Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC

Castro Speaks, Receives Award at Angolan Event
Havana Cuba Vision Network
Report Type:         Daily report             AFS Number:     FL1307204592
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-92-135          Report Date:    14 Jul 92
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     3
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       4
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       11 Jul 92
Report Volume:       Tuesday Vol VI No 135


City/Source of Document:   Havana Cuba Vision Network

Report Name:   Latin America

Headline:   Castro Speaks, Receives Award at Angolan Event

Author(s):   President Fidel Castro at ceremony awarding him the Agostinho Neto
Order of Angola at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana on 9

Source Line:   FL1307204592 Havana Cuba Vision Network in Spanish 0050 GMT 11
Jul 92

Subslug:   [Speech by President Fidel Castro at ceremony awarding him the
Agostinho Neto Order of Angola at the Palace of the Revolution in
Havana on 9 July-recorded]

1.  [Speech by President Fidel Castro at ceremony awarding him the Agostinho
Neto Order of Angola at the Palace of the Revolution in Havana on 9

2.  [Text] Dear Comrade Paulo Jorge [Benguela provincial commissioner],
comrades of the Angolan delegation, and Cuban comrades:

3.  We are living in times of great efforts, great responsibilities, and great
tensions. In the midst of them, we have stopped for a moment to meet with the
Angolan delegation and receive this medal. As Paulo Jorge said very well, this
medal is being given to the Cuban people through one person for their
solidarity with the Angolan people. It is in that sense that I am receiving it,
accompanied by a group of comrades who represent the hundreds of thousands of
Cubans who spent time in Angola.  This is a small group, but it symbolizes the
effort of our work of solidarity with the fraternal people of Angola.

4.  I really think that history will always have to remember these years, this
era. History will have to remember the relations between Angola and Cuba as a
true example, not only in the period of struggle after [Angolan] independence
but also in the period before independence, since our solidarity with Angola
has stretched over many years. I think it was about 15 years since the time
when the fight for independence began, and then at a decisive time, it was
prolonged for 15 more years. It could be said that the solidarity, friendship,
and ties between Cuba and Angola have developed over the course of almost 30

5.  Well, I think we are experiencing a difficult time for the revolutionary
and progressive movement in the world. I think we are living in an era of
cowardice, opportunism, and appeasement. But it is a temporary phase in the
life of mankind. I think all this shows even more the nature of our relations.
We should never regret having written one of the most beautiful pages in the
history of solidarity between peoples and solidarity between revolutionaries.
Today the Angolan people, like the Cuban people, are undergoing a difficult
phase, each of them with the special characteristics which correspond to each
country. We are confronting (?imperialism) here at a time when it is exercising
a unipolar hegemony, when it considers itself the master of the world, when the
socialist bloc has disappeared, when the Soviet Union has disappeared. These
are conditions under which it seemed very difficult to resist imperialism's

6.  On Angola's part, it is also suffering from the same consequences of this
unipolar world. Imperialism would like to sweep away the Angolan revolution,
just as it would like to sweep away the Cuban revolution. Imperialism would
like to erase the pages of internationalism we have written together. It will
do everything possible, with the help of the international reactionary
movement, to dislodge the MPLA [Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola]
from the leadership of Angola. It will do everything possible to subordinate
Angola's wealth to its interests. It will do everything possible to promote a
complete change in Angola's history and life towards an alliance, a
subordination to imperialist policy.

7.  This is why we view with great admiration the effort currently being
undertaken by the Angolan Government, the MPLA, and the Angolan people. We
could describe this (?phase as) the third struggle for independence. The first
was the struggle against colonialism. The second was the struggle against
racist and imperialist aggression.  Now there is the struggle to preserve
peace, preserve the independence of Angola, and preserve the ideas and
principles and revolution in Angola, the ideas of social justice, the ideas-as
Paulo Jorge said-of a government that represents the interests of the poorer
sectors of the nation.

8.  That is why we are following very closely and with great interest this
struggle of yours. In a talk we had before this, I was asking them a lot about
how everything was going, how things were developing, what things are like
there. I was pleased to see the morale with which they talked, the spirit and
enthusiasm with which they talked, the unity they maintain, their determination
to struggle on new terrain, perhaps more difficult than military terrain,
perhaps more difficult than the struggle against colonialism, perhaps more
difficult than the struggle against foreign intervention, because it is a
struggle under very adverse conditions, a struggle against the imperialist
plans to dislodge the MPLA from the leadership of the government. It is a
struggle against the sophisticated techniques of imperialist propaganda, a
struggle against the economic resources of imperialism, a struggle against
lies, a struggle against demagogy. It is a truly difficult struggle.

9.  It is a struggle in which the country finds itself divided into numerous
parties, in which forces are fragmented, in which even if they triumph-as
surely they will-they will have to undertake the reconstruction of the country
under conditions of division and strong opposition. So this course that life,
history, and current circumstances have forced the MPLA to take is in my
opinion the most difficult course. However, we have the assurance that they
will move forward, because they represent the best of the country's history,
the best of the country's traditions, the country's heroism, its fight for
freedom, its fight for independence, its fight for apartheid...[corrects
himself] I mean against apartheid, against racism.

10.  Although there may be people who are confused-and surely there are many
people who are confused-and although as Paulo Jorge explained to me there is
demagogy and promises to solve problems that cannot be solved, which confuses
people...[rephrases] They attribute the current difficulties to the party in
power.  They do not attribute them to the war and imperialist aggression,
racist aggression, the destruction caused by all those actions, and some people
are confused, in a country where many still do not know how to read or write.
These kinds of circumstances can be adverse and unfavorable for an electoral

11.  But we must also keep in mind the millions of Angolans who have fought,
the millions of Angolans who have sacrificed themselves, the hundreds of
thousands of families who have seen their children's blood spilled, who have
witnessed the crimes that were committed there, the tens and tens of thousands,
perhaps hundreds of thousands, of people who were murdered. They do not forget
everything that happened there. Millions of Angolans do not forget what the
invasions by South Africa, and the crimes of the racist South Africans, meant.
These people are united around the Angolan Government and the MPLA. This is
what the hope, conviction, and confidence in success the MPLA and its leaders
have today is based on.

12.  But I would go further. I would say that even these elections are a
passing thing. If the reaction, confusion, demagogy, deceit, and ignorance win
out over all these extraordinary values the MPLA represents, and if some kind
of setback occurs-which I hope will not occur-it would in any case be a
temporary setback. It would be a reversible setback, because the values,
traditions, and strength the MPLA represents cannot be destroyed, and any
success against these values would be a temporary success. The Angolan
revolution has experienced much more difficult moments when they were a handful
of men organizing in the forests and the fields. The Angolan revolution has
experienced very difficult moments, such as the days when the troops advancing
in the north almost reached the capital, and the troops advancing in the south
were on the banks of the (Kebe) River, and even north of the (Kebe).
Nevertheless, those very difficult moments were overcome. The revolution
experienced times as difficult as the days of the battle of Cuito Cuanavale,
when no one knew how that would end, whether it would end in the conquest of
Angola and the destruction and disintegration of Angola. Those times were

13.  That is why I think that in this third struggle for independence there may
be victories, and there may be setbacks, but I am sure that the setbacks would
be temporary and the victory would be definitive. I base this on the conviction
that this great historic heritage cannot be destroyed. I base this on the
conviction that the values sown in the Angolan people by Agostinho Neto, the
MPLA, Jose Eduardo dos Santos, and so many Angolan leaders cannot be destroyed.
Those values will prevail, as our friendship will prevail under any
circumstances, as the example of what we did together will prevail. Because
together, I repeat, we wrote one of the most beautiful pages of

14.  I try to remember whether in the history of humanity there has been any
other similar page, and I cannot find one. Who knows how much time will pass
before two other nations can write the pages we wrote together? We feel truly
proud of what we did. I think that at this time the example that was set stands
out more than ever. I am pleased to see how these ideas have kept their
validity, and that the spirit of anti-imperialist struggle and the spirit of
struggle for national independence have remained in the thinking and hearts of
the MPLA and the Angolan people, just as they have remained in the thinking and
hearts of our people, however difficult the circumstances we face may be.
Because we also know that now we are writing a great page of internationalism,
resisting here so close to the empire, when our allies have disappeared, when
others have surrendered, capitulated, and taken down their flags. I am aware
that the Cuban people are writing an extraordinary page of heroism and

15.  Many harbor the most profound hopes that Cuba will resist. That is the
message we receive from all over, that is the encouragement we receive from all
points of the compass on the earth: the hope that we will be capable of
resisting until this dark eclipse, which has now enveloped human history,
passes. It is pleasant to remember those days when the revolutionary movement
was strong in the world, when the correlation of forces was moving in favor of
revolution and socialism. It is sad to compare that with this time when the
correlation of forces is the opposite and has leaned in favor of imperialism
and reaction.

16.  But it is nice to know that there are peoples with the courage of the
Angolan people [words indistinct] with the dignity of the Angolan people and
the Cuban people, with the heroism of the Angolan people and the Cuban people.
It is through these feelings and ideas that I view and reflect on this
ceremony, the awarding of this medal, which bears the glorious name of
Agostinho Neto, with whom we developed such close relations, whom we knew so
well, whom we admired so much, and whom we remember so well. One of Agostinho
Neto's virtues or exceptional qualities was his revolutionary firmness, his
intransigent defense of principles, his tenacity in the struggle, which led him
to victory. These values-loyalty to principles, revolutionary intransigence,
and tenacity-will lead us also to victory. Thank you. Fatherland or death, we
will win! [applause]