Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Addresses Youths at Rally in Havana
Havana Cubavision Television
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000006200
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     PA0704200890
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-90-068          Report Date:    09 Apr 90
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     4
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       6
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       04 Apr 90
Report Volume:       Monday Vol VI No 068


City/Source of Document:   Havana Cubavision Television

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Addresses Youths at Rally in Havana

Author(s):   President Fidel Castro at youth rally in Maceo Park, Havana; date
not given--live or recorded]

Source Line:   PA0704200890 Havana Cubavision Television in Spanish 0525 GMT 4
Apr 90

Subslug:   [Speech by President Fidel Castro at youth rally in Maceo Park,
Havana; date not given--live or recorded]

1.  [Speech by President Fidel Castro at youth rally in Maceo Park, Havana;
date not given--live or recorded]

2.  [Text] Young comrades: I now understand why late this evening I was told
that there was a rumor going around that I would be speaking at midnight,
tonight. I asked: Where did that rumor come from? If you cannot hear me that is
terrible. I asked: Where did that rumor come from? Throughout the afternoon and
evening, after you were already here, I had to attend a news conference that
lasted approximately two and a half hours--from 1800 to 2100. I then said--if
you cannot hear me, then keep quiet--well, I am free now. I felt so free that I
almost sat down to eat. When I feel free, I feel like eating. Just imagine what
would happen if on a day like today, when I have gone all day without eating, I
was to come here with only half my digestion process over and make a speech at
midnight and what is more, a pinch-hit [cuarto bate] speech. [applause]

3.  Then I got to thinking, Robertico [Roberto Robaina, first secretary of the
Union of Young Communists, UJC] told me that you wanted me to say a few
words--only a few words, not a speech, would be fine. Robertico already made a
speech and he hit a home run with the bases loaded. [applause] We are ahead by
so many home runs that we better just touch the ball and send it out to third
base. [laughter]

4.  Well then, I believe that today is a day of great importance, another day
that the youths celebrate with maximum spirit of struggle and fighting. It has
been a day of happiness like all other days, and not even the infamous
aggression against our sovereignty, through that miserable freak [engendro] of
a television station they are attempting to name after Marti--the first of the
Cuban anti-imperialists and most prominent anti-Yankee--[applause] has
prevented the happiness and enthusiasm of our people and the great happiness of
our youth from showing.

5.  In the presence of a crowd of youths like you, while attending an event
like this, at a moment like this, and at a place like this, even if one does
not wish to, one must stop and think; and even if you try not to, you cannot
help but be filled with emotion.

6.  There are many things that cross one's mind in just minutes. I had just
left that news conference--which was later carried on television to all the
people and which you obviously did not see because you were here--and still had
everything that went on there fresh in my mind. I remember some ideas and
concepts that were discussed during the news conference. There were about 200
correspondents present, more than 100 foreign correspondents present; most of
the correspondents there were foreign correspondents. I did not know that it
was going to be a news conference.

7.  The comrades that lead the battle against the tele-aggression had invited
foreign reporters to speak to them and to put our point of view across. So,
many reporters came--far more than our comrades could have ever imagined. They
were told they would be meeting a high-ranking leader; many of them believed
they would be meeting me. That left me no other alternative but to accept the
invitation the comrades made to take part in that news conference. Several
things were discussed there, which will be published. One of the things that
was put across there was the theory of whether or not our spirit of resistance
is correct, if our decision to resist, our strategy to resist, is correct in
the face of that haughty, overconfident, and arrogant enemy, just when the
world's revolutionary movement has suffered a great setback--we could even go
so far as to call it a disaster.  This has caused pessimism among many spirits
throughout the world. The theory has emerged just when Cuba is facing a
gigantic task--I would say a task that is worthy of the giant we have in front
of us--when our people are fully decided on defending the revolution, whatever
the price, when our people are decided on making any sacrifice. The theory
emerged--this theory has emerged during other historic moments--it did not
emerge here, it emerged abroad, among Europeans, even among some Latin American
friends. It emerged especially in the brain of the empire and its advisers. It
is the anti-hero theory, the anti-resistance theory, the theory of concessions
to the empire, the theory of surrender, and the theory of those of the big
ditch pact [pacto del zanjon].

8.  There is a great illusion, a false illusion, of believing that
revolutionary processes can live or survive by granting concessions. Those in
history who have believed that revolutionary ideas can renounce their
principles have always been vanquished. Those in history who have believed
this, have always been defeated. What happened in East Europe is all too
recent. [In Europe] they began by making small concessions, then more and newer
concessions; they gave the end of the little finger, then they were asked for
another bit, then came the finger, followed by the hand, afterward the arms;
later, their heads were snapped off. This is what has really happened to these
East European socialist processes. In some of these countries, the most extreme
reactionary right-wingers have taken over, so the theory that a revolutionary
process is able to survive by granting concessions is the most absurd and
mistaken theory that can be conceived.

9.  As I told the reporters, only the brave, only those who struggle, and only
those who resist, win. [applause] We were thinking of this when we arrived
here. We thought of our youth. The [reporters] asked that if resisting was not
tantamount to collective suicide. I replied that we preferred death to slavery.
[applause] I replied that we preferred death to not being free. Only in
freedom, honor, dignity, and in the high goals humans can set for themselves
can there be true happiness and fortune. I thought and meditated: This is our
youth and they are merry and happy. As someone said, these youths are cultured
and have strong political awareness; they have strong revolutionary awareness.
[applause] What we want for these youths is a destiny of honor, dignity,
happiness, and liberty. What we want for all of them is the best of all
possible worlds. We want their security.  For mankind, we want the most that
one can wish for.  We do not want for these youths capitalist corruption,
selfishness, vices, or that hateful world we have left behind. We do not want
to be a dependent country again.  We do not want to be a country of owners
again. We do not want to be a people with masters again. We do not want to go
down so dishonorably. That is why we have told those who sincerely worry about
our future that we prefer death to slavery. We shall not resign for any reason
or circumstance whatsoever, amid any difficulty, from the path that we have
chosen. Do not fear for us.

10.  This reminds me of the time the Batista troops launched their last
offensive on the Sierra Maestra. The enemy chief, who had 10,000 soldiers
fighting against 300 of us, sent a message saying that he regretted what was
going to happen because we were very brave--he meant us--and that it would be a
loss for the fatherland. He suggested talks. We thanked him. We said: Thank
you. We are willing to talk, but after the offensive. If you enter the Sierra
Maestra, break our lines, defeat every soldier you encounter, and exterminate
every single one of us, but do not cry over our deaths, because we will have
written one of the most glorious pages in history. Even the children of the
soldiers fighting against us today will look up with pride at the peaks and
mountains of the Sierra Maestra.  [applause] We were convinced, very convinced
of our victory. However, we did not speak with arrogance. We did not say: We
are going to defeat you. All we did was tell them that we would not talk before
the offensive; we told them we would talk after the offensive and that was what
we did. We talked while we returned hundreds and hundreds of prisoners who had
been taken by those 300 people who defeated the tyranny's 10,000 soldiers. I am
not saying that the enemy is suggesting talks, but if the imperialist enemy was
to suggest talks with threats, we would give them the very same answer. I was
not talking about the enemy, but about those who feel sorry for us because of
our honorable situation.

11.  In these difficult times, when part of the socialist world has crumbled,
when the enemy feels brave, triumphant, arrogant, and more aggressive than
ever, now that we, and only we, can defend the banners of socialism in our
fatherland [applause], now that we are living the most glorious moment of all
our history--and that is saying a lot when we are talking about a history as
rich as ours--we tell those who feel sorry for us: Have no fear, we prefer
death to slavery. We would prefer to die than to surrender. The truth is that
in one way or another they are suggesting a surrender. He who grants
concessions, he who allows the violation of the basic principles of a
revolution, he who takes that path, will end with the Zanjon Pact. He who takes
that path, capitulates. Young comrades, I do believe what I said earlier: There
can only be happiness with dignity; there can only be happiness with freedom. A
slave does not smile, a slave has no honor, a slave has no dignty, a slave has
no respect. If there is anything a slave deserves, it is pity.

12.  When I saw you today, when I saw your happiness this evening during this
event, I was thinking how straight and fair our line is and how there must be
happiness and love if there is to be a smile. If there is to be a smile, it can
only be in freedom and dignity. I told myself: I am sure that none of these
youths here would ever choose the path of capitulation, the path of slavery. I
thought: How many symbols do we have here tonight. We have the symbol of a
healthy youth, the symbol of fighting youth, the symbol of an unsurpassable
youth; an exceptional moment in the history of our fatherland, a moment of
struggle, a moment of firmness, a moment of decision. And Maceo's symbol is in
our midst. The highest symbol of national dignity, the highest symbol of
courage and honor in our wars of independence, the symbol of the most glorious
feat in our history, the Baragua protest. [applause]

13.  That is why here, standing before Maceo's statue, I ask: What path will we
follow? The path of slavery [people shout ``no''] or the path of freedom? The
path of capitulation or resistance? [crowd shouts: ``resistance''] Young
comrades loved by the revolutionary fatherland, what path will you choose? The
Zanjon or Baragua?  [applause]

14.  I have nothing more to say. Let us continue to enjoy this anniversary with
happiness because our country will be an eternal Baragua. [applause] An eternal
Baragua means an eternal revolution, eternal freedom. Even though we say
fatherland or death, we also say we will win! To choose the path of resistance
means that we will not only be capable of resisting, but also of winning.
[applause] We are simply--and you know and feel this-- undefeatable. A people
and a revolution that have youth like you, are undefeatable. [applause] For
this reason, standing here before Antonio Maceo's statue, let us say that we
will be capable of following his example, that we know that we are capable of
resisting and defeating, that we are capable of fulfilling our heroic and
glorious slogans: Socialism or death! Fatherland or death! We will win!