Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Honors Internationalists, Views Socialism
Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000024255
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     FL0812030289
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-89-235          Report Date:    08 Dec 89
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     1
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       5
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       07 Dec 89
Report Volume:       Friday Vol VI No 235


City/Source of Document:   Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Honors Internationalists, Views Socialism

Author(s):   President Fidel Castro during ceremony honoring Cuban
internationalists fallen in Angola; at El Cacahual Mausoleum in

Source Line:   FL0812030289 Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in
Spanish 2115 GMT 7 Dec 89

Subslug:   [Speech by President Fidel Castro during ceremony honoring Cuban
internationalists fallen in Angola; at El Cacahual Mausoleum in

1.  [Speech by President Fidel Castro during ceremony honoring Cuban
internationalists fallen in Angola; at El Cacahual Mausoleum in Havana--live]

2.  [Text] Comrade President Jose Eduardo dos Santos and other guests,
relatives of those fallen, combatants, compatriots: The date on which the most
illustrious of our soldiers, Antonio Maceo, fell with his young aide, is always
very significant for all Cubans. His remains lie here in this sacred corner of
the fatherland. In selecting this date to bury the remains of our heroic
internationalist combatants fallen in various parts of the world, mainly in
Africa, where the forefathers of Maceo and a substantial part of our blood came
from, 7 December will turn into a remembrance day of all Cubans who gave their
lives not only in defense of their fatherland but also of humankind.

3.  In this way, patriotism and internationalism, two of the most beautiful
values man has been capable of creating, will unite forever in the Cuban
history. Perhaps a monument honoring all of them will be erected not far from
here someday. The remains of the internationalists who fell in the fulfillment
of their noble and glorious mission are being buried simultaneously at this
time. The imperialist enemy thought we would hide the casualties in Angola, of
the longest and most complex mission, already 14 years old, as if this were a
dishonor or a stain on the revolution. They have hoped for a long time that the
blood spilled would be useless, as if he who dies for a just cause were to die
in vain.

4.  If victory alone, however, were the vulgar stick to measure the value of
the sacrifice of men in their just fights, they have returned with victory. The
Spartans used to say: With the shield or on the shield. Our victorious troops
returned with the shield. It is not our intention at this solemn time to boast
of our successes or to humiliate anyone, not even those who were our
adversaries. Our country was not looking for military glory or prestige. The
principle of achieving the goals with the least sacrifice of lives possible was
always strictly applied. To achieve this, it was necessary to be strong, to act
with the maximum cold blood, and always be--as we always were--willing to do

5.  Each combatant knew that the entire country was behind him. He also knew
that the life and health of each one of them was a constant concern of all of
us. There were no doubts about using political and diplomatic ways when
politics and diplomacy were feasible factors in reaching the final goals. Even
though we always acted with all the necessary firmness, at no time during the
negotiating process did we utter an arrogant, prepotent, or boasting word. We
were flexible when flexibility was appropriate and just.

6.  The last stage of the war in Angola was the most difficult one. It required
all the determination, tenacity, and fighting spirit of our country in support
of our Angolan brothers. The revolution did not hesitate to risk everything in
fulfilling that solidarist duty, not only with Angola but with our own
combatants who were fighting there under difficult conditions. When the
imperialist threats against our county were too great, we did not hesitate to
send many of our most modern and best combat equipment to the southern front of
the People's Republic of Angola.

7.  Over 50,000 Cuban combatants gathered then in that sister nation. This was
truly impressive if one considers the distance that has to be traveled, the
size and resources of our country. It was a true feat of our glorious
Revolutionary Armed Forces and of our people. Such a page of altruism and
international solidarity has been written a few times. This is why we
appreciate Jose Eduardo dos Santo's presence in this event so much. It was an
absolutely spontaneous gesture. He told us: I want to be with you in this
moment. Ethiopia, the South-West African People's Organization, and other
countries and revolutionary organizations also spontaneously stated that they
wanted to be with us, as soon as they learned just a few days ago that we would
bury the internationalists fallen in Africa and other lands in our fatherland

8.  There are historic events that nothing and nobody will be able to erase.
There are revolutionary examples that the best men and women of future
generations, inside and outside our fatherland, will not be able to forget.
This is one of them. However, we are not the ones who should assess it. History
will do it.

9.  We cannot forget for a moment that our comrades in arms were the heroic
combatants of the Angolan Armed Forces. They offered the lives of dozens of
thousands of the best children of that extraordinary country. Unity and the
closest cooperation between them and us made the victory possible. We also had
the honor of fighting next to the courageous children of Namibia, the patriots
from Guinea-Bissau, and the unsurpassable Ethiopian soldiers. Years before,
during the difficult days of Algeria, soon after independence was reached, our
internationalist combatants were next to it as they later were together with
Syria, another Arab country victimized by foreign attacks that requested our

10.  There was no just cause in Africa that did not have the support of our
people. Che Guevara, accompanied by a numerous group of Cuban revolutionaries,
fought against white mercenaries east of what is today Zaire.  Doctors and
teachers are now providing their generous and disinterested services in the
Saharan Democratic Arab Republic, this country that is fighting for its
freedom. All of the countries mentioned were or are today independent and those
who are not yet will be independent sooner or later. A brilliant solidarity
page was written in a few years. Our people are proud of it.

11.  Also, men from various countries fought together with us in our struggle
for independence. The most illustrious of all, Maximo Gomez, born in Santo
Domingo, came to be the chief of our liberating army because of his
extraordinary merits. During the years prior to our revolution, 1,000 Cubans
organized by the first communist party fought in Spain defending the Republic.
They wrote unerasable pages of heroism, which the pen of Pablo de la Torriente
Brau gathered for history until death in combat cut short the life of the
brilliant revolutionary journalist.

12.  This is how our gallant internationalist spirit, which reached its highest
summit with the socialist revolution, was formed. Everywhere Cuban
internationalists went, they were example of respect to the dignity and
sovereignty of the country. The trust gained in the heart of those peoples is
not by chance. It was the fruit of their irreproachable behavior. This is why
the memory of our exemplary unselfishness and altruism remained everywhere.

13.  A prominent African leader once said at a meeting of leaders of the
region: The Cuban combatants are willing to sacrifice their lives for the
liberation of our peoples, and, in exchange for that cooperation to attain our
freedom and the progress for our population, the only thing they will take from
us are the combatants who fell fighting for freedom. A continent that
experienced centuries of exploitation and looting knew how to fully appreciate
the altruism of our internationalist gesture.

14.  Our experienced troops return victorious today. Joyous, happy, proud faces
of mothers, wives, brothers, children, and of the entire people receive them
with warmth and emotion. Peace was reached honorably and the fruits of the
sacrifice and effort were more than reached. The constant concern over the fate
of our men in combat, thousands of kilometers from their land, no longer
perturbs our sleeps.

15.  The enemy believed that the return of our combatants would provoke a
social problem, because we would not have jobs for them. Before leaving the
fatherland, most of these men--in addition to the military cadres--had jobs in
their fatherland and they are returning to those jobs or to better ones. Not a
single one has been forgotten. Many times, they knew ahead of time what their
task would be before arriving in the fatherland. Not a single one of those
young servicemen, who had recently left middle schools, who voluntary asked for
the honor to fulfill an internationalist mission in Angola, has had to wait to
occupy a worthy place in the classrooms or among the files or our working

16.  Our fatherland is working hard in ambitious economic and social
development programs. It is not guided by the irrational laws of capitalism,
and has a place in study, production, or services for each child of the
country. No relative of those who fell during their fulfillment of their
mission or those who suffered serious injuries was forgotten. They received,
receive, and will continue receiving all the attention and consideration
deserved by the noble sacrifice of their loved ones and their own unselfish,
altruistic, and generous behavior to the point of heroism.

17.  The hundreds of thousands Cubans who fulfilled internationalist military
or civilian missions will always have the respect of present and future
generations. They multiplied many times the glorious combative and
internationalist traditions of our people. The fatherland they find upon their
return is involved in a titanic struggle for development; at the same time, it
continues facing the criminal imperialist blockade with exemplarly dignity.

18.  To this we must add the crisis that erupted in the socialist world, from
which we can only expect negative economic consequences for our country. What
is being talked about now in the majority of those countries is not precisely
about the imperialist struggle and about the principles of internationalism .
These words are not even mentioned in their press. Such concepts are virtually
erased from the political dictionary there.

19.  In contrast, capitalist values are gaining unusual strength in those
societies. Capitalism means unequal trade with Third World countries,
exaltation of individual selfishness and national chauvinism, the empire of
irrationality and anarchy in investment and production, and ruthless sacrifice
of the peoples to blind economic laws. It is the empire of the strongest, the
exploitation of man by man, every man is for himself.

20.  In the social order, capitalism implies many other things; prostitution,
drugs, gambling, begging, unemployment, abysmal inequality between citizens,
depletion of natural resources, poisoning of the atmosphere, seas, rivers,
forests, and especially the looting of underdeveloped countries by
industrialized capitalist countries.

21.  In the past, it meant colonialism, and, in the present it means the
neocolinization of billions of human beings through more sophisticated economic
and political methods that are also less costly, more effective, and ruthless.
Capitalism, its market economy, its values, its categories, and its methods can
never be the instruments to take socialism away from its current problems and
rectify the mistakes that may have been made. A good part of those problems
came about not only because of the mistakes made but also from the strict
blockade and the isolation socialist countries were submitted to by imperialism
and the capitalist superpowers that monopolized almost all the wealth and the
most advanced technologies. This was a result of the looting of the colonies,
the exploitation of its labor class, and the massive brain theft from countries
that were about to develop.

22.  Devastating wars, which cost millions of lives, the destruction of the
vast majority of the accumulated productive means, were unleashed against the
first socialist state. Like the Phoenix, it had to reemerge from its ashes more
than once. It rendered services to humankind such as defeating fascism and
decisively boosting the liberation movement of countries that were still
colonized. All this wants to be forgotten today.

23.  It is disgusting that many in the USSR are dedicating themselves to
denying and destroying the historic feat and the extraordinary merits of that
heroic people. This is not the way to rectify and overcome the unquestionable
mistakes made in a revolution that was born in czarist authoritarianism, in a
huge, backward, and poor country. Now it is not possible to try to collect from
Lenin the price for having carried out the biggest revolution in history in the
old Russia of the czars.

24.  This is why we have not hesitated to stop the circulation of certain
Soviet publications that are filled with poison against the USSR itself and
socialism. It is perceived that the hand of imperialism, reactionaries, and
counterrevolution is behind them.

25.  Some of those publications have begun to ask for the end of the equal and
just trade that was created between the USSR and Cuba during the course of the
Cuban revolutionary process.  In two words, they ask that the USSR begin to
practice unequal trade with Cuba by selling at a higher and higher price and
buying our agricultural products and raw material at a cheaper and cheaper
price. This is exactly what the United States does with Third World countries.
Ultimately, they ask that the USSR join in the Yankee blockade against Cuba.

26.  The systematic destruction of socialist values, the sapping work carried
out by imperialism together with the mistakes that have been made have
accelerated the destabilization process of socialist countries in Eastern
Europe. The differentiated policy with each country and the idea of undermining
socialism from within was the strategy the United States has been planned and
following for a long time.

27.  Imperialism and the capitalist superpowers cannot hide their euphoria over
these events. They are persuaded, not without reason, that the socialist camp
is virtually nonexistent at this time. Currently, there are entire teams of
Americans in some of those Eastern European countries, including advisers to
the U.S. President, planning the capitalist development. In recent days, a news
dispatch brought the news that they were fascinated with the exciting
experience. One of them, as a matter of fact a U.S. Government official,
favored the application in Poland of a plan similar to the New Deal [preceding
two words in English], by which Roosevelt attempted to soften the great crisis
of capitalism, to help the 600,000 Polish workers who will be left without jobs
in 1990 and half of the 17.8 million workers the country has who will have to
be retrained and change jobs as a result of the development of a market

28.  Imperialism and the NATO capitalist superpowers are persuaded, and not
without reason, that the Warsaw Pact no longer exists at this time, and it is
not only fiction that corrupted societies, undermined from within, would be
incapable of resisting.

29.  It has been said that socialism should be improved.  Nobody can oppose
this principle that is inherent to and applies constantly to every human work.
But, can socialism be improved by abandoning the most elementary
Marxist-Leninist principles?

30.  Why do the so-called reforms have to have a capitalist direction? If such
ideas had a revolutionary character, as some are trying to say, why do they
receive the unanimous overexcited support of imperialist leaders? In an unusual
statement, the U.S. President called himself the number one defender of the
doctrines that are currently being applied in many socialist countries. Never
in history would a truly revolutionary idea have received the enthusiastic
support of the chief of the most powerful, aggressive, and voracious empire
humankind has known.

31.  As a result of Comrade Gorbachev's visit to Cuba in April this year,
during which we held intense and sincere exchanges, we publicly expressed at
the National Assembly our idea that the right of any socialist country to build
capitalism should be respected, if this is what the country wanted. Likewise,
we demanded the strictest respect for the right for any capitalist country to
build socialism. We believe that a revolution cannot be imported or exported. A
socialist state cannot be founded through artificial insemination or simple
embryo transplants. A revolution needs the proper conditions to exist within a
society. Each country needs to be its own creator. These ideas are not
incompatible with the solidarity revolutionaries can and should have with each

32.  Likewise, a revolution is a process which can go forward or backward. It
can even be thwarted. Above all, however, a communist has to be courageous and
revolutionary. The duty of communists is to fight under any circumstance, no
matter how adverse the situation may be. The Paris commoners knew how to fight
and die defending their ideas. The banners of the revolution and socialism are
not handed over without a fight. Only cowards and demoralized people surrender.
Communists and revolutionaries do not surrender.

33.  Imperialism is now inviting European socialist countries to receive their
surpluses of capital, to develop capitalism, and to participate in the looting
of Third World countries. I have learned that a large part of the developed
capitalist world's wealth comes from unequal trade with those countries. For
centuries they looted them as simple colonies. They enslaved hundreds of
millions of their children. In many cases they exhausted their reserves of
gold, silver, and other minerals. They exploited them without mercy and they
imposed underdevelopment on them.

34.  This was the most direct and evident consequence of colonialism. Now they
impoverish them through the interests of an endless and unpayable debt. They
snatch their basic goods at miserable prices. They export their industrial
goods at higher and higher prices. They constantly take away their financial
and human resources through the flight of capital and brains. They block their
trade through dumping [preceding word in English], tariffs, import quotas,
replacing goods with synthetic ones produced by their high technology, and
subsidize products when they are not competitive.

35.  Now imperialism wants the East European socialist countries to join in the
colossal looting. This apparently does not bother the theorists of capitalist
reforms one bit. This is why in many of those countries nobody mentions the
Third World's tragedy, and the unhappy crowds are geared toward capitalism and
anticommunism and in one of them toward pan-Germanism. Such development of
events could even lead to fascist currents.

36.  The reward imperialism is offering them is a share of the looting of our
peoples, the only way for consumerist capitalist societies to survive. The
United States and the capitalist powers are now much more interested in
investing in East Europe than elsewhere in the world.  What resources could the
Third World--where thousands of millions of people live under inhuman
conditions --expect from such a development of events?

37.  They talk to us about peace, but what kind of peace are they talking
about? Of peace between the superpowers, while imperialism reserves the right
to openly intervene in and to attack Third World countries. We have sufficient
proof of this.

38.  The imperialist U.S. Government demands that everyone refrain from aiding
the Salvadoran revolutionaries and seeks to blackmail the USSR by demanding
that it stop every form of economic and military aid to Nicaragua and to Cuba
because we are in solidarity with the Salvadoran revolutionaries, despite the
fact that we strictly comply with our obligations regarding the arms supplied
by the USSR, conforming to the agreements signed between sovereign nations.

39.  For its part, that very imperialist government that demands that every
form of solidarity with the Salvadoran revolutionaries be discontinued is
helping a genocidal government and is sending special combat units to El
Salvador; it is supporting the Nicaraguan counterrevolutionaries; it organizes
coups d'etat in Panama and the murder of Panamanian leaders; it provides
military aid to UNITA in Angola, despite the successful peace accords in
southwestern Africa; and it continues to supply large quantities of arms to the
Afghan rebels, thus showing complete disregard for the withdrawal of Soviet
troops and the Geneva agreements.

40.  Just a few days ago, U.S. war planes brazenly intervened in the domestic
conflict in the Philippines. Regardless of the just or unjust motives of the
insurgents, which is not for us to judge, the U.S. intervention in that country
has been extremely serious and truly reflects that current world situation.
This is the police role the United States reserves for itself not only
regarding Latin America, which it has always regarded as its backyard, but
regarding every Third World country.

41.  The adoption by a great power of the principle of universal intervention
signifies the end to independence and sovereignty in the world. What peace and
security can our peoples expect other than what we ourselves are capable of
heroically conquering. It would be wonderful to get rid of nuclear arms. If
this were not just a utopian idea and could some day be achieved, it would be
undoubtedly beneficial and would improve security, but it would only benefit
part of mankind. This would not bring peace, security, or hope to Third World
countries.  Imperialism does not need nuclear arms to attack our peoples. Its
powerful fleet distributed around the world, its military bases everywhere, and
its increasingly sophisticated and deadly conventional arms suffice to enable
it to perform its role as master and policeman of the world.

42.  Besides, 40,000 children die every day in the world.  These children could
be saved, but they are not saved because of poverty and underdevelopment. As we
have said time and again, and it is proper to repeat today, it is as though a
bomb like those of Hiroshima and Nagasaki exploded among the poor children
around the world every 3 days.

43.  If events follow their present course, if demands are not made that the
United States give up its concepts, what new ideas could we talk about?
Following this course, the bipolarized world we knew in the post-war era will
inevitably become a unipolarized world under U.S.  hegemony.

44.  In Cuba we are carrying out our rectification process. It is impossible to
develop a revolution or a truly socialist rectification without a strong,
disciplined, and respected party. It is impossible to carry out such a process
by slandering socialism, destroying its values, discrediting the party,
demoralizing the vanguard, relinquishing its leadership role, eliminating
social discipline, and sowing chaos and anarchy everywhere.

45.  A counterrevolution can be promoted in this way, but not revolutionary
changes. Yankee imperialism believes Cuba will not be able to resist and that
the new situation created in the socialist camp will enable it to inevitably
make our revolution collapse. Cuba is not a country in which socialism arrived
after the victorious divisions of the Red Army. In Cuba, we Cubans forged
socialism through an authentic and heroic struggle.

46.  Thirty years of resistance to the most powerful empire on earth, which
wanted to destroy our revolution, are testimony of our political and moral
strength. Those who are leading the country are not a group of inexperienced
upstarts who recently got to posts of responsibility. We came from the ranks of
the old anti-imperialist strugglers from the schools of Mella and Guiteras,
from the ranks of the Moncada and Granma, from the Sierra Maestra and the
clandestine fighting, from Giron and the October crisis, of 30 years of heroic
resistance of the imperialist attacks, of great labor feats, and of glorious
internationalist missions. Men and women from three generations of Cubans are
gathered and assume responsibilities in our experienced party, in the
organization of our marvelous young vanguard, in our powerful mass
organizations, in our glorious Revolutionary Armed Forces, and in our Interior

47.  In Cuba, revolution, socialism, and national independence are insolubly
linked. We owe everything that we are to the revolution and socialism. If
capitalism returned some day to Cuba, our independence and sovereignty would
disappear forever. We would be an extension of Miami, a simple appendix of the
Yankee empire. The disgusting prophesy of a U.S. president of the last century,
when they were thinking about annexing our island, would be fulfilled. He said
it would fall into the hands of the United States like a ripe fruit. An entire
people will be willing to die today, tomorrow, and always to prevent this from

48.  It is appropriate to repeat here, before his own tomb, Maceo's inmortal
phrase: He who attempts to take Cuba will reap the dust of its soil bathed in
blood, if he does not die in the fight. The Cuban Communists and the millions
of revolutionary combatants who compose the files of our heroic and combative
people will know who to play the role history has assigned to us, not only as
the first socialist state in the Western Hemisphere but also as front-line
unyielding defenders of the noble cause of the humble and exploited in this

49.  We have never aspired to be recipients of the custody of the glorious
banners and the principles the revolutionary movement has defended throughout
its heroic and beautiful history.  However, destiny assigns us the role of one
day being among the last defenders of socialism; in a world in which the Yankee
empire was able to make a reality of Hitler's dreams of dominating the world,
we would know how to defend this bastion until the last drop of blood.

50.  These men and women, whom we are burying today with honor in their
hospitable homeland, died for the most sacred values of our history and
revolution. They died fighting against colonialism and neocolonialism; they
died fighting against racism and apartheid; they died fighting against looting
and the exploitation of Third World peoples; they died fighting for the
independence and sovereignty of those peoples; they died fighting for the right
of all peoples to well-being and development.  They died fighting so there may
be no hungry people, beggars, unattended patients, children out of school,
jobless human beings, and homeless and foodless people.  They died so there
might be neither oppressors nor oppressed; neither exploiters nor exploited;
they died fighting for the dignity and freedom of men. They died fighting for
true peace and security for all peoples; they died for the ideas of Cespedes
and Maximo Gomez; they died for the ideas of Marti and Maceo; they died for the
ideas of Marx, Engels and Lenin; they died for the ideas and the example spread
to the world by the October Revolution; they died for socialism; they died for
internationalism; they died for the dignified and revolutionary fatherland that
is today's Cuba.

51.  We will be able to follow their example. Eternal glory to them! Socialism
or death! Fatherland or death! We will win! [applause]