Castro on the October Revolution

Fidel Castro, Soviet Television Interview on the Occasion of the Sixtieth Anniversary of the October Revolution. November 7, 1977


[Question] Comrade Commander: I would like to ask you your opinion on the influence of the Great October Revolution.

[Answer] The October Revolution had an impact on the entire world, on all continents, on all peoples. And, of course, it had a great influence on Cuba. A few years had elapsed since the end of our wars of independence. But Cuba’s wars of independence had not concluded with full independence for our people because U.S. intervention took place, and, as a result, a puppet republic emerged and neocolonialism was established. The North American monopolies seized our fundamental resources. As a result of that, there was great frustration, great unhappiness among our people. By then, the ideas of Marx and Engels had already been disseminated in some labor and intellectual circles of our country, so the October Revolution had a great impact on our people.

We can say that the immense majority of our workers, peasants and intellectuals welcomed it with great sympathy and experienced a profound solidarity with the October Revolution. This caused the awakening of a much greater interest due to social problems, increased the class struggle and the study of textbooks by Marx, Engels and Lenin and gave a great impetus to the formation of the first communist party in Cuba.

In workers’ and university circles, the first Marxist-Leninist groups were organized, which some years later founded Cuba’s first communist party. This party had a great influence on the struggle being waged during those days, which coincided with a great economic crisis in the 1930’s and had a great influence on the formation of a revolutionary awareness among the exploited classes of our country.

That was the immediate influence. That influence remained prevalent over the years, and above all it continued following the consolidation of the revolution and the establishment of the first socialist state. It continued for decades. Thus, the vanguards, the more conscious elements of the working class and the intellectual circles were greatly inspired by the October Revolution. It happens with all of us, not only in workers’ circles but also in student’s circles, in intellectual circles. We can add that the ideas of Marx, Engels and Lenin had decisive influence on the revolutionary nucleus which organized the armed struggle against Batista’s tyranny and against neocolonialism in our country. Because of this, we can say that the event which had the greatest influence on the Cuban revolution was precisely the glorious October Revolution.

[Soviet reporter begins a question and is interrupted by Castro]

I must add that without the October Revolution it would have been absolutely impossible to carry out the Cuban revolution some 42 years later, because the October Revolution precisely created the conditions and the historical circumstances and the correlation of forces that made the Cuban revolution possible. In other words, the process initiated by the October Revolution and which continued with the building of the first socialist state in the world–the 1,000 times heroic struggle of the Soviet people against imperialist aggressions and against the fascist aggression–precisely created the conditions that made the triumph of the Cuban revolution in 1959 possible.

Now, the question you posed is directly related to this, because the Cuban revolution was a great demonstration of the Soviet Union’s internationalist spirit for the entire world. That is, the internationalist spirit with which the October Revolution came to the world had not weakened after more than 40 years, but had actually been strengthened.

We are a very small country situated on this side of the Atlantic, next to the United States. The United States thought that it could easily crush the Cuban revolution, first through economic blockade measures and later on by military aggression. This was a small and underdeveloped country. They thought it was easy. But we had the Soviet Union’s solidarity from the very first moment. This must be said. The Soviets created a market for the products which we were exporting to the United States and which the United States refused to buy. The Soviets supplied us with essential raw materials, such as machinery, fuel and foodstuffs. They supplied us the arms needed for the defense of the country. This made it possible for the Cuban revolution to survive. It was an extraordinary demonstration of internationalist spirit which in turn implanted in our people the internationalist spirit that we practice today. Because this is some sort of chain.

I can truly say with the strength that facts, reality and truly provide that the relations between the Soviet Union–a large, mighty and developed country–and our country are exemplary in every sense. In all forums, everywhere in the world, we always point out these relations as an example and as the type of relations that should exist between developed and underdeveloped countries.

We have no complaints about the manner in which these relations have developed and which today, after nearly 20 years of revolution, have been extraordinarily consolidated. I believe this will remain in the history books as an example of internationalism and of the relations that should exist between peoples.

[Question] I would like to ask you to say something about the influence of the Great October Revolution with respect to the world revolutionary movement.

[Answer] It has had a really decisive influence. Let us explain. It is impossible to say in just a few minutes what the October Revolution has meant for the world. Without the October Revolution, without Lenin’s gifted vision, without the revolutionary party he forged, without the lucidity of his ideas which he analyzed and interpreted at the precise moment, at the precise time and under the precise conditions–that the time for the revolution had come–the world’s socialist revolution would have been delayed by tens of years. Without the October Revolution, fascism and imperialism would have dominated the world for a long period of time. Without the October Revolution, this colossal movement of national liberation, which put an end to colonialism and brought independence to nearly 100 new nations of the world, would not have been initiated. Without the October Revolution, it would have been impossible for countries like Cuba, isolated in this hemisphere, to carry out a socialist revolution. It would have been impossible for countries like Angola, Mozambique, Ethiopia, Vietnam and many others to find themselves today building socialism. Without the October Revolution, mankind would have never been able to hope for peace, because capitalism and imperialism were characterized by wars of exploitation and by the division of the world to serve their own interests.

It must be said that, following the October Revolution, the consolidation of the Soviet state and the defeat of fascism, for the first time ever in the history of mankind those wars of exploitation ended and a true possibility of attaining peace was created. Thus, we can say that without the October Revolution today there would be not even the slightest possibility of survival for mankind.

[Question] I would like to ask you to say something to the Soviet people on this anniversary.

[Answer] First of all, we would like to say that even though all countries have their own national commemorations, the glorious date of the October Revolution is a universal commemoration. That is why in our country, as in the rest of the world, the 60th anniversary of the October Revolution has been commemorated with the greatest enthusiasm and joy. All civilizations have in all eras great dates. The Western Christian civilization has traditional dates such as Christmas. For us, the socialist civilization, the phase of the era of socialism has its great date every year and every 10 years, and in the future not only will it be every year and every 10 years but also centennial, and that is the October Revolution. To the Soviets, we wish to convey at this time all our admiration, our love, our sympathy, our recognition and our joy in their successes. We wish to congratulate the Soviet people on the extraordinary advances attained in recent years, for their constitution, their new constitution, which is the most perfect, the most just, the most advanced of all constitutions of the world.

Never before in the history of the world has any human community attained the successes of the Soviet people in such a brief period of time.

I ponder this a lot and I admire the intelligent and wise manner in which they resolved the problem of nationalities and created the union of peoples, of the nations that today form the Soviet Union, by establishing a true example of the type of relations of tomorrow’s world. The Soviet Union is the bulwark of science, of social progress, of the eagalitarian and just society, that marches–we can say rapidly–toward the elimination of classes, toward communism, as established by the constitution, which is the highest aspiration of the human society. There still remain serious problems in the world, such as the fundamental and essential problem of safeguarding peace, for which the Soviet state has struggled greatly and to which our beloved Comrade Leonald Ilich Brezhnev has devoted his great energy. There are problems related to a large part of the world which is poor, suffering from hunger, illiterate, underdeveloped. There are peoples still struggling for liberation. There still remain problems and tensions that should be overcome. But what has been attained in these 60 years gives us faith, optimism and enthusiasm in the struggle and the confident and secure feeling that the human society will be capable of overcoming these obstacles and that, despite reactionary forces and imperialism, justice, equality, fraternity among men and communism will win. An mankind will owe an eternal debt of gratitude to the October Revolution, Lenin and the Soviet people.

Source: FBIS Report Date 19771108.


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