Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish 0150 GMT 4 October

(Live speech by Premier Fidel Castro at the presentation of the PURSC
Central Committee from Havana's Chaplin Theater)

(Text) Honored guests; central committee comrades; comrades of the
provincial, regional and sectional committees, comrade secretaries of the
cells of our party.

I am compelled to begin with a topic which has not direct relation with the
purpose of this meeting but since it is a timely question and of political
interest, I cannot refrain from referring to it. It is the outcome of the
proposal made on 28 September with regard to a fact that had been taking
place for three years. It was a perfidious thing used by the enemy to wage
a campaign against our revolution. It is the case of people who, upon
suspension flights between Cuba and Miami, were left with one foot here and
the other one there.

In order to unmask Yankee imperialism once and for all in this regard, we
made the statement on 28 September, which you know about. And when they
later said that the statement was somewhat vague and ambiguous, as well as
that it had not been made through diplomatic channels, we made a second and
very clear and very concrete statement so we could settle the dispute once
and for all.

Today, the cables carry the news regarding the definite reply by the United
States Government in this regard. I am going to read the news carried in
these cables. In short, it says: "President Johnson"--this is an AP
cable--"President Johnson announced today that he will strive for a
diplomatic understanding with Cuba so Cubans who want to leave their
country can take asylum in the United States."

This thing about "diplomatic understandings" means an agreement through
diplomatic channels with regard to this problem. It says: "I have requested
the State Department to seek through the Swiss Embassy, entrusted with U.S.
affairs, the consent of the Government of Cuba in a request to the
president of the International Red Cross." It also says: "I have given
instructions to the Departments of State, Justice, Health, Education, and
Welfare, to make the necessary arrangements to enable those who seek
freedom in Cuba to enter the United States in an orderly manner."

In another cable with more news, it adds: "Mr. Johnson also stated: `Once
more this has revealed the mark of defeat of a regime. When many of its
citizens freely elect to leave the nation where they were born to go to a
home of hope, the future harbors little hope for any government when the
present does not permit hopes for its people.'" He said that "the refugees
would be welcome with the thought that some day they can return to their
country to find it rid of terror and free from fear." In other words, they
apparently did not have any other alternative, nor any other way. It means,
in the first place, that we have won a battle for freedom. (applause)

Mr. Johnson, would not be Johnson, nor would he be President of the United
States, nor would he be a Yankee, if he did not use this proverbial
pharisaism to accompany this statement with all this condiment with regard
to the hopes of the comrades who will go to the United States in search of
freedom and which can offer nothing to their future when at the present
time they only offer the prospect of having to quit the country to the
citizens of a national. (sentence as heard) He also talks about the Red
Cross. Therefore, we consider it necessary to reply to Mr. Johnson on these
matters which have nothing to do with the matter itself which we proposed.
And we should make some pertinent remarks on all this.

In the first place, the Yankee news agencies and many of the executives of
that nation as well as some news agencies which are not Yankees, but which
apparently through hearing the arguments repeated, such as REUTERS and ARP,
have echoed the statement that this meant a change in the policy with
regard to those who wanted to leave the nation--and this is absolutely
false. From the beginning of the revolution, there has been only one policy
in regard to this.

From the beginning of the revolution, until the October crisis, all who
wished and who had received permission from the United States to leave this
country were leaving without being stopped. And when at the beginning of
the October crisis they stopped the flights to Cuba there was not a change
in the policy of the Revolutionary Government, because through the other
routes, that is the route of Spain and the route of Mexico, nearly 300
pesons continued to leave monthly, in other words, more than 3,000 persons
per year.

There has not been the slighted change in the policy of those who wish to
leave the country. What we have done is to unmask the bad faith and the
hypocrisy of the Yankee imperialism, the only one responsible for the
routes to leave normally being closed in order to promote a certain type of
clandestine and protected (presumably Castro means "dangerous"--ed.)
departures with the only object to make propaganda.

Mr. Johnson possibly ignores that in the United States, when the war of
independence took plane to free itself from the English colonial period,
thousands upon thousands of North Americans left the country after the
independence and went to Canada. In all revolutions whether it be the
French revolution or the Russian revolution or the Cuban revolution, this
phenomenon of departure or immigration of the privileged classes is an
historical fact. If the departure from a country, if the departure of men
and women who are born in a country to another country could be an
indication of the characteristics of a social regime, the best example is
the case of Puerto Rico, an island which the Yankee imperialism took over
and which it has maintained under an exploiting, colonial regime and the
reason for which more than one million of the men and women born in that
country have had to immigrate to the United States. And Mr. Johnson forgot
about Puerto Rico and the million of the Puerto Ricans who live in New York
under the hardest living conditions in the poorest neighborhoods and doing
the most humiliating jobs.

Naturally, this talk about the Red Cross is a trick of Mr. Johnson in order
to dramatize the matter. Really, who has said that to issue passports and
grant permission for some planes to land in Miami, the Red Cross must
intervene? What does the Red Cross have to do with this? This does not have
any thing to do with an earthquake, a hecatomb, or a way, but the more
issuance of authority for the arrival in the United States and
authorization for the landing of the planes or the ships--the arrival of
the ships. We do not need the Red Cross in this case.

The Red Cross could intervene to propose to the U.S. Government for it to
cease the criminal measure through which the export of medications is
prohibited to Cuba. For this we would need the International Red Cross.
(applause) In any case, the Red Cross could do a better job in South
Vietnam where the Yankee soldiers (applause) where the Yankee soldiers
murder thousands, murder and torture the citizens of that nation by the
thousands, or in North Vietnam where the criminal Yankee bombings do not
distinguish one thing from another. They bomb cities just like they bomb
villages, schools, and hospitals. The Red Cross could have something to do
in Santo Domingo where the invading soldiers commit all kinds of outrages
against the people and they occupy the students' schools. (applause) The
Red Cross could intervene in the United States in order to prohibit the
massacres of Negro citizens like the one that took place recently in Los
Angeles, California. (applause)

However, for this question, Mr. Johnson, the Red Cross need not be present.
It is enough for us to hold discussions with the representatives of the
Swiss Embassy, who are the representatives for the U.S. interests in Cuba,
and we can make agreements with them very well on any transaction. No one
else need be present; we accept the sincerity and responsibility of the
Swiss officials. Now, if the U.S. Government does not have confidence or
does not believe in the ability of the Swiss Embassy, that is the problem
of the U.S. Government. (applause)

Now, speaking very seriously on these questions of freedom, I would like to
know if Mr. Johnson would like to answer a couple of questions. (laughter)
Inasmuch as we here have been permitting all those who wish to leave Cuba
since the beginning of the revolution, inasmuch as we have never denied
permission to those who have wanted to leave to visit their families and
wanted to return, also if there are Cubans who have families in the United
States and wish to be united with them, there are also Cubans who have
families in the United States and they do not wish to abandon their nation.
(applause) And inasmuch as Mr. Johnson stood by the Statue of Liberty and
took the trouble to sprinkle his statements with these trivialities dealing
with liberty, I ask him if the United States will permit Cubans in the
United States to visit their relatives in Cuba and then return to the
United States. (prolonged applause) If the United States is willing to
permit Cubans who do not wish to live in the United States to visit their
relatives in the United States and return to Cuba, and finally if the
United States is disposed to allow U.S. citizens to visit Cuba. (prolonged

Because that same government which says that those who leave that nation
travel the wrong path, we can tell them that a nation could travel a worse
path, despite the fast that it is a nation which publicizes a great deal
and thinks that it is a nation of liberties. Despite the fact that it has
been able to attain the standard of economic development which they have
reached, they are afraid to permit U.S. citizens to visit this nation,
which is so slandered about fear and terror--as they call it. (applause)

Therefore, here is the second question to the U.S. Government: We call upon
you also to permit those Cubans who live in the United States to come to
Cuba to visit their relatives who do not wish to go live in the United
States, and to permit those relative who live in Cuba and do not want to
leave Cuba, to go to the United States and return. Finally, we ask that
they permit the students or any U.S. citizens to come (word indistinct) to
visit Cuba in the same manner that we permit any Cuban citizen to leave or
return (applause); that the U.S. Government permit the Negro
representatives of the U.S. Negro organizations to visit Cuba, or the
organizations of the defenders of civil rights to see how, with the
disappearance of the exploitation of man, by many, racial discrimination
had ended for good in our nation. (applause)

And let us see if Mr. Johnson, before the world and the U.S. people has an
answer to this call which is not gibberish. We maintain our position, we
maintain our declaration and we wait for the pertinent meeting on this
matter to be solicited by the Swiss representatives of the Swiss Embassy
when they receive the pertinent instructions from the U.S. Government. But
we hope to see whether Mr. Johnson has a way of reply to this call. (Castro
pauses) And since they talk about to much, since they brag so much about
freedom, enough of this talk about false freedoms; enough of this talk
about abstract freedoms. The facts have shown that where world of freedom
is really being created is not there but here. (applause)

We do not want against his will to have to live in this society, because
our socialist society, our communist society, must be eminently a truly
free association of citizens. (Hesitant applause which increases in volume)
And although it is true that certain citizens educated in those ideas of
the past and in that system of life of the past prefer to go to the United
States, it is also true that this country has become the sanctuary of the
revolutionaries of this continent. (applause) It is also true that we
consider worthy of the hospitality of this people and this land, not only
those born here but also all men and women of our own tongue and of our own
culture--and when not of our own tongue, of similar historical and ethnic
origins, or similar history of exploitation.

And they have a right to come to this country and, all those who have
wanted to, have made use of this right--those pursued by bloody and
imperialist oligarchies. Many man and women who were born in other sister
territories of this continent have come to this country to live permanently
or temporarily. Many technicians and many professional from various parts
of America have come to live and work in this country for many years. This
is not just a country of Cubans--this is a country of revolutionaries.

The revolutionaries of the continent have a right to consider themselves
our brothers, and they are worthy of this right. This includes North
American revolutionaries (applause), because some leaders, like Robert
Williams, fiercely persecuted there, found asylum in this land. Thus, just
as he, so can those being persecuted by reactionaries and exploiters find
asylum here. It does not matter if they speak English and born in the
United States. This is the fatherland of the revolutionaries of this
continent, just as the United States is the inevitable asylum of all the
henchman, of all the embezzlers (applause), of all the exploiters (applause
continuing), of all the reactionaries of this continent.

Because there is not a thief, there is not an exploiter, there is not a
reactionary, there is not a criminal, for whom the United States does not
keep its gates open. And with this, we have replied to Mr. Johnson's words
spoken under his discolored Statue of Liberty (hesitant applause), which no
one knows what it represents, that hodgepodge of stone and hypocrisy,
unless it is what Yankee imperialism means to the world today.

Now we are going to turn to our business, to matters of our party. Because
I think that the news reports coming from here, those regarding our social
successes, our economic successes, and our political successes, are very
bad news for the Yankee imperialists. Naturally, anything which strengthens
and advances the revolution, anything that allows us to make the best
progress, is of very high concern to them.

Because of this, they will return--yes, some day they will long to come
back, repentant, a large portion of the ones that left. But when Johnson
talks about returning here as liberators we could tell him that this is an
"autumn night's dream." (applause)

All the nation has received with joy and enthusiasm the news of the
constitution of our central committee. The names of the comrades which
makes up that committee as well as their history are well known. If all are
now known by all, all are known by a large and important part of the
nation. We have endeavored to pick those who in our judgement present in
the most complete manner the history of our revolution. Those who in
addition to the struggle for the revolution are well as the struggle for
the consolidation, defense, and development of the revolution have worked
and have fought obstinately and tirelessly. There is no heroic episode in
the history of our country during the last years when they have not been
presented. There is no sacrifice, there is no fight, there is no prowess,
civilian or military, heroic or creative, in which they are not
represented. There is no social revolutionary sector which is not
represented. I do not speak about organizations. There are men who for a
long time were bearers of the socialist ideas, just like the case of the
founder of the first communist party, Comrade Favio Grobart. (applause)
Cases like that of Comrade Helena Gil, (applause) whose extraordinary work
at the front of the schools, which were attended by more than 40,000
mountain peasant women, and where thousands of teachers have been developed
where today more than 50,000 youths and children study, and which we
consider a truly exemplary job. Or the case of Comrade Arteaga (applause),
who besides his history of struggle, has worked for seven years in the
agricultural sector and has developed successful plans, in some cases
outstanding plans like the Escambray agricultural plan. (applause)

Cases of comrades like Lieutenant Tarrao, whom many have not heard of, but
who is a comrade the Ministry of Interior placed at the head of the
rehabilitation plans at the Isle of Pines (applause) where he has developed
with an exemplary and unselfish attitude, a brilliant job about which some
day a lot will be said and written.

I have mentioned cases of comrades, some well known and other less known.
The list of the comrades from the Revolutionary Armed Forces would be
unending. (applause) For their stories before and after the triumph, as an
example of the exemplary revolutionaries, of untiring workers, as an
example of superiority in study, in the development of agriculture, of the
cultural levels and of the political levels, comrades of an extraordinary
modesty, in whose hands the defense of the fatherland has fundamentally
been placed.

In these seven years of dangers and of threats, the most well known, of
which it is not necessary to talk about--this does not mean that the only
values of the nation are here, far from it. Our nation has many values, and
above all, a promotion of new comrades in full development, which one day
without a doubt will arrive to demonstrate that responsibility and that

It we ask ourselves who is missing, without a doubt we would say that there
are some that are missing. It would be impossible to constitute a central
committee with 100 revolutionary comrades without many cadres who are
missing. However, the important thing is not those who are missing--they
will come later. What is important are those who are here and what they
represent. We know that the party and the people have welcomed the central
committee, which has been constituted with satisfaction. (lengthy applause)

This committee, meeting yesterday, adopted several agreements. Firstly, it
ratified the measures adopted by the former national leadership, ratified
the politburo, the secretariat, and the work commissions, as well as the
comrade elected to the post of organization secretary. (applause) Moreover,
it adopted to important agreements, which had also been suggested by the
former national leadership.

One of them relates to our official organ: instead of two newspapers or a
political nature, such as were being published, to concentrate the human
resources, to concentrate the resources of machinery and paper in order to
make a new, single morning newspaper of a political nature, in addition to
the paper EL MUNDO, which is not precisely a political orientation
newspaper; to combine all these resources and to make a new newspaper that
will bear the name of GRANMA, (applause) the symbol of our revolutionary
concept and of our road.

The other agreement is even more important, dealing with the name of our
party. First we were ORI, during the first steps of the unification of the
revolutionary forces, with its positive and negative aspects. Then we were
the United Party of the Socialist Revolution, which represented
extraordinary progress, an extraordinary advance in the creation of out
political apparatus, an effort of three years in which, from the bottomless
quarry of our people, countless numbers of exponents were extracted from
within the ranks of our workers, enabling us to become today what we
represent in numbers, but, above all, what we are in quality.

The name United Party of the Socialist Revolution says much, but is does
not say it all. The name still gives the idea of something that had to be
united, that still recalls the origins of each one. Since we fell that we
have already reached a stage in which all types of labels and things that
distinguish some revolutionaries from others must disappear one and for all
and forever and that we have already reached the fortunate point in the
history of our revolutionary process in which we can say that there is only
one type of revolutionary, and since it is necessary that the name of or
party say, not what we were yesterday, but what we are today and what we
will be tomorrow, what, in your opinion, is the name our party should have?
(Crows makes tumultuous indistinct response--ed.)

What is, what is, comrades, what is--a comrade from here, the comrades from
there, the comrades over there, the comrades over there? The Communist
Party of Cuba! (prolonged cheers, applause) well, that is the name that,
the interpreting the development of our party, the revolutionary conscience
of its members, and the objectives of our revolution, our first central
committee adopted yesterday, and that is quite proper.

As we explained to the comrades of the committee yesterday, the word
"communist" has been very calumnied and very denigrated throughout
centuries. There have been communists throughout history, men of communist
ideas, men who conceived a way of living different from the society in
which they have been born. Those who thought in a communist manner in other
times were considered, for example, utopian communists who though 500 years
was a short time because in an idealistic manner they aspired for a type of
society which was not possible at that time because of the lack of
development of the productive sources of man.

Of course man could not return to the communist from which primitive man
originated, to live in a primitive form of communism, unless there was such
a degree of development of his productive forces and such a method of
utilization of those forces, a social mode of using those forces, that
material goods and services could be produced in more than sufficient
quantities to satisfy the needs of man.

All the exploiters, all the privileged always hated the word "communist" as
if it were a crime. They anathematized the word "communist" and that is why
when Marx and Engels wrote their Communist Manifesto which gave origin to a
new revolutionary theory, to a scientific interpretation of human society,
human history, they said "a phantom is sweeping Europe, and that is the
phantom of communism," because privileged classes viewed those ideas as a
phantom, with true fear. Moreover the privileged classes in any era of
history always contemplated new ideas with extraordinary fear.

Roman society was also terrorized in its era by the Christian ideas when
these ideas rose in the world. And they were at one time the ideas of the
poor and the slaves of those times. Because of their hate for these new
ideas, that society cast into the flames and into the circus countless
numbers of human beings. In like fashion, during the middle ages, in the
era of feudalism, new ideas were persecuted and their originators calumnied
and treated in the worst manner. The new ideas that rose with the
bourgeoisie during feudalism, whether those ideas adopted political,
philosophical, or religious positions, these were cruelly anathematized and
persecuted. The reactionary classes have used all means to anethmatize and
calumny new ideas.

Thus all the power and all the means at their disposal are not enough for
their purposes of calumnying communist ideas, as if the desire for a
society where man will not be an exploiter of man but a true brother of
man, as if the dream of a society in which all human beings are equal in
fact and in law, not just a simple constitutional clause such as those
contained in the bourgeois constitutions where they say that all men are
born free and equal, as if that could be said equally of a child born in a
slum, in a poor cradle, and of a child born in a golden cradle, as if it
could ever be said in a society of exploiters and exploited, or rich and
poor, that all men are born free and equal, as if all those men were called
upon in life to have the same opportunity.

The perennial dream of men, a dream possible today, of a society-without
exploiters or exploited, has drawn the hate and the rancor of all the
exploiters. The imperialists, as if they were offending us, as if it were
an offense, speak of the communist Government of Cuba just as the work
"Mambi" was used against our liberators as an offense, in like fashion they
attempt to use the work "communist" as an offense. And the work "communist"
is not an offense for us but an honor. (applause) It is the word which
symbolizes the aspiration of a large party of humanity and hundreds and
hundreds of millions of human beings are concretely working for it today,
Within 100-years, there will be no greater honor nor will there by anything
more natural and logical than to be called "communists." (applause)

We are headed toward a communist society and if the imperialists do not
want soup, well, we will give them three bowls of soup. (applause) From now
on, gentlemen of the UP and AP, when you call us "communists" you know you
are calling us the most honorable thing you can call us. (prolonged

There is an absence in our central committee of one who possess all the
merits and all the virtues in the highest degree to belong to it and who,
however, is not along the members of the central committee. Around this the
enemy had been able to weave a thousand conjectures. The enemy has tried to
confuse and to sow discord and doubt. And patiently, because it was
necessary to wait, we have waited. That is the difference between the
revolutionary and the counterrevolutionary, between the revolutionary and
the imperialist. We revolutionaries know how to wait. We know how to have
patience. We never despair and the reactionaries, the
counterrevolutionaries, the imperialists continue in perennial desperation.

They live in perennial anguish, in a perennial lying of the most
ridiculous, of the most childish. When we read some of the things about
those officials, come of those Yankee senators, one asks: "But how is it
possible that this gentlemen is not in a stable instead of belonging to
what is called a "Congress." (applause) Some of them speak veritable
barbarities. Any they have a tremendous habit of lying. They cannot live
without lying. They live in anguish. If the revolutionary does something,
which is what Cuba was always going, such as that to which I referred at
the beginning, they see truculent things, terrible things, a plan behind
all that. How ridiculous. In what fear, they live.

One asks oneself: "Do they believe that?: "Do they believe that?: "Could
they believe all they say?" "Do they have a need to believe all they say or
can they not live without believing all they say or do they say all that
they do not believe?" It is difficult. It would be a question for doctors
and psychologists. What do they have in this minds? What anguish is that?
They see a maneuver in everything, a truculent, dark, terrible plan. And
they do no know that there is not better tactic, nor a better strategy than
to fight with clean weapons, than to fight with the truth, because those
are the only weapons which inspire trust. They are the only weapons which
inspire faith. They are the only weapons which inspire safety, moral
dignity. And it has been with those weapons that we revolutionaries have
been vanquishing and crushing our enemies.

You will never here a lie from the mouth of a revolutionary. There are
weapons which do not benefit any revolutionary, and no serious
revolutionary needs to resort to lies--ever. His weapon is reason, (word
indistinct), the truth, the ability to have an idea, a purpose, a position;
in short, the moral spectacle of our adversaries in truly lamentable. And
thus, the diviners, the interpreters, the specialists in Cuban affairs, and
the electronic brains have been working incessantly to solve this mystery,
whether Ernesto Guevara has been purges, (applause) whether Ernesto Guevara
was ill, whether Ernesto Guevara had had differences, and other questions
of the same ilk.

Naturally, the people have confidence. The people have faith, but enemies
will say these things, especially abroad, to slander him and the communist
regime, dark, terrible things: men disappear, they do not leave a trace;
they do not leave prints; there is no explanation; and we told the people
at this time, when the people began to note this absence, that in due time
we would talk. We would have some reasons to wait, we are developing
surrounded by the forces of imperialism.

The world is not living in normal conditions. As long as the criminal
(?bombs) of Yankee imperialists are falling on the people of Vietnam, we
cannot say that we are living under normal conditions. When more than
100,000 Yankee soldiers land there to try to smash the liberation movement,
when the soldiers of imperialism land in a republic which has equality of
rights, judicially, as do all the rest of the republic of the worlds, as in
Santo Domingo, to trample its sovereignty, (applause) the world if not
living under normal conditions. When around our country, the imperialists
are training mercenaries and organizing vandalic attacks, in the most
unpunished manner, as in the case of (few words indistinct), when the
imperialists threaten to intervene in any country of Latin America or of
the world, we are not living under normal conditions.

And when we were fighting in clandestine conditions against the Batista
tyranny, we revolutionaries did not live in normal conditions. We had to
adjust to the struggle. In the same way, although the revolutionary power
exists in our country, in regard to the realities of the world, we do not
live in normal conditions, and we shall have to adjust to this situation.
And to explain this, we are going to read a letter here, in handwriting,
here copied by typewriter, from Comrade Ernesto Guevara, (applause) which
is self-explanatory.

I thought or coming to tell the story of our friendship and our
comradeship, how it began and under what conditions it began and how it
developed, but it is not necessary. I am going to restrict myself to
reading the letter. It says:

Havana--The date was not written down because this letter was to be read at
the moment we felt it most convenient, but keeping to strict reality, it
was delivered on 1 April of this year, exactly six months and two days ago,
and it says the following:

Havana, year of agriculture; Fidel: At this moment I recall many things, of
when I met you in the home of Maria Antonia, of when you proposes that I
come, of all the tension of the preparations. One day they came to ask whom
should be informed in case of death, and the real possibility of the fact
was a blow to all of us. Later we learned that it was true, that in a
revolution one triumphs or dies if it is a real one. Many comrades fell
along the road to victory. Today everything has a less dramatic tone
because we are more mature, but the event repeats itself.

I feel that I have done my duty, which tied me to the Cuban revolution in
its territory, and I take leave of you, of the comrades, of your country,
which is already mine. I formally resign from my posts in the leadership of
the party, of my ministerial post, of my rank of major, of my condition as
a Cuban. Nothing legal binds me to Cuba, only ties of another kinds, which
cannot be broken like appointments.

Reviewing my past life, I believe that I have worked with sufficient
honesty and dedication to consolidate the revolutionary triumph. My only
shortcoming of some gravity is not having confided in you more from the
first moments in the Sierra Maestra and not having realized with sufficient
celerity your qualities as a leader and a revolutionary. I have lived
magnificent days and I felt as your side the pride of belonging to our
country during the luminous and (word indistinct) days of the Caribbean
crisis. Few times has a statements shined more brilliantly than on those
days. I am also proud of having followed you without hesitation, identified
with you way of thinking, seeing, and of estimating dangers and principles.

Other lands of the world demand the aid of my modest efforts. I can do what
is denied you by your responsibility at the head of Cuba, and the time has
come for us to separate. Let is be known that I do so with a minute of
happiness and pain. Here I leave the purest of my hopes as a builder and
the dearest of my dear ones, and I leave a people who accepted me as a son.
That wounds a part of my spirit.

In the new fields of battles, I will carry the faith you instilled in me,
the revolutionary spirit of my country, the sensation of complying with the
most sacred of duties: to struggle against imperialism wherever it may be.
This heals and more than curse any laceration. I say once again that I free
Cuba of any responsibility save what stems from her example: that if the
final hour comes to be under other skies, my last thought will be of this
country, particularly of you.

I thank you for your teachings and your example and I will try to be loyal
to you to the last consequences of my acts. I have always been identified
with the foreign policy of our revolution and I still am. Wherever I am, I
will feel the responsibility of being a Cuban revolutionary and I will act
as such. I do not leave my children nor may wife anything material, and I
am not ashamed. I am glad it is thus, I do not require anything for them
for the state will given them enough with which to live and be educated.

I would have many things to tell you and our people, but I feel that they
are unnecessary. Words cannot express what I would like to say, and it is
not worthwhile to fill pages. To victory always, fatherland or death, I
embrace you with all revolutionary fervor, Che.

Those who talk of revolutionaries, those who consider revolutionaries as
cold men, unfeeling men, or men without heart, will have in this letter the
example of all the sentiment, of all the feeling, of all the purity which
can be enclosed in the soul of a revolutionary, and we could answer for us,
Comrade Guevara, it is not responsibility which we are concerned about. We
have responsibility for the revolution and we are responsible for the aid
to the revolutionary movement in the measure of our forces (applause) and
we assume the responsibility and the consequences and the risks.

For almost seven years it has been that way and we know that as long as
imperialism exists and while there are exploited and colonialized peoples,
we shall continue running these risks, and we shall continue serenely
assuming these responsibilities. And we had the duty to conform; we had the
duty to respect this sentiment of this comrade, that freedom and that
right, and this is indeed freedom, not that of those who are going to take
on chains but that of those who are going to take up a rifle against the
chains of slavery. (applause)

And that is another of the freedom, Mr. Johnson, that our revolution
proclaims. And if those persons who want to leave to go live with the
imperialists are at times recruited by the imperialists to fight in Vietnam
and the Congo, let it be known also that all the citizens of this country,
when they ask for permission, not to go fight alongside the imperialists,
but to fight alongside the revolutionaries will not be denied permission by
this revolution. (applause) This country is free, Mr. Johnson; really free
for everybody.

And this was not the only letter. Along with this letter, and for the
occasion when this letter should be used, various other letters were left
with us, of greetings to various comrades, and in addition, as it says
here, "to my children, to my parents, and other comrades," a letter written
by him for his children, and for his parents. We will pass these letters on
to the comrades and family; and we ask them to donate than to the
revolution, for we consider them to be documents worthy of a place in

And we feel that this explains everything. As for the rest, let the enemies
worry. We have enough tasks, enough things to do, in our country and in
connection with the world; enough duties to fulfill, and we will fulfill
them. We will develop our path, we will develop our ideas, we will develop
our methods, we will develop our system. We will utilize all experiences
that may prove useful to us, and we will develop fresh experiences.

A completely new era is arising in the history of our country, a different
form of society, a different system of government, the government of a
party, the party of the workers, made up of the best workers, formed with
full participation by the masses, so it can justly and rightly be said that
it is the vanguard of the workers and represents the workers, in our
workers' revolutionary democracy.

And it will be a thousand time more democratic than bourgeois democracy,
for we will progress toward administrative and political forms that will
imply the masses' constant participation in the problems of society through
the suitable organizations, through the party, at every level. And we will
go on developing these new forms as only a revolution can. We will continue
creating the conscience and habits of these new forms. And we will not
stop, our people will not stop until they have attained their final goals.

This step means a great deal. It represents one of the most vitally
important steps in the historic moment when the unifying forces were
superior to the forces that diffuse and divide. It represents the historic
moment when a whole revolutionary nation united tightly, when the sense of
duty prevailed over everything else, when the collective spirit triumphed
over all individualisms, when the interests of the fatherland prevailed
fully and definitively over all individual or group interest. It means
having attained the highest degree of union and organization, with the most
modern, most scientific, and most revolutionary and human of political

And we are the first country of this continent, in addition to being, in
the opinion of the imperialist U.S. Government, the only independent
country. For it the House of Representatives proclaims a right to intervene
in any country to avert the danger of a communist revolution, why, here
there is a communist revolution in power. (applause) So we are considered
the only independent country.

To be sure, when the monopolies' representatives gave that slap in the face
to all the republics in America by issuing the declaration of
nonindependence, a few-- or rather, many--persons reddened with shame. Many
were scandalized when the United States declared its right to intervene
unilaterally. They should be reminded of the agreements they entered into
against Cuba; they should be reminded of their complicity in the evil deeds
concocted against our country by imperialism. At that time we were the only
ones; we stood firm, ready to die, and we said we were defending not just
Cuba's rights, but the independence of the other peoples of Latin America.
(applause) They who sow the wind reap the whirlwind, and they who sowed
interventionism against Cuba, collective breaks with Cuba, blockades of
Cuba, are reaping the whirlwind of interventionism and threats directed at

They are astonished, they are panic-stricken, and the parliaments meet, and
the bourgeois parties cry to the heavens. There they have the results of
complicity with the imperialists. There they see what imperialism is. And
so, with every passing day, the people will see more clearly who is right,
who during these historic years defended true independence, true freedom,
true sovereignty, defended it with her blood, and defended it against
imperialism and all it accomplices. The imperialists themselves are
teaching the peoples. The scarecrow of communism was constantly brandished,
and in the name of the battle against that scarecrow the Yankee
imperialists have declared their right to land in any country of this
continent, except Cuba. (applause)

To progress we have made, but above all the progress we will make in the
years to come, utilizing all out country's potential, utilizing the
tremendous forces we have organized and created, utilizing them in
organized, efficient fashion--that is our party's task. We will forge ahead
tremendously. We will move at dizzy speed toward the future with a party
that must lead, that must see to every front, because every front must be
attended by out party, all problems must be studied; and for this purpose
we have created the committees, and new ones will be created. And there
will not be a single problem that fails to get thorough study and analysis
by the party, so that each analysis may provide guidance, the proper
guidance, the best guidance.

I was saying we will make our way toward communism, and we will attain
communism. We are as sure of that as of having come this far. And amid the
difficulties of every kind that accompany this moment in the history of the
world, faced with an ever-mightier enemy, faced with the sad fact of the
split in world revolutionary ranks, our policy will be one of the closer
unity. Our policy will be that of a small but free and independent nation.
Our party will educate the masses; our party will educate its militants.
Let it be well understood; our party--no other party, but our party, and
its central committee. (applause) And the prerogative of educating and
guiding the revolutionary masses in an unrelinquishable prerogative of our
party. We will be very jealous guardians of that right.

In ideological matters it will be the party which will say what must be
said. And if we do not accede, do not want, and just do not feel like
letting the differences that divide the socialist camp divide us, no one
will be able to impose such a thing on us. (applause) And all material of a
political nature, unless is has to do with enemies, will only be able to
reach the people through our party at the time and on the occasion that our
party decides. (applause)

We know quite well where the enemy is, who is the only and true enemy. We
know this quite well. We more than know it. We have had to struggle against
the enemy under difficult conditions. In order to confront that enemy, we
have needed the solidarity and aid of many. In order to defeat the
aggressive policy of that enemy, to continue to oppose it, we need
resources and weapons because here, thousands of miles away from any other
socialist country, thousand of miles away from any other socialist country,
thousands of miles away without being able to depend on anything other than
our own forces and our own weapons in the decisive moments, and since we
were aware of the risks we are running today and of the risks we will
continue to run, we must be armed to the teeth (applause) and prepared

We can disagree with any party on any point. It is impossible to hope that
in the heterogeneousness of this contemporary world, under such diverse
circumstance--a world constituted of countries in the most dissimilar
situations and having the most unequal levels of material, technical, and
cultural development--that we conceive of Marxism a something like a
church, a religious doctrine with its Rome, its pope, and its ecumenical
council. This is a revolutionary and dialetic doctrine, not a philosophical
doctrine. It is a guide for revolutionary action, not a dogma. To try to
frame Marxism as a type of catechism in anti-Marxist.

The diversity of situations will inevitably produce an infinite number of
interpretations. Those who make the correct interpretations will be able to
call themselves revolutionaries. Those who make the right interpretations
and apply them in a responsible manner will triumph. those who make
mistakes or do not abide by revolutionary thinking will fail. They will be
defeated and even replaced, because Marxism is not private property that is
registered. It is a doctrine of revolutionaries written by a revolutionary,
developed by other revolutionaries, for revolutionaries.

We will know how to characterize ourselves by our self-confidence, by our
confidence in our ability to continue and develop our revolutionary path.
We may disagree with any party on one matter, on one point, or on several
points. Disagreements, when they are honest, are bound to be temporary.

What we will never do is to insult with one hand and ask with another. And
we will know how to maintain any disagreement within the norms of decency
with any party, and we will known how to be friends to those who know how
be friends. We will know to to respect those who know how to respect us.
These things will always determine our most free conduct, and we will never
ask anyone's permission to do anything. We will never ask anyone for
permission to go anywhere.

We will never ask permission from anyone to become the friend of any party
or country. We know the transitory nature of problems, and problems pass.
Peoples remain; men pass, peoples remain; leadership passes, revolutions
persist. We see something more than transitory relations in the relations
between parties and revolutionary peoples, we see durable relations and
permanent relations. Nothing will ever come from us that tends to create
differences between men, let along countries.

We will be guided by that elementary principle because we know that it is a
correct position, that it is a just principle, and nothing will swerve us
from the dedication of all our energies to the fight against the enemy of
humanity, which is imperialism, because we could never say that those who
have helped us to defeat the imperialists are accomplices of the
imperialists. (applause)

We aspire not only to a communist society but to a communist world in which
all nations will have equal rights. We aspire to a communist world in which
no nation will have the right to veto. And we aspire that the communist
world of tomorrow will never present the same picture of a bourgeois world
torn by internal squabbles. We aspire to a free society of free nations in
which all the countries, large and small, will have equal rights. We will
defend our points of view as we have defended them up to now, and our
positions and out line in a steadfast manner by our acts and by our deeds.
Any nothing can turn us from that path.

It is not easy with the complexities of present problems and of the present
world to maintain that line, maintain that inflexible opinion, maintain
this inflexible independence, but we will maintain it. This revolution was
not imported from anywhere. It is a genuine product of this country. Nobody
told us how we must carry it out, and we have carried it out. (applause)
And nobody will have to tell us how me must continue to carry it out, and
we will continue to carry it out.

We have learned to write history and we will continue to write it. Let no
one doubt that. We live in a complex and dangerous world. The risks of this
world we will face with dignity and calmly. Our fate will be the fate of
the other countries and our fate will be the fate of the world. I ask all
the comrades here present, all the representatives of our party, all the
secretaries of the cells of this type of extensive congress, I ask those
who are represent the will of the party, the party which represents the
workers, I ask the ratification of the agreements of the national
leadership. (prolonged applause) I ask you for the full an unanimous
ratification of the Central Committee of our party. (prolonged applause) I
ask for your full support for the line followed by the revolutionary
leadership up to now. (cheering and applause) Long live the Communist Party
of Cuba! (Shouts of "long life") Long live it Central Committee! (Shouts of
"long live") Long live its Central Committee! (Shouts of "long live") Long
live our socialist, communist revolution! (Shouts of "long live")
Fatherland or death! We will win!