Speech delivered by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz at the funeral for the victims of the bombings to different airports of the republic held at the intersection of the Avenues 23rd and 12 in Havana across the Colon cemetery, on April 16, 1961
Comrades from the Rebel Army and the National Revolutionary Militia.
This is the second time we gather at this very corner. The first time was in the aftermath of that terrorist act that cost the lives of almost a hundred workers and soldiers.
On that occasion the crime perpetrated against our people required an explanation through a series of inferences; on that occasion it was necessary to prove that that sabotage could not be executed in our territory, which means that it could not had been prepared in our territory given the conditions of careful surveillance, under which the unloading of that vessel was taking place. It was not possible to think that it was the result of an accident since the kind of ammunition that was being downloaded would not blow up accidentally on impact.
It was necessary to get the background that signaled the responsible of that criminal act; it was necessary to recall all the interest by the United States Government and all the actions they took, to prevent these weapons you were just raising from reaching our hands.
Since the early days of the Revolutionary Government, the first efforts made by the enemies of the Revolution were to prevent our people from arming themselves. The first steps our enemies took were aimed at keeping our people unarmed, and in the face of the failure of the political pressures excreted to prevent us from acquiring those weapons, in the face of the failure of the first steps they took in the diplomatic arena, they resorted to sabotage. They resorted to the use of violence to prevent those weapons from reaching our hands, to make it difficult to acquire those weapons and, ultimately, obtain the suppression of the sale of those weapons from the Government those weapons were coming from.
That blow cost the lives of many workers and soldiers, and when on that occasion we affirmed that we had the right to think that the culprits of that sabotage were those who were interested in preventing us from getting those weapons. You may remember how the United States government protested saying it was an unfair allegation, and how they tried to tell the world that they had nothing to do with the explosion of the La Coubre steamship.
However, all of us, our people, were left with the profound conviction that the hand that prepared that barbaric and criminal act was the hand of the United States Government secret agents.
We were just starting out, however, for many people in this country, and even abroad, it was hard to believe that the United States Government was capable of going to such extremes; It was difficult to believe that the leaders of a country were capable of carrying out such actions. Perhaps some believed there was excessive distrust on the part of the Revolutionary Government; That there was excessive suspicion and excessive mistrust on the part of the Cubans. It was still possible that part of the people was skeptical about those assertions. We had not yet been able to acquire the hard-earned experience we have been gaining throughout these two and a half years. We did not know our enemies so well yet, we did not know their procedures well enough, and we did not know yet what the United States Government Central Intelligence Agency was. We have not had the chance of knowing their day-to-day, criminal activities against our people and our Revolution.
It was not just that isolated event. Our country had already been suffering a series of aggressions, our country had been suffering a series of incursions by pirate planes which one day dropped pamphlets, the next time they burned our sugarcanes, and another day tried to drop a bomb over one of our sugar mills.
That time, precisely because the bomb they were trying to drop went off and the pirate plane exploded killing its crew, falling to pieces over our territory; On that occasion, the United States Government could not deny, as it had been doing, that those planes came from their shores. The United States Government could not deny it, in the face of the remains of those pilots, in the face of the occupied documentation, which were intact, and in the face of the (identifying) numbers of the plane that had fallen on our territory. The United States Government could not deny reality, and then they decided to apologize and give us an explanation.
Of course, it was difficult for everyone to understand that one and even many planes could exit and enter the United States territory, without being detected by that country´s authorities, without being registered by that country’s modern airplane detection equipment. However, that time they apologized and offered an explanation.
However, the flights did not stop. The air raids continued for a long time and one time one of those raids cost our country a high toll of victims. Nevertheless, none of those events had the characteristics of a military attack. None of those incursions were more than acts of harassment by pirate-type planes that one day were burning sugar cane, the next day were trying to launch grenades, and the next time were trying to drop pamphlets. In short, they made our country a victim of systematic harassment, and tried to inflict damage of an economic nature, but in a manner that never had the character of a military attack.
The La Coubre explosion was an act of sabotage prepared by the agents of the Yankee Central Intelligence Agency. The attacks by pirate planes were sporadic attacks. An operation with all the features of a purely military operation had never been carried out.
In recent days, weeks ago, a pirate boat made itself through the port of Santiago de Cuba, opened fire against the refinery located there, while causing victims with its gunshots among the soldiers and sailors stationed at the entrance to the bay.
Everyone knew that such an operation, with vessels of that nature could not be carried out without boats facilitated the Americans and supplied by the Americans somewhere in the Caribbean.
That event placed our country in a special situation: it made us live, in the twentieth century, as the towns and villages on this continent were forced to live during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, as cities and towns were forced to live during the age of pirates and filibusters. It placed our country in a special situation by virtue of which our factories, our citizens, our peoples, had to live at the mercy, if not of a plane that would burn our sugar cane fields, an airplane that tried to drop a bomb on our sugar mills. , or an airplane that caused victims among our population, or a ship that raid through our ports and blatantly fire upon it — something that had never happened, something that has never happened in this century in this continent
Because this continent has known what naval cannons were; because this continent has indeed known what the bombing of cities was; and this continent has known what the landing of foreign troops was. Mexico had known it, Nicaragua had seen it Haiti had seen it and Santo Domingo has seen it too. Moreover, Cuba has seen it because all these peoples had known what the United States navy and cannons were and all these peoples have had the opportunity of knowing what the United States Marine Corps all about.
What no other people in this continent never had the chance of knowing is this kind of harassment by air and by see, it was this kind of filibustering by air and by see; what this continent never had the opportunity to witness - a continent that had known interventions, a continent that had known mercenary armies organized by the United States -, what no people of this continent had had the opportunity to witness was the systematic action by the United States Government’s secret services; that systematic action of sabotage and destruction by a powerful entity with all its economic resources and the most modern means of sabotage and destruction. What no other people of this continent ever had to know; was the struggle against the United States Government´s Central Intelligence Agency, which is fully committed, under its government’s instructions, to hinder the peaceful and effortful march of a nation, in destroying systematically the fruit of our people´s labor; in systematically destroying the economic resources, the commercial establishments, the industries, and what is even worse: the precious lives of workers, peasants and hardworking and honest citizens of this country.
No other people in America had known this kind of struggle, neither had they suffered the raids by pirate planes and boats, or the internationally organized sabotage perpetrated by a powerful agency, which possess as I said, powerful economic and technical resources for that purpose.
Our country became the first country in the world which towns and cities could be harassed by pirate planes, which ports could be attacked by pirate boats. And to the best of our knowledge, there was not, and there is still not a single country today, not a single case of a country forced to waistband this kind of attack by pirate planes and boats unless it is involved in a war with another country or in a civil war; . This is the only country suffering a systematic campaign of destruction against the wealth and the lives of Cubans, like the one that is being waged by the United States secret services.
But despite all this, none of the previous events had involved, as in the case of yesterday, an aggression of a typically military nature. It was not the flight of a pirate plane; it was not the incursion of a pirate ship: it was nothing less than a simultaneous attack on three different cities of the country, at the same time, at dawn; it was an operation with all the rules of military operations.
Three simultaneous attacks at dawn; at the same time, in Havana, San Antonio de los Baños and Santiago de Cuba. Three points distant from each other, and one in particular distant from the other two; attacks carried out by B-62 bombers, with the dropping of high destructive power bombs, with the launching of rockets and strafing on three different points of the national territory. It was an action with all the characteristics and all the rules of a military operation.
It was also a surprise attack; it was an attack similar to the kind the vandalistic governments of Nazism and fascism used to attack nations. The fascist governments of Europe did not respect the terms of the declaration of war. The attacks against the peoples of Europe by Hitler hordes were always attacks of this nature: attacks without warning, attacks without declaration of war, devious and treacherous attacks, and sneak attacks. And how Poland, Belgium, Norway, France, Holland, Denmark, Yugoslavia and other European countries were invaded by surprise. And when in the midst of that war the imperialist government of Japan wanted to enter into that conflagration, no declaration of war was issued, no previous warning was made. At dawn on a Sunday - if I remember rightly - December 7 or 8, 1941, one morning Japanese ships and planes attacked the Pearl Harbor naval base by surprise, and destroyed almost all the ships and planes of the United States Naval Forces in the Pacific. Everyone remembers that date, everyone remembers the wave of indignation it caused among the people of the United States, everyone remembers the irritation it caused in that country and the outrage caused around the world by that attack carried out in a devious and surprise manner. The people of the United States mobilized in the face of that aggression, and the people of the United States was reluctant to ever forget the treacherous and cowardly way in which their ships and planes were attacked at dawn in December 1941.
Moreover, that event has remained in memory as a symbol of betrayal; that event has endured in the history of the United States as a symbol of a felony and event that meant wickedness and cowardice. Pearl Harbor reminds the United States of treason; Pearl Harbor reminds the American people of vileness, cowardice, and felony; Pearl Harbor was the event that the United States history and its public opinion anathematize as an unworthy event, as a treacherous event and as a cowardly event
Yesterday... And with this, we do not intend to stablish comparisons, because when the Japanese were fighting the Americans. That was a conflict between two imperialist countries. It was a dispute between two capitalist countries, between two exploiting governments; It was a conflict between two colonialist governments, two governments whose intentions were to control the markets, the raw materials and the economy of a significant part of the world.
And there was already a struggle between those two governments, even though at that time US imperialism did not have the aggressiveness of Japanese imperialism, even though at that time US imperialism did not possessed the warlike characteristics of Japanese imperialism. Even though imperialist powers were then fighting among themselves at that time, and comparing those imperialist powers the US was the least warlike and the least aggressive on a world scale - it had always been an aggressive and warmongering imperialism for Latin America, but warmongering by a powerful country against weak nations, cowardly warmongering of a big and powerful country against small and unarmed nations - in the world order, US imperialism was less aggressive and less warmongering than the German, Italian and Japanese imperialism. But in this case, it is not about the struggle between two exploiting forces, in this case it is not about the struggle between two forms of imperialisms.
And if the attack on Pearl Harbor deserved condemnation because of the way it was carried out, by surprise and violating the most basic norms and traditions of relations between peoples, the struggle in our case today is the struggle between an imperialist government and a revolutionary government, is the struggle between a warmongering and aggressive imperialism and a social revolution that destroys, precisely, all forms of exploitation, not only the exploitation of one people by another, but even the exploitation of part of the people by its fellow countrymen.
What makes us different from the United States is that the United States is a country that exploits other peoples; a country that has taken hold of a significant part of the world’s natural resources and forces tens of millions of workers from all over the world to work in the interest of its cast of millionaires. In addition, we are not a country that exploits other peoples; we are not a country that has taken hold of, or struggle to take hold of other people’s natural resources; we are not a country that is trying to make other peoples workers labor for our own benefit
We are exactly the opposite: a country that is fighting so that its workers do not have to work for the caste of US millionaires (Applause); We are building a country that is fighting to rescue our natural resources, and we have rescued our natural resources from the hands of the caste of US millionaire.
We are not a country, which by virtue of its system keeps the majority of the people, of workers, of the country’s masses, which are made up of the workers and peasants, working for an exploiting and privileged minority of millionaires. We are not a country which by virtue of its system has huge segments of its population ignored and discriminated against; as is the case for the mass blacks in the United States; We are not a country which by virtue of its system maintains a minority of the people living as parasites; at the expense of the labor and sweat of the majority.
With our Revolution, we are not only eradicating the exploitation of one nation by another nation; we are also eradicating the exploitation of men by men! (Applause.)
Yes! We have declared in a historic general assembly that we condemn the exploitation of the men by men (Applause); we condemn the exploitation of the men by men and have eradicated in our homeland the exploitation of the men by men! (Applause and exclamations of: “Fidel! Fidel!”)
What makes us different from the United States is that there, a government of privileged and powerful castes has established a system by virtue of which that caste exploits men in the very United States and that caste exploits men outside the United States.
Politically speaking, the United States is a system of exploitation of several nations by one nation; a system of exploitation of men by other men.
Therefore, the dispute between Japan and the United States was a dispute between similar systems; the conflict between the United States and Cuba is a conflict between different principles. That is, a conflict between those who are bereft of every human principle and those of us committed to defend human principles. (Applause and exclamations of: “We shall be victorious!”).
This means that If the attack on Pearl Harbor was a crime, was a crime between imperialists, was a crime between exploiters, in which one exploiting government that wanted to annihilate another exploiting system, in which one imperialism wanted to annihilate another imperialism. Yesterday’s crime however, was the crime of the imperialist exploiters against a people that wants to get rid of exploitation, against a people that wants to implement justice, it was a crime by the exploiters of man against those who want to abolish exploitation of man! (Applause and exclamations of: "We shall be victorious!")
If the attack on Pearl Harbor was considered by the people of the United States as a crime and as a treacherous and cowardly act, our people have the right to consider yesterday's imperialist attack as twice as criminal, twice as devious, as twice as treacherous. And a thousand times more coward! (Applause and exclamations of: "Cuba yes, Yankees no!") And if the people of the United States considered themselves with the right to prosecute the government that prepared and perpetrated that attack as a government of vile and miserable persons, our people have the right to call the government that prepared the attack against our country a thousand times vile and miserable! (Applause and exclamations of: "Yankee, Get out of Caimanera!") If the people of the United States had the right to call that surprise attack an act of cowardice, that is to say, an attack by a powerful country against another powerful country. From a country, that possessed many ships and planes against another country with many ships and planes, then we have the right to consider a thousand times an act of cowardice that attack by a country, which has many ships and planes, against a country with a few ships and very few planes! (Applause and exclamations of: "We shall be victorious!")
Despite all this when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor; they faced the historic responsibility of their actions. When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, they did not try to hide that they were the organizers and executors of that attack, they faced the historical and moral consequences of their deeds. However, when as in this case, the rich and powerful country prepares the surprise and cowardly aggression against the small country, the small country that does not have the military means to respond to the aggression in kind, but a small country that will resist until the last drop of blood! (Applause and exclamations of: "Homeland or death!")
With all certainty, the imperialist government of the United States acts this way with us because we are not a powerful country; with all certainty they act this way with us because they know we cannot respond to them in kind for the criminal and cowardly acts they perpetrated against us (Applause); With all certainty: if we were a powerful country, militarily speaking, the imperialist government of the United States would never dare perpetrate such acts against us! (Applause and exclamations of: "Murderers!")
When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor; they assumed the responsibility, and these gentlemen do not, these gentlemen prepare and organize the attack, they deliver the planes, deliver the bombs, train the mercenaries, they pay the mercenaries, and carry out the attack without the courage to face the historic and moral responsibility for their deeds! (Applause and exclamations of: "They are cowards! They are cowards!")
The imperialist government of Japan acted and did not try to hide their responsibility. On the other hand, the president of the United States (Exclamations of: “Get out!”), is like “María Ramos’s kitty who casts the stone and hides its hand”, (Exclamations of: “Get out!”). President Kennedy, like the " María Ramos’s kitty who casts the stone and hides its hand!" Those words can summarize the US government’s policy.
However, how useful have these events been to our own understanding? How useful have these events been in our discovery of this world’s realities! How useful have these events been in the education of our people! Those lessons are costly, painful and bloody but how much peoples learn from those acts! How much our people have learned from them! How much they educate our people and how bigger our people have grown!
No wonder right now we know so much that other peoples ignore; no wonder we are one of the peoples who have learned the most in less time in the entire world.”
And yesterday’s events are going to teach us, these painful events of yesterday are going to illustrate to us, and will show us, perhaps with more clarity than with any other event to date, what imperialism really is.
Maybe you have an idea of what imperialism is; you have probably wondered many times before what imperialism was and what that word meant.
Could it be that imperialists really mean something so bad? Could it be that there is too much passion in all those accusations? Are all the things we have heard about US imperialism the product of sectarianism? Are all those assertions about US imperialism really true? (Exclamations of: "Yes!") Are US imperialists as shameless as they appear to be? (Exclamations of: "Yes!") Are American imperialists all the rogue and evil they are claimed to be? (Exclamations of: "Yes!") Are the American imperialists as bloodthirsty, vile and coward as they air said to be? (Exclamations of: “Yes!”) Or is it exaggeration? (Exclamations of: "No!") Or is it sectarianism? (Exclamations of: "No!") Or is it excess of passion? (Exclamations of: "No!")
Would it be possible that the imperialists really do the things they are claimed to have done? Would everything that has been claimed about the vandalistic acts they have perpetrated in the international arena, and provocation be really true it be true? Were they really the once that caused the war in Korea (Exclamations of: “Yes!”)
How difficult it was to know what was going on in the world, when the only news that reached our country were the American news! How much deception did they instill in us, and how many lies had we been victims of? If anyone has any doubt, if any person of good faith in this country –and I am not referring to the miserable ‘gusanera’ (the counterrevolutionaries); I am speaking about men and women with honest ideas, even if they do not think the way we do-; if any of them had any doubt or believes that there is a bit of honor in the Yankee policy, or a bit of moral in the Yankee policy; if anyone believes there is an atom of dignity or honesty or justice left in the Yankee policy. If anyone in this country, in this fortunate country that has the opportunity of seeing, of learning despite of being a bloody lesson, a lesson of freedom, a lesson of dignity. (Applause)
If there is anyone in this country, which has had the privilege of watching how an entire people have become a people of heroes, a people of proud and courageous men(Applause); if there is anyone in this country - whose merits, heroism and sacrifices grow by the day- still has any doubt; if those who do not think the same way we do believe they are raising or defending and honorable banner, a just banner, and because of that they are pro-Yankee and advocates of the US government; if there is anyone of those good faith people left in our country, may these facts serve, which we will further analyze, to dispel all of their doubts (Applause.)
Yesterday at 6:00 a.m. sharp, as everyone knows, three groups of bombers penetrated the national territory from abroad and attacked three points of the national territory. At each of these points, there were men who defended themselves heroically. In each of these points, the courageous blood of the defenders was shed. In each of these points, there were thousands, if not hundreds and hundreds of witnesses of what had happened there. Besides, it was something we expected to happen; every day we had been expecting this to happen. It was the logical climax to the burning of sugarcane fields, the hundreds of violations of our airspace, the incursions of pirate aircraft, and the pirate attacks against our refineries perpetrated by a boat that made it into our territory one day in the early hours of morning. It was the consequence of everything that the world knows; it was the consequence of what everybody knows; it was the consequence of the aggressive plans that were being perpetrated by the United States with the complicity of puppet regimes in Central America; it was the consequence of the air bases that the people know about and the entire world knows about, because even the American news agencies and papers have published about them, and their own agencies and papers are tired of publishing information about the mercenary armies that they train, the airfields they have ready, the planes that the US Government has given to them, the Yankee advisors and the air bases established in Guatemalan soil.
All the Cuban people knew about it, the entire world knew it. The attack took place yesterday in front of thousands upon thousands of men; and what do you thing the Yankee government has said in face of this unbelievable fact? It was not about the La Coubre explosion this time, an act of sabotage, which was executed in a sly and shadow manner, this time it was a simultaneous attack on three points of the national territory, with shrapnel, with bombs, with planes, with warplanes for everyone to see. It was a public act, and expected act, and act that was foreseen and everyone knew about it.
And to ensure there is clear historical record, so that our people can learn once and for all, and that the peoples in the Amerces can learn, the segment who can receive at least a beam of light regarding the truth, I will explain to the people, I will show them how imperialists act. (Applause).
Do you think that the world would ever get to know about an attack against Cuba? Do you think that the world would ever get to know what happened? Do you think or have you ever conceived that it could be possible to silence the echo of the criminal bombs and rockets that were dropped yesterday over our homeland? Do you think anybody in this world could have come across that idea; that someone could try to deceive the entire world, to hide the truth from the entire world, to defraud the entire world? Well, yesterday they not only perpetrated a cunning and criminal attack against our country, whose plans everybody knew. The y used Yankee planes, Yankee bombs, and Yankee weapons, as well as mercenaries paid by the Yankee Central Intelligence Agency. They not only did that; they not only destroyed some national property. They not only ended the lives of young people, many of whom had hardly reached the age of 20. (Exclamations), besides, in addition to all that, yesterday the US Government tried to deceive the world in the most cynical and shameless way one could ever imagine.” (Applause).
Here is the proof, here are the proofs of how imperialism acts, of all the mechanics and how imperialism operates, of how imperialism not only commits crimes against the world, but also cheats the world. But imperialism swindles the world not only by stealing its oil, its minerals, the fruit of the peoples' labor, but it cheats the world morally by foisting onto the world its lies and the most gruesome things anyone can imagine.
Here is the proof. Before our people we are going to read what imperialism told the world, we are going to show what the world was told yesterday, what imperialism told the world, and what perhaps dozens upon dozens of millions of human beings have been led to believe. We are going to show what thousands of newspapers published yesterday, what thousands and thousands of radio or television stations broadcasted yesterday about what happened in Cuba, what the world or a large part of the world, a considerable part of the world heard through the Yankee agencies.
UPI cable (Boos):
“Miami, April 15. UPI” - Defecting pilots fleeing Fidel Castro’s air force flew to Florida in World War II bombers Saturday after blasting Cuban military installations to avenge betrayal by a “coward” among them”
I repeat “Miami, April 15. UPI—released throughout the world, published by thousands of newspapers, radio and television stations. “Cuban pilots”—Cuban pilots, that is what they have told the world, that what they have told the world after they organized the airfields in Guatemala, they sent the planes, they sent the bombs, the shrapnel and trained the mercenaries, and they gave the orders to the mercenaries, which everyone knew. And this is what they tell the world after they have violated the airspace hundreds of times, in face of the most scandalous acts, in face of the most unbelievable event, in the face of an event which in itself would constitute a global scandal, what have the gringos done? What has the gringo government done?
“‘Miami, April 15. UPI - Defecting pilots fleeing Fidel Castro’s air force flew to Florida in World War II bombers Saturday after blasting Cuban military installations to avenge betrayal by a “coward” among them. One of the Cuban air force B26 bombers landed at Miami International Airport, riddled from anti-aircraft, small arms fire, and only one of the two engines working. Another landed at the U.S. Naval Air Station at Key West. A third bomber landed in another “foreign country” – does not say which—different from what the other three planes have planned—listen carefully—where they have originally planned to head to after the attack, according to competent Cuban sources. There were unconfirmed reports that the third plane crashed in the sea off the coast of Tortugas (Applause). The U.S. Navy was investigating the case anyway. (Exclamations). The pilots, who asked to remain unidentified, alighted from their planes in military fatigues and immediately asked for asylum in the United States.” (Exclamations).
Listen to this “‘District Immigration Director Edward Ahrens in Miami said their requests were under consideration. The mustachioed pilot who landed in Miami told immigration officials he and three other Cuban air force pilots had planned “for some months” to escape from Castro’s Cuba. He said it was because of the “treachery” of Galo that he and the others decided to “teach him a lesson” with a strafing and bombing run over air base installations on their way to freedom. He said he struck at his own base - San Antonio de Los Baños - and the other pilots hit other bases.’ This pilot was eager to talk to the journalists, but he lowered his head and put on sunglasses when the photographers tried to take some pictures of him.
“‘He explained’ –listen very carefully, what a big lie and how much of nonsense there is--, he explained that he and the other pilots had left their families in Cuba and they feared Castro’s reprisals against their relatives’. That is, they confirmed they stole the planes that they defected, and they do not reveal their names so that no one knows the identity of those who stole the planes and defected. And they say they were pilots form the air force.” It is obvious that the American who wrote this piece was completely drunk yesterday morning (Applause)
"Miami, UPI. The pilot of the bomber that landed in Miami explained that he was one of 12 B-26 pilots who remained in the Cuban Air Force after Diaz Lanz’s defection and the purges that followed. Diaz Lanz was the head of Castro’s air force, but defected in early 1959 sun after Castro took power. He added that his assignment today was to make a routine patrol flight in the area of his base and the other two pilots stationed at Ciudad Libertad the outskirts of Havana would take off with the pretext of flying to Santiago de Cuba and the other with the excuse of checking his plane’s altimeter. He had taken off five minutes after 6:00 a.m. ‘My comrades, he added, took off earlier to attack the airfields we had agreed to hit. Sometime later, since I was running out of fuel, I had to head to Miami because I would not have been able to make it to our planned destination. It is possible that the others went to machinegun another airfield before they flew away, perhaps Playa Baracoa where Fidel has his helicopter. The pilot did not reveal the agreed rendezvous point”
AP Cables (Exclamations):
"Miami, April 15, AP---.this is what they have told the world-- Miami, 15. AP Three Cuban bomber pilots, fearful of being betrayed in their plans to escape from Fidel Castro’s Government, fled for the United States today after strafing and bombing the airports in Santiago and Havana.
“"One of the two Second World War twin-engine bombers landed in Miami international airport, with one Lieutenant at the helm. The pilot described how he and three others of the 12 B-26 pilots who remain in the Cuban Air Force had planned for months to escape from Cuba”.
“‘The other plane with two men on board landed at the U.S. Naval Air Station at Key West. The names of the pilots were not revealed. Immigration authorities placed the Cubans in custody and seized the planes.’"
“Around 100 refugee Cubans gathered at the airport cheered and applauded when the pilot was taken to the customs office and then transported to an undisclosed location.”
Listen to this: “Edgard Ahrens, immigration district director of the US Immigration Service released the information —Miami’s Immigration Director issued— the following statement issued by the pilot of the Cuban air force” —so, it is not just they have the nerve of affirming he is Cuban, they have the nerve of saying they will not release his name because they don’t want anyone to know who they are. It is not just that they try to conceal the name of a man who just committed a crime, but moreover the director of immigration welcomes that person and releases his statements. You may now realize how shameless the leaders and officials of imperialism are; how they even fabricate in detail a horrifying legend that no one would believe’. The pilot said – listen to the story they delivered to the press, to wrap the whole news with details, to complete the trick with every single detail; just listen to the story they invent-:
“’I am one of the 12 B-26 pilots who remained in Castro’s Air Force after the defection of Díaz Lanz, ex chief of the Cuban Air Force, and the subsequent purges. Three of my comrades and me had been planning for months to escape from Castro’s Cuba. The day before yesterday I heard that one of the three, Lieutenant Alvaro Galo –they even give a name, they used the name of one of the pilots of the Revolutionary Armed Forces; they include a name; see how cynical and shameful they can be!-, the day before yesterday I heard that one of the three, Lieutenant Alvaro Galo, who is a B-26 pilot, with FAR number 915 –it so happens that the pilot is precisely in Santiago; incidentally he has been assigned to Santiago-, had been talking to one of the agents of Ramiro Valdés, the chief of G-2. I warned the other two, and then we concluded that probably Alvaro Galo, who had always behaved like a coward, had betrayed us. We then decided to take action immediately. Yesterday morning I was posted to the routine patrol, flying from my base, San Antonio de los Baños, over one section of Pinar del Río and around the Isle of Pines. I advised my friends at Campo Libertad and they agreed that we should act. One of them should fly to Santiago; the other made the excuse that he wanted to check his altimeter; they were going to take off from Campo Libertad at 6:00 –in Campo Libertad there were no B-26 planes; there were defective planes. I was in the air by 6:05. Due to Alvaro Galo’s betrayal, we had agreed to teach him a lesson. Then I flew back to San Antonio, where his plane was parked, and made two passes and fired two barrages against his plane and three others that were stationed nearby. While leaving the area I was hit by handgun fire and then I engaged in an evasive action. My comrades had taken off before to attack the airfields that we had agreed should be attacked. Later on, since I was running out of fuel, I had to enter Miami because I could not reach the destination that we had already agreed. Maybe they went to bomb other airfields before withdrawing, such as the Baracoa beach, where Fidel keeps his helicopter.’
That is to say, this is what they have told the world. Not only the UPI and the AP publish to the world the news about ‘Cuban airplanes’, ‘pilots who left with the planes and carried out bombings’, but they also distribute this cartoon story through the entire world. And, what do you think has been read and heard by tens of millions of persons yesterday in the world, and published by thousands and thousands of different newspapers, radio and television stations? What do you think they have said in Europe, in many places in Latin America and many parts of the world?
They have not only confirmed the news, but have made up a full story, in details, including names, of how they planned everything. No one in Hollywood ever reached such extremes.”
But you think this all? No, it does not end there, it goes on and on. Now let us hear the statements by Miró Cardona…. (Exclamations and boos), but before Reading Miró Cardona’s statement, I will give an example, a cable published in Mexico, released AP in Mexico: as proof of what they release around the world of what they have published in most newspapers, the newspapers of the reaction in Mexico, so that you can see how the h\whole apparatus of lies and international scam.
"Mexico, D.F., April 15, AP. The bombing of Cuban bases by Cuban deserter planes was particularly welcomed here by the majority of newspapers, which joined with the Cuban exile groups to say that the bombing was the beginning of a movement for liberation from communism. The government remained silent while leftist and communist students’ groups supported the statements made by the Cuban ambassador José Antonio Portuondo, who said that the air bombings were cowardly and desperate attacks by the imperialists. A great deal of activity was seen among the Cuban exiles. A Cuban source commented that the new Cuban Government in exile would head to Cuba shortly after the first wave of the invasion against the Fidel Castro regime, to establish a provisional government that it hoped would be quickly recognized by many anti-Castro Latin American countries Amado Hernández Valdés, of the Cuban Democratic Revolutionary Front here, said that the time of liberation was drawing close. He declared that four Cuban bases had been attacked by the three Cuban deserter planes. Ciudad Libertad airfield, near Havana, San Antonio de los Baños, Santiago de Cuba airport and Guanito in Pinar del Rio’” This is what is been published from Mexico and the same sort of things in all capital cities around the world, the imperialist world or the imperialism run world,
Statement by Miró Cardona, so that light is shed on the kind of individual and worms these people are, so you can see the kind of individuals these parasites are.
Both agencies published the following news:
“‘A statement issued by Dr. Miró Cardona –this was published by AP and UPI-: A heroic blow in favor of Cuban freedom was dealt this morning by a certain number of officers from the Cuban Air Force. Before flying their planes to freedom, these true revolutionaries tried to destroy as many of Castro's military planes as possible. The Revolutionary Council is proud to announce that their plans were carried out successfully, and that the Council has been in contact with them and has encouraged these brave pilots. Their action is another example of the desperation which patriots of all social strata can be dragged to under Castro's relentless tyranny. While Castro and his followers try to convince the world -listen carefully-; while Castro and his followers try to convince the world that Cuba has been threatened by an invasion from abroad, this blow in favor of liberty like others before it, was dealt by Cubans living in Cuba who decided to fight back against tyranny and oppression or die trying. For security reasons, no further details will be released."
Look at how imperialism work how much disrespect for the world. Everyone knew they had the planes there, they even had the Cuban flags and insignias painted on the planes; it’s been published a countless number of times; how these gentlemen, all that chain of lies, fabricating ever more monstrous, cynical and shameless lies, lies no one is capable of coming up with.
Now, it does not end there; now let us unmask this fraud imperialism has in the UN and presented himself as an illustrious, liberal, left leaning man, etcetera. Mr. Adlai Stevenson, a shameless hypocrite. The fraud continues the swindle to the world goes on: UPI and AP have spread the tale, thousands of reactionary newspapers… and they themselves publish that newspapers welcomed the news of the pilot’s defections.
However, this did not stop here. Now we are going to finish unmasking that sham that the imperialism has there at the United Nations, who put on the face of an illustrious, liberal and leftist man, etcetera, etcetera: Mr. Adlai Stevenson. And the deception keeps on; I mean, the deception to the world keeps on. The UPI and AP have spread the story; thousands of newspapers and they themselves have published that the main newspapers had particularly welcomed the news about the defection of those pilots.
The pack of lies was not yet enough.
“Maria Ramos’” Mr. Delegate at the UN. “ ‘The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Adlai Stevenson, rejected Roa's claims and reiterated the statement made by President John F. Kennedy that under no circumstances –I repeat-, under no circumstances whatsoever, would there be a direct intervention by US military forces against Cuba. Stevenson showed the Commission photographs from United Press International showing two airplanes that landed in Florida today after taking part in the raids against three Cuban cities.’”
Then Stevenson says: 'They have the mark of Castro's Air Force on their tails –he said, pointing to one of them-; they have the star and the Cuban initials; these are clearly visible. I will exhibit this photograph with pleasure. Stevenson added that those two planes were piloted by officers of the Cuban Air Force and manned by deserters from the Castro regime. No U.S. personnel participated in the incident today, and the planes were not from the United States –he emphasized-; they were Castro's own planes that took off from his own airfields.'"
“’The Cuban minister said that ‘the incursions during the early morning hours today were no doubt the prelude to an attempted full-scale invasion organized, supplied and financed by Washington. The Government of Cuba –said Roa- solemnly accuses the US Government before this commission and the world’s public opinion of attempting to use the force to settle its differences with member States.’”
Here we have the opportunity, as has been rarely the case for any other people, to know inside out, from the sides, from above and from below what imperialism is all about. Here we can witness the work of its financial, publicity, political and mercenary apparatus, its secret corps and its officials, who so quietly and in a very astonishing way deceive the world!
That is to say, they organize the attack, they prepare the attack, they train the mercenaries, equip them with planes and bombs, prepare the airports, everybody knows that; afterwards the attack takes place and then they simply make a declaration to the world –a world that they know would feel outraged in the face of such monstrous and cowardly violation of peoples’ rights and peace! (Applause.)
And these miserable imperialists, after casting a pall over half a dozen households, after assassinating a group of youngsters, who were not millionaires; because those whom we’ve come here to bury were not parasite millionaires, they were not mercenaries who sold themselves for the gold of any foreign country; they were not thieves. They are true sons of our people! (Prolonged applause); They were young workers, the children from families of ordinary people who never stole anything from anyone, who never exploited anyone, who never lived out of the swat of anyone, and who had more right to live than the millionaires and who had more right to live than the parasites and the “worms”. (Applause). Because they did not live off the labor of others, like the Yankee millionaires. They did not live off foreign gold, like the mercenaries and counterrevolutionaries who have sold out to imperialism. They do not live off vice and robbery. Their lives deserve respect, and no miserable imperialist millionaire has the right to send planes, bombs or rockets to destroy those young and beloved lives of the homeland! (Applause.)
And those who agree with such crime; those who agree with such atrocity, those who miserably sell themselves out and support the activities of those criminals, those who conspire against the homeland out in the streets, in the churches, in schools, wherever, deserve to be treated by the Revolution the way they deserve! (Applause and exclamations of: “Firing Squad! “Firing Squad!”)
This are the crimes of imperialism, this are the lies of imperialism, and then come the archbishops to bless their lies! (Exclamations of: “Get out!”) Then come the clergy to bless their lies!
The imperialists plan de crime, organize the crime, furnish the criminals with weapons for the crime, train the criminals, pay the criminals, and then those criminals come here and murder the sons of seven honest workers, after which they calmly land in the US and although the whole world knows of their deeds, they just state that they were Cuban pilots, make up a ridiculous tale and broadcast it to the whole world an publish it in all reactionary newspapers, radio and television stations. And the reactionary worms of the world and then come the archbishops and bless and sanctify the lie (Boos and exclamations of “Get out”) that is how they become partners in crime, in crime and lies, all that gang of mercenaries, exploiters, frauds of the world! (Applause)
Is there any honest Cuban unable to understand that? Is there any honest Cuban having any doubt? If there were still a Cuban who doubts it, if these evidences were not enough for anyone to understand the way they proceed so they our compatriots can understand. There you have San Antonio, FAR and Santiago de Cuba. Let them go there and see for themselves if there is a hint of truth in what they have said; let them see for themselves how the imperialist reactionaries and a shameless clergy are deceiving the world and the peoples; let them realize it is time for the peoples to rid themselves from the exploitation, deception and fraud of the imperialists and all shams in this world; and break loose from those shackles, no matter the cost! (Prolonged applause)
Now, would it be possible to swindle the world that way? I hope that the President of the United States has a modicum of decency; and if the President of the United States has a modicum of decency, the Revolutionary Government of Cuba challenges him before the entire world, if he has an atom of decency to present at the United Nations the pilots and the planes he said took off from our national territory!” (Prolonged applause)
Cuba will demand that the planes and pilots who allegedly defected from its air force be brought before the United Nations, and let see if they can keep covering their faces.
If they do not present them. Why don’t they do that? Obviously, the President of the United States would have the right to avoid being called a liar. If the President of the United States does not want that anyone could have the right to call him a liar, he should bring before the United Nations the two pilots! (Applause.)
¡Ah!, if the President of the United States does not bring those pilots before the United Nations to prove – and how would they do prove it?-- that those pilots were here and defected from here, then not only the Cuban Revolutionary Government but the entire world will have the right to call him a liar! (Applause.) The entire world, not just the Cuban Government but all the peoples of the world would have the right to proclaim that the United States Government, the do not deserve no prestige, no respect whatsoever anywhere in the world (Applause)
When a U-2 spy plane flew over the Soviet Union and was shut down, and then first statement by the US Government said the plane strayed off course and was shut down. But just a few days after they have plunged headlong into that lie, they were left hanging in the air, because it turned out that the pilot was alive and was talking like a parrot telling everything down to the last detail; And the United States was exposed before the world and had to confess that then U-2 was an American plane, spying on USSR airspace and what his mission was.
So, the US imperialist government will have no other choice but to confess that the planes were its own, that the bombs were its own, that the bullets were its own, that it organized, trained and paid the mercenaries, that the bases were located in Guatemala and that it was from there that the planes took off to attack our territory; that those planes that were not shot down went there to seek refuge in the US coasts, where they have been given shelter. (Applause.)
How can the United States Government uphold that lie? Now I ask UPI and AP to be kind enough to tell Mr. Kennedy on our behalf that he does not present those two pilots before the United Nations, and then we will rightfully say that he is a liar; and if he is not a liar then why doesn’t he present the pilots?
Do they really think they can hide this to the world...? No. Cuba has a radio station, which is currently broadcasting to all of Latin America. (Applause), and countless brothers and sitters around Latin America and around the world are listening to this.
By the way “We are not living in the times of stagecoaches; we are living in the times of the radio, and the truths of one country can be conveyed to faraway places.” Furthermore, just in case the imperialists have forgotten, we are in the times of cosmic travel (Applause) even though this kind of travel is not for Yankees.
And now, when the echo of the admiration for the Soviet Union generated around the world has not yet faded (Applause) because of the precision, the technical complexity and the success that entails for humanity the scientific achievement the USSR has just obtained. When the echo of the world’s admiration for the Soviet Union’s feat has not yet faded, then the Yankee government presents its feat: the feat of bombing the installations of a country that has no planes, no ships, and no military might to respond to these attacks in kind.
That is to say, let us compare and let us ask the world to compare the soviet feat and the imperialist feat. Make a comparison between the joy, the encouragement and the hope that the Soviet feat has meant to humankind and the shame, the disgust and repugnance that the Yankee feat has meant; between the scientific achievement that allows to safely send a man to the out space and back, and the Yankee feat of arming and paying mercenaries so they come to murder 16 and 17 year old youth in a surprise, devious and treacherous attack in all its forms against a country they cannot forget because of its worthiness, its dignity, its courage. Because what the imperialists cannot forgive us for is that, we are here. What the imperialists cannot forgive us for is the dignity, the integrity, the courage, the firmness of ideas, the spirit of sacrifice, and the revolutionary spirit of the people of Cuba. (Applause).
That is what imperialists cannot forgive us, that we are here under their very noses and that we have made a socialist revolution under the very noses of the United States! (Applause and exclamations: We are standing firm and marching on, and you don’t like it you can lump it!”)
And that we defend this socialist revolution with these rifles! (Applause)That we defend this socialist revolution with the same courage shown yesterday when our antiaircraft artillerymen riddled the aggressor’s planes with bullets! (Applause and exclamations: “We will be victorious” “Fidel, Jrushchov, we support both of you” and other revolutionary slogans)
This revolution, this revolution... we do not defend this Revolution with mercenaries; we defend this Revolution with the men and women of the people.
Who has the weapons? Are those weapons by any chance in the hands of mercenaries? (Exclamations of: “No!”) Are those weapons in the hands of millionaires? (Exclamations of: “No!”) Because mercenaries and millionaires are one and the same thing. Are those weapons by any chance in the hands of the children of the rich? (Exclamations of: “No!”) Are those weapons in the hands of the foremen? (Exclamations of: “No!”) Who has those weapons? (Exclamations) Whose hands are those that are raising these weapons? (Exclamations) Are they the hands of the rich spoiled kids? (Exclamations of: “No!”) Are they the hands of the rich? (Exclamations of: “No!”) Are they the hands of the exploiters? (Exclamations of: “No!”) Whose hands are those that are raising these weapons? (Exclamations of: “No!”) Aren’t they workers hands? (Exclamations of: “Yes!”) Aren’t they the hands of the peasants? (Exclamations of: “Yes!”) Aren’t these the hands toughened by labor? (Exclamations of: “Yes!”) Aren’t these hands that create? (Exclamations of: “Yes!”) Aren’t these the humble hands of the people? (Exclamations of: “Yes!”) And, who are the majority of the people? The millionaires or the workers? The exploiters or the exploited? The privileged or the humble?” (Exclamations) Aren’t the weapons in the hands of the privileged? (Exclamations of: “No!”) Are they in the hands of the humble? (Exclamations of: “Yes!”) Aren’t the privileged the minority? (Exclamations of: “Yes!”) Aren’t the humble the majority? (Exclamations of: “Yes!”) Isn’t a Revolution democratic when it is the humbles are the ones holding the weapons? (Applause and Exclamations of: “Yes!” and “Fidel! Fidel!” and other revolutionary slogans.)
Comrade workers and peasants, this is the socialist and democratic Revolution of the humble, by the humble and for the humble. And for this Revolution of the humble, by the humble and for the humble we are ready to give our lives. (Exclamations)
Workers and peasants, humble men and women of our country, do you swear to defend this Revolution of the humble, by the humble and for the humble until the last drop of blood? (Applause and Exclamations of: “Yes!”)
Comrade workers and peasants of the homeland: yesterday’s attack was the prelude to the mercenaries’ aggression. Yesterday’s attack, which cost seven heroic lives, was aimed at destroying our planes on the ground. But the mercenaries failed; they only destroyed three planes, and the bulk of the enemy planes were damaged or shot down. Here, in front of the tombs of our fallen comrades; beside the remains of the heroic youth, children of workers and children of humble families, let us reaffirm our determination that, just as they faced the bullets, just as they gave their lives, no matter when the mercenaries might come, all of us, proud of our Revolution, proud to defend this Revolution of the humble, by the humble and for the humble, shall not hesitate to confront whoever may come and defend it to the last drop of blood. (Applause).
Long live the workers! (Exclamations of: “Long live!”)
Long live the peasants! (Exclamations of: “Long live!”)
Long live the humble! (Exclamations of: “Long live!”)
Long live the martyrs of the homeland!” (Exclamations of: “Long live!”)
Long live the heroes of the homeland!” (Exclamations of: “Long live!”)
Long live the Socialist Revolution! (Exclamations of: “Long live!”)
Long live free Cuba! (Exclamations of: “Long live!”)
We shall be victorious!
To the Battle…Comrades. Let us sing the National Anthem. (The attendance sings the National Anthem).
Comrades, all units need to head towards the headquarters of their respective battalions, in view of the mobilization that has been ordered to maintain the country in a state of alert in the face of the imminent mercenary aggression that can be deduced from all the events of the last weeks and yesterday’s cowardly attack, the attack by the mercenaries. Let us march to the Militia Houses. Let us form up the battalions and prepare to go and confront the enemy, with the National Anthem on our lips, singing the lyrics of the patriotic anthem, and crying “To the battle,” with the conviction that “to die for the homeland is to live” and that “to live in chains is to live plunged in ignominy and shame.”
Let us march to our respective battalions and await for orders there, comrades.