Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Radio/Television Service in Spanish 2159 GMT 15 Apr 74 F

[Speech by Premier Fidel Castro at Algeria solidarity rally held at the
Moncada Barracks in Santiago de Cuba, Oriente Province, on the occasion of
Algerian President Houari Boumediene's visit to Cuba--live]

[Text] Dear Comrade Houari Boumediene, president of the Coordinating
Committee of Nonalined Nations and of the Revolutionary Council and of the
Council of Ministers of the Republic of Algeria, [applause] Dear comrades
of the Algerian delegation, [applause] Dear compatriots of Santiago de Cuba

Our city of Santiago de Cuba, our Oriente Province today has the honor of
receiving Comrade Boumediene and the delegation of the sister Republic of
Algeria, who this morning had the opportunity of feeling the revolutionary
enthusiasm and warmth of this heroic city.

There is an atmosphere of festivity and solidarity this afternoon.
[applause] This can be perfectly explained. Just a few days ago we also had
the great honor of receiving the representatives of the Vietnamese people.
[applause] Today we are receiving the representatives of Algeria.
[applause] These two peoples, these two revolutions mean a lot: two peoples
who in order to gain and protect their independence have had to wage an
extraordinary and bloody struggle in modern time. If we add the Cuban
Revolution to these two revolutions in this hemisphere, we then have three
great examples--the present revolutionary process in three different
continents, in Asia, in Africa and in Latin America. [applause]

Three great struggles against colonialism and against imperialism,
definitely, against the same imperialism, because Yankee imperialism was
behind French colonialism in Vietnam. And when the French imperialists were
defeated the Yankee imperialists replaced them. In Algeria Yankee
imperialism was behind French imperialism, supporting it with financial
resources and arms. And in Cuba Yankee imperialism has been against the
Cuban Revolution. [crowd chants "Fidel hit the Yankees hard"]

And our three peoples are victoriously moving forward, which is a symbol of
our time demonstrating that in the current world and in the current
correlation of forces, three small countries, confronting very large
powers, have been able to gain and secure their independence and move

We have many things in common with Algeria. In the past century when French
colonialism, aided by its greatest economic and technological resources,
conquered Algeria, it did so just to have one more territory, one more
colony. It oppressed a nation that many centuries before France already had
a culture and a civilization superior to those of France. The Algerian
people were forced to spill rivers of blood to resist colonial subjugation,
And that is why the Algerian and the Cuban people talk about Abd el-Kader,
[applause] the Algerian national hero who resisted French subjugation for
17 years, who makes us recall Marti, Gomez Maceo, Agramonte, Cespedes, all
our patriots of the past century. [applause]

They suffered setbacks just as we did, but never did the flame of
patriotism languish, never did the will to gain independence disappear.
They, just as we, following setbacks, returned to the fight. During the
first half of this century they had to endure French colonialism in their
fatherland. At the end of World War II, several years later, they renewed
their heroic battle for independence. It is not easy to forget that in just
one week in 1945 the colonialists murdered 45,000 Algerians in an eastern
region of Algeria.

Those were the face, methods and soul of the impossible. The Algerians did
not remain impassive, they fought. And in 1954-when we were launching our
struggle on this very spot against Batista's bloody, proimperialist
tyranny--they were beginning their final battle in Algeria. They struggled
for long, very long years in very difficult conditions against a powerful
NATO army which was allied with the United States and which possessed very
modern weapons and great resources of all kinds.

So too they fought against the metropolitan [French] settlers who enjoyed
the wealth, land and sweat of the Algerians. The heroic struggle of the
Algerian people for their independence cost upwards of a million lives.
Moreover, when we were concluding our armed revolutionary struggle in 1959,
we received daily reports on the heroic actions of the Algerian patriots
and the fierce, bloody repression of the French colonialists.

Logically solidarity, admiration, affection arose in the hearts of our
people for that valiant people who so bravely were fighting for their
freedom and independence. The flame of sympathy and support for the
Algerians was ignited. And one of the first steps taken by the revolution
was to try to make contact with those patriots to see how we modestly could
contribute to their brave struggle.

The Cuban Revolution unselfishly and enthusiastically backed the heroic
battle of the Algerians in all international organizations and from all
forums--and that was how our feelings of sympathy and solidarity began
developing. But after their victory that heroic people did not defraud the
world. They were not satisfied with winning their independence. They
realized early that the revolution meant more than independence and that
independence without revolution was not independence. [applause]

Amid difficult circumstances, they were determined to carry out great
revolutionary changes. But what did they require? It was a country that was
demolished and bled by the war, with all the horrible legacy of
colonialism-employment, poverty, technological and educational backwardness
and underdevelopment, And it was amid those conditions that they bent to
the task of building a new country.

In point of fact the Algerians have worked steadfastly to build a new
country, and they are building it. The basis of that construction primarily
rests--better said, they rested--on recovering Algeria is great natural
resources, These essentially were energy and mineral resources.

The Algerians have shown the world a path that demonstrated that a country
which gains independence and wages its revolution must first recover its
natural resources, develop them, validate them, and support itself on then
for economic development. The three pillars of constructing the new
Algeria, as Comrade Boumediene has so aptly defined them, are: the
industrial revolution, agricultural or agrarian reform and the educational
revolution. [applause]

The Algerians, beginning with their petroleum and gas resources--which they
had to recover through arduous, complex fighting after independence--have
been developing a very modern petrochemical industry. And basing themselves
on their iron and energy resources, they are also developing an important
steel industry, and backed by this they are developing a mechanical
industry. Mustering the country's resources and forces, they are going
forward with industrialization.

By the same token the Algerians are implementing the agrarian reform and
revolution, a phase they are undergoing now, mobilizing the energy and
talent of the peasants and workers. Similarly they are pressing forward
with educational reform, cognizant of the decisive influence this was for
the new Algeria.

We have not the slightest doubt that Algeria will achieve its goal and that
it is called upon to play a very important role in the Arab and African
worlds and among the nonalined countries of the Third World.

A revolutionary task is not a question of days or years; in truth it is an
effort of dozens of years, not just the effort of one but of several
generations. And when a country educates its children and trains them to
master modern technology and science, when a country educates its children
in a new revolutionary political culture, that country inevitably will
succeed. [applause]

Why is the Algerian example so important? Because, there are many countries
in the Third World that have so many natural resources, just as Algeria
has. They have even more natural resources than Algeria has and do not
profit from those natural resources, which have been exploited by
imperialism many times, in order to advance the country. We understand that
Algeria is a true example for numerous countries of the Third World which
have such resources that could be used to move the policy of the future
forward, in the same way that Algeria is moving forward.

Between Algeria and Cuba there are similar positions on a great number of
international problems. For example Algeria and Cuba support without
hesitation the national liberation movement in Asia, Africa and Latin
America. [applause] Just as we do, Algeria gives the greatest support to
the heroic Vietnamese people, [applause] to the Cambodian people,
[applause] to the Laotian people. [applause] Just as we do, Algeria firmly
supports the DPRK, [applause] which has been and is the victim of
imperialist aggression. Just as we do, Algeria supports the movements of
the peoples of Guinea-Bissau, Angola against Mosambique against Portuguese
colonialism. [applause] It supports the struggle against discrimination in
Africa. It supports the peoples of Rhodesia and South Africa against racism
and the criminal oppression in those African regions.

Algeria determinedly and firmly supports the just cause of the Arab peoples
against Israeli aggression, [applause] and demands the sacred rights to
self-determination and independence of the fatherland of the Palestine
combatants and the Palestine people. [applause] Just as we did, Algeria
determinedly supported the Popular Unity government of Salvador Allende in
Chile, [applause] energetically condemned the criminal fascist coup and
broke diplomatic relations with the Chilean facist state. [applause] This
undoubtedly constituted a severe blow to the Chilean fascist junta due to
the influence and prestige that Algeria enjoys among the nonalined nations
and the Third World.

Algeria also resolutely condemns the fights against the criminal blockade
imposed by Yankee imperialism against our people, [applause] It is a
comrade in arms of the Cuban people against the blockade. It supports and
will support our people with all its strength against the imperialist
blockade, [applause] Just as we do, Algeria assigns great importance to the
role played by the countries of the socialist camp in the struggle against
imperialism in today's world.

These facts, these political positions describe one revolution with that
candid and clear position in the face of the cardinal problems of today's
world. Just recently, in September of last year, the conference of
nonalined nations was held in Algeria. This was an important international
event. The Algerian conference was magnificent. It was brilliant. The
setting, Algeria, heroic country, anti-imperialist country, where the
conference was held, decisively contributed to its greatness.

The splendid organizing work of the Algerians and the arduous role that
Comrade Boumediene played as president of the conference [applause], which
he knew how to lead with great wisdom and with great skill, made it
possible for the delegations of Algeria and Cuba along with the rest of the
nations that were represented to work very closely to give the conference a
revolutionary, progressive and profoundly anti-imperialist atmosphere.
[applause] It was the greatest meeting of heads of state ever held in any
country and had great impact all over the world.

Recently Algeria took the initiative in its own name and in the name of the
nonalined nations to convene an extraordinary general assembly in the
United Nations on the problem of raw materials.

That assembly, which is currently in progress, was opened by Comrade
Boumediene who delivered an energetic speech in defense of the nonalined
countries vis-a-vis the voracious, exploiting interests of the developed
capitalist world.

He spelled out such daring theses as the underdeveloped countries' right to
recover their natural resources by nationalizing then, to evaluate those
resources by exploiting them themselves and to control the mechanisms that
set the prices of those products, which historically have been downgraded
by the developed capitalist countries.

The immense, the large part of the underdeveloped countries trade
historically has been carried out with the United States, with capitalist
European countries and with other capitalist countries, which consume
upwards of 90 percent of those resources--petroleum, iron, copper,
minerals, coffee, cocoa and other products.

Historically too, what we know as unequal trade has prevailed, What does
that mean? For instance: After World War II the value of the products
exported by the underdeveloped world dropped lower and lower year by year.
Yet every year the products exported by the capitalists cost more and more.
Furthermore, our products were worth less in money that was devalued year
by year.

In other words, at one time a truck could be bought at the equivalent price
of 100 quintals of coffee, yet later 50 or 60 more quintals were needed.
And if a truck could be bought before at the equivalent price of 20 tons of
sugar, later it took 40, 50 or 60 tons.

The developed capitalist countries thrust on the underdeveloped countries
such leonine, ruinous commercial trading conditions, and I believe that all
of our compatriots fully understand this. [applause]

Producing sugar is not the same as producing trucks. The number of working
hours required to produce sugar--cutting cane by hand in a tropical
climate, under a torrid sun and in a humid atmosphere--is 20 or 30 tines
more than what is required to produce a truck. When there is a steel
industry, a mechanical industry, there are lathes, automatic lathes.

Thus, one hour of work for a product of a developed capitalist world is
later exchanged for 50 hours for a product of the underdeveloped world.
Those exchange conditions have been imposed by colonialism, neocolonialisn,
capitalism and imperialism on the countries of the world.

None the less, we are undergoing a time when the poor, underdeveloped
countries are awakening, And while everything in the developed capitalist
countries is luxury, squandering, a display of wealth, millions upon
millions of automobiles, and neon signs--all kinds of luxuries--the
underdeveloped countries have neither schools, hospitals, nor miserable
roads, and not even a bicycle upon which to ride.

Those are realities that colonialism, capitalism and imperialism created.
One of the products they obtained, for instance, was petroleum. They got
the concessions, made their investments, extracted the petroleum cheaply
and sold it at a higher price. They formed monopolies and made tremendous
profits. Thus, the developed capitalist countries had cheap fuel, a fuel
much cheaper than coal. and, on the basis of that cheap energy, they
developed consumer societies--societies of the auto, synthetic rubber,
plastic products, and opulence. I repeat, nonetheless, that the world is
awakening. The developed capitalist societies have gone beyond what is
possible, amid frightful poverty that multiplies more and more every year
among a population of nearly 4 billion. These are people who must be fed
and who need nourishment.

Those people need raw materials for producing fertilizers, not to squander
then but to be able to live humanly, to live decorously. Moreover, it was
that squandering policy that led to the developed capitalist societies'
virtually total and absolute dependence on the energy sources of the Third
World countries.

Moreover, as a consequence of the energy crisis--accelerated by the Middle
East crisis--the prices of petroleum skyrocketed. The oil-producing
countries organized themselves against the monopolies. They set up an
organization and currently they are setting the prices of petroleum. Of
course, we must not think that the situation is the same in all the
petroleum countries. Some have a correct policy and others do not.

But in this matter the fact is that the petroleum countries have become
aware of their strength and power, and they are using that strength and
power to face up to the developed capitalist countries. They are seeking
just treatment, just prices, and the best way to employ those products for
their own development.

As a result, the capitalist countries realize they must pay much more for
petroleum. Similarly, other valuable raw material-producing countries which
have no consumer societies can join together to defend their prices.

Of course, this is not positively the situation of all underdeveloped
countries, because there are countries that do not have abundant energy
resources, that do not have valuable mineral resources and are forced to
import energy, to import equipment, to import manufactured products and to
import foodstuffs. The developed capitalist countries know that they have
to pay more for these products and of course are preparing to develop a
policy in the face of that reality by using several formulas. One of the
formulas that they are beginning to implement is the sharp increase in the
prices of equipment, technology and manufactured products. Another formula
of sharply increasing prices is the case with fertilizer and other
important commodities for many countries. Another is increasing the prices
of the foodstuffs that they produce. But this is not the only formula.

The developed capitalist countries are attempting to prepare a formula to
manage the financial resources destined for the underdeveloped countries
with abundant energy resources in order to control them through the
imperialist banks and the international financial organizations that are
controlled by the imperialists. Another formula is promoting the arms race
among Third World countries, provoking rivalries and conflicts among Third
World countries in order to buy oil by selling at much higher prices the
arms that are useless in solving the fundamental problems of the
underdeveloped countries.

This is the strategy of imperialism. In the face of that strategy it is
essential to elaborate the strategy of the nonalined nations and the Third
World countries. There are Third World countries that are progressive, and
there are same that are feudalistic. There are countries that have adopted
a good position toward international problems and there are others that
have a fascist position. That fascism, that reactionary spirit is furthered
by imperialism to try to maintain its control, its exploitation and its
hegemony in the world. We must fight against these difficulties.

But in the face of the imperialist strategy, the strategy of the nonalined
nations must be developed. In the midst of the movement of nonalined
nations, there are tremendously advanced, tremendously progressive,
tremendously revolutionary forces prevailing. That movement is being
consolidated and gaining strength. Fortunately, in spite of these
difficulties in this movement that groups tens and tens of Third World
countries, a progressive and anti-imperialist policy prevails. It is
necessary to develop the closest solidarity of the nonalined nations'
movement on the foundations proposed by Comrade Boumediene at the United
Nations on national independence, recovery and adequately evaluating the
natural resources and the equitable and just distribution of social wealth.

Because it is not a matter of wealth for the bourgeoise, it is not a matter
of creating wealth for the feudal lords, it is necessary to create wealth
for the people. That is why we propose strengthening the solidarity of the
nonalined nations based on these principles. [applause] It is necessary to
energetically struggle for better prices for the raw materials produced by
the underdeveloped world. It is necessary to energetically struggle to
create new world trade relations and to end--because it must cease, because
it is a just demand, because it is a need of the nations and history--the
unequal trade between developed capitalist nations and underdeveloped
nations. [applause]

It is necessary to resolutely oppose imperialism's policy of disunity
toward the nonalined nations. [applause] It is necessary to seek formulas
so that the benefits of this struggle reach all the underdeveloped nations.
That is why it is so important to remain alert and prevent at any price the
imperialist plans of utilizing the new financial resources of the Third
World through its banks and through its international financial
organizations. [applause]

In the face of imperialism, in the face of unequal trade, in the face of
exploitation, it is necessary to develop a broad front of nonalined
nations, socialist camp countries and all world progressive forces, because
it is necessary to have unity and cooperation in order to defeat the
formidable obstacles that imperialism, exploitation and neocolonialism
impose on humanity in moving forward.

The road will be long, the struggle will be arduous, but the nations will
win. [applause] And in that struggle the peoples of Algeria and Cuba, who
have so much in common, who are so similar and who have developed such a
profound and close solidarity, will march united.

Today marks the 13th anniversary of the imperialist attack on our air
bases, just as tomorrow will mark the 13th anniversary of the proclamation
of the socialist character of our revolution. [prolonged applause] Just as
the day after tomorrow will mark the 13th anniversary of the mercenary
invasion, and the 19th will mark the 13th anniversary of the defeat of
Yankee imperialism in Latin America. [prolonged applause, chanting of
"Fidel, hit the Yankees hard"]

It is amid this revolutionary, patriotic environment and atmosphere that we
are holding this rally of friendship and solidarity between Cuba and
Algeria. [applause, indistinct chanting] It was on this very spot where the
struggle for Cuba's final independence was begun. This is why we render
tribute to those who fought, to those who fell during our history, to those
who feel at Moncada, to those who fell at Giron and to those who fell to
win the victory and consolidate it over these years.

We render tribute to our admired Algerian friends. [applause] We render
tribute to the million and a half Algerians who gave their lives in the
final battle for their country's independence. [prolonged applause] We
render tribute to the friendship, solidarity and fraternity between the
revolutionary peoples.

Long live the revolutionary friendship between Algeria and Cuba! [applause]

Long live Comrade Houari Boumediene!

Long live international solidarity!

Fatherland or death, we will win!