Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Berlin Rally Speech

East Berlin Domestic Service in German 1701 GMT 19 Jun 72 G

[Speech by Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro at a mass rally at the Dynamo
Sporthalle in Berlin-live; in Spanish with sentence by sentence

[Text] Dear Comrade Honecker, dear leading comrades of the GDR, dear
friends in Berlin, dear friends in the GDR--I certainly mean in socialist
Berlin applause]-- the presence of Comrade Honecker, of the leading
comrades of the GDR party and govern- is a great honor for our delegation,
and this has special importance in view of our friendship.

Moreover, Comrade Honecker has this afternoon made an important speech on
questions of international policy. We have assembled here to say good-bye
to each other after a 1-week visit to the GDR. At last the representatives,
the leading comrades of the first socialist workers and peasants state,
have met with the representatives of the first socialist state on the Latin
American continent. [applause]

This meeting certainly was of extraordinary importance for us, for the
representatives of the revolution in Cuba. It was of special importance for
us. We felt a great desire and also a great curiosity to meet you. I think
much has been said about our two peoples recently. [applause] More about
you than about us. For you started earlier than we did. [laughter] When we
were not yet what we are, you were already what you are [laughter]. At that
time, the imperialists had already fought against you. And here we have
really been received in an extraordinary way, by the party leadership, by
the government, by the workers, by the peasants, by the students, by all
the people. But what impressed us most was not the official honor--and that
was the maximum that could be imagined--it was not the greeting by the
masses of the people that impressed us--and this was also the maximum that
could be imagined--what impressed us most was what you have achieved during
these years with your people.

The revolutionary work achieved here in the GDR, the work achieved for the
awareness and 3with the awareness of the people, the creative work of all
working people in organizing good official receptions is possible, one
might almost say it is even easy. But to organize a welcome by the masses
is not so easy. This requires a political education, this requires the
development of a revolutionary awareness, this requires the work of the
party, the development of a Marxist awareness, the development of the
internationalist awareness. But there is something even more difficult,
that is, to show to a delegation [prolonged applause] a whole revolutionary
people and a truly revolutionary state. This truly represents a historic
achievement, and these are three things we have seen these few days. But we
are particularly moved when we think of the starting point of all this,
remembering the point from which you started 23 years ago, and knowing that
you have set up this first socialist worker-peasant state on the
ideological ruins fascism left behind: when we think that the communist
party had virtually been destroyed by the Fascists, that more than the half
of its members had been physically destroyed, that only the idea and the
seed remained--those men who came back from the underground, from exile,
from the jails, or from the concentration camps; when we think from a
material point of view what the whole country suffered from the
consequences of the war contrived by the fascists, and added to this in
several instances is the unnecessary and cruel destruction caused on
several occasions by U.S. and British imperialist,s for example in Dresden
where no arms industries were located, or as it happened in Czechoslovak
cities when the victory over fascism was practically certain.

Even under these conditions you succeeded in creating this state, your
party, the consciousness and fighting spirit of the GDR people. Our two
countries, Cuba and the GDR, were particularly targets of Yankee
imperialist aggression. They understood that in the GDR as well as in Cuba
the most important political fights have taken place--decisive ideological
battles--and they therefore used all their resources, means, and weapons to
undermine our efforts. These people said they would make us fail, for they
were aiming for their advantages and against our disadvantages.

They knew that the socialist camp was a battlefield in World War II and
that great parts of the Soviet Union were destroyed, that dozens of their
sons had died in combat and that all capitals, cities, and plants of the
people forming the socialist camp were destroyed.

As we have said on other occasions, imperialism had amassed great
resources--economic and industrial. The imperialists possessed practically
all of the gold of the world. With these means they began to fight us.
However, they used these means to create terror and internationally
aggressive organizations, to push the arms race and the cold war. They
surrounded the socialist camp with military bases, with hundreds of them,
investing hundreds of billions of dollars in this policy to achieve these
imperialist goals, to hinder the development of the socialist camp, and to
hinder the progress of revolutionary ideas.

You have witnessed these 23 years, or we could say, the 27 years following
World War II. Conditions were really difficult, times were really hard. In
their struggle against the GDR and against Cuba, those people used their
political and economic influence in order to implement the economic
blockade and the diplomatic isolation and to create commercial
difficulties. We remember that not only U.S. imperialism implemented the
blockgade against Cuba. This blockade against Cuba was also supported by
West German imperialism. We remember that when the problem of relations
between Cuba and the GDR was at stake, those people threatened to sever
diplomatic and economic relations. But we did not give in. We established
diplomatic relations with the GDR--we were the first country to do so in
Latin America! [applause]

Those people then resorted to the economic blockade. They severed
diplomatic relations, they suppressed any kind of trade with out country,
so that the majority of capitalist and imperialist countries joined the
blockade against Cuba. We fought a long struggle in the international
organizations. In the United Nations we demanded that the GDR be accepted
in these organizations, in the cultural organizations, in the scientific
organizations, in the sports organizations, in one word, in all those
organizations where the imperialists had not succeeded in turning us out.
[applause and laughter] Without hesitation we have stood up for the rights
of the GDR and we have not regretted it. We are happy about it. [applause]
We now the conditions under which you have fought. How much subversion, how
many campaigns, how many hundreds of broadcasting stations were directed
against the GDR! How many television stations! How many newspapers, how
many books, how many activities!

Those people firmly intended to make impossible the establishment of a
socialist worker-peasant state. They intended to prevent the founding of
the GDR. We know that the border between imperialism and socialism is right
here. They built hundreds of strong-points--many of the strongest and most
dangerous were built on the borders of the GDR. For a long time the
American imperialists spoke of a German miracle and they did so with
reference to the FRG. But we say after having visited this country and
after we have seen under what conditions socialism has been built here. The
real miracle is to be found here, in the GDR! [applause]

During the cold war the imperialists spent and invested billions of dollars
in the FRG. The imperialists did everything in order to reestablish the
monopolies, which had been the allies and pillars of fascism, in order to
reconstruct those monopolies, which conspired for war and took advantage of

Many of those monopolies even today have the same names or the same
managers as in fascist times. We know how U.S. imperialism strove for an
alliance with fascism, and we know what it did in order to strengthen the
power of the FRG, to make it an aggressive spearhead against the socialist
camp, to make it a counterrevolutionary stronghold. As imperialism waged
these campaigns it defamed the GDR. But the GDR, supported by the socialist
camp, supported by the Soviet Union, cleared its way, broke the isolation,
and today more than 30 countries have established diplomatic relations with
the GDR.

The conference on environmental protection has proved to be a failure.
Because the GDR was not admitted, the Soviet Union and many other socialist
states, including Cuba, refrained from participating. [applause]

The demand for the GDR's admission to the United Nations has become
increasingly strong, and we know that this struggle will also be won, and
that one day the GDR, together with other sovereign states, together with
the DPRK, together with the Vietnamese people, will have its place in the
United Nations. [applause] We know--and this is the truth--that the
successes of the GDR will force their way, and we have seen these successes
these past few days. We have seen them in the economy, in agriculture, in
science, in construction. We know perfectly well that the GDR's prevent
industrial production is larger than the total industrial production of the
former German Reich. We have seen the successes in Leuna, in Halle, in
Dresden, in Rostick, in Berlin. We have seen the new cities which have come
into being, cities built on the ruins of those destroyed in the war. We
have seen works of restoration, we have seen the human character of the new
towns which were and are being built, which consist not only of buildings,
but are provided with all social installations, installations for children
for schools, polytechnical centers, recreational and cultural facilities,
hospitals. No capitalist society can set up such installations, for
capitalism speculates with land, with houses, with education, with the
wealth of man. Under no circumstances can such communities be created there
but here indicate the future of this country. But the work is being
accomplished for children is indeed extraordinary--the way this work is
reflected in the attitude of children, by their knowledge in their culture,
and, above all, in the feelings they express, this spirit of solidarity,
this feeling of solidarity with others.

This feeling of solidarity for the other peoples represents
internationalism and is at the same time the result and the sign of the
results of the work, of the results of the ideas of Marxism-Lenninism. If
one promotes egoistic nationalism, if one promotes jingoism, one cannot
expect solidarity among the peoples. The solidarity among the individuals
is inseparably linked with the solidarity among the peoples. In a similar
way egoistic capitalism is inseparably linked with individualism, with
nationalism, and cannot be separated from this individualism and from
robbery and attacks.

When we talked to the workers of Leuna, we referred to the outstanding
example of the development of this enterprise and to the future prospects
based on the natural gas and natural oil supplied by the Soviet Union
through pipelines to Leuna. There we reminded them of the fact that the
origin of many wars has been the search for mineral resources. The
imperialists attempt to unsurp natural resources all over the world. But
here, as a result of fraternity and of international cooperation, basic raw
materials have been secured.

We were very much impressed by the fighting spirit of the GDR people, its
revolutionary awareness, its internationalists awareness. This is seen
everywhere among the working people, among the workers, the peasants, among
the intelligentsia, but it is above all revealed with great strength in the
youth and is also prevent in the children. We furthermore saw the
training,, the technological education, the teaching materials, and the
quality of the knowledge the youth and the children are gaining. We thought
of those three epochs, the point of departure of the GDR, the GDR of today,
and the GDR after the next 15 to 20, or 25 years. We do not have the
slightest doubt that your success is certain, and we do not have the
slightest doubt of your moral and intellectual strength, and this will be
strong enough to win the ideological battle--this long and difficult
struggle which lies ahead of us.

The leading comrades who accompanies us spoke of light and shadows, saying
that not everything will work and be perfect. But we were not overly
worried by these aspects since we know that there are difficulties in every
work created by man and that there re also shadows in every revolutionary
work. We remembered that there were shadows everywhere in the beginning and
very, very little light. Today, after 23 years, there is much light
everywhere and very few shadows left. [applause]

The international revolutionary movement has great and important tasks to
tackle. At the moment successful progress is begin achieved on the way
toward European security and remarkable achievements were recently made
like the agreement on the inviolability of borders, the quadripartite
agreement on the status of West Berlin, the agreements between the GDR and
the FRG on several problems, agreements beginning to reflect the fact that
the GDR is an absolute, sovereign,and international reality, recognized by
even its greatest enemies. In practice progress is achieved on the road
toward European security.

This work is closely connected with peace and with the fight of the world
for peace. We all know that the most devastating wars were started in
Europe, such as World Wars I and II. Europe also possesses colonies in all
parts of the world. On this continent the great wars were prepared and
unleashed. We understand these realities. It is sufficient to realize the
military significance of those military forces amassed by imperialism on
the GDR border--land forces, air force units, and naval forces. One has
only to take a look at this hotbed of conflict, which those people have
created in the very heart of the GDR, to understand that it constitutes a
latent and great danger. And we understand the necessity of fighting
against war on this continent. We can moreover understand why the Soviet
Union and the other socialist states were forces to make great efforts for
the strengthening of their defensive power, namely in view of this policy
of encirclement by military bases. Therefore we appreciate and support this
struggle for European security, we appreciate it without reservation.

As Comrade Honecker said, imperialism does not stop being imperialism
because of a number of agreements. They are still imperialists, they are
dangerous imperialists. Moreover the international revolutionary movement
is confronted by other great problems, such as the problems of the third
worked, of the so-called third world, consisting of a great number of
countries, in Latin America, in Africa, in Asia, constituting a majority of
the countries in the world, with a population already nearing 3.5 million
people and 6 billion people within the next 25 years.

In these countries, there is enormous technological and industrial
backwardedness, impressive economic underdevelopment, great material and
social poverty. In these countries, imperialism intends to prevent the
complete independence of those peoples. It intends to maintain control over
natural resources, to maintain its imperialist power, to substitute
neocolonialism for colonialism. One of the questions we all have to
consider is how to face the tasks with which entire mankind will be
confronted, in consequence of these terrible conditions of poverty and
underdevelopment of this large part of humanity. But on the other hand,
imperialism is cunning as a fox. It is insiduous and full of intrigues. It
is perfidious as a serpent. We very clearly see the example of aggression
against Vietnam, to which Comrade Honecker also referred.

Something which has satisfied us most of all during our visit to the GDR is
the solidarity in the GDR with the people of Vietnam. [applause] We have
felt it in the slogans, in the speeches, and among the masses. It becomes
evident in the demands of "an end to the bombardments against Vietnam," "an
end to the genocidal war in Vietnam," and "respect for the right of
self-determination of the peoples in Indochina."

Imperialists know that the balance of power changes, they know that their
power weakens,, they know very well where they can no longer attack, and
they know, for example, that they can no longer launch an attack on the
GDR. For here they meet with the enormous power of the countries of
socialism under the leadership of the Soviet Union. [applause] Still they
attack Vietnam. They make concessions in Europe, because they have no other
alternative. Still they try to continue the escalation in Vietnam, to
increase the brutality of their bombing raids to force their conditions
upon the Vietnamese people. We have direct information from Vietnam about
recent facts.

As to the question of the dikes and the bombardments of the dikes, I think
we should use this platform in socialist Berlin, this meeting of
revolutionary fighters, to condemn them before international public
opinion. For 2 months, from 10 April 1972 to 10 June 1972, American bombers
flew 68 bombing raids or attacks against 32 important parts of the dikes
along the large rivers and against 31 hydraulic works of all types in North
Vietnam. In their attacks they used 665 different types of bombs.

At the dam system of the Red River six sections were raided with large
bombs. The system of the (Thai Bink) was also repeatedly bombed. Five
sections of the dams of the (Dai River), including a section of 100 meters,
was destroyed during U.S. attacks. The dam section protecting the village
of (Hao Phu) in the district of (Yen Quang) in the province of Ninh Binh
was also damaged. All dams mentioned before were built to protect hundreds
of hectares of fruitful soil, as well as to protect the lives and property
of thousands of citizens in this province against inundations. the dam
system of the Ma River--protecting hundreds of hectares of rice fields and
the lives and property of hundreds of inhabitants in the districts of Huang
Hoa, (Quang Thuong, Hac Loc, Dong Song, Thin Ghia, and Nong Gong) in the
province of Thanh Hoa--was repeatedly raided. From the system of dams at
the (Lam River) in the province of (Nghe An) the most important sections
protecting the plains were also damaged by bombs. Besides the destruction
of river dams, U.S. imperialists also raided with planes or battleships
even sea dams in the provinces of (Thai Binh, Nhan Ha) and Ninh Binh. The
most barbarous action consists of the fact that U.S. planes used bombs
directed against people.

With these attacks they wanted to kill those people who had gathered at the
damaged sections of waterdams to repair them. They intended to stop the
repair work and to destroy the civil population. Quite recently, on 4 June
1972 U.S. U.S. planes dropped bombs and fired rockets to repeatedly destroy
dam sections of the MA River in the district of (Dong Song), in the
province of Thanh Hao, which had already been destroyed on 24 April 1972
and to kill dozens of people who worked at this dam.

On 7 June 1972 North American planes dropped 12 bombs on the dam of (Tranh)
in the village of (Huang Tu), district of (Hung Yen), province of (Nghe
An). On 2 June they again bombed the dam of (Thrali) and (?Lien Ko) in the
province of (Nam Ha), and particularly on 10 June they used many planes to
destroy one of the greatest dams for the regulation of high water, the dam
of (Tak Ba) in the province of (Yen Bai). Permit me to read you some parts
of an article, publishes in PRAVADA, the CPSU Central Committee organ, on
18 June, in which these actions are denounced.

Obviously, the leading men in the Pentagon are now in a hurry to use all
available means, to develop new weapons and to continue the aggression in
Indochina. The Pentagon generals do not conceal their intention to continue
to bombing of Vietnam and reveal that the intensification of the bombing in
North Vietnam and South Vietnam, as well as the escalation of further
aggressive actions entails further expenditures in addition to those 130
billion dollars, already spent this in war. Permit me to continue reading
in Spanish. Perhaps there is somebody who understands Spanish. I could save
time and let the translator read the article in German. But perhaps there
are some here who understands Spanish. [applause] Let me continue with
quotes. The Pentagon which ordered the barbaric bomb-raids against Vietnam
in a public statement said that U.S. pilots do not attack any civil
objects. Recently the Pentagon categorically denied that North American
bombers had attacked the village (Higa Loc) in North Vietnam, where 124
people were killed or wounded. However, the New York TIMES correspondent A.
Lewis personally visited this village and saw what had happened there. He
thus disproved the claims of the North American military clique. During the
aggression in Indochina, U.S. imperialists have dropped roughly 13 million
tons of bombs. Nevertheless, the peoples of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia
continue their heroic struggle against the aggression. The United States
has no chance to win the war. [applause]

In this article, PRAVDA, the CPSU central organ, stresses that the early
political solution of the situation in Vietnam and of the Middle East
problem is inseparably linked with further detente in the world. The CPSU
central organ firmly and categorically states that a political solution of
the Vietnam and Middle East problems is absolutely necessary. And we fully
support this line. [applause] Dear friends, time is passing. And you will
understand that I need twice the time. What I say in Spanish has to be
translated afterwards. But we use this time to come to an agreement.
[applause] And we do not, indeed, want to abuse your patience and even less
the patience of the television audience. [laughter, applause] for as I have
learned, in the place, too, many good communists and excellent workers have
assembled, among them many heroes of labor. Who could guarantee how many
are now listening to this speech in many European countries. And therefore
now that we are on the point of leaving the GDR, I would like to express
some feelings. Our delegation has really been overwhelmed by the affection,
by the warmth of the reception, and by the work which has been achieved
here. We have spent unforgettable days.

We have spent really communist days. We have seen Leuna, recalling the
heroism of the workers. In the revolts of 1918, of 1921, recalling the
great number of workers assassinated by the reaction, recalling the
communist fighters who died in the cells, in the concentration camps. On
the battle fields, recalling the sacrifices of your people, recalling those
bitter days which imperialism, reaction and fascism have inflicted on you,
the painful wounds, the enormous damage done to your people and to the
whole world.

We have spent communist days, recalling the glorious struggles of the
workers of the GDR, recalling the revolutionary fighters, recalling Rosa
Luxemburg and Karl Liebknecht [applause] and recalling this great hero of
the German workers' movement, Ernest Thaelmann, [applause], recalling all
these fighters who were murdered by the reaction, assassinated by fascism
in the old fashion of the reactionaries, removing the fighters, believing
that they thereby might remove their ideas. It is painful to remember how
Ernst Thaelmann died, in the last few days of the war, after immense
suffering in the concentration camp, when the Fascists murdered him, when
they already knew they were beaten.

By killing Thaelmann they did what they wanted to do later, during the cold
war. Even after the defeat of the reactionaries they tried to continue to
fight, they tried to continue their struggle against the communist
fighters, in order to eliminate them, in order to stop the revolution. It
was a long, hard way, the way of the fighters, the revolutionaries, but
today's realities, the socialist camp, the existence of a first socialist
German state of workers and peasants, the fact that there is a socialist
Cuba near the United States is a reality, which we owe to immeasurable
sacrifices of the working class in the whole world. [applause]

Today's achievements we owe to the enormous sacrifices, which the workers
and peasants of the USSR made after the October Revolution [applause] when
they fought against the intervention of the imperialists. Millions of
Soviet workers and peasants were killed in these battles. It was necessary
to sacrifice 20 million people, to destroy great wealth, in order to make
the working class what it is today. The sacrifices and struggles of the
workers in Europe, of the French workers in 1848, of the German workers,
and of the workers of many other European countries were necessary for this
end, as well as the sacrifices of the workers of the Paris Commune, the
sacrifices of the excellent heroes of the International Bridges, the
sacrifices of millions of communists who died in all parts of the world,
and even today communist fighters, heroic Vietnamese fighters, must defend
their cause, must defend their country against a cruel and unjust war,
against a huge imperialist power which never had any economic or cultural
links with that country and which simply replaced French colonialists.

We had communist days here in our talks with workers of the GDR, with
students, with border soldiers, with sailors of the 4th NVA Fleet, with
soldiers and officers of the Soviet Army, which together with your armed
forces in this front trench successfully defend here the socialist camp.
[applause] We spent communist days in the company of Comrade Honecker and
we thought of the 10 years of imprisonment which he had to spend under
fascism and of the hard struggles and the bitter years in which
revolutionaries, encouraged by the memory of Karl Leibknecht, [word
indistinct] who said, fight in spite of everything, in spite of the
difficulties, in spite of any setbacks, fight with untiring efforts, fight
with conviction for the just cause.

Convinced by the force of our ideas, by the force which becomes evident in
all our revolutionary struggles and in all those who fight against the
exploitation of man by man, from the slaves of Rome, who revolted against
their masters, and including those men who died in the battlefields of the
proletariat, in Paris, or in Spain, or in Stalingrad, or in Leningrad, or
in Odessa, or in Moscow, or in Vietnam--this is communist tradition
maintained everywhere, maintained by Cuban fighters in the days of Playa
Giron. This heroic tradition [applause], this heroic tradition, this
feeling but on the fraternity of men, on the fraternity of peoples--this
makes our cause invincible. [applause]

And therefore the GDR exists and will continue to exist. [applause] And
therefore socialist Cuba exists and will continue to exist. [applause]
Therefore the socialist camp exists and will continue to exist. Therefore
the glorious ideas of Marx and Lenin have triumphed and will continue to
triumph. [applause] Therefore, one day, real freedom, real fraternity among
all men and people will triumph in all countries, on all continents.

The last century saw nothing equal to the victories of the working class
gained in this century. In the last century, there were those hard
setbacks, defeats, but this is a century of victories, of the victory of
the October, of the birth of the socialist camp, of the first socialist
worker-peasant state, of the first socialist revolution in Latin America,
of the great victories of the peoples in their struggle against colonialism
and for national independence, of the worker' movement, led by slogan, and
led by that wonderful sentence from the revolutionary GDR hymn: Advance and
let's not forget solidarity. [applause] It has advanced and it will
advance, it is gaining victories and will continue to gain victories.

Dear friends. Our delegation has spent really communist days on this soil
where Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels were born, whose ideas today are the
ideas of the revolutionary peoples all over the world, whose ideas,
together with the ingenious ideas of Lenin who was their best protagonist,
are also shining on our little Caribbean island. [applause] Long live the
friendship between the people of the GDR and Cuba. [applause] Long live the
friendship between the parties of the GDR and Cuba. [applause] Long live
the Socialist Unity Party of Germany, its Central Committee, and Comrade
Erich Honecker! [applause] Long live the GDR! [applause] Long live the
Soviet Union! [applause] Long live Vietnam! [applause] Long live
proletarian internationalism! [applause] Long live the victorious ideas of
Marx, Engles, and Lenin! [strong applause]