Fidel Castro Internet Archive

Speech by Fidel Castro Ruz before Leaving for the Moncada Barracks on July 26, 1953

Delivered: July 26, 1953
Markup: David Walters, 2019
Online Version:

Freedom or Death!


You may be victorious or defeated in a few hours, but hear this well, comrades! This movement will triumph anyway. If you are victorious tomorrow, Martí’s aspirations will became true sooner. If not, the gesture will serve to set an example for the Cuban people to take up the flag and keep going forward. The people will support us in the Eastern region and in the entire island. We the Youth of the Centennial of the Apostle, just as in 1868 and in 1895, here in the East we cry out for the first time: FREEDOM OR DEATH!

You already know the objective of the plan. Without any doubt, it is a dangerous plan and everyone coming with me tonight must do it of their own free will. You still have time to decide. Anyway some of you may have to stay behind because there are not enough weapons. Those who are determined to go, take a step forward. The slogan is not to kill, only as a last resort.

(Typed version-Council of State)
(Versiones Taquigráficas - Consejo de Estado)