SPEECH GIVEN BY COMMANDER IN CHIEF FIDEL CASTRO RUZ, PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF CUBA AT THE INTERNATIONAL MAY DAY CELEBRATION IN REVOLUTION SQUARE ON MAY 1, 2005.
Listen, hold on for just a bit longer, because today you will be lucky and I won’t be speaking at great length.
(Cheering, and shouts of "No!") Nature is on our side, look at the breeze and the clouds; everything is on the side of our noble cause.
Dear personalities and fighters from more than 60 nations who are sharing this historic May Day with us;
Dear delegates to the 4th Hemispheric Meeting of the Fight Against the FTAA and for the ALBA;
Dear fellow Cubans:
Faced with the most powerful empire in the history of humanity determined to destroy our identity as an independent nation in the past, and later during the inevitable Revolution, we are here, in this glorious Square, after 46 years of heroic struggle, against which the most perfidious defamation and the most vulgar crimes have crashed.
Ninety miles away from that Power, Cuba is committing, and will continue to commit – don’t let there be any doubt about this – the sin of existing
The fallacies of asymmetric warfare that Cuba is supposedly preparing to wage are looking increasingly ridiculous, embarrassing and impotent; the great lie about the production of biological weapons, involving the enraged liar John Bolton, whose cynical façade they try to present –and rightly so, perhaps– as the perfect symbol of the current United States government to the United Nations
They have failed in their renewed ideological war in which they invaded or tried to invade our radio electronic space with a host of subversive broadcasts of anti-Cuban radio and television; as they have failed in their attempt to internationally isolate Cuba; in their support of idle mercenaries and their use as Trojan horses within the country; in the vulgar actions of the Interests Section under an agitator especially chosen and trained to work out his own expulsion with a well deserved kick up the backside; and in their intentions to suffocate us with the intensification of the criminal economic, commercial and financial blockade.
On the other hand, Cuban credit has grown stronger, its international economic relations have increased and business with US agricultural producers has expanded, despite the many obstacles imposed by the fraudulent and tricky occupant of the White House.
The maneuver to deprive our country of the dollar also failed –the dollar has now been dishonorably dismissed from our country where, during the very harsh times of the special period, it reigned as the Luis 14th of monetary circulation.
All their aggressive plots against our people have failed. Here we are, I insist, stronger than ever, more united than ever, more determined than ever to continue with the exceptional work of building a more just, more supportive, more humane and more prosperous society, like the Promised Land already within our grasp.
The American government, along with its many other sinister strategies to harm our Homeland, resorted to the vulgar option of adding Cuba to a spurious and cynical list of terrorist countries.
This week that draws to an end today, the State Department republished its updated list. It states, in a perverse and malicious way, that: "Cuba remained actively opposed to the US-led Coalition prosecuting the global war on terrorism".
Why does Cuba have to follow the lead of a corrupt and genocidal government?
Following September 11, 2001 and the atrocious attacks on the Twin Towers, planned and carried out by fanatic leaders financially linked to the dynasty that currently reigns in the White House, individuals who were also trained and used by the United States Special Services, the empire’s policy has centered on what it described as a world crusade against the terrorism which, invented by them against Cuba, Viet Nam and other countries, has become a world tragedy. The Nazi doctrine of the preemptive and surprise attack on ‘any dark corner of the world’ was declared and 60 or more states were grotesquely cited as possible targets –one of these, of course, was Cuba--, as our country is first on the list of possible objectives.
No one should be surprised if with the deepest contempt we use the harshest words to qualify such ethylic and demented threats, as it was under such pretext they embarked on wars supposedly aimed at fighting terrorism.
On the very September 11, 2001, Cuba warned of the absurdity of this concept and advised that war would never be the solution to the problem.
Reports from the US Counter-Terrorism Center at this time show that in 2004 there were three times more major terrorist acts (651 compared to 175) than in 2003.
When the American government unjustifiably invaded Iraq, it consciously lied about the existence of weapons of mass destruction. Actually, it was the oil they were after; it was a vulgar war of conquest. All the painful evidence has quashed Bush’s hypocritical speech that the world is now a safer place than it was four years ago.
What is the credibility of the shameless scarecrow designed against Cuba by the State Department, which has also made the mistake of giving first place on their list to the least fearful country and the most capable of uncovering their despicable lies?
On top of all this, the government of that country has been foolish enough to say that "the biggest cause for concern is that these States (including Cuba in first place) have the capacity to produce weapons of mass destruction and other destabilizing technology which could fall into the hands of the terrorists". This at the exact time when John Bolton, the deranged author of this folly, is questioned by several of the most important intelligence services of the United States for venting his fury on some honest officials who had the decency to oppose his depraved and untenable lies. Major media outlets and what is even more worrying for the extremist, warmongering and genocidal mob, the members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee are amazed at such shocking behavior.
The sinister aims of these lies are well known.
In addition to this hysterical behavior, on Friday April 29 a cable reported that the very distinguished President of the United States had just ordered the Treasury Department to hand over a generous amount of Cuba’s frozen assets to meet another lawsuit from the extremist and terrorist Cuban American mob in Miami.
What is truly incomprehensible and inexplicable about the US government’s behavior is that they published the abovementioned State Department document at a time when the current administration is caught up in one of the most embarrassing and sensitive chapters of its terrorist adventures, its aggression and lies against Cuba. Are they stupid, or even better, are they such stupid or what?
The whole world knows that Luis Posada Carriles, the cruelest, most famous terrorist in the western hemisphere, as acknowledged by the most important media outlet in this part of the world, has entered the United States and requested asylum from the government of that country, whose soldiers are dying every day and whose death toll have risen to almost two thousand, in the name of a war against terrorism that was unleashed after the events of September 11, 2001.
Our fellow Cubans, who have closely followed this unprecedented scandal, know perfectly well what I am talking about. Many people will now be wondering whether the George W. Bush administration has given birth to the monster that was growing heavy in their entrails. Reply: it is incredible but there are still no signs of labor, despite the fact that this could endanger the health of both, the mother and the creature, as well as that of the many midwives and others who are meddling in this affair, and whose numbers are growing by the day.
Due to the fact that over the last three days we have been focused on the agreements and documents signed between the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and Cuba, and particularly on the events related to the visit of the leader of the Bolivarian Revolution, our close brother Hugo Chávez Frías, and the historic progress which we are rapidly making in such a short period of time towards the integration of the peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean --two hundred years after their struggles for independence first began—the same that until now have been dominated and plundered by colonialism and imperialism which have lead them to a now unsustainable situation, we haven’t been able to examine the highly significant situation created by the return of the monster to the place where it was bred and trained for the long series of crimes that it has committed against the people of Cuba and other peoples worldwide.
Today, while we were speaking of the crime committed on October 6, 1976 in Barbados, with the blowing up of the passenger plane and the loss of more than 70 lives; between that date and the day the young Italian was murdered in a Havana hotel, 20 years have passed equivalent to 20 years of murders, of crimes committed by US governments using mercenaries and terrorists of the despicable caliber of Posada Carriles.
Neither can we forget more than 45 years of aggressions, mercenary invasions, piratical attacks, acts of sabotage, a dirty war which, in the midst of an atrocious and pitiless blockade, has taken the lives of thousands and thousands of fellow countrymen, victims of these acts of terrorism. How can the US government, least of all the present administration, accuse Cuba, the victim, and write her first on a list of terrorist nations, when what they should actually do is place her first on a list of victims of imperialist terrorism, for more than half a century! (Cheering)
Since it has been almost 72 hours without news on the delivery, I shall proceed straight to giving you, as briefly as possible, --and taking into account the time and the effort you have all made over the last twelve hours– the latest top stories:
The newspaper, El Nuevo Herald reported on April 29 that, faced with the extradition request made by Venezuela, the terrorist’s accomplices were preparing to strengthen their legal team.
Santiago Alvarez, the well-known terrorist and accomplice of Posada Carriles, said that the legal representation "is being strengthened with lawyers of different origins".
According to the newspaper, the lawyers hired to assist the terrorist include Kendall Coffey, the former Miami district attorney who led the sinister team of lawyers that tried to keep the child Elián González kidnapped and Joaquín Chafardet, an equally mobbish lawyer who is well known in Venezuela, and who previously represented Posada during his trial in Caracas for the bombing of the Cubana airliner and is strongly associated with Ricardo Koesling, a representative of the Cuban American National Foundation in Venezuela and one of the instigators of the siege of the Cuban Embassy during the ephemeral coup d’état of April 11, 2002.
Accounts cited by the newspaper discuss the possibility that the illustrious Posada Carriles will talk to the press very soon.
Santiago Alvarez Fernández Magriñá, the abovementioned character who took Posada Carriles from Isla Mujeres to the city of Miami between the 16 and the 18 of March, in other words 44 days ago, gave an interview yesterday on a Miami TV channel in which he shamelessly said that Posada Carriles ‘is fine, he is painting, listening to the news and reading’. Then he went on to announce in a language that befits the ignorant and uneducated individual that he is that "it is very probable that in the next few days he will be called to the Immigration office, and when he shows up there they will have to see him and talk to him. Preparations are being made for him to give a limited interview in the next few days, as soon as the lawyers feel that the time is right, in order to give information on certain points that need answering". In fact, there are a million points that need answering: are you well aware of that Mr. George W. Bush?
According to the Herald --which as you know has many connections with the Mob, I particularly refer to the so called the New Herald-- sources in the United States capital affirmed that Posada’s asylum request had gone down like a "lead balloon" in high US ranks. "It has created a lot of political friction", said a top official that asked to remain anonymous. "This is the worst time that it could have happened". Listen to that official’s phrasing: ‘This is the worst time that it could have happened’.
Information received suggests that the Bush administration doesn’t know how to get out of this tangled and embarrassing situation. They’re holding a time bomb in their hands. While they have been playing with terrorism, fomenting it, supporting it and nurturing it, it comes as no surprise that they now have a time bomb on their hands.
It has also been said that even the beleaguered Cuban American National Foundation, the group that gives the most protection and financial aid to Posada Carriles, in close coordination with US administrations, is worried because this matter could further harm their battered political image, and they are also worried that the terrorist may demand more from them because he has lots of information.
On the other hand, there are reports in New York press circles that the United States government is involved in intense negotiations with several Central American countries in order to secretly transfer the terrorist to any country in that area.
In addition to this it has been said that the Salvadoran government must have let the United States know through various channels that they don’t want Posada Carriles in their country --everybody wanting to get rid of the corpse, acting like rats fleeing a sinking ship-- and it is very unlikely that they’ll accept the terrorist. The final destination will depend on the pressure exerted by the State Department. We already know what results have been obtained by that distinguished lady who is the Secretary of State and who is presently traveling through our hemisphere to discuss democracy and lack of governability, or should I say governability, in this hemisphere. They haven’t even realized what has happened, they haven’t even realized that in one week, just one week, three governments are in the middle of serious crises.
Journalists are commenting that Cuba’s denunciation of Posada Carriles took the US authorities by surprise, but that they have by now realized the sensitivity of the issue and changed their initial intention of accepting Posada into their country.
Here, one of the distinguished speakers preceding me –it was Schafick-- spoke of the ‘hot potato’. Cubans know very well how hot a potato can be when it is taken out of the pot, perhaps out of the pressure cooker: it burns your hands, your lips, your tongue, it burns everything; and there they are, with a specially hot potato that won’t cool down, one that we won’t let cool down. (Applause)
Meanwhile, there are reports from Salvadoran political circles that some leaders of the ARENA government party would find themselves in deep water if they didn’t help Posada.
In this context, the former Minister of the Interior and coffee entrepreneur Mario Acosta Oertel, "a close friend of Posada and the people of Miami" would be the person in charge of handling the issue of the terrorist in El Salvador. Acosta’s wife is the cousin of Otto René Rodríguez Llerena, the terrorist detained in Cuba.
According to journalists from an important US television network, their colleagues in Miami say they are convinced that Posada Carriles is hidden in a house in Florida.
Reporters from this network in Miami believe that the FBI knows where Posada is and who is with him, and they don’t rule out the possibility that one of the options might be to force him out of the country. To this end, they could use the procedure of accusing the person who is sheltering him, and those who allowed him to enter, and those who gave permission for his entry, and those who know how he entered and where he hiding and are saying nothing.
They say that they don’t understand why the FBI has not arrested Posada, since the terrorist was singled out as a fugitive of Venezuelan justice by a government preceding that of President Chávez.
However, they say that they couldn’t send him to Venezuela either because the American government is convinced that that would be tantamount to handing him over to Cuba.
Such a sophism! It was precisely Cuba that, from the beginning, relinquished its most legitimate right to judge him since it was her sons and daughters, in huge numbers, who have been among the victims of this monster’s crimes, a monster bred and trained in the United States and used by them for decades. If not, how could it be explained, or rather, how could the shameless blackmail plaguing the most powerful superpower ever existing be explained?
It is the opinion of the reporters that the FBI are carefully evaluating the scenarios to which they are being exposed, and they feel that the Bush administration still hasn’t decided how to deal with the case --they are truly mute, paralyzed, puzzled-- but they assume that when Posada enters into the public eye the FBI will have a plan ready.
TV journalists in Miami are saying that the big networks in the United States are on Posada’s trail and some of them are very close to finding out his whereabouts. One version of events is that he is hiding out in an exclusive neighborhood on the outskirts of Miami, in a very expensive house valued at three million dollars. There he spends his time reading, listening to the news and painting, like a new Picasso; there in the lair of the Empire whose political and cultural ideal, at least that of the present administration, is to have painters with blood-stained hands and with the barbaric notion: ‘We put the bomb, so what?’, or in that infamous phrase used to describe the case of the young Italian Fabio di Celmo: ‘He was in the wrong place at the wrong time’. It now seems that it is he, as well as the US government or the President of this administration, who are in the wrong place at the wrong time. (Applause)
You can see what 180,000 people working in the Department of Homeland Security, those 22 bodies that cooperate and participate in their anti-terrorism struggle and in the protection of US internal security, have not been able to accomplish; neither have the 15 intelligence agencies working on a budget of billions of dollars; what these have not been able to accomplish or discover, the US media will succeed in accomplishing and discovering.
They also say that the FBI is not keeping watch on the area where Posada is supposedly staying, and that Eduardo Soto, the terrorist’s lawyer, has opted to give his statements and public interviews to Hispanic television channels, without realizing that Posada has now become a priority target for the majority of the country’s TV channels, that are starting to work towards finding and filming him, and that if the FBI doesn’t find him, the television networks will.
In a recent letter republican Senator Norm Coleman, confirmed that the US Department of Homeland Security had received a request for asylum on behalf of Posada Carriles.
You might recall that a few days ago the University of Informatics Sciences (UCI) had been looking into the obligations of a lawyer or any other person who is filing a plea for exile, and found out that it is a crime punishable by several years in prison to violate these procedures. What would the law say about those holding high office, indeed very high office, who act as accomplices for the cover-up, or are accomplices of that terrorist when they allow or authorize his entry, or even worse, those that allow his entry without any previous consent? And there you have a government paralyzed for a month and a half, incapable of arresting the terrorist and all of his minor accomplices who bypassed the orders of higher authorities.
The Senator’s letter means that there is finally news of a zealously guarded document that we have been eagerly looking for over the last few days.
What does this letter say exactly?
"Dear Mr. Hughes:
"Thank you for taking the time to contact me concerning Mr. Luis Posada
"As you may know, Mr. Carriles was pardoned by Panamanian President Mireya
Moscoso on August 26, 2004. Mr. Carriles attorney has alleged that
Mr. Carriles entered the United States through Mexico a few weeks ago.
"I have shared your concerns with the Department of Homeland Security
"DHS has confirmed that Mr. Carriles attorney has filed an asylum request for his client. However, because of his past acts of terrorism that he has, by his own admission, claimed to have planned and carried out, Mr. Carriles is not eligible for asylum.
"DHS cannot confirm Mr. Carriles entry into the country, but has alerted all major law enforcement agencies of his possible presence." If they want to find out, all they have to do is to find Mr. Santiago Alvarez, the man who brought him by boat to Miami from Isla Mujeres. They could never deny that, they must swallow the whole nightmare, but this is not a nightmare; it is an irrefutable and indestructible truth. They could have found out where this creature was in five minutes, in the country where the authorities, the special services and the government had spawned him.
The Senator continues: "…If he is found, Mr. Carriles would face immediate deportation from the United States for his past terrorist activities.
"Thank you once again for taking the time to contact me. I value your advice. If I may be of further assistance to you in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me again.
United States Senator"
In the next few days, we will be receiving very interesting news. The US government, blackmailed by the crows it created, has lacked the courage to pursue the only path left to it: the immediate arrest of Posada Carriles, abiding by national and international laws and placing him at the disposition of the Venezuelan Court that must put him on trial. I have already said that Cuba has relinquished its right, just so that they will not have a minimum excuse.
In Venezuela there is a Bolivarian government that is respected worldwide, where there are many journalists. Would that not be the best place to put him on trial, since Cuba won’t do it? What excuse can they come up with to avoid sending him there?
We have even proposed that Venezuela is in the best position to do so. We would even accept an international absolutely impartial court, convened in a location where they might agree to try this murderer. This is not even an important individual; the importance of this individual lies in the fact that his presence reveals to the world the immense hypocrisy, the lies, the immoral acts and the cynicism that the Empire uses to dominate the world. This is what’s important, let’s not forget it. The world demands that injustice be put on trial; the world demands that hypocrisy be put on trial; the world demands that these imperialist methods of deceit and domination, a domination that is harder and harder to maintain on the world, be put on trial.
I promised not to talk at great length; it only remains for me to thank our speakers. (Applause)
We were afraid that this event would go on for too long. We realize that this is summer, the sun is strong and the people began to mobilize, those close to Havana, at 10 o’clock last night, and that at 2 in the morning they were already on their way, so that we might bring together a million three-hundred thousand people, all of whom are not readily visible here, because all the empty spaces and avenues around this Square are filled with fellow Cubans.
You all deserve our infinite recognition for your revolutionary and patriotic spirit, for your support of such a just cause, for your dignity and revolutionary spirit; for your quietness and the attention paid to the valiant, moving and eloquent words we have been hearing from all those who have stood on this podium today, to widen our knowledge of the horrors committed by US Imperialism against the peoples of Latin America and whose words have strengthened our self-confidence and resolve that our nations will be free and will unite closely to defend the same common causes we defend here, speaking the same language that we have been hearing here today, even the English language; Because at the end of the day, it will not be too difficult, thinking of those peoples who once struggled against colonialism and who lost many of their sons and daughters in the struggle against fascism, that these peoples will unite with their Latin American brothers and sisters, in the struggle for justice, in the struggle for truth, in the struggle for the survival of our species which is at stake today.
Let us never forget this event. Let us never forget the words of solidarity spoken by our brothers and sisters from the South, the Center and the North. Language will not be an obstacle, because all of us that speak Spanish or Portuguese will learn English, and one day, all those speaking English will learn the languages of Latin America, Spanish and Portuguese. (Applause)
As I told you recently, the main slogan of the mobilization of this May Day has become: ‘Humanity has a yearning for justice’. You have proven this here today. (Applause and shouts of: "Fidel! Fidel!")
And looking out onto this huge, unsurpassable and emotional crowd, I remember that unforgettable October 15, 1976 as if it were today, the moment in which we bid farewell to the victims of that monstrous act of terrorism against the Cuban airliner over Barbados, which made me state: "When an energetic and forceful people cry, injustice trembles!"
We shall see!
Long live the 30th Anniversary --which we also commemorate today-- of the glorious and exemplary victory of the heroic people of Vietnam, a victory that the imperialists should never forget!
Patria o Muerte!