Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Tripoli Al-JIHAD in Arabic 4 Mar 77 p 3 LD

[Text of Speech by Cuban Premier Fidel Castro at 2 March Libyan General
People's Congress meeting in Sabha]

[Text] Dear close friend Al-Qadhdhafi, dear brothers:

I regret that I am unable to speak to you in your own language--the Arabic
language--and feel sorry that now I must address you through an
interpreter.  I hope that, apart from words, we can understand one another
through feelings and sentiments.  I will not speak for long tonight, for I
know that you have been working for many days and through long hours.

First, I would like to thank you, the people and government, for the honor
you bestowed upon me by inviting me to visit your country as well as for
honoring us by inviting us to attend this congress.  I am also honored for
permitting me to address you.

We are fully aware of the historical importance of this congress.  We are
revolutionaries and therefore fully understand the significance of
revolutionary actions.  You are right when you say that this revolution
must continue.  This continuous revolution of Libya is owned to you but
indeed Libya also deserves this continuing revolution.  This people, who
tonight have shown their enthusiasm in celebrating this historical event in
which all powers have been given to the people, are the same people who
fought for 23 years against the Italian fascists who tried to occupy this
country; the same people who sacrificed 750,000 martyrs in order to gain
freedom; and the same people who 6 years ago and after long struggle and
many sacrifices still lived in a country that abounded with foreign
military bases and its health exploited by imperialism.

This was only 6 years ago, but today the situation has changed completely.
All these bases are now for the people; all Libya's natural resources are
today owned by the people; and the Libyan people today are in control of
their resources and shaping their own future.  No one mentioned Libya 6
years ago, while today and in every part of the world everybody talks about
Libya.  They talk about the Libyan revolution and they talk much about its
great leader, our friend Al-Qadhadhafi.  Today the world is well aware that
Libya leads the revolutions in the Arab world and no one has struggled for
the sake of the unity of the Arab countries as Comrade Al-Qadhdhafi has
done.  Few are as right as he is and who care for the rights of the
Palestinian people as he does.  The Arab people and Chairman Al-Qadhdhafi
are firm in their support for Arab causes and backing for the liberation
movements and the struggle against imperialism.

There are common stands of the revolution in Libya and the revolution in
Cuba.  We proceed from different ideological stands but our objectives are
common and the same--struggling for the prosperity of the people, for man's
dignity, for freedom, against exploitation and for the people['s right to
liberation.  All these objectives bind us together and for this reason we
highly admire what you are doing and the courage you are showing by
establishing peoples power, by the participation of the masses in the
revolution's progress in order to turn the revolution in Libya into a
democratic revolution.

We are aware that the world's progressive movements follow this progress
with interest.  It has become clear tonight that no one can crush the
Libyan revolution.  This we can see in your enthusiasm, in your speeches,
in your unity, and your consciousness.  You are right when you say that the
duty of defending the nation is the duty of the whole people.  A people
united through revolutionary consiousness and ready to move cannot be
defeated, thanks to this spirit by which you are proving your unity.

We in Cuba, 14,000 kilometers from here, have been able to resist.  And at
the gates of the world's biggest imperialist power the Cuban people have
been able to resist the Batistas, the economic blockade and military
aggression.  In this struggle we were not alone, for all the world's
progressive and revolutionary peoples stood with us.  You also will not be
alone, for all the world's progressive and revolutionary peoples will stand
with you and so will the Cuban people.

Imperialism is trying to break the unity of countries.  Therefore we must
work for the sake of the unity of peoples.  The news of our present visit
to Libya, of our meeting with brother Al-Qadhdhafi, and of our meeting and
embracing one another on this platform here today is not something that
pleases imperialism.  We the people must unite and the revolutionary
command must also be united.  It is for this reason that we traveled this
long distance.  We are gladly and happily struggling for the sake of
friendship and solidarity between the Libyan and Cuban peoples.  We have
major tasks ahead of us.  We must struggle against many centuries of misery
and backwardness which we inherited from colonialism.  But as today we are
in control of our destinies then our march shall be forward.  We will build
a future suitable for man in our country.

In concluding my speech I would like to say a slogan which we can say
either in Cuba or Libya--that is:  The country or death.  We shall triumph.