Fidel Castro on Friends and Enemies

Fidel Castro. Photo/archive:

HAVANA TIMES — Fidel Castro was back on the front pages of the Cuban press on Monday with his latest writing on the world situation. He devotes space to criticize NATO warmongering, recalls the days of the Soviet Union and reminds us of the history of United States intervention in Cuba. He gives special mention to US Republican Senator John McCain.

The following is the full text of the article by Fidel Castro published in all official news media Cuba.

Just Ideas or Disaster Will Triumph

Fidel Castro

If today it is possible to prolong life, health and the productive time of persons, if it is perfectly possible to plan the development of the population in accordance with growing productivity, culture and development of human values, what are they waiting for to do so?

Global society has known no peace in recent years, particularly since the European Economic Community, under the absolute, inflexible direction of the United States, decided that the time had come to settle accounts with what remained of two great nations which, inspired by the ideas of Marx, had achieved the great feat of ending the imperialist colonial order imposed on the world by Europe and the United States.

In former Russia, a revolution erupted which moved the world.

It was expected that the first great socialist revolution would take place in the most industrialized countries of Europe, such as England, France, Germany or the Austro-Hungarian Empire. This revolution, however, took place in Russia, whose territory extended into Asia, from northern Europe to southern Alaska – which had been Czarist territory, sold for a few dollars to the country which would later be the most interested in attacking and destroying the revolution and the country where it occurred.

The greatest accomplishment of the new state was the creation of a union capable of bringing together its resources and sharing its technology with a large number of weak, less developed nations, unwilling victims of colonial exploitation. Would a true society of nations be convenient or not, in the current world, one in which respect is shown for rights, beliefs, culture, technologies and resources in accessible places around the world, which so many human beings would like to visit and know? And wouldn’t the world be much more just today, – when in fractions of a second anyone can communicate with the other side of the planet – if people saw in others a friend or brother, and not an enemy disposed to kill, with weapons which human knowledge has been capable of creating?

Believing that human beings could be capable of having such objectives, I think that absolutely no one has the right to destroy cities; murder children; pulverize homes; sow terror, hunger and death anywhere. In what corner of the world can such acts be justified? If it is remembered that, when the last global conflict’s killing ended, the world placed its hopes in the creation of the United Nations, it is because a large part of humanity imagined it with such a perspective, although its objectives were not fully defined. A colossal fraud is what is seen today, as problems emerge which suggest the possible eruption of a war, with the use of weapons which could mean the end of human existence.

There are unscrupulous actors, apparently more than a few, which consider meritorious their willingness to die, but above all to kill in defense of their indecent privileges.

Many are surprised to hear the statements made by some European NATO spokespeople, expressed in the style and look of the Nazi SS. On occasion, they even wear dark suits, in the middle of summer.

We have a powerful enough adversary, our closest neighbor: the United States. We warned them that we would withstand the blockade, although this would imply a very high cost for our country. There is no greater price than capitulating to an enemy, which for no reason, or right, attacks you. This was the sentiment of a small, isolated people. The rest of the hemisphere’s governments, with a few exceptions, went along with the powerful, influential empire. This was not a personal attitude on our part, but rather the sentiment of a small nation which had been not only the political, but also the economic property of the U.S. since the beginning of the century. Spain had ceded us to this country, after we had suffered almost five centuries of colonialism, and innumerable deaths and material losses in our struggle for independence.

The empire reserved the right to intervene militarily in Cuba, on the basis of a constitutional amendment imposed on an impotent Congress, incapable of resisting. Besides being owners of almost all of Cuba, vast land holdings, the largest sugar mills, mines, and banks – with even the prerogative of printing our currency – they did not allow us to produce enough grain to feed the population.

When the USSR collapsed, and the socialist camp disappeared as well, we continued resisting. Together, the revolutionary state and people continued our independent march.

I do not wish, nevertheless, to dramatize our modest history. I prefer rather to emphasize that the empire’s policy is so dramatically ludicrous that its relegation to the dustbin of history will not long be delayed. Adolph Hitler’s empire, inspired by greed, went down in history with no more glory than that of the encouragement given to aggressive bourgeois governments of NATO, which became the laughing stock of Europe and the world, with their euro, which along with the dollar, will soon become wet paper, and they will be required to depend on the yen, and rubles as well, given the emerging Chinese economy, closely linked to Russia’s enormous economic and technical potential.

Cynicism is something which has become symbolic of imperial policy.

As is known, John McCain was the Republican candidate in the 2008 elections. This individual came into the public light as a pilot who was shot down while his plane bombed the populous city of Hanoi. A Vietnamese missile hit the aircraft in action, and the plane and pilot fell into a lake located close to capital, on the city’s outskirts.

Upon seeing the airplane crash and a wounded pilot attempting to save himself, a retired Vietnamese soldier who was making his living in the area came to his aid. As the old soldier offered his help, a group of Hanoi residents who had suffered the aerial attacks, came running to settle accounts with the murderer. The soldier himself persuaded his neighbors not to do so, since the man was taken prisoner and his life must be respected. Yankee authorities themselves communicated with the government, begging that no action be taken against the pilot.

In addition to the Vietnamese government’s policy of respecting prisoners, the pilot was the son a U.S. Navy Admiral who had played an outstanding role in WWII, and was still holding an important position.

The Vietnamese had captured a big fish in that bombing, and, of course, thinking about the eventual peace talks which would put an end to the unjust war unleashed on them, they developed a friendship with McCain, who was very happy to take advantage of the opportunity provided by that adventure. No Vietnamese, of course, recounted any of this to me, nor would I have ever asked anyone to do so. I have read about it, and it coincides completely with a few details I learned later. I also read one day that Mr. McCain had written that when he was a prisoner in Vietnam, while he was tortured, he heard voices in Spanish advising the torturers as to what they should do and how. They were Cuban voices, according to McCain. Cuba never had advisors in Vietnam. The military there knew very well how to conduct their war.

General Giap was one of the most brilliant military strategists of our era, who in Dien Bien Phu was able to place missile launchers in remote, mountainous jungles, something the yankee and European military officers considered impossible. With these launchers, they fired from such a close point that it was impossible to neutralize them, without affecting the invaders as well. Other pertinent measures, all difficult and complex, were utilized to impose a shameful surrender on the surrounded European forces.

The fox McCain took as much advantage as possible of the yankee and European invaders’ military defeats. Nixon could not persuade his National Security Council advisor Henry Kissinger to accept the idea suggested by the President himself, who in a relaxed moment said: Why don’t we drop one of those little bombs, Henry? The true little bomb dropped when the President’s men attempted to spy on their adversaries in the opposing party. This surely couldn’t be tolerated!

Despite this, Mr. McCain’s most cynical behavior has been in the Near East. Senator McCain is Israel’s most unconditional ally in Mossad’s machinations, something that even his worst adversaries would have been able to imagine. McCain participated alongside this secret service in the creation of the Islamic State which has appropriated a considerable part of Iraq, as well as a third of Syria, according to its affirmations. This state already has a multi-million dollar income, and threatens Saudi Arabia and other nat9ons in this complex region which supplies the greatest part of the world’s oil.

Would it not be preferable to struggle to produce food and industrial products; build hospitals and schools for billions of human beings who desperately need them; promote art and culture; struggle against epidemics which lead to the death of half of the sick, health workers and technicians, as can be seen; or finally eliminate illnesses like cancer, Ebola, malaria, dengue, chikungunya, diabetes and others which affect the vital systems of human beings?

If today it is possible to prolong life, health and the productive time of persons, if it is perfectly possible to plan the development of the population in accordance with growing productivity, culture and development of human values, what are they waiting for to do so?

Just ideas will triumph, or disaster will triumph.
Translation by

26 thoughts on “Fidel Castro on Friends and Enemies

  • There is a dichotomy in your thinking Dan. It appears that in your view executions carried out by one Dictator ie: Batista are murders. Executions without trial carried out by another Dictator – but a socialist – are justified. I personally abhor both.
    Take off those hazy socialist lenses and have a clear look!

  • Dan, the issues mentioned by McDuff are sadly endemic to the human situation. The difference is that in open western societies they are front page news. We find ways to remedy these situation and give voice to those who suffer. We put our warts and imperfections front and center for all to see. Perfect? No. But in your readings of Granma have you EVER come across criticism of the government or have you read any penetrating stories about any type of injustices or abuse? ….as I said, I thought not.

  • I have in recent times heard reference to a place called Ferguson on the BBC. I understood that there were racism demonstrations, but fail to see any relationship to Cuba.
    I have nothing but love for Cuba and consider the Cuban people delightful. What I detest is that instead of liberty Cubans are subject to the Castro family dictatorship. I would love them to enjoy freedom and the benefits of their labours rather than receiving $20 per month average in pocket money as if children. My Cuban relatives and friends do not complain about the police as they are inured to living in a police state never having experienced anything else. Sosa our local taxi driver doesn’t complain about the police, he keeps his papers all ready for inspection in the glove drawer of his 59 year old Buick as he expects to be stopped and very frequently is.
    As my home complete with my wife, our dog, 68 relatives and numerous friends are in Cuba I cannot imagine why I should stay away.
    We are not stopped in the street by the police in our home town they know who we are as few foreigners ever go there. I was specific and factual in what I wrote.
    As for giving me “a dose of what I’ve gotten from your sort for years” what my sort would recommend for your sort would be a substantial dose of castor oil, backed up by syrup of figs and senna pods -to clean out your sorely tried aching gut. You can recuperate in Camden NJ – wherever that is located.

  • Fidel Castro was no politician. He was a dictator. Politicians are elected to office, as was Marco Rubio. Fidel assumed office with the force of arms and held onto power that way until he retired. He never once allowed the Cuban people the right to vote in free and democratic elections. As Fidel himself said, “We didn’t win a revolution just to lose an election.”

  • There was much more to the events of No Gun Ri than is included in your selectively edited accusation against US troops.

    The North Koreans had already on several occasions disguised their soldiers as Korean civilians, which is a war crime under the Geneva Conventions. The North Koreans also forced civilian refugees to clear minefields aged of their army advance on US positions, again a war crime.

    At No Gun Ri, the US troops had discovered several Korean soldiers among the civilians, dressed in civilian attire. Another war crime by the North Koreans. At No Gun Ri, the US troops moved the Korean civilians into the tunnel, and soon after North Korean infiltrators inside the tunnels began firing on US troops who returned fire. Clearly, the North Korean Army used civilians as human shields and cannon fodder, while deliberately and repeated provoking US troops to return fire at the crowds which included North Korean soldiers hiding among South Korean civilians.

    “During the Battle of Taejon… hundreds of North Korean soldiers, many dressed in white to disguise themselves as refugees, infiltrated behind the lines of the U.S. 24th Infantry Division and played a crucial role in the defeat of the 24th at Taejon resulting in the capture of General William Dean the conflict’s highest ranking prisoner of war.[5] Two days before the incident at No Gun Ri, a company from the 8th U.S. Cavalry Regiment was reportedly attacked by North Korean irregulars who infiltrated a crowd of refugees west of Yongdong [6]with the KPA driving hundreds of refugees towards US positions to clear minefield.[7] On July 24 a man dressed in the traditional white peasant clothing accompanied by a seemingly pregnant woman were searched by members of the 8th Cavalry Regiment and the woman’s “pregnancy” proved to be a small radio hidden under her clothes used to report American positions to KPA forces.[3]:199″

  • I can’t believe I have to explain my comment to you. I was referring to Ferguson … You heard of the place ? You know, cops killing unarmed black kids, MRAPS roll into town, snipers on rooftops taking a bead on black demonstrators … that kind of thing.
    I had a black girlfriend in Cuba for many years, and I always stayed w/ a black family there and had several black friends. I was never stopped by the police. Not once. None of my friends complained to me about the police. I’ll give you a dose of what I’ve gotten from your sort for years – If Cuba is so horrible, why don’t you just stay the hell away ? Spend half a year in Camden, NJ instead.

  • Good way to dodge the issue. And of course I’ve read Granma. many times for many years.

  • Yes. food, health ,education and thanks to God ,Cuba the example for humanity to survive .Thank you

  • Yes I’m sure he does. Question: have you ever read Granma or Joventud Rebelde? Do they ever provide the same type of encompassing or penetrating news and viewpoints that you are making an oblique reference to in western media? I thought not.

  • Nobody produced any evidence that any of those murdered (I use the term you used for actions apparently similar carried out by the Batista regime) by the Castro Ruz family regime had taken part in any action by Batista.
    You may in your socialist miasma consider that execution without trial by socialists is acceptable. I don’t.
    I have no intention of mentally circumnavigating the world seeking answers for all the various crimes against humanity. They don’t answer why you should wish to excuse even Fidel Castro Ruz and his brother from their crimes.

  • No Dan my speaking about racism in Cuba is a direct result of personal experience. Having been stopped three times in the streets of Habana by the police when accompanied by my wife and on another occasion when in a state taxi going to Jose Marti Airport we were stopped by the police when our driver overtook the police car. The driver did the normal thing, getting out of the taxi with his papers, but he was ignored by the police who opened the rear door of the car beside my wife and ordered her to get out.They then inspected her papers before permitting her to resume her place beside me in the taxi.
    As I live in Cuba and also have a condo in Canada, I travel back and forth. Our home is over sixty kilometres from Jose Marti Airport. So, having had breakfast at 5.30 a.m. our local taxi particular takes us to the airport in his 1950’s Buick. We are almost always stopped by the police the record being three times in 2 km within town and a fourth time on the Autopista. Yes, tha’s right, four times in less than one hour.
    In January/February this year, I hired a car at Jose Marti Airport to take my visiting daughter and grand-daughter along with my wife on a visit to both Trinidad and Vinales.
    Fortunately I had pre-warned the two Scots about the Cuban police. Sure enough, we had just left Habana on the Autopista going east when we were stopped by the police.
    My wife and I are of different skin colour.
    If the above is not evidence of racism and a police state then what is it?
    You ask whether I read the papers? In Cuba I do very occasionally read Juventad and Granma when visiting a brother-in-law. Nothing within them has eradicated my personal experiences. Neither has question number 6 in the 2012 Cuban Census form which read:
    What is the colour of your skin?
    Such a question would be illegal in my country which is neither racist or a police state like Cuba

  • From the NYT, Jan 21, 1959 – Santiagans refer to a reign of terror in which 500 to 1000 people were murdered by the Batisita government in Santiago alone. To Santiagans, the firing squads represent justice. So, Carlyle, who are the more innocent victims, BRAC torturers or some Korean child huddled in a bomb shelter in No Gun Ri when gasoline is pour through the vents ?

  • Read up oin history Dan – Fidel Castro Ruz even whipped up a frenzy in Revolution Square in defence of the executions without trial. Raul Castro Ruz supervised the execution of 78 people at Santiago de Cuba one day all without trial and when questioned later responded:
    “They had nothing to complain about they had the services of a priest.”
    Winston Spencer Churchill like all politicians had his faults, but he stood virtually alone politically when extolling the dangers posed by Adolf Hitler and the National Socialist Party. He led Britain when it alone was fighting Germany with the careful aid of Franklin D. Roosevelt and the eventual entry of the US into the war in Europe following Hitler declaring war upon it in December 1941. The free world will always owe Churchill a debt. What will it owe to Fidel Castro Ruz?
    Regarding he mentally infirm, there were many adherents to the view that you express. It was for example practiced policy in parts of Canada and a simpler way was practiced by Hitler – he just exterminated them.
    To label all those executed without trial by the Castro family regime “torturers” is blatant nonsense. How do you know that they were all torturers – even the Spanish Inquisition would have struggled to produce that number.

  • You complain of racism and police state oppression ….. in Cuba ? Do you read the papers ?

  • Winston Churchill you say ? You mean the enlightened Englishman who argued for the use of mustard gas to quell the ” inferior tribes” of the Middle East, and who believed in the forced sterilization of the “mentally infirm” ? BTW, I believe you are wrong about the executions w/o trial of Batista’s torturers. Unlike Dan Mitrione’s experiments w/ homeless men in his basement in Montevideo.

  • As an octogenerian I am perhaps entitled to express my views about others. If you count Fidel as one of your gods, I can only wish you success in ascending to the Socialismo heaven where you can experience him for eternity, but count me out!
    Social justice in your view must include the racism, police state oppression, food rationing, pitiful housing and average earnings of just over $20 per month which act as a measure of Cubans lives under the Castro family dictatorship. History may well absolve him for the raid he made on July 26, 1953. History may well condemn him for failing to keep his word when he said:
    “I do not seek power and I will not accept it.”
    If having led a revolution Fidel Castro Ruz had been party to initially establishing an administration to reorganize government and then introduced a democratic multi-party system of government, he could have gone down in history as one who contributed to freedom and humanity. But the reality is that his thirst for power (el poder) exceeded any lingering concern he may have had for humanity and freedom.
    May the flies buzz over him

  • Be my guest Terry. The programs are an interesting review of Fidel and his frustration at Kruschev by-passing him over the nuclear arms is revealing. The dark suit is evident on more than one occasion!

  • Firstly Dan I can only be grateful that my conscience does not have to deal with those which ought to haunt the mind of Fidel Castro Ruz. I admire great politicians – all of whom being democratic have had the ability to consider the views of others in other political parties. FIdel Castro Ruz knows naught of such. His autocratic mentality coupled with his deep paranoia have only allowed him to consider that which conforms with his own thinking. Yes, you and I are but specks or at least that would be Fidel Castro Ruz’s view looking down from his esuit pulpit at the common people that form humanity. For humanity has been the least of his considerations
    You I think in your admiration, exaggerate the breadth of Fidel Castro Ruz’s experiences. Yes, he made the odd excursion to other places for very brief periods apart from Mexico. Yes he studied Marx, Engels, Lenin and other Communist leaders. Few politicians have been able to make speeches lasting up to seven hours, but few were able to command captive audiences. But if you read his written ramblings in his “reminiscences” in Granma in which he studiously endeavored to demean all who disagreed with him – and many who served humanity did disagree with him then you will have recognised his blind arrogance.
    The intellect of people can readily be assessed by studying their friends. Fidel could count Dr. Ernesto Guevara who at his behest supervized the execution of 356 people without trial at El Morro in Havana, Breschnev, not Kruschev who left him aside when negotiating with the US over the nuclear armaments which Fidel wished to see used on the US, Robert Mugabe a racist and who succeeded in making Zimbabwe destitute, the three generations of the North Korean dictators – the Kims – with the most militarized nation on earth, Hugo Chavez who as a consequence of taking the advice of Fidel managed to achieve inflation in Venezuela of 26.9% per year for five years!
    As for Marco Rubio I know nothing whatsoever about him. But as you mention wisdom, I deeply admire that of the late Winston Spencer Churchill. Compared with him, you and I are but dust – and so is Fidel Castro Ruz dictator for almost fifty years of little Cuba.

  • Old politicians like old athletes seem to struggle with the decision to step down and step away from the limelight. Even if you subscribe to the young Fidel as an iconic leader BS, his current state must give even his staunchest bootlickers pause. His rhetoric is based upon the notion that he is the smartest guy in the room. There was a time when he probably was the most informed Cuban in Cuba. But today, with the internet and the access to information it affords, his one-sided musings and half-truths ring hollow and carry the stench of Cold War propaganda. The listening public is simply not stupid enough anymore to accept that there were no Cubans in Vietnam. There are former Cuban intelligence officers living in Miami who have given first-person accounts of their role while on station in Vietnam. Fidel often challenges the press to prove that he ordered the torture and killing of Batista supporters. There are hundreds of them still alive and talking! He claims to support a non-nuke world and yet everyone now knows he pleaded with Khrushchev to initiate a nuclear attack against the US. It is sad that the people around him charged with emptying his stoma bag and changing his adult diapers don’t have the wherewithal to tell this old fool to shut up.

  • So easy to trot out the usual cliches about octogenerians, added to your usual litany of tired cliches and half-truths; yet in his 89th year Fidel has more wisdom than most folks have in their prime. It matters little what you think, as “to the gods, we are as buzzing flies,” and I count Fidel amongst the gods. Back in the 1940’s one of the Jesuit Fathers at the Belen Academy was purported to have predicted that Fidel would be most likely to succeed; he did. As leader of one of the world’s great revolutions, a revolution which has brought social justice to his nation, Fidel has left a legacy of which to be proud. As Fidel himself predicted: “History will abolve me!”

  • jajajajaja! Too funny! I’ve recorded both of those PBS programs about Fidel and the Cuban missle crisis. Have yet to watch them though. I’ll look for the dark suit! Thanks for the chuckle.

  • Carlyle, compare your life to that of Fidel’s. It is a tiny speck. No. Less. He is privy to experiences that few people in the world have had in their totality. And you talk of him as if he was a mere politician. I suppose you prefer the wisdom of Marco Rubio.

  • “If today it is possible to prolong life, health and the productive time of persons, if it is perfectly possible to plan the development of the population in accordance with growing productivity, culture and development of human values, what are they waiting for to do so?”
    Good question. One perhaps that Fidel ought to put to the Cuban legislature.

  • addendum!
    I was watching a program on US Public TV this evening about Fidel Castro Ruz. There was a shot of the dictator attending the 50th anniversary of the UN in New York in 1995. Guess what he was wearing? That’s right, A DARK SUIT!

  • The semi-incoherent ramblings of an old man with a somewhat pathetic delusional view that what he says is of importance. As he has aged the vitriol and hate that flows through his veins has become concentrated as the blood flow to his brain has diminished. The arrogance and conceit that he Fidel Castro Ruz, has the sole ability to analyse and resolve the multitude of problems in today’s world remains despite his reduced mental capacity. The level of Fidel Castro Ruz’s support of state terrorism is clearly revealed when he says insupport of the actions of Stalin’s USSR in enslaving the naions of Eastern Europe when he writes:

    “The greatest accomplishment of the new state was the creation of a union capable of bringing tother its resources and sharing its technology with a large number of weak, less developed nations, unwilling victims of colonial exploitation.”

    Only a warped mind could conceive of describing the justifiably proud countries of Eastern Europe with their deep historical cultures as less developed than the Russian controlled USSR with its intellectual purges, its gulags and the ingrained paranoia of its masters.
    The measure of his illogicality is when he criticizes European leaders for wearing dark suits in the “middle of summer”. At his age he should know that in Europe the temperature in the middle of summer can be well below 20C and that meetings between leaders usually take place in air conditioned temperatures of 20C. Would he suggest that those leaders should meet wearing discarded Adidas track suit tops?
    This latest supposedly Fidel Castro Ruz rant may fortunately be one of if not the last. Poor Cuba having suffered from his dictatorial rule for almost fifty years and then from that of little brother Raul for a further seven years with BIG BROTHER as advisor, deserves relief.

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