Spoken: May Day, 1980 at Jose Marti Revolution Square
Publisher: Havana Domestic Service in Spanish 2359 GMT
Transcription/Markup: Castro Speech Database/Brian Baggins
Online Version: Castro Internet Archive (marxists.org) 2002
Compatriots, We know how many hours you already have spent standing on this square. We only ask one more effort from you.
[rhythmic applause, prolonged chanting of "Fidel, friend, the people are with you"]... When ... [prolonged chanting of "Fidel, Fidel, Fidel," and applause] Well, let us now give another demonstration of discipline. Let us be silent.
As I was saying, or trying to say, when we were coming to this rally this afternoon we could again see the incredible spectacle of absolutely deserted streets. We could imagine, or rather, I ask myself if we could imagine, the magnitude of this rally. We thought it must be a big one. We thought it would be the biggest over the 21 years of the revolution. Actually, however, it was impossible to imagine the magnitude of this rally. Perhaps only from the tower [presumably from the Jose Marti Monument], perhaps from the air, perhaps only graphically by means of the movies, television or photographs we will be able to see this rally. [in distance chanting, applause]
I do not say this or make this observation thinking of what it means in support for us. I say it and I think it, thinking of what it means in support for our noble and just revolutionary ideas, [applause] what it means in support for our revolutionary cause. [applause]
It was a case of showing our strength, but not just to merely show it. A battle of the masses has been waged over recent days as never before in the history of the revolution, as much by its volume as by its intensity. The facts are known; it was necessary to do it. It was necessary to do this [applause, chanting of "Let them go, Let them go"]
The enemy had to be shown and the enemy had to be taught that there can be no fooling around with the people. The enemy had to be shown that there can be no fooling around with the revolution. [applause] The enemy had to be shown that a people cannot be offered with impunity, [applause] that a people cannot be threatened with impunity. [shouts of `No"] And this image, this image is what they dreamed of destroying, the image of what the people are, the true revolutionary people, the proletarian people, the working people, the peasant people, the combatant people, the student people. [prolonged applause, indistinct chanting]
Perhaps they thought the revolution has weakened and you can see what weakness of the revolution they have uncovered. [rhythmic applause, indistinct chanting] You can see what type of a revolution they have found. That is why it was necessary to wage this battle.
As you know, over recent months our party and our people have been waging a tenacious and selfless struggle for exigency, to overcome inefficiencies, to overcome difficulties. This work was being done quietly and insistently for months. It could be said that our revolution, our people and our party were devoted to this work and to productive activities, especially the sugar harvest and the planting [of sugarcane], coping with the problems of the diseases of tobacco and sugarcane and the swine fever which mysteriously, mysteriously appeared almost simultaneously in our country. We were tackling various problems of our revolutionary process. We were struggling for development, struggling to improve everything within our material capabilities, and preparing for the congress of our party. We were involved in that task. But, why does this situation emerge? It is not a coincidence; it is not a coincidence.
What happens is that, as in all previous circumstances, every time they have messed with us they have come the worse for it; every time they have provoked us they have come out the losers. You know the facts. And if it were not for the presence of foreign journalists, it would not be necessary to speak much about the background. But the issue was unleashed as a result of the provocations at the embassies of Peru and Venezuela. Everyone knows that imperialism wanted to affect relations between Cuba and Venezuela and between Cuba and Peru. It had that idea for a long time and was planning things.
We cannot forget that is what precisely in Venezuela and with the participation of Venezuelans that the monstrous crime of Barbados [sabotage of Cuban airlines] was planned and executed. It was one of the most indignant actions that has ever happened over all time. We all know that all those people have not even been tried and that frequently there is even talk that they are going to be released because they, some of them, have old relations with the ruling party of Venezuela.
We cannot forget that in Peru it was the navy of that country, the navy of that country--and we know this and I do not think they dare disagree--the navy of that country, agents of the navy that sank our two fishing boats--the Rio Jobabo and Rio Danuji. It was an incredible provocation.
Furthermore, neither can we can forget how the existing fishing agreement between Cuba and Peru, which had been in effect a long time and was functioning perfectly well and was useful, very useful for the Peruvians and helped to produce food for the Peruvians and also food for us, was unilaterally canceled. This was also a result of impositions by the navy, to make private agreements by virtue of which an individual without giving anything, just his signature, could become a millionaire.
We cannot forget how the Government of Peru did not fulfill a contract for the construction of 20 tuna fishing boats which we signed with them and by virtue of which our country spent tens of millions of dollars on a fish processing plant. Nevertheless, the contract was not fulfilled. The boats were not built and we were left with the plant and without the boats.
All this has its history and background. Logically, these things began to cool the relations which at one time were warm and close with the revolutionary government of Velasco Alvarado. [applause] These were relations that began those difficult days for Peru, when our people, at the request of the [Peruvian] revolution, although no diplomatic relations existed, made 100,000 blood donations in 10 days. And our doctors and nurses volunteered, and our construction workers volunteered, and our people volunteered to help the fraternal people of Peru, [applause] the fraternal people of Peru, yes, because we call and always will call the people of Peru and Venezuela our fraternal people of Peru and Venezuela. [applause]
That is how our people are. That is the people who are here, [applause] these people of workers, of soldiers, [applause] the internationalist people, the people of the glorious combatants in Angola and Ethiopia, the people from whom more than 100,000 combatants of their armed forces already have performed internationalist missions. [applause] [These are] the people who, when teachers are requested for Nicaraguan, offer 29,500 teachers. That is the people, not the lumpens who want to represent them with those scum who entered the Peruvian Embassy.
[Applause, shouts of "scum," other indistinct chanting] That was what offered our people the most. That dust and other dust brought this mud, and those winds brought these storms. [laughter]
And then, something strange, something strange which did not occur at any other embassy. They had thugs, delinquents and lumpens who went to request visas and they [at the embassy] would not grant them even if they were crazy because if they had wanted to grant the visas, well, they would have known that we know enough [of these elements]. They were not granted visas.
When they used violence to enter, crashing a truck or bus through the fence, then they would be received with all honors, protected, granted refugee, have their fare paid and received as heroes. This could do nothing except encourage lumpens to undertake such activities. It could not have had other results.
And the patience we displayed, practically for years in some cases, was of no use. We explained to them that it was incorrect, that it was going to have bad consequences, that it was going to stimulate violence against diplomatic missions, that such a policy should not continue. We resolved the problem for them on repeated occasions because they said they could not live with those elements inside. We could have said: Let them stay there forever. But [they said] please, we do not want to live with these people; we have these problems. And we authorized the departure of such elements. We did it repeatedly. And always the things we foresaw happened. Immediately after a group left, another one entered [the embassy]. That is how it was.
But why the embassies of Venezuela and Peru? Why did this not happen at the Mexican Embassy, for example? Why did it not happen at the Guyanese Embassy or the Panamanian Embassy or the Jamaican Embassy, not to mention the Nicaraguan or Grenadian? It remains to be seen if there is some insane person who dares enter them either with a tank or a truck of whatever. No, they do not consider, they do not consider that because the lumpen knows governments almost as well as we do. And they know that Mexico has a friendly attitude toward Cuba and was not going to permit such despicable actions and such irregularities. Neither was Panama going to allow it, nor Guyana nor Jamaica.
Why were these things happening precisely in the embassies of Venezuela and Peru? Of course, it is clear that behind all this--behind the Barbados [plane sabotage], behind the sunken ships in Peru, behind the cancellation of the fishing agreement, behind the unfulfilled contract for the construction of 20 tuna fishing boats, behind all this--is the CIA. And the CIA is behind all these provocations.
And the disorder stopped with the death of soldier Ortiz Cabrera. [applause] That was the point when we could not take any more and we said that at any cost, and let this be understood clearly, at any cost--we even recalled that at one time everyone had broken [relations] with us and that, of course, could not be repeated again--we were prepared, at any cost, to put an end to those provocations. And when the revolution says that it is prepared to end something at any cost, everyone can be assured that it puts an end to it at any cost. [applause]
We simply removed the guards from the embassy. And we knew what was going to happen. We knew what was going to happen because imperialism and its lackeys cannot encourage lumpens for such a long time by offering them the moon or however the saying goes, offering them everything, filling them with illusions, while on the other hand they close the door to these people and encourage them to enter [the embassy] illegally by force. They are encouraged to leave illegally. But they are not granted entry. [as heard] We knew that when the guards were removed, and when the lumpens knew there were no guards, that the embassy would be filled with lumpens. And that is exactly what happened. It could be said that the lumpens did what was expected they would do.
A provisional guard had to be reestablished, because the guard at that embassy is provisional. I want to warn about this because the problem of what we do, what they are going to do and the situation of the persons who enter embassies by force remains to be resolved. There is not much importance now to removing such a guard because we have removed the guard from the Florida peninsula, and that is much bigger. [applause] We have had to remove the guard from the Florida peninsula. They have an easier path to leave. [applause]
Imperialism immediately took advantage of this problem. [It used] all the bourgeois and rightist press of this hemisphere and the world to launch a deluge of slander against Cuba and propaganda against Cuba. We expected that. But this battle is won, is being won and is going to be won completely, completely because we defy not only the Yankee military threats, we also defy the Yankee press monopolies or rather the imperialist press monopolies.
We defy this barrage; we defy the campaign with absolute imperturbability. If we are not willing to defy risks of any kind, the risks of aggression as well as the risks of their propaganda, if we are intimidated by the propaganda--to be intimidated by propaganda is like being intimidated by enemy guns. It is the same thing. We should not be afraid at all. We have learned that perfectly well during 21 years.
But they unleashed it in the belief that the people wanted to leave; that there were many dissidents, especially this belief--that there were dissidents. There is lumpen there in that embassy. You were able to see it in the film documentary. They do not know what the word dissidence means, they would not know the meaning of this word. [laughter] Then, they built up their campaign around this idea and of course, first it was the imperialist press and then, as can be imagined, the reactionary and rightist press against socialism, against communism, against the Cuban revolution.
Simultaneously, the Yankees were doing exactly the same thing. In recent months, there was an increase in illegal departures. People commandeered boats, often took the crew as hostages. Then they were received in Florida as heroes, as dissidents, as patriots, and so forth. And we warned them. We repeatedly warned them through diplomatic channels. We warned them. We also warned them publicly because we talked about this very point on 8 March, International Women's Day, at the closing of the congress. We warned them of the consequences this might bring. And we told them that Camarioca could be opened once more. On that day we set forth what the revolution's policy was, is and will be. And the thing is that the work of a revolution and the construction of socialism is a task of absolutely free and willing men and women. [applause]
He who has no revolutionary genes, he who has no revolutionary blood, he who does not have a mind that adapt to the idea of a revolution, he who does not have a heart that can adapt to the effort of heroism required by a revolution: We do not want them; we do not need them. [cheers and applause] And at any rate, they are an insignificant part of the people, because what the imperialists do not want, what they want to hide, what hurts them to acknowledge are some truths. For instance, that there is no revolution with the mass strength of the Cuban revolution. [applause] There is no revolution, that is, our revolution; well, it is not good to make comparisons; it is not good. But, the mass strength, the moral strength, the political strength, the ideological strength of the revolution is tremendous. And when it is put to the test, you saw the 19 April march; you see this rally today. But it is not only numbers that count. You can see the quality and the spirit of the people. [applause]
This is the image that imperialism would like to hide because it does not suit them. They want the people to lose faith in Cuba. They want the people to grow discouraged with Cuba. In addition, in this whole hemisphere, well, let's exclude Nicaragua and Grenada. Or maybe they would admit it; they would agree with us.
In spite of everything, in spite of the fact that we have lumpen, that unfortunately we still have lumpen among us, in spite of the fact that we will have declassed individuals, that we still have antisocial individuals, we are the nationa that has the least number of antisocial individuals and lumpen in the hemisphere. We are the nation with the lowest rate of theft, although there were thieves. [laughter] The lowest theft and crime rate. A minimal rate of drug abuse. There is no prostitution, no gambling nothing. The Grenadians and the Nicaraguans have not yet been able to solve these problems and it will take them a lot of time to solve them, because we were unable to solve them in the first or the second year of the revolution either. But there is no society with a healthier moral atmosphere than our society in all this hemisphere [applause] There is no society with more moral values than those achieved by our society at the end of 21 years of revolution. None with such a sense of justice, with such a sense of justice, with such a sense of honor, with such a sense of dignity, with such an appreciation and admiration for merit, for work, for sacrifice.
And this is very much in evidence each time it is put to the test. And as we have often said, during the Angolan and Ethiopian wars, hundreds of thousands of Cubans volunteered to participate in those struggles. It is shown by the fact that we have 50,000 military and civilian compatriots abroad. It is shown by the fact that Cuban technicians are working in 35 countries. [applause] And the lumpen have no allies remaining here. At first, they [the imperialists] had the bourgeoisie, the landowners. They had vacillating individuals of the middle classes, including those of the petit bourgeoisie. But now, where are they going to find allies? Among the workers" [shouts of "No"!]
At first they sought out those classes because they existed as such in our country and they were their allies. Now they only have the lumpen. They are the only potential allies for imperialism. The lumpen. And some who have the mentality of lumpen or get mixed up with them. As simple as that. But they are the only potential allies left to imperialism. And this lumpen is where they have to get their refugees, their asylum seekers, their dissidents.
As I was saying, along with this, the United States was encouraging illegal departures from the country. And therefore, Mariel was opened. Mariel, which has surpassed Camarioca by far. Camarioca was nothing compared with Mariel.
[Shout from a man in the crowd] He is saying: Lovely Mariel, you have been wounded. [laughter] But look, rather than a wound, it was more of a self-inflicted wound. Let me explain. The funny thing is that this time it was not ourselves who proposed opening Mariel. No. The initiative was taken over there. In the heat of the situation and the campaign created in the United States itself in connection with the events at the Florida embassy [corrects himself] the Peruvian Embassy. In Florida, the idea of sending boats to pick up this lumpen was spontaneous. And then we simply limited ourselves to declaring that we would not receive them with guns and that they would be treated with complete courtesy. And we opened it. I do not know if this is hara-kiri or a wound or what. [laughs] The thing is that it was opened. Now we are going to see how we close it, how we can close it. [laughter] We'll see. [shouts from the crowd]
They are doing an excellent sanitation job for us. [laughter] The best. Now they are complaining. They say there are delinquents. As if this was a great discovery. As if they were amazed to find some delinquents. Now, who do they think broke into and took refuge in the Peruvian Embassy? Did they think they were intellectuals, artists, technicians, engineers? What did they think? That it was propaganda on our part? They thought that we were doing an injustice and calling poor dissidents lumpen. [shouts of "trash!'] And that was the type of individual making up the large majority of those who took refuge at the Peruvian Embassy.
Of course, some of them took their relatives. We cannot say that a child is a lumpen. It is tragic for a child to be the child of lumpen, a terrible tragedy.
But the large majority of the people there were of that kind: Lumpen. Some limp wrists [flojito]. [laughter] Some shameless creatures who had been covering up. [laughter] You know it; the committees [for the Defense of the Revolution] know it better than anyone. They know that some of those managed to slip through. By the way, they are the ones that produce the most irritation. Those who cover up. [shouts from the crowd]. Well now Mariel has opened. And we are strictly complying with our stand: That all who want to leave for a country that will receive them an leave. The building of socialism, revolutionary work is a task of free men and women. We must not forget this principle. It entails huge moral value. [applause]
Now, we have not granted a passport and safe conduct only to lumpen who took refuge in the embassy. No, we are giving them to all lumpen that request them. To all who request them. And of course, the lumpen say: "This is international lumpen day!" [laughter] When they heard that, all lumpen wanted their passports and their safeconducts.
And what are we going to do? Why should we refuse them? As GRANMA says, it is unfair and unconstitutional. What do they think they are going to receive there? Of course, at first they took the refined bourgeois, the well-dressed landowner. And then they took the physician, the professional. And remember they took half of our country's doctors. We had 3,000 and they took 6,000 [as heard]. Now it is very difficult, very difficult to take a doctor away, because the ones that stayed behind were the best ones, and doctors who trained along other lines, with a solidarity and human spirit, doctors who are not money-minded. And we have more. Well, the proof is that there are about 1,500 doctors on internationalist missions. And there are no longer engineers, architects and teachers of the kind we had in the early days of the revolution. [applause]
Because we must say that in this battle many interesting things have been demonstrated. I would start by mentioning the incredible participation of the young. The combativeness and zeal of our young. Because this has been the first battle of a whole generation of youths, the first battle. [applause] The massive participation of women [applause]. Something remarkable. Beside, the attitude of intellectuals, of journalists, writers, artists, technicians, professionals, doctors has been an excellent attitude. It must be said that they have been on the frontline in this battle. Not to mention the students. [applause]
Of course, imperialism used to be able to select. Now, how is it going to be selective now? As (Nuez) says, they have no choice but to swallow the sword to the hilt. [laughter] That is the situation. But this was not all the problem. This was part of the problem. At the same time, there was the announcement of military maneuvers in the Caribbean. That was more serious. Air and naval landings at Guantanamo base. That was more serious, more serious.
And even more serious if we thought of the world situation. More serious if we analyzed the increasingly aggressive policy of imperialism toward us. Because maybe in the early days of this administration there were some gestures that could be thought of as positive, but later on--and increasingly so--the more reactionary elements, the so-called hawks in the U.S. Government were imposing their line of thinking and that line was increasingly aggressive toward Cuba. This did not start just now. This started with the Sixth Nonaligned Countries Summit. They were irritated by Cuba's strength, by Cuba's prestige, and by Cuba's position and victories within the nonaligned movement. And in the midst of the summit conference, they unleashed an excessive and hypocritical campaign against Soviet personnel in Cuba, Soviet personnel that had been in Cuba for 16 years, since the October crisis. Something that had nothing to do with the October crisis agreements. Soviet military personnel. The Yankees knew that. They knew it.
They knew it since then and all the presidents knew it. And all of a sudden they discover Soviet military personnel. They said it was a brigade. We did not call it a brigade. We had another name for it. I believe it was Study Center No 12. Who cares? The name is not important. We did not deny that those personnel were here and that we were very happy that those personnel had been here for 17 years. We are sorry that there are not more Study Center 12's. That there is no No 13, 14, 15. We would be even happier [applause] if we had available some more of these study centers. Because they are excellent study centers, I am telling you. [laughter]. But they knew it. That is where the hypocrisy, the phariseeism of imperialists lies. In the midst of the conference they stirred up a big scandal with all that. And they started a large-scale campaign. Later, it turned out that the U.S. Government's prestige was affected by all this because to discover it at such a late date forced it to adopt certain measures. But at the same time they organized a command of troops for the Caribbean. And they stationed it somewhere in Florida, in Key West. They established a troop command. Their fundamental concern was determined by the revolutionary victory in Nicaragua and the upsurge of the revolutionary movement in Central America.
They started to prepare intervention forces. And, of course, they used the Soviet military personnel in Cuba as a pretext. They also used it to exert pressure on us and other maneuver was bigger, more extensive, better equipped, more soldiers, stronger. Oh, no. We could not just sit here watching them organize this maneuver. As has been said, this maneuver is simply a rehearsal to invade our country; a shameless rehearsal of invasion. And on our own territory to boot. It is really intolerable. It is unacceptable. A maneuver on how to invade Cuba in our own territory.
The maneuvers turned into a serious problem. And we were not going to stand there with our arms crossed. We immediately adopted measures to mobilize the Eastern Army with reinforcements from other provinces to organize maneuvers of Cuba's armed forces in view of the Yankee maneuvers. [applause and chanting] It was only logical for the hurricane to turn around toward the United States. And so it did.
The United States has imposed on Cuba a blockade that has lasted over 20 years, a harsh economic blockade, which forbids even the sale of food and medicine--even medicine. A brutal thing that has been going on for 21 years. The United States is occupying part of our territory by force and against the will of our people. Now, what doctrine, principle, law, legality can be used as the basis for a naval base on the territory of another country against the will of the people? That has no legal or juridical or moral or principled basis. It is simply an act of force.
The United States sends over Cuban territory the very modern SR-71, which fly at an altitude of between 25,000 and 30,000 meters at very high speed. Those are the explosions which you hear every so often all over the country, because the breaking of the speed of sound creates these noises. Walls shake, glass windows shake each time the SR-71 goes by. It is not so easy to bring them down. Technically, it is not easy. Now, is this legal? Is it legal to blockade our country? Is it legal to have a naval base on our territory? Is it legal to violate our airspace? [shouts of "no!"] They are doing it. And in addition, the maneuvers.
But that was not all. Many of the comrades who have spoken today have mentioned it. They spoke of La Couvre, Giron, Escambray, the sabotage, the subversion plans, the introduction of agricultural diseases, the plans to assassinate the leaders of the revolution, Barbados. They recalled many things because there are many things of which the United States need be reminded.
It was not that we capriciously turned the hurricane that began at the Peruvian Embassy against the United States. The natural course of the hurricane was the United States. And the natural course of the struggle against these violations and blackmail was to remove the guard from Florida. It was the natural course and it should not have surprised them so much. They knew it could be done. And, as I said, in a formal sense we were not the ones who opened up Mariel.
They opened it from over there. We do not have policemen over there. That is their own affair. If people want to disobey their orders, that is their problem. We are free and legally able to do what we do within our own territory and to authorize the departure of the antisocial individuals who want to leave. We are not forcing anyone at all. Let this be understood. We have never deported anyone. But we have an absolute right to authorize the departure of the antisocial individuals. And that is what we are doing. Well, the battle is becoming interesting.
Yesterday, or rather today, we started getting reports this morning that the Yankees has suspended the naval landing in Guantanamo. [cheers] A U.S. radio station early this morning reported that the naval landing had been suspended but not the air landing. But this afternoon we had complete reports and we were able to confirm through the U.S. interests Section in Havana and Washington, which sent this open cable. It says: We have just spoken to Mr Miles Frechette, head of the Cuban Affairs Bureau at the State Department, who confirmed that the military maneuvers planned for Guantanamo have been completely canceled. [prolonged applause] Frechette commented that he had contacted the Voice of America to point out its mistake regarding a broadcast announcing that the past of the maneuvers involving parachute jumping would still be conducted.
Apparently they say the maneuvers will now be conducted somewhere along the Florida coast and the eastern U.S. coast. We know these maneuvers, their intentions, are prepared maneuvers that definitely threaten us, Central American and the Caribbean. But, of course, we are not going to discuss their right to conduct maneuvers on U.S. territory. What we discuss is the right to state maneuvers on Cuban territory.
If this is so, there is no doubt that this is a notable success for the struggle of the people and of international solidarity. [applause] For this reason, the Cuban Government will suspend the special Giron 19 maneuvers that the Eastern Army was to have staged beginning on 7 May. [applause]
But the combating march is still on! [shouts] The combating march is still on! [applause] Because the combating march was to be staged against the maneuvers, against the blockade, against Guantanamo Base and against the SR-71 spy flights. [applause] Lest the Yankees try to take advantage of the fact that the people have been demoralized [shouts] in the middle of the battle.
The combative people's march must go and it must go with even more strength than the 19 April march. [applause] It is a mobilization of the people against the blockade, against Guantanamo Base, the existence of a Yankee military base on our territory and against the violations of our airspace, for we must not remain silent. [shouts] We simply want to express before world public opinion our rejection and spirit of struggle against this. Now, if the U.S. Government announced that it has suspended the blockade against Cuba, that it will return our occupied territory in Guantanamo and that it will suspend the SR-71 flights, then we will gladly suspend the combative people's march. [shouts, applause] But they will not do it! They will not do it; they will not do it, but they will respect us a bit more; they will learn a bit more about Cuba. They will learn to respect Cuba more. [applause, slogans]
The United States has suspended the maneuver but it has not given up the right they give themselves to carry them out in 3, 4 or 5 months, whenever they believe there are more favorable international or other types of circumstances. Therefore, what they have to renounce is their presence in that piece of our national territory. That is why we will maintain these three (?banners) and we will organize the march.
They say I have organized it. The truth is that I wasn't the one who organized it. The march wasn't organized by Castro but by the mass organization. Of course, the masses have their political leaders and the masses have their party. We don't go around with hypocrisies of any type. Just as we are here, we are in everything.
[Applause, shouts] We aren't going around creating fiction. We are united and we have a party and a leadership. But of course, the party cannot organize the march. It cannot. Only through the mass organizations can the march be held. Only through the unity of a revolution can the enthusiasm of an event such as this be created. Those are realities. Now then, all the people have participated in this. All the people have participated just as we are participating in this event.
Therefore, the march will be held on Saturday, 17 May, not on the 8th because that was when the maneuvers were going to start, but not the exact day when they were going to land those ships. So on Saturday, 18 May [as heard], the people's combative march will be held throughout the country. On this occasion it will not be 1 million. I estimate that around 5 million people will march that day. [applause] But of course, we should not boast of the success. It is not a time for boasting.
The enemy still exists. It is strong. It harasses us. It blockades us and threatens us and much more now in view of a new world situation in which we are practically at the threshold or already in an arms race and a cold war. That is why we cannot let down our guard. We cannot stop being alert. Therefore, the party has instructed the armed forces to form the militias of territorial troops as one more force. [applause] They will be made up of men, women, workers, peasants, students, everyone who is able to fight. They will be organized so they can defend every part of the national territory. [applause]
All those who are able to fight are not in the reserve units of the regular troops, all those who are not in the reserves or in the regular units of the armed forces, will make up the territorial troop militias.
Because [word indistinct] that Cuba like Nicaragua--although Cuba has a much stronger army than Nicaragua, logically because it has existed for a longer time and has a larger population--not only a regular war would confront a virtual aggression against Cuba. The enemy would have to face a people's war. It would have to face both things, the resistance of the regular units and the resistance of all the people.
You know what makes us, Nicaragua and Grenada strong? It is the fact that these are popular revolutions. They are revolutions with great popular support. And any enemy has to think that it is madness to invade a country like this one. It is madness because they are going to experience what occurred to Napoleon's troops in Spain; they went in but then they couldn't get out. Or Napoleon in old Russia; they went in but then they could not find a way out. It is easy to enter. But if they are going to face a people like this one, if they face a people like this one, it is later very difficult to get out of that problem. [applause]
We have to prepare for two types of war, for the conventional war and for the people's war, for both wars. This what forces them to think a few times before committing the blunder of invading our country. But there are threats against us. Some of them have begun to speak in more aggressive terms. Some of them have proposed that the 1962 agreements be disregarded, that is, to once again bring up the thesis of their right to invade us. Others have cynically said that if there is a conflict in another part of the world, they would have the right to carry out actions wherever it is more advantageous to them. In sum, they were referring to Cuba in view of the fact that Cuba is very far away from the Soviet Union and the socialist camp. But we have to be realistic. We have to be realistic because we have those dangers of the increasing imperialist aggression and its theories and those things they are proposing.
However, they should know what they will find. That is why we said that this rally was so important. This shows imperialism that here we have a people and it shows them what kind of people we have here.
I would say that we have waged a battle today in defense of the integrity of our fatherland. [applause] Your mere presence [applause], your mere presence in this plaza is an important battle in defense of the integrity and the security of Cuba because the dangerous thing is for the enemy to be confused. The dangerous thing is for the enemy to be deceived.
But we should do something more. Work has already begun on the drafting of plans on what the country should to to survive and withstand a total blockade, on what each one of us must do in case of a total blockade. What we must do to survive if no food or fuels come in. They are also talking of these possibilities. That is, not to undertake a military action against the country but to mine the ports. One of the objectives of those maneuvers was the mining of the ports. Not mining them but studying how it should be done. They speak of naval blockades, knowing how difficult it would be for a country without petroleum to survive a naval blockade. We have to draft the plans on what to do in that situation. By the way, Reagan or `Rigin,' I don't know how you pronounce it, who is the certain candidate of the Republican Party, has expressed support for a naval blockade against Cuba. Of course, none of this is easy I must warn them. But as revolutionaries and as a realistic people we have the duty of having a reply for each of these problems. But the one thing they cannot imagine is for Cuba to surrender ever. Because we will never surrender. We will never surrender. [applause, shouts]
If a climate of peace does not exist in the Caribbean, it is not our fault but theirs. Suppress you blockade, suppress you base in Guantanamo, stop overlying Cuba, respect Nicaragua, respect Grenada and do not interfere. If to this we add noninterference in the domestic affairs of other Latin American peoples, then a climate of peace and detente might be created.
Now, the one thing we must fight for, the one thing there is the duty to fight for, is the development of peace and cooperation among the peoples. But the one thing we will never do is fall on our knees at the feet of imperialism to beg for peace. [shouts, slogans]
The international situation tends to become complicated. I would like to take advantage of this occasion to talk about the situation in Iran. All of us are interested in this problem, (?and if) the Yankees [words indistinct] someplace else might lead to certain actions by them. Everything that happens anywhere is of interest to us. These things interest us as revolutionaries; they interest us as conscientious men; they also interest us for ourselves. What happens in the world is of interest to us.
In Iran, as you know, the shah's dynasty lasted more than 30 years. The people lived under a fierce tyranny for dozens of years. The people had already overthrown the shah once but, just like it did in Guatemala, the CIA [words indistinct] and reestablished him in the government. This is a known fact; it is a historical fact. All the documents, all the evidence exists. [The shah] assassinated hundreds of thousands of Iranians; he imprisoned them, tortured them and committed all kinds of horrors.
With great bravery, with great patriotism, almost without weapons and despite the fact that the shah had the most powerful army in the region, the Iranian people overthrew the shah. And naturally an irritation against and a marked rejection of U.S. policy resulted.
When, in addition, the United States made the mistake of taking the shah to the United States, that elicited a popular outburst, an outburst of indignation that gave rise to the incidents at the U.S. Embassy in Iran--the seizure of the embassy and the capture of a group of officials. The imperious U.S. response to developments of this type is force. (?This was provoked) because it was the CIA's action, installing the shah there, which elicited that hatred from the masses. It was the U.S. support for the shah which elicited that hatred against the United States. It was the shah's arrival in the United States which caused the explosion of the masses. And we have always held the position that this problem must be resolved by political and diplomatic means instead of by force--the problem of the embassy and the problem of the hostages.
But, the United States has made a number of mistakes. The first was practically confiscating--embargoing and seizing in other words--thousands of millions of dollars that the Iranian state had deposited in U.S. banks.
This measure of force, of imperious behavior, this illegal measure, had to irritate the Iranians even further. And each thing the Americans have done has contributed to further irritating the Iranians. They mobilize big forces, aircraft carriers, dozens of military units near Iran; they threaten it and naturally, this further irritates the Iranians.
In addition to this, they announce they will carry out military actions before July. And indeed, they did stage some operations such as the commando attack, the attempt to carry out a commando attack. Seeking to resolve the problem in Iran through force and surprise, they have further complicated the problem. Now the students have dispersed the so-called hostages.
In short, any action of force carried out against the Iranian people would be very serious. But in addition, the United States has banned trade with Iran, has established a kind of blockade against Iran and is now threatening to adopt new measures. And it is trying to drag Western Europe and Japan into the economic blockade against Iran, that is, the attempt to make Iran surrender through hunger. Something similar to the things they did to us.
We must also work in order to put an end to the conflicts between our Iraqi and Iranian brothers. We must work so that their problems are resolved by diplomatic means, because those conflicts only carry water to the mill of imperialism.
Now, what will happen if the United States manages to impose that blockade against Iran, trying to make it surrender through hunger? Iran is a Third World country; it belongs to the nonaligned movement, and it is a member of OPEC, that is, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. OPEC has in its hands the ability to prevent an economic blockade against Iran. It has this in its hands. It has warned that oil supplies will be suspended to those countries that join the blockade against Iran. [applause]
The West does not have the ability to impose an economic blockade against Iran if OPEC does not want and refuses to do it, and if it warms with justifiable reasons about its possible consequences. OPEC can say: You want to starve 35 million human beings to death; I will not send you fuel for you to use to ride around in your car. This is the hour of truth for OPEC. This organization should not only increase prices and amass huge fortunes. This is the hour of truth for OPEC and the nonaligned and Third World countries.
This is very interesting since we do not expect OPEC to do as the OAS did, when the imperialists established their aggressive blockades against Cuba. This is a problem we must follow closely. We must urge our internationalist friend to support Iran.
Naturally Iran is now the victim, but here very close to use we have the case of El Salvador, where genocide is being committed against the people and where thousands of patriots are being murdered. In order to understand the diverging policies of some states, we have the example of what the Andean Pact did regarding the [words indistinct] and other problems.
We are not opposed to the integration of Latin America and the Caribbean. On the contrary we are in favor of it and, together with Mexico, we helped to create the Latin American Economic System [LAES]. But we are opposed to political deals in this hemisphere because they lead to nothing.
We would have liked a progressive and revolutionary Andean Pact, and as a placard said during the fighting march, a real pact of Bolivar and Sandino. But what did the Andean Pact do? It said nothing regarding the maneuvers being organized by the Yankees, not even a statement. What has it done in regard to the blockade of Cuba, which is a crime? It has not issued a declaration condemning the blockade. What has it done in regard to the Guantanamo Base? It has not made a single statement demanding that the base be returned to us. This is our territory. What has it done regarding the spy flights over Cuba, which are a shameless violation of our sovereignty? It has not issued a single statement condemning it. What has it done about Puerto Rico, a brother country which imperialism wants to devour, which the United States wants to annex? It has not said a single word. What has it said abut Iran and the blockade of Iran? Not a single word that we know of. What has it said about the genocide in El Salvador? Not a single word. In that country thousands of persons have died during the past months. The Andean Pact launched a deluge of propaganda against us, referring to events in which there was not even a single wounded person. There was a great bomb, the march, but we were confident the bomb would not explode and it did not.
Let us say that there, were thousands of patriots are dying, the Andean Pact does not say a word. This is logical. The Venezuelan ruling party supports the genocide Government of El Salvador and also supports the so-called Christian democracy in Panama which is really a group of rightist reactionaries which conspires against the progressive government of that country.
These are things related to problems where the Andean Pact assumes a demagogic attitude toward Cuba. I will not say that the conduct of all of the member countries was alike. There were differences among the, but the Andean Pact is good for only some things.
We have, as I said, the Salvadoran situation which demands the most ample international support to halt the hands of the imperialists. Demonstrations, like this one today are part of the struggle, not only for the defense of our own integrity, but also for the defense of the integrity of Grenada, Nicaragua, the sovereignty of the Caribbean countries and Central America. It is part of our struggle.
This is why this rally has a special meaning. It has really been an International Labor Day. For us, it has been a great honor and satisfaction. We have felt very stimulated and strengthened by the presence of Companero Bishop in this rally. He had his rally this morning in Grenada and his rally this afternoon in Havana. We have with us Companero Daniel Ortega, whom you know from the Sixth Summit; president of the World Peace Council, Companero Chandra [applause]; the leader of the world workers' organization, Companero Pastorino [applause]; we have been honored with the presence of the best of the Latin American intellectuals, Companero Juan Bosch, [applause] and Companero Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
This has meant a lot for us, this gives a truly historical meaning to the greatest rally of the revolution. We, besides maintaining the mobilization, and preparing for the march on the 17th must turn this energy not only into political or military energy, but also into a productive energy. As [word indistinct] explained, the coming weeks are decisive, for the conclusion of the sugarcane harvest as well as for the great amount of sugarcane that must be planted and weeded. We must turn this energy into a productive force. We must turn this tremendous force, created by this colossal mass struggle, this people's revolutionary definition, and the hatred expressed against the idle, the parasite, the lumpen and the antisocial--we must turn this into a force of awareness. We must turn it into an instrument in the struggle for achievements and to overcome deficiencies and the struggle to overcome difficulties.
This is very important if we are going to be able to transform this incredible, gigantic, force in the struggle against our own deficiencies, in the struggle against our own weaknesses.
Today, many things have been packed with emotion. Those things have been stimulating. The most essential, the most fundamental factor has been the people.
This afternoon will have an everlasting impression on all of us, an impression that cannot be erased. I say this without demagoguery, without the purpose of flattering and with a profound, sincere and heartfelt spirit of justice.
I dare say that such a people deserve a place in history, a place in glory, that such a people deserve deserve victory. Fatherland or death? We shall win! [crowd shouts: "We shall win" and applauds.] -END-