Speeches and Statements

Speech by President Fidel Castro at the ceremony for the 50th anniversary of the Committee of Defense of the Revolution (CDR), the former Presidential Palace, Havana, Cuba, September 28, 2010.


Dear Compatriots,

On that 28th of September in 1960 I was returning from New York City where I had taken part for 10 days in the most important meeting that had been called together up until then.

There I had the honour of meeting the most important leaders in the Socialist bloc, among them the prime minister of the USSR, Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev, and a group of the most prestigious leaders of the Third World.   

The Peoples’ Republic of China was not being acknowledged its right to represent that enormous and ancient country.

The Cuban Revolution, on our small and little-known island, was newborn, but the fact of coming into the world just 90 miles from the powerful empire became something that put to the test the arrogance of the dominant superpower in our hemisphere and in most of the world.   

I lived through a unique experience in that country which is the headquarters for the United Nations and that determined the decision to speak to the General Assembly with complete frankness when my turn came up on September 26th.  The speech I gave there was for me the complement of the ideas I expressed in History Will Absolve Me after the Moncada trial.  This was no premeditated action; it was a Cuban revolutionary’s answer to the atrocious serfdom that was seen throughout the world.

Having celebrated the 50th anniversary two days ago, I would have liked to write something about that episode. The ideas to which I dedicated my modest efforts throughout so many years would not be well understood without keeping in mind what I said that day.  

I am mentioning it as background to the state of mind with which I participated in the act that you are celebrating today, and the privilege it signifies for me to return to meet with you again, 50 years later.  

The vast majority of those gathered together here had not yet been born.  The rest were less than 30 years old; they were young people, teenagers or children and only a few were as old as I am now.

I assembled the essentials and, using the actual phrases and paragraphs, I summarized the most important ideas of the speech that I made that night on which our glorious organization was born.  You would prefer that I reiterate those ideas rather than if I were to speak about anything else.  

That afternoon, I began by complaining that I had been given a multitudinous reception at the airport; there had also been problems here with the microphones.  We were lacking experience in the organization of events, and I told them in part about the impressions I was bringing from New York.  I told them:  after “having lived for ten days in the belly of the imperialist monster , knowing that monopoly and advertising over there was one and the same thing [...] the advertising companies battle against us, but they don’t do battle with reasons because reasons are what they indeed lack; they do battle with lies [...] they remind us [...] of the comic strips made for us by the imperialist information  agencies, the monopoly magazines, [...] they had us believing that armed robbery was good, that theft was noble, that exploitation was fair and that lies were the truth...”

“Independent newspapers, [...] any newspaper telling the truth is left without advertising [...].  Everything is moved by the lust for profit, for material interest, for money, [...] how different the result is when the people are well oriented, when the people know the truth, when the people struggle for something, when the lives of the people have a direction, when people have an ideal, when people have something to struggle for!  How different the result is!

“We have the most complete confidence in the fact that despite all the offences we have suffered, despite all the aggressions our country has put up with, if here, for example, we were to have the site of the United Nations, not one citizen would insult a single visitor, not one hostile act would be perpetrated against any delegation, because at that moment we Cubans would know that the chance had come to show that we are a thousand times more decent than the imperialists!”

“We have seen shame, we have seen honour, we have seen hospitality, we have seen gentlemanliness, we have seen decency in the humble blacks of Harlem.  (At that point there is the noise of an exploding firecracker.)  A bomb? –I ask- (EXCLAMATIONS OF: Shoot him!  Shoot him!  Venceremos!  We shall win!  Venceremos!)  (SINGING OF THE NATIONAL ANTHEM AND CRIES OF: Viva Cuba! Viva La Revolucion!  Long live Cuba!  Long live the Revolution!) – I continue – That firecracker and now everyone knows who paid for it…”

“…How innocent they are!  If when they dropped 500, […] and up to 1,000, pound bombs that said ‘Made in USA’ they weren’t able to do anything […] in spite of their planes, their cannon and their bombs, the little helmets had to surrender [...] they couldn’t capture the Sierra Maestra, nor could they free themselves from the sieges [...] those are the occupational risks of impotence and cowardice [...] if the people here are ready to resist, not even those little firecrackers [...] the people are ready to resist whatever they throw or whatever falls on them, even should they be atomic bombs...”  

“ …for each little firecracker paid for by the imperialists, we build five hundred homes!  For each little firecracker, [...] we make three times as many cooperatives!  For each little firecracker, [...] we nationalize a Yankee sugar mill!  For each little firecracker, [...] we refine hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil! For each little firecracker, [...] we build a factory...!  For each little firecracker, [...] we create one hundred schools in our countryside!  For each little firecracker, [...] we transform a garrison into a school!  For each little firecracker, [...] we enact a revolutionary law!  And for each little firecracker, [...] we arm at least one thousand militiamen!”

(I remember that every paragraph, and often every sentence, was backed by applause and enthusiastic cries from the crowd.)

“...it seems – I went on – that truly they have believed that thing about ‘here come the Marines’, [...] the goose is cooked...We are going to establish a system of group surveillance, we are going to establish a system of revolutionary group surveillance!” – I repeated.

“…we’ll see if the lackeys of imperialism can do anything over here, because, in short, we live in the entire city, there is no apartment building in the city, there is no city block, no neighbourhood, that isn’t broadly represented here. We are going to introduce a system of revolutionary group surveillance, to confront the imperialist campaigns of aggressions, so that everyone knows who is living on the block, what the people living on the block do and what connections they had with the tyranny, and what they do for a living; who they meet with; what kinds of activities they have.  Because if they think they can confront the people, what a disappointment they’re going to have!  Because we are going to introduce a revolutionary surveillance committee on every block...so that the people will be on watch, so that the people observe and so that they see that whenever the people massively organize, there is no imperialist, no lackey of the imperialists, no person who has sold out to the imperialists, no instrument of the imperialists, who can do anything.”  

“They are playing around with the people and they still don’t know what the people are like; they are fooling around with the people, and they still don’t know what kind of tremendous revolutionary strength there is in the people. [...] we have to take new steps in the organization of the militias; we have to go towards training now, of the militia battalions, zone by zone, in all the regions of Cuba, to go and choose each man for each weapon, and go giving structure to the great mass of militiamen, so that as soon as possible our units of combatants are perfectly trained and instructed.”

(Someone proposes a drastic measure)

I answer them:

“We don’t have to tighten up before it’s time; we don’t have to be in a hurry to do that, we don’t have to hurry!...- I reiterated – Let them hurry; we shall maintain our serenity and our pace, a pace that is firm and sure.”  

“One of our impressions from this trip, [...] is the amount of hatred that imperialism feels towards our revolutionary people; the degree of hysteria against the Cuban Revolution that it has reached [...] the degree of demoralization in regards to the Revolution [...] you have already seen it:  confronted with Cuba’s accusations, they are still thinking about their answer because they really have nothing with which to answer.”

“...that we all know perfectly well that it is a long, long struggle and a hard one [...] our Revolution has faced up to the most powerful empire in the world [...] Yankee imperialism is the most powerful, in economic resources, in diplomatic influence and in military resources [...] it is not like the British Empire, more mature, more experienced; it is an arrogant imperialism, blinded by its power [...] It is a barbarian imperialism, and many of its leaders are barbarians [...] nobody needs to envy those cavemen from the early days of humankind absolutely anything.  Many of their leaders, many of their chiefs, are men who have long fangs. It is [...] imperialism at its most aggressive, most warlike and most clumsy.”   

“...here we are on the front lines: a small country, with few economic resources, waging a battle, face to face, that honourable battle, resolute, steadfast and heroic for its liberation, for its sovereignty, for its future.”  

“…our homeland confronts the most ferocious empire in contemporary times, and [...]that [...] it will not rest in its efforts to try to destroy the Revolution [...] to create obstacles for us [...] to try to impede the progress and development of our country [...] that imperialism hates us with the hatred that masters hold for the slaves that rebel.  [...] add to that the circumstances whereby they see their interests endangered; not those here, but those all over the world.”  

“...our case was the case of the rest of the under-developed countries, it was the case of all of Latin America, it was the case of all the countries of Africa, it was the case of all the countries in the Middle East, it was the case of the countries of Asia and Oceania [...] The rest of the under-developed world is also being exploited by the monopolies, and we have said at the United Nations, to all the under-developed peoples: ‘We must nationalize the investments of the monopolies, without any compensation whatsoever’.  We have said to all the other under-developed countries: ‘Do what we have done, don’t continue to be the victims of exploitation, do what we have done!’  And it is logical that imperialism would like to destroy our Revolution, so that they can say to the other peoples: ‘If you do as the Cubans have done, we’ll do to you what we have done to the Cubans.’”

“...that is necessary for us to comprehend; that we know very well what we are doing, that we know very well the interests we are affecting, and that those interests won’t be defeated easily, those interests will not easily wave the white flag.”  

“This is a long struggle; it is as long as the interests that the Revolution has affected are powerful.”

“...the clearest idea we are bringing is that we have to strengthen our efforts...”

“…more than words […] deeds are valuable […] our country is admired not for its words but for its deeds; not for what a Cuban may say over there but for what all Cubans do or can do.”

“The world is making one of our ideas, a better idea than it has ever had if at some time the world had an idea that we existed.  And what is behind that opinion is a people; [...] they are the deeds of that people [...] we belong to a grand minute in the history of humankind [...] we belong to a decisive hour in the human species [...] we are something greater than we ourselves [...] we are the people! We are the nation!  We are an idea; we are a hope, we are an example.  And when the Prime Minister of the Revolutionary Government appeared at the UN, it was not a man who appeared, it was a people!  Each one of you was there...”

“...we [...] have a great responsibility before the people!  That is how each one of you must feel!  And to carry that idea in your minds.”  


“...let them go off, that’s training the people to put up with all kinds of noises!”

“As I can see, tonight is going to be an expensive one for these gentlemen!”

“...those events are merely confirming what we have been saying all along, that the Revolution  has a long and tough struggle ahead [...] we were insisting that each and every one seriously takes into account their role and their responsibility.”   

“Easy things are not the ones that, in the long run, produce the best results; for the lives of the people, the difficult things are the ones worth bringing about.”  

“...nobody thinks that the coming years will be years of tranquility and comfort [...] that is what frees us from the sadness and shame of the past; what makes our people happy is knowing that the First of January did not mark the end of the Revolution, but the beginning; [...] the future, the victory of tomorrow shall be the fruit of the efforts of all the people! [...] in the future there is a place for each one of us.”   

“…we have only just begun, […] we are at the first pages of the great book of history that the people of Cuba are writing.”  

“…that victory shall be won by us with two things: intelligence and courage; with the head and with the heart.  Never let courage dominate intelligence, nor put intelligence ahead of courage.  Intelligence and courage must march side by side along the road leading us to victory!”

“Do not underestimate the imperialist enemy […] The imperialist enemy made the mistake of underestimating us!”  

“…we asked the president of the Assembly (of the UN) to take into account our concern for the campaigns they are making, preparing the field, creating the hysteria and promoting favourable public conditions to promote an excuse over there, to fabricate it over there by using self-aggression [...] we must do what suits us, not what suits them.”  

“…let us make it well understood that we are going to reclaim our sovereignty on that piece of the basis, using international law, I mean, using legal channels and not weapons.  We don’t have weapons in order to do with them whatever the enemy wants, but whatever the enemy doesn’t want.  Our weapons must always be ready to defend ourselves, ready to resist, ready to destroy them when they launch themselves against us.”   

“The imperialist enemy is sneaky, it is low, it is cunning, it is capable of the most unimaginable things; it makes use of any weapon, from the assassination of leaders to military invasions; we must not only be courageous but intelligent [...] we have to unveil the imperialist enemy before world public opinion [...] we have already gone through the ABCs of revolutionary and political matters, we have already [...]  passed first grade, second grade, third grade and we are now in the high school of such matters.”  

“Cuba never used to give its opinion, we would do what they ordered us to do […] now Cuba expresses its opinion […] we are learning international geographical politics.”  

“…each one of you has the obligation to know and to become knowledgeable […] about the political, social, economic problems of Cuba and those outside of Cuba; because if we do not, we won’t graduate from high school, and now we have to have doctorates some day in revolution and in politics.”

“It is very lovely to go over there and be able to tell all the other people that we have created ten thousand new classrooms...! [...] We are creating so many universities, so many school-cities, so many technicians are being trained, [...] we have increased national production per capita, we have increased the number of our factories, we have increased our agricultural production, we have increased the output of our workforce...”

“...those coming here and seeing the effort our people are making in the midst of imperialist harassment, admire and are amazed at what a small nation can do in the face of so many obstacles.”  

“That is the pride that sustains our delegates all over the world and that is the basic idea that we want to show here tonight.  And thanks to the little firecrackers, because they have been very useful for what we have been explaining!  And thanks to them, because this has shown the temper of our people, shown our people’s courage; because not even one woman has moved from her place!  Not one man has moved from his place, nor will they move from their places in the face of any danger, in the face of any attack!  Each one of us is a soldier for the homeland, we do not belong to ourselves; we belong to the homeland! It doesn’t matter that one of us may die in battle; what is important is that that flag remains raised, that the idea continues moving forward!  Long live our homeland!”  

Up to this point, that speech expressed the essential ideas with the very same words, just as I promised.   


With the memory of all those fallen in the defence of our Revolution and its just ideas, of the unforgettable image of the heroic people who, 50 years ago, were capable of embracing the principle of Marti that “Homeland is Humanity”, I have no hesitation in proclaiming that: we have kept our word and you will continue fulfilling the promise made on that eternal night!

Thank you very much.

The ceremony has lasted 1 hour and 12 minutes; there isn’t much sun. Oh! If you want, we can go on talking for a while longer (Cries of: "Yes!") I am seeing some of the first ones (He refers to a group of CDR members who were there in 1960.  They tell Fidel to stop for a while).  Well, that doesn’t matter, you are here; it’s more important (Applause).

There are really many things I promised I would write when I had some time, about the UN speech, it was because of a situation that today is more serious than ever, as I was telling Rabilero.  When we were listening to the beautiful song being interpreted by Haila, I added to the National Coordinator:  “It’s worse now, the world is much more threatened.”  Fifty years of struggle have gone by, we have been witnesses to a long evolution and that’s why I was speaking about the importance of reconstructing that speech, even though the analysis has to be split up into three or four parts.  It is 120 pages long and it was like the speech I gave here on the day the CDR organization was founded, not anything preconceived but I had thought about it a lot; I had observed the events; they had committed horrible things against us:  they kicked us out of the hotel close to the UN building, tried to confiscate our plane, invented plots of all kinds; nobody else was giving us accommodations and so I went to Harlem and there they received me warmly; I met and talked with Malcolm X and other community leaders.  We checked into the Theresa Hotel, built of wood.   

Many leaders came to visit me there; Khrushchev and Nasser went there, as well as the most prestigious leaders from the Socialist bloc and the Third World, showing their solidarity.  From the Theresa we would go to the UN meeting.  Count up the things that one had accumulated.    

So, on the 26th, when it was my turn, I started speaking calmly and I spoke calmly for longer than 6 hours (Laughter and applause), that’s how it was.  But I touched, I went along touching on the points, one by one (Applause), and if today we might speak about a thought, you would have to go to History Will Absolve Me, when Moncada happened, after at the UN meeting I mentioned, and finally the one I had here with the people on the day the Committees for the Defence of the Revolution were founded; count up 50 years of struggle.  It’s not like one had plans of creating a doctrine.  How could one imagine the atrocities that the empire was capable of committing, and the assassination plans it was drawing up, but they were so self-sufficient and stupid that they weren’t even successful (Laughter and applause).   

Look, it turns out that once we were speaking from that podium (he points to the balcony of the former Palace), I believe it was at a later occasion; in one of those apartments off to the right, look at how far, less than 100 metres away, there was a group of men with 40.06 calibre telescopic lens rifles, bazookas, I don’t know how many weapons, and we were on that balcony and they didn’t dare shoot, you see! That’s how it is; they were going along preparing plans from before that event (Applause).  

Afterwards, why speak of so many plans (someone says something to him), but it back-fired on them (Laughter and applause).  Ah, each one of those things becomes an instrument, in weapons, in arguments, and that’s why it is very important in the battle of ideas that thinking continues to grow; it is essential.

I was really telling you, and in these days I wrote something that could help us comprehend the nature of the empire, and it was on the occasion of the visit by the Japanese, a well-known Japanese peace group, the Peace Boat, that’s what they call it, a group that has been visiting Cuba for a long time.  The lady that spoke on behalf of the survivors was only two years old when the atomic attack on Hiroshima occurred; her talk was so extraordinary she really touched everyone.  I started to think about that because when the meeting at the Convention Centre was broadcast on TV, there wasn’t any simultaneous translation, I mean, when there is simultaneous translation the work is done from inside a cabin, but there we were at a table, and the voices of the interpreters who were very close to the microphone were overlapping my voice, and so you couldn’t hear very well.  I wanted the dialogue I had to be heard well: I wrote three Reflections about their content; they weren’t not too long.   I was amazed by what they talked about, it’s not the same to read it as it is to hear a person telling about something that was suffered by the survivors.   

Reading an article about Truman, published on Global Research, I was amazed.  What did Truman do?  He was the one who replaced Roosevelt.  Roosevelt was a man who had a different set of ethics even though he represented a capitalist economical system, already transformed into an empire, one that was developing, it hadn’t yet reached its peak even though it was getting there at a fast clip.  Roosevelt dies and the vice president becomes the leader of the country.   

Often in the United States presidential candidates select a vice president having different ideas from them, searching for a certain unity: there goes one who has a certain tendency they call leftist, and he chooses a candidate who belongs more to what is called the right-wing, especially in the case of wartime.  That was how Truman became president, and it is he who makes the order to use the two nuclear weapons when the war was practically over.  The Soviets had already finished fighting in Berlin, the heart of the Third Reich, and with enormous effort they sent their troops to Manchuria.  They had fought there earlier.  The Japanese had invaded that region of China at the beginning of WW II.  In that territory, they clashed with the Soviet troops, precisely under the command of Zhukov, and they suffered a defeat.  After the Nazi invasion of the USSR, when Japan enters the war after the attack on Pearl Harbour, they again occupied the territory of Manchuria and at the end of the war they had concentrated the greater part of their forces in that region.  When the battle-hardened Soviet troops launch the attack as an unstoppable offensive, the Japanese empire began to completely lose heart, alone and with no allies, it didn’t have the least possibility of resisting.  There was absolutely no need to use the atomic weapon; it was a matter of days until the war ended; but the US government wanted to use them; they only had two bombs at that time, one uranium and the other plutonium.  Just two, but they didn’t drop them on a military installation, but over a defenceless civilian city.  They instantly killed more than one hundred thousand persons and others were seriously affected.  For 65 years, they have been suffering and dying, all those who didn’t die in the first second.   

What does Truman do?  He wrote a diary where he noted down all his daily activities.  He made a speech, on the radio, to inform about the dropping of the bomb and he states there verbatim: “The world will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians...” Reading those papers, one’s blood runs cold when one thinks that that man had such nerve, the impudence, the cynicism to publish that he had used that bomb on a military base in Hiroshima; but that wasn’t all, that was what he said after he dropped the uranium bomb; three days later he dropped the plutonium bomb on Nagasaki.  

In each one of these materials – I don’t aspire that much more will be comprehended right away – they speak of a critical mass.  I am going to define critical mass as the amount of radioactive material you have to accumulate in order to produce the explosion; one has such an amount, 52 kilograms of enriched uranium.  In nature, you never have 50 kilograms, it is a very scarce material and spread out through mines.   In the bombs, they place two amounts of enriched uranium, separate from each other, which unite with conventional explosive devices to create the critical mass required for an atomic explosion.  If you use plutonium instead of uranium, 10 kilograms would be enough, also refined, in order to create the critical mass that produces the explosion.  That’s how it is and it expresses the incredible advance of science in the knowledge of nature, space and matter.  

In what he states after dropping the bomb, one might still say:  “Well, this guy didn’t know what the weapon was”; but he, better than anyone else, knew what the weapon was because the kind it was appears in the diary he wrote, in today’s newspaper – the third part came out today – something he explains as: “The most terrible weapon ever dreamed up has been developed.”  He talks about the era when that was not imaginable, during that period in remote times when horrible things were being talked about.     

Does anybody have a copy of the Granma newspaper by chance?  Since we are now talking about the subject, it can be found; I have my glasses, I can still read the fine print in the newspaper.  

You will see what Truman wrote about the bomb on July 25th, 12 days before dropping it.   

There’s no paper  around? Is it possible that so few people read Granma?  

(A paper is given to him).  They’ve brought me an old paper (Laughter).  (They explain to him there is one that is yesterday’s and another that is today’s).  Ah, it was yesterday’s.  I was the one who was mistaken (Laughter).

Listen to what Mr.Truman had to say; he must be somewhere in hell, I should think (Laughter).
“We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world. It may be the fire destruction prophesied in the Euphrates Valley Era, after Noah and his fabulous Ark... The weapon is to be used against Japan ... [We shall] use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children. Even if the Japs [sic] are savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop this terrible bomb on the old capital or the new [Kyoto or Tokyo]….
The target will be a purely military one ... It seems to be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful."

There you see the skeleton of the soul of an imperialist.  The world must know that, it must have knowledge of it; because today –that’s why I was talking to Rabilero – if you see the theories they have , the plans they have and the military doctrines they apply, your  blood will really run cold.  That’s why I, not that I’m exaggerating or making things worse, the only possibility would be to denounce and denounce.  Only if we can achieve the presence of an opinion in the world that is sufficiently strong, can we really prevent the end of the species from happening; it is mathematically exact.   

It seems to me that it would be a good thing, perhaps, that we should know about some of these ideas on what nuclear weapons are.  I have seen some pictures of what critical mass is, something that signifies its use as a weapon: fine, take the energy that moves the world to make war.  They say 100 degrees boils water and you can’t put your hand in it; at 660 degrees aluminum melts; at a little more than 1,500 degrees, iron melts; and at 3,000 degrees practically all metals and matter melts.  What would happen at 10,000 degrees?  What would happen at 100,000 degrees? What would happen at 1,000,000 degrees?  Well then, with the atomic explosion that is the product of the critical mass, you can achieve millions of degrees of heat, - I see some of you wearing dark glasses, I think that these I am using can become dark; I can see with these, I can even read-, it was indeed the greatest and most cynical murder in history (Applause).   

I’m taking them off (he is referring to his glasses).  This is the first time I’m using them.  Have you taken them off?  I was remembering that, the same people who did the initial experiments in the desert areas of the US, and quite far away, were wearing dark glasses to prevent the light rays from damaging their eyes, because they are unimaginable phenomena for the concepts we have about what heat is, or light.  So, I think it wouldn’t harm our country, quite the opposite, it would give us education; it would give the peoples education they unfortunately don’t have.  We must make the peoples knowledgeable because it would motivate them to struggle; what is critical mass, what is it made of, how much energy can it create, what is the empire doing with it, what is its military doctrine?    

I don’t want to go on and deal with more subjects because there are quite a few, coming out of the things one sees.  

A few days ago what did that fine young gentleman who is the president of the United States say?  Suddenly one is amazed because one can think that there is going to be a bit of decency, but you unfortunately discover that that word doesn’t exist; it almost scares you.  Well, we still have the hope that he will at least be intelligent.  

We imagine that they won’t want to sacrifice the people of the United States, because the only ones threatening them are they themselves, they are the only ones who can unleash a war, and everything they are doing is leading towards war.  It isn’t Russia, although we are dealing nowadays with a capitalist country, it isn’t China; both of them have developed these weapons as a defensive instinct, but not to conquer other countries.  The Yankees develop them to keep dominating the planet.  It is impossible that the capitalist system can last, it’s time has now passed, it isn’t compatible with the existence of billions of human beings, their vital needs, the pollution of the environment, the using up of material resources, the advances of science on the one hand and the astounding productivity of work on the other hands, this can become one hundred or two hundred times greater than it was 200 years ago.   

I can show you an example: when Haila was singing, we were all listening.  If there were no loud-speakers, you wouldn’t have been able to hear her over there.  But, well, before radio, you had to go to the theatre to hear a beautiful voice, and the expressions of a person who would accompany the singing, or the extraordinary show of a ballet such as ours, that will soon be celebrating another important anniversary (Applause).  When decades ago radio came along, hundreds of thousands of people, even millions, could listen to a news item hundreds of thousands of times.  Once, a radio program that was broadcasting the story of a famous writer was about to produce a catastrophe among the people who believed that the story was actually happening.    

Now, if she sings on television, in one hour 3 million Cubans can see and hear her; or 100 million people can see a soccer match.  Just a few people used to find out about the soccer match, sometimes when a cable would arrive and it would come out in the paper and the paper had reached the reader, if he knew how to read.  If you own a television today you will see the artistic efforts that are being enjoyed by millions of people.  It isn’t the same for all activities but the multiplication of productivity occurs with many of them.    

Earlier, a man with a donkey would move 100 or 150 kilos for a few kilometres; now a truck will carry 20 or 50 tons, often covering thousands of kilometres, or by train.  With electronics, possibilities have also been multiplied.   

Technology removes man from employment, and capitalism brings no moral teachings whatsoever, it has nothing ethical in it, everything is commercial.  You can’t educate people that way; many times people are transformed into egoists, social climbers and even outlaws.  

We have seen what has just happened in Venezuela, it is horrible.  Yesterday President Chávez was explaining about the sea of lies in the media and he was unveiling them one by one.  But over there in Venezuela, the empire is intent on creating a problem, where the revolution has been creating conscience, from –as it happened yesterday – the things that the Revolution has done for the people, bringing rights that the people never had and, chiefly, education.    

Look how the Revolution began first with education and then it continued to health and so, it is now a different nation, they are different human beings; it is a different life, one that is worth living.   

How many million people are there who need a wheel chair, or need a hearing aid, or an eye operation so they don’t go blind? Just in Bolivia alone our doctors have performed cataract operations on more than half a million people (Applause).  In other words, the possibilities to do good are extraordinary if you educate the people; those are the ideas; it is what we are defending.  But today we do nothing by planting ideas, defending them and fighting for them without the existence of humankind, the humankind in which every human being was born, having the privilege of being able to think, of possessing intelligence, of knowing about life.   

None of the other living beings know things such as the ones we are talking about.  And now that man has had this privilege, the least he should do is to try to save the species.  Why are they going to sacrifice all the children and does what happened to the lady who survived Hiroshima at the age of two have to happen? And she didn’t comprehend it until she was 38, when her father talked to her, because afterwards they were discriminated against, nobody knew what the effects of radiation were; they thought that other people would catch it from her.  

Now just imagine: with the theory that one of the most eminent scientists explained here about nuclear winter.  One hundred bombs of the 25,000 existing today, much more powerful, would create nuclear winter: food production would disappear in a matter of weeks, above and beyond the buffeting of environmental deterioration; in fishing there is a brutal over-exploitation; waters are super-polluted, industry has spewed into the oceans and lakes enormous amounts of mercury and other chemical products.  Ah, while there were just a few inhabitants on the planet, the expanse of nature allowed them to go on resisting.  The number of inhabitants is now more than 6 billion.  We calculate that in 2050 there will be 9 billion.  They have to feed themselves; that is their prime necessity.  Can you imagine billions of people, even though one of the one hundred bombs has not directly killed them, being totally deprived of food and in temperatures below freezing?  Nothing would function.  It would be inconceivable agony.   

These are tough things, but we must think about them; we must talk about them; it cannot be thought that humankind moved towards slaughter without anybody warning them.  We aren’t talking about merits for anyone; nobody is fighting for a medal or something similar, it is elementary rationality that forces each one of us to have to think about that and to warn everyone.  It is their duty to make an effort because all of us have fathers, mothers and children; all of us have people we love.  But also the most generous people love their fellow man as well, they love everyone else, their neighbours, and they are concerned for them.  Internationalism means fighting for those who are under apartheid, slavery or hunger.   

Each one of us has lived through different stages, from not being able to read or write until today, and we know how conscience can develop. So, all of us have acquired a certain degree of knowledge.  We must fight for that; that is what I’m asserting.  We have to fight without looking for anything!  And it seems to me that if sometimes people make efforts for unimportant things, this is something that is worth making an effort for (Applause).  

Excuse me for having stolen a few more minutes from you, but I am very happy to have been able to add these things (Voices from the audience tell him: “You are our Nobel Peace Prize Laureate because you have it in your heart and you have been showing it all these fifty years!”) (Applause).  

What time did we start?  (They tell him it was at 9:07; it has been 30 minutes).  

Yes?  Well, look.  We haven’t even taken the two hours (Laughter); but I’m leaving, because it’s already starting to get hot.   

(Cries of: "¡Viva!" and "¡Fidel, Fidel, Fidel!")

Versiones Taquigráficas - Consejo de Estado