Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

'We Essentially Seek The Same Thing'

By Fidel Castro

We have always harbored the most sincere feelings of admiration and
affection toward the people of the United States for their enterprising,
dedicated, persevering, altruistic and idealistic spirit. They are also a
very creative people. I have harbored these feelings ever since I first
became acquainted with the history of their independence struggles and the
concepts contained in the 1776 Declaration. These continue to be and will
always be evident truths. Those ideas greatly influenced Cuban
revolutionaries from our independence struggles to our Socialist

We essentially seek the same things but in different eras and historical
conditions. Progressive ideas, as life itself, also evolve. In my defense,
when I was tried for the rebel action of the Moncada [his 1953 attack on
army barracks in Santiago], I invoked, among others, the ideas from the
1776 Declaration.

I likewise greatly admire Lincoln, his humble origin, his life and his

I also admire the United States as the melting pot that has blended men and
women of all origins, religions and ideas into a great nation, even though
this melting pot has still much to blend whenever I think about the fate of
the Indians, the Blacks and the Hispanics.

The Americans' noble feelings, altruism and idealism, however, have not
always been well directed. Not seldom--although always under the guise of
noble and just purposes--selfishness, expansionism and chauvinism were
enhanced and used to commit atrocious actions, such as the mutilation and
seizure of Mexican territory, the occupation of the Isthmus of Panama and
of Puerto Rico, the repeated interventions in numerous small, weak and poor
nations of the Caribbean and Central America, the Vietnam War and the
invasion of Granada, to mention but some examples. Not few came to consider
this last and unglorious episode as a merit and a victory.

But whenever the people of the United States were led to commit unjust
actions, demagogic appeals were made to their generous and noble soul.
Freedom has said, many crimes have been committed throughout history in its
name. We have suffered from the policy in our nation. At times, attempts
have been made--and are still being made--to eliminate me physically. As
you can see, I am being candid in passing this critical judgment. But as a
personally convinced revolutionary, and due to deeply rooted principles, we
shall never blame the people for the responsibilities of governments and
systems. In this case, more than ever before, one must render unto God the
things that are God's and unto Caesar the things that are Caesar's.

In our homeland--and all U.S. citizens who have visited us in the past 25
years can bear witness to this--we have never sown and shall never sow
feelings of hostility and hatred toward the people of the United States. I
have always made it my personal concern to stress their great virtues and
merits. The hospitality and respectful and friendly treatment U.S. citizens
find here are the result of that policy and of our people's education. We
are staunch and unyielding revolutionaries, but we are not fanatics. For
us, the evident truths are never those that may be inculcated through lies,
demagogy or by appealing to the lowly passions that man may harbor but only
those we are capable of reasoning and thinking through calmly and

We wish the people of the United States peace, which is the same as wishing
all mankind peace; and we wish them security and progress, which is what we
also wish for all peoples. I an convinced that one day the people of Cuba
and the United States will live in complete peace and friendship.