Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Delivers Speech

FL142245 Havana Television Service in Spanish 2101 GMT 14 Nov 83

[Speech by Cuban President Fidel Castro at the funeral ceremony for Cubans
who died fighting in Grenada, at Havana's Plaza de la Revolucion -- live]]

[Text] Comrades: [Applause] Just over 7 years ago, on 15 October 1976, we
met here in this same place to say farewell to the flight that was taken by
57 Cubans, who were vilely murdered when their plane was sabotaged over
Barbados -- an action that was carried out by men who had been trained by
the CIA of the United States. Today, we are again here to say farewell to
24 Cubans, who, in Grenada -- another island that is not very far from
Barbados-- died as a consequence of the military actions of the United

Grenada is one of the world's smallest independent states, both in
territory and population. If Cuba, despite its being a small,
underdeveloped country, could significantly help Grenada, it was due to the
very fact that our efforts -- which were quantitatively modest, but very
high in quality -- meant a lot to a country that has only 400 square km of
territory and just over 100,000 inhabitants. Thus, for example, the value
of our contribution to Grenada in projects, construction work, and material
for the new airport amounted to $60 million at international prices. In
other words, more than $500 per inhabitant. It was as though Cuba, with its
population of approximately 10 million persons, were to receive, as a
donation, a project worth $5 billion. In addition to this, there is the
work of our doctors, teachers, and technicians in various specialities.

And a yearly contribution of Cuban products amounting to approximately $3
million must also be added to the list. This means that there was an
additional annual contribution of $40 per inhabitant.

It is materially impossible for Cuba to help countries that have
significantly larger populations and territory, but, yes, we could give a
lot of help to a small country such as the small nation of Grenada. Many
other small Caribbean nations admired Cuba's generous aid to that sister
nation. These small nations that are used to the gross economic and
strategic interests of colonialism and imperialism probably thought that
this desinterested action of Cuba was extraordinary. In addition, it is
possible that some of them, in the midst of the dirty propaganda of the
U.S. Government, did not fully understand this aid.

Our people's friendship with Bishop and Grenada was very close and our
respect for the country and its sovereignty was so irreproachable that we
did not even dare to give an opinion on what was being done there and how
it was done. With Grenada, we applied the same principle that we practice
with all revolutionary countries and movements: absolute respect for its
policies, its ideas and decisions. We only gave our viewpoint on any matter
that it was asked for. Imperialism is incapable of understanding that the
secret of our excellent relations with the world's revolutionary countries
and movements is based on that very respect.

The U.S. Government despised Grenada and it hated Bishop. It wanted to
destroy Grenada's process and the example it was giving. It had also
prepared military plans for invading the island, something that Bishop
denotinced nearly 2 years ago, but it could not find a pretext for carrying
it out, Truly, Grenada's economic and social situation was advancing in a
satisfactory manner. The people had received numerous benefits, despite the
hostile attitude of the United States, and its economic GNP was growing at
a good rate in the midst of the world crisis.

Bishop was not an extremist, although yes, he was a true revolutionary,
conscientious and honest, never could we disagree with his intelligent and
realistic policies. On the contrary, we fully supported them, because they
were rigorously adapted to the concrete conditions and potential of his
country. Grenada had become a true symbol of independence and progress in
the Caribbean. Nobody could have been capable of imagining the tragedy that
was about to occur. Attention was concentrated on other parts of the world.
But regrettably, it was the Grenadian revolutionaries themselves who opened
the doors to imperialist aggression.

Hyenas emerged from the ranks of the revolutionaries. Today nobody can
truly saw that those who used the dagger of division and internal
confrontation did so mutuo proprio, or whether they did so inspired and
encouraged by imperialism. Either it was something that was carried out by
the CIA, or on the contrary, it could not have been carried out more

What is true is the fact that alleged revolutionary arguments were used,
invoking the most pure principles of Marxism-Leninism and accusing Bishop
of practicing the cult of personalism and of departing from the Leninist
norms and methods of leadership. In our opinion there could be nothing more
absurd that attributing such learnings to Bishop. It was impossible to
imagine anyone who was more noble, modest, and unselfish. He could never be
blamed for being authoritarian, and if lie can be accused of a defect, that
defect was his excess of tolerance and confidence.

Perhaps those who conspired against him within the part),, in the Army, and
in the Grenadian security forces were a group of extremists with political

It simply was a case of a group of ambitious opportunists including enemies
who wanted to destroy the Grenadian revolution. Only history will have the
last word, but it would not be the first time in a revolutionary process
that one thing or another had occurred.

According to our criterion, objectively, Coard's group destroyed the
revolution and opened the doors to imperialist aggression. Whatever his
intentions were, the atrocious murder of Bishop and his most faithful and
[word indistinct] comrades constitutes an act which can never be justified
in that or any other revolution. As the declaration of the Cuban party and
Government said on 20 October, no crime can be committed in the name of the
revolution and liberty.

Bishop, despite his close and familial links with the leadership of our
party, never said a single word about the internal dissensions that were
developing. On the contrary, in his last conversation with us, he spoke in
self-critical terms about his work in relation to the attention he should
pay to the Armed Forces and mass organizations. Practically all the
leadership of our party and our government shared long, fraternal, and
friendly hours with him during the night of 7 October before his departure
on his return to Grenada.

Coard's group never had such relations, such intimacy, such trust with us.
What is more, we did not even know that group existed. What can be pointed
out in honor of our revolution is that notwithstanding the deep indignation
that the removal from office and the arrest of Bishop produced among us, we
totally abstained from becoming involved in the internal affairs despite
the fact that our construction workers and other collaborators in Grenada,
who did not hesitate to face the Yankee soldiers with the weapons that
Bishop himself had given them for their defense in case of foreign
aggression, could have been a decisive factor in the internal events, But
it was never supposed and we would never have allowed those weapons to be
used in internal Grenadian conflicts. And we would never have favored using
them to spill one drop of Grenadian blood.

On 12 October, Bishop was removed from office by the Central Committee, on
which the conspirators had gained a majority. On 13 October, he was
arrested in his home. On 19 October, the people rose up and freed Bishop.
On the same day, Coard's group ordered the Army to fire on the people, and
Bishop, Whiteman, Jacqueline Creft, and other brave revolutionary leaders
were murdered.

The Yankee imperialists decided on the invasion when the internal
dissension, which became widely known on 12 October, had barely begun to be
noticed. The message sent by the leadership of the Cuban Party to Coard's
group on 15 October is publicly known. In it, we expressed our deep concern
about the consequences -- internal as well as external -- of the division
that had arisen, and our appeal to the common sense, serenity, wisdom, and
generosity of the revolutionaries. This reference to generosity was an
appeal that violence not be used against Bishop and his followers.

This group of Coard's which took power in Grenada from the first moment
showed itself to have great reservations toward Cuba because of our
well-known and unquestionable friendship with Bishop. The national and
international press published our strong condemnation of the events of 19
October, the day on which Bishop was murdered.

Our relations with Austin's brief government, in which the true leader was
Coard, were cold and tense. So much so that at the time of the criminal
Yankee invasion, there was not the slightest degree of coordination between
the Grenadian Army and the Cuban construction workers and collaborators.
The essential points of the messages sent to our embassy in Grenada between
12 and 25 October, the day of the invasion, have been published.

Those documents will remain for history as unchallengeable proof of our
clean position of principles with relation to Grenada. Imperialism,
however, presented the events as the rise to power of a group of hardline
communists who were faithful allies of Cuba.

They were really communists. They were really hardliners. Could they really
be faithful allies of Cuba or were they really unconscious or conscious
tools of Yankee imperialism? Go look for the answer in the history of the
revolutionary movement and you will see more than once the connection
between imperialism and those who assume apparently extreme positions on
the left.

Aren't Pol Pot and Ieng Sary, the butchers of Kampuchea, today the most
faithful allies of Yankee imperialism in Southeast Asia. We in Cuba, since
the beginning of the crisis in Grenada, have been calling the Coard group,
in order to call it something, have been calling it the Pol Potian group.
Our relations with the new leaders of Grenada had to be subjected to a deep
study, as was announced in the statement of the party and Government of
Cuba on 20 October.

In this statement we also said that out of a basic consideration for the
people of Grenada we would not be precipitate in taking any step in
relation to technical and economic cooperation which could affect essential
services, vital economic interests of the people of Grenada. We could not
resign ourselves to the idea of leaving the Grenadian people without
doctors, nor leave the airport without completing it, since it was vital to
the economy of the country. Without a doubt, at the termination of this
project, our builders would have withdrawn from Grenada and the weapons
distributed by Bishop would have been returned to the government. It is
even possible that our very bad relations with the new government would
have forced us to leave much sooner.

What placed Cuba in a morally complex and difficult situation was the
announcement that Yankee naval forces were moving toward Grenada. Under
these conditions we, under no circumstances, could abandon the country. If
imperialism really intended to attack Grenada our, duty was to remain
there. To withdraw at that moment would have been dishonorable and could
even have stimulated the aggression -- now in Grenada and tomorrow in Cuba.

The events took place with such incredible rapidity that even if evacuation
had been considered there would not have been time to carry it out. But in
Grenada the government was morally indefensible and the country, in which
there had been a divorce among the party, the government, and the Army in
relation to the people was also militarily undefendable, because a
revolutionary war is only possible and justifiable in union with the
people. Therefore, we could only fight if we were directly attacked. There
was no other alternative.

Nevertheless, it should be pointed out that despite these adverse
circumstances a number of Grenadian soldiers died fighting heroically
against the invaders. The internal acts which had taken place,
nevertheless, [applause] in no way justified the Yankee intervention. Since
when has the Government of the United States been chosen as the judge of
conflicts between revolutionaries in a country? What right does Reagan have
to rend his garments over the death of Bishop, who he hated so much and
fought against? What reasons could exist for his brutal violation of the
sovereignty of Grenada, a small, independent country, a respected
recognized member of the international community? It is as if another
country felt it had the right to intervene in the United States over the
repugnant assassination of Martin Luther King and so many other terrible
abuses which have been committed against the black and Hispanic minorities
in the United States, or for intervening because John Kennedy was

The same thing can be said about the contention that 1,000 U.S. citizens
were in danger. Many more U.S. citizens are in dozens of countries
throughout the world. Does this mean that there is a right to intervene
when internal conflicts emerge in those countries? Could small Grenada
intervene if a problem of internal politics emerges...[leaves thought
unfinished] First, in the United States, England, and Trinidad there are
tens of thousands of Grenadians; can small Grenada intervene if a problem
of a political nature arises internally which would imply some risk for its
compatriots in each of those countries? Leaving aside the fallacy and lie
of such pretexts used to invade Grenada, is this really an international
norm which can de defended? A thousand lessons of Marxism could not teach
us better about the dirty, treacherous, and aggressive entrails of
imperialism than the aggression unleashed against Grenada on the dawn of 25
October and its subsequent behavior.

To justify the invasion of Grenada and the actions it carried out
afterward, the U.S. Government and its spokesmen told 19 lies, and of these
19 lies, the first 13 of them were personally told by Reagan.

1. That Cuba was involved in the coup d'etat and Bishop's death. [Crowd
chants: "Lies"]

2. The U.S. students were in danger of being taken as hostages. ["Lies"]

3. That the invasion's main objective was that of protecting the lives of
U.S. citizens. ["Lies"]

4. That the invasion was a multinational operation carried out at the
request of Mr Scoon and the east Caribbean countries. ["Lies"]

5. That Cuba was thinking of invading and occupying Grenada. ["Lies"]

6. That Grenada was becoming an important Soviet-Cuban military base.

7. That the airport that was under construction was not for civilian
purposes, but for military use. ["Lies"]

8. That the weapons that were on Grenada would be used for exporting
subversion and terrorism. ["Lies"]

9. That the Cubans fired first. ["Lies"]

10. That there were more than 1,000 Cubans on Grenada. ["Lies"]

11. That the majority of the Cubans were not builders but professional
soldiers. ["Lies"]

12. That the invading forces were careful not to destroy anything or cause
civilian casualties. ["Lies"]

13. That the U.S. troops would only remain in Grenada for 1 week. ["Lies"]

14. That rocket silos were being built on Grenada. ["Lies"]

15. That the "Vietnam Heroico" was transporting specialized weaponry.

16. That Cuba was warned about the invasion. ["Lies"]

17. That 500 Cubans were fighting in the mountains. ["Lies"]

18. That Cuba had given orders to carry out reprisals against U.S.
citizens. ["Lies"]

19. That the press was excluded in order to protect the journalists.
["Lies"; chants, applause]

None of these assertions has ever been proven. None of them were true. And
absolutely all of them have been refuted by events. This cynical way of
resorting to lies to justify the invasion of a small country brings to mind
the methods used by Adolf Hitler during the years that he planned and
finally unleashed World War II.

The U.S. students and officials of the School of Medicine that is located
there have acknowledged that they had received full guarantees for U.S.
citizens, and that the necessary means to leave the country, for those who
wanted to, were at their disposal. Moreover, Cuba had informed the U.S.
Government on 22 October that no foreign citizen, including the Cubans, had
been bothered. In addition, Cuba had offered its cooperation in resolving
any type of problem that emerged,to thus resolve any problem without
violence or intervention in the country. None of the U.S. citizens were
bothered in any way when the invasion took place. And if they were placed
in danger, it was due to the war that was unleashed by the United States.
The instructions that Cuba gave to Cuban personnel that they must not
interfere with any action to evacuate U.S. citizens through the runway area
that was under construction, located close to the university, contributed
to preventing risks for the U.S. civilians resident in the country.

We assertion that Reagan made regarding the danger that the same type of
incident could occur in Grenada that occurred in Iran, thus appealing to
the fears of the U.S. population, which was humiliated by that episode, is
an argument that is demagogic, full of political chicanery and dishonest.
The assertion that the new airport was to be used for military purposes, an
old lie that the Reagan administration has used a lot, was categorically
refuted by the capitalist English enterprise that was providing and
installing the electrical and technical equipment for that airport.

The English technicians of the Plessy Company, known internationally for
its specialty in this field, were working together with the Cuban builders,
to whose function as civilian workers they bear witness.

At the airport several countries of the European Community were cooperating
in one way or another. They are members of the NATO alliance. Can anyone
imagine that they would cooperate with Cuba in Grenada to build a military
airport? However, the idea that Grenada was becoming a Soviet-Cuban base is
disproved by the fact that there was not a single Soviet military adviser
on the island. In the documents themselves, supposedly secret, which fell
into the hands of the United States and which were published by the Yankee
government several days after the invasion, the agreement between the
Governments of Cuba and Grenada are mentioned. According to the documents,
our country would send 27 military advisers, which could be increased to 40
later on, figures which agree with those published by Cuba on the number of
advisers. A total of 22 of them were there on the day of the aggression. To
these, a similar number of translators and mission personnel has to be

Nowhere in the very hackneyed documents is there anything dealing with the
idea of military bases in Grenada. What is contained is the fact that the
arms supplies by the Soviet Union to the Grenada Government for the Army
and the military were subject to a clause prohibiting the export of the
arms to third countries. This denies the idea that Grenada had been turned
into an arsenal to supply subversive and terrorist organizations, as the
current U.S. Administration likes to call all national liberation and
revolutionary movements.

Not a single weapon left Grenada for other countries, and this, therefore,
Reagan will never be able to prove. The affirmation that Cuba was about to
invade and occupy Grenada is so unreal, absurd, insane, and foreign to our
principles and international policy that it does not deserve any serious
consideration. What has been proved is the absolutely scrupulous manner
with which we abstained from meddling in the domestic affairs of the
country, despite our profound sympathy for Bishop and our total rejection
of the plot and coup by Coard and his group which could only serve the
interests of imperialism and its plans of destroying the Grenadian
revolution. The messages containing precise and categoric instructions to
our embassy in Grenada, which were given wide publicity by the Cuban
Government, constitute an irrefutable demonstration of the clean position
of principles observed by the leadership of our party and state in
connection with the internal incidents in Grenada.

The civilian nature of nearly all the Cuban collaborators in Grenada has
been demonstrated before the entire world by the hundreds of foreign
newsmen who saw them in our country and had the opportunity of interviewing
each and every one of them, whose ages exceeded 40 by nearly 50 percent.
Who could question their status as civilian workers; workers with long
years of experience in their work? When the U.S. Government's spokesmen
were asserting that there were between 1,000 and 1,500 Cubans in Grenada at
the time of the invasion, and that hundreds of them were continuing to
fight in the mountains, Cuba published the exact number of Cuban citizens
in Grenada on the day of the invasion -- 784 Cubans, including the
diplomatic personnel with their families and children. Likewise, the
organizations they were attached to, the activities they perform, the
instructions they were given to fight in their areas of work and camps if
they were attacked, and the impossibility -- because of the information we
had -- that there were hundreds in the mountains was also published. Later
on, the names and occupation of each of the collaborators and the known or
probable location of each of them were published. The facts have
demonstrated that Cuba's information was rigorously close to the truth.
There is not a single bit of information of that voluminous published
report that could be denied. Equally false and cynical is the affirmation
that the Cubans started the hostile actions.

The truth of the matter, what is irrefutable, is that at the time that the
landing of troops on the runway and around the camps took place, the Cuban
personnel were asleep and the weapons were stored. They had not been
distributed. In the midst of the air landing, the weapons were distributed.
There were not enough to go around to all the collaborators. The Cuban
personnel went to the positions assigned to them in the case of such an
emergency. Even after our personnel were organized and armed, they were
able to see how the U.S. paratroopers assembled on the runway, and how the
first aircraft were landing. It was the weakest moment for the invaders. If
the Cubans had fired first, tens, perhaps hundreds of casualties would have
been inflicted on the North Americans in those first hours. [applause]

What is rigorous history, what is rigorously true, is the fact that the
fighting started when U.S. troops advanced against the Cubans on a war
footing. And it is also true that when a group of collaborators, who had no
weapons, were captured, they were used as hostages and placed in front of
the U.S. troops.

The invasion of Grenada was carried out suddenly and treacherously, without
any type of warning or prior notice, in the style of Pearl Harbor, in the
Nazi style.

The note that the U.S. Government addressed to the Cuban Government on
Tuesday, 25 October, which had the intention of answering our note of
Saturday, 22 October, was delivered at 0830 [1330 GMT], 3 hours after the
troops had disembarked and when U.S. troops had been attacking our fellow
Cubans for 90 minutes. In addition, during the afternoon of the 25th, the
U.S. Government sent a deceitful note to the Cuban Government that made one
believe that there was a possibility that the fighting would stop under
reasonable and honorable conditions, thus preventing more bloodshed.

Despite the fact that the note was answered immediately, accepting that
possibility, the U.S. Government proceeded to land the 82d Airborne
Division during the early morning of the 26th and strongly attack the only
resisting Cuban position. Is that the conduct of a serious government? Is
that the way to issue a warning about the attack? Is that the way to
prevent more bloodshed?

Mr Scoon has publicly declared that he supported the invasion, but that he
had not made a prior request to anyone asking them to invade Grenada. It
was several days after the landing that Mr Scoon, who was given haven on
board the helicopter carrier "Guam," signed a letter in which he officially
asked for the intervention.

In no way could Reagan support any of his false assertions. When it was
said that the ship "Vietnam Heroico," which was berthed in the port of St
George's on the day of the invasion, was carrying sophisticated weapons and
this fact was used as a pretext for not using the ship for the evacuation
of the Cuban hostages in Grenada, the captain was immediately questioned as
to whether he, by chance, had any weapons on board. And now it has been
learned that he had only one feared weapon aboard -- the vessel's name:
Vietnam. [applause]

The deceitful implication that Cuba had given instructions for attacks
against U.S. citizens in other countries received an adequate and dignified
official and public answer from our government based on the real event and
proven by the history of the revolution that Cuba has always opposed
reprisals against innocent persons.

The U.S. Government has not had the decency to report on the number of
Grenadians who have been arrested, nor the total number of those who have
died, including the civilian casualties, A hospital for the mentally ill
was bombed, causing the death of dozens of internees. And what happened to
Mr Reagan's promise that U.S. troops would withdraw within 1 week?

In his first address to the American people at 0830 on the morning of the
invasion -- in an address that had been drafted before the landing --
President Reagan himself asserted that the situation was under control. On
the same day, his spokesmen described the resistance that the invading
troops were encountering. The military outing that had been planned by the
Pentagon to be executed in 4 hours did not count on the tenacious and
heroic resistance of the Cuban collaborators and Grenadian soldiers.

Who has told the truth and who has lied cynically about the events in
Grenada? They did not permit foreign journalists to witness and report the
events in the country -- not even the U.S. press. The fallacy that it was
only for security measures is superficial and ridiculous. What they were
obviously trying to do was monopolize and manipulate information, to lie to
world public opinion and to the U.S. people itself with no obstacles

This was the only way to spread deliberate lies and all kinds of falsehoods
which, after their initial impact and their effect on the U.S. people,
would not be easy to clarify and refute.

Even in this, the method used by the U.S. administration was Fascist. What
remains intact today of those 19 affirmations? Where are the silos for
strategic rockets which were being constructed in Grenada? Nevertheless,
all those lies, which the world did not believe, told by the President and
his spokesmen, produced an evident impact on U.S. public opinion. Moreover,
the invasion of Grenada was presented to the U.S. public as a great victory
of Reagan's foreign policy against the socialist camp and the revolutionary

The event was associated with the tragic death of 240 U.S. soldiers in
Beirut, with the memory of the hostages in Iran, with the humiliating
defeat in Vietnam, and with the resurgence and power and influence of the
United States in the world. U.S. patriotism, pride in the country, the
greatness and glory of the nation were appealed to in a dirty and dishonest
way. Thus, it was accomplished that a majority of U.S. public opinion -- it
is said that 65 percent at first and then 71 percent -- supported the
monstrous crime of invading, with no justification whatsoever, a sovereign
country, the repugnant manner of attacking by surprise, press censorship,
and other similar procedures employed by the U.S. Government to justify the
invasion of Grenada. Hitler acted no differently in 1938 when he occupied
Austria and annexed the Sudetenland in Czechoslovakia, also in the name of
German pride German greatness and glory, and the happiness and security of
the German subjects.

If an opinion poll had been taken at that time in Hitler's Germany, in the
midst of the chauvinistic wave unleashed by the Nazis, 80 or 90 percent of
the population would have approved those aggressions. The real, lamentable,
and truly dangerous fact, not only for the peoples of the Caribbean,
Central America, and Latin America but also for all the peoples of the
world, is that when world opinion unanimously condemned the military
action, which was aggressive, unjustifiable, in violation of the
sovereignty of the peoples and of all international norms and principles,
the majority opinion in the United States, manipulated, disinformed, and
deceived, supported the monstruous crime committed by the U.S. Government.

There is something that causes more concern. When this change of internal
public opinion was produced, many U.S. politicians, who at first opposed
the events, submitted to the action of Reagan. And the press, censored,
humiliated and kept on the edge of the events, ended up moderating its
complaints and criticisms. Are these perhaps the virtues of a society in
which opinion and political and information institutions can be crudely
manipulated by its rulers, as they were during the epoch of fascism in
German society? Where is the glory, the greatness, and the victory of
invading and conquering one of the smallest countries in the world, with no
economic or strategic significance? Where is the heroism of fighting
against a handful of workers and civilian collaborators, whose heroic
resistence despite the element of surprise, the scarcity of ammunition, the
disadvantage of the terrain, being at a disadvantage in number of and in
weapons, facing the forces of air, sea, and land of the most powerful
imperialist country in the world?

This handful of workers forced them to use the 82d Airborne Division when
the last redoubt was defended at dawn on 26 October by just 50 fighters
[applause] Not even from the political, military, or moral viewpoint did
the United States obtain any type of victory. All it could be called,
maybe, is a Pyrrhic military victory, but it has truly suffered a very deep
moral defeat, as we have indicated on another occasion. The imperialist
U.S. Government wanted to kill the symbol that was the essence of the
Grenadian revolution. But, the symbol was already dead. It had been
destroyed by the Grenadian revolutionaries themselves with their divisions
and their colossal errors.

It is our belief that the Grenadian revolutionary process could not survive
after Bishop's death and the death of his closest comrades, after the Army
had fired against the people, and after the party and the government had
divorced themselves from the masses and isolated themselves from the world.

In wanting to destroy a symbol, the United States killed a cadaver, and at
the same time it resurrected the symbol. [applause] It challenged every
international law to this end and thus received the repudiation and
condemnation of the world. Can there be such disdain for the rest of
humanity? Is this disdain so real that it in no way affected Reagan's
appetite during the course of the 3 November breakfast, as Reagan himself
stated to the press? Regretably, if all of this is true, and this seems to
be the case, the invasion of Grenada must make us become aware of the
realities and dangers that threaten the world.

Mr O'Neill, speaker of the House of Representatives, said that it was
sinful that a man totally uninformed, ignorant of international problems,
who does not even read documents, was President of the United States. But
when one considers that the United States possesses a powerful and
sophisticated conventional and nuclear arsenal, and the President of that
country, without consulting anyone, can launch a war, it is not only
sinful, but can become even more dramatic and tragic for all humanity.

A triumphant air reigns in the Reagan administration. The echoes of the
last shots are barely disappearing when there is already talk of
intervention in El Salvador, in Nicaragua, and even in Cuba. In the Mideast
and South Africa the interference and military aggressions of imperialism
against the progressive countries and the national liberation movement do
not cease. The first of the 572 Pershing and cruise missiles that they plan
to deploy in Europe, surrounding the USSR and other socialist countries
with a deadly ring of nuclear arms, are being installed. These missiles are
capable of reaching their territories in a matter of minutes. It is not
only small countries, but all of humanity that is threatened.

The bells that toll today for Grenada may very well toll tomorrow for the
whole world. The most prestigious and experienced scientists and doctors
affirm that man cannot survive a global nuclear conflict. The destructive
power of accumulated nuclear weapons surpasses a million times the
primitive bombs that annihilated the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in a
matter of seconds. The aggressive and warmongering policy of the Reagan
administration can lead to global destruction.

The arms buildup is occurring during the most acute economic crisis
witnessed by the world since the 30's and while the problems of the
development of the vast majority of the world's countries are yet to be
resolved. What confidence can one have in a government that acts with the
precipitation, rashness, and cynicism with which the U.S. Government acted
in Grenada? Reagan did not even bother to listen to the advice of a
government as closely linked with it politically, ideologically, and
militarily as Great Britain.

It is not amazing that in a poll conducted recently more than 90 percent of
the British citizens asked were vehemently against the United States'
having the unilateral prerogative to use the cruise missiles being
installed there.

In our hemisphere, only 1 and 1/2 years ago a NATO power used sophisticated
weapons to spill Argentine blood in the Malvinas Islands. The Reagan
government supported this action. It did not take into consideration the
OAS or the so-called security pacts and agreements. It tossed them aside
contemptuously. Now, based on the alleged request of a phantom Organization
of Eastern Caribbean States, it invades Grenada and spills Caribbean and
Cuban blood.

In Nicaragua, in addition to the cost of 45,000 lives paid to gain liberty,
almost 1,000 sons of that noble people have died as a result of attacks by
mercenary bands that are organized, trained, and supplied by the U.S.

In El Salvador, more than 50,000 people have been assassinated by a
genocidal regime whose Army is supplied, trained, and directed by the
United States.

In Guatemala, more than 100,000 people have been killed by the repressive
system installed by the CIA in 1954, when it overthrew the progressive
Arbenz government. And how many have died in Chile since imperialism
promoted the overthrow and assassination of Salvador Allende? How many have
died in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, Brazil, and Bolivia during the past
15 years? How costly imperialist domination has been to our people in terms
of blood, sacrifice, misery, and mourning. The unjust social systems
imposed on our nations by imperialism have exacted a similar price.

Imperialism is bent on destroying symbols because it knows the value of
symbols, of examples, of ideas. It sought to destroy them in Grenada; it
wants to destroy them in El Salvador, in Nicaragua, and in Cuba. But
symbols, examples, and ideas cannot be destroyed. [applause When our
enemies believe they have destroyed them, what they have actually done is
strengthen them. [applause] In their attempts to exterminate the first
Christians, the Roman emperors spread Christianity throughout the world.
Thus, any attempt to destroy our ideas will simply strengthen them. Grenada
has already increased the patriotic conviction and combative spirit of the
Salvadoran, Nicaraguan, and Cuban revolutionaries. [applause]

It has been proven that one can fight their best troops and that they
should not be feared. [prolonged applause] The imperialists must be fully
aware that they will encounter fierce resistance wherever they attack a
revolutionary people. Let us hope that the Pyrrhic victory of Grenada and
the triumphant atmosphere that has intoxicated them will not lead them to
commit grave and irreversible errors. They will not find in El Salvador,
Nicaragua, or Cuba the unusual conditions of division that prevailed among
the revolutionaries and the break with the people that they found on tiny
Grenada. [applause, chanting of slogans]

In more than 3 years of heroic struggle, the Salvadoran revolutionaries
have become experienced, fearsome, and invincible fighters. They are
thousands of men who know the terrain like the backs of their hands. They
are veterans of dozens of victorious encounters. They are used to fighting
and winning in the face of 10 to 1 odds against elite troops trained,
armed, and advised by the United States. Their unity is more solid and
indestructible than ever.

In Nicaragua, they would have to face a deeply patriotic and revolutionary
armed people who are united, organized, full of fighting spirit, and
unconquerable. [applause]

As for Cuba, if they needed an elite division on Grenada to fight a handful
of isolated men in a small, unfortified redoubt, 1,000 miles from their
fatherland, how many divisions would they need against millions of fighters
in their own country alongside their own people? [applause, chanting of

Our country, as we have said before, can be swept off the face of the
earth, but it can never be conquered and subjugated. [applause, chanting of
slogans] Under the current conditions on our continent, a U.S. war on a
Latin American people would lift the spirit of all Latin American peoples
and would turn their feelings against the aggressors. An unfathomable gulf
would open between peoples who, finding themselves in the same hemisphere,
are called upon to live and cooperate in peace, friendship, and mutual

The Grenadian experience will be examined, point by point, to draw from it
the greatest advantage in case an attack like this happens again in an area
where Cuban collaborators may be working, or in our own homeland.

The Cubans who were captured and turned virtually into hostages lived
through an unforgettable experience, in terms of what a country that has
been occupied by invading Yankee troops is really like. The physical and
psychological treatment experienced by the captured collaborators was
outrageous and negligent, and toward the end they were offered the
opportunity to go to the United States, having been offered all kinds of
promises. However, they could not break their will of iron; not one
defected. [applause, chanting of slogans]

We did not manipulate the news in our country; we hid nothing from the
people. The information we received directly from Grenada following the
invasion was transmitted to our people as it arrived, even though the news
of 26 October proved to be exaggerated. As a matter of principle, not once
did we try to minimize the gravity of the events or the magnitude of the
risks that our fellow countrymen were facing. We are deeply grateful to the
International Red Cross Committee [applause] for the interest shown and for
the dedicated and efficient efforts it undertook to ensure the rapid
identification and evacuation of the wounded, the sick, the prisoners, and
the dead. We also thank the Governments of Colombia and Spain for their
[applause] initial efforts in this regard. [applause]

On bidding farewell to our beloved brothers who died heroically in combat,
fulfilling their patriotic and internationalist duties with honor, and in
expressing our deepest solidarity to their loved ones, we have not
forgotten that there are Grenadian and U.S. mothers who are also crying for
sons who died in Grenada. [applause] To the mothers and family members of
the fallen Grenadians, we express our condolences. We also express our
condolences to the mothers and family members of the dead North Americans,
because they, who are also suffering the loss of a dear one, are not
responsible for but are victims of their government's warmongering and
aggressive adventures. [applause]

Every day, every hour, every minute, in our work, our study, or our combat
posts, our dead in Grenada will be present. [applause] The men whom we will
bury this afternoon fought for us and for the world. They may look like
bodies -- and Reagan wants to turn all of our people, men, women, the
elderly, and children, into bodies; Reagan wants to turn all of humankind
into bodies -- but the peoples will struggle to preserve their independence
and their lives. They will struggle to prevent the world from being
rendered a huge cemetery. They will struggle and pay the necessary price
for humankind's continued survival. They are not bodies, they are symbols.

They did not even die in the land that gave them birth. Over there, far
from Cuba, where they were offering their noble efforts in their
internationalist work for a poorer and smaller country, they also gave
their blood and their lives. But while in that trench, they knew that they
were defending their people and homeland. It is not possible to express
man's generosity and capacity for sacrifice more clearly. Their example
will multiply; their ideas will multiply; they will multiply in us. There
will be no power, no weapon, no strength that can prevail over patriotism,
internationalism, the feelings of fraternity, and the communist conscience
that they represented. We will be like them both in combat and at work.

Fatherland or death, we will win! [applause]