Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Radio/Television Services in Spanish 1642 GMT 23 Feb 74 F

[Speech delivered by Premier Fidel Castro at a mass rally held at the
Conrado Benitez teachers training school, Cienfuegos, Las Villas Province,
in honor of Erich Honecker, first secretary of the SED Central Committee,
and members of the GDR delegation accompanying him--live]

[Text] [Castro in an aside to a group of students that chants something
inaudible] You will see. You will see. Probably there is another "pre"
(preuniversity institute] somewhere that will beat you. [The group of
students shouts something back] They say that he is the godfather of the
"pre." There is a film somewhere entitled "The God- father." [Castro
laughs, the students shout] "The Godfather." [Castro laughs again] Dear
Comrade Erich Honecker, first secretary of the Socialist Unity Party of
Germany; dear Comrade Sindermann, member of the Politburo and chairman of
the GDR Council of Ministers; dear comrades of the delegation of the GDR
Party and Government; dear Cuban comrades; dear Cienfuegos residents; dear
little friends of the Cienfuegos "pre" [the students shout] who won first
place in national promotion; dear little comrades of the Cienfuegos teacher
training school; dear laborers who built this beautiful school [the
students shout]:

We have arrived at this city and find that it is celebrating. We know that
you have perspired very little, but we also know that perspiration does not
frighten the Cienfuegos residents.

We know that you have defied today's hot weather and the noon sunshine. We
know all that and that is why comrade Honecker as well as I have decided to
be brief. [The crowd shouts "no"] We picked the city of Cienfuegos for this
solidarity and friendship event between Cuba and the GDR. But, why did we
pick Cienfuegos? It must be because Cienfuegos means 100 fires, 100 fires
to light the path of friendship between Cuba and the GDR. [The crowd chants
a slogan that sounds like: Cuba and the GDR together will win] and
Cienfuegos has responded beautifully to this trust during the reception for
the delegation and at this extraordinary mass rally.

We have also learned that the Cienfuegos residents are better than we had
imagined. [crowd shouts] There were Cienfuegos residents all over the
airport to the fertilizer plant, from the fertilizer plant to the Jagua
[probably a restaurant], and Cienfuegos residents is astronomical numbers
at this event, which makes us, the Cuban representatives present here, feel
proud of this revolutionary, patriotic and internationalist response that
you have given. [applause]

The heroic character of this city and its insurmountable enthusiasm are
reflected in this action. In the name of all our people--the same people
that demonstrated in Santiago de Cuba and Havana and will do the same in
Matanzas on Monday--we come here to express our feelings of respect,
admiration and solidarity towards the GDR. [applause] Because the history
and the role of the GDR is just like our own history, our own role. They
were forced to build socialism under difficult conditions in the first
trench, on the front line dividing socialism from capitalism. They have had
to learn the same things that we have learned. They have had to endure the
same campaigns that we endured. They have had to suffer the same economic
blockade and the same isolation that were imposed upon us. They have had to
build socialism on the ruins left behind by fascism, on the ruins of
antisovietism and of anticommunism. Under those difficult conditions
attending a country completely destroyed by the war unleashed by fascism,
they have built a powerful and mighty socialist state. They have developed
a formidable Marxist-Leninist state, and a modern socialist state
[interruption by applause]

Since they have had to fight on the first line, the people of the GDR--that
creator, forger, and first German worker-peasant state--have had to develop
a powerful revolutionary and internationalist awareness among the masses.

That is what the traveler encounters when he arrives in the GDR: a
disciplined, powerful party: a people with a high socialist and
internationalist consciousness, which we are certain will emerge victorious
in this historical task they have undertaken.

And they are visiting us, the first socialist state of Latin America
[applause]. We lie near the Yankee empire, the strongest gendarme of
international reactionaries. Yet we were encouraged by pour contact with
the GDR, for there we saw materialized the forces of the Marxist-Leninist
forces. And we therefore hope that our people, their conduct, attitude,
revolutionary awareness, and international spirit likewise will uplift the
spirits of our GDR comrades. [applause]

It is logical for our people to march together and draw closer their bonds,
just as it is logical for us to sympathize with them and for them to
sympathize with us. Naturally, "united we will win" [Fidel chants this, and
the crowd echoes the slogan]. And it is also logical for the GDR's
struggles and battles to interest us.

Therefore, this explains our solidarity and cooperation. Just months ago,
hundreds of our vanguard youth took part in the brilliant world festival in
Berlin. [applause] And this is also why we closely follow the struggle of
the people of the GDR, their exceptional contribution to the struggle of
the entire socialist camp. For it is there that for years tanks have faced
tanks, artillery has faced artillery, rifles have faced rifles. And the
Berlin and the GDR borders have been a virtual powder keg where any
incident could touch off a world conflict.

But the GDR has not become only a modern and solid socialist state, for it
also has and is making extraordinary contributions to world peace. And this
has been amid the difficult conditions of subversion, sabotage and
ideological divisionism undertaken by imperialism against their sister
country. The GDR is an important, essential part of the internationalist
communist movement and the community of socialist countries that are firmly
merged around the glorious, powerful Soviet Union. [applause]

We are part of the same family, and are in the same ranks of the same
force. We are the standard bearers of the same cause. [applause] the
splendid cause of the proletariat, the splendid victorious cause--as they
and we evidence--of Marxism-Leninism. [applause] And this has been during
the harsh and difficult the difficult and harsh struggle of these years.
And they were the most difficult following World War II, in a world where
socialism thrives and capitalism is in crisis. [applause]

That in itself explains the joy, jubilation, enthusiasm and warmth of our
people on receiving the GDR delegation. But in addition, it was from these
people that Karl Marx, [applause] Frederick Engels, [applause] were born.
Extraordinary fighters for the cause of the workers throughout the world
also were born among those people--Karl Liebkneckt, Rosa Luxemburg, Ernst
Thaelmann--[applause] and the people of the GDR are the heirs of those
splendid revolutionary traditions. We are heirs of those traditions and
those revolutionary ideas, [applause] which were closely fused with Lenin's
ideas among the Soviet people. [applause] Among the Cuban people, they
fused with the beautiful ideas of Marti [applause] and with the history of
a militant people, who were slaves in the past century and later became a
Spanish colony and still later, a Yankee neocolony, and who are free today.

The ideas of Marxism-Leninism have fused with the beautiful history of our
fatherland, the history written by Cespedes, Maceo, Gomex, Agramonte and
many, many other patriots. That is the reason for the ideological, human
and revolutionary ties between the peoples of the GDR and Cuba--two peoples
called upon to struggle together and to cooperate, to close ranks, two
peoples who are certain that the founders of Marxism- Leninism would be
proud of them today. [applause] Because, who can say that the revolutionary
ideas of the proletariat do not also move forward splendidly in the
tropics? Who can say that they do not thrive equally in the northern snows
as in the Equator's heat? [applause]

The snow does not matter. The sun does not matter. The climate does not
matter. Over the whole earth, on all continents, in all nations, the
victorious ideas of Marxism-Leninism move victoriously, march forward with
their morals, with their strength, with the support of the peoples and the
masses. [applause] And that is why we feel optimistic. That is why we have
confidence in the future of humanity, despite all injustices, despite all
setbacks in the history of man, despite all expressions and crimes that
have been committed against the common people in this world. Despite
yesterday's fascism, the GDR thrives today. Despite the crimes, the dead
that you residents of Cienfuegos witnessed in that month of September when
this city took to arms against the tyranny [applause], despite that, the
people of Cienfuegos today rally victoriously, enthusiastically and
optimistically. [applause]

There are a few revolutionaries who are from Cienfuegos, such as the
president, who is from Cienfuegos and is a leader of the revolution [both
Castro and the audience interject sign of approval]: President Dorticos,
Comrade Carlos Rafael Rodriguez [applause], Comrade Aragones [applause],
Comrade Curbelo [applause] and many others who were born in Cienfuegos,
Comrade Anibal Velaz [applause] and some of us who are naturalized
Cienfuegos residents [applause]. For example, Carlos Rafael said this
morning: What great enthusiasm Cienfuegos has. He was recalling his days.
Please do not think that that happened a long time ago. [crowd laughs] They
are not so remote when he can recall them so well. He recalled the days of
the Machado regime, and he said: With this kind of Cienfuegos, with the
kind of might that Cienfuegos is displaying today, we could have overthrown
Machado. [applause]

I said: Carlos, with those soldiers that formed the military honor guard at
the airport, you could have also overthrown Machado even more rapidly.
Residents and soldiers of Cienfuegos, today's might would have been
sufficient yesterday to overthrow all the tyrants put together. And that is
why the might of Cienfuegos together with the might of Santiago, Camaguey,
Las Villas, Pinar del Rio, Matanzas and Havana have been sufficient to
oppose Yankee imperialism, which is much more powerful than Machado was.
[applause; crowd chants inaudible slogan] and they have been sufficient to
come out victoriously.

Because, who doubts? Is there any imperialist who doubts it? Is there any
worm that doubts it? Who doubts that we are moving forward victoriously?
[crowd responds: nobody] and, who could make thus free people retreat?
[crowd responds: nobody] Who could defeat this revolutionary [people?
[crowd responds: nobody]

And that is why we look at the future with joy and enthusiasm. We still
have the Yankee blockade. We know it. We know that they are still trying to
crush the revolution with hatred and anger. They try to harm it. But
despite that, we are marching and will march forward [applause]. We are
growing and we will keep growing; we are triumphing and we will triumph.
[applause] And if not, let Cienfuegos speak up [shouts of yes, yes]. And we
will progress with this fine school we have before us, with that beautiful
stadium being built, with new factors, thermoelectric plants, prefab
construction material factories, and the fertilizer plant which, despite
the shortcomings of the equipment supplied us by the British, began to
produce and is producing. [paragraph continues]

That plant is turning a few thousand tons of fertilizers for our
agriculture, and nitrogen for converting the sugar; rice, milk and meat,
and foodstuffs for our people. Let Cienfuegos speak out [applause] with its
roads, beaches and find hotels like the one seen when one approaches here
by plane, ship or on horseback; and with its Luna Ranch. Let Cienfuegos
speak out, with the factories that are being built, the completed ones, and
the ones we shall build. [applause]

Fir difficulties notwithstanding, we already are thinking about building a
new fertilizer plant next to the present one, and even a better plant than
that one. [applause] Furthermore with the experience we gained with the
first power-generating plant at the fishing port now under construction we
shall build a new one. To this we must add the flour mill that is being
built, the new prefab building material plants that will be built here, the
new petroleum refining plant that will be built here [applause]--the next
one the country will build and which will be built here--and the cement
plant that will produce 1.5 million tons annually that will be built in
Cienfuegos with the cooperation of the GDR and become the largest plant in
the country by increasing our cement production by 75 percent. Then, too,
we must add yet two more factories that are under construction. Let
Cienfuegos speak out about all those projects. [applause] Furthermore, we
can speak about those projects though we do not have at hand sufficient
cement nor construction material. What will Cienfuegos say when, within a
few years, by our work, we shall have much more than now.

Then we can build many more schools. We have already built more than 100
annually. Yet how many more will we build when instead of 2 million tons of
cement we produce 5 million. And how many more factories, housing units,
dairies, dams and other projects of and for the people will be built. They
will not be properties of any Yankee monopoly [applause] just as no sugar
mill of the many in this area nor even one of the many small vendors' shops
belongs [to such monopolies]. For the fact is that everything belongs to
the people who built it, and for the people. [applause] Let Cienfuegos
speak out about whether we are going forward, whether we are winning out.
Let Cienfuegos speak out about whether our conscientiousness is not rising
[shouts of yes, yes]. Let Cienfuegos say whether our revolutionary spirit
is increasing [shouts of yes, yes]. Let Cienfuegos say whether our
friendship bonds with the USSR, the GDR, the socialist camp, and the
international revolutionary movement are deepening and strengthening.
[shouts of yes, yes and applause]. Let Cienfuegos tell imperialism, and
tell it loudly: "We have resisted for 15 years, with the blockade and the
aggression, [loud shouts and thunderous applause] and we are prepared to
resist victoriously ,all the years that may be necessary." [thunderous

By virtue of this I am overjoyed at shouting "We are free, despite
imperialism, and we have shown other fraternal people of this continent the
way to freedom." [loud applause]

Dear friends of the GDR delegation, this revolutionary people have received
you with all the warmth, all the enthusiasm, all the solidarity at their
command. This friendship shall be a solid eternal friendship, because it is
cemented with the affection of a people [interruption by applause] and has
its roots in the hearts of all the Cubans. [applause]

Long live the eternal friendship between Cuba and the GDR!

Long live proletarian internationalism!

Long live Comrade Erich Honecker!

Fatherland or death, we shall win! [crowd echoes and applauds]