Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Odessa Speech

PY031737 Moscow in Spanish to Cuba 0000 GMT 2 Mar 81

[Speech by Fidel Castro at Odessa opera house during 1 March meeting
honoring Cuban Communist Party delegation to the 26th CPSU
Congress--recorded in Spanish with sentence by sentence translation into

[Text] Dear Soviet comrades, dear Cuban comrades: Please excuse me for not
bringing a written speech to this meeting.

In reality, I have attended the entire session of the congress. I did not
have time for anything else. I hope that Comrade [name
indistinct--presumably translator] and I will be able to work together
despite the difficulties. [applause]

When we arrived in Odessa today, one of the first things I thought was that
this theater is one of the most [words indistinct]. [applause] and now
after we have arrived here we have been able to see personally that it is
true. [applause]

First of all I would like to express our profound gratitude for the warm,
cordial and friendly way you have received our delegation. [applause]

Thank you for the warm words delivered in the name of the Odessa workers
and students. Thank you very much for the warm and friendly words of
Comrade Kirichenko, first secretary of the Odessa party committee.

As you know, we have come to attend the 26th CPSU Congress. What can we say
about the 26th CPSU Congress? We have attended practically all the
sessions. The congress has been arranged for [words indistinct]. The CPSU
congresses have always been a historic event for all communists of the
world. The CPSU is part of all communists of the world.

The congress is analyzing all the accomplishments of the last 5 years and
of the last 10 years, and is making predictions for the future. The
congress is proof of the solid progress of the Soviet Union's economic and
social development. The congress is undeniable proof of the political
education, ideological depth and unity of the glorious CPSU. The Central
report was a brilliant contribution by Leonid Brezhnev [words indistinct]
in support of peace with new, creative and constructive proposals which
have already made a great impact in the world. [applause]

There are certainly dangers threatening peace. There are (?nations) who
want to return to the cold war and the arms race. These forces have
acquired great power in the new U.S. administration. There is a need to
make a basic, strong and decisive effort to preserve peace. During this
26th CPSU Congress, the Soviet Union has emerged once again as the great
defender of peace and independence of the people because we want peace with
security, peace with freedom and peace with independence. [applause]

The Soviet people know better than anyone else that we [words indistinct]
of the law since no people have had to pay such a high price for their
right to life, their right to peace, to justice and to (?politics). No
other nation has worked so hard in the last 10 years to achieve the
well-being of their own people and of all humanity. [applause]

History cannot be ignored. No one, therefore, can ignore what this country
was like under the czars--the poverty, the oppression, the economic
backwardness, the oppression of some nationalities by other
nationalities--or everything that Lenin's brilliant mind, the Soviet
columnists, and the October Revolution have done to create this wonder that
is today the Soviet Union. [applause]

And you have achieved this with so much sacrifice with so much
strength--because everything you have created has been done with your own
hands, with your sacrifice and your intelligence. Throughout its 64 years,
the Soviet Union has experienced continuous development despite foreign
intervention and despite fascist aggression. We, its friends for more than
20 years, have seen how the Soviet Union has grown and developed day by
day. [long applause]

Dear Odessa friends: This trip to the USSR has given me the opportunity,
the privilege and the honor to meet the citizens of the heroic city of
Odessa. [applause]

People in my country speak much of Odessa. To them Odessa means an open
door to trade and economic cooperation between our two countries. Millions
of tons of trade have passed through the ports of Odessa and Ylichevsk
between Cuba and the Soviet Union. We know the history of Odessa. No one
ignores Odessa's participation in the 1905 revolution and the uprising of
the Potemkin in 1905. [applause]

You know that we have just closed the second party congress and that right
now there is an extraordinary work spirit in Cuba since we are about to
finish the most productive harvest in the history of our country. I
believe, therefore, that there will be a lot of sugar shipments to
Ylichevsk port. [applause]

Cuba is experiencing intense activity in all other productive sectors, but
Cuba is also experiencing extraordinary patriotism right now. The Yankee
imperialists have been launching threats at our people in the past few
weeks. They talk about a military blockade; they talk about the enforcement
of strong measures against Cuba; in effect, they speak of aggression. But
we are still in time; we are not afraid. [long applause]

In the first place, we have turned the imperialist threats into a
productive force. [applause] We have asked the people to work more than
ever, to do more and better than ever, and the people have responded.

In the second place, we have called on the people to strengthen the
country's defense system, to get ready to resist any imperialist attack,
and as a result millions of men and women in our country are requesting
enlistment in the territorial [territoriares] troops to support the armed
forces [word indistinct] in a case of attack. [applause] If the
imperialists adventurously launch an attack against our fatherland, we will
struggle until the last drop of blood is shed. [long applause] We will
struggle as you Soviet people struggled in Leningrad where you endured a
blockade and siege for 900 days. We will struggle as you struggled in
Moscow [applause] where you did not allow the fascists to take over. We
will struggle as you did in Volgograd, as you struggled in Odessa and so
many other parts of [words indistinct] Soviet Union. [applause]

This morning we read a report on some statements Reagan made at a toast in
honor of his colleague, the British prime minister, which I believe was in
the presence of the British royal couple [words indistinct] incredible. He
told the British prime minister that he hoped Marxism-Leninism would
definitely go down in history as something very sad in the history of
mankind, and that he cherished the hope to be able to plan a world free of
Marxism-Leninism. But didn't Hitler say something similar? Who would have
the bright idea of talking about a world free of socialism and
Marxism-Leninism at this time? [long applause]

It would be much more natural to speak to each other about a world without
imperialism, without capitalism, without racism, without fascism and
without the exploitation of man by man. [applause]

But we do not say that we will liquidate imperialism. It is not we who are
going to liquidate it. Imperialism will be liquidated by history [applause]
just as history has liquidated slavery and feudalism and is leaving behind
all regimes of exploitation. In addition, imperialism is suffering from a
great economic crisis. It may be said that imperialism is stewing in its
own juice. These are the realities. There are men who are not realists, who
are adventurers, who are reckless or mad. [words indistinct] These are the
difficulties because of which we said it is necessary, because of all the
present circumstances of the world, (?to make) a special effort.

Dear Soviet comrades: We have had the privilege of celebrating this
ceremony of Soviet- Cuban friendship.

What can we say to you about this friendship? It has now withstood the
trials of over 20 years, but it will also withstand the trials of centuries
because this friendship is based on the principles and the spirit of
fraternity and cooperation. Without the great help which the Cuban people
received from the Soviet Union it would have been very difficult to resist
the economic blockade and aggression of imperialism. Therefore we know that
our revolution exists, our revolution is strong, our country is free, our
independence has been preserved, and we have been able to build socialism
thanks to the existence of the Soviet Union and the great cooperation it
has given Cuba.

What can we say about this friendship? We can say that it is stronger and
(?fresher) than ever. I repeat here the words which Comrade Kirichenko
recalled in his speech at the 26th congress: We are and will always be the
faithful friends of the generous and heroic Soviet people [applause] and in
our hearts there will never be any place for ingratitude, opportunism or
treason. [long applause]

Long live the eternal friendship between the Soviet people and the Cuban

Long live proletarian internationalism! [cheers]

Long live peace!

Fatherland or death [words indistinct]! [applause, cheers and slogans]