The Cuban People Will Overcome

Remarks by the leader of the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro Ruz, during the closing of the 7th Party Congress

It constitutes, compañeros, a superhuman effort to lead any people in times of crisis.  Without them, the changes would be impossible.  In a meeting such as this, which brings together more than a thousand representatives chosen by the revolutionary people themselves, who delegated their authority to them, for all it represents the greatest honor they have received in their lives, to which is added the privilege of being a revolutionary which is the product of our own consciousness.

Why did I become a socialist, or more plainly, why did I become a communist?  That word that expresses the concept most distorted and maligned in history by those who have the privilege of exploiting the poor, dispossessed ever since they were deprived of all the material wealth that work, talent, and human energy provide.  How long has man lived in this dilemma, throughout time without limit?  I know you do not need this explanation but perhaps some listeners do.

I speak simply so it is better understood that I am not ignorant, extremist, or blind, nor did I acquire my ideology on my own, studying economics.

I did not have a tutor when I was a student of law and political science, in which the former is of major importance.  Of course then I was around 20 years old and was fond of sports and mountain climbing.  Without a tutor to help me in the study of Marxism-Leninism, I was no more than a theorist and, of course, had total confidence in the Soviet Union.  Lenin’s work violated after 70 years of Revolution.  What a history lesson!  It is safe to say that it should not take another 70 years before another event like the Russian Revolution occurs, in order that humanity have another example of a magnificent social revolution that marked a huge step in the struggle against colonialism and its inseparable companion, imperialism.

Perhaps, however, the greatest danger hanging over the earth today derives from the destructive power of modern weaponry which could undermine the peace of the planet and make human life on earth’s surface impossible.

The species would disappear like the dinosaurs disappeared; perhaps there will be time for new forms of intelligent life, or maybe the sun’s heat will increase until it melts all the planets of the solar system and its satellites, as many scientists recognize.  If the theories of several of them, of which we laypeople are not unaware, are true, the practical man must learn more and adapt to reality.  If the species survives much longer the future generations will know much more than we do, but first they will have to solve a huge problem.  How to feed the billions of human beings whose realities are inevitably at odds with the limits of the drinking water and natural resources that they need?

Some or perhaps many of you are wondering where is the politics in this speech.  Believe me I am sad to say it, but the politics is here in these moderate words.  Let us hope that many of us human beings will concern ourselves with these realities and not continue as in the times of Adam and Eve eating forbidden apples.  Who will feed the thirsty people of Africa with no technology at their disposal, no rain, no reservoirs, no more underground aquifers except those covered by sands?  We will see what the governments, just about all of which signed the climate commitments, say.

We must constantly hammer away at these issues and I do not want to elaborate beyond the essentials.

I shall soon turn 90.  Such an idea would never have occurred to me and it was never the result of an effort; it was sheer chance.  I will soon be like everyone else.  Our turn will come, to all of us, but the ideas of the Cuban communists will remain, as proof that, on this planet, if we work with fervor and dignity we can produce the material and cultural wealth that human beings need, and we must fight relentlessly to obtain it.  To our brothers in Latin America and the world we must convey that the Cuban people will overcome.

This may be one of the last times that I speak in this room.  I voted for all the candidates submitted for election by Congress and I appreciate the invitation and the honor of your listening to me.  I congratulate you all, and firstly compañero Raúl Castro, for your magnificent effort.

We will march on and perfect what we should perfect, with the utmost loyalty and united force, like Martí, Maceo, and Gómez, in an unstoppable march.

En español