Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Gives Speech on Bay of Pigs Anniversary
Havana Radio and Television Networks
BRS Assigned Document Number:    000005947
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     PA2004033991
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-91-077          Report Date:    22 Apr 91
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     1
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       13
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       20 Apr 91
Report Volume:       Monday Vol VI No 077


City/Source of Document:   Havana Radio and Television Networks

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Gives Speech on Bay of Pigs Anniversary

Author(s):   Cuban President Fidel Castro in commemoration of the 30th
anniversary of the Bay of Pigs victory, at the Karl Marx Theater
in Havana--live]

Source Line:   PA2004033991 Havana Radio and Television Networks in Spanish
0035 GMT 20 Apr 91

Subslug:   [Speech by Cuban President Fidel Castro in commemoration of the 30th
anniversary of the Bay of Pigs victory, at the Karl Marx Theater in

1.  [Speech by Cuban President Fidel Castro in commemoration of the 30th
anniversary of the Bay of Pigs victory, at the Karl Marx Theater in

2.  [Text] [Castro] Relatives of the fallen due to the invasion at Giron,
comrades of the party directorate and government, fighters of Giron, comrade
ladies and gentlemen:

3.  I could not overlook this historic and unforgettable date.  I believe that
19 April and its 30th anniversary are extraordinarily symbolic; they bring to
mind imperialism's first defeat in America, as this event was called by many in
Latin America and the world. Much has been written about this event over the
past few days and every time the date is commemorated, every year, and about
the fetes carried out by our fighters, our militiamen, and the soldiers of our
rebel Army.

4.  This happened at the very beginning of the revolution, when we did not have
many of the forces that we have today: the rebel Army, which was relatively
small, the militia, and the people.  As I have recalled on other occasions, we
had just received the main weapons that we would use in combat.  Many of our
ground and antiaircraft tank operators and artillery men had trained for barely
one week. Our units did not surpass the battalion level; their inexperience in
conventional warfare was total.

5.  Our aviation service, as Comrade Cabrera [not further identified] said
during a recent interview, was comprised of a few airplanes of various brand
names from capitalist countries, and they were also lacking in parts, because
two years, more than two years had passed since the triumph of the revolutions
and still no airplane parts had arrived.  We also had very few pilots and they
had received little training.  Even this meager aviation service the
[Americans] skillfully attempted to destroy by attacking them with airplanes
that bore Cuban insignia but that were, nevertheless, American airplanes.  At
times they were piloted by mercenaries and at certain times by American pilots. 
They had every possible advantage to defeat the revolution, and they dreamed
about defeating it.  They were certain that they would defeat the revolution. 
Who could thwart the CIA and the Pentagon's plans?  Who could thwart the plans
made by the U.S. Government, such a wealthy and powerful country, and with so
much experience in matters of subversion and war?  How could the incipient
revolution resist?  Many of them even dreamed that with the first
disembarcations, the entire population would rise up to support none other than
the mercenaries.  In effect, the first reports published by the news agencies
referred to those alleged uprisings and joining of forces.

6.  It was a surprise attack, without the previous warnings that are common
among fascists and reactionaries, and they had total air supremacy. They met
all of the conditions to defeat the revolution. The revolution was not expected
to last much longer than the final days of April.

7.  What they found was the complete opposite of what they had expected. The
leaders of that country were very shocked by that situation. They could not
imagine that they could make a mistake or that there could have been an error.
How could this small country, this Caribbean colony of the Yankees, defend
itself and respond in the overwhelming and crushing way in which it responded
on that occasion?

8.  We had been getting the people ready. What took over at that moment was our
idea of an all people's war. We had been able to acquire thousands of weapons
by then. At that moment we could have had already a few hundred thousand
weapons--light weapons, infantry weapons-- that were distributed throughout the
country. There were fighting units organized throughout the country--in the
plains and mountains--always taking into consideration the possibility of a
U.S. military intervention, an invasion not by mercenaries but by regular U.S.

9.  From the beginning, starting with the first months of the revolution, when
we only had the weapons we had seized from Batista, our people were getting
ready to fight under any circumstances. This was the situation from the very
beginning, not just at the end of one or two years.

10.  We had clear ideas from the first few years of the revolution. The enemy
was really shocked by its failure.  It came close to a direct intervention. It
had its aircraft carrier, its warships, and its marine infantry in front of
Giron. They were three miles away. The battles that took place were visible to
the U.S. squadron and troops.  History reports that the order to intervene was
almost given, but they did not have much time. When they finally decided to
give the attackers air support, there was nobody to receive it. One basic
characteristic of Giron was that the fighting went on day and night, without
any truce, from 17 April, when they landed, until the 19th, in the evening,
when they had been completely defeated and had been dispersed throughout the
swamps and forests. Our people had been underestimated, our revolution had been
underestimated, and Cuban revolutionaries had been underestimated.

11.  It was an unforgettable lesson for them. All of that led to complications
later on. They had already established the economic blockade, which they have
maintained throughout these 30 years. All of that gave rise to a desire for
revenge against Cuba and the preparation of plans with the direct participation
of U.S. troops. All of that resulted in the measures that Cuba took in
coordination with the Soviet Union, which in turn led to the October crisis,
another historic event that took place one and one half years after the
mercenaries' attack at the Bay of Pigs.  Because of our efforts in the field of
defense throughout these 30 years, we have succeeded in having all that we have
today, 19 April. The Bay of Pigs aggression is not only an important historical
event, and it not only resulted in a great victory for the Cuban revolution and
in a great defeat for imperialism, but on the occasion of that invasion, the
socialist nature of the Cuban revolution was proclaimed.

12.  We cannot forget for a second all of the soldiers who fell there and who
were willing to die in those years and particularly on that date. They did it
defending the glorious banner of socialism. [applause] We cannot forget those
who died defending the most beautiful and fair of all causes in mankind's
history. The 30th anniversary of this defense has also been completed. We have
defended this cause consistently for 30 years. Hence, the symbolism of this
date is twice as important. The revolutionary, military, and political order is
very important.  Hence, the great importance of order at this time. Those were
difficult moments, when we lacked so many things.

13.  In the first place, we count on our people having a political culture that
is superior and beyond any comparison. I remember specifically that in those
days of the Bay of Pigs we were conducting a literacy campaign. It was the year
of the literacy campaign.  There were over 100,000 youths who were working on
the campaign.  Today, for each one of those 100,000 youths, our country has
three teachers and professors who have graduated and are working.

14.  We have three professors for each one of those literacy campaign workers
as a result of the development of education and the development of the cultural
achievements of our country; this is an expression of the people we have
today--hundreds of thousands of university graduates, over 1 million students
with mid-level education, and millions of persons including children,
adolescents, and adults who attend classes.

15.  We have a people who have had the historic schooling of nearly 30 years of
revolution: we have a party of at least 600,000 militants and candidates. There
is approximately the same amount of members in the Union of Young Communists.
We have an Armed Forces that has developed its experience and capability to
fight dozens upon dozens of times; this is added to its ability at that time. 
We have hundreds and hundreds upon thousands of reservists and millions of
organized, trained, and armed fighters. They are organized throughout the
length and breadth of the country, everywhere, in the swamps and mountains and
in the fields and cities.

16.  We count on the mass organizations. We count on the organized socialist
state, and we count on the renewed and strengthened Ministry of Interior. We
count on numerous forces that we did not have at that time. There is a
tremendous difference between then and now.  Above all, we count on the unity
of our people.

17.  We will count upon--above everything else--the unity of this people. We
will count upon the absolute, indestructible, and solid unity of all our
revolutionaries [applause] and the solid and indestructible unity of our party
with the people. [applause] What else can we rely on? We rely on our history
because we are the same people, the descendants of the people of `68 and `95,
of the 30 years of struggle for independence. We are heirs to the people who
fought to eliminate the neo-colony, who fought the tryrannies of Machado and
Batista, the same people who attained the definitive independence on 1 January
1959. We are the people of Giron, of the October crisis, of the fighting in
Escambray, of internationalist missions; the people who over the years have
written the most permanent revolutionary pages; and the people who covered
themselves with glory by resisting the imperialist blockade and aggression for
more than 30 years. We are the people who saved the honor of Latin America, the
people who today are saving the honor of socialism. [applause]

18.  Our indefatigable determination to struggle and face difficulties has been
leading us to the first phase of the special peacetime period.

19.  I remember that I told you two years ago in Camaguey, on 26 July--you must
certainly remember it--that we will defend socialism to the end.  Even if the
socialist world disintegrates, we will continue to defend socialism.  I have
also said that if a civil conflict is declared in the USSR--you might note how
long ago we pronounced those words, almost two years ago--if the USSR were to
stop existing, we will continue to defend socialism. [applause] Those were
serious ideas and purposes, and they were stated with the deepest conviction;
yet those words might have appeared strange at the time.  Some people have
asked: How is this possible?  We saw that these things were possible in the
world because the socialist world disappeared some time ago; the problems in
the USSR are so serious that we cannot dismiss the possibility of civil strife
or a disintegration of the country.

20.  The facts are there and we are faithfully fulfilling our pledges. The
situation is becoming complicated, particularly in the economic sector.  We
must not be held responsible for or blamed for the mistakes that others have
made--any kind of mistake.

21.  We are responsible for our history and for our errors, but we really
cannot consider ourselves responsible for the errors of others, or for their
incapabilities, or for their letting themselves be penetrated by reactionary
ideas and by the ideology of capitalism and imperialism, or for the way they
have allowed themselves to be subdued ideologically and politically.

22.  Here we have defended ourselves and have maintained the strength of the
revolution and the unity of the revolution throughout 30 years of attacks--and
what attacks!  No country in the world has withstood so many lies, so much
slander, so much calumny, so much propaganda as has been carried out against
Cuba, and with the disappearance of the socialist camp and as certain changes
have been carried out in the USSR, all that propaganda has returned, all of it,
all together, and what had been sent against all of them is now all against one
country, against Cuba.  All the threats of world imperialism and reaction are
all against one country, fundamentally, against Cuba.

23.  With regard to socialist countries as powerful as China, it would be very
difficult to have interventionist dreams like those dreams that imperialism has
with regard to Cuba.  This is a small Caribbean country that is surrounded not
only by water on all sides, but by capitalism on all sides.

24.  This is an increasingly socialist country, but also a country increasingly
separated from the places where there is still socialism.

25.  I think history will have to record and analyze the errors that have been
committed, these big, but not irreversible, errors of socialism.

26.  We have had to suffer the consequences of what happened over there.  I
have explained this before and it is not necessary to repeat it now.  There was
CEMA, to which we used to belong.  There were economic agreements, positive,
very positive and useful agreements with the Soviet Union.  I have said this on
other occasions.  I have explained this during discussions on the foreign debt. 
I have cited the example of how we had resolved with the socialist countries
the problem of unfair trade, and also how we had done it through our relations
with the USSR.

27.  A total of 85 percent of our trade was with those countries, and 15
percent was with countries with which we were able to trade during a U.S.
blockade that the United States is always trying to make more rigorous.  All of
this has crumbled in a matter of months.

28.  We could tell the story of the first years of the revolution.  We had a
few American tractors, locomotives, and manufacturing plants. We needed spares
and other such things. We had Czech tractors and trucks and other things from
that country; we had combines and various kinds of GDR machinery; we had I
forget what things from Hungary; we had other things from Bulgaria; and of
course we had a large amount of technology from the Soviet Union. In that
country, we traded with the Foreign Trade Ministry and dozens of export
enterprises. Our trade with the Soviet Union was conducted according to
bilateral agreements.

29.  Virtually all of that has disappeared. Although we continue to trade with
the Soviet Union, the conditions are different. It is increasingly difficult
because we do not know whether we have to deal with 20 or 200 enterprises, who
do not seem to know anything about trade.  We cannot get a spare part for, let
us say, a Hungarian tractor--oops, we do not have Hungarian tractors--or any
machinery from the GDR.  There is no one left for us to trade with. Where are
the manufacturing plants or equipment they had been selling for some time, such
as the Karl Marx cement plant, or a large one, such as the one at Nuevitas, to
name a few? Where are spare the parts for Czech technology, such as those for
the plants in Sancti Spiritu and Siguaney? We now have to run all over the
Soviet Union talking to many enterprises just to get a few spares--if there are
any to be had.

30.  In a relatively brief, historic span of time, we have accumulated
experience in these fields. In reference to only one part of the problem, we
had coordinated development plans to the year 2000 and even the year 2010 with
the Soviet Union, including all of the energy and nuclear energy planning.
There were many development programs in many important fields, such as
commercial exchange, fair prices for our products, and the certainty that
contracts would be fulfilled. In summing up, these were reasonable conditions
for the implementation of development programs of the revolution.

31.  I think that the disintegration of CEMA is still a serious setback; it has
created difficulties we could describe as less than colossal. The Soviet
Union's problems, however, do entail colossal difficulties, taking into account
that we received Soviet crude oil, which we never lacked during the revolution.
We experienced difficulties in the midst of a very complex international
situation, such as the energy problems in the Middle East that caused the price
of one barrel of oil to rise from 14 to 200 pesos. A higher or a lower price
could have been charged. Did I say 14? This is a big mistake. I should have
said two pesos, two dollars.  The price rose to $32 a ton. The price rose from
approximately $14 to $200. In those times, commercial agreements between the
Soviet Union and Cuba, as well as the Soviet Union's stability and security,
allowed us to pass through those difficult periods of time. We developed our
energy industry on such a basis, new refineries were built, and so on.

32.  We received from the Soviet Union a large quantity of important raw and
industrial materials, as well as large shipments of food products. Problems in
the Soviet Union have a greater impact on our country than the situation in
Eastern Europe which had not changed completely. The agreements on crude oil
have been cut by 25 percent. It was necessary to sign a new agreement for this
year's supply of oil. Commercial agreements were signed. Prices, however, were
no longer the problem. It was necessary for the Soviet Union to take into
account its own problems. The groundwork for this year's trade has been laid.

33.  We must honestly say that the USSR representatives, the USSR leadership,
despite their problems and difficulties, applied themselves during negotiations
in an effort to create a reasonable groundwork in a difficult economic and
commercial situation for both countries.  We must honestly say--I repeat--that
they did everything they could to establish such groundwork.  We should feel
satisfied with 25 percent less fuel, even with a lower sugar price, if we
guarantee fuel and a certain amount of raw materials and import products during
the special period.  The difficult thing is to guarantee the contracting and
receipt of those products.  This is extremely difficult and, I might add, it
has become more and more difficult despite Soviet efforts, and we must be
honest about this.  For example, until now, fuel has been delivered in keeping
with the agreements.

34.  Talking about food, the country imports some of its food from the USSR. 
The agreements with the USSR pertaining to the last quarter of 1990 are being
implemented in the first part of 1991.  We have been receiving food and it is
true that they have made the effort. I know that they are even trying to
fulfill pledges for the first part of the year; we appreciate those efforts
very much. Likewise, we are striving to fulfill our part of the agreements.

35.  The situation with other raw materials is also very difficult. Many....
[changes thought] We are talking about industrial raw materials in general, for
example caustic (?soda), which is very important in the sugar industry and the
soap industry, and a series of important chemical products, metals, and lumber. 
We have received approximately one ton of many of these products.  As far as
industrial raw materials are concerned, we have received very little, or
practically nothing in the first quarter of 1991.

36.  There is another problem related to this.  A large portion of the
merchandise supplied by the USSR was delivered by Soviet ships. Our fleet grew
and grew, but our fleet does not have the capacity to take over the lion's
share of these imports.

37.  Factors that involve arranging transport charters have become increasingly
complicated.  Our ships do not suffice.  Some merchandise will be brought by
ships coming to Cuba to pick up merchandise.  Other merchandise must be picked
up by our ships.  It is a tense situation.  Economically and logically this
means that difficulties have increased.  We were already in the first phase of
the special period.  We were no longer getting supplies from former socialist
countries.  Occasionally we talk to them about trading some things; I really do
not know where those countries will find consumers for many of their products. 
As soon as those products get on the market, I think some people pay to have
them sent back saying: Please, take them away.  There is talk about commercial
bartering of some products.

38.  The reduction in oil supplies is a severe setback.  We are forced to
reduce activities.  What do we have right now?  Goodwill.  There are reasonable
agreements, under the current circumstances, and major difficulties in
implementing these agreements. This is what we have.  There is more, but I will
have to explain it later. It pertains to economics, and this entire situation,
of course, also affects the military.

39.  We are being threatened by the United States, and we will be increasingly
threatened as it feels it is the master of the world, as it feels it is the
dominant power in the world, and as it feels that it can do whatever it pleases
at the United Nations.  It has been our country that has saved the honor of
that international institution because we maintained our policy from the
beginning to the end of the crisis, and we did it bravely, in every sense.

40.  Many have subordinated themselves to U.S. policy.  This is why the Gulf
crisis ended as it did.  That was a crisis that could have been resolved, as we
contended, without a war.  Imperialism was so boastful of its technology and so
cruel, however, that it turned that country into a testing ground for its arms
and encouraged unnatural chauvinism and a triumphalist spirit.  All this makes
the imperialists more dangerous.  All these events are also influencing [words
indistinct].  Currently, we need more arms than ever, but we are not going to
have more.  We will probably have fewer arms and less supplies than before.  We
have to adapt ourselves to this truth.  We have to be realistic.

41.  Anyway, this situation is also having an effect on the supply of arms.  We
must state this and I must explain these problems.  You, the revolutionary
fighters and party cadres, should be aware of these problems, and not just
because they are bigger at this time. Can you by chance imagine the country's
enormous efforts, as I have explained on other occassions, to meet the basic
needs of our population?  This is a concern every day, every hour, and every
second for the party and the government-- what to do in view of all these
difficulties.  Some people cannot even imagine the extent of these problems. 
Some believe that they are living in the most idyllic of worlds.

42.  It is not easy to make everyone--I mean 100 percent, the vast majority of
the population--understand and realize that we are not publishing these things
in the newspapers every day.  They cannot even be published.  You can rest
assured that the efforts of the party and the government to minimize the
consequences of these problems are [words indistinct].  In this way we have
managed to get by and fulfill the schedule of the special program. We have said
that the special program is intended not only to resist and survive, but also
to develop.  In this regard, we have a program that I believe I explained to
you right here on 28 September, on the anniversary.  On that day I gave a long
speech on our programs. Comrades, you can rest assured that the schedule of the
special program is being fulfilled, despite all the aformentioned problems.

43.  The food program is being fulfilled.  All the work of the food program is
being accomplished.  There are 201 brigades working on the sugarcane terrace
engineering system, [word indistinct], and the drainage and irrigation
parceling system, as we call them.  At times, different brigades stop working
for a week due to lack of fuel [words indistinct].  Our comrades immediately
try, however, to make up for those lost days of work.  We want to plant 100,000
hectares, but perhaps we will not plant 100,000, 90,000, or even 80,000
hectares.  At any rate, we are making progress.

44.  We are building hundreds of dairy farms and dozens upon dozens of poultry
and hog-raising installations.  All such priority tasks are being carried out,
including the entire food program--all aspects of the food program.  We are
building dozens of dams. Now many of them will have to close on 30 April or
early in May. There are hundreds of kilometers of irrigation channels.

45.  Over the past year, we planted more pasture land than in the entire
history of the revolution.  In other words, there is not a single aspect of the
food program that is not being worked on intensely despite all the problems I
have mentioned.

46.  The sugarcane is being harvested, despite periodical problems with metal,
spare parts, and lubricants and the strain with regard to fuels and acetylene
that is produced with carbide.  We have been working under great pressure on
this aspect of the sugarcane harvest.

47.  Our sugar workers have been making great efforts.  So far this year they
have already produced 6.6 million tons of sugar.  As of today, 19 April, they
have already produced 6.6 million tons of sugar.  This goes to show what a
united country can do, what a united, ordered, and organized country can do.

48.  Tourism development plans are being implemented.  The people are making
tremendous effort to build hotels, all sorts of installations, [words
indistinct].  The entire tourism program will be implemented.  The resources
are there for one of the programs we had included in the special period.

49.  The biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry program is being properly
implemented on a priority basis.  A great deal of work is being carried out
toward many objectives of this program without much fuss or talk.  In Havana
Province enterprises for various crops have built 62 new camps.  They built 62
new camps in 30 weeks, other camps were repaired, and more are under
construction.  Tens of laboratories were built for biological plague control. 
Work has been carried out throughout the island, but particularly in areas
close to the capital, taking into consideration that Havana has a population of
over 2 million people, which means that everything mentioned here on 28
September is being carried out.

50.  We will stop at nothing to continue its implementation under any
circumstance.  If we ask for 10 million tons of fuel and get much less than
that, the last thing to come to a halt would be that--those development
programs that we are implementing during the special period.  The effort is
unbelievable.  Much still remains to be done in terms of savings.  Even though
we are stretching resources, the resources for the sugarcane harvest, for
instance, are different from the resources normally available.  We are
implementing a program to train oxen throughout the country.  This program was
prepared for the special period and many measures have been adopted.

51.  The Armed Forces have made a special effort to conserve in all areas--
energy, clothing, resources, everything.  Virtually all units are making a
special effort to produce food.  They have done admirable things to maintain
maximum combat readiness.  The efforts they have made to conserve fuel have
been extraordinary.  That is not all.  They have begun research and have
adopted measures to find ways and formulas to work even with no fuel--should it
come to that--as well as how to conduct fundamental activities, how to ensure
combat readiness, how to guarantee that tanks and war materiel will move, and
what sort of fuel can replace oil--from coal to dry sugarcane leaves--and many
more things.  This constitutes an example of what can truly be accomplished if
we succeed in bringing the same effort and savings to each of the country's

52.  It is truly incumbent upon us to think and consider what to do if at some
time we may have to adjust to the zero or almost zero (?option).  In other
words, programs are being implemented through tremendous effort, even though
there are many people who are still babbling--I do not know where the world
babbling comes from, Babylon perhaps? [laughter]

53.  Some cannot even imagine the efforts of the revolution under these
circumstances--the efforts it has made and will continue to make.  Now, these
problems that I have mentioned could worsen.  Why?  Because they depend very
much on developments in the USSR.

54.  If developments in the USSR lead to stabilization and maintenance of the
country's unity, the sort of agreements that we have had in the past can be
maintained.  They can somehow be implemented with varying degrees of slowness. 
We will face the problems that I have mentioned. [Words indistinct] even worse
one, but doing the things we are doing facilitates the work that under other
circumstances would be even more difficult.

55.  The words convertible foreign exchange are now in vogue [words indistinct]
dollars.  Of course, we do not trade in dollars with the USSR.  The products we
export would be worth dollars if we were to sell in dollars [words indistinct].

56.  I wish to note that once thousands upon thousands of independent
enterprises exist--although not all of them have the same attitude--the words
dollars and convertible exchange become commonplace. [Words indistinct]
dollars, we send products that we manufacture with sacrifice and sweat through
our effort.

57.  We do not print that currency, however. That currency is printed in the
United States and other countries. They include pounds sterling and other
so-called convertible foreign exchange.

58.  Under normal circumstances such obstacles appear, but we must resign
ourselves to this.  If we have to trade with 10,000, we will have to do it.
[sentence as heard] We cannot yet say the last word, because no one can
ascertain what kind of central procedures may still exist in the USSR to
facilitate and make more viable trade between a country like Cuba with the
USSR, that gigantic group of nations of more than 20 million square km and
approximately 300 million people. [Words indistinct] at this moment, no one
knows this for sure.

59.  What I want to say is that if things develop in a normal way, if they
manage to stabilize, if they manage to save the integrity of the country, if
the Soviet Union continues to exist, independently from whatever changes they
might make, changes of any kind, Cuban relations with the Soviet people and the
different populations of the USSR--the relations are historic, respectful
relations, they are friendly relations.  We know of a great number of people
and friends in the USSR who are interested in Cuba, who respect Cuba. Thus, we
respect the reforms undertaken by the USSR, because each country is entitled to
do whatever it deems convenient.  I have already said that we respect the right
of any country to build even capitalism, but we also demand respect for any
country's right to build socialism.  We are not interested in the changes that
another country may undertake.  We have our opinions, but we respect those of
others.  In other words, economic relations between the USSR and Cuba will
continue to develop, based on specific premises.

60.  For our country it is very important that the Soviet Union overcome its
difficulties.  For our country it is very important that the current financial
situation of the USSR improves; that the situation in the USSR becomes
stabilized.  We do not have formulas for this nor are we the ones who are
called upon to make formulas.  It is the affair of the Soviets.  It is clear
and logical to all our comrades, however, that the successes of the USSR or the
improvement of the USSR economy would be a positive factor for us and also for
the whole world.  The deterioration of the economic problems of the USSR are
bad for the whole world and also for us. The deterioration of the ethnic
problems of the USSR, the deterioration of the internal conflicts, the social
conflicts, of whatever type, a strike here or there--and this is not our
affair, it is an internal affair of the USSR and they are the only ones who can
intervene.  It is a matter that is very clear and objective that if steel
production is paralyzed the possiblitiy of us receiving a ton of steel is
greatly reduced.  If obstacles arise in other industrial areas or other
important branches, this all inevitably results in problems for us.  If the
USSR disintegrates, if the USSR divides into numerous republics, it is the
affair of the Soviets, not us, but the disappearance of the USSR as a
superpower is very serious and would bring negative consequences for the entire
world, and in a special way for us and a special way too for all of the Third
World.  Today many in the world realize--especially Third World countries
realize--how important the existence of the USSR has been for them and how the
mere existence of that country became a check on the imperialist thirst for
power, on the ensnarement of imperialist domination.  It became a check on
imperialist aggression.

61.  It could not prevent this from happening, however, since acts of
aggression did take place.  In fact, many countries under difficult
circumstances received weapons to defend themselves.  The Vietnamese received
many weapons from the Soviet Union.  We received many weapons from the Soviet
Union.  In the Bay of Pigs, a date we commemorate today, Soviet-made weapons
were already used.  Many countries received that benefit to confront U.S.
aggression and threats.  Tens of countries of the world today realize how
serious it would be to have a world under the wings of the United States.

62.  These countries have begun to better than ever realize the historic
importance the emergence of the Soviet Union had and all the benefits it has
brought to the Third World and to mankind.  We must also say that when the
first socialist revolution took place, capitalism panicked and even began to
devise social solutions to ease conditions for the masses, not out of
generosity or selflessness, but out of fear of an outburst of social

63.  Something similar happened when they came up with the Alliance for
Progress after the Cuban revolution and the Bay of Pigs.  It was a movement, a
number of ideas that resulted from fear that the process of the Cuban
revolution could be repeated in Latin America.  It is clear, as I have
previously explained, that everything that happens in the Soviet Union is very
important for the world and for us.  Undeniably, there are many symptoms of
instability in the Soviet Union, including the danger of its coming apart. 
What does this mean?  That the situation in the Soviet Union can worsen and
that it is filled with potential dangers of several kinds.  Some Soviet leaders
have spoken in public even of civil strife and war.

64.  First, we must be realistic.  This situation is yet to be decided.  No one
knows what might happen in one, two, or three months.  Of course, we desire the
best, not only because this is a lesson for us, but because of our love for and
friendship with the Soviet people.  We sincerely hope that they can overcome
their difficulties and current situation.  We want this in the interest of the
entire world.  Should we close our eyes?  I am asking the party cadres: Should
we put our heads in the sand like an ostrich?  [People reply in chorus: No!] Is
it not better for us to be aware of these dangers and realities? [People reply:
Yes!] Well, this is precisely what it is all about when we commemorate so
historic a date as this, when the enemy dreams again of wiping out the
revolution and again turning this country into a Yankee neo-colony--now more
than ever, when the enemy dreams of grabbing this country forever and turning
it into a (?tomorrow) or something worse.

65.  These are realities we should very much keep in mind.  As I have told you,
today we are a symbol.  Everyone is watching to see what will happen in Cuba,
what the Cuban people will do, what the Cuban people can do: all the people who
preserve some vision for the world, who dream of progressive ideas, ideas of
social justice, ideas of national unity and independence; all the people who
dream of [words indistinct]; all the people who in one way or another hate with
all their souls the thought of a world governed by the Yankee empire with the
reactionary and fascist ideas that capitalism has spawned during its
development; all the people who know a little history, who have noble and truly
humane ideas, concepts, and values, hope that there is resistance to that world
and that the socialist ideas can survive.  The tens of millions who live in
shantytowns, the tens of millions of homeless children in Latin America, for
instance; the tens and hundreds of millions of sick people without access to
medicine, medical assistance, or schools; those who die of anything, even
though they might be saved; the 200,000 children who die in Latin America every
year who would not die if there was a basic health care system in these
countries; the people who are exploited and prostituted; the millions of
adolescents and adults forced to beg; the unemployed, the beggars, and the
destitute of this world, are all offered as examples of the legacy of Yankee
imperialism.  Together with the rest of the developed capitalist world, the
Yankee world is to blame for the Third World's poverty and misery. The only
thing capitalism has brought to 4 billion human beings is hunger and misery, as
we said recently.  What hope is there for these people to have medical
services, housing, water, a minimum of decorum in their lives, and security?

66.  What a tremendous blow it would be if the imperialists could get away with
the idea of wiping out this symbol and trench that Cuba is today!  It is not
only our interests, not only our abhorrence of that merciless system that our
country experienced that are important.  Yesterday we calculated how many
teachers there were in 1959.  There were 17,000 primary school teachers and
approximately 20,000 professors and teachers.

67.  I remembered that under the capitalist system it was almost impossible to
create teaching or medical positions.  There were, as I said before, 300,000
doctors, pardon me, 300,000 professors and teachers, but at varying levels.  I
can tell you that the capitalism that existed in Cuba a little over 30 years
ago, as tough as it was, was not as bad as the capitalism that thousands,
hundreds of millions, billions of people in the world are experiencing today. 
What is happening now is worse than what was happening in Cuba, and the
situation is growing increasingly worse. Now they are offering neo-liberalism,
after demanding that the people pay the last cent of the debt.  Everything is
being privatized.  Everything, of course, is being multinationalized.  All the
wealth is being surrendered to capitalist, developed countries to end the
poverty that was created precisely by capitalism.

68.  First it was colonialism, then neo-colonialism, then imperialism; summing
it all up, this is the consequence of centuries of capitalist domination. 
Today Cuba is the trench where the most just, noble, and humane ideas are
defended.  We did not choose this destiny; it was assigned to us by history. 
We must defend socialism, national independence, and our people's dignity; we
must defend the dreams and hopes of the exploited, humiliated, and suffering
people of this world.

69.  We all know that phrase that Marti wrote on the day before he died, which
he had never said to anyone in such terms: All that I have done until today and
all that I will do is to prevent the United States, through Cuba's
independence--and this is a textual quote--from descending with fresh forces on
the peoples of America.  If Marti thought this and felt this way almost a
century ago, when the United States was young, what would a thinker like him--a
revolutionary, a fighter--say now had he come to know our current world,
today's world, and had he shared our experiences?

70.  History has given us this responsibility.  We do not have to debate this
with history.  At best, we can say, Mr.  History, thank you very much.  When we
are given a task that is truly worthy, great, of extraordinary historic
significance, given to this little Caribbean country to fulfill this great
responsibility, we can say that it has not been given to just any people.  It
has been given to a people that has the merit to complete it, that has the
valiance to complete it, that has the heroism to complete it, that has the
willingness to complete it.  It has been given to a people that has resisted so
many years, decades of aggression and blockade.  It has been given to a people
that has always been faithful to its ideas and principles, that knew how to
complete not only its duties for itself but also its duties toward other
countries.  A people that has completed glorious internationalist pages.  Now
it has been given the most internationalist of all tasks--the most worthy and
the most glorious--I ask you, as combatants, members of the party: Are we ready
or not to fulfill them? [People shout: Yes!]

71.  We know that we must fulfill these tasks.  We know that we can. There is
nothing [to stop us].  What could there be?  We may lack resources, raw
materials, and many things, but what we will never lack is pride, [applause] a
sense of honor and duty, a sense of responsibility, not only toward the current
and future generations of our country, but toward the billions of people
throughout the world.  We must prove to the imperialists that we will resist,
that we can resist, and that we can win. [applause]

72.  If it is necessary to prove this, if it is necessary to prove this
[repeats himself], we will prove it; if someone has to prove this, we are that
someone, and we will prove it.  We will not disappoint the world; we will not
disappoint the revolutionaries; we will not disappoint those who dream about a
better world.  We will not help extend a hateful and repugnant system for
decades, perhaps centuries.  We defend socialism, but we defend it now, not in
500 years. [applause] We will defend it now, not in 100 years; and those who
live 100 years, or 500 years, will not feel ashamed about us.  They will not
despise us.  They will feel admiration and gratitude for us. They will
understand, as we clearly understand it today, the meaning of the ideas we
defend; the meaning of the values that we defend.  This is no longer a country
of illiterate people; it is a country of refined, educated people; politically
experienced people; experienced and courageous people.  We have to resist in
two ways: We must endure the sacrifices that our situation or duty imposes on
us if the worst variations occur in developments in the Soviet Union.  We must
also resist in the military sector.

73.  We will tell the imperialists: No, you cannot defeat us in any way.  No
one will give them the country.  No one will give them the revolution.  No one
will give them what we have watered with our sweat and blood for such a long
time.  No one will give them our history.  No one will give them our liberty. 
No one will give them our independence.  No one will give them our noble ideas. 
We will aptly defend them in every terrain; and if we have to do it by enduring
deprivations, we will endure them-- because we can never forget that those who
started our independence struggle spent 10 years in the jungle, many times
without shoes or clothes.  Ten years! [Words indistinct] thought it was
possible to struggle amid such difficult conditions, and against so many [word
indistinct] forces that wanted the peace of El Zanjon.  Mateo said: No!  The
best representatives of those heroical people said: No!  The eternal Baragua
rose from El Zanjon. [applause]

74.  That is what we are.  Mateo's heirs.  The heirs of Baragua.  The heirs of
Marti, his ideas, and his determination to do what was necessary; to sacrifice
his life to protect the homeland's independence; to guarantee the homeland's
independence; to protect the independence of other American nations; and--we
might say today--to protect the independence and hopes of many nations around
the world.

75.  We have inherited those ideas and without them and without having
inherited those ideas, there would not have been a 1 January, there would not
have been a Moncada, there would not have been a 1 January [repeats] because
what we did in the Sierra Maestra was simply imitate what those who fought
against hundreds of thousands of Spanish soldiers had done with a few weapons.
This is what we did in the Sierra Maestra, not for as many years, but we could
have been there until now or could have died there a long time ago. What we did
was imitate them.

76.  Had we not inherited those ideas, had the Bay of Pigs victory not taken
place, the combatants would have trembled in the presence of the Yankee squads,
aircraft carriers, cruisers, war vessels, and their Marines. They would not
have fought as they did. They would not have positioned the tanks facing the
squads as they did there, [applause] facing the squads as if they were saying:
Here we are if you decide to land. We have had a beautiful history and, thanks
to it, great people have been forged.  There are many more examples: the
October crisis, nuclear weapons, who knows how many missiles were pointed at
us. Everyone here was calm and serene.

77.  This is how they will find us in every circumstance in life: calm and
serene. As things become more difficult we will be more level-headed, more
serene, firmer, and more determined because we have the privilege of being what
we are today and we are willing to continue being what we are. We are not going
to prove our history wrong. So, [pause] long live the mothers of those fallen
in the Bay of Pigs! [crowd applauds and responds: Viva!]

78.  The communists, true communists were always heroic in the defense of their
ideas and their cause. There have been great examples since the Paris commune
and throughout many years. They fought a lot defending the Spanish Republic and
defending Madrid against foreign troops; Hitler's, Mussolini's, or colonial
troops; they defended humankind after the invasion of the USSR by Hitler's
troops.  We do not forget the 20 million dead.  Others may forget them but we
never will. [applause] The communists were in front of those combatants, in the
front line in the most dangerous places, in front of the experienced fascist
troops. Those are communists; that is the way you are. [applause]

79.  I told you before that we have to be prepared to defeat imperialists in
the field of material difficulties, no matter which ones they may be. We will
have to be prepared to also teach them a lesson in the military field. We
cannot forget their false sense of pride and their bragging about technology. 
With us fighting is man to man, combatant to combatant, up to the last
combatant, to the last one.  [applause]

80.  We will guarantee that there will be resistance from the San Antonio Cape
to the Maisi tip, [applause] in the plains and mountains, in the plains and
mountains, [repeats] in the countryside and cities. The word capitulation or
surrender [members of the crowd yell indistinct words] does not and will never
have a place here.  The cry of Camilo will always be in the air: Nobody
surrenders here. [applause] I am told that it was not Camilo who said this, but
that it was Almeida; but it could have been said by Camilo, Almeida, Raul, Che,
and all the combatants of the Sierra Maestra. [applause] Those words, those
words [repeats] have been eliminated from the dictionary. This applies to the
first through the last of the combatants. This is why I told the students on 13
March: Each one of you has to be your own chief and your only chief. There is a
single order that will not be complied with or obeyed ever and I hope that it
will never come out of the mouth of any revolutionary chief: the word
capitulation or surrender. [members of the crowd say: Never! and applaud]

81.  [Unidentified woman in the crowd] I just want to say a few words so that
you understand that the mothers of the Bay of Pigs martyrs [words indistinct]
as of the world that fight for their freedom cannot place ourselves at the
level of cowards. As far as I am concerned what happened in Grenada was a
coward act. That was not courageous. A big power such as theirs was merciless
with the smallest thing in the world. Do you understand?  They are not
courageous. We are valiant; they are cowards and treacherous.

82.  [Castro] What happened in Grenada will never happen here because we will
always be united in one single cause and one single banner. [prolonged applause
and chanting]

83.  Each person is his own chief. Each person is an army.  Fighting in Cuba
would have to be not against a revolution but against millions of revolutions,
not against an army but against millions of armies. I ask myself if there is a
force in the world that can squash that willingness to fight no matter how many
laser bombs, how many cruise missiles, or how many of those shells that radars
do not see.... [changes thought] Yes, we do not disregard technology.  We know
that. We do not disregard the technical advantages and the number of weapons.
We do know what our advantages are and those are inside here [Castro points to
his heart] [applause] and are in the intellect, in the ideas, in the way of
fighting. The difference is not as great as the one that existed when we began
to fight against Batista. [chuckles]

84.  The difference that existed between our little rifles and Batista's
Sherman tanks was much greater than the one between the laser bombs and the
Yankee-exploding mines, [crowd laughs] with the pieces of iron we have and the
ones we build. We know what we have and what they are good for, each one of
them. We know what a man with a rifle, a grenade, a mine is worth. The time
comes when all that technology is not worth anything, all that technology they
use as a shield.

85.  You already saw that they spent a month bombing and were afraid to launch
the land forces in the Gulf. What they want is an easy catch and here the catch
is going to be as difficult as climbing Mount Everest. [applause] We know what
we have when we can resist and overcome.  This is not a phrase. It is not a
word. We do not like to talk a lot. We are not saying that we are going to sink
battleships or anything like that. We are going to sink the ones that get in
here. Their massive attacks are not going to scare us. It is very difficult for
a bomb to hit a man.  Sometimes massive attacks were launched against us in a
small area of the Sierra. People learned how to resist the air force and
artillery massive attacks. Man learns everything. It is necessary that we have
full control of all our resources and our possibilities and know how to do
things in each circumstance. We should start with our conviction and our
determination to resist under any circumstance, whether it is in the
battlefield, the field of the economic war, or in the military field.

86.  I am certain that this small country, with its determination, can halt....
[changes thought] If those who fear are the ones to attack, the ones with
fear.... [changes thought] Imperialists are like picudas and sharks. If the
swimmer turns his back, they show their teeth and begin to....  [changes
thought] Imperialists are like beasts. If someone turns his back, this provokes
their persecution instinct.  We will always face them.

87.  I already said that we will not be the ones to provoke a war. As I
explained to the students, wars should not be provoked. If they break out they
have to be waged well.  After they break out, they can only end with victory or
death, [corrects himself] better said, with victory.  [applause] In spite of
those airs and that Yankee arrogance they should know what we are feelings, our
thoughts, and what our will is.

88.  We do not have to be worried that there are some weak ones. There will
always be weak ones. There will always be one coward or another [words
indistinct]. The important thing is that there are many courageous people,
many. In southern Angola there were over 50,000 only a few months ago. They not
only had the courage to face a potentially very powerful adversary but they
knew how to wage the war with intelligence, with all the necessary
intelligence, and they achieved victory, 50,000 courageous people.  There could
have been half a million there.  There are enough virtues in our people for
half a million combatants.  There are enough virtues for a million and even
more--virtues to defend the fatherland and the revolution; there are many
millions here, many millions.  [repeats] [applause]

89.  You, comrades of the party, are cadres and militants. As I said before,
the true communists have always known how to be heroic and that is what is
needed today, heroism. Example is what is needed the most.

90.  You have to be like the ones in the Paris commune or the ones who defended
Moscow, or the ones who defended Volgograd or Stalingrad--it is not our
business to decide what to call that city; that is a matter for those who call
it one thing today and another tomorrow. [applause] During that time, I
remember that when I was a student it was called Stalingrad and the name was
later changed to Volgograd. I do not know if anyone else can come later and
name it after a czarina. Nobody knows.

91.  You have to be like the ones who put heroism in the history books,
something only the communists are capable of, as well as being an example.  We
are seeing things such as the mobilizations in our capital. Over 100,000
citizens of our capital have worked in agricultural tasks in Havana Province in
the last seven or eight months. Some 17,000 went to the Pinar del Rio Province.
We who have frequently visited those collectives have seen them work there with
true communist spirit. I never saw people working, throughout all these years,
from the first harvests until today, as we have seen these mobilized workers
work. They get up at 0530, before dawn, and return to the camps at sunset. I
have seen them in the camps but I have also seen them in the fields.  I have
seen how they work, with how much love, with how much dedication.  It is
impressive. They have sowed their example among agriculture workers who are now
working much more than before. They have influenced the population of the area,
the peasants.

92.  How much satisfaction do we feel to know that over 50 percent of those who
have been there are militants of the party or of the Union of Young Communists
[UJC]?  This is what gives communists prestige [applause] and what gives the
party prestige. How much satisfaction did we feel to see that in the camp there
was a municipal bureau member and a People's Government leader at all times?
How much satisfaction did we feel because Comrade Lezcano, first secretary of
the party in Havana City, was there? [applause] [camera shows Lezcano] All the
members of the main bureau, the cadres, the leaders go there to work hard. Some
comrades who are no longer adolescents go there. [It is also satisfying] to
know that the president of the People's Government in Havana, Comrade [Pedro]
Chavez, was also there. [applause]

93.  This is what gives prestige and strength to the party, being an example,
being in constant touch with the masses--today more than ever--in constant
touch with the people, and being the first one in combat whether it is combat
in the field of ideas or the field of weapons. We have to fight hard in the
field of ideas.  We have to be decisive and be prepared more than ever to fight
the enemy in this field, defending our ideas, the most just, the most beautiful
and noble ones in the face of he who lets himself get confused, the one who
hesitates, who does not understand.

94.  When I spoke of how the special period was being carried out I did not
mention one of the greatest efforts, the efforts we are carrying out in the
preparation of the military field, in the field of defense, in the field of
fortifications. There are dozens of thousands of men working in this field. The
effort the country is making in this respect is enormous.  The country has not
been careless for a minute. On the contrary, they have multiplied.

95.  Let us remember what Marti said: Trenches of ideas are more valuable than
trenches of stone. We have to strengthen ideas and we have to fortify ourselves
in the field of ideas. We have to strengthen ideas [words indistinct] because
we have to wage the battle in those two fields. It is as important to make
trenches or something more than trenches, but it is also very important to
clarify, strengthen, and defend ideas with courageousness and heroism. Some
think that because they believe the socialist camp has fallen Cuba has to
necessarily fall.  [members of the crowd yell: No!] Some doubt or want [words
indistinct] doubt.

96.  That is why I am telling you that this aspect is also very important, and
it is the task of the party, party members, communist youth, and all
revolutionaries; because there are many, many, many revolutionaries who are not
in the party, or who are not in the communist youth organization.  When I visit
those camps where I have said that half are communists, because they are party
members, communist youth members, I ask myself: What are the others? What are
the other half? What are those men and women who work 10, 12, 13, 14 hours a
day with infinite generosity and extraordinary unselfishness?

97.  They may not have gone through the process the party members have, for
some reason of form, or for lack of time, or for whatever reason, or because
not everyone can be in the party; but they are communists.  These comrades in
the contingents, what are they--the ones who build dairy complexes, dams,
canals, camps, or hotels or whatever, and work 14 or 15 hours a day, when there
is fuel for working or when it is necessary to work and the materials are
there?  So this is the result of political work, revolutionary work,
ideological work, and these people are capable of transforming the world.

98.  That is what I have seen out there. They are not only manual workers. 
There are camps with many intellectual workers.  I mean they are not in the
[words indistinct] they are in offices, they are in other activities.  In the
camp run by the Ministry of Foreign Relations in Havana Province, or the one
run by the Ministry of Foreign Trade, I have seen ambassadors, vice ministers
[words indistinct] I have seen people from different organizations who are not
used to manual labor.  I have seen people there who have [words indistinct]
three times a year.

99.  This is a sign of prestige in my eyes. I have seen them working there in
the fields without resting, and making an enormous effort because they are not
used to it. They spend two weeks, and when their blisters start to go away, the
two weeks are over. They spend two weeks working as if they were, well, [words
indistinct] I have seen this effort with admiration, and there are more than
100,000 people in Havana Province alone who have gone from our capital.

100.  We must pay homage to these workers.  Right now in this special period
when we are paying homage to those who fell at the Bay of Pigs, I also wish to
pay homage to the hundreds of thousands of workers who are harvesting the sugar
under such difficult conditions. [applause] Many of them are volunteer workers.
I wish to pay homage to the hundreds of thousands of construction workers; the
tens of thousands of workers in the contingents who are building dams, and
canals, and the engineering system for rice, and terraces, and plot drainage
for sugarcane; the hundreds of thousands of workers in our industries who with
so much difficulty are maintaining production and keeping the machinery working
when there are raw materials; the tens of thousands of doctors who are keeping
our health service in the best condition in spite of the problems; the hundreds
of thousands of teachers and professors who are keeping our universities and
middle-level institutes working in spite of material shortages, keeping them
working with the highest quality possible.

101.  New contingents have arisen, the agricultural contingents, which also
have great potential, in my opinion, from what I have been able to observe of
their work. We must pay homage to our scientific workers, and the enormous
effort they are making in creating and developing new things to help the
country and the country's economy.  I want to pay homage to those who have been
mobilized, who are in the camps and in the fields. In short, I want to pay
homage to our workers, those who work in decisive areas, or fishing, or the
merchant marine, or transportation, in spite of all the difficulties.  We must
pay homage to our workers in the press, who even without paper.... [rephrases]
Because paper is one of the things that has disappeared, one of the things that
previously was imported, we must keep what little we have in warehouses in
order to continue those modest editions.  Somehow or other, even if it is like
it was in the time of the CUBANO LIBRE, the MANIGUA REDENTORA, our newspapers
will be printed, even if they are only one page long, one page per week.

102.  In short, we must pay homage today to our self-sacrificing and courageous
people, firm people, uncompromising people, who do not want to hear anything
about weaknesses, who do not want to hear anything about concessions.
Imperialism does not make concessions.  Capitalism does not make concessions.
Neo-liberalism demands more and more that everything be privatized, and that in
addition to paying everything down to the last cent, they throw doctors and
teachers out in the street because there cannot be the least imbalance in the
budget. This is what the World Bank and the IMF demand, and that everything be
privatized, even parks, as is being done in some countries.

103.  Neo-liberalism, capitalism, and imperialism make no concessions.
Socialism cannot make concessions. Our socialism will never make concessions of
principle.  [applause] No one should dream that Cuban socialism will make
concessions, or that the Cuban revolution will make concessions. Because we
will have a party, a single party, as is fitting for the revolutionary phase, a
single party like the one founded by Jose Marti to carry forward the war for
independence. [applause]

104.  There will be no market economy, or whatever they call that mess that has
nothing to do with socialism. Our economy will be a programmed economy, a
planned economy.  We do not believe in that craziness that says that the
country can be developed through spontaneous mechanisms. The more limited the
resources are, the more decisive it is to use them (?within what is rational
and optimum).  Our revolution will not make concessions of principle.  It is
good for this to be known.  Every once in a while [words indistinct] make
concessions to imperialism as if [words indistinct]. You already know what
happened [words indistinct] multiparty. That is what they are after. The
communists ran in the elections and won, but [words indistinct] the communists
had to be thrown out some way or another, the people thrown out on the street
and all kinds of problems created, and throw out the government that had won
the elections.  Because after making one concession, they demand all
concessions, and finally they demand one's head.

105.  That is the philosophy and that is the law.  Counterrevolution has its
laws. Reaction, the reactionary movement in history, has its laws. There is
nothing more cruel than counterrevolutions. There is nothing more cruel than
victorious reaction. In those countries that were forced to make concessions,
they did not delay any time at all in demanding more and more and more.  Here
we recommend that they demand less and less and less, because they are not
going to receive any concessions. [applause]

106.  We are not dogmatic. No, we are realistic. We handle with a pragmatic
spirit all those things that in practice may be useful. We know what the
essential and untouchable principles of our revolutionary process are. Under
the special conditions of the special period, and also aware that different
forms of international cooperation may be useful, we have talked with foreign,
capitalist businessmen. Let them come to propose some deal; we will analyze it.
If they say: Look, you are getting out 12 barrels of oil and we have the
technology to get out 24. If we can come to an agreement and they will pay us
with that difference, or not that difference, part of that difference, we will
say yes, very good.  If a capitalist comes and has technology and a market and
capital, and wants to [words indistinct] this is something that is to his
benefit and is to our benefit, then we will say yes, very good, sir.

107.  In Cuba there is a government of the people. It is the people of Cuba,
and watches over the interests of the Cuban people. It is a government that
does not sell out to any capitalist or for any gold in the world. If you
propose something that interests this people and is useful to this people, we
are willing to discuss it, negotiate it.  This is how the ideas about the joint
enterprises for the hotels came up. We wish they were ours.  That would be
easier to handle. There was no capital, however. We could not build hundreds of
hotels. Well, sirs, we have the rocks, sand, cement, labor force, and
equipment.  You bring....  [rephrases] You put in your part and we will both be
the owners. We do this with practical sense. We are not violating a principle
of socialism.

108.  We do know that when we are building a rice complex, we are not going to
call on any capitalist to build a rice complex so that we would have to pay in
dollars for rice we grow here. We know where, in what places, at what points,
and under what conditions we can accept joint investment. We have a government
of the people, a socialist system, a planned economy, planned development. This
does not mean we are dogmatic. A social system that owns the country and works
for the country's interests can take the liberty of knowing and deciding where
there is something that would be beneficial, and where it would not be
beneficial, we will say no.

109.  This idea arose about 10 years ago.  It has developed more in recent
times. There have been many, a relatively high number of capitalists who have
come to us with proposals. They say: If the raw materials run out, that factory
is going to stop its operations. It has stopped because there are no raw
materials. I am willing to put up the raw materials. Let us make a deal. We
say: We have the factory and the workers. You have a market. Well, bring the
raw materials and let us make a deal.  We will be partners in this deal rather
than having the factory stop for lack of raw materials.

110.  So they come and we have outstanding comrades who hear all the offers and
analyze them. In the special period many of these circumstances may occur.  A
cement factory may suddenly stop operating because it has no fuel.  This has
happened, and cement production has dropped a lot.  The thing is that there is
a lot of construction going on because we are saving more cement than ever.  We
can say: You put up the fuel, and we will sell cement.  We can have an
operation of this kind rather than have the factory stop operating. So with
practical sense, we hear many of these cases and we analyze them very

111.  There are these possibilities, and the country has to use these
possibilities in the special period.  This is what I mean when I say we are not
dogmatic.  We analyze each of these problems with a lot of common sense and
realism.  As for our internal things, there is no dogmatism either. There may
be some way.... [rephrases] We know very well what cannot be done. We know this
well because we have already had experience with things that were copied from
somewhere else.  There may be things that are useful. For example, we are now
entering the bicycle age, as we say. [Words indistinct] this year, and then
millions of bicycles. We may be able to find some form of participation for
people who service bicycles.

112.  I will give an example.  If we have too many people, things like this are
not excluded by our principles or our policies. Because the special period may
force us, since there may be a surplus of personnel [words indistinct] happened
other times. A construction worker was laid off from a hospital.  An illegal
vendor hired him, and he went running off, stole some construction materials,
he was given a pile of money, and that was what we got from that [words
indistinct] in many places. We must know in what fields and what areas, and
when we took rectification measures we even analyzed this--in what case you can
do one thing, in what case you can do another, and in what case you cannot do
this--with a lot of practical sense and without dogmatism. I have given
something internal as an example.

113.  In this special period, under these circumstances, these are the
characteristics of a true revolutionary process.  We are clear about what the
goals are, what the standards and principles are, what can be done and what
cannot be done.  I think our revolution is mature enough for all this.  This is
what I mean when I say we will not be dogmatic, and we are not dogmatic. We
have the ability to analyze each specific thing, what will be of benefit to the
country, and what does not conflict with socialism's principles and goals.

114.  We must be more intelligent, more capable than ever, just as the
circumstances demand.  It is very good that on this 19 April we should say to
the imperialists what we think, and that they should not dream of even the
smallest concession of principles by the Cuban revolution.  [applause] We will
defend the first to the last principle with the same determination.  They
cannot open cracks in our ideology. [Passage indistinct] 90 percent.

115.  There is no country in the world where the people can participate in
their fate to the extent that they can in our country. There is no regime more
democratic than a socialist one, which cannot exist without the people and
without the people's active participation and the people's defense.  Can there
be a more democratic system than the one for which the men and women of the
people are willing to give their blood? Who would defend this revolution
against the imperialist monster, if not the people, the armed people, and the
workers, peasants, and students?  They certainly deserve special recognition
today, and the young people, for the brilliant revolutionary battles and
activities they have been carrying out in recent times. [applause]

116.  How could it exist without the armed participation of the people? Because
in addition to our democratic, electoral mechanisms, we also have an armed
people.  Let them arm their people over there. Let the imperialists give them
their recipe, not the one for privatizing parks but for giving guns to the
workers, peasants, and students, and they will see how long the consumerist
capitalism that exists in the Third World will last. We will not let ourselves
be swindled or fooled or confused by imperialist and reactionary verbiage and
politicking.  We are adult enough and mature enough to know what we have to do.

117.  Today we have had the privilege of seeing here the mothers, many mothers
of revolutionary combatants who fell in those glorious days of April 1961. We
have had the privilege of listening to some of those who wanted to express
their feelings with all the moral authority given to them by having contributed
their children's precious lives to the nation.  There are many mothers
throughout the country, those who saw their children die at Moncada, or on the
Granma, or in the Sierra Maestra, or the Escambray, or on internationalist
missions, in so many heroic tasks of the revolution.

118.  Spiritually the mothers of Maceo's followers are also here. We have them
in our memories and hearts. The mother of Marti, the mothers of those who began
the war for independence, the mothers of those who were at Baragua are here
with us. They did their duty. They gave everything for the nation. They gave
everything for the country's independence, the nation's dignity, the
revolution, and socialism, because revolution today is socialism. It cannot be

119.  What can we say to them, all of them, in commemorating this glorious day?
In a very few words, an essential idea: We will be faithful to those who died
defending the nation's glories and the nation's interests. We will know how to
be like them. We will know how to die like they did, defending the revolution
and the nation. [applause] Socialism or death, fatherland or death, we will
win!  [applause]