Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Havana Domestic Radio/Television Services in Spanish 0129 GMT 9 May 75 FL

[Speech by Prime Minister Castro at main event marking 30th anniversary of
victory over fascism at the Lazaro Pena auditorium of the Central
Organization of Cuban Workers building in Havana--live]

[Text] Dear Comrade Nikita Tolubeyev, USSR ambassador to Cuba, dear comrade
members of the Soviet delegation to the 30th anniversary of the victory
over fascism, heroes of the Soviet Union, Soviet advisers and technicians
who work in our fatherland, dear comrades of the party leadership and the
government, dear comrade workers:

Our people want to pay the most profound tribute to this historic events.
How many times we have met in this same place to remember our victory at
Giron--that battle which lasted 3 days and which meant the death of more
than 100 compatriots!

We cannot underestimate the enormous importance of that event because of
its length and the number of men who died and the thousands of lives and
the hundreds of thousand of lives saved for the fatherland in those 3 days,
because if the enemy had been able to establish a firm beachhead and a
counterrevolutionary government, with the intervention of the OAS and the
United States, who knows how many sacrifices this would have meant for our

But our own experience serves to give us a dimension of what the victory
over fascism meant for mankind: The decisive contribution of the Soviet
people to that victory, the 4 years of war and destruction and the 20
million killed to save mankind from fascism, to save mankind from universal
domination by fascism. We can have an idea of how many hundreds of thousand
of lives, how much horror and slavery, how much grief and how much
suffering the victory over fascism meant or saved for mankind.

Fascism emerged in the world precisely after the October Revolution.
Fascism emerged in the world as an instrument against Marxism-Leninism. The
capitalist and imperialist countries created the conditions for the
emergence of fascism in the world. And the entire campaign of the fascists,
since they emerged in Europe, was aimed against communism, toward the
extermination of communists and the destruction of the Soviet Union.

Once the first intervention against the October Revolution was defeated,
this ominous political trend began to emerge in Europe. Fascism was the
highest expression of the reactionary bourgeois and imperialist thinking,
and as soon as Hitler emerged in the public struggle, he declared his
purpose of someday attacking the Soviet Union. He proclaimed his racist
doctrines and his ideas about the extermination of entire races, the
enslavement of tens of millions of men and conquests of new territories.

It must be said that all mankind paid dearly for that political phenomenon,
that all of mankind paid very dearly for this assessment by the bourgeoisie
of the role of fascism. The capitalist countries themselves were attacked
by fascism. We all remember those tragic years that preceded the war. We
all remember the policy of conciliation toward fascism by the capitalist
countries. We all remember the criminal distribution of Czechoslavakia,
which was broken up and distributed to satisfy the desires of fascism, with
the capitalist countries thereby yielding shamelessly to Hitler's demand.
Basically, the policy of those powers was aimed at throwing fascism against
the Soviet Union, and throwing the Hitler hordes toward the Soviet Union.
We all remember how the war began: with the invasion of Poland whose then
reactionary government preferred the risks of isolation and aggression to
the coordination of its defense with the Soviet Union.

We all recall how after the invasion of Poland, the invasion of the low
countries of Belgium, France, Denmark and Norway, was begun. We also recall
how the armies of the capitalist countries collapsed. They practically gave
up without resisting in a matter of days in some cases, in a matter of
weeks for others. The nations one after the other were defeated. The tanks
and the air raids totally demoralized the bourgeois armies, which were
unable to put up a resistance against Hitler's aggression.

When the fascists had practically all of Europe under control using all the
resources and technology of the European economy, they began the cowardly
and treacherous attack against the Soviet Union in July 1941. The Soviet
Union had made every effort to preserve peace. The Soviet Union had made
ever effort to unite all the European anti-fascist forces. The Soviet Union
incessantly predicted the need to check fascism, but his collided against
the shortsightedness and deafness of the leaders of the capitalist

On the other hand, what happened when the invasion of the Soviet Union
began? We all know the saga of Brest-Litovsk, that fortress which for
entire weeks when the Nazi troops had reached very deep behind it,
heroically resisted with a handful of men the assault by an entire
division. The Soviet people were not demoralized, not even when the enemy
tanks and troops were tens of kilometers deep behind them. The Hitlerite
troops had become accustomed to fighting against reactionary social
systems, against bourgeois armies.

When the aggression against the Soviet Union began, they had to contend
with a different type of army, with a different type of soldier, with a
type of people moved by other motivations, and from the first moment they
confronted a fierce resistance. The Soviet soldiers died defending their
positions. [applause] The Soviet soldiers refused to give up. The Soviet
soldiers never gave up. When they were encircled, they attacked repeatedly
and counterattacked in order to try to break through.

Despite the severe blows endured as a result of the treachery of the enemy
in the first days of the war and the first few months, at no time were the
people and army demoralized. The example set by the Soviet Union and the
saga of their great fatherland war demonstrate in the very first place the
superiority of the socialist system, [applause] the strength of the
socialist system and the power of the Marxist-Leninist ideas. [applause]

The Nazi troops, accustomed to parading victoriously across Europe, swelled
with pride over their victories, assured of the invincibility of their
blitzkrieg tactics, believed that the Soviet Union would collapse, that
Leningrad and Moscow would be taken in a matter of weeks, that the
blitzkrieg would also be victorious there. However, wherever they went they
met fierce resistance. They were even close to Leningrad, but they were
unable to take Lenin's city. [applause] The people of Leningrad endured the
fascist siege for 900 days.

If the history of all wars is analyzed, it will be very difficult to find
another city that has endured a siege of 900 days. The people of Leningrad
dies as a result of the cold weather and hunger. They were collapsing in
the streets which were constantly under fascist artillery fire, but the men
and women of Leningrad did not give up. [applause]

The fascist troops approached Moscow with the bulk of their forces, as the
Soviet ambassador has explained. But Moscow would not be taken. Moscow did
not surrender. Moscow resisted, and not only resisted, but counterattacked
and took the offensive. [applause]

During the second year of the war a huge fascist force advanced toward
Stalingrad and approached Stalingrad, and even took part of Stalingrad. But
the Soviet troops, in just a few hundred meters, entered the city, crossed
the river and resisted and waged the greatest battle in the history of

Recently, specifically on 1 May, we had the honor of initiating the
workers' parade in the company of two Soviet heroes, and the famous
Sergeant (Pavlov) was among them. [applause] He resisted the fascist troops
for 58 days from a destroyed building with a handful of men. And Stalingrad
resisted. And Stalingrad did not surrender. And Stalingrad changed the war
by destroying one of the most powerful of Hitler's armies. [applause]

Again in the third year of the war the fascists tried to take the
initiative and gathered powerful forces, again heading toward Moscow. And
the famous battle of the Kursk bulge was waged, which was another of the
many bloody battles of the war in which the fascist troops again clashed
against the heroic resistance of the Soviet soldiers. Then, when the Soviet
Army took the offensive, when the time came to definitively settle
accounts, the advance toward fascist territory was initiated, and the
immortal and glorious pages were written in which the heroism of the
soldier, the patriotism of the people, the tactical superiority, and above
all the superiority of revolutionary principles again stood out.

The Soviet troops did not stop until they reached the very heart of fascist
Germany, until the day they raised the glorious victorious flag of the
Soviet people over the Reichstag. [applause]

These extraordinary deeds perhaps can be outlined in a few minutes, but the
wealth of heroic efforts and sacrifices involved are not easily measured.
How could the Soviet people react and recover from the initial blow by more
than 5 million soldiers and the most aggressive and powerful war machine
the world had known up to that time? How could those people recover from
such attacks despite the deep advance of enemy troops and enormous material
and human losses? If the deeds of the soldiers were great, the deeds of all
the people were extraordinarily great.

This explains, in the first place, the preference for a party under
attack--the party of Lenin, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union,
[applause] organizer of the revolution, organizer of the construction,
organizer of the people and armed forces, organizer of the defense of the
socialist fatherland. Men often speak of the great military deeds. But
along with those military deeds there were the civilian deeds such as the
transfer of thousands of factories to the rear, how the Soviet people, led
by the party, were capable of dismantling all those industries which might
fall into the hands of the enemy and which were needed for the defense of
the fatherland, and how they moved them deep into the rear and reassembled
these factories in places where sometimes there was not a single house, a
single building, and put those factories into operation in a matter of
weeks, many times in a matter of weeks.

Factories that normally take years to build began production in a matter of
a few weeks. The feat of the Soviet economy and of the Soviet civilian
population was equal to the heroism of their soldiers. On the barren plains
covered with snow, without any means of heating and at times without food,
the epic tasks began to develop.

That is why, despite fascist aggression, despite the treacherous attack,
despite the initial losses, Soviet industry was producing more and more
tanks, aircraft, rifles, cannon, ammunition and other war material. How
remote from reality were the fascist generals in never knowing, when their
troops were nearing Leningrad, Moscow or Stalingrad, that some day 40,000
Soviet cannons would be assaulting Berlin. [applause]

This was the great feat of the Soviet people in the Great Fatherland War.
But we would not be fair if we ignore the sacrifices made by other peoples.
We listened very carefully to the speech by the Soviet ambassador. He
recalled one by one all the countries that made an important contribution
to the victory over fascism. He recalled the underground movement, the
resistance, the open struggle at times and contribution to victory made by
all the forces that participated in the antifascist alliance. It is fair to
acknowledge this. But the truth is that for many years an attempt was made
to lessen the extraordinary role played by the USSR in the victory over

Many books were written in the West. Many stories were written, much was
written about many battles; much was even written in the West on the
alleged military feats of the fascist generals themselves. However, the
true, historic and unquestionable fact is that it was precisely the Soviet
people and the Soviet Army who carried the main and decisive weight in the
defeat of fascism. It was the Soviet people who paid the highest price and
who made the fundamental contribution to victory.

Without that contribution it would have been absolutely impossible to
attain the defeat of fascism. The contribution of no other country can be
compared to the Soviet contribution. For example, in the United States not
a single city was occupied by the enemy, not a single house was destroyed,
not a single industry was dismantled. The North American people did not
learn firsthand the horrors of war. The North American economy was
thriving. The profits of the North American enterprises during the war
exceeded 100 billion dollars.

When the war ended a large part of the Soviet industry and economy was
destroyed, a large part of the wealth of the Soviet people had disappeared
for the sake of victory over fascism. When the war ended almost all the
gold in the world was in the United States, while mankind was anxiously
awaiting a period of peace, the Cold War began. Once again the Soviet
people were threatened. Hundreds of military bases were built around the
Soviet Union. For many years the Soviet people were forced to begin under
very difficult conditions the task of rebuilding their country. They were
continuously threatened with nuclear weapons and military equipment of all

The dark era of the Cold War had begun. But the great services rendered by
the Soviet people to mankind did not end with the victory over fascism. If
their contribution to the victory over fascism was decisive, their
contribution in avoiding a new world war, to preserving and consolidating
world peace, has also been decisive. How much effort, how many sacrifices
were the Soviets forced to make in building their economy and strengthening
their defenses, developing military science and technology in order to
confront the mortal dangers that were threatening them.

And thus after a few years the imperialists no longer had a monopoly on
nuclear weapons. They no longer had a monopoly on weapons of mass
destruction. They no longer had the military superiority which allowed them
to impose their condition on the world. And a power again emerged. A
powerful shield again emerged between the imperialists and the peoples of
the world, between the promoters of the war and the defenders of peace.

What would have been the destiny of mankind? What would it have been for
all the world's people and what would have been the meaning of the absence
of that force, that shield. If mankind has not again experienced the
horrors of world war, it is because of the policy of peace and power of the
Soviet Union. [applause]

The defeat of fascism created new conditions for the world. Before the war,
if we looked at the maps of Africa, we found that there was not a single
free country in the entire African continent. If we looked at he Asian
continent, we saw that very few countries were not colonized. If we looked
at Latin America, we saw it absolutely dominated by Yankee imperialism. A
few powers had distributed the world among themselves, enslaved and
exploited it.

Only 30 years have passed, and today we can look at the maps of Africa and
see that there are very few countries that still are not independent.
Scores of new countries have emerged into independent life in the past 30
years. If we look at he Asian continent we can see that scores of countries
there have attained national independence. If we look at Latin America, we
can see that changes are being made. We see a more independent and free
spirit in the Latin American governments, at least among an important part
of them. And we see, above all, socialist Cuba. [applause]

How could this colossal world liberation movement have been possible
without the October Revolution, without the construction of a powerful
socialist state, without the victory against fascism, without the
reconstruction of the Soviet Union and its technical, military, political
and economic power after the war? What would have happened to all the
peoples who aspired to independence? How many crimes would have been
committed against them? How many invasions? How many acts of aggression?
How much napalm? How many explosives? How many bombs?

Is it possible that the imperialists perhaps would have been in accord with
the independence of all those people? Is it possible that the imperialists
perhaps would have been in favor with the collapse of the colonial system?
Would the imperialists have permitted the independence of a single country?
Would the imperialists have helped the liberation of a single one of these

Would it have been possible to attain today's world without the October
Revolution, without the heroic victory of the Soviet people over fascism,
and without the powerful socialist state which today is the Soviet Union?
Would it have been possible to conceive of world peace? Would it have been
possible to prevent new world wars? The solidarity of the Soviet Union and
the socialist camp always has been present in the heroic struggles of all
peoples who have had to gain their independence in these past decades amid
great sacrifices. It has been present in the Arab peoples' struggles for
independence. The solidarity of the Soviet Union and the socialist camp
invariably was present in the heroic struggles for independence by the
African peoples and the peoples of the old Portuguese colonies. It has been
present in the struggle of all peoples who have risen against imperialism
and for independence.

And who can know better than we? We who are 90 miles from the United
States. We who have been economically blockaded for almost 17 years. We who
were denied all supplies of equipment, raw materials, and above all fuel.
We who, while unarmed, were incessantly threatened with aggression. Who can
know this better than we, when we received weapons from the Soviet Union to
defend ourselves against aggression, [applause] the arms to resist the
attack at Giron, [applause] the arms to organize a powerful army with which
to defend the victory of socialism in our fatherland.

Who knows better than we, who during the past 15 years have received more
than 2,500 vessels loaded with petroleum? [applause] [Castro asks someone
near him: "How much is it, 80 million?"] In these 15 years, we have
received 80 million tons of Soviet oil. [applause] Who knows better than
we, who have received from the USSR so much technical aid, so much credit,
so much raw material, such fraternal and generous cooperation? Who knows
better than our people? Who knows better than we the historic significance
of this date? Because, while the Soviets were fighting and dying in
Leningrad, Moscow, Stalingrad, and Berlin, they were also fighting and
dying for us. [applause]

Thus their heroes are also our heroes, their martyrs are also our martyrs,
their blood is also our blood. [applause] What would have been the meaning
of the enormous sacrifices of the peoples without the solidarity and
support of the Soviet Union?

Recently we have had the enormous joy of seeing the definitive victory of
the heroic cause of the Vietnamese people. [applause] They, like us, relied
on the supply of modern weapons from the Soviet Union. The Vietnamese
people, like us, in their heroic struggle relied on the solidarity of the
USSR and the socialist camp. And when the final air raids by the B-52
bombers were pounding Vietnam, tens of those aircraft were shot down, a
large percent were lost by imperialism, shot down by SAM missiles
manufactured in the Soviet Union. [applause]

These are events, these are the truths that we constantly bring out
regarding the vicious lies which some use to attempt to detract from the
role played by the Soviet people in the great progress and the great
victories won in recent years by the peoples of the world. There is not one
single just cause on this earth that the USSR and the socialist camp has
not supported. [applause] The socialist camp has emerged powerful as a
result of the victory that we are commemorating today.

That is the importance of this anniversary, which made possible the defeat
of fascism and the emergence of the socialist camp, the collapse of the
colonial system and the rise of tens of independent nations. [Castro pounds
on podium] If today the imperialists, with their energy and raw material
crises, with knives in their mouths, are not trying to distribute among
themselves the natural resources of the world, if they are not trying to
punish any nationalizations, if they are not trying to grab those
resources, it is simply because there exists the Soviet Union and the
socialist camp. [applause]

Simply stated, these are great historic truths which will always prevail. A
few moments ago we mentioned the Vietnamese people's victory as an example
of solidarity. But let us mention it also as an example of the incomparable
heroism of a people. Let us say that the victory of the Vietnamese people
also constitutes one of the greatest feats in human history, one of the
greatest setbacks for imperialism.

But history has its ironies. History has seen to it, ironically so, that 30
years after the fall of Berlin, Saigon would fall exactly on the same day.
[applause] History has seen to it that, 30 years after the victory over
Hitler fascism, exactly 30 years, the grand Vietnamese victory against
Yankee imperialism has come.

And ironic history has seen to it that April is month for revolutionaries.
Because not only was Lenin born in April, and this is more than enough to
immoralize the month of April, [applause] but Giron fell on 19 April
1961--the first defeat for imperialism in America. [applause] Phnom Penh
fell on 17 April 1975, and the glorious victory of the heroic Cambodian
people was won. [applause] Saigon fell on 30 April, and victory came to the
Vietnamese people after almost 30 years of struggle. [applause]

And Raul reminds me that the revolution in Portugal occurred on 25 April
last year. {prolonged applause]

These are very profound reasons to joyfully, emotionally and optimistically
celebrate this 30th anniversary of the heroic victory of he Soviet people
over fascism. [applause]

The cause of the revolution and socialism moves forward victoriously--the
cause of Marx, Engels and Lenin, [applause] the cause of Ho Chi Minh,
[applause] the cause of Marti and Mateo, [applause] of Camilo and Che,
[applause] the cause of all revolutionaries, the cause of
Marxists-Leninists, the cause of socialism, and the beautiful cause of
communism. The peoples of the world will be forever grateful for the
extraordinary contribution the Soviet people made given to this cause for
all mankind. [applause]

Long live the thousand-times glorious Soviet people: [Shouts of "viva,"
applause] Long live eternal friendship between the USSR and Cuba! [Shouts
of "viva," applause] Long live proletarian inrernalism! [Shouts of "viva,"
applause] Fatherland or death! We will lwin! [Shouts of "venceremos, "