Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Speech at Welcome Ceremony

Prague PRELA in Spanish to PRELA Havana 1450 GMT 25 Jun 72 C--FOR OFFICIAL

[Text] [no dateline] Speech delivered by Maj Fidel Castro at the welcome
offered by Jozef Lenart, first secretary of the Central Committee of the
Communist Party, at Bratislava Castle, Slovakia, on 23 June 1972.
(Transcript by the Stenographic Department of the Cuban Revolutionary

Dear Comrade Lenart, dear comrades of the Presidium:

Comrade Lenart was among us in Cuba not too long ago and we held lengthy
talks. There was talk about the day we would visit you--the visit to
Czechoslovakia and the visit to Slovakia.

You can see--time passes, promises are fulfilled, hopes become reality, and
we are here in Czechoslovakia, in Slovakia, in Bratislava and in this
palace, in the office of Slovakia's leadership.

I can assure you that we are very happy. We are very happy over the warmth
we have found in Czechoslovakia, the warm welcome and friendship we have
found in Slovakia, besides the moral and spiritual significance, the
revolutionary significance of our being among you.

One need only see the people, the cadres, and to be in contact with you to
know that we really have many things in common.

We have listened carefully to the data that Comrade Lenart has offered on
what the revolution has meant to Slovakia with the reduction of the
proportionate value of agriculture to 14 percent in relation to the total
production. To be able to attain in 12 days the industrial production which
was previously achieved in 1 year and to raise Slovakia's participation in
the production of the entire country from 7 to 25 percent are truly notable
achievements, especially if one bears in mind that all of Czechoslovakia's
economy has grown. There is no doubt that this is a success of the
revolution and a proof of the great advances of the country under socialist

We are happy over those successes but we are also sure that the people of
Czechoslovakia, led by their party with its present leadership, will
overcome all the difficulties, will consolidate socialism, will consolidate
the party's role with the masses and will insure the complete existence of
the principles of Marxism-Leninism in Czechoslovakia.

This country has played a very important role in the international
revolutionary movement. We recall that it was the first socialist country
with which we had contact and we recall that the first social s we received
came from Czechoslovakia. We cannot forget t We cannot forget those days
when the first arms arrived, the first rifles, the first submachine guns,
and I can assure you that those arms were used to fight--against bandits,
against the mercenaries of the CIA, in Giron. They were always ready to
defend the revolution in Cuba and furthermore, they are always ready to
defend the cause of communism, the cause of socialism, to defend the
revolution in Cuba and to fight alongside the entire socialist camp.

You recalled Cuba's position in support of the Czechoslovak people and the
party of Czechoslovakia and the leaders of Czechoslovakia in the difficult
days of 1968. That for us was something natural because of our
identification with this country, our agreement with your political
viewpoints, because we feel a great allergy against everything that is
bourgeois weakness, against bourgeois liberalism, against rightists and
against those who try to weaken the ideas of socialism and the forces of
socialism and the forces of the socialist camp, when we are still
confronting the imperialist camp and we still have ahead of us a hard
struggle in the ideological camp, in the economic camp, in the political
camp and when we still have to express our solidarity and our support for
the revolutionary movement in the entire world.

In those days we were deeply hurt in seeing how the imperialists and their
spokesmen and its reactionary press were joyfully celebrating the evolution
of events in Czechoslovakia. They already saw that event as a victory for
reactionaries, a bourgeois victory, a victory of liberalism over socialism.

We know this very well. We are on the other side of the Atlantic,
surrounded by bourgeois and capitalist countries, especially very near the
United States. We know its political thought, its ideology, its lies, its
intrigues, its reactionary essence. We cannot forget that in those days,
the liberal elements who wanted to influence the lives of the Czechoslovak
people wrote against the Cuban Revolution. They conspired against the Cuban
Revolution and they slandered the Cuban Revolution. Many of the things they
said publicly appeared to be the same things that UPI, AP and the
imperialist agencies were saying.

Internationalism is the supreme proof of Marxism and socialism. If there is
no internationalism, there is no communism. If there is no solidarity among
the countries, there is no solidarity within the people. For us this is an
important proof. We perceived these things very clearly. Therefore, we had
no doubt about the course of events. We were hurt that the brother country
of Czechoslovakia was going through those difficult moments as a result of
the intrigues of the imperialists and the activities of

That is the reason for our solidarity with the people of Czechoslovakia and
the communists of Czechoslovakia. Moreover, the facts have proven it in the
consolidation of labor power in Czechoslovakia and in its internationalist
policy. Because, to tell the truth, relations between the party of
Czechoslovakia and the party of Cuba have never been better. (applause)
Relations between our two people have never been better. They were never
more sincere, more fraternal, more solid, more internationalist than they
are today.

We have felt this. For this reason we are very happy, over your successes.
We, feel increasingly satisfied with the position that Cuba adopted in
those days. It could not have been otherwise, because we will always be
alongside socialism, alongside communism, alongside Marxism-Leninism,
alongside proletarian internationalism, alongside the socialist camp
without any hesitation and facing the imperialist enemy.

We can assert that our relations will improve even more and all of us--the
comrades of this delegation, our party and our people--will work zealously
to consolidate and develop our relations with the people of Czechoslovakia.

For this reason Comrade Lenart, comrades of the Presidium, we express to
you can our great happiness over being among you, our gratitude for the
welcome, for the attentions and for the fraternity you have offered us.
Thank you.