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News > Cuba

‘Homeland or Death, We Shall Overcome!’, Said Fidel in 1960

  • Commander Fidel Castro, Havana, Cuba, Sept. 2, 1960

    Commander Fidel Castro, Havana, Cuba, Sept. 2, 1960 | Photo: Twitter/ @centrofidel

Published 2 September 2021

The principles of the "First Declaration of Havana" continue to inspire the rebellious peoples of the world.

On Thursday, Cuba commemorates 61 years of the "First Declaration of Havana", a historic speech where Fidel Castro proclaimed to the world the reasons why the Cuban people decided to fight to the death in defense of their homeland and revolution.


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At that time, the United States besieged this Caribbean nation through coercive policies, which included canceling the U.S. purchase of sugar from Cuba to drown its people in misery and hunger. "Any communist regime established in America constitutes a foreign intervention in the continent," U.S. State Secretary Christian Herter claimed in open allusion to the Soviet Union’s aid to Cuba.

In August 1960, as part of the U.S. geopolitical strategy, the Organization of American States (OAS) issued its "San Jose Declaration," which warned Cuba to adhere to the discipline of the Inter-American system.

In this context, besides denouncing the attacks emanating from the U.S. and its allies, Fidel defended the right of oppressed peoples of the world to decide their destiny and fight for economic, political, and social justice.

Along with over a million people gathered in front of the image of Independence hero Jose Marti, the guerrilla leader reaffirmed that the Cuban revolution would defend the rights to land, work, education, and health for all. Fidel also expressed his conviction in the liberation of the Latin American peoples from the U.S. yoke.

Besides becoming one of the main foundations of Cuban laws and policies, the "First Declaration of Havana" acquired international significance as its principles offered inspiration to non-aligned countries and rebel movements around the world.

“The Cuban people have a glorious destiny. Our light will never go out. Its beams will spread more and more throughout Latin America. Homeland or death, we shall overcome!", Fidel stated. 

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