Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Radio/Television Services in Spanish 0035 GMT 27 Jul 73 F/C

[Speech delivered by Fidel Castro on the grounds of the former Moncada
Barracks in Santiago de Cuba; carried simultaneously on international

[Text] Distinguished guests, comrades of the party and the government and
mass organizations, relatives of the martyrs of the Moncada assault and of
the revolution, heroes of labor, vanguard workers, outstanding students,
people of Santiago, fellow citizens:

It is with fervor and with respect that our generous nation wished to
commemorate this day, the 20th anniversary of the assault on the Moncada
Barracks. In many parts of the world the friends of the revolution are also
affectionately commemorating this 26 July with us. Our deepest gratitude
goes to the numerous and outstanding delegations from friendly countries
and organizations who came to share today's ceremonies with our people.

The 26th of July has become an historical date in the annals of our
country's long and heroic struggle for its freedom. This great honor is
certainly not what those of us who attempted to storm this fortress were
seeking. No revolutionary fights with an eye to the day when the events
stemming from his action will be commemorated with honor. Marti said that
duty must be performed simply and naturally. The performance of a duty led
us to this action without anyone thinking about the glories and honors of
this struggle.

Duty also requires that we gather here this evening to pay homage, not to
those of us who are still alive and who had the privilege of seeing the
fruits of the sacrifices of that day, but to those who fell gloriously and
heroically for a cause, who did not have the good fortune to see their
victorious insignia deployed over the beloved soil of the country which
they sprinkled with their young and generous blood.

It was necessary to raise once more the banners of Baire, of Bayaragua and
of Yara. A final attack was needed to complete the work of our
predecessors, and that was 26 July. It was not the enthusiasm or the
courage of a handful of men which decided that attack. It was the result of
profound thought on the aggregate peculiarities of objective and subjective
factors that existed in our country at that time. With the nation ruled by
a cruel clique of rapacious governors in the service of powerful domestic
and foreign interests who openly relief on force, without the existence of
any legal means or vehicle to express the people's anxieties and desires,
the time had come to resort once again to weapons. However, that is the

How was the armed uprising to take place in the face of tyranny which was
all powerful with its modern means of warfare, with Washington's support
and with the labor movement, which was sold body and soul to the exploited
classes, was splintered and its official leadership in the hands of
gangsters? The parties of democratic and liberal opinion were in disarray
and without leadership; the Marxist party was isolated and repressed;
McCarthyism was in its ideological heyday; the people were without a single
weapon or military experience; the traditions of armed struggle were more
than half a century in the past and almost forgotten; the myth existed that
a revolution could not be waged against the constituted military apparatus;
and, in conclusion, the economy was in a relative bonanza because of the
high postwar sugar prices, with no acute crisis in sight, such as the
crisis of the 1930's which caused the desperate and starving masses to

How were the people to be led to rebel? How were they to be led to wage
revolutionary warfare, to overcome that debilitating political crisis in
order to save the country from prostration and the frightening backwardness
caused by the treacherous coup of 10 March? How were we to wage the popular
and radical revolution that would transform the subjugated republic and the
enslaved and exploited people into a free, just and proud country for which
several generations of Cubans had died?

Such was the problem that faced that country during the months which
followed Batista's new rise to power. Our dilemma was whether to stand by
idly or to fight. However, we who had a revolutionary dream and no
intention of resigning ourselves to the adverse factors, did not have any
weapons, one cent, a military or political apparatus, a well- known name,
or a popular background. During the first few months that followed the coup
d'etat each of us who organized the movement which assumed the
responsibility for assaulting the Moncada Barracks and starting the armed
struggle, waited for the opposition forces to join in a common action to
fight. We were prepared to participate in the struggle as simple soldiers,
were it only for the limited objectives of restoring the lawful government
that was swept away by the 10 March events.

The first organizational efforts of the original nucleus of our movements
created and instructed the first combat groups with the idea of
participating in the joint struggle with all the other opposition forces
without any intention of heading or directing the struggle.

As humble rank and file soldiers we knocked at the doors of the political
leaders, offering the modest cooperation of our efforts and of our ranks
and we urged them to fight. Apparently at that time the politicians and the
opposition political parties intended to give battle. They had the
financial means, the relations, the background and the resources to
undertake the task. We had none of this.

Ardently dedicated to revolutionary work, we, a group of cadres which later
became the political and military leadership of the movement, devoted
ourselves to the task of recruiting, organizing and training the
combatants. At the end of a year of intensive clandestine work, we
definitely concluded that the political parties and the politicians of the
time were deceiving the people miserably.

Involved in all kinds of internal disputes and strife and personal
ambitions of power, they did not have the necessary will or determination
to fight, nor were they in any condition to assist in overthrowing

A trait common to all those political parties and leaders was the fact that
in an atmosphere of McCarthyism and always with an eye out for Washington's
approval, they excluded the communists from any agreement or participation
in the common struggle against tyranny. Meanwhile, our organization had
grown considerably, and it had more men trained for action than all the
other organizations opposing the government put together.

Our young fighters had been recruited from the most humble strata of
society, almost all of them workers drawn from the urban and rural areas.
There were some students and professional people, uncontaminated by the
vices of traditional policies or the anticommunism that infested the
society of Cuba of that time. With hearts of abnegated and honest patriots,
those youths bore the spirit of the humble and exploited classes from which
they came. Their hands were sufficiently strong, their minds were
sufficiently sane, and their breasts were sufficiently valiant to later
become the standard- bearers of the first socialist revolution in America.

It was then, pursuant to our conviction that nothing could be expected from
those who were charged with directing the people in their struggle against
the tyrannical regime, we assumed the responsibility of carrying the
revolution forward, regardless of whether objective conditions for the
revolutionary struggle existed, and we judged that they did exist.

And regardless of whether subjective conditions did exist, because of the
widespread repudiation elicited by the 10 March coup and Batista's return
to power, coupled with the social discontent provoked by the ruling
exploiting regime and the impoverishment and neglect of the dispossessed
masses, subjective conditions for carrying the people to the revolution
could be created.

History later proved us right. But what made us clearly see that path upon
which our fatherland would rise to a higher base of its political life, and
that our people, the last to shake off the colonial yoke, today would be
the first to break the imperialist chains and begin the period of Latin
America's second independence?

No group of men on their own had been able to find a theoretical or
practical solution to that problem. The Cuban revolution is not a
providential phenomenon nor a socio-political miracle divorced from the
realities of modern society and the ideas being debated in the political

The Cuban revolution is the end result of the conscientious and forthright
action tailored to the laws of human society. Men do not and cannot make
history at their interpretation. But the revolutionary course of human
societies is not independent of man's action either.

That course bogs down, retrogresses or advances in the measure that
revolutionary classes and its leaders abide by the laws that rule their

On discovering the scientific laws of that development, Marx raised the
awareness factor of revolutionaries to the first plane in historic events.
The present phase of the Cuban revolution is the historical continuity of
the heroic struggles our people began in 1868 and pressed on indefatigably
in 1895 against Spanish colonialism; of the people's constant struggle
against the humiliating position to which we were subjected by the United
States with its intervention, the Platt Amendment, the usurping of our
wealth-- which reduced our country to a Yankee dependency, a juicy center
of monopolist exploitation, a modern Capua for its tourists, a huge
brothel, an immense gambling den.

Our revolution is the fruit of the heroic struggles of our workers,
peasants, students and intellectuals over more than 50 years of bourgeoisie
corruption and exploitation and an imperialist domination which tried to
absorb us culturally and to destroy the foundations of our nationality.

It is the fruit of the working classes' revolutionary ideology, of the
international revolutionary movement, of the struggles waged by the Russian
workers and peasants during the glorious October of 1917 directed by
Lenin--when they overthrew the power of the czars and launched the first
socialist revolution--of the weakening of imperialist power and the
tremendous changes in the correlation of forces that have occurred in the

Without the illuminating preaching of Jose Marti, without the vigorous
example and immortal work of Cespedes, Agramonte, Gomez, Maceo and many
legendary men of past struggles, without the extraordinary scientific
discoveries of Marx and Engels, and without the genial interpretation of
Lenin and his portentous historical exploit, a 26 July would not have been

Marti taught us ardent patriotism, impassioned love for freedom,man's
dignity and decorum, repudiation of despotism and unlimited faith in the
people. His revolutionary preaching embodied the moral basis and the
historic legitimacy of our armed action. That is why we said he was the
intellectual author of 26 July. [applause]

Cespedes gave us the sublime example of beginning a 10-year war with only a
handful of men when conditions were ripe. Agramonte, Maceo, Gomez and other
founding fathers of our struggles for independence, demonstrated the
courage and fighting spirit of our people, irregular warfare and the
possibilities of adapting methods of armed popular struggle to the
topography of the terrain and the numerical and weaponry superiority of the

It became necessary to reform the Mambi army. But the revolution today
could not have the same content it had in 1868 and 1895. More than half a
century had passed. The social problem was added to the issue of popular
and national sovereignty in all its force. If the 1868 revolution was
launched by the landowning class and pressed forward in 1895 fundamentally
by the peasant masses, in 1953 a working class already had been developed.

And it is to that class, which bore a revolutionary ideology, in close
alliance with the peasants and our middle classes that the leadership and
nature of the new revolution fell.

What then did Marxism contribute to our revolutionary endeavors? The
concept of society split into exploiters and exploited: The materialistic
concept of history: bourgeois production relations as the last antagonistic
form of the process of social production; and the inevitable advent of a
classless society as an outgrowth of the development of the productive
forces under capitalism and the social revolution. That the government of a
modern state is nothing but a board that administers the common affairs of
all the bourgeoisie class; that modern workers live only to find work and
are employed only if their labor increases capital; that once the worker
has suffered the exploitation of a manufacturer and has received his wages
in metal currency he becomes a victim of the other elements of
bourgeoisie--the landlord, storekeeper, usurer and so forth; that above all
the bourgeoisie produces its own undertakers-- the working class.

We, the fundamental nucleus of the leaders of our movement, who, amidst
intensive activity found time to study Marx, Engels and Lenin, saw
Marxism-Leninism as the only scientific and rational concept, as well as
the only means for succinctly comprehending the situation of our own

Any honest man who viewed the poverty, unemployment and the material and
moral (?deprivation) of the people from the heart of a capitalist society
had to share Marx's irrefutable truism, when he wrote: "You are horrified
that we are going to abolish private property, but in your present society
private property stands abolished for nine-tenths of its members. It is
precisely because private property does not exist for those nine-tenths
that is exists for you. Do you then reproach us for seeking to abolish a
form of property that can exist only on the condition that the immense
majority of society be deprived of property.

Above all, Marxism taught us the historic mission of the working class, the
only genuinely revolutionary class which is called upon to transform even
the foundations of the capitalist society and the role of the masses in

Lenin's state and revolution made clear to us the role of the state as an
instrument of the domination of the oppressed classes as well as the need
to create a revolutionary power capable of smashing the resistance of the
exploiters. It is only under the light of Marxism that we can understand
not only the present course of events but also the entire evolution of the
country's history and Cuban political thinking during the last century.

When the sister countries of this continent shook off the Spanish yoke,
Cuba remained bound to the colonial cart until almost 100 years later.
Moreover, when an energetic struggle was being waged here, Cuba was given
the doubtfully honorable title of "The Ever-Faithful Island of Cuba" by the
absolute kings of Spain.

The production relations based on slavery--a frightful system of
exploitation which took deep roots in this country's colonial life--clearly
explain that political phenomenon. The native white population which
possessed the wealth and culture, had a constant conflict of interest with
Spain. Nonetheless, those people were unwilling to risk sharing the
enjoyment of the economic privileges and the social prerogatives, which
placed them in an enslaving position, in exchange for independence.

The fear of jeopardizing the slavery regime itself made those people
consistently oppose the idea of fighting for emancipation. A revolt of the
slaves horrified them. They needed Spain's military power to keep the
exploited subjugated. And Spain, leaning on this reality more than on arms,
maintained domination over Cuba.

Reformism, a political doctrine which held sway in Cuban political thinking
for over half a century, originated from the same factors. And the trend of
favoring annexation to the United States--which at one time gained
considerable weight--was born from the fear of abolition, for abolition
drove the Cuban ruling classes and Spanish slaveowners themselves to seek
the protection of their privileges through the path of converting Cuba into
a U.S. slave state.

Arango Anbarrenos, Jose Antonio Sacos and Jose de la Luz y Caballero,
Prominent Cuban political thinkers during the first half of the last
century, despite their concern for the country's progress and their
nationalist sentiments, molded their doctrine and conduct to fit the tragic
situation of a social class that was unable to fight the Spanish masters
because the class itself owned slaves.

Ultimately, the wars for independence began precisely in the points of the
island where the base of slavery was minimal in the local economic and
social life. In turn, slavery greatly held back the struggle in areas where
it was the overriding means of production.

On recalling that up to only a few decades ago our country was the scene of
that hateful form of man's exploitation by man in this continent, we feel
impelled to render due tribute to those unselfish slave fighters who in
1843 revolted, fought and died by the hundreds of many sugar mills in
Matanzas. And they also perished on the scaffold or even committed suicide
to shatter the inhuman chains that bound their bodies to work for life.

Little was written later about the extraordinary human and political value
of these events in the official history books of the exploiters. And no
monument was built in memory of those dark-skinned gladiators who were
genuine anonymous heroes of the exploited--men who were forerunners of the
revolution of those who after them became the modern slaves, the workers.

Some of us, even before 10 March 1953, had become deeply convinced that the
solution of Cuba's problems had to be revolutionary. We believed that power
(?at a given) moment had to be taken over by the masses and weapons, and
that the goal had to be socialism.

But how were the masses, which by and large were unaware of the
exploitation of which they were the victims, to be led in that direction.
Many considered administrative corruption as the only cause of the social
malaise. Subjected to an incessant barrage of anticommunism, those people
cringed. They were prejudiced and they could not look beyond the narrow
horizon of democratic-bourgeois ideas.

As we saw things, the masses who were irked at the arbitrary actions,
abuses and corruption of the governing officials, embittered by poverty,
unemployment and neglect--even though they as yet did not see the path for
definite and genuine solutions--would nevertheless be the driving force of
the revolution.

The revolutionary struggle itself, which had fixed and concrete objectives
which embraced the masses' most vital interests and which would actively
place the masses against their exploiters, would train the masses

Only the struggle of classes set off by an ongoing revolution would sweep
away like a deck of cards the base prejudices and the frightful ignorance
imposed on the masses by their oppressors.

The 10 March coup, which drove frustration and discontent among the
population to its highest peak and, above all, the cowardly vacillation of
the bourgeois parties and their outstanding leaders--which forced our
movement to shoulder the responsibility of the struggle--created the
propitious moment to implement these ideas.

It was on those ideas that the political strategy of the struggle was
launched on 26 July. The first revolutionary laws were to be promulgated as
soon as Santiago de Cuba was in our power, and the laws would be publicized
by all means.

The people would be rallied to fight against Batista and to pursue the
objectives that had been set. All the workers in the country would be
called on to stage a revolutionary general strike over and beyond the
yellow unions and the leaders who had sold out to the government.

The tactics of wars would be adjusted to the development of events. If the
city could not be held with the thousands of weapons we were to seize from
the enemy in Santiago de Cuba, we would begin guerrilla warfare in the
Sierra Maestra. The most difficult part of the Moncada assault had nothing
to do with attacking or capturing. It lay in the gigantic effort or
organizing, preparing, and acquiring resources, and in mobilizing
clandestinely, virtually beginning with nothing.

It was with infinite bitterness that we saw our efforts thwarted as we were
on the verge of seizing the garrison. Factors that were absolutely
accidental destroyed the action. The war taught us later how to capture
garrisons and cities. However, with the experience which we acquired, had
we been faced with the same action again, with the same means and the same
men, we would not have made any essential change in our plan of attack. We
would have captured it had those unfortunate accidental occurrences not
taken place. We could have captured it had we had greater operational
experience, regardless of any accidental factor.

The most admirable feature of those men who participated in the operation
was that they were going into battle for the first time. They attacked
their targets with tremendous force in the belief that they were already
inside the fortifications, the exact shape of which was unknown to them.

However, unfortunately the struggle began outside the fortress. Faced with
that force with which they alighted from their vehicles, no unprepared army
could have withstood them. However, the political, military and
revolutionary strategy conceived in light of the Moncada was essentially
the same as that implemented when we landed from the Granma 3 years later,
and it led us to victory. [applause]

Implementing a method of war in accordance with the terrain, the means and
the technical and numerical superiority of the enemy, we defeated them in
25 months of warfare, not without initially suffering the hardest setback
at Algeria del Pio which reduces our forces to seven armed men with whom we
resumed the struggle.

That unbelievably small number of men with whom we were forced to continue
proves how correct the revolutionary concept of 26 July, 1953 was. Five and
a half years later, on 1 January 1959, our forces having surrounded
Santiago de Cuba and the 5,000 men of its garrison, we issued orders from
Palma Soriano for the workers to stage a general revolutionary overthrow.
The entire country came to an absolute standstill, despite the governmental
control of the official apparatus of the labor movement. In the afternoon
the rebel vanguard forces seized the Moncada Barracks without firing a
shot. [applause]

The enemy was defeated. In 48 hours the country's military installations
were in the hands of our troops. The people seized their weapons, and the
military coup in the capital, which was instigated by the Yankee embassy
with the intention of scrapping the victory, failed.

Terrorized, the murderers saw the ideas of the men who had been murdered at
the Moncada Barracks arise from their heroic bodies as victorious spectres.
[applause] These were the same general strike orders which we planned to
issue on 26 July 1953 after Santiago de Cuba had been captured. It is true
that this time, now possessing revolutionary power, we implemented the
Moncada program. But the idea that the struggle itself would create among
the masses the superior political awareness which would carry us to a
socialist revolution has proven--under the conditions existing in our
country--to be absolutely true.

Confronting the exploiters and the exploited in every sphere of endeavor,
large landowners, capitalists, landowners, bankers, big businessmen,
bourgeoisie and oligarchs of every kind and their innumerable attendants
reacted immediately against the revolutionary power in collusion with
imperialism, a privileged owner in Cuba of broad expanses of land, mines,
sugarmills, banks, public services, business establishments, factories,
lord and master of our economy which no longer had an army to serve it.

Then began the conspiracies, the sabotage, the big press campaigns, the
external threats. However, the people had not only received the benefits of
the revolutionary laws. Above all, and for the first time in the history of
our country, they had won the full awareness of their own dignity, an
awareness of their power and of their immense energy.

For the first time, the worker, the peasant, the student and the people
from the most modest strata of our society rose to the highest positions in
national life. The revolutionary power was their power. The state was their
state. The soldier was their soldier, because they became soldiers. The
rifle became their rifle. [applause] The gun became their gun. The tank
became their tank. The authority became their authority, because they were

No human being would ever endure humiliation because of the color of his
skin. No woman would have to prostitute herself in order to earn her
living. No citizen would have to beg. No old person would be without care.
No man would be without work. No sick person would be without assistance.
No child would be without school. No eyes would not know how to read. No
hand would not know how to write. [applause]

What the revolution meant to man's sense of decorum from the very
beginning, what it meant from a moral viewpoint, was the same or more than
what the material benefits meant. Class awareness developed with unusual
rapidity. Soon the workers, the peasants, the students and the
revolutionary intellectuals had to take up their weapons in order to defend
their gains against the imperialism enemy and his reactionary accomplices.
Soon they had to shed their generous blood fighting the Central
Intelligence Agency and the bandits.

They soon had to place themselves on a war footing against the danger from
abroad. Soon they had to fight on the shores of Giron and Playa Larga
against the mercenary invaders. [applause]

But by then the exploited class had opened their eyes to the facts. They
had finally encountered their own ideology, which was no longer that of the
bourgeoisie, landowners and other exploiters, but the revolutionary
ideology of the proletariat--Marxism- Leninism. [applause] Capitalism
vanished in Cuba. It would simply have been a crime to have shed to blood
at Moncada and of thousands of more Cubans to maintain capitalism.

Thus, 16 April 1961, when our working class was burying its dead, rifles
held high on the eve of the invasion, it proclaimed the socialist character
of our revolution and in its name it fought and shed its blood, and an
entire nation was prepaid to die. [applause]

A definite leap in political awareness had taken place since 26 July 1953.
No moral victory could be compared to this on the glorious path of our
revolution, because no nation in America had been subjected by the
imperialists to such an intensive process of reactionary indoctrination and
destruction of nationality and historical values. No nation had been so
deformed for half a century. And this nation arose like a moral giant
against its age-old oppressors and in a few years eradicated all that
ideological cancer and all the filth of McCarthyism and anticommunism.
[applause] The nation learned to know its class enemies at home and abroad
in combat. It came to know its true allies at home and abroad.

Faced with the sabotage of Le Coubre [French ship carrying munitions] and
the embargo of weapons from capitalist countries just when the needed them
most, faced with the criminal blockade by the United States and the
isolation decided upon by the Latin American governments upon the
instructions of Yankee imperialism, only from the socialist camp, from
Lenin's great homeland, was a friendly and generous hand extended.
[applause] From there came weapons, petroleum, wheat, machinery and raw
materials. A market for our boycotted products arose there. And, from
there, traveling 10,000 km, came ships plying the seas. From there came
internationalist solidarity and fraternal support.

There was very little left of all those lies, the odious hypocrisy, the
humiliating Yankee arrogance in our country, since nothing was left of its
banks, its mines, its factories, its immense estates, its all-powerful
public service enterprises, because blow by blow, in the face of aggression
and blockades, they were all nationalized. [applause]

The Moncada proclamation, which we clearly explained to the court that was
trying us, contained the germ of the entire subsequent development of the
revolution. A careful reading will show that we had already moved away
completely from the capitalist concept of economic and social development.
As we have said on other occasions, that program contained the greatest
number of revolutionary and economic goals which could be set at that time
because of the political level of the masses and the national and
international correlation of forces.

However, the consistent implementation of these goals would lead us along
the paths we are treading today. We had complete trust in the laws of
history and in the unlimited strength of a liberated nation. No economic or
social program has ever been carried out on this continent as the Moncada
program was carried out. With the passing of time and combat itself, all
the hopes of those days have been exceeded, and some time ago we surpassed
them along the glorious path of the socialist revolution.

Marti, Marx, Engels and Lenin guided our political thought. Cespedes,
Agramonte, Maceo, Gomez and the other patriots of 1868 and 1895 were the
inspiration for our military action. The people of Cuba, particularly the
humble classes, accompanied us along this long road. It was they who
conceived our struggles. They wee the true heroes of the revolutionary
epic. They gave their best sons at Moncada, on the Granma, in the Sierra,
on the plains, at Palacio, at Goicuria, at Corintia, in all the battles and
struggles against the tyranny, in the torture chambers, at the hands of the
butchers, in the Escambray Mountains at Playa Giron, in the struggle
against the Central Intelligence Agency and its agents in the classrooms,
like Benitez, educating like Ascunce, at the work centers producing for
society, or in other lands where, heeding their internationalist duty, they
lay down their lives. [applause]

Millions of Cubans have worked selflessly in production, in defense, in
health, in education, providing services, in administration, and in the
difficult and arduous responsibilities of political work and mass
organizations. They have the immense honor of having carried the country
upon their shoulders in the struggle which has led us to this moving
commemoration of the 20th anniversary. [applause]

Moncada taught us to turn our setbacks into victories. That was not the
only bitter test of adversity, but nothing could contain our people's
victorious struggle. The trenches of ideas were more powerful than trenches
of stone. Moncada showed us the value of a doctrine, the strength of ideas,
and it taught us the permanent lesson of perseverance and steadfastness
when the purpose is correct.

Our dead heroes did not give their lives in vain. They showed us the duty
of pressing onward. They fired our souls with unextinguishable courage.
They accompanies us in the jails and in exile. They fought side by side by
us throughout the war. And we see them reborn in the new generations which
are growing amid the revolution's fraternal and human warmth. We see them
in our working students who came here to receive their trophy. And we see
them in every vanguard worker and the youths who honorably are representing
Cuba in the World Youth Festival. [applause]

We see them in the Camilitos, who, like them, seek to become soldiers,
[applause] and also in the cadets who took the oath to the flag on the 22nd
of this month.

It was 20 years ago and many of them were not even 20 years old.
Nonetheless, they are in the ones who had not been born. And they are in
the children who are studying in the schools built by the revolution. They
are in every infant life that our revolutionary doctors save from death, in
every victory and every joy, as well as in every smile, and heart of our

Over the generous blood that began to be shed on 26 July, Cuba arises to
blaze away in this continent and end the north's turbulent, brutal
domination over the peoples of our America--marking a historic turning
point in the uninterrupted and haughty advance over our lands, wealth and
sovereignty, which lasted 150 years.

At the beginning of the Cuban revolution, no region in the world, no
continent, was as completely subjected to the policy and dictates of a
foreign power as Latin America.

The United States truncated Mexico; it took over Cuba; occupied Guantanamo;
seized Puerto Rico; strangled Panama; dissolved the Central American union;
and intervened with arms in the scattered republics. It sent the Marines
into Veracruz, Haiti and Santo Domingo.

The United States seized control of the continent's copper, petroleum, tin,
nickel and iron. The United States demanded and obtained onerous exchange
agreements and finally forged, under the title OAS, a real instrument of
colonial administration under whose aegis it imposed the Rio de Janeiro
military pact, the Inter-American Defense Board, the joint military
maneuvers with which it trues to influence, indoctrinate and dominate the
armed forces. It managed governments, instigated coups, installed bloody
tyrannies, imposed its sovereign law throughout the hemisphere, dragging us
into the cold war movement. The nefarious influence exerted by the United
States in its military interventions is clearly demonstrated by the
satrapies left behind by the Marines in Haiti, Nicaragua, Guatemala and
other Central American countries.

They imposed weakness, corruption and backwardness in these republics to
such an extent that today their governments are the most abject U.S.
puppets in Latin America. They, along with the governments of Brazil,
Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay, constitute the counterrevolutionary
bridgehead through which imperialism intends to isolate the fraternal
peoples of Chile, Peru, Argentina and Panama, whose political processes are
in conflict with the empire's ominipotence. Clearly the hands of the United
States and Brazil were behind the Uruguayan coup and are part of its
unconditional strategy.

Just as it did in Europe, Africa and Asia, the United States groups
together the most corrupt, unpopular and discredited governments in this
continent against the progressive and revolutionary states. And the
imperialist policy behaves the same throughout the world vis-a-vis the
peoples who are struggling for liberation.

Accordingly, we do not understand the odd thesis that refers to two alleged
imperialisms that is brandished by certain leaders who consider themselves
part of the Third World. They try to draw a parallel between the USSR and
the United States, because by so doing they serve the real imperialism and
isolate their people.

That thesis, which per se is reactionary and the exclusive fruit of the
ideology and intrigue of bourgeoisie and imperialist theoreticians, aims to
fan division and distrust among the revolutionary forces at an
international level and also to separate the liberation movements from the
socialist countries.

The ending of colonialism and the liberation of dozens of peoples in all
the countries would have been absolutely impossible without the October
Revolution and without the immortal exploit of the Soviet people, who first
resisted imperialist intervention and blockade and later defeated the
aggression of fascism and smashed technology and economy at an incredible
cost of sweat and sacrifice, without exploiting the labor of one single
worker anywhere in the world.

It cannot be forgotten for 1 second that the arms with which Cuba smashed
the Giron mercenaries and defended itself from the United States, those
which in Arab hands resist imperialist aggression, those used by the
African patriots against Portuguese colonialism, and those wielded by the
Vietnamese in their extraordinary, heroic, and victorious struggle
[applause] arrived from the socialist countries, primarily from the USSR.

To separate the peoples from their natural allies is to disarm them,
isolate them and defeat them. This is the policy of the ostrich. No worse
service can be made to the cause of national liberation. The path of the
peoples of Latin American is not easy. Yankee imperialism will stanchly
defend its dominion over this part of the world. Ideological confusion is
still vast. The states which have undertaken a course of action independent
of the United States and policies of structural changes are increasing in
number. But they have yet to overcome great difficulties. But no one will
be able to halt the process of liberation in the long run.

The peoples of Latin American had no other possible salvation but to wrest
themselves free of imperialist domination, carry out a revolution and
unite. Only this will permit us to occupy a place in the world among the
great human communities. Only this will give us strength to face the
gigantic nutritional, economic, social and human problems of a population
which will increase to 600 million in 25 years. Only this will make
possible our participation in the scientific-technical revolution which
will determine life in the future. Only this will make us free. Without
this, our natural resources will be exhausted for the exclusive benefit of
the capitalist consumer capital and we will be the pariahs of the world of
tomorrow, estranged from civilization.

To struggle for these objectives should be the task of an effective
regional organization. No matter how much the OAS is reorganized or changes
its name, it will continue to be the OAS. As long as the United States
remains within the fold of a regional organization of our countries,
pulling the strings of its puppets, exerting powerful economic influence on
the individual governments, engaging in intrigue, conspiring and taking the
liberty of doing whatever is most convenient for its interests in every
case, we shall continue to have an OAS. The regional organization would
only have a raison d'etre as a representative of our peoples to defend
their interests against imperialism and to fight for unity.

For the entire family to be able to deal with the United States, it is not
necessary to have the empire within the fold of the family. If it is true
that under current circumstances-- considering the correlation of forces
between progressive governments and reactionary governments within the fold
of the Latin American family--that this regional organization cannot yet be
formed because the United States still controls many governments, it is
also true that it is impossible to revive the old OAS. And it makes no
sense to revive it. Let us allow it to die a natural death. [applause]

Cuba knows how to wait patiently. The solidness of our revolution is
greater than ever today, and it will still be young when the OAS has died
and with it everything which signified humiliation and shame for our
peoples. The OAS will carry to its tomb the crimes which were committed
against the Guatemalan people, whose popular government was destroyed by
the Yankees with complicity and complacency; the scurrilous invasion
against Santo Domingo by U.S. troops, which the OAS cynically approved,
blessed and even supported with military units to prevent the liberation of
that heroic people under the leadership of that immortal paladin, Francisco
Caamano; [applause] the infamy of the attack on Playa Giron, the isolation
of Cuba, the economic blockage, the piratic attacks, the infiltrations,
supplying weapons to arm bandits, the sabotage and the other misdeeds which
with its help imperialism carried out against the people of Cuba. In the
face of all these evil deeds our people, with the international solidarity
of its class brothers, struggled and emerged victorious in all the tests.

Today, the conditions created for the revolutionary struggle fare better
than ever. The tyrannical and oppressive governments at the service of the
exploiters always wield the argument of peace and order to justify violence
against the people and combat rebellion. For them the revolutions are
always synonymous with anarchy and chaos. The total internal discipline and
the full support of the revolution from our workers, peasants, students,
professionals, men and women, young and old, which permits us to dedicate
ourselves entirely to creative work--never existed in Cuba, or, to such an
extent, in any other Latin American society.

Our Revolutionary Armed Forces--pride or our people because they [the Armed
Forces], their soldiers, officers and reservists: and the combatants of the
Interior Ministry are the people in uniform--are a model of discipline,
humility, self-denial and loyalty to the revolution, the party and the
fatherland. [applause]

When we see the disturbing panorama that reigns in the capitalist countries
and in almost all the Latin American countries, we can do nothing but
meditate on the extraordinary moral advance of our country as a result of
the radical abolition of the capitalist production system and every form of
exploitation of man by man with their sequels of vice, corruption,
injustice and selfish egoism which separates men from all feeling of human

The granite-like strength of the Cuban revolution comes from its own
socialist character which has brought to our people an immense wealth of
equality and justice. Marx' dream of a society without exploiters nor
exploited--which he conceived as a natural result of developed capitalist
systems--is the only road to advance economically and socially, even for
the poor underdeveloped countries, without the horrors and sufferings of
capitalist development.

Some leaders of poor countries--in order to excuse their political
weaknesses--have said that they do not want to socialize poverty. But
socialized poverty is much more than just keeping the masses in poverty and
allowing a privileged minority to enjoy the wealth. [applause] To
capitalize on poverty is worse than to socialize it.

Our revolution has had to confront, and still confronts, the inevitable
difficulties in carrying on with its commitment under the conditions of a
poor and economically backward country. Our limited wealth was barely
enough to satisfy a minimum of the immense needs of a people that is also
growing rapidly. Oriente Province, which 20 years ago had 1.5 million
inhabitants, now has 3.1 million.

In order to obstruct our path, imperialism--which, specifically, was the
principal cause of our poverty, besides forcing us into extraordinary
expenditures for national defense-- uses all its influential world powers
to impose a rigid economic blockage upon us. It also took many of the few
remaining technicians in Cuba at the service of the bourgeoisie. The fact
that our economy depended on the army of unemployed and which was subject
to the irregularities of weather and the most incredible price
fluctuations, complicated the task.

The total shortage of energy sources, mechanical, and chemical industries,
and production of steel, lumber and other products, undoubtedly were very
serious obstacles for us. Perhaps for that reason the imperialists were
completely certain that the revolution would not survive their acts of
aggression. We had to devote most of our energies to survival during the
fist years of the revolution. But not only have we survived, but with the
generous cooperation of our Soviet brothers, we have advanced considerably
in many aspects.

There is no longer unemployment in our country and our standards of health,
education, social security are better than those of all the Latin American
countries, [applause] Our people are commemorating this 20th anniversary by
working intensively and advancing in all fields. All the conditions have
been created for a yearly sustained growth of our economy.

As a poor country without easily exploitable large natural resources--which
has to work hard to earn a living in a world where most of the people live
in the most dire poverty and whose total population is now 3.5 billion and
will reach 7 billion in the next 2 and 1/2 decades; and where the luxury
and extravagance of developed capitalist societies exhaust unrecoverable
natural resources such as petroleum, whose price threatens to rise
extraordinarily--the material objectives of our people cannot be too

It will be our duty in the next few years to raise the utilization of our
economic and human resources to maximum efficiency. We must maintain
careful accounting of expenditures and costs. [applause] We must learn to
courageously rectify the idealistic mistakes we may have made in managing
the economy. [applause]

Our great dream of advancing toward a communist society, in which every
human being with a superior awareness and a full spirit of solidarity is
capable of contributing according to his ability and receiving according to
his needs, is our great dream. But this level of awareness and the material
possibilities of distributing the social production according to that
beautiful formula can only result form communist education for the new
generations and the development of the productive forces.

Marx said that the law can never be superior to the economic structure and
the cultural development conditioned by that structure, and that in the
ultimate phase of a communist society when the slaving subordination of
individuals to the division of work has disappeared, and with it the
contrast between the intellectural worker and the manual worker, when work
is not only a means to live but the first vital need, when along with the
development of individuals in all aspects the productive forces also grow
and there is a stream of full production from the collective wealth, only
then can the narrow thinking of bourgeois law be completely rooted out and
society can then write on its banners: From each according to his ability;
to each according to his needs.

We are in the socialist phase of the revolution in which--because of the
material needs and cultural level and awareness of a society which has
recently emerged from a capitalist society--the type of distribution needed
is the one set forth by Marx in his program "from each according to his
abilities, to each according to his work." [applause]

It is true that many of our workers are living examples of communists
because of their attitude, their higher conscience, and their great human
solidarity. They are the vanguard of what all society should be some day.
However, to think and to act as if all members of that society were already
behaving that way would be an example of an idealism with the results that
the greater social effort would unjustly fall on the best without any moral
effect on the conscience of the more backward members. It would have
equally adverse results for the economy.

Along with the moral stimulus, we also have to use the material stimulus,
without abusing one or the other. The first would lead us to idealism, the
second would lead us to develop individual selfishness. We must act so that
economic incentives will not become man's exclusive motivation, nor moral
incentives a pretext for some to live off the work done by others.

Perhaps the hardest task in the process toward communism is the science of
knowing how to dialectically conciliate the formulas that the present
requires, with the final goal of our cause.

Education is society's basic instrument to develop worthy individuals able
to live within communism. We must work in the next 10 years to improve our
economy at an average yearly rate of not less than 6 percent. We must
constantly improve our standard of public health. We must raise the
educational system to the highest level, with hundreds of thousands of
youngsters enrolled in the magnificent study and work schools that we are
already massively building. [applause]

We must improve the people's standards in food, clothing and shoes. We must
continue housing construction at a rate that will satisfy the country's
basic needs and improve transport and other services for the people. These
aspirations of socioeconomic development--which do not belong to a people
moved by a spirit of consumption--can easily be reached.

Since we attacked Moncada on 26 July 1953 we have achieved and surpassed
the goals that we set then, although the tasks were greater than we then
presumed. But if that day we were only a handful of men, toady we are an
entire nation conquering the future. [applause]

If before, almost unarmed, we stood up to the tyranny, today we have a
powerful army born of the people, born of the dogged effort of those
combatants. This army is equipped with the most modern means, and composed
of every countryman who can carry a gun. If before our political framework
was limited, and the men in our ranks only numbered a few hundred, today we
have a party of more than 100,000 members and thousands of loyal and firm
supporters. [applause]

This party was born of the union of all those revolutionaries. This union
was wrought with the most exemplary self-sacrifice and without any
interests, as a symbol that a new era was dawning in our country. That is
how, in great style, we began to tread our new path, without leaders,
without individualism, without factions, in a country where division and
the conflict of personalities traditionally led to great political defeats.
Our party, as the Cuban revolutionary independence party, now leads the
revolution. Membership in this party is not a source of privileges, but of
sacrifices and complete devotion to the revolutionary cause. That is why
the most worthy sons of the working class and the people join the party,
always watchful for quality, not quantity. Its roots are the best
traditions of the history of our nation. It has the ideology of the working
class--Marxism-Leninism. The party is the holder of political power and is
the present and future guarantee of the purity, consolidation, continuity
and progress of the revolution. If in the uncertain times or 26 July and in
the first years of the revolution, men individually played decisive roles,
this role is not being played by the party. Men die, the party is immortal.

To consolidate it, increase its authority and discipline, to improve its
methods of direction and its democratic nature, and to raise the cultural
and political level of its cadres and militants is the inevitable duty of
every revolutionary. Along with the party, its youth organizations, the
Union of Young Communists and the mass organizations, [applause] the trade
unions, the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, [applause] the
Cuban Women's Federation, [applause] the National Association of Small
Farmers, [applause] the Federation of University Students [applause] the
Federation of Intermediate-Level Students [applause] and the Cuban Pioneers
Union [applause] form the gigantic political and social force that is
carrying out the task we started on 26 July.

At this very moment I am speaking especially to youth. The revolution has
devoted its greatest efforts and has placed its greatest hopes in them. We
are working with true affection for the new generations. The revolution is
basically being carried out for them. For them, for those who had not yet
been born on 26 July, the youths who fell at Moncada shed their pure and
generous blood. [applause] For them, hundreds of excellent schools are
being built. For them, an economy which will be free from today's
limitations is being developed. Tens of thousands of technicians who are
being trained today will work with them. They will possess a cultural level
which can only be imagined today.

Our generation which began its struggle when dreams could not be talked
about without the risk of being misinterpreted, when the word socialism
could not be said without evoking fear or prejudice, deposits in you its
purest ideals, with the innermost conviction that you will know how to
grasp them, carrying them forward and transfer them to those who will
follow you, until the day when human society may inscribe the brotherly and
human doctrine of communist life on its banner. [applause]

Ruben Martinez Villena wrote one day in fiery patriotic lines: A charge is
missing to slay the scoundrels, to end the revolutions task, the avenge the
dead who have suffered outrages, to remove the stubborn scab of
colonialism, so that futility will not be the humiliating lot of struggle
and hunger, of wounds and of death, for the republic to maintain itself
with thee, to fulfill the marble dream of Marti, so that our children will
not have to beg on bended knee, for the fatherland which their fathers won
for them on their feet. [lengthy applause]

From here we can tell you, Ruben, that the 26th of July was the charge that
you wanted. Fatherland or Death, We Will Win. [applause]

[When Fidel Castro ends this 93-minute speech, which he reads from a
prepared text, the crowd stands and sings the Internationale in Spanish as
the cameras pan out on the crowd focusing on background portraits of
numerous Cuban heroes, including Che. Then the title "My Comrades Are Not
Dead, They Live Now More Than Ever" is superimposed as the crowd, estimated
at 20,000 slowly departs.]

Pre-Castro Speech Ceremonies

[Editorian Report F] Havana Domestic Television Service in Spanish at 2353
GMT on 26 July covered the central event commemorating the 20th anniversary
of the assault on Moncada Barracks, held at its former grounds. The grounds
are floodlit; the camera shows the huge portraits of Moncada martyr Abel
Santamaria, Jose Matri, Che Guevara, and Antinio Maceo, bearing pertinent
legends. The announcer notes that there are 20,000 guests, 14,000 of whom
are outstanding workers and students of Santiago.

Fidel Castro is shown on the podium flanked by President Dorticos and
Chilean Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier and other foreign guests. The
ceremony opens at 0000 GMT 27 July with the playing of the national anthem,
followed by the firing of a 21-gun salute. A roll call of a large number of
Moncada Barracks martyrs is read, with Fidel and the Cubans shouting
"present" after each name. A company of armed soldiers is called to
attention, and ceremonially ordered to fire.

Staff announcer Manolo Ortega begins speaking. He notes that the event is
taking place at the very spot of the assault on Moncada Barracks, and that
Fidel, President Dorticos, Raul Castro, and high national and Oriente
Province leaders "are presiding." Ortega then names all the foreign
government, party, and organization delegations present, leading off with
USSR delegates, and including those from the United States. The camera
focuses on Mrs Hortensia Bussi de Allende, wife of Chilean President
Salvador Allende, and several foreign guests on the dais.

At 0024 Castro presents the "20th anniversary" trophy to the director of
the "Vanguardia de la Habana" Basic Secondary School in the Isle of Pines,
which won the national "emulation" drive to salute the anniversary. This is
followed by the presentation of "National Work Hero" medals and scrolls to
five men and women. Fidel pins the first medal on Victoria Miranda, an
outstanding cane cutter, hugs her, and hands her a scroll. Dorticos, Raul
Castro, Armando Hart, and Juan Almedia follow suit.

At 0032 GMT Ortega reports that Chilean President Salvador Allende
telephoned Fidel shortly after midnight last night to convey "a
revolutionary greeting" to him and the Cubans on occasion of the 20th
anniversary of the assault on the Moncada Barracks. Ortega recalls that
Allende always had been "among the staunchest and resolute defenders of the
Cuban revolution..." and adds, "beside the walls of Moncada,and on the 20th
anniversary of that event, the Cuban people send a fraternal revolutionary
greeting to the comrade president of Chile, Salvador Allende and the
heroic, revolutionary Chilean people." Fidel Castro is introduced and
begins speaking at 0035 GMT.