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  • Writer's pictureMichael Laxer

May Day Words of Ernesto Che Guevara, 1963

Cuban May Day Poster, 1973

Our path is not simple; it is full of danger and difficulties. Imperialism is lying in wait at every bend of the road, hoping for a moment of weakness in order to launch itself against us; the reactionaries of all America are waiting to publish with joy even our own official acknowledgements of our errors.

Fundamentally they are trying to show America and the whole world that if a small country such as ours, without industries, without technological development, tries to make a revolution, it is bound to fail. And they use information and tricks, and also saboteurs and divisionists, to hold back our development.

We cannot allow ourselves one moment of weakness. Not now, when we are directly under the visual inspection of our guests, nor at any time; for in each minute of our country's life we are under the eager inspection of all the peoples of America, who see in us a new hope of salvation, a new hope of redeeming themselves from their chains.

Let us show them the realities of the road we have taken, compañeros! Let us show them that not only are we capable of the dangerous task of confronting, almost unarmed at one time, the armed force of the oligarchy; of developing our popular armies by capturing arms from the enemy, of confronting them on the field of battle, and of catalysing the consciousness of the entire people of Cuba so as to convert them into a great vanguard army to destroy the dictatorship! Let us show that we are not only capable of preparing our whole people to stand as one, to launch our war cry, our defiant shout, which we all know; let us show also, compañeros, that we are capable of triumphing in this long, tiring, terrible struggle, in which we are being obstructed in the building of socialism by an imperialist blockade.

In the face of all the dangers, the threats and aggressions, the blockades, the sabotage, all the divisionists, all those powers who try to restrain us, we must show once more our people's capacity to make their own history.

We must all be united, compañeros, firm in our faith, firmer than ever today, though perhaps not so firm as we shall be tomorrow, to go forward always with our eyes on the future, with our feet on the ground, building each step, and making sure of each step we take, so that we will never give up one inch of what we have won, of what we have built, of what is ours: socialism!

Our Country or Death! We Shall Win! - Ernesto Che Guevara, Excerpt from his May Day Speech, April 30, 1963


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