Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro's Remarks

FL301646 Havana Television Service in Spanish 0205 GMT 30 May 85

[President Fidel Castro's remarks at the Isle of Youth's school for
Namibian youths on 29 May -- recorded]

[Text] How is your Spanish? [students respond: "Good!"] Good? [students
respond: "Yes!"] Let those from the first school raise their hands.
[Passage indistinct] October 1978 [students respond: "Yes!"] It was
dedicated to the Cassinga slaughter. [students respond: "Yes!"]

How many of you were there at the time of the Cassinga slaughter?  Let
those of you [Unreadable text] were there at the time raise their hands.
[Words indistinct] It was that same year, right? [students respond: "Yes!"]
In May (?I think). [students respond: "Yes!"] On 4 May?  (students respond:
"Yes!"] You have not forgotten.  Neither have we, nor will mankind forget
it.  We are very pleased that you had the chance to witness that which is
not the product of the imagination or fiction but of (?reality).  I do not
remember exactly how many Namibians were slain that morning.  Perhaps you
have a more precise figure.  Several hundred of them [words indistinct].
But let me tell you that several Cubans died that day also. [students
respond: "Yes"] A Cuban unit advanced under the Air Force's fire to support
you [students respond: "Yes"], forcing the South Africans to withdraw from
[words indistinct].  A total of 980 people (?were killed there).  They
killed almost as many people in a matter of hours, in a single, treacherous
and bloody dawn as died [words indistinct].  But we shall not forget.  We
will never forget.  Mankind will not forget this nor the people of Namibia,
or the peoples of Africa, or those of the Third World.  No one with any
degree of conscience will forget that crime.  And what was the purpose?
Why this crime in order to maintain colonialism (?among) a number of
oppressed peoples, not only the Namibian people, but the South African
people themselves?  To maintain apartheid, racism, and fascism, and
continue exploiting the natural resources of those peoples and exploiting
their blood and sweat.

The presence here today of the delegation headed by the UN secretary
general is highly symbolic.  Many U.S. newsmen from the U.S. television
stations and newspapers are accompanying him.  I remember very well that
when this massacre was committed, in which more than 900 Namibian people
died -- elderly people, children, men, and women -- after this surprise
attack, after having their defenseless camp brutally bombed, the world
press did not report this.  No.  The ones dying were not white, they were
Namibians, they were black.  The U.S. press did not report this.  The U.S.
television stations did [Unreadable text] comment on this because,
logically, one does not talk about such things.  South Africa is a U.S.
ally.  And what an ally.  What a way to behave.

You may have read in the papers that a few days ago, on 19 May, a South
African commando was captured in Cabinda. [Words indistinct] All those
South Africans were immediately put out of action and a captain, chief of
the commando unit was captured. [applause] The chief of this commando unit
immediately revealed what their mission was about and after their backpacks
were seized -- nine in all -- they dispersed throughout the forests.  I do
not know what they were doing, since the forests there are huge. [applause]
The nine backpacks were seized and found to contain 135 kg of TNT contact
mines, 2 larger mines, and several packages containing powerful plastic
explosives.  They lost everything, all their equipment, and were left only
with what they had on them; that is, those of them who ran quickly enough
and dispersed throughout the forests.  They had all kinds of things; they
were the perfect commando unit.  They had been trained and even had with
them additional shoes made of fabric so as not to make any noise.  They
also lost the shoes they had on. [laughter, applause] Now they should
really avoid making any noises lest they be heard. [laughter]

So what were they going to do, the associates of the United States,
Reagan's friends, the CIA's friends?  They were going to destroy the oil
installation in Cabinda, the primary source of Angola's revenue.  The
curious thing about this, the amazing thing, which points to the hypocrisy
of both South Africa and the U.S. Government, is the fact that this
installation is owned by a U.S. transnational company, the Gulf Oil
Company.  The things that the U.S. Government does!  The things that the
CIA does!  The things that the fascist South African Government does!  In
order to attack Angola and affect its economy, they wanted to blow up the
oil installation of a U.S. company.  It would be good if newsmen would
comment on the meaning of these things.

What else were they carrying in addition to all those sophisticated radios,
communications equipment, plastic explosives, mines, binoculars, signaling
equipment, and so on?  National Union for the Total Independence of Angola
[UNITA] propaganda, as usual.  They use UNITA to carry out their sabotage
by leaving behind UNITA propaganda material.  This was learned because
there was a captain who told everything he knew.  He told everything.  The
South African Government said: No, the encounter occurred because there was
a little group exploring in Angola to find out [passage indistinct] and the
South-West African People's Organization [SWAPO] camps.  Now then, I
wonder. if someone from the INC [expansion unknown] has been in Cabinda.
[laughter] And I have never heard of any [passage indistinct] even for a

The only thing in Cabinda is the Gulf installation, which exploits
petroleum, from which Angola receives most of its revenue.  There is so
much hypocrisy, there are so many lies.  No one tells the truth, not
Reagan, not Botha, not even by accident.  I am waiting for the day when
they make a mistake and accidentally tell the truth. [laughter and
applause; students chant: "Born to conquer, not to be conquered!"]

So, the U.S. Government does not know anything!  It only heard about it
on the radio!  And it did not know its friends the South Africans were
going to blow up the installation of one of Angola's most important oil

Well, now we know about apartheid and its allies.  A system that is
completely lacking in morals.  If there is a tragedy in Namibia, there is
an even greater tragedy in South Africa, where 24 million Africans are
deprived of their rights.  This year has been particularly characterized by
the worst repression by the apartheid regime against the African population
of South Africa.  They have murdered hundreds of people and they continue
to murder.

[Unreadable text] you know, the UN has been making a great effort to speed
up Namibia's independence.  The UN secretary general has said he hopes
yours will become the 160th UN member country.  But what is happening?
While they are talking with Angola, and they say the Yankees are
intermediaries, are mediators, I do not remember which, and that they are
acting in good faith, which is just what Jonas Savimbi along with the South
Africans stated.  And meanwhile, [passage indistinct] planning to blow up
vital economic resources [words indistinct].  What can you expect from
fascists?  What can you expect from fascists?  What can you expect from

Angola has even been proposing, with our cooperation and support, to seek a
peace formula, which must be preceded by the application of UN Resolution
435 and the independence of Namibia.  What are the South Africans trying to
do by organizing bantustans here and there in Namibia.  I ask you, do
bantustans have a future in Namibia? [students answer: "No!"] Are the
Namibian people going to allow bantustans to be organized in Namibia?
[students answer: "No!"] They are not going to permit it. [students say:
"No!"] And the Cuban people are not going to permit it either.

Angola has offered a formula and with the insolence and arrogance typical
of the racists and their ally, the United States, they said no, no to the
Angolan peace formula, the Angolan formula, which proposes the withdrawal
over 36 months of the Cuban troops, who are in southern Angola, in the
south.  I do not know whether they, the Angolans, believe that is too fast
for us to get out of Angola. [laughter] But there was anxiety.  No, no,
200,000 Cubans have passed through Angola and if 200,000 more have to go,
they will go. [applause]

And while Angola proposes application of the UN Resolution 435 and the
independence of [Unreadable text], we will be there along with the
Angolans, without exception and without doubt.  In it is negotiated, we
will maintain a firm stand. [Words indistinct] They might think the Cubans
are impatient to withdraw.  We will fulfill our internationalist duty in
this regardless of how long it takes. [applause] But in reality there is
not much time left (?for us there).  That situation cannot last much
longer.  In realty, they are in a desperate situation because of the
struggle of the Namibian people and the struggle of the South African
people.  It is a growing struggle, a courageous, heroic struggle which is
steadily increasing.

South Africa is traversing the worst crisis in its history.  Gold is no
longer worth $700, now it is some $300.  It does not even have money.  It
has all kinds of economic problems despite the U.S. and Western countries'
investments in South Africa and Namibia.  It is suffering the worst
economic crisis, the worst political crisis in its history.  Thus, this is
a special opportunity now that the UN delegation is present to hear us
voice our position.  There will be no [word indistinct] without Resolution
435 and without Namibia's independence. [applause] So long as Nujoma agrees
on this and we are sure this is Angola's position, so long as UN Resolution
435 is not implemented, and so long as Namibia is not independent or at
least concrete steps are being taken to implement the resolution for the
real and effective attainment of independence, not a single Cuban soldier
will withdraw from Angola. [applause] If more troops are needed, we will
send more troops [applause], because in the face of every aggression of the
racists and imperialism, we have always reacted by reinforcing Angola.
There are many Cubans there, a few.

With every Reagan escalation, we prepare to reinforce Angola.  That is what
we have always done.  You know our nation very well.  You know there are
millions of men and women ready to fight.  Just because we send our
combatants to Angola does not mean that we are weakened, because we still
have many more combatants in Cuba than we have arms. [applause]

Thus, this country can have 100,000 troops abroad if it becomes necessary
and not be weakened in the least, because there are hundreds of thousands
of men and women, young and well trained, for whom there are not enough
weapons, and we have quite a few weapons. [applause] Besides, when our men
and women fulfill internationalist missions, whether civilian or military,
they always return to our homeland with a greater internationalist spirit.
If one day imperialism would dare attack our country, we will see what they
are going to find here. [applause] We will see.  They will learn how tough
it is to fight against a nation of women, youths, old people, even
children.  I ask if a country of 10 million inhabitants, trained to fight,
can be defeated.  For we are ready for all eventualities.  We have
organized the country from one end to the other for all types of struggle,
even for a situation of total occupation of the country.

They are going to have more dead than those who died in World War II.
[applause] We have created the conditions to do just that and feel that
this is an invincible nation.  You know that even on this small island
which is separated from our. . .[sentence incomplete] We would want to say
here very clearly that from the orange groves, forests, houses, everywhere,
in such a case the African youths would fight with us. [applause] That
would be internationalism, that is reciprocity.

I do not want to be told: What are you going to [words indistinct], that
is, because under a flower, there is a beehive.  When someone sees there is
a garden next door, what they really have there is a full platoon.
[applause] We have studied the techniques and experiences of all countries
which have fought.  We have examined them and developed them.  We have
trained our people in all those techniques.

Thus, you should have absolute confidence that at the United Nations,
first, the application of Resolution 435 on Namibia's independence will
continue to be firmly demanded, and the certainty that no matter how long
it takes, we will remain there until Namibia is independent.  Africa's
friends, Namibia's friends, the friends of Namibia's people will support
you until you attain independence.

The day will come when you will become the United Nations' 160th member
state. [Words indistinct] a small island where colonialists [words
indistinct] number 160.  I would not dare to determine the number, perhaps
162, 163, or 164, but I do dare say that you will be independent.
Fatherland or death, we shall win!