Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Television and Radio Services in Spanish 0311 GMT 14 March

(concluding portion of speech by Prime Minister Fidel Castro from the steps
of Havana University at ceremonies marking the 10th anniversary of the
assault on the presidential palace--live)

(Text) Individuals acting for mere reasons of sect or dogma, those with a
spirit of splittism, condemn the fighters. They will not be considered
revolutionaries. The revolutionary fighters in Guatemala, in Colombia, and
everywhere will have to be asked who in their judgment are the
revolutionaries; who in their judgment have supported and who supports the
Venezuelan guerrillas--in other words, who supports the
revolutionaries--the Venezuelan guerrillas or the defeatists? Because those
fighting in Venezuela, fighting against imperialism, sharing the danger
from imperialists bombs, aid those fighting in Guatemala or Columbia. Those
fighting in the Venezuelan mountains are the only real and possible allies
of those fighting in the Columbian mountains and those fighting in the
Guatemalan mountains.

What have official representatives done regarding the death of Iribarren
Borges? In the first place what do we think about that death? How must we
analyze the act? We must analyze it in the light of the government's
position and in the light of the rightist and reactionary leadership. In
the first place, we have no information on Iribarren Borges. We know only
the news which was published by the AP and other press agencies. We do not
know who killed Iribarren Borges.

The FALN representatives in Cuba have issued a statement. What can be
deduced from that statement when it says that "these reasons, as reported
by the leaflets which circulated in Caracas," are the FALN representation
in Havana did not have other news of the deed than the news published in
cables. These said that next to the Iribarren body there were found some
FALN leaflets. In other words, on 6 March 1967 when they made this
statement they did not have any means of knowing what was happening, other
than the news agencies.

What action must we revolutionaries take in any revolutionary event?  We
can disagree with a revolutionary event. We can disagree with a measure,
with an event. We can disagree with the killing of this former government
official. We can say we do not know anything about him--if he was hated or
not as AP says, or if he was or was not responsible for measures against
the revolutionaries. Our view is that revolutionaries should avoid actions
which can be used by the enemy. A man was killed after being kidnaped. We
never did this, whatever our indignation over the actions of the enemy. In
our battles we know how to have presence of mind with prisoners. The
revolutionary should avoid actions similar to repressive police actions.
We do not know how that killing was done. We do not know who carried it
out. We do not even know if it was accidental, if it was in fact the

Our honest opinion--and this is part of the rights of any revolutionary--in
this case is: if it was the revolutionaries, we think it was a mistake. It
was a mistake to use a kind of procedure that can be exploited by the
enemy--which reminds the people of the enemy's procedures. Everyone knows
how the revolution acts, how there are revolutionary laws, how the laws are
severe, but we never mistreated any prisoner. We have enacted severe laws,
and our revolutionary courts give the maximum penalty in serious crimes
against the revolution and the fatherland, but we have never found a dead
man on a road, in the gutter (word indistinct).

The revolution carries out its action within a determined revolutionary
method, and it worries about methods and persons who have committed serious
crimes. Procedure has to be taken into consideration. This is our opinion.
A revolutionary can disagree with an action, with a method, with something
abstract, but what is not moral, what is not revolutionary is to take
advantage of a certain action to join the hysterical chorus of the
reactionaries and imperialists to condemn the revolutionaries. (applause)

If the revolutionaries are responsible for this action, we will express our
view, but we will never join the chorus of hangmen ruling Venezuela to
condemn the revolutionaries. What has the official leadership of the
Venezuelan Communist Party done?  What has one of its spokesmen done?  That
we will read here:" The Venezuelan Communist Party disassociates itself
from Elias Manuit, who on behalf of the so-called FALN claimed for the said
organization the murder of Dr. Julio Iribarren Borges."  They ended this
statement by practically accusing the guerrilla leaders of this action.
They accused Douglas Bravo, Gregorio Lunar Marquez, Freddy Cartez,
Francisco Prada, and other heroic guerrilla fighters in the Venezuelan
mountains. These leaders face legions of soldiers who are trying to
exterminate them while defending the worst elements.

What did this official statement do? They accused the guerrilla fighters,
taking advantage of the most repugnant opportunism, hoping to appease the
proimperialist and puppet Leoni government. What it does is to ask for
Douglas Bravo's head in addition to charging him with the death of
Iribarrne. This position regarding heroic fighting men, who maintain the
Venezuelan revolutionary banner on high, asks for their heads. What they
have done is only a step from asking Leoni for a rifle to kill Douglas

A statement by Pedro Medina Silva is being talked about here. It has been
some time since a revolutionary fighter has recognized Pedro Medina Silva's
leadership. It is said Pedro Medina Silva and other guerrillas signed a
statement, guerrillas such as German (Claidet), we know German (Claidet),
and we know that German (Claidet) has never even been a guest in a
guerrilla camp.

There has been a wave of statements. What kind of attitude is this? This is
a cowardly action, an opportunist, repugnant action. This is joining chorus
of the counterrevolutionary hysteria and the chorus against Cuba.

What good is it for this man to say that there never existed any anti-Cuban
feeling in the Venezuelan people and that now the enemies of the Cuban
revolution are taking advantage to instill such feelings? Who are the
accomplices in this campaign if they are not? Who are the accomplices in
the campaign of imperialism if it is not those who have been blaming us of
meddling in the internal matters of the Venezuelan party? What is the
difference between these charges and those of the CIA? Of the State
Department? Of the counterrevolutionary worm pit? The difference is that
some blame us for meddling in Venezuela's internal matters and others
accuse us of meddling in the party's internal matters. Why? Because we have
maintained a position of principle, because we have not denied our feelings
for and solidarity with the revolutionary fighters.

These statements of cowards and opportunists are never the statements of
the revolutionary, for the revolutionary can criticize, he can disagree
with an act, but he does not join in this shameful action. Anyone can say
that the murderers are the revolutionaries and that Leoni's regime is the
dove of peace, that the cruel and bloody clique which has murdered hundreds
of fighters is a flock of gentle sheep.

It is cowardly not to make the pertinent charges. It is cowardly not to
take advantage of the situation to demand punishment of the thugs who have
murdered so many Venezuelans. It is alright to bring into the open
criticism if it is considered necessary, but that criticism must be made
with a revolutionary spirit. That criticism should be made against the
enemy and not with the enemy. That enemy is the one who has murdered
hundreds of fighters--scores of heroic communist militants.

If a Latin American government has recently murdered communists, it has
been the Venezuelan Government, beginning with Romulo Betancourt and later
Leoni. There is not a single word condemning the thugs, a single word
condemning the regime which has unleashed repression and violence in
Venezuela and which has, in general, made the students and revolutionaries
take weapons as the only path for the liberation of their country--for the
liberation of their fatherland--from the claws of the oligarchy and
imperialism. It stands to reason that they should join the chorus.

We do not care that they oppose the Cuban revolution. Since our revolution
began it has had to live in the middle of lies and defamation. When we
attacked the Moncada Barracks, the newspapers the following day printed
that the revolutionaries had stabbed the hospital patients to death. We
know about those weapons, those tricks always used by the imperialists and
the reactionaries. All the worst genocides are attributed to the revolution
by the reactionaries and the imperialists. They will never give up that
system. Thus, the lies and gorilla charges and the imperialists and their
lackeys do not matter to us. We will never deny our solidarity and our
feeling with the revolutionary fighters.

In the midst of this hysterical campaign of threats, charges, and
conspiracies, in the midst of aggression being threatened against our
country, we do not lose any sleep. We are serene. In the midst of this
savage campaign in which treason to the fatherland and to the revolution
are joined, and in which defeatists calling themselves communists and the
proimperialist oligarchy are unleashing their campaign against the
Venezuelan revolutionaries and Cuba, we once more proclaim without any
hesitation our feeling and our solidarity with the guerrillas fighting in
the western mountains, (continuous applause), and with the fighters daring
the repression and the anger of tyranny in the cities. (prolonge applause)

Our policy is clear. We recognize only revolutionaries as representatives
of the people. We do not recognize any of those oligarchic and treacherous
governments who broke relations with Cuba--thus taking orders from the
Yankee embassy--as representatives of their peoples. Only one of those
governments that is not a socialist government has an international
position which merits our respect, only one of those government merits such
respect, and that is the Government of Mexico. (applause)

As for the rest of the governments, what is our diplomatic position? We
will not establish diplomatic relations with any of those governments which
take orders from imperialism. We are not interested. We do not want to.
(applause) We will only establish diplomatic relations with revolutionary
governments in these nations, (applause) and only with governments which
show that they are independent. Establish relations so that they can be
broken the day after tomorrow, at a mere indication from the State
Department? No! We do not like to waste time on such foolishness.

We are not interested in establishing economic relations with those
oligarchies that broke economic relations with us until the governments
leading those countries are revolutionary. We will not give financial aid
to any oligarchy to bloodily repress the revolutionary movement. (applause)
Whoever helps those oligarchies where guerrillas are fighting will be
helping to repress the revolutionary, for repressive wars are not only
waged with weapons but also with the millions of pesos with which those
weapons are paid for and by which the mercenary armies are paid.

The unequivocal proof of a government's lack of independence can be seen in
the recent case of Colombia. A few days ago on the occasion of the attack
on a train, they arrested the secretary general of the Columbian Communist
Party and all the members of the party's directorate they could find in
their habitual places at 0600. They did not hesitate in the least over the
fact that at the same time a delegation of top Soviet officials was in the
country to sign a trade, cultural, and financial agreement with the
government of Lleras Restrepo. Nor did they hesitate over the fact that on
this same day it was reported that a meeting was to take place between
Lleras Restrepo and the top Soviet officials. On that very day they
arrested all the members of the communist directorate and also
assaulted--according to the cables--the headquarters of the TASS agency.

Such is the friendly spirit of those oligarchies. Such is the independent
spirit of those puppets. That is their meaning of reciprocity. Cannot
perhaps proof of the lack of independence and of the hypocritical
international policy of those puppet governments be seen from the way those
in Venezuela speak, trying to demand that the UAR quit the tricontinental
organization and that the USSR practically sever its relations with Cuba,
the "blind alley," and enter the wide, wide open and friendly door offered
it by the Venezuelan Government--the government that has murdered the most
communists in this continent?

No matter what the others do, we Marxist-Leninist will never re-establish
relations with such governments. They have broken relations with us. We
have never broken relations with anyone, and when we recognized the GDR,
even those in Federal Germany broke with us. However, because it is a
question of principle we do not hesitate, even though it may affect our
economic interests. We did not hesitate in recognizing the GDR.

Not everything is rosy in the revolutionary world. Complaints follow on
complaints because of contradictory postures. While some are condemned for
restoring relations with Federal Germany, a crowd is running about in
search of relations with oligarchies of the Leoni and company type. Let us
condemn Vietnam, let us condemn the crime the Yankee imperialists are today
committing in Vietnam, and let us condemn them with all our strength and
hearts. But let us also condemn as of today the future Vietnams in Latin
America. Let us condemn as of today the future imperialist aggression in
Latin America. (applause)

What would the Vietnamese revolutionaries think if we sent delegations to
South Vietnam to negotiate with the puppet government in Saigon? What will
those who are fighting in the mountains of America think if we try to seek
close relations with the puppets of the future Yankee aggressions and
interventions in this continent? The Leonis and Lleras Restrepos of today
will be tomorrow's Ngo Dinh Diems. They will be the initiators of a series
of governments similar to the one that began in Vietnam only to justify the
imperialist aggressions, only to legalize the interventions of the Yankee

All of these imperialist puppets are conspiring against our revolutionary
and socialist fatherland. This conspiracy exists not because we have
imported a revolution from anyplace, but because we have generated it in
our own land and under our own sky. There are some who speak of alleged
fatalism but there is no fatalism that can have influenced this revolution,
neither the fatalism of the 90 miles nor any other kind of fatalism. The
revolution that sprang from nothing, the revolution that spring from a very
small number of men who were encircled for whole years--through which
encirclement noting could pass--is a revolution that has its own right to
exist and a revolution, mark it well, without puppets, oligarchs, waverers
of any sort, or pseudorevolutionaries of any sort. It is a revolution that
nothing and no one will either be able to crush or halt. (applause)

This revolution will maintain its absolutely independent position to which
the peoples who know how to fight have a right, to which the worthy peoples
have a right. We proclaim to the whole world that this revolution will
continue its way, that this revolution will pursue its own line, that this
revolution will never be anyone's satellite or be subjected to anyone's
conditions, and that it will never ask anyone's permission to maintain its
posture, be it in ideology or in domestic and foreign affairs. With their
heads held high and their hearts in the right place, these people are ready
to face the future, whatever it is. (applause)

Today we are working with feverish enthusiasm, with more enthusiasm than
every. We are progressing with more impetus than we ever had during any of
the past eight years in the development of our fatherland and in the
development of our economy. We are winning great ideological battles on all
fronts and in all concepts. We shall continue our ideological road. We do
so with absolute confidence, with the confidence of true revolutionaries,
the confidence we have in our people and in our masses.

Perhaps had there been no need to discuss these subjects today, then it
would have been necessary to speak of this profound and incredible
revolution that is taking place in the awareness of our people. We look at
the future with serenity and confidence. We are serene and confident in the
face of all eventualities.

We know that this struggle will not be easy and that it cannot be easy. We
are living in a continent that is in full revolutionary effervescence and
ebullience amid some 20 countries that are awakening to reality and are
already either fighting or getting ready to do so. We know that threats
will rain on our heads. We know that there will be plots against us and
that perhaps even plots of aggression against us are being hatched. Very
well. We have already and we now again declare ourselves invincible.

The invasion of this country is practically what Leoni advocates and
insinuates. He is not asking for sanctions now at this stage of the
international situation, but he will keep the record open, which means, in
a few words, that when they hope they are finished in Vietnam the time will
come to demand sanctions and war against us. The first person to whom Leoni
spoke with clarity and not in vain was his lordship, the Yankee ambassador
in Caracas. Well, then, now or at any time--while they are attacking
Vietnam or later when they have been defeated in Vietnam, because they are
going to be defeated in Vietnam; they are going to be defeated in their
aggression (applause) against the heroic people of North Vietnam and they
are going to be defeated in their aggression against the heroic people of
South Vietnam who, led by the NFLSV, whose position and policies the Cuban
party upholds unhesitatingly, (applause) will defeat the imperialists;
there is not the slightest doubt about this--if they believe that they are
going to pluck a ripe plum here, let them be advised that they are going to
encounter here at least a bloodletting and an additional 3.6 Vietnams!
(applause)--and also half a dozen more Vietnams in the rest of the

Let them know this right here and now! As far as we are concerned, we base
our calculations on a mathematical basis--the number of men measured in
firepower. A firepower more searing that gunfire is the fire within the
hearts of men and within the heart of an entire nation! (prolonged

Conspiracies and threats do not disturb us. We are not concerned in the
least over the charges attributed to us, and "we don't blame them," as the
old song says. We couldn't care less! This is ridiculous--for Cuba to be
blamed for the accomplishments of the revolutionaries. Their tactics,
their strategy--we even know how the revolutionaries and the revolutionary
organizations behave and proceed. Different forces always exist in every
single revolutionary process. Each revolutionary movement has different
cores of authority.

In our own experience in Cuba, when we went to attack the Moncada Palace,
no other organization knew about it. When a group of patriots went to
attack the Goycoria, no other organization knew about that either. When the
comrades of the revolutionary board attacked the palace on 13 March, we who
were in the mountains learned about it from radio newscasts. Within our own
organization, the men in the plains never knew what the men in the
mountains were going to do. The men in the mountains were not aware of what
the men in the plains were about to do. We must not think of the
revolutionaries as being connected by a radio or telephone system.

No! In the revolution, within the revolution, there are various
organizations. Various decision-making spheres exist within each
organization. Organizations operating underground are largely independent.
In each town one cannot even attribute to the revolutionary
organizations--to all or to a single one--an individual act that might
occur. It is much more absurd, ridiculous, and stupid for such an
imputation to be made against the Cuban Revolutionary Government.

Who are these people who have unleashed this campaign? What government? One
of the most repressive governments, the most bloodthirsty which this
continent has ever seen. With its bloody acts and its total repression,
this government is the only one responsible for bloodshed in Venezuela.
Leoni's government is responsible for Iribarren Borges'; death because it
unleashed repression. They unleashed violence--this in order to serve the
imperialist master which hands them crumbs in exchange for Venezuelan
riches. They who have murdered so many of their countrymen to serve this
imperialist master are the ones most responsible. the list of Venezuelan
fighters who have fallen as victims of the repression is very long. During
Betancourt's and Leoni's regimes and ion complicity with Batista henchmen,
they murdered a young girl named Lidia Bugernor because she participated
in a solidarity-with-Cuba demonstration. In the heart of Caracas at El
Silencio, a policeman murdered Alberto Rudas Mesones whose only crime was
to shout: "Viva Cuba!" The following day, the pro-Betancourt political
seized his body from his home to avert a popular demonstration at his

From August 1959 to March 1963, hundreds of Venezuelan patriots were
murdered by Betancourt's and Leoni's Myrmidons. Terror began with the
machinegun strafing of a demonstration staged by the unemployed during
which Juan Francisco Villegas, Rafael Simon Montero, and Rafael Baltazar
Gonzales were killed. Betancourt subsequently had the effrontery to say,
during one of his speeches in regard to these events, that the streets are
not for the people, but for the police.

Petroleum labor leader Cicardo Navarro, who defeated in the elections two
pro-Betancourt labor leaders, was murdered by government armed bands at a
labor union meeting. Seven workers were wounded during this incident. In
Barquisimeto, Julian Torres was detained, tortured, and murdered--shot in
the stomach. He was subjected to the "ley fuga."

Jose Gregorio Rodriguez was brutally tortured by the Digepol and later
dropped from a fourth-story window to make it look like suicide. This crime
was verified by a Chamber of Deputies committee whose report was concealed
from public opinion. The fact that Leoni became president made no
difference in Venezuelan Government policies. In Jaroa, lyceum student
Rafael Urdaneta was tortured and horribly bludgeoned with rifle butts. The
Digepol agents whipped him with machetes and then riddled him with bullets.

A national guard officer named Pena detained and tortured many peasants in
the state of Miranda. Three of the prisoners, among whom were peasant
leader Trino Barrios, youth leader Victor Ramon Soto Rojas, and Jesus Maria
Hernandez, were shoved out of a helicopter over the mountains in Miranda
State. This act was witnessed by 10 of their detained comrades who were
later executed because they refused to talk.

The police shot to death a 14-year-old Maracaibo technical school student
as the police attempted to disperse a demonstration precisely in support of
a cessation of police repression. Pedro Rojas was hanged in a concentration
camp at Cachipo. Alberto Lovera was detained by the Digepol and was
savagely tortured to death. His body was found with a thick chain around
his neck, and an autopsy revealed that his vertebrae had been fractured.

World public opinion was shocked at Fabricio Ojeda's murder in jail. He was
a revolutionary leader and the president of the FLN. Ramon Pasquier was
arrested on the Yaracuy highway. He was tortured and mutilated, and his
body was never found.

Making the bodies of their victims disappear is a systematic practice of
Betancourt's and Leoni's repressive agents. This was done recently with FLN
urban command members Andres Pasquier, Felipe Malaver, Donato Carmona,
Angel Guerra, Domingo Sanches, and with so many other Venezuelan patriots.

On three different occasions, the congress has been compelled to
investigate the Digepol. In each case, the committee has verified the
assassinations and tortures perpetrated by this repressive organization.
Many names could be cited here of those who have become the victims of
Betancourt's police repression, the river of blood separating the
Venezuelan people from the imperialist lackeys who usurp their government
runs deep.

To cite only a few names, there were: Samuel Sanches Alvarez, Andres Cobas
Casas, Luisa Maria Cazola, Isabel Acosta, Alexis Rivero, Jose del Carmen
Chavez, Natalia Chinaglia, Santos Chauron, rosario Mujica, Antonio
Mogoloon, Pedro Anian, Jose Montesinos, Lusis Adrian Gonzalez, Francisco
Lozada, and Edgard Gonzalez; Francisco Velazquez, Alejando Montiel, Isidro
Espinosa, Lidia Gutierrez, Victor Cesari, Amadeo Cifoni, Jose Rodriguez,
Alirio Mendez, Juan Gomez, Hector Trujillo, Leonidas Rojas, Alfredo Tirado,
Pedro Ramos, Juan Osorio Magallanes, Miguel Arviaca, Ernesto Alvarez,
Concepcion Orta, Alfredo Carmona, Isaac Valazquez, Ana Lourdes Pacheco,
Anibal Gimenez, Justo Camacho, Carlota de Ochoa, Simon Caghualga, and
Esther Flores;

Olga de Harnandez, Ramon Guevara, Rodolfo Garcia, Rafael Hurtado, Pilar
Ponce, Santiago Figueras, Emilio dos Santos, Armando Sanchez, Elias la
Rosa, Martin Palacios, Alfredo Tirado, Ernesto Alvio, Antonia Diaz, Jose
Zurita, Alberto Manzanares, Luis Saaverda, Francisco Rosales, Valentian
Araujo, Daniel Matute, Aquiles Bellorin, and Alvaro Ruiz;

Manuel Infante, Rafael Guerra, Enrique Perez, Eduviges Colorado, Eulalia
Fuenmayer, Angel Linares, Julio Manzano, Jose Vazquez, Esteban Padilla,
Carlos Novoa, Enrique Leal, Rafael villegas, Manuel Cachutt Shoudal,
Alfonso Rodriguez, Jesus Osuna, Omar Ramones Prieto, Jesus Manuel Rojas
Figueroa, Luis Martinez Anez, Vivian Hernandez, Elvina de Morales, Rafael
Clemente Acosta, J. Pfeifer, Ignacio Diaz Nino, Carlos Martinez, Alejo
Celis, Alejandro Sandoval, and Eduardo Mirabal Machado;

Ivan Alfredo Cardero, Jesus Alberto Trujillo, Ramon Jimenez, Humberto
Mendez Figueredo, Antero Mendoza Angarita, Francisco Barreto, Manual
Antonio Mujica, Efrain Cordero, Carmelo Mendoza, Luis Vicente Garcia,
Hector Beltran Diaz, Nancy Alvarado Palma, Luis Rafael Tineo Gamboa, Rafael
Antonio Briceno, Ivan Daza, Alaijo C. Peredes, who was murdered in the
presence of his own mother, and an endless list or patriots, of
fighters--all cowardly and treacherously murdered.

I have not mentioned the fighters who have fallen heroically in battle
making a stand before the tyranny's henchmen or soldiers. These names
belong to other Venezuelans who have become the victims of shootings,
tortures, and murders.

This is the history of Venezuela in the last few years! This is the history
of Betancourt's crime! This is the history of Leoni's crimes! These are the
crimes for which Leoni and Betancourt must each answer to history! These
are the crimes they try to hide! This is the reason for the smokescreen!
This is the reason for the hoax and for the crude little scheme with which
they are trying to make Cuba responsible for Iribarrne's death! These are
the crimes they will have to answer for any any time and anywhere they
wish. If they want to do so in the United Nations, so much the better; if
they want to go to the United Nations, magnificent! Let them be ready to
discuss there their crimes, felonies, and betrayals of Venezuela, the
thousands of millions of pesos they are handing over to Yankee imperialism,
and the rivers of blood they have shed. (applause)

If they want to call that bloody mess a democracy, I ask them: how come you
cannot meet with the university students? Today we are meeting especially
to commemorate that glorious date, that heroic date, when--as in
Venezuela--some fought bravely, and others who were fulfilling other
missions were killed; when, in some cases, some fought like Jose Antonio
Echeverria with his pursuers, while others, wounded and taken prisoner,
were shot full of holes and killed.

We meet today after have experience similar to the ones the Venezuelan
people are living through today. We gather here to recall the glories of
our fighters; someday in the future Venezuela will also gather to remember
its heroes and martyrs. Someday many places in Venezuela, many plants, and
many industries will bear the names of all the heroes murdered by the thugs
of the tyranny.

We challenge the democratic Leoni, the nation's traitor, the man who sold
his country, the imperialist thug, the repressive agent of Yankee
imperialism to try and go to the University of Venezuela, for it is
traditional and accepted the world over that youth represents the
healthiest feelings, that the youth of any nation is the most pure, the
most idealistic, and the best of any nation. The best of the Venezuelan
people is found in the Venezuelan students, just like the best is found in
many students of other nations. How does Leoni treat that segment of the
heroic, rebellious, worthy, and fighting people of Venezuelan people? He
shoots them! Who goes into the university? The tanks, thugs, and police!

The traitors to the fatherland, the thugs, and the murderers cannot go to
meet there. And we challenge Mr. Leoni to go to the university, to meet
with the people, and to explain his policy. This is possible only when
there are no contradictions between people and government, only amid a
revolutionary process in which the unity of the people, of the laboring
masses, of the peasant masses, of the youth masses, and of the intellectual
masses is fused. It is not possible amid the sound of the sirens, as
happened on that heroic 13 March. It is not possible amid the shooting. It
is only possible when one has an optimistic spirit of faith in the future,
of a revolutionary awareness, and of patriotism.

We, the leaders of this people, can meet here with the students, in the
mountains with the peasants, and in the factories with the workers, for
this is what a revolution is. We also have had an inglorious past marked by
crimes, shootings, evictions, massacres, and murders. Our university also
had those heroic demonstrations which were attacked with firehoses,
nightsticks, and rifle fire.

However, the revolution perserved, fought, and won. It attained the right
to construct its future. It attained its right to occupy a worthy place in
the world. It attained the right to be really free. It attained the right
to be really independent.

We are sure that some day Venezuela will attain this goal and that the
heroic slogan, "To Free Venezuela or Die for It," will be fulfilled! This
slogan is like ours: "Fatherland or Death! We shall win!" (applause)