Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Address in Faranah

Conakry PRELA in Spanish to PRELA Havana 1030 GMT 6 May 72 C--FOR OFFICIAL

[Speech by First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party and Prime Minister
of the Revolutionary Government, Fidel Castro Ruz delivered on 4 May 1972
in Faranah]

[Text] Comrade Sekou Toure, comrade party leaders of Faranah, officials,
men and women of Faranah. It is slightly more than 24 hours since we
arrived in Guinea. Yesterday we met with the people of Conakry. Today we
visited the cities of Kankan, and Kissidougou and we are now in Faranah.
There is still some daylight left. It has been a day of hard but pleasant
work. We have virtually become one of the people of this area, listening to
the people, sharing with the people their energy, their life, their
strength, their dignity. We have had the enormous privilege of traveling
with Comrade Sekou Toure, who has done so much for his people, for his
country, for the international revolutionary movement and for Africa.
Everywhere we have seen enthusiasm, organization, discipline, patriotism,
ideas, revolutionary awareness. (applause) Everywhere we have seen a united
people, an organized people. (applause) Everywhere we have seen the
children parading, the youth, the students of elementary secondary, and
polytechnical schools, the male and female militias, the soldiers, the
workers, the men and women. Everywhere, in all regions, regardless of
distances, regardless of language, we have seen the same spirit. (applause)
And that spirit represents the revolution, the country, the unity, and the
work of the party and its founder. It is the work of a revolutionary
political ideology, the work of a revolutionary education. (applause) We
have seen very encouraging things.

When the president spoke, he touched on matters which are [word
indistinctly] in the current revolutionary process. When he spoke of the
revolution's difficulties, he was referring to those attempts at
colonialization by imperialism in the economic, ideological and cultural
fields. One of the things that has impressed us, among the many things that
have impressed us, is that we have seen here in this country, in this
people, everywhere, a Guinean culture, (applause) an African culture.

No trace remains here of the ignobleness and the culture of colonialism. We
have seen art everywhere, we have seen dances everywhere, we have heard
music everywhere, we have heard songs everywhere, we have seen happiness
everywhere, we have seen an expression of magnificent emotions. You speak
with your musical instruments, your music, your hands, your gestures,
(applause) your dances, your smiles and with the spirit emanating from each
of you. (applause)

That is what we see as the fruit of the unceasing sermon, the untiring
struggle of the president in fighting imperialism and colonialism wherever
it tried to destroy the people, their culture, the personality. Those words
are heard and understood, especially when one visits this country, this
country that has not only hoisted an independent flag, recovered its
natural resources; but has also redeemed the (?best) of its people and of
the African Continent. (applause)

During our tour we have flown for hours over the various regions. From the
plane we have seen immense prairies, plateaus, plains, enormous rivers. We
have seen vast territories--kilometers and kilometers uninhabited--and
isolated villages. We have seen a country with enormous resources. We know
also of Guinea's vast mineral resources, the vast resources in aluminum,
iron, and of Guinea's huge hydroelectric resources, its forestry resources,
minerals in general.

For some reason the imperialists have tried to crush the Guinean
revolution, for some [applause] [applause apparently drown out Castro's
voice] to seize Guinea's aluminum, to seize its iron, while disguises
itself--as they have done in other countries--simply under the shadow of
independence, but not true independence. The imperialists pretended to
grant independence, but they did not grant Guinea any independence, because
for decades Guinea defended independence with heroism, (applause) and today
it has won independence through firmness and determination and has defended
it with its blood. But the imperialists would not be satisfied. They want
to rule the country. They underestimated the people, they underestimated
Guinea's revolutionary awareness, and that is why they failed. (applause)

Today Guinea shapes its own future and has an enormous task ahead. A great
majority of its resources wait to be exploited. Great lumber reserves,
minerals, the rivers... When one flies the length of the Niger, dozens of
other rivers can be seen, and one can see the valleys and one thinks of the
many natural resources awaiting man's toil; the many roads, bridges,
hydraulic projects, irrigation systems and the many industries to be
developed, the many construction projects to be completed. Endless is the
enormous task awaiting the people of Guinea. The many communication systems
to be established, schools, hospitals, in other words, all the things that
our countries need. That is why we understand President Sekou Toure's
unceasing appeal for work, [applause] and that is why we understand his
enormous concern for education, for technology, for science. But we also
clearly see, in those many miles of youth that have paraded representing
the schools, we see that the future lies there. That the men who will
change the life of this country will emerge from them; [applause] from that
new generation.

Our country is not as large as Guinea. Our population is not as numerous.
[as received] We do not have enormous rivers. But, nevertheless, today we
struggle to take advantage of our natural resources and we are working, by
damming all our rivers and streams, so that not a single drop of water
escapes to the seas. We are diverting all the waters for our crops. We are
working on the construction of thousands of kilometers of roads connecting
all areas of our country. We are working on the construction of schools,
hospitals, factories,--in other words--we are working to lift our country
out of poverty.

Nevertheless, we still remember the years 1960, 1961 and 1962, during the
imperialist attacks, the invasion by mercenaries, the October crisis. Much
of our strength had to be invested in those years--strength such as you are
investing today in preparing, organizing and arming yourselves. Your
invasion by mercenaries of 22 November 1970, a year and some months ago,
seems like it happened only yesterday.

The imperialists have forced us to invest many of our resources and much of
our strength into the defense of our country, and defending the country is
essential. If there is no country, if there is no independence, there
cannot be any development. We had to invest much of our strength, but once
we were well organized and well armed, we devoted ourselves to working hard
for the advancement of the country. Of course, let no one believe that the
road is easy. No road is easy. The road is long and difficult. It requires
that we learn from mistakes, it requires criticism, self criticism, the
honest recognition of any mistake to improve, for using the best resources.
We have made mistakes, experienced failures. A revolution is a continuous
struggle against deficiencies and errors, as President Toure teaches us
(applause) that is the only road to follow. One must learn from his
everyday experiences.

Sekou Toure expressed a truly beautiful thought when he said that power
corrupts, but only when it is not in contact with the people. That is a
great truth. The remedy for all weaknesses can be found only in the people,
in the honesty of the people, in the loyalty of the people, in the
unselfishness of the people, the self sacrifice and the spirit of sacrifice
of the people. In our country we always say this: The virtues are not in
us, they are in the people. We the revolutionary leaders have acquired the
people's spirit, morale, virtues. The revolutionary leaders are like a
mirror of the people, reflecting the best virtues they acquire from the
people. That is why we are so much in agreement with the words of the
president that men who are in touch with the people, men who feel with the
people, these men will not become corrupt.

To end, allow us to express our confidence in the Guinean revolution
(applause), to say the same as in Kissidougou: There is an Asian country
that taught imperialism a great lesson: Vietnam (applause), there is a
Latin American country that has taught imperialism a lesson: Cuba
(applause), and there is an African country that has taught imperialism a
great lesson: Guinea (applause). In the three countries imperialism
believed that it was going to crush the revolution. With its technology,
its money, its strength and its influence in the world, it believed that it
was going to crush the revolution.

It scorned our peoples, but our peoples showed it that when there is
patriotism, when there is an awareness, when there are ideas, when there is
unity, when there is a doctrine and a political believe, when there is a
party, when there is a leadership, and when the people struggle, there
cannot be defeat. (applause)

Those are the countries of Vietnam, Guinea and Cuba, and we know and are
absolutely sure that our three countries will continue advancing
victoriously. Vietnam has demonstrated it, Cuba has demonstrated it and
Guinea has demonstrated it. That is what we have seen in this visit. We
have seen a magnificent country, a country full of dignity, a country full
of modesty, a country full of honor, a country full of spirit, and a
country full of love for the revolution, a country full of solidarity, a
party, a leadership and a great leader. (applause) That is why we can
express here our absolute conviction that the people of Guinea will march
forward. You will grow stronger each day, you will be better armed and
better prepared each time. In the past, when we did not live in the world
of today, there was not the unity and experience of today. Your ancestors
fought for scores of years with arrows, almost unarmed--except for some
arms which were difficult to acquire.

But today while there is a patriot, while there is a fighter, while there
is a militant, while there is a gun, this Guinean flag will fly over this
land filled with signity and freedom--while there is a gun, while there is
a country like this one. (applause) History has shown that countries cannot
be destroyed. That is why you, like Cuba and Vietnam, will be victorious.
That is why we in our country use the slogan you have been shouting this
afternoon: Fatherland or death, we shall win! (applause)