Fidel's speech from Saturday, July 29, 2000

Jose G. Perez jg_perez at SPAMbellsouth.net
Tue Aug 1 20:53:32 MDT 2000


[Following is the text of Fidel's speech on Saturday commemorating the
attack on the Moncada barracks. It provides a brief introduction to
Cuba's struggle against U.S. aggressions and some of the achievements
of the revolution.]

People of Villa Clara,

Fellow countrymen,

Guests:

Everything changes, even the time and the way our mass rallies are
held. That was the case the past May Day and this July 26th. The
tenacious and unrelenting struggle to correct a major injustice
against a Cuban child, his father and family, as well as the great
massive battle of ideas waged by our people throughout seven months,
have deeply enriched our revolutionary experience. We now have a great
mobilizing capacity, more organization and better discipline. Hundreds
of new talented speakers, many of them children, teenagers and youths
have emerged everywhere as an irrefutable proof of the unbeatable
educational work of the Revolution.

New and efficient ways to expose our people and the world to our truth
have been developed. Art and oratory, culture and the revolutionary
message have merged almost inseparably in our historical process. The
knowledge, general culture and political consciousness of the Cuban
people are growing swiftly. Long speeches to people rallied in
uncomfortable places under a hot sun will no longer be necessary to
delve into complex issues and explain events which are being debated
and analyzed almost on a daily basis on television, the radio and the
newspapers.

 We are holding this rally today at this Revolutionary Square in front
of the mausoleum keeping the remains of the reinforcement detachment
made up by Che [Guevara] and his brave comrades who perished in a
noble and generous struggle in other nations of the world.

One by one they were sought for and found dispersed in remote places;
one by one their bones were identified. It is our homeland's privilege
to keep in this sanctuary of solidarity and internationalism the
protagonists of one of the most beautiful pages in the history of the
Americas.

 Before Bolívar's and Martí's dreams of unity can be realized, our
Americas are already integrated here. Argentineans, Bolivians,
Peruvians and Cubans --even a daughter of the country that was the
birthplace of the first man who dreamed of a socialist world-- are
forever resting together in this place.

These tombs, whose imposing presence convey an encouraging message,
remind us that we are not alone in this July 26th celebration in Villa
Clara, that here with us are also those who died in the battle where
one after the other the streets and the buildings of this gallant city
were recovered from the claws of the tyrant.

But, even after we had occupied the cities of Santiago de Cuba and
Santa Clara, the struggle did not stop for a second. Our troops
continued their impetuous march with the unanimous support of the
workers and all of the people up to the total collapse of the regime
less than 48 hour later. It was not a forcibly take over with the use
of weapons; it was a Revolution.

Soon, we all realized that the true master was not the overthrown
tyrant; the real master was another one a thousand times more
powerful. Under common circumstances it would have seemed a simple
theory or political hypothesis. Those were times when many still
believed that the peoples' sovereignty and independence were sacred
universal principles accepted and respected by all.

Our people learned their first lesson with the massive departure for
the United States --where their fortunes were kept-- of hundreds of
big plunderers of the public coffers and the worst war criminals who
had tortured and murdered thousands of our sons and daughters. But,
that was only the beginning.

The leaders of that nation immediately cut off all credits and began
an intensive campaign of slanders, which they commonly use to justify
their actions and that still goes on today. Then, the pretext was the
exemplary punishment of the war criminals who failed to escape the
country as well as the nationalization and confiscation of farms, real
states and other unearned riches accumulated in almost seven years of
tyranny.

A crucially needed land reform, which had been decreed four and a half
months after the victory of the Revolution, aroused the wrath of the
empire. Several of its big companies owned extensive areas of the best
land in the country.

Thus, the Revolution was unequivocally sentenced to death. It seemed
quite easy.

That marked the beginning of the air raids by pirate planes coming
from the United States against sugar cane plantations, sugar factories
and even cities; terrorist actions, armed gangs and dirty war;
attempts against the life of leaders, raids from the sea against
coastal facilities and the merchant and fishing fleet; the Bay of Pigs
mercenary invasion and the seemingly final and irresistible weapon
against a small underdeveloped nation: total blockade and economic
warfare.

One after another the corrupted oligarchies and bourgeois governments
in countries of this hemisphere sharing our same language, culture and
colonial history --except for one Latin American country-- joined the
United States in that fratricidal action. Our sugar quota of over 3
million tons obtained in the course of a century was redistributed
among accomplices and traitors. Everything was done in the name of
"freedom" and "democracy", which seldom if ever existed in many of
those same countries.

Once the mercenary invasion had been defeated, other plans were worked
out for a direct invasion of Cuba by the U.S. military forces as
irrefutably proven by declassified official documents. There was even
a real possibility of a nuclear war.

Efforts were made to totally isolate Cuba; sabotages were carried out
against our merchant fleet and our airliners. A civilian plane was
blown up in flight carrying over 70 passengers including our youth
fencing team, which had won all the gold medals in a Central American
Tournament. Biologic warfare has been used to attack people, animals
and plants; bombs have been set up in hotels and other tourist
facilities and other terrorist actions have been directly executed
either by entities run by the U.S. government or through puppet
organizations. Our people have had to endure all of that for four
decades.

The collapse of the socialist camp and the disintegration of the
Soviet Union deprived our country of its basic markets, fuel, and food
supplies, raw materials, equipment and spare parts and led it into an
exceptionally difficult situation. It was disgusting that the moment
was opportunistically chosen by the U.S. administration to try to deal
the final blow to the Revolution using the Torricelli and Helms-Burton
Acts and tens of amendments attached to major legislation in the U.S.
Congress.

For several years many hopelessly awaited the news that the Revolution
no longer existed. However, our people resisted with determination and
that unprecedented feat is for us a legitimate source of pride.

Nothing could prevent the extraordinary social achievements that are
today the subject of admiration of every honest person in the world.
Nothing could prevent the golden pages written in the history book of
internationalism and solidarity with others. Nothing can write off the
example we have set for the world. Our patriotic sentiments are deeper
and our internationalist beliefs have multiplied with the blossoming
in the soul of the Cuban people of that most beautiful of Martí's
ideas, that is, "Humanity is Homeland".

We take pride in those sentiments that led José Martí to Dos Ríos and
Che Guevara and his comrades to Ñacahuazú, Río Grande, Quebrada del
Yuro and La Higuera; that led hundreds of thousands of Cuban
internationalist fighters to Angola, Cuito Cuanavale and the banks of
the Cunene river along the Namibian border providing a decisive
cooperation to the sister nations of Africa for the defeat of one of
the most revolting and hateful bulwarks of racism and fascism.

Those sentiments have led dozens of thousands of medical doctors,
teachers, technicians and construction workers to many distant places
in the world to save lives and relief the pain, to restore and
preserve health, to educate and contribute to the well-being and
development of millions of people, as they have led us to offer our
educational facilities and universities to tens of thousands of youth
from the Third World.

That is a legacy that Cuba --threatened, harassed and blockaded as it
is by the mightiest power on Earth-- has contributed to the future
world which can only be saved by and built on those pillars of
solidarity and internationalism.

The theoreticians and advocates of the imperial policies still dream
that the revolution, which could not be destroyed with such perfidious
and criminal means, might be subverted with such appealing methods as
the one they have called "the policy of people-to-people contact". It
is all right with us; we are willing to take up the challenge but they
should play fair. They should put an end to their conditioning and
remove the murderous Cuban Adjustment Act, the Torricelli and
Helms-Burton Acts and the scores of legal albeit immoral amendments
opportunistically inserted in their legislation. They should
completely end the deadly blockade and the economic warfare.

Likewise, they should respect the constitutional right of their
students, workers, intellectuals, businessmen and Americans in general
to visit our country, to do business, to trade and invest
unrestrictedly --if they so wish-- without ridiculous fear, the same
way we allow our people to freely travel to and live in the United
States. We shall see then if that is the way they can destroy the
Cuban Revolution, which is definitely their purpose.

It is not our intention to disturb the sweet dreams of those who
believe that to be possible. It is simply out of courtesy that I am
warning them that the Cuban Revolution can neither be destroyed by
force nor seduced by fine words.

José Martí said that trenches of ideas are worth more than trenches of
stone, and we share that thought, although he never said that the
latter were unnecessary. A double trench of stones and ideas presently
defends Cuba: the former against brutality. That one is made up by our
people's determination to fight to the end, whatever the consequences,
so that the intelligent weapons and the most sophisticated means
coming out of our potential aggressors' advanced centers that turn out
death instruments are rendered useless.

But, there is also a gigantic trench of beliefs and ideas strong
enough to thwart the whole arsenal of lies, demagoguery and hypocrisy
used by the imperialists to deceive the world. Also, with well-founded
ideas of justice and a sound general and political culture, our people
can defend their identity and be protected from the demi-cultures
emanating from the dehumanized, selfish and irresponsible consumer
societies. We can also be winners in that field and, in fact, we will.

History is on our side because the unfair and globalized political and
economic order imposed on the world is unsustainable and it will
collapse rather sooner than later.

Nature cannot put up with the aggression against its resources and the
environment. The billions of poor people increasingly populating this
planet will become ungovernable. Neither the immigration laws nor the
walled borders will contain them.

Civilization itself is in jeopardy and the politicians, regardless of
their haughtiness or inefficiency, will have to understand that in
this age and on this planet there is no alternative to peace and close
cooperation among the peoples.

The people in our country are very quickly acquiring a deep knowledge
and a growing awareness of these realities. The enormous and combative
march seen in our country's capital barely 72 hours ago is evidence of
this.

Also this massive, well-organized, enthusiastic, exciting and
beautiful rally in Santa Clara confirm it.

That monument, by which we stand now, is like a beacon showing us the
path to the future. The immortal, rather than mortal, remains of our
comrades resting in their tombs are proof of what human beings can do
for a world of justice, peace and fraternity.

Glory be to those who died at the Moncada barracks, at the Bay of
Pigs, in the Escambray area, on the mountains and the cities of Cuba
to make possible the dreams of that July 26th! Glory be to Che Guevara
and those who fought and perished with him! Glory be to those who died
in Guinea Bissau, in the east of Congo, in Ethiopia, in Angola, in
Cuito Cuanavale, in the proximity of the Namibian border and
elsewhere! Glory be to the teachers and civilian workers who perished
in the line of internationalist duty! Honor, gratitude and
appreciation be to the thousands of medical doctors and health workers
who are saving lives in remote corners of the world! Honor and glory
be to the people capable of such deeds! People of Villa Clara, victors
over difficulties and obstacles, who have won the honor of holding the
commemoration of the 47th anniversary of the day when an example and
an idea lit a flame that today expands throughout the world,
congratulations! Fellow countrymen of Cuba, carry on! Ever onward to
victory!






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