Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Addresses Namibian Students

FL3001183889 Havana Tele-Rebelde Network in Spanish 1400 GMT 30 Jan 89

[Speech by President Fidel Castro at the Hendrick Witbooi School on the
Isle of Youth on 29 January--recorded]

[Text] It is not that I really feel like giving a speech, it is just that
[words indistinct] difficult to say a few words.

Dear President Hoyte, student comrades of the Isle of Youth, Namibian
comrades:  During the 10 years that the school has been in operation.  I
have visited you on numerous occasions.  I have spoken a few words of
encouragement, motivation, and hope.

Today, [words indistinct] that there has been a great change.  Already we
speak of the future, we speak of the present, we do not speak of tomorrow.
We can speak of today as a result of the heroic struggle of the Namibian
people and Angolan and Cuban combatants, and of the broad international
solidarity which the just and noble cause of the Namibian people has

The racists, fascists and oppressors of Namibian have had no other
alternative but to recognize Namibia's right to independence.  All that is
moving along.  I will not explain it to you, because you know about the
events of 1987, a difficult, tense year.  You know about what happened,
not only in the military terrain, but also in the political and diplomatic
arena.  After prolonged and arduous negotiations, and based on the new
correlation of forces create in southwest Africa, agreement were reached.
Based on these agreements, UN Resolution 435 is beginning to be
implemented.  This has been a long, complicated process, and you know that
the United Nations must participate in that process.  According to the
resolution, they are supposed to assume responsibility for the independence
process in Namibia.

You must realize that the United Nations has fought a great battle.  In the
midst of the Security Council, the nonaligned countries have closed ranks
to opinions of even the permanent Security Council members, who, by arguing
economics reasons, advocate the reductions of the troops that will be
present in Namibia when the implementation of UN Resolution 435 begins.
This deeply concerned all friends of the Nambian cause.  A battle was
fought, and at the end an agreement was achieved and unanimously signed by
the Security Council.  It is a very acceptable agreement and in line with
the objectives sought.  Although in the agreement it was recommended that
efforts be made for a reduction of expenses, it did not mention reduction
of troops.  The UN secretary general and his team of colaborators wrote a
report.  That report does not satisfy us.  That report does not satisfy
Third World countries.  That report does not satisfy the Nonaligned
Movement countries because the report talks about starting out with a group
not of 7,500 men, but of approximately, 4,650 and, if necessary, to
increase it later.  We feel the reverse would have been much better, to
being with the 7,500 established by Resolution 435 and to reduce it later
if such a high number seemed to not be necessary, or if part of them could
be done without.  Therefore, the secretary generals' report does not
satisfy the Third World or the nonaligned countries.  In every instance, it
only satisfies the five permanent Security Council members who have acted
closely in this--the group which holds the privilege of the right to veto
UN resolutions.
That is why the Nonaligned Movement continues fighting its battles and
exerting pressure.  The countries of the Organization of African Unity also
continue struggling and working.  All of the friends of the Namibian cause
continue working, warning, denouncing the dangers and consequences that any
error in this matter could have.

The issue right now is to guarantee the impartiality of the elections, to
avoid manipulations of the electoral process, to avoid traps and fraud in
the elections, and to prevent the racists and their allies from sowing fear
in the people of Namibia, thereby preventing them from freely expressing
themselves.  The friends of the Namibian cause have been denouncing this
and issuing warnings about it, and they will continue struggling, fighting,
and mobilizing public and international opinion so that it will be very
difficult for the racists to manipulate the elections.

I (?don't) think it would be easy for them to do that.  However, it doesn't
hurt to take extra steps and measures to make it impossible for the racists
to mock the Namibian people's will.  On the other hand, I hope that the
five permanent Security Council members are aware of the great
responsibility they will have if the racists are able to mock the free
determination and election of the Namibian people.  Of course, that will
not only depend on the UN soldiers that will be there, not will it only
depend on the civilian officials present.  The country is large, and that
is why those men must be dispersed in a vast area to control and monitor
all of it.  As I said, it will not depend so much on them as it will on the
people of Namibia.

It is the Namibian people who will have to be mobilized and united to fight
this last battle, this political battle.  It is necessary to mobilize the
whole nation, everywhere.  It is necessary to explain as many times as is
necessary what the struggle has been about, what the interests of the
Namibian people are, and what the Namibian people should do.  That is why
on 1 April, the date set for the implementation of UN Resolution 435, a new
and very important phase in the history of Namibia will begin.

Independence will not be prevented.  However, independence by itself does
not suffice.  Sometimes there are independent countries that have puppet
governments, anti-popular governments, or reactionary governments.  There
must be independence and a people's government.  In two words.  There must
be independence and a SWAPO [South-West African People's Organization]
government--just like that, in those words. [applause] [crowd shouts:
Cheers for the SWAPO!  Cheers for the Sam Nujoma!  The regime of South
Africa will be ours!]

That is why we have no doubts about what the Namibian people will do.  In
completely free and clean elections, the large majority of the Namibian
people will vote against the oppressors, the racists and their puppets.
That is why it is so important that the people are organized and guided
during this phase.  I think the SWAPO will have to become deeply committed
in that political task.

Resolution 435 includes the return of refugees.  Resolution 435 had cited a
certain figure for that return.  Now, in that report on saving money for
the United Nations, they don't even talk about those funds.  They say it
will depend on voluntary contributions.

I think that many countries will cooperate voluntarily, [words indistinct]
a report from the UN secretary general.  The return of exiles and refugees
is very important, so that they can participate in the political battle.
This is why is has been said that all Namibian students in Cuba who meet
the age requirement to participate in that process should return to Namibia
after the implementation of UN Resolution 435 to work on the tasks of
educating and training the people, as well as to vote in the elections.
Not a single vote can be lost.  This will be a great new experience for
you, for a great number of you who are here in the Isle of Youth and
throughout the country.  There are several hundred of you.  You will have
to finish your cources.  You are ready to leave, to move to Namibia when
the SWAPO indicates it is time.

You will participate in that political process and then return to Cuba.
You should not miss your studies.  Of course, the other matter is very
important, and everything else is subordinate to this.  However, there is
not need to drop your studies.  After you leave, there will still be time
to finish the school year.

You are not just studying in secondary, preuniversity, or technological
schools.  Some of you are studying in universities.  It would truly be a
shame to interrupt those studies.  No one can guarantee that 100 percent of
those who leave will return, because that's life.  It's not that you won't
want to return.  It's that you are a very valuable group.  You are
well-educated, prepared, organized, and disciplined.  I think it is
possible that the SWAPO may need some of you later, even though it has been
said that everyone will go and an effort will be made to return everyone so
that not a single person's studies are interrupted.  You will be much more
useful to the country if you can finish your training.  The more training
you have, the better able you will be to serve the country in the future.
However, life is life and I think that there is no doubt that not all of
you will return because your organization may need you there.  They are as
aware as we are of the convenience of your return.  If some of you have to
interrupt your studies, it should be [Words indistinct].

Because of this, comrades from Namibia, the new chapter is opening in your
lives and in the life of your country.  This is a new experience.  Now you
have to be more serious than ever, more organized than ever, more studious
than ever, and more responsible than ever.  The tasks on the shoulders of
those of you who have reached the age of 18 are very important.  They are
decisive tasks.

That is why on a day like today we combine joy--the great joy of knowing
that independence is a fact that no one can prevent--with youth emotion of
participating in that process and with our emotion in following that
process from close by.  We also combine feelings of sadness, although this
may seem like a paradox, because we think that we may have to say good-bye
to some of you.  Some of you may not return after the process.  In any
case, however, we will always hope that you do not forget your Cuban
comrades and that at one time or another, in one form or another, you will
return, even if it is only for a visit, to this country that has been like
a second fatherland for the Namibian students. [applause]

New generations of students will come here.  We have two schools and there
is discussion about a third school.  Children are the most abundant
resource in Namibia.  The most abundant resource in Namibia are the youths.
During the first few years, you will not have all the facilities, all the
schools to train those children, those youths.  That will take time.
However, you can continue to count on us for that task.  You will have here
one, two, three, four schools, however many schools you need for the youths
and students of Namibia.  [applause]

You have now created the tradition.  You have crossed the line.  I imagine
that even the content of the songs will change.  The songs will not longer
be of dreams to liberate the fatherland.  The songs will now be of a
liberated fatherland.  The songs will correspond to the new life you want
to construct in your country. [Words indistinct] the drama of Cassinga
which is shown here.  It would be good to leave the memory--even if it's
only a videocassette--of that impressive spectacle which you demonstrate
here to the visitors.  I think, however, that your tasks will be different
and your hopes and feelings [words indistinct].

We will never forget Cassinga.  That's very good.  We will never forget it.
It should never be forgotten.  We must remember it a lot.  We must remember
it always.  We must remember it now.  Those photos of the monstrous
massacres, of the repugnant massacres, should be reproduced by the
thousands, by the hundreds of thousands, by the millions, to show the
people what the facists and racists are capable of doing against men,
women, elderly people and children of Namibia.  It is possible that a large
part of the population cannot read or write.  It is possible that there may
even be sectors in the part of Namibia that cannot communicate with sectors
from another part because there is no common language.  However, I think
that eyesight is eloquent; those photos can be understood by any man or
woman in any language, by anyone of any age, including children.  Millions
of those photos should be taken and spread throughout the country so that
they can see that the people who vote for the puppets are voting for the
allies of the assassins, for the allies of the racists and the facists, for
those who despise the peoples, and for those who have caused the Namibian
people to shed rivers of blood.

I am sure that you will be capable of fulfilling the tasks the SWAPO
expects of you.  I am sure that you will soon think, as Che said:  Until
the victory always!

Fatherland or death, we will win!