Fidel: 'We will not remain silent before any crime against other peoples'

Jose G. Perez jg_perez at SPAMbellsouth.net
Mon Aug 7 13:55:13 MDT 2000


Cuba's Fidel Castro: We will not remain silent
before any crime or injustice against other Peoples

[Cuba this year held three celebrations of the July 26, 1953 attack on
the Moncada barracks that marked the initiation of the revolutionary
struggle that culminated as the year 1959 dawned with the overthrow of
the U.S.-sponsored dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista.

[The first commemorative action was a million-strong March of the
Fighting People on July 26 itself in front of the U.S. Interests
Section against the Cuban-American Adjustment Act, the U.S. economic
blockade and the whole hostile policy of the U.S. Government towards
Cuba.

[The second activity was held in Santa Clara, in front of the
mausoleum that has the remains of Che Guevara and other
internationalist fighters who took part in Che's Bolivia campaign. At
that event, Fidel Castro gave a speech going over the history of the
revolution, and U.S. attempts to overthrow it. That speech has already
been posted.

[The third event was one week later, on Saturday, August 5, in Pinar
del Río, Cuba's westernmost province. The speech is focused on the
current political conjuncture, and especially an evaluation of the
electoral farce currently underway in the United States.

[Of special interest is his evaluations of the two candidates the
Democrats and Republicans are offering this year:

["Pero nunca tal vez, en tiempos tan complejos y caóticos como los que
vive hoy la humanidad, se enfrentaron dos candidatos tan aburridos e
insípidos, carentes de aval histórico y de criterios y principios
sólidos, como los que hoy compiten por el mando de la superpotencia
hegemónica en un mundo unipolar y globalizado. No poseen siquiera la
inquietud sincera por determinados problemas sociales, la sagacidad
intelectual y la cultura personal de Clinton, pese a las vacilaciones
y errores de éste."

["But perhaps never before, in times as complex and chaotic as these
facing humanity today, has there been two such boring and colorless
candidates, so totally devoid of background history and sound views
and principles as those competing today for leadership in the sole
hegemonic superpower of our unipolar and globalized world. They even
lack Clinton's sincere concern over certain social issues, his
intellectual shrewdness and personal culture, despite his hesitations
and errors."

[I offer both the English and Spanish of that paragraph, for the
benefit of people here who also speak Spanish, as I think it proved
difficult to capture in translation the full impact of Fidel's
scathing tone. But since even short speeches are fairly lengthy texts,
I'm not going to also post the full Spanish text on this list since it
is primarily made up of English speakers. I can email it to anyone who
wants it or people can get it for themselves at this URL:

[ http://www2.cuba.cu/gobierno/discursos/

[That site, by the way, has the text of many speeches and other
statements made by Fidel since 1996, and those since 1998 usually have
translations into English, and often into French, Portuguese, Italian,
German and Russian.

[The other part of the speech that will be of special interest, I
think, to those coming from currents like Trotskyism which viewed the
Soviet leadership as consciously subordinating the world struggle for
socialism to making deals with imperialism is the following,
concerning a possible normalization of relations between Cuba and the
United States:

["They should not entertain any illusion regarding Cuba's stance if
relations between the United States and our country ever become as
normal as those currently existing with other socialist countries like
China and Vietnam.

["We will not remain silent in the face of any crime, aggression or
injustice committed against other peoples. Our battle of ideas will
not cease as long as the current imperialist, hegemonic and unipolar
system is still in place and remains a scourge of humanity and a
mortal threat to the survival of our species."]

*   *   *

SPEECH DELIVERED BY DR. FIDEL CASTRO RUZ, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF
CUBA, AT THE COMMEMORATION OF THE 47TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE JULY 26,
1953 ATTACK ON THE MONCADA GARRISON HELD IN THE PROVISIONAL REVOLUTION
SQUARE OF PINAR DEL RIO.

AUGUST 5, 2000

People of Pinar del Río;

Fellow countrymen of Cuba;

Distinguished guests:

      Our neighbor, the empire, is living election time. Everybody
knows by now who are the candidates to the presidency of the
government of the United States, our stubborn, arrogant and
overbearing adversary. During the long, hard struggle for the return
of the kidnapped boy we were able to learn about all the contenders
for this coveted position. Not a single one of them had the decency or
the sense of justice to support the rights of the boy and his father.
Desperately pandering the Cuban-American annexationist mob for their
few votes and, particularly, for their abundant funds, they supported
the kidnappers or shamelessly encouraged the defection of the father,
who is a humble, honest and incorruptible Cuban worker.

      Under certain historical circumstances there have been
candidates in the United States with deep convictions like Lincoln,
with the wisdom of a statesman like Roosevelt during truly difficult
times for his country and the world, or the ethics born of sincere
religious beliefs of a man like Carter, who was perhaps worthy of
better luck in the face of the galloping inflation brought about by
the misadventure of the Vietnam War and the energy crisis. Those
personalities have aroused great interest both within the United
States and abroad.

      But perhaps never before, in times as complex and chaotic as
these facing humanity today, has there been two such boring and
colorless candidates, so totally devoid of background history and
sound views and principles as those competing today for leadership in
the sole hegemonic superpower of our unipolar and globalized world.
They even lack Clinton's sincere concern over certain social issues,
his intellectual shrewdness and personal culture, despite his
hesitations and errors.

      Regardless of who wins the presidency, he will control deadly
weapons and have direct command of the suitcase carrying the nuclear
codes. He will be the master of war and peace in the world, much more
powerful than any emperor in ancient Rome.

      In the United States, the final stage of the political contest
begins when one of the candidates controls the majority of delegates
from one of the two main factions prevailing in that country's
political system where hundreds of millions of dollars are usually
invested.

      First comes the ritual of choosing a vice president. Of course,
the candidate based on purely electoral interests and tactics chooses
him. Then comes the pompous presidential nomination ceremony, and
nothing less than an alleged government platform without the slightest
value as a mandate or as a standard for ethical or political conduct.
It is usually a simple summary of moods, group interests, shady deals,
posturing and phrases intended to sweetening the ears of one voting
sector or another, in the midst of a ferocious battle where each side
tries to balance the accusations of being too liberal or too
conservative that the two factions throw at each other. No one should
expect sincerity, a sense of responsibility for the country or the
world, or the slightest reflection of profound knowledge, genuine
political culture or awareness of the serious problems facing
humanity.

      The so-called Republican Convention has just come to an end. It
was held in none other than the city of Philadelphia, home to the
famous 1776 Declaration of Independence. Actually, while those
slaveholders who rebelled against the British colonial rule did not
abolish the disgraceful practice of slavery --which remained in effect
for almost a whole century longer, and racial discrimination is still
very deeply rooted in American society-- they were after all the
bearers of the most advanced political ideas of the time.

      We recently witnessed how the mere idea of creating an
antimissile shield in violation of major international agreements
aroused a significant international reaction. Yet, the first
announcement made at the Republican Convention just held in
Philadelphia under the leadership of the party's illustrious candidate
was the plan to considerably raise the military budget for research
and development, and the construction of an antimissile shield to
cover the entire nation with a radar network that could detect enemy
missiles en route to U.S. territory and shoot them down in mid-air.

      Those holding these views are unable to understand that such a
policy would meet with the overwhelming opposition of the rest of the
world, including Europe. That, like a magnet, it would bring together
all those nations threatened by a strategy that would leave them
helpless against the United States. A new, dangerous and extremely
costly arms race would immediately follow and nothing could prevent
the proliferation of nuclear arms and other weapons of mass
destruction.

      The authors of the plan know very well that slightly more than
half the American people, who are still confused and insufficiently
informed about this complex issue, believe that to be the most
suitable solution in the interest of the country's peace and security.
However, the adoption of this extreme position by the Republican
candidate vis à vis any other more sensible or reasonable proposal
from his opponent would present him to voters as the strong,
farsighted, tough guy that the United States needs to confront all
imaginary or real dangers. This is the good news they sent out from
Philadelphia to all of the peoples on Earth.

      What does this smart platform have to offer Latin America and
the Caribbean in particular? There is a phrase that says it all: "The
next American century should include all of the Americas." This simple
statement means no less than the proclamation of the United States'
right of ownership over Latin America and the Caribbean.

      It later adds, "In concert with the Congress, (the president)
will work with key democracies like Argentina, Brazil, Chile,
and --above all-- Mexico." They do not specify if that American
century will include Pinochet-like governments or military juntas like
the one in Argentina, which vanished tens of thousands of people after
a series of coups d'état promoted by previous Republican
administrations that maintained close cooperation with those brutally
repressive regimes.

      Particularly striking is the phrase that reads: "...and --above
all-- Mexico" since that is a country they robbed of half its
territory through an unjustifiable, expansionist war.

      Their obvious intent is to begin with the economic annexation
and full political subordination of that country to the United States
and then do likewise with the rest of the countries in our region,
imposing a free trade agreement essentially favorable to U.S.
interests, from which not even the tiniest Caribbean island could
escape. They mean, of course, the free circulation of capital and
commodities, not the people! The United States does not intend to be
full of indigenous people, blacks or mestizos; not even full of white
Latin Americans because they are not of pure Aryan blood, and none can
escape the suspicion of carrying distant genes from the genome of
another human race. Neither the Ku Klux Klan nor the other passionate
and increasingly numerous admirers of the swastika would permit it.

      As expected, the highly biased Philadelphia platform devotes a
substantial part of its section on Latin America to Cuba. According to
the wire services it reads: "Our economic and political relations will
change when the Cuban regime frees all political prisoners, legalizes
peaceful protest, allows opposition political activity, permits free
expression, and commits to democratic elections." For the authors of
this demagogic abomination, freedom and democracy mean an outdated,
corrupt system in which it is money alone that decides and elects, and
in which a presidential candidate is nominated, with lightning speed,
as the heir to a vacant throne only on account of his father's
powerful influence and the millions of dollars in donations from those
expecting major privileges from the new leader. That is really
light-years away from what the country's founding fathers dreamed of
over two centuries ago.

      Another wire story reports that: "The platform, aside from
active support for the enemies of the Revolution, includes the
broadcasting of news from the United States to the Caribbean nation."
That is, they intend to keep up with the filth spewed against Cuba by
subversive radio stations located in U.S. territory; they will persist
in the outrageous use of the name of José Martí --a name that is
glorious and sacred to our people-- in official U.S. government
broadcasts directed against Cuba.

      Yet, another wire story reports that "the members of the Florida
delegation said at a press conference that the final wording of the
declaration was the result of the work of the representatives of the
state that is home to the main enclave of the Cuban-American vote in
the United States, which is predominantly Republican." At the press
conference, the hysterical Díaz-Balart euphorically squealed, "This is
unprecedented language. Never before has the Republican Party made
such a broad commitment." They cannot forget the enormous and crushing
defeat sustained by the Cuban-American mob recently, one from which it
will never recover.

      Meanwhile, Ileana Ross, the ferocious she-wolf who wrapped Elián
in the Stars and Stripes flag, jubilantly declared that the Republican
's is "the party that promotes democracy." This is a lie! This is an
utter, shameless lie! There are Republicans who promote even fascism
but there are also many decent Republicans who do not share or support
the extremist right-wing "democracy" this woman believes in, that of
terrorists and lawbreakers capable of kidnapping, tormenting and
politically exploiting an innocent six-year-old boy for months.

      According to a wire story sent out from Philadelphia on July 31,
the Republican Party platform holds that "the United States, under the
presidency of George Bush, should strengthen the policy against Cuba
with active support of dissidents on the island." It then goes on:
"Although the platform basically maintains the same policy, it makes
clear their open support for the opponents of Fidel Castro." This is
good, really excellent! There will be absolutely no need to prove what
everyone in our country knows so well: that is, the mercenary and
traitorous nature of the tiny counterrevolutionary groups working in
our country on the empire's payroll. Their clumsy masters are heedless
of the fact that after the seven months of unrelenting battle waged by
our people against the repugnant misdeeds of the Miami annexationist
mob and the U.S. extreme right, the members of these groups have been
left like fish out of water.

      "U.S. policy toward Cuba should be based upon sound, [...]
principles," states the section on Cuba in the chapter entitled
Neighborhood of the Americas. It takes a lot of nerve to use the words
"sound principles" to describe the gases emanating from the stinking
sewer of the Miami terrorist and mercenary mob!

      To top off the mountain of garbage contained in the Republican
platform, it is finally stated: "Republicans believe that the United
States should adhere to the principles established by the 1966 Cuban
Adjustment Act, which recognizes the rights of Cuban refugees fleeing
communist tyranny." Excellent! There will be no need to explain much
further to the Cuban people the reasons for the Oath of Baraguá and
the need to continue, without rest or respite, our struggle against
the narrow-minded policy reiterated against Cuba.

      The prestige of the imperial policy will so crumble that not
even its dust will remain. We will systematically denounce and
demolish one by one, its hypocrisy and lies. They obviously have
absolutely no idea what kinds of people have been forged in these 40
years of Revolution.

      Our message will reach all corners of the Earth, and our
struggle will serve as an example. The world, ever more ungovernable,
will fight until hegemony and the subjugation of peoples become
totally unsustainable.

      Whoever is elected leader of the empire should not ignore that
Cuba demands the total removal of the murderous Cuban Adjustment Act
and the criminal pieces of legislation that bear the notorious names
of Torricelli and Helms-Burton as well as the genocidal blockade and
economic war.

      It should be noted that those who have authored, promoted and
enforced these laws and policies are guilty of the crime of genocide,
as defined and condemned by international treaties signed by both the
United States and Cuba. Also that, our nation being the aggrieved
party, the Cuban courts has jurisdiction over these matters.

      They must not forget that although no lawsuits have been filed
so far demanding compensation for moral damage --and this compensation
could be substantial-- the U.S. government already owes the Cuban
people over 300 billion dollars for the human damage resulting from
its mercenary invasion by the Bay of Pigs, its dirty war and many
other crimes, and for the economic ravages caused by the blockade.
This claim is based on firm rulings issued after absolutely legal
proceedings pursued in a court of law to which the U.S. authorities,
out of arrogance and moral cowardice, did not even deign to send their
representatives.

      They should not entertain any illusion regarding Cuba's stance
if relations between the United States and our country ever become as
normal as those currently existing with other socialist countries like
China and Vietnam.

      We will not remain silent in the face of any crime, aggression
or injustice committed against other peoples. Our battle of ideas will
not cease as long as the current imperialist, hegemonic and unipolar
system is still in place and remains a scourge of humanity and a
mortal threat to the survival of our species.

      A growing number of millions of Americans are becoming aware of
the horrors of the economic and political order imposed on the world.
Those who have been able thus far to manipulate human destinies as
they see fit can no longer even meet in Seattle or Washington to
promote their dirty policies in the WTO or the International Monetary
Fund because a growing number of thousands and tens of thousands of
Americans have taken to the streets near their meeting places in
protest despite a brutal repression with methods of violence and hate
that are reminiscent of Hitler's assault troops or Pinochet's
ferocious police force.

      The Cuban Revolution does not merely confide in the moral
integrity and patriotic and revolutionary spirit of its people, and in
the survival instinct of the human species, whose very existence is
threatened. It also believes and confides in the traditional idealism
of the American people that can only be led into unjust wars and
shameful aggressions on the basis of vulgar deceit. Once demagoguery
and lies are definitely exposed and defeated, the world will find
excellent allies in the American people. This is what happened in the
case of the repugnant war that cost the lives of millions of
Vietnamese and over 50,000 young Americans. A more recent example is
the American people noble support of a little boy and a Cuban family,
victims of a brutal crime perpetrated by a band of criminals who,
after having taken advantage of that country's hospitality, ended up
showing their hatred and frustration by trampling and burning the U.S.
flag. That has never happened in revolutionary Cuba, despite the
blockade and the crimes committed against our people by successive
U.S. administrations.

      The changes in U.S. policy toward Cuba must be unilateral
because the U.S. leaders have unilaterally imposed the blockade and
economic war against Cuba.

      Fellow countrymen: Pinar del Río was the poorest province in
Cuba before the triumph of the Revolution. Its lands were the property
of big landowners. In no other province of our country did
sharecroppers and tenant farmers pay such high rents for the use of
those lands. Many had to turn over at least 30% of their crops. Pinar
del Río was once known as the Cinderella of Cuba.

      As I told you on another occasion, a medical student once said
to me, years after the triumph of the Revolution, "It isn't Cinderella
anymore; now it's the princess." The 16 poorly run health care
centers, which provided medical care with around 100 private
practices, have raised to 125.

      The 248 doctors, 25 dentists and 50 nurses and assistants became
3473 doctors, 569 dentists and 5702 nurses and assistants, who provide
services that are free of charge to the entire population.

      The infant mortality rate of 60.5 per 1000 live births became
6.5, a rate lower than that of the United States.

      The average life expectancy rose from 53 to 76.5 years.

      The illiteracy rate of 30% among people over 10 years of age is
now practically 0%.

      The average level of schooling has gone from second grade to
ninth.

      The 1710 teachers became 18,816.

      An education budget of five or six million pesos grew to 113
million.

      The number of women who are university graduates rose from 33 to
22,940.

      The number of university-graduate professionals rose from 541 to
46,500.

      The number of cultural institutions rose from 25 to 171.

      The number of sports facilities rose from 42 to 604.

      Unemployment dropped from 30% to 4%.

      I have limited myself to just a few figures related to social
features of great importance to the lives of human beings: health,
education, culture, sports and employment.

      Its universities, its scientific institutions with over 200 PhDs
and Masters in science, its hospitals, its sports and recreational
facilities, its elders' homes and the full social security of its
people have transformed the human face of what was once the Cinderella
of Cuba. The same thing has happened throughout the whole country,
from Punta de Maisí to Cabo de San Antonio. No other people in the
world have achieved such progress in such a short time while facing
constant aggression, blockade and economic warfare.

      There has not been a single political assassination, a single
execution without due process, a single person vanished or tortured
throughout these 41 years of Revolution in Cuba. However, these things
still happen in many parts of the world, including the United States.
All of our fellow countrymen know this, even preschool children.

      Almost half of our Parliament is made up of constituency
delegates nominated and elected by local residents, with no
interference whatsoever from the Party. Municipal assemblies, made up
by the respective constituency delegates in every municipality
nominate all of the members of this supreme state body. All of the
members of our Parliament, which in turn elects the nation's executive
and judicial powers, must be elected, without exception, by over 50%
of those who exercise their right to direct vote by secret ballot. No
guns are used to guard the voting stations; the ballot boxes are
protected by our children with the same efficiency they showed in
protecting the U.S. Interests Section during the combative marches and
massive demonstrations held in its vicinity, when not a single window
was ever broken.

      However, imperialism calls everything I have mentioned here a
violation of human rights. As a result, the country that has carried
out this tremendous human feat is the victim of a blockade, hostility
and a thousand other forms of aggression. Due to the achievement of
such lofty advances, we are now the only nation in the world subjected
to such ferocious harassment by the government of the United States,
which is the wealthiest, the mightiest and the sole superpower in the
world today.

      How vain are the hopes of those who have just proclaimed the
continuation of the cynical and criminal policy I described at the
beginning of my remarks!

      From here, from this province where the Bronze Titan ultimately
crowned, in Mantua, the colossal feat of the invasion he had begun in
Mangos de Baraguá, we say to them: You ignorants! Do you not
understand that Cuba is impregnable, that its Revolution is
indestructible, that its people will never bow down or surrender? Do
you not realize that our patriotism and internationalism are as deeply
rooted in our minds and hearts as the imposing mogotes of Pinar del
Río are in the volcanic rocks of this part of an island that is called
Cuba and is surrounded today by the halo of having successfully
endured almost 42 years of blockade and aggression by the most
formidable power that ever existed? We are defended by the strength of
our prestige and the example we have set, the indestructible steel
that is the justice of our cause, the inextinguishable fire of our
truth and our morale as well as the double trench of stone and ideas
that we have built which is unassailable.

      That is why, Mr. Bush, if you finally become the leader of what
no longer is and can no longer be called a republic but rather an
empire, then, in the spirit of an honest adversary, I suggest that you
leave aside the euphoria and fever of your Convention, and reconsider
your position in order to avoid the risk of becoming the tenth
American president to come and go watching with sterile and
unnecessary bitterness a Revolution that will not bow down or
surrender and that can never be destroyed.

      I am very much aware of what you have recklessly told your close
and indiscreet friends in the Cuban-American mob: that you can solve
the problem of Cuba very easily, in clear reference to the methods
used in the sinister era when the Central Intelligence Agency was
directly involved in assassination plots against our country's
leaders. Because I do not share this narrow view of the role of
individuals in history, I urge you not to forget that for every one of
the revolutionary leaders you may decide to so remove, there are
millions of men and women in Cuba who are capable of taking their
places and altogether there are far more of them than you could ever
remove, or that your immense political, economic and military power
could ever defeat.

      You, the people of Pinar del Río, have earned the honor of
hosting the commemoration of the 47th anniversary of the July 26.

      In the face of the cynical Philadelphia platform, let us renew
once again the oath we made in Baraguá: "The Cuban Adjustment Act must
end!

      "The Helms-Burton Act must end!

      "The Torricelli Act must end!

      "The amendments smuggled into many U.S. Congress laws in an
attempt to aggravate our people's suffering must end!

      "The blockade as a whole and the criminal economic warfare
against Cuba must end!

      "The threats, the subversive campaigns, the destabilization
plans must end!

      "And in due time, given that it is not a priority at this moment
although it is an absolutely just right that cannot be renounced, the
illegally occupied territory of Guantánamo must be returned to Cuba!"
And all of this unconditionally!

      To the people of Pinar del Río we say Congratulations!

      To our fellow countrymen throughout Cuba we say Patria o Muerte!

      Venceremos!









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