Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Radio/Television Services in Spanish 0109 GMT 29 Sep 74 F

[Speech delivered by Prime Minister Fidel Castro at Revolution Plaza,
Havana, marking the 14th anniversary of the Committees for Defense of the

[Text] Guests, comrades of the party leadership and of the government,
comrades of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution [ CDR] Exactly
a year ago on this same square on the occasion of another anniversary of
the CDR's founding, we held a gigantic event in solidarity with the Chilean
people and in tribute to the heroic President Salvador Allende. [applause]
Since then, the Chilean people have endured one of the bloodiest and most
grotesque tyranny's modern times can recall. In the wake of 11 September
1973, tens of thousands of Chileans have been tortured, murdered, jailed or
banished by the ferocious and bloody government which emerged from the
fascist military coup.

Hundreds of thousands of workers have lost their jobs. The nationalized
industries have been returned, for the most part, to the former owners, and
Chile's doors have again been opened to the penetration and domination by
foreign monopolies. Finally, as an additional service to imperialism, in
recent days the fascist junta shamelessly violated the Cartagena agreements
by granting special privileges to foreign investments, and, threatening the
very survival of the Andean Pact in which many South American countries
place their hopes for development and economic integration, the fascist
junta has given everything that its imperialist masters expected and has
produced the bitter results which an aroused public opinion of all the
world's people expected from the said events.

The enormous wave of solidarity in all the world's nations, generated by
the Chilean tragedy, has not weakened with the passing of time. On the
first anniversary of the heroic death of President Salvador Allende, his
stature is enlarged before the eyes of the world public opinion and the
peoples are doubling their condemnation and repudidation of the fascist
junta. No event in recent time has really hurt world sensibility so much or
produced such unanimous repudidation in all corners of the world. No
government is so unpopular and morally isolated as the Chilean fascist

And what is it that in recent days has generated the fullest world public
indignation? What is it that makes even more grotesque and repugnant the
role played by the Chilean clique? The full and confessed confirmation of
U.S. Government participation in the process which ended with the overthrow
and death of President Allende [remainder of sentence drowned in crowd
chanting). U.S. officials then were quick to deny what everyone
suspected--the responsibility of that country's government in the Chilean
events. After 1 year, it has been learned, with a multiple of details, that
the CIA intervened shamelessly in the Chilean process under orders of the
highest U.S. leaders for 10 consecutive years so as to prevent, first, a
triumph by the Popular Unity [UP], to block assumption of the government
after the [UP] victory, and finally, to work actively for the overthrow of
President Allende.

It is known today--from the release of the report by CIA Director William
Colby before the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee's
Intelligence Subcommittee on 22 April 1974 and other revelations by CIA
agents published by the U.S. press itself--that in the 1964 elections the
CIA delivered to the Christian Democratic Party $3 million to support its
candidate, Eduardo Frei, against Salvador Allende; that in the 1970
elections, the CIA invested huge sums to again block the triumph of the
popular candidate; that the same year, after the victorious election of the
popular forces, it invested $350,000 to bribe the Chilean Congress not to
ratify Allende's election; that immediately after the UP government was
constituted, the CIA spent $5 million in support of opposition candidates
and to influence the news media; and lastly, that in the summer of 1974,
the CIA financed the counterrevolutionary demonstrations, truckers and
shopkeepers strike in which tens of thousands of fascists participated, and
other events which directly led to the criminal and treacherous coup of 11
September of that year. These large amounts of money were negotiated in the
black market above official rates, thereby contributing to speculation and
aggravating monetary difficulties.

Without considering the close relationship between the Pentagon and the
Chilean forces to which they [the U.S.] continued supplying arms, while the
popular government found all credits blocked in the United States and in
international financial organizations controlled by the United States, the
CIA clearly played a decisive role in the creation of conditions and
preparation of the groundwork for the fascist coup which has caused so much
mourning, blood and tragedy for the Chilean people.

The Central Intelligence Agency and the top U.S. officials who promoted and
heated up that policy are directly responsible for the thousands of
Chileans who have been tortured, murdered, jailed and banished, and for the
awful conditions of repression, unemployment and poverty which millions of
persons are now suffering in that sister country. The pure, revolutionary
and heroic blood of Salvador Allende, [applause], assassinated on 11
September, indelibly stains the U.S. rulers before history. Out of the long
list of acts of aggression by that country against Latin American
countries--which go back from the invasion and occupation of half of the
Mexican territory in the last century to today, from the despoilment of the
Panama Canal Zone, interventions in Cuba, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haita, Santo
Domingo, Guatemala and so forth; some of them in the past, others current,
overt or covert, to first take over and later plunder the natural resources
of our peoples and subject them to its dictates and interests--few have
been so repugnant, sordid and treacherous as this blatant interference in
Chile's domestic affairs.

If it is true that responsibility for such events falls on previous U.S.
administrations, the new president--to the surprise and amazement of Latin
American public opinion--has declared that such events were carried out for
the sake of the best interests of the United States. In other words, the
U.S. Government at this point in time openly proclaims the right to
intervene by any means, regardless of how illegal, dirty or criminal they
might be, in the domestic processes of the people of this hemisphere, as
long as the reactionary and selfish interests of that country make such
intervention advisable. Is this not a flagrant contradiction of all the
standards of international law and the fundamental principles which rule
the United Nations? Does it not violate the international agreements and
treaties imposed by the united states on the people of this hemisphere?
What does the shameless OAS have to say about this [applause, cheering],
the discredited OAS, the prostituted OAS [cheering]? Can anyone imagine
that there remains even an atom of virtue or moral authority or reason for
existing on the part of that ridiculous and faint-hearted institution?
[shouting from the crowd]

Let us say so frankly. The ones largely responsible for these events are
those who were accomplices of the United States in its aggression against
other Latin American countries, those who tolerated, seized on and even
supported events such as the overthrow, of Arbenz in Guatemala the
massacres against Panamanian students and people in the Canal Zone, and the
invasion of Santo Domingo by the Yankee Marine Corps in 1965.

How about the history itself of U.S. acts of aggression in the OAS against
the Cuban revolution? How about the economic blockade, the Giron invasion,
the piratical attacks from Central American countries and Miami, and the
subversion, terrorism and sabotage fomented by the CIA against our people
for many years? It cannot be forgotten that in its policy of aggression
against Cuba, the United States bought the shameful complicity of many
governments by distributing among them the sugar quota and the spoils of
the Cuban economy.

Is it so strange that--with fundamental lack of respect and consideration
toward our peoples--the United States has now confessed and justified
intervention in Chile, while it threatens Vehezuela and Ecuador, among
other oil-producing countries, with reprisals of hunger and even worse if
they do not yield to its demands to reduce the price of oil? Will it be,
perhaps, the OAS--an instrument in the worst tradition of neo
colonialism--which will defend, integrate and politically unite the peoples
of Latin America in the face of U.S. haughtiness and dominance? [crowd
chants "No"]

The African countries have their Organization of African States in which
South Africa, Rhodesia or Europe are not included. And those African people
who recently reached the world of independence and are incomparably poorer
than Latin America, but they have a much higher and worthy concept of the
meaning, functions and rule of a true regional organization. [applause] The
United States on the one hand and the Latin American and Caribbean
countries on the other are two worlds as different as Europe and Africa.
There is no room for both in the same community. The Strait of Gibraltar,
which is a miniscule sea, separates them there. Here we are separated by
the Rio Grande and the Florida Strait.

In both cases it is a technological chasm and there are completely
different cultures. The United States is already a great community. The
peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean still have ahead the historic
task of forming theirs, as the indispensable condition for freedom,
development and survival. And that can never be achieved on the basis of
unworthy, prostituted and hodge-podge (?relations) with the United States.
[applause] Together, our peoples will have sufficient strength to give
ourselves the security and guarantees that neither the Inter-American
Mutual Assistance Treaty nor the OAS have ever offered against the
domination, aggressions and interference by the United States.

Moments ago I mentioned the U.S. threats against the petroleum-exporting
countries--two of which are in Latin American, Venezuela and Ecuador--to
demand a cut in prices, The way the petroleum issue has been posed, in
unusually harsh terms, by the U.S. President and other leaders of that
country, at the United, Nations and at the Ninth World Energy Conference in
Detroit--where the Yankee authorities in fact prevented Cuba's
participation by denying visas--puts the issue in sharp relief.

In a concerted and perfectly blueprinted action, the leaders of that
country have demanded that the petroleum countries reduce prices, holding
them responsible for the imminence of a worldwide economic crisis and
threatening them with possible varied reprisals. The U.S. press agencies
themselves have taken it upon themselves to particularly stress the
dramatic nature of those pronouncements, and they have not lacked a basis
for it.

In Detroit the president of the United States said, textually: Throughout
history, states have gone to war, contending for natural advantages such as
water, food or more accessible land or sea routes. But in the nuclear era
any local conflict can become a world catastrophe. War creates risks that
are unacceptable to all humanity.

He added: "In the nuclear era there is no reasonable alternative to
international cooper," And further on he stated: "Sovereign nations strive
not to depend on other countries which exploit their own resources to the
detriment of other states. Sovereign nations cannot allow the policy they
should follow to be dictated, nor their fate to be determined by means of
the artificial manipulation and distortion of world product markets. No one
can prediet the extent of the damage or the end of disastrous consequences
if countries refuse to share the goods nature gave them for the benefit of
all humanity. Last week at the United Nations General Assembly I said that
any attempt made by one country to employ a product with political aims
would inevitably tempt other countries to use their products for their own

And in conclusion, he asserted: "It is very difficult to talk of energy
problems without falling into apocalyptical language."

The U.S. President's remarks were complemented by similar statements from
the U.S. secretaries of state and treasury. The U.S. strategy is quite
clear: To closely group under its direction the developed capitalist
countries; to divide the nations of the Third World and isolate the
petroleum-producing countries with the aim of imposing U.S. conditions on
them. And to do that, it not only threatens them with food reprisals but
even war.

In the first place it is unjust to blame the petroleum countries for the
worldwide inflation and the international monetary crisis. The
responsibility for such problems fundamentally rests with the United States
itself. It foisted on the community of nations the monetary system that
gave the dollar a privileged position vis-a-vis all the other currencies.

It flooded the world, and the reserves of the central banks of almost all
countries, with U.S. bills that far exceeded their gold backing. It blocked
and separated the socialist community from international commerce. It began
the cold war. It unleashed the armaments race. It and its allies in
military pacts invested hundreds of billions annually in weapons, for a
quarter of a century.

It promoted the war in Vietnam that cost upwards of $150 billion. The U.S.
war budget exceeds the figure of $80 billion annually. And the CIA alone
annually spends billions.

The fact is that the roots of the inflation and the monetary crisis, which
emerged long before petroleum prices rose, lie in that fateful imperialist
policy. And, finally, the United States established the society of
consumption arid the unlimited squandering of countries' natural resources.
In any event, the increase in petroleum prices heightened the crisis
situation that had been set off by the imperialist society itself.

In the second place, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries
emerges as a just reaction of the producing countries that belong to the
underdeveloped world to defend themselves from unfair prices, unequal
interchange, and the exhorbitant profits of the big transnational companies
that essentially are North American.

Those who invented the monopolist prices of petroleum far above production
costs were not the producing countries but the huge petroleum companies
which, by doing so, reaped fabulous profits for the benefit of the
imperialists' metropolis.

For many years petroleum suffered the same fate as the raw materials
produced by the underdeveloped world. But oil is a special kind of raw
material, because iron, aluminum, tin, copper, nickel, uranium, lead,
manganese and many other products are used almost exclusively by
industrialized countries. Oil, however, is needed to a greater or lesser
degree by all the peoples of the world. Among all raw materials it is the
most essential and the most indispensable. Therein lies the strength and
also the weakness of the countries which produce it in this confrontation
with imperialism. As soon as the oil prices rose, after the latest crisis
in the Middle East, the developed capitalist countries quickly increased
the prices of equipment, technology and industrial products, to a greater
degree than the cost of energy increased the cost of production.

They responded to the increase in oil by immediately increasing the prices
of their exports. They have this recourse for confronting their
difficulties, but there are many countries in the world which are not
industrialized and which do not have oil, and the prices of their
agricultural products and raw materials do not compensate for the great
increases in industrial products and energy. It is for this reason that the
imperialist strategy takes into account that, for the ears of many poor
countries, the demand that oil prices be reduced will have a pleasant
sound. This could result in a great division of the Third World countries
and therefore in the defeat of the oil-exporting countries--a defeat that
in the long run would be a defeat for all producers of raw materials and
would mean the worsening of the unequal exchange which the imperialists
have imposed on our peoples.

Oil has a privileged position among all raw materials. That is why it is in
the vanguard in this struggle. However, this imposes a great responsibility
on the OPEC countries. If we want all the underdeveloped nations to make
the oil battle their own, it is necessary for the oil-producing countries
to adopt the struggle of the underdeveloped world. [applause]

It is not by investing oil revenue in industrialized capitalist countries,
or in the international financial organizations controlled by the
imperialists that the support of the underdeveloped world can be obtained.
Those resources should be primarily invested in the Third World--in the
struggle against underdevelopment--so that the oil battle will be a real
banner and a hope for all the marginally subsisting peoples of this world.
If not, a large part of the underdeveloped world would have nothing got
gain in this struggle, except to pay more for manufactured products and
energy and be resigned to greater poverty in an already critical situation.

Neither the oil producers nor the other underdeveloped peoples can allow
themselves the luxury of missing this historical opportunity. Now is the
time for all the Third World countries to join forces and take up the
imperialist challenge. If the oil-producing countries remain united and
firm, if they do not let the U.S. threats intimidate them [applause], if
they seek the alliance of the rest of the underdeveloped world, then the
industrialized capitalist countries will have to accept as inevitable the
disappearance of the shameful and unjust conditions of exchange which they
have imposed on our peoples.

The nonalined countries could join together and give a firm, united and
emphatic answer to the threats and pressures of the United states.
[applause] In the face of the divisive imperialist strategy, a more
determined unity is necessary. In this way [rhythmic applause] in this way,
the necessary international cooperation would not be imposed in the terms
which the imperialists demand, but would rather be based on the aspirations
and the more legitimate interests of all the peoples of the world.

The Venezuelan Government has responded vigorously and with dignity to the
speech of the U. S. President. [applause] However, only a few Latin
American countries--several of which are oil producers, or potential
exporters--have given Venezuela their support. Many governments have kept
silent. Often Venezuela nationalizes iron and oil in the near future, as
its government has announced, it can be assumed that the imperialist policy
toward Venezuela will be hardened. This is the historic moment in which
Venezuela needs the support of the peoples of Latin America, and Latin
America [lengthy applause] and Latin America needs Venezuela. We must view
its struggle as a struggle of all our peoples. At the same time
Venezuela--with the extraordinary financial resources which it can generate
as the result of a firm and victorious oil policy--could accomplish as much
as Simon Bolivar's soldiers did in the last century for the unity,
integration, development and independence of the peoples of Latin America.

Cuba, which with the generous aid of the Soviet union [applause] has not
suffered the energy crisis, and whose development marches onward despite
the imperialist blockade and the cowardly behavior of many regimes of this
continent, does not hesitate to proclaim its support for the fraternal
country of Venezuela [applause] and that country's government in its just
aspirations vis-a-vis the united States: claims. Let the Venezuelans gain
from the experience of the Cuban revolution's example which, under the most
incredible conditions of blockade and hemispheric isolation, has stanchly
and unflinchingly withstood the imperialist attacks. [prolonged rhythmic
applause and shouts] And after 15 years it emerges victorious and
unvanquished as an irreversible fact on this continent. Venezuela will not
be alone in this hemisphere as Cuba was. [shouts] And perhaps fate has
reserved again for the fatherland of the illustrious liberator a foremost
and decisive role in the final independence of the Latin American nations.
Fatherland or death! We shall overcome! [applause]