What the Imperialists cannot forgive - Fidel Castro's speech in advance of the Bay of Pigs invasion
News from Cuba | Friday, 16 April 2021 | Click here for original article
Following the attack on Cuban airfields on 15 April 1961 to prepare the way for the Bay of Pigs invasion two days later, Fidel Castro’s gave a speech on 16 April to honor the seven Cubans killed during the attack. During the speech he talked publicly for the first time of the socialist character of the Cuban Revolution.
Read the full speech below, and register for our meeting on 22 April to mark the 60th anniversary.
What the imperialists cannot forgive (April 16, 1961)
What the imperialists cannot forgive is that we are here. What the imperialists cannot forgive is the dignity, the firmness, the courage, the ideological integrity, the spirit of sacrifice, and the revolutionary spirit of the Cuban people.
This is what they cannot forgive: the fact that we are here right under their very noses. And that we have carried out a socialist revolution right under the nose of the United States!
And we are defending this socialist revolution with these guns! We are defending this socialist revolution with the same courage that our anti-aircraft artillerymen showed yesterday in riddling the attacking planes with bullets!
We are not defending this revolution with mercenaries; we are defending this revolution with the men and women of our nation.
Who has the weapons here? Perhaps it is the mercenaries who have the weapons? Perhaps it is the millionaires who have the weapons? Perhaps mercenaries and millionaires are one and the same thing. Perhaps the little boys with rich daddies have the weapons? Perhaps the overseers have the weapons?
Whose hands hold the weapons here? Are they the hands of playboys? Are they the hands of the rich? Are they the hands of the exploiters? Whose hands hold the weapons here? Are they not hands of workers and peasants? Are they not hands that have been hardened by work? Are they not hands that create? Are they not the hands of our humble people? And who are the majority of our people? Millionaires or workers? Exploiters or exploited? The priviIeged or the humble? Do the privileged have the weapons? Or do the humble have the weapons? Aren’t the privileged a minority? Aren’t the humble a majority? Isn’t a revolution democratic when it’s the humble who have the weapons?
Compañero workers and peasants: This is a socialist and democratic revolution of the humble, by the humble, and for the humble. And for this revolution of the humble, by the humble, and for the humble, we are ready to give our lives.
Workers and peasants, humble men and women of our country: Do you swear to defend this revolution of the humble, by the humble, and for the humble, to the last drop of your blood?
Compañero workers and peasants of our country: Yesterday’s attack was a prelude to a mercenary aggression. Yesterday’s attack, which cost seven heroic lives, aimed to destroy our planes on the ground. But it failed. They only destroyed two planes while most of the enemy planes were damaged or shot down. Here, before the tomb of our fallen compañeros; here next to the remains of the heroic young people, children of workers, children of the humble, we reaffirm our resolve that just as they exposed themselves to the bullets, just as they gave their lives, we too, all of us, proud of our revolution, proud of defending this revolution of the humble, by the humble and for the humbler shall not hesitate, whenever the mercenaries come, no matter who is against us, to defend it to our last drop of blood.
Long live the working class! Long the peasants! Long live the humble! Long live the martyrs of our country! May the martyrs of our country live forever! Long live the socialist revolution! Long live a free Cuba!
Patria o muerte!