A Communist should have largeness of mind and he should be staunch and active, looking upon the interests of the revolution as his very life and subordinating his personal interests to those of the revolution; always and everywhere he should adhere to principle and wage a tireless struggle against all incorrect ideas and actions, so as to consolidate the collective life of the Party and strengthen the ties between the Party and the masses; he should be more concerned about the Party and the masses than about any private person, and more concerned about others than about himself. Only thus can he be considered a Communist.
Speech given by Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Council of State and of the Council of Ministers, at the memorial ceremony held at El Cacahual on December 7, 1989, “Year 31 of the Revolution,” for the Cuban internationalists who fell while carrying out honorable military and civilian missions.
Devastating wars were unleashed against the first socialist state, taking a toll of millions of lives and destroying most of the means of production. Like a phoenix, the first socialist state had to rise more than once from its ashes. It has performed great services to mankind by defeating fascism and decisively supporting Ithe liberation movements in countries still under colonial rule. Now, all this is being forgotten.
It’s disgusting to see how many people, even in the USSR itself, are engaged in denying and destroying the history-making feats and extraordinary merits of that heroic people. That is not the way to rectify and overcome the undeniable errors made by a revolution that emerged from Czarist authoritarianism in an enormous, backward, poor country. We shouldn’t blame Lenin now for having chosen Czarist Russia as the place for the biggest revolution in history.
Thus we didn’t hesitate to stop the circulation of certain Soviet publications that are full of poison against the USSR itself and socialism. You can see that imperialism, reactionary forces and the counterrevolution are behind them. Some of those publications have already started calling for an end to the fair and equitable trade relations that were established between the USSR and Cuba during the Cuban revolutionary process. In one word: they want the USSR to begin practicing unequal trade with Cuba by selling its products to us at ever higher prices and buying our agricultural produce and raw materials at ever lower prices, just as the United States does with other Third World countries — in short, they want the USSR to join the US blockade against Cuba.
Imperialism’s undermining actions and the systematic destruction of the values of socialism, combined with the mistakes that have been made, have accelerated the destabilizing process in the Eastern European socialist countries. The United States designed and implemented a long-term policy of treating each country differently and undermining socialism from within.
Imperialism and capitalist powers cannot hide their glee over the way things are turning out. They are convinced — not without reason that, at this point, the socialist bloc has virtually ceased to exist. Groups of US citizens, including US presidential advisers, are programming capitalist development in some of those Eastern Eui opean muntries right now. A recent news dispatch reported that t licy were fascinated by that “exciting experience.” One of them, a US government official, favored the application in Poland of a program similar to the New Deal, with which Roosevelt tried to alleviate capitalism’s severe crisis. This would be to help the 600,000 Polish workers who will lose their jobs in 1990 and half of the country’s 17.8 million workers, who will have to be retrained and change jobs as a result of the implementation of a market economy.
Imperialism and the NATO capitalist powers are persuaded —not without reason — that, at this point, the Warsaw Pact no longer exists and is but a fiction, and that societies which are corroded and undermined from within will not he able to resist.
It has been stated that socialism must be improved. No one can deny this principle, which is inherent and permanently applicable to every human endeavor. But, can socialism be improved by forsaking Marxism-Leninism’s most basic principles? Why must the so-called reforms he along capitalist lines? If those ideas are truly revolutionary, as some claim, why do they receive the imperialist leaders’ unanimous, enthusiastic support?