Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Speaks at Close of PCC Congress
Havana Cuba Vision Network
Report Type:         Daily Report             AFS Number:     FL1810022091
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-91-202          Report Date:    18 Oct 91
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     1
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       3
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       17 Oct 91
Report Volume:       Friday Vol VI No 202


City/Source of Document:   Havana Cuba Vision Network

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Speaks at Close of PCC Congress

Author(s):   Cuban President Fidel Castro during closing session of the Fourth
Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, PCC, at the Heredia
Theater in Santiago de Cuba on 14 October-recorded]

Source Line:   FL1810022091 Havana Cuba Vision Network in Spanish 0130 GMT 17
Oct 91

Subslug:   [Speech by Cuban President Fidel Castro during closing session of
the Fourth Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, PCC, at the
Heredia Theater in Santiago de Cuba on 14 October-recorded]

1.  [Speech by Cuban President Fidel Castro during closing session of the
Fourth Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, PCC, at the Heredia Theater in
Santiago de Cuba on 14 October-recorded]

2.  [Text] As you can see, there is a great deal of young blood in this
politburo. That is very good. Excellent. We needed this injection. There is a
good balance among the various sectors. The party is well represented, with
excellent cadres from among the rank and file, just as the previous politburo
was respresented by valuable comrades heading the party's rank and file, but
who, because of the reorganization, have been replaced by equally qualified
comrades with merit and ability. There is a good balance between military and
civilian, even though we are all equal here. For the sake of national and
international opinion, there would have been more military personnel here if we
were to acknowledge the merits of our Armed Forces. But in reality, we must
establish a balance through representatives. The women are well represented.
The number of women here has not been reduced. Their numbers have actually
increased. While there were a total of 27, now there are 25. [as heard]
Important programs need to be developed by those present. It seems to be a
promising reorganization.

3.  I spoke of it, and I do not wish to repeat too many things, in the first
session of the Central Committee. I think it is one of the best things our
party can do because I believe one of the problems the revolutionary movement
has had, the revolutionary parties and the Communist parties have had, is,
among other things, a lack of adequate reorganization. As a matter of fact,
situations have occured. A man would come along, acquire a great deal of power,
a tremendous deal of authority. He became all-powerful. Sometimes new values
would crop up-I am referring to international experiences-but they would be
obscured so as not to overshadow or compete with those in power. The phenomena
of personality cults have been seen in several countries. Sad things have
occured within the revolutionary movement which, luckily, we have not
experienced. We have had the privilege of something as decisive and fundamental
as reorganization. The participation of different generations, those who are
older, with more experience, working together with the worthy and capable

4.  There have been times when the party directorate, the leaders, grew old,
very old, and there was no infusion of young blood. That has not happened
within our party.  This time we have thoroughly reorganized. More than ever
before, we have drawn representatives from the various sectors. You must
remember the history of our revolution. We have gathered together not only
those who fought in the early years, but those who are fighting for today.
Above all, we have brought together those who must tackle the tasks of these
exceptional moments.

5.  What gives us more confidence in the party and in the quality of the party
is the fact that we can merge different generations, gradually attaining
historical continuity, assuring the continuation of our principles. Nothing
built on personality can last. Nothing built on men, on individuals, can
endure. What is built on institutions, on groups, on the people, on the party,
lasts. The important thing is that principles always predominate in our party,
never ambition, opportunism, abuses. The important thing is that there is
renewal in our party. Each generation will be called upon for different things.
Each generation will face new and difficult challenges. Men and women change,
but principles remain. We must ensure that.

6.  We must guarantee that Marx's principles endure; that Marti's principles
endure; that the principles of our unique, heroic revolution, the culmination
of many thoughts, endure; that the ethics of our party will endure; that the
purity of our party will endure; that the revolutionary spirit of our party
will endure; that the heroism and courage of our party endure; that the
glorious traditions of our party will endure; and that the misfortunes visited
upon many other parties, never happen to ours. [applause]

7.  [Someone shouts: ``Viva Cuba;'' crowd chants: ``Viva'']

8.  We are proud of the spirit that has prevailed in this congress. It shows
our progress. We are proud of the democratic spirit and the freedom of ideas
that have prevailed in our party. We are proud of the honesty that prevails at
this congress of our party. We are proud of the revolutionary spirit that has
prevailed, proud of the integrity. Look at how many comrades have been
reelected to the Central Committee. Many of them are here. Those who are not
here as guests are here as delegates. There is no resentment. Such loyalty,
such purity, as shown by their actions, their voting records.

9.  For our work to endure, and we want our work to endure, it is necessary
that the role of our people in history endure. It is necessary for the
qualities we have been adding to our work endure and grow stronger. It is
necessary that our party become more democratic, more united, more steadfast.
[applause] It is necessary that we be the ones who teach lessons in democracy,
and not others who think they can come here to teach us what democracy means.
It is necessary for our political system to be more and more democratic so that
no one can ever come to teach us lessons in democracy. No matter who may want
to come here and compete with us, we must be the ones who can tell them, this
is democracy, this is participation of the people, this is freedom. Nothing can
be more democratic than a party or a nation with such a great political
culture, with a great political awareness, educated in the fairest principles
that man has ever been able to devise.

10.  This is not the era of the French Revolution when they said liberty,
equality, fraternity. That revolution resulted in none of that. It was a noble
attempt on the part of thinkers and philosophers. But, since capitalism emerged
from that revolution, what freedom could the beggar, the man who had nothing,
have? What freedom could the beggar have in comparison with the millionaire,
the multi-millionaire, the powerful. Even after that revolution, there were
still counts, marquees, dukes, et cetera. What kind of equality can there be in
a society of classes, in a capitalistic society, in a society where man
exploits man? What kind of fraternity can exist in a society where man, as
Engels said, eats man? We have been achieving all the values that man dreamed
of for so long. We must make them last. We must make them more sound.

11.  This congress has been a tremendous step forward in that sense, and we
have not set a single principle aside. We have done what we believed should be
done to improve our party, to improve our system. We will continue fighting. We
will continue making improvements without any concessions. We have taken
important steps, and the importance of this is that we are taking them in
extremely difficult times. We are taking them with great determination and we
are not renouncing our principles. Rather, we are reaffirming our principles.
We will not abandon them; we will defend them with greater strength and energy
and more determination than ever before. That is what is important.

12.  We are aware of the world we are living in, of the drama that the world
lives. We are aware of the strength of our adversary, the strength of the
reactionaries, and the power of imperialism. However, we do not hesitate to
challenge those powers. We are aware of the weaknesses of the revolutionary
movement, of the colossal mistakes made within the revolutionary movement, of
the desertions of those who one day were our allies, of the terrible
adversities currently being confronted by those who were our best friends, of
the dangers that threaten that nation which was our best ally, the Soviet

13.  But none of that discourages us. None of it weakens us.  It strengthens us
because we know that our cause depends more on what we do. Our sacred ideas
depend on what we do. Our responsibility is greater, and so to a greater
degree, the banners of social justice and socialism are now in our hands. And
nothing will ever make our people waver. [applause]

14.  No matter how difficult the situation may become, more difficult
situations have been confronted by previous generations of Cubans. Even if we
have to go back to living the way the Mambises lived between 1868 and 1878,
even if we have to go back and live in La Manigua, even if we have to go back
to climbing mountains, even if we have to go back and live the way we lived on
Sierra Maestra, even if we have to live in hell itself-or what they call hell;
there is nothing, nor can there be anything, that will discourage us and make
us lose the trust and faith we have in our party, in our fellow party members,
in our people. No one will make us lose trust in our victory. Only those who
fight are respected. [applause] Only those who fight can win. [applause] Only
those who resist will triumph. [applause] That is why we do not have to worry,
because we know we can fight and we know we can resist. It is no longer a task
for a handful of men, it is a task for hundreds of thousands of communist
militants; it is a task for hundreds of thousands of communist youth militants;
it is a task for millions of patriotic fellow countrymen, even if they are not
party members or members of the communist youth; it is a task for all who have
a very deep revolutionary awareness.

15.  We voted on something today that caught my attention.  It represented the
feelings of the participants at this congress. At this congress we all voted
and we all chose.  During this congress, Comrade Alarcon [not further
identified] [applause] got the most votes except for Raul and for me.
[applause] He got all but four of the votes. I said to myself: this shows the
spirit of our delegates, their internationalist spirit, their anti-imperialist
spirit, [applause] their anti-hegemonist spirit. It is their condemnation of
the alleged new order that is attempting to establish itself in the world, and
which we will not accept. [applause] These are facts that show how we feel and
think. They prove how deep the revolutionary spirit, the values of the
revolution, the values of freedom, the values of justice, and the values of
human dignity are embedded within us. What makes a man prefer to die a thousand
times rather than renounce such values? What makes a man despise those who are
not capable of defending them? What makes a man despise those who would prefer
to live without honor, fatherland, and principles? What makes a man despise
those who prefer material values over moral values, over spiritual values?

16.  That is what makes each of us willing to fight to the death. That is what
makes each of us-the comrades elected members of the Central Committee-choose
death over dishonor. They would rather die than renounce their principles. What
is life without honor?  What is life without principles? What is life for us
without the fatherland, without the revolution, without socialism? What is life
for us if we cannot walk with our heads high? What is life for us without the
pride of being the children of this country, without the pride of being
revolutionaries, without the pride of being courageous, without the pride of
feeling capable of challenging every risk, without the pride of feeling capable
of confronting threats, dangers, and any force, no matter how powerful it might
be? [applause] What is life for any of us without that?

17.  And we are not alone. We all have loved ones, we all have family, and we
know that our future will be their future. What we do not want for ourselves,
we do not want for our loved ones. What we do not want for ourselves, the past
we knew or have heard of, we do not want for any of those we love.

18.  No one wants to return to the days when our sons could become beggars and
our daughters become prostitutes.  No one wants to return to the days when a
person could be discriminated against because of color or sex. No one wants to
return, or wants his loved ones to return, to the days of outcasts, when man
was humiliated, trampled, despised. That is not a choice for us; it is a choice
for all those we love. It is the choice for the people we love so deeply. And
that is why we are so determined, so strongly determined. Nothing and no one
will be able to destroy that determination.

19.  This entire Central Committee could die, but it would not weaken us. We
would be strengthened because, after us, they would have to kill the whole
congress. [lengthy applause] But we would not be weakened because after the
congress, they would have to kill the party members, the entire party, every
member of the Union of Young Communists. [applause] We would not be weakened
because after that, they would have to kill all the people.  [applause] But we
would not be weakened because after us, they would have to kill thousands upon
millions around the world who will never accept exploitation, hunger, and
injustice. [applause] After that, they would have to kill the example, but
examples are immortal.  After the example, they would have to kill the most
equitable ideas that have ever existed, and such ideas are immortal. [applause]

20.  We are, therefore, invincible. Just look at what a small country can do.
We are the spark of the resistance against the repulsive world they attempt to
force on us, resistance against the 1,000-year order that Hitler tried to
impose, and which today the Yankee imperialists hope to impose. That resistance
is headed by us. [applause] We represent that resistance. [applause]

21.  None of us will ever forget that we began our meeting here on 10 October,
on that glorious and exemplary date that brings back so many memories,
including the memory of Baragua. Baragua is the expression of that spirit we
are talking about today. It reminds us of those men who said no. It reminds us
that when we hardly had a liberating army, they also said, no, we will continue
to fight. Today, all this history encompasses and symbolizes our struggle. That
is why we will never forget that the standard bearers of those ideas were here
today; that the front line soldiers, the soldiers who defend that idea, or
those ideas, have been present here throughout this meeting. We, the men and
women who head that resistance, who head that struggle, and who have had the
privilege of meeting here as representatives of our glorious and heroic party,
will fulfill our duties.

22.  Many times we speak of history, of historic feats and events. Because we
know what we are doing when we are doing it, because we know what we are
willing to do, and because we are strongly aware of what this struggle
represents for the world, we can honestly, and with every right, say that we
have had the great honor of participating in this historic, this historical,
congress.  [applause]

23.  On the first day of the congress I said that perhaps the closing session
would be the most important; however, it is not possible for something to be
more important than the development of the congress, its contents, or the
wealth of the discussions held here. Nothing can be more important than what
was said or felt here. I really have nothing new to add.

24.  If I were to change what I said that day, that because of its contents,
the closing session would be better, or more important than the inauguration, I
would have to say that this closing session has been packed with emotions, that
this closing session has been the most intensely lived moment of this congress,
and that this closing session has been the happiest in our lives. [applause]

25.  It is worthwhile to wish this heroic party a long life, to wish our party
members a long life, to wish our beloved people a long life, happy future, and
much success and glory. [applause]

26.  For once, and not because I am changing our slogan, I will not say
socialism or death, but rather socialism, because there will be socialism.

27.  I will not say fatherland or death, because there will be a fatherland at
any cost, and because we will take the lives of those who may try to take our
fatherland. [applause]