Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC



Moncada Barracks Anniversary Ceremony Described
Havana Radio and Television Networks

Report Type:         Daily report             AFS Number:     PA0609015792
Report Number:       FBIS-LAT-92-175          Report Date:    09 Sep 92
Report Series:       Daily Report             Start Page:     3
Report Division:     CARIBBEAN                End Page:       14
Report Subdivision:  Cuba                     AG File Flag:   
Classification:      UNCLASSIFIED             Language:       Spanish
Document Date:       05 Sep 92
Report Volume:       Wednesday Vol VI No 175


City/Source of Document:   Havana Radio and Television Networks 

Report Name:   Latin America 

Headline:   Moncada Barracks Anniversary Ceremony Described 

Subheadline:   Fidel Castro Speaks 

Author(s):   Fidel Castro Ruz, president of the Cuban Councils of State and
Ministers , at a ceremony marking the 39th anniversary of the attack on the
Moncada Barracks and the 35th anniversary of the Cienfuegos uprising at the
Media Center in              Cienfuegos-live] 

Source Line:   PA0609015792 Havana Radio and Television Networks in Spanish
2256 GMT 5 Sep 92 

Subslug:   [Speech by Fidel Castro Ruz, president of the Cuban Councils of
State and Ministers, at a ceremony marking the 39th anniversary of the attack
on the Moncada Barracks and the 35th anniversary of the Cienfuegos uprising at
the Media Center in            Cienfuegos-live] 

FULL TEXT OF ARTICLE: 1.  [Speech by Fidel Castro Ruz, president of the Cuban
Councils of State and Ministers, at a ceremony marking the 39th anniversary of
the attack on the Moncada Barracks and the 35th anniversary of the Cienfuegos
uprising at the Media Center in Cienfuegos-live] 

2.  [Text] Relatives of the combatants of 26 July and of 5 September,
distinguished guests, glorious athletes, people of Cienfuegos [applause],
fellow countrymen: As usual, we have a little problem we have been unable to
solve. We cannot see some of the people at this rally because they are behind
that wall of reporters and cameras [applause]. Apparently, we have not yet
invented a way of doing this while leaving the area open so we can see the
public. I hope, comrades whom I cannot see, that you will be atient and perhaps
this will be repeated on television and then you will see this better. I
apologize for this. Nonetheless, you can hear me, right? [crowd shouts: yes]
You are well there?  [applause] Good. 

3.  As we all know, today we commemorate a double event.  The 26th of July and
the 5th of September. This is the first time we have not commemorated 26 July
on its exact date. Some observed that I have been present at all 26 July
commemorations, but because this time I had unavoidable international
commitments, they decided to postpone the 26 July celebrations. It is a great
honor, but not exactly a great favor. One could have considered that since I
have spoken at all 26 July celebrations of the Revolution, I could be spared
this one time. [crowd shouts: no] 

4.  Then, there is also the coincidence that Cienfuegos gained the merit of
being the site for the 26 July commemoration, which is a national festivity,
and Cienfuegos was the site of the great, historical action of 5 September. On
that day in 1957, we were still fighting in the city of Cienfuegos. It was a
truly decisive, fierce battle. 

5.  The 26 July commemoration was assigned to Cienfuegos and since 5 September
was close, Cienfuegos has had the privilege of celebrating two great historical
events.  [applause] 

6.  Cienfuegos won this privilege because of its work, efforts, and struggle.
It was not that the others have not made important efforts. It was truly not
easy to pick a province, but we picked Cienfuegos. This province faced the most
difficult 26 July in he history of the Revolution and the most difficult 5
September in the history of the Revolution. We do not know how many new
difficulties we might have to confront. 

7.  I ask you, however, are we facing them? [crowd answers: no] I ask you if we
are willing to confront the difficulties and problems that might arise? [crowd
answers: yes] That is, of course, the answer of the Cienfuegos people and I am
also sure it would be the answer of all our compatriots because Cienfuegos has
its history; a history rich in merits and patriotism. 

8.  Since the war of 1868, during which very important battles were waged, and
the war of 1895, and throughout the Republic...[pauses] Well, now that I
mentioned the war of 1895, we must not forget that the most famous battle of
that war was fought in Cienfuegos. That was the war fought amid bad weather
when the invading forces of Maceo destroyed an enemy column. 

9.  As I was saying, throughout our neocolonial history, Cienfuegos was always
in the frontlines of patriotic and revolutionary struggles. It was present in
the last liberation war with its heroic deed of 5 September. It was present in
the struggle against the bandits and in the struggle against mercenaries of the
Bay of Pigs. Forces were deployed from Cienfuegos to fight the mercenaries. 
Cienfuegos has always been ready to fight; Cienfuegos has maintained a firm
stance at all moments of the history of the revolution. 

10.  Cienfuegos is currently involved in exemplary work. I asked Comrade Nelson
[not further identified] what were, in his opinion, the most interesting things
to highlight at this celebration in Cienfuegos. He told me the active
participation of the people and of the masses in problem-solving tasks was the
most interesting.  [applause] 

11.  Cienfuegos has thus achieved palpable results in facing difficulties-it
reached its harvest goal and even went beyond it; it fulfilled its cultivation
of sugarcane and field-clearing tasks; it fulfilled production plans for roots
and vegetables and even went beyond them. Its hog-breeding industry has faced
very difficult problems because of a lack of grains and animal feed in the
poultry industry. 

12.  Cienfuegos has confronted problems with services and resources, but it has
managed to improve its gastronomic services. It has had excellent results with
its health and educational programs. 

13.  Last year Cienfuegos had an infant mortality rate of 8.1 percent-one of
the lowest in the country. I believe it was the second lowest, one of the two
lowest in the country. It is achieving results in all of its activities. I can
say Cienfuegos is an example of what should be done during the special period.

14.  It is precisely here in Cienfuegos that the Revolution developed some of
its most important industrial development programs. I have explained in the
past that because it is near a bay, because of its geographical position and
its ever present cooperation in all activities, some of the largest factories
in the country were built here: The top fertilizer production industry and the
top cement production industry. 

15.  Cienfuegos has multiplied its power generation capabilities, the
construction material industry has developed considerably and we were totally
immersed in our creative work-we were concluding the first phase of the
Cienfuegos refinery, oil refinery, and the construction of the first
electronuclear plant in the country-when this difficult period overtook us. 

16.  I can say that one of the provinces most affected in the area of
industrial production during this special period is precisely Cienfuegos. Later
I will again discuss this topic because I will not continue without pointing
out that one of the characteristics of this event is its (?dual effect). We are
honoring Cienfuegos' revolutionaries and I will also pay deserved homage to our
glorious Olympic athletes, [applause] who achieved such extraordinary successes
during the recent Olympics. I will not discuss this at length because we
already spoke at the reception, and what was said there was published in the
newspapers and was broadcast on television, which currently is our mass media
par excellence. 

17.  It is enough to remember that they obtained more than twice the number of
medals won by all of the Latin American and Caribbean countries together. It is
enough to remember that they won twice as many gold medals won by the Latin
American and Caribbean countries with Canada, which is a large country with
considerable resources. They won seven times the number of gold medals won by
all the other Latin American and Caribbean countries. 

18.  Therefore, as I said when I welcomed them-or a portion of them, because
not all of them arrived together as some were already on vacation-I told them
we had the privilege of ranking in first place in the world in gold medals per
capita, according to our population. If the results of the Olympiads were
measured according to the gold medals per capita of a country, we would be in
first place in these Olympiads. [applause] 

19.  This country is in a special period, this country is blocked by the
empire. Many are surprised. Many persons have sent us messages congratulating
Cuba. They are surprised, they are marveled. With all the propaganda against
our Revolution as Barroso was saying, with all the slander and lies, yet the
world has had to admit what we can attain. These sports achievements are
evidence of the social development of our people. 

20.  How many years would others need to achieve what we have attained? If
there is no social change, if there is no social justice, if there is no social
development, unfortunately our Third World brothers will never attain the
laurels our people have reached in the field of sports. 

21.  Naturally, we must also consider social development and the revolutionary
awareness of the people. The spirit, the awareness, and honor of the athletes
have had great influence on these successes. In a highly commercialized world,
certain athletes in ertain sports events are offered so many things to buy
them. There is not enough money nor will there ever be enough-as I told the
athletes-to buy an athlete with honor and dignity, or to buy a revolutionary.

22.  It is not only the techniques, but also the spirit that many times
determines a competition. That is why we are still surprised that in the most
recent Panamerican Games, we won more gold medals than the United States. This
had never happened before in this hemisphere, never.  We must admit that it was
gold and gold medals for the honor, dignity, courage, honesty, and self-respect
of our athletes and our people. [applause] 

23.  Therefore, I was urging them to start preparing now for the next Olympiad
in spite of the special period and all the problems we may have-that way we are
showing how much can be done with so little. The material wealth, the wealth of
some countries-the wealth just a few countries have accumulated based on the
past and present exploitation of a large part of the country-is not enough for
attaining the successes that a small Third World country like Cuba can attain
with the Revolution. 

24.  I carefully listened to the words of the Puerto Real mayor, our friend
Barroso. Barroso was well-known from the very first day he arrived in our
country, when he spoke on television to explain the solidarity work his people
were doing for Cuba. He said something very beautiful. He said material goods
are not as important as the political solidarity with the Revolution.
Nonetheless, we also appreciate these material goods, not because of their
intrinsic value, but because of what they symbolize. 

25.  Comrade Chavez, president of the city of Havana people's government, was
telling me that many of the ambulances of the city of Havana were operating
with the tires they [the Spaniards] collected and sent to Cuba.  The Spaniards'
sentiments of friendship, which is great, extensive, and strong, were mobilized
with the purpose of helping us in practical issues. As they say, they get
everything they can obtain that can be useful for the country. In this case,
the ship that brought their donations brought motors, buses, spare parts, oils,
lubricants, medications, foods, a print shop, in other words, a long list of
materials they collected throughout various parts of Spain. 

26.  Barroso explained to me it is easier when this is collected near a port
than when it is collected from a city in the interior, far from the coast. It
is than more expensive to transport many of these products. Aside from the
intrinsic value, the message these donations bring is very stimulating. It is
very stimulating to know that there are people in the world, and not just a few
people in the world, who are worried about our problems and worried about
helping us in these difficult moments. 

27.  Mandela, the African National Congress leader from South Africa,
participated in the 26 July 1991 commemoration.  Therefore, we thought it was a
good idea on this 26 July and 5 September to have the participation of a
solidarity friend, a symbol of the international solidarity with our country. 

28.  This is why we invited the mayor of Puerto Real, to have someone from that
growing solidarity movement participate in this ceremony. His heartfelt words
on the afternoon of 5 September were encouraging. It is encouraging to know
there are many people ike them in the world. It is encouraging to realize they
view Cuba as a hope today.  They view Cuba as a discordant voice, as he said,
in a uniform world. He meant in a world where the powerful establish the
guidelines; in a world where few dare to disagree openly with the empire's
unipolar power. 

29.  He knows Cuba does not hesitate; he knows Cuba is firm; he knows Cuba is
determined to fight. He cited a few examples that are very illustrative of the
state of things in that First World, the Third World, and what he termed the
Fourth World, which consists of the belts of misery that surround opulence
formed by dozens of millions of people in the developed capitalist world. 
Perhaps later on we will touch on this idea. 

30.  The most important aspect of this commemoration is that it is being held
during the special period; a serious, acute special period. In these times, we
must remember our heroes and combatants of those revolutionary deeds.  We must
be very aware of what is at stake, that the entire history of this country is
at stake. In this generation's struggle, we are risking the last drop of sweat
and the last drop of blood spilled during our history-from 1868 to today. The
independence of the Cuban nation is at stake.  Not only the Revolution and
socialism, but the Cuban nation is at stake, because we must decide if we are
going to resign ourselves someday to lose socialism, the Revolution, our
independence, and the nation. 

31.  This is an age-old struggle well-known throughout history.  Those who know
U.S. history know that the United States always wanted to own Cuba-almost from
the earliest period of the U.S. Republic, almost from the first years following
its independence. Also well-known is the story of the ripe fruit: Cuba was to
fall in the hands of the United States like a piece of ripe fruit. The U.S.
attempts to buy the island of Cuba is also well-known. Also known is the entire
history of the Platt Amendment and the events in Puerto Rico, but the United
States has not given up its dream of being the master-as it was for a long
time-of our country. It is precisely the Revolution and socialism that freed us
from this and for the first time truly gave us freedom, independence, and
dignity. [applause] 

32.  We do not want to be something else. We do not want to be Yankees. We want
to be what we are. Cuban, and Latin American, and internationalist. We want to
speak Spanish. We want to keep our culture, despite the fact that we sometimes
have to use English because we have no choice because it has become an
international language. The English colonized a large part of the world and
with the advent of the Yankee empire they turned English-which is really a
rather simple language-into the language of international conferences. I
repeat, we want to be what we are. It is a matter of knowing if we are going to
continue being what we are or if we are going to lose forever the opportunity
to be what we are and what we want to be. [applause] 

33.  This is what is at stake in this special period. This is what is at stake
in our struggle. This is what is at stake in our resistance. Difficult times
are difficult times. During difficult times, the number of hesitant individuals
increases; during difficult times-and this is the law of history-some people
are discouraged, some hold on, some give in, some betray and some desert, which
has happened in all the eras and in all the revolutions. 

34.  In my opinion, however, it is during the difficult times that men and
women are truly put to the test. It is during difficult times that you find out
who is really worth something. 

35.  Difficult times are the best measure of each person; of each person's
character; of each person's courage and value; of each person's conscience; and
of each person's virtues. Above all, the virtues of a people and patriotic and
revolutionary virtues ill never be lacking; have never lacked among these
people and will never be lacking among these people. [applause] 

36.  We the revolutionaries, however, must be highly aware of the problems and
difficulties. There are people who are not conscientious, there are people who
do not understand, and there are even people who will never understand. There
are people who do not understand the meaning of the fatherland and
independence. There are people who do not understand history and the roots of a
people. There are people who do not understand the meaning of patriotic and
revolutionary dignity. There are people who do not nderstand this and we must
fight against all those people. 

37.  Some (?might not realize) this is a struggle. The special period also
involves a political struggle-against imperialism, its campaigns, and slogans.
It [the United States] has never directed the hundreds of hours of radio
transmissions against any other country as it did against Cuba. It has used a
barrage of reactionary propaganda against the Cuban Revolution to weaken and
soften it. 

38.  All the resources that the empire directed against the socialist countries
and the international communist movement, they now devote to a single purpose:
to fight Cuba, to weaken Cuba, to defeat Cuba, to crush Cuba.  The capitalist
mentality cannot accept the idea that the Cuban people have had the audacity to
challenge them and carry out a revolution of moving forward. It can much less
accept that Cubans are determined to forge ahead with the Revolution, even
though the European socialist bloc sank. [applause] 

39.  They who have called us lackeys so many times, who have called us a
satellite country so many times, cannot admit that we are the most independent
people of the world. They refuse to admit we are the Earth's most courageous
people because we are near hem and are challenging them. [applause] 

40.  We could say that the [Americans'] great dream of the past 30 years has
been to crush Cuba. They could not accomplish that, but since the collapse of
(?foolish) socialism-which served as our support and whose solidarity played a
very important role in this struggle of ours against the empire for our
identity and independence-the Americans believe this is their great opportunity
to crush us. They believe we are not and will not be capable of resisting. They
believe or want to believe this but, of course, they have not lost a second in
working toward that goal. 

41.  The disappearance of the socialist bloc was, in fact, a great tragedy for
our country. The disintegration of the USSR was an even greater tragedy and
some day history will demand that the offenders take responsibility for this.
The disappearance of the socialist bloc, the disintegration of the USSR, and
the disappearance of socialism in the USSR has done extraordinary damage, and
will continue to cause us extraordinary damage for an indefinite time. 

42.  One of its effects was widespread demobilization of the worldwide
revolutionary movement's moralization movement. It caused widespread
demoralization and confusion. We were not going to be demoralized, nor were we
going to become confused. The disappearance of the USSR and the emergence of a
situation in which the empire virtually became a unipolar master has caused a
good deal of fear worldwide. (?For the time being). We were not going to be
frightened. Our decision, our only decision, our only alternative was to
struggle. It is necessary, however, for our fellow countrymen, all the
revolutionaries, and the militant revolutionaries to have a clear idea of what
the disappearance of the socialist bloc and the disintegration of the USSR has
meant to Cuba-not in the political sphere because we have always been
politically strong. 

43.  We are proving this under the most difficult circumstances. Our
revolutionary process has always been very strong. Many here were confused and
left following a (?rag) ball. They were not capable of thinking with their own
heads, and they listened to the songs of sirens of a certain political rhetoric
and certain theories. Yes, we had that type of problem, but politically
speaking our party was very clear, because fortunately it learned to think with
its own head. We now have to ask where are those who were not clear, and where
are we, the ones who were clear? The former disappeared, yet we are here,
struggling. [applause] 

44.  For a long time we have known from a military point of view, that if there
was an imperialist attack, we were going to have to struggle alone. We have
known this for a long time. It has been a long time since we prepared the
theory of the war of all the people and the military concept of our defense. We
have advanced very much in this field, because we felt we were capable and we
feel we are capable of defeating an imperialist aggression with the war of all
the people. [applause] 

45.  Naturally, we received large amounts of weapons from the former USSR, for
which we are and will always be eternally grateful. In our solidarity spirit
with the rest of the world, we were willing to run the risks of a nuclear war
during that October crisis. Very soon, it will be 30 years since that crisis.
What a courageous and heroic role of our people. What exemplary strength. We
are familiar with such experiences. We are strong in our concept of the war of
all the people to defend the Revolution and the country. 

46.  Where did it hurt us the most? It was in the economic field. It would be
advisable to give you some information. We have already given this information,
but this information always has to be repeated. We have to repeat it so the
revolutionaries will know it and the confused ones will not try to confuse us,
and so that those who have made bona fide mistakes will know what to do and
will have elements to make judgments. 

47.  It was, however, the economic area that was hit the hardest by the
socialist bloc disaster. I have some data here; (?I have many), but I do not
wish to fill your heads with them. (?Instead of words), I will quote figures to
give you a sense of what the disappearance of socialism in Europe meant to our

48.  I will tell about the (?analyses that have been made).  How much has our
ability to import suffered in billions of dollars at current market prices, how
much have we lost in terms of export prices? In other words, the difference
between the prices we uoted, based on an agreement with the USSR and other
countries, and the prices we receive in what we call the trash heap of the
world market, where surplus sugar ends up. 

49.  Because we no longer quote the prices we used with the USSR, if we compare
those prices with current ones, we lost $2.469 billion in sugar sales to the
USSR, and we lost $270.5 million in sales to Eastern Europe. We lost $30
million in nickel and $14.4 million in other products. As a result of a
reduction in credits we previously received-we never received credits from the
World Bank and international financial organizations controlled by the United
States-we lost $1.463 billion. I am talking about an annual loss; this is per
year. We lost $162 million in credits from East European countries.  We lost
$13 million in credits from the Soviet international investment bank. 

50.  We also lost $80 million because of higher import prices.  We lost $144.6
million due to difficulties in locating products, for example, citrus products.
We are losing $55 million in locating others. We are losing a total $4.734
billion per year, rather $4.701 billion per year for the reasons I listed, and
they are not the only ones. Those are direct losses caused by a reduction in
the prices we used to quote for our exports. 

51.  In indirect losses caused by the destabilization of supplies, problems
involving export production, and certain financial (?problems) we lost another
$1 billion. All these adds up to $5.7 billion compared to 1989. We are
comparing 1992 to 1989. 

52.  This comparison indicates that the purchasing power of the country in 1989
was that of $8.139 billion. According to our estimates, the purchasing power of
1992 will be $2.2 billion. Look at the difference in purchasing power, look
what all of this brought us: The difference between $8.139 billion and $2.2
billion-which is what we have for this year. With this disaster, our country
has lost 70 percent of its purchasing power. This is a terrible blow on the

53.  I am not telling you this to discourage you, because I know you are not
the type that becomes discouraged.  [applause] I am telling you this so that
you will have an idea of the economic harm done by all this and what feats we
have to do to solve with $2.2 billion what we previously solved with over $8
billion in imports. We have to do quite a great feat. [applause] 

54.  How have our people reacted? How has the majority of our people, the core
of our people, the soul of our people reacted? How have the true
revolutionaries, who constitute the arm and the basic muscle of the Revolution,
reacted? They did not react with panic, nor did they become demoralized. They
reacted with a determination to struggle. They followed the line drawn by the
party, by the Revolution. They followed the logical line that must be followed
in these circumstances. 

55.  What could we do? Take down our flag? [crowd shouts: no] Surrender? [crowd
shouts: no] Abandon our struggle?  [crowd shouts: no] Give up the Revolution?
[crowd shouts: no] Give up socialism? [crowd shouts: no] No, just like you say.

56.  We have done what we had to do: Struggle. It is possible that very few
people have had to go through a more difficult trial. 

57.  We are also fortunate because of the qualities of our (?people). We had
already considered the possibility of a special period in times of war in case
of a total blockade against the country. We had no other alternative but to
implement the principles of the special period in times of peace which, despite
the difficulties it may pose, is not as difficult as a special period in times
of war. The situation would be much more difficult in a period of war. We were
always willing to withstand a special period in times of war.  We were always
willing to resist a total blockade of our country, and had there been a total
blockade we would not have folded up our flags, nor would we have surrendered. 

58.  How have our people reacted in different areas? With true feats. We must
acknowledge the efforts of our laborers, workers, efficiency experts,
innovators and technical youth brigades who have planned, innovated, invented,
sought solutions, and fabricated parts on any lathe-very often searching for
scrap metal to keep the factories going and to keep transportation and general
construction equipment in working condition. This equipment came from many
countries from which parts were not sent. For the second time in history we
were faced with the same problem, but this time it was more serious. At the
beginning of the Revolution, we had capitalist equipment, and now the same
thing was happening with socialist equipment, but the workers were determined
to make the combines work as much as possible. 

59.  Our people's response to the mobilizations was admirable. (?They have
supported) the people who were mobilized from the capital and the rest of the
country.  During the past two years, in the capital city alone, approximately
500,000 have worked in the agricultural field-500,000 citizens produced food.
Millions of people have worked in the agricultural field over the past two
years. They have produced food, vegetables, and weeded sugarcane. 

60.  Previously, herbicide was used to weed the sugarcane. At present, a large
portion of the sugarcane is weeded by hand. Agricultural workers, mobilized
city dwellers, field workers, Armed Forces members, Ministry of the Interior
combatants, student work brigades, students, young people, professionals,
doctors, [words indistinct], and instructors participate in this work to face
the great inconveniences caused by this situation. Of course, under these
circumstances-the collapse of the Socialist bloc-the U.S. economic blockade
inflicts much more harm. When the Socialist bloc existed, we had access to
credit and the supply of oil, raw materials, and food was guaranteed. When we
had a guaranteed market, the economic blockade harmed us but not as much as the
present when the Socialist bloc and the Soviet Union no longer exist. 

61.  The U.S. Government intensifies the blockade more and more and devises new
measures against Cuba, which even harm the sovereignty of third countries. The
U.S.  Government is still not satisfied and wants to subject our country to
even more difficult trials. The U.S. Government does everything possible so we
cannot buy fuel in the market. It goes to greater efforts so we cannot have
money to buy and pay for the little fuel the country is receiving. The U.S.
Government undermines every Cuban effort to increase its exports and every
Cuban effort to enter into partnerships with capitalist enterprises. The U.S.
Government undermines even the smallest effort that Cuba makes to export its
new products, which Cuba is developing as never before and with a power it
never had before. 

62.  This is why under these circumstances the U.S. blockade has become even
more harmful. I think this gives you an idea of the difficulties we have been
encountering. Now look what the people have done. Public transportation has
been decreased by nearly ne-third. Nevertheless, hundreds of thousands of
workers, students, and other people ride bicycles. I can point out an example.
In the capital, bus trips have decreased from 30,000 to approximately 10,000
daily. A similar situation occurs in the rest of the country. We see how the
people participate in finding solutions with modest resources such as bicycles.

63.  Dozens of thousands of oxen have been incorporated into agriculture to
till and cultivate the land. The railroad- transportation that turns out to be
most economical-is being studied as much as possible. That is, however, not
true for railroads only. rash collection services, as well as other services
virtually all over the country, have incorporated the use of horses, mules, and
small carts. Even taxi services have been replaced in many cities, including
this one, by horse-pulled carts. 

64.  This is a revolutionary people; a people determined to tackle problems; a
courageous people. To solve food problems and find solutions for this country,
families, citizens, and groups of workers have cultivated patios, tenements,
and open spaces everywhere. 

65.  Who would have said that amid such difficult circumstances our country
would be able to say what no Latin American country can; what no Third World
country and not even many developed capitalist countries can say: We started
the new school term and not one child or teenager was left out of school.
[applause] The new school term started and not one university student- those
who were already attending and newly admitted ones-was left out of the

66.  It is already September and in this year of the special period, the infant
mortality rate is under the figure registered for the same period last year and
any other previous year. [applause] We are living a special period and not one
worker lacks work or protection of a considerable part of his salary if he
cannot be relocated.  We are living a special period and not one citizen has
been abandoned in this country. [applause] We are living a special period and
we produced 7 million tons of sugar, 7 illion tons of sugar. [applause] 

67.  We have not only produced that, but we have been able to sell it, after we
had lost the markets of the socialist sphere. We have not only been able to
sell the sugar we produce, but we have more demands for sugar and more
commitments for sugar that we cannot meet. It is unbelievable that under the
conditions of the special period, we have produced 7 million tons of sugar with
30 percent of the resources [applause] that we traditionally used in the
harvest, [applause] with 30 percent of the resources.  [applause] 

68.  We have done it, and in what conditions. We have no herbicides, we have no
fertilizers. Great efforts are being made by our research workers and
scientists. They are seeking formulas to fertilize the crops through biological
means and to control plagues through biological means.  Such great efforts are
being made to seek new, more resistant varieties. They are making such great
efforts to find a method to feed the cattle, which were left without cereals or

69.  This has seriously affected some production, such as the production of
milk. The flocks were suddenly left without any feed, and this demanded a
tremendous effort to implement new techniques, such as rotating feeding grounds
for livestock, planting sugarcane for producing sacharina, [a type of fodder
made from sugarcane] and legumes. There are many new measures that are being
implemented. In some provinces, these measures are beginning to yield good
results, but these could not compensate for the total elimination of fodder for

70.  Great efforts are being made to feed cattle by different means, mainly
using sugarcane byproducts. How about the hogs, that were also left without any

71.  Great efforts are being made to utilize what little we can import to
produce something, for example the production of eggs. We are always awaiting
the arrival of a ship that will bring us some cereal. The lack of stability in
supplies has greatly harmed productions. Great efforts are being made by our
experts, research workers, and scientists to save the cattle and maintain the
conditions that will allow us in the future to increase production.  Our people
have responded well. 

72.  Not a single contingent has been disbanded. We maintain the tens of
contingents we had organized for construction, and many of them are doing other
activities. A large group of them are working in priority works, because we
maintain our priority programs. In the first place is the food program, in
spite of all these difficulties.  Perhaps I have not mentioned the tremendous
efforts we are making to produce protein in water reservoirs. We have built
hundreds of installations in recent times to multiply the production of fresh
water fish so the people will have that food available. 

73.  I was telling you, however, that the priority programs will continue to be
implemented. We are working hard at it. The food programs, as well of those of
the pharmaceutical and biotechnological industry, are progressing.  Maybe they
are not progressing at the rate we wish. Yet they are marching forward, at a
good clip, despite difficulties. We have had to stop many social programs.  We
do not have enough fuel for cement production. We do not have enough fuel for
construction materials. We do ot have enough fuel for equipment. Consequently,
we must establish a very strict order of priorities. Now, we can ask this.
Could a capitalist country resist such a blow on its economy? 

74.  During our history, our economy suffered heavy blows from outside, in the
previous and in this century. Who has not heard of the drastic price drop after
World War I? Who has not heard of prices, particularly that of sugar, in the
1930's? Yet the economy of our country was never dealt so terrible a blow as
the one I just described with information and figures. Would a capitalist
country have been able to withstand this blow? Would a capitalist country have
been able to produce 7 million tons of sugar under these circumstances? Would a
capitalist country have been able to make a fair, equitable distribution of the
available products, as we are doing in our country? [crowd answers: no] Would a
capitalist system have been able to reduce the child mortality rate even
further under these circumstances? [crowd answers: no] Would a capitalist
country have been able to guarantee a job or protection for all citizens of the
country? [crowd answers: no] This was a terrible blow. Would such a country
have been able to guarantee schoolrooms for all teachers and professors? [crowd
answers: no] Would such a country have been able to guarantee books,
professors, teachers, and classrooms for all children in the country? [crowd
answers: no] What capitalist country would have been able to do this in the
midst of difficult conditions and in the presence of such a terrible blow? 

75.  Only the Revolution and only a socialist country, a truly socialist and
revolutionary country, could have resisted such a blow. [applause] What would
have been the fate of these people had they been under a capitalist society? 
What would have been the fate of these people under these circumstances? 

76.  Notwithstanding the low price of sugar, our ability to buy products with
sugar revenues has never been worse than now. Let us mention one example. I
told you this harvest yielded 7 million tons; of that total we have to discount
local consumption and he rest is exported. 

77.  The sugar we export is barely enough to buy the fuel we are consuming,
because one of the worst things compared to the past is that upon the triumph
of the Revolution in 1959 and 1960-when the first U.S.  measures against Cuba
were imposed-1 ton of sugar bought about 8 tons of petroleum; 8 tons with 1 ton
of sugar. Pay attention: Today, 1 ton of sugar at so-called world market
prices, buys only 1.4 tons of petroleum; with 1 ton of sugar we buy 1.4 tons of

78.  That correlation of sugar and petroleum prices never existed before. We
had agreements with the USSR before petroleum prices skyrocketed as a result of
crises in the Middle East and certain international developments.  The price of
petroleum increased between 10 and 15 times and those are the prices that are
more or less maintained today. Stop to think what buying only 1.4 tons of
petroleum with 1 ton of sugar means. 

79.  I said we signed agreements with the Soviets on the price of sugar and
when petroleum prices increased, the price of sugar also increased. That is why
for nearly the past 30 years 1 ton of sugar-based on agreements we had with the
Soviets-bought about 7.5 tons of petroleum. Our people today have to pay 1 ton
of sugar for 1.4 tons of petroleum.  This ratio could even increase or decrease
depending on increases or decreases in the price of petroleum. I am, however,
now talking about current prices. 

80.  This means every thermal plant, every locomotive, every truck, and every
vehicle is consuming sugar. It is as if we filled them with tons of sugar
instead of tons of fuel.  Today our automobiles are running on sugar at the
lowest ratio-at a 1 to 1.4 correlation. 

81.  This means that for every 1.4 tons of petroleum used, we are using a ton
of sugar. You know what it costs to produce sugar-to cut, transform, transport,
and develop it. In other words, to cut the sugarcane, transport it, develop the
sugar, store it, and export it. 

82.  Look at the situation and see if the obstacles are great.  With this
correlation of prices between sugar and petroleum, what would have happened in
this country if we had a capitalist society? A society in which the means of
production were private property? This is why I am telling you that only
socialism and only the Revolution would have been able to withstand a blow as
terrible as the one dealt to us by virtue of events that have nothing to do
with us; by virtue of events that are not our responsibility but the
responsibility of others. This is why I am saying on this historical date, at
this historical commemoration, that if in the past I believed very much in
socialism, I believe in it a lot more now. [applause] If in the past I believed
n the Revolution, I believe in it much more now. [applause] If in the past I
believed in social justice, I believe in it a lot more now. If in the past I
believed in the people, I believe in them a lot more now. [applause] 

83.  You may encounter simpletons who believe the empire is going to give Cuba
a gift. The empire has never given anyone anything. From the time it emerged in
the world, it has exploited people. When the smallest concession is made to the
empire it demands more, and when another concession is made it demands more,
and the more that is done the more it demands. This is why we follow Che's
philosophy: You cannot make the smallest concession to the empire. This is the
philosophy the history of our country has taught us. If imperialism were to
regain its possession of Cuba, it would be to exploit it to the marrow of its
bones, not to give it a gift of petroleum, not to reduce infant mortality, not
to give every child a classroom, not to give every citizen a job, but once
again to return to illiteracy, unemployment, poverty, gambling, drugs, and

84.  There may be simpletons who believe Cuba may have some other alternative
other than the struggle. I am saying on this historic date, before this brave
and revolutionary people, that if that were the alternative-to return to being
what we once were, to cease to be what we are and want to be-we revolutionaries
would prefer a thousand deaths, [applause] and the revolutionaries will have to
be reckoned with for a long time in this country. 

85.  Cienfuegos is one of the provinces most affected by the socialist
disaster. The nitrogen manufacturing plant is closed. Production at the cement
manufacturing plant is at its minimum. Many manufacturing industries are
closed. The refinery, whose first stage was completed, could not start
operations for lack of fuel. Similarly, many of the industrial installations
created by the Revolution will remain partially or temporarily paralyzed.  We
will start them all some day if we succeed in preserving the homeland, the
Revolution, and socialism.  [applause] Cienfuegos is the province that has
suffered the most. Yet I ask this. Has a single Cienfuegos resident been left
without a job and protection? [crowd answers: no] Could a single mother from
Cienfuegos or any other place in the country say that her son could not go to
school at the opening of the school year? Could a single mother say that she
did not get medical attention, similar or better than that she had received
earlier? Could a single mother say that her son was left without doctors or
medical attention, that her son's risk increased? [crowd answers: no] 

86.  In other words, this province, one of the most affected, would have had to
make terrible sacrifices had it not been for the Revolution and socialism.
[applause] Does this mean we are doing everything perfect? No. Does it mean
that everyone is doing his fair share of work? No.  We know it. This analysis
should lead us to the awareness on the need for every militant, each party and
state leader, every worker and technician, to make his best effort wherever he
is. Unfortunately, there will always be lumpen and sleazes who attempt to solve
their problems at the expense of someone else's work. This will not discourage
or stop us. We will try more and more to seek ways so the fruit of work can go
to those who produce or render a service to the society. [applause] 

87.  Meanwhile, however, under the circumstances, when it is necessary to make
the distribution according to this situation, we have no choice but to give the
sleazes and lumpen their share of bread and everything else. It is not that we
like it, but it is our duty. This will not prevent us, however, from improving
the dining rooms at manufacturing plants and working centers whenever possible
and whenever we can make distributions to those who work and produce. 

88.  I have one subject left. It is very important for Cienfuegos as well as
for the nation. I regret having to speak longer on this subject but well, it is
not every year we celebrate a 26 [July] and a 5 September together. I want to
tell you that a few days ago-on 2 September-I made a quick visit to the Juragua
Nuclear Power Plant. I guess everybody in Cienfuegos more or less knows by now
what I talked about with the workers building the nuclear power plant. 

89.  We have had no choice but to stop the construction of this project-one of
the most important to Cienfuegos, and possibly one of the most important to the
country. I met with the workers. It was raining, yet we held a vigorous,
revolutionary ceremony. explained to them why we had to stop this project, even
if only temporarily. 

90.  Those reasons-to make sure they are well understood- are the same reasons
we presented to the Government of Russia in proposing a halt to this project.
As you well know, Russia declared itself heir to the former USSR, its
commitments and rights. We advised the Russian Government of the reasons we
have found ourselves forced to make this sad decision. If you will be so kind,
I would like to read them to you even though it might take some time, if your
patience allows me to do so. [applause] 

91.  This is an important issue for national public opinion, as much as for
international public opinion. The reasons we gave to the Russian authorites
were as follows: In 1972, when the top levels of government of Cuba and of the
Soviet Union agreed to begin collaboration on the introduction of nuclear
energy, an advantageous opportunity was open not only to Cuba, but also to the
Soviet nuclear industry to develop and perfect its technology in a country with
conditions very different from that of Europe, and which would make it possible
for them, as it actually happened, to expand their market of exports to other
regions. In this context of mutual advantage for both governments, the steps
were begun for the nuclear power plant of Juragua. 

92.  The essential element for reaching an accord of that nature were the
relations of friendship and trust established over many years between our
peoples, and the political will to support a fair exchange comprising
reasonable credits for an investment of that type. On this basis, a serious and
solid agreement was reached for the conception, construction, beginning of
operation, fuel supply, and maintanance during the useful life of the nuclear
power plant; as well as the guarantee for safe exploitation f the plant. The
intergovernmental agreements for economic and technical cooperation included
the delivery of two 440-megawatt nuclear reactors-Project B-318-under
appropiate credit conditions and joint responsibility by both parties in the
execution of this project, which included a total Soviet supply of technology
and technical aid. Succesive accords were signed. 

93.  The 14 April 1976 accord established payment terms of 25 years, beginning
on 1 January 1981, or the year following the year of delivery after 1980, with
an interest rate of 2.5 percent. The 17 April 1981 accord established a 12-year
term, two years after delivery of the final supply required for the start-up of
operations, with an interest rate of 4 percent. The 10 April 1986 accord
established a 12-year term with a five-year grace period following the
delivery, and 4-percent interest. The 29 December 1990 accord was signed under
the same conditions as that of 1986. In other words, a 12-year term, plus a
five-year grace period. Finally, on 6 October 1989, an intergovernmental accord
was signed for construction cooperation on the Juragua Nuclear Power Plant in
the Republic of Cuba. 

94.  These are the accords signed with them regarding the construction of this
plant. The truth is that we were making progress toward building four reactors,
and studies were underway for construction of a nuclear power plant in the
eastern part of the country. 

95.  An analysis of the level of construction of the nuclear power plant
demonstrates the serious and sustained effort which Cuba has conducted under
the most difficult conditions in order to fulfill the accords. 

96.  So we see that the first block of the nuclear power plant is in the
following condition: 90 percent of the civil engineering has been completed;
more than 95 percent of construction of the auxiliary sites are close to
completion and some are ready to egin operation; more than 350,000 square
meters of concrete have been poured; about 7,000 tons of equipment and almost
3,000 tons of technical pipes have been installed; 60 to 80 percent of supplies
to begin operation of the block have been obtained. More than $1.1 billion has
been invested so far. We have invested more than $1.1 billion there, and a city
has been built with more than 2,000 housing units. 

97.  An industrial base which supports the construction of the nuclear power
plant, roads, railroad tracks, a polytechnical school, a port for large ships,
and the other projects required for the technical and service infrastructure of
this colossal project have been built. Our country has not spared any effort in
creating a solid foundation of scientific and technical support for the
assimilation of nuclear energy and the introduction of nuclear science and
technology into the national economy. Toward that end, approximately 2,000
professionals and thousands of skilled workers have been trained in this field.
A [words indistinct] base has been created for this activity and for the
institutions and entities that support this program. 

98.  These are the reasons we gave to the Russian authorities.  Cuba has set a
magnificent example of respect for what was agreed to, despite delays in
building the nuclear power plant resulting from uncertainty about the automatic
system to be used to monitor the plant, a consequence of the tragic accident at
the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, which forced the Soviet organizations to
review and improve the specifications for this kind of equipment. 

99.  In reality, this type of reactor is nothing like the Chernobyl reactor.
The Chernobyl reactor uses different technology.  The reactors we are building
here are the safest in the world, and are the kind that exist in almost all
countries.  Anyway, the hernobyl accident forced the Soviet organizations, as
it says here, to carefully review everything concerning the safety measures,
monitoring, etc. 

100.  We continued by telling the Russian authorities that to these delays were
added other delays that resulted from the serious internal difficulties in the
Soviet Union and later from the radical and dramatic changes which have been
occurring in the cooperative relationship between Cuba and Russia, for which we
are not in the least responsible. 

101.  Under the most difficult conditions, the Cuban Government has harbored
the hope that we could preserve the conditions of cooperation on the Juragua
Nuclear Power Plant in order to conclude its construction even after the
cancellation of other vitally important accords. Based on these considerations,
we have been working toward that aim, and during the first part of April 1992,
we met with the Russian delegation responsible for reviewing cooperation on the
Juragua Nuclear Power Plant. 

102.  Unfortunately, the Russian authorities, after completely altering
commercial trade relations between our two countries and unilaterally
suspending all cooperative relationships, had proposed continuing construction
of the nuclear power plant under terms and conditions that make this completely
impossible, since we have verified that even though they are offering us credit
to cover part of the Russian organizations' expenses, the new conditions under
which the project would have to be completed would be as follows. 

103.  The credit would not cover all the supplies and services from Russia, the
CIS, and other countries; nor the delivery of equipment, instruments, and
materials additionally produced under agreement between the parties, including
replacements for broken parts. Cuba would have to obtain part of the automatic
system directly from a third country without being able to rely on a Russian
guarantee. The conditions and payment forms for the special assembly of the
basic equipment; adjustment and start-up ork; the training of personnel who
would work at the plant; installation, testing, and start-up of the automatic
control system to be supplied by the Russians; services; and technical
assistance would be very different, and the supplies would be delivered f.o.b.
instead of c.i.f. as had previously been agreed upon. 

104.  This means that we would have to transport all this equipment, which we
had agreed would be delivered to us by the USSR fleet. On what ship? One of the
things I did not mention when I spoke of the difficulties is that in the past,
a large portion of ur imported and exported products were transported on Soviet
and socialist countries' ships.  Even though our fleet has grown, it is not
large enough. 

105.  Today, practically all importing and exporting has to be done by us, with
our fleet, or by leasing ships with convertible currency. 

106.  To propose that Cuba must pay approximately $200 million in cash to
Russian organizations and arrange for credits in addition to those that were
formerly agreed to, for approximately $200 million more from third countries
for the completion of the nuclear power plant, means that one is not taking
into account the fact that Cuba is resolutely confronting the intensification
of the economic embargo which the U.S. Government has imposed on us for the
last 30 years. We do not have access to credit resources from international
financial organizations, from other countries, or of any other type. 

107.  This, moreover, does not take into consideration our country's economic
difficulties, which have forced us to declare a special period in peacetime due
to the 60-percent reduction in imports because Russia suspended the traditional
trade relations between our two countries. 

108.  We gave expressed objections to the new conditions proposed to finish
this project to the delegation that visited us in April. They advised us that
the definite, official version of the Russian proposals would be completed in
May.  We decided to wait for this version before making a decision on the
problem. Time passed and the documents that were promised were never submitted.
Meanwhile, with every passing day, we invested more human and material
resources in the project. For us, it is too burdensome to wait any longer. 

109.  These facts have brought us to the painful conclusion that to continue
the project under the new conditions proposed-and with so many obstacles,
difficulties, and delays in defining the path we should follow, on a solid,
realistic basis-is something hat our economy cannot bear under the current
circumstances. Therefore, we have decided to propose to the Russian Government
that this project be temporarily suspended. If in the future there is a change
in the conditions that have forced us to make this decision, Cuba will be ready
to evaluate the resumption of construction, as I explained to the construction
workers at the nuclear power plant. 

110.  We have been pouring resources into the project everyday, every year. We
have already invested $1.1 billion. For what? To wait who knows how long before
we can turn on a light bulb in that plant, without any guarantee as to
deliveries? Even right now, without a guarantee of the deliveries of the
nuclear fuel this plant will need? Under the conditions I have just explained,
which are the arguments we used when speaking to the Soviet authorities, it
would truly be insane to continue investing millions of work hours and numerous
resources into a continuation of that project. 

111.  The technicians-and there are hundreds of Soviet technicians ... 
[corrects himself] Russian technicians, or from the CIS, or whatever, good
technicians and good collaborators; we have no complaints about them-but there
are hundreds of them, and today we have to pay them in hard currency for their
cooperation. We have to spend approximately $300,000 a month. For example, with
$300,000 a month, which is more than $3.5 million per year, we can obtain raw
materials for six million pairs of plastic shoes.  That is how much we have to
pay the technicians.  [applause] Is it fair under these circumstances to
continue committing those resources, as we have explained in our arguments, in
order to be able to turn on a light bulb who knows when? Once, 12,000 men
worked there; today, almost 7,000 workers work there, between 6,000 and 7,000
workers. Is it fair that such magnificent workers be used for that project at
the present time? I explained all this to the workers. I explained to them that
this suspension could be final. It all depends on the conditions that the
future may bring. But we are going to maintain the hope that somehow the
project may be resumed, that some solution might appear in this regard that
will completely justify the effort. 

112.  It was very hard for those workers. There are comrades who have invested
a considerable part of their lives in that project. They had great hopes. We
are simply not going to undo any of that. I explained to them that the
workforce must be transferred to other areas in which quicker results can be
obtained. I proposed to them that civil engineering workers basically be moved
into tourism, into building tourism projects. We would send them to Varadero,
not on vacation, but to build there. We would send them to Cayo Coco, Isle of
Youth, different areas where we are developing very important tourist centers
that should yield substantial hard currency income for the country in less time
and in a more secure form. 

113.  There is a great brigade of assemblers there. We must keep this brigade
of assemblers organized, not disperse their strength. We should not disorganize
them. We must keep the various forces there organized, united. These assemblers
can work in the sugar industry-that is, in repair and maintenance-prioritized
industries, different activities in the country, because they are some of the
best welders this country has. We must keep them organized and give them
duties, even if they are not all in the same place. But we must maintain the

114.  Besides this construction force that we can transfer to other areas, we
must leave a considerable number there in the upcoming months. We must still
continue trying to invest some cement and other materials, because if we want
to preserve these construction works, we must cover them up-they cannot be left
in their present stage-to preserve them, and maintain the hope that perhaps one
day we can resume the work. We must continue to invest and work. A considerable
number of workers should therefore remain there for a time, performing
construction tasks to preserve the equipment and technology. 

115.  A group of maintenance workers should also remain there. We will need a
certain number there. But besides these construction forces, we have those who
were to work at the nuclear plant. Approximately 1,500 workers have been
trained over many years. There are hundreds of engineers and technicians. We
propose not to disperse these forces either. We should give them employment
there in maintenance and other things, but we should keep these forces. We must
keep all these human resources, who we have trained and prepared for the
construction and operation of the nuclear power plant. 

116.  There are few countries with a labor force as qualified as this one, as
well-trained and experienced as the force we have there. Our proposal is not to
disorganize or disperse it. I explained to everyone that no worker-construction
workers or those who would work the nuclear plant in the future-would be left
without a job. That is the principle we have followed to-date. [applause] I
explained these details to the workers. I must say that I explained this to
them with great frankness, I read them these materials, I added some arguments.
Although I knew what a hard blow it was for many of the workers, for all of
them, their reaction was formidable. It was extraordinary. I invited all of
them to this ceremony. I told them that I had gotten ahead of myself when I
explained the problem to them, [applause] and that we had to explain it to the
rest of the country, the rest of the provinces, the rest of the country during
the ceremony, and naturally the international press will disseminate this news
as well. 

117.  The workers' response was excellent. It was what we had hoped for. There
they are, ready to work, anywhere, [applause] ready to work wherever they are
assigned so as to keep this extraordinary family of builders and workers of the
nuclear power plant united. I should say that on that day, as is natural, there
were men and women who cried.  Even nature wept that afternoon. I told them
that nature could weep, but we could not weep except out of patriotism and
emotion, as many of those there cried. applause] We were truly amazed at the
spirit of these comrades. They are a force we cannot lose for any reason. We
must always be prepared and ready for anything. 

118.  If we must definitively halt the work, then we will do so.  If we must
gather this work force together once again and send them there again, we will
do so. I promised them that we would even have to recall good workers who at
one time had worked there, but had moved on to other activities. Far from
reducing this construction force, we should increase it so as to rely on it at
any time. These are the things we must do during the special period. These
measures were delayed, as we explained there. We were waiting and waiting,
discussing and discussing it, always with the hope that we would find some
solution, until the time came when it was very clear to all of us that we had
to take this measure. 

119.  I do not know if I explained here, if I already told you, that with this
we were going to save 1.2 million tons of oil from the first two reactor units.
As you know, the units the electricity industry has kept in operation are the
most efficient. We re making efforts in many directions. I do not much like to
talk about the efforts we are making, so the enemy will not know too much or be
too aware. But we are not forgetting other directions, other fronts, the search
for other sources of energy, the possibilities of using certain rivers. We are
not forgetting about oil, prospecting for it. We have taken a number of steps
in that direction. We have been looking for technology to increase the
production of our own oil, which this year will be about 1 million tons. We are
not neglecting a single program: biotechnology, the pharmaceutics industry,
tourism-I have already told you this- energy, food production for the populace.

120.  Because we are not abandoning, nor will we abandon, our struggle. We will
not rest for a single second. That is our most sacred commitment. I have
already today explained to you the reasons for this. We are going to struggle.
We are going to resist. e are never going to surrender, and imperialism will
have to put up with the Cuban revolutionaries for a long time to come. 

121.  If we work well; if we struggle intelligently; if we keep our unity,
firmness, and spirit; if we are able to rise to the occasion; if we never want
to fail in the reliance other nations of the world have placed on us, the
reliance all revolutionary and progressive people in the world have placed on
us, and all the poor people in the world, who see Cuba as a symbol of struggle
and resistance-a symbol we cannot abandon, a symbol we cannot destroy, a symbol
we cannot betray-we will move forward. We will find solutions to our problems.
We will never forget that this is the nation of 1868 and 1895, of Moncada and 5
September, of the mountains and the plains, the underground struggle, the
glorious internationalist missions.  [applause] 

122.  We will never forget this, or that we are the descendents of those who
fought for 10 years, of those who endured [Spanish General Valeriano] Weyler's
plan of concentration. He did something that the U.S. Government is trying to
do today: make our people surrender out of hunger; kill our people, workers,
farmers, women, and children through hunger. Weyler already tried to do that
once at an extremely high cost, and he did not succeed.  He did not succeed in
making our people surrender.  [applause] Imperialism will succeed even less,
because of the glorious and beautiful traditions our people and the Cuban
nation have stored up. 

123.  That is why today, on this historic date, I recall very rightly and
justly those words Camilo [Cienfuegos] spoke during his final speech at the old
Government Palace, when he recalled the lines of Bonifacio Byrne: If one day my
flag is torn into tiny pieces, our dead, raising their arms, will still know
how to defend it. [applause] Just as we will know, just as we will know
[repeats] how to defend our dead, our heroes and martyrs, all those who have
died throughout the glorious history of our nation. 

124.  Because we know that if one day imperialism were able to again take over
this land-where, as Maceo said, they would have to get the blood-soaked dust of
our earth, if they did not die in the struggle [applause]-we know that if
imperialism were able to take over this land once again, the memory of our
martyrs and heroes would be erased. The struggle of more than 150 years ...
[corrects himself] or of much more than 130 years, would be lost.  Not even the
remains of our heroes would be left. There would be nothing that would recall
their memory, not a single symbol, not a single statue, not a single tomb, not
a single martyr's name on any of our hospitals, schools, cooperative farms, or

125.  We know this, and we know what the return of imperialism and capitalism
to our country would mean. This is why, as Byrne said, our dead will defend our
flag, and with our hands and lives and hearts and blood we will know how to
defend our dead. Socialism or death, fatherland or death, we will win!