Latin American Network Information Center - LANIC


Text of Castro Speech

0W071520 Delhi Domestic Television Service in English 1100 GMT 7 Mar 83

[Report of the chairman of the sixth conference of heads of state or
government of nonaligned countries, Cuban President Fidel Castro Ruz, to
the seventh conference of heads of state or government of nonaligned
countries in Vigyan Bhavan Hall in New Delhi -- live, in Spanish
accompanied by simultaneous English translation]

[Text] Esteemed Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, distinguished heads of state
or government, members of the delegations, distinguished guests:

On the morning of September 9, 1979, at the closing of the sixth summit
conference in Havana, after many hours of work, together with the heads of
state or government, members of the movement, and after long and not always
quiet debates, which at times seemed to threaten our cohesion, I ended my
closing address with these heartfelt words: We can say that our movement is
more united than ever, our movement is more vigorous than ever, our
movement is more powerful than ever, our movement is more independent than
ever, and our movement is more ours than ever. [applause]

Today, after a term of more than 3 years, in handing the chairmanship of
the movement of nonaligned countries to our admired Indira Gandhi and to
India, which she so rightfully represents on the basis of historic merit,
we can state as testimony of having fulfilled a duty, that the unity of our
movement has not been weakened, that its vigor has grown, that its
independence has been safeguarded against all plots intended to curtail it.
It is a movement fully belonging to a community of countries which
throughout 22 years of joint efforts have made it an instrument for peace,
national liberation and economic development.

We all know that it has not been an easy task. Never before had the
movement been subjected to so much external pressure, nor had it faced the
serious internal problems which have recently threatened to weaken our
unity. During the sixth summit conference, the controversial
interpretations of the developments in Kampuchea had already prevented
unanimity. The just consensus reached when deciding that Kampuchea's seat
remain vacant was not accepted as legitimate by all member countries. Three
years later, and in a less controversial atmosphere, ratification of that
consensus has been necessary to fully vindicate the decision then made by
Cuba as chairman of the Political Committee. [applause]

The positions announced by Kampuchea and Vietnam after the meeting of the
three countries of former Indochina, in our view, provide the prospects for
attaining a solution of the dispute that is acceptable to all. We very
sincerely wish that this is so, although Cuba's solidarity with heroic
Vietnam, Laos and the new Kampuchea is well known, and I must very frankly
say so.

Shortly after the Havana conference, developments in Afghanistan caused new
commotions within our ranks. What some viewed simply as an expression of
the Afghan people's right to request solidarity assistance to be protected
from external aggressions that were rekindling and manipulating the
internal conflict, others viewed as an unacceptable intervention.
Practically in the same area and at the same time, and in spite of our
joint efforts with other heads of state to prevent it, the Iran-Iraq
conflict broke out, confronting two important and respected members of the
movement in a hitherto unreconcilable war, shaking the very foundations of
our necessary cohesion. More recently, the Organization of African Unity,
which rallied Africa's efforts after the collapse of colonialism,
encountered difficulties which, for different reasons, have lately
prevented it from holding its meetings; and only very recently does it seem
to be overcoming them.

This hasty outline of events, which have enabled imperialism to continue
its constant attempts at disbanding and destroying this movement that
opposes its policies and challenges its hegemony, shows, distinguished
madame chairman and esteemed heads of state or government, that although
the struggle against the forces threatening peace -- the remnants of
colonialism's and imperialism's still undefeated might -- is never an easy
task, it is rendered ever more difficult and hazardous if we are to wage
such a battle with our forces split by disunity. Hence, while continuing
our efforts for peace and our constant struggle for independence and
development, during these 3 years we have deemed it necessary to more than
once draw the attention of the movement to the urgent task of rebuilding
our unity and of healing our own wounds.

We have not wished to tire the heads of state or government by undertaking
a detailed account of our situation during this period. They and their
delegations will have at their disposal a written report wherein we
thoroughly present our balance. I shall confine myself in this speech to
the basic questions.

Prior to the December 1979 events, anticipating that contradictions between
the Afghan Revolution and some of its neighbors threatened to obstruct our
unity, we made the necessary efforts with all parties concerned to impede a
sharpening of the conflict and future complications. We, however, centered
our efforts on Afghanistan and Pakistan, although during the sixth summit
conference in Havana we succeeded in arranging a meeting between the two
illustrious statesmen of both nations, since we felt that if an agreement
was reached between them, the necessary conditions would then be created
for a satisfactory return to political normality in the area and the
furthering of friendly relations between Afghanistan and all its neighbors.
We also made similar efforts with representatives from other countries in
the area. We pursued the objectives, notwithstanding Cuba's sympathy for
and solidarity with the Afghan Revolution, which we have never failed to
express nor have we ever concealed. We did not score the necessary success.
Thus, when the events involving the presence of Soviet troops in
Afghanistan occurred, we decided to continue following the road we had
embarked upon previously and the quest for an honorable and acceptable
settlement for all parties involved in the complex situation that had
arisen. Through the Cuban minister of foreign affairs and other leaders, we
established the necessary contacts and formalized these efforts. But
conditions were not ripe then for fruitful results. Afterwards, when we
realized that the mediation efforts of the UN secretary general, through
the under secretary, Mr Diego Cordovez, could advance in an already more
favorable climate, we discontinued our efforts and supported the UN
endeavors, which we all hope will produce results that will undoubtedly be
of great value for our movement's cohesion and unity.

Regarding the Iran-Iraq conflict, in which we also tried to mediate from
the very beginning, we have kept the members of the movement informed about
the steps taken by the group chaired by Cuba and made up of India, Algeria,
Zambia and the Palestine Liberation Organization, which was specially
organized for that purpose by mandate of the New Delhi meeting. The
Nonaligned Movement has not been alone in this endeavor. The efforts made
by Olaf Palme on behalf of the United Nations secretary general and by the
Islamic representations made by the heads of state or government, coincided
with those of the movement. The activities of the nonaligned committee and
Cuba are contained in the document that has been distributed. The fact that
it has not been possible so far to reach a satisfactory agreement for the
parties regrettably indicates the bitterness characterizing that conflict.
But we must not be discouraged. I am certain that the conference will avail
itself of the presence of the heads of delegations of Iraq and Iran to take
new steps along the path toward the necessary conciliation.

The prolongation of the war involving the country which we had unanimously
agreed at the sixth summit conference to entrust with the task of
organizing the seventh conference endangered the continuity of our
meetings. When it became evident that the conflict would not end before the
date fixed for the seventh summit conference, I decided, with the support
and encouragement of other heads of state or government, to undertake
actions to facilitate an honorable and just solution to this difficult
question. The constructive attitude of Iraq and especially of its
president, Saddam Husayn, in accepting the proposed solution with great
understanding and responsibility, which deserves the movement's gratitude,
allowed us to provide the world with proof of the unity, solidarity and
inherent strength of the movement of nonaligned countries. Furthermore, we
should express our gratitude to Iraq and to its president for the careful
arrangements to host the seventh summit conference. Hence, it is not
surprising that, in the consultations we made concerning the adoption of
the change in venue with the acquiescence of the heads of state or
government, while unanimously endorsing India as the new venue, the
majority of them, acknowledging Iraq's unselfish attitude, accepted the
Iraqi wishes for Baghdad to have priority as the possible venue for the
eighth summit conference, a decision that must be made at this August

I believe I voice the common feelings of the heads of state or government
in reiterating here our gratitude to the Government of India and its prime
minister, Indira Gandhi, for her prompt and determined response to the
movement's request to assume, on such short notice, the task of organizing
the seventh summit conference. India has welcomed us with hospitality and
affection, thus confirming the stand it has maintained since the days when
Jawaharlal Nehru contributed to the founding of our movement with his
creative ideas. India's great traditions, its struggle against colonialism
and imperialism, for independence, development and peace have earned it
prestige in world politics that, at the service of our movement, increases
its strength. The names of Gandhi and Nehru are respected and admired
throughout the world. India's maturity, perseverence and good judgement in
the quest for reasonable and peaceful solutions to the problems of our
times, its unrestricted adherence to the basic principles of the Nonaligned
Movement guarantee that under Indira Gandhi's wise leadership, the
nonaligned countries will continue advancing in their unrenouncable role as
bulwarks of peace, national independence and development, strengthen their
cohesion and unity and continue honorably fulfilling the difficult duties
imposed on us by these critical times.

I cannot summarize our actions during this term without expressing my
gratitude to the heads of state or government. I have received all
necessary support on their part. I was able to count on a consensus in
every case, not to mention unanimity. The response concerning the change in
venue could not have been more prompt or full. This proves that differences
in political systems or concepts are compatible among us, with full
coincidence on the principles that guide our actions.

This unity is presently ever more urgent for us. When we met in Havana, we
already noted the threats against world peace and the onslaught against the
vulnerable economies of the underdeveloped countries, but we were far from
imagining that only a few months later the world situation was to become
even more somber, and the world's political and economic prospects would be
even more risky and bitter. It is not an apocalyptic inclination that makes
us believe that the world has never been so close to a catastrophe, that,
because of its nuclear nature, tends to be definitive, and that never
before have hunger, backwardness, ignorance and disease affected so many
millions of human beings. The dangers of war already existing when we met
in 1979 increased quite rapidly when the new president of the United States
decided to impose, as a condition for peace, the acceptance of his
country's military supremacy and that of the alliance it leads. The
disruption of detente, a threat which we all stood up against during the
days of the sixth summit conference, became a nefarious fact in the new
international political situation. The growing arms buildup that we
rejected in Havana reappeared vigorously; and in 1982, annual military
spending reached unprecedented figures. The threat of filling Europe with
missiles and turning it into the local scenario for the beginning of a
terrible world drama gained new momentum.

I am certain that we are all aware that, in this New Delhi meeting, the
most urgent task for us is to immediately put at the service of peace all
the forces we represent in world politics, wherein we account for the
majority of the countries of the international community. We must make the
big nuclear powers to pledge that none will be the first to use that
devastating weapon. We must demand from the main protagonists of a possible
nuclear confrontation, from the representatives of the powerful military
pacts that presently oppose each other worldwide, to abandon all ideas of
supremacy, to immediately start the negotiations mankind clamors for, to
accept military balance at the lowest possible levels as the threshold for
universal and complete disarmament, the sole and definitive guarantee
against war.

The danger of war threatens us as citizens of the world, but it also
affects us as peoples that aspire to reaffirm or conquer, whatever the
case, our national independence and develop our battered economies. The
very same policy that is inspired in the senseless pretensions of military
supremacy is the one that creates situations in the Middle East, southern
Africa and Central America, against which the movement has had to raise its
voice during the years that I am reporting on before this summit meeting.

We were all horrified and shocked by the Dantesque sight of the
warmongering invasion of southern Lebanon and the treacherous aggression
against Syria, the genocidal attack against Beirut and the cruel slaughters
in Sabra and Shatila. The heroic attitude of the Palestinian fighters and
of the Lebanese patriots and their unequaled courage aroused admiration
throughout the world. Never before had the Palestinian cause seemed so just
than in contrast with the repulsive brutality of its adversaries. Mankind
shall never forget the heroism of the aggressed nor the barbarity of the
aggressors. It is indeed dramatic that the Hebrew people, who aroused
universal compassion and sympathy when Hitler threatened to exterminate
them, are now being led by Zionism to become engaged in that insane
genocide. This explains why, in Israel itself, a clamor for peace and a
demand for the punishment of those responsible have been raised.

But all of this could not have been possible if the Israeli aggressors had
not received their weapons from a world imperialist center all of us
identify, that made this crime possible. The execrable adventurism of
Begins and Sharons exist solely as a result of a repulsive and confessed
strategic alliance between Israel and the United States.

In the face of such a tragic massacre, the movement could not be an
impassive bystander. With the support of all heads of state or government,
we appealed to world public opinion, and on its behalf Cuba acted in the UN
Security Council and in the General Assembly. Following my instructions as
chairman of the movement, the Cuban minister of foreign affairs, Comrade
Isidoro Malmierca, carried to the beseiged Beirut the nonaligned countries'
solidarity message. The Palestinian tragedy has served to confirm the
support, not only of the movement of nonaligned countries, but of other
important forces of the international community, for the Palestinian cause
-- represented by the PLO the Palestinians' right to return to their lands,
their exercise of full determination, the establishment of an independent
state, and the recognition of the PLO as the sole and legitimate
representative of its people. I am convinced that the conference will serve
to reaffirm this universal demand with all the necessary strength.

As we expected also, in southern Africa, it was necessary to extend
permanent solidarity with the Namibian people and their representative
organization, SWAPO. The government in Pretoria is competing with that of
Israel in becoming one of the most ominous factors in world politics It
does not confine itself to exploit, discriminate against and oppress the 20
million Africans in the so-called Republic of South Africa, it is not
satisfied with obstinately opposing the independence of Namibia, but also
in order to preserve its predominance over southern Africa, it threatens,
exerts pressure upon, blackmails and attacks the frontline states and other
neighboring countries, striving through the use of terror to prevent them
from justly supporting the South African and Namibian patriots so
heroically fighting for their rights and liberation. While continuing to
support UNITA in Angola and the counterrevolutionaries they have armed, and
which are operating in Mozambique, they have now shamelessly and directly
attacked Angola and Mozambique and launched retaliatory raids against a
small and defenseless country, such as Lesotho. The South African Nazi
racists' hands reached the Seychelles in an adventure whereby their
mercenaries and troops attempted to overthrow the progressive government of
that sovereign and nonaligned country.

Namibia did not lack the movement's growing support during the 3-year
period under examination. We also expressed our militant solidarity with
Angola, Mozambique, Lesotho, Zimbabwe and Zambia. However, when condemning
the South African leaders, we all knew that their actions would not be
possible without the protection, the aid and abetment of the United States.
The movement condemned the US vetoes that allowed South Africa to elude
international sanctions, and we are certain that the seventh summit
conference will also condemn the United States' attempt to tie up the
necessary and unpostponable departure of South African troops from Namibia,
where they remain in violation of the decisions and principles of the
international community, with the permanence of Cuban internationalist
troops in Angola, summoned there by its legitimate government, with the
support and endorsement of the fifth summit conference of Colombo, to
defend the territorial integrity of the Angolan nation.

The United States Government has systematically attempted through
successive high-level missions to exert pressure on Angola and other
frontline states supporting us to accept the false thesis of the so-called
linkage. On every occasion they have met categorical rejection. Angola and
Cuba, in the statement signed by their ministers of foreign affairs in
February 1982, have declared that Namibia's full independence through the
total and unconditional withdrawal of South African troops and the ceasing
of all aggressions and threats against Angola would create the conditions
so that in exercising their sovereign rights, Angola and Cuba would decide
upon the gradual withdrawal of the Cuban troops in the time schedule agreed
upon. Needless to say that Cuba, on whose behalf I ask for your permission
to speak now, will always accept unhesitatingly Angola's sovereign

The movement of nonaligned countries can feel pleased since in these 3
trying years for the peoples of southern Africa -- years of constant
pressures on Namibia and brutal actions by South Africa - SWAPO, the
frontline states and the African National Congress, which leads the
struggle of millions of discriminated and oppressed Blacks in South Africa
against apartheid have not lacked the active solidarity of the nonaligned
countries. In condemning South Africa, we have never forgotten that its
rulers are supported by the United States who considers it a strategic
factor in the policy it seeks to impose. We have not forgotten either that
South Africa holds a privileged position in the economic, technological and
military collaboration it receives not only from the United States but also
from other Western countries. We are certain that the seventh summit will
reaffirm this traditional policy of the movement.

U.S. aggressiveness against Libya, which has led the United States to
perpetrate true acts of war against that member country, creates a new zone
of danger in Africa and demands our strongest protest.

When examining these African problems in the summit conference, the
representatives of the Saharan Democratic Arab Republic will not be among
us. Their absence is one of the results of discrepancies within the OAU
[Organization of African Unity]. This is another matter on which I am sure
there are differences of opinion. However, as far as Cuba is concerned I
cannot but express that the Saharan Democratic Arab Republic and the
Polisario front have our sympathy and our solidarity, and we expect their
prompt incorporation to the movement since we consider their cause to be
absolutely just.

During these 3 years under review Central America has also become a danger
spot for world peace and a center of death and possible military
aggressions. At the sixth summit conference we welcomed the Sandinistas who
had defeated Somoza as brothers happily joining our task. Yet the ominous
and senseless policy of those who have increased the universal danger of
war attempts to turn Central America and the Caribbean into a scenario of
East-West contradictions.

It has sought to make the world believe that what happened in Nicaragua and
what is happening in El Salvador and Guatemala is not the result of decades
of growing protests and of uninterrupted struggles in which the hungry
peoples -- the disdainfully called banana republics -- weary of so much
tyranny, exploitation and humiliation, the landless peasants, the hungry
and jobless men and women, and even the schoolless adolescents rise to
claim for justice, but that all this is rather the consequence of a grim
design in which Moscow through Cuba would manipulate these peoples. Thus,
U.S. interventionism in Central America, which began long before the 1917
Soviet revolution, has persisted since then and antedated the Cuban
revolution by several decades. Yankee support to genocide in El Salvador,
collaboration with the Rios Montt sinister tyranny -- similar to that they
always provided to the Somoza dynasty -- the efforts to use Honduras as a
spearhead for U.S. intervention aimed at crushing the Nicaraguan revolution
are sought to be justified with pretexts taken from the arsenal of
McCarthyism already repudiated in the official statements of Mexico,
Panama, Venezuela and Colombia.

The movement of nonaligned countries has recently refuted all these
deceitful interpretations at the ministerial meeting of the Coordinating
Bureau in Managua and has unequivocally identified those mainly responsible
for the present explosive situation existing in Central America and the
Caribbean. The peoples of Central America and the Caribbean favor peace and
a negotiated solution enabling their access to full independence under
democratic conditions.

A negotiated solution to the continuous bloodshed in El Salvador was
proposed by Mexico and France through an irrefutable project. The peaceful
negotiation of the regional problems was postulated by the presidents of
Mexico and Venezuela and reaffirmed by their foreign ministers and those of
Panama and Colombia at the recent meeting held in Contadora island. This is
why the meeting of the movement at Managua, detached from all partiality
and sectarianism, identified the United States as responsible for the
failure of a peaceful solution to the situation in the area.

On the other hand Cuba has had to strengthen its defense, train an
additional half million citizens as a supplement to the revolutionary Armed
Forces due to the continuous provocative threats launched by the president
of the United States against our country and echoed in varying keys by the
successive Secretaries of State Haig and Shultz and by the Secretary of
Defense Weinberger in terms so precise and threatening that they leave no
room for confusion. The decision of the present U.S. Administration to
resort to any means whatsoever to punish Cuba is proclaimed openly.

Why punish Cuba? Is it because our country with modest resources but with a
deep sense of social justice has dignified man like never before and has
met his needs for education, health care, culture, employment and
well-being? Is it because Cuba remains unremittingly loyal to the
revolutionary movement, to the principle of solidarity among the peoples,
to the staunch and determined struggle against colonialism, necolonialism,
fascism and racism? Is it because our country has pursued an unflinching
policy of cooperation with the countries of the Third World and has even
shed its blood for the just causes of other peoples. Is it because we do
not sell out? Is it because we do not betray our principles? Is it because
we have not and will never yield to the modern barbarians of our times?

Imperialists boil in hatred and impotence in the face of a small, hard
working country that leads a humble and dignified life such as Cuba. How to
kill an example? How to destroy a moral force? How to lower a flag that has
already resisted the hostility of seven U.S. Administrations?

The illegal and criminal Yankee economic blockade against Cuba has already
lasted 23 years, an event unprecedented in the world. The U.S. Guantanamo
Naval Base still exists with the sole purpose of humiliating our people.
U.S. spy planes continuously fly around Cuba and at times brazenly violate
our airspace. And even worse, through trustworthy sources, we have learned
that the new U.S. Administration has instructed the Central Intelligence
Agency to resume the plans to kill Cuban leaders, especially its president.

What else could be expected from such an unscrupulous government? And what
is there to be surprised about in these cynical imperialist practices? Had
not other presidents made similar plans in the past and tried to carry them
out on several occasions as was confirmed even by the United States Senate?
However, all attempts shall be useless.

Our revolution does not rely on men. It relies on ideas and ideas cannot be
assassinated. [applause]

Although we want peace in the region and we strive for peace, we will not
capitulate before threats of any sort. We can assure this seventh summit
conference that the Salvadoran revolutionaries cannot be militarily
defeated. We can express our conviction that Nicaragua will not be forced
to yield. And we can categorically say that Cuba would be wiped out but it
will never be intimidated or defeated. As we said 30 years ago, the island
will first sink into the sea before accepting to be anyone's slaves.

Dozens of U.S. congressmen have censured the policy of threats and the
interventionist designs that have likewise been rejected in successive
polls by the vast majority of U.S. citizens. We are certain that in its
seventh summit conference the movement will further the stands taken on
these problems during the period we are reporting on. Our solidarity
actions should also embrace small and valiant Grenada, a permanent target
of inperialism's activity and pressure; the new and revolutionary Republic
of Suriname who is today the victim of mercenary threats, economic
blockades, slanderous campaigns and isolationist maneuvers; the just
demands of the Panamanian Government and people for respect of the
agreements restoring the sovereignty over the canal territory to Panama;
the efforts of Belize to consolidate its independence and preserve its
territorial integrity; and the historic demand of Puerto Rico, who is and
will be Latin American because of its history, its culture, its language
and its geography, where attempts are made to permanently attach it to the
colonial government of the United States. In conformity with the mandate of
successive summit conferences, we have defended at the United Nations the
right of Puerto Ricans to self-determination and independence denied to
them by the United States. We have no doubt that the movement endorses
these stands.

There is, unfortunately, a problem in our region which opposes two Third
World countries. One of them is Guyana, a distinguished member of the
movement, and the other is Venezuela, who has expressed the wish to join
our ranks. We profoundly wish and hope that this dispute be settled through
negotiations and in conformity with the principles upheld by the nonaligned
countries. It should be our staunchest purpose to work in this direction.

The colonial war waged by Mrs Thatcher and her government against
Argentina's right to exercise its territorial sovereignty over the
Malvinas, a right that the movement has acknowledged since its very
inception, deserved the nonaligned countries' solidarity with the aggressed
country. That is why Cuba, despite the political and ideological
differences with the Argentine Government, did not hesitate in supporting
the just demand of that noble people. We may inform the member countries
that the Malvinas events marked a significant moment in the development of
a Latin American consciousness in the strengthening of the unity of what
Marti called our America as opposed to the other America which he called
the turbulent and brutal North that despises us. [applause]

The colonial war in the South Atlantic has been an unforgettable lesson for
all Latin Americans. It evidenced as never before the true face of U.S.
imperialism, its despise for the interests of Latin America and the
neocolonial content it attaches to the hypocritically-called treaty for
reciprocal assistance on which the security of the hemisphere is allegedly
based. This treaty obliged the United States to associate with the Latin
American countries for the defense of Argentina's sovereign rights. In
ignoring it Washington joined the European aggressors of Latin America. As
a response to the colonialists' identification the Malvinas episode served
to unite the Latin American peoples. [applause]

The growing awareness with which the governments and political forces of
the region rally in the defense of their common economic interests, the
search for Latin American solutions to Latin American problems and the
growing tendency by the countries of the region to join the movement of
nonaligned countries leaving behind the imperial orbit that retains them
are both a hope for future struggles and the best tribute to Simon Bolivar,
the continental liberator, and to Jose Marti, the Cuban national hero,
whose respective 200th and 130th anniversaries we shall celebrate in 1983
as a great common heritage of our countries. The resumption of the
democratic process in Bolivia is also an expression of the positive changes
taking place in Latin America.

There are other danger zones. Within the atmosphere of growing tension and
of increased military forces, the Indian Ocean, to which U.S. strategists
have attached decisive importance since they consider that its link with a
major oil-producing region makes it their own and unrenounceable zone, has
witnessed an increased concentration of military and naval troops in its
waters and adjoining territories. The strategic Diego Garcia enclave
usurped from the Mauritius Islands is being expanded as a naval base of the
United States who is also agreeing on building new military bases in
countries who because of their links with our movement should have rejected
the use of their territories for these purposes.

The movement of nonaligned countries has systematically demanded that the
Indian Ocean be declared a zone of peace. It has called for' the withdrawal
from its waters of all naval forces not belonging to bordering countries.
The coastal states' conference on the Indian Ocean should have already been
held, but it has been postponed to 1984 due to obstacles put forth by the
United States. The movement has and should continue to pronounce itself in
favor of the immediate holding of this conference and support the important
initiative presented by the President of Madagascar Didier Ratsiraka to
hold a meeting of the heads of state in the area for this same purpose.

In this summary of our activities we would like, to state that the movement
has reiterated in all international fora and in all its meetings during
these 3 years its support to the People's Democratic Republic of Korea
against all threats as well as its support to the necessary unification of
the Korean nation divided only to meet the interests of imperialism.
Moreover, our solidarity has been constant with another small country also
divided and occupied, Cyprus. The respect for the unity, territorial
integrity and nonaligned status of Cyprus continues to be the position of
the movement of nonaligned countries.

We have been able to observe, distinguished Madame Chairman, esteemed heads
of state or government, how regional situations that threaten many
developing countries most of which are members of our movement -- are
interrelated at times quite arbitrarily to situations involving worldwide
warmongering policies and dangers of conflict. The very same people who
turn military superiority into a prerequisite for negotiations; the very
same people who attempt to turn Europe, dozens of times devastated by war,
into another territory planted with atomic missiles; the very same people
who raise their military budgets at the expense of their people's social
security, education, medical care and international development assistance
are also the sane ones who establish strategic alliances with Israel, build
up that country and make it more arrogant and self-confident; those who
join with South Africa in order to act in the continent to further their
economic interests and military strategy, who in order to perpetuate their
exploitalation and control over Central America and the Caribbean
intentionally distort the drama resulting from the poverty and backwardness
of those peoples, presenting it as part of the East-West conflict.

For that reason we have said that for us, the members of the movement of
nonaligned countries, to fight war does not only mean opposing universal
holocaust but also defending our own immediate political interests. There
is an additional reason as important as the latter which impels us to a
concrete and immediate struggle in favor of peace and detente. Without
peace -- we are all convinced of this -- development is not possible as
peace would not be possible without development.

As long as $650 billion are invested in weapons every year and such
spending is growing at such a rate that it will reach the figure of $1.5
trillion in 1990, amounting to an accumulated total of over $15 trillion in
the next 20 years according to conservative estimates we have made, the
international financial requirements for development cannot be met.
Warmongering policies lead to considering our wealth as part of the
strategic reserves, seeing our coasts as elements of international
geopolitics, attempting to gain through flattery or impositions the
acquiescence of our governments to the policies to be adopted at
international fora.

The danger of war permeates everything and undermines everything: national
independence, economic sovereignty, development prospects. For that reason,
if the survival of mankind now at risk would not lead us to brandish the
banner of peace as the very core of the stand of the movement of nonaligned
countries, our unpostponable economic needs would also lead us to defend
peace as our first and most immediate demand.

Madame Chairman and heads of state or government: The world economic
situation has contributed to further worsening the poverty and backwardness
of the so-called Third World countries and rendering their aspirations for
development more unattainable in the near future. In my speech representing
the movement at the 34th Session of the United Nations General Assembly and
other international fora such as the Interparliamentary Union and the World
Federation of Trade Unions, I have in general terms approached the serious
economic and social problems affecting the Third World, their causes and
possible solutions. It would be impossible to convey to the 7th summit
conference in detail the dramatic panorama resulting from a scientific
examination of world economy. I have found it useful, however, to elaborate
on those concerns, reflections and ideas I have advanced in recent years by
making a systematic presentation of the world economic and social crisis
and its deep effects on underdeveloped countries, assisted by a valuable
group of Cuban economists. The book resulting from that effort is a
compendium and an examination of thousands of loose data from publications
of the most prestigious international organizations and specialized
journals, which in my view may be a useful tool for our immediate work. It
is in this spirit and with all modesty that I am submitting it to the heads
of state or government and all those attending the conference. Its pages
bring out a diagnosis that might be familiar to us all, but which we have
not always been able to back with hard statistics as such.

I am certain that many will find in this book an exact portrait of the
distressing difficulties they face each day -- they each face each day.
Unquestionably the world is undergoing one of the worst economic crises in
its history. This crisis has severely affected the underdeveloped
countries; and indeed, its effects have been worse in these countries than
in any other area in the world. This assertion holds true particularly for
the oil-importing underdeveloped countries with growth rates which had
averaged 5.6 percent from 1970 to 1980, dropped to 1.4 percent in 1981, and
were probably lower in 1982. A decisive factor in that development was the
drop in commodity prices since last 1980. The prices for sugar, coffee,
cocoa, tea, palm oil, coconut oil, sisal, cotton, alunina and practically
of all commodities have notably dropped. Even oil prices, which started to
decline in late 1981 as a result of the crisis, have fallen faster in
recent weeks, among other things, due to the policies of national English
and Norwegian firms that have unleashed a true price war. It has been
estimated that in comparison to 1980 values, the losses experienced by the
oil importing underdeveloped countries in 2 years alone -- that is, 1981
and 1982 -- amount to some $29 billion. With the decline in commodity
prices and the continuing high prices for manufactures and oil, the
inevitable result is the worsening of unequal exchange affecting most of
the Third World.

To illustrate this phenomenon of growing and unjust -- unequal -- exchange
between developed and underdeveloped countries, including the incidence of
oil prices, here are some examples. In 1960, 6.3 tons of oil could be
purchased with the sale of a ton of sugar; in 1982, only 0.7 ton of oil
could be bought with the same amount of sugar.

In 1960, 37.3 tons of fertilizers could be bought for a ton of coffee; in
1982, only 15.8 tons could be bought with the same amount of coffee. In
1959, with the income from the sale of 6 tons of jute fiber a 7- to 8-ton
truck could be purchased; by late 1982; 26 tons of jute fiber were needed
to buy that same truck. In 1959, with the income from the sale of 1 ton of
copper wire 39 x-ray tubes for medical purposes could be purchased; by late
1982, only 3 x-ray tubes could be bought with that same ton.

These terms of trade are repeated in most of our export commodities. This
is coupled with the growing protection of Western markets against exports
from the Third World. Added to the traditional tariff barriers, there is
now a wide range of nontariff barriers. It is not surprising under these
conditions to see the extraordinary increase in the underdeveloped world's
external debts, which in 1982 surpassed the figure of $600 billion, and at
the present rate, according to economic projections, will reach the
incredible figure of $1,473 billion by 1990.

But amortization problems have worsened also with the accelerated growth in
debt services. The establishment of high interest rates in an irresponsible
and unconsulted way by the United States, seeking selfish national economic
objectives, directly affected the Third World, whose external debt
servicing reached by late 1982 the impressive figure of some $131 billion.
The situation is such that the undeveloped countries are forced to incur
debts with the sole purpose of meeting the obligations of the debt itself.
This huge debt which drains the underdeveloped countries' export earnings
without the Countervailing flow of real resources for development is in
itself a denunciation and a conclusive evidence of the irrationality and
inequity of the present international economic order.

The underdeveloped world's agricultural output is also facing a serious
crisis today. The accelerated population growth, together with the growing
deterioration of soil fertility and losses resulting from erosion,
desertification and other forms of degradation forecast even greater
difficulties by the end of the century. Though the current average of less
than 0.4 hectare of agricultural land per Third World inhabitant is
sufficient, by the year 2000 this ratio will be less than 0.2 hectare. From
1975 to 1980, per capita world food production grew at the very low rate of
0.3 percent yearly. That of the developed capitalist countries was 8
percent in 10 years. On the other hand, over 70 underdeveloped countries
have witnessed a net decline in per capita food production In order to
maintain the already-mentioned minimal food availability, underdeveloped
countries had to increase their imports yearly. In 1980 alone, import
values amounted to $52.3 billion.

Over 8 years have elapsed since the world food conference in Rome held in
1974 urgently convened in view of the massive famines and the alarming
decrease of food reserves recorded those years. On that occasion, the
conference solemnly declared that hunger and undernourishment should be
stamped out from the face of the earth in 10 years and called on all
nations to cooperate in a tremendous effort to achieve international food
security. The total failure of these endeavors to achieve the basic
essential objectives of supplying all human beings with enough food to
develop their Potentialities for enjoying a full life is today more evident
than ever.

Industrialization is a decisive process for the Third World's economic
development. Unquestionably, it is equivalent in strategic terms to laying
the main technological and material base for development. The classical
model that postulates that agriculture and raw materials are specialized
enough for underdeveloped countries, leaving industrial production in the
hands of developed countries, does nothing but to try to perpetuate a model
which our countries firmly reject as irrational, unequal and unjust. UNIDO
itself predicts that if the present trends are maintained, the
underdeveloped countries with over 80 percent of the world population will
be contributing only 13.5 percent to world industrial production in the
year 2000.

The claims made about the supposedly positive contributions transnationals
can make towards the development of the Third World countries are not new.
The underdeveloped countries are offered a transnationalized development
model which turns them into "export platforms" of manufactured products for
the world market. The results of such transnational industrial development
are shown by the following data. In the 70's, for every new dollar invested
in all underdeveloped countries, the transnationals repatriated
approximately $2.2 back to their home countries. In the specific case of
U.S. transnationals, between 1970 and 1979, they invested $11.446 billion
and repatriated profits amounting to $48.663 billion. This means a $4.25
return from the Third World for each new dollar invested during that
period. Obviously, the industrialization of the Third World must not be the
sorry byproduct left by the transnationals in exchange for the brutal
exploitation of the underdeveloped countries' labor resources, the
depletion of their natural resources and the pollution of their land.

It has been rightfully said, Madame Chairman and distinguished heads of
state or government, that true development should be measured not by growth
rate but rather what has been termed the quality of life. But when we
attempt to measure the factors that indicate the quality of life,
considering not only its dramatic present situation, the picture we have
observed regarding the future of the underdeveloped countries is even more
impressive. In 1980, three out of every four inhabitants of our planet
lived in the developing world. In view of its present growth trend, from
1990 onwards there will be 95 million additional people in the
underdeveloped countries each year. From now until the year 2000, in the
underdeveloped world as a whole the population will grow at a rate which is
three times faster than that of the developed world. In other words, more
than 90 percent of the total population growth in the period up to the year
2000 will occur in our countries.

Until recently, the year 2000 seemed to be the indicator of a distant
future of unforeseeable events, but two-thirds of the world population in
the year 2000 are already living in today's world. The children born each
day in our countries will comprise the overwhelming majority of the adults
at that time. The children who in the year 2000 will be under 15 will be
born just 2 years from now. Whatever efforts are made today to protect
them, to prevent their death and illness, to provide them with food,
housing, medicine, clothing and education will shape the basic human
qualities of that decisive percentage of the future population of the

And yet, in view of the present trends, what sort of a world will we hand
over to those children? What sort of a life awaits those 5 billion human
beings who have to be fed in the countries of our underdeveloped world --
who will have to be clothed, shod and sheltered, whose minds will strive
for knowledge, who will struggle for a decent life worthy at least of the
human condition? What will their quality of life be like? By the year 2000
the average annual per capita GNP in the developed countries will amount to
almost $8,500, while the underdeveloped countries' will remain under $590.
The value of the per capita gross production which in 1975 was 11 times
lower for the underdeveloped world than it was for the developed world will
be 14 tines lower by the year 2000, therefore increasing the inferiority

We will have poorer countries. At their present growth rates, the poorest
countries will need 2 to 4 thousand years to bridge the gap separating them
from the present level of the most developed capitalist countries.

The food situation is another index of the quality of life having the
greatest negative impact on the underdeveloped countries. According to
recent FAO data, 40 million people, half of them children, die each year of
hunger and malnutrition. If we were to decide to keep one minute of silence
for each person who died in 1982 due to hunger-related causes, we would not
be able to celebrate the advent of the 21st century because we would still
have to remain silent.

In 1975, in 80 underdeveloped countries, over 10 percent of the population
suffered from undernourishment. In 49 of them, this figure was over 15
percent. As we have said, while tens of millions of people literally starve
to death in the poorest countries each year, health statistics from the
developed capitalist countries reveal the continuous growth among the
highest income population groups in the incidence of illnesses deriving at
least partially from an excessive food intake.

Future projections, although they are not all similar, are all equally
grim. The FAO, for instance, estimates that 10 years from now 150 million
human beings will join those who are currently suffering hunger and
malnutrition. For its part, the World Bank has estimated that the number of
undernourished will rise from 600 million in the mid-70's to the impressive
amount of 1.3 billion in the year 2000. UNICEF forecasts that in the year
2000, one out of every five children in the world will be malnourished
while in the developed countries life expectancy at birth ranges from 72 to
74 years; in the underdeveloped world this rate does not surpass 55 years.
In the countries of central and western Africa, life expectancy varies from
42 to 44 years while in the developed countries full maturity is attained
at the age of 45. In underdeveloped nations, this is the most its citizens
can expect to live.

According to World Health Organization data, infant mortality which in 1981
varied from 10 to 20 deaths per thousand live births in the developed
countries as a whole, in the poorest countries was 10 times higher. UNICEF
has given us a very graphic and dramatic picture of this fact. Of the 122
million children born in 1980 which was proclaimed by the international
committee as the International Year of the Child, 12 million -- 1 out of
every 10 -- died before the end of 1981, 95 percent of them in
underdeveloped countries. During their first year of life, 9 out of 10
children in the poorest countries are never given the most elementary
health service, much less are they vaccinated against the most common
childhood diseases. The executive director of UNICEF has said that in 1981
the life of a child would be worth less than $100 per year. If this sum
were carefully spent on each one of the 500 million poorest children of
this world, this sum would have covered basic health assistance, elementary
education, care during pregnancy, and dietary improvement, and would have
ensured hygienic conditions and the safe water supply for them.

In practice, it turned out to be too high a price for the world community,
and that is why in 1981 every 2 seconds a child paid that price with his
life. Malaria killed 1 million children each year in Africa. Nevertheless,
it is estimated that the world cost of malaria campaigns would amount to
only $2 billion per year; that is, a sum equivalent to what mankind invests
in military expenditures every 36 hours.

The phenomena of unemployment and underemployment are other serious
problems of the present social situation of the underdeveloped countries.
According to recent ILO estimates, the total amount of chronically
unemployed and underemployed people in the Third World amounts to over 500
million, the equivalent of 50 percent of the economically active
population. It is a paradox that in a world where there is so much poverty,
where most of the basic needs of millions of human beings remain unmet,
man's productive capacity cannot be fully used.

Moreover, in these countries, oppressed by poverty, 98 percent of the 51
million children under 15 who work in the world are to be found generally
under conditions of extreme exploitation and lacking all rights. If the
children of our countries starve to death, if their health cannot be
protected, if they lack shelter, if they cannot work when they become
adolescents, what could be the level of education for them in their
precarious existence?

UNESCO estimates that in 1980 there were 814 million illiterate adults,
most of them in the underdeveloped countries. In the 60's, a period of a
sudden upsurge in science and knowledge, the number of persons who could
read and write increased by 100 million. According to UNESCO data, 48
percent of the adult population in the underdeveloped countries are
illiterate. Ten underdeveloped countries alone account for 425 million
illiterates. In 23 of the poorest countries, over 70 percent of their adult
population cannot read or write.

We do not wish, Madame Chairman and distinguished heads of state or
government, to tire you by dwelling on this drama. To summarize we have a
chart in our book which will give you a sinister but very realistic picture
of the underdeveloped world. In the Third World there are people who suffer
from hunger, more than 500 million; who have a life expectancy under 60,
1.7 billion; lacking all access to medical care, 1.5 billion; living in
extreme poverty, more than 1 billion; who are unemployed and underemployed
in the developing world, more than 500 million and within it an annual per
capita income of under 150 dollars, 800 million; who are adult illiterates,
814 million; who are children lacking schools or are unable to attend them,
more than 200 million; who lack a permanent and safe water supply, 2
billion. What will these figures be in the coming 20 years?

This is a dramatic situation whose solution is up to us all. The proof that
these basic problems of public health, education and other social problems
can be solved is the case of our country. If together with profound
structural changes just economic relations among developed and
underdeveloped countries can be established -- such as those which govern
our relations with the socialist community in this sphere -- Cuba, despite
underdevelopment, the brutal economic blockade imposed by the United States
for more than 20 years, the relations of unequal exchange affecting part of
its foreign trade combined with the other problems affecting that part of
our economy which depends on relations with the developed capitalist world,
has made remarkable progress in just a few years in the spheres of public
health, education, culture and other basic aspects essential to the life of
our people.

At present, our country has 17,026 doctors, a ratio of one per 576
inhabitants. We have 48 hospital beds per 10,000 people. It has reduced
infant mortality to 17.3 per thousand live births, a ratio similar to that
of many developed countries and better than some and a life expectancy at
birth which is already 73.5 years.

Vaccination programs against the main communicable diseases are applied to
100 percent of the children. Diseases like poliomyelitis and malaria have
been eradicated. The cases of tuberculosis, leprosy, tetanus, whooping
cough, diphtheria, typhoid fever and others have been controlled and
considerably reduced and the mortality due to acute diarrheal disease has
been reduced to a minimum. Hemorrphagic dengue whose introduction in our
homeland was undoubtedly performed by Yankee imperialism as were other
animal and plant diseases was equally eradicated.

Illiteracy which affected 30 percent of the population was eradicated in
record time. A minimum educational level of sixth grade has been achieved
by most of the population -- the average being even higher -- and work is
underway to raise that minimum to the ninth grade. One hundred percent of
school age children attend school; over 90 percent finished the ninth
grade; 425,000 youths have been trained in technical and professional
schools; another 250,000 are teachers; and 155,000 have graduated from our
universities. Our present enrollment in centers of higher education is
200,000 in a total population of less than 10 million.

Unemployment, racial discrimination, discrimination against women, beggars,
prostitutes, gambling, drugs and slums have all been eradicated. At
present, over 14,000 Cuban civilians, including doctors, health care
personnel, teachers, engineers, economists and other technicians and
skilled workers provide their services in more than 30 Third World
countries -- in most cases, free of charge. [applause]

More than 150,000 Cubans have rendered internationalist services in the
past 10 years. On the other hand, over 19,000 youths from 80 Third World
countries are studying in our country, the foreign scholarship students per
capita being higher than that of any other country in the world. This also
shows what can be done in the broad and practically unexplored field of
cooperation among the developing countries.

In addressing the UN General Assembly in 1979, to report on the sixth
summit conference I presented what could be considered a set of Third World
demands in view of this already worsening situation. There, I also raised
the need for a flow of additional resources of no less than $300 billion in
1977 real values to the Third World in the next 10 years. In the light of
the present situation, all of those proposals have become insufficient.

However, whenever I reflect on the very serious economic crisis affecting
the Third World on its grim future -- and I relate this to the arms race
unleashed by imperialism -- I have often wondered, why does the United
States arm itself beyond all limits, beyond all rational requirements,
beyond all reasonable logic? Why does it produce not only new nuclear
weapon delivery vehicles, neutron bombs, new mass-extermination weapons
systems, new chemical and bacteriological weapons, but also new aircraft
carriers, new battleships, new destroyers, new and sophisticated
conventional sea, air and land weapons? Why does it establish new rapid
deployment forces? Why does it seek for and set up military bases on all
continents? Why does it create arsenals in every possible place? Why does
it exert pressures on its allies in the developed capitalist countries
which share in the exploitation of the Third World so that they will
increase their military spending and arm themselves to the teeth? Is it
only to fight their adversaries in the Warsaw Treaty Organization or is it
that imperialism, perhaps aware of the economic and social realities of the
underdeveloped countries, foresees a Third World which is rent by unending
poverty crisis and exploitation that has been imposed on the latter and is
preparing itself militarily to impose Yankee order and peace by fighting
underdevelopment, hunger, ignorance, squalor and lack of basic means for
living and the consequent rebellion and disorder which this produces with
their soldiers' bayonets, the guns of their battleships and the bombs of
their planes to secure indispensable oil and raw materials? Such
considerable military preparations of a conventional nature are directly
aimed at the Third World. If not, what would be the use of many of those
means of war? As we said in the United Nations, bombs may kill the hungry,
the sick and the ignorant, but they cannot kill hunger, disease and

As may be noted, there is a dramatic link between peace and development.
With just one-third of the $650 billion used every year for military
spending and of the 15 trillion that will be spent in the coming decades of
the present rate of growth of such expenditures, there would be more than
enough financial resources to solve the problems of the world's economic
and social underdevelopment. This would contribute moreover to considerably
mitigating the economic problems of the developed capitalist countries

In the face of the nuclear tragedy which threatens us, the drama of
underdevelopment and exploitation which oppresses us and the economic and
social crisis which scorches us, there is no place for resignation or
accommodation. The only solution in keeping with man's stature is to
struggle, and this is the message which I contribute at the end of the term
as chairman of the movement of nonaligned countries -- struggle. [applause]

Struggle tirelessly for peace, improved international relations, a halt to
the arms race and a drastic reduction in military spending and to demand
that a considerable part of those funds be dedicated to developing the
Third World. Struggle without respite for an end to the unequal trade that
depresses our real export income, shifts the cost of the inflation
generated in the developed capitalist countries to our economies and ruins
our peoples. Struggle against protectionism that multiplies the tariff and
nontariff barriers and hinders the access of our export commodities and
manufactured goods to their markets. Struggle for the cancellation of the
external debts of the large number of countries which have no real
possibilities of paying them back and [to] drastically lighten the burden
of debt servicing for those that under new conditions may be able to
fulfill their commitments. Struggle for emergency measures to halt or to
compensate for the drop in the underdeveloped countries' export earnings
and other measures of direct assistance to bring about a sound balance of
payments. Struggle to establish a new equitable, stable and universal
international financial and monetary system whose credit and voting options
reflect the needs of the various groups and categories of countries rather
than the economic power of some of its members that is capable of acting in
a genuinely multilateral sense rather than in response to the pressures
exerted by transnational banks or by a group of capitalist powers and that
in short can respond in the long run in keeping with the magnitude and
structural character of the underdeveloped countries' balances of payments.
Struggle with international support to draw up plans so that each country
can meet its own needs for basic foodstuffs as much as possible to find an
immediate solution for the acute deficit in food in certain regions of the
world by means of a considerable flow drawn from the large world excesses
transferred in the form of donations, soft loans and sales at special
prices to create an awareness of the inevitable need if we are to bring an
end to world underemployment, unemployment and hunger for profound social
economic and structural changes such as agrarian reforms which will make it
possible to adopt better forms of agricultural production and also with
international cooperation to promote programs against erosion, desiccation,
deforestation and other forms of soil deterioration, also protecting the
main sources of water in each country.

To struggle for industrialization that reflects our interests, that can be
integrated with the rest of the economy and which paves the way for
development and to keep the transnational corporations and foreign private
investors from controlling and from carrying out and in fact deforming the
process of industrialization in the Third World. To struggle in each of our
countries for the adoption of measures to control and limit the activities
of the transnational corporations fully exercising our right to sovereignty
over our resources including our right to nationalize them. To struggle
resolutely for a stable and final solution to the Third World's energy
needs keeping in mind, in addition to oil, the joint use of other renewable
sources of energy and the international economic cooperation that is
absolutely essential for their development. To struggle to ensure along
with the absolutely necessary flow of substantial resources derived from
the reduction of military spending and from other sources a contribution of
financial, technological and human sources that will help to solve the
complex problems which we have previously analyzed.

Many countries, including a group of underdeveloped ones, that do not have
a required financial means could participate by contributing other
resources in line with their possibilities -- for instance, by sending
doctors, engineers, planners, teachers and other technicians either free of
charge or under favorable payment conditions.

To struggle consistently for a solid and coherent movement of cooperation
among the underdeveloped countries. To struggle to rescue and apply the
most positive aspects of our demands for a new international economic order
fighting those who attempt to water them down and to continue calling for a
process of global negotiations that would serve as a true forum for the
discussion of and search for solutions to our most pressing problems. To
struggle to make all the Third World states aware of the need to promote
the indispensable internal structural changes and the measures aimed at
raising the people s standard of living which are an inseparable part of
any real process of development, especially those related to income
redistribution, job creation, health, housing and education. To struggle
urgently to tackle the present critical situation of health in the Third
World through the massive mobilization of national and international
financial and human resources which are needed. To struggle firmly with the
required international assistance to develop programs to combat illiteracy,
to provide schooling for all children, to raise the levels of teaching, to
train technicians and skilled personnel on a mass scale, to give our people
access to a university education and to develop the rich, age-old potential
of our peoples' cultures combating all forms of dependence on cultural
colonialism and the deformation of our own cultures. To struggle to
increase the prestige, authority and role of the United Nations and its
specialized agencies to give them our solid support as a majority in the
struggle for peace and security for all peoples, for a fair international
order and for a solution to the tragic problem of underdevelopment that
adversely affects the vast majority of countries. The existence of such an
organization as the United Nations with growing solidity, influence and
power is increasingly needed for the future of the world. To struggle
tenaciously to promote the closest possible unity of the movement of the
nonaligned countries and with all other Third World states. [applause]

We must not allow anybody or anything to divide us. We must solve the
problems that some of our countries are facing through negotiations and
political formulas. Let us form an indestructible battleline of peoples to
demand recognition of our noble aspirations, our legitimate interests and
our inalienable right to survive both as Third World countries and as an
inseparable part of mankind. We have never been characterized by resigned
submission or defeatism when faced with difficulties. We have confronted
complex, difficult situations in the last few years with unity, firmness
and determination. Together we have striven and struggled and together we
have achieved victories. In this same spirit and this same determination we
must be ready to wage the most colossal, legitimate, worthy and necessary
battle for our people's lives and future.

Thank you. [applause]