Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish 0258 GMT 20 April

(Speech by Prime Minister Fidel Castro at the Chaplin Theater in Havana at
a ceremony commemorating the sixth anniversary of the victory of Playa

(Text) Relatives of those who fell as Giron, comrades of the Revolutionary
Armed Forces: Today is another anniversary of the historic battle of Giron.
Under what circumstances do we commemorate this sixth anniversary?  In 1961
the enemy carried out, with the mercenary invasion of Giron, one of the
many chapters of his program to destroy the Cuban Revolution.  It was
neither the first nor the last attempt.  Not much time passed, and once
again the aggressive policy against our country let to the October crisis.
It has not slacked off for a single day in these eight years of revolution.
They have used all their weapons uselessly against us.  Those activities
have ranged from sabotage against our economy, economic blockade, the
organization of counterrevolutionary bands, armed landings, assassination
plans, and all in all whatever means have been within their power to
vanquish our revolution.

Today, after eight years, the problems of Yankee imperialism do not consist
simply of finding ways to crush the Cuban revolution, but rather how to
prevent the revolutionary throughout the continent from crushing Yankee
imperialism.  (applause) This is the basic difference.  Our revolution has
been consolidated itself.  Our revolution has become stronger as
imperialism has become weaker against the revolutionary movements.  And not
only has the revolutionary awareness of our people grown, but also the
revolutionary awareness of the other exploited peoples of Latin America.
These years have not passed in vain.  This month, these past weeks, have
been characterized by a series of event that demonstrate this truth.

One of the important, symptomatic events of this failure of all the
imperialist conspiracies against our country, the failure of all the
imperialist plans to contain the inevitable revolution in the continent,
has been the results of the Punta del Este conference.  Opinions are
practically unanimous that the Punta del Este meeting of presidents are a
resounding failure of imperialism and its accomplices.  This is not a
gratuitous statement on our part.  We have brought some reports, some news,
to begin with, from the imperialist news agencies themselves, that document
it.  We have here a 12 April cable from Punta del Este by AP.  It says:

"President Johnson and his advisors, helped by a few allies, are fighting
hard to give the inter-American conference as appearance of success, but it
appears to be a losing battle.  If the objective of this presidents
conference, which has received so much publicity and is the object of the
strictest security measures, is a demonstration of inter-American unity,
this proof has not even come close to its target.

"It its purpose is to offer a show of trust, the objective has been missed
by a wide margin.  The presidents conference has had the effect of
emphasizing divisions rather than mutual interests.  The atmosphere here is
that each man fights for own interests, that each region concentrates on
itself.  This can have a disconcerting effect on any idea that the North
Americans may have had that Latin America can be treated as a unit.  There
is a perverted irony in what is happening here.  Some of the men meeting
here represent countries from which the most vociferous shouts have come
against imperialism and colonialism.  However, it is these men themselves
who seem to argue most strongly that their nations be placed in the status
of former colonies.  They wish preferential treatment from the United
States for their exports, using as their model the system employed by what
were once colonial powers in Europe, in their trade relations with former
colonies.  But they wish something else: loans from the United States with
restricted use of the dollars they receive so they will not have to spend
them in the United States, not taking into account Washington's
exasperating problems in its balance of payments.

"The United States wanted the preamble to mention the question of
hemispheric security, mainly security against communist intentions.  It was
supported by Argentina and Brazil, two of the largest and most developed
nations: others have opposed any mention of political considerations due to
internal reasons and want to limit the preamble to a summary of intentions
with respect to the economic future of the hemisphere.  Now the preamble
will have different (?tones).  That President Johnson wants this included
is suggested by the fact that yesterday he conferred for 1 hour and 20
minutes with President Raul Leoni of Venezuela, a much longer time that
that devoted to other heads of state when he began his unofficial bilateral
conversations.  Accompanying President Johnson at the meeting was Walt W.
Rostow, his assistant on national security matters."

Another AP cable, dated 13 April: "President Lyndon Johnson's speech was
received with general disenchantment by the Latin American heads of state.
A promise of greater aid was expected in one form or another from his for
the development of the hemisphere.  None of the presidents attending the
summit meeting wanted to comment immediately on the formal speech by
President Johnson.  They were already informed by Johnson's informal
advance notice the day before."

Of course, nobody was happy, and some of those present event went so far as
to show it was some discordant action.  Of course, they did not meet there
to discuss the case of the fraternal Dominican nation still occupied by
Yankee troops.  They did not meet here to protest the barbarous genocide
practiced by the Yankee imperialism in Vietnam.  And if Vietnam was
mentioned in one case, it was mentioned by one of those who dared to
disagree, even though, of course, nobody should harbor any illusions about
any of these good bourgeois men when they disagree.

For example, the President of Ecuador said something revealing in his
speech.  He said: "It is impressive that the United States of America, to
which we are linked with common ideals, traditions, and inviolable
principles, should be so much concerned with democracy in a noble but far
off nation such as Vietnam."  This is the way the bourgeois talks, this
business of saying that the United States is concerned about democracy in
Vietnam.  To what extremes these gentlemen go; that when they want to
enunciate some disagreement, they are capable of making such an assertion
and later say something that concerns them.

The statement continues: "When peoples at its very doors are rebelling and
democracy trembles at the insurgent course of the guerrillas, where
undernourishment causes an alarming death toll every year, where the
programs for living and housing are inadequate, and where, in short, misery
not only corrodes the body but also the soul and brain of the peoples, and
of course the soul and brain of those who call themselves the
representatives of the people."

Naturally this gentlemen, Arosemena, whose disagreement and refusal to sign
in Punta del Este, the news agencies reported, considered it his duty to
say afterward that, of course, Johnson was very good, that Johnson was not
to blame, and that the bad ones were the ones in the U.S.  Senate who did
not give poor old Johnson any help, so that poor old Johnson could help the
peoples of Latin America.

What opinion, for example, did a Colombian political leader advance, one
who is neither exactly a guerrilla leader nor a member of any organization
that can be called Marxist?  Here is a Bogota cable dated 3 April.  It
says: (?good) for spectacular headlines"--and this is an English news
agency reporting this--"rather than a positive contribution to the
betterment of living conditions for the inhabitants of the hemisphere, was
Senator Alfonso Lopez Michelsen's opinion of the conference of American
presidents at Punta del Este.  Lopez Michelsen, leader of the Liberal
Revolutionary Movement, a dissident splinter party of the liberal ruling
party and in opposition to the Carlos Llerads Restrepo government, said he
was skeptical about the results of the summit meeting just as everyone from
the heads of Latin American state to the common citizen should be.  In a
statement to the press, the political leader added that a comparison should
be made with the system of Fidel Castro in Cuba to ascertain which nations
have better living conditions, those that enjoy the protection of the
United States or those that seek their own development with
extracontinental socialist cooperation.  The liberal leader said that this
is the balance which ought to be struck now: which nation has advanced most
in matters of health, education, housing, and land?  Later, answering his
own questions, he said: With statistics, and objectively, a comparison
ought to be made of the results of both experiments since the Alliance for
Progress was conceived as the response to a challenge by the socialist

What does the North American press say?  According to an ANSA cable dated
13 April: "The New York TIMES declare in an editorial that within the
framework of the subjects listed in the order of the day in Punta del Este
not enough importance appeared to be given to one of the objectives of the
Alliance for Progress as it was conceived originally, that is, social
reforms.  The paper adds that the agenda forecasts an extensive debate on
trade, financial, production, and economic integration problems, but it
relegates to a secondary level the main problem of social justice, which
John Kennedy made his main point when he launched the Alliance in March
1961.  According to the paper, the great and vital ideal of social justice
appears to have been forgotten."

The problem of social progress in Latin America is also dealt with by the
political commentator Walter Lippmann in the article on Punta del Este
published in the Washington POST, a daily of the federal capital.  Lippmann
declares that in the field of social progress toward prosperity no
noticeable steps were taken in South America by comparison with the
industrialized regions such as the United States and Europe.  It cannot
surprise anyone that the continuing poverty has created a revolutionary

The success of the conference in the best of cases cannot give life to
substantial changes in a short time,and if substantial improvements are not
achieved, if the rate of development is too slow, according to Lippmann,
general disorder may be expected, because the men who want radical reforms
will clash with those who attempt to block them.

Here we also have a cable from London, which reflects the opinion of the
British press.  It says: "The relations between the United States and Latin
America are emphasized as a decisive factor in the Latin American history
of recent times."  The GUARDIAN, a British paper, recalls that it was
during the years Kennedy that the famous Alliance for Progress was launched
and the South American presidents held the first summit conference.  Since
them, according to the paper, little has been done with respect to the very
great problems of the continent.  Facts prove, says the paper, that there
was no stability of power, which is indispensable for the improvement in
each country.  The prominent democratic men in the era of the first
American summit conference were overthrown by coups d 'etat, and the only
ones remaining in power are two dictators: Duvalier and Stroessner.

Similar items are published by the London TIMES.  The press of other
countries says the same things.  I am going to cite the case of the
Catholic daily LE CROIX on the Punta del Este conference, according to
ANSA: "Without a doubt," says the newspaper, "Johnson will have returned to
Washington more informed on the problems of Latin America than on the eve
of the conference, but he did not give the impression of having really
learned their exact nature.  The attitude and the proposals of the North
American chief indicate, in effect,that he did not see, or did not wish to
see, that the claims of his 'partners' (spoken in English--ed.) with
respect to trade, financial, or social problems were in reality different
forms of a fundamental aspiration: the will of the Latin American countries
to select the instruments and the manner of their development.  The truth
is that Johnson as little prepared from a psychological point of view to
meet with this partners.  When he went to Uruguay, the President did not
think so much of the economic and social problems of Latin America,
certainly serious, as he did of the problems posted to the United States by
its international responsibilities.

"Latin Americans have become perfectly aware of this, and they have
resented it.  Some have let him know it, sometimes with a certain violence,
as was demonstrated by the diatribe of the Ecuadoran President.  Johnson
looked for a result which he did not obtain in Punta del Este, a success of
prestige which would allow him to improve before international opinion the
image which the United States has given itself in the war in Vietnam."

From what can be seen, all writers, bourgeois, capitalists, North
Americans, Latin Americans, and Europeans, agree that the conference was a
resounding failure.  And it could not be otherwise, because the fundamental
objective, or one of the objectives touted by the Yankee imperialists to
justify this conference, was the intention of creating a Latin American
common market.

Only the naive, only these open representatives of the oligarchy, only
these blind men who have obeyed the mandates of the United States as many
times as they were ordered to take a position against Cuba, such as
breaking diplomatic relations, breaking trade relations, adopting
agreements, conspiring, maintaining conspiratorial silence during these
eight years of imperialist aggressions against our country, maintaining
conspiratorial silence on the crimes of American imperialism against a
country of Latin America, approving and even supporting those aggressions
against our country--only those who have contracted such a responsibility
to history, through their blindness, their nearsightedness, their
complicity, were able to harbor illusions that some day the United States
would take an interest in the progress of Latin America, without seeing,
without understanding, the irreconcilable interests, the antagonistic
interests that exist between Yankee imperialism and the countries of Latin

The imperialists have not even been up to the level of making small
concessions to these oligarchies, to these underdeveloped bourgeois nations
which thought that the imperialist wolf would become a docile lamb.  Now,
of course, they are disenchanted.  Now they are reaping the harvest.
Previously they would say yes to everything, above all when it came to all
the crimes against Cuba.  Thus they sold their souls to the imperialist
devil, and the imperialist devil does not even want to pay them the price
for their souls.

This is what they offered, this is what they offered when they condemned
Cuba, this is what they demanded for the severance of relations with Cuba.
What have they gained?  What has happened?  Every day pessimism and
hopelessness becomes increasingly greater among those who sold their souls
to imperialism.  And every day they see reality with greater fear and
worry, a reality that is the outcome of the interests that Yankee
imperialism can never renounce, a reality that is summarized in a few
phrases much in vogue in speeches and declamations by these gentlemen: that
Latin America has to sell raw materials to the imperialists at increasingly
cheaper prices; that Latin America has to pay increasingly higher prices
for manufactured goods it imports; that the credits granted by imperialism
are onerous, insufficient, and what is more, must be spent in the United
States itself, that protective tariffs are affecting the economies of the
Latin American nations; that the dumping--and this parenthetically--that
these gentlemen would not for the world dare mention one of the reasons for
this misery, one of the causes for bloodletting, which is not only the
problem of cheap raw materials, the problem of expensive merchandise, the
problem of onerous credits, but the annual flow of billions of pesos from
the economies of the peoples of Latin America in profits, dividends, and
interest to American capital invested in such nations.

But, of course, who in these meetings is going to talk about the sacrosanct
capitalist property, about the mines, about the natural resources?  How
could one conceive that a gentlemen like Leoni would rise to speak about
how the United States is rapidly depleting the natural resources of
Venezuela, how it is the owner of that nation's oil?  This is the main
question, and it is not even mentioned.  The most Mr. Leoni dated talk
about was whether there are some problems about Venezuelan oil in the
United States, whether the tariff on sulfur is high, and matters that have
nothing to do with the heart of the question and the problems of Latin
America.  He, of course, did not speak about the exploitation of natural
resources and Latin American workers by the monopolist capital of the
United States.

The other questions mentioned, the expensive prices of articles the Latin
Americans import, the increasingly lower prices for raw materials--how
could one think that the wolf would turn into a lamb?  How could one think
that the pitiless imperialist exploiter would turn into a generous friend
of the people of Latin America?

How could one think that the fierce monopolist magnates in whose name they
govern in the United States would be willing to make the least concession,
the least sacrifice on behalf of their own partners?  Imperialism is to
voracious to make sacrifices of any kind, not even to pay off its

And what is the situation of these countries?  What is the situation of the
Latin America economy?  Here, for example, are some figures of the economic
study of Latin America published this year, on 29 March, by the U.N.
Economic Committee for Latin America.  Among the figures are some that are
revealing.  For example, the domestic gross product of Latin America, all
told, in 1966 increased only 3 percent.  This rate practically equals that
of the population growth, and means, therefore, that the per capita product
has remained stationary.  From 1950 and 1964, agricultural-livestock
production per inhabitant in Latin America, Cuba not included, decreased
almost 24 percent.

Between 1960 and 1964, agricultural production per capita, instead of
growing continued to decline.  According to the Economic Committee for
Latin America, the most dramatic aspect is that of the poverty and
ignorance in which no less than 70 million rural dwellers of Latin America
live.  In some parts of Latin America, it says, the levels of life can be
compared with those of the poorest areas of the world.  Even though Latin
American exports have growth, the availability of foreign credits in those
countries does not increase because the weight of the foreign debt and the
profits of foreign investments a siphon off what is brought in by trade
exchange.  The commission says that the insufficient increase in export
income, losses of purchasing power because of the decline in prices, the
heavy burden of interest on accumulated debts, and the inflexibility of the
foreign financing machinery weigh heavily in the adverse situation of Latin

In another part is says: The agrarian reform plans advance very
slowly--this means that they do not advance to all--and the relative
stagnation of agricultural--livestock production continued to curb the rate
of growth leading to inflation and aggravating the imbalance in the balance
of payments.  Also during 1966 there was a weakening in the rate of
expansion of the manufacturing industry, which means something else to
worry about.  Losses in purchasing power by Latin American countries
because of the deterioration of the rate of exchange with foreign countries
since the middle of the decade of the fifties were of such an amount that
they equalled the total of net foreign financing that the entire region
used altogether during the period.  If we subtract from the new movement of
capital--that is the loans and investments that Latin America received--the
interest, profits, and other gains, from those loans and investments, what
Latin America received in the period from 1961 to 1965 was an average of
only 430 million dollars.

This annual amount also continues on a downward course to the extreme that
the net amount tended to cancel out in 1965.  In 1966 Latin America paid in
direct profits to foreign investments, interest, and so forth, the sum of
2.14 million dollars.  This is the reality of the Latin American economic
situation, and this said--let no one imagine that it was said by
revolutionary organizations--by study committees of the United Nations
itself, said by the government leaders of Latin America themselves in some
cases like the confession made in Punta del Este by the President of

This is what the imperialists offer this continent, this frightful reality
where no less than 70 million inhabitants live in the worst and most
dramatic poverty and ignorance.  The Latin American population grows, but
the economy does not.  The population grows, but production of food does
not.  And imperialism sees itself forced to be more of an exploiter all the
time.  It is forced to be more voracious because of its war policy,
aggression, repression of the revolutionary movement, the economic
situation; that is, the gold reserves of the United States diminish daily
and the trade balance is unfavorable.  This is a result of its adventures,
its policy, and among other things, its criminal war in Vietnam.  And it
sees itself forced to extract more and more resources from Latin America,
and it is less and less able to give the slightest help to the economy of
those countries.

What is the inevitable result?  What does it mean that in an entire
continent with 230 million inhabitants the population grows more than food
production?  What can be the only out?  What must be the inevitable out?
What must be the unpostponable out for a situation that is by itself
already one of misery and hunger leading with every passing year to more
misery, more hunger?  What can the outcome of that situation be?  What can
be the only way out of this situation?  Nothing other than revolution.  And
this is the phantom, more than the phantom, the reality which frightens the
myopic, the blind, those who believed that this situation of misery and
hunger could be resolved in cooperation with the exploiting imperialists
mainly responsible for the situation of misery.

These are the facts that cannot be concealed and that will lead to the only
solution--revolution.  And the revolution is the result of a historic need,
not the result of whims or of anybody's will.  Nobody can impose that
revolution, nor will anybody be capable of preventing it.  Because that
revolution is the result of a vital need and the only way out for the Latin
American people.  This is what our revolution has been setting forth since
the first day.  This is what our revolution has been setting forth since
the first Havana Declaration, the second Havana Declaration, and in each of
our pronouncements during these meetings.  We have said, we have firmly
believed, we have passionately argued that this revolution, in Latin
America's situation, could be nothing other than the armed struggle of the
peoples.  (applause) Is it perhaps the peoples who voluntarily choose that
path?  Is it perhaps the peoples who have the alternative of choosing one
path or the other?  No.  It is imperialism itself.  It is the bloody
dictatorship of the oligarchs and the exploiters who will not abandon, who
will never willingly abandon their privileges, who will not meekly yield
the destiny of society to the exploited.

But, in addition, the exploiters do not only dominate all the economic
resources, they control the forces at hand, they control the military
institutions, they control all the means for the dissemination of thought,
they monopolize television, radio, the press, the great majority of the
newspapers, most of the educational institutions, the cultural
institutions.  And the revolutionary organizations find themselves unarmed.
What kind or arms can they get to try to attain revolutionary power by
peaceful means if not even the weapons which supposedly are used in such a
fray are ever within reach of the revolutionaries?

It is not just a problem of repression.  The oligarchic classes, the
exploiting classes, create the conditions to prevent the assumption of
power of the revolutionaries and the exploited, and history has taught us
so far that there is only one way, our history yesterday and today and
forever, the history of the peoples who have made their revolutions show us
that it is not by bending out backs, that it is not by placing our necks in
the noose, that the peoples have made any progress any freedom.

The peoples have been compelled to struggle, and they have had to struggle
(applause), they have had to struggle not because they like to see blood
spilled, not because they like war, but because they face the alternative
of slavery or sacrifice, the price of having to conquer their freedom and
their justice with their blood and sacrifice.  This alternative is the one
which the exploiters historically have left to the exploited, the
oppressors have left to the oppressed, the enslavers have left to the
slaves--oppression and exploitation, slavery or sacrifice.

It is not the peoples who select the path; the peoples only fellow the
paths imposed on them by their oppressors and their exploiters.  It is
clear to us, who have defended it with conviction, with vigor, with
passion, that our peoples unfortunately have no other path for their
liberation than the path of struggle.  Deeds increasingly prove this to us.
Deeds are demonstrating that awareness of this truth becomes more palpable
every day.  The peoples begin to be feared when they begin to find their
truths.  We also were inoffensive vassals, defenseless, oppressed.  That is
what our people were until they began to discover their truth, until they
began to discover their path.  Today it is almost inexplicable to all of us
how it was possible for all that barbarity, all that injustice, all that
merciless exploitation to have been endured for such a long time.  How was
it possible for all that social order to exist defended by a mercenary
army, defended by little squads of soldiers scattered throughout the sugar
centrals, defended by pairs of rural guards?  How was it possible?  It was
possible because all the people believed in the myth that this force was
unbeatable, that this force was invincible.

That myth, that lie, was the mainstay of that system much more, much more,
than the real power that defended it.  And if our older comrades--I do not
mean in age, I mean older in the sense of guerrillas--if our comrades who
participated in that struggle could imagine a situation in which they knew
what they know today, what they understand today, what they see today, but
in which they did not have even one bullet, not even one right, as, for
example, 11 March 1952 after that coup d'etat; and placed in that
situation, which can only be absolutely hypothetical, they were to be
asked: "How long do you think the situation will last?  Nobody could argue
that there would be seven years of oppression and blood, and very few would
doubt, practically no one would doubt, with what they know today, that on
12 March--if not on 11 March and perhaps on 10 March--the revolutionary
armed struggle would have begun in our country, (applause) that it was
enough to take the rifles away from a team of those rural guards to begin
the revolutionary struggle--from one team of guards.  Rocks or a hit on the
head would have dropped one of those little thugs, and I am convinced that
what has been learned, with what is known and understood today, the
struggle would have begun the following day.

But this is what we know today.  However, how long it took us to learn it!
How long it took us to understand it as a truth.  It is obvious that this
is seen from a revolutionary point of view.  When the myth of invincibility
of that army, when the life was destroyed, the counterrevolutionaries
started another myth.  They fell into another life, they were incapable of
distinguishing between the power of exploitation and injustice and the
power of (?revolution), and they believed that it was as easy to destroy a
revolutionary as it was to destroy exploitation and oppression.

Then it took time, it took years to establish the other truth, and that is
that just as it is possible to destroy a system of exploitation and
injustice, it is absolutely impossible by any means to destroy a
revolution.  (applause) The imperialists, the CIA, learned this very well.
They learned that tricks and mercenary bands are worth nothing against a
revolution, that a guerilla can be absolutely nothing against a revolution,
and it is because the revolution defends itself with the people.  The
revolution defends itself with armed people and peasants.  That is why the
imperialists live in a state of shock, with specters everywhere.  How is it
possible that they, with very modern weapons, many resources, and much
equipment, with the absolute impunity with which they have carried out
their misdeeds throughout the world, cannot promote a counterrevolutionary
movement, and how, nevertheless, revolutionary movements rise everywhere
and they cannot crush them.  (applause)

This is how the revolutionary movement began in South Vietnam.  (applause)
To crush it, they organized an immense, a tremendous mercenary army, a
puppet army, for the purpose--with modern weapons and every mind of
equipment--of crushing the revolutionary movement of peasant and workers of
Vietnam, crushing the guerrilla movement.  But the more the
counterrevolutionary army grew in numbers, the more strength and power the
guerrillas had.  They came to have an army of 400,000 men, and it was not
enough.  They began sending special troops, first a few hundred, a few
thousand later, and it was not enough.  They then began sending tens of
thousands, and that was not enough either.  They began sending hundreds of
thousands of Yankee soldiers, and that has not been enough either.  They
have brought in mercenary troops from half a dozen nations, and it has not
been enough.

They have used the tactical air force, they have used the strategic air
force, against the south and the north, and yet, what have they achieved?
It has been more than two years since they began mass bombing, and what
have they accomplished?  This is a lesson that the imperialists must
inevitably learn.  (?We have said on other occasions), and we will have
occasion to say it often, that the people of Vietnam have given to the
world, to the revolutionaries, and also to the imperialists, a supreme
lesson, a lesson that they cannot disregard.  The imperialists have seen
that their might has limits.  They have seen that despite their industrial
and military resources, they have been unable to crush the revolutionary
movement in a country many times smaller than the United States.  Neither
with the mercenary troops, nor with the complicity of mercenary armies from
various countries nor with their own troops, nor with their own air and
naval forces have they been able to crush the revolution.

They have caused much suffering, much sacrifice, and much bloodshed, to be
sure.  But they are far--and farther with the passing of time--from
defeating the revolutionary movement in Vietnam.  The situation of the
imperialist aggressors is steadily worsening.

The consequences on the domestic political scene, the moral consequences,
the economic consequences are becoming increasingly hard to overlook.  For
example, the resistance of the North American people, who a few days ago
staged one of the most gigantic mass meetings ever held in the United
States against the brutal, criminal war being waged by the imperialists in
Vietnam.  (applause) The ranks of the North American people are furnishing
one more ally, greatly esteemed, in the bosom of the people of the United
States itself.  It is truly interesting, from the heroic point of view,
from the viewpoint of the course taken by events in contemporary times, to
note that there, in the heart of New York, hundreds of thousands of
citizens rallied around this watchword.  (not further explained--ed.)  A
considerable number of representatives were there from the civil rights
movement against racial discrimination in the United States, displaying
posters saying that the war the imperialists are waging against the people
of Vietnam is inspired by the same sentiments oppressing the Negro in the
United States.  (applause) That is, the exploited, the victims of
discrimination in the United States, have realized that their own cause has
an ally in those who are fighting and dying for their country in Vietnam.

It is truly impressive to see how hundreds of thousands of North American
paraded through New York, and that they carried portraits of Ho Chi Minh,
among others; (applause) and something even more illustrative--together
with the portraits of Ho Chi Minh and some martyrs of the civil rights
cause, news dispatches reported that portraits of Che Guevara also were in

This teaches us revolutionaries that amont the exploited people of the
United States, among persons discriminated against by that system, among
the exploited, among the poor in the United States, among the students in
the United States, and even among the progressive sectors, among U.S.
intellectuals there are many capable of understanding all the brutality of
the imperialist policy.  In the progressive sectors of the United States
and in the people of the United States themselves, whose awareness will
flower more and more, the world revolutionary movement and very
particularly the revolutionary movement of Latin America, will sooner or
later have a formidable ally.

The interests of imperialism, the interests of the (word indistinct)
monopolist minority that governs the United States, seek to make the U.S.
people believe that the peoples' liberating revolution is contrary to their
interests.  But the North American people will come to understand better
and better and with increasing clarity who is actually going counter to
their interests, who is compromising the most vital interests of the North
American people: whether it is the revolutionaries of the liberation
movements, or the imperialists who are spending almost 100 billion pesos on
warlike adventures, who are spending more and more for the U.S. war
budgets--more than 50 billion a few years ago--because of the Vietnam war
and its escalation having increasing considerably in the past few years.

Who pays for this outlay?  Who pays for these adventures?  Where does the
money come from?  Of course, part comes from the work of the peoples
exploited by the monopolists.  But much comes from the sweat of the North
American workers.  And that it not all.  Not only do the imperialists waste
the fruits of the North American people's work in warlike adventures, in
brutal crimes, not only dot they take much of the product of the North
American people's work to swell their monopolistic capital; they also use
it for waging bloody wars in defense of the interests of those monopolies.
And not only do they spend the North American people's money, they also
spend the blood of the North American people and threaten to more and more

The worldwide, revolutionary, anti-imperialist spirit is growing--outside
the United States and inside the United States.  Or course, the North
American people have not learned this lesson as the result of speeches or
pamphlets.  No, this lesson has cost the people dearly.  This lesson has
cost much bloods, shed by the Vietnamese people; this lesson has cost
Dominican blood; and this lesson, unfortunately, with demand much blood yet
from those peoples and other peoples.  That is to say, the peoples of the
world have had to pay the price to imperialist savagery to make the people
of the United States begin to open their eyes.  And the people of the
United States will open their eyes; they will open them wider and wider as
the people's revolutionary struggle grows and the imperialists find
themselves more and more impotent and harassed by the revolutionary
movement, not in Vietnam alone, but--as Che says--in two, in three, in
four, in five, and so indefinitely, Vietnams.  (applause)

The imperialist press has tried to warp the meaning of some of the ideas
contained in the formidable message which Che has addressed to the people
in the world.  It has tried to show that this message proposes the
destruction of the United States.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.
He clearly expresses the idea that the revolutionary strategy does not aim
at the destruction of the United States, much less at the destruction of
the people of the United States.  It is directed at the destruction of the
imperialist domination of the United States of North America.  Do not,
Messrs. imperialists, confuse the people of the United States--the North
America nation, which is not made up solely of imperialists--with the
imperialist.  In Ernesto Guevara's message we can see clearly that the
strategy is directed against imperialist domination.  This means that once
imperialist domination is destroy, imperialism as a system will disappear.
Above all, when imperialist domination over Latin America is destroyed,
imperialism as as system will disappear.  This means that Latin America's
liberation will signify a decisive step toward the world's liberation from
its worst enemy, namely, U.S. imperialism.

It is a clear fact that the revolutionary spirit is spreading in Latin
America.  This spirit generate action.  With the development of action, the
revolutionary spirit is strengthened.  Guerrilla movements are no longer
limited to one, or two, or three.  There already are four guerrilla
movements developing with growing strength.  Four guerrilla movements
already show clearly that the oligarchies are incapable of crushing them.
There is the Guatemalan guerrilla movement in Central America, (applause)
the guerrilla movements in Central America, (applause) and the guerrilla
movement in Bolivia.  (applause) All of these movements are growing.  At
first their growth was gradual, but there are now growing vigorously and

Revolutionary fighters have been gaining experience in the revolutionary
movement in this continent.  The people have been discovering the truth.
The pusillanimous, the weak, and the pseudorevolutionaries who thought that
the setbacks meant the revolution had failed and that the armed struggle
was meaningless will gradually discover reality.  No blow and no setback
has killed the faith, the tenacity, or the determination of the real
revolutionaries.  These things will never have this effect in any country.
IN some instances the struggle may unfold more swiftly, and in others the
development will be more accelerated.  It is noteworthy to observe that
important actions are being wages in Colombia, that the revolutionaries are
attacking military convoys on important railway lines, that they are
capturing towns or that they are waging bitter battle lasting hours on end,
victorious battles in which the repressive forces are sustaining numerous
casualties.  We can appreciate the force of the guerrilla movement in
Colombia throughout the country without exception.

Regarding Venezuela, Mr. Leoni recently was the laughingstock of the Punta
del Este conference when he said the existence of guerrilla forces in
Venezuela is almost an invention of the press and that these guerrillas do
not exist.  How often have they already said that they had annihilated
them?  It is certain that despite the iron censorship it is known that the
guerrilla movement is growing in Venezuela and that some heavily armed
detachments that really inspire fear in the government, that inspire fear
in its soldiers, have been constituted.  Although they may seek to conceal
the fast, they cannot deny that not only are the guerrilla columns under
Douglas Bravo operating in the zone of Falcon State, but they have extended
their victorious operations into Lara State itself.  (applause) Nor can
they deny that despite the offensives waged by the Venezuelan Army, the
guerrilla forces under Amerigo Martin are holding firm in the Bachiller
Mountains.  (applause)

Recently we read dispatches to the effect that the army had installed
artillery pieces opposite the Bachiller Mountains and that intense
artillery fire was directed against the mountains.  We have here among us
quite a few old guerrilla fighters, and not only old guerrilla fights, but
persons who learned the art of guerrilla fighting but pursuing gangs of
counterrevolutionaries.  Moreover, anyone who has had some guerrilla
experience knows that there is nothing more ridiculous than to fire a
battery of cannons at mountains.  How ridiculous it is to shoot at planes!
It they can drop hundreds of thousands of bombs at a time and not score one
single hit near a guerrilla fighter, what, gentlemen, is the good of
turning artillery fire on mobile guerrillas?  When we reach such reports,
we wonder whom they are fooling.  Are they fooling Leoni?  Or are the Green
Beret advisors fooling the army?  Or are they fooling each other?  Perhaps
they are fooling the people, but who the devil is going to believe
something so ridiculous?  Is this not an act of desperation, an absurdity,
an incredible act of stupidity?  It is another sign of impotence and of
inability to crush the guerrilla movement.

According to information gleaned from dispatches, the guerrilla movement in
Bolivia in emerging with strength and fighting ability.  According to what
we have read, in a few weeks the government repressive forces suffered more
than 40 casualties, including dead, wounded, and prisoners, in deadly
battle, despite the fact that specially trained troops are being employed
against the guerrilla forces.  These specially trained troops are employed
to repress the people on the streets, to assassinate workers with impunity,
and to attack the miners of the mines.  But when they have to fight the
guerrillas in the mountains they are completely useless and absolutely
incompetent, and, like the mercenaries in Vietnam, they are called upon to
die like bedbugs.  (applause)

Green Berets are being employed in increasing numbers of Guatemala, in
Colombia, and in Venezuela, and recently, according to reports from
Bolivia, the imperialists already sent approximately 1,000 Green Berets to
that country.  Travelers flying between Panama and Bolivia report that
groups of 50 Yankee tourists--strange tourists with leaders, who are
received at various airports along the way by their confederates--are
arriving in Bolivia and are filling the hotels.  They also say that the
members of the U.S.  Special Forces barely conceal their presence in the
Interior Ministry, the Defense Ministry, at the headquarters of the
repressive forces, and everywhere.

Of course, the imperialists try to conceal the magnitude of their
intervention in Bolivia.  They have spoken of planes that arrived with
weapons and instructors who arrived here in accordance with agreements
reached prior to the emergence of the guerrilla movement.  However, it is
certain that they carried their weapons on the planes and that some 1,000
members of the Special Forces have arrived in Bolivia over a period of
several days.  This demonstrates the imperialists' panic, their
desperation, their fear, and the blind alley the imperialists have entered.
For, over and above the hundreds of thousands of soldiers they already have
in Vietnam, the thousands of soldiers that still occupy Dominican
territory, they are now obliged to send more and more soldiers to the
various guerrilla fronts in Latin America in brazen intervention, which is,
as is logically to be supposed, the way these imperialist adventures begin.

Of course, they cannot have many experts, because the Vietnamese have
liquidated many of the Green Beret experts.  (applause) And if the
imperialists keep sending more and more Green Berets against the guerrilla
movements, so much the worse for the Green Berets, not just because the
revolutionaries will take care of the them, but also because it will
accelerate and increase the solidarity among peoples.  For every Green
Beret the imperialists send to put down the revolutionary movement, there
will, among all peoples of the world, be many red berets ready to fight
alongside the revolutionaries.  (applause)

The scope and content of this struggle--the internationalist scope and
content of this struggle--is explained by Che is beautiful words in his
message, this struggle of the revolutionaries of all peoples against the
Yankee imperialists who are their enemies.  Awareness is growing.  The
revolutionary arguments are gaining ground; they are constantly winning
more support; they are constantly gaining followers, whereas the
conformist, reformist, cowardly, and pseudorevolutionary positions are more
and more isolated, weaker and weaker.  We have no doubt whatever that it is
merely a question of time and that the vacillating, the cowardly, and the
pseudorevolutionaries will be swept away here as the peoples' truth clears
a path for itself.  Nobody will be left to heed any charlatan whispering
that he should bow his head to accept a yoke.  This is obvious.  More and
more the peoples of this continent are discovering the truth.  For the
revolutionary movement throughout the world, for those who are confronting
imperialism in Asia, Africa and Latin America, Maj. Ernesto Guevara's
message (applause) has been a vitally important event.  We are not going to
speak here of us Cubans.  Nobody here ever did believe the intrigues, the
lies, the fables of imperialism.  Here we all know one another, and we know
the truth about things, because we hear it or guess it.

The imperialists tried, in the rest of the world, to spread confusion an
lies.  They had Che appearing in many placed.  They killed him (?dozens) of
time.  For the imperialists, first of all, this message must have been
traumatic.  This resurrection of Che, this appearance of Che, must have
been profoundly discouraging and worrying for them.  This Che--without a
beard and with a beard, a beard which they do not know whether it is old or
new, (applause) and with a beret that seems to symbolize something like a
kind of red beret (applause)--must have caused the Yankee imperialists
serious concern.  This Che, in fine physical shape, with unmatchable
enthusiasm and more experience than ever in guerrilla fighting, must be a
matter of concern to the imperialists, just as he in an encouragement for
revolutionaries.  Where is Che, the imperialists ask, organizing liberation
movements or fighting on one of the liberation fronts?  What the
imperialists would not give to know!  But even if they did know, they would
merely be satisfying their curiosity, for if they really want to conserve
the health of their Green Berets, the latter better not try to run into
Che.  (applause)

Those who tried to make capital and those who engaged in intrigue and
slander, uttering in Che's absence all sorts of slander against the
revolution, must also have learned a lesson with Che's reappearance.  Why
waste our time on these people!  Their punishment awaits them, the
punishment dealt by history.  History takes care of settling accounts with
the farcical, the intriguers, and the slanderers.  This is the reason why,
even though we were pained by the perversity of the slanderers, we were
unworried.  History, we knew, would take care of clarifying matters.  This
will be the punishment meted out to intriguers and slanderers who gave all
possible support to the imperialists on the occasion of this new stage
which Comrade Ernesto Guevara started two years ago.  Of course, not
everything is known.  However, let us leave it to history again.  We have
all rejoiced greatly over this document.  None of us has the slightest
doubt that time--days, weeks, months, and years--will inevitably bring
fresh news from Che.  (applause)

Today a report reached our country from Vietnam, informing us that in this
connection--a dispatch that says word for word: "I now send you text of
dispatch received from our embassy in the Democratic Republic of Vietnam
concerning the Latin American Continental Student Organization (OCLAE)
delegation, in that country in response to an invitation from the DRV
Student Federation, made up of comrades Enrique Velasco of Cuba; Danilo
Fernandez, Dominican; and Jose Varona of Puerto Rico.  FEU (presumably
University Student Federation--ed.) delegation presided over by president
of the FEU of Cuba.  The three badly wounded, the Puerto Rican worst.  We
have no further details.  I am leaving for Than Hoa.  On my return I will

Later: "With reference to our wire, the Puerto Rican critical, the Cuban
unhurt, the Dominican in no danger.  In case the Puerto Rican dies consult
MPI (presumably Puerto Rican Independence Movement--ed.) whether he should
be buried in Vietnam.  There is no way of sending him.  Inform the
Dominican's organization of his condition.  Comrade Velazquez says to
report the affair to comrade Lazaro Mora of the ("UJC) (presumably Cuban
Young Communist Union--ed.) so he can inform the OCLAE."

Luckily, while the first dispatch spoke of the three being in serious
condition, it turned out later that one of the three is unhurt, another not
in serious condition, but regrettably it appears that the condition of the
representative of the Puerto Rican students is critical.  This shows the
ferocity and criminal nature of Yankee bombing raids, and this is not a
story, because these students were visiting that country.  Although no
further details have been received, it was surely a result of one of the
savage air attacks the Yankee imperialists (words indistinct) against

Here is another item of interest because it tells about a group of armed
men, presumably guerrilla, seizing control for several hours yesterday of
the installations of a sawmill situated near San Javier, El Beni
Department, in the northern part of the country.  That is in Bolivia.  The
owner of the sawmill reported the incident to the military authorities.
The unidentified group left the place in the afternoon.  An army garrison
and personnel of the Criminal Investigations Division flew to the spot to
investigate and establish the motive for the attack.  In case it was
carried out by guerrillas, it would be a second front, because of the
distance between the point where the subversive armed movement is currently
active and the site of the attack on the sawmill.

To continue--a dispatch from the (sentence left incomplete--ed.).  Here is
another item which on a day like today must strike us as a joke.  It says:
"Miami, 19 April.  The use by the Cuban regime of a secret formula for
intramuscular injections to give courage to the armed forces in case of
battle was called to the attention of the OAS Human Rights Committee today.
The accusation concerning use of this procedure to enrage the troops and
militiamen in case of battle, resistance, and suicide operations--creating
a condition of homicidal fury--was made by the chairman of the Human Rights
and Political Committee of the civic group, Miguel Angel (work indistinct).
The paper submitted calls this procedure an international crime and calls
on the OAS to issue a serious warning to the communist Cuban Government to
the effect that the facts as charged constitute international crimes
against mankind, condemned by international penal law and agreements which
Cuba has signed."

There are dispatches that amuse themselves with this kind of thing,
organizations that amuse themselves by paying attention to this kind of
thing.  But the question occurs: Why, why precisely today, 19 April?  There
must be a reason.  They must be remembering Giron beach.  (applause) They
are remembering what happened to them so fast, and they must be wondering:
What do those people have, what do they east, what to they do?  And this
absurdity occurred to some man suffering from the traumatic experience.
No, sir.  The injections these people here have are injections of morale,
awareness, and revolutionary self-respect.  (applause) They are the same as
the injections used by the Vietnamese, the same as those that were used by
the Koreans against the Yankees, the same as the injections used by the
guerrillas in Latin America.  (applause)

And if by chance there are actually injections of some other kind, we
advise them to use them to inject the mercenaries so the latter can provide
a somewhat more decent performance or can die a little faster and a little
more contentedly.  (applause) Now it appears they are called secret
intramuscular injections.  These things are suitable for imbeciles,
desperate people, failures.  Of course, our people's traditional courage
and self-respect worry the imperialists.  Giron was an unforgettable lesson
form them.  And not at Giron alone, but in every circumstance our people
have risen to the occasion.  Since Giron our strength has increased.  Since
Giron our fighters have become much more numerous, our armies more
effective, our experience greater.  Since Giron the defensive and combat
potential of our people has grown.

Somebody asked about the meaning of something said on the university steps
on the 13th.  I believe it was 3.6.  Was it 3.6?  I am asking because I do
not want to have to figure it out again now--that they were going to run
into 3.6 Vietnams and one Stalingrad.  What we meant was that the firepower
and the combat potential they are going to meet is equal to more than three
times the firepower of the South Vietnam revolutionary fighters.  I am
speaking of firepower in terms of weapons and number of combatants--that is
to say, to judge by what they have there, in Vietnam, so they will have
some idea of what they are going to meet here; and this is discounting a
Stalingrad.  If we understand it a bit better with these figures and you
consider them sufficient, they are sufficient.  Let the rest of them find
out when circumstances require it.  (applause) The imperialists must deal
with Vietnam plus the several Vietnams being developed in this continent
and the Vietnamese they will find here if they attack us.

Of course, we do not attempt to frighten them.  That is naive, trying to
frighten the imperialists.  Moreover, they are already quite frightened.
It is childish and naive for us to frighten them, even to warn them.

We know that those unfortunates are cretins, imbeciles, stupid,
suicides--that they have outdone themselves in perpetrating outrages
throughout the world, and they will continue to perpetrate them.  The
important thing is for us to know that this continent is experiencing a
decisive period, to not lose sight of the hatred toward us felt by the
imperialists, the savage hostility they feel toward this revolution, toward
this historic event, toward this nation, toward its posture, its dignity,
its political line; the profound hatred the imperialists and the oligarchs
feels toward this nation.  And at Punta del Este, (?did not) Johnson meet
there with (?Rusk)?  They spent 1 hour and 20 minutes talking with the
puppet Leoni, and they have not concealed their moves and maneuvers to
promote aggression against our fatherland.  This is the position of all
these servile, lackey, cowardly governments which are incapable of
confronting the revolutionary movement, which are dreaming of aggressions
against Cuba, and which agree with the imperialists in their hatred toward
our fatherland.

Therefore, we must be aware of the fact that great threats will hand over
our fatherland, years of dangers and risks.  This does not discourage us.
Today the revolution is working with more optimism, with more confidence
than ever.  It is not necessary to make propaganda.  We know that
everything today is moving at an accelerated pace, a more certain pace.
Many in the world are already beginning to understand that.  There is
already talk of figures, but one need not be concerned.  They will have to
speak of figures much more and much sooner.  It will not be long before the
achievements of our fatherland will profoundly impress the world.  Our
people are working with more enthusiasm today, with more responsibility,
with more seriousness.  Very important battles are being won.  Vices
seemingly difficult to overcome are being defeated.  Our youth and all our
people are joining in creative work more and more.

The sugar harvest is going well, and we are planning to cut even the last
stalk of sugarcane.  And if the results are already important this year,
what will they be next year, since this year we are applying approximately
half a million tons of fertilizer to the sugarcane, and beginning now we
are applying--under conditions unprecedented in this country--(Castro
rephrases--ed.)  We are fertilizing 40 million banana plants, 4 million
citrus plants.  That is not all; 4 million is the total of citrus trees in
production in our country.  However, the interesting point is that we are
planting, between this year and next, approximately 60 million plants in
this category, as is being done with coffee and a number of agricultural
products.  That is to say that we are working with enthusiasm.  We are
working with enthusiasm, and we all have assumed, as a question of honor,
the task of carrying out those plans.  We want our work to be turned into
wealth and well-being for our people and for other peoples.  We want to
work for ourselves and to help others.

Nevertheless, we know the dangers, but such dangers do not discourage us.
They will not lesson our enthusiasm one bit.  Important is our fatherland;
important is our nation of 230 million in our Latin American brothers.
(applause) Important is all of the Americas.  Important is the future of
this continent.  And even more important is the world.  If someone in the
last century has already said--before Marxist ideas had been adopted by
hundreds of millions of human beings--that mankind comes before the
fatherland, we internationalist revolutionaries will also always say: We
love our fatherland; we love the well-being of our people; we love the
wealth we create with our hands; but mankind comes before the fatherland.
(applause) Eternal life to the heroes who fell in Giron fighting for the
fatherland and fighting for mankind.  Fatherland or death, we shall win!

(Editor's note--F: The Havana domestic television service, in covering
proceeding from Havana's Chaplin Theater beginning at 0018 GMT 20 April,
presents views of the speaker's platform.  Present with Castro are:
President Osvaldo Dorticos Torrado; Deputy Premier Raul Castro; Minister
without portfolio Carlos Rafael Rodriguez; Minister of Internal Trade
Manuel Luzardo Garcia; Minister of Education Armando Hart Davalos; Minister
of Transport Faure Chomon Mediavilla; Minister of the Revolutionary Armed
Forces by regulatory substitution Juan Almeida; Minister of Justice Alfredo
Yabur Maluf; President of the Cuban Womens Federation Vilma Espin.)