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Below find selected speeches and writings by Cuba's central revolutionary leader. The former president (resigned for health reasons at the end of his elected term in February 2008) is current First Secretary of the Cuban Communist Party and author of a regular poltical column entitled 'Reflections'.

Check back regularly since, in addition to new material, older items are being added in reverse chronological order. For other collections of speeches see the links on the right.

Scroll down for his biography or jump to it.

Click to purchase a discounted copy of his meticulously composed 2008 political autobiography My Life (co-authored with interviewerand Le Monde Diplomatique editor Ignacio Ramonet)

 

2009-2001, 1996, 1973

Ridiculous Response to a Defeat
OAS rejects U.S. Cuba ban, Washington floats 'spy' charges (6 June 09)

Cuba: A Terrorist Country?
by Fidel Castro (2 May 09)

Not a Word about the Blockade
Response to Washington's new regulations
by Fidel Castro (13 April 09)

Healthy Changes within the Council of Ministers
Reflections
by Fidel Castro (3 March 09)

'No One Can Doubt the Destiny of the Capitalist World'
'Strife is the only prospect' (19 September 08)

Playing the Good Guy Role at Our Expense?
Washington's cynical 'aid' offer (16 September 08)

'Besieged by Hurricanes'
Like a nuclear strike (7 September 08

'The Goal Had to Be Socialism'
20th anniversary reflections on revolution's beginning, serialized in Granma July 2008

Originally delivered 26 July 1973

Pax Romana
Reflection on U.S. and FARC role in Colombia (5 July 08)

Fidel Hails FARC Hostages' Freedom
'Civilians should never have been kidnapped'' (3 July 08)

The Empire's Hypocritical Politics
Response to Obama Cuba speech (26 May 08)

What I Wrote on February 19th
Reply to responses on leadership transition (21 February 08)

Message from the Commander in Chief
'I neither aspire to nor will I accept the positions of President of the State Council and Commander in Chief' (18 February 08)

The Republican Candidate
(10 February 08)

The Empire and the Independent Island
History of Guantánamo, Platt Amendment (14 August 07)

Hard and Obvious Realities
U.S. rules by diktat (3 August 07)

The Eternal Flame
A year after first announcing temporary step-down (31 July 07)

The Brain Drain
Plundering the south (17 July 07)

The Killing Machine
CIA 'Family Jewels' and JFK Assassination (30 June 07)

Manifesto for the People of Cuba
'Mr. Bush, you will never have Cuba' (17 June 07)

Ideas Cannot Be Killed
War, medicine, and mortality (28 May 2007)

For the Deaf Who Won't Listen
Further on burning food for gas; note on personal medical condition (23 May 2007)

'No One Will Take the Bull by the Horns'
Reflections on climate change
22 May 2007

'The English Submarine'
Reflections on imperialist vs. socialist priorities
21 May 07

The Tragedy Facing Our Species
Reflections on global inequality, immigration, hijacking
7 May 2007

'Imperative to Have an Immediate Energy Revolution'
May Day message
1 May 07

'A Brutal Response'
White House behind release of terrorist Posada Carriles
10 April 07

Message on 48th Anniversary of Revolution
30 December 2006

Message to Cuban People
5 September 06

Statement on 80th Birthday
13 August 06

'Everything in the Country is Running Perfectly Well'
Post-surgery statement. 1 August 06

Announcement from the President to the Cuba People
Fidel announces illness, temporary step-down. 31 July 06

To the People of the U.S. and the World
Exposing what Washington is up to. 24 January 2006

Chávez and the Bright Future of the Americas
Talk at UN's presentation of 'Jose Martí' award to Venezuela's president. 3 February 06

Neoliberal Globalisation Threatens Our Existence'
Key address to the 2nd Cuba – CARICOM Summit. Bridgetown, Barbados. 8 December 2005

'Heroic Angola Saga Never Told in Full'
Commemorating the 30th anniversary of the Cuban Military Mission in Angola and the 49th anniversary of the landing of the Granma. 2 December 2005

History and Future
Is the revolutionary process reversible? Wide-ranging contemplations. 17 November 2005

'World Is Far from Equity and Justice'
Concise summary of present reality to Southern Summit. 17 June 2005

'Pervasive and Ferocious Campaign of Terrorism against Cuba'
Succinct presentation of the history and current situation. 17 May 2005

'Cuba Will Continue to Commit the Sin of Existing'
May Day Address. 01 May 2005

'Profound Appreciation of Affection and Solidarity'
Remarks one day after the fall that shattered his kneecap. 21 October 2004

'Long Live the Truth'
Address on the 51st anniversary of the July 26th beginning of the Cuban Revolution answers slanders about 'human trafficking'. 26 July 2004

Second Open Letter to President Bush
Responding to the Powell Commission's 'regime change' plans. 21 May 2004

Proclamation by an Adversary of the U.S. Government
First open letter to President Bush. 14 May 2004

'Ex-Socialist Bloc "Plague of Renegades," Europe Kowtows to Washington'
Straight talk on May Day 2004

'Cuba Ranks First in Education'
Detailing the progress and plans. 8 September 2003

Letter to Venezuelan President Chávez
Saluting the literacy campaign (20 June 2003)

'U.S. Has No Alternative but to Lie, Lie Lie'
Thorough-going refutation of bioweapons charges (10 May 2002)

'History Will Say Who Is Right'
Response to exclusion from Canada (2 May 2002)

'Cuba Will Never Dip Its Flag'
Confident and combative (May Day 2002)

U.S. Lacks Moral Authority to Oppose Terror
Saluting the relatives of the Five (8 March 2002)

'Racism Born of Exploitation'
Address to UN Conference on Racism, (South Africa, 1 Sept. 2001)

'The Rich Do Not Know Hunger'
Farsighted address to UN World Food Summit (October 1996)

'The Goal Had to Be Socialism'
Address on the 20th anniversary of the historic attack on the Moncada Barracks (26 July 1973)

BIOGRAPHY OF FIDEL CASTRO

The following 2002 biography is also a fascinating example of how the Cuban electoral system works. Any voter can run for office (voting age is 16) simply by being nominated. The candidate fills out a biography which is then posted throughout the nieghborhood they're running from; below is the one filled out by Fidel Castro (who of course has to be elected like everyone else). Bribery (known in the U.S. as "campaign contributions") and paid advertising are not allowed. For a thorough-going look at one election, as well as an excellent overview of modern Cuban history, read 'Democracy in Cuba' by the Canadian professor Arnold August. This book can be purchased through Canada-Cuba Distribution, 1-888-691-0101 (toll-free in the US and Canada), email: cuba@aei.ca.

Candidate for Deputy
For the National Assembly of Popular Power

Municipality: Santiago de Cuba

Name: Fidel Castro Ruz

Age: 76 Years

Education Level: University

Occupation: First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party, President of the Councils of State and Ministers

Member of Organizations: Founder of the Communist Party of Cuba

Biography

Born 13th of August, 1926 at Biran in the former Cuban Province of Oriente. His father, Angel Castro Argiz, son of poor farmers in Galicia, was a large landowner and sugar cane colonizer. His mother, Lina Ruz Gonzalez, came from a family of farmers from Province of Pinar del Rio.

Learned his first letters in a rural public school at Biran and continued his primary education in private catholic schools, La Salle and Dolores in Santiago de Cuba. Began studies for his Bachelors at the Dolores College and completing at Belen College of the Company of Jesus, in Havana, where graduated with a Bachelor of Letters, in June 1945. He distinguished himself as an athlete during his last years of senior secondary studies.

In September 1945 he entered the University of Havana studying law, social sciences and diplomatic law, and he immediately became politically active in the students movement where he denounced and began opposing the corrupt government of the day. He became a leader of the Federation of University Students and was an outstanding member of several progressive anti-imperialist student organizations, among them: The Committee for the Independence of Puerto Rico, The 30th of September Committee - as a founder – and The Committee for Dominican Democracy, where he was president.

As part of his political activity within the university students he organized and participated in innumerable mass actions of protest and against the social and political situation in the country and on more than one occasion he was beaten and incarcerated by the repressive forces. During his years at the university he became a Marxist-Leninist as a result of the study of the classic literature of Marxism and his analysis of the problems facing Cuban society.

Between July and September 1947 he joined an expeditionary contingent organized to fight against the regime of dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo in the Dominican Republic, but the expedition was prevented from arriving at its destination.

As a student leader he traveled in 1948 to Venezuela, Panama and Colombia in activities linked to the organization of the Congress of Latin American Students that might be held in Colombia whose main objectives was the struggle for Panamanian sovereignty of the Canal Zone, the independence of Puerto Rico and elimination of colonialism in Latin America. In April of that year he went to Bogotá when the so-called Bogotazo (Coup de etat) and he participated with the Colombian people in the popular insurrection motivated by the assassination of the liberal leader, Jorge Eliecer Gaitan.

In 1950 he became doctor of civil law and lawyer of diplomatic law. As a graduate lawyer he mainly worked in the defence of poor people.

As founder of the Cuban Peoples Party (Orthodox), a party with a progressive tendency, he actively participated, from 1948, in the political campaigns of this party, in particular of its main leader, Eduardo Chibas. Within this political organization he actively worked to develop among the young militants of the party more radical and combative positions, After Chibas, in 1951, he reinforced his campaign to uncover the corruption of the government of President Carlos Prio.

After Batista’s coup d’ etat on March 10th 1952 he was one of the first in denouncing the reactionary and illegitimate character of the regime and he called for its overthrow. Seeing the lack of inertia of the traditional political forces he organized and insured the training of a great contingent of more than 1,000 young workers, employers and students, mainly of Orthodox affiliation. With 160 of these men on July 26th 1953 he attacked the military headquarters in Santiago de Cuba and Bayamo in an action conceived as the beginning of the armed struggle and the overthrow of the Batista’s Regime.

Put in jail by the repressive forces a few days after the military failure suffered in this action he was tried and condemned to 15 years in prison. Facing the court which judged him he assumed his own defence and pronounced his speech known as "History will Absolve Me" in which he explained the program for future revolution in Cuba.

From the prison he continued his work denouncing the tyrannical regime and at the same time he reorganized his revolutionary plans and deepened the theoretical and ideological preparation of his comrades.

He was freed in May 1955 because of an amnesty decreed as a result of the strong pressure and the popular campaigns. In the subsequent weeks he displayed an intense work of agitation and denunciation and founded the 26th of July Movement to continue the revolutionary struggle.

Knowing the impossibility of continuing the struggle against Batista’s tyranny by legal means he went to Mexico in July 1955 in order to organize from exile the Popularized Army of Insurrection against the dictatorial regime. In very bad economic conditions and submitted to constant vigilance and persecution by Batista’s agents he organized widely in Mexico and the United States. Meanwhile he continued an intense campaign of promoting the ideas and the objectives of the insurrectional movement and building unity of the revolutionary forces in Cuba.

Fidel landed on the south coast of the former province of Oriente on December 2nd 1956 leading 82 expeditionaries, arriving on the Yacht Granma, beginning the revolutionary war in the Sierra Maestra Mountains. In his position as commander in chief of the rebel army, he directed the military action, the revolutionary struggle of the rebel forces and the 26th of July Movement during 25 months of war. He directly commanded column number 1 "Jose Marti" and personally participated in almost all the most important operations, combat and battles carried out in the territory of the First Rebel Front. After the military collapse of the tyranny, as a result of its defeat by the rebel army, a coup d’ etat was carried out in the capital, promoted by the U.S. government. Fidel convoked all the people to the revolutionary general strike, supported by all the workers and he ordered them do not stop the fight but continue the combat. This caused the total defeat of Batista’s armed forces.
At the end of the insurrectional fight, he assumed the charge of commander in chief of the armed forces. On February 13th 1959 he was nominated prime Minister of the Revolutionary Government.

Fidel directed and participated in all the actions carried out for the defence of the country and the Revolution in cases of military aggression from foreign origins or activities of counterrevolutionary gangs within the country, mainly the defeat of the invasion organized by the CIA at Playa Giron in April 1961. He led the Cuban people during the dramatic days of the so-called October Crisis in 1962. On behalf of the Revolutionary Power he declared the socialist character of the Cuban Revolution on April the 16th 1961.

Fidel was general secretary of the Integrated Revolutionary Organizations; general secretary of the United Party of the Cuban Socialist Revolution. Starting from the constitution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba in October 1965, he became the First Secretary of its Politburo, being ratified by the 5 congresses of the Communist Party held since its creation.

He was elected deputy of the National Assembly of the Popular Power, representing the Municipality of Santiago de Cuba, in its subsequent sessions. Since the creation of the National Assembly he has been president of the Council of State and President of the Council of Ministers.

He has led official Cuban missions to more than 50 countries:

Between 1960 and 1979 he intervened at the General Assembly of the United Nations. In 1995 he participated in a special session in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations and in the Summit of the Millennium convoked by this organization in 2000. He led the Cuban delegations to Non-Alignment Movement Summits in Argel (1972); Havana (1979); New Delhi (1983); Harare (1987); Cartagena de Indias (1995) and Durban (1998). Between 1979 and 1983 he was president of the Non-Alignment Countries Movement. He has led Cuban delegations to the first 10 Ibero-American Summits: Guadalajara (1991); Madrid (1992); Salvador de Bahia (1993); Cartagena de Indias (1994); San Carlos de Bariloche (1995); Vina del Mar (1996); Margarita (1997); Oporto (1998); Havana (1999); Panama (2000), as well as the Ecologic Summit at Rio de Janeiro (1992), the Summit on Social Development in Copenhagen (1995): the Summit on Human Settlements at Istanbul and FAO Summit on Food (1996); CARIFORUM Summit (1998) of the Association of Caribbean States; the Summit of Latin-America, the Caribbean and the European Union (1999); the World Conference Against Racism (2001) and the Summit on Finance for Development (2002) among others.

He has received more than one hundred high Cuban and foreign decorations as well as numerous academic distinctions, honorary degrees from institutes of higher education in Latin-America and Europe.

He has promoted, all over the world, the third world battle against the established world economic order, mainly against the external debt, the bad use of resources as a consequence of military spending and neo-liberal globalization as well as his efforts for the unity and the integration of Latin-America and the Caribbean.

He has led the brave actions of the Cuban people to face the effects of the economic blockade imposed on Cuba by the U.S.A. for more than 40 years and the consequences in the economic field of the collapse of the European socialist community. He has promoted a strong effort of the Cuban people to the big difficulties as a result of these factors; its resistance during the so-called Special Period and the re-starting of growing and economic development of the country.

He is the main promoter and organizer of the intense political battle of the Cuban people for the elimination of United State laws which support the blockade and the economic war against Cuba; the aggression on immigration mainly against the Helms-Burton Law and the Cuban Adjustment Law among others.

He leads the campaigns, programs and actions as part of the battle of ideas carried out by the Cuban people. Among them the programs to elevate the general culture of the Cuban people.

Across this 44 years of Revolution he encouraged and directed the fight of the Cuban people for the consolidation of the revolutionary process toward socialism, the unity of the revolutionary forces of the whole people, the economic and social transformation of Cuban society, the development of education, health, sport, culture, science, the defence of the country, the facing of foreign aggression, the leading of an active external policy of principals, the actions of solidarity with the people who fight for independence and progress and the deepening of the revolutionary, internationalist and communist conscience of the people.

RELATED LINKS ELSEWHERE
Documents
http://www.granma.cu/documento/ingles06/index.html
Speeches and articles by Fidel Castro and other government leaders. In English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, and Arabic.

Castro Speech Database
http://lanic.utexas.edu/la/cb/cuba/castro.html
Includes speeches, interviews, etc., by Fidel Castro from 1959 to 1996. All texts are in English. More recent speeches or texts in Spanish are found at Discursos e Intervenciones de Fidel Castro (http://www.cuba.cu/gobierno/discursos/index.html).

The Fidel Castro Collection
http://www.rcgfrfi.easynet.co.uk/ww/castro/fidel-ix.htm
Ten speeches by Fidel Castro, primarily from the early days of the Revolution

Fidel Castro History Archive
http://www.marxists.org/history/cuba/archive/castro/
A collection of Fidel Castro's speeches (including History Will Absolve Me). Includes section on Cuban history.

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