Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Fidel Castro Address

Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish 0200 GMT 4 Jun 69

[Speech by Prime Minister Major Fidel Castro at a ceremony in the Plaza de
la Revolution marking the visit of Tran Buu Kiem to Cuba--live]

[Text] Dear Comrade Tran Buu Kiem, the representative of the Vietnamese
people, guests, comrades: The words of one who represents something so
admired by us, such as the Vietnamese people, their heroic struggle and
their National Liberation Front, have moved us all because we know all that
is behind those simple, sincere, affectionate and humane words. Those words
are supported by the most extraordinary example of heroism which we have
had an opportunity to know.

This ceremony has a special meaning to all of us; it naturally has an
unquestionably affectionate and emotive touch. Above all, it is related to
the development of the feelings of friendship and solidarity with the
people of Vietnam and their cause. It is also an occasion of happiness
because we have with us a representative, a fighter from that nation. The
ceremony even reflects certain pride in that our country has not only been
the first country to send an ambassador to the National Liberation Front,
but also the first country to receive a distinguished and high-ranking
representative of that front in an official capacity. [applause]

It is satisfying to know that even though it is a small compensation for
the monstrous crimes committed by imperialism against the Vietnamese
people, here too, in this continent--merely 90 miles from the United
States--the representative of South Vietnam can be received by hundreds of
thousands of citizens, by a revolutionary people. [applause] In other
words, in this small bulwark of dignity and revolution, a representative of
that great bulwark of the revolution, a great bulwark of the
anti-imperialist struggle--and in justice we should call it a great bulwark
because no people have made greater sacrifices, no people have made such
extraordinary sacrifices in the struggle against imperialism as the
Vietnamese people--can come and be welcomed with such warmth and be
supported wholeheartedly. [applause]

We have made some efforts, some sacrifices which are really small in
comparison with the efforts and sacrifices of the Vietnamese people.

However, aside from all these considerations for which this ceremony is
important to us, there is still another more basic reason, a more weighty
reason, and that is that the battle against the imperialist aggression in
Vietnam is still being waged with all its savageness. The Vietnamese people
are still heroically facing that stepped up aggression.

Therefore, so long as that battle is being waged, the event of solidarity,
this event of support, is part of that struggle and battle of the
Vietnamese people against aggression. For this reason, it is necessary that
during this ceremony our people set forth their position before
international opinion, their support to the positions of the National Front
for the Liberation of South Vietnam (NFLSV), and our bases for such support
inasmuch as international public opinion plays an important role in this

International public opinion is a great factor, a very important factor--I
repeat--in the struggle and victory of the Vietnamese people.

We have not tonight to explicitly express our total support for the
specific position and the specific points of the NFLSV at the Paris talks.
[applause] Although those points have been widely publicized in our
country, it is necessary to make these points known broadly throughout the

The NFLSV points must be made known, and also what the U.S. Government
positions are. These points must be studied and analyzed along with the
reasoning and the legal, moral, and just positions of the NFLSV. [applause]
What is needed is the further unmasking of the Yankee imperialists, and we
must further bare the Yankee aggressors before world public opinion.
[applause] As this problem touches the entire world, has awakened the
impassioned interest of world opinion, and is not only a matter of opinion
but a matter vital to all people, we must make these positions known,
divulge them, and reason about them.

Therefore, and not so much for our people, who I repeat know these points,
but for those who may be listening to this ceremony in other countries,
especially in Latin America, we insist; we are going to repeat these
points, which are contained in a statement by the NFLSV under this title:
"Principles and essential contents of an overall solution to the South
Vietnamese problem; a contribution to the re-establishment of peace in

Inspired by the desire to reach a political solution to end the war of
aggression by the U.S. imperialists in South Vietnam and as a contribution
to the re-establishment of peace in Vietnam on the basis of guaranteeing
the national fundamental rights of the Vietnamese people, inspired by the
fundamental principles of the Geneva agreement of 1954 on Vietnam on the
basis of the political program and NFLSV 5-point position which agrees with
the 4-point position of the government of the Democratic Republic of
Vietnam (DRV), the NFLSV propounds the following principles and essential
contents for an overall solution to the South Vietnamese problem, a
contribution to the re-establishment of peace in Vietnam:

1--Respect for the national and fundamental rights of the Vietnamese people
recognized by the Geneva agreement of 1954 on Vietnam, to wit: territorial
independence, sovereignty, unity, and integrity.

2--The U.S. Government must withdraw totally from South Vietnam its troops,
military personnel, weapons and war material, as well as the troops,
military personnel, weapons and war material of other foreign countries in
the U.S. camp-unconditionally, liquidate the U.S. military bases in South
Vietnam, and renounce all acts with prejudice the sovereignty, territory
and security of South Vietnam and the DRV.

3--the right of the Vietnamese people to defend their fatherland is the
sacred, inalienable right of lawful defense of all peoples; the problem of
the Vietnamese armed forces in South Vietnam will be solved by the
Vietnamese parties themselves.

4--The South Vietnamese population solves its own affairs without foreign
interference and decides for itself the political regime for South Vietnam
through free and democratic general elections. These elections will be held
to form a constituent assembly, to establish a constitution, and to form a
coalition government in South Vietnam reflecting national harmony and a
broad union of all the people's social strata.

5--From the period of re-establishing peace until the general elections are
held, no party will be permitted to impose its political regime on the
population of South Vietnam. The political forces represented in the
various strata and the various political factions standing for peace,
independence and neutrality, including the persons who for political
reasons reside abroad, will enter negotiations for the formation of a
temporary coalition government on the basis of the principle of equality,
democracy, and mutual respect with a view to a peaceful, independent,
democratic, and neutral South Vietnam. The temporary coalition government
will have the following tasks:

A--Enforce the agreement signed on the withdrawal of U.S. and other foreign
troops in the U.S. camp.

B--Effect national harmony, the broad union of various strata of the
population,the political forces, nationalities, religious communities, and
all persons, regardless of their political learnings and their past,
keeping in mind that they speak for peace, independence,and neutrality.

C-Effect broad democratic freedoms of speech, press, assembly, belief, and
establish political parties and organizations, demonstrations, and so
forth; release political prisoners, prohibit any act of terror, reprisal,
and discrimination against persons who have cooperated with either side,
and are in the country or abroad, according to the 1954 Geneva agreement on

D--Heal the wounds of the war, restore and develop the economy,
re-establish the normal life of the people,and improve the workers' living

E--Organize general free and democratic elections throughout South Vietnam
to fulfill the right of the South Vietnamese people to self-determination
in accordance with the contents of the aforementioned point 4.

6--South Vietnam will conduct a foreign policy based on peace and
neutrality. It will place into effect a good-neighbor policy with the
Cambodian kingdom based on respect for the independence, sovereignty,
neutrality, and territorial integrity of Cambodia in its present borders;
place into effect a good neighbor policy with the Laotian kingdom based on
respect of the Geneva accords of 1962 relating to Laos; establish
diplomatic, economic, and cultural relations with all countries without
distinction as to social or political systems, including the United States,
according to the five principles of peaceful coexistence--mutual respect
for independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity, nonaggression,
noninterference in internal affairs, mutual equality and benefits, and
peaceful coexistence; accept economic and technical aid, not subject to
political conditions, from all countries regardless of who they are.

The reunification of Vietnam will take place step by step through peaceful
means on the basis of discussions and agreements between the two zones
without foreign interference. Pending the peaceful reunification of
Vietnam, the two zones re-establish normal relations in all spheres on the
basis of mutual respect. The military demarcation line between the two
zones at Parallel 17 in accordance with the provisions of the Geneva
accords of 1954 on Vietnam merely has a provisional character and under no
circumstances does it constitute a political or territorial limit. The two
zones will agree on the status of the semi-militarized zone and will set
forth regulations for the circulation across the provisional military
demarcation line.

[Seventh point omitted by Castro]

8--Pursuant to the provisions of the Geneva accords of 1954 on Vietnam and
pending the peaceful reunification of Vietnam, the two zones--North and
South Vietnam--promise to abstain from any participation in a military
alliance with any foreign country, not to permit any foreign country to
have military bases, troops, or military personnel on its soil, not to
recognize the protection of any country, alliance or military bloc,
regardless of which it is.

9--Solve the consequences of the war.

A--The parties will negotiate the release of the military personnel
captured during the war.

B--The United States must bear the entire responsibility for losses and
destruction caused to the Vietnamese people in both zones. [applause]

10--The parties will agree on international supervision regarding the
withdrawal from South Vietnam of the troops, military personnel, weapons,
and military material of the United States and the other foreign countries
in the North American camp.

The principles and contents of the over-all solution set forth above form a
body based on these principles and the over-all solution.

The parties will hold discussions to reach agreements on the aforementioned
issues to put an end to the war in South Vietnam and contribute to the
re-establishment of peace in Vietnam.

It is necessary to keep in mind that these 10 points are in line with the
policy, positions, and points upheld by the NFLSV since the struggle
began--in other words, not since the struggle began but since the NFLSV was
formed on 20 December 1960, because the NFLSV is not a political party but
an organization which includes many political parties and many mass
organizations of South Vietnam. With them it was born and emerged to
coordinate the dispersed efforts, at the outset, of the South Vietnamese
people--the armed struggle against the Yankee oppression which began with
the participation of various organizations and for which it became
necessary to coordinate and unite in a front with its very clear, concrete
objectives, with its well-defined points in order to carry this struggle

Therefore, for this reason the NFLSV program is a program which includes
the aspirations, interests, and objectives of broad spheres of the
population. It is not a Marxist-Leninist party. And it is proper to point
this out because one of the arguments used at the beginning by the
imperialists was the very famous argument of anticommunism. This does not
mean that the argument of anticommunism has a basis, reason, or
justification, but it is part of all the imperialist lies and propaganda
regarding the struggle of the South Vietnamese people.

The struggle of the South Vietnamese people constitutes an authentic stage
of struggle of a people for their liberation. This must be understood. The
positions of the Front are strictly in line and have been in line very
faithfully with its initial program and its positions by virtue of which it
was organized and initiated its extraordinary and heroic struggle.

Therefore, there is in the positions of the NFLSV absolutely no
contradiction. It is necessary that this be well known and understood
inasmuch as this precisely constitutes the bases of the position and
10-point program and the soundness of that position before world public
opinion, and also the soundness of that position versus the positions of

Therefore, a program or proposal in response to a given situation has not
been drawn here, but rather they are the proposals which faithfully follow
the entire process of organization and struggle of the NFLSV. And certainly
the proposals of the NFLSV for a cessation of the imperialist agression in
Vietnam and for the establishment of peace in Vietnam on the basis of
legitimate and inalienable rights of the Vietnamese people and any other
people, and not only by its virtue of the Geneva accords but by virtue of
the mere fact that they exist as a people, are rights which are universally
recognized as belonging to all nations of the world.

Therefore, these points are unimpeachable. There is not a single true
argument, not a single legal argument, not a single serious argument which
the imperialists can put forth. But besides all that, besides the
positions, the points, the arguments, the seriousness of their legal and
moral positions, there is the fact that the people of Vietnam have
virtually defeated Yankee imperialism in Vietnam with weapons. [applause]

That is, it is not a case of going begging for a right, of proclaiming
idealistically a right--unfortunately the world is full of idealistic
rights which are only proclaimed--it is a case of a right defended by the
blood of the Vietnamese people, and defended with a heap of incredible
sacrifices and heroism. So these points not only contain a lawful right,
but a well-defended right, a well-won right, a right which the people of
South Vietnam have earned as much or more than any other people in the

Since it is not 2 days, nor 3 days, nor 3 months, but it has been 30 years
that the Vietnamese people have been fighting against very powerful
imperialist and reactionary forces. Thirty years! It is not a right to be
begged. Marti used to say that rights are taken, not implored for; seized,
not begged. And Maceo used to say that rights are won with the blade of a
caneknife. [applause] It is here that these positions concern not only
right, justice, morals, but also deeds.

Now, looking at these reasonable, serious, just positions of the NFLSV,
what are the positions and arguments off the U.S. government? What new
argument do they have; what reason, pretext, idea, words to deny finding
the solution which the world and the U.S. people demand?

Those positions of the U.S. Government are expressed in a speech by the
president of that country following the statements of the NFLSV. Here is
the speech which we shall not read in full, but a few basic paragraphs. It
must be publicized and you will save a few minutes here because we must
analyze it; because it is here where we see--we, our people now have
sufficient preparation and culture to see, distinguish, analyze, judge, and
discover all the tricks, false positions, and arbitrariness which the
thinking of the U.S. government involves.

Among other things we have (?treated) the fundamental problems which have
to do with their positions while negotiating. They say for example here in
their public proposal: "We are accelerating the strengthening of the
Vietnamese forces. On Monday General Abrams reported to me that progress in
this branch of training has been excellent." And this, "aside from what
comes up at the negotiations, the South Vietnamese forces will soon be able
to take charge of some of the combat fronts now directed by the North

That is, faced with a peaceful solution, one which re-establishes the
lawful right of the South Vietnamese people, the U.S. Government answer
first reveals, first uncovers its true thinking, its innermost thinking, by
saying that it has received news from the Yankee commanding general in
Vietnam on training and arming to the teeth the puppet army of South
Vietnam serving the criminals installed there by them after 14 coups in
less than 15 years; saying that things re going well, and he expresses it
jubilantly, whether true or not, and we know it is a lie because nothing
has been going excellently there for the Yankees for a long time.

Evidently those in the Pentagon have told the executive branch that the
program of arming, training, and equipping the puppet army of the
criminals, who, supported by the bayonets of over a half million Yankee
soldiers, oppress or try to oppress the people, is going well.

In one of the supposed peaceful statements, directed at world and U.S.
opinion, the preamble reveals the true intentions of the United States in
these negotiations: attempting to win or obtain by negotiation the
objectives they could not obtain with weapons.

Then he says: "In weighing the alternative courses, we have had to
recognize that the situation as it exists today is far different from what
it was 2 years ago, or 4 years ago, or 10 years ago. One difference is that
we no longer have the choice of not intervening. We have crossed that
bridge. There are now more than 500,000 U.S. troops in Vietnam and 35,000
have lost their lives there. We can have an honest debate about whether we
should have entered the war. We can have an honest debate about the past
conduct of the war. But the urgent question today is what to do now that we
are there, not whether we should have entered on this course, but what is
required of us today."

These are the things the U.S. government is telling the U.S. people. He
also says: "We have also ruled out either a one-sided withdrawal from
Vietnam, or the acceptance in Paris of terms that would amount to a
disguised defeat."

In another part of his statement he says; "If we simply abandoned our
effort in Vietnam, the cause of peace might not survive the damage that
would be done to other nations' confidence in our reliability. Another
reason stems from debates within the communist world between those who
argue for a confrontation with the United States and those who argue
against it. If Hanoi were to succeed in taking over South Vietnam by
force--even after the power of the United States had been engaged--it would
greatly minimize the risks of confrontation. It would bring peace now, but
it would enormously increase the danger of a bigger war later. If we desire
to move successfully from an era of confrontation to an era of negotiation,
then we have to demonstrate--at the point at which confrontation is being
tested--that the confrontation with the United States is costly and

Later on, he added: "In this spirit, let me be explicit abut several
points: We seek no bases in Vietnam; we insist on no military ties; we are
willing to agree to neutrality if it is what the South Vietnamese people
freely choose; we believe there should be an opportunity for full
participation in the political life of South Vietnam by all political
elements that are prepared to do so without the use of force or
intimidation; we are prepared to accept any government in South Vietnam,
nor will we be a party to such coercion; we have no objection to the
reunification, if that turns out to be what the people of South Vietnam and
the people of South Vietnam want. We ask only try that the decision reflect
the free choice of the people concerned."

Later on, there is an incredible paragraph. It says: "This is the most
difficult war in America's history, fought against a ruthless enemy."

Later on, regarding the concrete proposals in answer to the positions of
the NFLSV, he speaks abut something incredible to. He says: "To make very
concrete what I have said, I propose the following measures, which seem to
me consistent with the principles of all parties. These proposals are made
on the basis of full consultation with president Thieu."

This President Thieu is the 15th (?puppet) since the Yankee intrevention
began there in Vietnam.

[Castro continues quoting President Nixon] "As soon as an agreement can be
reached, all non-South Vietnamese forces would begin withdrawals from South
Vietnam. Over a period of 12 months, by agreed-upon states, the major
portions of all U.S., allied, and other non-South Vietnamese forces will be
withdraw. At the end of this 12-month period, the remaining U.S., allied,
and other non-South Vietnamese forces will move into designated base areas
and will not engage in combat operations. The remaining U.S. and allied
forces will move to complete their withdrawals as the remaining North
Vietnamese were withdrawn and made to return to North Vietnam.

"An international supervisory body, acceptable to both sides, would be
created for the purpose of verifying withdrawals, and for any other purpose
agreed upon between the two sides. This international body would begin
operating in accordance with an agreed timetable, and would participate in
arranging supervised ceasefire. As soon as possible after the international
body was functioning, elections would be held under agreed procedures and
under the supervision of the international body. Arrangements would be made
for the earliest possible release of prisoners of war on both sides. All
parties would agree to observe the Geneva accords of 1954 regarding Vietnam
and Cambodia and the Laos accords of 1962."

Then he adds: "I believe this proposal for peace is realistic and takes
into account the legitimate interests of all concerned. It is consistent
with President Thieu's six points."

It is proper to analyze these positions because by themselves they contain
all the flimsiness, falseness,and insincerity of the U.S. Government's
position, positions which cannot be defended with any serious argument,
legal argument, or moral argument.

One must take into account how the United States arrived in Vietnam. This
happened in the wake of the Vietnamese people's struggle against the French
colonialists, supported by the United States. The peoples of Vietnam fought
against the Japanese imperialists during the occupation. Later on they
fought against the French colonialists who tried after World War II to once
more place the Vietnamese people under the status of a colony. Then the
Vietnamese people, led by that extraordinary leader and fighter, so
believed by all of us, Comrade Ho Chi Minh [applause], who led his people
in their struggle for liberation, dealt them a decisive blow at Dien Bien
Phu in 1954.

Then negotiations took place and an agreement known as the Geneva agreement
was reached. It was accepted by all countries of the world except the
United States, which arrogated to itself the right to reject this
agreement, because it had alrady decided to violate it, plainly and simply,
reject it.

The United States had no right to overlook this agreement, and it took it
upon itself to do so. In that agreement it was established that there was
not nor could there be a division of the north and south, that it was a
temporary borderline, that the people of Vietnam had the right to decide
their own problems, their domestic matters, and had the right to unify and
decide by virtue of their free will. The agreement stipulated a general
election later, with due guarantee for the people to express their will.
And in that same year the United States intervened. In South Vietnam it
replaced French colonialism. It began by sending its military advisers and
its armament. It began to intervene in the entire life of the country.

The CIA began to operate there immediately, and it is known as a historic
fact because the President of the United States himself decided that
policy. He explained in his memoirs that the United States had to intervene
because it was going to lose tin, tungsten, and other raw materials if a
general election were held, as Ho Chi Minh would win with more than 80
percent of the votes. [applause]

The imperialists--and he who cooperated closely with General Eisenhower at
that time cannot deny it--the present President cannot be ignorant of the
reasons why the United States intervened in Vietnam and trampled on the
Geneva agreement, for known reasons confessed by Eisenhower
himself--reasons of raw materials, strategic reasons, the conviction that
an election could not be permitted there.

The United States intervened and selected some of the worst bandits for its
gang, and established the first puppet government supported by them. That
government devoted itself to the worst reactionary practices, the worst
repression. No election was held; no right was given the people; the land
granted during the liberation struggle against French colonialism was taken
away from the peasants an every kind of dirty trick was perpetrated against
the people of South Vietnam.

The people of South Vietnam then resorted to mass struggle, to legal
struggles, and to peaceful methods to try to validate their rights and
pursue the guarantees of the Geneva agreement until the situation became
intolerable and impossible, and then they rose up in arms against that
government. Thus the armed struggle began again, culminating in the
constitution of the NFLSV in 1960.

I ask you what reason or what moral right can the U.S. Government have now
to say that it is inclined to agree on neutrality, [word indistinct] the
Vietnamese people choose freely; that it believes there must be opportunity
for political participation by South Vietnam--by all political elements;
that it is inclined to do it without using force or intimidation; that it
is ready to accept any government in South Vietnam resulting from a free
election by the South Vietnamese people, and so forth.

The first thing one must ask is: who gives the U.S. government any right to
decide on these problems relating to the South Vietnamese people.
[Applause] Where is it written, on what principle does it rest, what
legality can this presumption of the United States have, and much less,
what morality can the government of a country have whose policymakers
reveal shamefacedly in their memoirs that their motives were materialistic,
imperialistic in nature, strategic, warmongering, to obtain and secure raw
materials and do so through denying that the people of Vietnam chose their
own route freely.

What right has the government of a country which for 15 years has prevented
that people from choosing that route, from deciding what it should decide,
from having the government it wishes to have; what moral right can it have
after preventing for 15 years exactly this. But even more, what sincerity
could a government have that makes such a proposal if the preamble of such
declaration jubilantly expresses that its commanding general has informed
it that the arming and training process of the puppet armed forces is going
ahead excellently.

Was it not perhaps exactly that which sparked the rebellion of the South
Vietnamese people? Was it not precisely this policy, the violation of the
Geneva accords, the intervention there, the imposition of a government of
criminals, bandits who had first served the Japanese imperialism, later the
French colonialists and now Yankee imperialism? Was it precisely not the
imposition of this policy--the imposition of a puppet clique armed to the
teeth-which caused this war? How can the U.S. President say now and tell
world opinion and the U.S. people that he wants to seek a solution, and
begin by proclaiming that his commanding general has just reported to him
that the training of the puppet army is progressing well. And all this
happens after 15 years of struggle and after millions of victims in one of
the bloodiest, cruelest, and most criminal war that has ever been waged
against a small country.

Later, the U.S. President himself practically acknowledges that they should
never have gotten into that war. The U.S. President succinctly makes it
understood when he says: we could have an honest discussion about whether
we should have entered that war. The affirmation that they should never
have entered the war in fact implicitly poses great doubts.

He says there is no longer any alternative, that they are already there,
that the problem no longer is whether it was just or not. When a proposal
is going to be made for opinion or when a serious proposal is going to be
broached, such an assertion cannot be made. The only conclusion that can be
drawn from the conviction that it was foolish--that this war should not
have been waged--is the immediate halting of this war. That is the only
moral and the only sound thing that can be said. [Applause]

And after admitting they never should have gotten into that war, he says
they rule out a unilateral withdrawal, after having intervened
unilaterally, and that they do not accept in Paris conditions that would be
tantamount to a disguised defeat. In other words, they aim at an honorable

The only thing that can be said in respect to this thought--that they do
not accept conditions that would be equivalent to a disguised defeat--is
that the U.S. defeat in Vietnam admits no possible disguise. [applause] It
is not a matter of its admitting to a defeat, but rather that there simply
is a defeat and that they stubbornly insist on not recognizing it.

Therefore a disguised defeat is impossible. There can only be defeat, open
defeat. If one so chooses, one may talk about honorable withdrawal, but in
Vietnam at present, the only honorable thing! What would really be
dishonorable for them is to have to leave Vietnam because they were thrown
out. [applause] What would not have been genuinely dishonorable would have
been to offer to recognize the error and act accordingly.

Can a powerful country, after committing the crimes it was committed
against people like the Vietnamese, talk now of honor; and talk of honor
when the time has come to halt the crime, and talk of honor to the North
American people when it is the North American people precisely who are now
tired and ashamed of the dishonor the U.S. war against the Vietnamese
people constitutes? [applause]

How does the U.S. Government interpret the honor of its country, the honor
of the North American people? Is there perhaps honor in the repugnant chain
of despicable acts committed by the United States in Vietnam since 1954?
Are the millions of victims that country has caused honorable? Is the
destruction that country has caused perhaps honorable? honorable? Are the
crimes it has committed perhaps honorable? Is the alliance of the Thieus,
of the Ngo Dinh Diems, and the 14 gangs of bandits, murders, reactionaries,
and thieves that have passed there during the Yankee occupation of South
Vietnam perhaps honorable? [applause]

Later, another incredibly weak argument; if we abandon our effort in
Vietnam, the cause of peace perhaps could not survive the damage that would
be done. This thesis amounts to saying that to cease waging the war is to
harm peace and that waging the war against the Vietnamese people is
defending peace.

Another argument, among those mentioned, that is highly revealing, is when
he says that if they pull out of Vietnam, if they pull out their troops
from South Vietnam, those who in the communist world favor a confrontation
will feel encouraged, so it is therefore necessary for the whole world to
know that a confrontation with the United States is useless and costly.

This reveals all the intimate thinking of the United States: that it is
advisable for us to start the aggression there, for them to continue to
commit crimes against the South Vietnamese people so that the rest can see
that no one can defy us, so that the other peoples of the world can know
how hard and how cruel is the military power and technology of the United
States. That is, let them confess before world opinion that they are
killing and assassinating in order to, among other things, sow terror among
the peoples of the world, terrorize world opinion, and, above all,
terrorize the peoples that have to live under the colonial system or under
imperialist exploitation.

This argument, so subtly set forth, reveals the basis of the thought of the
U.S. Government in pointing out and proclaiming that they are carrying out
there war of a terrorist nature. And anyone has the right to ask what
reason, what justification, what perogative does the united States have to
commit crimes against my people--simply to intimidate other peoples and to
intimidate the revolutionary movement--and this argument is expressed here
with all clarity in this sentence. And, finally, we want the affirmation
that this war was waged against a pitiless enemy to be inconceivable. Here
it is vain to confuse and to deceive with that sentence.

(?Consider) the government of a country that says that it is fighting
against a pitiless enemy. It is known that the United States maintains an
army of more than half a million soldiers in Vietnam. This not being
enough, it also maintains there troops of the South Korean puppet
government, troops of the fascist government of Thailand, Australian
troops, even some Filipino troops, and other accomplices, more moral than
material, in the crime that is being committed against the South Vietnamese
people. this is nothing new. Not so long ago, its criminal intervention in
the Dominican Republic was perpetrated. And even after its troops arrived,
some units and troops of puppet governments were taken there: the same
cliche, the same procedure, it is the same method everywhere.

Everyone knows how the war of aggression and systematic destruction was
carried out against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Everyone knows that
they have used there chemical products to destroy the crops and all growth.
Everyone knows they use poison gas. Everyone knows that their most deadly
and most modern arms are used against Vietnam. Everybody knows that even
after the Paris peace talks were initiated the aggression against South
Vietnam was increased, and everyone knows that they now are using strategic
planes to drop bombs of up to 7 tons on the population of South Vietnam.

For one to have an idea of the degree of cruelty, violence, and criminality
that the aggression against the people of Vietnam has reached, these facts
must be taken into account: at the end of March 1969, the U.S. force was
660,000. Effectives stationed in South Vietnam, that is, on the South
Vietnam battlefield, totaled 520,000; the others were in Thailand, in the
7th fleet, and so forth.

There were nine Yankee divisions and five brigades in South Vietnam, that
is, 35 brigades of their 71 brigades which represents 42 percent of their
land forces in South Vietnamese territory. As for their infantry and
paratroopers, they have 24 of their 35 brigades there, or 68 percent.

The marines have seven regiments in South Vietnam, out of a total of 12,
that is, 58.3 percent. As for the tactical aviation, of 3,900 combat
machines used in South Vietnam, 1,250 or 32 percent. They also use 50
percent of the rest, since the United States has to replace the planes that
are downed. In regard to the strategic B-52 planes, they use 120 of a total
of 602 planes, that is, 20 percent. They have 10 plane carriers of a total
of 16, that is, 60 percent. All this shows that the greater part of the
Yankee military power has (?been sent) to the war in South Vietnam.

War industry, as a consequence of the aggression in Vietnam, is employing
10 percent of the total of industrial workers, 20 percent of
electro-mechanical workers, and 40 percent of the physicists. They have had
to mobilize 22,000 companies to produce arms.

In regard to military expenses: in 4 years of local war, 1965-1968, they
have spent 97 billion dollars. The bombs used in 1968 reached a record
figure with an average of (?64,000) tons per month. In World War II, it was
45,000 tons per month. In the 4 years of local war, they have used 3
million tons of bombs. Nevertheless, in 4 years of World War II they used
only 2 million tons of bombs, so that the United States in 3 years has
launched against a country only a little larger than the island of Cuba 3
million tons of bombs, 1 million tons of bombs more than were used in all
the World War II. And against a territory--I repeat--in a territory only a
little larger than Cuba.

They have more than half a million soldiers, tens of thousands of soldiers
of allied governments, and, moreover, more than half a million puppet
soldiers, that is, more than 1 million men, but with all this force and
will all those bombs, and with almost 100 billion dollars they dominate
only a fifth of the South Vietnamese territory and a fourth of the
population, primarily that portion of the people living principally in the
big cities, who, after all,are for the most part against the war and
against the imperialist aggression. After having seen this proof of the
support, of the backing, of the determination for liberty of the people of
South Vietnam, we could ask: Is there perhaps another people in all the
history of the world who have given a similar proof of a (?passion) for
liberty? And perhaps does the U.S. Government consider these figures an
honor to that country, having committed the bulk of the most powerful
capitalist military power, having spent 100 billion dollars of the North
American people. These millions of dollars do not belong to the monopolies;
they are paid by the people in taxes, while the monopolies make enormous
business, enormous profits. To spend 100 billion dollars to murder
Vietnamese, in establishing corrupt puppet governments, of bandits, of
murderers, or reactionaries, to maintain this is perhaps an honor for the
people of the United States?

I believe that the simple reading of these data are enough to make one
understand the concepts of honor that the U.S. Government has. Who in the
world can believe now the tainted pretexts, the supposes struggle for the
rights of a people, the purported defense of liberty so often blabbed by
those [words indistinct] of imperialism?

Who can give the slightest attention, who can pay the least attention [to
them, and who can dispute anywhere under any circumstances the right of the
NFL to the points suggested? It is incredible that the U.S. Government
should issue the incredible argument of the incredible thesis of
simultaneous withdrawals from Vietnam of the Yankee invading troops at the
same time as the withdrawal of Vietnamese forces.

And it is incredible, especially when the preamble of such a suggestion
begins, as they said, declaring that the task of the puppet is going very
well. But the most incredible thing yet is that a government pretends to
call the Vietnamese foreigners in Vietnam. This is tantamount to calling a
person from Pinar Del Rio, Matanzas, Oriente, or Camaguey foreigners. It
would be like calling in the United States, a Bostonian, a New Yorker, or a
Californian a foreigner. It is incredible that an effort is made to present
as serious argument the pretense that in order to withdraw and leave
there--it is not clear; this proposal is confusing--that to withdraw the
Yankee aggressors, they have to withdraw Vietnamese also.

Vietnam, which we know as a country, this people, is one nation, and
therefore we consider very just, very worthy, and very fundamental the
position, the point, of the NFL that all that concerns the Vietnamese Armed
Forces is to be settled among themselves and that in this absolutely no one
is to interfere and mix in.

So our support for the 10 points is not motivated only be emotional
sentiment, which undoubtedly exists, and (?exists) in our sympathy, in our
admiration, in our solidarity, but is based on reason, on morality, on the
most elemental principles, on the most fundamental rights of any people.

Who can dispute these rights of the people of South Vietnam? But,
additionally, what times are there for these demands? Nineteen years ago
the United States could have prevented intervening in South Vietnam. Ten
years ago they could have failed to begin their special war. Five years ago
they could have failed to begin their local war. But in that arrogant
period, emboldened, believing themselves invincible, believing themselves
super-powerful, trying to smash the Vietnamese people by means of terror
and force, they were neither cautious, or slow, nor careful with the idea
of launching thousands of planes, millions of tons of bombs, and hundreds
of thousands of soldiers against the Vietnamese people in a futile effort,
in an impossible task. They did not even conceive--the ones in the
Pentagon, and the imperialists--of the idea of the capacity for struggle,
of the capacity for resistance of the people of Vietnam, of the struggle
potential of a people fighting for their most fundamental rights. But the
truth is, what is unquestionable is that the Yankee military might with all
its technology was dashed--yes, was literally dashed--to pieces against the
resistance of the people of Vietnam. I do not think there is anyone who can
deny this. [applause]

And if the United States has begun to de-escalate, it is because its
resources simply could not take any more. Anyone who reads these
figures--the expenses, that huge waste of strength--realizes that the
Yankee escalation had reached its limit. But there is something more--more
important still--in that the Vietnam war constituted a knock of the
conscience of the North American people. The patience of the North American
people was also reaching its limits. And opinion against the war was
growing day by day. And they cannot hide it. The imperialists may be
smarting, may complain, and on occasion they appeal to the North American
people telling them that their support for the Vietnamese cause makes the
finding of a solution difficult--no, exactly the contrary has been true.
The U.S. people's resistance has acted as a brake to the aggression, has
constituted a limiting factor for the forces and the possibilities of the
imperialists. And what happened is that the imperialists in Vietnam reached
the limit of material possibilities and of political possibilities. Because
they might scorn world opinion all they liked, but they could not brush
aside and scorn the opinion of the North American people, because it is the
North American people who pay the taxes, and above all, it is North
American people who put out their sons so they can go there as cannon
fodder in defense of an unjust cause, in defense of a bad cause. [applause]

Threat is never lacking in the imperialists' statements. Not to lose their
patience; that to wait (?carries) great risks--but whom are they going to
frighten? Are they going to frighten the Vietnamese? Are they going to
scare those who have died? Are they going to scare the world? Are they
going to frighten the rest of the peoples? What are they going to frighten
them with? If they are thinking of other weapons, we too already know some
of these trials. There was a time, at a given moment, during which dozens
of nuclear rockets were aimed at us at a really critical moment, and I
really cannot remember having met one single frightened person in this
country. So, who are they threatening? Who are they frightening? And with
what? And that is the imperialists' philosophy.

Let's kill, because if we do not kill, then they will defy us. And what
happens is exactly the opposite. Since you want to kill me, I defy you.

Never has the prestige of the United States reached such a low level. Never
since that country has been in existence has it been so discredited. And
the United States reached that discredit--the United States arrived
at--that culminating point; precisely because of its criminal war in
Vietnam. And that war is not an isolated occurrence. It is the result of an
entire concept, an entire policy that is being made manifest in South
Korea--the same thing is being done there--that is being made manifest in
Formosa, that is being made manifest in Okinawa, that is being made
manifest any place in Asia, in Europe, and in Latin America--that is being
made manifest everywhere in the world. It is a form, in a way, of the same
concept, of the same policy, that has lead only to failure, to discredit,
and to weakening.

A very eloquent proof of its discrediting was mentioned here by our
visitor, Comrade Tran Buu Kiem, when he spoke of Rockefeller's extremely
disastrous tour of Latin America. Of course now, Rockefeller says it has
been useful, for he has not discovered subversion, the great force that
this subversion had. One more manifestation of [word indistinct], of
obstinacy, and of (?foolishness) is that what they call organized
international subversion is what constitutes the most spontaneous, the most
natural, the most logical, and the most just rebuff of the peoples, of the
students, of the intellectuals, of the workers,and of the peasants against
Yankee imperialism's spoilation and sacking. but no, Rockefeller draws his
own conclusions--it is subversion. And in this way, like a mule with
(blinders) not just on the sides but in front, he insists on denying the
realities. However, not everyone in the United States thinks the same way.
The U.S. people's participation vis-a-vis the aggression in Vietnam was
pointed out here. The importance that the U.S. people and the North
American opinion had in this struggle was pointed out here. We have read
the points and these put forth by the U.S. Government, but there are also
other very interesting opinions in the United States.

And just today some cable arrived with news of a document signed by nine
senators and 36 representatives, and, furthermore, a group of former
(?officials) [words indistinct] in armaments who proposed a plan of
demilitarization of the country that provides for reducing the army by a
million men and an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam. A
group of 45 members of the U.S. Congress signed that document and it is

We should read some of the cables that make reference to that document,
although, naturally, immediately calling up a false honor and a false
patriotism, the U.S. Government will say "see how those who are opposed to
the Vietnam war give the enemies of the United States arguments." Of
course, they consider the enemies of imperialism to be enemies of the
United States. They consider the enemies of Yankee monopolies to be enemies
of the United States. And they try to prevent all who do not agree with the
policy of the monopolies, with their adventures and their malfeasances, as
enemies of the people of the United States. The monopolists and the
Pentagon adventurers, the imperialists, who lead them to those kinds of
adventures and malfeasances and aggressions [words indistinct] are the real
enemies of the people of the United States.

In the report, says the cable, the group urges the U.S. Congress to
reestablish the control that it once had over the military institution
[words indistinct].

To begin with, says the report, it must intervene in the controversy caused
by the plan to install an antiballistic missile system as well as in the
negotiations to suspend the struggle in Vietnam. If it cannot stop the
installation of the antiballistic missiles or the war in Vietnam, the
Congress could become a simple society for ornamental debates, and the
importance of our political institutions would be evident.

The document covers a 2-day conference held in Washington at the end of
March during which investments in military businesses and their relation
with other national needs were discussed. According to the document, during
the last 20 years the U.S. Congress has kept quiet and the civilian
overseers of the military institutions have evaded their responsibilities
in the face of uncontrolled penetration of the national security machinery
in the social, industrial, and union spheres.

Now, continues the report, we have a colossus in the country which devours
80 percent of the federal budgets, determines the foreign policy,
asphyxiates domestic problems, and has the world fearing a nuclear war.

Once the installation of antiballistic missiles begins on a large scale,
and the tests of multiple-charge missiles are (?set up), the nuclear genie
will get out of the amphora, and it is not likely that we will again enjoy
the stability we have today, warns the report.

For that reason, the document urges the Congress to study new military
commitments made by the United States abroad and to insist on the reduction
of overseas military bases and troops of the regular army.

It also advises congress to create its own source of information with the
objective of overseeing the expenses and policy of the U.S. Defense
Department. Here are some of the measures that it suggests:

1--A new fiscal branch of the Congress with access to secret information.

2--A mixed commission of senators and representatives to study the
country's primary needs.

3--To consult with experts of private associations qualified to issue free
opinions on the national defense programs.

4--Direct discussions about the budget conducted in the electoral

5--The creation of a provisional committee of national security made up of
members of the congress and independent experts to study the structure and
the direction of the military-industrial complex.

In reality the discussion concerns the transformation of the United States
into a different kind of civilization, into a national security state. The
nation and the Congress must ask themselves whether they can at some time
recover control of the agencies that form that state, without substantially
reducing their dimensions and without giving them a new structure, in order
that they might with clarity serve the interests of the nation.

For the moment, they said, our main national interest is to extricate
ourselves from Vietnam. Forty-five members of the Congress of the United
States affirm this. They advocate the following means to solve the

To begin with withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam immediately, in order
to force the Saigon government to accept a negotiated settlement. Those
legislators understand that because of the adventure in Vietnam, the U.S.
Government has been blackmailed by the Saigon Government.

This is to say that the United States is, practically speaking, no longer
master of its own acts. To establish in Saigon a provisional coalition
government that will include the NFLSV, that will prepare a referendum or
national election. to open in the U.S. Congress a debate on national
interests in Southeast Asia, the report underscored that the essential role
of the U.S. Armed Forces should return to being the defense of U.S.
territory, and it suggested that their units that have presently been
artificially augmented due to global commitments should be reduced by at
least 1 million men.

With respect to the negotiations with the Soviet Union on a suspension of
the nuclear weapons race, the signers insisted that the United States
should immediately halt the construction of the anti-ballistic missile
network proposed by President Nixon. They also spoke out against the
putting into practice of the multiple nuclear-head guided missiles.

The irony of the situation, they said, is that we expect to convince the
Soviets not to put into practice the armaments program now being carried
out irrevocably by our own defense department. According to the congressmen
all the economies that should normally result from the suspension of the
U.S. warlike operations in Vietnam will be absorbed by the new weapons
system prepared by the Pentagon.

Evidently, they concluded, we must urgently reappraise the military
expenditures so as to devote our resources to unquestionable social needs.
This indicates that it is not just a numerous majority sector of the U.S.
people, but an actually numerous group of U.S. congressmen who hold these

Also, there is mounting anxiety in the United States over what is called
the industrial-military complex. And, since the war in Vietnam has not
ended yet and with the Pentagon's being in collusion with given weapons
trusts, conceiving programs that would cost the U.S. people tens of
thousands of millions of pesos, these facts show how in that country
opinions are shaping up and consciences are rising, consciences that have
been awakened precisely because of the heroism of the Vietnamese people.
Frequently the Vietnamese comrades have said they feel heartened by our
people's solidarity, that they appreciate the saying that we are willing to
give our own blood for Vietnam. Also, without any formality, but only
because of an elemental sense of justice, it is we, who are threatened by
imperialism, the countries fighting for their liberation or facing up to
the Yankee threats, who should be thankful to the Vietnamese people.
Furthermore, we are the first of those countries because we [applause] are
very near the United States.

We know the lack of scruples of the governments of that country. We
remember Giron; we remember the planes disguised with Cuban markings that
bombed us at dawn. We remember the declarations made in the United Nations,
those brazen lies that were conscientiously stated: that it was our air
force planes which had revolted.

We recall the pirate planes, the bases established around Cuba, the attacks
any hour of the day or night by air or sea. We remember the infiltrations,
the sabotage acts, the crimes committed. We do not try to compare what we
have suffered to what the Vietnamese have suffered. But we simply mean to
state that we know the Yankees well, their unscrupulousness, just as we
also know how we too have been in danger of suffering actions like the ones
Vietnam has been suffering. Moments ago we were recalling the example of
the October crisis.

During these years we have constantly been preparing ourselves, arming
ourselves, investing tremendous energy in our defense,for we have never
been able to be sure when, or what day, or under what circumstances we will
be involved in a similar struggle, suffering similar aggressions to those
of Vietnam.

So, when we say that for Vietnam we are willing to shed our blood we are
not saying anything special, for the Vietnamese people have not only
offered to shed their blood for us and for other people, but they have shed
their blood for us and for other people. [applause]

Their fighting has weakened imperialism. Their fighting has forced
imperialism to use the bulk of its forces. [applause] Their fighting has
meant time for us to better prepare ourselves, to arm ourselves more, to be
stronger. Their fighting in fact, real and objective, has constituted a
buttress, a support, a defense for other people in our condition. And this
is no rhetoric, but a fact that any citizen in this country feels and

Vietnam too has been an example, a stimulus, a proof. And any country that
is determined to resist and fight, as our people have always been, now
knows--after the experience of Vietnam--that it cannot only resist, not
only fight unto death, but also that it can resist and fight until it wins.

We know the quantity of bombs, units,and means that can be used against a
country without defeating it. This has been the lesson of Vietnam for us
and other people in circumstances similar to ours.

This is why, for all these reasons, we feel that the struggle and cause of
the Vietnamese is something very close to us, something very near us. This
then is why it is nothing extraordinary, nothing special, for us
wholeheartedly, feelingly, and rightfully to support the NFLSV and its just
demands, its just points. Moreover we see it as our duty as
revolutionaries, we see it as a duty for all revolutionary movements, to
give full support, warm support, decisive support, to the NFLSV's 10
points. [applause]

Today it is also logical for us to remember he who was among us as a
standard bearer of the cause of Vietnam, the standard bearer of the cause
of the national liberation movement, for us to remember tonight, Che.
[prolonged applause] it is fitting to remember tonight his thesis that to
support Vietnam we should support it also by fighting, to remember his
words "create two, three, many Vietnams."

Some interpreted the directive wrongly. And some even slandered that
directive, trying to make it out as something absurd: that what was sought
was two or three tragedies like Vietnam's But it is not from that angle
that it should be viewed. Rather, we must view it from the angle of what
Vietnam and its struggle means. Moreover, Che was not thinking of the
tragedy, but of the fighting for justice, of the duty of peoples to fight,
of the right of peoples to liberate themselves from imperialism. He did not
have in mind that the Vietnamese people's struggle had of tragedy, but
rather of what it had of dignity, glory, and justice.

In Che's view, and in the view of those who along with him feel gloriously
in Boliva, and among their motivations, the feeling of solidarity with the
people of Vietnam was becoming important. Therefore, when they perished
they did not perish just fighting for the freedom of the people of America,
but they fought, they shed their blood for the cause of the heroic people
of Vietnam. [applause]

To conclude, it only remains for us to declare that our country has not
felt itself so highly honored, except on a few occasions, as it has felt
tonight: that only on a few occasions have our people felt more proud or
pleased than to enjoy the friendship and the presence of a representative
of the NFLSV Central Committee Presidium, in the person of a fighter who
for over 20 years has remained in the woods fighting for the liberation of
his country. [prolonged applause]

The Vietnamese bring to our mind the best of humanity, the most worthy, the
most glorious, the most sacrificing, the most heroic thing a human heart
can embrace. The Vietnamese recall to us the history of our country. The
Vietnamese recall to us our mambises, likewise fighting alone for 10 years,
for almost 30 years for their independence, fighting against an army that
was technically well-armed in those days, with machetes, rifles, almost
without ammunition.

The Vietnamese make us remember the most deepfelt and cherished thing about
our country; they make all of us who have fought remember all of those who
have fallen, all who have sacrificed themselves for our country.

This then explains our sympathy, our respect, our hopes, our endearment for
the Vietnamese warriors, for the venerable, as they call him, the president
of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Comrade Ho Chi Minh [prolonged
applause]; our sympathy toward NFLSV President Comrade Nguyen Huu Tho; our
sympathy and salute to the combatants of the heroic Giron battalion that
has waged so many battles against the Yankee invaders; our special salute
to all the Vietnamese people; our unlimited confidence in them and our
absolute faith in their victory.

Long live the National Liberation Front! Long live the just cause of the
people of Vietnam! Fatherland or death, we will win!