History Will Absolve Me

Fidel Castro

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

Soviet Poster celebrating Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution

HONORABLE JUDGES:

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.

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The Cuban Revolution Began Today

Castro Leads July 26th Attack (1953)

A People’s Calendar

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.

Castro under arrest after the Moncada attack, 1953. Source: Wikimedia Commons

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 Moncada Barracks in 2013 after extensive renovation. Source: Wikimedia Commons

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.

Fidel Castro with fellow revolutionary rebels in Cuba 1959.
Photograph by Getty Images

SOURCE of Text: https://www.apeoplescalendar.org/calendar

This people will never lack patriotic virtues

Fidel lived, thought and acted for his times and for those to come. This is why the Revolution is a legacy we are obliged to give continuity

Granma | July 16, 2021

Photo: Jorge Luis González

Fidel lived, thought and worked for his times and for those to come. This is why the Revolution is a legacy we are obliged to give continuity. Nothing was ever easy for the Revolution, not at the time of its forging, nor at times of keeping it afloat, and this is why it has been a crucible of brave men and women, made for difficult times.
This is what Fidel said in 1992, on the occasion of the 39th anniversary of the September 5th uprising against the Batista dictatorship:


“Difficult times are difficult times. In difficult times the number of those who waver increases; in difficult times – and this is a law of history – there are those who become confused, there are those who become discouraged, there are those who are intimidated, there are those who become soft, there are those who betray, there are those who desert. This happens in all times and in all revolutions.

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The streets of Cuba belong to revolutionaries and we will defend them

Juan Diego Nusa Peñalver, Yudy Castro Morales and Milagros Pichardo Pérez

Granma | July 13, 2021

Foto: Juan Diego nusa Peñalver

“We are here because the streets belong to Fidel, because the streets of Cuba belong to revolutionaries.” This was the phrase we heard the loudest walking along several Havana avenues Sunday afternoon, July 11, when an entire people came out to defend their Revolution.

We heard it, for example, in front of the Capitol, seat of the National Assembly of People’s Power, and along Prado down to the waterfront Malecon. We heard it up to Belascoaín, and along Carlos III, where neighbors gathered, waving flags and, above all, ideas.

A woman shouted from her balcony, “Viva la Revolución!” and “Viva Cuba Libre!” Her voice joined those of many younger residents who, on the street below, waved the 26th of July Movement flag and repeated, louder and louder, clearer and clearer: “Fidel, Raúl and Díaz-Canel are here,” “Patria o Muerte, Venceremos” (Homeland or Death, We will win).

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FIDEL

The Voracious Reader

Pedro de la Hoz

Granma | December 02, 2020

“We do not tell the people: believe. We say: read,” a statement not made casually, but rather a public expression of a very deep conviction, spoken by Fidel on April 9, 1961 during a television appearance that ended the sixth cycle of the People’s University, Education and Revolution.

The National Literacy Campaign was underway across the country. A few days later, the mercenary Bay of Pigs invasion, organized and financed by the United States took place and was defeated in less than 72 hours. The aggression did not interrupt the enormous pedagogical effort. With a vast audience listening, recorded was Fidel’s message that summarized in good measure the core of the cultural and educational policy of the new times: “The Revolution tells the people: learn to read and write, study, get information, meditate, observe, think. Why? Because this is the path of truth…” Comandante en Jefe said, at the time.Read More »

REMEMBERING COMRADE FIDEL

Fidel: A Necessary Presence

Elson Concepción Pérez

  | November 24, 2020

ajaira-12

This last year we have seen you riding, as an invincible warrior, into combat against an epidemic, the consequences of which you anticipated, with your vision of future, when you filled the island with doctors and research centers to confront – with science – the many diseases that would appear over time.

You knew that it would be poor countries that would be the most affected and made much-needed solidarity a fundamental banner of the Revolution, unfortunately little practiced where selfishness and greed prevail under the name of neo-liberalism.

Although you left for another dimension, you are leading the current battles, from the depths of a rock extracted from the mountains of your Sierra Maestra. We confirm how necessary you are – perhaps indispensable.Read More »

REMEMBERING COMRADE FIDEL

Fidel’s Presence Reaffirmed During Cultural Tribute

  | November 26, 2020

Photo: Ismael Batista

Many came to meet Fidel again on the University of Havana’s grand stairway, the scene of so many rebellious, revolutionary events, bringing him to the present, giving his work continuity, in the voices of children, in songs of commitment and celebration, in verse…Read More »

BIRTHDAY OF FIDEL CASTRO

What Cuba Reaffirms

When the adversity gets worse, at a bad moment, when all our effort is not enough, and we must find another way; when a hopeful project is cut short, given the countless difficulties caused by the blockade, that anyone with any common sense can see, we ask ourselves: What would Fidel do? As if, in him, all answers can be found

 

Granma | August 13, 2020

Fidel
Photo: Archivo de Granma

The world is living hard times; Cuba, for its part, is, too. After a year of arduous battles, with our neighbor to the North holding our neck, attempting to force us to surrender and accept the imperialist yoke, in mid-March the pandemic reached our shores.

Horrendous images from all parts of the world of a desperate battle with death; a British cruise ship in trouble, with infected passengers aboard, which Cuba allowed to dock, to facilitate their safe return home; rich countries with health systems overwhelmed by the rapidly spreading disease; Cuban medical brigades preparing to save lives around the world, and the empire maliciously attempting to discredit what can only be described as glorious: a small island nation challenging Goliath, protecting its own, while making whatever it has available to all, without a single soul turning away from the task.

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BIRTHDAY OF FIDEL CASTRO

Thank you, Fidel, For Being, Above All, Human

 

Granma | August 13, 2020

 

Fidel visited one hospital room after another during the hemorrhagic dengue epidemic.
Fidel visited one hospital room after another during the hemorrhagic dengue epidemic. Photo: Granma Archives

Over the years, many have wondered about the source of the leader of the Cuban Revolution’s inexhaustible energy. How was this exceptional man able to function without rest, with his thoughts perennially directed toward the wellbeing of his people, toward the possibility of a better world with a place for everyone, with rights and opportunities for all?

The answer to this question does not lie in his physical stature or athletic passion, not even in his ability to train his thinking and devour every chapter of the homeland’s history. There was something much more powerful, something that led him to devote himself entirely to humanity, that gave him a vocation he could not renounce, of doing everything he could to transform and create, as the most sacred duty of a man. What made Fidel a natural leader, with exemplary humility and disinterest, the architect of this enduring work, was the greatest gift Martí left him and his generation: human sensibility.Read More »

BIRTHDAY OF FIDEL CASTRO

‘Fidel Lives in Those Saved by Cuban Doctors’ Ambassador Says

Members of the Henry Reeve Brigade pose with a photo of Fidel Castro, Havana, Cuba, 2020.

 

Cuba has nine doctors for every 1,000 inhabitants, which is the highest figure for this indicator worldwide.

Cuba’s Ambassador to Canada Josefina Vidal took part in a virtual conference on the legacy of Fidel Castro, the leader of the Cuban revolution, which was held on the occasion of the 94th anniversary of his birth.

“Fidel Castro is still alive in each of the lives that our doctors save. He is alive in any corner of the world where people say ‘Thank you Cuba’,” Vidal said.

When the world is going through the COVID-19 pandemic, the diplomat focused her conference on one pillar of Fidel’s revolutionary thought and work: the human right to free health care.

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