"Cuban fighters can be counted on by the revolutionary movement in any corner of the earth"
On January 15, 1966 Fidel Castro gave his famous speech at the Chaplin Theater in Havana, Cuba to conclude the Tricontinental Conference which saw the founding of the Organization of Solidarity with the People of Asia, Africa and Latin America (OSPAAAL).
- Honored delegates, Cuban comrades: The importance of this event which has come to a climax tonight does not escape us. Contrary to all the auguries of imperialism, contrary to all its forecasts which revealed the great hope that this conference would not result in anything, that this conference involving the problems of the international communist movement was bound to be divided, that it was bound to be a great failure — what has happened is something that they least or perhaps never expected: that the conference has been a success; that this conference has created an organ tricontinental in nature; that it has arrived at accords which include the most heartfelt yearnings of the peoples who fight for their liberation; that a committee to aid the liberation movements has been created.
- But the world is big, and the imperialists are everywhere, and for the Cuban revolutionaries the field of battle against imperialism takes in the whole world. Without boasting, without any kind of immodesty, that is how we Cuban revolutionaries understand our internationalist duty. That is the way our people understand their duty, because they realize that the enemy is one and indivisible; the one who attacks us along our shores and on our land is the same who attacks the others. Hence we say and we declare that Cuban fighters can be counted on by the revolutionary movement in any corner of the earth.
- It is but fair for us to dedicate our memories to those who have fallen as victims of imperialism in all continents. May we propose always to be loyal to that cause, always loyal in Asia, Africa, and Latin America to the cause for which some died and gave their blood for the liberation of the peoples.
Our country, which, as you have been able, to see is made up of various ethnical groups, a result of the intermingling of people from the various continents — deeply linked to Latin America because of this fact, deeply linked with Africa, deeply linked to all of the people from all continents — has done its utmost to make pleasant the stay of the delegations here. It had displayed all of its enthusiasm and hospitality and all the warmth of which it is capable. Thousands of Cubans, incessantly, without rest or vacations, have worked for the success of this conference. They have worked to wait upon the representatives of the sister nations. Our entire people have lived during these days through a big feast of international solidarity. Our people have felt as their own each and every one of the problems of other people. Our people, as I said on 2 January, received them with open arms, and they bid them farewell with an embrace, as a symbol of a bond that will never break, and as a symbol of their sentiments of fraternity and solidarity toward the other people who struggle, and for whom they are ready, also, to offer their blood. Fatherland or death, we will win!
Excerpts are from the official transcript of the speech. Full speech: At the Closing Session of the Tricontinental Conference
Video of one part of the speech: