Key address by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, president of the Republic of Cuba, at the opening of the great march of Havana's combative people to oppose terrorism. May 17, 2005
For 137 years, from October 10, 1868 until today, the Cuban people has been fighting for its independence, first against Spanish colonialism and then against the imperialist, expansionist policies of US governments.
During that period, we achieved full political sovereignty for the first time on January 1, 1959 when, after sweeping away the bloody tyranny imposed from abroad, the Cuban people began governing the nation. Since then, this noble and heroic people have not failed one single day to defend its right to development, justice, peace and liberty.
Because of this fair and unremitting aspiration, our people have been subject to the longest economic war in history and to a pervasive, ferocious campaign of terrorism which has lasted more than 45 years.
One of the first and bloodiest of such acts was the bombing of the ship La Coubre in the Havana harbor killing 101 people and wounding hundreds more.
The April 17, 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion by a military force, organized, trained and equipped by the US government, was preceded by a surprise, treacherous air strike dealt by US bombers, with the Cuban air force insignia painted on them. The invading troops were brought to Cuba escorted, guarded and accompanied by US naval and air units and troops, which would wait for the mercenaries to establish a beachhead and then, with the complicity of the OAS, support a provisional government that did not even have the time to take off from a Florida airport.
Similarly, from the very first years of our triumph, armed groups were spread throughout the length and breadth of our land killing farmers, workers, teachers and literacy teachers, burning houses and destroying agricultural and industrial facilities. Acts of sabotage with white phosphorous and explosives were carried out against our country’s population and economy. Our ports, merchant and fishing ships were subject to constant attacks. Diplomatic legations and personnel abroad were the targets of attacks with explosives and fire arms.
Diplomats were killed, vanished or maimed. Passenger planes were blown up before they took off or in midair like the Barbados airliner on October 6, 1976, full of passengers whose remains lie beyond recovery on the bottom of the sea, hundreds of meters deep.
More than once, diseases affecting the life of human beings or that of domestic animals and plants necessary to provide food for the people were introduced into our country.
These acts were devised by US governments and their special services, and perpetrated by individuals trained by these.
The most up-to-date and dramatic conception of terrorism involving sophisticated techniques and high powered explosives was created and developed by US governments to destroy our revolution. Such terrorism has continued unrelenting, both inside and outside Cuba, for more than four decades.
Orlando Bosch and Posada Carriles, the most bloodthirsty exponents of the imperialists terrorism against our country, committed dozens of atrocious acts in numerous countries of this hemisphere, including the territory of the United States. Thousands of Cubans either lost their lives or were maimed as a result of these cowardly, loathsome acts.
The same US agencies and services which trained Cuban-born terrorists also carefully trained, as is common knowledge, those who organized the brutal attack on New York’s Twin Towers on September 11, 2001 in which some thousands of Americans lost their lives.
Posada Carriles, together with Orlando Bosch, —who was then the boss of the CORU, a CIA-created organization— was not only involved in destroying the Cubana airliner but for many years since then has organized dozens of attempts to assassinate the Cuban Revolution’s top leadership and was behind the numerous bombs that exploded in Cuban tourist hotels.
Meanwhile, Orlando Bosch, apparently a fugitive from US authorities, worked in conjunction with Augusto Pinochet's repressive forces to kidnap and murder well-known Chileans like Carlos Prats and Orlando Letelier, and to arrange the disappearance of numerous anti-fascist fighters in Chile as well as the kidnapping and death of Cuban diplomats. From his prison in Venezuela, he ordered his hired assassins to execute terrorist plans.
Such sinister characters always took orders from US governments and their special services; however, they have been illegally relieved of all charges and punishment. That is the case of the pardon granted to Orlando Bosch by President George Bush, sr. Likewise, the current US President has tolerated the presence of Posada Carriles on US soil for weeks in what constitutes a flagrant violation of that country’s own laws by those with the highest responsibility for protecting the US people from terrorist attacks.
All of Posada Carriles terrorist activities, including the bombs in Havana hotels and the assassination plans, were financed by US governments through the notoriously famous Cuban American National Foundation, from the time of its inception by Reagan and Bush in 1981. Never have people behaved with so much dishonesty and hypocrisy.
This is not a march against the people of the United States. As we have said before, and we insist here today, this is a march against terrorism and in favor of our people’s life and peace as well as that of our American brothers and sisters in whose ethical values we trust.
Down with terrorism!
Down with Nazi doctrines and methods!
Down with genocide!
Long live solidarity, fraternity and peace among the peoples!
Long live truth!
Let’s go forward, brave defenders of noble ideas, despising fear and the enormous power of the adversary, despising dangers; humanity yearns for justice!