Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


FL020055 Havana Domestic Service in Spanish 2359 GMT 1 May 80

[Speech by Cuban President Fidel Castro at International Workers Day rally
held at Jose Marti Revolution Square, Havana--live]

[Text] Compatriots: We know how many hours you already have spent standing
on this square. We only ask one more effort from you. [rhythmic applause,
prolonged chanting of "Fidel, friend, the people are with you"] When
[Castro interrupted by prolonged chanting of "Fidel, Fidel, Fidel," and
applause] Well, let us now give another demonstration of discipline. Let us
be silent.

As I was saying, or trying to say, when we were coming to this rally this
afternoon we could again see the incredible spectacle of absolutely
deserted streets. We could imagine, or rather, I ask myself if we could
imagine, the magnitude of this rally. We thought it must be a big one. We
thought it would be the biggest over the 21 years of the revolution.
Actually, however, it was impossible to imagine the magnitude of this
rally. Perhaps only from the tower [presumably from the Jose Marti
Monument], perhaps from the air, perhaps only graphically by means of the
movies, television or photographs we will be able to see this rally. [in
distance chanting, applause]

I do not say this or make this observation thinking of what it mans in
support for us. I say it and I think it, thinking of what it means in
support for our noble and just revolutionary ideas, [applause] what it
means in support for our revolutionary cause. [applause]

It was a case of showing our strength, but not just to merely show it. A
battle of the masses has been waged over recent days as never before in the
history of the revolution, as much by its volume as by its intensity. The
facts are known; it was necessary to do it. It was necessary to do this
[applause, chanting of "Let them go, Let them go"]

The enemy had to be shown and the enemy had to be taught that there can be
no fooling around with the people. The enemy had to be shown that there can
be no fooling around with the revolution. [applause] The enemy had to be
shown that a people cannot be offered with impunity, [applause] that a
people cannot be threatened with impunity. [shouts of `No"] And this image,
this image is what they dreamed of destroying, the image of what the people
are, the true revolutionary people, the proletarian people, the working
people, the peasant people, the combatant people, the student people.
[prolonged applause, indistinct chanting]

Perhaps they thought the revolution has weakened and you can see what
weakness of the revolution they have uncovered. [rhythmic applause,
indistinct chanting] You can see what type of a revolution they have found.
That is why it was necessary to wage this battle.

As you know, over recent months our party and our people have been waging a
tenacious and selfless struggle for exigency, to overcome inefficiencies,
to overcome difficulties. This work was being done quietly and insistently
for months. It could be said that our revolution, our people and our party
were devoted to this work and to productive activities, especially the
sugar harvest and the planting [of sugarcane], coping with the problems of
the diseases of tobacco and sugarcane and the swine fever which
mysteriously, mysteriously appeared almost simultaneously in our country.
We were tackling various problems of our revolutionary process. We were
struggling for development, struggling to improve everything within our
material capabilities, and preparing for the congress of our party. We were
involved in that task. But, why does this situation emerge? It is not a
coincidence; it is not a coincidence.

What happens is that, as in all previous circumstances, every time they
have messed with us they have come the worse for it; every time they have
provoked us they have come out the losers. You know the facts. And if it
were not for the presence of foreign journalists, it would not be necessary
to speak much about the background. But the issue was unleashed as a result
of the provocations at the embassies of Peru and Venezuela. Everyone knows
that imperialism wanted to affect relations between Cuba and Venezuela and
between Cuba and Peru. It had that idea for a long time and was planning

We cannot forget that is what precisely in Venezuela and with the
participation of Venezuelans that the monstrous crime of Barbados [sabotage
of Cuban airlines] was planned and executed. It was one of the most
indignant actions that has ever happened over all time. We all know that
all those people have not even been tried and that frequently there is even
talk that they are going to be released because they, some of them, have
old relations with the ruling party of Venezuela.

We cannot forget that in Peru it was the navy of that country, the navy of
that country--and we know this and I do not think they dare disagree--the
navy of that country, agents of the navy that sank our two fishing
boats--the Rio Jobabo and Rio Danuji. It was an incredible provocation.

Furthermore, neither can we can forget how the existing fishing agreement
between Cuba and Peru, which had been in effect a long time and was
functioning perfectly well and was useful, very useful for the Peruvians
and helped to produce food for the Peruvians and also food for us, was
unilaterally canceled. This was also a result of impositions by the navy,
to make private agreements by virtue of which an individual without giving
anything, just his signature, could become a millionaire.

We cannot forget how the Government of Peru did not fulfill a contract for
the construction of 20 tuna fishing boats which we signed with them and by
virtue of which our country spent tens of millions of dollars on a fish
processing plant. Nevertheless, the contract was not fulfilled. The boats
were not built and we were left with the plant and without the boats.

All this has its history and background. Logically, these things began to
cool the relations which at one time were warm and close with the
revolutionary government of Velasco Alvarado. [applause] These were
relations that began those difficult days for Peru, when our people, at the
request of the [Peruvian] revolution, although no diplomatic relations
existed, made 100,000 blood donations in 10 days. And our doctors and
nurses volunteered, and our construction workers volunteered, and our
people volunteered to help the fraternal people of Peru, [applause] the
fraternal people of Peru, yes, because we call and always will call the
people of Peru and Venezuela our fraternal people of Peru and Venezuela.

That is how our people are. That is the people who are here, [applause]
these people of workers, of soldiers, [applause] the internationalist
people, the people of the glorious combatants in Angola and Ethiopia, the
people from whom more than 100,000 combatants of their armed forces already
have performed internationalist missions. [applause] [These are] the people
who, when teachers are requested for Nicaraguan, offer 29,500 teachers.
That is the people, not the lumpens who want to represent them with those
scum who entered the Peruvian Embassy.

[Applause, shouts of "scum," other indistinct chanting] That was what
offered our people the most. That dust and other dust brought this mud, and
those winds brought these storms. [laughter]

And then, something strange, something strange which did not occur at any
other embassy. They had thugs, delinquents and lumpens who went to request
visas and they [at the embassy] would not grant them even if they were
crazy because if they had wanted to grant the visas, well, they would have
known that we know enough [of these elements]. They were not granted visas.

When they used violence to enter, crashing a truck or bus through the
fence, then they would be received with all honors, protected, granted
refugee, have their fare paid and received as heroes. This could do nothing
except encourage lumpens to undertake such activities. It could not have
had other results.

And the patience we displayed, practically for years in some cases, was of
no use. We explained to them that it was incorrect, that it was going to
have bad consequences, that it was going to stimulate violence against
diplomatic missions, that such a policy should not continue. We resolved
the problem for them on repeated occasions because they said they could not
live with those elements inside. We could have said: Let them stay there
forever. But [they said] please, we do not want to live with these people;
we have these problems. And we authorized the departure of such elements.
We did it repeatedly. And always the things we foresaw happened.
Immediately after a group left, another one entered [the embassy]. That is
how it was.

But why the embassies of Venezuela and Peru? Why did this not happen at the
Mexican Embassy, for example? Why did it not happen at the Guyanese Embassy
or the Panamanian Embassy or the Jamaican Embassy, not to mention the
Nicaraguan or Grenadian? It remains to be seen if there is some insane
person who dares enter them either with a tank or a truck of whatever. No,
they do not consider, they do not consider that because the lumpen knows
governments almost as well as we do. And they know that Mexico has a
friendly attitude toward Cuba and was not going to permit such despicable
actions and such irregularities. Neither was Panama going to allow it, nor
Guyana nor Jamaica.

Why were these things happening precisely in the embassies of Venezuela and
Peru? Of course, it is clear that behind all this--behind the Barbados
[plane sabotage], behind the sunken ships in Peru, behind the cancellation
of the fishing agreement, behind the unfulfilled contract for the
construction of 20 tuna fishing boats, behind all this--is the CIA. And the
CIA is behind all these provocations.

And the disorder stopped with the death of soldier Ortiz Cabrera.
[applause] That was the point when we could not take any more and we said
that at any cost, and let this be understood clearly, at any cost--we even
recalled that at one time everyone had broken [relations] with us and that,
of course, could not be repeated again--we were prepared, at any cost, to
put an end to those provocations. And when the revolution says that it is
prepared to end something at any cost, everyone can be assured that it puts
an end to it at any cost. [applause]

We simply removed the guards from the embassy. And we knew what was going
to happen. We knew what was going to happen because imperialism and its
lackeys cannot encourage lumpens for such a long time by offering them the
moon or however the saying goes, offering them everything, filling them
with illusions, while on the other hand they close the door to these people
and encourage them to enter [the embassy] illegally by force. They are
encouraged to leave illegally. But they are not granted entry. [as heard]
We knew that when the guards were removed, and when the lumpens knew there
were no guards, that the embassy would be filled with lumpens. And that is
exactly what happened. It could be said that the lumpens did what was
expected they would do.

A provisional guard had to be reestablished, because the guard at that
embassy is provisional. I want to warn about this because the problem of
what we do, what they are going to do and the situation of the persons who
enter embassies by force remains to be resolved. There is not much
importance now to removing such a guard because we have removed the guard
from the Florida peninsula, and that is much bigger. [applause] We have had
to remove the guard from the Florida peninsula. They have an easier path to
leave. [applause]

Imperialism immediately took advantage of this problem. [It used] all the
bourgeois and rightist press of this hemisphere and the world to launch a
deluge of slander against Cuba and propaganda against Cuba. We expected
that. But this battle is won, is being won and is going to be won
completely, completely because we defy not only the Yankee military
threats, we also defy the Yankee press monopolies or rather the imperialist
press monopolies.

We defy this barrage; we defy the campaign with absolute imperturbability.
If we are not willing to defy risks of any kind, the risks of aggression as
well as the risks of their propaganda, if we are intimidated by the
propaganda--to be intimidated by propaganda is like being intimidated by
enemy guns. It is the same thing. We should not be afraid at all. We have
learned that perfectly well during 21 years.

But they unleashed it in the belief that the people wanted to leave; that
there were many dissidents, especially this belief--that there were
dissidents. There is lumpen there in that embassy. You were able to see it
in the film documentary. They do not know what the word dissidence means,
they would not know the meaning of this word. [laughter] Then, they built
up their campaign around this idea and of course, first it was the
imperialist press and then, as can be imagined, the reactionary and
rightist press against socialism, against communism, against the Cuban

Simultaneously, the Yankees were doing exactly the same thing. In recent
months, there was an increase in illegal departures. People commandeered
boats, often took the crew as hostages. Then they were received in Florida
as heroes, as dissidents, as patriots, and so forth. And we warned them. We
repeatedly warned them through diplomatic channels. We warned them. We also
warned them publicly because we talked about this very point on 8 March,
International Women's Day, at the closing of the congress. We warned them
of the consequences this might bring. And we told them that Camarioca could
be opened once more. On that day we set forth what the revolution's policy
was, is and will be. And the thing is that the work of a revolution and the
construction of socialism is a task of absolutely free and willing men and
women. [applause]

He who has no revolutionary genes, he who has no revolutionary blood, he
who does not have a mind that adapt to the idea of a revolution, he who
does not have a heart that can adapt to the effort of heroism required by a
revolution: We do not want them; we do not need them. [cheers and applause]
And at any rate, they are an insignificant part of the people, because what
the imperialists do not want, what they want to hide, what hurts them to
acknowledge are some truths. For instance, that there is no revolution with
the mass strength of the Cuban revolution. [applause] There is no
revolution, that is, our revolution; well, it is not good to make
comparisons; it is not good. But, the mass strength, the moral strength,
the political strength, the ideological strength of the revolution is
tremendous. And when it is put to the test, you saw the 19 April march; you
see this rally today. But it is not only numbers that count. You can see
the quality and the spirit of the people. [applause]

This is the image that imperialism would like to hide because it does not
suit them. They want the people to lose faith in Cuba. They want the people
to grow discouraged with Cuba. In addition, in this whole hemisphere, well,
let's exclude Nicaragua and Grenada. Or maybe they would admit it; they
would agree with us.

In spite of everything, in spite of the fact that we have lumpen, that
unfortunately we still have lumpen among us, in spite of the fact that we
will have declassed individuals, that we still have antisocial individuals,
we are the nationa that has the least number of antisocial individuals and
lumpen in the hemisphere. We are the nation with the lowest rate of theft,
although there were thieves. [laughter] The lowest theft and crime rate. A
minimal rate of drug abuse. There is no prostitution, no gambling nothing.
The Grenadians and the Nicaraguans have not yet been able to solve these
problems and it will take them a lot of time to solve them, because we were
unable to solve them in the first or the second year of the revolution
either. But there is no society with a healthier moral atmosphere than our
society in all this hemisphere [applause] There is no society with more
moral values than those achieved by our society at the end of 21 years of
revolution. None with such a sense of justice, with such a sense of
justice, with such a sense of honor, with such a sense of dignity, with
such an appreciation and admiration for merit, for work, for sacrifice.

And this is very much in evidence each time it is put to the test. And as
we have often said, during the Angolan and Ethiopian wars, hundreds of
thousands of Cubans volunteered to participate in those struggles. It is
shown by the fact that we have 50,000 military and civilian compatriots
abroad. It is shown by the fact that Cuban technicians are working in 35
countries. [applause] And the lumpen have no allies remaining here. At
first, they [the imperialists] had the bourgeoisie, the landowners. They
had vacillating individuals of the middle classes, including those of the
petit bourgeoisie. But now, where are they going to find allies? Among the
workers" [shouts of "No"!]

At first they sought out those classes because they existed as such in our
country and they were their allies. Now they only have the lumpen. They are
the only potential allies for imperialism. The lumpen. And some who have
the mentality of lumpen or get mixed up with them. As simple as that. But
they are the only potential allies left to imperialism. And this lumpen is
where they have to get their refugees, their asylum seekers, their

As I was saying, along with this, the United States was encouraging illegal
departures from the country. And therefore, Mariel was opened. Mariel,
which has surpassed Camarioca by far. Camarioca was nothing compared with

[Shout from a man in the crowd] He is saying: Lovely Mariel, you have been
wounded. [laughter] But look, rather than a wound, it was more of a
self-inflicted wound. Let me explain. The funny thing is that this time it
was not ourselves who proposed opening Mariel. No. The initiative was taken
over there. In the heat of the situation and the campaign created in the
United States itself in connection with the events at the Florida embassy
[corrects himself] the Peruvian Embassy. In Florida, the idea of sending
boats to pick up this lumpen was spontaneous. And then we simply limited
ourselves to declaring that we would not receive them with guns and that
they would be treated with complete courtesy. And we opened it. I do not
know if this is hara-kiri or a wound or what. [laughs] The thing is that it
was opened. Now we are going to see how we close it, how we can close it.
[laughter] We'll see. [shouts from the crowd]

They are doing an excellent sanitation job for us. [laughter] The best. Now
they are complaining. They say there are delinquents. As if this was a
great discovery. As if they were amazed to find some delinquents. Now, who
do they think broke into and took refuge in the Peruvian Embassy? Did they
think they were intellectuals, artists, technicians, engineers? What did
they think? That it was propaganda on our part? They thought that we were
doing an injustice and calling poor dissidents lumpen. [shouts of "trash!']
And that was the type of individual making up the large majority of those
who took refuge at the Peruvian Embassy.

Of course, some of them took their relatives. We cannot say that a child is
a lumpen. It is tragic for a child to be the child of lumpen, a terrible

But the large majority of the people there were of that kind: Lumpen. Some
limp wrists [flojito]. [laughter] Some shameless creatures who had been
covering up. [laughter] You know it; the committees [for the Defense of the
Revolution] know it better than anyone. They know that some of those
managed to slip through. By the way, they are the ones that produce the
most irritation. Those who cover up. [shouts from the crowd]. Well now
Mariel has opened. And we are strictly complying with our stand: That all
who want to leave for a country that will receive them an leave. The
building of socialism, revolutionary work is a task of free men and women.
We must not forget this principle. It entails huge moral value. [applause]

Now, we have not granted a passport and safe conduct only to lumpen who
took refuge in the embassy. No, we are giving them to all lumpen that
request them. To all who request them. And of course, the lumpen say: "This
is international lumpen day!" [laughter] When they heard that, all lumpen
wanted their passports and their safeconducts.

And what are we going to do? Why should we refuse them? As GRANMA says, it
is unfair and unconstitutional. What do they think they are going to
receive there? Of course, at first they took the refined bourgeois, the
well-dressed landowner. And then they took the physician, the professional.
And remember they took half of our country's doctors. We had 3,000 and they
took 6,000 [as heard]. Now it is very difficult, very difficult to take a
doctor away, because the ones that stayed behind were the best ones, and
doctors who trained along other lines, with a solidarity and human spirit,
doctors who are not money-minded. And we have more. Well, the proof is that
there are about 1,500 doctors on internationalist missions. And there are
no longer engineers, architects and teachers of the kind we had in the
early days of the revolution. [applause]

Because we must say that in this battle many interesting things have been
demonstrated. I would start by mentioning the incredible participation of
the young. The combativeness and zeal of our young. Because this has been
the first battle of a whole generation of youths, the first battle.
[applause] The massive participation of women [applause]. Something
remarkable. Beside, the attitude of intellectuals, of journalists, writers,
artists, technicians, professionals, doctors has been an excellent
attitude. It must be said that they have been on the frontline in this
battle. Not to mention the students. [applause]

Of course, imperialism used to be able to select. Now, how is it going to
be selective now? As (Nuez) says, they have no choice but to swallow the
sword to the hilt. [laughter] That is the situation. But this was not all
the problem. This was part of the problem. At the same time, there was the
announcement of military maneuvers in the Caribbean. That was more serious.
Air and naval landings at Guantanamo base. That was more serious, more

And even more serious if we thought of the world situation. More serious if
we analyzed the increasingly aggressive policy of imperialism toward us.
Because maybe in the early days of this administration there were some
gestures that could be thought of as positive, but later on--and
increasingly so--the more reactionary elements, the so-called hawks in the
U.S. Government were imposing their line of thinking and that line was
increasingly aggressive toward Cuba. This did not start just now. This
started with the Sixth Nonaligned Countries Summit. They were irritated by
Cuba's strength, by Cuba's prestige, and by Cuba's position and victories
within the nonaligned movement. And in the midst of the summit conference,
they unleashed an excessive and hypocritical campaign against Soviet
personnel in Cuba, Soviet personnel that had been in Cuba for 16 years,
since the October crisis. Something that had nothing to do with the October
crisis agreements. Soviet military personnel. The Yankees knew that. They
knew it.

They knew it since then and all the presidents knew it. And all of a sudden
they discover Soviet military personnel. They said it was a brigade. We did
not call it a brigade. We had another name for it. I believe it was Study
Center No 12. Who cares? The name is not important. We did not deny that
those personnel were here and that we were very happy that those personnel
had been here for 17 years. We are sorry that there are not more Study
Center 12's. That there is no No 13, 14, 15. We would be even happier
[applause] if we had available some more of these study centers. Because
they are excellent study centers, I am telling you. [laughter]. But they
knew it. That is where the hypocrisy, the phariseeism of imperialists lies.
In the midst of the conference they stirred up a big scandal with all that.
And they started a large-scale campaign. Later, it turned out that the U.S.
Government's prestige was affected by all this because to discover it at
such a late date forced it to adopt certain measures. But at the same time
they organized a command of troops for the Caribbean. And they stationed it
somewhere in Florida, in Key West. They established a troop command. Their
fundamental concern was determined by the revolutionary victory in
Nicaragua and the upsurge of the revolutionary movement in Central America.

They started to prepare intervention forces. And, of course, they used the
Soviet military personnel in Cuba as a pretext. They also used it to exert
pressure on us and other maneuver was bigger, more extensive, better
equipped, more soldiers, stronger. Oh, no. We could not just sit here
watching them organize this maneuver. As has been said, this maneuver is
simply a rehearsal to invade our country; a shameless rehearsal of
invasion. And on our own territory to boot. It is really intolerable. It is
unacceptable. A maneuver on how to invade Cuba in our own territory.

The maneuvers turned into a serious problem. And we were not going to stand
there with our arms crossed. We immediately adopted measures to mobilize
the Eastern Army with reinforcements from other provinces to organize
maneuvers of Cuba's armed forces in view of the Yankee maneuvers. [applause
and chanting] It was only logical for the hurricane to turn around toward
the United States. And so it did.

The United States has imposed on Cuba a blockade that has lasted over 20
years, a harsh economic blockade, which forbids even the sale of food and
medicine--even medicine. A brutal thing that has been going on for 21
years. The United States is occupying part of our territory by force and
against the will of our people. Now, what doctrine, principle, law,
legality can be used as the basis for a naval base on the territory of
another country against the will of the people? That has no legal or
juridical or moral or principled basis. It is simply an act of force.

The United States sends over Cuban territory the very modern SR-71, which
fly at an altitude of between 25,000 and 30,000 meters at very high speed.
Those are the explosions which you hear every so often all over the
country, because the breaking of the speed of sound creates these noises.
Walls shake, glass windows shake each time the SR-71 goes by. It is not so
easy to bring them down. Technically, it is not easy. Now, is this legal?
Is it legal to blockade our country? Is it legal to have a naval base on
our territory? Is it legal to violate our airspace? [shouts of "no!"] They
are doing it. And in addition, the maneuvers.

But that was not all. Many of the comrades who have spoken today have
mentioned it. They spoke of La Couvre, Giron, Escambray, the sabotage, the
subversion plans, the introduction of agricultural diseases, the plans to
assassinate the leaders of the revolution, Barbados. They recalled many
things because there are many things of which the United States need be

It was not that we capriciously turned the hurricane that began at the
Peruvian Embassy against the United States. The natural course of the
hurricane was the United States. And the natural course of the struggle
against these violations and blackmail was to remove the guard from
Florida. It was the natural course and it should not have surprised them so
much. They knew it could be done. And, as I said, in a formal sense we were
not the ones who opened up Mariel.

They opened it from over there. We do not have policemen over there. That
is their own affair. If people want to disobey their orders, that is their
problem. We are free and legally able to do what we do within our own
territory and to authorize the departure of the antisocial individuals who
want to leave. We are not forcing anyone at all. Let this be understood. We
have never deported anyone. But we have an absolute right to authorize the
departure of the antisocial individuals. And that is what we are doing.
Well, the battle is becoming interesting.

Yesterday, or rather today, we started getting reports this morning that
the Yankees has suspended the naval landing in Guantanamo. [cheers] A U.S.
radio station early this morning reported that the naval landing had been
suspended but not the air landing. But this afternoon we had complete
reports and we were able to confirm through the U.S. interests Section in
Havana and Washington, which sent this open cable. It says: We have just
spoken to Mr Miles Frechette, head of the Cuban Affairs Bureau at the State
Department, who confirmed that the military maneuvers planned for
Guantanamo have been completely canceled. [prolonged applause] Frechette
commented that he had contacted the Voice of America to point out its
mistake regarding a broadcast announcing that the past of the maneuvers
involving parachute jumping would still be conducted.

Apparently they say the maneuvers will now be conducted somewhere along the
Florida coast and the eastern U.S. coast. We know these maneuvers, their
intentions, are prepared maneuvers that definitely threaten us, Central
American and the Caribbean. But, of course, we are not going to discuss
their right to conduct maneuvers on U.S. territory. What we discuss is the
right to state maneuvers on Cuban territory.

If this is so, there is no doubt that this is a notable success for the
struggle of the people and of international solidarity. [applause] For this
reason, the Cuban Government will suspend the special Giron 19 maneuvers
that the Eastern Army was to have staged beginning on 7 May. [applause]

But the combating march is still on! [shouts] The combating march is still
on! [applause] Because the combating march was to be staged against the
maneuvers, against the blockade, against Guantanamo Base and against the
SR-71 spy flights. [applause] Lest the Yankees try to take advantage of the
fact that the people have been demoralized [shouts] in the middle of the

The combative people's march must go and it must go with even more strength
than the 19 April march. [applause] It is a mobilization of the people
against the blockade, against Guantanamo Base, the existence of a Yankee
military base on our territory and against the violations of our airspace,
for we must not remain silent. [shouts] We simply want to express before
world public opinion our rejection and spirit of struggle against this.
Now, if the U.S. Government announced that it has suspended the blockade
against Cuba, that it will return our occupied territory in Guantanamo and
that it will suspend the SR-71 flights, then we will gladly suspend the
combative people's march. [shouts, applause] But they will not do it! They
will not do it; they will not do it, but they will respect us a bit more;
they will learn a bit more about Cuba. They will learn to respect Cuba
more. [applause, slogans]

The United States has suspended the maneuver but it has not given up the
right they give themselves to carry them out in 3, 4 or 5 months, whenever
they believe there are more favorable international or other types of
circumstances. Therefore, what they have to renounce is their presence in
that piece of our national territory. That is why we will maintain these
three (?banners) and we will organize the march.

They say I have organized it. The truth is that I wasn't the one who
organized it. The march wasn't organized by Castro but by the mass
organization. Of course, the masses have their political leaders and the
masses have their party. We don't go around with hypocrisies of any type.
Just as we are here, we are in everything.

[Applause, shouts] We aren't going around creating fiction. We are united
and we have a party and a leadership. But of course, the party cannot
organize the march. It cannot. Only through the mass organizations can the
march be held. Only through the unity of a revolution can the enthusiasm of
an event such as this be created. Those are realities. Now then, all the
people have participated in this. All the people have participated just as
we are participating in this event.

Therefore, the march will be held on Saturday, 17 May, not on the 8th
because that was when the maneuvers were going to start, but not the exact
day when they were going to land those ships. So on Saturday, 18 May [as
heard], the people's combative march will be held throughout the country.
On this occasion it will not be 1 million. I estimate that around 5 million
people will march that day. [applause] But of course, we should not boast
of the success. It is not a time for boasting.

The enemy still exists. It is strong. It harasses us. It blockades us and
threatens us and much more now in view of a new world situation in which we
are practically at the threshold or already in an arms race and a cold war.
That is why we cannot let down our guard. We cannot stop being alert.
Therefore, the party has instructed the armed forces to form the militias
of territorial troops as one more force. [applause] They will be made up of
men, women, workers, peasants, students, everyone who is able to fight.
They will be organized so they can defend every part of the national
territory. [applause]

All those who are able to fight are not in the reserve units of the regular
troops, all those who are not in the reserves or in the regular units of
the armed forces, will make up the territorial troop militias.

Because [word indistinct] that Cuba like Nicaragua--although Cuba has a
much stronger army than Nicaragua, logically because it has existed for a
longer time and has a larger population--not only a regular war would
confront a virtual aggression against Cuba. The enemy would have to face a
people's war. It would have to face both things, the resistance of the
regular units and the resistance of all the people.

You know what makes us, Nicaragua and Grenada strong? It is the fact that
these are popular revolutions. They are revolutions with great popular
support. And any enemy has to think that it is madness to invade a country
like this one. It is madness because they are going to experience what
occurred to Napoleon's troops in Spain; they went in but then they couldn't
get out. Or Napoleon in old Russia; they went in but then they could not
find a way out. It is easy to enter. But if they are going to face a people
like this one, if they face a people like this one, it is later very
difficult to get out of that problem. [applause]

We have to prepare for two types of war, for the conventional war and for
the people's war, for both wars. This what forces them to think a few times
before committing the blunder of invading our country. But there are
threats against us. Some of them have begun to speak in more aggressive
terms. Some of them have proposed that the 1962 agreements be disregarded,
that is, to once again bring up the thesis of their right to invade us.
Others have cynically said that if there is a conflict in another part of
the world, they would have the right to carry out actions wherever it is
more advantageous to them. In sum, they were referring to Cuba in view of
the fact that Cuba is very far away from the Soviet Union and the socialist
camp. But we have to be realistic. We have to be realistic because we have
those dangers of the increasing imperialist aggression and its theories and
those things they are proposing.

However, they should know what they will find. That is why we said that
this rally was so important. This shows imperialism that here we have a
people and it shows them what kind of people we have here.

I would say that we have waged a battle today in defense of the integrity
of our fatherland. [applause] Your mere presence [applause], your mere
presence in this plaza is an important battle in defense of the integrity
and the security of Cuba because the dangerous thing is for the enemy to be
confused. The dangerous thing is for the enemy to be deceived.

But we should do something more. Work has already begun on the drafting of
plans on what the country should to to survive and withstand a total
blockade, on what each one of us must do in case of a total blockade. What
we must do to survive if no food or fuels come in. They are also talking of
these possibilities. That is, not to undertake a military action against
the country but to mine the ports. One of the objectives of those maneuvers
was the mining of the ports. Not mining them but studying how it should be
done. They speak of naval blockades, knowing how difficult it would be for
a country without petroleum to survive a naval blockade. We have to draft
the plans on what to do in that situation. By the way, Reagan or `Rigin,' I
don't know how you pronounce it, who is the certain candidate of the
Republican Party, has expressed support for a naval blockade against Cuba.
Of course, none of this is easy I must warn them. But as revolutionaries
and as a realistic people we have the duty of having a reply for each of
these problems. But the one thing they cannot imagine is for Cuba to
surrender ever. Because we will never surrender. We will never surrender.
[applause, shouts]

If a climate of peace does not exist in the Caribbean, it is not our fault
but theirs. Suppress you blockade, suppress you base in Guantanamo, stop
overlying Cuba, respect Nicaragua, respect Grenada and do not interfere. If
to this we add noninterference in the domestic affairs of other Latin
American peoples, then a climate of peace and detente might be created.

Now, the one thing we must fight for, the one thing there is the duty to
fight for, is the development of peace and cooperation among the peoples.
But the one thing we will never do is fall on our knees at the feet of
imperialism to beg for peace. [shouts, slogans]

The international situation tends to become complicated. I would like to
take advantage of this occasion to talk about the situation in Iran. All of
us are interested in this problem, (?and if) the Yankees [words indistinct]
someplace else might lead to certain actions by them. Everything that
happens anywhere is of interest to us. These things interest us as
revolutionaries; they interest us as conscientious men; they also interest
us for ourselves. What happens in the world is of interest to us.

In Iran, as you know, the shah's dynasty lasted more than 30 years. The
people lived under a fierce tyranny for dozens of years. The people had
already overthrown the shah once but, just like it did in Guatemala, the
CIA [words indistinct] and reestablished him in the government. This is a
known fact; it is a historical fact. All the documents, all the evidence
exists. [The shah] assassinated hundreds of thousands of Iranians; he
imprisoned them, tortured them and committed all kinds of horrors.

With great bravery, with great patriotism, almost without weapons and
despite the fact that the shah had the most powerful army in the region,
the Iranian people overthrew the shah. And naturally an irritation against
and a marked rejection of U.S. policy resulted.

When, in addition, the United States made the mistake of taking the shah to
the United States, that elicited a popular outburst, an outburst of
indignation that gave rise to the incidents at the U.S. Embassy in
Iran--the seizure of the embassy and the capture of a group of officials.
The imperious U.S. response to developments of this type is force. (?This
was provoked) because it was the CIA's action, installing the shah there,
which elicited that hatred from the masses. It was the U.S. support for the
shah which elicited that hatred against the United States. It was the
shah's arrival in the United States which caused the explosion of the
masses. And we have always held the position that this problem must be
resolved by political and diplomatic means instead of by force--the problem
of the embassy and the problem of the hostages.

But, the United States has made a number of mistakes. The first was
practically confiscating--embargoing and seizing in other words--thousands
of millions of dollars that the Iranian state had deposited in U.S. banks.

This measure of force, of imperious behavior, this illegal measure, had to
irritate the Iranians even further. And each thing the Americans have done
has contributed to further irritating the Iranians. They mobilize big
forces, aircraft carriers, dozens of military units near Iran; they
threaten it and naturally, this further irritates the Iranians.

In addition to this, they announce they will carry out military actions
before July. And indeed, they did stage some operations such as the
commando attack, the attempt to carry out a commando attack. Seeking to
resolve the problem in Iran through force and surprise, they have further
complicated the problem. Now the students have dispersed the so-called

In short, any action of force carried out against the Iranian people would
be very serious. But in addition, the United States has banned trade with
Iran, has established a kind of blockade against Iran and is now
threatening to adopt new measures. And it is trying to drag Western Europe
and Japan into the economic blockade against Iran, that is, the attempt to
make Iran surrender through hunger. Something similar to the things they
did to us.

We must also work in order to put an end to the conflicts between our Iraqi
and Iranian brothers. We must work so that their problems are resolved by
diplomatic means, because those conflicts only carry water to the mill of

Now, what will happen if the United States manages to impose that blockade
against Iran, trying to make it surrender through hunger? Iran is a Third
World country; it belongs to the nonaligned movement, and it is a member of
OPEC, that is, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. OPEC has
in its hands the ability to prevent an economic blockade against Iran. It
has this in its hands. It has warned that oil supplies will be suspended to
those countries that join the blockade against Iran. [applause]

The West does not have the ability to impose an economic blockade against
Iran if OPEC does not want and refuses to do it, and if it warms with
justifiable reasons about its possible consequences. OPEC can say: You want
to starve 35 million human beings to death; I will not send you fuel for
you to use to ride around in your car. This is the hour of truth for OPEC.
This organization should not only increase prices and amass huge fortunes.
This is the hour of truth for OPEC and the nonaligned and Third World

This is very interesting since we do not expect OPEC to do as the OAS did,
when the imperialists established their aggressive blockades against Cuba.
This is a problem we must follow closely. We must urge our internationalist
friend to support Iran.

Naturally Iran is now the victim, but here very close to use we have the
case of El Salvador, where genocide is being committed against the people
and where thousands of patriots are being murdered. In order to understand
the diverging policies of some states, we have the example of what the
Andean Pact did regarding the [words indistinct] and other problems.

We are not opposed to the integration of Latin America and the Caribbean.
On the contrary we are in favor of it and, together with Mexico, we helped
to create the Latin American Economic System [LAES]. But we are opposed to
political deals in this hemisphere because they lead to nothing.

We would have liked a progressive and revolutionary Andean Pact, and as a
placard said during the fighting march, a real pact of Bolivar and Sandino.
But what did the Andean Pact do? It said nothing regarding the maneuvers
being organized by the Yankees, not even a statement. What has it done in
regard to the blockade of Cuba, which is a crime? It has not issued a
declaration condemning the blockade. What has it done in regard to the
Guantanamo Base? It has not made a single statement demanding that the base
be returned to us. This is our territory. What has it done regarding the
spy flights over Cuba, which are a shameless violation of our sovereignty?
It has not issued a single statement condemning it. What has it done about
Puerto Rico, a brother country which imperialism wants to devour, which the
United States wants to annex? It has not said a single word. What has it
said abut Iran and the blockade of Iran? Not a single word that we know of.
What has it said about the genocide in El Salvador? Not a single word. In
that country thousands of persons have died during the past months. The
Andean Pact launched a deluge of propaganda against us, referring to events
in which there was not even a single wounded person. There was a great
bomb, the march, but we were confident the bomb would not explode and it
did not.

Let us say that there, were thousands of patriots are dying, the Andean
Pact does not say a word. This is logical. The Venezuelan ruling party
supports the genocide Government of El Salvador and also supports the
so-called Christian democracy in Panama which is really a group of rightist
reactionaries which conspires against the progressive government of that

These are things related to problems where the Andean Pact assumes a
demagogic attitude toward Cuba. I will not say that the conduct of all of
the member countries was alike. There were differences among the, but the
Andean Pact is good for only some things.

We have, as I said, the Salvadoran situation which demands the most ample
international support to halt the hands of the imperialists.
Demonstrations, like this one today are part of the struggle, not only for
the defense of our own integrity, but also for the defense of the integrity
of Grenada, Nicaragua, the sovereignty of the Caribbean countries and
Central America. It is part of our struggle.

This is why this rally has a special meaning. It has really been an
International Labor Day. For us, it has been a great honor and
satisfaction. We have felt very stimulated and strengthened by the presence
of Companero Bishop in this rally. He had his rally this morning in Grenada
and his rally this afternoon in Havana. We have with us Companero Daniel
Ortega, whom you know from the Sixth Summit; president of the World Peace
Council, Companero Chandra [applause]; the leader of the world workers'
organization, Companero Pastorino [applause]; we have been honored with the
presence of the best of the Latin American intellectuals, Companero Juan
Bosch, [applause] and Companero Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

This has meant a lot for us, this gives a truly historical meaning to the
greatest rally of the revolution. We, besides maintaining the mobilization,
and preparing for the march on the 17th must turn this energy not only into
political or military energy, but also into a productive energy. As [word
indistinct] explained, the coming weeks are decisive, for the conclusion of
the sugarcane harvest as well as for the great amount of sugarcane that
must be planted and weeded. We must turn this energy into a productive
force. We must turn this tremendous force, created by this colossal mass
struggle, this people's revolutionary definition, and the hatred expressed
against the idle, the parasite, the lumpen and the antisocial--we must turn
this into a force of awareness. We must turn it into an instrument in the
struggle for achievements and to overcome deficiencies and the struggle to
overcome difficulties.

This is very important if we are going to be able to transform this
incredible, gigantic, force in the struggle against our own deficiencies,
in the struggle against our own weaknesses.

Today, many things have been packed with emotion. Those things have been
stimulating. The most essential, the most fundamental factor has been the

This afternoon will have an everlasting impression on all of us, an
impression that cannot be erased. I say this without demagoguery, without
the purpose of flattering and with a profound, sincere and heartfelt spirit
of justice.

I dare say that such a people deserve a place in history, a place in glory,
that such a people deserve deserve victory. Fatherland or death? We shall
win! [crowd shouts: "We shall win" and applauds.]