[Marxism] Fidel's speech to the UJC Congress closing

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Tue Dec 7 10:57:31 MST 2004

Here are web-links to Fidel Castro's speech to the closing
of the 8th National Congress of the Union of Young Communists
held here in Havana, the nation's capital.

Fidel covered a great deal of ground in these remarks and
was fit as a fiddle from what we could see as he was giving
the talk. 

Just a few of the most striking paragraphs:

Some of the concepts I will touch upon today have already
been discussed and published; some have been developed in
the heat of the struggle; others refer to goals we have
attained; others are just reflections.

Today, when you have invited me to address you, I shall try
to explain how and why this day is very special for all of

Unfortunately, the responsibility I have shouldered
throughout this intense and difficult revolutionary process
and, in particular, my relation with the Battle of Ideas,
oblige me to make reference to my own speeches, ideas and
concepts, something which in no way pleases me, so I beg
your indulgence in advance.

I have never believed that ideas orbit around public
figures; rather, it is the latter that ought to orbit
around ideas.

The fact that I dared to make so many predictions that,
today, people are recognizing as irrefutable truths stems
exclusively from the experience I have accumulated. I could
have died young, as did many other Cuban revolutionaries
throughout our history. Yesterday's and today's enemies did
everything humanly possible to achieve this aim, but I had
the privilege of having struggled for many years, since
early 1953, when we had the idea of seizing the Santiago de
Cuba Regiment's weapons to initiate the struggle. The
credit for this privilege is not mine; the true credit
belongs to those who stood by their beliefs and were
willing to sacrifice even their lives for the aims we
If we criticized the YCL at the last Party Congress for its
weaknesses in grooming members for our vanguard party, we
are today happy to see that the attention they gave to this
crucial matter and the growing strength of the organization
itself have resulted in the YCL supplying the Party with 63
of every 100 members who have come to their 30th birthday.
So, in total, if we count those young members who are under
30 who were allowed to join under a special plan, the YCL
has strengthened the Party with 133,283 new members. This
is their concrete response to the fair criticisms they
The empire will be furious and announce with incredible
cynicism that Cuba must be liberated and democracy brought
to this enslaved people and what is more, teach it to read
and write, as they announce in their 'program for the
transition to capitalism'. The masses, still partially
deceived by the hail of lies and invectives coming from the
powerful imperialist media, will believe us more and more,
as they begin to awaken to what is in store for them and to
understand the huge difference between our system and the
one advocated by the empire.

Capitalism has lost any humanist essence; it lives from
waste and to waste; it cannot escape from that congenital,
incurable disease. Suffice it to say that Cuba has 450
doctors in Haiti, the poorest country in the hemisphere;
the industrialized countries cannot send even 50, for they
have finance capital but lack human capital.

Neither aggression nor blockade, terrorist acts or the
disintegration of the socialist block, unipolar dominion
over the world or the extreme right's rise to power in the
United States which we, in 1998, warned was possible and in
fact likely, have been able to break our heroic people's
spirit of struggle.

You can find the English text of Fidel's very important
discussions at this web location:

You can also find it in Spanish, Arabic, Russian, Portuguese
and Italian at this address:

When Fidel has something even more than usually important 
to tell the Cuban people and the international public, he
usually uses a written text, as he did this time, and it's
made available promptly by the Cuban government for an
entire international audience.

Walter Lippmann
Havana, Cuba

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