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Vol. 71/No. 27      July 9, 2007

Castro in 1971 Chile visit warned of imperialist threats
(Books of the Month column)
Below is an excerpt from Fidel Castro on Chile, one of Pathfinder’s Books of the Month in July. It contains the speeches and interviews from Cuban president Fidel Castro’s 25-day visit to Chile in 1971. Chilean president Salvador Allende Gossens, a Socialist Party left-winger and longtime supporter of the Cuban Revolution, invited the Cuban leader to Chile. During his visit, Castro warns of impending counterrevolution and stresses the example of Cuba, where workers and farmers mobilized to defeat imperialist intervention. Allende was killed resisting the military overthrow of his government on Nov. 11, 1973. Copyright © 1982 by Pathfinder Press. Reprinted by permission.

I was amazed when I heard the President say that a very important newspaper in Washington or New York had published statements by a high-ranking government official who said that “The days of the people’s government in Chile are numbered.” (Boos)

I would like to point out—not that government official’s rudeness, intromission, his arrogance, his offensiveness, his insolence—that it’s been many years since some crazy U.S. official said that the days of the Cuban Revolution were numbered. (Shouts and exclamations)

It would be logical, in view of a statement like that, not only to get angry, to protest against the insult to one’s dignity, to protest against the offense, but also to ask what makes them believe such a thing and why they feel so confident about it. What kind of calculations have they made? What computers have they put into operation to figure this out? This doesn’t mean that Yankee computers don’t make mistakes. They do, and we know it for a fact. We have good evidence that they do make mistakes. In the case of Girón, the Pentagon’s computers, the CIA’s computers, the U.S. Government computers, everybody’s computers, were wrong—a million times wrong.

Nevertheless, we should ask what grounds they have for such optimism, for such assurance. What is this assurance based on? And you are the only ones who can supply the answer.

Or maybe you’d be interested in hearing the opinion of a visitor who is not a tourist? (Exclamations of “Yes!”)

All those in favor, raise your hands.

(All hands go up)

Well, in view of the permission granted me in this plebiscite (shouts of “Fidel, Fidel, Fidel!”) to express my opinion in matters of concept, I say that assurance is based on the weakness of this revolutionary process, on the weakness of the ideological battle, on the weakness of the mass struggle, on weaknesses displayed in the face of the enemy! (Applause) The outside enemy, which supports the inside enemy, is trying to take advantage of the slightest crack, the slightest weakness.

In fact, I could also say that your efforts to consolidate your forces, to unite them and to increase them, have been weak.

You’re going through a period which is very special, but not a new one, in the arena of class struggle.

There are countless examples of this. You’re going through that period in the process in which the fascists—to call them by their right name—are trying to beat you to the streets, are trying to beat you out of the middle strata of the population. There is a specific moment in every revolutionary process when fascists and revolutionaries struggle for the support of the middle strata.

Revolutionaries are honest. They don’t go around telling lies. They don’t go around spreading terror and anguish or hatching up terrible schemes.

The fascist … well, the fascists stop at nothing. They’ll try to find the weakest spot. They’ll invent the most incredible lies. They’ll try to spread terror and dissatisfaction among the middle strata, telling them the most incredible lies. Their objective is to win over the middle strata. And they’ll appeal to the basest sentiments. They’ll try to arouse feelings of chauvinism—that narrow-minded nationalism—all sorts of selfish sentiments… .

They are trying to demoralize the revolutionaries. There are places where I found the revolutionaries kind of hard-hit, and there are places where they even looked demoralized.

If I weren’t sincere, if I didn’t believe in the truth, I wouldn’t dare say what I have just said. It might even sound as if I were saying something the enemy could use to his advantage, to gain ground. No! The only way in which the enemy can gain ground is by deceit, by confusion, by ignorance, by the lack of awareness about problems! (Applause)

If you want my opinion, the success or the failure of this unusual process will depend on the ideological battle and the mass struggle. It will also depend on the revolutionaries’ ability to grow in numbers, to unite and to win over the middle strata of the population. (Applause) This is because in our countries—countries of relatively little development—these middle strata are very large and are very susceptible to lies and deceit. However, in the ideological struggle, nobody is ever won over except through the truth, sound arguments and reason. There is no question about that.  
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