Castro: Why the US hates the Cuban Revolution (1962)

In February 1962 Cuban leader Fidel Castro convened a mass rally in Havana, in response to Cuba’s expulsion from the Organisation of American States. He delivered a long speech that contained, amongst other things, Castro’s views on why the United States hated the Cuban Revolution:

“What is the history of Cuba but the history of Latin America? And what is the history of Latin America but the history of Asia, Africa and Oceania? And what is the history of all these peoples but the history of the most pitiless and cruel exploitation by imperialism throughout the world?

At the end of the last and the beginning of the present century, a handful of economically developed nations finished partitioning the world among themselves, subjecting to its economic and political domination two-thirds of humanity, which was forced to work for the ruling classes of economically advanced capitalist countries. Between 1945 and 1957 more than 1.2 billion human beings conquered their independence in Asia and Africa. The blood shed by the people was not in vain.

The movement of the dependent and colonial peoples is a phenomenon of universal character which agitates the world and marks the final crisis of imperialism. Cuba and Latin America are part of the world. Our problems form part of the problems engendered by the crisis of imperialism and the struggle of the subjugated peoples, the clash between the world that is being born and the world that is dying. The odious and brutal campaign unleashed against our nation expresses the desperate as well as futile effort which the imperialists are making to prevent the liberation of the peoples.

Cuba hurts the imperialists in a special way. What is it that is hidden behind the Yankees’ hate of the Cuban revolution? What is it that explains the [aggression of] the most powerful and rich imperialist power in the contemporary world, and the oligarchies of an entire continent, which together are supposed to represent a population of 350 million human beings, against a small country of only seven million inhabitants, economically underdeveloped, without financial or military means to threaten the security or economy of any other country?

What unites them and stirs them up is fear. Not fear of the Cuban revolution – but fear of a Latin-American revolution. Not fear of the workers, peasants, intellectuals, students and progressive layers of the middle strata, which by revolution have taken power in Cuba – but fear that the workers, peasants, students, intellectuals and progressive sectors of the middle class will, by revolutionary means, take power in the oppressed and hungry countries, exploited by the Yankee monopolies and reactionary oligarchies of America… Fear that the plundered people of the continent will seize the arms from their oppressors and, like Cuba, declare themselves free people of America.”