Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish 0644 GMT 20 Mar 75

[Speech by Prime Minister Fidel Castro at the closing session of the
Ministerial Meeting of the nonalined countries coordinating bureau held at
the Atlantic Hotel of Santa Maria del Mar, Havana Province--live]

[Text] Distinguished members of the Coordinating Bureau of nonalined
countries, distinguished observers: It is a distinct honor for our people
that this meeting of the coordinating bureau has been held in Cuba. We are
gratified, rightfully so, by the presence of the representatives of
courageous and militant peoples who have distinguished themselves on the
international scene by their contributions to the struggle for independence
and progress of their fatherlands, for peace in the world and for the
success of the honorable objectives of the movement that has gathered us

The coordinating bureau is meeting 1 year and half after the summit
conference in Algiers, and each day that has gone by since then has
demonstrated the importance and role of the movement of nonalined
countries, and the appraisal of the international situation outlined in the
resolutions has been confirmed. Important international events have taken
place since then. Some of them have been adverse, and many favorable. The
event closest to that conference, that took place almost at the conclusion
of it, was the criminal fascist coup perpetrated by imperialism in Chile.
We recalled that President Allende was unable to go to Algiers because at
the time he was confronting the subversive actions and sabotage by the
reactionary forces. Foreign Minister Clodomiro Almeyda and other spokesmen
of the progressive movement denounced the acts and pointed out the active
meddling of the imperialist government of the United States in the domestic
affairs of Chile.

The cause of President Allende found in that conference profound sympathy
and broad solidarity. How difficult it was to imagine that barely 72 hours
after the inclusion of the Algiers summit conference President Allende
would die heroically resisting the fascist blow that put an end to that
praiseworthy effort of carrying out the revolution through institutional
and peaceful means that the world was following with special interest.

The participation of the CIA in these events is not just a simple
denunciation or hypothesis. It has been acknowledged and, what is worse,
has been justified by the US Government itself. In the huge wave of
solidarity with the Chilean people that followed the fascist coup, together
with the socialist countries--which almost unanimously broke relations with
the usurping regime--and the world progressive and revolutionary movement,
the militant presence of the nonalined countries has always been a part.

The fascist junta, which today finds itself isolated, buried in dishonor,
repudiated by the masses and drowned in the blood of its own people, has no
alternative but defeat.

Following these events very closely, in October 1973 was the heroic battle
of the Arab nations for the liberation of the occupied territories, which
put an end to the myth of invincibility of the aggressive Israeli state and
marked the beginning of the new correlation of forces in the Middle East
and also a new phase in the struggle of the Arab nations aimed at
recovering their legitimate territories and restoring the national rights
of the heroic Palestinians, who were criminally oppressed and dispossessed
from their homeland.

Today imperialism is making great efforts to counteract this situation and
is maneuvering in a perfidious manner, trying to divide the Arab countries,
isolate the courageous Syrian people, deprive the Palestinians of their
rights and increase its presence and dominance in the Middle East in order
to impose the onerous conditions of peace best suited to its interests and
those of its allies in the aggression against the Arab nations. That is why
all moves or underhanded acts in which any Arab nation participates with
imperialism are dangerous. Because political opportunism cannot be a
substitute for candid, open and revolutionary diplomacy, and at times it
leads to flagrant treason. The present situation in the Middle East cannot
be ignored, but must be the interest and the most profound preoccupation of
the nonalined countries.

During 1974 equally important events occurred. After 10 years of determined
struggle, the peoples of Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique and Angola brought abut
the crisis of the fascist colonial regime in Portugal. As a result of this,
the revolution broke out right in its capital, and the liquidation of
Portuguese colonialism in Africa and the liberation of the peoples it was
oppressing in that continent became a reality. This year the official
declaration of independence of the nations that still remain under the
official dominion of Portugal will be announced.

It is promising and noteworthy to the world progressive movement to see
that the revolutionary process is deepening and consolidating in Portugal.
Until very recently, that country was a fascist state, which represented
the most obsolete form of colonialism, fought and repudiated by world
public opinion, and today it emerges as a revolutionary hope in Western
Europe. The movement of nonalined countries must joyfully hail this
historic event and give its unqualified support to the people and present
government of Portugal as new allies in the common cause for the liberation
and progress of the world.

In Greece the fascist military regime, under the protection of NATA and in
outright collusion with the Pentagon, carried out the criminal adventure
that took place in Cyprus by overthrowing the legitimate government and
threatening the independence and integrity of that country, which occupies
an outstanding and honorable place in the movement of the nonalined
countries. This immediately provoked the reaction of Turkey, another member
of NATO, which proceeded to occupy part of the island. The rash adventure
of its failure was too much for the floundering Greek dictatorship, which
was unable to resist the blows of the situation that was created thereby,
and noisily crumbled.

Even though this did not lead to a revolutionary situation, as in Portugal,
at least a regime of rights has been established in that country and we
greet it with satisfaction.

But as a result of the adventures, confrontations and conflicts among the
NATO governments, Cyprus, a nonalined country, has in fact been divided by
the military intervention of foreign powers and its integrity is now
threatened. The movement of nonalined countries cannot ignore this
situation without harming its prestige. It is necessary to lend our
unwavering support to the independence and integrity of Cyprus by demanding
a resolution which takes into consideration the rights, cooperation and
understanding of the national minorities involved in the problem.

From the point of view of a progressive and revolutionary observer, the
events which took place in Ethiopia last year are also interesting and have
great historic importance. This country, which is also a member of the
nonalined family, was enduring a horrendous situation of poverty and social
backwardness. This situation was intensified by a natural phenomena;
hundreds of thousands of persons died of hunger in recent years while an
unscrupulous class of landowners were taking for themselves almost 80
percent of the peasants' production.

The continuation of a situation such as this would not be in accord with
our times and the aspirations of today's world. That is why the development
of a revolutionary situation in that country was inevitable. As a
revolutionary, I can only feel happy about it, because I feel that not only
must exploitation of one nation by another disappear from the face of the
earth, but also all forms of exploitation of man by man.

It is lamentable to note that inside that state a civil war is being waged
between the new government that upset the old structures and a national
liberation movement. This situation is quite complex: Two causes with
progressive goals are confronting each other. That is why we must ask,
which one is the duty of the nonalined? Should we cross our arms and just
watch? Or should we support one side against the other, or should we incite
to war? It is indisputable that we must not. At least a serious effort must
be made. We must seek a peaceful, just solution acceptable to both sides in
this war that separates and confronts the Ethiopian revolutionary process
and the Eritrean Liberation Movement.

In recent days the OPEC sought a peaceful solution of the problems between
Iraq and Iran. Why cannot the same thing be done by the nonalined countries
of Ethiopia?

In Cambodia, despite the aid given by the United States, the usurping Lon
Nol regime is dying. The determined and heroic struggle of the Cambodian
revolutionaries is advancing indisputable toward victory and nothing can
stop it, because this is the inexorable path of events taking place in
today's world.

In South Vietnam we have observed the flagrant violation of the Paris
accords by the puppet Nguyen Van Thieu and his Yankee owners. This has
deprived that suffering nation from enjoying peace and the establishment of
a democratic regime which would allow the South Vietnamese people to choose
freely their own form of government and their integration with the brothers
in the North. But the maneuvers of imperialism are smashing against the
determined and heroic will of the Vietnamese patriots, whose cause is
increasingly strengthening while the Saigon regime deteriorates and
approaches the sad end that history reserves for traitors.

The PRGRSV and the Royal Government of national Unity of Cambodia are two
states which honor and give prestige with their presence to the nonalined
movement, which must give them its most energetic and determined support.

On the international scene, the sixth session of the UN General Assembly
demonstrated the power that the nonalined movement has today. All the
international forums have become the scene of its struggles. Such was the
case with the World Food Conference in Rome. It is currently the case with
the conference of the UN Industrial Development Organization which is about
to conclude in Lima. Dakar received the representatives of the Group of 77
to establish the program in defense of just prices and necessary markets
for basic products.

The most serious problem now confronting the nonalined countries is the
present international economic crisis. This crisis began with the rampant
inflation in the developed capitalist world, to which a serious economic
recession has now been added. To those who study the theory of Marx, Engles
and Lenin that fact is not a surprise or a mystery. The economic crisis in
integral to the capitalist system, and in this case was intensified by the
policy of cold war, the arms race, the repression of the national
liberation movement, which was encouraged by North American imperialism
after the end of World War II, the unequal trade and the ferocious looting
to which the natural resources of underdeveloped countries were subjected
by the developed capitalist societies.

The idealogists of imperialism never took into consideration the laws
inherent in the system, which have been historically and scientifically
verified. They presumed that capitalism could march forward without
economic crises, devoting fabulous sums of money for arms, creating
unpopular wars like the one in Vietnam without bothering to impose the
necessary taxes for their warlike goals, approving deficit budgets,
printing paper currency and developing a superficial squandering of
resources and a luxury of wealth that were exceedingly insulting because
these were taking place at a time when a large part of the underdeveloped
world was hungry, lacking the more indispensable needs, subjected by
imperialism yesterday and exploited today through unequal trade and the
merciless looting of its raw materials.

Such a policy was bound to lead sooner or later to a serious world economic
crisis, which is not hurting in the lest the members of the bourgeoisie and
the financial oligarchy of the developed capitalist world, or the feudal
barons, or the wealthy classes of the underdeveloped world, where they
exist, but it does effect the industrial workers and humble laborers of the
cities and countryside in all countries, although poverty and misfortune
strikes more acutely in the underdeveloped world.

The real and only solution of the economic crises if of course the
disappearance of capitalism from the world. This, of course, will happen
some day and party as a result of the crises. But what concerns us are the
serious present problems in an underdeveloped world that has to confront
the voracity and maneuvers of imperialism which, even though affected by
the crisis, still has powerful economic, technical, political and military
resources in attempting to impose its solutions and place on the back of
its own workers and the economically backward countries the weight of the

The movement of nonalined countries and the rest of the underdeveloped
world must face this challenge today. The group of underdeveloped countries
of course does not constitute an homogenous whole. Some oppose imperialism
and fight against it. Others, on the other hand, are close to imperialism
and in many instances even act as its allies. There are also a number of
different situations. That is the reason why it is so difficult to prepare
a common policy aimed at protecting the fundamental interests of our
peoples in this essential contradiction between underdeveloped countries
and imperialism.

Nevertheless, the movement of nonalined countries has assembled a large
group of countries with diverse political systems, which have demonstrated
that it is possible to work together on a number of important matters. It
could be said that this movement's future will largely depend on the
clarity and decision with which it acts now in solving the economic
problems affecting the underdeveloped world. the unity of the nonalined
countries is being tested by imperialism right now. The crux of the matter
is the economic crisis and the energy problem. Imperialism seeks to divide
the underdeveloped countries into oil-exporting nations and oil-importing
nations; likewise, it seeks to divide the nonalined into those which export
oil and those which import it. But imperialism can only attain success in
the same degree what a close unity of interests cannot be achieved between
petroleum and non-petroleum countries.

The issues must be analyzed with objectivity. In the case of the OPEC, for
the first time in the history of international relations, a group of
underdeveloped countries have set their own conditions in trading with the
developed capitalist world the essential raw material that they possess.

We have to look at this as an indisputable victory; equally, for the first
time in history, a relatively small group of underdeveloped countries has
accumulated extraordinary financial profits, which were previously
controlled by developed capitalist countries. And this is also a victory
because it opens a new possibility of resources to the underdeveloped
world, but oil has a privileged position among all raw materials. It is the
opposite with iron, aluminum, zinc, lead nickel, copper, tin and others,
which are neither consumed by the underdeveloped world, nor are they scarce
in the same degree, nor do they play the role that energy has in the
developed capitalist world. Oil is a commodity of obligatory world
consumption. No country can do without it. No other raw material of the
underdeveloped world could have the power wielded by petroleum in demanding
such rectifications in terms of trade relations.

The developed capitalist countries are transferring substantial parts of
the new costs of oil to the underdeveloped world, extraordinarily raising
the price of technologies, equipment, manufactured and semimanufactured
goods, fertilizers, synthetic materials and many other goods which
developing countries must import. The underdeveloped non-oil-producing
world is paying much more for energy and in 1974 it spent $10 billion more
for energy. The underdeveloped, non-oil-producing world is also paying much
more for technology, equipment and the products it imports from the
developed capitalist world.

The imbalanced trade for the underdeveloped, non-oil-producing countries
has become much more costly for the industrial goods they import from the
developed capitalist world as well as for the oil they must import to
subsist. In a few words, a new unequal trade has emerged for the
underdeveloped world. Save for a few exceptions, prices have been dropping
considerably in the past few months for the raw materials and products from
which the immense majority of underdeveloped, non-oil-producing countries
live. While a great number of underdeveloped countries see the prices of
their export products drop, they must pay much more for the industrial
products and oil. The world economic crisis is falling on these countries
in a terrible way.

On the other hand, out of a financial surplus of approximately $60 billion
in the hands of oil-exporting countries accumulated in 1974--according to
estimates released by capitalist financial sources themselves--$21 billion
were invested in the European financial market, $11 billion in the United
States, $8 billion in Great Britain, more than $10 billion in public loans
granted by developed capitalist countries and in direct investments of
oil-producing countries in those countries, $3.5 billion of international
financial institutions, and only $2 billion were effectively transferred to
underdeveloped countries during that period.

In other words, while most of these surpluses in one way or another went to
the developed capitalist world, the underdeveloped world did not receive
even 5 percent of the surpluses. It is evident that, save for isolated and
individual actions, there does not exist among the oil countries a strategy
for economic cooperation with the underdeveloped world, which is
fundamental for sizing up and correctly confronting, solidly united, the
political and economic risks which the situation holds for everyone.

Imperialism emerged from financial surpluses. To the extent that surplus
funds of the oil countries are invested in the developed capitalist world,
their interests inevitably will be identified with the interests of
imperialism and not with the cause of the world's exploited countries.
Furthermore, as we said on another occasion, those capitals would become
hostages for the imperialists.

Of course, it is necessary that surplus funds circulate through the world
economy. But only to the extent that a considerable portion of such funds
pass through the underdeveloped world and become technologies and
development would the economy of all countries be helped, including that of
the developed countries, and a crisis of catastrophic dimensions would be

I am speaking of surplus funds, not of the resources which oil countries
must invest in their own economies on a priority basis, and I am not
speaking of donations or gifts, or of direct investments because this would
repeat the history of imperialism. I am speaking of credits under adequate
conditions for the development of countries which need it, and always, of
course, [with the understanding] that these countries really invest the
funds in development for the benefit of their peoples and not for the
benefit of small minorities or foreign monopolies. That is the policy we
advocate within the nonalined countries and all underdeveloped countries.

On 28 September last year we said: If it is wanted that all underdeveloped
countries make theirs the oil battle, it is imperative that oil countries
make theirs the battle of the underdeveloped world. I know that several oil
countries--Venezuela, Algeria and Iraq, among them--have expressed in
different ways their concern for promoting and defending a correct policy
in this regard. Others have initiated credit operations for development.
Also at the OPEC summit meeting held in Algiers, the oil-exporting
countries expressed their purpose of working united with the rest of the
underdeveloped countries in the struggle against unequal trade and in
defense of all raw material producers.

We welcome these initiatives and pronouncements because they are the proof
that there is awareness of the seriousness and importance of these
problems. Some oil countries, the weakest demographically and militarily,
are seriously threatened by an imperialist aggression. We do not think that
the statements of the President of the United States have the sole purpose
of intimidating with threats, but also to prepare the path if the decision
is made to take action. We pointed out this danger at the Algiers summit
meeting when the present energy situation had not yet arisen. The United
States had been training U.S. troupes for military actions in the desert.
The present balance of forces in the world does not facilitate, or anything
like it, imperialism's war-like adventures but we must not underestimate
the advice of desperation.

The historic experience shows that firm unity of peoples and public
opinion, besides the will to strongly resist aggression, are factors which
can stop the imperialist threats. Cuba has shown it in facing these risks
and threats 90 miles from the United States. Our people resisted,
determinedly and victoriously, blockade and acts of aggression with the
international solidarity and the firm and determined help of the USSR.

The Cuban Revolutionary Government continues a policy of principles in its
international conduct. That is why, while it is concerned with and
expresses itself, frankly and honestly, on the mistakes that might be made
by underdeveloped countries, it ratifies its determination to close ranks
with the nonalined countries, the OPEC countries and the rest of the
economically backward world to undertake, united, a correct policy in the
face of the economic crisis, unequal trade, plundering of our natural
resources, and imperialist threats and blackmail. And it urges all
nonalined countries to work in this direction.

Pardon me if I have spoken a long time. I do not want to finish without
recalling that in many parts of the world peoples are struggling for their
benefits and rights against imperialism and reactionaries. I mentioned some
of them at the start of this speech.

I cannot fail to recall others. The North Vietnamese people are working on
the reconstruction of the fatherland that was devastated by the Yankee
bombings. Why is a fund not created to help those heroic people who
sacrificed themselves so much for the cause of all the world's people? In
Korea, an unselfish people is enduring the division of the country imposed
by the imperialist presence and intervention in the south. In Africa, the
hateful policy of discrimination against many peoples and nations exists,
which has been the constant preoccupation of the nonalined countries. In
Latin America, Puerto Rico is waiting for the solidarity of all in its
unrenounceable struggle for freedom. Panama demands its sovereign rights
over the usurped canal territory. Peru carries on its revolution facing
imperialist spying and plotting. Venezuela nationalizes the iron and oil
that were exploited for decades by foreign monopolies. To all of them let
us convey our stronger solidarity.

It is encouraging to recall the advances of the liberation movement and the
victories of peoples. And new and possible conditions have been created for
the subsequent advances of mankind on the paths of justice, freedom,
progress and peace. We are certain that the nonalined countries, closely
united with all the world's progressive forces, will fulfill the duty
demanded of them by the current situation and the future of the peoples we
represent here. Thank you. [applause]