Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish 0205 GMT 11 August

(Speech by Prime Minister Fidel Castro at closing ceremony of First LASO
Conference, held in Havana's Chaplin Theater--live)

(Text) Honored delegates, guests, comrades: It is not an easy task to close
the First LASO Conference. In the first place, what attitude ought to be
taken--shall I speak here as a member of one of the organizations
represented or shall I speak with somewhat more freedom or simply as a
guest speaker at this event? I want to say that, in my opinion, I express
the opinion of our party and our people, which is in turn the same opinion
and the same viewpoint defended by our delegation in LASO. (applause)

Should we perhaps say that the conference has been a great ideological
victory? Yes? That is our opinion. Does this perhaps mean that the
agreements were reached without an ideological struggle? No. The agreements
were not attained without an ideological struggle.

Are the opinions or the support for the declaration read here unanimous?
Yes, it was unanimous. Does it represent unanimous viewpoints? No. It does
not represent unanimous viewpoints.

In various aspects some of the delegations present here had reservations
and they expressed their reservations. The international press throughout
the whole conference has tried to probe, to analyze, the development of the
conference and they have expounded on several ideas regarding the
ideological struggle developing there. Some with greater objectivity,
others with less objectivity. Some with an honest journalistic sense,
others without much honesty in journalism.

Some expressed jubilation in speculating whether the opinions were or were
not unanimous. And, of course, one must say that there were indiscreet
persons in the bosom of the conference. There were indiscreet persons
because undoubtedly some agencies arranged to establish connections with
the delegations, so different versions appeared. Some were more accurate,
others less so, but they undoubtedly revealed a certain lack of discretion
on the part of the conference delegates.

Some things were discussed publicly, others were not, very few of them. But
the idea of trying to achieve the most positive results possible dominated
in the case of those not discussed publicly.

A deep sense of responsibility prevailed among many of the conference
delegates. Because the accomplishment of a useful, positive, beneficial,
effort for the revolutionary movement, but adverse to imperialism, was
being sought.

None of the questions that have been discussed when (Castro corrects
himself) none of the questions discussed are themselves the reason why they
cannot be publicly known when they deal with some principle. When some of
the things were not discussed publicly it was simply through a sense of
responsibility to avoid those questions from which the enemy could try to
obtain some benefit.

But naturally there were indiscretions and almost everything discussed is
more or less known. The agreements are clear and final. Not only did the
conference take place during these days, but things happened which turned
the delegates to this conference into participants in discussions and
ideological and political agreements. They also acted as witnesses and as
judges of the activities of imperialism against our country. Some may ask:
"For what reason, or for what reasons, could those proofs be presented
before this LASO conference?" Some perhaps may have thought that this was a
strange coincidence. The most suspicious--particularly those who represent
a press which has been poisonously hostile to the revolution and on many
occasions towards the truth--they must have viewed that coincidence with
complete suspicion, between the presence of the counterrevolutionaries who
infiltrated into our country and the LASO conference.

Some spokesman for imperialism argued that we made those presentations
simply to show that imperialism intervenes in Cuba and because of the
coming conference of foreign ministers. These ideas could be put forth if
we were in a situation of fair play, but on the past of imperialism there
can be no fair play. These presentations were made simply because they are
facts that have taken place systematically and incessantly in our country
from the beginning. If this LASO conference were prolonged a few days more,
it could be said that we could bring here, all week, proof of the number,
the type of agents, and the type of missions that imperialism is carrying
out against our country. Hardly a week passes without our capturing some of
these individuals.

Do we perhaps have to prove the imperialism is carrying out subversive
activities against our country? Do we perhaps have to prove that
imperialism commits all types of crimes against our country and that it has
been openly meddling in the affairs of Cuba? Someone yesterday expressed
doubts as to whether the CIA was so naive, so naive, that instead of ration
packages, dehydrated, it would commit he folly of including some common,
ordinary tin cans of food. We have no intention of using this platform to
humiliate anybody in particular, much less when it is a person who has been
authorized to come to this country. Without dealing in personalities, I
simply wish to refer to the doubts, concepts, ideas. Is it not perhaps
enormous naivete to believe that the CIA is so perfect, marvelous,
intelligent, incapable of committing the slightest silliness?

Have we not perhaps read a book written by North American journalists,
"Dark Victories" (Victorias Tenebrosas), on the scores of stupidities and
crimes committed by the CIA? Are we perhaps to think that the CIA is so
perfect that is incapable of making mistakes? Did not the CIA, the
Pentagon, the State Department, all of imperialism make a mistake ten
thousand times more awful at Giron? (applause) A much greater mistake.
(prolonged applause)

What an infinitely greater mistake than the insignificant little detail of
(?people) helping themselves, freely most likely, from the well-stocked
stores of the mother ships, of some canned desserts or whatever, to pretend
(Castro chuckles) from such a sense of judgment, to deny evidence that no
one who is capable of thinking with a minimum of commonsense and calm could

It is really extraordinary that there are people in the United States who
believe any of these things, that the CIA is a good angel, incapable of
committing any misdeed, any crime, and that the things the CIA does against
Cuba have to be proved. And, also, that the CIA is incapable of committing
idiocies. (light crowd laughter)

Perhaps the CIA commits crimes? Well, they can accept it or reject it, but
morally one must analyze, morally one must analyze if what is important are
the crimes committed by the CIA or the idiocies that the CIA may commit. We
are not going to ask anybody concretely, but we ask ourselves, we ask those
who are listening to us, whether there is perhaps anybody in the world
capable of believing that the CIA is not a sinister, interventionist, and
criminal organization, unscrupulous to an inconceivable degree.

The fact that we are used to the vandalism of imperialism should not cloud
our sensibilities and our capacity for moral judgment of such acts. In a
certain sense, such things happen almost daily against our country. But
when these acts are analyzed in depth, how many principles, how many
international laws, how many norms of civilization, how many moral norms
are violated officially through the CIA by the US Government? (There
is--ed.) the use of the flags of any nation like vulgar pirates, not as
moral as the pirates because the pirates, they say, used to fly the
pirate's flag, and Yankee imperialism is a pirate capable of using the
flags of any nation of the world; the employment of such methods, the
employment of the official documents, the maps of the United States, the
employment of forged documents, the employment of any resources, any means,
to carry out its aims.

And, of course, why talk morally or legally about the aims of such
activities. When it became evident yesterday that that man had been in
Miami a few days ago in a restaurant where he was seen by Charles the
office worker, Joe the manager, Sam the cook, and even the cat in Miami, it
became difficult to suppose that we had brought this man from our
imagination, from our thoughts, to seat him there.

Then the other theory arose--perhaps instead of the CIA it was an exile
organization of anti-Castroites. Does not the government of the United
States perhaps feel responsible for the crimes committed by such
organizations there in the United States? Is it that they are now going to
say that they are not responsible? yet they were the ones who organized all
those people, the ones who nursed them, who indoctrinated them, who trained
them, in US institutions.

Is the possible fact that it is an exile organization reason to exonerate
the US Government? But it was not, unfortunately for the pirates involved,
a group of those through whom the CIA works, rather it was the direct
organization of the CIA which was involved. The embarrassing thing about
this case is that the CIA's work was directly involved, not an indirect
work through counterrevolutionary organizations, because the CIA works
through counterrevolutionary organizations and it also works directly, as
was explained to you.

Or course, the technique of the CIA, when it works directly, is a superior
technique, but superior technique does not mean superior wisdom. (laughter)

There may be electronic equipment which does not make mistakes. That
demonstrates simply that electronic equipment is much more intelligent than
the CIA and much more infallible. And, of course, the insinuation that this
automatic equipment, which transmits a long message in a matter of a
fraction of a second or minutes and which is one of the most modern
resources of electronics can be bought in a grocery store or a "ten cents"
(Cubanism for department store)--magnificent! I believe that the North
American revolutionaries can buy many of those pieces of equipment to
communicate among themselves. (applause)

Since when, since when, in what store, in which "ten cents" can such
ultramodern, ultrasensitive, equipment of minute size, capable of
transmitting messages thousands of kilometers in automatic codes--it is
truly naive. I do not criticize the hesitation of any person before such
obvious facts, nor their scruples in saying, such as the one who said he
was not a judge. (laughter)

What a magnificent boy? (laughter) Truly the AP educates its little cadres
well. (laughter) However, if one wishes to see to what point they are or
are not judges, let them analyze the things they write everyday and they
will see how impartial they are! There is only one truthful thing when he
says that they are not judges and that is that they are not judges because
they are biased and are absolutely incapable of judging anything.

We have been reading the news of that agency for eight years and they are
always at the service of the imperialist interests, always hiding
something, defending something which is never good, not even by mistake,
distorting everything. We Latin Americans know the facts full well. All the
representatives here present know them well. Above all, the ones who have
to suffer those lies, that information at the service of the worst causes
of imperialism, know them because they are the only ones that entire
peoples can read in this continent. That is part of the imperialist machine
because those lying, truculent, fraudulent news agencies are part, they
form part of the machinery of imperialism, form part of the machinery of
imperialism, form part of the instruments that imperialism uses to carry
out its policy. Courtesy forces us to treat persons with delicacy,
(laughter) but courtesy does not force us to fail to say some truths that
are more than well known. (prolonged applause)

In addition, referring to some of those reports--and we could ask afterward
if they did it because they are naive, if it is not naivete to report such
a thing, and why report it? Anyway, here is an agency which often tries to
be objective--I am not going to say which one it is. It is an English
agency. It says here: "A group of anti-Castro Cuban exiles called the
Second Escambray Front declared today in this city that the group of men
whose capture was announced today in Havana are guerrilla members of that
organization. Andres (Nazario Sarjen--phonetic), secretary general of the
front said that the guerrillas left for Cuba approximately four weeks ago.
He added: They were going to infiltrate into Cuba on a subversive mission
and for guerrilla warfare to unite with patriots within Cuba." (laughter)

This means that this cable relieves us of all doubt because it is the
official confirmation in the United States itself of the gentlemen who sent
those counterrevolutionaries presented here.

But there is something more, and this is an AP wire (whistling of
disapproval): "Four of the captured exiles who were exhibited today in
Havana as invaders, landed in Cuba having been taken there by a
anti-Castroite military force which came from Miami. The group of
infiltrators was described today in Miami by its leader, Maj. Armando
Fleites, as a mission to kill Prime Minister Fidel Castro, which would be
part of an irregular war campaign to defeat the communist regime."

In other words, we were inventing absolutely nothing when we said what the
concrete mission of the men was. We were inventing absolutely nothing when
we exhibited a pistol, among other weapons, a .22-cal. pistol with a
silencer, with cyanide-tipped bullets, a pistol that makes less noise than
a match when it is struck, a .22 with a silencer and cyanide-tipped

This unheard of, incredible deed that violates what laws, what laws are we
going to talk about, what principles, what norms! Even in wars, which are
fierce, this type of bullet is absolutely banned. And publicly, to an
agency of imperialism, the ringleader, without anybody bothering him,
there, openly, in the name of an organization that has a sign there,
officially states that the group came to this country to assassinate a
leader of the government, calmly. It is perhaps that the US Government does
not feel responsible for these deeds?

We directly accuse the US Government and hold them accountable for these
deeds! (applause and chanting)

We accuse President Johnson and hold him accountable for the fact that with
absolute impunity, on US territory, they have not only organized a plan to
assassinate leaders of another state by employing the most abhorrent
methods, and that they not only consummate or try to consummate the plan,
but they proclaim it publicly in an impudent manner.

And these are certainly serious facts and more than serious. They are very
serious. And this, all these statements, do nothing other than show the
absolute veracity of each and every charge and and report made by the
Revolutionary Government to the people as a routine matter.

What is so strange about their spending the other spies? What is so
strange? Can we ask the CIA to see what they say about this man? And above
all the CIA can be asked what a US destroyer, a mother ship, a helicopter,
and a Neptune aircraft, was doing 20 miles north of the province of Pinar
del Rio, looking zealously for something.

And it so happened that yesterday at dawn, some fishermen found
(Bichinche--phonetic)--I think that is what he was called. (commotion) Do
not build up your hopes, do not build up your hopes, (applause) do not
build up your hopes! I know your desire to have this man grabbed. They were
in a boat because they went out to sea in a liferaft according to the
instructions they have in case of emergency. They met the fisherman at
dawn. The fisherman, the fishermen could have done better. They could have
taken him into the boat, but it was a small boat and they were unarmed.

Immediately they reported the individuals they had seen, and immediately we
came to conclusions as to who they were. Naturally, today we are in
competition with the CIA. (laughter) Our reconnaissance plane and the
Neptune were so close to each other that our plane took pictures of the
Neptune. (laughter) I imagine that they took pictures of our airplane. The
CIA and the US Government today looked for (Bichinche) at the same time
that our airplane and our ships are trying to find (Bichinche) (laughter).
(Bichinche) has become an almost famous person. (laughter)

However, what happened? What happened was that the means which they took,
very had to detect, is a rubber liferaft which can be hidden in a mangrove
swamp during the day, and they try to help themselves by using the currents
until they are found. However, the CIA did not know that (Bichinche) was in
trouble. However, since a note was released on Sunday saying that they had
reembarked, because that was the idea of the security personnel, in view of
the things that were left on the shore and all the information. (as heard)
It is not easy to find a liferaft. We do not know if the CIA, the
destroyer, the airplane, the helicopter found (Bichinche). We,
unfortunately, could not find him. But both of us are competing, (laughter)
20 miles north of Cuba to see who finds that needle in the haystack.
Perhaps (Bichinche) will escape. We are not even going to be sad. We will
not worry. He did not get caught today. He will get caught tomorrow.
(laughter) He will be caught the day after. (applause)

And they are just a few. When Giron happened, fat fish were caught, as the
people say, because, there were more than 1,000 of them. And many who never
even imagined that they were going to get caught, were caught because that
is the fate of instruments of the CIA. We could ask in passing if anyone
can give us information as to whether those maps which these CIA people had
are also sold in the "ten cents" in the United States. (laughter) Certainly
we would like to have some of those maps because they are detailed with
meticulous accuracy. And that was a military map, a military sketch with
all details--sentry boxes, explosive storage, antiaircraft rocket launching
bases--and one asks for what purpose does the CIA have super-detailed maps
of our military installations? What are the objectives? Are those sketches
perhaps sold in the "ten cents"? There is no doubt that this type of
espionage has objective of a bellicose nature, has objectives of an
aggressive character, and of course, there is something that is not shown
on the sketches; and that is the heart of those who defend those military
positions. (prolonged applause) That does not even fit on the maps, nor in
the imagination of the gentlemen of the CIA.

However, we believe that these are irrefutable proofs that we are willing
to place at the disposal of anyone, and simply the capture of CIA agents
has become so routine here that it is something that takes place every
week. Many times publicity is not even given to it because it is absolutely
no news to anybody. Do we perhaps have to prove that the imperialists are
aggressors against Cuba? Does this have something to do with the OAS
foreign ministers meeting? In a certain sense, yes, and in a certain sense,

Are we perhaps trying to convince the OAS? Who is going to make jokes with
such a thing? We do not promise to convince the OAS. We do not propose to
paralyze the OAS agreements. We have other things with which to paralyze
the OAS agreements! (applause) In any case we intended to show how cynical
those OAS gentlemen are. We intended to show how shameless the OAS
gentlemen, headed by the US Government, are. We intended simply to unmask
them. We intended to demoralize them. That, in part, is why I say that it
is true that it has some relation to the OAS meeting. But we do not intend
to hide behind that. The OAS does not have an atom of shame. The OAS does
not have an atom of ethics. And none of the governments of this
continent--with the exception of Mexico--(applause) confessed accomplices
of the acts of banditry against our country, just as they were in the
intervention of Santo Domingo and all the crimes committed by imperialism,
has the slightest moral reason, the slightest right, to invoke any law,
invoke any principle against the actions that Cuba carries out in support
of the revolutionary movement! (applause)

Because they have made shreds of all the norms, of all the rights, of all
the principles, and this is their own responsibility not our
responsibility. But if they think that we are going to accept this
imperialist order, those who think we are going to accept this imperialist
order, that law of the funnel that the imperialists try to impose on the
world, that blackmail, they are wrong.

Our country will never yield to such an order. The imperialists pretend to
carry out all kinds of crimes in the world with impunity. Daily they bomb
North Vietnam with hundreds of planes--this is imperialist order, these are
the laws of imperialism. They invade the sister republic of Santo Domingo
with 40,000 men. They establish a puppet government and they protect it
with their occupation troops with impunity! This is imperialist order.
These are the laws of imperialism.

A state at the service of imperialist aggressions, like Israel, takes over
a large part of the territory of other nations, it establishes itself on
the very shores of the Suez Canal and now even claims the right to
participate in the operation of the canal. The case is such that all it has
yet to demand is that a pipeline be installed from the Aswan Dam to
irrigate the Sinai. And they are three and no one knows until when. And the
more time passes, the longer they will stay. This is the order imperialism
wants to establish. These are the laws imperialism wants to impose on the

To send missions of assassins with poisoned bullets to slay the leaders of
other states, to send armed infiltration groups constantly to a nation
which it has been harassing for eight years; this is imperialist order.
These are the laws imperialism wants to impose on the world.

We are a small nation, but this order we shall not accept! These laws we
shall not accept! (applause)

We are not a nation of adventures, of provokers, or irresponsible people,
as some have tried to picture us. We simply will not accept that order and
those laws of imperialism. And if the price for this nation's attitude was
that they would sink this nation in the briny deep, that they would
eliminate the entire population of this country, were that possible, we
would prefer that first rather than accept that order and those laws
imperialism wants to impose on the world. (applause and cheering)

Go out on the streets on this country and ask any citizen, young or old,
parent or son or mother, and ask them what they prefer, what they prefer,
acceptance of that draconian order, submission to the dictates of
imperialism, or death. (voice from audience: Death!) (shouts, cheers,
applause) And you will find there are very few who think otherwise. Those
who prefer to accept that imperialist order. But do not think that you will
find these only among those who are considered counterrevolutionaries. You
will also find them among those who even invoke Marxism-Leninism as a
theory and who will say that this is what has to be done, that is accept
that submission to the imperialist draconian order, because there are
certainly those and they are everywhere.

Do the gentlemen of the press want some news. Well, there you have some
news and there is more if you have a bit of patience. These are currents,
attitudes, and we do not impose attitudes on our people. We have tried to
teach and learn. We have tried to educate ourselves as worthy
revolutionaries and to cause the people also to educate themselves with us
as worthy revolutionary people.

Nobody will believe that the problems of this country are easy problems,
that the dangers that hand over this country are insignificant, miniscule
dangers. Nobody can minimize the circumstances under this small country
resolutely stands without hesitation of any type at the very doors of the
most powerful imperialist country of the world, and not only the most
powerful but the most aggressive, and not only the most powerful and
aggressive, but the most bloodthirsty, the most cynical, the most conceited
of the imperialist powers of the world. The thinking of that imperialism is
revealed in many of the things that they write. Let us say, of course, to
prevent a lack of clarification from making some honest person think we are
referring to him, that we know that in the United States, in spite of the
infamous conditions existing there, there are also honest writers and
journalists there. (prolonged applause)

This is not the case, but since there are so many cases, I fear that there
may be someone who believes that we do not know how to distinguish. But
here there is a case which expresses the essence of the imperialist
mentality. It is an article of the New York DAILY NEWS titled "Stokely,
Stay Over There." We would be most honored if he wanted to stay here.
(prolonged applause) But truly the one who does not want to stay is he
because he believes that he has the primary duty of fighting. (applause)
But, at any rate, he must know that under any circumstance this country
will also be his home. (applause)

The article says: "Stokely Carmichael"--I am trying to pronounce it right
but it does not come out right--"the Negro firebrand is in Havana, capital
of Red Cuba, after scurrying through London and Prague and we suggest that
he stay in Havana, his spiritual home. As he said, we urge Stokely to stay
in Red Cuba until that miserable island is rescued from communism and then
go to some other Red country. If Carmichael returns to the United States,
we think that the Justice Department should hit him with everything
available under our laws." It ends, after other words in that vein: "While
we are occupied in Vietnam it is unlikely that we can crush Castro, though
the government should, and we believe this, stop discouraging the Cuban
refugees who plan his destruction." Discourage? Discourage? (laughter) "Let
us paste a memorandum in Uncle Sam's hat: to plant a foot on Castro with
all the force necessary to destroy his communist regime as soon s we win
the war in Vietnam." (laughter, whistling) If the danger to this country
were to depend on their winning the war in Vietnam, we will all die of old
age. (applause)

However, look at the way that they express themselves. With what contempt
they speak of the "Negro firebrand," of the "miserable island," of
"planting their foot" with incredible irritation. We must say that the
imperialists get irritated by many things, but above all, they are
irritated by the visit of a Negro leader--a leader of the most exploited
and oppressed people in the United States--by a rapprochement between a
revolutionary movement in Latin America and the revolutionary movement with
the United States. (wild applause)

Much has been published in the US press about Stokely's trip. Some items
are very crude, others are more subtle. All sorts of theories have sprung
up. Some say: Stokely is fooling Castro. Castro id deceiving Stokely.
Stokely is trying to make him think that he represents the Negro
movement--or most of the Negro movement, and Castro is using him--things of
this nature. They have even gone further: some have said that how strange
it is that this country is not a racist country and that Stokely is a
racist. How strange! How strange! They are trying to make people believe
that the Negro movement in the United States is a racist movement. Inasmuch
as for centuries the exploiters have practiced racism against the Negro
population, all who fight racism are described as racists.

They say that they (the US Negro movement members--ed.) show that many
times a movement can start first without a program. However, it is untrue
that they have no program. What happens is that the Negro sector of the
United States at this moment, weary from daily repression, has devoted its
energies to defend itself, to resist, and to struggle. It will not take
them long to discover something which inevitably will endure by a law of
society and by the law of history. From this Negro segment--because it is
the most exploited, the most repressed, the one most brutally maltreated in
the United States--will merge the revolutionary movement in the United
States. (applause) From the most mistreated, the most exploited, and the
most oppressed--from the Negro segment will surge the revolutionary
vanguard with in the United States. Around this revolutionary
movement--which does not emerge as a result of race problems, but from
social problems--problems of exploitation and oppression--and because this
most enduring and oppressed segment constitutes by law of history--as has
happened in every era in history--as occurred with the (?prebendaries) in
Rome, with the servants of the (words indistinct), with the workers and the
peasants in contemporary times--in US society, from this oppressed segment,
the revolutionary movement will emerge.

This is a social truth. This is a historical truth. Let no one become
impatient, for from this oppressed segment, the revolutionary movement will
emerge--a vanguard of a struggle called someday to liberate all of US
society. This is why we must reject as injurious and calumnious this
attempt of presenting the Negro movement in the United States as a racist
problem. We (?will await this). Let no one labor under any illusion that
anyone has deceived anyone else. On the contrary, the approach of the US
revolutionaries toward the revolutionaries of Latin America is the most
natural and the most spontaneous thing that could be expected. We and our
people have been very receptive and very capable of admiring the extremely
valuable--extremely brave--pronouncements made by Stokely in the LASO
conference. We know that such action demands courage. We know what it means
to make such pronouncements amid a society which practices the cruelest and
the most brutal repressive methods and which incessantly perpetrates the
worst crimes against the Negro segment of the population.

We know how much hatred these pronouncements can generate among the
oppressors. This is why we believe that the revolutionary movement
throughout the world should give Stokely utmost support as a protection
against imperialist repression, so that they will know that any crime
against the person of this leader will have extremely deep repercussions.
Our solidarity can, in this case, aid to protect Stokely's life. (applause)

This is why--because all of these facts which are inevitable to the process
are developing--the revolutionaries begin to get together. Internationalism
is being practiced. We believe that the attitude of this US revolutionary
provides a great lesson--it is a great example of militant
internationalism-- something very peculiar to revolutionaries. There is no
doubt that we sympathize with this kind of revolutionaries much more than
with the supertheorizers who are revolutionary only in word and bourgeoisie
in deed.

This internationalism is not proclaimed. It is practiced. The US Negroes
are resisting--and they are resisting with weapons! They did not stop to
(?draft) theories or to discuss objectives first before taking up arms to
defend their rights. They had no need to resort to any philosophy, much
less to a revolutionary philosophy to justify (?their action). We believe
that if in any country the battle is hard and difficult, it is in the
United States. We have here US revolutionaries setting an example before us
and teaching us lessons. (pause)

We always must bring with us some cabled reports--some papers--some news,
particularly at a meeting like this. We sincerely believe that we would be
remiss in our duty if we did not express a judgment that the LASO
conference has been a victory for revolutionary ideas, not a victory devoid
of struggle. A latent ideological struggle has been reflected in the LASO
conference. Is it good to conceal this? No. What do we gain by concealing
this? Was LASO trying to crush anyone--harm anyone? No. These methods are
not revolutionary methods. This does not go with our spirit as
revolutionaries--and get this--as revolutionaries. We believe that it is
necessary for revolutionary ideas to prevail. If the revolutionary ideas
are defeated, the revolution in Latin America would be lost--or it would be
delayed indefinitely.

Ideas can accelerate a process just as they can considerably retard a
process. We are of the opinion that the fulfilling of a requirement is
necessary--namely, the triumph of the revolutionary ideas among the
masses--not among all of the masses, but among a sufficiently ample
segment. This does not mean that action should await the triumph of ideas.
This is one of the essential points of the matter--those who believe that
is is first necessary for ideas to triumph among the masses before action
is initiated, and those who think that it is precisely action that is one
of the most efficacious methods to foster the triumph of ideas among the

Anyone who wants to wait for ideas first to triumph among the masses, in a
majority fashion before revolutionary action is initiated, will never
become a revolutionary. What would be the difference, then, between a kind
of a revolutionary and a latifundio owner, a wealthy bourgeoisie? None! It
is clear that the human race will change. Of course, the human race will
continue to develop, despite men and their errors. However, this is not a
revolutionary attitude.

If we had had this idea, we would have never initiated the revolutionary
process. It was enough for ideas to be strong among a sufficient number of
men to initiate revolutionary action and through this action the masses
began acquiring these ideas, and the masses began to acquire this spirit.
It is evident that a number of men in any place in Latin America are
convinced of these ideas and have initiated revolutionary action. What
distinguishes a real revolutionary from a false one is precisely this: One
will act to carry the masses. The other waits for the masses to acquire the
spirit before beginning to act.

There is a series of principles, and let no one think that they will be
accepted without discussion. However they are essential truths approved by
a majority, with reservations from some. This dissension regards the means
of struggle, the peaceful or nonpeaceful--armed or without arms. The
dissension of this discussion, which we call Byzantine--because it is a
discussion between two deaf and dumb--because it differentiates between
those who want to give the revolution a thrust and those who do not want to
push it. Those who want to check the revolution and those who want to push
it--let no one say that he was fooled.

Different words have been used as to whether there is a single path or not,
whether it excludes anyone or not and the LASO conference has been very
clear in this regard. It does not say that there is only one path, although
it could be said. It says there is a basic path and the rest of the means
of struggle should be subordinated to it. In the long run it is the only
path. As for terminology, to have used the word single, even though the
sense of and the fact the word single could have been understood, would
have led to errors in regard to the immediacy of the struggle. That is why
we understand that the statement of which is the basic path to be taken is
a correct statement.

We want to express our thinking--the thinking of our party and our people.
Let no one dream that he will achieve power peacefully in any nation of
this continent. Let no one dream or attempt to tell the masses such a
thing, he would be fooling them miserably. This does not mean that one
should take a gun tomorrow in any place and begin to fight. This is not
what I mean. This is not what I mean. What we are talking about is the
ideology conflict between those who want to wage revolution and those who
do not. It is the conflict between those who want to wage revolution and
those who want to stifle it, because everything depends on whether or not
the necessary conditions to take to weapons exist or not.

This can be understood by anyone. There cannot be anyone so sectarian or
dogmatic that he could say that we should take a gun tomorrow. We,
ourselves, do not doubt that there are some countries in which this task is
not an immediate task, but we are convinced that this is a task in the
future. There are those who have said that there is no more (?radical)
thesis than the Cuban; that we Cubans say that in such and such a country
the necessary conditions for armed struggle do not exist, and that this is
not true. What is odd is that in some cases this has been said by
representatives who are not supporters of the armed struggle thesis. We are
not going to get angry. We prefer that they make the mistake of wanting to
wage the revolution where the conditions do not exist than that they make
the mistake of not wanting to ever wage it. Let us hope that no one is
mistaken, but with us no one who really wants to fight will ever have any
disagreements. It is those who never want to fight who will always have
disagreements with us.

We understand well the (word indistinct) of the matter and it is the
conflict between those who want to push the revolution and the contention
of those who are enemies until death of the idea of the revolution. A whole
series of factors have contributed to these attitudes. This does not always
mean that it is enough to have the correct posture and that all the rest
will be done. No. Many mistakes are made even between those who really want
to make the revolution. It is true that there are many weaknesses, but
logically we will never have antagonistic contradictions with anyone,
regardless of the honest mistakes made by a revolutionary action. We
understand that old vices should be abandoned--sectarian postures of any
kind, the postures of those who believe themselves monopolizers of the
revolution, or of revolutionary theory. The poor theory has suffered a lot
during these processes. Poor theory, it has suffered a lot and it still is
being mistreated.

These years have taught us all to mediate better and to analyze better. We
no longer accept any type of evident truth. The evident truths belong to
the bourgeois philosophy. They constitute a series of old cliches that
should be abolished. The very Marxist literature, the very revolutionary
political literature should be rejuvenated because by dint of repeated
cliches, catch phrases, and catch words that have been repeated for 35
years nothing is conquered, nothing is won. (applause)

There are times when political documents that are considered Marxist give
the impression that one can go to the archives and ask for a model, for
example, model No. 14, model No. 13, model No. 12--all of them alike with
the same words that make up a language incapable of expressing real
situations. Many times such documents are divorced from life. So many
people are told that this is Marxism and that it differs from a catechiam,
that it also differs from a litany and a rosary. (applause)

Thus, he who feels that he is a Marxist of a sort almost feels obliged to
go look for a model containing this or that manifesto. If 25 manifestos of
25 different organizations are read, they will be found to be all alike.
Taken as models, they convince no one and nothing if farther from the
thought and style of the founder of Marxism than empty words, the forced
straightjacket to express ideas, because Marx was undoubtedly the greatest
and most brilliant prose writer of all times.

However, worse than words are the ideas that many times are contained in
phrases. A phrase without concept is as bad as the alleged contents of
certain phrases because there are these that are 40 years old. For example,
to mention one of them, the famous thesis about the role of the national
bourgeoisie. How much effort has it cost to become convinced of the
absurdity or these thesis in regard to the conditions prevailing on this
continent! How much paper, how many phrases and words have been used
waiting for a liberal, progressive, and anti-imperialist bourgeoisie! In
truth, we ask ourselves if there is anyone at this time who might believe
in the revolutionary role of any bourgeoisie on this continent. All these
ideas have long gathered strength and have been around for a long time. A
series of these remains. I am not going to say that the revolutionary
movement and, in general, the communist movement has ceased to play a role,
even an important role, in the history of the revolutionary process and of
revolutionary ideas in Latin America. It has acquired a method, a style,
and, in certain things, not a few characteristics of a church. We sincerely
believe that this character must be overcome.

It is clear that in the eyes of some of our illustrious revolutionary
thinkers we are nothing more than little bourgeois adventurers without
revolutionary maturity. Fortunately, the revolution came before maturity
(laughter, applause) because, finally, those who are mature, the
super-mature, have matured so little that they have decayed. But we
consider ourselves a Marxist-Leninist party. We consider ourselves a
communist party. (applause)

It is not a problem of words. It is a problem of facts. We do not consider
ourselves teachers. We do not consider ourselves as the pacesetters, as
people would like to say about us. But we do have the right to consider
ourselves a Marxist-Leninist party, a communist party. Our satisfaction is
very deep and we see with rejoicing and not nostalgia, with rejoicing, not
sadness, that the ranks of the revolutionary movement are swelling and that
the revolutionary organizations are increasing, that the Marxist-Leninist
spirit is gaining ground, that is to say, that Marxist-Leninist ideas are
gaining ground and we feel great satisfaction with the final resolution of
this conference which proclaims that the revolutionary movement in Latin
America is guided by Marxist-Leninist ideas.

This means that the narrow parochial spirit, the convent spirit, must be
overcome. We as a communist party, shall struggle to overcome this narrow
concept, this narrow spirit. We must say that as a Marxist-Leninist party
we belong to LASO. As a Marxist-Leninist party we belong not to a group
within revolutionary thought, or inside the revolutionary movement, but to
an organization which includes all real revolutionaries and we shall not
look with prejudice on any revolutionary. In other words, there is a much
broader movement on this continent that the movement composed simply of the
communist parties in Latin America. We owe ourselves to this broad
movement. We shall judge the conduct of organizations, not by what they
claim they are, but by what they prove to be, what they do, their conduct.
We are very satisfied by the fact that our party meshes wholeheartedly into
a much broader movement, such as this movement that has just held this
first conference.

I could say a great deal about the importance of guerrilla warfare, about
the vanguard role of the guerrillas, about the guerrilla movement. However,
this is not possible at an event such as this. However, the experience
acquired in guerrilla warfare on this continent has taught us many things,
among them, the terrible mistake, the absurd conception that a guerrilla
movement can be directed from a city. From this mistaken conception springs
the thesis that the political and military commands must be united. It is
also our conviction that is it not only stupid but a crime to want to
direct a guerrilla movement from the city. We have had the occasion to
appreciate the results of this absurdity many times. It is necessary that
these ideas be overcome and for this reason we consider the resolution of
the conference of great importance.

A guerrilla movement is called upon to be the fundamental nucleus of a
revolutionary movement. This does not mean that the preparation of a
guerrilla movement can be made without previous work. It does not mean that
a guerrilla movement is something that can dispense with political
leadership. No! We do not deny the role of a directing organization; we do
not deny the role of a political organization. The guerrillas are organized
by a political movement, by a political organization. What we believe to be
incompatible with the correct conception of guerrilla warfare is the
pretension of directing the guerrilla movement from the city. In view of
the conditions prevailing on our continent, it will be very difficult to
suppress the role of the guerrilla movement.

There are some who wonder whether there may be a case in one of the Latin
American countries where one can come to power without armed struggle and
that, theoretically and hypothetically, when a good portion of the
continent has been liberated, nothing should be so strange but that, under
these conditions, the revolution should easily triumph in an exceptional
country. That does not mean that the revolution has triumphed in any
country without a struggle. Perhaps the blood of a single revolutionary of
that country may not have been shed, but the fact remains that victory has
only been possible as a result of the effort, sacrifice, and blood of the
revolutionaries of an entire continent.

It would, therefore, be false to say that the revolution was made their
without fighting. That would always be a lie and I think that it would not
be proper for any revolutionary to expect that all the other peoples will
fight for him or to expect that the conditions will have been created in
his country to win without fighting. That would not be proper for a

As for those who really believe that peaceful transition is possible in
some country of this continent, we do not understand what kind of peaceful
transition they are talking about, other than a peaceful transition in
agreement with imperialism. Because to achieve victory peacefully, if in
practice it were possible, taking into account that the machinery of the
bourgeoisie, of the oligarchies, and of imperialism control all the
resources for peaceful struggle (sentence incomplete) Then you hear a
revolutionary who says they crushed them, they organized 200 radio
programs, so many newspapers, so many magazines, so many television
programs, so much of this and that, and I ask, what did you expect? Did you
expect them to put the television, radio, magazines, newspapers, and press
in your hands? Don't you realize that these are instruments of the ruling
class used to crush revolution? (applause)

They complain that the bourgeois and the oligarchy crush them with their
campaigns as if this were something surprising. The first thing a
revolutionary must understand is that the ruling classes have organized the
state in such a way as to be able to maintain it by all means, and they use
not only arms. They use all possible instruments to influence, deceive, and
confuse, and those who believe that they are going to defeat the
imperialists in any elections are simply naive. Those who believe that even
if they do win in elections they will be allowed to take office are

It is necessary to have lived through a revolutionary process to know all
the machinery of power whereby the ruling classes maintain their system. It
is necessary to fight, however difficult it may be. This does not imply the
negation of (?other) means of struggle. When someone writes a manifesto in
a newspaper, goes to a demonstration, holds a meeting, preaches an idea, or
uses the famous so-called legal means--here we must end this distinction
between legal or illegal means, to call them revolutionary means or
non-revolutionary means (sentence incomplete)

To apply his ideas and his revolutionary purposes, the revolutionary uses
various means. The essence of the matter lies in whether the masses are to
be made to believe that the revolutionary movement--that socialism--is
going to achieve power peacefully. This is a lie, and those who say in any
place in Latin America that they are going to achieve power peacefully will
be deceiving the masses. (applause)

We are speaking of the conditions of Latin America. We do not wish to
meddle in other (word indistinct) which are already big enough, those which
other revolutionary organizations maintain in other countries, as in
Europe. But we are speaking for Latin America. If they (?resign) themselves
to their errors (?it would be all right), but they are trying to encourage
the errors of those who are mistaken on this to encourage the errors of
those who are mistaken on this continent. A certain so-called revolutionary
press has therefore attacked Cuba because of our revolutionary position in
Latin America.

A fine thing! They have not known how to be revolutionaries there and they
want to teach us how to be revolutionaries here! (slight applause) But we
are in no hurry to launch polemics. We have enough things and problems on
which to concentrate. Nevertheless, we shall not pass over there direct or
indirect, veiled or open, attacks from some neo-Social Democrats of Europe.
(applause) These are clear ideas. We are absolutely convinced that, in the
long run, as (?we have stated), there is only one path. (?We are convinced)
of the role of the guerrillas in Latin America.

Does this mean that if a barracks arises because there are military
revolutionary forces, they are not to be supported because this is not
guerrilla warfare? No! The stupid thing to do is to get a military barracks
up in arms, as has happened sometimes, and then allow it to be crushed
because of a strictly majority decision. We do not deny that (word
indistinct) new situations. For example, there was the typical case in
Santo Domingo--a military rebellion which acquired a revolutionary nature.
But, of course, this does not mean that the revolutionary movement had to
wait on what might come about, on what might happen. No one could foresee,
could estimate the form, the nature which the revolutionary movement
acquired and into which it developed, above all because of the imperialist

In other words, while the guerrillas' role is stressed as the immediate
task in all those countries in which the necessary conditions exist,
another form of armed revolutionary struggle is not discarded. The
revolutionary movement should be ready to take advantage,and even support,
all manifestations of struggle which arise and which could turn into or
which might strengthen the positions of the revolutionaries. What is not
admissible is that there are those who call themselves revolutionaries
waiting for a military post to rise up in arms to make a revolution. What
is not admissible is that there can be a revolutionary who dreams of making
revolution through the rebellion of troops.

The rebellion of military units can be a factor--imponderable factors
arise--but no serious revolutionary movement would go to work depending on
these eventualities. Guerrilla warfare is the basic method of struggle but
does not exclude the rest of the armed struggle manifestations which might
arise. It is necessary, it is very necessary, that these ideas be cleared
be cleared up because we have had very bitter experiences--not from the
military coups, but from the political frustrations and the long-range
results, which are fatal and disastrous for the revolutionary
movement--from a series of wrong concepts.

The most painful case was that of Venezuela. In Venezuela the revolutionary
movement was being developed, and has had to pay for the results of the
absurd concept of wanting to lead the guerrillas movement from the city, of
wanting to use the guerrilla movement as a tool for political maneuvers, of
wanting to use the guerrilla movement as a tool for politicking.

This is the result which can be derived from wrong actions, from mistaken
actions, and, in many cases, from immoral actions. The case of Venezuela is
a worthy case to be taken into consideration because if we do not learn
from the case of Venezuela we will never learn. Of course, the Venezuelan
guerrilla movement is far from being crushed, in spite of treason--and we,
gentlemen, rightly so, use the word treason. We know that some will not
like this, some will even be insulted. We hope that some day those who do
not carry the germ of treason in their souls will also be convinced. The
Venezuelan case is outstanding in many aspects because in Venezuela a group
of people who headed a party with all these vices of concepts was almost
able to accomplish what imperialism of the regime's repressive forces were
not able to do.

The party, or better still the rightist leadership of the Venezuelan party,
has succeeded in practically becoming the enemy of the revolutionaries and
an instrument of imperialism and oligarchy--and I do not say this just to
have something to say. I am not a slanderer. I am not a defamer. We have
problems pending with that group of traitors. We have not been the
(?originators) of polemics. We have not provoked conflicts. Far from it, we
have been silently putting up for a long time with a series of documents
and attacks from that rightist leadership while it abandoned the guerrillas
and took the road of conciliation and surrender. We were the victims of

They started talking about a strange thing, and many of these problems
begin with a series of strange things. They started talking about
democratic peace, and we asked ourselves what the devil this democratic
peace meant because if not odd, it was strange. They told us that, no, this
was a revolutionary slogan to widen the front, to merge forces, to open a
wide front, a wide front. Well, theoretically, who was going to (?man) it?
Have faith in us, they said. At the end of a few months, they started
talking about tactical retreats. Tactical retreats! How strange was that!

If they had told us the truth, we might have disagreed; we might have
doubted what is as. A tactical retreat, never, but that is what they told
the militants and the people. After the tactical retreat would come the
attempt to halt the fighting, the attempt to suppress the guerrilla
movement, because anyone knows, moreover, that there are not tactical
retreats in a guerrilla movement because a guerrilla group that retreats is
like a plane whose propeller has stopped in midair, or whose motors have
stopped in midair, and which crashes on land.

The idea of tactical retreat must have been perceived by one of those
brilliant inventors with grandiloquent revolutionary theories. Anyone who
has my idea of what guerrilla warfare is and who starts talking about
retreat is making wild statements,wile statements. A guerrilla group can be
withdrawn as a whole? A guerrilla group cannot be made to retreat. They
were taking off their masks little by little until one day they came off
altogether. Then they said: Let us join the elections, and declared
themselves believers in elections. However, shortly before they did so,
they perpetrated some of the most infamous deeds that can be committed by a
revolutionary party. They began to behave like informers and public
accusers against the guerrillas. They took advantage of the Iribarren
Borges case; they took advantage of this episode to begin accusing openly
and publicly the guerrilla movement and to shove it practically into the
den of the repressive beasts of the regime.

The government had the guns and soldiers to pursue the guerrillas who
refused to retreat, but the so-called party--that is, the rightist
leadership of a party that had already seized the command, that held
it--took it upon itself to arm morally and politically the repressive
forces that pursued the guerrillas.

We must therefore honestly ask ourselves how could we, a revolutionary
party, condone, in the name of any argument of any secret agreement
whatsoever, the actions of a party which was trying to morally strengthen
the repressive forces which were persecuting the guerrillas.

It was then that the phraseology, the charges started. They started telling
us that we were creating fractionalism. This was not a matter of a group of
charlatans, this was the matter of a group of guerrillas with many years in
the mountains, of fighters who had been abandoned--forgotten. Could the
guerrillas have said yes, once again you are right, you who have deceived
us? They started talking about this and that, to do this later. Naturally,
we publicly condemned them, after a series of statements by those rightist
leaders against our party. We condemned the treacherous way in which they
used the Iribarren incident to slander and attack the revolutionaries.

Of course, this caused rage and irate protest from the rightist leadership
which made us the object of a series of diatribes. They did not answer a
single one of our arguments. They were not capable of answering a single
argument and they wrote an answer full of cheap sensationalism. They
charged that we were narrowminded, that we were attacking a clandestine
party, that we were fighting the most heroic, the most adamant,
anti-imperialist organization, and they wrote an answer to us. It has been
necessary to bring this reply here because this document became an argument
of a mafia, a real mafia of slanderers and defamers of the Cuban
revolution. This incident served as the beginning of a real international
conspiracy against the Cuban revolution--a real conspiracy against our
revolution. We believe that this is a problem which must be brought into
the light, at least the truth should be brought out into the open.

If you will pardon me, I am going to read this rather long reply. It is an
answer full of not too friendly statements toward us. If you will excuse
me, I would like to read this reply which was made public. (applause) The
so-called answer of the Communist Party of Venezuela (PCV) to Fidel Castro.
I hope this can be used as a discussion to refute some things which have
been said about Cuba and the revolution. The letter is as follows:

Fidel Castro, secretary general of the Cuban Communist Party in power and
prime minister of the socialist government of Cuba, taking advantage of his
position, has attacked the Communist Party of Venezuela, a clandestine
party, with hundreds of its militants in jail, with scores of them killed
in the nation's mountains and streets, and subjected to a daily unrelenting
persecution. Even as Fidel Castro was speaking, the party was learning of
new victims. The same man who can find tolerance for his verbal attacks due
to the fact that Cuba is in the front lines of the anti-imperialist
struggle should have the elemental nobility of soul to be careful with his
language when he talks about the communist party which fights in the Latin
American nation most affected by Yankee imperialism--the party which fights
under the most difficult conditions. With a worldwide audience, and because
of what he is, Fidel Castro has not hesitated in hurting a communist party
which, due to repression, is barely in a condition to reply to him.

Thus the action of Fidel Castro is ignoble, self-seeking, and treacherous,
lacking in the nobility and the gallantry which have always characterized
the Cuban revolution.

(?2--) Fidel Castro has issued a negative judgment on the murder of
Iribarran Borges, even claiming his right to express an opinion on this
matter. Yet, with surprising impudence, he tries to deny the PCV the same
right. Fidel Castro evidently wants the PCV, which acts in Venezuela--which
is in Venezuela--to have no opinion, not to express judgments on Venezuelan
political events, events which occur on Venezuelan soil and which,
therefore, closely affect the life of the PCV.

On the other hand, he, in Cuba, can express an opinion. According to his
peculiar viewpoint, we speak out and we play the government's game. He
speaks out and claims to be the voice of an intangible revolutionary
oracle. This strange kind of reasoning shows an arrogance and in
irresponsible self-sufficiency, unworthy of a chief of state.

With regard to the incident itself, the PCV said exactly the same thing as
Fidel Castro, neither more nor less. On the other hand we declare that
speeches like those by Fidel Castro play the game of reaction and

(Apparently Castro aside--) (?they don't thank me for it.)

(laughter) Calumnies such as those launched against our party, his attempt
to divide it, and incidents such as the murder of Iribarren Borges (words

(?3--) The PCV demands the right to choose its own policy without
interference from anyone. In the sense that Cuba has honorably covered a
hard revolutionary path, it is an example and inspiration or us, but we
have not been, nor are, nor shall we ever be, agents of Cuba in Venezuela,
as we are not the agents of any other Communist Party in the world. We are
Venezuelan Communists and we do not accept the tutelage of anyone, however
great their revolutionary merits may be. if in Venezuela there is any
revolutionary group which willingly submits to the tutelage and patronage
of Fidel Castro, that is its own affair. The PCV will never do so. If this
displeases Fidel Castro, the worse for him.

Now, why does Fidel Castro intervene at this precise moment against the
PCV? Because the PCV has already begun to defeat, not only ideologically,
but also in practice, Douglas Bravo's antiparty group, because the
Communist Party and communist youth have won big political and
organizational successes in the establishment of their policy, because the
recent feat of the rescue of Comrades Pompeyo, Guillermo, and Teodoro has
filled with enthusiasm and renewed energy all the communist militants of
the country, and because, finally, the anarchist, adventurous policy of the
antiparty group has demonstrated its inevitable failure and has enormously
helped in the clarification of problems under discussion.

Because of this, Fidel Castro has launched all the weight of his prestige
against the PCV in a desperate attempt to help the anarchist-adventurous
group, which he has sponsored and encouraged to destroy the PCV. However,
our policy and our deeds show every day the worth of the adjectives of
vacillating, halting, and opportunist which Fidel Castro has applied to the
PCV leadership. This is seen here in Venezuela, despite the past ills such
as Fidel Castro has done us and will certainly continue to do. But let it
remain clear to him and to all the PCV, we shall not even discuss the
sovereignty of the PCV.

(?4--) Fidel Castro has called the PCV leadership cowardly, in another
demonstration of this irritating tendency of his to believe he has a
monopoly of valor and courage. We Venezuelan communists do not possess the
childish exhibitionism of proclaiming our merits in this field, but, in the
time when Fidel Castro was a child this great patriarch of Venezuelan
communism (word indistinct) Gustavo Machado was assaulting Curacao and
invading Venezuela arms in hand.

Since then, the history of the PCV is a political history and it is also
the history of men who faced the terror of Gomez, and of Perez Jimenez, who
directed the insurrection of 23 January of 1958, who, thanks (words
indistinct) Fidel Castro, received a plane loaded with arms, when he was
still in the Sierra Maestra, and who in the past eight years have not
spared their lives. Fidel Castro has in this answer the best demonstration
of what the PCV leadership is.

Accustomed to believing in his power as a great revolutionary (?father), he
certainly believed that his speech would crush and confound us. He was
entirely mistaken. Now Fidel Castro will (?explain) why Yankee imperialism
and its agents try so hard to liquidate this Venezuelan Communist Party.
Fidel Castro is his speech wants again to assume the role of a kind of
arbiter of the revolutionary destiny of Latin America and of a
superrevolutionary who, in the place of all the communists of Latin
America, would already have staged a revolution.

On another occasion, we shall refer to the characteristics of the Cuban
struggle and of the place where Fidel Castro would still be if he had
(?thought to) raise the Red flag in the Sierra Maestra. For the time being,
we wish only to revolutionarily reject the role of father which Fidel
Castro arrogates unto himself. We categorically reject his claim to being
the only person who is to decide what is and what is not revolutionary in
Latin America. In Venezuela this question is to be decided by the PCV for
itself and its people, not for anyone else.

Furthermore, this Fidel Castro, the supreme dispenser of revolutionary
titles, should ask himself what North Vietnam would say if Cuba were to
trade with South Vietnam. We also want to ask him if he thinks about what
the Spanish people say about his trade with Franco and with the Spanish
oligarchy, or what the black peoples of Zimbabwe and Rhodesia and the
patriots of Aden might say about his trade with imperialist England. Would
Fidel Castro consider opportunism in others what yesterday would have been
washed by the flowing waters of his own self-sufficiency?

This disagreeable polemic make the enemy jump with joy, but obviously it
cannot be disregarded any longer. We have reached the limit to which Fidel
Castro with his speech has forced us. So be it, let us discuss and thus
reclaim our affiliation with Simon Bolivar and the father of our country in
our anti-imperialist struggle. Also, let us tell Fidel Castro that the
descendants of Simon Bolivar and Exequiel Zamora absolutely do not grant
the right to anyone to speak with the insolent and ire-provoking language
which Fidel used in his 13 March speech. The Venezuelan Communists do not
think that he is better or whose than anyone else. However, if anything
insults his fierce pride as a fighter, it is slander.

By this time, Fidel Castro most likely is finding out that he has stumbled
on something he had expected--that he has clashed with the Venezuelan
Communists. We are well aware that cases such as that of Fidel Castro cause
us difficulties, but we do not despair. We have the comforting conviction
that reason is on our side and that we possess revolutionary zeal to defend
ourselves. 15 March 1967, Venezuelan Communist Party Politburo, (signed)
Pompeyo Marquez, Guillermo Garcia Ponce, Alonzo Ojeda, (?Olachoea) Pedro
Ortega Diaz, Eduardo Gallegas Mansera, Teodoro Petkoff, and German

"No comments," it says on top, (apparently referring to cover of document)
"a reply (?already dispatched) from the Venezuelan Communist Party to Fidel
Castro--it is hereby reproduced and is now being circulated. Second Front,
Alpha 66 109 S.W. 12th Avenue, Miami, Florida, 33130."

Do not believe for a moment that I have taken this letter from a spokesman
for the party or from a political paper. Thousands of copies of this letter
were sent to Cuba from the United States by the Second Front--Alpha
66--those same men who sent here a band of men with a pistol loaded with
cyanide bullets to murder--as they said, to kill-Premier Fidel Castro.

This really demands a reply. In the first place, I am not going to repeat
today what I said that night because it would take too long. It is a lie
that we uttered any personal insults against anyone. We described no one in
that political party as a cowardly nature. I did not insult of offend
anyone. I never said that so-and-so or this person or that person were

I am not, of course, going to reply to any of the things that were said.
This document was written and published. It was merely one more of those
documents that these men have already published. We, of course, have kept a
file. Our party has been working on an answer to this and to all other
intrigues concocted by these men, and it will be released in due time. A
series of imputations have been made within this document which are the
same insinuations that have made against the revolution--against our
party--and no only by imperialism--not only by imperialism!

Among other things, these men did not hesitate to accuse us--to accuse our
party--of intervening in the domestic affairs of the Venezuelan party and
of intervening in the internal affairs of Venezuela. They accused us of
deploying agents in Venezuela. They insinuated that the group of
guerrillas, of fighters, who (?were compelled) to withdraw and surrender,
were a group of Cuban agents--in other words, they were making exactly the
same calumnious accusation which the US State Department has been
formulating against us. (long pause) In these documents, Cuba was likewise
accused of trying to be an arbiter--of trying to direct the Latin American
revolutionary movement--exactly the same accusation which imperialism
lodges against us.

Lies are even included in this document. These men have gone as far as to
display some weapons that came from Venezuela (to Cuba--ed.), but which
came not when we were fighting in Sierra Maestra. They are 150 weapons
which came when our troops were almost on the city of Santiago de Cuba, in
the month of December, when the columns headed by Camilo Cienfeugos and
Ernesto Guevara (applause) had already taken a large area of (?this city.)

These men virtually throw up to our faces--and they attribute to
themselves--the dispatch of a (word indistinct) plane with which they imply
the war was won. Actually, they were not the ones who sent these weapons.
They are so short on arguments--so short on arguments--that they even have
to resort to lies like this. Someday the Venezuelan people will perhaps
hold them accountable for the millions (in currency--ed.) which they
collected throughout the world in the name of a guerrillas movement which
they neglected--a movement which kept them in clothing, shoes, food, and
the basic things, and against which they finally turned and unscrupulously
attacked. Someday the people of Venezuela, I repeat, perhaps will call them
to account for everything that they collected throughout the
world--figures--one, two--and what they did with it.

For our part, we will not ask them to account for anything. We are not
interested. If someday we aid anyone, and we truly help him, we will not
ask him for a report on how he used this aid. However, there is an argument
that has been one of the most (words indistinct). We say that all of this
will bring an eventual reply.

There is something that got lost in a (words indistinct) argument. Perhaps
if it were not for these circumstances, we would have no need to discuss
this problem--it is the matter involving trade with Spain, England, and the
capitalist countries.

This topic, this program was, or course, not the matter in question. This
was not the issue. Why then did these men bring this problem up? Why did
they bring up this matter? In reference to our position of criticizing the
problem of financial and technical aid to Latin American oligarchies--in
the first place, a deliberate effort has been made to warp our opinion in
this respect. In addition, these men of the rightist leadership of the PCV
were pursuing other objectives--and they did this in a very amateurish way,
because on a certain occasion, when Leoni's government was trying to
establish diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union, we were consulted,
and we even gave our opinion.

These men were consulted, and they gave negative opinion on this matter.
Why do these men bring in this argument and bring up for discussion a
problem that was not being discussed with them? This is very clear--this is
a part of the conspiracy, of the consolidated in which these elements,
though dissimilar from imperialism, join imperialism to create for the
revolution serious difficulties with the countries in the socialist camp.
Without question, this argument is one of the basest things and the most
miserable, perfidious, and most provocative.

Attempts have been made to prevent a contradiction between our position and
trade with the capitalist countries. However, this recent argument has been
used by the Mafia--not only was it published openly, but it was published
by the capitalist press. Counterrevolutionary organizations have
disseminated this letter, not to mention its dissemination sotto voice in
(?hallways), in secret meetings by the conspirators and detractors of the
Cuban Revolution who resort to this nauseating argument.

In the first place, it is a lie that Cuba opposes (?trade) at all
international organizations, at all economic conferences, at all
organizations in which Cuba has participated as a state only because Cuba
incessantly denounces the policy of imperialist blockade--and it (Cuba) has
denounced the violation of the freedom of trade and the right of all
countries to trade with each other. This is the case of the US Government
against our country. Cuba has maintained this rigid position at all times.
This has been a policy which we can prove with facts throughout the history
of our country's trade relations. Our position does not affect trade--it
never did relate to trade.

This position of ours is known by the Soviets. It is a point of view which
we have told them about. We speak in terms of the financial and technical
aid of any socialist state with these countries. Let no one mistake one
thing for the other. Let not one thing be confused with the other. There is
one thing--(words indistinct) loans in dollars to Lleras Restrepo because
he was in trouble with the International Monetary Fund. We ask: How can
this be? It is absurd--loans in dollars to an oligarchical government which
repressed the guerrillas, which is persecuting and murdering
guerrillas--and ware is carried on with money, among other things--above
all, the oligarchs have nothing more to make war with but money, with which
they pay mercenary soldiers. We think that this is absurd.

Anything that implies financial and technical aid to any of these countries
means repression of the revolutionary movement. We condemn (and aid given
to) countries which are accomplices of the imperialist blockade against

It is regrettable that we must dwell on this problem; however, this is the
number one problem of the mafia. This is logical. Cuba is a small country
against which the United States is perpetrating an implacable blockade. We
were explaining in Gran Tierra to some of the persons present here how in
trying to accomplish small things, such as acquiring a few seeds of some
variety of rice or cotton or any other thing. the imperialists (?do
everything possible) to keep us from getting them--seeds of any kind of
grain, vegetables, of anything. No one can imagine the extent to which
imperialism goes to enforce its economic blockade against our country. All
of these governments have violated the most elementary principles of the
freedom of trade--the right of the people to trade freely. These
governments aid imperialism in its attempt to starve the Cuban people to

If this is true, if this really happens and if internationalism exists, if
solidarity is a word worthy of being uttered, the least that we can expect
from any state in the socialist camp is to deny financial or technical aid
to any of these governments.

It is really repugnant that this nauseating argument is used to test this
country's revolutionary firmness or to bring conflicts to this country. In
reality, does the firmness of this country, supported by its policies based
on principles, (depend on--ed.) its determination to act
responsibly?--Yes!-Carefully, yes! Avoiding as much as possible polemics
and conflicts, yes!--but never yielding to the thought that under any
circumstances, no matter how difficult--before any problem, no matter how
big--will they dash our dignity and our revolutionary convictions against
the wall!

If this were otherwise and these were the characteristics of the leadership
of this party, we would have long ago surrendered to the largest and the
most deadly of the dangers--the dangers emanating from imperialism aimed at
undermining our unbending political posture. Equally as repugnant are the
attempts to find a contradiction between this position and Cuba's trade
policy with the capitalistic world. The imperialists have tried to keep a
ring around us. What we must ask now is not what countries do we trade
with, but how many countries in this vast world do we have no trade with?
This would be more appropriate because, one by one, under an incessant and
growing imperialist pressure, these countries have broken trade relations
with us. We have not broken any trade relations with anyone. Imperialism
has taken care of this.

Imperialism has seen to it that one country after another breaks diplomatic
relations with Cuba. We have never broken relations with anyone. These are
the weapons which imperialism has employed against the Cuban revolution in
trade and diplomatic relations. It is worth mentioning, now that we are
talking about trade relations, because some members of the mafia--and I
cannot help but describe in these terms those people who so slanderously
and basely speak about our revolution, devoid of any serious thought--have
spoken about continuing our diplomatic relations with the state of Israel.
Our country never broke relations with Albania, when a large number of
countries from the socialist camp broke relations with this country. We
likewise never brook relations with the German Federal Republic, but the
German Federal Republic did not want our country to establish relations
with the GDR. Although we knew that the result would be a break in
diplomatic and trade relations, this country did not hesitate in the least
to be one of the first to establish diplomatic relations with the GDR.

Moreover, this country has never hesitated in the least to place political
considerations above economic ones. If this had not been the case, we would
have long ago found millions of reasons for a reconciliation with
imperialism, particularly during these times when (words indistinct). To
make the slightest insinuation that we follow a niggardly policy of
interests (words indistinct) of the price which this country has had to pay
for its unbending position, its solidarity with many countries, among which
is (?Algeria), although (words indistinct), so that another country which
was one of the greatest Cuban sugar buyers would find arguments to justify
the imperialist pressures to keep it from buying more sugar from us.

These facts abound. Our people always saw--and we thought that everyone
understood clearly that each time that an imperialist effort failed to
coerce a country to refrain from buying or selling to us, this was a
victory for your revolution against the blockade. We have always seen as a
demonstration of the attitude which in a certain sense is defensive--and we
have spoken about this publicly--we have spoken about this in Revolution
Square (?not too long ago)--how Europe could not accept imperialist
pressures, and why Europe resisted, and why Europe, despite its economic
and industrial development, must resist competition from Yankee monopolies,
must resist Yankee imperialism's attempts to take control over the
economies of these countries, and why--because of a matter of interest--it
is impossible for them to accept imperialist pressures.

Inasmuch as Cuba has paid punctually, and since Cuba is a growing market,
the imperialists have failed resoundly in getting the entire capitalist
world, as they wanted, to break trade relations with Cuba. What does this
have to do with our arguments? How is this related with our policies? If
the imperialists had managed to carry our their plan, they would have made
even harder the development of the revolution.

We do trade with the socialist camp--a trade that is practically
barter--with so-called "agreement money," which is only valuable in the
country with which the agreement exists. if any of the items needed, for
example,like medicines of a certain kind--which are necessary to the life
of our people--and the trade agencies of any of the socialist states cannot
supply them, we always have to obtain them from other markets and pay in
their money.

This is another way in which imperialism tries to apply more pressure. If
we bought medicines from capitalist nations in the past, it was because we
could not buy them or a similar product from a socialist country to save
the lives of sick persons and children, to lower as we have the infant
mortality rate and the mortality rate in general, (applause) and to achieve
the position that Cuba holds, for example, in public health and in many
other fields. Apparently we are criminals; apparently we are people without
principles; apparently we are immoral; apparently we contradict what we
proclaim; apparently what we say is not true!

They have done the same thing with the matter of the break in relations
with the state of Israel. I hope that no one has the slightest doubt about
China's position in this painful problem. Cuba's position has been one of
the principles, unwavering, and firm. We do not like underhanded businesses
and imperialism. What is Israel? It is an instrument of Yankee imperialism,
which is the instigator and protector of that state and therefore, I ask
that mafia gang that is trying to defame Cuba with its arguments why does
it not break relations with the US Government? (applause)

(?After all) we are not docile "yes men," immoral people, unprincipled
people, not a people full of ideological contradictions.

All this is but part of a disgusting conspiracy aimed at creating a
conflict between the Cuban revolution and the states of the socialist camp.
We are not preachers of conflicts. We do not seek unnecessarily and
gratuitously to create conflicts. I believe that, to a high degree and in
the face of a powerful enemy, the interdependence among the revolutionary
movements, parties, and states is great. A small country such as ours
should want it very much--a country without any possibility of economic
(?independence) that needs, above all, arms to defend itself from Yankee

No one can conceive us in the role of acting irresponsibly and of creating
problems that can be avoided. However, between the Cuban position, the
Cuban posture, and the idea that this country can be blackmailed with
provocations of this sort there lies a deep chasm. Really, in substance,
this is a plot of reactionary mafia elements within the revolutionary
movement and by Yankee imperialism. It is a plot whose aim is to create an
international conflict between our revolution and the states of the
socialist camp, because they have already said that what they want, demand,
claim, and urge is that the socialist camp join in the imperialist blockade
against Cuba. Subsequently, this is that they want more or less but they
are not going to get it.

On the vest day of 18 May, three days after the famous reply, there was an
AP cable from Caracas. On that day, setting himself up as a spokesman for
the party--a spokesman for the party--a spokesman of this rightist
leadership--this man who had frequent contacts with the AP and frequent
talks with AP, said (word indistinct) "Fidel Castro has no ideology. He is
a revolutionary, but not a politician according to what a leader of the
underground Venezuelan Communist Party told AFP today."

I do not see what interest the OAS has in harassing these underground
persons who have retreated, surrendered, and acted as informers against the
Cuban revolution, while talking about the great liberation feat of this of
that illustrious person. As a matter of fact, the only ones that have
profited from this have not been the Venezuelan people of the revolutionary
movement but Leoni, who unleashed a breed of hunting dogs. All they have to
do is ask Leoni to send them rifles to go punish those criminals, bandits,
fractionalists, divisionists, and Cuban agents. Since these correspondents,
in the course of their missions, must often play the role of journalists,
sometimes they like to foment certain contradictions. When they asked this
spokesman if the PCV was not making common cause with the enemy when it
attempts to deprive Castro of Soviet support, he said: "We agree
dangerously with the Venezuelan Government. However, I remind you that we
support the Cuban revolution and the Cuban Communist Party."

Evidently, I was the bad one, the intruder, the provoker and revolutionary
(?Judas), and so forth, He added: "Our attack is not aimed against the
Cuban revolution but against Castro who has insulted us."

He made is very clear, very clear that the PCV wished that the Soviet Union
remove Castro out of the way and the (word indistinct) that I was
intervening in internal matters. He said that nothing provokes his fury,
his revolutionary fervor, and his pride more than someone meddling with the
. . . but it is fine if imperialism or Leoni meddles with them. Is there
anyone who can criticize all the specific reasons that I have cited
here--that the PCV wishes the Soviet Union to remove Castro out of the way
and suggestion that someone can remove Castro or anyone here? I wonder
where they got these strange theories, although this is not odd because we
are full of these strange theories.

This man said that the PCV wished that the Soviet Union would get Castro
out of the way. That is should forget Castro. These gentlemen are really
native, odd, ridiculous, because more than Castro they would have to
destroy a revolution. Even a cold could put Castro out of the way.
(applause and laughter) What they cannot do it to remove a real revolution.
(applause) Am I perhaps a defamer? We realize that there may be among the
mafia persons who will react like those who doubted our witnesses and
proofs, and who will say that this is a lie, a slander.

Let us see what, on 1 August 1967, a Washington cable by AP correspondent
(Aris Molion--phonetic)--and these gentlemen have a role to play in all
this-reported. He said: The highest ranking Venezuelan diplomat here has
warned not to label the LASO conference in Havana as a simple communist
meeting and added that the ones who are attending are really
anarcho-Castroites. Finally, Tejera and company and the right wing of the
PCV got together and charged that we are intervening in Venezuelan internal

Tejera-Paris and company said that, no, they are not communists; they are
anarcho-Castroites exchanging ideological ideas. What is really ideological
communion is the one between Tejera-Paris and Pompeyo and the ideological
communion between the State Department and the right wing of the PCV. They
are beginning to exchange ideas. They even use the same words. When has
imperialism ever been so delicate when it talks about communists? When has
imperialism ever used such sweetness, such decency, and such finesse? Has
not the image they have tried to present of a communist been that of the
worst, the most heartless, degenerated, depraved, cruel, and evil of human
beings? Suddenly, no! By careful! Don't label these people as communists.
Communist is a more sacred word, more respectable,more venerable,more
decent,more friendly,more conciliatory. (applause) Tejera-Paris, the great
ideologist of tropical communism, (laughter) the Venezuelan ambassador to
the White House, Enrique Tejera-Paris said that this distinction is basic.
Obviously, it is basic. It is clear that it is basic. he then said: If we
wish to understand a situation which is more complex than that of applying
easy labels. What care! What new etiquette! What subtlety! What a
distinction! How could these people be called with easy labels
"communists,"? They are anarcho-Castroite people. They are a bad type.
(laughter) Tejera observed that the current Havana meeting is not only to
protest against the other governments of the hemisphere, but also against
the established communist parties in Latin America. What a notion! The
lawyer for the defense has presented himself there, saying that this
meeting was to attack the parties.

Since when have the imperialists been so exquisitely concerned with the
parties? The diplomat recalled that the Communist Party of his country has
accused Castro's regime of intolerable interference in the internal affairs
of Venezuela and of setting itself up as arbiter of the Latin American
revolution. Mind! Let there be no confusion! These are anarcho-Castrolites!
They are dangerous! They are evil! Don't call these people communists.
Don't forget that the Communist Party of Venezuela has accused Castro of
interference in the internal affairs of Venezuela. Don't forget that it
accused him of wanting to set himself as the arbiter.

Has anything like this ever happened before? Have they ever talked with
such refined language about the exquisite decency of the communists on this
continent? I believe that these are intolerable things. This is really
regrettable? A thousand times preferable are the insults, the diatribes,
and the calumnies of the imperialists to the praise of the imperialists.
Tell me who defends you and I will tell you who you are. Tell me who
attacks you and I will tell you who you are. (prolonged applause) So far as
we know, never, has any oligarch, any imperialist, any follower of
imperialism, published a speech of mine for distribution by the thousand.
Never! Neither a speech nor a phrase! Neither a line nor a word! Leoni did
not publish my speech nor did he disseminate it. If he read it at all, he
possibly did so with a disgusted gesture.

Alpha 66, a well-known organization of revolutionaries in Miami--the
organizer, in complicity with the CIA, of attacks with potassium chloride
and silencers--publishes thousands of copies of the declaration of this
directorate, which it distributes throughout the world. The heirs of
Bolivar! What an insult to the memory of Bolivar! Bolivar had indeed been
accused of interventionism. What accusations have not been made against
him! To call themselves the sons of Bolivar! The followers of Bolivar! To
talk to the hundreds of dead! What right do those who betray the dead have
to speak in the name of the dead! What right to invoke martyrs have those
who are now thinking of running as candidates for representatives, senators
and mayors, asking for votes with the photographs of the fallen and
betrayed heroes?

This declaration against Cuba was made in March. In April, there was a long
document. If you had it in front of you--it is long and I am not going to
bother with it--you would see the cliche style in it. It is a hybrid
composed of three or four styles and it is long. The document proposes an
alliance with the parties of the bourgeoisie. The document concludes
saying: This is the heart of the matter: finally, the armed movement is not
at this moment in a position to play a decisive role because of the
stagnation suffered by the guerrillas and the armed struggle in general.
The situation is aggravated by the false political concepts and prevailing
operations of the anarcho-terrorist group. Anarcho-adventurous,
anarcho-terrorist, anarcho-Castroite. Some day Johnson will begin to talk
of anarcho-terrorists. In application of this national movement, the
National Committee decides on the active participation of the party in the
forthcoming elections under the slogan "neither continuism nor Caldera, but
change." Change in favor of democratic freedoms and national sovereignty.
Change in favor of the independent development of Venezuela. The elections
are being conducted under conditions of opportunism and repression. The
party will fight against this situation and to make the elections a battle
against the reactionary, ruling clique (words indistinct) in their words,
the dead are going to take part in the election farce! (laughter) In this
country we know these things. Our people know about these things. Such
things can arouse in them only nausea and disgust, because they have had

No one can tell our people this is communist, no one. Because when
communism was just beginning, the middle of the past century, when the
Communist Manifesto was written, Marx always said that the communists
should support the most militant and progressive sectors of the
bouregoisie. These so-called communists are joining the little politicians
of the bourgeoisie to fight the heroic guerrilla fighters! Our people and
the Venezuelan people must certainly know that this kind of apostasy, this
trading with the blood of the dead, this brazen action of sending men to
their death, ill-led, in order then to appear at the polls: our people know
that history will not forgive this, that history will never forgive such a
crime. These gentlemen should not be destroyed. They should be left alone
because they are destroying themselves. We know the milieu in which they
live, the kind of temperament, the character of our peoples. We know that
the most shameful, the most abominable thing is to send men to their death
in order to then appear and ask for votes in the name of the betrayed dead.

Along these same lines, which the mafia and imperialism are following, the
latest dispatch yesterday says: "The American nations were considering
today a request from Venezuela to denounce Prime Minister Fidel Castro's
regime as pernicious to the cause of peaceful coexistence which the Soviet
Union advocates. The question, which might explode in the rearguard of the
Castro regime, supported by Moscow, could be in answer to the call of the
LASO conference to fight for the seizure of power through armed struggle.
The ASSOCIATED PRESS then says it got a copy of it--where in the devil did
they get a copy of this document?--which is said to consist of 11 points,
this is point 4. (?It recommends that the OAS members) "express to the
extra-continental governments which actively support the present government
of Cuba the grave concern of the OAS member-states because this support
tends to encourage the interventionist, aggressive activities of the Cuban
regime against the countries of the Western Hemisphere and, so long as
these activities continue, the cause of the peaceful active coexistence of
the nations of the world will be endangered. Therefore, it is recommended
that the governments of the OAS member-states take joint or individual
steps with the states which actively support the present Cuban Government
to reiterate their expression of concern." Coexistence--this terminology in
the mouth of the OAS and company, this terminology (?means) in short, to
send groups, committees of the OAS to see the governments of the socialist
countries, so that we shall (?remain alone.) It is incredible, incredible
to see and hear these things (words indistinct), gentlemen. How do they
have such nerve? How do they dare to do such a thing?

Point 5 is to ask the governments which support AALAPSO to withdraw their
support from this organization and the second Tricontinental Conference
scheduled this year. (?It recommends) in January 1968 a reiteration of the
categorical repudiation by the OAS members of the aforementioned
organization, whose purpose, as is demonstrated by the resolutions approved
at the first conference in Havana in January 1966, is to foment division of
the peoples into bands separated by ideological sectarianism. To this
effect it recommends that the governments of the member-states present
individual or joint motions (words indistinct) to the American states and
the organizations which support the Tricontinental organization here in
order to insist on this position.

As there are some governments, some states (passage indistinct).

If this does not sound like the imperialists giving orders to the world!
What is this? What point have we reached? How much do these gentlemen dare?
What illusions and what scandalous pretensions! But, in any case, the plot
by the mafia and imperialism to try to isolate Cuba totally, to proclaim a
total blockade of Cuba, is very evident.

Let not a single grain of (?popcorn) enter this country! In their
desperation, they think, they dream, they rave, and imagine fierce and
furious things--(?and the people wholeheartedly identify with this isolated
country). Then, if this hypothesis were possible, which it will not be,
they would have to face the final (?impact) of this (words indistinct)
country, without a (word indistinct), living, resisting, working, and
marching forward. This little country and this revolution has not
sufficient (?influence in) the world. Many times we have imagined a
situation in which imperialism might impose a total blockade of this
country, with its ships surrounding Cuba and no nothing entering. Will they
crush this revolution! (pause) I ask the people: Will this revolution be
crushed? (audience response: "No! No!") This "no" is the most resounding
reply springing from the heart of a revolutionary people. (applause) In a
nutshell--(applause) in a nutshell, if we are not prepared for any
eventuality--if we are not prepared for any eventuality, for any
eventuality--we could not call ourselves revolutionaries.

We are not deliberate seekers of conflicts, problems, or difficult
situations. This will never be the revolution's attitude. The revolution
will never assume an irresponsible attitude--an actor, never! No one will
ever see the revolution vacillating. No one will ever see the revolution
proceeding in a disorderly manner. No one will ever witness the revolution
compromising one iota of its principles, because "fatherland or death"
means many things. It means "revolutionaries or death." We are worthy or
(we deserve) death. The slogan of "fatherland or death does not imply that
we are fatalistically prone. It is an expression for an ending--or a
determination. When we say "death," we mean that if we die, there will also
be many of the foe killed with us.

The blood of all of the soldiers of Yankee imperialism is not enough to
slay this country! (applause) These facts, these attitudes are calling us
all to order. They are calling all of us to reason and to clear thinking.
These attitudes are the result not of development, but of (?dissemination)
of revolutionary ideas and of the revolutionary spirit. The LASO agreements
do not mean that the struggle is over.

When the Tricontinental Conference adopted some agreements, some persons
signed the agreements but never thought of them again. This is
(?imperative): We must fight. Quite obviously, nothing is more ridiculous
than the assertion that Cuba is trying to become an arbiter--the chief--a
guide--no! I am going to tell you how we really feel. There do not have to
be guide countries, and much less human guides. What we really need are
guide ideas, and the revolutionary ideas will be the only and the real
guide of our peoples. (applause)

We fight for our ideas. We defend ideas, but to defend ideas does not imply
an effort to guide anyone. They are our ideas and we defend them--the
revolutionary ideas --but there is nothing more ridiculous, because the
world does not need guide countries, nor guide parties, nor human guides.
Above all, our Latin American world needs guide ideas. The ideas will blaze
their own trail. We are acquainted with this process.

At the outset, when we first began to conceive of the idea of an armed
struggle in our country and we began to fight, very few of us believed in
its potential--very few. For a long time, we were very few. Later, little
by little, these ideas began acquiring prestige and converts--and the time
came when everyone believed, and the revolution triumphed!

How much work went into selling the idea that the struggle of the people
against professional, modern armies was possible to carry out a revolution!
When this was proved, what happened after the revolution triumphed?
Everyone believed in this truth so much that the counterrevolutionaries
believed it was a truth applicable in their case also. Then guerrillas and
counterrevolutionary bands began to spring up, and even the meekest and the
most peaceful-minded counterrevolutionary--the least of the
counterrevolutionary park bench charlatans--would (?arm himself), join a
band, and revolt.

We than had to demonstrate that they were mistaken, that (the revolution)
was applicable to a situation of opposition to the oligarchies--but it was
a revolution of loigarchs and of reactionaries against--a counterrevolution
of oligarchs, a war of oligarchical and reactionary guerrillas against
(?social progress) is impossible. The work that it cost us! Then we proved
this truth. We have had to prove one and the other: the fact that it is
impossible for the oligarchs to defend themselves against the battle of the
people, and the fact that it is impossible for the people to be defeated
through counterrevolutionary guerrillas.

The CIA knows this. Do you want to know who is the most convinced of the
efficacy of the revolutionary armed guerrilla warfare and of the
incapability of the oligarchies to resist the people's armed guerrilla war?
Do you know who? The CIA--Johnson, McNamara, Dean Rusk, Yankee
imperialism--they are the most convinced. One asks: How is it possible that
these counterrevolutionary worms allow themselves to become confused,
deceived, and dragged toward revolutionary armed struggle against the
revolution, when it is impossible for it to succeed?

These men, (?we are forced to admit), these counterrevolutionaries are more
consistent than many who call themselves "superrevolutionaries." They are
most consistent. They believe erroneously in this, and allow themselves to
be dragged--of course, they later say that they said (words indistinct)
without exception. (They say-ed.) that they were shipped, that they were
deceived, that they thought that the army, that the militia--that this and
that--it is a broken record. What do you think of this?

Logically, ideas in our country have had to develop dialectically, in a
struggle, in strife. It will be the same thing in every country. No country
will be spared from this struggle of ideas. This struggle of ideas still
subsists even in Cuba. The fact that we have a revolutionary people does
not mean that we are exempt from antagonisms or
contradictions--contradictions with counterrevolution and imperialism;
contradiction exists also among persons who share the ideas of these
reactionary men from the party in Venezuela.

We also have in this country our own "microfractions." We cannot call it
"fractions" because there is no volume involved, no potential, no nothing.
It is a "microfraction" which has existed. Where does this splintering
spring from? From the old disgruntled, sectarian-minded individuals. Our
revolution has its own history. Our revolution has its history. As I said
before that at the outset, very few believed, but later, many came to
believe. Our revolution has passed through this process. It has passed
through the sectarian stage. Sectarians created serious problems for us
through fierce opportunism, through an implacable policy of persecution
against many people. They brought corruptive elements into the midst of the

With its methods and its patience, the revolution criticized
(sectarianism--ed.)--it was splendid, it was generous with these sectarian
ideas. Moreover, we had to be careful that criticism of sectarianism would
not spread neosectarianism within the revolution. We prevented this also.

However, some of the advocates of sectarianism swallowed and hushed their
resentment, but each time they have had an opportunity, they have let it be
known. They are the ones who have never believed in the revolution other
than when it was to their advantage to try to profit from the effort of the
revolutionary people, to try to climb in an unworthy manner. They never
believed in the revolution. They have not learned in eight years,nor will
they lean in ten. They will never learn.

Let it be well understood that I am not talking about old communists
because the worst manifestation of sectarianism and the activities of these
sectarians has been to try to involve the thinking of old communists with
their pseudorevolutionary actions. We must say that the revolution always
had and still has the support of the true communists of this country.
Logically, there has been a resurrection in the sectarianism of many
cowards who had left the ranks of the old party. Opportunism, sectarianism
brings forth all this. Since it is isolated from the masses, it tries to
grow strong with favoritism and we have had the many increases of it and
the privileges.

Logically, later when the revolution halted sectarianism, it prohibited its
manifestations and (words indistinct) because this has always been our
position. This has always been the position of the revolutionary
leadership. The best solution has always been sought. The revolutionary
leadership has always tried to overcome its problems with out own style of

We also have our microfraction made up of elements from old sectarians
which is not the same thing as being old communists. I repeat: The biggest
damage that they have done is that they have attempted to instill into the
spirit of old and good revolutionaries, although unsuccessfully, their ill
and resentful ideas. They were the ones who during the October crisis, for
example, believed that we should permit Yankee imperialism to inspect and
search us from head to foot, to let its planes make low-level flights, and
all that! They have systematically been against the conceptions of the
revolution, against the deepest, most sincere, and purest revolutionary
actions of our people. They have been against our concept of socialism,
communism, and everything. In other words, nobody is exempt.

This microfraction acts in the same way as this mafia. This microfraction
constitutes a new form of counterrevolutionary activity with which they
aspire--the same activity of Alpha, Faria, Pompeyo and company, McNamara,
Johnson, and all of them. The CIA now has a new thesis. Why does it want to
carry out so many attacks and do so many things? Their thesis now is that
Castro must be eliminated to be able to set the revolution back because
imperialism is losing ground. At first, they wanted to do away with the
farm and the produce (con la quinta y los mangos) and now that it loses
ground, it is more scared. Now the thesis is that the line of the
revolution must be moderated. They want to change the policy. They want to
get Cuba to take a more moderate posture, and Alpha, Johnson, the CIA,
Faria, microfractionalists, and the political Mafia agree in this.

In reality, these are dreams. I am not interested in buying any insurance.
I do not give a damn what they believe. I never want to be indebted to our
enemies because they have stopped considering me their real enemy. I do not
want to be indebted to them because they have stopped doing all they want
to. They are within their rights. They are within their rights. I am not
attempting to be any insurance policy.

But for your, I believe is it not necessary to say that the policy of this
revolution is not Castro's policy. It is the policy of a people! It is the
policy of a leadership group which has a true revolutionary history!
(prolonged applause) It is the substantial policy of this revolution! The
mafia members encourage each other--the international mafia has been hoping
that some insurmountable antagonisms, unsurmountable conflicts develop
between the Cuban Revolution and the socialist camp.

Really, the only thing that we can say is that the revolution is honored
because our enemies worry so much about it, just like our Latin American
revolutionaries, I am sure, feel honored that imperialism has given so much
attention to the LASO problem. They threatened us. They proposed the OAS
and they said that they would do away with the farm and the produce, that
this meeting could not be held. This, a representation of a genuine
revolutionary movement with firm ideas because they are based on realities,
a representative of tomorrow's history, and a representative of the future.

LASO (in Spanish "ola"--ed.) is the symbol of the other "waves" which are
the revolutionary waves of a sea that becomes rough and boisterous amid our
forces of 250 million inhabitants. A revolution is seething within this
continent. Its eruption might be delayed, but its outburst is inevitable.
We do not have the least doubt. There will be victories. There will be
setbacks. There will be progress and there will be retreats, but the coming
of a new wave, the victory of the peoples against the injustices,
exploitation, oligarchy, and imperialism, regardless of the wrong concepts
which may try to change the course, is inevitable.

We have talked to you with complete and absolute frankness. We know that
the true revolutionaries will always support Cuba. We know that no true
revolutionary, no true communist in the continent, just like in the heart
of our people, will never allow himself to be dragged toward those
positions which might lead to an alliance with imperialism and to walk hand
in hand with the imperialist bosses against the Cuban revolution and the
Latin American revolution. We do not condemn anybody a priori. We do not
close the doors on anybody. We do not attack anybody in mass, in a block.
We only express our ideas. We defend our ideas. We discuss these ideas and
we have complete faith in the revolutionaries, in the true revolutionaries,
and in the true communists. They will not let the revolution down, just as
our revolution will never let down the Latin American revolutionary
movement. (applause) We do not know what awaits us in the future--what
reverses, dangers, and struggles. We are simply prepared and each day we
try to prepare ourselves even more, and each day we will prepare ourselves
some more.

We can tell you one thing and that is that we are calm. We feel secure.
This small island will always be like a revolutionary granite rock against
which all plots, all intrigues, and all attacks will be crushed and over
that revolutionary rock there will always fly a flag which says: Fatherland
or Death, We Shall Win! (applause)