Castro Internet Archive
Spoken: July 9, 1960
First Published: July 11, 1960
Source: Castro Speech Database
Markup: Brian Baggins
Online Version: Castro Internet Archive (marxists.org) 2000
(Editor's note--E) The Cuban FIEL radio network on July 9 at 0200 GMT began an interview with Prime Minister Fidel Castro by reporters Mario Cuchilan and Luis Baez. Replying to the first question of Mario Cuchilan on what measures are to be adopted by the revolutionary government in the present economic situation Castro said in brief: The first measure is not to lose patience. I think we must not lose our patience, calm, or good humor. We must take this struggle to victory, forcing our reason to prevail and knowing how to do this.
We are acting with reason and right on our side. They are acting against reason, right, and history. We are certain we will emerge victorious in this struggle. We are absolutely certain we will win the economic battle. We should act in a manner that would be of no benefit to them. They always expect certain reactions from the revolutionary government. They are always mistaken. These mistakes are characteristic of U.S. foreign policy.
They have done all they can to remove the revolutionary government. From the first there have been campaigns, aggressions, lies, aerial incursions. Note how they have used all these weapons at different times. Before the harvests they permitted the planes to fly over. Now that the harvest is done the planes have stopped--as if by order. Now they have reached the stage of direct economic aggression. They have been using the policy of provocation, defamation, and aggression but they will not budget Cuba from its path.
They tell the tourists to stay away yet we, on the other hand, treat the tourists well. We always try to act in the correct manner, with sincerity and clarity. We have never lied. All we have done is defend ourselves from aggression. Until they began their campaign of aggressions what did we do? We did not eject the UNITED PRESS or ASSOCIATED PRESS. They are still here. We brought newsmen from all over to see the truth about Cuba. When they began the air attacks we mobilized the people. We expressed the people's protest. It was proved that the planes were coming from Florida even after the U.S. Government declared they did not come from U.S. territory.
We have never been guilty of any act of aggression. We have only been doing the revolutionary thing in defending ourselves. The result was that President Dorticos was received everywhere with sympathy and Latin American solidarity was seen all over. Eisenhower went to Latin America first and his tour took place amid turmoil and tear gas. Our President went and the result was a triumphant tour. We have been winning all the battles. We won the battle against slander. We also now have plenty of arms; just how much I would not like to reveal here.
I would like to tell the militiamen not to be discouraged about weapons. Every militiamen will have an automatic weapon. That much I can say. (The audience cheers enthusiastically.) We have taken the necessary measures. Each militiaman will have a weapon and the country can count on the security it offers.
The maneuver in Latin America is another tactic against us. The result of this was that we won again and the Cuban President won the Latin American people over.
Then came the oil battle. They conceived the plot of leaving us without fuel. They had great hopes in this maneuver. They were convinced that the oil matter would defeat the revolution. The result of this is that we have taken over the refineries and we have not been left without oil. There are 19 Soviet ships on the way to Cuba with oil.
By the middle of the month the supply will be completely normal. This does not include the effort the government will make to obtain Venezuelan oil. We will ask them to sell us oil which will strengthen our security in fuel supply.
The Soviet ships to arrive are: On July 7, a ship with 70,000 barrels; July 12, another ship with (79,300?) barrels; July 12, another with 76,500 barrels; July 14, another, the Peking, with 170,000 barrels; July 15, a ship with 78,000 barrels; July 16, one with 79,700 barrels; July 19, another ship with 78,000 barrels; July 20, another ship with 78,000 barrels; July 21, another with 78,000; July 22, another ship with 130,000 barrels; July 25, another with 78,000; July 28, another ship with 140,000 barrels; July 31, another ship with 42,000 barrels and 40,000 barrels of another type of fuel; and July 31, another ship with 70,000 barrels; plus three ships, another three ships loaded with fuel, which are on the way.
They thought to reduce the nation seriously. They must, by now, have lost this hope. They calculated incorrectly once again. The result is that we have kept our promise to the people that gasoline would not be lacking.
We have been facing all these aggressions, adopting always the correct policy needed to win battles now and in the future. We have taken measures to grant the power to nationalize U.S. firms when the interests of the country demanded it. In reply to aggression we have adopted a law that will protect the interests of the nation.
All U.S. firms have been here without suffering infringement. The laws we have passed have been aimed at those interests that exploited our country. The fact that American interests still are here proves that the aggression is not on our part. We have been the object of subversive plots and aggressions. These aggressions have been the policy of the U.S. Government. I want to clear this up for they still say they are acting against the government and not the people.
No people is cruel. Those who are cruel are the oligarchs who support powerful interests. Using military interests and political strength, they rule the peoples. The Japanese people could not be held responsible for the oligarchial attack on Pearl Harbor. The people can understand that the people are not responsible for actions of oligarchies during various periods of history. We cannot accuse Romans of the barbarities of Roman senators. The plebians were below the patricians. Below the plebians were the slaves who worked for patricians. One cannot accuse the North American worker, among whom there are intelligent, generous persons, of the deeds committed by his nation. One cannot accuse the southern Negroes, for they are victims of injustice. We want our people to understand these matters of history. We are not going to contribute to errors.
We have been the victims of a series of attacks. A Cuban plane is being held. The Cuban Sugar kings (baseball team) have lost their (franchise?). Our relations with the United States have previously been excellent in matters of support. Today, this spirit has been violated.
We have continued to be victims of a series of aggressions. We shall continue to be victims of this series of aggressions but our weapon is reason. We shall show the world that this unjustified attack is being carried out against a small country by a powerful country. The Latin American nations will see that the U.S. Government does not want people to develop. It does not want hunger to end; does not want the peasants to have land; does not want illiterates to have schools; does not want nations to have culture or high living standards; does not want them to enjoy their work and their land.
The U.S. policy toward Trujillo is to make him a soldier at their orders. They helped him for 30 years as they helped Somoza, Perez, and Batista, and for 30 years they were indifferent to the poverty-stricken state of the Dominicans, indifferent to the assassinations at night and during the day, and to the sufferings of the students. The Latin Americans can compare their attitude toward the Dominican Republic and toward a nation in which the people want to improve themselves.
The attitude of the government and the people of Mexico (audience applauds and there are shouts of "viva Mexico") can be seen. They have written a heroic page. The people had to suffer from attacks, the reduction of territory, the loss of their best sons. Courageously the people of Mexico, through their congress and the bicameral commission, and Lazaro Cardenas, have expressed their solidarity with the Cuban people in the face of aggression. This is the reason for our eternal gratitude to the people and government of Mexico. (Applause)
The President of Uruguay and labor unions of Argentina, Chile, Venezuela, and Brazil have expressed their solidarity with Cuba.
Marti said that one must do whatever must be done at all times. We must mobilize the entire nation so the world may see how Cuba mobilizes against aggression and protests aggression. This is to be an appeal to the public opinion of the world. The world is to see how this aggression will fail in the face of the worthiness of our people. This is a chance for all Cubans to act at an important time in the struggle of nations to be free and to progress.
We must remember that we are a small nation, that we are right, that we have many virtues, that we have a long tradition and that we are intelligent. We shall be victorious in our struggle. We are certain we shall face all difficulties and the people too shall face them. We will not withdraw a single step. We shall not be conquered should they commit the ultimate mistake of attacking us.
(A second question is posed asking Castro to explain the basis for the new budget.)
Castro: The budget is the result of great efforts by the government in the realm of economy. Technicians and accountants are working out the final details. Previously there had been a complete lack of control. There was theft and there were improper investments. We shall see the ideal of complete compatibility of state expenditures. All unnecessary expenditures will be cut. It took time to solve these problems. With the aid of the people we were able to eliminate the negative forces.
Cutting down expenses goes hand in hand with another thing--overstaffing. There were a great number of persons in excess. Offices had been invented to place relatives. Nepotism caused expenditures to skyrocket. We tried not to put anyone out into the street. That could not be our solution. Our plan is to continue paying the personnel and to train them to aid the country where their services will be most useful.
Interviewer: A cable from London has said China would buy a considerable quantity of our sugar. Would you comment on this.
Castro: I heard this report also. Cepero Bonilla knows more than I do about this matter. I can say that with regard to the general sugar situation we should understand better the lack of good faith with which our enemies have acted toward Cuba.
You will recall that when we spoke of agricultural reform the first thing said was that production would diminish. The truth of the matter is that just the opposite has happened. This agrarian reform in our country was organized. All was done as planned and in an orderly manner. In Cuba we have been able to peform the miracle of increasing production from the outset. Events proved that all dire predictions were uncalled for.
We have also been finding markets for our production. This year we are on the road to setting a record for sales. Our reserves have reached 205 million dollars. Not only have we reduced imports, produced more and increased employment but this increase is being absorbed by our new plans. We are planning to produce sheep which will sell cheaper than beef. In the winter months we have excellent areas for raising beans. As for sugar, we are on the way to selling six and one-half million tons.
The revolution showed it could march ahead and has taken a correct line. They took some of our sugar quota. That was done so the savings of the people would be lost and all the people's sacrifices wiped out. But the production of sugar did not diminish. Cubans are producing more than ever. We are selling more sugar than ever before in history. Our country was losing its market year by year and the production of sugar was falling. Cuba has attained the dream of the people, that is to sell its sugar.
Why is all this being done against us? Because the revolution has won. Because the revolution has been pointing out the truth. Had the reform failed and if we had failed to sell our sugar this would not have happened. Had the revolution failed these attacks would not have been necessary. Our successes have been their disappointment.
The Cuban revolution has shown that it can go ahead; that an economy can be developed despite the fact that not a cent comes from abroad. We are destroying the lie upon which the policy of oligarchy in Latin America was based. It is necessary to improve industry, education, living standards. Everything must be done to produce more. Everything must be done to improve consumption without investments from the United States.
Everyone can contribute and produce. How much can be saved is difficult to estimate. It is expected that a billion dollars can be saved for the country.
The production of fats is a problem. Therefore we should not use such fats. The problem of producing fats to avoid imports must be solved. We shall produce vegetable fats. We will product meats and the people can help in the battle against economic blockade. We must all make sacrifices, down to the last citizen. We must make every effort to carry this out. All agricultural cooperatives may be asked to sow grain for a common fund. (Applause) Actually this is not necessary yet but it may become necessary. This is an example of the ability of a nation to resist. In the event of an emergency the food fund could be used to resist aggression.
One thousand teachers in the Sierra Maestra have gone as volunteers. Many were there enduring the rains of last month. They have gone where there never were schools before. Now they are there teaching.
The people try harder when the path becomes more difficult. The more obstacles in their way, the more sacrifices they make. They have great reserves of creative ability. One should see what the militiamen have done. They are being trained. They will be the pride of the nation. They have exhibited considerable discipline. Their uniforms will be a matter of pride to the wearer.
The recent economic victories, the victory in education, the labor victory despite attacks by powerful interests show what reserves are in the people of Cuba. We have be satisfied with what we have done. We live in a period of moral and patriotic satisfaction. We are developing our creative and positive faculties. (Applause)
Now the people have another chance to fight for the revolution. We are in the second stage of the revolution. Those who regretted not helping us in the first stage will have an opportunity to participate in the second stage. Those who fought in the first stage will now be joined by the others and together they will win the second stage.
(A question is asked, apparently about the recent ammunition dump explosion.)
Castro: Up to this moment we have found no evidence that the explosion was sabotage. You know we always tell what we find out. Of course, the circumstances were different than in the case of the Le Coubre but nothing has been found. All the old ammunition, grenades, and old weapons were being collected to be destroyed. It was not impossible that one of the many types of arms in there exploded. The army was very careful and the place was well guarded. We can inform the people, however, that it was probably an accidental explosion.
(Another unintelligible question is asked.)
Castro: The basis should always be equal treatment, respect for our sovereignty. That is where they must begin. They must respect our economic interests, our sovereignty. They must prove that they respect our sacred rights. They have increased the Dominican quota but Trujillo is the owner there. While they are working against Cuba they are giving Trujillo 10,000 tons of sugar.
Now the United States does not know where it will buy sugar. We shall continue to sell sugar. We shall pursue a wise policy. We will supply groups other than the usual ones.
Question: Would you like to tell us about July 26 preparations?
Castro: The young congress is most active. The success of the congress is assured. Transportation is to be provided. It will depend largely upon the spontaneous effort of the people. There is no need for concern about gasoline. (Applause) A promise has been made to visit the farmers this year. It is a human and good decision.
Fidel is not with us because his illness demands that he rest. Now let us all shout: "Cuba yes, Yankees no." (Crowd shouts.)