Last modified on 13 April 2014, at 00:06

Fidel Castro

A revolution is a fight to the death between the future and the past.

Fidel Alejandro Castro Ruz (born 13 August 1926) was the leader of Cuba from 1959, when, leading the 26th of July Movement, he helped overthrow the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista turning Cuba into the first socialist state in the Western Hemisphere until his resignation in February of 2008. He held the title of premier until 1976, when he became president of the Council of State and the Council of Ministers. He has been the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba since its inception in 1965.

QuotesEdit

  • I feel my belief in sacrifice and struggle getting stronger. I despise the kind of existence that clings to the miserly trifles of comfort and self-interest. I think that a man should not live beyond the age when he begins to deteriorate, when the flame that lighted the brightest moment of his life has weakened.
    • Letter from prison (19 December 1953)
  • Weapons for what? (¿Armas, para qué?) To fight against whom? Against the revolutionary government, that has the support of the whole people? … Weapons for what? Hiding weapons for what? To blackmail the President of the Republic? To threaten to break the peace here? To create organizations of gangsters? Is it that we are going to return to gangsterism? Is it that we will return to daily shootouts in the capital? Weapons for what?
  • I am not a dictator, and I do not think I will become one. I will not maintain power with a machine gun.
    • I Won't Be a Dictator, interview with Ruth Lloyd (January 1959), printed in The Spokesman-Review (24 May 1959)
  • Men do not shape destiny. Destiny produces the man for the hour.
    • I Won't Be a Dictator (1959)
  • I am not a communist and neither is the revolutionary movement, but we do not have to say that we are anticommunists just to fawn on foreign powers.
    • Resignation announcement (17 July 1959)
  • Fellow workers and peasants, this is the socialist and democratic revolution of the working people, with the working people, and for the working people. And for this revolution of the working people, by the working people, and for the working people we are prepared to give our lives.
    • Original Spanish: "Compañeros obreros y campesinos, esta es la Revolución socialista y democrática de los humildes, con los humildes y para los humildes. Y por esta Revolución de los humildes, por los humildes y para los humildes estamos dispuestos a dar la vida."
      • On 16 April 1961, in a funeral oration in Vedado for victims of the air raids the day before, Fidel Castro referring to the January 1959 Cuban Revolution. Quoted in José Ramón Fernández. 2001. Playa Giron/Bay of Pigs: Washington's First Military Defeat in the Americas, p. 56
  • If we had paused to tell the people that we were Marxist-Leninists while we were on Pico Turquino and not yet strong, it is possible that we would never have been able to descend to the plains.
    • Speech on the anniversary of the Granma landing (2 December 1961)
  • I propose the immediate launching of a nuclear strike on the United States. The Cuban people are prepared to sacrifice themselves for the cause of the destruction of imperialism and the victory of world revolution.
    • As quoted in "Castro Wanted a Nuclear Strike" in The New York Times (October 23, 1992)
  • The Alliance for Progress is an alliance between one millionaire and many beggars.
    • Interview with C. L. Sulzberger, The New York Times (November 7, 1964), p. 26.
  • Warfare is a means and not an end. Warfare is a tool of revolutionaries. The important thing is the revolution! The important thing is the revolutionary cause, revolutionary ideas, revolutionary objectives, revolutionary sentiments, revolutionary virtues!
  • We have a theoretical concept of the Revolution which is a dictatorship of the exploited against the exploiters.
    • As quoted in With Fidel : A Portrait of Castro and Cuba (1976) by Frank Mankiewicz and Kirby Jones, p. 83
    • Variant: The revolution is a dictatorship of the exploited against the exploiters.
      • As quoted in Words of Wisdom : From the Greatest Minds of All Time (2004) edited by Mick Farren, p. 138
  • With what moral authority can they speak of human rights — the rulers of a nation in which the millionaire and beggar coexist; the Indian is exterminated; the black man is discriminated against; the woman is prostituted; and the great masses of Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, and Latin Americans are scorned, exploited, and humiliated? How can they do this — the bosses of an empire where the mafia, gambling, and child prostitution are imposed; where the CIA organizes plans of global subversion and espionage, and the Pentagon creates neutron bombs capable of preserving material assets and wiping out human beings; an empire that supports reaction and counter-revolution all over the world; that protects and promotes the exploitation by monopolies of the wealth and the human resources of whole continents, unequal exchange, a protectionist policy, an incredible waste of natural resources, and a system of hunger for the world?
  • I never perceived a contradiction in the political revolutionary field between the ideas I maintained and the idea of that symbol, that extraordinary figure who had been so familiar to me since I began to reason.
    • On Jesus Christ, as quoted in Fidel and Religion (1985) by Frei Betto
  • Let us yield a bit. Let us grant socialism a few more years. Socialism is so obsolete, it is dying by itself.… Did I say socialism? I assure you on my honor this was not a mental slip. This was a slip of the tongue. Do not forget that. Capitalism—and I say it with such gustocapitalism is so obsolete that it is dying by itself.
  • This country … abounds in that Cuba is a heaven in the spiritual sense of the word, and we prefer to die in heaven than serve in hell.
    • Speech at the First World Congress on Literacy (2 February 2005) paraphrasing a line in John Milton's Paradise Lost; quoted in Granma
  • When I was a young boy, my father taught me that to be a good Catholic, I had to confess at church if I ever had impure thoughts about a girl. That very evening, I had to rush to confess my sin. And the next night, and the next. After a week, I decided religion wasn't for me.
    • As quoted in The Atheist's Bible (2007) edited by Joan Konner, p. 62

Quotes about Fidel CastroEdit

External linksEdit

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