Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana PRELA in Spanish 2052 GMT 14 Oct 72 C--FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY

[Text] The following is the text of a speech by Maj Fidel Castro, prime
minister and first secretary of the party Central Committee, at the
ceremony during which he was decorated with the Federico Joliot-Curie Medal
by the unanimous decision of World Peace Council [WPC] Presidency, in the
Sierra Maestra Salon of the Havana Libre Hotel on 13 October 1972--the year
of socialist emulation.

Dear Comrade Romesh Chandra, secretary general of the WPC Presidency; dear
comrades of the WPC Presidency; dear comrades of Cuba:

I wish, first of all, to express deep gratitude for the beautiful words of
solidarity by the comrade secretary of the WPC Presidency, and to express
our deep appreciation for the high honor bestowed on us today in the form
of this decoration. The secretary explained very well that this medal is
presented not only to the leaders but to the Cuban people, who have
struggled very hard for their liberation. Our people have accumulated the
experience of having had to struggle almost a century for their

We recently celebrated the centennial of the beginning of our struggle for
independence. Ten October 1868 marked the beginning of a heroic 10-year war
against the Spanish Government. This struggle--interrupted at times--lasted
until the end of the century. Our people failed to achieve victory. Adverse
factors, the newly-born U.S. imperialism frustrated full independence for
our fatherland. We obtained formal independence with a constitutional
clause imposed on us by the U.S. imperialists. This clause gave them the
right to intervene in our country to preserve the peace. This was really
meant to preserve their economic, political and military interests.

This became a hard trial for our people, a difficult process during which
the imperialists tried to destroy our national personality, our tradition
and our culture. As a consequence, we had many years of corrupt governments
fully submissive to the interests of that imperialism. This situation
continued until there was a change in world power, when our people achieved
full and complete independence--which marks the beginning of a new phase in
our history and which has been known internationally as the Cuban
revolution. This revolution really began over 100 years ago.

The Yankee imperialism was still obviously powerful, and when our
revolution entered this new phase it still retained much of its influence
and dominion in international politics. It was very powerful militarily,
economically and, as a result, politically. More than 10 years have passed
since 1959 and great and profound changes have since taken place on the
international scene. In Yankee imperialism was sufficiently proud,
sufficiently arrogant and sufficiently powerful to consider unacceptable
from all points of view of the Cuban revolution, that is, a social
revolution, or worse, a socialist revolution in America.

Every administration from Eisenhower to Nixon, including Kennedy--whose
statements on foreign policy are well known and whose aggressive attitude
toward our revolution is also well known--perpetrated a series of hostile
acts, including the attempt to completely isolate us and our expulsion from
the OAS, only for ideological reasons-- because they believed
Marxism-Leninism incompatible with the regional community. Flagrantly
violating our rights as a country they had Cuba expelled from the OAS to
which we had a right to belong according to international law.

The economic blockade that the imperialists tried to extend throughout all
of Latin America and the whole world, and which it partly achieved, caused
great damage to our economic relations and our trade with a large portion
of the so- called Western world, and not only with the Western world, but
also with their colonies and neocolonies. Our country was, therefore,
practically isolated in every way, and our only support was our relations
with the Soviet Union--as has been pointed out here--and with the socialist
world in general.

Our country also underwent continual and systematic campaigns of sabotage,
subversion and violations of our airspace, waters and territory. The CIA
made hundreds of landings of men and arms on our coasts, or simply dumped
them with parachutes from aircraft violating our airspace. During all these
years our territory has been spied on in open violation of international
law. Practically everything that moves or everything that is done in our
country is spied on by U.S. aircraft.

Everyone knows about the act of aggression committed at Playa Giron.
Everyone knows about its characteristics--the crimes, the treachery, the
piracy and so forth. The attacking aircraft were disguised with the colors
and markings of our air force. It all took place in the midst of a grand
simulation, an enormous act of hypocrisy. The territories of puppet
governments of Central American were used for training and points of
embarkation, for bases of operation for the invasion.

The United Nations was told that there was no invasion of Cuba, that there
was no bombing by aircraft coming from abroad. A famous liberal, Stevenson,
who represented the United States at the United Nations--showing his
ideological weakness, the weakness of so many of these so-called liberal
politicians--told the United Nations that the Cuban Air Force had rebelled
and had attacked the island.

None of these things are new. All of these events are indicative of
imperialist morals, idiosyncracies and dominance.

Meanwhile, we were being accused of endangering U.S. security, of
endangering peace and security in the hemisphere. These were the arguments
employed at that same imperialism which has intervened with its armed
forces in so many Latin American countries.

History is too recent to be forgotten! The same country a few years later
landed 40,000 men in the Dominican Republic, armed to the teeth, to prevent
a political change. Not to prevent a socialist revolution, to prevent a
political change because of the fear that the revolution could become a
profound and progressive social revolution.

And, legally speaking, what is happening is that the OAS meets, not to
condemn the aggressor but to condone [apanar] him, not to defend those
attacked but to forsake them. Not only is the intervention in Santo Domingo
later recognized as legitimate, but some of them were also insufficient the
40,000 men of the yankee army for completing the repression [as received].
All of these things take place in this part of the world.

The situation of moral submission is truly been very sorrowful and has made
possible the very cynical and shameless collusion of oligbarchic cliques
and the exploiting classes with imperialist policy, even when imperialist
policy was against the most fundamental national interests of the Latin
American nations.

Our country has experienced that situation in recent years. It has known
intimately the face of imperialism and all its aspects. Moreover, at the
same time it has also known closely the international socialist and
Marxist-Leninist solidarity at its most profound level.

Today, times are changing. As stated by the comrade secretary of the
council's presidency, imperialist policy is increasingly characterized by
its failure with regard to Cuba. The isolation is weakening the blockade is
becoming increasingly futile and insignificant. This does not decrease the
damages which the blockade has caused to our country. The blockade has
caused great damage to our country and constitutes one more account that
the imperialists have pending with us and for which they will have to pay
someday. They have hurt us, but at the same time, as a result of
international solidarity and the courage acquired by our people--so
discredited and slandered by the imperialists and its spokesmen and writers
throughout the world--our country has been forging the necessary strength,
the energy needed to overcome the problems.

The morale of our people has gained strength during these years. The
courage of our people has strengthened, and the necessary virtues have been
created--not only for overcoming those problems but for progressing much
more rapidly than they would have ever progressed had they not confronted
these problems.

Increasingly antagonistic and more active forces opposing the imperialist
policy are emerging within the heart of American society itself. The
movement for civil rights is emerging in the United States--the Negro
movement, the Latin American movement, the movement of the most neglected
and exploited classes and sectors of the United States. Anti-imperialist
awareness and the awareness of the struggle of the Vietnamese people which
has become the decisive factor in this awareness, this lesson for the U.S.

One must not be discouraged, moreover, by the fact that these developments
are not yet decisive or dominant. However, without a doubt they are already
influencing U.S. policy. All of Mr. Nixon's demagoguery, all of his
off-season politics and all of his actions originate from a need to accept
situations which we cannot ignore. He is compelled by the fact that if U.S.
election politics once encompassed actually advocating war, today the
imperialist spokesmen in the very United States have to make electoral
politics proclaiming peace, even while they make war and specifically the
type of criminal war they are conducting in Vietnam.

At this time, coinciding precisely with the visit by members of the WPC,
unmistakable and fully confirmed direct bombings have been carried out
against civilian targets; so unmistakable and certain that they also
affected the residential areas of the diplomatic missions in Hanoi. The
diplomatic missions are located in perfectly well-known places. There is no
room for error--there is no room for error when even the diplomatic
missions in the capital of North Vietnam are destroyed.

The reply by the U.S. secretary of defense is also well known: the French
Embassy and other missions destroyed on that day were destroyed by
antiaircraft ground-to-air missiles. How fortuitous it is that the Vietnam
war has lasted so many years and a diplomatic mission had never been
destroyed by an antiaircraft missiles! It is clear that all of this
contradicts the fact that President Nixon himself had to send a message to
the president of France apologizing for the destruction of the French
mission in Hanoi. It is precisely at this time that the bombings against
DRV cities have been increased.

This calls for a new struggle, a new increase in solidarity toward the
efforts of that heroic country, of protest and condemnation against such
savage and criminal acts.

Even today, despite the fact that imperialism is declining, despite the
fact that imperialism has considerably less influence and power, despite
the fact that the correlation of forces has changed extraordinarily in
favor of peace and of the progressive nations, imperialism can still commit
these acts. Probably all of you have read and know perfectly well the
comparative statistics on explosives dropped over Vietnam.

You have just returned from the fraternal nation of Chile, where you also
were to perceive there how the popular government is the object of
imperialist aggression-- a government which struggles to redeem its natural
resources, a government which is retrieving its copper, a government which
is attempting to establish just standards of living for the Chilean people.

We have recently witnessed another unbelievable action--the embargo placed
on a shipment of Chilean copper to Europe and ordered by a French court or
judge on these shipments by virtue of the action of one of the Yankee
monopolies affected by the nationalizations.

It is known that the copper monopolies took out of Chile the equivalent of
that country's present investments and economic wealth. The profits from
the sweat and efforts of the Chilean miners are measured in billions of

When Chile, after long struggles--struggles that have been hard, bloody and
painful for the labor movement for many years--gets its first opportunity
in history to control its copper, imperialist machinery, imperialist
propaganda and imperialist influence begin to create all sorts of
difficulties for the popular government. Of course, the imperialists have
the support of landholders, the oligarchy, exploiters and the active
participation of the CIA, as irrefutable documents have proved.

The first meeting of the WPC Presidency was held, therefore, in a country
that is the victim of imperialism's sabotage, economic hostility, and
blockage and which needs the broadest solidarity of all the progressive
forces of the world. You are meeting today in our country, which has
endured similar conditions, although--because of the passing years and
because of the factors already mentioned--it has become less vulnerable to
imperialist action.

These difficulties, however, prove that there is a struggle, that there are
changes. An example is the case of Peru where there is also in effect a
policy of defense of national interests, a policy of recovery of natural
resources, a policy of nationalism and independence--in short, a
progressive policy.

There is the case of Panama, which firmly and with determination demands
its legitimate and undeniable right over that portion of territory that is
controlled by the imperialists. Panama is a country divided by a canal and
by a stretch of land--another strange situation--over which U.S.
imperialism exercises absolute control, where it has installed military
bases, where it trains the repressive forces of the continent. All
torturers are trained either in the United States or on Yankee bases in
Panama. Lackeys, criminals and repressive officers of Latin America are
trained in Panama. Panamanians, with dignity, firmness and energy, are
resisting this criminal imposition.

Recently, a meeting of nonalined countries was held in Guyana. This meeting
was characterized by its anti-imperialist statements, its progressive
statements, its statements in favor of solidarity with the revolutionary
movement. Not only the countries mentioned, but other countries are
disobeying more boldly the orders of the imperialists. That is why there
are increasingly more ties between the peoples of the continent and the
Cuban revolution, ties which have more merit because they are developed
against the will of the imperialists. They have the merit of developing let
us say, in a way which reaffirms their sovereignty.

We do not believe that Cuban relations will be limited to two or three
Latin American countries, but that these relations will continue to
increase over the years, with dignity--because this is the basis of new
relations with Cuba--and with sovereignty-- because this is an
indispensable requirement for Cuba to establish relations in which it can
believe. We will not accept fiction, demagogy or political farce.

We are not interested in relations with a puppet government. We require
that Latin American governments establishing relations with Cuba truly be
representatives of their countries: sovereignty, that they be governments
able to firmly defend their sovereignty and to follow a policy independent
of imperialism.

The same is true regarding the U.S. imperialist government. They themselves
have begun to doubt the validity of their isolation measures. There are
talks of possible relations with Cuba, but Cuba's position has been clearly
set forth. We are not interested in relations with a gendarme state. We are
a part of Latin America, and some day we will become a part of the Latin
American community. The minimum condition for the improvement of relations
with the United States is that Yankee imperialism stop policing the
continent. As long as the United States continues to be a repressive power,
a police power, a power that imposes the counterrevolution and repression
in the continent against the progressive movement, against the popular
movement, we can see no way of improving relations with them.

The criminal war against Vietnam is being waged at this time. We cannot see
how relations with the United States can improve if our solidarity with
Vietnam and our constant condemnation of crimes committed there are taken
into account. However, we take for granted that the Vietnamese people will
be victorious in their struggle. We assume that shortly the imperialists
will have to recognize the legitimate rights of the Vietnamese people and
admit their victory. The direct bombing of Hanoi only proves the
desperation and weakness of the aggressor.

However, assuming that the Vietnamese conflicts ends, there is still the
matter of the rest of Latin America. We do not suggest or demand the
condition that the United States have a socialist government. We do not
even suggest a progressive government for the United States. But it should
at least have a realistic government that can understand that it cannot
continue to police the world. A government, therefore, that understands
that it cannot continue in its role of gendarme in Latin America.