Spoken: 1953 Publisher: Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, La Habana, Cuba. 1975 Translated: Pedro Álvarez Tabío & Andrew Paul Booth (who rechecked the translation with the Spanish La historia me absolverá, same publisher, in 1981) Transcription/Markup: Andrew Paul Booth/Brian Baggins Online Version: 1997, Castro Internet Archive (marxists.org) 2001
Never has a lawyer had to practice his profession under such difficult conditions; never has such a number of overwhelming irregularities been committed against an accused man. In this case, counsel and defendant are one and the same. As attorney he has not even been able to take a look at the indictment. As accused, for the past seventy-six days he has been locked away in solitary confinement, held totally and absolutely incommunicado, in violation of every human and legal right.
He who speaks to you hates vanity with all his being, nor are his temperament or frame of mind inclined towards courtroom poses or sensationalism of any kind. If I have had to assume my own defense before this Court it is for two reasons. First: because I have been denied legal aid almost entirely, and second: only one who has been so deeply wounded, who has seen his country so forsaken and its justice trampled so, can speak at a moment like this with words that spring from the blood of his heart and the truth of his very gut.
You may be victorious or defeated in a few hours, but hear this well, comrades! This movement will triumph anyway. If you are victorious tomorrow, Martí’s aspirations will became true sooner. If not, the gesture will serve to set an example for the Cuban people to take up the flag and keep going forward. The people will support us in the Eastern region and in the entire island. We the Youth of the Centennial of the Apostle, just as in 1868 and in 1895, here in the East we cry out for the first time: FREEDOM OR DEATH!
You already know the objective of the plan. Without any doubt, it is a dangerous plan and everyone coming with me tonight must do it of their own free will. You still have time to decide. Anyway some of you may have to stay behind because there are not enough weapons. Those who are determined to go, take a step forward. The slogan is not to kill, only as a last resort.
(Typed version-Council of State) (Versiones Taquigráficas – Consejo de Estado)
On this day in 1953, the Cuban Revolution began when approximately seventy rebels, led by Fidel and Raúl Castro, attacked two Cuban military installations, a battle that became the inspiration for the “July of 26th Movement“.
The communist rebels were decisively defeated: nine died in the fighting, fifty-six were executed, and Fidel himself was captured (shown) and sentenced to fifteen years in prison.
In his subsequent trial, Fidel gave what is now known as his “History Will Absolve Me” speech, nearly four hours long, and ending with the words “Condemn me, it does not matter. History will absolve me.” Both Fidel and Raúl were later released as a part of general amnesty for political prisoners.
The communist rebels fled to Mexico and began organizing to overthrow the Batista government. Several years later, they succeeded, finally ousting Batista on December 31st, 1958, replacing his government with a revolutionary socialist state.
The Cuban Revolution had powerful domestic and international repercussions. In particular, it made Cuba’s relationship with the United States significantly more antagonistic.
In the immediate aftermath of the revolution, Castro’s government began a program of nationalization, transforming Cuba’s economy and civil society. Castro’s Cuban government was also keen on international aid, providing more medical personnel to the developing world than all the G8 countries combined.
Today is celebrated in Cuba as the Day of the Revolution (Dia de la Revolución). Castro’s 26th of July Movement later reformed along communist lines, becoming the Communist Party in October of 1965.
President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (C), Mexico DF, Mexico, Jul. 24, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @EduardomteleSUR
“Let’s say goodbye to impositions, interference, sanctions…Let’s apply the principles of non-intervention, self-determination of peoples, and peaceful solutions to disputes,” AMLO praised.
Addressing the 21st Summit of Foreign Ministers from the Community of Latin American and the Caribbean States (CELAC) on Saturday, Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (AMLO) called for a new political and economic integration that observes the region’s history, reality, and particular identities.
The First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, toured important centers from which tasks that support the daily work of the country are assumed today: the Power Plant Maintenance Company; a vaccination center installed in the heart of the Romerillo neighborhood of Havana; and the Center for Molecular Immunology, a prestigious Cuban scientific institution
From the small esplanade of the Electric Power Plant Maintenance Company, located in the capital city of Marianao, the day-to-day story was told this Thursday. Anonymous heroes, many of them young people who in record time contributed to reestablishing the National Electric System, received the Flag of Labor Prowess in an uplifting meeting led by the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz -Canel Bermúdez.
Citizens take part in a rally to reject U.S. blockade against Cuba, Toronto, Canada, July 19, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @ONCommunists
They stress there is no justification for the United States to continue treating the Cuban people as a national security threat.
On Friday, over 400 artists, politicians, intellectuals, and international activists will send a letter to President Joe Biden demanding that he end the blockade against Cuba and improve bilateral relations.
“The U.S. should foremost examine its human rights issues instead of meddling in other countries’ internal affairs,” the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry stated.
On Friday, China’s Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian asked the United States to remove the sanctions against the officers of Cuba’s Interior Ministry (MININT) and Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR).
“The U.S. should foremost examine its human rights issues instead of meddling in other countries’ internal affairs,” Zhao stated and reiterated China’s support for the Cuban government and people amid the U.S. blockade.
On Thursday, using the 2016 Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, the Biden administration sanctioned Cuban senior officials for allegedly repressing citizens during the demonstrations staged on July 11.
In response to this arbitrary act, besides accusing the U.S. of being behind these protests, the Cuban government pointed out that the recent sanctions against FAR and MININT officers are slanderous and unfounded.