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El Teniente Stadium Speech

Santiago Chile Domestic Service in Spanish 0017 GMT 25 Nov 71 P

[Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro's speech at rally held at El Teniente
stadium in Rancagua on 24 November--live]

[Text] Workers, peasants, and residents of Rancagua: our tour of this area,
this province, has been brief, only a few hours in an attempt to gain the
greatest number of impressions, to get to know the region and your efforts
as much as possible. We have had the opportunity to visit El Teniente
mine--well known throughout the world, well known in our country and talk
with the workers. We have also had the opportunity to converse with the
workers and residents of Coya, and we have attended the inauguration of the
union house of the Sewell industrial union. Now we find ourselves here at
this mass ceremony. Everything is an uninterrupted success of ceremonies
that leaves us no time even to breathe.

However, we passed by the park in Rancagua. We had an opportunity to see
this historic place, the famous park where the Chilean independence
fighters waged one of the most heroic battles of that time. There we were
reminded of the battles of the freedom fighters and the unique feat of
Bernardo's O'Higgins in combat against forces 10 times stronger, the
efforts of the Chilean patriotic forces, the 2 days of fighting in October
of 1814. More than 150 years have passed and a certain slogan is still
remembered: "To live in honor or to die in glory." [applause]

From these events [words indistinct] the history of our own fatherland, our
struggles for independence, the fight by our outnumbered liberators at the
end of the last century when our country had a population that barely
surpassed the 1-million mark and had to face 300,000 Spanish
soldiers--every last one of them a volunteer in the service of the Spanish
Army such as has existed in all ages and in all countries. This was the
people's vanguard.

Someone here mentioned the struggle of Cespedes, the cry of Yara, the 12th
of October of 1868 when our country was still a colony in Latin America,
the last Spanish colony which still maintained the system of slavery. Also
on that memorable day of the proclamation of independence the salves were
freed, and many of the first soldiers in the independence army were former
slaves. That struggle lasted more than 10 years and, at the end of this
heroic feat, our fatherland experienced misfortune: a truce called the
Zanton pact, by virtue of which a few concessions were made and the war
ended. It was then that one of the most prestigious combatants of our
independence, the black General Antonio Maceo, carried out what our history
knows by the name of the protest of (Paragua). Somewhere in the Province of
Oriente he said that he did not accept that truce, that he was not
accepting that peace, that he did not consider himself at peace or bound by
the agreement. They therefore continued their struggle, albeit interrupted
at times, but always tenacious, until 1895 when the struggle for the
independence of our nation was taken up once more. General Maceo was an
outstanding, most brilliant man, who, together with a Dominican, Maximo
Gomez, attained the rank of general in chief of the Cuban forces in the
independence struggle. He achieved one of the greatest military feats:
invasions of the island from east to west, fighting against the army of
(Rivas) of what was then a European power of considerable strength and
truly courageous and competent soldiers. They fought against hundreds and
thousands of Spanish soldiers and crossed our island, which is long and
narrow on the map, fighting from one end to the other.

Our liberators, whom we call our manbitas--mambi was the name given by the
enemy; it was a term of contempt, but that name, because of the cause it
represented, became a name of pride for our fighters, who were later called
the mambi army. That army also had a slogan similar to "to live in honor or
to die in glory," the slogan "independence of death." [light applause]

That struggle always represented the attitude of our people, but it did not
end in Cuba's independence. Those 30 years of heroic efforts, of
unbelievable efforts, ended in what was known as the American intervention.
That is, the American intervention, for reasons that you know, because the
people from the north believed that they had the right to call themselves
Americans, as if America were theirs. However, not only did they deplorably
adopt the name Americans, but wanted to be the real owners of America as

We always recall Marti's words written in the field of battle. Marti landed
at the beginning of the independence war of 95, grouping the liberating
forces, [words indistinct] the independence party, he was the soul of the
organization of that struggle. He recruited the men, the fighters from the
war of 78. He collected the resources. However, when that struggle was
about to begin, three ships loaded with arms were captured and confiscated
in U.S. ports. The fighters had to land in Cuba practically without arms.
Marti arrived by boat on the southern coast of Oriente Province accompanied
by Maximo Gomez and other fighters. Maceo landed on the northern coast of
the province. However, within a few months thousands had joined them. They
had a difficult task in the first few days and weeks. On 19 May Marti--at a
place known as Pozo Rios in a battle between Cuban and Spanish forces in
the company of hid aide--this philosopher, poet, one of the most
illustrious intellectuals of this continent, a man of extraordinary
sensitivity, of enormous cultured, of a patriotism that could stand any
test, of Latin Americanist thought--that patriot, that leader, when the
hour of struggle arrived, when he witnessed the first battle, I repeat,
alongside his aid, he charged the enemy lines, advanced toward them,
attacked, and died heroically on 19 May.

However, the day before his death he wrote a letter in which he expressed a
thought that is part of the introduction to the second Havana declaration.
In that letter he said: I know the monster because I have lived with him.
He said in that letter on the even of his death: everything that has been
done until today and will continue to be done is aimed at preventing the
United States from taking over Cuba and pouncing with force on the sister
nations of Latin America. He said: the sister nations of America.

The war lasted 3 years. The Spanish forces were virtually exhausted. It was
then, at that moment, after so many years of struggle, that the United
States intervened. It claimed, of course, to be Cuba's friend; the friend
of the Cuban independence fighters. The United States landed its troops,
with the help of the Cubans, and attacked the city of Santiago. Then the
U.S. fighting force, already incomparably more powerful on the sea than the
Spanish fleet by that time, reaped and harvested the fruits--in the long
run--of our people's struggle. They landed as friends and within 2 years
they convoked a constituent assembly on the one hand, and on the other they
discharged the Cuban Army. When the constituent assembly met and was
drafting what would be Cuba's Magna Charta, the U.S. Congress adopted a
resolution proving that Cuba would supply coaling bases for U.S. warships
and turn over part of its territory--the area where the Guantanamo naval
base is located today. In addition, it imposed an amendment to the
constitution, the constitution of the republic, the Magna Charta of our
fatherland, which established the U.S. right to militarily intervene in
Cuba in case of disorder, in any situation in which goods and properties
could not be guaranteed. It imposed the Platt amendment, which gave it the
constitutional right to land in Cuba as often as it desired, and it
actually did so more than once.

That is how Cuba began to live its so-called independence. Among the
delegates to the constituent assembly--where there were nevertheless some
agents, some pro-Yankees, some proimperialists, as has occurred
everywhere--there was a majority of patriots, a majority of fighters. They
placed us in the following situation: discharge the liberating army. The
choice was either to accept this diminished independence or resign
themselves to a permanent occupation of Cuba by U.S. troops. They had no
alternative but to accept that constitutional amendment.

I should explain somewhat the legal scruples of the imperialists at the
beginning. They were becoming a great imperial power, but they had some
legal scruples. They asked for permission, or rather they demanded or
imposed, a legal clause that would give them constitutional permission.
Under the protection of this permission they intervened more than once in
our fatherland. However, without constitutional justification of any kind
they intervened in Mexico, in Panama, in Nicaragua, in Haiti, and
intervened in Santo Domingo several times. Imperialism men and imperialism
now; is there a difference? Without any Platt amendment, and without any
constitutional amendment, when after many years of tyranny the Dominican
people rebelled and fought heriocally and had virtually defeated the
regime, then 40,000 Yankee Marines landed in Santo Domingo. Again there was
the well-known pretext: the protect lives and property.

They sent their planes, battleships, helicopters and tanks, yet the heroic
story of how the Dominican revolutionaries resisted the encirclement for
entire months, with exemplary courage and patriotism, is well known.

There was no justification, however, for their action, on the excuse of the
intervention in our fight for independence, in seizing Puerto Rico. The
Cuban struggle which began in '95 was a struggle for Cuban and Puerto Rican
independence because Puerto Rico was also an island under Spanish control.
This war ended with the intervention in Cuba and the Platt amendment, the
creation of Guantanamo and coaling stations, and the occupation of Puerto
Rico, a Latin American country which for more than half a century has
suffered under a deliberate plan to destroy its culture and its
nationality. This little Puerto Rican island and its people have resisted
for more than half a century against the greatest attempt ever known to
destroy its spiritual, patriotic, and moral values. Using this
interventionism of an imperialism which within 40 years was to become the
most powerful and aggressive imperialist power ever known to mankind.

We talk about the past wars, but everyone knows that twice as many bombs
were dropped over Vietnam as were dropped in Europe during World War II. We
know that our country had the experience of living beside a power that
immediately seized everything: the mines, the most fertile lands, all our
resources, all our public services, power, telephone, railroads, basic
industries, and not only basic industries but also light industries. The
owners of most of the sugar mills they established had an absolute
domination over our country in a political as well as an economic sense.
What country can develop under these circumstances? What country could even
develop its own personality? We remember that in the U.S. texthooks Cuba
did not show as a separate territory. In the texthooks for the North
American children Cuba appeared on the maps in the same color as the North
American territory.

Moreover, throughout the world our country was considered a plantation.
Besides all this, they turned our country into a pleasure resort. This
means not only that they seized our natural resources, our basic
industries, and that everything built on the island was at the service of
their economic interests, but also that they developed prostitution in the
country on an incredible scale. Suffice it to say that tens of thousands of
women suffering from hunger and misery were forced to live off
prostitution. Our country was full of brothels and casinos, it was a drug
center, and here came the "people" to amuse themselves.

Unbelievable things occurred. Navy ships visited us, and what did their
sailors do? They climbed on the statue of Marti to photograph themselves
and did other unmentionable things to Marti's statue.

We know Chilean patriotism, and we know that you can understand the shame
and humiliation this caused the Cubans. The outraged workers, students, and
intellectuals protested, but of course the answer was that these were
individual acts of irresponsibility and other things. But the imperialists
developed prostitution in our country. Yet the reactionaries and oligarchs
supported this policy, now caring about human values. They like to talk
about human values, but what kind of human values did they give our people?
[applause] What kind of liberty did our people know? They do not care in
the least about the human being. If they can make money selling women, they
do so. Of they can make money selling young girls, they do so; and our
country experienced such things as seeing girls 14 and 15 years old in the
brothels, corrupted by the reactionaries, the oligarchs, simply so that the
yankee tourists and sailors could amuse themselves. [applause] and the city
of Guantanamo experienced all this. What did they care. Where are the
ethnic values? Where are the moral values of the exploiters, of the
monopolists, of the imperialists?

When the revolution triumphed in our country there were half a million
unemployed. There were 10,000 teachers without work and 60 percent of the
school-age population did not have schools. Of the other 40 percent who did
go to school, only 10 percent reached the sixth grade. There were almost a
million illiterates in our country These are the rights and the freedoms
they give us. The workers, a pariah of society, did not even know how to
sign their name. Imagine human being, poor, barefoot, with torn clothing,
starving to death, without teachers, without hospitals, without work,
without anything, without even knowing how to sign their names, this was
the freedom they gave us. These were the human values they defended. Yes,
our country lived through all these bitter experiences, and when the
peasants would meet to protest the Yankee landowners' takeover of their
lands or the great companies' expulsion or exploitation of them, then they
were even more brutally repressed, and when the workers met to demand their
rights, they were also brutally repressed. And when the students gathered
to protest, they suffered brutal repression. Our country experienced 50
years abuses, violations, crimes, and industices of every kind. The system
was maintained based on crime and corruption, and the politicians were at
the service of the monopolies. Every day the millionaires sacked the
country from end to end. The imperialists not only sacked the nation; they
left a few crumbs to support a plague of politicians and corrupt officials
who were totally at their service. This was the situation in our country.
[applause] These are the moral and political values. These are the human
rights of the oligarchs, the reactionaries, and the imperialists who, when
they see that their domination is endangered, lose their heads, lose
control, and lose everything. They become desperate and are capable of the
most incredible treacheries and the most horrible and vile (?actions)

This desperation is manifested by unlimited hyprocrisy and lies because
they try to hide these facts. When the revolution triumphed in our country
they still sought other methods, but the day came when the Cubans put an
end to this. But this was only the beginning of a long harsh road on which
the Cubans defied the powerful empire, and naturally had to pay for it,
since the imperialists were not willing to lose all their privileges. There
were not only material factors involved but political ones as well. They
were not willing to allow a Latin American country to completely shake off
their yoke; we had shaken off the imperialist yoke 100 percent, yet they
were unwilling to allow that. [applause]

Then began a history known to all of you. Suppression of the sugar quota,
total suppression of markets, total suppression of all sales of spare
parts, and 80 to 90 percent of the machinery in our country came from the
United States. The automobiles, trucks, buses, factories, everything. You
well know what spare parts mean. Any worker knows, especially when a
country does not produce steel, when the country does not have a mechanical
industry, and when a country such as ours does not have lathe operators
because our mechanical industry was born after the revolution. This meant
that our country [words indistinct]. Our country likewise had no coal or
petroleum. All our petroleum had to come from abroad and overnight we were
cut off from our supply. They did everything possible to destroy a small
country, the Cuban nation.

But this was not all. They immediately began the policy of draining our
qualified workers. With half a million unemployed, with salaries at a
starvation level, how could we compete with the richest and most developed
imperialist power in the world? They opened their doors wide and looted our
best brains. The Latin American nations are every year stripped, of
thousands of their best engineers, doctors, and researchers. No country can
develop like this. Whenever Latin American produces a good technician, he
is hired away, he is contracted, or he is bought. How can Latin American
develop like this? This has been possible due to the lack of patriotism of
the oligarchic sectors, because oligarchy is antipatriotism and an ally of
imperialism. Oligarchy destroys patriotic sentiment, and where there is no
patriotism, when these values are not deeply rooted, it is easy for the
imperialists to convince this new technician, this new doctor, this
engineer, this researcher, and to drain thousands of Latin America's best

They opened their doors wide to Cuba to take all of them. This reveals the
absolute lack of scruples of the imperialists, and also how far their
ideological propaganda for over 50 years had weakened the patriotic spirit
of Cuba. Out of 6,000 doctors in Cuba in 1959, they took 3,000. I do not
think any country has ever suffered such a looting. This was followed by
the prohibition on sale of any currency or medicine. It was under these
circumstances that our country found itself.

And this was not all. As soon as we established our agrarian reform law
they began to prepare the Bay of Pigs invasion. Yet all we had done was to
draft the Agragrian Reform Law. We talked with the Chilean Trade Union
Confederation [CUTCh] yesterday,. I told them that prior to the Cuban
revolution they could have looked in any newspaper in any library and never
seen a mention of the words agrarian reform. What is more, whoever spoke
about agrarian reform was considered an incorrigible Red, an infernal
communist, a man who deserved the firing squad or the gallows.

The United Fruit Company had hundreds of thousands of hectaries of our best
land, and when we drafted the Agrarian Reform Law in Cuba, things
immediately began to move in high circles and the U.S. Government began to
prepare the Bay of Pigs invasion. This was immediately accompanied by
sabotage. A ship loaded with rice was blown up and almost 100 workers and
soldiers unloading it were killed. This is without counting the injured.
Buildings and large stores were set afire, workers were burned alive in the
buildings, trains were derailed, bombs exploded in chemical industries, and
so forth. Thousands and thousands of counterrevolutionaries were trained in
the United States. The most modern techniques were employed. The CIA
developed a specially created section for subversion in Cuba. Modern
sabotage equipment, high-powered explosives, and all types of mechanisms
were used, and there was not a night for many years in our country when
infiltrations did not occur along our coasts. They organized
counterrevolutionary bands in the Cambray mountains, and at one time they
had organized armed counterrevolutionary bands in the six provinces. They
effected hundreds of landings of weapons and explosives. They also made
hundred of arms drops by parachute. All this against Cuba, prior to Giron.

Our workers, our peasants, our students, our entire nation had to be
mobilized. We could not live as we had been living before. We must make
clear that we did not even have a labor movement because it had been
suppressed in the administrations preceding Batista and during his
administration. They had created phony unions and imposed official leaders.
We did not even have the Chilean's advantage in having a labor movement
well organized and experienced in struggle. This is a great advantage and
our people virtually had to organize themselves.

You have heard of the revolutionary committees which the imperialists have
talked so much about, and with due reason because these committees hurt
them very much. Once, after we had returned from the United Nations, five
bombs exploded at a crowded reception while I was speaking. I was talking
and a bomb exploded. If the people support the revolution and the people
are everywhere, how can these mercenaries operate? Let us organize the
people. Then we organized the people in factories in the districts, block
by block, street by street, and we created one of the most powerful mass

We created the labor organizations, women's associations, student
organizations--we are all organized. In our country we had to make a mass
organization because we were forced to. I have told you how this
organization came about, and today there are no bombs. Five months or 5
years can pass without any explosions because this struggle was hard and we
won this battle against the imperialist mercenaries attacking our people.
Later, these organizations accomplished great tasks such as the battle
against disease, the battle against epidemics, the battle against polio,
the battle against malaria. They have done in extraordinary job.

I am explaining this to you here in Rancagua so you can have an idea of the
struggle and conditions we had to face. We recalled this today when we
passed by the plaza where O'Higgins broke the encirclement and where he
uttered this famous phrase. We were also reminded of the slogan of our
revolution, "fatherland or death, we will win." which has the same content
as his beautiful phrase, "To live in honor or to die in glory." This means
that our people are brothers in history in their heroic examples, in their
struggles and traditions.

We felt this very strongly today when we arrived in this city of Rancagua
after talking with the workers. I was reminded of all these things about
our country. There are many ties between the Chileans and the Cubans. You
are carrying out your process, you have taken very important steps, and the
people know this. While we were with the labor leaders inaugurating their
new union building, we read a sign saying "founded 1 August 1925," that is,
46 years ago, and we imagined that in those days the powerful mine owners
must have laughed at the union. How were they to know that today, 46 years
later, the workers of the labor union would be inaugurating their new union
building in the situation of a 100-percent Chilean copper industry.

We must say the following so the reactionaries do not confuse anyone. One
of the things the revolution has done is raise to the maximum the patriotic
values and traditions, in contrast to the reactionaries who surrender and
sell all. In our country all the dope peddlers and pimps have been
eliminated by the revolution. The revolution is carrying out a task of
ennobling the best values of man. It is the revolution which seeks a just
society, a better way of life, a higher society in which patriotic values
are glorified and which respects man's right to get an education, to go to
school, to work, to live, to have a right to true happiness-- not a
happiness of lies amidst misery, ignorance, hunger, humiliation, neglect,
and trading with human values.

The revolution has assigned the highest level to these values, and it is
also raising the awareness of peoples beyond its borders. It raises
patriotic and cultural values and traditions, and at the same time raises
the human and moral values of its citizens. It also carried this awareness
beyond its borders to show the people that we form part of a single
humanity. At the same time that our revolution is enhancing patriotic
values it does not promote a narrow nationalism [few words indistinct] or
bourgeois nationalism, for this is the nationalism of wars of conquest, and
oppression, of exploitation, of the sacking of the natural resources of
other peoples. This is bourgeois nationalism which makes man the master of
man. Those were people who sowed hatred and division among nations. During
the past 150 years they did their best to deprive us of part of our
territory so as to keep us divided and weak, and to promote hostility and
hatred against the Latin American peoples. The revolution is creating an
awareness beyond its borders and is overcoming this hatred, proclaiming the
brotherhood of peoples, proclaiming the brotherhood of the poor and the
oppressed of all countries. This is what we understand by internationalism.
To us this means a spirit of solidarity such as our people showed toward
Vietnam, for example, or to Algiers in its heroic struggle for
independence. This spirit of solidarity of our people since the revolution
has supported all just causes in the world. Our people have received this
solidarity and support from revolutionary countries in the most difficult
moments of our revolution, and it was this support of the peoples and
workers which defended Cuba and helped it during its difficult moments.
They were not reactionary countries. It was the revolutionary countries who
helped us. [applause]

When we preach the raising of the awareness of the people beyond our
national borders, it is logical that this should be directed first toward
our brothers in Latin America, and therefore we try to make our workers
feel love and solidarity for the peoples and workers of Latin America. This
feeling exists and anyone who visits our country understands this. We try
to share our music, our literature, our traditions, and our knowledge of
history. It is a policy of the revolution to instill in the new generations
an awareness of the values of our peoples and an awareness that they are
part of a great community, and that besides our heroes, besides their own
values and duty to tradition, they have the example of our forefathers who
fought for the independence of this continent, and that they develop
knowledge of these traditions and the culture of the great spiritual values
of the other Latin American countries.

And who are those opposed to the union of our countries and to the
strengthening of ties between our countries? It is those who have been in
the service of the imperialists, those who have served the oligarchs and
the reactionaries, those who have divisions. Their only weapons have been
lies. The reactionaries do not want discussion, that is why they resort to
the most vile and cowardly lies. And as we have seen here recently, they
even resort to insults. Why? Because they have no arguments, because they
are morally unarmed, because they have no moral values, because they have
no ethics, because they have a complete lack of principles, and also
because they grieve to see us talking with the people. They grieve because
they see the popular victory produced in this country, a victory which has
allowed a rapproachement between Cuba and Chile. They grieve to see us
speaking with the people, as I am now doing. [applause]

We have talked to students, peasants, and with representatives of the
country's various institutions with whom we have felt a friendly, brotherly
association, relating our experiences and telling them about our country.
This grieves the imperialists and they have manifested their irritation,
which has led them use to insults never before heard in this country. And
why? Because they are irritated, because they are worried, and it is
possible that the imperialist masters have told them "put pressure on them,
persecute them, insult them more, and work more to prevent that
communication between the people of Cuba and Chile. Try to prevent that
example." They are simply afraid. They are afraid that the ties between our
countries... [words drowned in applause] what does this mean, as an example
to the other Latin American countries? Yesterday we were talking to the
representatives of the workers and we told them what in our judgment is one
fundamental goal in this phase: liberation of our countries from the
imperialist yoke. Our goal must be the establishment of full independence
of our people, but we will not achieve this full independence with the
cooperation of reactionaries and proimperialists. This can be achieved
through the union of workers and peasants and students. This can be
achieved through union of all patriotic citizens, union of all humble
citizens, union of intellectuals, union of all who love their country, of
all... [words drowned in applause]

The union of our nation does not exclude any honest Chilean, nor any honest
Cuban, nor any hones Latin American. It is the union of all patriots. It is
the union of all conscious men, who are in the majority. Those who oppose
our nations and our peoples' interests are a small minority,m and they can
never understand how our countries have written such glorious pages and
have such honorable traditions. Ad we said that this is a broad union, we
talked of a broad union, a broad union. We spoke of our countries' broad
fronts; broad fronts without reactionaries, without fifth columnists,
without traitors, including those always working for the CIA... [words
drowned in applause]

The Latin American countries; basic aim was to consolidate their
sovereignty, to achieve the right to live freely, the right to establish
ties among our kindred nations, to establish economic ties, cultural ties,
political ties, and all the necessary ties so that tomorrow we may proclaim
our place in the world and our rights, so that after 150 years of struggle
we may some day obrain that which was sought by our forefathers-- Bolivar,
San Martin, Sucre, Morelos, O'Higgins, all patriots who with their blood
and sacrifice won our countries' independence, those who accomplished it
like Maximo Gomez, Maceo and Marti. This is why it fills me with great
satisfaction to repeat Marti's dying words: "Everything that has been done
until today and will continue to be done is to prevent the United States
from taking over Cuba and pouncing with force on the sister nations of

They wrote the most glorious chapter, the most difficult and blood-soaked
one. The new generations have written another chapter, and not only have we
prevented the imperialists from taking over, but we have been able to
recover the part which they had already taken over, and our country will
not serve as a springboard in the struggle against our fellow Latin
American countries. Our country will never serve as a springboard to [words
lost in applause] of Latin American countries. We have fulfilled the
traditions of our liberators, and we shall continue to do so. The future
belongs to the people. The future is our peoples'. We believe in that
future, and we are sure the day will come when there will not be a single
place on our continent that could serve as a springboard for the
imperialists to oppress and exploit our fellow Latin American countries.
Long live Chile! [applause and cheers] Long live the friendship of Chile
and Cuba! Long live the the Latin American peoples! Long live the union of
Latin American peoples! Thank you. [applause and cheers]