, so that it will be molded to the interventionist policy of the United
States without further ado. The irony of the case is that all this has
happened while the system was happily celebrating its first 75 years of
life throughout the entire continent. Poor little one; poor little old OAS,
with its 75 years--look what they have done to it, and at a time when am
extraordinary conference was being prepared that, at least on paper, should
have decided if the time had come for the OAS to be modernized in order to
place itself in step with the world of the second half of the 20th Century!

The milligram of optimism that is preceived today in some Latin American
spheres is based on the idea that the North American military action, which
for many signifies a regression of a half century in continental relations,
may become the driving force for an indispensable revitalization of the
OAS. This causes some to speak with certain cynicism. They say: "There is
an old adage that there is no evil from which some good does not come." The
harshest blow received by the Latin America diplomats, many of them very
proud of the OAS--that is some filth they are proud of--was the brusque
proof that the greatest conquest they had thought of achieving through that
organization, the containment of U.S. policy to adjust it to certain
collective norms, was nothing but a mere illusion.

The crisis of the system had not come about--at least not in an acute
manner--because the United States had been carrying out a defensive
Inter-American policy. At the moment that President London B. Johnson
decided to take the initiative and head off a possible dangerous situation,
the OAS could no longer operate. If President Johnson had consulted the OAS
before sending his marines and his paratroopers, it is very possible that
he would have clashed with the scruples of many ambassadors who would not
have dared to violate the Bogota charter and the Inter-American treaties.
In typical Texan style, a UPI correspondent says--and do not think that he
is a revolutionary; no, the UPI correspondent is making an analysis, a
pessimistic one, of course, of the situation and "in Texan style," when he
says "in Texan style," he means to be flattering--do you understand?--as if
he were a man of action, a man of decision: with his Texan style, Johnson
created for the organization a very serious situation which shook its
foundations and placed those ambassadors

Vacillating and impotent in the face of the obvious U.S. decision, a
majority of the countries voted for the second alternative, that is, not to
denounce the United States but to try to cover for it. Despite this, the
ambassadors have been confronted with a need to mend their organization
with patches of dubious legitimacy. Each patch has become a violation of
the charter. In this manner, the Latin American diplomats, who have become
solid supporters of the U.S. action, can no longer use the dubious excuse
that if President Johnson did not consult the OAS, he assumes all
historical responsibility for the events. Officially, the OAS has become a
belated accomplice of U.S. landings, and this fact places it in the same
whirlwind in which the Washington government finds itself.

In other words, after the OAS agrees to the formation of these troops,
these people claim a victory, saying: Good, they are mow accomplices; this
massacre has not been perpetrated by the United states alone, for the rest
have participated in it by making it legal. The consultative meeting opened
its session on 1 May. On precisely that date, we forewarned our people
against some of these things, saying: When the United States was still
claiming humanitarian reasons for the action--that is why the meeting was
called, in accordance with the Bogota charter--in practice, however, at the
outset, it has been handling an explosive political situation, and it has
had to resort--without saying as much--to the Rio de Janeiro inter-American
reciprocal aid agreement, on the assumption that the Dominican situation
constitutes a threat to peace and security in the continent.

Johnson justified the landings a posteriori by asserting that this threat
existed. Some of the ambassadors who formed the special committee which
went to Santo Domingo also said later that they thought that this threat
existed. However, the consultative meeting of ministers, though it has not
pronounced itself in this respect, has set up an inter-American army. The
reason for this irregular mode of procedure, according to the ambassadors
themselves, is that this inter-American force was created not because the
threat existed, but to justify the presence of U.S. troops in another
country in the continent.

President Johnson had already personally taken care of coping with any real
threat that might have existed. This makes the OAS appear, then, as a
simple instrument of U.S. international policy. And this is where,
according to the diplomats, discrepancy arises between the OAS and reality.
If the United States and a majority of the American countries want the OAS
to become a really effective instrument for combating communism, they
should equip it through legal and even military machinery to attain this
authority. Up to now, the OAS has demonstrated that it cannot go beyond the
rhetorical area of declarations.

Furthermore, and for the first time, the Dominican crisis has produced a
delicate confrontation between the OAS and the United Nations. This is a
problem which also concerns many Latin American diplomats who agree with
the thesis upheld by Uruguay in the Security Council--that they are not in

Generally speaking, all Latin American diplomats admit that revision of the
system is necessary to keep it from succumbing to the Dominican problem. In
essence, the United States is committing a crime. The OAS is making this
crime legal. Here is a conclusion reached by a UPI correspondent: The
United States has not committed a crime, but the fact is that the OAS is no
good; and in order for the United States to avoid committing a crime, the
OAS must be made good--that is, there must be an instrument, a military
force, and an immediate, an automatic intervention in any given country in
Latin America whenever danger of revolution arises.

I have brought here with me a Havana declaration--the second Havana
declaration, because on that occasion, in that document, ratified by all of
the people, we had already explained U.S. policy in Latin America. This was
on 4 February 1962. What did the Second Havana Declaration say? I will not
read the entire declaration, only a part of it, (Castro devotes five
minutes to reading an excerpt from the Second Havana Declaration denouncing
U.S. foreign policy in Latin America and the use of U.S. military missions
and embassies to train reactionaries and spies to crush liberation
movements and colonially enslave the people-ed.)

Three years ago, in the Havana declaration, we explained U.S. policy. In
each one or our denunciations regarding OAS agreements, in each one of our
denunciations in the United Nations, we have been explaining this very
thing. And the facts--the facts--have taken care of proving our revolution
right--of proving the documents of our revolution right, as well as our
revolution's point or view, because this very thing, in am incredibly
cynical manner, is exactly what they have done in Santo Domingo.

And all of these actions, mixed with lies, deception, and guile--the same
thing as with the case of the planes bearing Cuban insignias. What has
complicated the U.S. situation in Santo Domingo? The people's decision, the
people's determination, the fact that the people were not intimidated by
the landings.

And the imperialists, in the face of the people's decision, checked
themselves before staging a massacre. They were afraid. If the people had
not been firm, then, without any consideration whatever, they would have
compelled the constitutionalists to surrender and to turn in their weapons.
But they remained firm, and with that firmness, they have gained time. They
remained firm, and with that firmness, the lies and the false pretexts, and
the arguments employed by imperialism have crumbled. And so, while the OAS
was bewildered about what to do, while a solution was being thought about,
the constitutionalists, called on the people through their radio station
and explained their cause to the people.

What happened? To what procedure did the imperialists resort? There was a
radio station on the air. What to do? They were in the San Isidro base.
They had occupied the San Isidro base completely. However, Wessin's planes
were there. Then they gave instructions for Wessin's planes to take off and
bomb the radio station. While Wessin's planes bombed the radio station--and
those planes could not have left the San Isidro base without U.S.
assent--the U.S. representative in the OAS protested the bombings. He said
that it was a bombing, a violation of the truce. In other words, while on
the one hand they ordered the bombing of a radio station, they protested in
the OAS, It is clear why the ambassador of a Latin American government who
had just gone to Santo Domingo-the Chilean Ambassador--who had witnessed
things himself, declared there in the OAS that those planes could not have
taken off without U.S. consent and that this story--that this had been a
spontaneous action on the part of Wessin--was a lie. He said that the
United States was responsible for that bombing.

These facts, of course, render the U.S. international position weaker by
the moment. The problem continued without solution. The rebels continued

And what have they done now? When they intervened, they set up a corridor.
They divided the constitutionalist forces in two. One part remained cut off
by the American corridor. Now instructions have been issued to the
pro-imperialist forces to attack the group of constitutionalists outside
the corridor. They have been defending themselves there heroically for more
than 48 hours, separated--rather, pinned down--between the attack of the
reactionaries and the U.S. corridor which separates them from their

The Americans, of course, continue with their usual guile. They say that
the truce has been violated and they try to present this fact as an action
beyond their control. In fact, when the imperialists intervened, the people
had already crushed their enemies. They had been thoroughly defeated, They
were so beaten that they requested Yankee intervention.

The United States tied the revolutionaries' hands, surrounded them; and
while tying their hands it hurls the reactionary forces in an attack on the
rebels, first in the redoubt that is separated from the bulk of their
forces--that is, as a way to bring pressure to bear.

There is another dispatch here, this time from the AFP, that explains the
United States' part in this offensive, because here I underlined what it
explains. (?After giving an account) of all that is happening, it speaks of
the casualties, the number of dead, in that situation, and it says: Trucks
with the white star of the US Army leave for the combat zones full of
Imbert soldiers, the soldiers of the reactionary Junta. Other Imbert men
coming from the combat zone cluster together to take shelter from the
bullets behind a U.S. tank.

This is to say, after saving it from the people's wrath, the United States
has reorganized that force, provided it with transportation, and is hurling
those forces at the constitutionalists. To be sure, the United States'
position is becoming weaker and weaker. It is doing all that to bring the
utmost pressure to bear and obtain the most concessions possible. Now,
while attacking the constitutionalist, they present a new formula: a
government headed by a gentlemen who was a minister (?under Bosch), a
millionaire. Now it is said that they are discovering that Imbert, of the
junta they are protecting (several words indistinct), is opposed.

It says--this is an AP dispatch: Imbert called Guzman a Bosch Puppet. He
said he reminded the U.S. envoys that the primary North American objective
was to keep the Dominican Republic from falling under communist control.
But the U.S. spokesman has begun to back down from Washington's original
statement to the effect that communists dominated the rebel movement. Now,
after newsmen and a number of people have gone there and have been able to
see the truth, they have to begin looking for an explanation, and one
Harriman--another of these shameless imperialists who go around trying to
explain things-said that the hardcore communists who were there are now
leaving the island to create problems somewhere else, and are disappearing.
Who can believe that from that area. Surrounded by a cordon, with the
Yankee fleet behind, in a 20-block zone, anybody could be getting out? But
what is happening? The newsmen and everybody have demonstrated the
falseness of all arguments used by the United States. (sentence indistinct)

The fact is that the people's resistance has created a serious problem for
the imperialists. They want to solve the problem. They were apparently
willing to make some concessions, but a minimum. We are sure that to the
degree the constitutionalists stand firm, they will win the fight, because
the U.S. situation grows steadily weaker, more critical, more false, more
ridiculous in the eyes of the world.

Now the OAS finds that the United Nations is there too. The United Nations
is no saint, Everybody knows the responsibility borne by the United Nations
in the problems of the Congo. Everybody knows Lumumba was murdered in the
Congo while the United Nations was there. The United Nations is no saint.
But various viewpoints have a place in the United Nations, and various
governments. The United Nations is a forum where the Cuban Revolutionary
Government, for example, is always present telling the imperialists the
truth to their face. The United Nations is not such an easy tool as the OAS
to manipulate, although it has often been manipulated by the imperialists.

It is easier for them to manipulate the OAS than the United Nations. The
presence of the United Nations there has created a new problem for then. We
know the United Nations well. Now U Thant has sent a U.N. representative
and a delegation. Those are never people to be trusted very much, but in
any case that kind of witness does not suit the imperialists.

The imperialists' situation has become weaker. As a result, they are
obliged to have recourse to these tricks, to bombing the radio station. And
why? Because the radio station, by telling the people the truth, was
increasingly weakening the reactionary forces and strengthening the
constitutionalist forces. They bombed the station. Now they are attacking
the constitutionalist forces. An AFP correspondent bears witness that the
attacking troops are being moved in Yankee trucks and sheltered behind
Yankee tanks. A newsman (few words indistinct) who is not an American and
who tells what he is seeing there.

And then the U.S. position is weakening steadily in the OAS. The latter is
split; some governments resist, go on playing the miserable, ridiculous,
paltry role they are filling there. The OAS' loss of prestige is complete.
The situation of all governments that are allies of the United States is
difficult, delicate; and hence to the degree the constitutionalists are
able to stand firm, their cause will come through with flying colors.

For the imperialists are beginning to make concessions. First there was
Wessin; then they set up a military junta with Imbert. Now they are
suggesting this Guzman, who was a minister under Bosch. But they are making
concessions because their situation is disastrous--their political
situation and their moral position--as a result of the firmness and
resistance displayed by the people. This demonstrates once again that when
imperialism is met resolutely, imperialists hesitate; when they encounter
firmness, the imperialists pause.

Among the papers I have here is one that is worth looking at. There is a
dispatch here, also from the AP, another Yankee agency. It explains how the
Yankee soldiers conduct themselves there in the Dominican Republic. It is
disgusting to read this dispatch--disgusting. It explains:

From the top of an eight story silo, a U.S, paratrooper with a range-finder
is trying to spot a yellow truck along the docks. His mission is to direct
the lethal fire of the gunners of the paratroop division against the
rebels. The target this morning is a machinegun mounted on the back of the
vehicle, A unit of the Third Artillery has taken position atop the silo on
the banks of the Ozana. On the other side of the river, the rebel zone
extends like a target for the machine guns, bazookas, grenade-throwers, and
106-millimeter guns of the U.S. troops.

For two weeks they have been firing at the city, says this correspondent of
the UPI--of the AP-- two weeks they have been firing at the city,
dispatching snipers and destroying gun positions. The Dominicans have fled
from the port area in terror. Sgt. (name indistinct), 35, from
(?Hutchinson), Kansas, finally locates the yellow truck, parked in a narrow
street, partly hidden by some of the damaged buildings of the section. The
man who is to fire is Robert Hooker, 19, of Baltimore, Maryland. He lays
down a letter he is writing to his mother and take his place behind some
flour sacks to spy out his target. A piece of corrugated steel has been
removed from the silo wall and Hooker has a clear view of the city at his
feet. For his work he uses an M-l6 rifle. It shoots with such velocivy that
if a bullet hits a finger it takes off the whole arm, one soldier brags.

Hooker waits for his target to move, to offer a good shot. But the
telephone rings; an order comes from the command post that the truck is not
to be fired at unless it fires first. But what is going on; are we having a
ceasefire or something? the soldier asks another. He is making a sarcastic
reference to the ceasefire agreed on two weeks ago, which the OAS was
unable to make good.

Another says that sometimes the gunners are left free to practice their aim
on any armed rebel. Other days, he says, the order is to fire only if
attacked. Some days, the gunners are free to practice their aim, while
other days they must not fire unless fired at.

Hooker goes back to his letter. Now it says. "The lethal fire of the
gunners has left big holes in half a dozen buildings along the docks. This
week they shot a 106-millimeter shell at the facade of a customs warehouse.
They had seen rebels entering and leaving the place for three days. The
building burned to its foundations, along with two alongside.

The gunners of the Third Brigade of the 82d Division are proud of their aim
and their reputation. The rebels have charged that they have killed 27
Dominicans. Sgt. Henry Wiggin, 26, Indianola, says--the rebels, he
says--the rebels have charged that they have killed 27 Dominicans. The
rebels keep count for us, is the ironical comment of Sgt. Henry Wiggin, 26,
from Indiana, Mississippi. His brother-in-arms, Douglas Lucas, 21, from
Whitesburg, Kentucky, has the highest score. "As far as I know, I have
killed eight Dominicans. It must be I shoot more often than my buddies."

And this is not a newsman who is an enemy of the imperialists. No, it is an
AP man reporting from there on the talk among the soldiers, applauding
because, for the Yankees, murdering eight Dominicans is something smart;
for the artillery brigade to be proud of its aim in murdering Dominicans is
something smart. And this reveals what the imperialists are, the
imperialist mentality (several words indistinct), the way they even praise
their crimes. Nobody need doubt that some day there will be a Hollywood
movie about the heroism of this Dominican (word indistinct), about the
heroism and the aim of the gunners of the paratroop brigade. Just as they
used to make movies about Tarzan and the whites always fighting in Africa
against the tribes, conquering; they were the good guys, the noble men; the
others were the savages.

They educated the people in that mentality, and so I say it is not to be
wondered at if they make heroes of novels and movies out of these criminals
who are over there as if on a hunting trip, with superior weapons, hunting
human, beings and bragging about it. That is the imperialists, that is the
soldiers of imperialism, and this is what shows us who our enemies are and
how our enemies must be dealt with, and how we are going to deal with them
if some day they set foot on our soil. That kind of mercenary, that kind of
criminal, and these facts--which are not inventions, which are not taken
from revolutionary newspapers, and which show all the cynicism, the
stinking, rotten, reactionary, inhuman heart of the imperialists--these
facts, better than any book, better than any (word indistinct), better than
any theory, teach us to be revolutionaries, teach us to know our enemies;
these facts demonstrate the rightness of our cause, the justice, dignity,
and morality embodied in our revolutionary cause, the cause for peoples who
want to free themselves from the criminals as we liberated ourselves; from
the exploiters, as we have been liberated in hard fighting.

Those who were in the mountains remember this kind of official thuggery,
the massacres; they remember the killing at Loro de Guisa: 46 peasants
murdered in a single afternoon; and then a war communique: 46 rebels killed
in combat. And the killings at Peladero, and the killings at Ojo de Agua,
and the killings in all those regions by those criminals who were defending
the interests of the imperialists and the United Fruit Company, the
landowners, the exploiters, the persons who skinned our people. We freed
ourselves from them by fighting.

Against them we have maintained our freedom, fighting. That is why we must
have a large army, why we must make a big sacrifice, employing innumerable
contingents of capable and hard-working young men, who anywhere in the
field of production would be in the vanguard, who as heads of production
would be creating wealth with their hands or by their leadership. And we
must have innumerable cadres, innumerable men in our armed forces, and
invest economic resources, because freedom has its price, because
independence has its price. Its price is such that our ancestors fought for
it for a century; its price is such that our (word indistinct) Manuel de
Cespedes (few words indistinct) 68 until Maceo fell at Punta Brava, (few
words indistinct) fighting for years, and they did not win independence;
and when they did, the gringos came and took it away. For 50 years we had
an ambassador giving orders. The price was such that it cost not only
rivers of blood, but it cost a century. Those wars of independence brought
the destruction of fields, the destruction of our wealth, and the loss of
hundreds of thousands of lives, and still we did not win our freedom, we
did not win our independence. We were like any of those countries voting in
the OAS.

Had there not been a revolution, the (?commissioned) Cuban representative
would have been there supporting the intervention; the henchmen who
murdered peasants, workers, and students here would also have been landing
there in order to kill Dominicans. But to the honor and the glory of Cuba,
Cuba is not there, because there was a revolution, because we made
ourselves independent. No longer are we like those countries which are
intervening upon imperialist orders, or are invaded at the will of the
imperialists. Nor do we intervene because we are on the side of the people,
on the side of the exploited; we are on the side of the humble, the poor,
and of those who are fighting. Moreover, they are not going to invade us
any more, not because we are protected by an OAS Charter, but because our
cannon, our rifles, and our weapons (applause) are protecting us. That is,
we have won this right, and this right has meant work, has meant
sacrifices, has meant resources; because that is the price of freedom; it
is the price of independence; it is the price of the revolution.

We have the satisfaction of having finished the work begun by our
ancestors, and the certainty that we shall continue it without anyone being
able to stop us. We have the satisfaction that even with this sacrifice we
are progressing. We have the satisfaction that even under the blockade,
that although we must maintain so many men under arms, that although there
is no unemployment, we shall produce 6 million tons of sugar this year

We have the satisfaction that the revolution is progressing with
organization. We have the satisfaction that hundreds of thousands of
workers are already studying to pass the sixth grade. We have the
satisfaction that not a single child is without a school, not a single
school is without a doctor.

We have the satisfaction that, amid the struggles and the battles, we are
gaining ground and are advancing. We remember that it was precisely during
those days of Giron that the literacy struggle, the great literacy
campaign, was being waged, and the battle of Giron was waged without
halting that campaign, without ceasing the creative work. For that is how
the revolution must advance, fighting and advancing, defending itself and
making the necessary sacrifices, but progressing and creating. This is what
we must do today: fight, study, work.

For how long? We do not know, but while there exist imperialists--and there
will be imperialists as long as there are nations oppressed by
imperialism--there will be threats, and we shall have to be prepared. It
will last for many years. We must understand this, but it makes no

We know that our path is just, that our step is firm, that our victory is
certain, as will be the victory of the people. Victory will go to the
people. Years sooner or years later, defeat will go to the imperialists.
Victory will go to the exploited nations in America, Asia, and Africa.
Years sooner or years later, defeat will go to the imperialists and the

That is why we do not mind these sacrifices--we less than anyone else.
Those who preceded us did so, and they brought us victory. We have seen
victory and we shall continue to see victory. Never again shall we see
defeat because we prefer death to defeat. There is no defeat for the
revolutionary. For the man who has liberated himself and for the nation
which has liberated itself, defeat is not possible. Men may die in combat,
part of a nation may die in combat, but the nations which are prepared to
die for what is theirs will never know defeat, and we are prepared for
that. We have learned that and other nations will learn it.

The imperialists' fear will increase and the imperialists' despair will
grow, and not because Cuba is plotting, for what Cuba is doing is giving an
example, the example of not fearing the imperialists. Other nations are
learning this--the example that it is possible to win freedom by fighting.
This is the law of history. The nations will win, and these shameful and
dark pages, these bloody and indescribable pages will be left behind, and
the guilty will receive the punishment of their defeat. Fatherland or
death, we shall win.