Thursday, November 18, 2010

English translation of Fidel Castro's Nov. 17 speech

Message from Fidel to the Cuban students


Dear students and other guests:

I am very presence at this meeting the Minister of Higher Education, the rectors of the universities of Havana, a representation of the Union of Young Communists, led by its First Secretary, the Provincial and National Student Federation of Secondary Education.

I well remember that November 17, 2005. Commemorated the International Student Day. You, the university had decided that I spoke that day. Were met, they said, 60 years of my joining the University in late 1945. It was then a little younger than today, was your age. But we lived together a stage of life.

I thought that meeting we held at the University of Havana, 5 years ago is not repeated ever. Had already served 79 years. But just two months ago, to be exact, when I presented at the Aula Magna's second book of our revolutionary war: "The strategic counteroffensive," the September 10, 2010, at the end, I spoke with many veterans of those battles and exit of the enclosure greeted a group of enthusiastic university student leaders there waiting, I exchanged with them, they explained their anxious waiting for the day 17 for speech to speak to them.

I liked that group. They were promoting a "cultural revolution", wanted to hear again a reflection on the ideas that day.

That game was already his property. I thought it would take a long time between 10 September and 17 November; other things going through my mind and I said, "We will see that day."

He knew, however, that the speech raised bumps, since the time we were living against a powerful enemy that threatened us more and more tightly blocked our economy and tried to sow discontent, promoting the violation of laws and illegal departures country, depriving it of a pool of young labor force, culturally and technically well prepared. Many of them were later conducted illegal activities and crime.

He was also the fact my tendency to self-criticism and irony in relation to our own actions. Although I was caustic in my words, I defended principles and not compromise.

All that I remembered, but not the exact words I used, all the arguments, and the considerable extension of speech.

I asked the Council of State files a verbatim copy of it, and I found 115 single-spaced pages involving more than 200 how are you barely exceed the 40.

During the past week has been hard work, dedicated to many tasks, including meetings of interviews with the principal editor of the Global Research website, Michel Chossudovsky, the overwhelming electoral victory of the extreme right of the United States and, within it The fascist group Tea Party, the economic crisis unprecedented war of currencies, closely followed by the G-20 Summit in Seoul, the APEC summit in Yokohama, Japan, and within two days, the Summit NATO in Portugal on 19 and 20 November, to be followed closely.

Despite that, I resigned to postpone or suspend the date of our meeting.

Leaning against the original text, I was culling the main ideas of my speech this time, to be presented with the same words I used then. Omitted for the sake of brevity, many examples that complement the criteria held.

I confess I was surprised by the timeliness of the ideas that 5 years later, are more current then, as many were related to the future, and the facts has been behaving as envisaged, only now, with the knowledge available on phenomena such as climate change, the economic crisis that goes beyond any previous one, the dangers of war and the derivation of the imperial power to fascism, demand from university students to a maximum of dedication and effort in the ideological battle.

One of the first ideas that I expressed was:

"The set of factors that made life possible were after billions of years on planet Earth, this fragile life can elapse between a few degrees below zero and a few degrees above zero ..."

"I tried to remember how were those universities, what we did, what we were concerned. We were worrying about this tiny island. [...] There was no talk yet of globalization, there was no television, there was no Internet, there was no instant communication from one end to another of the planet [...] At least in my time, back in 1945, our aircraft passengers just arrived in Miami ... "

"... Just happened a terrible war, which cost about 50 million lives, and I'm talking about that moment in 1945 when I entered college, on September 4, well, I entered at the time, and you of course, have taken the liberty to celebrate any day of the year. "

Later I asked: "What world is this where a great empire proclaims the right of pre-emptive attacks on 60 or more countries, which is capable of bringing death to any corner of the world, using more sophisticated weapons and killing techniques ?

"Right now the empire is threatening to attack Iran if it produces nuclear fuel."

"Today is the international debate on what day and what time, or be the rule, or use" as used in Iraq, the Israeli satellite-emptive bombing on research institutions seeking to obtain the production technology nuclear fuel. "

"... A nation claims the right to produce nuclear fuel as any nation among the industrialized and not be forced to destroy the reserve of a commodity, which serves not only as an energy source, but as a source of numerous products, supply of fertilizers, textile materials of many of today have a universal application. "

"... We will see what would happen if they happen to bomb Iran to destroy any facility that allows the production of nuclear fuel."

"Cuba has never attempted to produce nuclear weapons. We possess other weapons, weapons are our ideas [...] nuclear power under the invincible power of moral weapons. [...] And we have come to find biological weapons [...] to fight death, to fight AIDS, to combat disease, to combat cancer, that we devote our resources ... "

"... Anywhere in the world is a secret prison where the torture carried out human rights defenders, are the same as here in Geneva command their lambs vote one after another against Cuba, the country knows nothing about the torture, to honor and glory of this generation to honor and glory of the Revolution, to honor and glory of a struggle for justice, independence, human decency must keep intact the purity and dignity! "

"... This morning came news report on the use of white phosphorous in Fallujah, where the rule found that a people, practically unarmed, could not be defeated and the invaders were in that situation could not leave or stay, if they would , returning fighters, if they stayed, they needed those troops elsewhere. They have already killed more than 2 000 young American soldiers, and some wonder, how long will die in an unjust war? ... "

"... Have made the enlistment for the army as a source of employment, hire the unemployed, and often tried to hire the greatest number of black Americans for their unjust wars, and have been reports that African Americans are increasingly less willing to join in the army, despite unemployment and marginalization to which they are subjected ... "

"Looking for Latino immigrants, trying to escape hunger, crossed the border, the border where more than 500 immigrants die each year, many more in 12 months than were killed during the 28 years of the Berlin Wall."

"... Young people entering the university, which was not, of course, the university of the poor, was the University of the middle strata of the population, was the wealthiest university in the country, although many young people used to be above the ideas of its kind and many of them were able to fight and fought well throughout the history of Cuba.

"Eight students were shot in 1871 and foundations were the most noble sentiments and the rebellious spirit of our people ..."

"Nick was one of them, also from the middle layer, because the poorest, the children of the peasants could not read or write ..."

"... I mentioned to Nick, I could mention Guiteras could mention Trejo, who died [...] 30 September, in the struggle against Machado ..."

"... When he returned with full force the Batista dictatorship, many students struggled and many students were killed and that young Cardenas, Manzanita, as they called him, always smiling, always cheerful, always kind to everyone else, would distinguish its courage, fortitude [...] when confronted with the police. "

"If you go, even to the house where José Antonio Echeverría, let's call it-is a good house, a great home. See how students often passed over their social and class, in this age of so many hopes, many dreams.

"At the university, to study medicine was only one faculty and one teaching hospital, and obtained many awards, first prize in medicine, and some even have surgery without anyone ever operated."

"Some were able [...] Thus arose good doctors, not a mass of good doctors, other doctors had a mass of [...] who were unemployed, and when the revolution triumphed precisely to leave the United States and left half, 3 000, and 25% of teachers. From there we left the country today, which stands almost as a capital of world medicine. "

"... The country [...] has more than 70 000 doctors."

"We entered the university in late 1945 and started our armed struggle in Moncada on July 26, 1953, [...] almost eight years later, and the revolution triumphed five years, five months and five days after Moncada, after a long tour of the prison, exile and fighting in the mountains. "

"... Did not know either very well the laws of gravity, going uphill struggle against the empire, which was already the most powerful, [...] when there was still another superpower, [...] going uphill we gained experience , walking uphill was to strengthen our people and our Revolution, up to today. "

"... The human being is the only one capable of passing [...] above all instincts. [...] Nature imposes instincts, education imposes the virtues ... "

"... Despite the difference between human beings, may be one at a time or may be millions [...] through ideas."

"These are ideas that unite us are the ideas that we are fighting people, are the ideas that we do, and not only individually, but collectively, revolutionary, and that's [...] when people can not never be defeated ... "

"... Here 90 miles from the colossal empire, the most powerful that ever existed throughout history, and have spent 46 years and there is more distant than ever from achieving their knees to the Cuban nation, one that humiliated and offended for some time ... "

"I think it was Agramonte, others say that Cespedes, who answered the naysayers, when he was 12 men, said: [...] with 12 men is a village. [...] What is called a revolutionary consciousness, which is the sum of many consciences [...] is the daughter of patriotism and love the world that does not forget what that homeland is humanity, delivered ago more than 100 years. "

"Never forget those who for so many years were our working class and workers, who lived decades of sacrifice, the mercenary bands in the mountains, as the Bay of Pigs invasion, thousands of acts of sabotage which cost many lives of our workers sugarcane, sugar, industrial, or trade, or merchant marine or fishing, they were suddenly attacked with guns and bazooka, just because they were Cuban, just because we wanted independence, just because we wanted improve the lot of our people ... "

"Cuba is talking about when I speak, and Cuba has many things to say, but it is not rushed or impatient. You know very well when, where and how to beat the empire, its system and its lackeys. "

"... I think that humanity and the great things that can create, as can be preserved should be preserved."

"... This wonderful, wonderful people, yesterday and today seed grown tree with deep roots yesterday full of power and nobility in today full of real nobility, full of dreams of yesterday and today full knowledge of real knowledge, is just beginning in this huge university that is now Cuba. "

"... Emerging new pictures, and young cadres."

"As you know, we are engaged in a battle against vice, against diversion of resources, theft ..."

"... I do not think the theft of materials and resources is today, or special period it intensified the special period, because the special period created much inequality and the special period was possible that certain people had a lot of money."

"In the time I speak, to produce a ton of concrete consumed 800 kilograms of cement, and a ton of good concrete [...] should be about 200 kg. See how they squandered, how it diverted resources, how to steal. "

"In this battle against vice there will be no truce [...] and we will appeal to the honor of each sector. One thing is certain: that in every human being is a high dose of shame. When he is with himself, not a stern judge, though, in my opinion, the first duty of a revolutionary is to be very severe with himself. "

"Criticism and self-criticism, is very right, that did not exist, but if we are to do battle is to use more caliber projectiles, you have to go to criticism and self-criticism in the classroom, in the nucleus and then outside the nucleus, after in the city and then in the country. "

"Then they can come other questions: How much gain? And if the question is how we won, would begin to realize the dream that each live in their salary or retirement very just. "

"... We have become aware that life is an apprenticeship, until the last second, and many things begin to see in a moment ..."

"One conclusion I've drawn after many years: among the many mistakes we have made all the more important mistake was to believe that anyone knew of socialism, or that anyone knew how to build socialism. Seemed like science known, as known as the electrical system designed by some who considered themselves expert in electrical systems. [...] We are fools if we believe, for example, that the economy-and forgive me tens of thousands of economists in the country, is an exact science and eternal, and existed from the time of Adam and Eve .

"You lose all the dialectical sense when someone believes that today's economy it is equal to 50 years ago or 100 years ago or 150 years ago, or equal to the time of Lenin, or the time of Karl Marx . A world away from my thoughts revisionism, I pay real worship to Marx, Engels and Lenin. "

"As a student I knew theoretically what utopian communism was, I discovered that I was a communist utopia, because all my ideas were based on: 'This is not good, this is bad, this is nonsense. How will emerge the crisis of overproduction and starving when there is just more capacity to create wealth. Would not it be easier to produce and distribute? "

"By the time it seemed like you also to Karl Marx looked at the time of the Gotha Program, that the limit to the wealth was in the social system, it seemed that as they developed the productive forces could produce almost limitless what the man needed to satisfy their basic needs-type material, cultural, etcetera. "

"When he wrote political books as on 18 Brumaire, civil strife in France, was a writing genius, had a very clear interpretation. His Communist Manifesto is a classic. You can analyze, may be more or less satisfied with one reason or another. I spent a utopian communist communism was based on serious theories of social development ... "

"In this real world must be changed, all revolutionary strategist and tactician has a duty to devise a strategy and tactics that lead to the ultimate objective of changing the real world. No tactic or strategy to disengage would be good.

"I had the privilege of knowing those of Liberation Theology once in Chile, when I visited Allende, in 1971, and met there with many priests or representatives of different religious denominations, and raised the idea of joining forces and fight, regardless of their religious beliefs.

"The world is desperately in need of one, and if we fail to reconcile the minimum of that unit, do not get anywhere."

"Lenin on all state matters studied, Marx spoke of the worker-peasant, living in a country with great industrial boom, Lenin saw the developing world, saw that country where 80% or 90% were farmers, and although it had a powerful labor force in the railways and in some industries, Lenin saw with absolute clarity the need for worker-peasant alliance, which had not spoken one, everybody was a philosopher, but had not spoken about it. And in a huge semi-feudal country, semisubdesarrollado, is where the first socialist revolution occurs, the first real attempt of a just and egalitarian society, none of the above who were slave, feudal, medieval, or feudal, bourgeois, capitalist, but talk a lot of freedom, equality and fraternity, none have ever proposed a just society.

"Throughout history, the first serious human effort to create the first fair society, began less than 200 years ..."

"With dogmatism had never come to a strategy. Lenin taught us a lot, because Marx taught us to understand society, Lenin taught us to understand the state and the role of government. "

"... When the USSR collapsed was alone a lot of people, including us, the Cuban revolutionaries. But we knew what we should do and what we had to do, what our options. Were the other revolutionary movements in many parts of waging their struggle. I will not say what, I will not say who, but it was very serious revolutionary movements, we asked whether negotiated or not before this desperate situation, if they continued fighting or not, or negotiating with the opposing forces looking for peace, when one knew what drove that peace. "

"... I said, 'You can ask us not to view us, it is you who would go into combat, you who would die, not us. We know what we will do and what we are willing to do, but he would only you can decide. 'That was the most extreme manifestation of respect for the other movements and not try to impose on the basis of our knowledge and experiences and the enormous respect they felt for our revolution for the weight of our views. "

"I think the experience of the first socialist state, a state that should be fixed and not destroyed, has been very bitter. Do not think that we have thought many times about this incredible phenomenon whereby one of the most powerful world powers, who had managed to match its strength with the other superpower, a country that paid with the lives of more than 20 million citizens struggle against fascism, a country that crushed fascism, collapsed and crumbled.

"Is it that revolutions are bound to collapse, or is that men can make revolutions from collapsing? Can or not preventing men may or may not keep the revs society collapse? Could add a question immediately. Do you think that this revolutionary process, socialist, may or may not collapse? (Shouts of "No!") Have you ever thought? Have you thought about depth?

"They knew all these inequalities that I'm talking about? Were you aware of certain generalized habits? Did they know that some in the month earned forty or fifty times what you earn one of these doctors over there in the mountains of Guatemala, a member of the contingent 'Henry Reeve'? It may be in other places far from Africa, or be thousands of feet high in the Himalayas saving lives and earn 5%, 10% of what you earn a petty thief who sells gasoline these new rich , diverting resources from the ports in trucks and tons steals in the dollar stores, stealing a five-star hotel, maybe changing a bottle of rum was sought, puts in place of the other and collects all currencies with which the drinks are sold out of a bottle of rum, more or less good. "

"We can also explain why we do not cut cane today, no one can cut and heavy machinery destroying the reeds. The abuses in the developed world and subsidies led to sugar prices that were, in this global market, the price of sugar landfill, while in Europe they paid two or three times their farmers. "

"But we're getting, I have come, and long ago to ask this question, compared to the super-powerful empire that threatens us, threatens us, transition plans and military plans of action, in particular historical moment.

"They are waiting for a natural and perfectly logical, that is the death of someone. In this case I have made a considerable honor to think of me. It will be a confession of what they could not do for a long time. If I was a vain, I could be proud of that little guy who say they have to wait until I die, and this is the time. Waiting to die, and every day they invent something, that if Castro does this, that if you have the other, if this or that disease. "

"Yes, I gave a very strong fall, and I'm still rehabbing from this arm (points), and getting better. I appreciate very much the circumstances in which I broke my arm, it made me even more discipline, more work, more time to spend almost 24 hours a day at my job, if the spending came during the time period especially now dedicate every second and I fight more than ever ... "

"That is like the little guy (I was referring to Forbes magazine) who discovered that I was the richest man in the world."

"I made a question, fellow students, I have not forgotten, much less, and pretend that you do not ever forget, but the question is there left to the historical experiences that have been known, and I ask everyone, exception, to reflect: Can be irreversible or not a revolutionary process?, what are the ideas or the degree of consciousness that may frustrate the reversal of a revolutionary process? "

"It's great the power of a leader when it enjoys the confidence of the masses, when they trust their ability. They are terrible consequences of an error which have more authority, and that has been more than once in the revolutionary process.

"These are things that you meditate. Study the history, what happened here, what happened there, what happened there, meditate what happened today and what will happen tomorrow, where lead processes of each country, where he went ours, how to march, what role they play in Cuba that process. "

"That's why I said that word that one of our biggest mistakes in the beginning, and many times during the Revolution, was believing that someone knew how to build socialism."

"What company would this, or how worthy of joy when we met in a place like this on a day like this, if we knew at least what should be known, so heroic in this island, this heroic people, the people who has written pages are not written by anyone else in history preserve the Revolution? Do not think that the speaker is a vain man, a charlatan, someone who likes to bluff.

"It's been 46 years and the history of this country is known, the people of this country know, the neighbor of that rule too, size, power, strength, wealth, technology, its dominance on the World Bank its control over the IMF, its grip on global finance, the country that has imposed the most incredible iron blockade, which was spoken there in the United Nations and Cuba received the support of 182 countries that went and voted freely over the risks of openly vote against the empire. [...] Not only did this revolution with our own risk for a lot of years, at one point we had reached the conviction that if we were ever attacked directly by the United States would fight for us, or we could ask. "I came referring to the USSR.

"With the development of modern technologies was naive to think or ask or expect that power will fight against each other, if intervened in the little island that was here, 90 miles, and reached total conviction that this support would never happen. Something else: one day we ask directly for several years before his death: 'Dígannoslo frankly.' 'No.' They said what we knew they were going to respond and then, more than ever, we accelerated the development of our design and perfect the ideas tactics and strategy with which this revolution triumphed and won, with a force that started the fight with seven armed men against an enemy that it had 80 000 men, including sailors, soldiers, policemen, etc., tanks, planes, how many modern weapon to that time could be possessed, was infinite difference between our arms and weapons that armed force was trained by the United States-backed and supplied by the United States. "

"Today we have more than seven rifles, we've got a town that has learned to handle weapons, an entire town that, despite our mistakes, has such a level of culture, knowledge and awareness that this country would never again be a colony of them.

"This country can self-destruct, this revolution can destroy itself, can not they destroy us, we do, we can destroy it, and it would be our fault.

"I had the privilege of living for many years, that's not a merit, but is an exceptional opportunity to tell you what I'm saying to you, to all youth leaders, all leaders of the organizations mass, all the leaders of the labor movement, the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, women, peasants, the soldiers of the Revolution, organized everywhere, fighters for years that the number of hundreds of thousands have glorious internationalist missions fulfilled ... "

"... It is amazing to see the most humble social sectors of this country turned into 28 000 social workers and hundreds of thousands of university students, university! See what strength! And soon we will also see in action to those who graduated recently in the sports arena.

"The coliseum teaches us about Marxism-Leninism teaches us about the coliseum social classes Coliseum met not long ago about 15 000 doctors and medical students and some of ELAM, and others who came to East Timor to study medicine never be forgotten. I do not think it is a personal feeling of any of us.

"I will never forget those images that company of the 15 000 white coats who had gathered there the day they graduated medical students, the day that the quota was set 'Henry Reeve', already a considerable amount has sent forces to places where great things happened in a much shorter time than we ever imagined.

"Let me tell you now largely human capital is, or rapidly progressing to be the most important resource of the country, far above almost all others combined. I'm not exaggerating. "

"For there have been discovering private gas stations, fed with fuel from the Piper.

"Something that is known is that many trucks are on the State and on the other side, and the most and the least go to a relative, friend, family, or girlfriend.

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