Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Speech at Santiago Municipal Theater

Havana PRESNA LATINA in Spanish 1310 GMT 26 Nov 71 C--FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

[Text] Santiago, Chile, 25 Nov--"If one believes in the people, if one
trusts the people, and the truth is believed, then it is because the masses
understand; the masses have a great capacity for sacrifice, solidarity,
courage and dignity to defend their cause," Cuban Prime Minister Fidel
Castro said this afternoon. Castro was speaking to thousands of persons who
crowded into the municipal theater of Santiago to see him receive the city
honors and be decorated with the Santiago gold metal by Mayor Ignacio
Lagno, Castro told the audience that the Chilean people had greatly
impressed him.

Major Castro had to interrupt a luncheon with peasants of Santa Cruz,
Colchagua Province, when he was told that efforts to postpone the Santiago
ceremony had failed. We had to hurriedly leave the meeting with the
peasants and travel at breakneck speed to get here, he said in the midst of
applause from the audience.

He pointed out that he would not resort to flattery, but "we can sincerely
say that we have been greatly impressed by the Chilean people," and this is
not based on personal gratitude alone.

"We could speak of personal gratitude," he added, "if we believed we had
personal merit, if we believed that history was made by men and not by

He said that "our gratitude is revolutionary, humane, not as a person but
as part of the human race." "It is a Latin American gratitude in the name
of the principles of the dignity of man, of the moral and just cause we
represent. It is a gratitude in the name of ideas, because the Chilean
people have demonstrated the strength of our cause, of our ideas, and the
dignity of our poverty," he added.

He said that all the attacks directed against Cuba had come up against
"something mysterious and powerful, which unites the people--that
indestructible something called the conscience of the people, which can
rise above a mountain of mud and slime." "The mud and slime slung against
the Cuban revolution by the enemies of our peoples is higher than the
Andes," he said.

He also asserted that now when the Cuban revolution is attacked, Cuba is
not attacked," the Chilean people are attacked."

He asked why so much importance was given to that Caribbean island and so
many tons of paper, hours of radio, television and press agency time were
used to attack it now and why nothing was said when the island did not have
a color of its own, and appearing on the map with the colors of the Unites

"When the revolution victoriously arose in Cuba," he said, "the campaign
against Cuba and all the people of Latin America aimed at discouraging the
rest of the people's desires for liberation." The battle against the
revolutionary ideas in the Americas and the world was immediately launched,
he emphasized.

He pointed out that the Chileans had demonstrated the strength of those
ideas and, in addition, the quality of the people had been demonstrated not
only in the solidarity with the Cuban revolution but in the very tactics of
changes, advances, of struggle and victory, in the sense of responsibility,
in the concern, in the attention you had given to this process that you
were experiencing.

He described the Chilean process as truly unique and said that the name of
the commune of Santiago reminded him of the struggles of the commune of
Paris. We make this reference about the commune of Paris to convey the
extraordinary importance that the Chilean process has. For the first time
in the history of the revolutionary processes the road is open to social
change through elections, that is to say, by the peaceful means, a truly
unique fact.

He emphasized that the Chilean must be aware of what this means and said
that some people had tried to present the Chilean process as contradicting
the ideology of the Cuban revolution. He added that the dispatches of
imperialist news agencies had insisted on this idea many times. He then
explained that the first and second Havana declarations, which contained
the fundamental aspects of the Cuban revolution, showed that the Cuban
revolution had never contradicted the Chilean process.

He said that he was confident that Popular Unity could overcome the
enormous resources of the oligarchs and reactionaries and that they had
mobilized all their resources and all their armies, even the most sordid,
to insure victory in the electoral contest.

When in 1970 we saw that a union of sufficiently powerful forces took
place, we realized that there was a real possibility for victory for the
left in the elections and our position was to publicly support, to express
our optimism, our belief in the possibility for that victory. Fidel Castro
said in his speech in the municipality of Santiago that the Chilean
elections campaign and polling had been closely followed step by step, and
"we can tell you that we were certain of victory before you yourselves knew

After insisting that there was never a contradiction between the Cuban
concepts and the Chilean process, he said that the Countries of Europe are
already contemplating the possibility of achieving a unity that will lead
to similar victories.

"Of course," he added, "this phenomenon has to be viewed within the
framework of a world where the balance of power has totally changed, a
world where the balance of power, once favorable to imperialism, has been
changing to where the balance of power favors a movement of the liberation
of the peoples."

He highlighted the fact that the Cuban revolution occurred just at the
right moment in respect to the balance of power, and with the boldness of
the Cuban people and the aid of the socialist camp, especially the Soviet
Union, the critical moment passed.

In another part of his speech, the Cuban prime minister referred to how
much the balance of power in the world had changed and highlighted the
importance of the struggle of the Vietnamese people against the U.S.
invaders. "In the incredible war of Vietnam, during which twice as many
bombs have been dropped than in World War II, the even more incredible
struggle of the Vietnamese people defeated the invaders," he said.

Moreover, he referred to the critical situation which imperialism is
currently experiencing: "Deteriorating prestige in international affairs, a
critical situation in the military, critical in the economic area, and
especially critical on the domestic scene itself in view of the growing
awareness of the U.S. people."

The, gesturing with his hands, Major Castro drew a picture of the change in
the world balance of power, pointing out that it "is now in favor of the
peoples, in favor of the revolutionary movement." Castro emphasized that
the advent of the popular government in Chile contributes to that balance
of power "completely favorable to the revolutionary camp."

However, the Cuban leader pointed out that it would be a big mistake to
think that there would be no difficulties. He urged the Chileans to fully
employ all their "civic and patriotic virtues, all their political capacity
to defend this experiment."

He then emphasized that imperialism cannot be underestimated, although the
balance of forces may be favorable, nor can one underestimate vested
interests, the oligarchs, the domestic allies of imperialism, he said. "Of
course, they will use all means," Fidel Castro added, "in all fields to
make the Chilean process fail, to prevent the success of the Chilean

He also highlighted the historic example of the Chilean victory and the
need to defend that example. Fidel Castro then described his impressions of
the Chilean people he had met everywhere during his visit to Chile. "They
are an enthusiastic people, a proud people, a passionate people, a
courageous people, an intelligent people, a patriotic people," he noted,
"and I see in those people," he added, "all the ingredients, all the raw
material, all the qualities to forge ahead. There is no doubt," he said,
"that the laws of revolutionary process will be in effect in this historic

Maj Fidel Castro then said that he had outlined a revolutionary concept, a
concept of revolutionary strategy in broad terms. "It is valid for our
people and for many people to close ranks, to unite, to combine, to have
all revolutionaries arrive at common strategies of struggle."

After pointing out that revolutionary unity makes the reactionaries
desperate and irritates them, he stressed, "there will be no force in the
world able to defeat these people--whom we have known--if they unite."
Castro then recalled the traditions of unity of the Chilean people and
urged a closer unity, a broadening of the union of revolutionary forces, of
patriotic and honest men, with or without parties.

The Cuban prime minister concluded his speech at the Santiago municipal
theater by saying that if Chile achieves that unity and gathers its forces,
then "we all will have the infinite satisfaction--all the revolutionary
world, Cuba and Latin America--of seeing the new stronghold of the
liberation of our people march forward."