Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Gives Moncada Anniversary Speech
Havana Domestic Radio and Television Service
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000013097
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     PA2607225290
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-90-145          Report Date:    27 Jul 90
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     1
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       14
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       26 Jul 90
Report Volume:       Friday Vol VI No 145


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

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Gives Moncada Anniversary Speech

Author(s):   Fidel Castro Ruz, president of the Councils of State and
Ministers, on the 37th anniversary of the attack on the Moncada
Barracks, at the Plaza of the Revolution in Havana--live]

Source Line:   PA2607225290 Havana Domestic Radio and Television Service in
Spanish 2214 GMT 26 Jul 90

Subslug:   [Speech by Fidel Castro Ruz, president of the Councils of State and
Ministers, on the 37th anniversary of the attack on the Moncada
Barracks, at the Plaza of the Revolution in Havana--live]

1.  [Speech by Fidel Castro Ruz, president of the Councils of State and
Ministers, on the 37th anniversary of the attack on the Moncada Barracks, at
the Plaza of the Revolution in Havana--live]

2.  [Text] Dear Comrades Julius Nyerere and Daniel Ortega, former presidents of
Tanzania and Nicaragua; [applause] leaders of the vanguard parties in those
countries; brothers in the struggle against imperialism and for all the noble
causes in this world; relatives of those who died at the Moncada Barracks and
other revolutionary actions; fighters of the Moncada Barracks; comrades:

3.  I must begin by saying that I do not like this platform. It is too far away
from the people. [applause and shouts] It should have been where it was on
other occasions, on other occasions [repeats himself], there, near the first
row, but it was done for I do not know what architectural reasons--the height
and I do not know what else--and that was my first protest upon arrival here.

4.  In addition, there is a tremendous sun, such as we have not seen on other
occasions during previous summers.  Perhaps it is the consequence of the
changes in climate.  I can imagine how many of you really slept last night,
after the carnival, but I hope we will resist what there is left of the sun,
without a single cloud. This afternoon is also a symbol of the revolution: A
lot of sun and not a single cloud! [applause]

5.  We had not met for quite some time in a mass event like this one with the
fellow citizens in the city of Havana. An event in the capital is always more

6.  When we hold ceremonies in the provinces, we only have to place a few
thousand chairs around for people to sit on, and the rest of the people stand.
It is much easier to hold ceremonies in the provinces than when we hold
ceremonies with a multitude such as the one present here. Everyone is standing
and crowded together here, and the weather conditions are very unfavorable. 
Havana, however, made efforts and earned the right to be the venue for the 37th
anniversary. [applause]

7.  Unlike previous occasions, however, I do not think it is suitable to give
you too many statistics this afternoon. It would be an endless task to try to
describe the efforts made by the people of Havana City Province throughout the
years of revolution and in recent years. Havana had 1.4 million inhabitants at
the triumph of the revolution.  Today Havana is inhabited by approximately 2.1
million people. Our capital is, despite everything, an example of a correct and
fair revolutionary policy. Havana is among the three or four capital cities in
the world--I am referring to cities in developed countries--where the
population grew at a slower rate than in the remaining cities of the country.
This proves how positive it was to implement that policy by which we
distributed the nation's resources throughout the country, and thanks to which
we promoted development in the rest of the country.

8.  Most, if not all, Latin American and Third World cities are experiencing an
enormous phenomenon. We are referring to the problem of unhealthy
neighborhoods.  Some wealthy Latin American countries have cities in which 60
percent of the population lives in unhealthy neighborhoods. In our country, in
our capital, not even three percent of the population lives in unhealthy areas. 
And at present, the residents of these areas are engaged in a program to
eradicate the unhealthy neighborhoods.  We have not experienced the problem of
an increasing concentration of population in our capital city.

9.  Now we do not have just one university in the country.  We have
universities in all the provinces. There are good hospitals and good medical
and educational services, not only in the capital, but in all the provinces of
the country.

10.  Highly professional personnel are being trained in all the provinces,
which are now granting postgraduate degrees.  All provinces are involved in
research activities, and cultural and sports programs are being developed in
all the provinces. There are housing projects being implemented in all
provinces. Recreational and other centers are being built, and other needs of
the people are being satisfied. It is for this reason that we can say our
country serves as an example.

11.  It is true that some aspects of developing the capital have been
disregarded. I think that more could have been done. We are making this evident
because now, with fewer resources than ever, the capital is producing more than

12.  To give you an idea of the situation, I will just say that during the
revolution, 17 billion pesos have been invested in the capital. Approximately
50 percent of this has been invested in construction projects, with the rest in
equipment of all sorts, including industrial, transportation, medical, and
research equipment, etc.

13.  Right now the revolution is investing more than 1.2 billion pesos annually
in the capital. I have some figures that establish the difference between how
it is now and how it was before the revolution. I have promised not to give too
many figures.

14.  I will mention two sectors:

15.  Before the revolution, 79 million pesos were invested in the education
sector throughout the country. Now we invest 314 million pesos, four times the
investment before the revolution.

16.  The investment in the public health sector was between 20 million and 30
million pesos throughout the country in the days prior to the revolution. Now,
in the capital alone, we invest 351 million pesos.

17.  This is why our experience is not that of the Latin American and Third
World cities where a large percentage of children do not have any opportunity
to go to school.

18.  Our investments also explain the health level reached in our country and
our capital, and why last year the infant death rate was 10.4 for every 1,000
children born alive.

19.  In other words, this is one-third the infant mortality rate of Washington,
the capital of the empire. Life expectancy in our capital is so high that it is
among the highest in the world, much higher than in many developed countries. I
must admit that the lowest infant mortality rate is not in Havana. The rate is
below 10 in some provinces.

20.  I must also admit that life expectancy in the capital is not the highest
in the country. Life expectancy in Havana is about 74 years, and the rate is
over 74 in many provinces.

21.  Our capital city has a first-class network of hospitals, and some services
that are not available in any other capital cities of the world are available
in our city. A few days ago, we dedicated some installations to treat retinitis
pigmentosa, to mention just one example. It has a complete network of clinics.

22.  Our province has 452 child care centers and 104 special education schools.
All of the children in the capital who need special education schools have such
schools. One hundred percent of these children have their schools. I do not
believe this is the case in any other capital in the world. [applause]

23.  There are 104 mid-level technicians for these 104 schools. There are 12
universities, while before there was only one. The progress and achievements in
the capital city of our country are quite significant. However, this effort has
been accelerated in past years.

24.  Beginning with the process of rectification, we started several programs,
some of which have been completed.  The program of child care centers was
developed, and 114 centers were built in only two years. There had been only
five in the five years before that. Twenty new polyclinics were built to
complete a network of clinics for the capital city. This network was completed.
Twenty-four special education schools were built to complete the network of
special education schools. Other programs were also begun and are being carried

25.  The housing construction program has been increased in recent years,
thanks to the rebirth of the minibrigades.  This year we are planning to
increase the construction of housing to nearly 15,000 units, almost four times
more than were being built before the process of rectification.

26.  There is a program for the construction of streets in the capital. There
is a program for the construction of agrarian markets. There is a program for
the construction of market warehouses. There is a program for the construction
of bakeries--a program to build 100 bakeries. These programs are being carried
out expeditiously. A program for the development of the construction materials
industry is under way. It has almost been completed and it multiplies our
production capabilities in that sector. We have other programs in other
sectors.  In the education sector, a program has been prepared for the
construction of all the elementary schools and high schools that are necessary,
so that each student is in adequate and modern installations. With our efforts
we hope to turn the capital into one of the most functional and humane cities
in the world.

27.  The rectification process began in the capital. The minibrigades movement
was reborn here, and 40,000 have now joined the minibrigades movement. The
contingents movement was born in the capital with the Blas Roca Contingent
[applause], a movement that today includes more than 40,000 construction
workers. The capital alone has approximately 10,000 construction workers
organized in contingents. There is even one entire industry working as a
contingent, and this example and spirit have extended throughout the country.

28.  The capital supplies important resources to all the nation in many
industrial branches--the energy branch, the fuel branch, the iron and steel
industry, the chemical industry, the light manufacturing industry, the
pharmaceutical industry, and other branches. The capital provides essential
products to the rest of the country.

29.  The capital has approximately 20 percent of the population and 25 percent
of the country's workers, who now number approximately 900,000. One out of
three [as heard] workers is here in the capital. These workers do not just
include the health workers in many hospitals who give their services to all the
country, nor just the ones working in the education sector and the schools that
give their services to students from other provinces, including Havana
Province, but also those in more than 100 scientific research centers.

30.  Thousands and thousands of Havana City scientists are currently promoting
new technological and scientific advances in a very special way. Because the
revolution has tried to be fair, things that happen in the interior of so many
other countries do not happen in our country's interior. In those countries,
people in the interior are envious of the capital city. They resent the capital
city because it has this and that and because it consumes a significant part of
the country's resources.

31.  Our capital city has worked very hard during the last few years. It has
contributed in improving the country's economy, and it has struggled against
bureacracy and inflated rosters. Havana has reduced the number of
administrative and supervisory personnel by several thousands. Our capital city
has been concerned with seeking economic efficiency. It has tried to produce
more with less resources. It has tried to maintain tight warehouse inventories
and to control production costs. There is not one single field--including
education, health, sports, culture, and the economy--in which the capital city
has not made special and fruitful efforts throughout these years. For those
reasons, it seemed fair to us to choose Havana as the venue of this 37th
anniversary.  [applause]

32.  We, however, are celebrating this anniversary at a very special time in
the country's life and in the life of the revolution. We believe that at
present our people are making exceptional efforts in all fields. Our people in
the capital city are working as hard as those in the remaining parts of the
country. I have been informed of this by the comrades who are constantly
touring the island from one end to the other. There is a great spirit of
struggle all over the island. There is an extraordinary work spirit all over
the country.

33.  I believe our people are responding to these times, to these difficult
times, just as they should respond.  [applause] For example, after a dry, a
very dry year as far as rains are concerned; after experiencing late and
unseasonable rains, including a cyclone after 20 December; and with a sugarcane
harvest conducted in the middle of unseasonable rains and a storm in mid-May,
the country produced 8.4 million tons of sugar. [applause] It was a true feat.
We can add that it was an extraordinary deed.  We have lived through a
difficult and unfavorable year.  We had unseasonable rains in the dry season
and extremely high temperatures in the middle of the winter that considerably
affected some of our crops.

34.  Nevertheless, in May, June, and July the agriculture workers were exerting
themselves to sow the sugarcane, to clean the fields--because the harvest had
ended late--and to sow and sow again in the other agricultural
sectors--vegetables, edible roots, and other products-- in an effort to
compensate for the losses caused by this year's irregular climate. In Havana
Province, which is not the only one that supplies the capital but which is the
basic source of supplies for the capital, they sowed hundreds of caballerias
more than what was planned.

35.  The weeds came, which is natural, and the capital's help was necessary.
Thousands of workers from the capital left for the province's fields with an
exemplary discipline and a high productivity to support Havana Province's work
in sowing edible roots and vegetables. It is a fact that the possibilities that
the revolution has given to all the citizens has also resulted in a certain
exodus from the countryside to the cities. I do not say the capital. Some have
come to the capital and others have gone to other cities in the provinces and
to Havana....[corrects himself] to other cities in Havana Province, and the
social development of those provinces has absorbed a great amount of labor

36.  However, just like we said that the capital did not need the people from
the eastern provinces to build houses and other construction projects--although
we still have some, we have some around here--it was also said that we could
build no more because we lacked the labor force. However, the minibrigades
movement has proved that the capital had all the labor force it wanted; and
that the limitations, in any case, would be the construction materials.
Similarly, if we need to produce food, the capital has all the labor force
needed to produce the food required by this city with a population of 2
million.  [applause]

37.  Some comrades said that they were happy to participate for 15 days because
they were now more aware of the efforts and sacrifices that the workers have to
make to supply the capital of the republic. I say that we see labor feats
everywhere. It was necessary to urgently refurbish the Jose Marti Pioneers'
City, and thousands of men from the capital, from the minibrigades and the
organizations, went there and in a few weeks they carried out and completed 800
projects--between repairs and things they built.

38.  When we speak of projects... [Castro changes thought] During the past few
days we have heard many statistics, but numbers do not give us a clear picture
of what is being done. Thousands upon thousands of projects were completed
prior to 26 July. One of these projects was the City of the Pioneers, and this
was only one project.  Likewise, 10,000 homes were repaired, but this was
counted as a single project. There are hundreds upon hundreds of similar
projects. I have learned that approximately 300 family doctor house-offices
have been built, and like this one many other projects have been completed. Two
days ago we visited some of these projects.  The Nico Lopez Refinery is a big
industrial project, as are the San Miguel Wholesale Market, the Retinitis
Pigmentosa Center, and a defense project, which is also very important--we
cannot do all those other things and forget our defense. Hundreds of housing
projects have been inaugurated in this short period of time.

39.  I have mentioned some examples of projects. Another example I can mention
is what the people of Havana did that was not included in the plan for the
year's activities.  This project, the City of the Pioneers, forced the
mobilization of approximately 7,000 workers. However, if you visit the country,
if you visit Santiago de Cuba, you will see the feats the people of Santiago de
Cuba are accomplishing. If you visit the area north of Villa Clara or Ciego de
Avila or Camaguey, you will see that 1,000 men are changing that region by
building embankments and recovering hundreds of kilometers of beach land and
other virgin areas to be used for the economic development of the country. As a
rule, that is the spirit that prevails wherever you go.

40.  We are carrying out the food plan. This food plan is the biggest effort
ever made by the country in the production of food. This plan includes sugar
cane, which has become an important raw material for the production of animal
feed, which is used for the production of milk and meat.  Sugarcane is no
longer just a very important trade exchange product. We are working hard with
sugarcane.  We have opened eight dairies. This year we will build approximately
180 dairy farms. Before the rectification process, we were building
approximately 10 dairy farms.  This activity had greatly decreased.

41.  We have plans to build approximately 240 dairies and all the installations
necessary to care for calves, young bulls, etc.

42.  We are working on a parcels-drainage program that could be called
parcels-drainage and irrigation program.  There are 121 work brigades being
employed by this program at present, and by the end of this year 201 brigades
will be working under this program.

43.  We are working on an engineering system for rice production. The idea is
to change rice production conditions in 160,000 hectares. In the future, this
should result in our rice production being at least double what it is now.

44.  We are working on hog production centers. We are building 52 of them.
There are two new ones already. We are also building approximately 2,000
installations for raising fowl so as to increase the production of eggs and

45.  We are working on ambitious plans for citrus plants and livestock
enterprises. We are also working on plans for the production of vegetables and

46.  The effort being made in the food production program is aimed at
satisfying the nation's needs. Its main objective is not to export the
products. We will export sugar, especially, of course, and sugar derivatives.
Part of this production will be used to feed animals. We will also export
citrus, which is a growing program. We are getting close to an annual
production of approximately 1 million tons. However, the objective of the food
production program is to satisfy the needs of the people.

47.  We are working on other important sectors for export purposes, especially
in the field of medicine. This sector is being developed and will become one of
the most important export sectors.

48.  We are also working on developing tourism to increase our foreign exchange
income for the development of the country and to cover the many needs of the
country, especially now.

49.  I want to say that an exceptional effort is being made in line with the
exceptional situation we are living through.

50.  We are also developing the social sector. We are building houses, centers
for children, special schools, and other installations everywhere. So far we
have been able to maintain these programs, in spite of the circumstances. I can
tell you on this 37th anniversary that the country is working like never

51.  We are engaged in profound analyses and debates in discussing the
convocation of the party's fourth congress.  We are trying to work as much as
possible to find, plan, and implement all the measures that can be implemented
to improve our socialism. I have no doubt that many useful and fruitful ideas
to strengthen our revolution will come out of these debates. And we will not
have to wait for the fourth congress to begin to implement some of these ideas.
[applause] As long as we see that there is a national consensus with respect to
all these problems. Today, I repeat, the country is doing more than ever with
fewer resources than ever. But chance has made this gigantic effort coincide
with exceptional and unexpected international events. Who would have imagined
that the socialist bloc would collapse like a house of cards? Who would ever
have imagined that the USSR itself would have the difficulties and the problems
it has now? We want to be realists. I cannot come here on this 37th anniversary
and say that everything is fine, that we are not threatened by any danger,
[applause] and that no problems threaten us. We cannot say this. [applause;
indistinct chanting]

52.  It is a hard thing that our most extraordinary effort to develop the
country and consolidate socialism in our nation should coincide with a
catastrophe in the socialist bloc. Given the imperialism blockade, which has
lasted more than 30 years now, and no one knows how long it will last, we do
not want to even think about that, nor do we count on the imperialists for
anything in our plans for the future.

53.  When our economy was mainly based on the solid pillars of our economic
relations with the socialist bloc, and particularly with the USSR, all these
events began to occur, bringing great uncertainty with respect to the resources
the country will have available in the years to come. Thanks to the
extraordinary efforts made by the revolution, the people have hardly been able
to perceive real problems, because of all the efforts we make every day so that
children will not be without milk, so that there will be medicines, so that
essential foods will not be lacking, so that transportation will not be
lacking, and so that nothing will be lacking [applause] to carry out our
development program. But really we are working under very tense conditions,
very tense, [repeats] with respect to the essential resources we have.

54.  These are problems we had never had before. The situation with fuel is
tense, very tense. This is an essential product. We are receiving lower amounts
than the ones that were discussed, analyzed, and contracted for. The situation
with many raw materials is tense. I am not going to list them, but they are
essential--as essential as fertilizers, metals, wood, etc., etc., etc.--for our
industrial products and our agricultural products.

55.  Trade with a few countries of the former socialist community and with a
few of the former socialist nations has practically disappeared. It continues
with others. We are not complaining about the Soviets. I can say this with all
honesty and all frankness. We are not complaining.  [applause] And why are we
not complaining? And why are we not complaining in spite of the fact that some
deliveries of some products are been reduced by 50 percent? Because we know
that the Soviet Government is doing everything possible to fulfill its
commitments. It is making all efforts to fulfill its commitments.  [applause]
But their own difficulties and their current objective problems are greater
than their good intentions to do the most they can, to comply with the
agreed-on deliveries, to continue their greatest cooperation effort with
respect to Cuba.

56.  To tell the truth, we have problems with many of these products, but we
know they are making the greatest effort. I must say so; it is historically
correct for us to say so. And to date we have seen it this way. Of course, the
objective realities are reality. Of course, the greatest hopes of imperialism
are based on this, that even if the Soviets want to, they will not be able to
maintain the level of supplies, the level of economic relations with Cuba, and
that the problems this causes our country will be such that we will not be able
to endure them. Last year in Camaguey Province I discussed these issues, and I
explained what our attitude was and what our attitude should be; what the
attitude of our people was and what the attitude of our people should be; what
the attitude of our party and our revolutionary militants was and should be;
what the attitude of communists should be; what the attitude of patriots should
be; [applause] and what the attitude of the millions of honorable men and women
in our country should be. It should be to fight, fight, fight, to resist,
resist, resist. [applause]

57.  I even said something on 26 July in Camaguey that perhaps would have
seemed strange to some, even an exaggeration. If the socialist camp should
disappear from the world, we will continue building socialism in our country.
[applause] I said something more, I said something more [repeats], which I did
not believe would happen and did not expect. I said, if the USSR separated, if
the USSR crumbled, if the USSR disappeared, we would continue building
socialism in our country. [prolonged applause]

58.  Socialism is not an option arising from a situation. It is not a temporary
game. It is not and cannot be a transitory decision.  Socialism was an
unavoidable historical need. Socialism was the result of our society's
political and ideological development, a result of our history. We truly wanted
to be an independent country. We truly wanted to be a free country, a country
that owns its destiny, a country that owns its resources and its economy, a
country with the right to build its own future.  Our country was a colony for
centuries and later a Yankee neocolony for many years. We wanted to put an end
to all that injustice and all that garbage, so we had to sweep the capitalist
system away from our country.  [prolonged applause and chanting]

59.  We have swept away that system from our fatherland, and it will never come
back, at least not as long as there is a communist, a revolutionary, a patriot
in this land.  [prolonged applause and chanting] Nevertheless, nevertheless,
[applause and chanting] nevertheless they underestimate us, they underestimate
us. [repeats] Yankee imperialists believe we will not be able to resist. How
little do they know our people, this people who at the beginning, even before
we were a nation, waged a war for 10 years in the bushland against one of the
most powerful European military powers of the time. For 10 years, barefoot
people, enduring the most incredible suffering; men, women, and even children.
They resisted for 10 years and they went back to the fighting, went back to the
fighting [repeats] as an expression of a truly indomitable spirit.

60.  We have meditated a lot, and we have prepared plans. We have talked about
the special period in peacetime, which would be, for example, a situation in
which only half of the oil we have today--or less--would be available. No one
knows. We must always think about the worst problems and what to do. We are
truly full of high hopes for all the projects we are creating and building
today. We want to continue with all our social programs, new schools, new child
care centers, new health centers, new sports and recreation centers, and the
construction of many houses; in sum, what we call our special program.

61.  However, if we had to sacrifice our social program as a result of these
circumstances, we would sacrifice our social program. I have thought about
this, and I have said it more than once: If we built no schools for five years,
we would still be the first country in the world in education! [applause] In
other words, the first country in the Third World, and we could almost say in
the entire world, because what we now have in special schools, what we have
today in many of these sectors, and what we have accumulated is so much that if
we did not build one of these installations in 10 years, we would still be
number one, because our teachers would still be trained and they would continue
to acquire more experience.

62.  If we did not build a single health center in five years, we would still
be the first country in the Third World, and one of the first in the world, in
medical assistance!  [applause] If we could not build a single child care
center in five years, and furthermore if we could not build a single house in
five years, we would be capable of waiting the necessary time, and we would
perhaps be capable of building twice as much as we are building right now. 

63.  If our social development plans have to be sacrificed, we must be prepared
to sacrifice them. However, we must not sacrifice the economic development. Not
a single dam of the dozens of dams that we are building must stop. Not a single
canal of the hundreds of kilometers we are building must stop, just as we must
not stop a single irrigation system, a single plot drainage and irrigation
brigade, a single rice engineering system, a single embankment construction
brigade, a single one of the brigades building hotels to increase our revenues
of convertible currency, or, above all, a single one of the brigades building
scientific units and centers to create one of the most promising industries in
the country, the medical industry.

64.  The following example should suffice: From zero exports in 1989, we will
export approximately 300 million rubles in medicine, vaccines, biotechnology
products, and medical equipment to the USSR in 1990. To give you a better idea,
let it suffice that we have offered, that we have offered [repeats himself] 800
million rubles for 1990, [corrects himself] for 1991.

65.  Well, we will have to wait for someone to fix this microphone so all of
you can hear me! However, if something is heard, I advise you to resign
yourself. At least, I can speak to those who are hearing. Is that all right?
Later, you can spread this by word of mouth.  [applause]

66.  I was saying that we are offering 800 million rubles in medicines, similar
products, and medical equipment of advanced technology. Just look at the
efforts our scientists are making! Just look at the efforts our workers in the
fields are making! In two years, they have been able to meet a production of
800 million rubles. This includes meningococcus vaccinations, just to mention
an example, hepatitis type B vaccinations, economic [corrects himself]
epidermis growth factor, and so forth. This also helps with the economic
growth, so it was not really such a bad mistake.

67.  Our production capacity for this year and the next year is higher. Our
scientists are working day and night, creating new things that are decisive for
human health. Just look at these efforts! Let me give you some statistics, even
though we do not like to give many figures, so that the enemy will not be

68.  I think there are some things we can say. Just consider the development
potential of our country at this time, in new fields that were the exclusive
right of the developed countries. Furthermore, I will say something else about
what we are doing with the centers we are developing and with the centers we
are building. There will be very few medications that the transnationals
produce and we are unable to produce. [applause]

69.  Time is what we need, but actually we have very little time to do what we
are doing. We are working in that field with the same enthusiasm with which we
are working in the food, tourist, and many other programs.  We are working on
the production of export products or to substitute imports.

70.  I think that in these lean years our people are learning very much.
Perhaps some day we will be grateful for this challenge we have had to meet.
With this same passion [changes thought] I thought that was a cloud, but it is
a balloon. I thought: That is some cloud, but as it turns out, it is a balloon
and it has covered the sun. We might call it a balloon eclipse. [laughter] It
has covered the sun completely, even though the sun gets larger when it is

71.  As I was saying, we are working with the same passion we are developing
the country's natural resources for the tourists. We are doing that at a
tremendous speed. There are 20,000 men working at this. I do not want to give
any more details that will allow the imperialists to be informed about the
things we are working on. [applause].

72.  Now that the enemy is no longer the socialist bloc, now that the enemy is
no longer the USSR, we are the imperialists' enemy. The enemy is none other
than us, Cuba. Well, I am not going to say that there are not some other
countries where there is a revolutionary movement, but Cuba is here, 90 miles
away, a few inches from the Yankee base. For the imperialists the enemy is now
Cuba, and they are concentrating all their strength, all their attention, and
all their powers of publicity against Cuba.

73.  Now, there are two, three, four, or five different types of communism or
socialism. There is good and bad socialism. Cuba's socialism is bad socialism.
[Castro pounds on podium] The imperialists have said so.  [applause] There are
several types of communism. Ours is bad communism. [Castro pounds podium five
times] There are various types of revolution. Ours is the bad, intolerable, and
unforgivable revolution. That has been decreed by the imperialists. What luck!
What luck! We wound up with the bad socialism, the bad communism, and the bad
revolution. We ended up with the revolution that must disappear from the face
of the earth. That is the imperialist mentality.

74.  And they have been aggressive. In only a few months they have conducted
almost six very hostile actions against us. One of them is the television
station, which they named after Jose Marti as an insult to us. Look at the kind
of things we have had to put up with! The things we have had to put up with!
[repeats phrase] The television channel that cannot be seen. [La TV que no se
ve] [Play on rhyming words in Spanish] [crowd laughs] [applause] And now [Radio
Marti] has turned into Radio Menti, [Radio ``I lied''] [Play on words in
Spanish] which is not heard either and which will be heard increasingly less.
And bear in mind that we have not yet transmitted our music to the United
States. And we have the means and resources to do so. We could even have them
dancing Lambada there all day long if we wanted to. And this includes the White
House, because our radio stations reach the White House without any problems.
But we have acted with moderation, and we chose simply to jam their signal. We,
however, have many more means.  That television station was a truly aggressive
and absurd action. It violated international law and regulations. It violated

75.  A few weeks later, they conducted clandestine maneuvers using powerful
military means. They did this in silence. And we, in the middle of the
sugarcane harvest and our agricultural programs, were forced to mobilize
hundreds of thousands of people without neglecting the sugarcane harvest and
the basic tasks. The Cuban Shield maneuvers demonstrated the level of readiness
and organization that the Revolutionary Armed Forces and our armed people have
reached. [applause] They forced us to expend a great deal of energy in those
maneuvers.  But they forced us and still force us to spend even more resources
on the country's defense.

76.  Two days ago I told a group that is building fortifications: What you are
doing is one of the most noble and useful tasks you can carry out for your
country. This is going to help us protect all those other things we are
creating. We have shown the imperialists our will to fight. We have shown them
that any adventurous move on their part will be very costly. This is why we
must not regret the steel, cement, resources, machinery, and tens of thousands
of men, who, instead of building centers, schools, homes, or other things, are
building fortifications.  Despite the situation, this is one of those important
and untouchable projects.

77.  Even more repugnant and despicable is the release of the killer Orlando
Bosch, the author of one of the most despicable crimes ever committed in the
world. The crime he committed made hundreds of thousands of people who gathered
at this very same square cry. He is a known and proven gangster and terrorist,
a man who was found guilty of the crime. Yet they, that country that speaks of
terrorism and other things, were shameless enough to release him. They had the
incredible shamelessness of releasing him. This is another offense that our
people will never be able to forgive. [indistinct shouts]

78.  However, that is not all. You may have heard in the news that on the eve
of the Houston summit, on the eve of the meeting of the world's richest
countries, the seven richest powers in the world, that some of those countries,
especially France and the FRG, were talking about giving economic aid to the
USSR. Do you know what the United States did in these difficult times for the
USSR?  In these difficult times for the USSR, the U.S. Government said that it
would not help the USSR, nor would it agree to give the USSR aid, as long as it
did not suspend its economic and military aid to Cuba. What shamelessness! That
is how far Mr. Bush's sickening obsessiveness goes. That is how far it has
gone. At a time when the EEC, a part of the EEC, decides to give economic aid
to the USSR, the United States conditions that aid with the end to the economic
aid and supply of weapons to Cuba.  Cuba is a country that is constantly being
threatened by the imperialists, yet they do not want the USSR to send us a
single weapon or a single bullet. That is why it sets those humiliating
conditions. The Soviet Government responded with dignity. They said that they
were not begging for alms and that no economic aid can be conditioned to
political matters. [applause]

79.  That is how far the United States will go in these difficult times for the
USSR. They cannot stop thinking about Cuba. They see Cuba in their soup. I
imagine that every morning when Mr. Buche [belly] has breakfast, he sees Cuba
in his coffee, in his water, and in his bread. Asleep or awake, he cannot
forget Cuba. Asleep or awake he cannot forget Cuba. It is a sickening obsession
and a shame for the world. The U.S. allies in Europe keep asking themselves:
How far will those madmen go? But just see what their intentions are.

80.  Now I must refer to the most recent Yankee maneuver and the action against
Cuba. I am referring to the embassy incidents that occurred recently.

81.  You will see how insolent they are, even more than what you imagine, and I
will explain it in detail. This has been one more shameless aggression against
our country. To be accurate, I have brought along some notes of what has
happened and how it happened. This began on 9 July 1990--this month. Since 9
July it makes 17 days, right?  Right, 17 days, just 17 days ago, five Cuban
citizens entered the Czech and Slovak Republic's Embassy in Havana and asked
for shelter. The first reports said the five Cubans did not request political
asylum but wanted to be considered as refugees and be allowed to travel abroad,
just as if the embassy were a travel agency.

82.  On 10 July two other Cubans entered the Czech and Slovak Embassy. This is
a new name. I thought it was called Czechoslovakia, and I am used to calling it
that, and since I am not so much of a diplomat, it makes no difference to me to
call it either way. Obviously, all this generated great publicity. Before the
Czechoslovak or Slovak Czech charge d'affaires notified the Foreign Ministry of
this, all international news agencies had already reported the event. The worm
radio stations in Miami were already reporting the event long before the charge
d'affaires had notified the Foreign Ministry. This received worldwide
publicity. Everything had been planned for that purpose, to carry out a
propaganda campaign against Cuba. Obviously, when one of those madmen, one of
those borderline cases [fronterizos], lumpen, and idlers, listen to these kinds
of things, they say to themselves: This is my opportunity! They want to see
what they can get, spoiled by the propaganda and by the empire. [crowd chants
indistinct slogans]

83.  Nothing happened on Tuesday, 10 July. There was only a worldwide scandal
and huge publicity about this. I said that nothing happened on Tuesday, 10
July--only a worldwide scandal. Did you hear me? Good, I am glad.  What should
I do? If I shout more, then I will not make it to the end.

84.  Anyway, on Wednesday, 11 July--did you hear me?-- seven other Cuban
citizens entered the Czech and Slovak Embassy in Havana, also with the alleged
purpose of leaving the country. On Thursday, 12 July--notice that the first
incident took place on 9 July, so instructions had already been issued--a man
with an infectious disease that is quite repugnant and that on many occasions
causes mental disorders, a man armed with a machete, jumps over the forged iron
fence, breaks a window with the machete, and armed with the machete enters the
embassy and remains there for 24 hours with the machete in his hands.

85.  He is a crazy and sick man, a man who should be sent to a hospital. He was
given temporary shelter--an odd word, a new word, an illegal word, a word that
has been invented by certain Western gentlemen. Of course, all this resulted in
publicity, publicity, and more publicity.  News reports flew all over the
world. It seemed that the world was coming to an end in Cuba.

86.  On 12 July, four men and one woman--let me see if there is anything else
here. I believe that something is missing. No, I already said 11 July, right?
You heard me?  On 11 July seven citizens entered. Correct, seven. That is on 11
July. Now, on 12 July, in addition to the one who entered the Spanish Embassy
with the machete, four men and one woman entered the residence of the
Czechoslovak charge d' affaires. The residence, not the embassy. This happened
on Thursday, 12 July.

87.  On Friday, 13 July, two more citizens entered the Spanish Embassy in
Havana with, they say, the intention of getting a permit to leave the country.
One of the men, whose surname is Aldana Ruiz, deceived the ambassador, saying
he was a cousin of Carlos Aldana, a party leader. This was of course the first
time that the Aldana family had heard about this alleged relative, unless you
allow for the fact that we are all descendants of Adam and Eve.

88.  This provoked an uproar in Spain. They believed they had a big one, a big
fish, nothing less that one of Aldana's relatives. If that were the case, what
difference would it make? We all have one or two relatives who have misbehaved,
but, in this case, he was not. We already know that they were exerting
themselves in the embassy so that this man could leave, but over there, when
they heard this about Aldana, they said: What? No, no. Keep him there by all

89.  It was excellent material for a scandal. That same day, meaning 13 July,
when the two men entered the embassy, an ANSA report datelined in Washington
reported--just think, some had entered the Czechoslovak Embassy and others had
entered the Spanish Embassy--that the Department of State said today that the
case of the Cuban refugees at the embassies in Havana reflects the lack of
respect for human rights in Cuba. We believe that the Cuban citizens live in
such fear of persecution that their own government... [corrects himself] in
such fear of their own government's persecution of the exercising of their
basic human rights that they feel their only recourse is to seek shelter in
foreign missions. This was stated by Department of State Spokesman Robert
Boucher. Cuba is arresting prisoners--this is nonsense because a prisoner
cannot be arrested; he must first be arrested before he becomes a prisoner--and
the people are being harassed to the extent that they have to seek shelter in
embassies, Boucher stated.

90.  The spokesman added: It is clear that these events show that Cuba is not
in tune with changes taking place in the rest of the world. Here we have again
that communism is evil and socialism is evil.

91.  The State Department reported that seven Cubans sought refuge in the
Czechoslovak Embassy in Havana Tuesday night, for a total of 14 refugees in
that diplomatic mission. One person sought asylum at the Spanish Embassy.

92.  This is the man with the machete. Look at all these official statements
being spread throughout the world about what Cuba is doing, and here we have
these little angels that have decided to seek refuge in embassies.

93.  On that same day, 13 July, in the afternoon, two persons who had entered
the Czechoslovak Embassy on 10 July left the mission voluntarily and
surrendered themselves to the authorities.

94.  The AIN [National News Agency] later issued a communique reporting that
these two persons had been delivered to their relatives.

95.  On that day, the Cuban police unit in the area of the Spanish Embassy
frustrated a citizen's attempt to break into the diplomatic mission by force.
According to reports, this person had jumped over the fence and was followed by
policemen, who struggled with him and fired into the air. Shots were fired into
the air when this person tried to enter. Much ado! Much publicity! Look at
this: If the person is not stopped, then they say he was let in, and if he is
stopped, then they report there were shots fired into the air. What is the role
of a policeman? We will have to start looking for Tarzans, for people like
[Cuban boxing champion Teofilo] Stevenson, for people like the members of our
wrestling team. Those policemen were armed and they fired shots, not to wound
anyone but as a warning. This produced quite a fuss in Spain and the world.
This was big-fuss material on a daily basis.

96.  On Saturday, 14 July, the Spanish foreign minister announced in Madrid
that the Spanish Government would reinforce its embassy's security to prevent a
possible avalanche of Cuban refugees, and he reiterated that none of the three
Cubans would be delivered to the authorities. The Spanish foreign minister
filed a protest with the Cuban Government for what has been called a violation
of the diplomatic mission.

97.  On Sunday, 15 July, the Spanish foreign minister told Spanish television
that the problem of the refugees was a very delicate matter because of the
consequences it would have for the Cuban Government and its international
image.  Look at all the crazy man with the machete started! They are already
trying to scare us with the international image.

98.  On that same day, 16 [as heard] July, the Spanish foreign minister--now
you will see how things work out-- declared in Brussels that the EC--here is an
appeal to the EC already--must urge the Cuban Government to resolve, for
humanitarian reasons, the problem of the refugees in the embassies. He stated
his concern over the events and noted that it is clear that Spain--watch
this--it is clear that Spain will shelter and guarantee the security of all
those wanting to enter its embassy. And he will not deliver anyone to the Cuban

99.  Look at this open and honest invitation to enter the embassy. What an
invitation to enter the Spanish Embassy was made to the lumpen, borderline
cases, and madmen immediately after a man with a machete entered the embassy!

100.  The minister insisted that Spain will very firmly and convincingly tell
the Cuban authorities that all nations of the world must show respect for human

101.  And what violations of human rights have we committed? And something like
that cannot happen at the end of the 20th century? According to other press
variations, he also said that Spanish diplomacy will continue working
cautiously. Just look how cautious they are, not losing their cool. We must
admit that the situation is not easy at all. It is very delicate and it will
have an effect on bilateral relations. We have already been threatened about
the bilateral relations.

102.  Tuesday, 17 July: A Cuban Foreign Ministry communique reported that the
citizens who had sought refuge at the Czechoslovak Embassy voluntarily left the
embassy the night before and turned themselves over to the authorities.  After
an investigation, they will be sent home.

103.  On that same day, four citizens enter the residence of the Italian
ambassador and request political asylum, according to the foreign press. The
five individuals who continue to occupy the residence of the Czechoslovak
charge d'affaires say they will stay there, as long as they have strength. The
press agencies report that one individual was arrested when he tried to enter
the U.S.  Interest Section building in Havana. Just look at the way the
situation developed. This person was a mental patient who had been hospitalized
nine times.

104.  Wednesday, 18 July: The Cuban Foreign Ministry responds strongly to
statements made by the Spanish foreign minister to various western media. These
statements were highly hostile and offensive toward our country. This led to
scandal and anger among the Spanish authorities and the rightist press.
Apparently, Cuba could be attacked and offended by all means, but it did not
have any right to answer.

105.  On that same day, the U.S. Government protested over the Cuban police
arresting one unidentified person who was on the grounds of the Interest
Office. It was the mental patient. There was a protest about the guards using
violence and not allowing anyone outside the Interest Office.

106.  On that same day, another Cuban--the fourth one-- entered the Spanish
Embassy. He entered by jumping a side gate, at about 1430.

107.  Thursday, 19 July: Spain suspends cooperation with Cuba and says it will
not resume it until there is a solution to the problem caused by the entry of
Cubans in the embassies.

108.  The news got here through an EFE report citing statements by the Spanish
cooperation secretary. Up until that point, Spanish cooperation with Cuba
totaled 2.5 million [currency not specified] and was used in the field of
education. It is important to be aware of this, because the Spanish Government
has told some Latin American leaders that it has not suspended its cooperation
with Cuba and that the only thing that was suspended was a joint meeting that
was scheduled to be held around these days. How are we supposed to take the
statement made by the Spanish cooperation secretary in Brussels then?  How can
we interpret that statement? And Spain not only did that. Spain not only
declared the suspension of the cooperation with Cuba but also asked the EC to
do the same in order to standardize a policy toward Cuba.

109.  On 19 July, the five refugees who had been in the residence of the
Czechoslovak charge d'affaires since Wednesday, 11 July, surrendered to the
Cuban police.  After that, there was no Cuban refugee left in any Czechoslovak
diplomatic facility. All the fourteen Cubans who entered the Czechoslovak
Embassy from 9 July and on left that facility before the end of last week.

110.  On 19 July, Cuban television carried a program explaining the embassy
incidents through interviews given by various leaders of well-known
counterrevolutionary groups who had been working on the plot for several
months. The program also included statements by members of the Group of Five
[not further identified] which began the plot on 9 March.

111.  On Friday, 20 July, the chief of the U.S. Interest Section said he was
very offended by the things that those who participated in the plot said on the
television program.  The U.S. Interest Section chief called the members of the
diplomatic corps accredited in Cuba to a meeting to deny the participation of
the U.S. Interest Section in the incidents involving the arrival of a group of
people in the Czeck and Slovak Embassy in Cuba. The U.S. Interest Section chief
gave his version of the facts and presented testimonies given by CIA members.
This happened on 20 July. On that same day, another five Cubans entered the
Spanish Embassy. With this new group, there were a total of nine people at that

112.  On Friday night into Saturday morning, on Friday the 19th, no, on Friday
night into Saturday morning, two more groups of Cubans--one group of four
persons and another of five persons--entered the Spanish Embassy in Havana,
increasing to 18 the number of refugees at that mission. The embassy is located
in a complex area. The carnival passes through that area, people live in that
area, and there are buildings on each side of the embassy, so it is not a very
easy area to protect. It took a special effort and many men to keep the scum
from rushing the embassy and accepting the charming invitation made by the
Spanish Government.

113.  On Saturday, 21 July, nothing out of the ordinary happened except for
that early morning incident. On Saturday, 22 July, no, 21 July, Friday was 21
July, on Saturday, 22 July, three people in all--one went in first and two
followed later--entered the Swiss Embassy in Havana. Their status was of
temporary refuge. This status does not allow them to remain inside the embassy
or choose the country to which they wish to go. The Swiss diplomatic
authorities tried to persuade them to abandon the Swiss mission. On that same
day, five Spanish National Police Special Operations Group policemen, GEO, left
for Havana to join the other four who were already here to reinforce the
security of the Spanish Embassy.

114.  On Monday, 23 July, nothing out of the ordinary happened. On Tuesday, 24
July, nothing out of the ordinary happened. Yesterday, 25 July, the three
people who had entered the Swiss Embassy left the mission. This means that
there are still 18 people at the Spanish Embassy and four others at the Italian
Embassy. That is the situation we have at this moment.

115.  Now, let us think about this for a while. First, except for the five
persons who conspired with the U.S. Interests Section and the Czechoslovak
Embassy, none of those people had any problems. They had no cases pending, nor
are they wanted by the police. As a rule, all those who participated in these
activities are crazy people, scum, or common criminals with criminal records.

116.  However, on 19 July everything became quite clear. On that day one of the
leaders of these small groups contacted the authorities--apparently they were
angry because they felt deceived, mistreated, and used as tools--and reported
that what had occurred was nothing new. They learned this through the media. He
explained that the whole plot had been organized since March. He gave all the
details. I will not repeat them here. You have already heard them. He explained
about his talks with Yankee officials and the way in which everything was

117.  We must say that this Yankee plan had the lowly cooperation of the
Czechoslovak charge d'affaires. The things one has to see! Not only that, they
say that they were preparing the plan and the Czechoslovak charge d'affaires
personally told them: Why do you not stay here now? He persuaded them not to
wait any longer, to stay right there. They told him: But you have no permit. He
answered: Do not worry, I can get it in a matter of minutes.

118.  He called Prague and said he had five persons who wanted to stay as
refugees. Magnificent! Marvelous! A service to the Yankees! They told him yes.
There was a party. They had beer and sausages, everything. The international
media were summoned and the whole world was informed--before the Cuban
Government knew--that these five persons were there. Of course!  This was
intended, as they explain, to provoke an explosion. Any lumpen element who felt
like going for a ride and participating in an adventure should begin by
entering the embassies. This was a flagrant violation of norms, laws, and
agreements that guide the conduct of embassies and ambassadors. Cuba has no
asylum agreement with any European country! Never! No European embassy has the
right to grant asylum in our country, much less presume that we will be
blackmailed later on to grant a permit to leave the country! No embassy has the
right to do so!

119.  There is more, there is more [repeats himself]. If these
individuals--with a few exceptions, perhaps those who prepared the plot--go to
the U.S. Interests Section to request a visa, they will not get one. If they go
to any European embassy to request a visa, they will not get one. However, if a
man forces his way in with a machete, breaking windows in the process, he will
be declared a refugee, even if he is insane and sick. It is presumed that he
will be given a visa to travel to another country because they are the
champions of human rights. If a madman breaks into an embassy with a machete,
Cuba, as the Yankee spokesman said, is violating human rights.

120.  There is a case history, and this was explained by the very same persons
who prepared the plot. The United States signed an immigration agreement with
Cuba many years ago, which stated that the United States, according to the
country's laws, had the obligation--the United States acquired the
obligation--to receive former counterrevolutionary prisoners and their
relatives and no less than 20,000 persons per year, meaning those who believed
they had the right to immigrate to the United States because they had relatives
there, or for other reasons.

121.  What has the United States done? A treacherous thing, treacherous. We
were obliged to receive those whom they called excludables from Mariel. A list
of persons was made giving their names and surnames. I do not remember the
exact number, some 2,000 perhaps. They accepted this program for reuniting
families. Therefore, we are not the ones who create obstacles for those who
want to immigrate to the United States. They do. They did not fulfill their
part of the agreement in a period of approximately three years. I do not
remember exactly when the agreement was restored--it was suspended when they
began their radio broadcasts.

122.  Instead of giving entry permits to 20,000 people, they issued entry
permits to a few hundred people or a few thousand, 2,000 or 3,000 people. No
more than that.  They decided not to let people leave for the United States
because, by not letting them enter the United States, those people would become
an element of opposition and unrest inside our country.

123.  There are approximately 700 former counterrevolutionary prisoners who
were not allowed to leave for the United States. This caused anger and
irritation among them. In fact, I think that a few days ago some of them began
a hunger strike. The United States has the same intention it had in the past.
It wants these individuals to remain in the country.

124.  On the other hand, however, when someone leaves for the United States on
a little raft and enters the United States illegally, regardless of whether the
person is someone who previously requested a visa to enter the United States,
that person is welcomed with a flamboyant and sensational reception in the
United States. That is the treacherous policy the United States is implementing
now.  And the United States does not learn its lesson. It does not learn its
lesson. That same policy gave rise to serious problems in the past. That policy
promoted the Camarioca and the Mariel crises in the past. And we warned the
United States more than once. We told them they could not continue with that
policy, because they were encouraging illegal departures for the United States
while denying legal entry into that country here.

125.  The statements made by the members of that small group and by those who
had entered the Czechoslovak Embassy were an indisputable and serious
accusation against the United States. That is why the chief of the U.S.
Interests Section rushed and called the members of the diplomatic corps
accredited in Cuba to attend a meeting. In that meeting, the U.S. Interests
Section chief said that the United States is by no means supportive of violent
actions. He said that they want peaceful changes in Cuba. He said they had
nothing to do with the incidents and that all those statements were a bunch of
lies. The truth is that the people involved in the incidents have maintained
close links with the U.S. Interests Section. The leaders of those groups are
known by the diplomatic circles here. They are widely known by the diplomats
here. They are not revolutionaries who slipped into that television program, as
some have tried to point out. They are people who were sick and tired of all
this and got angry and decided to tell the truth. Those same people said
horrible things about Cuba and even congratulated Bush for his accusations
against and his pressures on Cuba during the meetings in Geneva when the United
States was seeking a condemnatory statement against Cuba. At that time,
according to the United States, those people had credibility and were
praiseworthy. Now that those very same people decided to tell the truth, the
chief of the U.S. Interests Section and the U.S. State Department say that
those people are lying, that those statements are an absolute lie, and that
they are saints who have nothing to do with these problems.

126.  How can we then explain the statement issued as early as 13 July,
applauding events and accusing Cuba of human right violations, thus creating a
huge scandal in the world? These are the facts.

127.  High-ranking Spanish officials insulted us, and yet Spain gets infuriated
when Cuba answers back. We harbor no animosity against the Spanish people. On
the contrary, the Spanish people have our respect and friendship because of
their nature, traditions, and struggles. The Spanish people have had to
repeatedly face foreign aggression. We respect and like the Spanish people.

128.  Now then, there is something that has no heads or tails.  If we were to
accept that any of those individuals--who forcefully entered or entered without
any right to seek asylum in a European embassy--could leave, the consequences
could be highly negative. We have already had that experience in the past.

129.  I remember when, on more than one occasion, they forcefully entered some
Latin American embassy. More than once, we agreed that they could have left,
listening to their requests and petitions. Immediately and automatically, there
were new entries by those types of individuals into the embassies. And it was
the same thing. These were individuals who were denied visas to travel legally.
However, they were given these visas when they forced their way into the

130.  On one occasion, when there was one of these violent actions, one guard
was killed. We were then forced to suspend posting guards in one of those
embassies here in the capital city. That was the Peruvian Embassy. We suspended
the guards, and that embassy was filled with lumpens. Everyone remembers that

131.  With what right can Cuba be asked to authorize the departure of those
individuals, turning embassies into travel agencies and into dens filled with
violent, displaced, and criminal people?

132.  There is a diplomatic corps in our country. I know many of these
diplomats. They are serious people, people who think, responsible people. They
know that all this is nonsense. How are tens of embassies, residencies, and
diplomats' homes going to be guarded? They know that to tolerate this
foolishness would be crazy. This is why Cuba's position is that no one who
enters an embassy by force will be authorized to leave the country. [applause]

133.  With what right are we insulted? With what right are we threatened?
Because we do not authorize these people to leave the country? With what right
are economic aggression measures taken against Cuba?

134.  Throughout our history we have seen many examples of what the arrogance
of the Spanish authorities can do. We saw this in the past when we were a
colony. We had to fight for 30 years against the Spanish soldiers, and when the
colonial power was being defeated by its own arrogance and stubbornness to
grant our people their rights, they handed us over to the Yankee empire. Now,
almost a century later, we, who were occupied by the Yankees, who were a Yankee
neocolony, and who have liberated ourselves, almost a century later they are
adopting measures that are the same as cooperating with U.S. hostility and the
blockade against Cuba.

135.  Hundreds of Cubans shed their blood and gave their lives for Spain while
fighting against fascism. The offspring of those who at one time shouted in
Madrid: They will not pass! now--because of arrogance or pride, who knows
why--have become accomplices of the United States in their hostile, isolating,
and aggressive measures against Cuba. They are accomplices of the imperialist
attacks against Cuba. Now we are the ones to say here: The imperialists will
not pass! [applause and chanting]

136.  Humiliation will not pass. Arrogance will not pass.  Prepotency will not
pass. There is no power in the world--no matter which one it is, either from
the north or from Europe--that can bring Cuba to its knees or that can
humiliate Cuba. [applause and chanting]

137.  The suspended cooperation that the Spanish minister of state for
cooperation spoke of was very modest--$2.5 million. In spite of that we
appreciated it as a goodwill gesture. But we are a country with honor and
dignity. We say today that that cooperation is not suspended but that it is
definitely canceled and that we give up those $2.5 million. [applause and

138.  What is cooperation good for when it is later used as a token to demand
political conditions? How is it possible that the Spanish Government does that?
How is is possible that this take place at a time when so much song and dance
has been made and that festivities are being planned to mark those events that
took place almost 500 years ago that lead to the conquest of our land, the
slavery and extermination of our population, and the enslaving and
exterminating of tens of millions of Africans?

139.  How exactly at the time of commemorating this date, the Spanish
Government is capable of taking a measure of economic aggression against a
people that so heroically, so courageously, in such a dignified way has known
how to confront the most powerful empire on Earth?  [applause] This same
empire, this same empire, [repeats] that in such a humiliating way made war on
Spain at the end of the last century, took away what they had left in the world
and humiliated them as much as a nation can humiliate another nation.

140.  It is inconceivable. We have no interest, and I have been careful because
I do not want to use adjectives, nor do I want to use insulting words, nor do
we need to, because we have very solid reasons and very conclusive. On a day
like today we have the sacred duty of explaining to the people the things just
as they are, and just as we interpret them. [applause]

141.  This reminds me of what happened with the plane hijackings. It was a
weapon invented by the CIA against Cuba. The first planes that were robbed in
the world were Cuba's, and they were robbed from Cuba and they went to the
United States. This was carried out by counterrevolutionary individuals--CIA
agents. And then that spread like a wave throughout the world. It turned into
tragedy for all countries.

142.  In the same way, the violation of the norms and regulations of diplomatic
immunity, the violation of the treaties, and the violation of traditions
threaten to turn life in the diplomatic missions into pandemonium and universal
disorder.  There are governments that when only three or four rightist
newspapers carry out a campaign, they get frightened right away by these
campaigns, and adopt irresponsible positions and senseless decisions.

143.  Now you can see everything that a Yankee plot causes and the incidents
this leads to. A crazy man enters by force with a machete and what terror he
causes! As if it was a machete charge by Antonio Maceo in the last century.
Terror, panic, and this man, who should be sent to the hospital if they really
had a sense of responsibility and human rights, is turned into the center and
focus of an entire international conflict.

144.  We cannot be blamed or assigned any responsibility for this incident or
these incidents that have arisen around the Czechoslovak Embassy. And we will
continue to uphold our position with full dignity and firmness. It goes without
saying--and I repeat--that we have nothing against Spain, nothing against the
Spanish people, nothing even against the Spanish Government, but there are
things that are a matter of principle for us, and they are unacceptable. I must
say that whatever the outcome of this incident, the Spaniards who have rights
or interests in Cuba will be respected absolutely, whether or not we have
diplomatic relations with Spain.  [applause]

145.  As proof that these acts will not go unpunished, yesterday, 25 July, a
demonstration of more than 60 Spaniards went to our embassy in Madrid to ask
for political asylum in Cuba. [applause] Our charge d'affaires spoke with them.
He did not have time for consulations, but he took the correct position,
without a doubt. He told them that there is no asylum agreement between Spain
and Cuba, and therefore Cuba could not accept asylees. They brought a letter to
the Cuban Government. The ambassador received the letter and promised to send
it. He sent it yesterday by telex, and I am going to read it to you.

146.  It says: His Excellency Fidel Castro;

147.  The undersigned, in spite of loving Spain deeply, find ourselves forced
to request political asylum in your country because of the situation we find
ourselves subjected to by the Madrid City Council, which is taking our houses
and land away from us through totally unjust and speculative expropriation
after we have worked for years to obtain them. And once they are expropriated,
they will be awarded to private construction companies to build detached

148.  We would only get 5,000 pesetas per square meter in exchange instead of
the more than 200,000 pesetas per square meter that the land is worth in this
district. In the past, the Madrid City Council has forced us to pay from our
own pockets for sewers, water, electricity, and everything that in the rich
districts of Madrid the people find already there. All this was done through
great economic sacrifices, since the people who live in this district belong to
a lower social class and had lived for years in a slum district without
electricity, water, services, or any kind of aid.

149.  Now the municipal representatives have seen a great business deal in
acquiring what today is one of the best areas of Madrid, paying a laughable
amount in exchange.  All this has no explanation that would justify it, other
than a municipal policy that favors speculation in urban property, which harms
us only because we are poor and illiterate, in the words of the urban
development office.

150.  Given these facts, by which we are discriminated against and persecuted,
and given that in your country more than 20 years ago the rich were
expropriated to give to the poor--the opposite of what is happening in our
country--we find ourselves forced to ask for political asylum, hoping to find
in your land the rights and justice that are denied us in ours in spite of the
fact that they are recognized by the Constitution and human rights.  Awaiting
good news from you, sincerely. This is followed by more than 60 signatures.

151.  So, they have asked us to give them political asylum in Madrid.
[applause] This letter reminds me of the story of Pelusa. I was a recent law
graduate and was defending here some 2,000 Pelusa residents. They were about to
be expropriated. Everything was arranged. They were going to give them five
pesos. I arrived on time there where ....  [changes thought] That was during
the Prio government.  I arrived on time that morning in Habana Vieja where the
Construction Ministry was located. I said: Nobody sign anything. I told the
people: We are not signing. The battle began.

152.  We asked that they be given housing. If they did not get housing....
[changes thought] They were going to build in that place. It was good business.
They bought the land very cheaply. All those people became very rich when they
developed the land because of the increase in price of all the land close by.
Pelusa was where the theater is located. It was next to Zapata.

153.  I say this should be something similar. I don't know. I have asked for
information about this, and we are looking for information on all this. We want
to confirm it. It is said that there are several groups in Madrid with the same
problem. This happens every day in all capitalist countries in the same way
that fire engines, tear gas, dogs, horses--yes, in the very educated and
civilized Europe--are used when laborers protest, when students protest, and
when residents protest.

154.  Imagine, with all the problems the capitalist world has, with all the
abuses and injustices that are committed every day, if the people who get angry
over that begin to enter embassies by force. These did not enter by force. 
They could not have been more decent. They went there and asked to talk. They
handed over their letter and left.  Here is the letter.

155.  Well, what are we going to do with those Spaniards?  What are we going to
answer them? [indistinct response from crowd] You say, let them come. [crowd
answers: Yes!] These Spaniards, without realizing it... [applause] these humble
Spaniards, without realizing it, have shown the other side of the coin, have
shown the other side of the coin of what capitalism is, what the exploiting
capitalist world is; inhumane and merciless. These humble Spaniards have
honored Cuba with their trust and shows how the true Spanish people are. It
shows it.  [applause]

156.  The Spanish people who fought against fascism, the Spanish people who
fought against Napoleon, the Spanish people who fought seven centuries for
their independence. At this time these humble Spanish citizens have shown the
face of capitalism.

157.  I believe someone was asked during a news conference if we were not the
ones to make this up. They are capable of asking us if we also invented
capitalism, the expropriations, the construction companies, and the looting.

158.  We have to comply with the rules and laws. We should not give asylum if
there is no asylum agreement. I agree with you. I hope that these Spaniards
will continue struggling there for their rights. This is what we hope. We
understand that their gesture is part of their battle, of their fight for their
rights. They have addressed us. We tell them that we hope that they continue
fighting in Spain for their rights, but if they want to visit Cuba we will give
them visas and invite them to visit Cuba.  [applause]

159.  In this way they will be able to tell us about their problems, and they
will tell us about the hardships of capitalism. If they want to live in Cuba,
we will grant them permission to live in Cuba. [applause] If they want space to
build their houses in any city, whether in the capital or any other city in the
country, we will give them the land without charging them a centavo so that
they can build their house. [applause] We will give them the construction
material and jobs. We will not be able to give them the living conditions that
the developed Spain has but there will be respect and there will be dignity. 
Their children, their relatives will have the best medical attention and
education in the world. They will truly feel they are among brothers whether
they want to create an urban or rural community. We will give them the land and
all the resources so that they get organized and start producing. Everything is
guaranteed if they wish so.

160.  No embassy has to be entered by force to get that. One does not need to
be a lumpen, and one does not need to be a criminal. In exchange of that, we
suggest to Spain and the Spanish Government, and we suggested to the EEC, that
in the name of human rights, they would be so kind to receive the type of
people who have entered in the embassies and want to live in Europe. [crowd
laughs and applauds]

161.  Now we will truly see who takes human rights into account. They are so
moved. We are not the ones banning their departure. They're the ones who won't
let them enter the embassy unless they enter with a machete.  We will have to
take the machete back because it might belong to the state and to the people.
Of course, we don't include any of the ones who have entered by force--none of
them. If they want, we'll come to an agreement-- Spain and us, the EC and us.
We'll organize a little office or two or three, whatever they want, and we will
allow the unrestricted departure of those who want to go to the EC, to
progressive Europe. [indistinct chanting and applause]

162.  That is our position and our proposition; it is very clear and very
concrete. If the Yankees get all excited and decide they would like to receive
these citizens that have been so harassed, so pursued, then supply the boats
and the visas. Gentlemen, act with shame, act with common sense, and act
consistently. [applause] Give them permits. We are not the ones; they are the
ones--the renowned defenders of human rights, how cruel they are--who do not
give those who want to leave a country where there is bad socialism, a bad
revolution, and bad communism the opportunity to go live in the heart of the
empire, or in the developed countries that colonized or looted the world and
created the underdevelopment and hunger that now exists throughout the world.
How cruel it is for those who opt for capitalism until they realize that what
they do not want is to sweat a single drop or lift a finger. They want to live
off the propaganda and the vagrancy. They are really very cruel if they do not
accept this proposition.

163.  I have nothing further to add, but, with this, our population and the
national and international public are now very familiar with our positions. I
have nothing further to add in general, comrades. I think that we have
commemorated the 26 July in a glorious manner, in an honorable manner, in a
worthy manner. [applause]

164.  Do not be mistaken about us. Those who are mistaken about us will always
have to learn what the Cuban people are like.

165.  The only thing I have left to do is congratulate the workers,
technicians, scientists, cadres, our enthusiastic, heroic, and happy youth
[interrupted by applause], our mass organizations, our glorious Havana City
PCC, Comrade Lezcano [Jorge Lezcano, first secretary of the Havana City PCC],
the provincial PCC Politburo, Comrade Chavez [Pedro Chavez, president of the
Havana City People's Government], the comrade leaders of the people's
government, and all the residents of Havana for this well-earned glory, which
is the reason our capital is hosting the 37th anniversary ceremony. This 37th
anniversary ceremony is being held during one of the most challenging times,
during one of the most difficult times, and at a time when there are so many
risks and dangers.

166.  This reminds me of the days that preceded the Moncada assault. I remember
the Moncada attack as if it were yesterday. This reminds me of the heroism of
the Moncada. There were just a handful of us then. Now, there are millions of
men and women armed to the teeth and willing to win or die! [applause]

167.  I tell our youth and our present generations that no time has been more
worthy than this one. No other time has been more heroic or glorious than this
time. No other time has given us such an opportunity to make ourselves greater
than this time. That is what this 37th anniversary signifies and those
remaining veterans that are here with the same enthusiasm, dignity, and shame
of that 26 July 1953 place all our confidence, faith, and hearts in you.

168.  Let's hear it loud and clear, let's hear it loud and clear [repeats
himself]: Socialism or death! Fatherland or death! We will win! [applause]