Castro speaks to the 2nd Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, 1980
"We still have a long way to go and many problems to solve as we build socialism, but history has already shown that our ideas are far superior to and infinitely more humane than those
Fidel Castro, excerpt from the Main Report to the 2nd Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, December 1980, Havana Cuba:
Our, grassroots Party organizational work should be improved so that every nucleus and every Communist is an active defender of and propagandist for Party policy. We must also unify all our ideological work and make the best possible use of the political education system, agit-prop work, the mass media, cultural outlets, sports, recreation and other avenues of expression.
Ideology is, first of all, consciousness,- consciousness is revolutionary militant attitude, dignity, principles and morale. Ideology is also an effective weapon in opposing misconduct, weaknesses, privileges, immorality. For all revolutionaries ideological struggle ls today in the forefront; is the first revolutionary trench.
Socialism Is a relatively new system in human history, for it has only been in existence for a few decades. Right from the start, It was opposed by imperialist threats, hostility, intervention and aggression. Fascism made a brutal effort to destroy the first socialist state only 24 years after it had been founded. The socialist camp was built on the rubble and ruins that the Nazi hordes left behind them in the most devastated parts of Europe, which were also the continent's least developed areas. it has not been easy, and circumstances have hardly been propitious for spreading socialist ideas.
Our enemy has used every means at its disposal to continue fighting socialism. On the military front, it has forced the socialist countries to invest huge sums of money in defense. Politically, it has made every effort to subvert, destabilize and discredit the socialist countries.
This reality should not be underrated — especially by our country, which is so close to the United States. Only by consistently applying the principles of Marxism-Leninism can we be strong, invulnerable, invincible.
Ours is a state of workers who exercise revolutionary power. The Party and its members must always be solidly, closely and deeply linked to the masses. They must engage In rigorous criticism and self-criticism. They must not deviate from collective leadership, internal democracy, democratic centralism and the strictest discipline. They must lead a life of austerity and embody the spirit of self-sacrifice, unselfishness, selflessness, honesty, solidarity and heroism that should characterize every Communist.
Every Communist should be a staunch lighter, convinced of the absolute justice of their cause; They should be studious, hard-working, demanding and deeply committed to the people. The
Party exists through and for the people. Bureaucratic and petit-bourgeois attitudes are completely alien to its principles. The strongest, closest ties should exist between the Party cadres and members and the people, mainly based on the example set by revolutionaries and the confidence inspired by their commitment to the people. ,
Authoritarianism, demagoguery, a know-it-all attitude, vanity and irresponsibility are inconceivable in Communists, for they should always have a fraternal and humane attitude toward others and — especially —- an internationalist spirit that, while including deep-rooted patriotism, is based on an understanding that their homeland is more important than any individual and that humanity is the most important of all.
If a Communist Party in power commits or tolerates serious errors of principle, those errors will prove very costly to the revolutionary process — as history has shown. Betrayals have done great damage to the world revolutionary movement.
ls socialism in any given country irreversible or not? It is utterly irreversible it principles are applied. We are at Yankee imperialism’s doorstep, yet we do not fear its power, do not dream of its wealth, do not accept its ideology and are not destabilized by its actions.
Have we made mistakes? Of course we have. Have we always been consistent in strictly applying each and every principle, and are we, therefore, unblemished, exemplary Communists who have never done anything wrong —- even out of lack oi understanding, incompetence or ignorance? No, but it has always been our policy to be honest, loyal to our principles and dedicated to the revolutionary Cuban people. The Party's close links with the masses make, it stronger and guarantee that it will consistently apply the principles that will make it invincible.
In our country, Marxist-Leninist ideas are also profoundly linked to our people's patriotic, heroic traditions. Cespedes, Agramonte, Gomez, Maceo and Marti are, for us, inseparable from Marx, Engels and Lenin. They are linked in our consciences, just as patriotic thinking is linked to internationalism; national liberty to equality and social justice; the history of one country to the history of the world; and our homeland to humanity. The foundations of the country in which we are now building socialism were laid with the sweat, blood and heroism of our predecessors, and today we are doing what they did when they founded our homeland.
Let us follow the example of those who created our homeland and who opened up a new path for humanity. Let us adhere to these ideas loyally, and no force on earth can separate our Party from our people or deter our people from their revolutionary course.
We still have a long way to go and many problems to solve as we build socialism, but history has already shown that our ideas are far superior to and infinitely more humane than those
of capitalism. The clock of history never turns back. Capitalism with its egoism, crime and vice, will disappear, just as feudalism and slavery did; and, even if one country should take a step
backward, humanity never will. - Fidel Castro, excerpt from the Main Report to the 2nd Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, December 1980, Havana Cuba.
The 8th Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba is taking place between April 16-19, 2021.