By Equipo Editorial Fidel Soldado de las Ideas
Translated and edited by Walter Lippmann for CubaNews.
On the occasion of Mother’s Day, Cubadebate and the site Fidel Soldado de las Ideas share images of Lina Ruz, Fidel’s mother, whose children “(…) treated her more naturally and confidently. She established order and schedules, wrapped them under the blanket at bedtime, bathed them and dressed them, guessed their spirits, and even ran after them or slapped them when they had gone too far in their mischief. But this happened if she managed to reach them, if she managed to capture them, because the boys, especially Ramon and Fidel, already knew her and escaped the slightest evidence or threat of punishment. All her kindness, Lina dumped in loving care and sleeplessness, without forgetting her obligations at the front of the house”.
Excerpt from the book Todo el tiempo de los cedros: Family landscape of Fidel Castro Ruz, by the author Katiuska Blanco Castiñeira.
To learn more about the ideas of the leader of the Cuban Revolution, visit our site Fidel Soldado de las Ideas. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
“Tell me about your mother”, was the request of journalist Ignacio Ramonet to Fidel
Author: Fidel Castro Ruz | email@example.com
August 12, 2018 18:08:16
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
She brought into the world seven children, all born in that house, always assisted by a rural midwife. There was never and could never be a doctor there, it did not exist in all that remote region. No one tried so hard to get her children to study, she wanted for them what she didn’t have. Without her, I, who always felt the pleasure of studying, would still be functionally illiterate today. My mother, even if she didn’t say it every minute, loved her children. She had character, she was brave and self-sacrificing. He knew how to bear with integrity and without hesitation the sufferings that some of us involuntarily caused her.
She accepted the Agrarian Reform and the distribution of those lands, which she undoubtedly loved, without bitterness.
Extremely religious in her faith and beliefs, which I have always respected, she found comfort in her sorrow as a mother, and she also accepted with motherly love the Revolution for which she suffered so much, without having had the slightest possibility of knowing the history of humanity and the deepest causes that the events she experienced so closely in Cuba and in the world originated, due to her origin as a humble poor peasant woman.
She died on August 6, 1963, three and a half years after the triumph of the Revolution.
Jesus Christ, Revolutionary
Frei Betto: Now, I’d like to hear your views on somebody else, somebody much more important, much more universal, and also much more discussed and much more loved than the pope. What are your views on Jesus Christ the person?
Fidel Castro: Well, I’ve already told you the story of my education and my contacts with religion, with the church. Jesus Christ was one of the most familiar names to me, practically ever since I can remember — at home, at school, and throughout my childhood and adolescence. Since then, in my revolutionary life — even though, as I told you, I never really acquired religious faith — all my efforts, my attention, and my life have been devoted to the development of a political faith, which l reached through my own convictions. I couldn’t really develop a religious concept on my own, but I did develop political and revolutionary convictions in that way, and I never saw any contradiction in the political and revolutionary sphere between the ideas I upheld and the idea of that symbol, that extraordinary figure that had been so familiar to me ever since I could remember. Rather, I concentrated on the revolutionary aspects of Christian doctrine and Christ’s thinking. Throughout the years, I have had several opportunities to express the coherence that exists between Christian and revolutionary thought.
“I’ve cited many examples; sometimes I’ve used Christ’s words: “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” I’ve heard various people, including a priest, say that Christ wasn’t referring to the small needle we know now, because it’s impossible for a camel to go through the eye of that kind of needle. Rather, it meant something else; it had to be interpreted differently.
Frei Betto: Some biblical scholars take, it to mean the narrow corners in Jerusalem, Palestine, and the heart of Beirut, for it was very difficult for the camels to turn those corners. Why doesn’t anybody question how difficult it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven? That’s unquestionable. Comandante, from the theological point of view, it doesn’t mean that Jesus discriminated against the rich; it means that Jesus opted for the poor. That is, in a society characterized by social inequalities, God decided to assume the likeness of Jesus; he could have been born in Rome, to a family of emperors; he could have been born to a Jewish landowner’s family; he could have been born to the middle strata of parishioners. Instead, he chose to be born among the poor, as the son of a carpenter — one who certainly worked on the construction of the Brasilia of his time, the city of Tiberias, built as a tribute to Emperor Tiberius Caesar in whose reign Jesus Lived. It’s interesting that Tiberias is on the banks of the Lake of Gennesaret, where Jesus spent most of his life and carried out most of his activities. In the Gospels, he doesn’t visit that city even once.
So, what do we say? We say that Jesus unconditionally opted for the poor. He spoke to everyone, both rich and poor, but from a specific social stand, from the social stand of the interests of the poor. He didn’t speak in a neutral, universalist, abstract way; rather, he reflected the interests of the oppressed strata of the times. If a rich man wanted to have a place next to Jesus, he had to opt for the poor. There isn’t a single example in all the Gospels of Jesus’ welcoming a rich man beside him without first making him commit himself to help the poor.
I can cite three examples: first, that of a rich young man who was a saint because he observed all the Commandments, but in the end Jesus said that the man had to do one more thing: go and sell what he had, and give to the poor before he could follow him. I believe that many priests today would say, “Look, If you observe all the Commandments, come with us; stay here next to us; and in time you’ll improve!” But since Jesus was a little more radical than we are, he told the man, “You go honor your commitment to the poor and then come.”
The second example is that of the rich man whose home Jesus visited. Jesus had no prejudices but he was consistent so he went to Zacchaeus’s home not to praise his ceramics, which may have come from Persia, or his Egyptian figurines, but rather to tell him that he was a thief because he’d stolen from the poor. And Zacchaeus, who wanted to be at peace with him, said, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” That is, the practice of justice was the basic requirement for following Jesus.
The third example is the preaching of John the Baptist, who prepared for Jesus’ coming. His preaching began with the practice of justice. The people who wanted to be converted didn’t ask what they should believe; they asked what they should do and John replied, “He who has two coats, let him share with him who has none; and he who has food, let him do likewise.”
The universality of Jesus’ preaching must also be explained; it is a universality that derives from an option and a very specific social and political stand: the cause of the poor.
Fidel Castro: I’ve been listening to you with great interest, because there’s a lot of substance in what you’ve said, However, I could make a mathematical objection: a rich man could never give back four times what he’d stolen, because everything a rich man has must have been stolen. If he didn’t steal it himself, it must have been stolen by his parents or grandparents, so it’s impossible — if everything he has is stolen — for him to return fourfold what he’s stolen, for he’d probably have to steal four times as much again to keep that promise.
Frei Betto: You’re repeating something that St. Ambrose said in the early centuries.
Fidel Castro: I’m glad to have coincided with him. So what do I think? It may be a bad translation of the Bible; maybe the translators are to blame, because they didn’t take into account the meaning of the eye of a needle, I realize that many of the phrases in the Bible are related to that environment, to the society and customs of the times; but I don’t know how this could be proved in this case. Anyway, somebody well versed in religion, somebody well versed in languages, must have interpreted, with quite some grounds, that it was the eye of the needle that everybody knows about in our language, because we don’t know of any other, for the people in Spanish-speaking countries don’t knew the first thing about camels, even though we do have an idea of what camels are.
In any case I liked the interpretation that the translators gave to that phrase, as I understood it, and I also believe the interpretation is absolutely in keeping and is consistent with all the other things that Christ preached. First of all, as you said, Christ didn’t choose the rich to preach the doctrine; he chose 12 poor and ignorant workers — that is, he chose the proletariat of the times or modest self-employed workers, some of whom were fishermen. They were poor people, very poor, without exception, as you said.
At times I’ve referred to Christ’s miracles and have said, “Well, Christ multiplied the fish and loaves to feed the people. That is precisely what we want to do with the revolution and socialism: multiply the fish and the loaves to feed the people; multiply the schools, teachers, hospitals, and doctors; multiply the factories, the fields under cultivation, and the jobs; multiply industrial and agricultural productivity; and multiply the research centers and the number of scientific research projects for the same purpose.” At times I’ve referred to the parable of the rich man who employed several workers: he paid some of them one denarius for a full day’s work; to others he paid one denarius for half a day’s work; and to yet others he paid one denarius for half an afternoon’s work. The parable implies a criticism of those who didn’t agree with that distribution. I believe that it is precisely a communist formula; it goes beyond what we say in socialism, because in socialism each should be paid according to his capacity and work, while the communist formula is to give to each according to his needs. To pay a denarius to each one who worked that day implies a distribution more in keeping with needs, a typically communist formula.
Also, I believe that many of the passages of the preachings of Christ, such as the Sermon on the Mount, cannot be given any interpretation other than what you call the option for the poor. When Christ said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied,” it is obvious that Christ didn’t offer the kingdom of heaven to the rich; he really offered it to the poor, and I don’t think that the preaching of Christ is also a case of mistaken translation or interpretation. believe that Karl Marx could have subscribed to the Sermon on the Mount.
Frei Betto: In St. Luke’s version, not only are the poor blessed, but the rich are damned.
Fidel Castro: I don’t know if the phrase is in any of the versions of that preaching. You say that it’s St. Luke’s version. The one I recall doesn’t damn the rich.
Frei Betto: That’s the St. Matthew one, which is better known.
Fidel Castro: Maybe that’s the one that was more convenient at the time, to bring us up in a more conservative spirit. You said something profound: that the difficulty lies in understanding how a rich man can enter the kingdom of heaven, if you consider many of the things that go with the mentality of the rich: insensitivity, selfishness, lack of solidarity, and even the sins of the rich in all spheres. I really believe that what a rich man had to do to be a good Christian and reach the kingdom of heaven was expressed clearly. It was stated repeatedly in Christ’s preachings.
You should also take into consideration that we read many books of history and literature – some written by laymen and others by clergymen – that reflected the martyrdom of the Christians in the early centuries. Everybody’s had the opportunity to learn about those events, and I think that one of the things the church felt most proud of during the years when I was a student – I remember this clearly was the martyrology of the early years and throughout the history of the church.
Fidel & Religion: Conversations with Frei Betto on Marxism & Liberation Theology; Castro Talks on Religion and Revolution with Frei Betto. Introduction by Harvey Cox. Simon and Schuster (1987), pp. 267-271
Song composed by Raúl Torres
Author: Raúl Torres | Internet@granma.cu
December 1, 2016 02:12:10
A CubaNews translation. Edited by Walter Lippmann.
They say these days
Camilo and Marti have been seen
Riding along on Revolution Square.
And that leading the caravan
Slowly trots a riderless horse
Open are the wounds that never heal
Of the men and women
who will never let you go.
Today our hearts beat in that square
It hurts so, but your people
do not want to see you go.
Man: the grateful ones are with you.
We shall all miss your great deeds.
Even Death cannot believe it took you.
Man: we learned to know you’d be eternal.
Just as Olofi and Jesus Christ,
There is not a single altar without a light for you.
Today I don’t want to call you, Comandante;
nor ‘barbudo’ nor ‘gigante’.
Or everything I know of you.
Today I want to shout “father of mine”
Do not let go of my hand
I still cannot walk without you.
Man: the grateful ones are with you.
We shall all miss your great deeds.
Even Death cannot believe it took you.
Man: we learned to know you’d be eternal.
Just as Olofi and Jesus Christ,
There is not a single altar without a light for you.
Man: the grateful ones are with you.
We shall all miss your great deeds.
Even Death cannot believe it took you.
Man: we learned to know you’d be eternal.
Just as Olofi and Jesus Christ,
There is not a single altar without a light for you.
They say that the square this morning,
Is completely full of horses,
Coming from far beyond.
A desperate crowd
of heroes with wings on their backs
Who have gathered there.
And leading the caravan
Slowly trots a riderless horse
Cabalgando con Fidel (+Video)
Canción compuesta por Raúl Torres
Autor: Raúl Torres | firstname.lastname@example.org
1 de diciembre de 2016 02:12:10
Dicen que en la plaza en estos días
se le ha visto cabalgar
a Camilo y a Martí.
Y delante de la caravana
lentamente sin jinete,
un caballo para ti.
Vuelven las heridas que no sanan
de los hombres y mujeres
que no te dejaremos ir.
Hoy el corazón nos late afuera
y tu pueblo aunque le duela
no te quiere despedir.
Hombre, los agradecidos te acompañan
Cómo anhelaremos tus hazañas.
Ni la muerte cree que se apoderó de ti.
Hombre, aprendimos a saberte eterno.
Así como Olofi y Jesucristo,
no hay un solo altar sin una luz por ti.
Hoy no quiero decirte, Comandante,
ni barbudo, ni gigante
todo lo que sé de ti.
Hoy quiero gritarte «padre mío»,
no te sueltes de mi mano,
aún no sé andar bien sin ti.
Hombre, los agradecidos te acompañan.
Cómo anhelaremos tus hazañas.
Ni la muerte cree que se apoderó de ti.
Hombre, aprendimos a saberte eterno.
Así como Olofi y Jesucristo,
no hay un solo altar sin una luz por ti.
Hombre, los agradecidos te acompañan.
Cómo anhelaremos tus hazañas.
Ni la muerte cree que se apoderó de ti.
Hombre, aprendimos a saberte eterno.
Así como Olofi y Jesucristo.
No hay un solo altar sin una luz por ti.
Dicen que en la plaza esta mañana,
ya no caben más corceles
llegando de otro confín.
Una multitud desesperada
de héroes de espaldas aladas
que se han dado cita aquí.
Y delante de la caravana
lentamente sin jinete,
un caballo para ti.
December 3, 2009
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
All the news we’ve had until now about Fidel Castro’s condition after almost three years of nonstop surgery and illness were his photographs with various heads of State and the articles he writes for the Cuban press on a regular basis. On Saturday, the Argentinean political scientist and sociologist Atilio Boron was in for a surprise while having lunch at a restaurant in Havana: someone came to tell him that Fidel would receive him that day at 5 p.m., so they would come to pick him up in a little while. Two days later, Fidel wrote about their one-hour-and-forty-minute-long meeting and sang the praises of a paper Atilio had presented in a conference of economists. At a later date, Mr. Boron gave Clarín unheard-of details about Castro’s daily life and the conversation they had in a place hitherto undisclosed.
“Truth is, I thought I would see a disabled person, but what I found was quite the opposite: he had a very good color and muscle tone, which I could check for myself in his handshake and hug when we said goodbye to each other”, Boron recalls. It was a summer afternoon, and Fidel was wearing the typical uniform of Cuban athletes, except for the short pants that revealed “very strong legs, a sign that he’s following his therapist’s instructions to the letter. He looks very bright”.
Fidel is not at a clinic, but in a house fitted with medical equipment for emergencies and facilities to move around and work out, and even a small pool where he can swim. He receives few visitors, his contacts with officials limited to “one or two meetings with Raúl”. You don’t see many people working in the house; he’s the one who seems to be working hard as befits “a soldier in the Battle of Ideas” and very happy and relaxed for not being in power.
We met in a living room where there was a desk, a run-of-the-mill PC, no cell phone, and the folders with clippings he’s always kept near since he was President. Boron also noticed a number of blue notebooks, organized by topic, where Fidel writes his reflections. And what about the voice of the great speaker who would talk to his audience for hours on end? “He’s never been one for speaking in a loud voice, on the contrary: he spoke slowly, still his usual self, a Fidel who chews on his every syllable”, Boron assured, adding that Fidel drank nothing nor was ever interrupted to take any medicine.
Always on top of current events, in the days of Darwin’s anniversary Castro reads his work while devouring what text on nanotechnology he can get his hands on. The chat with Boron centered on the economic crisis, and Fidel said he was worried about what he believes its great impact on the region will be like. “He thinks the continent’s certain shift to the left in the last few years will be compromised. Fidel understands the circumstances very well and fears the right will have a new lease on life”, he explained.
Did you talk about President Kirchner’s visit?
Yes, and he said to be quite impressed by how energetically she defends her positions. We also talked about the problems in the countryside, and he was shocked at the way it happened and as much concerned about the consequences as he was about other issues, for instance, Paraguay, as he believes President Lugo has many obstacles in his path.
Did you talk about the United States?
I’ve got the feeling he has taken a certain liking to Obama, but without building his hopes up too much. He said, “Obama will soon learn that the Presidency is one thing, but the Empire is another matter altogether”.
Your meeting took place at the end of a very hectic week in Cuba when changes were made in the government…
He started to talk about that and nothing else, going into greater detail about what he had already said that the enemy outside had built up their hopes with these officials, but it was made clear that what he meant was that Cuba’s enemies had raised their hopes over them. He mentioned they had made mistakes, sometimes because of excessive political ambition or personal impatience…
To get an idea of Fidel’s condition –keeping in mind that he’s almost 83– Boron points out that he can walk without anybody’s help and had even taken a stroll around the surrounding area a few weeks ago, alone and under no escort, to buy a newspaper. He was standing in line like any other Cuban and, they say, a woman recognized him and a small urban tsunami of emotions broke out in that Cuban neighborhood.
Time Does Not Devour Redeemers
Living statue of the strongest metal,
The monsters of gold and silt who could not
Kill you with bullet and poison,
Want time to condemn you to death.
They count your hours, are encouraged by seeing
your beard gone white on your Greek profile;
And on the high summit of serene thinking
The outbreak of your gray hair amuses them.
The peoples, however, give you roses,
poems and songs; more for the dreams
you made come true than for your birthdays.
Because the age of the heroes and geniuses
is not measured by days or years,
But for long centuries and millennia.
Jesús Orta Ruiz, “El Indio Naborí”
(Written in 1996, for Fidel’s 70th Birthday)
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
El tiempo no devora redentores
Estatua viva del metal más fuerte,
no pudiendo los monstruos de oro y cieno
matarte con la bala y el veneno,
quieren que el tiempo te condene a muerte.
Cuentan tus horas, les anima verte
blanca la barba de perfil heleno;
y en la alta cumbre del pensar sereno
el brote de tus canas les divierte.
Los pueblos, sin embargo, te dan rosas,
poemas y canciones más por cosas
de cumplesueños que de cumpleaños,
pues la edad de los héroes y los genios
no se mide por días ni por años
sino por largos siglos y milenios.
Jesús Orta Ruiz, “El Indio Naborí”
(Escrito en 1996, con motivo de
los 70 años de Fidel)
By Fidel Castro
Official English translation of Cuban leader Fidel Castro’s statement of welcome to Pope John Paul II on Wednesday, January 21, 1998.
The land you have just kissed is honored by your presence. You will not find here the peaceful and generous native people who inhabited this island when the first Europeans arrived. Most of the men were annihilated by the exploitation and the enslaved work they could not resist and the women turned into pleasure objects or domestic slaves. There were also those who died by the homicidal swords or victims of unknown diseases brought by the conquerors. Some priests have left tearing testimonies of their protests against such crimes.
In the course of centuries, over a million Africans ruthlessly uprooted from their distant lands took the place of the enslaved natives already exterminated. They made a remarkable contribution to the ethnic composition and the origins of our country’s present population where the cultures, the beliefs and the blood of all participants in the dramatic history have been mixed.
It has been estimated that the conquest and colonization of this hemisphere resulted in the death of 70 million natives and the enslavement of 12 million Africans. Much blood was shed and many injustices perpetrated, a large part of which still remain after centuries of struggle and sacrifices under new forms of domination and exploitation.
Under extremely difficult conditions, Cuba was able to constitute a nation. It had to fight alone for its independence with unsurmountable heroism and, exactly 100 years ago, it suffered a real holocaust in the concentration camps where a large part of its population perished, mostly old men, women and children; a crime whose monstrosity is not diminished by the fact that it has been forgotten by humanity’s conscience. As a son of Poland and a witness of Oswiecim, you can understand this better than anyone.
Today, Holy Father, genocide is attempted again when by hunger, illness and total economic suffocation some try to subdue this people that refuses to accept the dictates and the rule of the mightiest economic, political and military power in history; much more powerful than the old Rome that for centuries had the beasts devour those who refused to abdicate their faith. Like those Christians horribly slandered to justify the crimes, we who are as slandered as they were, we choose a thousand times death rather than abdicate our convictions. The revolution, like the Church, also has many martyrs.
Holy Father, we feel the same way you do about many important issues of today’s world and we are pleased it is so; in other matters our views are different but we are most respectful of your strong convictions about the ideas you defend.
In your long pilgrimage around the world, you have been able to see with your own eyes many injustices, inequalities and poverty; uncultivated lands and landless hungry farmers; unemployment, hunger, illness; lives that could be saved with little money being lost for lack of it; illiteracy, child prostitution, 6-year old children working or begging for alms to survive; shanty towns where hundreds of millions live in unworthy conditions; race and sex discrimination; complete ethnic groups evicted from their lands and abandoned to their fate; xenophobia, contempt for other peoples; cultures which have been, or are currently being, destroyed; underdevelopment and usurious loans, unpayable and uncollectable debts, unfair exchange, outrageous and unproductive financial speculations; an environment being ruthlessly and perhaps helplessly destroyed; an unscrupulous weapons trade with disgusting lucrative intents; wars, violence, massacres; generalized corruption, narcotics, vices and an alienating consumerism imposed on peoples as an ideal model.
Mankind has seen its population increase almost fourfold just in this century. There are billions of people suffering hunger and thirst for justice; the list of man’s economic and social calamities is endless. I am aware that many of them are cause of permanent and growing concern to the Holy Father.
I have been through personal experiences which allow me to appreciate other features of his thinking. I was a student in Catholic schools until I obtained my bachelor’s degree. There, I was taught that to be a Jew, a Muslim, a Hinduist, a Buddhist, an animist or a participant of any other religious belief was a terrible evil deserving severe and unmitigated punishment. More than once, even in some of those schools for the wealthy and privileged – where I was one of them – I came up with the question of why there were no black children there; until this day, I have not forgotten the unconvincing answers I was given.
In later years, the Second Vatican Council convened by Pope John XXIII undertook the analysis of some of these sensitive issues. We are aware of efforts by the Holy Father to preach and practice sentiments of respect for the faithful of other important and influential religions which have expanded through the world. Respect for believers and non-believers alike is a basic principle revolutionary Cubans try to impress upon their fellow citizens. Such principles have been defined and consecrated by our Constitution and our laws. If there have ever been difficulties, the Revolution is not to blame.
We entertain the hope that never again, in no school of whatever religion nowhere in the world, an adolescent need ask why there are no black, native, yellow or white children there.
I sincerely admire your courageous statements on the events concerning Galileo and the Inquisition’s known errors; on the Crusades’ bloody episodes and the crimes committed during the conquest of the Americas; also on certain scientific discoveries that today are not contested by anybody but which, in their times, were the target of so many prejudices and anathemas. That certainly required the immense authority you have come to attain within your church.
What can we offer you in Cuba? People exposed to less inequalities and a lower number of helpless citizens; less children without schools, less patients without hospitals, and more teachers and physicians per capita than any other country in the world visited by the Holy Father; educated people you can talk to in perfect freedom with the certainty of their talent and their high political culture, their strong convictions and absolute confidence in their ideas; people that will show all due respect and consciousness in listening to you. Another country will not be found better disposed to understand your felicitous idea as we understand it and so similar to what we preach that the equitable distribution of wealth and solidarity among men and peoples should be globalized.
Welcome to Cuba!
Por Fidel Castro
DISCURSO PRONUNCIADO POR FIDEL CASTRO RUZ, PRESIDENTE DE LOS CONSEJOS DE ESTADO Y DE MINISTROS, EN LA CEREMONIA DE BIENVENIDA A SU SANTIDAD JUAN PABLO II, EFECTUADA EN EL AEROPUERTO INTERNACIONAL “JOSE MARTI”, EN CIUDAD DE LA HABANA, EL 21 DE ENERO DE 1998.
(VERSIONES TAQUIGRAFICAS – CONSEJO DE ESTADO)
La tierra que usted acaba de besar se honra con su presencia. No encontrará aquí aquellos pacíficos y bondadosos habitantes naturales que la poblaban cuando los primeros europeos llegaron a esta isla. Los hombres fueron exterminados casi todos por la explotación y el trabajo esclavo que no pudieron resistir; las mujeres, convertidas en objeto de placer o esclavas domésticas. Hubo también los que murieron bajo el filo de espadas homicidas, o víctimas de enfermedades desconocidas que importaron los conquistadores. Algunos sacerdotes dejaron testimonios desgarradores de su protesta contra tales crímenes.
A lo largo de siglos, más de un millón de africanos cruelmente arrancados de sus lejanas tierras ocuparon el lugar de los esclavos indios ya extinguidos. Ellos hicieron un considerable aporte a la composición étnica y a los orígenes de la actual población de nuestro país, donde se mezclaron la cultura, las creencias y la sangre de todos los que participaron en esta dramática historia.
La conquista y colonización de todo el hemisferio se estima que costó la vida de 70 millones de indios y la esclavización de 12 millones de africanos. Fue mucha la sangre derramada y muchas las injusticias cometidas, gran parte de las cuales, bajo otras formas de dominación y explotación, después de siglos de sacrificios y de luchas, aún perduran.
Cuba, en condiciones extremadamente difíciles, llegó a constituir una nación. Luchó sola con insuperable heroísmo por su independencia. Sufrió por ello hace exactamente 100 años un verdadero holocausto en los campos de concentración, donde murió una parte considerable de su población, fundamentalmente mujeres, ancianos y niños; crimen de los colonialistas que no por olvidado en la conciencia de la humanidad dejó de ser monstruoso. Usted, hijo de Polonia y testigo de Oswiecim, lo puede comprender mejor que nadie.
Hoy, Santidad, de nuevo se intenta el genocidio, pretendiendo rendir por hambre, enfermedad y asfixia económica total a un pueblo que se niega a someterse a los dictados y al imperio de la más poderosa potencia económica, política y militar de la historia, mucho más poderosa que la antigua Roma, que durante siglos hizo devorar por las fieras a los que se negaban a renegar de su fe. Como aquellos cristianos atrozmente calumniados para justificar los crímenes, nosotros, tan calumniados como ellos, preferiremos mil veces la muerte antes que renunciar a nuestras convicciones. Igual que la Iglesia, la Revolución tiene también muchos mártires.
Santidad, pensamos igual que usted en muchas importantes cuestiones del mundo de hoy y ello nos satisface grandemente; en otras, nuestras opiniones difieren, pero rendimos culto respetuoso a la convicción profunda con que usted defiende sus ideas.
En su largo peregrinaje por el mundo, usted ha podido ver con sus propios ojos mucha injusticia, desigualdad, pobreza; campos sin cultivar y campesinos sin alimentos y sin tierra; desempleo, hambre, enfermedades, vidas que podrían salvarse y se pierden por unos centavos; analfabetismo, prostitución infantil, niños trabajando desde los seis años o pidiendo limosnas para poder vivir; barrios marginales donde viven cientos de millones en condiciones infrahumanas; discriminación por razones de raza o de sexo, etnias enteras desalojadas de sus tierras y abandonadas a su suerte; xenofobia, desprecio hacia otros pueblos, culturas destruidas o en destrucción; subdesarrollo, préstamos usurarios, deudas incobrables e impagables, intercambio desigual, monstruosas e improductivas especulaciones financieras; un medio ambiente que es destrozado sin piedad y tal vez sin remedio; comercio inescrupuloso de armas con repugnantes fines mercantiles, guerras, violencia, masacres; corrupción generalizada, drogas, vicios y un consumismo enajenante que se impone como modelo idílico a todos los pueblos.
Ha crecido la humanidad solo en este siglo casi cuatro veces. Son miles de millones los que padecen hambre y sed de justicia; la lista de calamidades económicas y sociales del hombre es interminable. Sé que muchas de ellas son motivo de permanente y creciente preocupación de Su Santidad.
Viví experiencias personales que me permiten apreciar otros aspectos de su pensamiento. Fui estudiante de colegios católicos hasta que me gradué de bachiller. Me enseñaban entonces que ser protestante, judío, musulmán, hindú, budista, animista o partícipe de otras creencias religiosas, constituía una horrible falta, digna de severo e implacable castigo. Más de una vez incluso, en algunas de aquellas escuelas para ricos y privilegiados, entre los que yo me encontraba, se me ocurrió preguntar por qué no había allí niños negros, sin que haya podido todavía olvidar las respuestas nada persuasivas que recibía.
Años más tarde el Concilio Vaticano II, convocado por el Papa Juan XXIII, abordó varias de estas delicadas cuestiones. Conocemos los esfuerzos de Su Santidad por predicar y practicar los sentimientos de respeto hacia los creyentes de otras importantes e influyentes religiones que se han extendido por el mundo. El respeto hacia los creyentes y no creyentes es un principio básico que los revolucionarios cubanos inculcamos a nuestros compatriotas. Esos principios han sido definidos y están garantizados por nuestra Constitución y nuestras leyes. Si alguna vez han surgido dificultades, no ha sido nunca culpa de la Revolución.
Albergamos la esperanza de que algún día en ninguna escuela de cualquier religión, en ninguna parte del mundo, un adolescente tenga que preguntar por qué no hay en ella un solo niño negro, indio, amarillo o blanco.
Admiro sinceramente sus valientes declaraciones sobre lo ocurrido con Galileo, los conocidos errores de la Inquisición, los episodios sangrientos de las Cruzadas, los crímenes cometidos durante la conquista de América, y sobre determinados descubrimientos científicos no cuestionados hoy por nadie que, en su tiempo, fueron objeto de tantos prejuicios y anatemas. Hacía falta para ello la inmensa autoridad que usted ha adquirido en su Iglesia.
¿Qué podemos ofrecerle en Cuba, Santidad? Un pueblo con menos desigualdades, menos ciudadanos sin amparo alguno, menos niños sin escuelas, menos enfermos sin hospitales, más maestros y más médicos por habitantes que cualquier otro país del mundo que Su Santidad haya visitado; un pueblo instruido al que usted puede hablarle con toda la libertad que desee hacerlo, y con la seguridad de que posee talento, elevada cultura política, convicciones profundas, absoluta confianza en sus ideas y toda la conciencia y el respeto del mundo para escucharlo. No habrá ningún país mejor preparado para comprender su feliz idea, tal como nosotros la entendemos y tan parecida a la que nosotros predicamos, de que la distribución equitativa de las riquezas y la solidaridad entre los hombres y los pueblos deben ser globalizadas.
Bienvenido a Cuba (APLAUSOS).
By Olga Fernández Ríos
February 10, 2016
A CubaNews translation.
Edited by Walter Lippmann.
Political documents are the fruit of their time, but not all of them outlive the context in which they were generated. Their long reach can be measured on the basis of the mark they leave on every period, as it happens, for instance, with the Communist Manifesto (1848) or History Will Absolve Me (1953). These documents transcend the historic framework that saw them come into being, since they bear conceptual and sociopolitical values still in force within the unfinished process of development of revolutionary theory and practice to attain a more just society, but above all else, because they are still capable of prompting the kind of actions and emotions that a revolutionary process cannot do without.
Such is the case of the Second Declaration of Havana, approved on February 4, 1962 in the middle of a process of shaping up the people’s political power, far-reaching revolutionary changes, serious class struggle, and growing interventionism by the United States on the Caribbean island. That was when around a million and a half Cubans gathered at the José Martí Revolution Square and approved this consequential document, the roots of which go back to the First Declaration of Havana, also adopted by popular consultation on September 2, 1960.
The Second Declaration went deeper into what the first one had stated by presenting the Cuban people’s stance on Yankee interference, [which was] the architect of Cuba’s expulsion from the Organization of American States (OAS) at its Eighth Consultative Meeting of Foreign Ministers, held in Punta del Este, Uruguay, on January 23 to 31, 1962. The popular rally that endorsed the Second Declaration also rejected the break in diplomatic and consular relations with the island by the OAS member states, all of which, with the dignified exception of Mexico, kowtowed to US imperialism’s anti-Cuban policies .
We cannot overlook the fact that only 10 months before the rally, Cuba had witnessed distinctive evidence of widespread popular acceptance of the revolutionary process and the will to regain national sovereignty and independence. This was already noticeable in the support given to the Revolution’s socialist nature and the defeat inflicted on the mercenary invasion at the Bay of Pigs. Nor can we forget that it was the Cuban people who managed to eliminate illiteracy in just a few months and lay the foundations of our socialist transition in the first five years following the triumph of January 1st., 1959.
Today, 54 years later, the Second Declaration of Havana makes us want to look, not only at the past but also at the present, when the construction of socialism is destined to adapt itself to a new historical situation, the ideological clash between capitalism and socialism has not stopped, and the war of thoughts that Jose Marti alerted us to has become more complex. It’s true that anti-communism is no longer the visible axis of the US national security doctrine, but their policy of hostility toward, and distortion of, any process moving on a socialist and anti-imperialist path is still in effect. Now we also see some people who, one way or another and in some place or other, try to vindicate positions of liberal and bourgeois persuasion in ways that bring to mind the old dilemma of choosing between revolution and reform so finely discussed by Lenin and Rosa Luxemburg early in the 20th century.
It’s from that standpoint that we now recall the Second Declaration of Havana and wonder about its contribution to present-day Cuba and Latin America, with an a priori request: a lot, now that Cuba seeks a new way of constructing socialism, which calls for in-depth analyses of every step we take as the Latin American political map keeps changing color with the rise of anti-imperialist processes and national liberation and even pro-socialist movements.
This document gave a consistent and all-embracing shape to the main foreign policies of the Cuban Revolution in keeping with the plans to construct socialism and took an ethical stand for internationalism and solidarity with the peoples of Latin America and the world. And it did so because the political and cultural sources of the Second Declaration stem mainly from the ideals of Simon Bolivar and Jose Marti, the history of Cuba and our America, and the tenets of classic Marxism found in Marx’s, Engels’s and Lenin’s works.
One major value of this document is that it picks up Marti’s objective prediction about U.S. imperialism’s expansionist nature, which brings with it a logical link to the defense of our national independence and sovereignty, the support of the right of peoples and countries to economic and sociopolitical self-determination, and reliance on the poor and the workers. While the Declaration has Latin America-oriented leanings, it is directly related to circumstances and struggles of other parts of the world through questions like, “What is Cuba’s history but that of Latin America’s?”, “What is the history of Latin America but the history of Asia, Africa and Oceania?”, and “What is the history of all these peoples but the history of the cruelest and most ruthless exploitation of the world by imperialism?”
It’s a truism that Latin America is not the same today as it was when the Second Declaration of Havana was approved, and neither is Cuba, what with the host of achievements, deficiencies and experiences, both positive and negative, along the path to socialism. But if we look at it from both viewpoints, it is rather easy to understand that it’s a quite topical text of great historical value that the new generations and anyone interested in making the work better must study and think about from the perspective of today’s Cuba and Latin America.
It would not be objective to deny that some views and assertions found in the Declaration need clarification, such as, for instance, the idea that the ongoing aggravation of capitalism’s crisis would be a prelude to revolution turned out to be rather optimistic. However, about this issue the Declaration was also painfully accurate in its prediction that danger was in the offing as a result of imperialist interference in the region. Also, it didn’t take long for us to see a boom in military dictatorships and coups against lawfully-elected goverments, all against the backdrop of state terrorism as a method. Take the cases of Allende’s Chile, and in Argentina with Operation Condor and the whole catalogue of missing detainees, murder and persecution; or more recently, the coups in Honduras and Paraguay, and non-stop attacks against the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Also bearing witness to the far-sighted scope and current relevance of the document are the subsequent establishment of neoliberalism and the attempts to turn it into a single regional system, as well as the disastrous effects of privatization, the increasingly unequal distribution of wealth, the way national states have lost their sovereignty, and a long string of economic and political tragedies in the region.
It’s impossible to cover in so little space all the topics that bring the Declaration up to the present, so we will only focus on four of them which are worth revisiting today.
The first one is related to the condemnation of the various forms of dominance used by imperialism in the face of what we could call the widespread emancipation that starts taking shape with the onset of the transition to socialism. From that perspective, the Declaration puts forward a historical, political and theoretical rationale that lays down a notion of social revolution in today’s circumstances, its contribution based on a methodology supported by a wealth of data provided both by history and by each of its contexts.
The second one is related to a topic of interest, especially in the current process to improve Cuba’s model of socioeconomic development: the interaction between objective and subjective conditions, which is usually associated with the struggle for political powerl and is yet to be structured in a hierarchical manner in the notion about the development of the transition to socialism. Life and revolutionary praxis alike alert us today to the need to measure this dialectic at all times. Such is the sense we find in the Second Declaration when it recognizes that the objective conditions are out of sync with the subjective factors, since these can only mature by overcoming a cumulative load of conceptions that won’t automatically go away if the objective conditions change.
The Declaration highlights this by stating that “sooner or later” we become conscious, to which we may add the necessary educational and ideological work that in this regard affects the constitution of subjective conditions. Nor can there be any confusion about the fact that the transition to socialism, just like socioeconomic development, has to transform the human being in the way described by Che Guevara in Socialism and Man in Cuba, particularly his concept about the new man. The Second Declaration of Havana stresses this question when it says in this respect that “[…] the consciousness, organization or leadership factor can speed up or delay a revolution depending on its greater or lesser degree of development, but sooner or later, in each historic stage and when the objective conditions grow mature, consciousness is gained, organization is achieved, leadership is established, and a revolution takes place.”
Now we are fully aware of the importance of such interactions, which have not always been accomplished as they were described, just as we know that “Revolution takes place” not only by placing political power is in the hands of popular sectors but also by securing that power on a daily basis, renewing people’s commitments, emotions, values and incentives to guarantee the continuity of this complex revolutionary work.
The third one involves the important issue of unity around the revolutionary project as seen at national and international level. In this connection, the Second Declaration of Havana calls for the unity of the revolutionary forces and international coordination of national and regional struggles, at the same time as it warns against the negative effects of divisiveness within revolutionary organizations.
A little-known unity-related issue has to do with the respect outlined in the Declaration for every form of struggle leading up to revolution, and in this regard the document showcases the importance of studying the conditions of every national context and the features of every society in order to undertake anti-imperialist revolutionary action. These elements are essential to analyze present-day Latin America, bearing in mind that every process of change with anti-imperialist or anticapitalist leanings has its own characteristics and that every process of socialist construction is unique in itself, so there is no point in drawing single schemes, recipe or model.
Finally, something highly relevant to the present time: the Declaration explores the limitations of bourgeois solutions to dealing with the great gaps in social inequality found in capitalist societies. It recognizes the historical fact, based on experience, that Latin American bourgeois sectors, even when their interests have not been in keeping with those of Yankee imperialism, have been either incapable of confronting it or paralyzed by the fear of social revolution and the clamor of the exploited masses. When faced with the imperialism-or-revolution dilemma, only its most progressive strata will side with the people.
This thesis makes us think seriously about the offers or “solutions” that some people see in a regime of social democratic persuasion or in a return, or better said, backward step, to bourgeois liberalism, which will always vindicate the sacrosanct power of the great private property and exaggerated individualism. It also helps us distinguish genuine revolutionary processes like Cuba’s from those that wear themselves out under so-called neo-development policies. Some people, unfortunately including leftists too, consider these the right antidote to the contradictions resulting from underdevelopment or neoliberal political thinking, oblivious to the solutions that a socialist project can provide.
We cannot overlook the fact that the Second Declaration of Havana revisits ideals through passionate appeals such as, “The duty of every revolutionist is to make revolution”. And it does so taking into account the great homeland that is calling upon Cubans all over again to preserve the achievements of socialism, not watching from the sidelines as the corpse of capitalism passes by, but doing what each of us must do on a continent where the need to count on the poor and the workers is becoming more and more obvious every day.
It’s a source of great pride that it was in José Martí’s and Fidel Castro’s land that a vision of Latin America’s future was born and came true as a fact that has multiplied itself in the processes of change taking place in several countries of the region as of 1998, when Hugo Chavez assumed power in Venezuela. Heralded by the valuable example and precedent set by the Cuban Revolution, new courses of popular struggle have opened up ever since which, regardless of the setbacks and contradictions suffered so far, and likely to be suffered again along the way, are gradually empowering a popular world brimming with reasons that the Declaration managed to discern, such as,
“(…) and the wave of appalling anger, of demands for justice, of demands for rights trampled underfoot, which is beginning to sweep the lands of Latin America, will not stop any more. That wave will swell with every passing day. For that wave is composed of the greatest number, the majorities in every respects, those whose labor amasses the wealth and turns the wheels of history and are now awakening from the long, brutalizing sleep to which they had been subjected.
For this great mass of humanity has said, ‘Enough!’ and has begun to march.”
 Thanks to friends of the Cuban Revolution, the meeting of OAS foreign affairs ministers was held at the same time as a Conference of the Peoples opened on January 23, 1962, at Havana’s “Federico García Lorca” Theater. It was the poor and oppressed’s reply to the Punta del Este meeting. The spirit behind this event was Mexican former president Lázaro Cárdenas, and some of the outstanding personalities attending the Conference were Chilean Senator Salvador Allende, Fabricio Ojeda and Pedro Mir from Venezuela, Roque Dalton from El Salvador, Jacobo Arbenz and Manuel Galich from Guatemala, also-Chilean and communist Volodia Teitelboim, and Blanca Segovia Sandino from Nicaragua. See Orlando Cruz Capote: La proyección internacional de la Revolución Cubana hacia América Latina y El Caribe 1959-1962, unpublished work, Instituto de Historia archives, Havana.
See: II Declaración de La Habana, September 4, 1962, p. 38, in Declaraciones de La Habana y Santiago de Cuba, Editora Política, La Habana, 1965.
10 febrero 2016
Por Olga Fernández Ríos
Los documentos políticos son hijos de su época, pero no todos trascienden el contexto en que se gestaron. Su largo alcance puede medirse a partir de la impronta que tienen en cada presente, como es por ejemplo el Manifiesto Comunista (1848) o La Historia me absolverá (1953). Son documentos que trascienden el marco histórico que los vio nacer al ser portadores de valores conceptuales y sociopolíticos que siguen vigentes en el inacabado proceso de desarrollo de la teoría y la praxis revolucionaria en pos de una sociedad más justa. Pero sobre todo porque mantienen una capacidad movilizativa de acciones y emociones de las que no pueden prescindir los procesos revolucionarios.
Es el caso de la Segunda Declaración de La Habana aprobada el 4 de febrero de 1962 en medio de un proceso de construcción del poder político popular en la isla caribeña, de profundas transformaciones revolucionarias, de aguda lucha de clases y de variadas y crecientes acciones injerencistas de Estados Unidos. Fue entonces que cerca de un millón y medio de cubanos reunidos en la Plaza de la Revolución José Martí aprobaron ese trascendental documento cuyo antecedente fue la Primera Declaración de La Habana, también aprobada en consulta popular el 2 de septiembre de 1960.
La Segunda Declaración profundizó lo planteado en la primera al argumentar las posiciones del pueblo cubano frente al injerencismo yanqui, artífice de la expulsión de Cuba de la Organización de Estados Americanos (OEA), decretada en la Octava Reunión de Consultas de Ministros de Relaciones Exteriores de esa organización, celebrada en Punta del Este, Uruguay, entre el 23 y el 31 de enero de 1962. La concentración popular que aprobó la Segunda Declaración también repudió la ruptura de relaciones diplomáticas y consulares con la isla por parte de los países integrantes de la OEA que, con la digna excepción de México, se plegaron a las políticas anticubanas trazadas por el imperialismo norteamericano [i].
No es posible pasar por alto que apenas 10 meses antes de aquella concentración, en Cuba hubo muestras definitorias del amplio consenso popular a favor del proceso revolucionario y del rescate de la independencia y la soberanía nacional, lo que ya se había expresado en el respaldo a la declaración del carácter socialista de la revolución y en la derrota del ataque mercenario por Playa Girón. Tampoco puede olvidarse que fue el pueblo cubano el que logró erradicar el analfabetismo en pocos meses y el que durante el primer lustro que siguió al triunfo del primero de enero de 1959 cimentó las bases para una transición socialista en el país.
Hoy, 54 años después, la Segunda Declaración de La Habana concita al análisis, no solo del pasado, sino del presente en el que la construcción del socialismo está llamado a renovarse en nuevas condiciones históricas. Pero es también el presente en el que la confrontación ideológica entre capitalismo y socialismo sigue vigente, y en que la guerra de pensamiento sobre la que alertaba José Martí es más compleja. Es cierto que el anticomunismo ya no es el eje visible de la doctrina de seguridad nacional de Estados Unidos, pero no ha cesado la política de hostilidad y de promover distorsiones de los procesos que se mueven en un derrotero antimperialista y socialista. También hoy de una u otra forma, en uno u otro escenario, hay quienes tratan de reivindicar las posiciones de corte liberal burgués en formas que nos recuerdan la vieja disyuntiva entre revolución y reforma tan bien debatida por Lenin y Rosa Luxemburgo a principios del siglo XX.
Es con esa óptica que en esta ocasión recordamos la Segunda Declaración de la Habana preguntándonos qué aporta al presente cubano y latinoamericano, con una respuesta a priori: es mucho lo que aporta en los momentos en que en Cuba hay una búsqueda de un nuevo modo de construir el socialismo lo que requiere de profundos análisis de cada medida que se implementa, mientras que en América Latina el mapa político va cambiando sus colores con el surgimiento de procesos antimperialistas, nacional liberadores, e incluso pro socialistas.
Es un documento que perfiló de forma coherente e integral las líneas fundamentales de la política exterior de la Revolución Cubana acorde con la proyección de la construcción del socialismo, a la vez que defendió el internacionalismo y la solidaridad con los pueblos de América Latina y del mundo con una concepción de alcance ético. Y es de esa forma porque las fuentes político-culturales de la Segunda Declaración de la Habana se encuentran, fundamentalmente, en los idearios de Simón Bolívar y José Martí, en la historia de Cuba y de nuestra América y en fundamentos presentes en el marxismo clásico, en la obra de Marx, Engels y Lenin.
Una de las esencias del documento es que retoma la objetiva previsión martiana sobre la naturaleza expansionista del imperialismo norteamericano, a lo que se une como lógica interrelación la defensa de la independencia y soberanía nacional, el respaldo de los derechos de los pueblos y países a la autodeterminación económica y sociopolítica y la confianza en los humildes y en los trabajadores. Si bien la Declaración tiene una vocación latinoamericanista, se vincula de forma directa con la situación y las luchas en otras latitudes del planeta con preguntas que expresan una concepción: “¿Qué es la historia de Cuba sino la historia de América Latina? ¿Y qué es la historia de América Latina sino la historia de Asia, África y Oceanía? ¿Y qué es la historia de todos estos pueblos sino la historia de la explotación más despiadada y cruel del imperialismo en el mundo entero?”.
Es una verdad de Perogrullo que hoy América Latina no es la misma que cuando se aprobó la Segunda Declaración de La Habana, y que tampoco Cuba lo es por el acumulado de logros, insuficiencias y experiencias -positivas y negativas- en el proceso de construcción socialista. Pero pensando en ambos planos y perspectivas no hay que esforzarse mucho para mostrar que se trata de un texto de gran valor histórico y actualidad que las nuevas generaciones y todos los interesados por lograr un mundo mejor debemos estudiar y reflexionar con las miradas del presente cubano y latinoamericano.
No sería objetivo desconocer matices en tesis o afirmaciones contenidas en la Declaración que hoy requieren de precisiones, como por ejemplo la idea sobre la agudización de la crisis capitalista planteada con cierto optimismo sobre su radicalización como antesala de la revolución. Sin embargo en este mismo aspecto la Declaración fue dolorosamente certera al predecir los peligros que se avecinaban como consecuencia del injerencismo imperialista en la región cuando no se hicieron esperar la implantación de dictaduras militares, la promoción de golpes de Estado a gobiernos legítimamente electos con la secuela del terrorismo de Estado como método. Por ejemplo los casos del Chile de Allende y de los procesos en Argentina, la Operación Cóndor y el rosario de detenidos desaparecidos, asesinatos y persecuciones y más recientemente los golpes de Estado en Honduras y Paraguay y las reiteradas agresiones contra la República Bolivariana de Venezuela.
También dan fe del alcance previsorio y la pertinencia actual del documento de marras, la ulterior implantación del neoliberalismo y los intentos de convertirlo en el sistema único para la región, las nefastas consecuencias de las privatizaciones, las grandes brechas con relación a la distribución de la riqueza, la pérdida de soberanía de los Estados nacionales y una larga secuela de tragedias económicas y políticas en la región.
No es posible en tan breve espacio agotar todos los temas en los que la Declaración renace en el presente, por lo que solo nos detendremos en cuatro que amerita repensar en las condiciones actuales.
El primer tema se vincula con la denuncia a las variadas formas de dominación al uso por el imperialismo frente a lo que podemos considerar el sistema de emancipación múltiple que debe irse conformando desde el proceso de transición socialista. Y desde esa perspectiva en la Declaración se expresan fundamentos históricos, políticos y teóricos que aportan a una concepción sobre la revolución social en las condiciones contemporáneas, con aportes a partir de una metodología a partir de la riqueza de los datos que la historia y cada contexto histórico brinda.
El segundo tiene que ver con un tema de interés, sobre todo en el actual proceso de perfeccionamiento del modelo de desarrollo económico y social en Cuba: la interacción entre condiciones objetivas y subjetivas, que generalmente se ha asociado a la lucha por el poder político y no se ha jerarquizado en la concepción sobre el desarrollo de la transición al socialismo. La vida y la praxis revolucionaria nos alertan hoy sobre la necesidad de medir esa dialéctica en todo momento, y ese es el sentido presente en la Segunda Declaración cuando reconoce que puede darse un desfasaje entre las condiciones objetivas y los factores subjetivos, ya que éstos maduran venciendo una carga acumulada de concepciones que no se borran de forma automática al variar las condiciones objetivas.
La Declaración lo tiene en cuenta cuando plantea que la conciencia se adquiere “tarde o temprano” a lo que habría que añadir sobre la necesaria labor educativa e ideológica que al respecto influya en la conformación de las condiciones subjetivas. Tampoco puede existir confusión en cuanto a que la transición socialista, a la par que desarrollo económico y social, tiene que transformar al ser humano en el sentido planteado por Che Guevara en El Socialismo y el Hombre en Cuba, particularmente su concepto hombre nuevo. La Segunda Declaración de La Habana enfatiza en este tema cuando refiriéndose a las condiciones subjetivas dice: “ […] el factor conciencia, organización, dirección puede acelerar o retrasar la revolución según su mayor o menor grado de desarrollo, pero tarde o temprano en cada época histórica, cuando las condiciones objetivas maduran, la conciencia se adquiere, la organización se logra, la dirección surge y la revolución se produce.”
Hoy sabemos muy bien la importancia de esa interacción que no siempre se ha logrado de la forma que está expuesta. También sabemos que “la Revolución se produce” no solo teniendo el poder político en manos de los sectores populares, sino garantizando ese poder en el día a día, renovando los compromisos, las emociones, los valores y las motivaciones humanas que garantizan la continuidad de la compleja obra revolucionaria.
Lo tercero concierne al importante tema de la unidad alrededor del proyecto revolucionario, visto en los planos nacional e internacional. En ese terreno la Segunda Declaración de La Habana hace un llamado a la unidad de las fuerzas revolucionarias, a la articulación internacional de las luchas nacionales y regionales, a la vez que alerta sobre las negativas consecuencias del divisionismo en el seno de las organizaciones revolucionarias.
Un aspecto poco reconocido en términos de unidad concierne al respeto que se expresa en la Declaración hacia todas las formas de lucha que pueden conducir a los cauces revolucionarios y en este sentido el documento muestra la importancia del análisis de las condiciones en cada contexto nacional, las particularidades de cada sociedad para emprender acciones antimperialistas y revolucionarias. Son elementos imprescindibles para el análisis de la América Latina de hoy con la comprensión de que cada proceso de cambio en un sentido antimperialista o anticapitalista, tiene sus peculiaridades, y que cada proceso de construcción del socialismo es inédito, por lo que no procede el trazado de esquemas, recetarios o modelos únicos.
Por último y con gran pertinencia para el presente, en la Declaración se analizan las limitaciones de la salida burguesa para enfrentar las grandes brechas de desigualdad social que existen en la sociedad capitalista. Reconoce que la experiencia histórica demuestra que en América Latina sectores nacionales burgueses, aun cuando sus intereses sean contradictorios con los del imperialismo yanqui, han sido incapaces de enfrentársele, o son paralizados por el miedo a la revolución social y al clamor de las masas explotadas. Situadas ante el dilema imperialismo o revolución, solo sus capas más progresistas estarán con el pueblo.
Esta tesis nos lleva a meditar seriamente sobre las ofertas o “soluciones” que algunos hoy ven en un régimen de corte socialdemócrata o en un retorno, mejor dicho retroceso, al liberalismo burgués que siempre reivindicará el sacrosanto poder de la gran propiedad privada y del individualismo exacerbado. También nos da luces para distinguir entre los procesos genuinamente revolucionarios, como es el de Cuba, y los proyectos que se agotan en el llamado neo desarrollismo que algunos, lamentablemente también desde la izquierda, consideran como la respuesta adecuada para eliminar las contradicciones derivadas del subdesarrollo o de las políticas neoliberales, al margen de las soluciones que un proyecto socialista puede generar.
No es posible obviar el hecho de que la Segunda Declaración de La Habana retoma ideales cuando con pasión hace un llamado: “El deber de todo revolucionario es hacer la revolución”. Y lo hace pensando en la patria grande que hoy también convoca a los cubanos a preservar las conquistas del socialismo, no sentados para ver pasar el cadáver del imperialismo, sino actuando cada cual en su lugar en un continente donde cada vez se hace más visible que hay que contar con los humildes y con los trabajadores.
Llena de orgullo constatar que fue en la tierra de José Martí y Fidel Castro donde se adelantó una visión del futuro latinoamericano que hoy es realidad que se multiplica en los procesos de cambio que tienen lugar en varios países de la región desde 1998 con el ascenso de Hugo Chávez a la presidencia de Venezuela. Desde entonces, con el valioso antecedente y ejemplo de la Revolución Cubana, se abrieron nuevos derroteros de luchas populares, que a pesar de reveses y contradicciones acaecidas y posiblemente por acaecer, va empoderando un mundo popular lleno de razones que la Declaración fue capaz de avizorar como
…”ola de estremecido rencor, de justicia reclamada, de derecho pisoteado que se empieza a levantar por entre las tierras de Latinoamérica, esa ola ya no parará más. Esa ola irá creciendo cada día que pase. Porque esa ola la forman los más mayoritarios en todos los aspectos, los que acumulan con su trabajo las riquezas, crean los valores, hacen andar las ruedas de la historia y que ahora despiertan del largo sueño embrutecedor a que los sometieron.
Porque esta gran humanidad ha dicho: «¡Basta!» y ha echado a andar.”
[i] La reunión de cancilleres de la OEA se hizo coincidir, por parte de amigos de la Revolución Cubana, con una Conferencia de los Pueblos, inaugurada el 23 de enero de 1962, en el Teatro “ Federico García Lorca” en La Habana. Ella constituyó la réplica de los humildes y oprimidos a la reunión de Punta del Este. El artífice principal fue el ex presidente de México, Lázaro Cárdenas y entre las importantes personalidades participantes se encontraron el senador chileno Salvador Allende, los venezolanos Fabricio Ojeda y Pedro Mir, el salvadoreño Roque Dalton, los guatemaltecos Jacobo Arbenz y Manuel Galich, el también chileno y comunista Volodia Teitelboim, la nicaragüense Blanca Segovia Sandino. Ver Orlando Cruz Capote: La proyección internacional de la Revolución Cubana hacia América Latina y El Caribe 1959-1962.Trabajo inédito, archivo del Instituto de Historia, La Habana.
Ver: II Declaración de La Habana, 4 de septiembre de 1962, p. 38; en, Declaraciones de La Habana y Santiago de Cuba, Editora Política, La Habana, 1965,
Speech given Comandante Fidel Castro Ruz, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and Prime Minister of the Revolutionary Government, in the presentation of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, at the “Chaplin” theater October 3, 1965. Havana Domestic Radio and Television Services in Spanish
0150 GMT 4 October 1965–F (October 3, Havana time.).
(Live speech by Premier Fidel Castro at the presentation of the Communist Party Central Committee from Havana’s Chaplin Theater)
(Text) Honored guests; central committee comrades; comrades of the provincial, regional and sectional committees, comrade secretaries of the cells of our party.
I am compelled to begin with a topic which has not direct relation with the purpose of this meeting but since it is a timely question and of political interest, I cannot refrain from referring to it. It is the outcome of the proposal made on 28 September with regard to a fact that had been taking place for three years. It was a perfidious thing used by the enemy to wage a campaign against our revolution. It is the case of people who, upon suspension flights between Cuba and Miami, were left with one foot here and the other one there.
In order to unmask Yankee imperialism once and for all in this regard, we made the statement on 28 September, which you know about. And when they later said that the statement was somewhat vague and ambiguous, as well as that it had not been made through diplomatic channels, we made a second and very clear and very concrete statement so we could settle the dispute once and for all.
Today, the cables carry the news regarding the definite reply by the United States Government in this regard. I am going to read the news carried in these cables. In short, it says: “President Johnson”–this is an AP cable–“President Johnson announced today that he will strive for a diplomatic understanding with Cuba so Cubans who want to leave their country can take asylum in the United States.”
This thing about “diplomatic understandings” means an agreement through diplomatic channels with regard to this problem. It says: “I have requested the State Department to seek through the Swiss Embassy, entrusted with U.S. affairs, the consent of the Government of Cuba in a request to the president of the International Red Cross.” It also says: “I have given instructions to the Departments of State, Justice, Health, Education, and Welfare, to make the necessary arrangements to enable those who seek freedom in Cuba to enter the United States in an orderly manner.”
In another cable with more news, it adds: “Mr. Johnson also stated: `Once more this has revealed the mark of defeat of a regime. When many of its citizens freely elect to leave the nation where they were born to go to a home of hope, the future harbors little hope for any government when the present does not permit hopes for its people.'” He said that “the refugees would be welcome with the thought that some day they can return to their country to find it rid of terror and free from fear.” In other words, they apparently did not have any other alternative, nor any other way. It means, in the first place, that we have won a battle for freedom. (applause)
Mr. Johnson, would not be Johnson, nor would he be President of the United States, nor would he be a Yankee, if he did not use this proverbial pharisaism to accompany this statement with all this condiment with regard to the hopes of the comrades who will go to the United States in search of freedom and which can offer nothing to their future when at the present time they only offer the prospect of having to quit the country to the citizens of a national. (sentence as heard) He also talks about the Red Cross. Therefore, we consider it necessary to reply to Mr. Johnson on these matters which have nothing to do with the matter itself which we proposed. And we should make some pertinent remarks on all this.
In the first place, the Yankee news agencies and many of the executives of that nation as well as some news agencies which are not Yankees, but which apparently through hearing the arguments repeated, such as REUTERS and ARP, have echoed the statement that this meant a change in the policy with regard to those who wanted to leave the nation–and this is absolutely false. From the beginning of the revolution, there has been only one policy in regard to this.
From the beginning of the revolution, until the October crisis, all who wished and who had received permission from the United States to leave this country were leaving without being stopped. And when at the beginning of the October crisis they stopped the flights to Cuba there was not a change in the policy of the Revolutionary Government, because through the other routes, that is the route of Spain and the route of Mexico, nearly 300 persons continued to leave monthly, in other words, more than 3,000 persons per year.
There has not been the slighted change in the policy of those who wish to leave the country. What we have done is to unmask the bad faith and the hypocrisy of the Yankee imperialism, the only one responsible for the routes to leave normally being closed in order to promote a certain type of clandestine and protected (presumably Castro means “dangerous”–ed.) departures with the only object to make propaganda.
Mr. Johnson possibly ignores that in the United States, when the war of independence took plane to free itself from the English colonial period, thousands upon thousands of North Americans left the country after the independence and went to Canada. In all revolutions whether it be the French revolution or the Russian revolution or the Cuban revolution, this phenomenon of departure or immigration of the privileged classes is an historical fact. If the departure from a country, if the departure of men and women who are born in a country to another country could be an indication of the characteristics of a social regime, the best example is the case of Puerto Rico, an island which the Yankee imperialism took over and which it has maintained under an exploiting, colonial regime and the reason for which more than one million of the men and women born in that country have had to immigrate to the United States. And Mr. Johnson forgot about Puerto Rico and the million of the Puerto Ricans who live in New York under the hardest living conditions in the poorest neighborhoods and doing the most humiliating jobs.
Naturally, this talk about the Red Cross is a trick of Mr. Johnson in order to dramatize the matter. Really, who has said that to issue passports and grant permission for some planes to land in Miami, the Red Cross must intervene? What does the Red Cross have to do with this? This does not have any thing to do with an earthquake, a hecatomb, or a way, but the more issuance of authority for the arrival in the United States and authorization for the landing of the planes or the ships–the arrival of the ships. We do not need the Red Cross in this case.
The Red Cross could intervene to propose to the U.S. Government for it to cease the criminal measure through which the export of medications is prohibited to Cuba. For this we would need the International Red Cross. (applause) In any case, the Red Cross could do a better job in South Vietnam where the Yankee soldiers (applause) where the Yankee soldiers murder thousands, murder and torture the citizens of that nation by the thousands, or in North Vietnam where the criminal Yankee bombings do not distinguish one thing from another. They bomb cities just like they bomb villages, schools, and hospitals. The Red Cross could have something to do in Santo Domingo where the invading soldiers commit all kinds of outrages against the people and they occupy the students’ schools. (applause) The Red Cross could intervene in the United States in order to prohibit the massacres of Negro citizens like the one that took place recently in Los Angeles, California. (applause)
However, for this question, Mr. Johnson, the Red Cross need not be present. It is enough for us to hold discussions with the representatives of the Swiss Embassy, who are the representatives for the U.S. interests in Cuba, and we can make agreements with them very well on any transaction. No one else need be present; we accept the sincerity and responsibility of the Swiss officials. Now, if the U.S. Government does not have confidence or does not believe in the ability of the Swiss Embassy, that is the problem of the U.S. Government. (applause)
Now, speaking very seriously on these questions of freedom, I would like to know if Mr. Johnson would like to answer a couple of questions. (laughter) Inasmuch as we here have been permitting all those who wish to leave Cuba since the beginning of the revolution, inasmuch as we have never denied permission to those who have wanted to leave to visit their families and wanted to return, also if there are Cubans who have families in the United States and wish to be united with them, there are also Cubans who have families in the United States and they do not wish to abandon their nation. (applause) And inasmuch as Mr. Johnson stood by the Statue of Liberty and took the trouble to sprinkle his statements with these trivialities dealing with liberty, I ask him if the United States will permit Cubans in the United States to visit their relatives in Cuba and then return to the United States. (prolonged applause) If the United States is willing to permit Cubans who do not wish to live in the United States to visit their relatives in the United States and return to Cuba, and finally if the United States is disposed to allow U.S. citizens to visit Cuba. (prolonged applause)
Because that same government which says that those who leave that nation travel the wrong path, we can tell them that a nation could travel a worse path, despite the fast that it is a nation which publicizes a great deal and thinks that it is a nation of liberties. Despite the fact that it has been able to attain the standard of economic development which they have reached, they are afraid to permit U.S. citizens to visit this nation, which is so slandered about fear and terror–as they call it. (applause)
Therefore, here is the second question to the U.S. Government: We call upon you also to permit those Cubans who live in the United States to come to Cuba to visit their relatives who do not wish to go live in the United States, and to permit those relative who live in Cuba and do not want to leave Cuba, to go to the United States and return. Finally, we ask that they permit the students or any U.S. citizens to come (word indistinct) to visit Cuba in the same manner that we permit any Cuban citizen to leave or return (applause); that the U.S. Government permit the Negro representatives of the U.S. Negro organizations to visit Cuba, or the organizations of the defenders of civil rights to see how, with the disappearance of the exploitation of man, by many, racial discrimination had ended for good in our nation. (applause)
And let us see if Mr. Johnson, before the world and the U.S. people has an answer to this call which is not gibberish. We maintain our position, we maintain our declaration and we wait for the pertinent meeting on this matter to be solicited by the Swiss representatives of the Swiss Embassy when they receive the pertinent instructions from the U.S. Government. But we hope to see whether Mr. Johnson has a way of reply to this call. (Castro pauses) And since they talk about to much, since they brag so much about freedom, enough of this talk about false freedoms; enough of this talk about abstract freedoms. The facts have shown that where world of freedom is really being created is not there but here. (applause)
We do not want against his will to have to live in this society, because our socialist society, our communist society, must be eminently a truly free association of citizens. (Hesitant applause which increases in volume) And although it is true that certain citizens educated in those ideas of the past and in that system of life of the past prefer to go to the United States, it is also true that this country has become the sanctuary of the revolutionaries of this continent. (applause) It is also true that we consider worthy of the hospitality of this people and this land, not only those born here but also all men and women of our own tongue and of our own culture–and when not of our own tongue, of similar historical and ethnic origins, or similar history of exploitation.
And they have a right to come to this country and, all those who have wanted to, have made use of this right–those pursued by bloody and imperialist oligarchies. Many man and women who were born in other sister territories of this continent have come to this country to live permanently or temporarily. Many technicians and many professional from various parts of America have come to live and work in this country for many years. This is not just a country of Cubans–this is a country of revolutionaries.
The revolutionaries of the continent have a right to consider themselves our brothers, and they are worthy of this right. This includes North American revolutionaries (applause), because some leaders, like Robert Williams, fiercely persecuted there, found asylum in this land. Thus, just as he, so can those being persecuted by reactionaries and exploiters find asylum here. It does not matter if they speak English and born in the United States. This is the fatherland of the revolutionaries of this continent, just as the United States is the inevitable asylum of all the henchman, of all the embezzlers (applause), of all the exploiters (applause continuing), of all the reactionaries of this continent.
Because there is not a thief, there is not an exploiter, there is not a reactionary, there is not a criminal, for whom the United States does not keep its gates open. And with this, we have replied to Mr. Johnson’s words spoken under his discolored Statue of Liberty (hesitant applause), which no one knows what it represents, that hodgepodge of stone and hypocrisy, unless it is what Yankee imperialism means to the world today.
Now we are going to turn to our business, to matters of our party. Because I think that the news reports coming from here, those regarding our social successes, our economic successes, and our political successes, are very bad news for the Yankee imperialists. Naturally, anything which strengthens and advances the revolution, anything that allows us to make the best progress, is of very high concern to them.
Because of this, they will return–yes, some day they will long to come back, repentant, a large portion of the ones that left. But when Johnson talks about returning here as liberators we could tell him that this is an “autumn night’s dream.” (applause)
All the nation has received with joy and enthusiasm the news of the constitution of our central committee. The names of the comrades which makes up that committee as well as their history are well known. If all are now known by all, all are known by a large and important part of the nation. We have endeavored to pick those who in our judgement present in the most complete manner the history of our revolution. Those who in addition to the struggle for the revolution are well as the struggle for the consolidation, defense, and development of the revolution have worked and have fought obstinately and tirelessly. There is no heroic episode in the history of our country during the last years when they have not been presented. There is no sacrifice, there is no fight, there is no prowess, civilian or military, heroic or creative, in which they are not represented. There is no social revolutionary sector which is not represented. I do not speak about organizations. There are men who for a long time were bearers of the socialist ideas, just like the case of the founder of the first communist party, Comrade Fabio Grobart. (applause) Cases like that of Comrade Helena Gil, (applause) whose extraordinary work at the front of the schools, which were attended by more than 40,000 mountain peasant women, and where thousands of teachers have been developed where today more than 50,000 youths and children study, and which we consider a truly exemplary job. Or the case of Comrade Arteaga (applause), who besides his history of struggle, has worked for seven years in the agricultural sector and has developed successful plans, in some cases outstanding plans like the Escambray agricultural plan. (applause)
Cases of comrades like Lieutenant Tarrao, whom many have not heard of, but who is a comrade the Ministry of Interior placed at the head of the rehabilitation plans at the Isle of Pines (applause) where he has developed with an exemplary and unselfish attitude, a brilliant job about which some day a lot will be said and written.
I have mentioned cases of comrades, some well known and other less known. The list of the comrades from the Revolutionary Armed Forces would be unending. (applause) For their stories before and after the triumph, as an example of the exemplary revolutionaries, of untiring workers, as an example of superiority in study, in the development of agriculture, of the cultural levels and of the political levels, comrades of an extraordinary modesty, in whose hands the defense of the fatherland has fundamentally been placed.
In these seven years of dangers and of threats, the most well known, of which it is not necessary to talk about–this does not mean that the only values of the nation are here, far from it. Our nation has many values, and above all, a promotion of new comrades in full development, which one day without a doubt will arrive to demonstrate that responsibility and that honor.
It we ask ourselves who is missing, without a doubt we would say that there are some that are missing. It would be impossible to constitute a central committee with 100 revolutionary comrades without many cadres who are missing. However, the important thing is not those who are missing–they will come later. What is important are those who are here and what they represent. We know that the party and the people have welcomed the central committee, which has been constituted with satisfaction. (lengthy applause)
This committee, meeting yesterday, adopted several agreements. Firstly, it ratified the measures adopted by the former national leadership, ratified the politburo, the secretariat, and the work commissions, as well as the comrade elected to the post of organization secretary. (applause) Moreover, it adopted to important agreements, which had also been suggested by the former national leadership.
One of them relates to our official organ: instead of two newspapers or a political nature, such as were being published, to concentrate the human resources, to concentrate the resources of machinery and paper in order to make a new, single morning newspaper of a political nature, in addition to the paper EL MUNDO, which is not precisely a political orientation newspaper; to combine all these resources and to make a new newspaper that will bear the name of GRANMA, (applause) the symbol of our revolutionary concept and of our road.
The other agreement is even more important, dealing with the name of our party. First we were ORI, during the first steps of the unification of the revolutionary forces, with its positive and negative aspects. Then we were the United Party of the Socialist Revolution, which represented extraordinary progress, an extraordinary advance in the creation of out political apparatus, an effort of three years in which, from the bottomless quarry of our people, countless numbers of exponents were extracted from within the ranks of our workers, enabling us to become today what we represent in numbers, but, above all, what we are in quality.
The name United Party of the Socialist Revolution says much, but is does not say it all. The name still gives the idea of something that had to be united, that still recalls the origins of each one. Since we fell that we have already reached a stage in which all types of labels and things that distinguish some revolutionaries from others must disappear one and for all and forever and that we have already reached the fortunate point in the history of our revolutionary process in which we can say that there is only one type of revolutionary, and since it is necessary that the name of or party say, not what we were yesterday, but what we are today and what we will be tomorrow, what, in your opinion, is the name our party should have? (Crows makes tumultuous indistinct response–ed.)
What is, what is, comrades, what is–a comrade from here, the comrades from there, the comrades over there, the comrades over there? The Communist Party of Cuba! (prolonged cheers, applause) well, that is the name that, the interpreting the development of our party, the revolutionary conscience of its members, and the objectives of our revolution, our first central committee adopted yesterday, and that is quite proper.
As we explained to the comrades of the committee yesterday, the word “communist” has been very calumnied and very denigrated throughout centuries. There have been communists throughout history, men of communist ideas, men who conceived a way of living different from the society in which they have been born. Those who thought in a communist manner in other times were considered, for example, utopian communists who though 500 years was a short time because in an idealistic manner they aspired for a type of society which was not possible at that time because of the lack of development of the productive sources of man.
Of course man could not return to the communist from which primitive man originated, to live in a primitive form of communism, unless there was such a degree of development of his productive forces and such a method of utilization of those forces, a social mode of using those forces, that material goods and services could be produced in more than sufficient quantities to satisfy the needs of man.
All the exploiters, all the privileged always hated the word “communist” as if it were a crime. They anathematized the word “communist” and that is why when Marx and Engels wrote their Communist Manifesto which gave origin to a new revolutionary theory, to a scientific interpretation of human society, human history, they said “a phantom is sweeping Europe, and that is the phantom of communism,” because privileged classes viewed those ideas as a phantom, with true fear. Moreover the privileged classes in any era of history always contemplated new ideas with extraordinary fear.
Roman society was also terrorized in its era by the Christian ideas when these ideas rose in the world. And they were at one time the ideas of the poor and the slaves of those times. Because of their hate for these new ideas, that society cast into the flames and into the circus countless numbers of human beings. In like fashion, during the middle ages, in the era of feudalism, new ideas were persecuted and their originators calumnied and treated in the worst manner. The new ideas that rose with the bourgeoisie during feudalism, whether those ideas adopted political, philosophical, or religious positions, these were cruelly anathematized and persecuted. The reactionary classes have used all means to anathematize and calumny new ideas.
Thus all the power and all the means at their disposal are not enough for their purposes of calumnying communist ideas, as if the desire for a society where man will not be an exploiter of man but a true brother of man, as if the dream of a society in which all human beings are equal in fact and in law, not just a simple constitutional clause such as those contained in the bourgeois constitutions where they say that all men are born free and equal, as if that could be said equally of a child born in a slum, in a poor cradle, and of a child born in a golden cradle, as if it could ever be said in a society of exploiters and exploited, or rich and poor, that all men are born free and equal, as if all those men were called upon in life to have the same opportunity.
The perennial dream of men, a dream possible today, of a society-without exploiters or exploited, has drawn the hate and the rancor of all the exploiters. The imperialists, as if they were offending us, as if it were an offense, speak of the communist Government of Cuba just as the work “Mambi” was used against our liberators as an offense, in like fashion they attempt to use the work “communist” as an offense. And the work “communist” is not an offense for us but an honor. (applause) It is the word which symbolizes the aspiration of a large party of humanity and hundreds and hundreds of millions of human beings are concretely working for it today, Within 100-years, there will be no greater honor nor will there by anything more natural and logical than to be called “communists.” (applause)
We are headed toward a communist society and if the imperialists do not want soup, well, we will give them three bowls of soup. (applause) From now on, gentlemen of the UP and AP, when you call us “communists” you know you are calling us the most honorable thing you can call us. (prolonged applause)
There is an absence in our central committee of one who possess all the merits and all the virtues in the highest degree to belong to it and who, however, is not along the members of the central committee. Around this the enemy had been able to weave a thousand conjectures. The enemy has tried to confuse and to sow discord and doubt. And patiently, because it was necessary to wait, we have waited. That is the difference between the revolutionary and the counterrevolutionary, between the revolutionary and the imperialist. We revolutionaries know how to wait. We know how to have patience. We never despair and the reactionaries, the counterrevolutionaries, the imperialists continue in perennial desperation.
They live in perennial anguish, in a perennial lying of the most ridiculous, of the most childish. When we read some of the things about those officials, come of those Yankee senators, one asks: “But how is it possible that this gentlemen is not in a stable instead of belonging to what is called a “Congress.” (applause) Some of them speak veritable barbarities. Any they have a tremendous habit of lying. They cannot live without lying. They live in anguish. If the revolutionary does something, which is what Cuba was always going, such as that to which I referred at the beginning, they see truculent things, terrible things, a plan behind all that. How ridiculous. In what fear, they live.
One asks oneself: “Do they believe that?: “Do they believe that?: “Could they believe all they say?” “Do they have a need to believe all they say or can they not live without believing all they say or do they say all that they do not believe?” It is difficult. It would be a question for doctors and psychologists. What do they have in this minds? What anguish is that? They see a maneuver in everything, a truculent, dark, terrible plan. And they do no know that there is not better tactic, nor a better strategy than to fight with clean weapons, than to fight with the truth, because those are the only weapons which inspire trust. They are the only weapons which inspire faith. They are the only weapons which inspire safety, moral dignity. And it has been with those weapons that we revolutionaries have been vanquishing and crushing our enemies.
You will never here a lie from the mouth of a revolutionary. There are weapons which do not benefit any revolutionary, and no serious revolutionary needs to resort to lies–ever. His weapon is reason, (word indistinct), the truth, the ability to have an idea, a purpose, a position; in short, the moral spectacle of our adversaries in truly lamentable. And thus, the diviners, the interpreters, the specialists in Cuban affairs, and the electronic brains have been working incessantly to solve this mystery, whether Ernesto Guevara has been purges, (applause) whether Ernesto Guevara was ill, whether Ernesto Guevara had had differences, and other questions of the same ilk.
Naturally, the people have confidence. The people have faith, but enemies will say these things, especially abroad, to slander him and the communist regime, dark, terrible things: men disappear, they do not leave a trace; they do not leave prints; there is no explanation; and we told the people at this time, when the people began to note this absence, that in due time we would talk. We would have some reasons to wait, we are developing surrounded by the forces of imperialism.
The world is not living in normal conditions. As long as the criminal (?bombs) of Yankee imperialists are falling on the people of Vietnam, we cannot say that we are living under normal conditions. When more than 100,000 Yankee soldiers land there to try to smash the liberation movement, when the soldiers of imperialism land in a republic which has equality of rights, judicially, as do all the rest of the republic of the worlds, as in Santo Domingo, to trample its sovereignty, (applause) the world if not living under normal conditions. When around our country, the imperialists are training mercenaries and organizing vandalic attacks, in the most unpunished manner, as in the case of (few words indistinct), when the imperialists threaten to intervene in any country of Latin America or of the world, we are not living under normal conditions.
And when we were fighting in clandestine conditions against the Batista tyranny, we revolutionaries did not live in normal conditions. We had to adjust to the struggle. In the same way, although the revolutionary power exists in our country, in regard to the realities of the world, we do not live in normal conditions, and we shall have to adjust to this situation. And to explain this, we are going to read a letter here, in handwriting, here copied by typewriter, from Comrade Ernesto Guevara, (applause) which is self-explanatory.
I thought or coming to tell the story of our friendship and our comradeship, how it began and under what conditions it began and how it developed, but it is not necessary. I am going to restrict myself to reading the letter. It says:
Havana–The date was not written down because this letter was to be read at the moment we felt it most convenient, but keeping to strict reality, it was delivered on 1 April of this year, exactly six months and two days ago, and it says the following:
Havana, year of agriculture; Fidel: At this moment I recall many things, of when I met you in the home of Maria Antonia, of when you proposes that I come, of all the tension of the preparations. One day they came to ask whom should be informed in case of death, and the real possibility of the fact was a blow to all of us. Later we learned that it was true, that in a revolution one triumphs or dies if it is a real one. Many comrades fell along the road to victory. Today everything has a less dramatic tone because we are more mature, but the event repeats itself.
I feel that I have done my duty, which tied me to the Cuban revolution in its territory, and I take leave of you, of the comrades, of your country, which is already mine. I formally resign from my posts in the leadership of the party, of my ministerial post, of my rank of major, of my condition as a Cuban. Nothing legal binds me to Cuba, only ties of another kinds, which cannot be broken like appointments.
Reviewing my past life, I believe that I have worked with sufficient honesty and dedication to consolidate the revolutionary triumph. My only shortcoming of some gravity is not having confided in you more from the first moments in the Sierra Maestra and not having realized with sufficient celerity your qualities as a leader and a revolutionary. I have lived magnificent days and I felt as your side the pride of belonging to our country during the luminous and (word indistinct) days of the Caribbean crisis. Few times has a statements shined more brilliantly than on those days. I am also proud of having followed you without hesitation, identified with you way of thinking, seeing, and of estimating dangers and principles.
Other lands of the world demand the aid of my modest efforts. I can do what is denied you by your responsibility at the head of Cuba, and the time has come for us to separate. Let is be known that I do so with a minute of happiness and pain. Here I leave the purest of my hopes as a builder and the dearest of my dear ones, and I leave a people who accepted me as a son. That wounds a part of my spirit.
In the new fields of battles, I will carry the faith you instilled in me, the revolutionary spirit of my country, the sensation of complying with the most sacred of duties: to struggle against imperialism wherever it may be. This heals and more than curse any laceration. I say once again that I free Cuba of any responsibility save what stems from her example: that if the final hour comes to be under other skies, my last thought will be of this country, particularly of you.
I thank you for your teachings and your example and I will try to be loyal to you to the last consequences of my acts. I have always been identified with the foreign policy of our revolution and I still am. Wherever I am, I will feel the responsibility of being a Cuban revolutionary and I will act as such. I do not leave my children nor may wife anything material, and I am not ashamed. I am glad it is thus, I do not require anything for them for the state will given them enough with which to live and be educated.
I would have many things to tell you and our people, but I feel that they are unnecessary. Words cannot express what I would like to say, and it is not worthwhile to fill pages. To victory always, fatherland or death, I embrace you with all revolutionary fervor, Che.
Those who talk of revolutionaries, those who consider revolutionaries as cold men, unfeeling men, or men without heart, will have in this letter the example of all the sentiment, of all the feeling, of all the purity which can be enclosed in the soul of a revolutionary, and we could answer for us, Comrade Guevara, it is not responsibility which we are concerned about. We have responsibility for the revolution and we are responsible for the aid to the revolutionary movement in the measure of our forces (applause) and we assume the responsibility and the consequences and the risks.
For almost seven years it has been that way and we know that as long as imperialism exists and while there are exploited and colonized peoples, we shall continue running these risks, and we shall continue serenely assuming these responsibilities. And we had the duty to conform; we had the duty to respect this sentiment of this comrade, that freedom and that right, and this is indeed freedom, not that of those who are going to take on chains but that of those who are going to take up a rifle against the chains of slavery. (applause)
And that is another of the freedom, Mr. Johnson, that our revolution proclaims. And if those persons who want to leave to go live with the imperialists are at times recruited by the imperialists to fight in Vietnam and the Congo, let it be known also that all the citizens of this country, when they ask for permission, not to go fight alongside the imperialists, but to fight alongside the revolutionaries will not be denied permission by this revolution. (applause) This country is free, Mr. Johnson; really free for everybody.
And this was not the only letter. Along with this letter, and for the occasion when this letter should be used, various other letters were left with us, of greetings to various comrades, and in addition, as it says here, “to my children, to my parents, and other comrades,” a letter written by him for his children, and for his parents. We will pass these letters on to the comrades and family; and we ask them to donate than to the revolution, for we consider them to be documents worthy of a place in history.
And we feel that this explains everything. As for the rest, let the enemies worry. We have enough tasks, enough things to do, in our country and in connection with the world; enough duties to fulfill, and we will fulfill them. We will develop our path, we will develop our ideas, we will develop our methods, we will develop our system. We will utilize all experiences that may prove useful to us, and we will develop fresh experiences.
A completely new era is arising in the history of our country, a different form of society, a different system of government, the government of a party, the party of the workers, made up of the best workers, formed with full participation by the masses, so it can justly and rightly be said that it is the vanguard of the workers and represents the workers, in our workers’ revolutionary democracy.
And it will be a thousand time more democratic than bourgeois democracy, for we will progress toward administrative and political forms that will imply the masses’ constant participation in the problems of society through the suitable organizations, through the party, at every level. And we will go on developing these new forms as only a revolution can. We will continue creating the conscience and habits of these new forms. And we will not stop, our people will not stop until they have attained their final goals.
This step means a great deal. It represents one of the most vitally important steps in the historic moment when the unifying forces were superior to the forces that diffuse and divide. It represents the historic moment when a whole revolutionary nation united tightly, when the sense of duty prevailed over everything else, when the collective spirit triumphed over all individualisms, when the interests of the fatherland prevailed fully and definitively over all individual or group interest. It means having attained the highest degree of union and organization, with the most modern, most scientific, and most revolutionary and human of political concepts.
And we are the first country of this continent, in addition to being, in the opinion of the imperialist U.S. Government, the only independent country. For it the House of Representatives proclaims a right to intervene in any country to avert the danger of a communist revolution, why, here there is a communist revolution in power. (applause) So we are considered the only independent country.
To be sure, when the monopolies’ representatives gave that slap in the face to all the republics in America by issuing the declaration of non-independence, a few– or rather, many–persons reddened with shame. Many were scandalized when the United States declared its right to intervene unilaterally. They should be reminded of the agreements they entered into against Cuba; they should be reminded of their complicity in the evil deeds concocted against our country by imperialism. At that time we were the only ones; we stood firm, ready to die, and we said we were defending not just Cuba’s rights, but the independence of the other peoples of Latin America. (applause) They who sow the wind reap the whirlwind, and they who sowed interventionism against Cuba, collective breaks with Cuba, blockades of Cuba, are reaping the whirlwind of interventionism and threats directed at them.
They are astonished, they are panic-stricken, and the parliaments meet, and the bourgeois parties cry to the heavens. There they have the results of complicity with the imperialists. There they see what imperialism is. And so, with every passing day, the people will see more clearly who is right, who during these historic years defended true independence, true freedom, true sovereignty, defended it with her blood, and defended it against imperialism and all it accomplices. The imperialists themselves are teaching the peoples. The scarecrow of communism was constantly brandished, and in the name of the battle against that scarecrow the Yankee imperialists have declared their right to land in any country of this continent, except Cuba. (applause)
To progress we have made, but above all the progress we will make in the years to come, utilizing all out country’s potential, utilizing the tremendous forces we have organized and created, utilizing them in organized, efficient fashion–that is our party’s task. We will forge ahead tremendously. We will move at dizzy speed toward the future with a party that must lead, that must see to every front, because every front must be attended by out party, all problems must be studied; and for this purpose we have created the committees, and new ones will be created. And there will not be a single problem that fails to get thorough study and analysis by the party, so that each analysis may provide guidance, the proper guidance, the best guidance.
I was saying we will make our way toward communism, and we will attain communism. We are as sure of that as of having come this far. And amid the difficulties of every kind that accompany this moment in the history of the world, faced with an ever-mightier enemy, faced with the sad fact of the split in world revolutionary ranks, our policy will be one of the closer unity. Our policy will be that of a small but free and independent nation. Our party will educate the masses; our party will educate its militants. Let it be well understood; our party–no other party, but our party, and its central committee. (applause) And the prerogative of educating and guiding the revolutionary masses in an unrelinquishable prerogative of our party. We will be very jealous guardians of that right.
In ideological matters it will be the party which will say what must be said. And if we do not accede, do not want, and just do not feel like letting the differences that divide the socialist camp divide us, no one will be able to impose such a thing on us. (applause) And all material of a political nature, unless is has to do with enemies, will only be able to reach the people through our party at the time and on the occasion that our party decides. (applause)
We know quite well where the enemy is, who is the only and true enemy. We know this quite well. We more than know it. We have had to struggle against the enemy under difficult conditions. In order to confront that enemy, we have needed the solidarity and aid of many. In order to defeat the aggressive policy of that enemy, to continue to oppose it, we need resources and weapons because here, thousands of miles away from any other socialist country, thousand of miles away from any other socialist country, thousands of miles away without being able to depend on anything other than our own forces and our own weapons in the decisive moments, and since we were aware of the risks we are running today and of the risks we will continue to run, we must be armed to the teeth (applause) and prepared totally.
We can disagree with any party on any point. It is impossible to hope that in the heterogeneousness of this contemporary world, under such diverse circumstance–a world constituted of countries in the most dissimilar situations and having the most unequal levels of material, technical, and cultural development–that we conceive of Marxism a something like a church, a religious doctrine with its Rome, its pope, and its ecumenical council. This is a revolutionary and dialetic doctrine, not a philosophical doctrine. It is a guide for revolutionary action, not a dogma. To try to frame Marxism as a type of catechism in anti-Marxist.
The diversity of situations will inevitably produce an infinite number of interpretations. Those who make the correct interpretations will be able to call themselves revolutionaries. Those who make the right interpretations and apply them in a responsible manner will triumph. those who make mistakes or do not abide by revolutionary thinking will fail. They will be defeated and even replaced, because Marxism is not private property that is registered. It is a doctrine of revolutionaries written by a revolutionary, developed by other revolutionaries, for revolutionaries.
We will know how to characterize ourselves by our self-confidence, by our confidence in our ability to continue and develop our revolutionary path. We may disagree with any party on one matter, on one point, or on several points. Disagreements, when they are honest, are bound to be temporary.
What we will never do is to insult with one hand and ask with another. And we will know how to maintain any disagreement within the norms of decency with any party, and we will known how to be friends to those who know how be friends. We will know to to respect those who know how to respect us. These things will always determine our most free conduct, and we will never ask anyone’s permission to do anything. We will never ask anyone for permission to go anywhere.
We will never ask permission from anyone to become the friend of any party or country. We know the transitory nature of problems, and problems pass. Peoples remain; men pass, peoples remain; leadership passes, revolutions persist. We see something more than transitory relations in the relations between parties and revolutionary peoples, we see durable relations and permanent relations. Nothing will ever come from us that tends to create differences between men, let along countries.
We will be guided by that elementary principle because we know that it is a correct position, that it is a just principle, and nothing will swerve us from the dedication of all our energies to the fight against the enemy of humanity, which is imperialism, because we could never say that those who have helped us to defeat the imperialists are accomplices of the imperialists. (applause)
We aspire not only to a communist society but to a communist world in which all nations will have equal rights. We aspire to a communist world in which no nation will have the right to veto. And we aspire that the communist world of tomorrow will never present the same picture of a bourgeois world torn by internal squabbles. We aspire to a free society of free nations in which all the countries, large and small, will have equal rights. We will defend our points of view as we have defended them up to now, and our positions and out line in a steadfast manner by our acts and by our deeds. Any nothing can turn us from that path.
It is not easy with the complexities of present problems and of the present world to maintain that line, maintain that inflexible opinion, maintain this inflexible independence, but we will maintain it. This revolution was not imported from anywhere. It is a genuine product of this country. Nobody told us how we must carry it out, and we have carried it out. (applause) And nobody will have to tell us how me must continue to carry it out, and we will continue to carry it out.
We have learned to write history and we will continue to write it. Let no one doubt that. We live in a complex and dangerous world. The risks of this world we will face with dignity and calmly. Our fate will be the fate of the other countries and our fate will be the fate of the world. I ask all the comrades here present, all the representatives of our party, all the secretaries of the cells of this type of extensive congress, I ask those who are represent the will of the party, the party which represents the workers, I ask the ratification of the agreements of the national leadership. (prolonged applause) I ask you for the full an unanimous ratification of the Central Committee of our party. (prolonged applause) I ask for your full support for the line followed by the revolutionary leadership up to now. (cheering and applause) Long live the Communist Party of Cuba! (Shouts of “long life”) Long live it Central Committee! (Shouts of “long live”) Long live its Central Committee! (Shouts of “long live”) Long live our socialist, communist revolution! (Shouts of “long live”)
Fatherland or death!
We will win! -END- source: http://lanic.utexas.edu/project/castro/db/1965/19651004.html several small errors in this translation corrected for this posting.